Silk Screens: Young Magic – “Slip Time”
In our 5th installment of Silk Screens, Young Magic‘s Isaac Emmanuel details the history behind Melt‘s “Slip Time”. Read through as Isaac re-explores his journey to a little place called, “House In The Clouds.”
It all started in Mexico’s San Juan Tlacatenco mountains.
At the beginning of the year, I spent 2 months WOOFING and house-sitting a place called House In the Clouds with my friends Colby, Leif and Melati. It turned out to be a secluded property high in the mountains near Tepoztlán, Mexico, a place the locals actually call magic town… a quick change from the squat I was calling home in New York.
Isaac, San Juan Tlacotenco.
El Tepozteco Temple, overlooking Tepoztlán.
Tepoztlán is steeped in history and mythology with a 600 year old Aztec Temple overlooking the town. It is full of hard-to-believe tales from the locals. I met some of the most beautifully strange characters one could ever expect to meet in a lifetime—Yugoslavian Shamans, ex-pats with arrest warrants, National Geographic photographers, hash smoking corn worshipers, you name it. In San Juan nobody spoke English and my Spanish was poor, but the people who owned the house were amazing to accept us into there home as family, and made our time there unforgettable. I spent this time working on the farm and gardening, hitching/hiking my way down to the colorful markets in Tepoztlán, getting lost and almost killed on jungle paths, eating amazing local food and of course, recording.
Downtown Tepoztlán, Mexico.
Leif at the Pyramid of the Sun, Teotihuacán, Mexico.
Museo Diego Rivera, Mexico City.
“Slip Time” started like most other songs, with a beat. Sometimes we write part of a song then record it, but most of the time it starts with a beat… a sketch, a rhythm, and then GROWS. At the time I was thinking about the past 3 months in New York City… the bustle and the stomp, mixed with an emotion of escaping a snowy winter to this new mountain paradise where the air was crisp and the food was real.
I’d been reading a lot of books about the nature of reality, time warps, alternate dimensions and the very essence of time as a man-made concept. I’d hoped the rhythm in the track would give the sense that it was moving in-between time …and that you could almost find your own sense of time within the tweaked Kalimbas and loose hats.
I dug up the first sketch I made on one long night almost a year and a half ago. Listen below:
Melati put down some vocals in Mexico, and when we all got back to New York, we added a few percussive elements and mixed it with our good friend Trent Gill aka Galapagoose. The screeching lead melody is actually a whistle through an over-driven fender twin.
Influence. Over these few months we were all listening to a lot of different music in the house, and around the fire. All day. All night. It’s hard to say what exactly helped shape this one, but many of these sounds made The Solstice Mix, a collaboration with Leif. If you take the time to dive into these 3 hours, it paints a nice picture of the kind of sounds that were influential about a year and a half back when this was made.
01 AFE ATO YEN BIO DE – FRANK & HIS PROFESSIONALS
02 ODOFO NYI AKYIRI BIARA EBO – TAYLOR AND THE SWEET BEANS
03 YAZ GAZETECI – YA SELDA
04 SOUL VIBRATIONS – DOROTHY ASHBY
05 ME YEE OWU – DEN K.FRIMPONG & HIS CUBANO FIESTA
06 DIN YA SUGRI – CHRISTY AZUMA & UPPERS INTERNATIONAL
07 ZEYTINYAGLI – MUSTAFA OZKENT
08 YAYLALAR – SELDA
09 BAD ACTORS – FLYING LOTUS
10 WHERE IS THE PROBLEM – DUNIAN
11 DOUBLE FIFTHS – TEEBS
12 M / L / M / H – S.MAHARBA
13 DEEP COVER – SUN ARAW
14 WOULD KNOW – MOUNT KIMBIE
15 CAMEL – FLYING LOTUS
16 O BABUAA YEH MAHUA – ASHA BHONSLE
17 HALLELUWAH – CAN
18 PAPERHOUSE – CAN
19 I WALK ON GUILDED SPLINTERS – DR. JOHN, THE NIGHT TRIPPER
20 BREAKTHROUGH – THE FUNKEES
21 OBI AGYE ME DOFO – VIS À VIS
22 DANKASA – UPPERS INTERNATIONAL
23 EDINYA BENYA – HEDZOLEH SOUNDZ
24 BURCAK TARLALARL – MUSTAFA OZKENT
25 KYENKYEN BII ADI M’AWU – K.FRIMPONG & HIS CUBANO FIESTA
26 BULLWALK – THE COMRADES
27 LAGUNTA – HEDZOLEH SOUNDZ
28 ASSIBAVI – ORCHESTRE POLY-RYTHMO DE COTONOU
29 心臓の扉 – MARIAH
30 THE FIRE IN MY HEAD – VOICE OF THE SEVEN WOODS
31 TWO TONGUES – MARIEE SIOUX
32 DREAMING WITH ALICE – VERSUS 1-10 – MARK FRY
33 MAHIMA ANANT – VANDANA
32 PAIX – CATHERINE RIBEIRO & ALPES
33. COMING BACK – J DILLA
I was making a lot beats during this time too… many made the Maps Cassette …a collection of sketches and b-sides from Melt. It also helps paint a picture of where my head was AT.