BEEP discografie entry for Wah Wah
Wah Wah

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Year: 1994
Categorie: Collaboration/Rock
Cover Art Credits:
Producer info:
Brian Eno
Recording Location info:
Real World During 
"The Laid Sessions 1993".
Remade - Remodelled by
Markus Dravs.
Catalog info:
CD: Fontana 522 827-2
 1.- Hammer Strings           <--  sound 
 2.- Pressure's On           
 3.- Jam J                    <--  ALSO 
 4.- Frequency Dip           
 5.- Lay The Law Down        
 6.- Burn The Cat            
 7.- Maria                   
 8.- Low Clouds              
 9.- Building A Fire         
10.- Gospel Oak              
11.- DVV                     
12.- Say Say Something       
13.- Rhythmic Dreams         
14.- Dead Man                
15.- Rain Whistling          
16.- Basic Brian             
17.- Low Clouds              
18.- Bottom Of The Well      
19.- Honest Joe               <--  ALSO 
20.- Arabic Agony            
21.- Tomorrow                 <--  ALSO 
22.- Laughter                
23.- Sayonara                

Additional information:
23 compositions written and performed by James 
and Brian Eno.
Comentaries by Brian Eno on the inner record sleeve:
"Improvisations are almost always the seeds for James" 
songs. Before we  started the formal recordings 
sessions for what became the 'Laid' album  I spent 
some days working with the band in their rehearsal 
room in  Manchester, seeing extraordinary pieces of 
music appearing out of nowhere.  It occurred to me 
that this raw material was, in its own chaotic and 
perilous  way, as much a part of their work as the 
songs that would finally grow  out of it. The music 
was always on the edge of breakdown, held together  by 
taught threads, semi-formed, evolving, full of 
beautiful, unrepeatable  collisions and exotic 
collusions. I suggested that, instead of working on  
just one record (- the 'song' record, for which we'd 
already agreed a very  tight schedule) we find two 
studios next to each other and develop two  albums 
concurrently - one of structured songs, and the other 
of these  improvisations. It seemed pretty ambitious 
at the time, but we decided to  aim for it. Generally, 
we improvised late at night and in very dim light.  We 
worked on huge reels of tape, so that we could play 
for over an hour  without reel-changes. Strange new 
worlds took shape out of bewildering  deserts of 
confusion, consolidated, lived gloriously for a few 
minutes,  and then crumbled away. We never tried 
making anything twice. Once it  had gone, we went 
somewhere else. Ben Fenner, who was engineering,  
attentively and unobtrusively coped with unpredictable 
level and  instrument changes in near total darkness, 
leaving us to wander around  our new landscapes. I 
asked Markus Dravs, who'd worked as my assistant  at 
my place, to come down and occupy one of the studios. 
I wanted him to  to look at the improvisations and see 
what he could make of them while  we carried on with 
the 'song' record. We'd select a promising section  
from an improvisation and he'd investigate it. Using 
bits of processing  equipment and treatment techniques 
evolved in my studio, he'd evolve  new soundscapes 
located somewhere at the outer edge of aural culture.
We were initially too busy in the other studio to 
bother him much, which  left him free to work with the 
material in much the same spirit as it  was originally 
performed - by improvising at the console. As the days
passed and there became less group work to do on the 
'song' record,  people spent more time in the wild 
studio, emerging from the jungle of  interconnected 
equipment in the early hours. We worked very long 
days,  but there was always enough going on to prevent 
any loss of momentum.  Things happened very quickly. 
My mixes from the jams were all done in  a single 
afternoon: I was trying to get a little of each jam 
onto DAT  because there was so much new work flying 
around that it was hard to  remember it all. I made 
fifty-five mixes that day and never mixed  anything 
twice. I wasn't expecting that we would use these 
mixes in the  end, but it turned out that this fast, 
impulsive way of working was  right in the spirit of 
the performances, and the results often make  a 
cinematic, impressionistic counterpoint to the 
elaborate post-industrial  drama of Markus' mixes. 
They set each other off well: the combination  feels 
like being at the edge of somewhere - where industry 
merges with  the landscape, metal with space, 
corrupted machinery with unsettled  weather patterns, 
data-noise with insect chatter."

- Brian Eno, June 1993.  

"Every song we've ever created was spawned from 
improvisation. We'd go  into a room and make a racket. 
For the first few years of James, from  three hours of 
cacophany would come maybe two minutes of semi-
coherence.  This would be the seed of a song which we 
would attempt to repeat and   This would be the seed 
of a song which we would attempt to repeat and  refine 
and eventually reveal in public. Gradually we have 
become more  efficient in our method of extraction. 
All the songs on "Laid" evolved  from this process. 
All but three pieces of "Wah Wah" are being  born as 
you hear them in an attempt to capture the moment of 
creation  spontaneously. With love."

- Tim Booth, July 1994.