I’ve been busy recently, with pressing the last Untitled Render to vinyl as well as getting a cat (little Smelardo, if anyone is interested).
Anyway, here’s some music that I made this evening. I was listening to Bowie’s “Wood Jackson” before making it, although I’m not sure that transfers across, which is a crying shame.
There were problems in the render – one of the pots on my BassStation is on the way out and it made the filter jump like crazy. I like to render these things live because it give me a little more freedom and capture a slightly different feel.
From the ashes of “Untitled Render 05” rises a new EP called Burro / Kingston. Two dancehall, ragga inspired popping joints. It all started when I bought an LP called “Soundbwoy Super Status Reggae Breaks And Beats” at the same time as a Chinese distortion pedal.
Tony Bernardo “Burro / Kingstone” Artwork
I’m not going to write big descriptions, but both are Jamaican Patois, hard as fuck drums and synths and shit. I find it pretty interesting to release these little demos and then the final edit a few days later, it’s something I hope to keep up.
I felt a change of pace was needed, so I tried my hand at something 150+BPM. Initially it was a straight 4/4 hardcore/gabber piece, but it eventually morphed into this.
Chopped the vocal from an old Dancehall LP I bought this week, sounds a lot like Burro Banton to me but I’m not 100% on that. Burro Banton is the fucking man, so I’ve got no issue crediting him with it regardless of his involvement.
Everything is sequenced on an old, tired MPC4000. Drums are Vermona DRM MK1 through a Voodoo Octave guitar pedal. Percussion is a Roland M-DC 1 processed through a JomoX T-Resonator II and couple of other guitar pedals. Synth pad is the Waldorf MicroWave XT with a Boss RV-1000 on top. Outro synth was Novation Super BassStation and a T.C. Electronics Fireworx. Master channel; Art Pro VLA II compressor and an old Akai PEQ. All recorded to tape for the dancehall feel (and hiss, mainly).
Anyting Test Man, Mi Clean Fi Mi Gun
It’s my intention to do a little more work on this (the mix still needs some adjustment), create a b-side and press it under a pseudonym this summer. Download links available this week after I’ve made something close to a final master.
Here’s a couple of tracks I made this weekend. Well, I say couple but one is a version of an older track called Piedmont.
“Color Adjust” is a long, sprawling piece. Lots of texture and very deep bass pinning down fluttering rhythms. It has an effective key change that I really like, and just sonically I find it quite interesting. Beware there is a lot of dynamics in this track, and its most effective with a subwoofer present.
“Piedmont Version” is a plodding, Moritz Von Oswald inspired remix of an ambient piece I posted here a while ago. I sampled everything from Piedmont in an MPC 4000 and tried to reimagine things a bit. This has sat on my HDD for a while now, but when I listened to it today I really liked it a lot. There’s something nice about it. I like the awkward rhythms and the overall deep feel around everything. Really hazy shit.
Again, all analogue instrumentation – no VSTs or software tricks. In fact the only software used is Logic X, and that’s only to record the stereo outs on the compressor. That’s become quite important to me.
I told you I would finish when I got back from Italy. Amazingly, and in one in a million odds, everything in the studio worked today, so it all went quite smoothly. Of course, the Roland RE-201 did chew its tape but that’s what it does. It’s endearing I tell myself. It is.
Having some free time today I opened up the Eminent 1600 organ that my good lady bought me (she’s an enabler) and decided to fuck around with the spring reverb. It’s noisy as hell, but sounds lovely. I can see myself weeding some more sounds out of this one. Oh, and the drum sounds! Oh man, I’ll need to make some recordings of them because they are so lovely. Completely analogue of course, but deep and grainy. I’ll use those soon too.
The recording is very dense and disorganised. I really like this one. There’s not a lot of dynamics either, and what there is only exists through cutting instrumentation. It’s kind of mastered – and by that I mean I ran it through my ART Pro VLA II compressor a bit. This stuff doesn’t really need mastering now, and when it does I tend to mix into the mastering bus. You know, like a pro. A lazy pro.
BassDress Studio, after a messy session. Wooden spoon for percussion is irie.
I don’t have a title for it yet, but I’ll think of something soon enough. Listen below, I’ll put up some download link later on.
My Roland RE-201 chewed it’s tape for the millionth fucking time. I can’t and won’t sell it, it cost me too much money and I’ll never find one again in such nice condition. Since I cleverly put it under all my rack mount gear, it’s an absolute bitch to pull out and fix so I decided to write something without it. To continue in spite of my lazy ass RE-201.
I’ve not thought of a name for this thing yet, and it’s not entirely mixed either but I thought it would be interesting to share. It may pop up in a more complete form in something later in the year, it may disappear entirely but for the moment there’s something I quite enjoy about this piece. Milli-Plateaux vibe shit.
Have a listen. Again, mastered to the K-12 scale, so crank the volume.