The first release on ARC’s sister label ARC(ANE) came out in February 2000, was titled “Elegant Manoeuvres” and had the catalogue number ARCN01. All the tracks were at least 2 years old when released. It was distributed by Prime Distribution which had agreed to take on my labels following the dismal performance of Metropolis described in the previous post. By that time I’d had another release on the Chicago based High Octane label, which was arranged by DJ Rush who acted in a sort of A&R capacity for them.
The differences between ARC and ARC(ANE) were always quite subtle, but were probably most audible on this and the two subsequent “Elegant Manoeuvres” releases. They had more of a groove to them, I think, and were more house-influenced even if they didn’t sound much like house.
The first track, “Passenger”, is quite pacy at about 140 or 142bpm. It was recorded in late 1997, immediately after the track “Ambrosia” which was released some years later on ARCN07. It uses the same sample or synth loop as its main riff, but it’s sequenced differently. Derrick May played it once at a Lost party in Vauxhall. At the end of the night I approached him to say thanks for playing it. He asked me which track I meant, and I mentioned the title. He said “I only have white labels”. So I described the logo which would have been stamped on the copy I posted to the Transmat office in Detroit. He said “oh yeaaaah….I thought you brought the hi-hats in a bit late”. Cheeky bastard. I told him it would make more sense if he played more of the track. “oooh, yeah!”. Anyway, it was nice to hear him play the record, it certainly buffed my ego a bit. I once heard Kevin Saunderson play another of my tracks at a much later Lost party…and I didn’t like the way he used it at all. In fact I rarely enjoyed the way other people played my records, but I was always interested to observe from the dancefloor how a crowd would react to the tracks. I doubt I’ll ever hear the other member of the Belleville Three do the same but two out of three isn’t bad.
I seem to remember having problems with the bass sound distorting in the next track, “Hunk”. This track was recorded in January 1998. The sound that echoes throughout is, I think, a sampled TR-909 snare that was messed with and put through loads of effects. I’ve never played this track in a set or heard anyone else play it. It’s not particularly exciting to me now, and not one of my favourites of all the tracks I released, but I’d be interested to hear it on a big system one day.
“Picnic Cut” was recorded in July 1998. The main riff was a sample from a track that Tommy Gillard and I made together in January 1996 called “Life’s No Picnic” (that track can be downloaded here if anyone is interested). I used the dysfunctional time stretch function on the Roland S-760 to mash it up a bit and processed it through the sampler’s rough sounding filter while messing with a few simple percussion sounds. I like this track a lot, it was always my favourite track on the record.
Recorded in late 1997, the title of the last track, “Break The Laws” came from the vocal sample used, although I don’t think that’s what’s actually being said. Like “Hunk”, I never played this track in a set. I like the chunky beat it has, the shuffled sampled closed hi-hat and the low synths that appear a couple of times. I’m less sure about the two sections where the sequence of the vocal sample changes.
All of these tracks were sequenced using the Alesis MMT-8.
Files are 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.
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