“An exploration of acid, concrete and fuel.”
I started this project in 2000 as an experiment / learning project. At the time, the enforcement of sample licensing had become very real. I had always enjoyed the electronic wall of samples we had created with RRG and, still to this day, often think in terms of sampling when I write. Not so much vocal samples or signature samples, but a lot of what you ever heard with RRG or FH were built off of sampling – the beats were twisted and manipulated to form something unrecognizable and our own. A large part of the art of what we did was sample manipulation. We were pretty good at it!
Anyway, time passes and suddenly, we can’t sample stuff without getting sued. Fair enough. Back then, licensing samples was a nightmare process that cost way more than we ever would have made back. So, I looked for other options. Consumer level computers were making a really big push into home studios. You could do things that didn’t require a million dollar system right on your PC with a $500 software program.
Strange Highways was the result.
All of the sounds and samples on this album (that were not created on my own keyboards/guitars) were licensed. It was an interesting challenge – buying licensed material means you aren’t in as much control of the original sound source as I was used to, so turning this mush of sound into something like a song wasn’t an easy process. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to learn the ins and outs of (then clunky) DAW software.
About the concept: It’s no secret that I like to drive. I have spent many an hour by myself in the car going to shows or whatnot. The idea in starting this was to capture the crazy moods and stories that run through my head when I’m driving around America’s fading highway system by myself.
Yes, there is a story. Yes, the project has continued and grown since 2000. I’ve now gotten away from the licensed samples and am back to my old self… I’m just not sampling commercial property. The project has evolved into the soundtrack to an interactive movie that I hope someday sees the daylight. There will be more RFH releases. This album is simply establishing ground zero.
A warning: This album isn’t going to be for everyone. It sounds nothing like SDR, RRG or FH. It isn’t about the notes being played or having a catchy hook. My goal was to create moods. If you listen to it and say to yourself, “that’s not music.” Well, you may be right. Creating “songs” was never the point. I’m just trying to make you feel what I feel when I drive. Trying to get you to start talking to yourself, looking over your shoulder to make sure someone’s not in your back seat, making up your own stories, enjoying your own Strange Highways…
Thanks and I hope you enjoy the ride! – RFH
Please Note: Strange Highways does not sell digital music directly. The link to purchase this download will re-direct to AmazonMP3. We provide links to local band releases that are not available on CD or Vinyl as a courtesy and for your convenience.