This one I remember felt like this break through. I felt like it sounded more “real”. From day 1 of doing any music, I’ve always just been trying to figure out how to make something sound like “real” music, as opposed to pretend stuff from pretend synthesizers. It’s funny because I’ve realized that’s my whole life. Growing up in Taos was all about the homemade thing. Then there’s school, and everything being a pretend project. That’s why I released these first two M.C. Murph CD’s and made the NQuit label. I was in school doing this as projects but it was so ridiculous to me to do pretend work that would never see the light of day. I still hate that. I did the same thing in my master’s program at Stanford. I have yet to release the work I did there, but it’s in the queue and will be out this year. I just can’t get into pretending.
Unfortunately EVERYTHING I do sounds pretend and fischer price to me. But this one I liked at the time so much because I didn’t do the drums. I sampled them. Yes that’s right, very illegal. I have no idea from where. I’ve never made any money off it so fuck you, RIAA. The whole process of doing this song was odd and different to me. The way I synced the sampled drums and edited them together and created a MIDI sequence and did the vocals. I remember also that I did these vocals, most of the vocals from Artistic Apocalypse, at home. I had done the vocals from the previous CD, Martyrs And Heroes, in a real studio, Ubik Sound. But at this time, I was working at KNME Channel 5 (public television) and I took one of their ADATS home and sync’d it to the MIDI sequencer and did the vocals in the closet. Some of these vocals – if not all – were done using an AKG D1000E microphone, which can best be described as a very very shitty SM57. But I had a very quiet good sounding closet, and I think this is where I learned that the accoustic environment you’re recording in is usually much more important than the equipment you’re using. I oughtta keep that in mind now. I’m being a little haphazard about that the past few weeks.
I’ve shared Disappear with people before. I’m not the only one to have that feeling of wanting to become a shadow in this land. But for me that sentiment is a double edged sword and not necessarily good. Slipping through the cracks and feeling like I don’t or shouldn’t exist has been the bane of my existence, and the degree to which I’ve gotten past that feeling or any desire to have it is the degree to which I’ve succeeded in my career, and the degree to which I’ve found happiness. I think it’s important NOT to disappear in life, and NOT to become shadow and mystery. Reveal yourself, share yourself, and you find love. Unfortunately, at the time in my life when I recorded this, I was not such a person in the least. In fact, I was quite a twisted person, to be honest.
However, I do still truck with one notion in this song (which I also did as a slam poem for a while):
underneath silk sounds because the music never fakes you
berates you or hates you or constantly debates you
This was me saying sometimes I don’t want to try to write lyrics, or figure out how to language something out, or win an argument (I think I was dropping my philosophy class at UNM right about this time), that there is a very powerful truth in pre-language, and that in melody, in sound that is NOT language, there is a clear message, a communication, that is best left UNdescribed (so excuse me if I’m not describing it well here!). Also that I sometimes seek comfort in that pre-language place that music sits. You can also see that I was never into debate. I hated arguing or trying to “prove” what I knew. I still hate that. When I moved to Houston, I was running in these intellectual circles, and certain people, I just ended up refusing to talk to at all. I eventually developed a pretty fast rule that I would not engage in debate. Later, I read things that justified me and untwisted my feeling about this into something better than it was. At the time of Disappear, I was a 19 year old college hockey player with an ego problem, and what it usually turned into was kicking your ass if you questioned me.
But it was deeper than that, and I suspect that it is in fact deeper than that for most “don’t argue with me” ass kickers. What it really is is that underneath somewhere, I’m too aware that reality is maliable, and too aware that everything I could possibly say can be easily counteracted, to go around trying to prove things without driving myself crazy. When I was told by one spiritual teacher that there is no such thing as “THE Truth”, only “truth”, it really helped me start to unwind that. Finally I’m getting to a place of being unwound on that enough to not be violent. It’s taken a long time, though.