depresleys’ Topanga Trilogy

The whole thing began in Krokstadelva, Norway, and Topanga Canyon, California, a long time ago and “on a planet far away,” as they say.

In previous notes I related how the depresleys had come to stay and record at my home post-production film-mixing studio, Apparatus, in Topanga Canyon.

The depresleys had settled into my studio overlooking Will Rogers State Park. We were literally camping out and doing round-the-clock recording sessions in shifts, occupying both studio A (upstairs) and studio B (downstairs) in between catnaps. We spent our meager spare time catching sun and the magnificent view, and hanging out with the eccentric locals and Blue, the official Apparatus studio dawg.

We had committed to producing an ambitious body of work, encompassing literally hundreds of songs. Obviously we had to start somewhere, so I was assigned the task of picking the tunes for the first 30-song batch.

The ensuing collections came eventually to be viewed as three stylistically distinct “albums,” comprising a trilogy that bore the distinct depresleys musical style and our unique collective sonic stamp, flavored by that time in Topanga.

The three albums were eventually completed pretty much in reverse order in terms of  production chronology:

Starting with collection 1: A 12-song collection named Leaking Blue that represented years of development and that we considered to be our “masterwork” at the time.

Next was collection 2: The six-track Cosmic People, which was a more danceable, techno-rock project that allowed us to put together, in a coherent grouping, songs that did not fit the aesthetic flow of Leaking Blue.

Collection 3 of the Topanga Trilogy: The 12-song collection, Topanga, which turned out to be leaner and a bit more muscular, in a sci-fi Western, depresleys-storytelling way.

Additionally during this period, a fourth significant collection emerged, based on a complete “concept-album” story line created by Jon Ravneng and Geir Weggersen, known as The Pearl. That will be the fourth and final Topanga album, and it will see release in the near future.