So, 2012 is shaping up to be a good year for bringing things to completion. Up at SoundCloud is another new ukuphambana track.

[Note: track no longer on Soundcloud]

This is another example of the sort of time-travel remixing I described in a previous post, though it is not actually the track I was describing there. (That one has itself gone dormant and awaits another day for its turn.)

This one started out as a live jam six or seven years ago. A year or two after the initial jam was recorded, I took a first stab at editing it into a finished track, adding some squiggly acid-style synth lines and recording some some inspired but very sloppy keyboard jamming. That was about 2006. After that first attempt, the first version of the track sat 80% finished on my hard drive for another six years until I felt ready to give it another stab.

After blowing the dust off, the first thing I did was edit mercilessly, removing over two minutes of unnecessary noodling. The second thing I did was meticulously recreate my live jam, note for note, as a programmed sequence. This meant keeping all the quirks and nuance of the initial performance, but removing the awkward, horrible timing which plagued the original version. Then, just to keep things from getting too boring, I decided to leave the original take in as a barely-audible background element; in that role, the dodgy timing winds up sounding more like a sort of subliminally shifting echo of the main version.

After doing that cleanup work, I was ready to finish the remaining 80% of the work required to finish off the track and release it to the listening public. And yes, if you’ve ever completed a long project, you know that this math works out perfectly well. And if all that sounds like more time and energy than any sane person would invest, then … you’re right.