Von Daniken was formed in 1989 by ex-Haze keyboards player Chris McMahon and ex-Haze sound engineer Warren Jacques. Although they had worked together since 1985, their first musical collaboration was during the recording of ‘Chris McMahon Reveals The Truth About Flying Saucers’’, an experimental 60 minute cassette ranging from New Age through Rock to Punk & House music. The duo performed this material live as Von Daniken before releasing their debut album ‘New Worlds’ on cassette on their own Gabadon Records label in December 1990. This featured just two tracks, ‘Suspended Animation’ and ‘New World Improvisation’.
For this CD we have remixed, and in some cases re-recorded this material, and added an extra piece ‘Electric Fish Music’.
1 Ursa Minor
The first part of the trilogy started out as two short pieces I wrote for Sharon around Jan/Feb ‘90. The arpeggios in a) Nebula were written on acoustic guitar and then programmed intro my D20. A short descending link leads into the slightly faster tempo of b) Between Land And Sea. This was inspired by some Latvian music I heard, and ends in a frantic flute freak out, leaving a gentle seashore FX into c) Overture. This opens with a ‘classical’ orchestration of the chord sequence which is to dominate the rest of the piece. This leads to a tune written by Warren, which is wildly extrapolated to the accompaniment of frantically arpeggiating harps and flutes, before dropping down to...
2 Cataclysm Imminent
This marks the first appearance of Warren’s guitar as the track builds rhythmically up via sequencer, hi-hat, congas and that good old house piano. The funky guitar riff that enters with the brass was written by Paul and leads to a fairly traditional Chris solo before Warren hits the suzz pedal for the
big burn out. Ursa Minor & Catraclysm Imminent were remixed when the idea of the Von Daniken CD was first mooted in 1991, but are otherwise unchanged from the original release.
Warren’s song of Haze/World Turtle (Mk1) demise. The instrumental section features snippets of old Haze riffs and the lyrics follow on from ‘The Ember’ & ‘Fading Away’, with a nod in the direction of the all pervasive Peter Hammill influence. Closedown was completely re-recorded in 1995, with the bass, drums & keyboards sequenced in Cubase & guitars & vocals recorded on 8-track
4-14 Electrick Fish Music
A completely new recording of the piece that first appeared on the ‘Flying Saucers’ cassette in 1989. This track has been substantially re-written with the original parts vii), viii)a, ix) &i) dropped and new pieces ‘Phasers on Charge’ & ‘Syncopated Cephalopod Scurry’ added. New material has also been added to ‘Fish Finger Frenzy/Planks Ton’ and ‘Chopsticks through the neck pinned him to his sushi bowl’, has been rather more sensibly renamed ‘Earthlight’. Slide guitar on Seasoned Rivers and lead guitar on Fish Finger Frenzy by Paul McMahon
15-19 New Worlds
Formerly New World Improvisation (formerly formerly Electrick Fat Dog In The Pond) the track was composed and recorded on 19/4/89 (Sheffield 1, Nottingham 0). The strange feedback-like sounds at the start are from the South American Knife Fish, Eigenmannia and the strange dog-like sound on ‘Funky Dog’ is Ben the Dog. The rather battered old 4 track that the original was recorded on was copied to 8-track and guitar parts were added to tracks 15, 16 & 19. The piano & flute on 17 were also re-recorded, as were drums & ‘the lost bass note’ on 16. The dawn chorus was recorded at 4.30am on 20/4/89 at Fir St., with additional sound effects from the pond.
CLOSEDOWN (W Jacques)
in the act of communication, a breakdown has occurred.
No-one knows the way to go, and everything seems so absurd No fault in you believing, when the task is incomplete, On the mountain side, the rocky scree, the peak remains just out of reach. Time and tide will turn again as the refugees move on, Lost in small boats on the ocean, where countless others have also gone. The fate of fellow travellers can do nothing to dispel the distant silver mocking laughter, that feeds the fire from the depths of Nadir’s well. There's a house with no door you can’t leave or enter. In the house made of glass all the screens are now dark. The straw blows away, the embers die, as the charcoalled walls crumble to dust. The stones are shattered by the frost of the winter. People run from the faith, they no longer believe. The weight of the world bears down on your shoulders. Our shells left for dead on the alien shore. Now there’s no time left for talking, we’re losing faith in words. All action seems to be slow motion, the final cry cannot be heard. The distance from the crown too far too soon to turn the final page. The last note wavers, no longer pure and echoes ‘til the end of the age. We live by blind faith, don’t believe in the end of the race. There must be some seed we have that can grow, Though we close the chapter and throw the book from the stage.
Malcolm Parker, Ben The Dog (Inspiration, unwanted intrusions and a large furry thing to scratch). Paul for guitar solos. Nick for the original solo on Phasers To Stun. Rog Patterson for the protracted load of sampler, fretless bass & other useful devices. Dave Bell at SUSU, Andy Baker of BHSS Northern, Reg & Dave ‘Wedge’ Hadley, Jennifer, Jon & Andy (ex-Big Chill) & Carlsbro for loan of equipment. Betty & Brian McMahon & Sharon for patience beyond the call of duty. Sleeve artwork by Sean Myers. ‘Fish’ logo designed by Andrew Jacques. Photos by Dr. Big Mike Light & Tim Franks. Digital editing by Ian Stead at Tape Duplication, Sheffield. Written, programmed, played, produced & engineered by Chris & Warren
(not necessarily all at the same time):-
Roland D20, U110, SH101, TR505, Yamaha DX27, SHS200, CS10, RY30, Kawai K1, Crumar Performer. Squire 57 Strat, Patrick Eggle New York Standard, Aria Pro II Super Twin, Wal Fretless Bass. Boss GE7 Graphic, Ibanez Tube Screamer, VestaFire Delay, Marshall Guv’nor & DRP 1. E-bow & Cry Baby Wah-wah. Marshall Valvestate & HH IC100 amps. Alesis Midiverb, Microverb, Quadraverb & Datadisk. Drawmer Compressor & Noise Gate, Art Multiverb, Viscount EFX1, Boss RSD 10 & RPS 10 Delays & RCL Compressor/Gate. Aphex Exciter, ADC 10 band graphic. Sure SM58. Allen & Heath 24/8/2 & Seck 1882 descs. Teac A-3440 & Fostex 80, Qu8ad 405, Tannoy Stratford & Electrovoice S-40 monitors. Tascam DA-30, Casio DA-2 & Sony DTC-750 DAT machines. Atari STe 1040. JLCooper PPS100.
GABCD7 Chris McMahon Reveals The Truth About Flying Saucers (Gabadon Records cassette 1989)
GABC 9 Von Daniken New Worlds (Gabadon Records cassette 1990)
For more information on Von Daniken and related projects please write to:
Von Daniken News, 25 Fir Street, Sheffield, S6 3TG ENGLAND.
released April 1, 1991
Chris McMahon - keyboards, fretless bass, vocals, programming
Warren Jacques - guitars, vocals, programming
Von Daniken was formed by ex-Haze keyboards player Chris McMahon and ex-Haze sound engineer Warren Jacques. They recorded
‘Chris McMahon Reveals The Truth About Flying Saucers’’ and performed this material live as Von Daniken before releasing their debut album ‘New Worlds’. This was followed up by Transient in July 1999. The band played their last concert in 2001 & have been inactive since....more