Category Archives: Tracks

My original productions

Five Note Leo Groove

Since not too long after finishing Nuba Tuba, I’ve been working on a new song. There’s been much disruption in the studio during this process, as I’ve upgraded my mixer and added a few other pieces of kit that I’m still getting to grips with. In the last couple of weeks I’ve been moving on to the arrangement of that track but on Tuesday night I decided to divert completely and write something new with the same sounds that I’ve been working with forever. To my surprise I “finished” something in two or three hours. On Wednesday night I revisited the mixdown and tidied up a couple of sloppy notes, etc, but basically just re-recorded Tuesday’s work.

I reckon this is far from my best track, but it’s an interesting result given that I intentionally thwarted all of my normal tendencies in the writing of it. Rather than thinking of it as a separate version or mix, it’s more precisely a “rewrite”. I left all of the sounds unaltered, save the tiniest of level/envelope tweaks. When I wrote it I started playing one part until I decided to stop. Then I played another part on top of it intuitively. And then the third and the fourth. There was some minor editing and quantising along the way, but the approach was completely linear, rather than assembled, and I didn’t really pay attention to an 8-bar structure other than once or twice. I certainly left it behind a few times. In short, I let my ears do the writing. It’s kind of sloppy and some things are rough but these are things that I normally omit and I’m fairly pleased with this antithesis. It sounds completely different to the still-unfinished original.

The result is more repetitious than my normal stuff, although the synthesis itself goes some way to conserving novelty over the fairly brief 4:15 duration. In the name of trying something new I thought I’d post it up here. Hope you enjoy.

Nuba Tuba

I’ve finished a new track called Nuba Tuba. It’s the first thing I’ve made public in three years. Hannah’s the only person who’s heard it so far, but I reckon it’s pretty done.

No idea how to characterise it in a word. The beat is fast electro with intermittent tribal drums and the melodies probably just sound like melodies that I’d do. There’s some dubby keys (I guess???) with lots of synthy stuff around it and a pretty big bassline that wound up sounding a bit like a tuba to me.

It’s encoded at 192 Kbps mp3 until I figure out what I’m going to do with it and the other music that I’ve been sitting on. I may post that other sat-on stuff up in similar quality mp3 soon too.

Anyway… grab it here.

SPAM

A remix of one of my tracks, ‘Frosting’ is out soon on Andrew Duke’s Consumer vs. User album. I finished it in 2001. He finished the remix maybe a year or so later, and finally it’s made its way on to CD. Mastered by Mark Gage of Vapourspace no less! Here’s the blurb.

I am thrilled to announce that my Consumer vs. User album is out now and available on CD on California’s Phthalo:
http://www.phthalo.com/cat.php?cat=phth40

Phthalo has always been one of my favorite electronic music labels, and it is a priviledge to be on an imprint with faves of mine including Phthalocyanine, OST, Kit Clayton, Vladislav Delay, Massaccesi, Mimi + Boyd (ie Vapourspace and Punisher), Eight Frozen Modules (ie [a]pendics shuffle), Blectum From Blechdom, and many many more.

Consumer vs. User is rugged and rhythmic and raw, yet detailed and open and spacious, sort of like a distant cousin of my Sprung album–which was released on Bip-Hop and went on to be nominated for Album of the Year (Electronica) at the Canadian Independent Music Awards. There’s even DJ-friendly material on here, too (some straightforward, some more adventurous).

This album is mastered by Mark “Vapourspace” Gage, one of my early techno heroes, and features two collaborations with the USA’s Massaccesi and a remix of a track from the UK’s Tristan “Phonopsia” Watkins (a long-time 313-Detroit mailing-list member).

In part, the album is titled in a nod to I-F’s wonderful and inspirational Fucking Consumer album released in 1998 on Disko B. The album is dedicated to the memory of three whose artistry touched me
deeply: Aaliyah Haughton, Jose “Chep” Nunez, and James Stinson.

Here is what Phthalo’s Phthalocyanine writes about this album:
“Consumer vs. User is Andrew’s first appearance on Phthalo. It is a focused study, filling out unlikely accent schemes with abstract DSP techniques. The aesthetic is semi-derived from something reminiscent of classic Detroit minimal techno (I think of Terrence Dixon, Kevin Saunderson, and early Plus 8 stuff like the stark, controlled acid bass stabs of Heinrich Tillack AKA Sysex). I also however hear our label, Phthalo, embedded in this work, particularly references to the extensive exploration of heavily processed, raw, beaten-up drum machines given to us by O.S.T. (Chris Douglas) (e.g. Phthalo#09: O.S.T. Live @ Static) and Phthalocyanine (e.g. Phthalo#05: Phthalocyanine: Zacks e.p.) in the late 90’s. These ideas work here as the point of departure for a music that is meticulously arranged and much richer in variation than vernacular minimal techno, though much more ‘moderate’ than O.S.T.’s work. ”

Stay tuned for details on a remix contest that will involve remixing one of the tracks from Consumer vs. User. The best remixes will be released and there may even be some prizes.

You can hear one of the tracks from this album–an electro/idm-ish song–in the player on http://myspace.com/andrewduke

New track?

I’m at the point with this song where I either need to call it quits or call it done. Been working on it on and off for a year. Although I like the stuff I’ve come up with, I’m ultimately dissapointed because I suspect I’ll wind up sounding precisely like I always have, which has gained interested responses but hasn’t really left many people saying “yeah, that’s exactly what it should sound like”. Regardless, I’d like to have some suggestions. It’s the first song that has been close enough to done in two years to provide to the public, so I’m looking for any tips I can get to help me sound less like I do without reinventing myself. Obviously I go for a ‘maximal’ sound, and like to switch things around a lot, so basically I’d just like to know if anyone has good ideas about how I can accomplish that better, given this template. At best I think it’s just a matter of making it more DJ friendly, at worst I think it’s a matter of re-evaluating what I’m trying to achieve full-stop. Anyway, voila! Let me know your thoughts if you’ve got 7:15.

Happy Clapping

My Remix of Sean Deason’s The Shit

It occured to me today that I haven’t yet mentioned that my remix of Sean Deason’s The Shit is finally getting released on December 7th, over a year after completion! I’m very happy about this despite the wait and anguished wonder about whether or not it would ever happen. If you want to give the track a listen, it is available for download from here. Enjoy, and please let me know what you think, especially if you don’t like it!

Duke

Am just listening to Andrew Duke’s remixes of me for the 2nd time (first time on speakers). It’s bloody weird hearing someone remix you! The remix of ‘Frosting’ is not the first I’ve heard, since Christian Bloch has already had a go at it, but this one is really faithful to the original, but a nice variation, and about 50bpm slower. It’s really slow. The remix of ‘In Flight Defibrillator’, which he aptly titled ‘Flight 313’ is almost unrecognizeable, and much more dancefloor. I may need to play it out on Sunday. It’s quite driving and dubby with a slightly clicky edge. At any rate, this is cool stuff. Need more time to digest them!

Sean Deason’s “The Shit” Remix II

Just got that remix done. Worked on it from about 5-10, I guess… I really drilled down on this one and ironed out all the kinks. I’m really pleased with how it came together so far, but that could be a sleep deprived mind talking. I’m just happy I could exert this much effort to get it done without going crazy, because after that first three or four hours yesterday morning, I had a really clear idea of how it would work out. When I got back to it, I decided to write even more to push that idea further, but there was very little back-pedalling involved for once. It was a very straight trajectory, where the song laid itself out for me as long as I kept focused and didn’t wuss out. I don’t think this song would sound like it does right now had I not plowed through it full-speed.

Voila: ‘Deep Shit‘.