i
i
i
i
i
  i  
 
i
 
 
i
 
 
i
 
 
i
 







   


28/02/12 - PHASE 2: TRIP THE LIGHT FANTASTIC

Download the tracks on Spotify. On iTunes. Listen to the audio documentary about Trip The Light Fantastic here.



The second single of PHASES is here. The music direction I had assigned for this second single was "heavier psychépop"... whatever that means! I meant something a little heavier sounding than the first single (which had no music style restriction). And I was imagining something a little trippy as well.


It all started with a sample taken from an old library music. I remember recording that sample ages ago at my friend Simon's place (Simon goes under the name James Bay and he made a remix of New Design recently. When I came accross the sample again a few weeks ago, I thought: "hmm that's sweet little sound, I should probably use it sometime". Well, the time had come. I built the song around it. I wanted the beat to be a little heavier too... But the sound of the song changed significantly once Graham Van Pelt (read about him here) of Miracle Fortress got involved in the process. I wanted to work with someone else on the mix to make sure that the production wouldn't sound the same as the previous single. Graham was really generous of his time and added new layers of sound - inlcuding a new layer of rythm and the really sharp and bouncy bass synth lines - that made the song a lot less lo-fi in the end.

I remember being with him in the studio and everything he was doing to the track I liked immediately. Probably because I felt like the song was evolving and that it was growing in someone else's hands, which was thrilling. Now when I listen to the track, I kind of miss its lo-fi sound a little bit. But on the other hand, the collaboration with Graham was so smooth that I'm also really happy with what we did together. It's the way it is with Phases I guess... There's no way of having a lot of perspective because of the little time there is to make the songs. There's very little room for readjustments. It's the challenge of letting the songs out before they can mature, before exploring different options in terms of production... It could be seen as a mistake but it's the way I wanted Phases to exist: allowing imperfection and making some spontaneous collaboration happen, so that Phases would not only be a personal project but more of an open project, involving different creators.

And to come back to the song, here's a few words about the title...
TRIP THE LIGHT FANTASTIC = to dance. Really? A very surprising expression for us, ESL of this world (I'm sure you'll all agree). I simply love those words together. They sound like some kind of spell and they definitely make a good title for a song that I wanted a little "trippier".

Lastly, what's great about TRIP THE LIGHT FANTASTIC is that - despite its cleaner sound than on the demo I originally did - it is still very much danceable (not something very usual with Montag) when listened to very LOUD.

i
Here's a picture Graham Van Pelt during the mixing session for TRIP THE LIGHT FANTASTIC.


The B-side of the single is called AGAIN AGAIN. A very simple song really. The whole track was written and assembled in a few days... I had already composed the chord progression, can't remember exactly when. So I just played each chord on a Yamaha Sk-20, cut them up individually and sequenced into a really simple rythmic pattern. The rest was added progressively and very instinctively, like that other series of chords played with a very gentle sine wave sound. The lyrics came to me in the most natural way. I guess I was thinking a lot about loss, people leaving us... especially Trish who had died exactly year ago, but also my mom who would have turned 61 in January. I guess that, in this song, I'm trying to express the hope to see the departed ones again. Hence the name of the song. I included a sample of the interview I did with Trish Keenan in 1999 in NYC at Warp Records' 10th anniversary show. Maybe it was a way to link up AGAIN AGAIN with the words I wrote in TRIP THE LIGHT FANTASTIC (listen to the audio documentary to learn more about this). The song perfectly represents the mood I was in when I wrote. I can hear nostalgy and a bit of tiredness in my voice too. I was in fact exhausted with all the work I had to do for Phases' launch. It's funny how listening to it again brings me back to that same state, in a blurry "mind zone" where ghosts come talk to you

Read more about Trip The Light Fantastic collaborators here.


i


 

 

 




   
    graphic design and Phases artwork by Curiousflux