Dday One's fifth album Gathered Between has a fascinating backstory that helped shape its captivating instrumental hip hop soundscapes. It was meant to be his second long-player, but a hard drive crash destroyed songs, files, and ideas necessary to complete the project. Eventually Dday One revisited the lost album, reconstructing the beats and sample arrangements from memory, giving Gathered Between an unintended but connecting theme of recollection and retrieving things presumed to be forgotten.
We caught up with Dday One to ask him about the curious origins of Gathered Between and what it was like to work on such a compelling project.
How long did you work on the original album before the hard drive crash? How far along to completion were you? What was your reaction to discovering it was gone, and how did you cope?
Dday One: I started working on the original version of Gathered Between in 2010 and worked on it for about a year and a half before the hard drive crash occurred. At the time of the crash I would say I was about halfway done with the album. I was so focused on the process that I forgot to back up the files during the recording and unfortunately I erased the disc that contained the source files.
When it first happened I was devastated but looking back now I believe it occurred for a reason because immediately after the crash, while searching for samples on disc, I ended up finding the sole surviving audio tape of my unofficial debut Mood Algorithms which up till that point was nowhere to be found. So I ended up digitizing and remastering Mood Algorithms which was released instead of Gathered Between. The whole experience got me in the habit of digitizing and archiving a lot of material that I forgot about which ended up becoming the foundation for the album that followed plus some remixes. So in hindsight it all kind of worked out.
What made you decide to reconstruct this album, rather than just working on a new one? Why do it now, rather than right after the first version was lost?
Dday One: Well, right after the first version was lost I switched gears and channeled my energy into remastering Mood Algorithms and working on a live set so the idea of completing the album got put on the back burner. Then about a year and a half ago I stumbled across notes I wrote while working on the first version of Gathered Between and thought it would be great to revisit the project by creating a totally new album inspired by the initial concept.
What exactly did you have left to work with when you set about creating this album? Can you describe the process?
Dday One: About half of tracks were already done, so my work was to reconstruct the remaining tracks. This process involved going over rough sketches from the initial recording that were on tapes and then relying on memory to find the samples from mostly vinyl that I previously used. Since my record collection had grown and my workflow changed since the first time around, the process was quite laborious but also rewarding. In some cases with tracks like "Years Ago" and "Out of the Shadows" the only thing I had to work with as a reference was the original track listing written down on paper. So in those cases I had to reflect on why I picked the specific title, and of course I could not think that far back so I ended up recreating the tracks based on what the song title meant to me while recording for this time of around.
The album has a very ‘deep’ vibe to it. Are there any particular meanings or stories behind any of the tracks on Gathered Between?
Dday One: The tracks came from a deep personal place so I am thankful that the overall vibe was preserved and was able to carry over to the listening experience. As far as stories, well besides the already known back story and overall concept I'd rather keep the specific meanings open. I would much rather the listener derive their own personal meanings without my influence.
Is there a sort of feeling of closure to getting Gathered Between recorded and released? Now, what is next for Dday One?
Dday One: Yes, releasing Gathered Between has brought about enormous closure and personal satisfaction. Definitely thankful to finally be able to close this chapter and looking forward to starting the next. Stay updated at ddayone.com.
Dday One's Gathered Between is out now on The Content Label.