Colossus

Background

Colossus was a collaborative project of Philip Brophy & Bill McDonald.

Credits

Composition, production & mix - Philip Brophy & Bill McDonald
Drums, drum pads & drum machines - Philip Brophy
Bass & effects - Bill McDonald

1990

The Richmond Club, Melbourne
The Tote, Melbourne
Soul Food For The Gods - 4 tracks on The Present Records Compilation - Present Records

The Present Records Compilation CD © 1990

Overview

Original press release

Written & recorded over the 22nd, 23rd & 24th of October 1990, the 4 tracks by Colossus arose from a collaboration between bassist Bill McDonald & drummer Philip Brophy. The idea was to simply get together and try something with only bass and drums. This was stretched to include Bill doing fuzz-wah solos right up high on his bass, and Philip scraping the drum-skins with his fingernails. Come mixdown time and they heard the fruits born of their improvizations: weird, instrumental jazz-rick-funk that;s neither jazzy, rocky nor funky, but an elastic amalgam of the three. Why not call it "Soul Food For The Gods"?

Technical

The studio sessions which became "Soul Food For The Gods" established the stylistic parameters for Colossus: an exploration of instrumental riffs, grooves, soundscapes and extended minimalistic patterns, all grounded in the interlocking of drums and bass. Bill and Philip had previously worked live regularly and frequently as the rhythm section for Dean Richards' 'mutant big band' project The Hot Half Hour. Over a few years their sensibilities merged enough to enable them to quickly develop the "Soul Food For The Gods" tracks.

The logistics of performing these and other newly-rehearsed tracks continued throughout 1990. Live, Bill worked with a series of live mini-sampled bass triggering and some proto-loop devices. To blend with this, Philip incorporated an 808 drum machine and an SPD-8 drum pad with his acoustic drum kit. The bass tones and rhythmic events fused real-time acoustic/electric playing with a mesh of electronic/sampled/triggered array of bass and percussive elements. A cover version of Led Zeppelin's "Black Dog" was thrown in for good measure.

Live performance notes © 1990