July 15th 2017
So my new album is finished. Here’s some information about it…
Hoo – I’m Pete Murphy, and the original album was written and recorded by ‘maverick composer’ Dominic Robertson, who used to be known as Ergo Phizmiz.
Hwhat – It’s a cover of an entire album, called The Unreleased Ergo Phizmiz Volume One, Songwriting Outtakes 2007 – 2015. It was released digitally on Bandcamp, on April 19th 2017.
Hwhere – I recorded it in what I affectionately refer to as ‘my studio’, but it’s actually a tiny corner of the lounge in our house. All instruments and voices were recorded by me, apart from on the song called Fingerwings, where I brought some of Dominic’s original version into the mix.
Hwhen – I started recording on June 21st 2017, and I finished it on July 15th 2017. It occurred to me recently that I bought the album on June 11th, which means I heard it for the first time only a few days prior to that. I’m quite happy that I’ve gone from hearing it for the first time to producing a full cover of it in just over four weeks (and that also included a long weekend away, plus various other diversions). I’ve also managed to write 20 sets of lyrics for the 50/90 songwriting challenge between July 4th – 15th (no music for that yet… been too busy recording the Ergo album). It’s been quite a challenge, but also one of the most enjoyable recording experiences I’ve ever had. Anyone who knows what I’m like in studio situations will know that I can overdo things to the point of frustration for all involved (I once recorded over 400 takes of a 16 bar guitar intro, and still wasn’t happy with it), so although this recording is far from perfect, I’m really proud of it.
Hwhy – I first heard of Dominic/Ergo a couple of years ago, when I found out that he’d recorded some Aphex Twin covers. I added him on Facebook, with the intention of checking his music out at some point (which I often do with newly discovered artists). I then promptly forgot (which I often do, due to a terrible memory). A couple of months ago something sparked my memory, and I had a listen to some of his stuff. I was knocked out by the melodies and the vibe and the sense of adventure and boldness and diversity in his music. I started buying his albums on Bandcamp, and messaged a little with him. After buying the Unreleased Ergo album, I mentioned to him that I’d like to cover it at some point. I was thinking of doing it later in the year, but I couldn’t wait. One of the reasons I covered this particular album is because I’ve always been a fan of incredible melodies, and this record is full of ‘em! Right from the start it doesn’t let up…. One amazing melody after another. I also love the way it’s delivered, and during the process of recording my version I realised how clever these songs are, and how difficult it is to copy some of Dominic’s vocal phrasing (he sings some really long lines, like on the ‘Hear the gentle pitter patter’ section in ‘Looking At The Daisies’).
Other stuff –
You can hear one of my dogs (I’m not sure which one) barking on Looking At The Daisies. It’s in the 1st verse, around 26 seconds into the song. I decided to keep the vocal take with the bark.
I rarely did more than two takes of any part (Woo! Go me!)
All of the bass tracks were done with a bass that I bought from my friend Nuno for £80. It’s ace!
This album is dedicated to four heroes of mine – Dominic Robertson, Lynsey Murphy, Suzanne Cooper Morris, and James Hall.
You should go and buy Dominic’s original version. Support independent artists! Here's the link - composterofmusic.bandcamp.com/album/the-unreleased-ergo-phizmiz-volume-one