Track By Track: Shit Robot – What Follows


For his third album release on influential label DFA, Marcus Lambkin AKA Shit Robot put the computer to one side, and got knee deep in his hardware. Primarily connecting his kit to his beloved SH-101, he constructed loops and got some of his closest friends and labelmates to help recreate a style more reminiscent of his DJ work. From the first sessions at his home in Stuttgart, Marcus also took the opportunity to record at Holy Ghost's studio in New York, and the end result features contributions from Alexis Taylor, Nancy Whang, New Jackson and Museum Of Love. He gives us a run down on the processes and his guests involvement in the finished LP here:

In Love

'In Love' and 'End Of The Trail' are essentially the cornerstones of this record. They came first and are the inspiration for everything else. 'In Love' began by playing around with the 808 triggering the bass sequence on the 101. I just love playing with these two machines and I could listen to them all day long, so I wanted to keep the rest of the parts down to a minimum. The only other real part was the melodic sequence towards the end of the song, which was made in NY with Nick from Holy Ghost on his modular system. All the pads and spacey sounds came from Morgan Wiley of Midnight Magic playing his Yamaha CS-50. 
I only thought of asking Alexis to sing on it after he delivered his vocals for 'End Of The Trail'. Once I heard that it was clear to me that I needed his vocals on this too.  

What Follows

After my collaboration with Museum Of Love on the last record, I knew I wanted to do something with Pat and Denis again, so when the guys were in Europe for a few DJ gigs they came by and stayed at my place in the German countryside for a few days. It was great, we hung out, drank a lot of wine and making the song was super easy and everything just came together pretty quickly even though we could only work at night after my kids were in bed. 
Again it began by synching up the 808 and the 101 and then we played around with the Roland JX-3P for all the spacey pad sounds. I think Denis loves the 101 as much as I do and he doubled down with it for the lead. Pat wrote the lyrics there on the spot and when he sang "What Follows" it made total sense as an album title for me.

Ten Miles High

This was another group effort. We tracked all of this at Transmitter Park Studio in Greenpoint, NY. I had the idea for this track in my head for a while, but hadn't been able to get it out. Morgan and I were working on it and Juan came by to hang out and ended up programming the hi-hats and most of the drums. Monica Heidemann played the shaker. Morgan played the bass line and the chords and all the big swells live and then I took the parts home and arranged it there. Most of the work was already done at this point, so the rest was just getting the mix and arrangement right. This is also one of my favorite mixes on the record, Juan did a great job on this one, I think it sounds really great.

Lose Control

Originally this song was totally different, more of a bouncy house type thing. But when Nancy came up to New Hampshire to lay down her vocal, it was so good we had to re-do the whole song on the spot. Myself and Juan were on a crazy tight schedule to mix this record so we wrote, mixed and recorded this in one afternoon. This mix is a live take of Juan and myself on the drum machines and 303. We did two passes and one edit and that was it.

End Of The Trail

I had the instrumental for this sitting on my hard drive for a while before I worked out what to do with it. This is another one of my tracks hugely influenced by Carl Craig's earlier work as 69.
The chords on this were played with my Omnichord, which is a weird coincidence as 'Losing My Patience' was made with the Omnichord too. It seems that me playing with the Omnichord goes really well with Alexis's voice.
The minute I started to think about a vocal, it had to be Alexis. I'm so happy I got to do two songs with him on this record. 

Phase Out

This song was inspired by a late Sunday evening at Panorama Bar. This is not the typical sound you would hear there but I wanted to write something deep but a little bit trancey. This was one of those tracks that was totally different in NY, but I ended up not using most of the stuff we recorded there, but the parts we recorded inspired me to write the rest of the song. Nick from Holy Ghost added the little flourishes. New Jackson is a fellow Dubliner and I'm a big fan. He used to be my brother's room-mate, so we had a connection and I reached out to him for the vocals. 

Wir Warten

This was originally more of a techno track. The original bass line sounded a bit like an old Hardfloor track, but i wanted to tone it down a bit so myself and Nick wrote this new bass line on his modular system. Nick added all the lead parts with his CS-80. The vocal parts I sampled from outakes of my session with Reggie Watts from the last album.

Is There No End

Thank god for the 101. This is one of my favorite tracks on the record. Again it was a lot of 808 and 101, but it was arranged and in pretty good shape before I took it to NY. When I got to Holy Ghost's studio, Nick played in the live hi-hats and we did some stuff with the modular and some passes on the Arp Odyssey. Afterwards I took it to Midnight Magic's studio and I got to play around on a Korg PS-3100 synth that they had a loan of. Kind of like a giant MS system, it was great fun to play with, that's where all the lazer type sounds come from. Morgan added a live take of the stabs and then I took all these parts home again. Even with all these parts I still felt like it was missing something, so I asked Jay if he would be interested in doing a spoken word type rant over it and then Juan ran that through his tape delay with tons of feedback and that sealed the deal.


OB-8 is one of those tracks that took a really long time to finish. I started it originally over a year ago, but could never get it quite right. It went through a few different versions. It had a different bass line originally, but all the chords, etc remained the same throughout. It was only after a session at DFA studios with Morgan where he re-played all the chords on the Oberheim and added all the little flourishes and extra parts that it all came together. 
I played it to James and he came up with the idea of a "guitar version", so again I went back to New Jackson to see what he could do. I'm really happy with both versions now, I really like the original but I think it totally makes sense with the guitars now too. I really like what he did with it.

Shit Robot – What Follows is released by DFA Records and can be bought HERE

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