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PARADOX LOST : from Immortal Ghosts to Pulse-8 © T. Yahaya Abdullah

Pulse 8 [1985 - 1986]

Photo from 1986 - (L-R) Jason Kelly, Yahaya Abdullah.

PULSE 8 : 1985'Q3 ~ 1986'Q3
Jason Kelly, Yahaya Abdullah
Time was running out for me to stay in the UK so, in the spring of 1985, Steve Morgan and I decided that this was to be our big stab at the elusive recording deal. I composed music for some new songs and, by that summer, we had recorded the instruments on multi-track in the studio (Steve was working there as audio-engineer). I had to go abroad for 2 months so I left Steve to mix it.

When I came back, Steve still hadn't mixed it. I was so disappointed and angry. To teach him a lesson, I kicked him out of the band. Perhaps I was a bit harsh. It had been summer after all… And he was working too!

Anyway, I then turned to Jason Kelly to join the band. Ironically, it was Steve Morgan who had earlier introduced Jason to be our vocalist/ singer. Jason and I had to start the music-making process all over again.

When I first met Jason Kelly, he had long dreadlocks. He did chop it off soon after but this was just the kind of guy that he was. Jason had the looks and attitude of a band's front-man. He played guitar too. Together, Jason and I got on with the job of making our "demo" tape.

By November 1985, I had finished recording all the background instruments on cassette 4-track. I was then using a Roland TR-707 drum-machine with a Yamaha CX-5 computer synth. Jason then wrote the lyrics and melody.

Jason and I spent many afternoons at my apartment recording the vocals. We didn't have sound-proofing and so we were affected by the outside traffic noises. By the end of February 1986, we had finished final mixing! The "demo" was ready. We had made the right noises.

After pushing the demo-tape here and there, a contact in the music industry finally managed to get us a concert at the London Hippodrome. And, we were told, the recording industry's representatives would attend to hear us play.

A gig at the London Hippodrome was quite a big thing so I re-recorded the music at a friend's studio to make a backing-tape. The plan for the concert was that Jason would sing and I would play guitar so the backing-tape had the music of all the other instruments. Simple!

Unfortunately, the Hippodrome concert would prove to be a disaster for us. Everything was fine during sound-check and rehersal. I remember us being in great spirits and very excited just moments before our stage appearance (it was using a through-the-floor hydraulic lift). The crowd cheered… I signalled to the sound-man to play the tape… I got ready to play. Then we heard this strange muffled sound which we vaguely recognised as our music. Something had gone terribly wrong! Without being able to hear our backing-tape, we just can't play live. The sound-man stopped the tape, rewound it and re-played it again… still muffled! Rewind and play the tape again but to no avail.

Still on stage live, Jason got angry and made comments to the audience about Hippodrome's competence. The hydraulic lift started to take us back below stage… and that wasn't the only thing that was sinking!

Later, I went up to the sound-area to check on the backing-tape reel. It had been threaded in upside-down which is why the sound was unintelligible. Obviously, after sound-check, someone had over-rewound the reel and didn't thread the tape in correctly.

We had to redeem ourselves and a pub-gig was quickly organised. This time it went well. It wasn't very packed but the crowd enjoyed themselves and had a good time. That night, Jason and I played perfectly. While people were patting us on the back and congratulating us, a certain sadness came over us… This is how the Hippodrome gig should have been!

A month later in October 1986, time had run out for me. I left England to go home to Malaysia where a normal working career awaited me.

The Pulse-8 repertoire is represented here from two recording sources:-
- Behind The Smile, It Haunts Me, Hand On Heart, Long Run, What I'm Needing and Summer Again are from the final "demo" recorded at my flat in Pembroke Road.
- Somebody Somewhere is a test recording at my flat of the song in uncompleted stage.

Behind The Smile • 3:01 1985'Nov demo 563KB 24kHz 24Kb/s
It Haunts Me • 2:54 1985'Nov demo 511KB 24kHz 24Kb/s
Hand On Heart • 2:39 1985'Nov demo 469KB 24kHz 24Kb/s
Long Run • 2:26 1985'Nov demo 430KB 24kHz 24Kb/s
What I'm Needing • 3:23 1985'Nov demo 598KB 24kHz 24Kb/s
Summer Again • 4:00 1985'Nov demo 705KB 24kHz 24Kb/s
Somebody Somewhere • 5:17 1986'Jun test-backing 930KB,24kHz 24Kb/s

Pulse 8 - All music was written by Yahaya Abdullah - All lyrics by Jason Kelly (except What I'm Needing lyrics by Jason Kelly & Yahaya Abdullah).

Backstage at the Hippodrome after the stage appearance, Hippodrome's management told us that Jason had acted unprofessionally by bad-mouthing them on-stage. But we could make things OK if we'd to apologise and also say that Jason was wrong. My reply was that we'd apologise to make them feel better but I wasn't going admit that Jason had done wrong! I knew exactly what Jason felt on-stage. All our work was ruined. And what's the point of being "the good guy" now when your future just melted away? I'm not sure if there is a moral to this story. I guess I'm saying that we must take pride in our work and, perhaps we can compromise a bit but, maintain a high level of expected quality. Don't sink below this or you risk becoming that which you detest.

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