This is the first of a series of posts offering free digital versions of old ARCart releases, previously only available on vinyl, and in which I will waffle on a bit about the original releases.
“Joyrage”, the first ARCart release came out on ARC in May 1999. It was my third vinyl release, coming after “Watch As We Now Drift” on Meta, and “Beyond The Pale” on Kne’Deep. Those two previous releases helped provide some momentum and recognition from distributors. Not enough, though, for Prime Distribution, the main movers in the UK when the label was originally conceived and proposed.
I first set up distribution through a new London based organisation called Metropolis Distribution. They were, ummm…not very good. Nice guys, mostly, just useless at distributing records and even worse at paying labels for the few records they did manage to sell. Eventually they went out of business and I never did get paid what I was owed. It wasn’t enough to live on considering their poor sales performance but it would have bought a few very nice meals.
Before Metropolis collapsed I managed to get the unsold stock of this release sent to Prime, with whom I’d launched ARC(ANE) some months later. It sat in their warehouse for a while but when Prime offered up the bulk of the unsold stock of “Joyrage” (which was probably about 75% of what was pressed) they sold within a month.
The catalogue number differs slightly in format from all the other releases. ARC.MD.01 – this was partly down to a suggestion from Metropolis that I regret following, and possibly an error by the graphic designer, or by me, that compiled the artwork. It still irritates me for various reasons.
I’m still quite into the tracks on here. They’re all fairly simple affairs, especially on side A. I think that “Tinitus” (incorrect spelling, I know) was one of the first tracks I made after acquiring a compressor, hence the very low kick drum. The high pitched hissing sound is a sampled TR-808 snare playing forwards and then reversing on itself, filtered through the mixing desk with added delay. This was a possible contender when Oliver and I were reviewing tracks for the Meta release, but as it wasn’t used for that I put it out myself.
“White Lies” is as simple as it gets, just a relentless pounding loop, really, reminiscent of how it would often feel at 4am on the dancefloor at Lost during a punishing mid-90s Jeff Mills set (which was of course one of the major influences on all the techno we were making).
At this point in time my favourite track on the record is “Onslaught II”. I like the snare hit and the slightly woozy processed vocal samples that make up the main sounds of the track (all the non-percussive sounds are vocal samples). It’s the only track on the EP that has a hint of the slightly seasick wavering pitch effect which I later tried to inject into most of the music I made.
“21 Number 4”, titled in honour of my friend Tommy’s 21st birthday, also has a vocal sample stab throughout. This is layered with a filtered synth patch from the Roland JD800. The sequenced distorted percussive sound that fades up after a short while was programmed randomly using the Alesis MMT-8 sequencer, which is all I used to sequence tracks until later buying a Latronic Notron step sequencer.
As mentioned in the previous post, I’ve uploaded the files in 320kbps mp3 and lossless FLAC formats. Both are compressed from the same WAV files which in turn are taken from the original DAT recordings. I’m willing to provide WAV files to individuals who specifically request them and for whom FLAC isn’t sufficient. If requesting WAV files, please let me know which tracks you want.
See further comments on the label art concept and track titles here.
Please get in touch if you have any problems downloading, unzipping, or playing the files.