Released 5 years ago today – Summer Of ’92

Feb 18, 2024 | Posts, Music

5 years ago today my CausaliDox EP Summer Of ’92 was released on the excellent Shipwrec.

32 years ago

It is hard to describe the mix of emotions I still feel whenever I listen to this EP. It penetrates the veil of memory and rekindles the intensity of experiences past beneath, just as it did when I was recording these tracks.

Consisting of 4 tracks recorded in 2017, using hardware synths and effects, the EP is a melancholy journey through dreamlike mental states and memories.

In the summer of 1992, I was 15 years old. I felt so alive. I was in high school, just smart enough to not have to work too hard to keep up, which allowed me the freedom to hang out with my, as it turned out, lifelong friends and smoke weed, enjoy the woods and undulating meadows of the southeast of The Netherlands. I had a girl I was madly in love with and we would get lost in the eternity of youth and the exploration of eachother’s bodies.

Idyllic, aside from the chaos and darkness that seemed to be always looming over the horizon. A dread, yet familiar and perhaps somewhat welcome, as I had learned at a very early age to savor the taste of melancholy and even despair. That’s a story for another time, except to say that this influenced who I am and infused this EP of hazy, warm memories with a bittersweet tang.

Letting the light in

When I recorded these tracks in 2017, there was no preconceived plan or concept to paint this particular picture or tell these stories. The tracks coalesced into this cinematic journey of sound later on, in 2018, when I was listening to them, trying to put together an EP for Shipwrec. The works ordered themselves, pretty much, as if the storyline was already there.

I don’t usually talk about what my music is about, but this EP means a lot to me. Revisiting these tracks, I felt it would perhaps be an opportunity to open myself up a bit, on this, the occassion of the 5th anniversary of its release.

 

The first track on the EP is Elated. The track was recorded while livestreaming on Facebook on Saturday April 29 2017. I can’t recall what equipment I used, but a lot of it is visible in the video.

As with many of my tracks there is this balance of euphoria, or elatedness, if you will, and melancholy. This track takes me back to a beautiful summer afternoon spent with my friends in a meadow. Lying in the grass of the hills of Limburg, laughing, smoking, drinking, watching the clouds drift by in a haze of confusion, happiness and just the slightest touch of tension. The colors of all of these images deeply and warmly saturated, and a little corroded, by time and memory,

 

The second track of the EP is Ares Prime, which I later renamed Southbound for the EP. This is the only track on the EP where the main sequencer was the Cirklon I bought that year, to replace my Octatrack. Recorded on a Saturdaynight in August of 2017, the drums all came from the Roland TR-8, and the synths I used were the Roland Juno-60, a Dave Smith Instruments / Oberheim OB-6 and the Waldorf Blofeld.

The track has a driven feel to it, there is a sense of freedom and motion, as if driving on a highway in the summer. However, there is a bittersweetness woven through, casting a shadow.

I didn’t have a driver’s license yet in 1992, but in 2017 I did feel I had artistic license to conflate later experiences I had with my earlier memories of 1992. See, a couple of years later, in 1996, I was 19, and in the summer of that year me and the same girl I was with in 1992, went on vacation in my tiny white Suzuki Alto.

The feeling of freedom, of being in the world, was intoxicating and devastating at the same time, the future was a behemoth, unknown, numinous, dangerous perhaps, making the time we had right then and there precious and ephemeral. I had an inkling of insight then that every moment, once experienced, was lost forever, except for a future memory of being southbound together with her, that summer.

 

The third track is Say I Can. I did not record a full video for this track, nothing but a 1 minute snippet of video remains of the recording session on Friday May 26 2017:

 

Underneath is the full track. As with Elated, the full list of equipment I used to record this track has been lost to the fog of time.

This track is about the wondrous and sensuous nights of my past, enjoying the dark, the stars, the forests and meadows, the campfire, the laughter, the ecstacy of substances and sex, lying in bed, floating, dreaming, luxuriating in music, youth and plasticity of faculties.

 

And then there is Summer Of ’92. Recorded on Saturday March 11, 2017. I filmed the recording session, so some of the equipment I used is visible in the video, but no definitive record of what exactly I used on the track survives.

This is one of my most favorite tracks I have ever recorded. To me, this piece of music represents a certain span of time in my life, when I was experiencing the most intense emotions I had ever felt and may ever feel. A sliver of time, in which the vast expanse of the future was unknown, like an ocean, traversable, promising new lands, but also deep, dangerous and ancient. Time is a monster. There is no looking back, not really, but you can feel back, perhaps.

Twisted, contorted and fused, these tendrils, these feelers seek and reach backward to something, some mode of being that I can never, ever fully experience again, even though a part of me, a version of me still exists there. Possibilities, back then, stretching out before me, near infinite, in a summer afternoon, in beautiful blue eyes, all lost mere seconds later because of the inability to contain everything, all at once. Overwhelmed and sad, grateful and voracious. Nearly drowning in this ocean of melancholy. Unreachable now, altered, behind me.

Shipwrec

I want to thank Ferdi very much for releasing this EP, it meant a lot at the time and it still does. Hopefully there will be another chance to collaborate with Shipwrec in the future.

The label provided this description at the time of release:

Always willing to go that extra league to uncover new talent, Shipwrec have plumbed the depths of new talent and found gold surprisingly close to home. CausaliDox is a Dutch musician who, until now, has been self releasing his unique brand of braindance inspired electronica. The Nijmegen-based artist offers four tracks for Summer of 92.

Utilising understated tones CausaliDox builds the hugely absorbing ”Elated”, a twelve minute odyssey of smoulderingly superb synthwork.

Metallic drum patterns give rise to cascading rhythms in the coursing energy of “Southbound”, a rumbling meandering journey through shimmering scenery and soulful strings.

“Say I Can” is the most dreamlike of the four tracks. Comforting pads and gentle drums are bathed in warmth while a cheeky squeak winks.

The title piece “Summer of 92” is a warm haze of bass, fizzing beats and off-kilter chords. Bright bars shine through this mist-like medley with acid sparks flecking this radiant audio display. A true gem, found right on our doorstep.
Release date: 18th of February 2019
Cat# Ship064
Mastered by www.maspaventi.com

 

Released 5 years ago today – Summer Of ’92

5 years ago today Shipwrec released my CausaliDox EP Summer Of ’92. In this post I take a look back and talk about what the tracks mean to me.

Sampling into Assimil8or

Today I decided to sample some non-electronic instruments into my Eurorack sampler. A tabla, a cabasa, a wooden flute and some pillbottles.

A critic in time

Today I spent some time selecting poems I wrote in my early 20’s for the website. It feels strange to critique myself and my poetry 20-some years later.

A synth sci-fi short story

I’m not recording. I’ve decided to just let this happen. It’s been going on for a while now. And I think it is probably too late anyway.

Lost in a memory hole

I’m not sure what happened. I got lost in a memory hole tonight. Well, I can reconstruct it, sort of. And it’s not like it hasn’t happened before.

Bob Knutton – It Sates Itself On Doubt

Ventured into darker regions today, tribal modular drums, echoing and distorted thrust me into the gloom. I explain how I recorded the track and what gear I used.

CausaliDox on NTRFRNZ Radioshow

This past week the track There Is Nothing In The World from my CausaliDox album Between The Leaves Lies Eternity opened the excellent NTRFRNZ radio show in Brasil.

sonOnos – Tomorrow

Got lost in the machines today. It was nice. 

CausaliDox – Cohort Death Signal

I wanted to make the Pro-One sound dangerous. Things started building from there. It sounds like an existential threat.

website redesign finished

Over the past 6 weeks I have worked on redesigning my website. It was hard work, but I am so glad I stuck with it, because I am quite happy with the redesign.