The legend of Polybius goes that In 1981 a strange video game showed up in a select few arcades in Portland Oregon. Kids who played the game seemed to experience amnesia, forget who they were, where they lived etc, and suffer from extreme night terrors.
The game was reportedly serviced by men wearing black coats who instead of collecting the quarters from the games, took only data from "records" inside the machine. Rumors were starting to grow that it was developed by some military intelligence agency such as the CIA.
The game was not around long and was pulled from the arcades nearly as quickly as it arrived. There is no known machine in existence today, but ROMs have surfaced over time, though the authenticity of them has not been verified.
The story of Polybius was first documented on the site coinop.org
in 1998 www.coinop.org/Game/103223/Polybius
I first learned about the game on the Astonishing Legends Podcast, and thought the story was so amazing and also felt it was the perfect inspiration for my new album.
When creating Polybius I wanted to make a very drum-heavy album, and that's what it is. Every song except two, feature live drums. I worked nearly entirely in odd time signatures which I thought were complementary to the overlapping spiral and grid graphics lore of the game, which is fully realized on the final track "Overlapping Spirals" where I combined several odd time signatures 7/4 3/4 5/4 and 4/4 on different sounds with a 7/4 grove on drums to create what I think is a very hypnotic sound.
Also, I wanted to do some things on the drums I never did before. So I went back to the drawing board and started studying again. By using YouTube, and watching some lessons by some of the most talented players out there today, I was able to push myself into learning some new beats, new fills, and digging deeply into pushing myself into playing new things. I also spent some time creating a signature sound on my drums. I'm using an assortment of odd cymbals made from nickle silver, brass, and bronze from various manufacturers that I feel helped me to achieve that goal.
Three main recording devices were used in the making of this album and will be listed as Systems 1, 2, and 3 in the rest of the liner notes.
System 1 - 2007 Black Apple Macbook running Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and Mixbus 3 with Jack as it's primary DAW.
System 2 - Zoom PS-04 handheld digital 4 track
System 3 - 2012 Samsung Chromebook running Ubuntu 12.04 w/ IceWM desktop environment and Ardour 2 with Jack as it's primary DAW.
Individual track notes:
1. The Wrong Way The Stripe Goes - Recorded on System 3. Casio CT-370 for drums and synth sounds, as well as AMsynth (LADSPA software synth for Linux)
2. Helicopter Cop - Recorded on System 1. Music sequence created in LMMS using all software synths/samples contained within LMMS software. Stems exported and mixed in Mixbus3, live drums recorded using Alesis IO4 audio interface in conjunction with built-in audio for 6 channel input. Mixed in Mixbus3.
3. Ghost Image (same as #2)
4. Cerulean Blue - Recorded on System 2. Synth sounds were played on my Mothman 1000 and 2000 software synths for windows running on wine on System 1 physically routed to system 2. Exported to and mixed on System 3 in Ardour 2.
5. AM Ultra - Recorded on system 3, sequences created in seq24 using Hydrogen, Amsynth, Zynaddsubfx, and Hexter softsynths for Linux. Mixed in Ardour 2.
6. Polybius - Recorded on System 2 (long recording mode 15.62khz sample rate) Synths all played live on Casio CT-370. Drums recorded with two mics, kick and overhead mixed to a single track with a behringer micromixer. Mixed on system 1 in Mixbus3.
7. Tunnel of Dark - Recorded on System 2 (hi fi mode 31.25khz) Bass and drums recorded (1 mic) and exported from System 2 to System 3 and guitar was recorded directly into Ardour 2. Mixed on Ardour 2.
8. Flowers - Recorded on System 2. Main sequences created in LMMS, drums recorded in (2 mics) Aurdour 2, mixed in Ardour 2.
9. Autumn Sun - Recorded on System 1 except with Mac OS 10.6 and Cubase LE 5. Guitars and basses are all sampled and played via midi within Cubase. Drums recorded in (6 mics) and mixed in Cubase.
10. dev/null - Recorded on System 1 except on Mac OS 10.6 using Ableton Live as DAW. Synth sounds played on Casio CT-370 and sequenced in Ableton. Drums recorded in (4 mics) Mixbus 3, mixed in Mixbus 3.
11. Overlapping Spirals - Recorded on System 3 with seq24 used to sequence midi, Amsynth, Zynaddsubfx, Hexter softsynths, Drums (2 mics) recorded in and mixed in Ardour 2.
All songs mastered on System 3 in Audacity