Official music page and soapbox of Matt Snell

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

The Two-Headed Hippopotamus on a Bootjack Project Retrospective

 The first time I recorded an album or finished writing a novel (only four people ever read it, and only four people ever will), it was a big deal to me. Whatever the shortcomings were of those two pieces of art, what I remember most about them is their intense desire to be born. I can still hear it coming through strongly when I look back at them. Subsequent efforts to write fiction have floundered without that drive, despite being more carefully conceived and probably technically superior.

So I was surprised when I sat down to listen to the Two-Headed Hippopotamus on a Bootjack Project (a collection of material I released here on weekly basis, with a name borrowed from a sculpture by Karl Brendel) and found I had recorded another album. I didn't conceive of it that way at all, although I had it in the back of my mind that after I was finished, I'd be in good shape to record something for real. It might not be a work of towering genius, but the 'Project certainly qualifies as real. It's a funny feeling to sit back and realize you've actually created the kind of thing you've heard before in your mind's ear.

I liked the process of releasing a track a week - there's probably some sort of tortoise and the hare thing to be learned there. I may have thought of each track as a one-off, but lined up end to end the breadth of style is fun, if your ears like to rove like mine. I will definitely use that technique again, but I think I'll wait until September to get cracking in order to give myself a chance to prepare for some upcoming shows.

I'm also glad (relieved?) to see an evolution from the first album, Gallows Humour. Blazing hot licks aren't my style, but I fancy I hear a bit more subtly and dimension. I'm often quite proud of my lyrics, which strangely enough can make me forget that I can play, too, and an instrumental album is one way to remind myself.

If you look back through the posts, you can see me ragging on myself for lack of production quality, and although it's probably not the sort of thing you'd want to crank on your car stereo, at home at a reasonable volume it sounds warm and clear enough to me at least. I would much rather make it available now to the public with that proviso than put myself in debt paying a producer, or withhold it for a year while I try and acquire the money to do so.

With that in mind I've made Two-Headed Hippopotamus on a Bootjack available for download on Bandcamp, so that you can listen to it without interruption. The tracks are still available individually for free here, and the complete album download is free as well (although I may set up a donation option in the near future in case generous listeners would like to contribute to the cause). I've done some very minor editing to try and ensure consistency when heard end to end. I hope you enjoy it, welcome your feedback, and promise to follow this one up with some songier songs soon!

Get a copy of Two-Headed Hippopotamus on a Bootjack here:

1 comment:

  1. This is awesome! Love having this all together. I can listen to these tracks on my gadget!

    I think my favorite thing about these little spontaneous outbursts is that you create these otherworldly grooves in such unexpected ways. I love music that loves sound and makes me laugh (sometimes not outloud...not an LOL!) and the unpredictability of these things makes me smile. Thanks for sharing!