Friday, October 30, 2009

Atari Forever

Another tidbit from my old tapes (see previous posts).

Ha, I wish I could take credit for that one, but it seems like I had put some videogame music to tape for personal (and geekish) use.
Again, this must go back to 1987 or 1988, and I have no recollection whatsoever what videogame (or coder demo) it's from.
The only sure thing is it's an Atari STE music cue.
It's a nice little retro thing with technoïd bass and the coolest melody.

Non-descript videogame music

And by the way, DEATH TO AMIGA.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Casiotone from the Dead

To educate future generations about what it was like to live in the eighties, I dug even deeper in my dusty, dusty tapes and found a couple of funny Casiotone CT-360 improvisations (not my pic, by the way, I don't have the Casiotone I used at my place)...

Hard to date without carbon 14, but I'd say sometime around 1987, yours truly being 10 year old.

To the Casiomobile!

Casiotone away!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Oh So Ancient Tapes

All right, here's a couple of oldies from my tape archives (see previous post)

WARNING#1 : the audio quality is very very low, the recorder obviously needs to be fixed, the stereo section isn't working anymore and there's an awful amount of noise and hum.

WARNING#2 : the musical quality is even lower! I was about 15 or 16 at the time.

This one starts with some pseudo-drum&bass distorted beat and then switches for no apparent reason to weird cold wave synth and guitar work.

The drums most probably come from the Yamaha DD-11.

This one features prominently the Yamaha SY-35 which was my only synth back then, hence the super-cheesy digital pads!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Back from the Future

Took my old, ooooooold 4-track recorder back from its dark, daaaaaaark hole in the attic.
This was my first serious recorder, which I used between 1990 and 1995 (switching to computer recording).
I have plenty of absurdly embarrassing tapes from that era, and if I can find some barely listenable ones, I'll post some.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

What Did you Do?

The blog has been quiet these days, but this cat ain't lazy, I've been working on the upcoming Police EP, with a nice, smooth rendition of "Walking on the Moon" in the box, along with a smashing (yes, smashing) version of the lesser known "Darkness" (from the brooding 1981 "Ghost in the Machine" album, check it out). I also recorded "Invisible Sun" but I'm not sure about the result, I'll redo that later on.

On other projects, I've got 5 outside musicians to contribute acoustic instruments for the "Hollow Lands" folk-blues EP (cello, harmonium, etc...) which is quite exciting.

And I've launched a myspace for the Tsinam/"Chasing Ghosts" side-project :
Not sure it will actually be ready for november 1st, but stay tuned.

This week, I'll try to add a record to the Listening Mode section, and possibly a Roland D-50 review.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Prophet Jam

I was playing around with a new patch yesterday and thought I'd record the whole jam to give another taste of the Prophet 08's power and depth.

So, this is a live single take of a Prophet 08 patch, without external sequencer or effects.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Another Myspace

I hate myspace.
The only thing I despise more than myspace is facebook.
And the only thing I loathe more than facebook is twitter.
My point is, I'm not necessarily a huge fan of the internet. But it seems you've gotta have a myspace account for promoting anyway, so there you go, besides my own solo myspace , I've opened a specific one for the live band, and it's right HERE if you want to add us.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Band is Alive

All right, my live band's demo is online, and we're in the process of finding gigs now.
Sound quality isn't great, I'm afraid, for various reasons, but it gives a sense of how the band sounds, and it's just a demo anyway...
Jérôme Guienne on bass, Etienne Bauquin on guitar, Jérôme Herbert on Korg M50, Romain Richard on drums, and I've played Prophet 08 and Moog Little Phatty.

Three songs from our tracklist :
1 : Mary's Mellotron Song (an oldie from an EP released some years ago by now defunct Papergoose Records)
2 : All Roads Lead (from the unreleased "Up the River" LP)
3 : The Way to Dusty Death (from the recently released "Strawberry Blonde" LP)

Live Demo (zip)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Million Songs

Things here are damn COLD, and you synth nerds know what it means : lousy oscillator tuning... ah, playing the Minimoog by the fire...
I wish I had a fireplace.
And a Minimoog.
But I digress, I just wanted to say that progress is being (slowly) made on the live band demo tape, and that I had a fine idea to spend the long winter evenings (so you can see there was a point in that coldness digression after all) (I mean, sort of) : recording a series of cover EPs about artists that influenced me the most.
I'm trying to pick up songs that aren't that too well-known.
There's going to be a 4-songs Bowie covers EP, a 4-songs Gabriel EP, and I'll do Syd Barrett, Police and some others (until I just drop dead).

For instance, the Bowie EP will look something like :
1 : Andy Warhol
2 : Ashes to ashes
3 : Shopping for girls
4 : A small plot of land (already recorded)

The Police EP might be :
1 : Darkness
2 : King of Pain
3 : Secret Journey
4 : Walking on the Moon (recorded too)

And so on...
No date yet, but probably one EP per month starting this december.

And to prove that in the end I don't give a hoolop (don't check, it's a word I just made up) about relevance, a mostly unrelated pic of a guitar neck.

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Place to Go

Just a little tip of my hat to my friend John Fisher aka Ricemutt aka Bagger288 aka Golden Master who just launched his music blog...
You should definitely visit that, my guess is it's going to be experimental and weird and great.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Guitar is Nice

Another shot from yesterday's session...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Live Demo Progress

Our guitar player Etienne passed by to add some electric guitar.
I'm hoping to finalize the demo this weekend.
The tracklist:
1 - Mary's Mellotron Song (old tune revamped)
2 - All Roads Lead (from the unreleased "Up the River" album)
3 - Who the Fuck are You (new song)
4 - The Way to Dusty Death (from the recently released "Strawberry Blonde" album

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Overdrive that Korg

Just having some fun with the toys...

To explain a bit what's going on in this improvisation :

- The Electribe EMX is playing the beat, which is fed to the TL FAT1 compressor with the input gain on maximum so that it's distorting like craze
- The Moog bass is sequenced by the aforementioned Electribe
- The Roland D550 does it fx/digital/weirdiness thing
- The Korg Poly-800 pads are passing through the Small Stone phaser pedal
- The cat is staring rather nastily at me (out of frame)

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Bassman Cometh

Recording session last night for my band's live demo...
Drums, Juno synth and voice already done, time for adding some punchy bass... our esteemed drummer Romain took the pictures, and next stop : keyboards and guitar.
The demo should be available here in a week.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Clavinet VST

Always been very fond of the Clavinet sound... you know, Clavinet!

For a while I had been using the freeware Ticky Clav

But yesterday I ran across Topaz Clav 1, which is really nice. It sounds reasonably realistic for limited purposes (I mean, don't expect to emulate Stevie, but for a little funky touch on a song, it can do the trick, and it's light and free), and features some cool filters and envelopes if you want to experiment a bit with funky spacey harpsichords...

I didn't bother recording demos, because it's such a tiny, straightforward VST, you might as well take my word and try it for yourself, so get it here

And while I'm on the subject, a very interesting glimpse into the way Stevie Wonder used to layer Clavinet parts for his songs, in this video