a new track finally comes together

I’ve now begun the first non-remix since the release of “A Million Differnet Moments”

It’s all starting to come back to me.

Of course, I’m tring a few dozen new techniques, instruments, and software on this. I’ve already brought my machine to its knees more than once with automation. Possibly the 9 vocal overdubs with the two convolution reverbs[0] are responsible…

Speaking of: Emagic’s Space Designer reverb is the damn sexiest thing I’ve heard in a long time. The urge to drown everything in lush creamy reverb is strong. The urge to make a shoegazer album so I can do this is also strong. The urge to buy a faster computer to run all this is also strong. Hell, I’ve got a home equity loan, maybe a dual-proc 2ghz g5 is closer than I thought. I’ll be paying it off over the next 30 years, but…


The song itself started life as sort of a big room trance affair (since buying an Armin Van Buuren CD I’ve been enamoured of the phrase “Big Room Trance”) but since the addition of many, many vocals and the overall subject matter of the lyrics it takes a dangerous turn towards futurepop. I had to add dumbeks just to be safe. It does have a very nice big-choir hands-in-the-air chorus, though. And a big fuzzy synth line that overloaded the polyphony on every softsynth I’ve got (although in retrospect my samplers probably coulda handled it).

I’m still not happy with the hi-hats or the tone of the kick drum, and I think the chord progression is one I’ve abused too many times, but at least I’m back in the swing of production again.

In terms of remixing, I’ve been busy. Since March I’ve delivered mixes for Blind Faith and Envy, Stochastic Theory, Attrition and most recently Armageddon Dildos, who got a bhangra[1]-meets-Underworld kind of thing out of the deal. I’m enamoured of bhangra and desi-hop these days and as such a lot of what I’m turning out has an underlying dhol[2] or dholak[3] rhythm. A mix I’m working on for B! Machine may come out as stright-up desi-hop. This may or may not be a good thing – I’m a pasty guy from Wisconsin trying to write music in the style of an urban-american/panjabi traditional hybrid. There’s a bit of cognitive dissonance there. But I bought a tumbi[4] – and even though they sent me a tenor tumbi instead of the soprano I ordered I’m still happy with it. I’ve now got a fleet of esoteric instruments that I can only sort of play at my disposal. This pursuit gets more eccentric and more expensive at every turn.

Hopefully something listenable will come out of it.

[0] a fancy-pants reverb that uses sampled impulse-response sounds (“click” and then the subsequent reverberation) as a basis for the reverb curves and sonic response. Generates the most realistic space emulations. Also uses a lot of computing power
[1] a traditional dance music from the panjab in India, whih has been appropriated into many modern music styles in the past 15 years or so.
[2] a big indian drum
[3] a smaller indian drum
[4] a simple, single-stringed plucky instrument used in bhangra with fairly asal sound. Listen to Panjabi MC’s “Mundian to Bach Ke” and you’ll undertsand what I’m talking about. You can’t miss it.