Home | PH 68-80 CDs | Discography | Lyrics for this CD

Enter k
Peter Hammill

1. Paradox Drive
2. The Unconscious Life
4. The Great Experiment
5. Don't Tell Me
6. She wraps it up
7. Happy Hour
8. Seven Wonders*

*extra track on Fie! CD release

Recorded at Sofa Sound, Wiltshire (8 track analogue)
and Crescent Studios, Bath 1982

Mixed at Crescent

Engineered by PH (Rodney Sofa) and DAVID LORD
Produced by PH

Musicians: GUY EVANS (Brain) drums, percussion
JOHN ELLIS (Fury) guitars
NIC POTTER (Mozart) bass
PH (k)vox, keyboards, guitar

with DAVID JACKSON sax (2,8)

Photography by Jo Swan
Original cover by Steve Byrne and Valerie Hawthorne
Recovered by Ridart 2003
Remastered by PH 2003

"Enter k" is very much a hybrid set of recordings which makes up a pair with "Patience". By the time of recording the k group was in full effect, having been formed to tour with songs from "Sitting Targets" and "A Black Box". As I've said elsewhere, not exactly a Beat Group but probably the closest ensemble I've ever been in which would come under that category. The personnel on "k" are, of course, the k group - with additional contributions from David Jackson.

In spite of our road-ready state as a group, though, I wasn't quite ready to do a full-on studio recording. Nor did I really have material available which would be suitable for a live (-ish) in the studio approach. Instead, I decided on a mixed approach: half of the material would be worked up in familiar solo in Sofa Sound fashion, to be overdubbed later; the rest would be rehearsed and recorded as in the old days. This seemed to make options for both experimentation and surety as wide as possible.

Of the Sofa Sound songs, "The Unconscious Life" and "Don't Tell Me" are the piano neo-ballads and in so far as there is such a thing conform to familiar Hammill blueprints structurally and sonically. "She Wraps it Up" approaches the pop song (in my understanding of the term) and the organ part in particular nods towards the "bop shoo-wop de bop bop shoo-wop"s of the 1960s. "Accidents" is something else entirely and in construction and execution owes a passing debt to the experimentation of "The Future Now"/"pH7" era. Brain, Mozart and Fury applied ornamentation - which at times became almost structural - with intuitive sympathy to all of these pieces once they'd been transferred from 8 track to 24 in what was then Crescent, later to become Terra Incognita.

We had a month for recording and mixing in Crescent; just about the right period of time to give us a bit of leeway but keep the pressure on. Many polaroid shots; a daily bedecking of the control room with flowers...more set dressing than Summer of Love, this; and a note pinned above the mixing desk stating "Day 3" &c. If the destination was somewhat unknown, the passage of time at least was marked. The chart of track listings (absent on previous CD releases but present on the newly remastered version) is an exact replica of a hand-written one which was also posted up in Sofa and Crescent's control room for the duration.

If memory serves, we rehearsed the "live" songs in the studio; I certainly don't recall run-throughs anywhere else. So the freshness of performance was fuelled by the just-learned as well as by innate energy. We probably played all of these tunes to more powerful effect later on, when they were fully bedded in (as on "The Margin +"), but there was certainly something to be said for the passion of immediate discovery.

For a "beat group" record the lyrical content is quite challenging and neo-philosophical. There is much here on the nature of unconscious life, whether sub-awake or in sleep mode. The inexorability of unrushing (deliberate) accidents - and changes - of life also feature heavily. As for the "real life" songs, "Don't Tell Me" has always been for me something of a Balearic screenplay, with that strange island sense of being in more than one space and time simultaneously to the fore; "Happy Hour" is a glimpse into a darker mirror. The particular bar I had in mind was in Hamburg, by the way. "She Wraps it Up" is, frankly, pretty whacky for a pop song: sometimes people do blow up in front of your face, possibly regarding the observation of the explosion as some kind of gift.... Clearly this is the obverse side of the coin of Energy Vampirism; and more, rather than less, demanding.

The masters were evidently originally intended for vinyl, still the only game in town at that time. In the new remastering I've attempted to apply the same sonic processing as washed over the VdGG Box set and, indeed, "The Margin +"; I hope that the end result gives back some analogue oomph to the digital experience.

The album was released on Gordian Troeller's freshly minted Naive label (which lasted, oh, a good couple of years or so). At the time he was managing Orchestral Manouvres in the Dark, which must have been a blessed relief after the VdGG years. The charts were, needless to say, untroubled by its appearance. This remains good stuff.

And the k group really was something else....

Oh, finally, why "k"? The prophet of unlikely ventures; the constant unknown. Graham Smith gave me the name; he said he could spot a "k" mission in the offing from the look in my eyes. I hope some of that remains even in my approaching dotage.

The above Artists's notes are, frankly, pretty unreliable and may be changed or edited at a moment's notice.
Only what you hear on the CD is to be taken as approaching the truth.