Marais, originally a two-track section of the sprawling analog techno patchwork South Sentral Positronix, was always intended to be released as a single. Many friends who heard the tracks before they were issued even said it was heavy enough that it belonged on vinyl. Never one to sit around and wait, I dashed all that and put SSP out instead, always thinking the time for Marais might still come.
Needless to say, this is obviously not a vinyl release, nor are there any plans for such a thing at this point in time (unless some special patron out there would like to see this manifest - please get in touch), so Marais will now exist as its own micro-universe. This 60+ minute album was always just a 3-4 track EP in my mind - and yet, when I went back to the tapes, as it often happens, the rest of the jams from the original sessions really struck me as being worthy of release alongside Marais and its sister version.
These other 6 tracks are mostly totally new - the Ext. Mix appeared recently as the leading track on Cmx IX, bubbling along with spatters of rhythmic gating patched through hard-panned analog delays and spring reverb. The Redsummer mix is a far more spacious dub techno affair on a Boss DR110 drum machine and two Korg analog synths, and was likely set aside for consideration in the Deep Earth series at that time, along with the Heathkit mix, which (as it's title implies) drones through several layers of a vintage oscillator from the 1950s, alongside Stylophone, a mutant processed RY20 drum machine and the aforementioned Korg synthesizers. The Version mix, along with the original mix, have both been re-mixed and mastered from the original tapes especially for this album. Finally, closing the release are three deeper cuts: the Night Shift Mix, which blimps up the original drum machine rhythms via old preamps in vintage stereo receivers, and replays them as triplets under Quadraverb-soaked chords. The N-S Dub Augmix, which was apparently heavily edited and reduced for inclusion on South Sentral Positronix as "No-Ship Dub" - here it appears in full original form, with a far heavier rhythm section, additional analog delays and a second reprisal jam that mixes out a totally different groove by looping the last few bars of the original and processing them further in the live rig's feedback loop. Ending with the 14 minute Drawbridge Re-Map, which filters out the original chords into a resonator and ring modulation bed of alternating tonal currents, all while the drum machines are slowed to a plodding pace and dispersed in Moogy LPF chunks of sound that tug the droning foreground along.
Like so many of the other CH releases, the emphasis here on Marais is reprocessing, reconstitution and recontextualization. The Halifaxian universe has for some time now been almost totally self-oscillating in its ability to grow new worlds from the DNA of the old ones, and this album is no exception to that ethos.
released August 8, 2016
W/P by Brian Grainger. Recorded at Botany Bay, Spring-Summer 2015. Final gloss applied August 2016. Mastered by The Analog Botanist. This is Milieu Music number ABX57. Photography by Brian at Sesquicentennial Park, Summer 2011.