Recorded 2007-12-23 at
House of Love Studios with:
John Love: Guitar, Synths, Loops, Keys
Joe Love: Bass, Keys, Sax, Percussion
Tim Love: Drums, drm5
- In The Madhouse Of The Skull Project X 7:57
- Winter Night No Snow Project X 19:42
- The Eye Breathes Again Project X 13:38
- Brief Paradox Project X 1:32
- Blues For Beckett Project X 5:23
- Strident White Project X 8:00
1. In the Madhouse of the Skull 7:57
Samuel Beckett?s late novel of spare beauty and grainy focus is the source of the titles of these songs. Ill Seen, Ill Said is a tour de force of enigmatic structure. The Madhouse quickly sets the stage as Joe?s screaming sax emerges from the void. A virginal exploration of the reed that captures the onset of madness in an otherwise rather static and everyday urban setting of dodging shards of factory roofing as they fall toward the cracked and dilapidated sidewalks alongside the ghost factory shells?their rusted and blackened window frames bleary-eyed looking down at the poverty-stricken ghetto dwellers as they search for change in the gutter or spiders in the month old bottles. John?s guitar has become a bass trombone and a Sun Ra leap upon the keyboards of relativity watching the disintegrating mind of the narrator lost helplessly in the matrix of possibilities spewing across his worm-eaten soles . . .
2. Winter night. No Snow 21:09
The winter is introduced in clear, unambiguous guitar chords. As if the handless camera of this spontaneous moment is lucidly drifting above a small town, a clearing in the woods, highlighting particular branches, the smoke from a cottage. The organ keeps the same wintry feel, an influx of soft wind?cool, contracted. The focus here is on the cool brittle feel that cold air has upon a landscape, a landscape punctuated with well-tuned and timed toms, cymbals and snare taps. Here the listener can begin to see the novel unfold. The old lady stands before her window and looks out at the stones. As if she was not long dead. The guitar?s reversed speech becomes the thoughts of the twelve as they stand at the edge of the clearing. Stand among the stones. The one in the greatcoat seems to remember something that cannot be uttered. The old woman is walking back and forth. She has died long ago. Perhaps. Venus is on the rise. Memories wordless and without object crowd the existence of the world, the world of the novel, Beckett?s imaginary world, and the world of the X, the projected world of imperceptible imaginings, a longing for existence in a world created by three as one, a fresh world made of sound, sensation, impression, vibration. The reader listens to the listener while the listener listens to reading of the creation. And what they hear is this. Winter night. No snow.
3. The Eye Breathes Again 13:38
A searching bass gives way to guitar to keyboards to drums. Unfocused awakening. An opening, suffocating, wanting to see, to breathe. Here that strange rhythm Joe keeps on his bass against John?s keyboarded guitar is made sense of by Tim?s perfect straddling, finding the meeting of the twain in his ride cymbal and busy drums. And gradually the eye can suck air once more as the bass settles into its space funk allowing John to branch off into space once more with his reversed strings. If the eye is breathing again, it has certainly found a new way to go about it. The addition of the keyboards above the strings warns the listener that the electric guitar is waking up from it sleeping case to come for front and blow the doors off this gentle breathing. John creates a living entity with his strings, scraping, punching, molesting?free form at the Berlin wall. Rock on.
4. Brief Paradox 2:11
An experiment in spontaneity. Each player given ten or second five times around the horn to speak. This is the result of their speech. The raw result.
5. Particularly Sunset 1:39
On the other hand, this was the final intention of the experiment. An engineer?s dream. Tim took the existing raw material and designed this sunset with overdubs. The result is captivating, reminiscent of early Zappa, but, somehow, even more avant-garde and the over-arching space keys tie it all together in a wondrously free-form flotilla of elation.
6. Blues for Beckett 5:29
A bass line created by Joe, this works like cat and mouse again with Tim filling the role of continuity major. Here John sticks close to the bass line making a much more traditional type arrangement. Seemingly seamlessly though, Tim has combined Joe?s bass riff with John?s guitar riff. Here the bass sticks close to the C# line only dropping off with Tim for the B#-F drop off at the desired interval. Together these make for an interesting juxtaposition of tight little compositions?not unlike Beckett?s novels, part one mirroring part two from another angle all under the name of the same book. Beckett did not particularly care for classical music?but he did like the avant-garde letting a contemporary composer use his words for an avant-garde construction in the 80s. I don?t know how he felt about the blues. Regardless of this unknown, these are for him.
7. Strident White 8:20
Becoming now a style of Project X, the fusion bass line and soaring guitar/keyboard of John over Tim?s clean ride cymbal leading drum licks. The very cleanness of the lines does create a picture of whiteness?a clean sheet of paper before any words mar the void. And soar John does. This is perhaps his most brilliant guitar work so far for X, one might almost say his most strident, vociferous, determined, resolute, unyielding, obdurate, et cetera. And yes, this holy lack of words is like a religion, it is a religion, a taking of the spirit out of the body and into the world. Wow. Powerful. Beautiful ending, too. What else can these three say?
John can be reached by speaking softly in an easterly direction between two and three in the morning. Joe can be reached by becoming wind and blowing the green chime against the glass next to his desk?this only works in the winter when there is no snow. Tim can generally be reached by blowing into a conch shell or squawking to the seagulls on a southern beach with a warm breeze at your back. All replies will be made without words.