Phase 6: Horn Section
With the core band finished, the next step was to record the other musicians in the extended line-up, starting with the horn section. Though typically a five-piece band, over the years we have been increasing our numbers, inviting additional musicians to our performances. This was mostly a result of being inspired by bands and musicians like "Earth, Wind and Fire", "James Brown", "Stevie Wonder", "Tower of Power", "The Temptations", etc. Throughout the 70s, live music performances were possibly the largest form of entertainment, and funk music was at the forefront of this movement. The extended line-ups, up-beat music and entertaining performances evoked an almost tribal response from the audience. Given our style of music, it was only natural that we would extend our numbers in order to achieve the same effect.
During the pre-production phases, Joseph scripted out the parts for the horns, a quartet consisting of two trumpets, a saxophone and a trombone. The parts were very much inspired by the funk bands mentioned earlier, but perhaps the most prominent influence is the band "Tower of Power", one of Joe's all time favorite bands. Two members of the quartet actually have quite some history with Relikc, as they have been joining us on stage for a couple of years, ever since we started experimenting with extended line-ups. Mark Farrugia (on trumpet) and Clive Micallef (on saxophone) have performed with us many times and were a key component of our inspiration during the songwriting process of a few songs. Alex Taylor (also on trumpet) and Joseph Borg (on trombone) are our latest recruits and they fit in with the other two very quickly.
The horns were recorded over the course of three days, playing the parts as transcribed and making some small adjustments along the way. Each instrument was recorded using a total of three microphones; an AKG C414 EB as a close mic, and two Cole STC 4038 ribbon microphones set up inside the room to capture the natural ambiance. The tracks sound good on their own, but of course, the vibe created by the horn section together is greater than the sum of its parts. We're very excited to hear how the horn section will complement the core band, at times carrying the hooks, and other times playing counterpart melodies and harmonies.