Track by Track: Mark Egan Talks “Electric Blue”
Mark Egan and Danny Gottlieb have been performing for nearly 50 years, and 2020 saw the latest release from the duo. Electric Blue was one of my favorite albums of 2020, with an amazing and varied sound coming from two people.
We reached out to Mark to get the track-by-track background on the album from the man himself. Spin the album and follow along.
1. Back and Forth
Multi Drums, percussion, groove fretted bass, comping fretted bass and fretless bass solo.
This song started with a multi-tracked drum/percussion groove. We then added a groove fretted bass line, a fretted bass comping bass part then a soloing fretless bass. The form was derived from the Fibonacci Sequence also known as the Golden ratio. By taking the total number of measures and multiplying by the golden ratio, 1.618, and repeating that process several times, we came up with different sections where we placed the chord changes.
Bass and Drums live in the studio.
“Cabarete” is a song I wrote that was previously recorded on my trio record, About Now, with Danny and Mitch Forman. It’s a song that was inspired by a trip to the Dominican Republic to perform with Elements in the town of Cabarete and it captures the spirit of the people and the scene there. We thought it would be a good vehicle for improvisation and have always enjoyed playing it as a duo.
3. Down The Road
Drums and fretted and fretless basses.
Danny started this laid-back groove on brushes and drum kit with overdubbed cymbals and we came up with this chord form with Mark playing a fretless groove part (left) for the basic track. An additional fretless solo bass part was overdubbed.
4. Electric Blue
Drums, percussion, 5 string fretless bass.
The title track of the project is an improvisation with a drum feature that was first recorded as a duo, drums, and bass and Danny overdubbed two tracks of shakers. The track has a very wide dynamic range and features Danny’s powerful open groove playing.
5. Come What May
Drums, Fretless basses.
The basic groove was recorded with drums and bass as an improvisation. A fretless solo was overdubbed as well as bass harmonics.
6. Blue Sound Bath
Bass and Drums.
This is another example of our duo improvising where we discuss a general mood and direction and then just go…. The last part features Danny’s signature cymbal playing with bass harmonics.
Drums and fretted bass.
This is a short and playful groove that we put together in the studio. It starts and ends with a busy 8th note bass line that serves as a melody, then is a vehicle for a bass solo and interplay in a punky sort of groove.
Cymbals, Drums, Percussion, Double neck bass (8string fretted, 4 string fretless) with 10 sec digital delay.
The closing track is a multi-tracked improvised piece. The original tracks are drums and double-neck bass with digital delayed loops. Another bass melody track on double-neck bass was overdubbed along with cymbals and percussion. We have recorded tracks like this with our group Elements and we wanted to record a similar mood as a duo.
For even more background on Electric Blue, check out Corey Spins.