What was behind the idea for the reissue?
Mikee from Loop contacted me through Facebook, but I did not answer. Then when he contacted my wife, I thought this guy must be serious. Mikee has helped me to release music in the past, which I am very thankful for.
You need to understand that none of my music has ever made anyone a lot of money- so it really is a labour of love all round. It was first released almost 20 years ago when Chris Chetland and the crew at Kog took a risk on helping me to put the album together. Again, a lot of time and effort on their part to help me finish the work. I am quite surprised that Mikee has taken up re-releasing it, I feel quite honoured and blessed to be able to inflict my music on people in such a public way.
What do you think of the remastered sound?
Chris Chetland has done an amazing job. The original was made on sub-professional equipment, so a lot of noise and terribly mixed songs. Somehow or another, Chris managed to make it releasable 20 years ago, and now he has given new life to the album by a further smoothing of the edges and polishing it to a level of shininess, where it even sounds good in my ute.
What did you use to make the album?
The album has songs made in my bedroom studios in Morningside, Kingsland, Mt Eden and Brisbane. Gear list :
Roland tr909, TR606 tb303 ,MC202, JX-3p, CR-78, Juno 106 borrowed from Mattew Cleland,
Boss Heavy Metal HM2 pedal
Tokai Overdrive pedal
Sovtek Small Stone
Korg A3 effects unit, Wavestation rack unit, DDD-1, Poly 800,
I believe Liam used an Akai MPC2000 for the drum samples and programming on the song Dissolution.
My life at that time revolved around tinkering and recording electronic music. I recorded many songs of many different styles. Then, I would choose songs that would fit together as an album if needed. I was lucky to have many friends who had a determined drive for getting the latest electronic music styles available at the time. They would obtain these new releases and DJ them at clubs, parties and at home. So this was where I drew a lot of my influences from, people like Jared Sims and the whole Hamilton crew, Alec Coleville who worked at a record store importing all the latest and greatest, Matthew Cleland and his crew, Simon Flower and his crew, Richard Crafter, Rob Salmon and the Box crew. The list of names is too long to mention... So with these people feeding me this minimal/Detroit techno house sound, I was able to come up with songs in that vein.
All of this was happening at a time when I was looking more and more into spirituality. I had met many Hare Krishna's on the street and bought many of the books and this was also obviously a big influence on the concept of the album. A few years later in 2000 I went on to dedicate an album to Srila AC Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada, my final album before selling all of my equipment and moving into a Hare Krishna asrama to further my experience in spirituality.
The creative process is an interesting one. You will be tinkering away with a sound, a chord, a rhythm and then something will catch your attention. Something that sounds good to you- then from there it's just a matter of adding more elements until you get what occurs to you as a finished piece. You can feel the anxiety build as the song unfolds and you wonder whether or not you will be able to resolve the piece and bring out what needs to come out- for it to be something worthy and memorable. I have recorded so many songs, but only a small percentage I actually like and stand the test of time. There are tracks there over a period of 2 years leading up to 1998 when it was released.
What was the scene like when you made the album?
The scene for me was moving from a Rave/Hardcore style to minimal techno/house. Basically moving from my late teens into my early 20's. I recall when I released Morning Star my first album with Mike Weston who ran Pulse Records at the time, I was still too young to enter night clubs. The early raves were awesome! After which came the Box scene which was mainly house music, but Rob Salmon would always take it up a notch into some German techno.
All of those names I mentioned earlier were either DJing, producing music and/or organising underground parties or nights at clubs etc. Then you had the same thing in Wellington with the Obscure crew and Leon Baldock's crew, omg so many people! Anyway, great things happening all over the country in terms of electronic music and dance.
Detroit techno/house, German techno, English techno, there was a real buzz as these sounds started to spread all over the world. You can hear on IAQM blatant influences of the Germans Maurizio/Basic Channel, the electro and synth heavy Detroit sound, etc. There is nothing new on the album in terms of style, they are blatant copies of everything that had filtered down to NZ. I loved those styles so I was emulating them and trying to express something through them at the same time.
Has your thoughts on the album changed over time? Is there anything that surprises you about the album listening back?
Well almost 20 years later I still don't mind to listen to it from time to time- but that's because I made the album- why anyone else would want to listen to it now is beyond me... lol!
When track 10- 'contemplating the quiet mind' hits with the first kick right after track 9, 'dissolution', it always reminds of the firm resolve needed in undertaking a spiritual path for raising one's consciousness. One needs to be firm in one's resolve to make any kind of significant progress on the path- there are so many distractions and attachments.
'engaging causeless mercy' is about receiving grace and mercy from the devotees of Krishna.
'an unfulfilled wish' is about one's dreams to attain so many things in life, but never being able to be fully satisfied, even after achieving all of one's material goals.
'restless address' is the disturbing result of one's consciousness always enthralled in mental concoctions of trying to achieve lasting happiness in one's selfish desires.
'dissolution' is the relinquishing of one's selfish attachments.
Tell us about your Hare Krishna transition and how it changed you.
It was perfect timing for me to meet the Hare Krishna devotees at that time. After experiencing this movement of electronic music and dance and getting some inclination towards coming together in celebration to dance and share music, Hare Krishna offered the next step. Hare Krishna is all about coming together to dance and share music and celebrate, but the difference is- the object of celebration is our Supreme Source- the root of all existence- Krishna. When the focus is the source or the root- the experience is nourishing at a level that can only be described as on the level of one's inner being or soul. Sounds pretty hippy- but that is how it occurs to people- and that is my experience.
These days I mainly express my musicality through the chanting of Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare - with the accompaniment of more traditional acoustic folk instruments of India. But I have combined electronic sounds also to various degrees of success. One time Mikee attended one event in Wellington with us- and I think we may have busted out an 808 in the kirtan....lol...I was so happy he came. Not many have crossed over into my other world to have a peak.