A song a week #2: Payday

Payday is the second track in our weekly series “A song a week”. Payday was the second track on our first cassette “In Fact”, and was recorded some time in the late 80’s, most likely in 1989.

Payday is made using only the Yamaha V50  and its internal sequencer. Well, almost. The “intro” being a number of coins dropped on a mirror, recorded straight to tape (we didn’t own a sampler) is the only sound not originating from Yamaha’s wondrous work station.


This was a very different machine than the Roland D-20 we had used up until we got the V50. Using FM synthesis and sporting a step programmer in the sequencer we made good use of these features. Payday is using what is probably a number of presets, especially the bells in the chorus and the drums. What makes the sound in this song for me is the square lead playing the hook in the chorus. Together with those bells, it really gives of that great 80’s vibe.

Of course I am partial, but I think the vocals on this track sound great! They’ve got that “blues-y” feeling that made Art Fact special. I really don’t know where my inspiration came from to sing that way – none of my then-heroes sang that way, and it’s certainly not a very “synth” vocal sound, which I’m grateful for now, since it sounds better than most contemporary vocals.

The verse is nothing but drums, bass and vocals. This is typical for the naive productions we made back then, and the thing is that we simply didn’t know any better. We didn’t know what to put there, so we thought we were done. Today it sounds extremely minimalist, but it’s purely by accident.

For some reason, we decided that adding a drum fill after the title word “Payday” is sung in the song would be cool. What is not cool though, is the poorness of said drum fill. Listen for it. :)

Listen on Spotify.

Buy on iTunes.


A song a week #1: Whom Are You Dancing For?

Starting today, we will try to say a few words about every Art Fact song. Starting with Whom Are You Dancing For?, this was far from the first song we ever wrote or recorded, but it’s the first track we released (if you can call hand-copied cassettes “releases”). Listening to it now it sounds like one of those tracks that started by just tinkering with some drums and bass sounds. There is quite a lot of borrowed stuff in this song, from the typical octave bass (from Depeche Mode´s Photographic) to some lyrics like “life in itself” and “they can’t get no / satisfaction”. On this particular track I remember that Måns showed the lyrics to his English teacher, who wanted him to change the title to the more grammatically correct “WHO are you dancing for?”. Claiming his artistic freedom, Måns refused to change it.

The track is done using just the Roland D-20. It was probably completed at Olle’s house. The drums are quite busy, but at this point we didn’t use any hihat since that sounded too much like a rock drummer. I remember that we recorded the harp-like arpeggio by hand, slowing the tempo down quite a bit. We also automated the stereo panning a lot, which still sounds pretty good I think.

Overall it’s a very minimalist track. In the chorus it’s just drums, bass and vocals! But at the time I think we didn’t know what else to put in there.

Listen on Spotify.

Buy on iTunes.