UBS Track Guide by Gavin Prior
I'm listening to the three inch now for the first time since it was released. This was compiled last Summer by myself and Dave Colohan. I didn't have any theme of mirroring dualities in mind. We saw the offer of a 3 inch release as a chance to make a strange little release using different styles and sources. All the selections are quite different and although we liked them, they didn't fit on any other releases. I think they sit together fairly well though.
However, I think you're right in that vocal/ instrumental ; Traditional/ experimental; Joy/ Sorrow are present in the music of UBS in general. I would say that I don't view vocal and instrumental music as opposites; It's more a question of what a particular performance or recording focuses on.
The title is taken from the 2000 AD story of the same name by Dave. I remember us being stuck for titles of the songs and we hit upon the idea of using 'of' in every title to help us focus and give some unity to a disparate collection of music.
1. Bubble of Earth.
This is a segment of an outdoor gig we did in the cork peace park last summer sampled and overdubbed in studio. It was a beautiful day and the most interactive audience members were little kids. The title reflects the playful nature of the gig.
2. Pictures of Katia
One of the first ever UBS recordings. It predates my involvement with the band. Dave wrote this song and the original can be heard as "Katia" on the 5 label comp we appeared on with the Robots & Electronic Brains zine. This version was inspired by the Amelie soundtrack. The vocals were digitally recorded in late 2005 about 5 years after the original 4 track recording.
3. Note of Hope
This is from an improvisation we recorded in Dave's house last summer. Half the mini disc was accidentally wiped. It is mixed with an excerpt of another improv session recorded in a basement on a cold February afternoon.
4. Hedge School Drop out
In the 1700's when Ireland was still under British rule, a set of laws called the Penal Laws were passed to oppress Irish Catholics. One of the Penal Laws made it illegal to teach the catholic religion and the state schools were designed to Anglicize the Irish. DIY Hedge Schools sprung up all over the country to teach Irish history, Language and Catholic Doctrine. In short, it's a joke title. This is the only other studio track on this release. It refers to the Cork Peace park concert sampled in track 1.
5. Elbow of Dawn.
This is the beginning of a gig we played last year in Dublin's Legendary Lazybird club. The first instrument was a guest musician playing the Uileann pipes which are an Irish instrument similar to bagpipes except the airflow is controlled by the elbow.
6. Spoon of Haar.
This is an extract from a concert we played in Scotland with Kitchen Cynics in September 2005. You may recognise Aaron of Phantom Dog Beneath the Moon singing lower than usual on this. Haar is a word I learned from one of the promoters. It's the Scots-English local dialect for the type of fine fog that comes in from the sea in that grey part of the world.