Production efforts have been sporadic over the last few years. I had a burst of creativity in early 2006, around the time that Sunshine in Croydon was written, which may see the light of day here soon. Since then I re-created my studio, moving back to an all-hardware setup for the first time since I started replacing kit with the computer between ’97-’99.
The two tracks of mine featured here that have received the best feedback and have been played out a fair amount are Sunshine in Croydon and Deadline: Gala, if that helps guide your listening any. I’m digging Nuba Tuba as well, but I’m always drawn to my latest efforts. I’m not sure how else it could be!
Made in London
Nuba Tuba – Recorded 12/10/09
The first thing I’ve made public in three years. 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.
Sunshine in Croydon – Recorded 18/2/06
The track of mine which has been played the most by digital DJs. It enjoyed good support from a number of local DJs at the time and still gets wheeled out periodically. It’s got a lot of melody in it but operates in a minimal way, I suppose. There are a few other tracks from this period that will eventually see the light of day.
Happy Clapping – Recorded 2003-2005
Not included here, but I thought I’d mention it, since it was the track that I worked on throughout this period which I really should have known to abandon sooner. Eventually I “finished” it but was not terribly happy with the result. I’m unlikely to ever revisit it.
Pen Egg On Canine Point – Recorded: 8/2/03
I started working on this song in September, but it’s changed a lot since then, always teetering on the brink of the ‘spare parts’ folder. I always have trouble finishing electro songs – as evidenced by the conspicuous absence of any here since 2000. As this is a rather different angle on things for me, I’d love to hear all feedback. 125 BPM
Remixes of Sean Deason’s Detroit Techno classic, The Shit:
- Deep Shit – Recorded: 19/11/02
Second remix of Sean Deason’s ‘The Shit’. All sounds sourced from samples of ‘The Shit’ again. This one’s a bit slower and deeper. I think it’s better too. Featured on Sean Deason: The Shit Remixes Vol. 3, MATRIX9, now available at a fine wax peddler near you. 128 BPM
- The Shit Kit – Recorded: 9/11/02
First remix of Sean Deason’s ‘The Shit’. All sounds sourced from samples of ‘The Shit’, but the result sounds much different than the original. 135 BPM
Ocular Ember – Recorded: 26/10/02
Same set-up as below. Hard to describe. 4/4, melodic, probably my best song at the time. 125 BPM
Maximuminutae – Recorded: 6/10/02
First song with new laptop and Battery. All VSTi’s in Cubase. Sorta-broken beat and 125 BPM
Made in D.C.
A Centrifugation of Melancholia was my demo CD for 2002 . The title comes from an 18th century psychiatric technique for curing melancholics by spinning them at high velocities. The new material is an emotive effort, all 4/4, increasing in tempo as the CD progresses. Stay tuned for remastered versions of all these songs.
More Time Per Second – Recorded: 28/4/02
This is one of my favorite songs from the last year. Relatively aggressive, all over the map, and some solid melodies. 135 BPM
Deadline: Gala – Recorded: 24/4/02
This track was written and recorded as part of a 2-hour demonstration for the Georgetown Film Festival’s Gala at Metatrack Studios. I used Cubase VST/32 version 5.1, Nexsoft’s Loopazoid, Steinberg’s JX-10 and the Waldorf PPG VST plugins. I actually finished the song with 20 minutes to spare, so it stands as an example of working under pressure, with an audience. Not the optimal conditions, but I’m happy with the result. 130 BPM
Decentered – Recorded: 22/4/02
Agressive, but ultimately feminine? 135 BPM
Phonoleptic Seizure – Recorded: 4/4/02
FM madness seizing your mood. 130 BPM
Fallout – Recorded: 31/3/02
Constantly shifting, with a sizeable (sort of) DJ-friendly intro. 125 BPM
Pain – Recorded: 20/3/02
This is my attempt at getting some of my pain out of my system. Abreviated and increasingly sour, like the source of my pain. 120 BPM
Tremor – Recorded: 19/2/02
I worked on this one for quite a while. Big stringy pads with a healthy dose of synth. 120 BPM
Octasia – Recorded: 2/2/02
Big, slow techno, covering a lot of ground. There are 8 melodic parts in this song, which led me to the title. 120 BPM
Dirty Tom – Recorded: 20/1/02
One of my best songs, and likely the most clarity of vision. The song name comes from the overcompressed toms mixed down on the same channel as the kick drum. They’re nice and dirty, working as a sort of bassline which would otherwise be absent from the song. The synths are quite brilliant in contrast. 130 BPM
Dub Dream Gone Techno – Recorded: 15/12/01, Re-recorded: 7/3/02
I fought this song forever, but couldn’t get the arrangement to work out, then took it down to Metatrack Studios for a different surrounding to see if that would help. This song is my first experiment using Reason (Rewired through Cubase) for the beats. The circus sounds are present in spades here. 130 BPM
Climate – Recorded: 15/12/01
My first song using nothing but Freeware pluggins in Cubase VST 3.7. I designed this song as an example of what can be done with a computer and a $300 software program. Almost anyone can produce today, and Reason is not the only option for cheap entry. 120 BPM.
Neopolitan – Recorded: 5/12/01
The thought here was to get three songs in one. There are some minor production issues towards the end which still need to be addressed, although I don’t think they’re as noticable in mp3. 120 BPM
Combustible Spirals – Recorded: 20/1/01
One of my better songs, conceived as “the song without a breakdown”. I definitely worked on this one for a long time. Tinkly melodies, sharp stabs, lush pads and mad cymbals. I may revisit the mixdown on this song. Please let me know what you think. 120 BPM
Scenic – Recorded: 29/9/01
My first song completed after moving from Baltimore to DC. This song was intended to move my sound to the “next level”, although I think there may be too much going on in the second half, as is. Any feedback is welcome. 128 BPM
Languid – Recorded: 3/8/01
The only song I finished this Summer, I used only drum samples and preset “organic” sounds from the Kurzweil synth on my Turtle Beach soundcard. This is my most recent attempt at deep house. I’m calling it finished, although I feel like it got too “techno” somehow. It does have a nice groove to it though. 110 BPM
Made in Baltimore
The leap from a groove box to drum samples on this effort is evident. The Nord Modular allowed me the flexibility to craft my own sounds, and begin to define my soundscape, both melodically and synthetically. My favorite song here is track 3, although I am fond of each song for its place in the “album”. Be sure to check out the songs at the bottom of the Glimpse section too. Christian Bloch and I exchanged remixes, and some people prefer “Moist” to its album version “Frosting”.
Simplex – Recorded: 1/5/01
I was shocked to find out that there is a label named “Simplex”, some 9 months after I named this song. Oh well… the idea was to combine a simple arrangement with complex melodies. This song has received some of the best feedback from Glimpse. It combines some “ravey” sounds from the past with some deeper sounds from the present. 120 BPM
Release – Recorded: 12/3/01
This song nearly drove me crazy. The beginnings of it took me nearly a week to come up with, and most of that is scrapped in this final version. I worked on this song for almost 100 hours over three weeks. This is one of my most complex efforts, with 20 tracks of audio. The outro in this song is from a dream I had on the morning of Sunday March 11, 2001, after I fell asleep while the song was mixing down. It goes something like this. 125 BPM
Ugly Passion – Recorded: 9/5/01
This is my favorite song from Glimpse, although most people don’t agree. It also points towards my sound post-Glimpse better than any of the others. This is a fairly simple song, but with sounds and melodies that articulate what I really want to get out of my head and onto the musical canvas. 125 BPM
Frosting – Recorded: 16/2/01
Probably the best song on Glimpse. Some people prefer the original version, “Moist”, which has a minimal beat and added pads. The beat reminds me of an old “Stetsasonic” song, “Talkin’ All That Jazz”, although it wasn’t intentionally designed that way.130 BPM
Roller Coaster – Recorded: 8/2/01
This is the first song I really focused on completing after purchasing my Nord Modular. It’s quite busy, in the arrangements and melodies – and surprisingly loud. The title speaks for itself, as a description of the arrangement, but also pointing to the oft-mentioned “circus sound” in my music. 130 BPM
Carnival at the Periphery of Sanity – Recorded: 19/5/01
The last song completed for Glimpse, and one of the first songs since my very early efforts that never revisits where it starts. It’s a short song, and also chalk full of “circus sounds”. 128 BPM
Ape and Bone – Recorded: 26/2/01
The first song I made with vocals in about 5 years. No, you don’t need to run in fear, I’m not singing! The vocal is Bang the Drum – Find the Sum – Somber Tones – Ape and Bone. This was inspired by both 2001 and the Simpsons homage to it. I’ll let you try to connect the dots and figure out my twisted logic. The sounds are nearly industrial in parts of this one. Definitely one of my darkest efforts. 130 BPM
In-Flight Defibrilator – Recorded: 22/4/01
Think: cardiac arrest at 30,000 feet. 130 BPM
Attack – Recorded: 5/5/01
Clearly the hardest song on Glimpse. The title speaks for itself. My harder sound is beginning to move to a thinner melodic structure (as with “In-Flight Defibrilator”), and the beat programming is getting more attention. This one sounds good loud. 135 BPM
Moist (Christian Bloch Remix) – Recorded: 14/4/01 If you have a copy of this please let me know!
Christian Bloch’s remix takes things in a very different direction. Slightly dubby and somewhat ’80s sounding to my ears. As always, Christian’s never afraid to bring his unique sound to the table! 130 BPM.
Christian Bloch’s Langour (Phonopsia’s Medical Precision Remix) – Recorded: 4/3/01
Christian bloch offered this song up for remix a while back, and I couldn’t resist. I don’t have many good remixing tools, so this one went in a very different version from the original – harder and not so minimal. I had fun with it though! Done entirely in Cubase using Christian’s samples and I built my own new beats around it. Later, I would revisit this remix, and wound up using some of the beat as the foundation for “Attack”. 135 BPM.
Moist – Recorded: 14/2/01
Moist is the original (minimal) version of “Frosting”. See that description for further info. 130 BPM
Growing – Recorded: 26/1/01
My first song using the Nord Modular, recorded “on the fly”, still relying on the MC-303 for the beats. Some have compared this to Theo Parrish, others to The Black Dog – you tell me what you think of it. The recording is dirty, but for this song I kinda like it that way. 🙂 120 BPM.
Made in Iowa City
This was my first hard-disk recorded effort, and you will notice some of the recordings are a tad muddy. Some people prefer this work to anything I’ve done since. My sound begins to take shape in the direction I would steer in the new milenium. Québécois is a concept “album” in terms of the names, but sonically attempts to cover all of the musical territory informing my growth up to that point, from downtempo breakbeats to IDM to house to techno, it’s all there. If you are interested in the full story of Frogboys, Frogbots and Québécois, click here. Note: if you plunk these files in a playlist set the same as the tracklist, the songs should roughly blend together to give a track-to-track feel.
Hipoptic – Recorded: 19/2/00
This is the last trully downtempo song I’ve made, but probably not the last ever. 100 BPM
Funketype – Recorded: 30/1/00
I revisited this song periodically for a year and a half. It was my attempt at making an Autechre-esque song with a slightly softer palette. Epic electro – the last electro song I’ve finished. 105 BPM.
Frogboy Grows Gills – Recorded: 11/3/00
Probably the best song on Québécois, and definitely the dubbiest. Believe it or not, most of this song comes from the MC-303. 115 BPM.
Tadpoles – Recorded: 3/3/00
Downtempo house with a very melodic, soft edge. 120 BPM.
Spring – Recorded: 17/5/00
A happier song, one of my last to be really optimistic in tone, if you will. If that’s what you’re looking for, this is the one for you! It’s got some cruchy P5-ish stabs and a retro house bassline. This one was finished after the initial draft of Québécois, and was included to brighten things up for a moment in the middle. 120 BPM.
Frogress – Recorded: 11/3/00
This one has some wacky Rubber Bass tweaking going on, and some big stringy pads. I think this song was one of the first to hint at where my slower sound would travel to. 125 BPM.
Froggy’s Lament – Recorded: 8/5/00
This song was written to round things out on an initial version of Québécois. The song was written in 6/4 – one of the few experiements I’ve done in odd time signatures. I think it still operates as an accessible track though, since the beat translates to three sets of 2/4. 125 BPM.
Frogbot Eats Polyphony – Recorded: 20/7/00
This song took forever to move from Mac to PC, and changed substantially in the process. Lots going on in this one, with the signature “plucky” high pitched synth line you hear periodically on Québécois. Dubby, with some ethereal synths. 125 BPM.
Frogbog – Recorded: 4/6/00
Another one of the songs finished as an afterthought, and perhaps the most properly “techno” of them all. Definitely quirky, featuring another recurring “plucky” high pitch synth line. This is probably the strangest and most characteristic song on Québécois. 130 BPM.
Swallows Fly – Recorded: 11/3/00
One of the earliest songs written for Québécois, this one is harder and very rigid. “Polyphony Consumes Frogboy” is the sister song to this one, although it didn’t make the cut for Québécois. 130 BPM.
Frogbot Gets Dog Jaw – Recorded: 5/6/00
Probably my favorite song title to date, and much better than the original name, “Fueled with Excess”. If you ever see me in person, as me about Dogjaw. NOT PLEASANT! This song is another of the most properly techno on Québécois. This one went through many revisions. 135 BPM.
Polyphony Consumes Frogboy – Recorded: 29/2/00
One of the songs from the Québécois time period that I couldn’t sell myself on entirely. My brother yelled at me for leaving it off though, so you be the judge. This is the sister song to “Swallows Fly”. 135 BPM.
And here’s three older tracks. I think I wrote them all in ’98 using all Roland ROM kit of that era (JV-880, MC-303, XP-10), recorded direct to minidisk:
My deepest thanks to Ben Barreras for the original, exclusive art as seen on the Glimpse and Québécois covers above.