Continuing in the series of what shaped the sound of AMDM, and what
Part 2: The influences
“Sublimation” had been a pretty straightforward synthpop-influenced album. While not a ripoff by any rate, it was pretty easy to see our depeche Mode, New Order and Kraftwerk roots shining on through.
My thought was that, at this point, we’d been there, done it, and several other bands had done it just as well. It was time for me to find a sound that I could work with that was something I could really dig my own musical teeth into.
Around this time a few things happened. William loaned me a Tarkan album, Peter Murphy released “Dust”, and I started listening to breakbeat.
I’d been listening to a lot of breaks for years, but only recnelty had I actually sat down and started to analyze it, realizing that there was more to the rhythm track than either a 2-step beat or a sample of the Funky Drummer. Okay, sure, there were a bunch of acts that might as well have been “Loops for Acid” strung together. But a few of them really knocked me for a loop. The more dnb-ish stuff like Kosheen and Lamb showed off the fact that more aggressive electronica could have pop hooks too.
Then came “Dust.” I don’t think it was Peter Murphy’s strongest songwriting, and I think it got a little new-agey in spots, but there was a really nice fusion of electronics, ethnic instruments, and electric violin. “Hey, I can do that” I thought. “But can I do it without sounding like Windham Hill?”
That’s when William loaned me a Tarkan album. A blatant pop/rock album by a turkish guy, with turkish influences and turkish infleunces, but solid western-pop foundations. It was brilliant, and catchy, and kinda danceable. That cinched it.
I started digging into middle eastern music traditions and instruments. I started learning to play strange instruments. I became completely enamoured of artists like Rachid Taha and Cheb Mami and Natacha Atlas.
(Oh, I also had a slightly tumultuous personal life which led to a lot of inspiration. )
The blatant breakbeat influences led to “Easier”, “Walk in London” and “Speechless.” The middle-eastern pop led to “Destinies & Symmetries”, “Sevgilim”, “Someone Else”, “The Hourglass” and both versions of “Travelogue.” Even “Unknowingly” and “Prevailing Winds” caught a little of it all, although less obviously. Many tracks got both.
The end result was an album that didn’t resemble much of our previous output, but one with which we were extremely happy.
Up next…part 3, the recording process.