Sunday, February 28, 2010

Unplugged du Jour : Waterloo Sunset

A little unplugged recording of the Kinks's classic song. One microphone, one take.

Download MP3 

Dirty old river, must you keep rolling
Flowing into the night
People so busy, makes me feel dizzy
Taxi light shines so bright
But I don't need no friends
As long as I gaze on Waterloo sunset
I am in paradise

Every day I look at the world from my window
But chilly, chilly is the evening time
Waterloo sunset's fine

Terry meets Julie, Waterloo Station
Every Friday night
But I am so lazy, don't want to wander
I stay at home at night
But I don't feel afraid
As long as I gaze on Waterloo sunset
I am in paradise

Millions of people swarming like flies 'round Waterloo underground
But Terry and Julie cross over the river
Where they feel safe and sound
And they don't need no friends
As long as they gaze on Waterloo sunset
They are in paradise

Waterloo sunset's fine

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Photo du Jour : Tsinam

The many incarnations of Tsinam...
This one shows a fair amount of skin.
Click on pic for hi-res.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Let's Go to Blockoland

What's that game, you ask?

Ha, I won't tell.

But it's on iStuff, it's fun, and it'll soon be Khoral-muzak enriched.

Stay tuned.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Introducing the Cover Series : The Police

If you remember, and I'm sure you do, I plan to release free EPs of cover songs at the pace of one a month until I drop dead.

Cover Series Vol.1 : "Dreaming Up Schemes", four songs from one of my favorite bands of all time, The Police.

Release Date : March 1st.

Track list :

1 - Darkness : a beautiful and haunting synthpop tune from the "Ghosts in the Machine" album, written by drummer Stewart Copeland. My own cover is a vintage synth fest, a dense, intricate wall of analogue sounds.

2 - Invisible Sun : the well-known hit song, off the same album, famously banned by the BBC for its subdued political content (Ireland). I went for a grittier, more electric sound on this one.

3 - Secret Journey : again on "Ghost in the Machine", an atmospheric, spiritual song, which I treated in a somewhat funkier, spacier way, with relentless groove and plenty of 70's-like string machines.

4 - Walking on the Moon : I played this one as a low-key ballad, with crunchy beats and a very open sound.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Showroom Dummy (The Return)

It's been nearly a year since I last posted a little studio tour, so let's sacrifice to the oh-so-geekish exercise...
I won't go too far in details about the instruments themselves and invite you to check out the labels for reviews and samples.

A nice bundle of analogue power here...
We've got the Prophet 08 polyphonic synthesizer on the front, an outstanding, sophisticated machine, and no doubt future classic...
Then the no less fantastic Moog Little Phatty monophonic.
On top of that, Roland's 1986 Alpha Juno-1, a dark, brooding 8 voices synth.
Behind, the mellow, retro-80's sounding Korg Poly-800 (I'm running out of space, don't know where to put that one yet!).

Let's go digital with the deep, deep synthesis of Korg's 1990 Wavestation, the perfect tool for cinematic, creepy atmospheres.
The Roland D550, rack version of the famous D50, is on the right, behind its PG-1000 controller.
There's a Lexicon MX200 reverb unit on top of it, and an Electro Harmonix Big Muff fuzz pedal behind.
The red thing is a TL Audio compressor, on top of a Joemeek ThreeQ preamp/compressor/EQ.
On the left part of the working space, my good old Korg Electribe EMX drum machine, the PG-300 controller for the Alpha Juno-1.
The big white whale is the very newly acquired Crumar Bit-01, a fine and complex 8 voices analogue synth.
Another bunch of analogue Electroharmonix pedals on top of it : Stereo Pulsar (tremolo), Memory Boy (delay), Stereo Electric Mistress (flanger).
Hard to glimpse on the far right behind the table, a Microkorg and a couple more Electro Harmonix tools : the analogue Small Clone (chorus) and Small Stone (phaser).

Guitars, guitars, guitars...
A couple of steel guitars, which I use for my blues albums, and an Emperor Joe Pass hollowbody.
Not pictured : Peavey electro-acoustic, and my beloved Epiphone acoustic.

Software-wise : Sonar LE for recording... Gforce's, Virtual String Machine and M-tron as main VST instruments.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Demo Time

One thing is released, and work continues...

Here's a simple demo I did last week for a new song (heavily) inspired by Macbeth (like many of the songs on "Strawberry Blonde", by the way). It's based on the closing instrumental track on "Chasing Ghosts".

It's basically a sketch for the follow-up to "Chasing Ghosts", follow-up which will feature the beautiful voice of Molly Sundar. I might do a version of it myself for another album.

Guitar and voice, one mic, one take.

Opium Spider (Demo)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

And Speaking of This...

By which I mean the very nice work by Miss Roxanne on "Chasing Ghosts", we had a recording session this weekend, putting on tape gorgeous backing vocals for my next (commercial) EP, "Life on a Sinking Ship".

I'll get back on this soon, but let's just say right now that it'll be a follow-up of sorts to the quite successful "Broken Sails" free albumette. Rich, intense analog pop with lots of guitars and vintage drum machines.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

What's Next?

Now that "Chasing Ghosts" is out, I can already say that there'll definitely be another album under the Tsinam moniker...
I don't know yet if it'll feature the same singer, or possibly two female singers, but more on that later on as it unfolds...
Meanwhile, download the first installment, it's free and it's great!

Monday, February 1, 2010

New Free EP : Tsinam's "Chasing Ghosts"

It's out there!

Who's Tsinam? Well, it'll be a side-project with female vocals only (high time I shut my mouth, right?).

Mademoiselle Roxanne beautifully sung these four lush, intricate pop songs, and couldn't have done a better job at it.

The sound here is vintage as always, ripe with warm analog synth sounds, Rhodes, post-psychedelic guitars and Mellotron.

It's 4 songs and 1 instrumental coda.
1 - The Farewell Song
2 - The Great Lost Sorrow Tune
3 - End of Words
4 - Ghosts of my Enemies
5 - Opium Spider

Many thanks to Lowlifi for playing lap steel guitar on track 2, and Sohcahtoa playing Rhodes on track 3.

You may download it HERE, complete with printable CD artwork, lyrics and iPod icon.

Also available in streaming form at : Tsinam-Chasing-Ghosts
And of course,