Roche Limit

It was an overcast summer day in 1994 when two explorers discovered a young man wandering the wilds of Vancouver, meticulously collecting bits of electronics and recording equipment from a nearby landfill. His hair was long and wild; his clothing seemed to be made of white feathers or scales that moved peculiarly in the dry breeze. Curious, they followed him to a deep cavern built of painted rocks and ancient car parts. As they drew nearer, a living white cloud billowed from the mouth of the cave. Moths of every size filled the air and in the midst of them stood the strange young man, unclothed and smiling. He studied the explorers and, after a moment, signaled to the moths which quickly flew to him, recreating the feathery garments. When he was again dressed, he motioned for the men to follow him into his home.

Every wall of the cavern was covered in blinking lights and the air was filled with the soft whirring of small fans. Dozens of car batteries lined the trail, connected by a tangle of cables and wires. Deconstructed speakers hung from the ceiling and an old pair of headphones appeared to have been rebuilt as a simple microphone. Propped against the crowded wall to the left, a saxophone reflected the explorers amazed faces. On the right, a guitar and didgeridoo stood watch as the explorers leaned in to study the covers of CDs and records wedged into every available opening. They noted works by Ween, The Eels, The Beatles, Tricky, Front 242, Nine Inch Nails, Skinny Puppy, The Faint, Ben Harper, Beck and many others in his collection. At the very back of the space, the young man paused, cocked his head to one side, and pushed a button on a crudely fashioned console. A cracked monitor lit up and a pulsing beat filled the space.

The explorers stood transfixed as the music evolved in moments from a simple beat to sophisticated layers of melody. They recognized Beck's eccentricity, Trent Reznor's intensity, and Weens experimental effects, but knew that this was no mere copy. There was something more in the composition. The moths fluttered on the young man's body and clung to his long hair, but he stood motionless and studied the reaction of the men. When the recital ended, the men turned to each other and grinned uncontrollably.

They brushed away the insects and dressed him in borrowed clothes. They learned his name was David Righton and took him to the city to introduce him to modern society. Although the people did not impress him, the young man was overwhelmed by the technology suddenly available. He quickly collected computer components, sound equipment, and all the music he could carry and, with full arms and an overflowing imagination, returned home.

In 2006, the man and the two aging explorers again stood on the threshold of his cave. Gone was his wardrobe of feathery moths, replaced by modern clothing that seemed out of place on his thin frame. He handed a disk to the two men and smiled gently as a single large gray moth fluttered from the depths of his hair. Printed neatly on the disk were five words, White Light by Roche Limit. He then turned away and reentered the cave to begin work on his next album.

                      

In 2009 the two explorers returned to the cave after receiving word that the next album was complete, and there they found a disc labeled "Sometimes We Must Change Shape" and nothing else, the cave was abandoned. Scrawled on the cave walls in bright blue paint were the words "Kevvy Mental was here". This time it appeared, David had some help with the album,it was later discovered that Kevvy Mental (AKA Kevin Maher) had co-produced the album and lent some guitar, programming and vocals to the album. This was the first time that Roche Limit had enlisted outside collaboration and would prove not to be the last.

Astronomy books state that Roche Limit refers to the orbital distance at which a satellite with no tensile strength will begin to be tidally torn apart by the body it is orbiting. Some supposed that David had heard the words somewhere and simply liked the sound of them. Psychologists , however, believed that he chose it for a more personal reason, perhaps as a description of his inner turmoil at being "a fragile satellite orbiting society." He remained silent on the issue.

Have a Listen

Quick Buy

Roche Limit: Sky Parlor

 

Roche Limit: Sometimes We Must Change Shape

 

Roche Limit: White Light

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