Originally recorded in 1995 and 1996.
Originally released in 1999. Digitally remastered in 2016.
From the original sleeve notes:-
"While searching through my very untidy garage for some or other item of junk, I happened across a pile of uncatalogued cassettes, which had obviously formed part of some uncompleted recording project or other. Having failed in my search for the unspecified wotzit, I decided to give a listen to the tapes see what 'gems' I would encounter. I was very pleasantly surprised with what I heard...
"Here were some old 4-track demos that I had recorded in that self-same garage back in 1996, when I'd just bought my first guitar...at the age of 33... I had been recording for some years using synths, and I wanted to try some new textures. Some time previously I had bought a 4-track Portastudio and I got the urge to do some spontaneous recording. Which is how the original jam version of HUMPTY DUMPTY'S SONG came about. I had found the lyrics (a poem by Lewis Carroll) in a poetry book which I had bought from the Book Club of Ireland (how bourgeois of me...) and I fell in love with their anarchic lunacy at first sight. I used my trusty old Roland drum machine, set to a factory-preset rhythm, and proceeded to improvise over the top of that with bass and guitar. While the track is not as proficient as the 'Best Version' which opens this selection, I feel that it contains some happy musical accidents which more than justify its inclusion on this CD.
"By the time I had recorded the 'Best Version', I'd learned a few tricks about getting the most out of the 4-track...like using my MIDI set-up to programme a realistic-sounding drum pattern for the track, and manually adjusting a delay pedal to get some bizarre guitar and vocal effects. I still get a hell of a kick out of listening to both versions of the song, but especially the 'Best Version'. The sad thing about improvising in a less-than-ideal recording environment (i.e. 4-track) is that it would be impossible for me to recapture the image of the improvisations, now that I have a half-decent recording system at my disposal. So that's another reason for making these tracks available now.
"If you have heard my debut album, TANTRUM EGO, you will be familiar with the tracks DO THE WASHING-UP and AMNESIA INTERNATIONAL. These tracks are featured on this CD in their 4-track demo forms. Again, I had pushed the 4-track medium to its limit, with one vocal track, two rhythm and on lead guitar tracks, a bass track and a drum track. Bouncy, bouncy indeed. By this stage, you're probably heartily sick of hearing both of these tracks, but I think these demo versions merit a listen. I was actually surprised at how relatively relaxed the tracks sound in comparison with the album versions...bearing in mind that I couldn't at that time (nor can I now, for that matter) actually play guitar in the accepted, traditional sense. I also think that the drum tracks on both of these versions are in many ways superior to the final versions. Say lavee...
I'd forgotten all about PAGEANT. I attempted to get involved in a local arts festival here in Nenagh back in 1995. The only service I could offer was that of composer ('musician' would be stretching things beyond all physical bounds). Part of the festival was to include a pageant to celebrate the life of some ancient local poet, and I volunteered to compose a piece of mood music to accompany the pageant. Unfortunately, the funding for the festival proved insufficient, and the pageant never materialised. By that stage, I had composed and recorded the track straight to stereo. Incidentally, somewhere in that cold, bleak wilderness that I laughingly refer to as my garage, there is an alternative version of PAGEANT, where the synthy sounds switch over into a guitar and bass track. It was rather good, as I recall.
These tracks have been transferred from cassette to digital in a very 'down-home' manner. The tracks have not been doctored in any significant way, other than to do some light editing at the start of the tracks and some tidier fade-outs. Slap a bit of compression on top and that's it. Essentially, what we have here are the original headphone mixes for the demos, so you'd be as well to listen to them through headphones yourself. I could have remixed these tracks, I s'pose, but then they wouldn't be the same demos I'd recorded back kin 1995 and 1996, would they?"
released August 6, 2016
All tracks composed, performed, recorded and produced by Daniel Prendiville, except for lyrics for tracks 1 and 5, which were composed by Lewis Carroll.
(c) & (p) 1999/2016 Reincheque Recordings
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