For a long time, this was considered my most professional and polished track. Since I felt that it was far enough along to be presentable, I made it my first submission to the Wires series. Somehow, people actually liked it as much as I did.

This song started off as a set of experiments. Alone in my room, I pecked out a few measures of an arpeggio on my PSS-470 (harder than it seems), trimmed down the clip to two measures, and made it into a loop. It had a neat sound. The PSS-470 also had a rudimentary five-piece drum machine on it, and the snare, pitch-shifted up, made a better hi-hat than the one built into the keyboard, so I made a 1/16 note loop of that. In my experimentation, I discovered that a pretty decent drum-n-bass rhythm could be made by taking that snare-hat track and echoing it a 1/32 note after the hits, and through careful altering of the volume envelope and pitch, turn it into a snare rush. And I ran with that. Built a varied four-bar beat, turned it into a loop and dropped it into another project file with the arpeggio, and I had the makings of a song.

I was also curious about kicks. The keyboard's kick was anemic on the bass end, but had a decent midrange presence. So that became a rhythm to break up the sound into a rhythm progression. Something more...ah yes, the true bass kick on the 1 and 3 beats; I had a song with two bass drums.

And then one thing lead to another; vocals...that's really my voice singing the repeated words "Come with the shores of Tripoli." I don't remember where the words came from; they just flowed. In afterthought, it became fitting, because though I wanted to convey a sense of getting away from it all, the shoreline city of Tripoli was the scene of intense and bloody battles during World War II. Thousands died there, and somehow it becomes the destination for escape in this song. But in the "Long Drive Home" concept, this was to be a love song. Well, with the heavy connotations of the destination weighing down on the romantic idea, it put the song into a new spin. Good love gone warlike.

I came to like the track more, and the more I liked, the more I added. It had the vocals, so it needed the melody track to mirror the vocals. I recorded that on the PSS-470 and dug the sound, but it needed something special. Well, Cool Edit 95 has a feature called "brainwave synchronization", which does funny, pseudoscientific things to stereo sounds in the goal of "modulating your brain waves" into a state of relaxation, concentration, or alertness. Sensory science aside, what it did to sounds in the "alpha waves" settings really, really brought the sound out of the speakers and filled the soundstage with the smoothest vibe. I was in love.

Then, the bassline; it needed a riding, rolling bassline, dry but rich. And then somewhere in the playback, I started hearing overtones, and those overtones made a new part necessary. They sang the notes that I'd later supplement with the flute. The monotonic chord structure of the song necessitated more and more of the smooth stuff, so the vocoded vocals were born from the main vocal loop modulated with the melody loop. Smooth, smooth, smooth.

Finally, it made itself known to me: this song was to be polished into a largely European electronica vibe. I heard Kraftwerk. I heard BBC sci-fi soundtracks. I heard German new wave and the late night songs of my youth. I heard a synthetic choir singing "Aaahhh". The quiet part in the middle, with the sub-bass breakdown like a thunder storm on the distant sea, followed by the snap back into the fullness of sound hammered it home; this was a song about strong love in trouble.

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