meet DOS4GW

ectoplasma, ectoskeletal

So, Moderate Rock. If you’ve not heard it, you can download it from my bandcamp page for the low low price of your email address.

I picked up Logan’s Run because it had a sweet cover. I put the DVD in the player, started the movie, and from the first model shot of the domed city, I knew that I could definitely make a few tunes from the soundtracking and incidental music – the sound design is so cold and stark. The first track, Prologue, is testament to this. If you watch the first scene of the film, then play the track, you’ll notice that I didn’t really have to add much to the raw sample. That looping synth line still does it for me.

I thought that I would need more of a break from making music after the stress of putting out Fetching Shoulders. I was still pumped from actually doing it though, and I think it was this energy which pushed the first three tracks along quite quickly. It took me maybe two weeks to finish them, which for me is lightning fast. I tend to work well in bursts, as I get easily distracted, usually by the internet or other -ternet related products.

The next few tracks took fucking ages. Like, I mean months and months. I wrote Ankh after listening to way too much Patti LaBelle in the cd store I was working in at the time. The Dome was much the same – I’d been listening to Queen for 18 hours a day. Working in music stores does that to you; I found myself going through bizarre phases where I’d put on saaay a George Benson disc and listen to it on repeat for eight hours. The people in the shops next to us must have fucking hated it. Some of my phases were less offensive, but not by much.

I wrote the last four tracks of the Logan’s Run suite in the fortnight before I needed to send the master off to be pressed. It’s always the way – if I don’t have a deadline looming, I find it impossible to motivate myself. That said, there was a lot of material that I wrote for this album that was left on the cutting room floor, so to speak. It’s been strange listening back to my early discs. All I can hear in my head now are the snippets of beats and melodies that I put down at 4am on a Tuesday morning in 2007 that never turned into anything more than a four bar loop.

Making this album taught me something pretty important. Even when an idea is straight in your own head, it’s very easy for your own interpretation to muddle the concept up. Connecting the dots between “the idea in my head” and “the way the idea manifested itself in my creative output during period x” is a tough task, especially when I think about Moderate Rock. It was the first time that I had tried to create programme music, for one thing – and I enjoyed that challenge immensely. I learned a lot about myself when I was making it, so it’s hard to think about the album without thinking about the voyage towards the end product – which in turn makes it tough for me to analyse the album as a ‘work’.

Anyway, it’s released, it’s part of my history, so go cop a listen if you feel so inclined. I’ll upload some art when I can find either a scanner or the original files.

So what did I learn from Moderate Rock? I learned that Able is a great MC. I learned that people love helping out when you’re doing something like this. The input from Silence, Able, and Krispin was invaluable. I learned that people like simple and accessible hiphop much more than they like instrumental electronic music. I learned that I am ok with that.

The track Animal is the track that you’re most likely to have heard from this album, either on the radio, at one of my shows (because it was written quite a while before this album came out) or, more likely than either of the former, at a Typhoons show. I went to Sydney with Able and some of The Typhoons lads to play Animal for the MTV Kickstart competition, which was a fucking blast. I talked animatedly to a middle aged woman about Kiss at the afterparty at some hotel in Sydney for two hours before asking her what she did (she was the head of MTV Australia, boy did I feel sheepish about that particular effort). Note to self: pay more attention when people are talking.

Anyway, we ended up re-recording Animal more recently, and it’s available on Able’s latest EP, Icecream Won’t Save You. I like the re-recorded version a lot better than the old one that’s on Moderate Rock, but it still brings back fond memories. All the tracks I do with Able are so easy… a few afternoons or evenings recording vocals, we have some beers, then crank out a mix, and bam, it’s done.

I still think the snares on Time Warp are the most hiphoppy that I’ve managed.

The launch of Moderate Rock was a strange night. It was at the Velvet Lounge, which was the wrong venue. I didn’t do nearly enough promo for it. I played through the album on RTR with the Community guys, but that was all the radio that I did. I don’t even think I took any advertising space in Drum. I was totally broke, and just wanted to get the record out. I asked my parents to help out with the pressing costs as my birthday present for that year, and they kindly obliged.

The day arrived, and I was about as hungover as I’ve ever been. If you look at the photos (I’m tagged in them on facebook if you’re really interested) I look more than half dead. Overweight, hung over, playing a bad DJ set to uninterested Scotsman patrons and twenty of my mates.  It was such a contrast from the first launch, which was an absolute cracker of a night. I came away from it a bit discouraged, but I think that was mostly because I realised that if I’m not willing to put in the legwork on promoting the shit out of a gig, then I might as well give up trying to play live shows. As a result I gave up playing live shows for a while, a few months I think, until I found a more rewarding way of playing live (which was discovering that Ableton is indeed a thing).

I also discovered grime and dubstep.

tbc…

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