The second album by Light Coorporation
Aliens From Planet Earth
Recommended Records/ RéR Megacorp
Alien on the Tower.
After our premiere album Rare DIALECT was published in 2011 by Chris Cutler's RéR Megacorp record label, we asked ourselves: what should our next album be like?
We were most pleased with its positive reviews and moreover, from the responses which came to us via e-mail or Facebook messages.
Those comments were really neat and propelled us to start with a new album with a lot of new material. We were sure that it should be a lot different from Rare Dialect
We were very anxious to record a real, life-pulsating, no limited piece of music which would be most picturesque and without question, giving u a lot of freedom in its creation.
The first time we visited the Water Tower was few months before the actual album release.
Walking up the twisted, spiral stairs, we were approaching that magical room which later on would be the recording place for our material.
The oval interior of the upper most chamber was full of sounds. Even a slightest whisper or shimmer could be heard clearly. It would seem like every sound we made was floating in the air.
Moreover, two opposing, elongated windows gave us the idea of using few microphones outside them in order to catch and record the shimmer of nearby trees and the noise of the city.
We were looking for a place which would give us inspiration for creating our music, demanding fresh and somehow different sound coming out of it. We finally found it in the Water Tower and began to make preparations which eventually took us a couple of weeks.
After a lot of rehearsals, we came up with a very interesting plan: We must go for the ambient!
We assumed that we want to become a part of the Tower itself and therefore, we decided to take what's most precious about it - its space and natural reverb.
Studio closest to Heaven.
Basically, we took half of the studio to the Tower as well as a bunch of old, legendary mics from Vintage Records Studio and anything useful in general...
Everyone was fed up with the recording when it came down to taking tons of equipment upstairs, struggling with the narrow steps that led to the top of the Tower.
Szymon Swoboda took care of production as he did with our Rare DIALECT album.
Every instrument was closed miced like in a normal studio, but We decided to use rear ambient mics to capture beautiful, real ambient of this room. For this purpose we installed a pair of large capsule condenser mics 3 meters above the floor.
Mariusz's Sobanski guitar and His baritone cello were plugged into a guitar amp.
The bass guitar and the old analog taperecorder, which played various wicked sounds out of its tape, were additionally plugged into old analog delay.
The Sax could play with two microphones. First one, recorded only pure sound of this instrument. The second mike was plugged into Kaossilator Pro device, where the sound was changed simultaneously by the artist.
Roberts' violin was connected to an acoustic amplifier.
Last but not least, the drumset was assembled in an unorthodox way. For example: the bass drum was laying on the floor and was treated as an orchestral timpani. Furthermore, all the toms and cymbals were sometimes raised above on the stands and turned whilst playing them with orchestral mallets.
One additional microphone, put outside the window, captured every single sound during the recording session. That is why You will hear a lot of bird sounds flying around the tower, as well as the wind and a rattling locomotive, because the water tower is situated near a small train station.
The first soundcheck was absolutely astonishing and after few hours of hard work we were ready.
Aliens From Planet Earth - a tale full of mysteries.
Finally, a most uncanny climate came upon everybody in the evening. It was gloomy, chilly and silent - only the opened window gave away various sounds from the outside.
We turned on our two video projectors in order to play the old movies from our tapes, assembled by our good friend Tom Lietzau.
Two big screens: one, mounted on the wall, the other, hoisted above our heads were begining to speak with their projection and influence our imagination.
What's more, during the recording session there were additional spectators and fellow musicians invited to participate in the event. If you exclude our band and technicians, there were about twenty people present there!
Moreover, the crew with 3 cameras captured the whole event, so If you are a collector, you may want to purchase an interesting DVD material from our record session.
The whole recording session ALIENS FROM PLANET EARTH is a 1,5 hour piece of registered music. However, our album covers only about 60 minutes, but it was gathered with caution.
From dusk till dawn, we were there, in the heart of the water tower to give You absolute best what we could come up with from that magical place...
Few of the compositions, or at least their fragments were previously rehearsed, for example Mariusz tune, which starts this whole weird and full of mystery tale: The Song of the Merbau Tree.
Everything what You will hear on our CD was previously discussed and written down in detail on paper. Fortunately, it was played and improvised only inside the tower.
You may also experience things coming from our video material up to a terrible silence which I believe will show You that nobody was in a hurry.
We tried to play it consciously and just the way we wanted to.
Next morning, in a less group of people, we chattered long enough after few glasses of wine about the so called "good old times".
Those guys were: Tomasz Czyżewski, artist and friend, Tom Lietzau our cover and movie designer, Robert Brzęcki editor and arts critic.
We would like to thank the movie makers and everybody else who came there to help us.
Equipment used for the water tower recording session:
2 x Rode NT2A
The mike outside the window: Electro Voice RE27
Guitars: Shure SM57
Baritone Cello: Shure SM57
Tenor Saxophone: Shure SM57
Bass: AKG D25
Drums and persussion:
snare: Sennheiser MD441
tom 1: Sennheiser MD421
tom 2: Sennheiser MD421
Bass drum: AKG D12 and Shure Beta52
Overheads: 2x sE 4400
Console: Soundcraft 600
Preamp: Universal Audio LA610
Equipment used for mastering and mixing AfPE:
Mixing Console: AMEK HENDRIX
Compressor: UREI 1176 LN
Compressor: Radioman Compressor/Limiter
Equalizer: Arsenal Audio R24
Universal Audio Precision Equalizer
Equalizer: Charter Oak PEQ1
Compresor: Charter Oak SCL-1 Discrete Compressor Limiter
Monitors: Dynaudio Crafft
Music composed by:
Arranged by: Mariusz Sobański
"The Song of the Merbau Tree" music: Mariusz Sobański
"The Rainbow Hunter" music: Mariusz Sobański
Recorded and Mixed by: Szymon Swoboda
Produced by: Mariusz Sobański
more and Francaise version: