FAIR ENOUGH (2011) ALBUM NOTES
This is an album I finished in June 2011. There is a lot of electric guitar on it, I know. But that's where my roots are from the days when I played professionally with the band Munju back in Germany in the 70s and 80s. This album is, in a way, the natural progression of the music that I used to write and play with the band 25 years ago. As usual, I write and play everything myself using a multi-track "overdubbing" technique.
For the guitar players among you, in case you wonder what kind of effect I use so frequently with the electric rhythm guitar, it is an Eventide Pitch Factor. A stereo chorus effect-patch with a very subtle fifth-harmonizer in it. In order to recreate the spatial stereo-panorama-adventure I experienced in the studio (via the near-field-monitors), you would have to use headphones I guess.
Here a description of the songs:
Oh Yes - was the final song that I recorded for this album. Here it is the opening number. The album unwinds backwards so to speak. But never mind “it's not linear” (explained later) anyway. The original idea was the guitar riff at the beginning of the song. Everything else went from there. I was looking for the right guitar to record it for quite a while. But even though I own about 50 six-strings, I did not have a 100% fitting instrument for this tune. In May 2011 I got my hands on a vintage 1966 Fender Coronado 2. It finally was just the right one for it. Smooth and rich but also bright and clear sounding. It plays great and it is well broken in with it's matured wood and "soul".
The Birdhouse – I like birds, all kinds of birds. Must have to do with the parakeets we used to have when I was a kid. We have a birdhouse hanging on a tree in front of our kitchen window. The birds use it very frequently. There also are lots of seagulls around here that I like. I even like the crows. I love watching birds.
M.C. Escher – like the paintings of the great master, this piece turns the beat around backwards and the other way, but snaps right back into place after a while… It is right "this way" or "that way"?
Fair Enough – was originally called “Mystery”. The .wav file with the basic idea got accidentally deleted and I struggled big time to recall it in my head. It was a mystery for a few days. But our local computer wiz Rob was able to miraculously recover it from my hard-drive and I could finish the song. During my effort of recalling it, I even came up with some extra ideas so it actually grew from this "mishap". When I was finally listening through the songs for the finishing touches of the album, I realized that this piece needs to carry the name of the album, because in the center part with the guitar/keyboard melody lines (staccato part), I literally heard it playing the words “fair enough”.
Stanley – he showed up at our home one day. A small black cat. I wanted to name him “Stanislaus” after the German song “schwarzer Kater Stanislaus”. But Karla did not like that so he was “ Stanley ”. He ended up at the K&K business in Karli's Kitty Rescue and he is the friendliest cat I have ever met. Always there to greet you and asking for attention. Well, when I recorded this song and needed a name for it, our “ Stanley ” was the first thing that popped into my mind. The chord-theme guitar on this song is an extreme vintage semi acoustic fully hollow body “made in Japan ” model. A no-name brand instrument that was made at a time when our Japanese friends did not yet know what they were doing. Anyway, sometimes good things happen by accident. This guitar sounds quite nice, doesn't it!
Gravity – keeps us down on the ground. This song is an 8 over 4 beat that sounds somewhat like an odd beat, but it is not. I like using odd beats like 5 over 4's or 7 over 8's and always try to make them sound straight and even. This is quite the opposite. An even beat that sounds a bit “odd”. Keep-it-up because gravity holds us down.
It's Not Linear – Captain Benjamin Sisko has been told so by an alien species which lived in the Bajorian wormhole. Well, even though you might think otherwise, I believe that this piece is a kind of a blues-tune that, in a way, is “not linear” because it spirals back into itself in a quite unexpected manner.
Today – was a big experiment! I recorded it in one single day actually, hence the name. This is rare. Usually it takes me a lot longer (I have a day-job too you know). When I got the structure down, I figured that this tune needs a different touch on top of it. So I used my semi-solid body "Cairo Special" electric oud (with a Pure Mini) for the solo. I like it! Hope you do too. Then I added all these keyboard melodies. Back in Miami Vice days, when Jan Hammer wrote the title tune for the show, the keyboarders thought that guitar players would soon be out of work. Everything would be substituted by keyboard sounds and samples as technology advances so they thought. But things developed differently. Guitar still is the most popular instrument in the US. In fact, it proved to be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to digitally create a persuasive clean undistorted guitar sound. But now, thanks to Midi and programming software, we guitar players can use keyboards. That's how I recorded all these keyboards melodies. And the drums too. This song has a kind of 80s beat and feel to it, but what the heck - I was playing music professionally back in the 80s! It is part of my life.
Dance with the Spirit – Here it is folks, acoustic guitar recorded with K&K's finest gear, the Pure Pickup and the Meridian Mic via the Quantum Blender. This time accompanied by electric guitar chords. It features a “floating” solo guitar, fully improvised and spontaneously created at this very moment. Here and now, go with the flow, dance with the spirit. Is it fair enough? You are the judge of that.
My Home Town – this one is based on a quite traditional and “country-western-esque” rhythm guitar track and drum beat. I like the warm feel of this little tune. Even though it is not my usual style, it's one of my favorites. Like the life you enjoy in your little home town, where you know your way around, where your friend are, where you're home.
Last not Least – was the song I thought would be the last one that I recorded with my trusty Yamaha DSP factory Windows 95 recording system. After completion of this song (and the album) I planned to retire it. A new state-of-the-art system was already set and waiting to be installed. Well, I was wrong. “Oh Yes” came in after it and I still recorded it with the above mentioned old system because it belonged onto the Fair Enough album. Anyway, the title stands, period. I have to admit that this piece is the culmination of some of my inspirations at that time, like "Yanni live, the concert event" and the band "Yes". But I hope that there is enough Dietri in it too.
Paia – the Maui Surf Song. Yes, it is just that. I wrote this one when I came back from our first trip to Maui in March 2011. I really like Maui and its hang-loose feeling. It was one of these vacations that I came home from seriously asking myself “how much does a piece of property cost there”? I remember that I held myself back big time at the guitar solo, tried to play simple, laid-back and just keep it rolling, like the surf in Paia.
Quinz – this tune is dedicated to my Quincy (my cat) plus it is played via a harmonizer effect in fifth, which is also called Quinten (in German – from the Latin word for 5th). Get it? Quinz-Quinten-Quincy. It is a very short piece, I know, but Quincy 's attention span sure is no longer than this tune.
Baby Steps – another 5 over 4 beat that starts out with a chord progression I wrote when I was 15 years young. The original tune back then had a somewhat “constructed” feel to it, but I modified all that difficult stuff and tried to make it sound smooth this time, 40 years later.
Just Another Day – look at that, a vocal song, from me… that's odd. Yes it is! But I like harmony vocals. I love‘em actually! I was kind of dreaming up this melody one night and needed to record it. The text is simple: a couple that is on a sailing-voyage gets shaken hard by a storm at night. The next morning they are greeted by a nice and sunny day with fair winds. No damage, all okay. Good boat! “Just another day to let the boat take care of you”. That's what good sailboats do. They take care of you! Here you have it folks, this is another side from the Dietri, the guitar-sailor, the ocean-hopeful.