cover of hyperkarma

all tracks written & performed
by black:not:green
1999 black:not:green

Moja (Hyperfly) - spent the earlier moments of its life as Albino and Roger's cover of Curtis Mayfield's Superfly. Tim brought along some treble attacking wah guitar, albino started to filter his drum loops and the band gave birth to the poppiest verse ever written. A strong live track, but an issue of internal debate as to whether or not it should open up the album (one member of the band was adamant that another track should, three members were adamant that this track should). Immediately sets the album tone of a "collection of singles". Tip of the hat to Generation X.

"Hyperkarma is my karma"

Rolling - huge thrust of the crotch and a stiff middle finger to absolutely anyone who pisses you off. When the world comes down around you give it the dissatisfaction in letting it know you are fine, "I'm rolling". Albino laid down the phat drum'n'bass groove and monumental bassline in about 25 minutes. Guitars were added in the style of Nirvana, vocals in the style of Beck. Remains a strong band favourite and a corking live tune. Featured as Feb 2000 Guitarist's demo of the month,

"Better off without you anyway"

Sub3 - first a punk song then a stab at ambience and finally ended up a fully accessible dance rock crossover track with yearning lyrics about communicating with lost ones who leave far too early. The title 'Sub3' refers to the length of the first draft punk song (ie under 3 minutes). This is the one highly admired by all sorts of punters; the safest track to play to your mother. Shows Rog's voice off quite nicely too

"Where is my pulse?"

Supercharged - written in one evening by Albino and Tim where they gave themselves 2 hours to write and record a complete track. Wallop!! The outcome being highly distorted guitars slashing acorss a Rage Against The Machine-esque rhythm groove with a hooky slow acid-line. Roger snarls above it all, putting in a pyschedelic vocal chorus. The whole track builds to a mighty guitar and bass riff-fest playout. Another of the band's collective favourites and a joy to play live, complete with 'freezes', barbie wands and "my name is..."

"I am, I am, I am, I am..."

Disco - immediately contageous. Hear this once and you'll be singing the refrain all week. Often viewed as the sister track to Supercharged - written in the same week and under the same time restriction circumstances imposed by Albino and Tim. Thanks goes out to Soul Coughing for the groove. Hard and heavy "chug-a, chug-a" riffing in the verse leads to a more open series of twangs and strains in the chorus, making sense of a Pete Waterman-esque voacl. Sounds an innocent song but has a rather vicious, dark lyric. Disco is about the consistent dirge of pop-shite which gets manufactured, marketed and thrust down our throats.. some people never survive the brainwash and end up dull and void. Always used to be the band's opener. October Guitarist's demo of the month. Very keen.

"Love to be here...long to be queer"

Gravity - a rolling bass line and drum loop in the sensible time of 15/4! A great breather after the bang, bang, bang, bang, bang of the first 5 tracks on the album. A slide guitar to make Robert Johnson turn in his grave, a highly evocative bleep in the programming (reminiscent of late 60s/early 70s film soundtracks - Get Carter?), and a cool spacey atmospheric throughout very much capture the lyric's drive of floating in space. Written by Albino, Rog and Tim in 2 sessions at the height of their "what do we do now?" torment. One of Tim's particualr favourites.

"Well trained and tested but don't stop the boredom"

Untouchable - pop-tastic! Here comes 'de Lilt mon'. The final song to be pieced together in the recording session. At first it was "Oh Godwhat have we done?" but as time went on (and as the song works perfectly well live) the band develioped a great fondness for it. 3 minutes of a great pop tune in C. Albino wrote the lyrics with someone in mind. Still won't tell us who though. Bastard.

"Don't want to live like my premonition, No-man's land of indecision, I don't know why I do it but I do"

AYM - stands for Angry Young Man. This ws the opener on the band's 4 track tape demo released after Broken Window Theory (Supercharged, Disco and a cover of Elvis Costello's Pump it up were the other 3). Described by Making Music as an "absolutely stonking" track reminiscent of The Pixies, The Clash, Goldie...can't argue with that. Albino had the groove for some time, the verse and the mid-8 skank section came about a year later. This track supported Crash from Broken Window Theory in almost getting us a shite record deal. Lyrics written by Roger expressing a distraut 'what else can we do' to get recognised and have people share in some meaningful, expressive and genuinely good music.

"Working for the enemy, sapping creativity"

Home - think drum'n'bass, think Lo Fi Allstars, think Roni Size (but with a U2 style guitar and a fresh, fresh vocal). Imagine driving home on the M1 at 3 in the morning with no-one else in sight...this is your soundtrack. The lyric expresses the hyper-linked e-world in which we live and the possible transfixation with a virtual computer screen generated lifestyle. One of the 2 tracks to feature Ultrabeat scratcher Gary Moore.

"My Venice decompressed"

Little Punk Song - so we wanted a final 3 minute punk onslaught to take us to the end of the album. This is what we created. We always thought that we sounded a lot more raw, aggressive and punky live, than we did digitally polished and electronic. This was a song written with that borne in mind. An appropriate lyric proved difficult to write at the start until the band settled on a re-write of "Anarchy in the UK" giving the Pistols subtle recognition, "Sid 'own and see", "Not a Mr Jones..." Admired by most but ironically does not work live.

"Wave the anarchy goodbye for now"

Hyperkarma (is my karma) - we always wanted a hidden track to make us feel like a proper band. We were told of two opportunities to have one; place it where it is 1 minutes or x tracks after the end of the last track, or put it before the first track, having to rewind though it to listen to it. We opted for the former. A vocal plagiarism of Led Zeppelin lies over an early REM style riff. Albino provides the Middle 8 whispered connection; "hyperkarma is my karma" taking the mood into one of a gradual Massive Attack crescendo. Rog's vocal adds the obligatory "eastern" swing.....until next time.

"This is the springtime of my loving"

>HYPERKARMA Broken Window Theory blacknotgreen

Broken Window Theory
Cover of Broken Window Theory

all tracks written & performed
by black:not:green
©1997 black:not:green

Bleacher - very much true drum'n'bass meets "Alice in Nirvana". The opening reverse swelled guitar builds up tension which is released by a furious drum loop, intense riffing and a wailed-pained vocal almost worthy of Cobain himself. Very much an indication of the band's overall musical direction - short, punchy songs that scream down your throat.

"...and would you like sugar with it?"

Honeytrap - the sort of contrived song title that Kenickie, Dodgy, Menswear etc. would come up with. Always a favourite track from this album, it sees the band in a funkier mellow mood. Written about the guaranteed downfall of a social climbing twat, who would only do/say anything once confirmed it is 'cool' to do so.

"Can I breath now?"

Crash - huge riff, huge beats and a superbly fitting "Are you happy now?" vocal in the spaces. This one got us close to a premature record deal...thank fuck nothing happened. A big live favourite. An allegory to Kurt. Pure sex.

"Live like a crash"

Acidbath - first song to be started last one to be finished in the Broken Window Theory writing sessions. An incessantly hooky acid bass line provides the basis to this sick ' n twisted funk/acid rock crossover. References to Jeffrey Dahmer and a middle 8 to die for make this compulsive listening. A top 10 hit if ever there was one. Featured as April 1998's demo of the month in The Mix. Pity it doesn't work live.

"C'mere little boy...BOOSH!"

shortstory - "a wonderfully evocative 90 second ballad" (The Mix). Recorded at 3am in the Swiss chalet, with the band tripping on tiredness. Albino takes the lead, Tim the backing vocal.

"She stops...and says"

Helpless - "an electronic Pearl Jam" (Rhythm, March 1998). Not a guitar in sight..phew. A superb ethnic drone over a finely tuned programming of early 80s New Wave, fused with an Indian ethno-dub vocal loop and a grinding breakbeat. A collective band favourite

"La b'di, La b'di, sona qui i'ho"

Disjoint - the band's only real venture into the middle of the road. Tim mixed this one (and it fucking shows). Still you can't fault the extremely tight rhythm guitar, bass and rolling drum loop in the verse.

"...a kaleef with a miss on the side"

Outside - the sort of track that fits a comfortable car journey only to be jolted when a lunatic threatens to throw himself into the traffic. Delicately floats away with a perfect slighlty-distrubed vocal slashed across it. Drops a semitone at the end..cool device.

"Someone stole my pride away today"

Sexhate song - a 3 1/2 minute romp in 6/8 time ("sex hate" rhymes with 6/8...geddit?) The recording saw Roger at his most volatile; "Right, can't do it...fucking pack up now, we're going home". Always on the session backburners until it sprang to life a month before the official recording.

"Now I've thought too long. Nothing said, I'm wrong"

Arabic ballad - regarded by some as the best thing we've ever done (including Kevin Spacey and Morgan Freeman). One of the first tracks to be worked upon, it immediately set the overall mood for the complete album. Son of "Two in One" from the first album, Arabic Ballad extends the haunting piano line idea, positioning it above an eerie instrumentation of Asian flavour. Despite the intense mood the song contains an optimistic lyric expressing how black:not:green's overall drive and ambitions came over the geographical spread of its members (lyrics written by Roger whilst in Australia and posted back to us)

"Feel your mind blow, we are one"

I feel nothing - an early favourite which was eventually positioned towards the album's end. Another trach where the instrumental version was posted to Rog in Oz, onto which he put a vocal and returned. A fitting lyric which expresses the general apathy of the public to global disasters so long as they don't affect them. A cool fusion of hip-hop meets organ jazz and power chords. A soaring vocal chorus was helped along with a bottle of Port.

"...how do you feel when the victors start to laugh?"

85% - an instrumental thrash about releasing some pent-up frustration at mind-dead A&R. We had a lot to learn.

"...no one cares about the band"

Sting - bit of a giveaway as to where the sax sample came from. One of Tim's faves. A cool, dark expressive look at being brainwashed through education. Features Albino on backing vocals and the only guitar solo on the album. Beautifully retro.

"Sit at the back of the class and don't ask why"

Broken Window Theory - after an hour of mind-twisting music the mellow ambience of the first 2 1/2 minutes gently soothes the brain..only to be distrubed by a sinister Egyptian flute warning of the sudden arrival of the band's most dark and doomladen piece to date. Intense breakbeats, fat synth pads, jagged riffing and ominuous vocal wailing signify the apocalypse - to both the world and the state of the band's health. Finished the mixing for this at 4am right at the end of the recording session, to vacate the premises at 8am. There are more than 1 or 2 grey hairs attributed to this track which makes a scar on everyone who hears it.

"Save yourself...cos no-one else will"

>HYPERKARMA Broken Window Theory blacknotgreen

Black Not Green
Cover of Black Not Green

all tracks written & performed
by black:not:green
1996 black:not:green

...is anybody out there? - a cool industrial groove in 6/4 time, "No one else is beautiful...no one else is insecure" Featured as November 1996 Total Guitarist demo of the month. Great programming, great riff...never to be heard live again.

270 days - smooooth vocal, arabic drum loop, jazz guitar. The first song Albino wrote under the banner of black:not:green (in fact the band name was still to be decided upon at this stage). This song has been arranged, re-arranged and re-re-arranged and still appears in the band's live show

"Without your sight I'm blind without your words I'm deaf"

Eastern - the exciting breakthrough. Breakbeat meets King's X style guitars with psychedelic whispered vocals and a pure Egyptian flavour throughout. In the middle section the band are heard pissing about over the programming leaving Roger in an audible coughing fit. The playout reverts to riffola....HAVE A BIT OF THAT. Still sends tingles down the spine

"It's not a drug he sells, it's not a pill...just some simple head control, you'll get sucked in."

Think - Roger's yearning for 'green and pleasant land'...something to write home about after touching ground in Oz. A cool jazz flow with soaring reverberated

"As two we are better than one..don't you think?"

Sleeptight - check out the wild piano loop...you have to be seriously warped to come up with that. A tormented song about insomnia - the late night mental torture of thinking about pain, death and whether or not you should have your fifth wank,

"The sleeptight state is twisting me tonight"

Two in One - Creepy. A haunting piano line is dominant throughout. Over-comfy guitar lines add to the uneasiness. An unnerved melodic vocal reminds of someone just about to do himself harm. The most severe lyrical content of all black:not:green songs; this song is often used as a benchmark against which all other songs are compared and contrasted,

"you can try to shut them out but they can see through you"

Psychobabble - Albino's 11 minute ambient fest - think Future Sound of London, think Aphex Twin, think the ideal soundtrack to an early 1970s Open University physics experiment. Was mixed whilst it was recorded...bizarre.

Wasted - the final song to be written and recorded in the sessions for the first album. Tip of the hat to 'Dancing Days' by Led Zeppelin, an Incognito acid jazz groove, and a singer with attitude, "Sorry I can't fucking sing over this terrible 'eeuggh, eee, eeugh' in my headphones". Albino's first backing vocal

"I never liked him, I never liked them"

Full circle - "another scratch on this record"...a cathartic remembrance of a terminated relationship. A painfully moody two minute loop, complete with record crackle

"so here I am again right back where I started from"

...and life goes on - an optimistic end to the album. Back to jungle meets Seattle. A free-form vocal, ethereal verse (almost like Monk Gregorian chants) explodes into a CHORUS!!! 8 1/2 minutes worth of tune never to again be heard outside this album. An appropriate end to the first stab at glory

"no more tears, no more screams, no more..."

>HYPERKARMA Broken Window Theory blacknotgreen