I felt like jacking it in a couple of times this week.
Much of this was the anti-climax after the excitement of the first release, and the dawning realisation of the frightening task ahead of me. I’ve also got some other studio work on at the moment which I have to finish on Friday, so after that I hope things will get a little less fraught.
Despite this, I feel like I’ve hit my stride musically. There were a couple of times when I found myself falling into some old bad habits, like spending waaaay too long trying to find the “perfect” sound, but if I hadn’t I’d have finished Robot Go Disco very quickly. I had more trouble thinking of a name for it than writing the thing.
There are some implications that I hadn’t thought of previously in writing an album track by track in public. My ideal of writing music for myself alone would only really occur if I didn’t ever play it to anyone. Releasing the tracks as I write them means I’m opening myself up to (both good and bad) criticism way before the whole album is finished. This is bound to affect my album writing process, no matter how hard I try to ignore the noise.
For instance if I release a tune and it gets double the number of downloads of anything else, I might be tempted at worst to replicate it, or at best to make subconscious decisions in the studio as a result of the perceived success of that track. I’ve noticed that by just playing my music to someone else fundamentally and permanently changes my perception of it, so you can imagine what releasing it does!
But so far the benefits of this process are utterly out-weighing any downsides. Despite my couple of freak outs this week I’m loving it. And the weekly deadline, knowing that the world will be able to hear whatever I’ve done that week, is forcing me to write out of my skin. For every idea I’ve committed to audio there are another three that I can’t wait to get out.
Stuff I Learnt This Week
1/ At all costs I must avoid getting bored of the track I’m writing by over-playing it. Ironically this tends to happen with tracks that I’m most excited about. If I’m in danger of getting bored I must stop or move on. And constantly looping the same bit so I can have a boogie in the studio (whilst being fun) probably isn’t the best idea.
2/ My first idea has always been the best this week. Tinkering, editing or changing what I record has just made it worse.
3/ I musn’t overproduce. I should just leave it, as if it’s a bit rough I can get away with more musically.
4/ I need to stop checking my traffic and download numbers every five minutes. Its a pointless waste of time at this stage of the game. From now on I’m instituting a policy of two checks per day.
Click here to check Robot Go Disco and download for free.
Writing 10 free tracks in 10 weeks is an attempt to work out what I’m about musically, and this week I’ve realised just how much I love to write stupid music. I had a lot of fun with this one.
While I also enjoy music with more substance, one of the things that can frustrate me about music in general and electronic music in particular is its need to seem important. I’d rather listen to something that was entertaining and honest than something with an inflated sense of its own significance. Coldplay anyone?
One of my favourite bands of all time is Parliament, who are the kings of brilliant and silly music. Their lyrics are politically charged and all the players in the band have always been incredible musicians, but the music itself is always fun (with a k).
The bassline hook that kicks off Hello Hello is inspired by their track Sir Nose D’Void Of Funk, and it served as the starting point of the whole track.
I’m happy with how its turned out, although the start of every phone call I’ve had this week has been a little surreal.
Stuff I Learnt This Week
1/ I’m very serious about stupid music.
2/ I need to give myself less options. An abundance of choice is the enemy of creativity.
3/ I always overcomplicate things. If I had more time, I’d try and see what I could take out of “Hello Hello”, especially towards the end. I kind of like it though as I’m feeling the chaotic party feel.
4/ I should just go with it. I’ve driven myself to distraction with worry over-thinking the process whilst in the middle of it. It’s only my wife Sally who has stopped me from going insane. “Just go with it Mike” has become her mantra.
5/ I need to let go. In some ways this contradicts the point above, but when something sounds great but doesn’t fit with my vision for this album, I must save it to my sketchbook and move on.
In general I’m very happy with how its gone this week. Although strictly speaking I spent close to two weeks on this track and won’t have that luxury from here on in. But if I put into practice what I’ve learnt this week I shouldn’t lose all my marbles. Yet.
The LA-based, Pat Grossi (aka Active Child) may leave some heads tuned out, but definitely not mine. His unique love for synths and spacey moany manipulated vocals create this sound that is uniquely his. With remixers Classixx on board, the three have seem to have found a perfect marriage. Classixx‘s remix takes Active Child’s “When Your Love is Safe”, and turns it out to a modern-day 80’s pop ballad.
Download the Classixx remix of Active Child here at Rcrdlbl.com
Listen to Active Child on Morning Becomes Eclectic Here.
Listen: Active Child “When Your Love Is Gone (Classixx Remix)”
Every Monday from July 19th to September 20th 2010 I’m releasing a new track for a very reasonable $0. You can download all the tracks in any format and quality (by clicking “download” under the player to the left of this page) and the whole album will remain free to download until 27th September 2010.
And as I continue with this 10 tracks 10 weeks project I’ll talk about how its going over in my studio diary. And if you want to know what the blazes moved me to embark on this harebrained scheme you can find out here
Until September 27th you won’t be able to find the tracks anywhere else (legally anyway) and I’d respectfully request that you don’t distribute the files yourself.
Instead please send people to this site where they can get it themselves for free. Alternatively you could embed the track players wherever you wish on the world wide web by clicking “share” beneath the player.
If the music delights and astounds you so much that you simply have to fork out some of your hard-earned moolah, then please be my guest and click the donate button, but that is completely up to you, I’ll still love you just as much.
To make sure you don’t miss out on any of this free music subscribe to my RSS feed (what is RSS?) which will inform you whenever I put a new track up.
I hope you enjoy the music as much as I’m loving making it.
The most inspiring part of the World Cup were the stories and views of Africa coming through my tv set. Some friends of mine returned from the games in South Africa with tales of Brai (BBQ) and Castle. 2011 I will step foot in the motherland. Here’s some of my favorite African beats from all tempos. Enjoy!
Africa Unite Tracklist
Cirque Du Soleil – Africa (Cottonbelly Remix)
Vieux Farka Toure – Fafa (J-Boogie Remix)
Missy Elliott – Whatcha Gon’ Do
King Sunny Ade – Ja Fun Mi (instrumental)
Femi Kuti – Tell Me (Jeremy Sole’s Musaics remix feat. Ticklah)
Issa Bagayogo – Poye (Tal M. Klein Remix)
Aunty Adoley (Maga Bo Vs. Sabo Remix)
Nickodemus – N’dini feat Ismael Kouyate
Fanga – Kelen
The Pleb – One For Senegal
Awilo Longomba – Coupe Bibamba
Janelle Monae – Dance Or Die (Featuring Saul Williams)
Manu Dibango – African Battle
Fela Kuti – Shakara
Antibalas – Big Man
Rocky Dawuni – Masterplan (DJ OBaH Remix feat. Jimmy Lopez)
Common X King Most – UNiversal Mind Control (King Most Remix)
Yaaba Funk – Omanfoa – DJD Afrodubba Remix
Shakira – Waka Waka (Eduardo Castillo remix)
Myd – Train To Bamako
Buraka Som Sistema – General
I have to say, Black Spade is one of the freshest, skilled and most creative MC’s, producers and vocalist i have ever listened to. His music continues to push boundaries of hip hop and future soul whether he’s under his Stoneyrock alias or his work with genre bending Hawthorne Headhunters. Containing all new music, Spade just completed his first mixtape entitled ‘Build and Destroy’ presented by Union LA, Trackstar the DJ and TSS. Visit the Smoking Section for you own personal copy.
Posted by: Jonthecorner on July 16, 2010 @ 10:11 AM
Posted in: Free Downloads
As summer finally shows it’s light in San Francisco, you can find me doing yoga or picking lemons in my back yard. Maybe hanging at Precita Park or walking the dog to the top of Bernal Heights Park. Here is some musical accompaniment to your stroll on the green. A day in the park with the sounds of downtempo, latin, reggae and Bossa featuring live Congero Rene Flores of Dubtronic Science jamming with me on this live recording we did at the Terra Gallery.
Listen to J-Boogie presents “Beatsauce: A Day in the Park”
Featuring the first hit single ‘Waves of Change’ (already a Billboard Dance Chart Hot Shot Debut) and the mystifying ‘Satellites’, ‘Subconscious’ is destined to resonate with Samantha James fans as well as with new comers just discovering her music.
Produced by ‘Rise’ collaborator Sebastian Arocha Morton (ROCAsound) and new comer Shane Drasin, ‘Subconscious’ is rich with sensuous melodies, soft orchestrations and touching lyrics of loss, love and long lasting friendships.
Here is a free download of "Illusions from the new album.
Gearing up for his new album release, Kanye West just dropped a leak of his new single produced by S1 of Strange Fruit Project. Kanye is going back to his hip hop roots powerfully attacking S1’s epic production. Visit YourAudioFix for the stream and download. I’ve also heard that there’s a new Strange Fruit Project album in the works, more details to come.
Posted by: Jonthecorner on May 28, 2010 @ 12:37 PM
Posted in: Free Downloads
In honor of Free Friday, our friends Six Degrees Records just sent me the J-Boogie Drumpella Remix of Brownout’sOlivaldo to share. Gearing up for the weekend, this might be the perfect jam to play to get the dancefloor poppin’ especially with the SF Carnival coming up. If you’re in the area, J-Boogie’s Dubtronic Science is setting things off at the 18th Street Stage at 2pm sharp. Goodbye rain, hello sunshine, the weather is supposed to be in the upper 60’s so grab your margarita’s and hipster shades only after streaming and downloading the remix below!
Listen to Brownout – Olivaldo (J-Boogie Drumpella Remix)