This song is one of those that just wrote itself. I wrote it one evening in January 2022, in between working on tracks for my first full-on debut album. It was cold and dark and I was daydreaming about the summer to come.
I was remembering my wedding and honeymoon in Las Vegas and how I’d ended up with a swollen face because I’d spent too long sunbathing around the pool at the Mandalay Bay Hotel. This was two days before my wedding but that’s a story for another time! It was ferociously hot and I felt my skin literally cooking in the sun.
I started writing the lyrics taking in cues from this memory and merging them with a satirical poke at the favourite pastime of us Brits to complain about the weather, no matter what the weather is doing. We’re never satisfied, it’s either too cold, too wet or in this case, too hot!
The music is written around the bass line. Something that I have decided I should do a lot more of as I am predominantly a bass guitarist!
The drums are a simple program that I put together using BDF2 (I’m recording on a PC from 2008 running Cubase 4 Essential remember). I remember trying to be a bit too flash and ‘realistic’ sounding when I was recording Condor Leader and I was never really satisfied with the results. I decided that if it wasn’t to be real drums then I shouldn’t try to hide the fact that this is a drum program, created by me, a non-drummer.
I recorded the track in between working on other music during January 2022, putting the final touches on it in February 2022. It’s my first attempt at producing, mixing and mastering a finished song entirely myself (that wasn’t intended as a demo).
*I’m not a fan of ReverbNation and I rarely update it with new music as I don’t believe it represents value for money (not least you can’t upload anything larger than 8mb without a pro account). If enough people actively engage with me on that platform I might reconsider my stance on the platform.
Want to know the story of Condor Dealer? Here’s a little more about the concept of the mini-album in the words of Dazzle Rebel himself.
“On New Year’s Eve, I decided not to go out and party. It got to around 7pm and I was bored with the TV, so I decided to set myself a task. Could I record an entire track in one evening, my last recording of 2021?
A stripped-back, acoustic version of ‘Condor’, the title track from my 2021 mini-album Condor Leader, was the result. Well, that got me wondering if I could continue the one song per-day challenge and cover every song on the album? So, I went ahead and tried, Condor Dealer is the result!”
The Attic Transmission is a double EP with two distinctive sounds. EP1 is The Attic Transmission, a studio concept EP that tells the story of a dystopian world filled with political corruption, pollution and megalomanic mega-corporations (sound familiar)? It speaks of the people and planet fighting back and ends with a tale of an apathetic individual finding inner strength.
EP2, The Attic Sessions (bonus material) is introduced with a live intermission. It’s a series of demo recordings written for a band that never was. Although it no longer represents where Dazzle Rebel is taking his music, he felt that this music would never see the light of day if it wasn’t released as bonus material.
EP1: The Attic Transmission
This Burning Town
A Fear of Violence
Down and Out
Credits: All songs written & produced by Darren John Loczy. Tracks 1-3 mixed by John JJ Watts, tracks 4-6 mixed by Darren John Loczy.
EP2: The Attic Sessions
Your Heart is a Combustion Engine and it’s spitting flames, so get it on (Attic Sessions Demo)
Time Travel Shuffle (Attic Sessions Demo)
Badass Motherfucker (Attic Sessions Demo)
Ace Cafe Grind (Attic Sessions Demo)
Gone Moto Vloggin’ (Theme from Dazzle Rebel Rides)
The Whore Next Door (Attic Sessions Demo)
Credits: All songs written, produced, mixed and mastered by Darren John Loczy.
Want to know more about each track on The Attic Transmission? Here’s a deep-dive into the songs in the words of Dazzle Rebel himself.
The Attic Transmission
The title of the EP is a play on a number of things. The initial idea came because my home studio is based in the attic. The first three tracks were recorded in 2011/2 and were initially mixed by John JJ Watts. Originally conceived as a trilogy of doom and gloom. The idea was that the narrator was holed up in his attic, broadcasting the events of the apocalypse on a pirate radio station. The initial track order was Four Horsemen, A Fear of Violence and ending with This Burning Town.
Down and Out was a track that I’d written way back at the beginning of my musical journey in the mid-90s. Out of my much older material, I felt that it deserved to be revisited. So, I started reworking the lyrics to be less teenage angst and more relevant for the time. You have to remember, the world was still in the grip of a global recession and the “Occupy” movement was a big thing.
I had initially intended to release The Attic Transmission in early 2013 but I lost my bottle. I wasn’t confident with my voice and I was still feeling burnt-out from my days in Red Star Rebels and New Generation Superstars. So the project got shelved.
Then during the first UK Covid lockdown in 2020, I wrote Fortitude. After realising how easy it was to release music in 2020 I decided to revisit my abandoned project. Many of the themes from the original concept were still relevant in 2020, possibly even more so. I once again tapped up John JJ Watt to remix the original recordings and added some demos that I’d recorded for another abandoned project to use as bonus material. After nearly a decade on the shelf, The Attic Transmission was finally ready to go!
Although finished I’d like to revisit The Attic Transmission at some point in the future, this time with real drums instead of my drum programs.
Quite simply Four Horsemen is a tale of the coming apocalypse. Humanity always seems to believe that the end of civilization is fast approaching, so in many ways the subject matter is timeless. I was really beginning to feel worried about the impending climate crisis when I wrote this back in 2008 (I still am). This song forms the basis of the theme for The Attic Transmission, it’s the harbinger of doom.
This Burning Town
This song is really just about a town getting wiped out through a nuclear blast. Following on from Four Horsemen, there are also some religious connotations thrown in. Basically, this town could have been Sodom or Gomorrah. A town full of sinners getting wiped out for their sins. Of course, in reality, this could be any town or every town on the planet.
The initial riff dates back to something I wrote during my time in Red Star Rebels but it was a bit too much of a classic heavy rock riff to work with what we were doing at the time.
A Fear of Violence
A Fear of Violence began life as an exercise in writing a psychedelic 60s-style song. It was originally called The Science of You and was my attempt at trying to shoehorn science into a song about falling in love. I just couldn’t get it to work until I accidentally started playing the same riff but with a higher gain setting. Suddenly, the music side of it clicked.
I ditched the lyrics because they sounded like I was trying too hard to make them work. Instead, the idea came to me of writing the track from the perspective of a world leader. A master of puppets who lets others do their dirty work. Once I had the main theme down the lyrics came easy.
I started imagining some mash-up of world leaders, flamboyant dictators, used car salesman-like Presidents and bureaucratic Prime Ministers moving their chess pieces to grab more power and influence. Then faltering as their reign crumbles and they’re facing a citizens revolt or military coup.
I had a lot of fun writing this song and even more fun making the music video. I recorded it at home in my living room using a green screen. The graphics were a mix of old photos I’d take mashed up with some graphics that I created in Photoshop.
Down & Out
As mentioned before, Down & Out is one of the first songs I wrote. It started life filled with angsty teenage lyrics so for The Attic Transmission, I decided to revamp them based on a more adult subject – wealth, poverty and crumbling financial institutions.
Rewriting the lyrics was a cathartic experience for me, as is often the case when I write about subjects close to my heart. My wife and I had got a mortgage for a house in the months before the financial crash of 2008. To say we were struggling to keep the house is an understatement. We were working our arses off just to make ends meet and once buoyant social life was now nonexistent. I was working two jobs but it still wasn’t enough. Meanwhile, the fat cat bankers were being bailed out by the government and their high-worth shareholders and directors still getting six, seven or eight-figure payouts and bonuses.
Writing a scathing attack on these failed systems certainly helped me stay sane through those difficult times.
After I bailed on the idea of self-releasing The Attic Transmission in 2013 I entered a period of apathy with regards to making music. I just didn’t think I was good enough for it to be worth me putting in the effort. I instead got my kicks riding motorcycles and filled the creative void by making videos about my rides.
I still intended to return to writing and performing music at some point but with a day job, I couldn’t fit everything in that I wanted to. Music would have to wait, motorcycles was my new drug of choice.
Then the first UK Covid Lockdown happened. Non-essential journeys were not allowed and my job was placed on furlough, so motorcycling was out. All I could do was stay at home, drink and soak up the glorious sunshine we enjoyed that spring.
This got boring rather quickly. After a couple of weeks, I was getting bored so I grabbed my acoustic guitar for something to do while I was sunbathing.
Some songs write themselves and Fortitude was one of them that just rolled off my guitar. I have always found that songwriting helps me deal with what’s going on in my life and that was certainly the case with this track.
I had initially written the basics of Fortitude during a particularly dark episode the previous year. I had poured a whisky, picked up my guitar and started playing. By the time I had emptied my whisky glass Fortitude was complete and my state of mind had improved dramatically.
A year on I found myself playing through Fortitude once more. It just seemed like such an apt song for the times, not just for me but for so many people. After my sixth or seventh mojito, an idea formed in my head.
The following morning I woke unusually early and proceeded to my near-abandoned home studio in the attic and began recording. By lunchtime, the sun had forced me out of the attic. It can become an oven up there during the summer but I had managed to lay down the basics of Fortitude and I celebrated by making myself a cocktail and once again heading to the garden to sunbathe.
I repeated this over the course of the next couple of weeks and before I realised what I was doing, Fortitude had been released. My first proper solo release!
I needed a way to bridge the gap between The Attic Transmission and the bonus material The Attic Sessions. So, I fabricated this ‘live’ introduction as a way of explaining the change in production.
Your Heart is a Combustion Engine and It’s Spitting Flames, So Get It On!
The first of the songs that I’d written for a band that never came to be. I’d just passed my motorcycle licence when I wrote this and I wanted to convey the feeling of freedom that it gave me. I kept the title long on purpose, just to dick with people!
I’d like to revisit this track with a full band at some point in the future.
Time Travel Shuffle
My wife and I were driving up from our house to her Mums in Nottingham and for some reason, I asked her what the distance had been from door-to-door. 98.9 was the reply I got.
For the initial lyric run that was the working title for Time Travel Shuffle, though I changed it to 88 miles prime. The lyrics are a little shoe-horned together and I don’t have any intention of this track getting past the demo stage.
This track actually goes back to before my time in Red Star Rebels. It was originally called “Yes, I’m A Cliche”. Lyrically, it’s pretty self-explanatory. It’s someone shouting off about how badass they are. Musically it’s a raw garage rock style number that I’m really quite proud of. Sure, this track is a demo here but you will hear it again in an evolved state in the future!
Ace Cafe Grind
I really like the riff that I wrote here but I’m not as impressed by my lyrics. As a song, it lacks something and I’ve never been able to rework it into something better. It’s a shame because I really like that riff.
Moto Vloggin’ (Theme From Dazzle Rebel Rides)
Write the theme tune, sing the theme tune! As mentioned earlier, I spent a number of years riding motorcycles and making videos about them. Rather than settle for stock YouTube music I wrote my own theme tune!
The Whore Next Door
When my wife and I moved into our first house we were plagued with a noisy neighbour. I wrote this song specifically so that I could put the speakers of my PA system against the wall and crank out this tune every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night that she decided to have a party. I was only 26/27 but living next to her made me feel positively middle age!
Even though it was meant as a joke, I actually quite like this song and you’ll hear it again in its final form at some point in the future.