Explosions in the Sky - Travels in Constants, Volume 21: The Rescue
NME.COM feature on Explosions in the Sky - Travels in Constants, Volume 21: The Rescue album including album review, artwork, tracks, listen now, tour dates, discography and more.
Release date: 30 September 2005
Tracklisting click track to read more
It’s not an essential listen but it does exhibit plenty of moody gravitas
- Aug 2, 2013
Prog: either you love it or you fucking hate it
- Feb 16, 2007
The post-rockers will provide the soundtrack to the David Gordon Green-helmed 'Manglehorn'
The performance will be preceded by a screening of 1999 indie documentary 'American Movie'
The group will play five shows on these shores in January next year
Explosions in the Sky - Travels in Constants, Volume 21: The Rescue: Wikipedia Album Entry
This album was a project spanning over eight days, creating one song each day.
The Recording Process of The Rescue
day 1 is the result of us not knowing at all what to do or how any of it would turn out--disjointed and loose to the extent of being almost structureless, but also the sound of us having a lot of fun. picking up random bells laying around the house and just shaking them into a microphone. to our ears it simultaneously sounds unlike our music but also definitely like our music, if that makes any sense.
day 2 was when we started to attempt a sort of order to the proceedings, after the free-for-all of day 1. this day involved a role reversal: munaf played drums, trying to play a "chris" style; chris played piano, nominally in a "munaf" style; mark played bass and a "michael" style of guitar; and michael played a "mark" style of guitar. and in the main role reversal, we the instrumental band decided to sing. you can see how we felt about this as we uncontrollably start laughing in the break near the end of the song.
day 3's goal was to write an ambient song. when we decided on this, each of us mentally envisioned a droning, spacious, blurred soundscape. we didn't write it together: one person laid down the minimal keyboard drone, then the next person would come in, listen to what the first person had done, then record something over it, then the next person, etc. (we all had multiple turns). after a while it became much more busy and more atonal. as we all listened and did the preliminary mixing, it began to remind us of insanity, of going crazy. someone remarked that it reminded them of the unplanned time we spent in syracuse during our very first tour in december 2000 (when our van broke down and we ended up spending 8 dementia-filled days in the freezing attic of some guys we had never met before, who were kind enough to let us stay there; we all truly entered into some form of lunacy or another during those 8 days). someone else remarked that we should watch the videotapes that we filmed during that time in syracuse. and sometime during that viewing, we made the connection that we could add some audio samples to the song, so we did.
day 4 was the only day where we completely failed to do what we set out to do. the goal we came up for this day was to write a "fast rock song, maybe with a punk rock beat" (actual quote of an actual statement). we then sat down to complete this task. several riffs were proffered. one long discussion ensued about how someone's part actually changed the "entire phrasing" of another person's part. the songwriting veered into a cigarette break. we revisited the riffs a while later, but it was clear that it wasn't working. so we went on to plan B, which involved chris laying down a drumbeat and everyone else trying to write parts around that beat. the track ends with chris throwing down his sticks and saying "there's no rhyme or reason to it."
day 5: in years past, we have occasionally remarked to each other about how we would like to make the "saddest dance record in the world." there is something about that concept that appeals to each of us. on this day we decided to try and see if we could actually do it. we did not completely fail: this is a dance song. however, it turned out to be the opposite of sad. this song does hold the distinction of probably having the most instruments we have ever used on an individual track: several layers of delayed guitars, e-bowed guitars, bass, piano, xylophone, hand bells, electronic drums, real drums, tambourine, and jingle bells. we are hoping someone will want to use it in the uplifting conclusion to a movie that takes place in a high school.
day 6's objective was to write a song that sounds like it is "on fire." so we started off playing the very loose rock part that begins the song (recorded live from the room adjacent to where we were playing, then overlaid with guitar and piano overdubs of what we were all playing). we weren't sure where that song could go, so we started almost inadvertently working on something else with no thought of the objective. we finished that and recorded it and listened to both the parts. we thought they matched and put them together.
day 7 saw us try to merely write a melancholy song. the noticeably unusual things are the acoustic guitar and the singing. the first time we sang (day 2) it was mostly for the fun and novelty of it (thus the laughing). this time we tried, for better or worse, to sing to add to the tone of the song.
day 8's goal was to write a goodbye. this track happened relatively quickly and naturally. the percussion is actually the sound of fingers tapping on a desk. we again used acoustic guitar. the handclaps are the last thing we recorded: all four of us standing around a microphone clapping our hands. and the rescue ended.
User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License and may also be available under the GNU FDL.
Artist/Album artwork images hosted by Last.fm. For copyright enquiries please see here.