Dark Company: four more Alien Heat songs upgraded

Four more Alien Heat songs upgraded for the coming album by Dark Company? Really? Is it true?

Yes, it is! Ship to Shore, Asylum Child, Jigsaw and Crash have all had something of a sonic makeover. They are sounding far more fabulous than they were before.

We are attempting to finish as much of the work as we can on this album before the guitars and basses are properly recorded. We are waiting on a good day to visit the repair specialists and then the guitars will be recorded and the album mixed and mastered fairly soon after. At least, that’s the plan.

As a general rule, we’ve been mixing the Alien Heat album with the guitar mostly panned towards the left and the keyboards mostly panned towards the right, just as if the listener were looking at the band on stage. There are tons of tiny details in every track and we are doing what we can to make sure nothing goes missing or is buried.

The four Alien Heat songs still need in need of an upgrade are Alpha Omega, Wonderlust, Bodyfire and Mister Dream. They are curently in pieces in our workshop and with a bit of luck will be sorted in the next few weeks. We shall of course let Dark Company fans know when the remaining Alien Heat songs have been upgraded via our News service and on Twitter.

Ship to Shore has for a long time been a real favourite among the wider Wud posse. We managed to salvage a little of Zaphod’s ‘noise’ from the start of the Alien Heat version (“Cue the noise!”) and added a few sounds using the EDP Wasp.

A couple of extra percussive things make the rhythm part a little closer to Graham’s original drum part. The other sounds were thinned out a little. They are all still present, they just don’t occur as frequently as before to make space for each other. The overall mix is still quite wonky but it’s a lot better.

Asylum Child is a lyrical masterpiece from the pen of Professor Greatorex and oddly prophetic. It also contains a bad word, which is very rare for Dark Company. It might even be unique in this regard. A radio-friendly version of Asylum Child will be released as an extra when the time comes, probably as a B-side.

Jigsaw required a fair amount of prodding and poking and we are fairly happy with where it is now. A lot of extra sounds that seemed important proved to be very hard to find. In the end it was easier to recreate many of them using the EDP Wasp. What a splendid tool that old machine is.

We also studied Graham’s original drum parts and tweaked the sequencer a little. Real saxophone from an actual human saxophonist is on its way, which is tremendous news.

Jigsaw is somewhat changed from the original version. We loved Marc’s original bass part and Jeff’s bass part as well. When Jeff joined Dark Company he devised his own basslines. Dave’s original was switched to the sax, which was the line that Rowena played back in the early days of Dark Company.

Maxx does a splendid job of approximating Jeff’s playing. Jigsaw is slated to be released as a single.

Crash is probably the track we are least happy with. Crash was the first song that Jeff played on for Dark Company, starting way back on the very first day we met him. For this version of Crash, Jeff created most of the sequencer rhythm track.

As far as we know, there is no recording of Alien Heat playing Crash anywhere in existence. Exactly how Graham’s original drum parts went we cannot be sure. It’s one of those where you simply have to accept that it is quite different from the original. Proper guitar and bass still to come, and probably more tweakings.

Please bear in mind that all 16 of these songs are still work-in-progress.

You can listen to the entire Alien Heat album by Dark Company, as it stand right now, at SoundCloud by clicking here.

To listen to it here at the Wud Records website, please click here instead.