---   Out in the desert   ---

Audio:  [mp3] (4.0 MB)

In the summer of 1985, my friend Jonas B and I, then teens, were able to borrow a 4-track tape recorder.  We programmed my drum machine to produce a simple, steady beat.  We also set it up to trigger my trusty, analog, monophonic YAMAHA CS-5 synthesizer, yielding a rythmic bass pattern.  We also added piano, and even clarinet and saxophone.  The woodwind parts actually came out sounding like another analog synthesizer.

But what would the song have sounded like without the rythmic guitar riff that our friend Urban Fagerholm provided?  Urban also played a soulful guitar solo.  The synth bass and Urban's guitar definitely give the song its flavor.

The words were written to be silly, a goal I think we achieved.  You'll notice our poetic license: for example, "out of mood" means you're not "in the mood".

I've always enjoyed listening to this song over the years whenever I have come across it in my tape collection.  However, the 4-track recording itself didn't turn out great, and there was a lot of noise.  If I had easy access to the musical talents of Jonas and Urban, we might have recorded it again.  Barring that, I thought it would be great to re-master the song.  I still had the C-size cassette with the 4-track recording, but no 4-track recorder.

The way a 4-track recorder puts music onto a tape is similar to the way an ordinary tape deck does.  To get four channels, it uses the left and right channels in "both directions" of the tape, and to get better quality (from using a larger magnetic area), it pulls the tape at twice the regular speed.  So if you play a 4-track tape in a regular tape deck, you get two of the channels, one in the left speaker and one in the right, at half the speed, and if you turn the tape over, you get the other two channels at half the speed and playing backwards.  But this is no problem once you get the signals through an A/D converter and into the computer, for then it is easy to adjust the sampling frequency and "direction" of the recording.  In this way, I recovered the original 4-track recording.

I wasn't able to tease apart all the instruments in the 4-track recording, because with only 4 tracks you have to bounce the recorded tracks (that is, add them together) in order to free up more tracks.  All the instruments I wanted to keep were together on one track, and the vocals were together on another track.  I applied some noise reduction and equalization, and this did most of the trick.  I also added a new piano track, replaced the clarinet/saxophone track with a brass-like synth track, and added an additional main vocal track.  By the way, I tried replacing all of the drums and the synth bass using my current instruments.  But despite the FM voice generation and sampling of analog synths that I tried, I still liked the original better, so I kept it.

Enough about that.  Now enjoy the groove!

Words and music written by Jonas B and Rustan Leino, summer 1985.
Vocals: Jonas B and Leino.
Keyboards and programming: Jonas B and Leino.
Guitar: Urban Fagerholm.
Originally recorded 1985, remixed by Leino in 2001.

Copyright © 1985, 2001, Jonas B, Fagerholm, Leino.

Who can you trust in a world like this?
Last week I got my wallet stolen on the street
The city rush and the staring crowds
But I know a place where there's no one to meet

Out in the desert
   where there is no life
Every time I'm out of mood
   I go out of sight
I rent a camel
   and I ride through the sand
My Mama used to ask me
   "Are you never gonna be a man?"

It's Monday morning and I go to work
Traffic jam and I'm late again
People ask me what time it is
But I know a place where there's no time to keep

Out in the desert...

Out in the desert...

Sometimes I really do need some vacation
Then I, in difference to other people, do know where to go

Out in the desert...


Out in the desert...

Out in the desert...

Out in the desert...

Leino online home | Rustan and Indi Leino's music