Last Updated on March 19, 2023
My old friend Jeff
The track (above) was one of the last pieces we did together. It’s Jeff’s creation and is one of my favourite Crawling Chaos tracks. It’s called Reg Vase from the Waqqaz album.
If the bit from 1:15 to 1:24 doesn’t make you well up, there’s something wrong with you. Those frequency combinations at 1:18 are out of space and time.
This is a pre-Waqqaz version from a cassette that has travelled round France, been in various glove compartments and cupboard floors.
I’ve taken it straight from cassette and it’s encoded at the maximum bitrate for MP3 files in Reaper for your enjoyment. I’ve just used a noise gate set at -20dB and a bit of compression to follow in this extract. Now in FLAC format with some EQ tgwiddles to reduce harshness and enhance the cymbals’ air. For me, the mix is better than the final vinyl one despite the 12kHz frequency cut-off. I now prefer the finished version with extra guitar/synth at 1:09-ish.
It’s Jeff at his finest.
I remember him sitting cross-legged on the floor at Bebside for about a fortnight getting the various harmonies planned out. My input was minimal and I just did a few block keyboard chords as instructed, to bulk out the end as well as the mixing on the guitars and the cross-echo and other drums set-up.
The bass guitar is good. It doesn’t leapt out at you, but is a perfect complement.
The real work was within the complex interlocking guitar parts, of which there are many, all played by Jeff. The only words I could think of came to me in a dream.
E.ver Y.oung, E.ver S.pecial
I ensured that they were on the penultimate bounce so that they couldn’t be removed. (This is how cheap multi-tracking worked back in the cobweb zone) – I didn’t know why, at the time, I thought of them (apart from their obvious corniness) – or why I strove to ensure their longevity — But I instantly knew despite all that, that this was Jeff’s finest work, for me, and I’ve listened to it many times since, mainly this cassette tape version.
So now I know that one’s karma transcends space and time – that one can affect one’s karma in the distant past.
I do daimoku to change my karma both now, in the future, and in the past.
So now I know, despite all of that — and why I know that I’ve always known even without knowing — why I woke up with those corny words in my head springs ago.
It was so that I could write this piece about my old friend Jeff, and remember him and all the joint experiences that we had together since we were 14, which is now years ago… Every 17th of March I remember Jeff, his smell (not unpleasant) and his slightly portly belly beneath his light grey school jumper…How weird is that!
Goodbye Doomage. Till next time.
Occasional Tweets here @crawlingchaosuk
Main image: “The Fall of Numenor,” an allusion to Atlantis made by J.R.R. Tolkien well after HP Lovecraft did his stuff.