Instrumentless

Background

Instrumentless was a solo project of Philip Brophy. Working with a single 16-bit sample called "Rock Chord" which came with the Amiga 500 computer, Philip constructed 4 tracks in the vein of classic lo-fi rock instrumentals. A mini-LP was released on Present, followed by 2 remixed tracks on the Present Compilation CD.

Credits

Composition, performance & production - Philip Brophy

1989

The Abdominal Wall of Noise 12" EP - Present Records

1990

Remixed To Hell - 2 tracks on The Present Records Compilation - Present Records

Overview

The Abdominal Wall of Noise

Original press release

What kind of record could be dedicated "Phil Spector's gun, Davie Allen's fuzz-box and Led Zeppelin IV? The dedication lays it out well. Spector's famous 'wall-of-sound' is here transformed into a wall of noise, courtesy of the soaring fuzz guitars that are layered together in an incredible, hard-rocking cacophony. Davie Allen is the king fuzz guitarist behind all those late 60s biker movies. Phil Spector is known to have brandished a pistol on the Ramones during the torturous recording of End Of The Century. The Abdominal Wall of Noise churns along with the same desperate sense of purpose. And the Led Zeppelin IV bit? Hey - it's one of the best rock albums ever recorded and this record couldn't have been made without it.

Remixed To Hell

Original press release

2 tracks from The Abdominal Wall of Noise EP. Totally stripped down and re-customised, these 'remixes' will have you straining to recognize their origins. Gone are the symphony of fuzz guitars, replaced by subsonic rumbles and minimalist funky rhythms. Dedicated to the Commodores' black skivvies, Brogan's fuzz-box, and the city of Philadelphia. Play this CD louder still.

Technical

The Abdominal Wall of Noise

When confronted with the ludicrous 16-bit sample titled "Rock Chord" on a 3.5" floppy disc which came with the original Amiga 500 computer, the vision of making a rock instrumental record came into Philip's mind: it's credit would be "No instruments used on this record". (Philip is holding the disc in his hand on the cover to the record.) By the mid 80s, rock music had become so hollowed out and saturated with its own mythology and iconography, all one had to do was 'sign' rock music with a single guitar chord stab. Such ideas spawned the → ↑ → project Nice Noise with its titles like "One Note Song" and "Doing Very Little". The tracks on the The Abdominal Wall of Noise EP were all produced first by laying down a Boss "Dr. Rhythm" DR-55 pattern, step-written to mimic classic rock patterns. Atop these synthetic rock beats were laid MIDI-controlled keyboard playing of the "Rock Chord" sample from the Amiga computer. Each track was performed live and laid to an 8-track tape recorder. Some reverb and additional fuzz was added (as in, lots, on everything), and the mix was defiantly squashed into a wall of mono.

Remixed To Hell

If it was a crazy idea to produce a suite of tracks based around a single sample and produce the whole thing in mono, then it was double-crazy to 'remix' some of those tracks and attempt to transform them into groovy funky instrumentals. But such is the perversity of the Instrumentless project. Buried deep in the mix is the original guitar samples and drum machine. On top: a range of drums, percussive textures (including finger-tapped drum skins and cardboard boxes) plus a kick drum created solely from flicking a mic with a finger. Like a 1965 caveman jamming with a 1985 computer.