Flicker: Osobní Hv​ě​zda released

Osobní Hv​ě​zda by Flicker is a brand new Wud Records release! Osobní Hv​ě​zda has been added to Flicker‘s growing HappySad album. You can enjoy it exclusively at the Wud Records website by clicking here and Bandcamp by clicking here, for now.

Osobní Hv​ě​zda means ‘Personal Star’ in Czech. It was composed on guitar in a drop-D tuning, early in 2001, shortly before George went to Prague to visit his friends there.

Several of the tunes that he had composed very recently at that time had no title, so he asked a few of his Czech friends for ideas for what they should be called. The title ‘Personal Star’, or Osobní Hv​ě​zda, was suggested by Lenka. After she heard it, she liked it very much and wholeheartedly approved.

Osobní Hv​ě​zda is in the key of D minor (the saddest of all keys, according to Nigel Tufnell). After the initial D minors and Cs, the piece goes to an Eb maj7. After each Eb maj7 there is a Bb maj7, then an F6, then Bb maj7 again and then an Ab maj7(-5), which leads in to the Gm7 and Fm13 section. There is a gloriously heavy G – F# – Eb – D riff before the whimsical melodic section.

The guitar is played on Nicodemus. You can hear how new and spanglesome the guitar strings are. Maxx plays the Plank and Sven plays mostly Tama and Sabian.

The original guitar and bass for Osobní Hv​ě​zda sounded muddy. Flicker could never quite make them how they wanted them to be. In the end, the guitar and bass parts were scrapped and completely re-recorded from scratch using the Neural DSP Quad Cortex.

George used a few factory presets from the Quad Cortex. These patches were called Banger Fish (for the clean tones), Major Strat Vibes (for the dirty tones), We Love Herbie (for the filthy dirty heavy section) and Victor’s Marshall (for the second guitar that plays from the start of the D riff in the centre of the tune to where the heavy part begins again). All three pickup configurations on the guitar were used at various stages.

Maxx created his own patches from scratch on the Quad Cortex, as he likes to do such things.

Flicker asked Alison Reynolds to add some cello to the track and she did an absolutely wonderful job. She was also asked to create some odd noises, like bouncing her bow on the strings or banging the body of her instrument. The results were even better than hoped for and worked perfectly with the xylophone.

You can check out some of Alison’s own compositions at her website here: https://alisonreynoldsmusic.com/

A real wooden xylophone was originally used for the track, although in the end Flicker preferred the sound of the MIDI version. This was from a program called Marimba on a vintage synthesizer called the Emu Pro-Cussion. You can read more about this wonderful synth/drum expander here: www.vintagesynth.com/emu/procussion.php

Originally we were going to release Osobní Hv​ě​zda back last summer. It was this track that convinced us we simply could not trust what we were hearing in the studio, whereupon we set about trying to upgrade the monitor system. This was eventually achieved – earlier than expected – in early February 2023. You can read about it by clicking here.

Since then our people have been very busy fixing things that were sounding all wrong. Results have been very pleasing! We hope you will all enjoy the fruits of our endeavours as they start to trickle through the system.

Altogether there are 19 tracks slated to make up the HappySad album. That means there are 15 more still to be finished and released. As work is completed and tracks are released, we shall of course let all Flicker fans know of these events via Twitter and in our News service.

Osobní Hv​ě​zda is a piece of multifacetted shiny precious rock, but exactly what kind of rock is it? Progressive? Pyschedelic? Hard? Classic? Alternative? All of these? We don’t know. You must decide!

To listen to or download Osobní Hv​ě​zda from Flicker’s HappySad album at Bandcamp, please click here.

If you would like to listen to or download the whole HappySad album from Bandcamp as it stands right now, please click here.

Should you prefer to enjoy HappySad in its current state right here at the Wud Records website, please click here.

The Flicker swirly - some kind of personal star.

The Flicker swirly – some kind of personal star.