In early 2010, I went on a business trip to Europe for two weeks. On the last night of the trip, March 11, I stayed in an airport hotel in Stuttgart, Germany, because I had an early flight out the next morning. On the flight over to Europe, I'd stopped over in London for the weekend so I could visit my life-long musical partner and friend Tim and his wife SherryAnn out at their place in Kent. Our old friend Paul even stopped by, of Paul Explosion and the Digitally Insane. I'd brought over two mics and an M-Audio FastTrack Pro USB audio interface, and did a little recording with them using GarageBand on Tim's Mac mini, which resulted in the album Chimney Cats.

But that's another story. In the box with the FastTrack Pro was a copy of Ableton Live 8 Lite, for both Mac and Windows. I'd installed it on my work PC, a Dell Inspiron D610, I think. I'd messed around with it a little in the hotel in Ludwigsburg earlier in the trip, but this was the first time I really had time to explore and do some recording. And for that, it's not much. I was exploring a basic Live session and this electronic groove came up as some sort of preset. It sounded like the background music I'd heard in nearly every restaurant and shop all over Germany, a synthetic Eurodisco pulse. I figured out how to record two mics on my travel guitar, my Martin Backpacker, while listening to the drum loop, and that's all this is. I improvised a vocal about my day and my wanting to be home, about being worried about my wife and our new puppy Caico who we'd only had since December, and about not wanting to have to hop back on a plane once I got home to go "hand-hold Ford" in Detroit. (Ha!)

I also remember there was some pretty substantial latency with that setup, such that I heard a ~200ms slapback echo of myself in the headphones. I'm playing with that slapback when I shift into that really cool offbeat rhythm around the 4:00 mark.

This was released on my 2013 album all over the map, which has songs recorded in or inspired by trips to Germany, Jamaica, Belgium, Anguilla, and the Turks & Caicos Islands, as well as at home in Ithaca, NY, and West Windsor, VT.

Thanks for listening!



hey baby 
I'm in Germany
on my last night
before coming home, yeah!

somebody from Hyundai
had a heart attack in the office today
and I've been worried about you
and our doggy

I wanna come home right now
I don't wanna go off on a plane again
I don't wanna go and hand-hold Ford, no, no
nothing appeals about going to Detroit

nothing appeals at all about 
being away from home again
nothing appeals at all about
a heart attack

and everywhere I go in Germany
this constant background music
constant Eurodisco
little synthetic beat
not so loud
not so discreet

improvised live on 11 March 2010
©2010 by Andy Wyatt

download: Stuttgart.mp3