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Stop-Time / Threshold / If

Key 75

Perpetual Emotion Machine / Key

from The Unforetold / Candor

2009 / 2023

Stop-Time was my attempt to do something that sounded like Oliver Lieb. I considered it unfinished when I put it on The Unforetold, but at the time I couldn’t figure out where else to go with it.

It begins with some found sounds of a mall which loop detectably. Bowed string sounds fade in and gradually a tech-trance vibe sets in. It all culminates in an epic chord progression with a choral pad that I just love. Where it ends, I intended to phase into another song with the same energy but instead it just fades out.

The feel of the song was to reflect feelings of anxiety I was feeling about how things were not as they once were — things were changing too fast. I was getting older. I wanted things back the way they were. This theme was later recaptured in a different way when I retooled the song for the as yet unfinished album, The Worry Box.

After the sudden death of my partner in 2014 I wrote many poems, and one was called If. At some point in 2014 I incorporated the poem into Stop / Time within the major chord progression, remixing it and adding additional elements at the end to accommodate the lyrics. I also added a vocal part where I am providing my own background vocals in three-part harmony. I re-titled it Threshold / If.

The new lyrical portion of the song was something I kept to myself until I was working on Candor, when I decided to re-record it as a ballad. I chose not to keep any of the trance elements of the song for the album, however, you can hear the original version buried in the mix, heavily filtered and reverbed.

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Perpetual Emotion Machine

The first version, from The Unforetold.

written, produced and arranged by Perpetual Emotion Machine. ©2010 Key.

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Perpetual Emotion Machine

This is a new version of the above, with an extended ending which includes lyrics to a new song called If. This version is remastered from the original 2015 recording.

written, produced and arranged by Perpetual Emotion Machine. ©2015 Key.

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The re-recorded version from Candor, in a ballad style.

written, produced and arranged by Key. ©2023 Key.