This is what my friends and the world at large should be listening to:
thanks to Mike “The Spice must flow” O. for the nudge.
Feature image via Exit Festival
After realizing that composing was not my forte, I decided to focus on improvisation/jamming, experimentation, and creating new and unique textures. Here are some things grabbed directly from my Korg Electribe ESX-1 sampler+sequencer (pictured above) as I played them, recorded into ProTools LE. If you know me, it goes without saying that these are meant to be heard through headphones or something that can reasonably reproduce frequencies :]
[if you see a bunch of white rectangles below, give the page several seconds—sometimes a lot of Soundcloud embeds need some time to load]
some extended experiments:
I’ve built up dozens and dozens of these “patterns,” and while I prefer to play them live, loud, and in the presence of friends, I’ll probably record and upload quite a bit more here just as a digital notebook. After that, I’m going to use what I have as a launching off point on a new batch of tracks that are more thought-out and focused, in addition to utilizing some more MIDI for both control and performance.
[Preceding an upcoming release party in about a week, the whole set of tracks is available to stream for free on Soundcloud]
Feeling the blahs about not just one of my favorite bands, but an objectively important and vastly influential one, is not an easily reconcilable feeling. While I found moments in In Rainbows (including “Videotape”, possibly in my top-ten personal favorite tracks of theirs), Radiohead’s most recent album, The King of Limbs, left me without any interest to revisit it after a concessionary second listen. A trip back to 2003’s Hail to the Thief is necessary for me to remember that compassion, and their mid-era genius is certainly feeling more and more like a Dali-esque leg to stand on.
But over the course of the last few months, a few TKOL remixed tracks at a time were measuredly dosed upon the public, from heavy-hitters such as Four Tet, Caribou, Jamie XX, and Modeselektor, to lesser-known (and in some cases, up-and-coming) producers/artists like SBTRKT, Brokenchord, and Nathan Fake. Suddenly the plain language of TKOL was translated into various nuanced exotica, and Radiohead is now again on my radar and in my thoughts, along with a slew of peers and influencees. There were more than a handful of moments where I got that old feeling of “wait, what?!” as some next-level interpretation blindsided me, or, on the opposite side of things, a subtle, meek-but-gorgeous texture (lookin’ at you, Jamie XX’s “Bloom” rework) provided the glue for the more obvious thumps, sequenced snaps, and saw-synths.
Looking forward, the Atoms for Peace guys (Thom, Flea, Nigel Godrich) will be touring soon. I saw them with two of my best buds on a warm, breezy desert night at Coachella ’10 under soft neon-lit palm trees and amongst thousands of admirers and appreciators. It was mind-blowing and lovely.