The track was something I wrote in the main lockdown. It was so frustrating having time but no motivation and seemingly nothing to say.
Simon [ S.C. Cumuna ] and I already had a go with the track but I wasn't happy with my initial recording so scrapped it. When asked to contribute to P. Club Website I really wanted to have another go. I always enjoy getting a chance to nut out tracks with Simon but also had wanted to do something with Nath [ Nathan Taare ] for ages. Seemed like a good time.
I recorded on a zoom recorder with a basic Korg drum machine. Initially there was a bass line but it didn't feel right to clog up the song at the start when I'd asked to other clever people to contribute.
Also big shout out to Stefan Neville for all the tech putting together of the tracks and the video. Cheers heaps to P. CLUB and especially Jonny Marks for the cool opportunity. It's an incredible space and I'm amazed at all the mahi that goes in and has gone into it over the years in its many forms.
Below are the the three tracks that were mixed by Stefan Neville for the final video
Im S.C. Cumuna and i played on the Awkward recordings....
Karren sent me some singing that she had done to a drum machine riff and I added some keys from an old Casio keyboard.It was on the organ setting and I put it thru a distortion pedal. I basically followed what I figured were the notes she was singing. I then added a rudimentary bassline on a nylon string acoustic guitar. I like the sound of the nylon string cos it has a softer attack than a steel string.
I played around with some of the EQ of the vocals/drums and kinda got the levels working together..et voila!! (just kidding there is no viola on there)
Karren sent me the powerful track and I was immediately inspired to let the vocals stay strong and support them with moody drones rather than chord progressions. The vocals and beats were almost enough so I was really aware and conscious to not drown them out.
I used a deluge and my SH-01 to create the tracks. I started with the deluge and chose an old Juno sound then manipulated i to have more top end. I jammed along to it a couple of times then just hit record and basically improvised along to it. I recorded the tracks during a work day on a lunch break so it was a little rushed but I spend quite a long time listening to the original track and imagining what I heard. So when it came to actually recording I had done much of the cerebral already. So it was actually quite simple and straight forward in terms of actually recording it.
Although the track is droney towards the end it comes into a simple kind of progression. It just happened that way during the take and I really liked it when I listened back that I made the decision to leave it and call it complete but knowing there was more to come so that was in my mind - I wanted to leave space for the other collaborators (Simon Cuming).
The whole process was really fluid and fun. I felt trusted to do what I wanted to do but was very aware of the rest of the process. I am also aware of Simon's amazing visual and sound work and was super excited to be involved. I have always loved Karren's work with paint and jewellery and also just as an awesome human so felt very humbled to play a part in this.
Awkward is the music manifestation made from Karren Dale of Tamaki Makaurau. Awkward came about with the encouragement of fellow artist and dear friend Beth Dawson, aka ducklingmonster. Awkward seeks to make something that speaks about how we experience the world, how we see ourselves within it and physically making as a response. Music and art form an arc of hope and meaning. Awkward is an aspiring art idea, not great or pure but an overwhelming desire to make and be a part of something bigger.