A site dedicated to the music and musing of Carl Strempler

Month: March 2011


I’ve always been fascinated by poly-rhythmic devices in music, playing one time signature against the other. In this latest installment of my Oasis series I’m exploring the push and pull of rhythms which puts me in mind of a bustling market where events synchronize and then clash. At times edgy and frantic. At times harmonious.

Note: On April 7 I adjusted this tune slightly to pan a part left to right toward the end of the song to add some interest and “motion”.


Second in the Oasis series, this is Progress. The organic gives way to the relentless push forward. The grit of sand gives way to the grit of industry. The tune builds as guitars come in and grind it out for dominance. Perhaps there should be a ? at the end of Progress.

The synth pads are a combination of Rapture and Dimension Pro. The lead sound off the top is typical Lyle Mays, tone reminicent of a flute. The guitar sounds are the PRS McCarty -> Fulltone OCD -> Swart AST -> AxeTrak isolation cab so it can be turned way up for a thick tone. Even the bass is recorded through the Swart for added grind.

Note: April 8, I made some adjustments to the mix. I noticed when I was listening back that the synth lead sound was a bit too high in the mix. I also extended the ending so the reverb wasn’t being cut off.


I’m not sure what it is but I just can’t get this out of my head. It might be the dissonant notes colliding. Maybe it is the off kilter openness. So here we go, a series of recordings I’m calling the “Oasis” project (working title only) and here is the first track. The guitar track is the PRS -> T-Rex Replica -> Swart AST. I’m experimenting with some synth textures thanks to the Dimension Pro plug-in.

Just One Touch

On the last Saturday of every month I have the opportunity to play 2-3 hours in what I would call a free-form worship night at our church, Gateway Christian Community, an event we call Reveal. There is no agenda or song list. It doesn’t matter if only 5 people show up, we are there to play in a pure worship setting for an audience of One. No holds barred, full on. It is an opportunity to really dig in and play from the heart. I’ve been reaching to communicate a sense of desperation and hunger through the guitar. Last Saturday I felt I tapped into that. This music is all improvised and created on the spot. I’m using a Strat -> Diamond Memory Lane 2 -> Fuchs Extreme Cream -> ToneKing Metropolitan. The recording was done with a Zoom H1 from the back of the room, a gymnasium, which explains much of the muddiness. All the wild oscillating and clicking sounds at 2:28 are coming from the guitar courtesy of the Diamond Memory Lane. As the repeats are turned up on this effect the self-oscillating begins. I manipulate the Delay control while playing to cause the notes to bend at 1:50 and 2:10. The Depth control manipulates the flanging and bending tones in the delay itself. Flanging the delay in this way emulates the old tape delays where the tape would stretch and pull as the tape dragged at different tensions against the rollers. This pedal is all analog and, once you get a feel for all the knobs, it produces some very interesting and what I consider very musical sounds. I get goosebumps when Elyse comes in with the vocal every time.

Mary MacLean – keyboards
Elyse MacLean – vocals
Roger Larios – percussion
Mark Silvestro – drums
Carl Strempler – guitar
Joel Friesen – bass

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