Recorded & assembled at Eggs & Bacon Bay, Tasmania, mostly in Feb 2017, inspired partly by a bunch of old recordings I made between 2006 - 2016 and the seasonal ritual of shedding skin. This collection is very much about leaving behind a difficult year & entering a new one with a defiantly joyful intent.
As with most of my home recordings, I’ve worked in the spirit of how everyday people around the world have traditionally made music - that is, immediate, expressive, authentic to the moment and a little loose around the edges. Limited resources are the mother of invention, and, following my creative impulses, I use whatever instruments & objects are at hand to create "traditional" sounds in non-traditional ways. It's not a contrived approach, I just enjoy exploring where an idea takes me. This is a much more percussive album, and also makes more use of the Electric Plank that my daughter made when she was 11, which debuted on the PIGBOX albums. My "limited resources" also include not having access to like-minded musicians, so I hope my DIY process still manages to capture an atmosphere of a group of people playing live together.
The shape of this album began with the track "New Skin" in Jan this year. I'd been revisiting a lot of Fela Kuti's earlier work and his irresistible grooves helped smooth out the serrated edges of the previous year. It also plugged me into the processes of shedding skin, of using music to chase away the demons & to invoke a defiantly joyful energy in the face of adversity.
The rhythmic legacy of African music, and by obvious extension the polyrhythms of Sth American music, has influenced my love of rhythm music since childhood, and the use of rhythm for transformative trance was at the core of my playing & teaching percussion from 1993 - 2011.
This year I unearthed some old drumming recordings I'd made years ago, and the raw rhythms inspired me to add extra instrumentation of bass, guitar etc to give them new life - again, new skins from old.
I also found a few other old recordings that never really had a home but seemed to fit stylistically with this collection. Some of these I left intact & some were re-sculpted. There was something satisfying about finding a place for these old recordings, giving them a family, or at least a place in the tribe.
Tracks 1, 3, 4, 8, 10, 11 & 15 composed & recorded in 2017.
Track 2 composed & recorded in 2015.
Track 14 composed in 2009 then recorded in 2015 as the soundtrack for a short film documenting the thINK Drawing festival in Kingston, Tas that year.
Tracks 6, 7, 9, 13 and 16 drum rhythms were recorded in 2010.
“Hoom Sha” was one of several chants composed & performed as community singing events in Melbourne during the 1990s. The drum rhythms for these tracks were originally composed between 2006 - 2009 for the Cygnet-based community drumming groups Rhythm Collision and the Drummin’ Mummas.
Track 5 composed & recorded in 2009.
Track 12 originally recorded in 2004 for the Bruny Island community arts performance project Songs Of The SeeDragon.
BD plays: Dun dun, djembe, kpanlogo, cajon, jungle kit, tambour, agogo bell, log drum, darabuka, talking drum, kashishi, gourd shaker, lagerfone, lizard sticks, balafon, tibetan bells, cello bass, ukuleles (acoustic & electrified), electric guitar, balalaika, electric plank slide, kemenche, 12-string mandolin, saz, strumstick, jawharp, keyboards & vocals.
The spacey electronic texture on “Junglebrain” was created by Cooper Bowman.
released March 12, 2017
All music & words, photography and artwork © Bradfield Dumpleton
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