A TOUCH OF EXCELLENCE

Format: CD/LP
Released: October 1993
Label: Pladecompagniet
Catalogue: PCCD 8059

Artist: Martin Hall
Lyrics: Martin Hall
Music: Martin Hall
Producer: Martin Hall, Thomas Li, Hilmar Hassig, Jørgen Bo Hansen, Peter Solak, Kenneth S. Nannberg
Design: Birgitte Wester
Photo: Robin Skjoldborg

INDEX

1. Sweet Pain 3:54
2. Rhythm of the Rota 5:26
3. Strange Delight 4:27
4. Angel of the Night 5:36
5. Higher Reason 6:09
6. Here Comes the Rain 4:59
7. If Just for a Moment 4:50
8. Changing Season 4:58
9. Restless Spirit 4:04
10. 3rd Music 0:51
11. Seemingly Endless 3:43


LYRICS
Sweet Pain

So ask your cyber Christ all your thousand whys
You see he can’t explain the pain
He says you’ve got to choose between a million truths
But to me they’re all the same

I see the living dead, I see the empty heads
I see the closing of the mind
No matter where I turn, I see a city burn
It seems that things have passed the line

I don’t need any reason
I don’t need any Jesus
All I need is the feeling of the sweet pain
I don’t need any white light
I don’t need any outside
All I need is the feeling of the sweet pain

The human animal, a story tragical
They couldn’t turn their piss to wine
They built their paradise upon a compromise
The god of temporary time

The broken human rights, the consecrated lies
Won’t go away by someone’s song
While leaders disagree about stupidities
We drift into a sea of storms

I don’t need any reason
I don’t need any Jesus
All I need is the feeling of the sweet pain
I don’t need any white light
I don’t need any outside
All I need is the feeling of the sweet pain
I don’t need any reason
All I need is the feeling of the sweet pain

Under the shielded sky, a mental genocide
Another generation born
They get to know themselves through everybody else
And the tradition carries on

The age of consequence became the age of chance
But there’s no heroes left to praise
If they don’t kill themselves, they’re killed by someone else
The story shows it’s getting late

Rhythm of the Rota

So I got this little stigma
A little stigma in my mind
I’ve been looking for perfection
But it seems so hard to find
What’s going up is coming down
What’s going in will come around

Second coming, second going
Getting older by the day
In the final (ab)solution
Seems there’s nothing left to say
What’s going up is coming down
What’s going in will come around

And the rota never stops
And it cuts me like a knife
But the time is running out
Like a river running dry

The rhythm of the rota never stops
We’re such stuff as dreams are made of

See the stranger in the mirror
See the nighttime turning day
Here today and gone tomorrow
Doesn’t seem that far away

And the rota never stops
And it cuts me like a knife
But the time is running out
Like a river running dry

I heard a whisper in the wasteland
That I’d gone the line divine
But when it all comes down to pieces
You’ve got to read between the lines
I got a taste for more than reason
I got a need to understand
I’ve got to trace the line of changes
Before it’s getting out of hand

Strange Delight

I’ve seen strangers come and go
I’ve been places nobody knows
But inside I’ve never changed
While the first cut hurts so deep
The surrender feels so sweeet
And this world always keep turning

I can make it alone
But I don’t want to
After life on my own
I want to be with you

I’ve had good times, I’ve been down
Been the hero, been the clown
Strange delight seemed so irresistible
Through the laughter and the tears
I got stronger through the years
And this world always keeps turning

I can make it alone
But I don’t want to
After life on my own
I want to be with you

I know I can make it

Angel of the Night

Calling your name, angel inside
Calling your name, angel of the night
Hate’s been my teacher and love’s been my shelter
Days of no tomorrow are dreamless todays

As the night falls like a shadow on my skin
My body’s aching, my soul is in pain
Hell is empty, all the devils are here – in my mind
A heart of darkness offers no place to hide

Calling your name, angel inside
Calling your name, angel of the night
The rings in the water, the rings of my mind
I’ve followed the questions and I’ve paid the price

Like a poison the storm in my heart rages on
Telling stories while dreams break like ice
See the stranger in the mirror of time
From his eyes tears of dust fall and melt into air

Calling your name, angel inside
Calling your name, angel of the night
The scar in my heart, an unseen command
It’s under my skin but out of my hands

Silent rivers shine in the nighttime
And the water cools my skin
For a moment the nightsky is bleeding
But like a shadow it all fades away

Calling your name, angel inside
Calling your name, angel of the night
The mercy of reason, it’s all far too late
My guardian angel remains the angel of hate

Higher Reason

I live with no tomorrow
And time
Time is just a memory
The feeling inside
The pain and delight
If you don’t recognize me
There’s a mark on my skin

Like a dream in the night
Like a voice in my mind
I keep longing for higher reason
But there’s little to find
In the heartbeat of night
Every breath, every touch
Burning on like a fire inside me
Till it burns into dust

But it keeps on calling me
And it keeps on calling me
All the time

Close
I’m closer now than ever
I’ve learnt
That fear is like the kiss of life
The nearer the flame
Only ashes remain
See a face in the mirror
In the cold light of day

Like a dream in the night
Like a voice in my mind
I keep longing for higher reason
But there’s little to find
In the heartbeat of night
Every breath, every touch
Burning on like a fire inside me
Till it burns into dust

But it keeps on calling me
And it keeps on calling me
All the time

It’s like a heartbeat

Here Comes the Rain

From blood into ashes
The mirror of time
There’s only one limit
The end of the line
I’m walking the streets again
I’ve seen enough reason
To come back to sanity
To what I believe in

It’s like a fire in my blood
It’s like a fire in my brain
It’s like a rain that’s coming down
It’s coming down on me again
Now I’ve been raised by hate and pain
And I can make it on my own
But I surrender my control
To what it is I’ve come to know

Here comes the rain
Here comes the fire

I’ve heard all the whispers
The rumours around
I’ll spit in your faces
So-called friends of mine
I’ve tried every way I could
To swallow your insults
But times are a-changin’ now
And I’ll trust my impulse

It’s like a fire in my blood
It’s like a fire in my brain
It’s like a rain that’s coming down
It’s coming down on me again
Now I’ve been raised by hate and pain
And I can make it on my own
But I surrender my control
To what it is I’ve come to know

Here comes the rain
Here comes the fire

I’ve passed the line of no return
I’ve tasted more than forbidden fruit
I’ve seen the eyes of another world
You wouldn’t believe what I’ve been going through
I hear them say, they’ve heard it before
But time is the sound of a closing door
The eggs of this age will hatch in the mud
The mud of the pain, the mud of the rain

It’s coming
It’s coming down

If Just for a Moment

She’s gentle as a flame
That burns without a season
And she paints my mind with a burning sky
I used to believe
That the wounds we all have
Would disappear in time
If we found the one
To heal our heart and mind

Now I wonder
If the stories that I heard were really true
There’s a question
There’s an answer
But it all depends on you

Melt away my doubt
Melt away this scar
If just for a moment
Melt away the ice
That’s frozen in my heart

If just for a moment
Melt away my doubt
And melt away this scar
If just for a moment
Melt away the chains
That keep us worlds apart

Wherever I go
I’m in the world of my mind
I can’t go back again
I’ve crossed the line
One too many times
But like the touch of your hand
Is the trace of your love
You cover the pain
And when I look in your eyes
I know it’s true
That dreams never end

Every season has its number
But it never stays the same
There’s a moment
And it’s melting
Like a tear within the rain

Melt away my doubt
Melt away this scar
If just for a moment
Melt away the ice
That’s frozen in my heart
If just for a moment

Melt away the doubt
And melt away this scar
If just for a moment
Melt away the chains
That keep us worlds apart
If just for a moment

There’s a reason
But it never stays the same
There’s a moment
Like a tear within the rain

Restless Spirit

I’ve been riding the road of delusion
I’ve been hunting castles in the air
I’ve been looking for reason supreme everywhere
Anywhere

I read the books
I read all the gravestones
In the desert of the western world
But I never believed any one single word
Not a word

Got a mind overgrown
Got a life that’s on loan
Got a restless spirit
In the circus of the fools
Stupidity still rules
So the song remains the same

Got to tear up the sky
Got to follow my restless spirit
They say the greater the lie
The greater the lie, the more will believe it

Got to follow the trace
Got to follow my restless spirit
Before it’s getting too late
Got to see the other side of the mirror

Liberation, the sweet myth of freedom
Living under any moon of my mind
I’ve been looking for signs on the sheltering sky
On the sky

This talk about restraining desire
You only can if it’s weak enough
Energy is eternal delight, so they say
So they say

Got a sweet satanic mind
But my heart’s on the line
Got a restless spirit
Armageddon deep inside
Controlled and civilized
I inhale disturbance like air

Seemingly Endless

Suddenly
Came to see
Everything so differently

Children of lesser gods
Haunt my mind
All the time

Strangers inside of me
All distant memories
Turning another page
Within the book of days

Rain falling in the night
Like teardrops from the sky
Falls like my imagery
Falling inside of me
Seemingly endless

Pauses inside of me
Empty of memory
All of the whys and hows
Coming full circle now

Rain falling in the night
Falls from an empty sky
Seemingly

Musicians

Aud Wilken: backing vocals
Christian Skeel: keyboards
Dan Stielow: backing vocals
Fini Høstrup: rhodes
Flemming Muus: bass
Flemming Schiller: guitar
Gbatokai Dakinah Jr.: bass
Henrik Marstal: bass
Henrik Tvede: guitar
Hilmar Hassig: keyboards
Jens Albrectsen: piano
Jens Auhagen: bass
Jens Brygmann: drums
Jesper Ahrenburg: percussion
Jimmy Jørgensen: backing vocals
Jon Bruland: bass
Jonas Johansen: drums
Jørgen Bo Hansen: synthesized guitar
Kenneth Agerholm: trombone
Kenneth S. Nannberg: keyboards, rhodes, organ
Kim Menzer: didgeridoo
Lars Top-Galia: guitar
Louise Engell: backing vocals
Martin Hall: vocals, drums, keyboards, guitar, percussion
Martin Lind: guitar
Martin Zangenberg: slide guitar
Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen: double bass
Ole Hansen: keyboards
Per Trolle: piano
Peter Grønbæk: keyboards
Peter Leander: bass
Peter Solak: guitar
Philippa Bulgin: backing vocals
Sanne Gottlieb: backing vocals
Soma Hammarlund: cello
Søren Jacobsen: guitar
Thomas Engell: drums, piano
Thomas Li: keyboards
Thomas Negrijn: backing vocals
Thomas Ortved: drums
Thomas Solak: piano
Thor Backhausen: keyboards
Thorsten S. Høeg: saxophone
Tina Schæfer: backing vocals
Torben Engberg: rhodes, organ

Recorded in Paradise Park, Medea, Soundtrack, Media Sound and Mind and Media in intervals running from summer 1990 to spring 1993. Mixed at Media Sound and Soundtrack, summer 1993. Edited at Mainstream.

Info

With the release of A Touch of Excellence Martin Hall made a massive (second) comeback. Since his highly popular Presence album from 1988 Hall had issued a series of obscure works (weird cassette tapes and Irma Victoria recordings), stuff that didn’t go down very well with the larger public. Collaborating with five co-producers and nearly 50 Danish top musicians – including the internationally renowned jazz-bassist Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen as well as several members of the Danish punk band Sort Sol – it had taken Hall three years to complete A Touch of Excellence.

The first single from the album, “Strange Delight”, became a huge radio hit and instantly catapulted Martin Hall back onto the main scene of the Danish rock and pop establishment. The attention towards him was further fuelled by the fact that the singer was going to perform his first concerts as a solo artist for more than seven years in the wake of the release, taking him on his first Denmark tours ever (a minor club tour in the autumn of 1993 and the extensive “Pandemonium” tour in March and April 1994).

The radio hits from the album also included the second single, “Angel of the Night”, as well as the tracks “Rhythm of the Rota” and “Sweet Pain”.