Max Duley – Speech Emphasis

by on June 25, 2011 in releases

Going back to over a year ago now, around February 2010, the London based and revered producer Max Duley made a pledge to distribute some of his previously commercially released music through his ARCart label at lossless quality for free. You can read what he said at the time here. This is even now, a decade after it was released, forward thinking, beautiful, emotive techno.
Over to Max to introduce this release and give you a pretty solid grounding in the background to the EP:

So, I’m skipping on to the next in the sequence, which is ARCN05, “Speech Emphasis”, released some time in 2001. Three of the tracks on this release have vocal sounds in them, but the title isn’t an intentional reference to anything in particular. It was simply two words spoken by my friend Ed during a conversation. I thought they sounded nice next to each other and probably noted them down somewhere at the time, for later use.

This record was subtitled “Elegant Manoeuvres part II”, the second in an occasional series of loosely related records that started with the first ARC(ANE) release. As such it had – to my ears at least – a subtle difference from the sound of ARC and the sound of other ARC(ANE) records. A little bit more funky, less dark…maybe?

The first track, “Got To Get Down Again”, uses the same vocal sample that featured in a brief skittish track on ARC02 (“This Weak Flesh”). The bass line for this track is the same sequence which fades up towards the end of “Divine Confusion” on ARCN02 (“Storyteller”). I almost never saved patches or sequences across studio sessions, and all these tracks appear in sequence on the same master CDr. This suggests that all of the aforementioned tracks, which made it onto different records at different times, were started and finished on the same day in March 2000. Except for some 909 ride cymbal from the Novation DrumStation, all percussion sounds are from the Boss DR-660 drum machine, and the synth sound which pops up came from the EMU Audity 2000 rack-mount synth. I manually switched between vocal sequences somehow during recording, to produce the sections in which it repeats more frequently. I’m still very fond of it.

“Mapped” is a deliberately plodding track, recorded in September 2000. That plodding feel is largely down to the TB-303 bass line, which is just three single hits on the first, second and fourth beat of each bar. The other sounds, which seem to combine a sound reminiscent of the TR-808 toms and another spiky sound, was probably created by me randomly hitting a bunch of keys and quantising the result in the Alesis MMT-8 sequencer. I think those sounds are from a percussion bank on the Roland JD-800, but I could be mistaken. I do remember that the spiky sound with a delay on it caused concern during the cut at The Exchange, almost making the cutting stylus jump off the lacquer. The only thing which does much here is a sampled sound which shifts up and down in pitch, giving the track a bit of momentum. I wanted to make something which was unexciting and uneventful but still hypnotic and engaging. I think I may have played this track during one of the warm up slots I played at Lost some years ago (2005/2006).

“Overcome” is next. Recorded some time during summer 2000, it’s a muddled affair. It combines a 6/4 rhythm pattern, two vocal samples, a vocal waveform from the Audity 2000 synth, and a filtered sample sequenced on the Notron, to finish up with a track that doesn’t really seem to know what it’s doing or where it’s going. Perhaps that’s a good thing. I’ve nothing against confusing a dance floor, in fact that has always been one of my aims. Still, I’m not sure if this would confuse for the right reasons.

Last on the release, recorded in May 2000, is “Electric Olive ver.2”. I like olives, but the title has nothing to do with that and everything to do with the source of the stab which appears in the first beat of every bar of this track. The looped synth sound and clapping sequence was pinched from somewhere else….I’m not exactly sure where…but it was off a friend’s CD lying around at home. I guess it was an electronic music CD and as such I probably was going a bit too close to home again for sample source material. These are combined with a kick/hi-hat rhythm and looped up into a simple, repetitive sequence which changes very little throughout. Because it hardly changes at all, one notices the few moments in which something does actually happen. A few times the stab lengthens and seems to unfold deliciously into a female vocal sound, and a TR-909 ride does the “techno thing” of notching the vibe up and down every so often. Despite the slight unease I now feel about the sampling, I like this track a lot; it’s one I sometimes listen to repeatedly as I find the feel of it very comfortable, and comforting.

Max Duley – Speech Emphasis
MP3 FLAC


Max Duley – Got To Get Down Again
Max Duley – Mapped
Max Duley – Overcome
Max Duley – Electric Olive