The Empty Quarter
  1. 1: The Architecture of Fear
  2. 2: Backsliders!
  3. 3: Rokkasho Rmx
  4. 4: The Empty Quarter
  5. 5: Bush
  6. 6: Nihilistic Blues
  7. 7: Standby for Action
  8. 8: The Double
  9. 9: Oh, By the Way

For some time THE SPECTRAL PRiDE had toyed with the idea of a project whose central point was an empty space, a place without sound. Nature abhors a vacuum, however, and as wildlife will gradually overtake an abandoned building, so this empty space would be filled with pieces of sound. Not your everyday pieces of sound, but ones which had fallen off recordings and ended up on the cutting-room floor.

While recording Twitch&Sway and Treachery [With A Smile On Its Face] with the Deadpan, much use had been made of loops and samples. The PRiDE had become fascinated by this way of working: cutting up and splicing together disparate pieces of sound to form textured, sometimes humorous, tracks. And they decided to investigate the whole thing further in the new project, which would be called The Empty Quarter.

Before starting the project, the PRiDE decided that there would be more live recording than on previous loops- and samples-oriented works. In some cases, this entailed recording performances with large gaps, which they later filled with samples and loops. Other times they would construct basic tracks using loops and samples, then record performances on top.

The PRiDE also decided that they would remix works by other artists which were available under Creative Commons Licences. Two works were chosen in the end: ‘Rokkasho’ by Team 6, and the Eno/Byrne project My Life in the Bush of Ghosts from which two tracks were remixed to form one.

A factor common to all the tracks making up The Empty Quarter is the presence of an empty space. This the PRiDE achieved by recording or constructing the basic tracks, then taking away one of the instruments. Sometimes this would be a guitar part, sometimes the bass, other times a series of drum-loops, or maybe a simple backing-vocal. But on every track there is something missing. The PRiDE like to think that this isn’t too noticeable, so maybe these things didn’t need to be there. Whatever, they are gone now.

The Empty Quarter is very much a transitional project. When recording began, the PRiDE were using computer technology, but still making the final recordings on the 16-track they had used for all previous projects. As things progressed, however, there was a move towards recording everything solely in a computer environment. This was largely due to the Bollockbrains upgrading the Bunker systems and installing Logic Pro. The result is a hybrid project in which some tracks have been recorded on a 16-track, some purely in a computer environment. This makes for interesting listening if you can be arsed to spot the difference. If not, the tracks can be enjoyed for what they are: noises trying to occupy an empty space.

1, 2, 4 & 6-9 written by THE SPECTRAL PRiDE, ©2006 Bollockbrain Productions.

3 is a remix of Rokkasho by Team 6.

5 is a remix of tracks from the Eno/Byrne project My Life in the Bush of Ghosts.

All tracks arranged and played by THE SPECTRAL PRiDE.

Recorded by Zblotnik at the Bollockbrain Bunker.

Engineered and mixed by The Knobster.

Produced by Mr Reindeer.

℗2006 Bollockbrain Productions. Some rights reserved.

The Empty Quarter is no longer available for downloading.