The new album by St Mix is here.
This is my tribute to Les Tetes Brulees, a Cameroonian Afro-Pop band active in the early 90’s. The guitarist had an interesting technique of weaving paper into the guitar strings creating a unique percussive sound, which I employed for this song. To heighten the effect, I mic’ed the strings of my electric guitar, as well as the amp.
I originally wrote this song for my wife’s dance concert. The name actually is my own pseudo-spanish. It’s meaningless. The working title started out as Martha & Kathleen, then shortened to M & K.
Co-written with my bandmate from Ostrich Farm, Chris Millner. Apparently he has a very positive feeling about coffee. I created the opening piano sound by strumming the piano strings with a knife (pulling a page out of the Keith Emerson playbook).
I’ve been a big fan of Ballywood-style music for years, ever since I picked up a copy of Dance Raja Dance, a compilation put out by David Byrne’s Luaka Bop label. This is another piece I wrote for dance concert.
I discovered this tune on the aforementioned Like_Bongos album. I got the sustained guitar sound by using an E-Bow, a device that creates a magnetic field that sets the string vibrating.
I came up with the basic groove for this tune, then let the players loose on it. Stash plays some very tasty Miles Davis-y lick on his trumpet. Bion came up with the bass riff at the end… on the fly, live, first-take, what you hear is live and un-edited. Amazing.
Trying everything I can to be very twee here, and succeeding. I’m really happy with the ambient, drum ‘n bass middle section.
This track is off the “Living Guitars” album. I used to teach my young guitar students this tune.
This track was originally by Focus, one of the best bands ever! They really had something very original in the 70’s. Well-crafted songs, incredible musicianship. Some day these guys will get their props.
How could I not cover this one? This is for my baby. Don’t tell her that the middle section is me on guitar approximating her talking at me…. :-)
Messing around on the synth one day, I came up with the “boinky” sound that drives this piece. As you can tell, I’m a fan of Onomatopoeia in my titles.
Rolling out an old chestnut here. I’m proud of the jokey synth tone on this one. If it makes you smile, I’ve succeeded.
At first glance, this tune appears somewhat out of place on this album. But, I included this very foreboding track at the end not only because I really like it, but it ties in to the conceptual continuity of the Rapa Nui theme. Think of it as like the dark, cliff-hanger at the end of The Empire Strikes Back.
I created the cracking sound rhythm track by breaking drumsticks, bouncing and multi-tracking it dozens of times.
This album is a collection of songs, mostly originals, based on the Space-Age Bachelor Pad sound (also called Lounge, or Exotica) made popular in the 50’s and 60’s. When I used to work in record shops in the 80’s, I’d rummage through the old bins under the counters where the “good” records were displayed. Every once in a while I’d discover some real gems like “Living Guitars” or “Like_Bongos”. I loved the sounds, ingenuity and eclecticism that these albums displayed. They were freewheeling, care free and fun albums.
I still don’t know much about some of the folks that created them, but they seemed to have been played on by LA studio musicians at the time. A lot of the records were put out solely to promote the new “Hi-Fi” stereo systems that were just coming out. So these guys were getting paid to have fun and experiment. Often there were no names given for the songwriters or players.
In the 90’s, this type of music was “re-discovered”. Some labels, like Rhino started series of compilations. Also, the greats, like Martin Denny and Esquivel, had their albums re-issued. New bands, like Stereolab, and Laika and the Cosmonauts borrowed heavily from this tradition.
Your Table Awaits… at the Rapa Nui Lounge represents my own take on this genre. The title is a nod to the “Tiki” tradition of Exotica. Rapa Nui is the native’s own name for Easter Island.
Tony Jillson a.k.a. St MIx: Acoustic and Electric Guitars, Keyboards, Piano, Drums, Drum Programs, Percussion,
JJ O’Connell: Drums on 6, 8, 9, hand percussion on 11
JD “MC Stash” Keating: Horns on 2, 6, 9,
Kevin “TubaLove” Smith: Tuba on 2, 9, 12
Chris “Bion” Millner: Keyboards on 3, 6, 7; Vox on 3, 6, 13; Bass on 1, 6; Drum Programs on 3, 7
Jim Vogel: Sax on 2
Sadie Ware: Vox on 3
Dan “NTT” Lyons: Lyrics for 7
Recorded, Mixed and Mastered at Ratite Studios by St Mix
CD, Web design, Illustrations and Photos by St Mix