BASS FREQUENCIES – ‘Nothing Like a False Prophet’ ["Re-fleshed - Volume 7"]

BASS FREQUENCIES is a one-off collaborative project put together by Sydney bassist/composer Andrew Mortensen.
While working on remix ideas for “Re-Fleshed”, Andrew came up with the idea of having a song made completely by bass, but getting other players involved. He then sent out an invitation to numerous bass players and waited for their reply.
A number of players showed interest, but many had to pull our for various reasons. In the end, 6 players were involved, including Andrew.


Cam MacDonald, live with FSPC

Less is more. Cameron’s current main project is metal band Five Star Prison Cell. He likes to add his bottom end as elegantly and unassumingly as possible.
Whether he is successful is another question. But bass is his thing and discovering great ways to write music is what turns him on.
Five Star recently reformed to work on a new album, after officially disbanding in 2011.

Bass used on track:
Fender American Deluxe Jazz Bass V

Favourite bassists:
• Michael McIvor (Candiria)
John Paul Jones
John Deacon
Paul McCartney

Current bands/projects:
Five Star Prison Cell

Cameron’s comment:
“Hopefully I was able to compliment the track like the other excellent bass players that were a part of it. If not, I am still honoured to contribute.”

Andrew Mortensen’s comment:
“I met Cam over 10 years ago via an email list for Mr Bungle (and related projects) fans to connect – back before social media sites etc…
When Cam visited Sydney & stayed at my place for the first time, I’d only heard a little bit of his playing on his band Extra Virgin’s demo. It was great playing but it wasn’t until he showed me rough rehearsal demos of his new (at the time) band, Five Star Prison Cell, that I knew he was a monster player. I was blown away, with all aspects of his playing. Then they released their debut – again, I was really impressed. Then I saw him play that stuff live! Amazing stuff!
I love Cam’s playing – both technically as well as what he does in Five Star, keeping it simple – it’s music that needs space to breathe, and that’s what Cam does. Whether it be 1 note syncopated under a crazy guitar riff or playing fast technical lines, it always suits the song and grooves & breathes.
I love his tone and he has great knowledge of all genres and styles.
Really looking forward to the next album that Five Star do… the short snippets the band have leaked sound pretty damn crazy!”


Josh Munn

Josh Munn is a freelance bassist from Sydney. He studied at the Australian Institute of Music and has worked with numerous artists in numerous genres.

Bass used on track:
Fender Precision

Current bands/projects:
Takadimi + various freelance/session work.

Andrew’s comment:
I first met/heard Josh a few years back, when he was playing with Kristen Fletcher. I was playing a residency with pop-funk band Leroy and one week we had Kristen and her band support us.
As soon as they started playing I knew that the bassist could play. Good. Really good!
I watched as the bassist moved so smoothly all other the neck, with such finesse and ease. Then came the point in the set where the rhythm section did their solos. Josh’s solo was awesome! Nothing over-the-top or too fancy, just great melodic lines, with great phrasing. I was really impressed.
We exchanged a few words after the show, just telling each other how much we enjoyed each other’s sets.
A while later we bumped into each other at a friend’s party and got talking. I think I mentioned the bass-project idea then. Either way, when I posted online the idea, Josh responded. When I first listened to what he sent back I was so impressed & excited. He was also the first person drawn at random to play, so what he did is basically the foundation of this track. He’s a great player.


Matt Williams, live with Adrift For Days

Matt is a bassist from Sydney who is in high demand, playing in numerous projects of various styles. He has performed extensively around Australia and in 2009 was invited to Canadian Music Week in Toronto with Captains, who then travelled to the US to write and record with producer Rick Parker.
Since returning to Australia, Matt has played in various live theatre productions as well as fill in slots with bands like Godswounds, Speck, The Angry Darts, and La Tarantella. He was also a member of Captains (The Captain’s Package), The Head Gaskets (Jon Kenner), Stationmasters, and “The Birds Robe Collaboration Band: Still Scores”, produced by Nick Soole. He currently plays with Adrift for Days, Face Command, Hobo Bordeaux and Jackals.

Bass used on track:
G&L L2500 Tribute
Kala Ubass

Favourite bassists:
• Tim Smolens (Estradasphere)
John Maddox
Roscoe Beck
Victor Wooten
• Nick Delaney (Twelve Tone Diamonds)

Current bands/projects:
Adrift for Days
Face Command
Hobo Bordeaux

Matt’s YouTube channel

Andrew’s comment:
“I first met Matt when The Captains Package first got involved with Pseudo-Pop. Actually, I think their first Pseudo-Pop show might have been one opening for
Chewed Food.
I remember really liking the band, they had a cool mix of dark rock, funk-metal, with a crazy drummer and dual-vocals with great harmonies…. And underneath all that:
phat bottom-end.
I’ve always loved Matt’s playing. He has impeccable timing, and lays down simple, yet groovy and fat basslines – no matter what the style.
I love listening to all his little nuances in his playing, very, very subtle things he adds in that just add life to the song. Even in the huge drone-fuzz of Adrift For Days, he plays these great lines. He also has a great tone.
I feel that Matt and I are quite similar players too. At one stage, Nick Soole suggested he fill-in for me in Slimey Things, if a gig came up while I was away overseas. That never happened, but I would have loved to hear him play Slimey’s material.
He’s also one of the busiest players I know, being in numerous original projects – either filling-in or as a full-time member/writer. He’s also one of the most chilled people you could know.”


James Thomas, live with Dumbsaint

James is the bassist of Sydney post-rock band Dumbsaint.
He stopped ‘learning the guitar’ at 12 years old, after his teacher decided to quit. Since then he hasn’t had any proper lessons or training.
As James puts it, “When I pick up my bass to play, I do it for myself and I play it in my own way. I might not be very good at it. My band writes most of its music during long jam sessions in the rehearsal studio. Any time we get in a room to jam, I instinctively go straight to the very highest frets of the highest strings on my bass. I use a lot of effects. I don’t know what I’m doing….”

Bass used on track:
Sterling By Music Man SB14 plus effects BOSS CE-3 Chorus, BOSS RV-5 Digital Reverb and BOSS DD-20 Digital Delay.

Favourite bassists:
Jeff Caxide (Crone/ISIS)
Doug McCombs (Tortoise)
Paz Lenchantin
Maurice Beckett (Jakob/Desbot)
Justin Chancellor (Tool)

Current bands/projects:

James’s comment:
“What I did on the track & how I approached it… Well, the low stuff was already laid down when I got the track, so I just tried to add some high-end icing. I didn’t want to hog up all of the bass space, so I made sure that my parts were fairly sparse. My contributions ended up consisting of a lot of little licks and a few moody chords. I plugged my bass and effects pedals directly into the computer and recorded my parts using a very outdated program called Adobe Audition 1.0. The tracks came out sounding very hissy. I tried to minimise the noise using some filters in Audition, but it’s still pretty noticeable.”

Andrew’s comment:
“I first came across James and Dumbsaint when Serious Beak did a show with them. I had heard of them, but had never heard their music or seen them live. When I saw the set I was REALLY impressed. Great compositions that just take you away and fill your mind with cinematic visuals.
As their set went on, I closely watched James – his playing was so different to other bassists. I loved it.
After I got my hands on their album, I examined his playing further. He pulls really awesome ideas and sounds; it’s quite hypnotic at times.
Now when I catch a show of theirs, I just find myself focusing on James and what he’s doing.
He’s one solid bassist, even if he doesn’t think he is.


Todd Jacobs

After playing through instruments like piano, clarinet, and saxophone; Todd moved to playing bass at the age of 15. Since then he studied for a Bachelor of Music (Honours) at University of Western Sydney, playing in various bands and musicals during that time. Since finishing university, he started up an online gig-guide for Sydney called The Lyceum, and independent website that brings out weekly comprehensive gig guides, local music news, and upcoming launches/interesting gigs for all genres. As time settles down he is hoping to get back into writing/performing with a band again.

Bass used on track:
Ibanez SoundGear 5 string
Schecter Omen Extreme 5 string (Diamond Series)

Favourite bassists:
Trevor Dunn
Les Claypool
Tom Jenkinson (Squarepusher)
Esperanza Spalding
Cliff Burton

Current bands/projects:
DeLarge’s House of Mirrors

DeLarge’s House of Mirrors solo performance.

Todd’s comment:
Being the final bassist to add to the song, I wanted to approach it by looking at what areas could be buffed up, or filled in with an extra few notes or noise. There are two ways I performed for this piece to add a different texture on top of my additions: One way was using a small glass jar across the strings over the pickups to create a mix of a Theremin type sound closer to the neck, or a Violin type sound closer to the bridge. The second, was hitting the neck to create noise though I also wanted a distinct rhythm to be noticeable. Since rapping fingers on the neck made the strings react too much, I used a couple of whiteboard markers as drumsticks that gave a noticeable rhythm, sharper timbre, and didn’t cause the strings to be louder than the rhythm.

Andrew’s comment:
I first heard of Todd through Nick Soole who was tutoring him in bass/theory.
Nick said to me, “There’s this young kid who has just started to come to be for bass lessons. You’ve got to check him out! He has crazy chops and ideas! He’s playing an arrangement of the Psycho Suite for solo bass for his HSC – it’s awesome!”
A short time after Nick showed me a rough recording of Todd playing the composition (one of my favourite scores/composers). I was blown away!
Soon after, I saw Todd perform solo for a support slot for some generic rock-bands. His performance was intense. A mixture of improvisation, experimental techniques, noise, funk and weird vocals that reminded me of something that Arto Lindsay might do. Then he played the Psycho suite – seeing him do that live with no overdubs was amazing. He’s a really skilled player, and I’m looking forward to hearing more of him in the future.


Andrew live with Serious Beak

If you’re looking at this page, chances are you probably know me & who I am.
I’m the guy behind this whole AM Frequencies thing and the remix project. I started out playing clarinet as a child, then moving to bass as a teenager. When not at home making noise, I’m playing bass in Serious Beak and Gramafone Stash. I was also in Slimey Things.

Bass used on track:
Fender American Deluxe Jazz Bass V
Fender American Standard Jazz Bass Fretless

Favourite bassists:
Bill Laswell
Bootsy Collins
• Alex Webster (Cannibal Corpse, Blotted Science)
Michael Manring
Bill Gould (Faith No More)

Current bands/projects:
Serious Beak
Gramafone Stash
AM Frequencies

Andrew comment:
I just want to thank everyone who was involved and those who also expressed interest in being involved but had to pull out in the end for whatever reason.

12 – BASS FREQUENCIES  – ‘Nothing Like a False Prophet’


the original song from ‘Fleisch’

12. BASS FREQUENCIES – ‘Nothing Like a False Prophet’
Produced, mixed and conceived by Andrew Mortensen
Recorded & mixed at AM Frequencies, June 2012 & January 2014. Additional recording by the players.
Additional composition by the players (J.Munn/C.MacDonald/M.Williams/T.Jacobs/J.Thomas).
Original music by Andrew Mortensen
All sounds made by bass guitars.
© 2014 Andrew Mortensen /

As mentioned above, I had the idea & then sent out a post on Facebook asking for people interested in being involved. Many people replied, but over time had to pull out for various reasons.
I then put all the players names into a hat & drew them at random.
I then made an arrangement of “…Prophet..”
- B section, A section, B section extended -
Then I laid down some bass ‘drums’ using percussive techniques to create a ‘drum track’. I then sent the players, in the order drawn, the chord chart and the backing of the player before them. It turned out much different than I thought it might, which is good.

- Andrew Mortensen, April 2014

This entry was posted in Ambient, Bass, experimental, Remixes, Volume 7 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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