Creative reboot update 1: June 4th Matador Coffee Shop, 9:30 am

>The challenge got off to a flying start on June 1st.

Here are the June 1st tracks

track 1: a moody piece made using granular synthesis radio crackle fade in and out over a sci-fi sound wash. approximately half way through, a distant plucked keyboard sound fades in. very reminiscent of some of the more spacious pieces on eno’s recent small craft CD. could be developed into a sound track piece, part of a larger suite of smaller pieces – similar to the fantastic collection that michael 2 made in January this year

track 2: i alway have to do it. slow it down in pitch (minus 5 or 7 semitones usually) and the speed/tempo of the piece drops accordingly. exactly the same as above except for the pitch manipulation. i usually end up liking these slowed down versions better. i imagine that this will be a theme that crops up throughout all of these reports/updates.

track 3: an evolution of the above piece, recorded an hour or two after the original preliminarily titled ‘vicious bastard’ i thought the brutality of the title was a nice contrast to the gentle wafting sounds. additional work/refinement on the radio crackles which are also now phased shifted in places

track 4: camera click. utilizing the same granular synth patch as above but adding ambient background noises recorded on zoom H4 as i was taking some pictures of my swimming pool to use in a time lapse photography experiment. i think this one is my favorite. the background noises adds a very eerie, creepy quality

here is the recording of the background noise and camera clicking on its own

track 5: tettenhal road. for a brief period in the late 90’s i used to live in tettenhall road, in a very austere victorian building that was attached to the eye infirmary. the room i live in was massive, a perfect ‘studio apartment’ – i loved it there. my friend robert shaw used to come round and visit occasionally. one time i remember that moby’s album play had just been released and we sat and listened to the whole thing. for some reason this track took me right back to th vibe of that evening – hence the title i chose. out of interest, rob recently mentioned to me that he could imagine me doing the stuff mob does….i can see that and how i could easily flip into that mode if i allowed myself to. i guess i have here

track 6: y don’t…i have worked with miss redd on a couple of tracks in the past. she is a very creative and imaginative person and has a great voice too. coincidently just as i was about to start this creative reboot, she contacted me out of the blue and asked if i would be interested in working with some acapella tracks she had. here is the result. a first draft of what i am sure will be a fantastic track. chattering loops, deep detuned bass drones, distorted wailing sounds in the distance and reed’s great vocal. this reminds me somewhat of a cross between portishead, orbital and japan…an interesting meld of elements. would be interested to hear if the APOD boys might have some suggestions for additional colour here. i added a close snapback echo to redds voice and tweaked the eq a bit – i have some ideas for different production tweaks that i will get to in the next few days

June 2nd track

123123 – i imagine that this will become another ‘counting song. (see previous effort ‘inversion sequence’ with fishcow and mystic) the song starts out with a 1,2,3 count in that was lifted from a pet sounds session track (the wrecking crew i presume) two versions of the 123 counting are pitched slightly differently…giving a sense of see-saw movement. arpegiated keyboard lines slowly fade in on a diminished chord scale (i think, don’t quote me on the chord scale thing) i envisage that this will be added to with lots of extra counting phrases/vocals to create some kind of vocal polyrhythms based on the numbers one two three. very rough draft at the moment

June 3rd track:

this is an example of me doing a track when normally i wouldn’t have even bothered to try. june 3rd was the first Friday of the month. i got home from work around 4.30pm and turned the computer on straight away. within 5 minutes i was laying down the components for this track. i spent maybe 15 mins putting it together. arpegiated synth bass line, a wash of string synths and some drum loops – 45 seconds long. again sounds very moby-esque. i did it, got ready for 1st friday, spoke with kevin in brooklyn (interestingly we talked about the andy warhol screentests and also the avant garde performance artist robert wilson (he also uses counting a lot in his pieces) , i forgot what i had done with the track i had just made, went to 1st friday artwalk for a few hrs and then returned to it the next day

June 4th tracks

i applied the oblique strategies to this for the first time in the experiment. the card i drew said ‘remove all the important pieces’ – so i took out the majority of drum loops and the string synths. tweaked the bass sounds and replayed then differently. i also scoured my hard drive for some old vocals and found some acappella vox i used on an old track i did with rob shaw called ‘there’s nothing‘….at the time i was making theres nothing i asked anna caramanna if she could do a version of the vocals. she did, but i never got round to using them…so here they are now, at least in part….i took the lyrical theme ‘ill light the fire and keep the curtains drawn’ from the song – using both rob and anna’s take on it. i added a glitch effect to the vocals and a looping delay to the word ‘drawn’….there are 3 or 4 variations on this piece so far. i put them on the ipod to listen to as i was walking and found that all of the tracks fit together very nicely (from the june 3rd version to the last ‘drawn’ veresion) – it might have given me an unexpected basic arrangement for a longer piece

Here are the June 4th tracks (evolving from the June 3rd track)
1) I’ll Light The Fire
2) drawn


a word on matador coffee -where i am sitting right now writing this. i am trying to listen to the files i created as i write and its next to impossible. they have a horrible, LOUD obnoxious sound system that is blaring out a sirius radio station that is playing horrible AOR music and the two female servers are trying to talk above the music thats playing and they both have this….laugh….making me shudder each time hear it… fucking LOUD…lesson learned….if i am going to try and repeat this part of the exercise – writing up my thoughts on the works in progress, either do it at home or at a coffee shop that is more conducive to ‘listening’

nice coffee tho


addendum to june 4th – i did this track this afternoon using lots of glitchy elelments and off kilter sounds


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