the surah's are named after the first five books of the koran, as annotated on the back cover of the cd. they were electronic tracks put together for the most part in our college studio; we don't feel, however, that they are 'interludes' or in any way less a part of the record than anything else. we've also included information about the first strack here, as it kind of seems to fit in with these.
the ineluctible modality of the sensible
the title of this is a quote from james joyce's ulysses (the original has 'visible' instead of 'sensible', but we're a band, so hey). conceptually, it kind of forms an introduction to the album in that it takes themes from other tracks and combines them. thus the sweeping synth part is the chord structure from the second part of 'the half-life of kissing', the 6 vs 4 time modulation resembles the end part of that song, the bass line mimics the chorus of '*sigh*', etc. things kick off with gene wilder playing willy wonka in 'charlie and the chocolate factory' - a sample that has been much over-used (see aphex twin et al). over the very beginning of the track, there's a time-stretched sample from the song 'tannhauser/derive' by refused: 'art as a real threat'. the jazz sample which creeps in towards the end of the track comes from john coltrane's 'stellar regions'. the end of the track is a sample from the movie 'the stoned age' (a classic) and features some blue oyster cult in the background.
surah I - al-fatihah (the opening)
this first surah is constituted mainly from a sample from a botch song - 'swimming the channel vs driving the chunnel'. what we did was to hold down the skip rewind button on a cd player and record the result, then loop a section of it and overlay it with drums. these drum sounds come from the last track of karate's 'in place of real insight' and nofx's 'the decline'.
surah II - al-baqara (the cow)
the guitar part of this surah was originally going to be an acoustic folk song for the record, but the vocal part never quite worked out how it was meant to so we gave up. the actual voice over the top is ted hughes reading T S Eliot's preludes, then chopped up and arranged into our own sentences. there's no particular significance to the words.
surah III - al'imran (the imran)
this is an early attempt at a noise track, which works so-so. a couple of nasty synth lines underpin the whole thing, combined with the lovely sound of a slide scraping down the fretboard of a guitar, and then staggered in stereo, just to make you feel great. the laughing sound comes from the hidden track on 'chaos ad' by sepultura. the final sample comes from the matrix.
surah IV - al-nisa (the women)
the main part of this track is an organ piece by gyorgi ligeti, slowed down a little and with some heavy-duty reverb. other than that, it's pretty much as-is. the end sample is marvin the martian.
surah V - al-ma'idah (the table)
we went down to this jumble sale one time and found an old pile of 12" LP's going really cheap. among them was a fantastic andy williams double LP, which we bought and then proceeded to destroy. after some scratching with a drawing pin, we managed to get it skipping on this interesting loop, and recorded about 10 minutes worth. this we then ran through a series of processors, eq units etc, until it reached the form on the cd. i think the original line was 'life used to be so simple then'.
the hidden track on the cd is a recording we made together underneath a motorway bridge near our college in the middle of the night, with a mike and a minidisc recorder. we then spliced various bits of the recording together into the finished track.