The Longer Distance Between Two Points 

The Repository->PaulCarmodyMusic->LongerDistance 


 My 3rd album of electronic music, and definitely my favorite.  Styles ranging from IDM, straight-ahead drum & bass, trance, ambient, and ... does anyone really care about all the electronic genres?  Anyway, it has a larger-than-life sound that will probably push your speakers to their limits, and is driven by vast amounts of thick chord movement, drum machine madness, some synth mangling, and a "running gag" of out-of-time phrases that stretch across multiple barlines.  The music has been described as "spiritually searching," and it was the first time I finally felt like I gave something beautiful to the world.  

  • So come on, download it already!  The price is right: FREE

1. Archetypal Rain

2. Elevator to the nth Floor

3. No Words

4. Sweet Nothings (abridged)

5. Five-legged Waltz

6. Wave

7. Aye, Robot

8. wait ( beQuietAndDrive )

9. Collecting Dust, but No Moss

(for brief descriptions of the songs, please see the bottom of the page)

and here is the artwork for the album 

front cover 

back cover

inside tray

liner notes

Track descriptions

1. Archetypal Rain - A soothing song that uses slow, thick harmonic movement over rapid-fire drums (a technique not used enough, in my opinion).  This is a great test for the bass in your system: can it hit the low G's and F#'s?  Unlike most stuff I write, this song pretty much stays diatonic to the key of B minor.

2. Elevator to the nth Floor - This is what I imagine it would sound like if Burt Bacharach wrote spastic Euro Techno.  During the breakdown, it goes into 6/4, and then into 7/4, which would be a bad idea in a real dance hall.  To me, the song seems to tell the story of a hyperactive elevator, which eventually goes out of control.

3. No Words - Pretty basic, straight-ahead Drum & Bass.  This was the first song I wrote for this album, and it started out as an experiment to test out my new Roland XP-30 synth.  If the melody sort of reminds you of "The Snowman," it's not by accident.

4. Sweet Nothings - A slow, meditative ambient "love song."  It's in 5/4, but meant to sound natural and flowing.  The chords, by the way are really strange.  They sort of do a ii-V-I, but then there's a tritone leap in the middle, and some other mess.  If you listen to the chord progression in fast forward, it makes no sense. 

5. Five-legged Waltz - The most "realistic-sounding" song on this album.  It's essentially playable by real humans: 2 marimbas, 1 vibraphone, 1 piano, and a small chamber orchestra.  The working title was "I've had a good run," because this was what my grandfather used to say when he knew he was dying of cancer. 

6. Wave - A timeless classic by Antonio Carlos Jobim.  It used to be one of my favorite bossas, but I wanted to see what would happen if it were turned into a bizarre drum & bass tune.  Yeah, it's pretty weird, but it's won the approval of jazz musicians and non-musicians alike, so it must be okay.  Dig the giant, old fashioned vocal harmonies in the last time through the head!

7. Aye, Robot - This was my first honest attempt at a trance song.  I tried hard, and emulated some of the classics.  It's not perfect; I'll do better next time.  The samples are taken from the show "Sealab 2021."  

8. wait( beQuietAndDrive ) - The title comes from a command in Operating System programming that deals with mutual exclusion.  The idea of the song is sort of an interlude: be weightless and still.  The album will resume in a few moments.  The song itself came from an experiment I did for a few days where I took the chords and melodies from Deftones songs and made ambient songs out of them, to bring out the striking beauty I hear when I listen to the Deftones.  If you strip away all the distortion and aggression, their music has some of the prettiest, most soul-searching melodies I've ever heard.

9. Collecting Dust, but No Moss -  It has become a satisfying habit of mine to make the last song on an album do whatever the hell I want it to do.  In this case, the rule I broke here was to write REALLY quiet sections along with very loud sections.  You don’t do this in the age of car stereos and mega-compressed mixes.  But I realized that I wanted to do it after listening to stuff like Firebird Suite, where you have to be sitting in a quiet room to appreciate it, and using good headphones or a HiFi.  There are (obviously) loud and commanding sections, but also quiet, sheepish, and playful sections that you totally miss out on if you’re listening to it in a noisy environment. Musically, there are some cool things going on.  One thing I’m proud of it two concurrent drum patters going on at the same time, which are actually playing two different feels.  When you put them together, it makes one, complete, funky rhythm.  Also, for the louder parts of the song, there are only about 3 chords of any importance, and it sorta became like I was writing a story, and they were the main characters.  The middle section has chords all over the place, so the rule doesn’t apply there.  It ends with a massive, yet ambiguous chord (it was a Dmaj9+11 in tons of octaves), as if to say, “It’s beautiful, it’s horrible, it’s confusing, and life is so many things all at once that it transcends definition, no matter how many times or how many different ways we try to explain it.”

Note: the last song is encoded at a lower bitrate, because the original file seemed just a bit too big for Googlepages to accept.  If you'd like a higher-quality version, download the zipped file here.