During preparation for their 2002 concert at the Hampshire Jam Redshift came up with the idea for releasing a shorter form album initially intended to be exclusive to the audience attending the gig that night.
The four pieces of music were recorded at different times, the two longer pieces being live recordings. The "album" was actually a CDR rather than a normal commercial pressing so only 100 were burned. A basic card cover was quickly created, the only extravagance being the 5 different colours of card available!
By the end of the concert only 12 CDRs were unsold and they were eventually sold off to various retailers and mail order companies. This caused a wave of interest from people who where unable to purchase the few remaining copies. Redshift were inundated with email requests to press more, but they felt it only right to stay with the original intention of keeping this release unique to the concert attendees despite considerable pressure over the years.
However, with the reality of downloaded music and the constant problem of theft ever present this seems as good a time as any to release this album as a download only format.
As can be seen the cover design is basic and only contains the front cover the back of which contains the track listing and info. There is no booklet, no tray card and since the original disc was just blank white with the band's signatures written on it this doesn't exist either.
The total play time of the album is just under 35 minutes, hence the lower price. Not short enough as a CD single, but too short for a full CD release.
The first track, "Red 1", is a live recording taken from a performance given, not by Redshift but by Mark Shreeve at the KLEM Festival in the Netherlands in 1995. The year before Shreeve had completed the first Redshift album and decided to include a new piece in the Redshift style to play at the KLEM gig along with his more usual solo material.
Joining Shreeve on stage were James Goddard and Julian Shreeve who both contributed to the composition.
It is sequencer based, but clearly not using the larger, older synthesisers that would come to dominate the bands later material. These instruments were considered too unwieldy to transport to Holland and back and so the core sequencing was taken on by smaller (though still analogue) synthesisers.
The track is semi-improvised, which basically means that certain musical phrases were agreed on in rehearsals and the order in which they came. The length of each section was not fixed, "feel" on the night dictated that.
Because of the instrumentation the bass line doesn't have quite the weight and presence as on other Redshift pieces and many other sounds emanated from digital keyboards and samplers.
Although it is from a Mark Shreeve concert "Red 1" was never released until "Wild" , mainly because it came to be regarded as the first Redshift live performance, which explains the title.
"subEther" is the encore piece recorded at Redshift's Jodrell Bank concert in 1996, the bulk of that concert went on to make up the majority of the "Ether" album. This track is a total improvisation , mainly because the band were not expecting to do an encore. The central bass line is, in fact, slightly updated from the earlier played title track from "Ether", though some of the notes were adjusted on-the-fly and the tempo was different.
More often than not totally improvised music sounds disjointed and aimless but the band felt that this track formed together quite well.
It is known that Rob Jenkins was definitely responsible for the guitar parts, and Mark Shreeve for the bass lines but no one can remember who was doing what for all the other parts.
For an electronic music improvisation "subEther" is surprisingly concise, only the track dissolve and fade sounding rather less anxious to finish than it should have been.
The third track, "Vega" is a short studio recording created by James Goddard and Mark Shreeve. The main musical parts were recorded in one take, Goddard playing the chords and Shreeve the top line and end bass. The sound effects were added afterwards. The piece was recorded on May 14th 1997.
The last piece is "Jupiter Collision", semi-improvised by James Goddard, Julian Shreeve and Mark Shreeve although the "Western" type of theme near the end was an instant creation. The fast bass line is, again, coming from the sequencers run by Mark, James and Julian trade the top lines.
This track was recorded June 18th 1997.
As a possible point of interest, the track's title was, for a very brief moment in time, considered as the band name. Fortunately, this idea was quietly dropped and it was demoted to being a track name.
Redshift came into existence in 1994, initially as a solo project by Mark Shreeve. Shreeve had already established himself
with his own more "structured" style of electronic music, along with pop songwriting, film score, TV and Library music output. The idea behind Redshift was to create a darker, organic style of electronic music using mainly, though not exclusively, old analogue synthesisers....more
For me, this is arguably ARC's best album, all of them being live, this is the only one that has edited out the applause between songs, something better suited for capturing the feel of a rock concert, but for ambient music can be quite jarring. Favorite track: Cherry Bomb. Paul Seaman