1989 - Dare, Progress

In the summer of 1989, I bought a Yamaha TX16W sampler, one of most important pieces of gear used for the material on the 1994 CD.
One of the first samples I grabbed was from a construction site across the street, which became the intro to ► Progress (1). During this period, I did a few versions of the idea, which had always been known as ► Progress, well before it became a finished song.

In addition to getting the hang of the new equipment and working out a lot of material during the last half of 1989 that never really panned out, the song “Dare” was completed, including one of my first attempts at recording my own vocals. The only major difference between the CD version and the original is that I lacked confidence and experience in terms of singing. The result was that I ended up sounding like I was 14 years old, and not 22. Most of the early vocals I did sounded like I was a prepubescent, grudgingly singing while being poked with a fork.

“Dare” came together very quickly, considering that it was done on the QX21 sequencer (2 MIDI tracks, dinky screen). You really had to be sure about what you were committing to, because there was no ”undo”, and taking out notes could be extremely time consuming. The other issue was that halfway through the song, “Dare” had eaten up too much memory to finish the song. As a solution, I had just bought this horrendous second sequencer called the Korg SQD-1, intending to synch both of them up together and extend my note memory. There was a problem, however, and I ended up having to port the first half of the song to the new sequencer, and then essentially write a second half without really listening to the first half. This sort of explains why halfway through the song, the verse/break/verse formula ends, and it sort of becomes an extended break for the second half. Essentially, the structure was dictated by limitations of the equipment, which was a typical Fourth Man trapping.