Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Work in Progress : Last Night I Was a Ghost

New work on the upcoming "Crack-Up" album.
Miss Roxanne on vocals.
The outstanding DSI Tempest drum machine provided the basis for the song, and I've added lots of Moog Little Phatty and Prophet 08. Also featured, the new Chamberlin expansion for Gforce M-Tron Pro.

Work in Progress : Last Night I Was a Ghost par khoral_kmore

Monday, December 19, 2011

Tempest Video Demo

For demo purposes only, the Tempest track in isolation, from the "Static Song" sessions.
Not the best recording quality, my audio interface might be getting old, but with all the little live manipulations, I didn't want to do another take, so there you go...
A fair amount of Lexicon MX200 reverb (the only built-in FX are analog distorsion and compression, no digital ones).

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Hats Off to Mister Selvaggio

Lots of things going on these days, hence the lack of posts.
I'm still piling up songs for the "Crack-Up" and working on videos.

But I'm also collaborating with this outstanding Italian musician, Marco Selvaggio, aka Hang Drum.
He plays that rare sort of chromatic drums in a very melodic way and I'm sure we'll come up with great music.

Check out his work :

Friday, December 2, 2011

Listening Mode : Right Where it Belongs

In this song, like Fitzgerald before him, Reznor comes to grip with the hollowness of public life and the collapse of one’s ego. Both men stare at their own reflection and find something is askew. In his “Crack-Up” papers, Fitzgerald realized he had become a dry, empty shell, a fac simile of being, the ghost of a ghost. The writer who had achieved stardom faced a void of purpose, “the hollowness inside of your heart”, an empty house only haunted with the remembrance of things gone west. A shift is taking place, leaving the man to ponder the directions in which his personality is splitting up.

Crippled with uncertainty, finding no time for rigid, by-the-book protest slogans, this is a song of existential questions. “What if all the world you think you know is an elaborate dream?“ In the mirror, the man sees his future self: “if you look at your reflection, is that all you want to be?” Indeed, today’s Reznor is a bodybuilding, wealthy musician who churns out neatly produced songs like a well-programmed robot assembles cars, a laborious rock star, creating music on autopilot. Stuffed like the Hollow Men, comfortably numb, digging up the same hole over and over. “Is that all you want to be?”, his former self seems to ask. “What if you could look right through the cracks?” The man in the mirror entertains the masses with professional, slick, clean-cut shows and packs up muscle as if layers of flesh may fill up the void once depicted in this song. “I used to have a purpose, but then again, it might have been a dream”, laments Reznor elsewhere on the album.

Of course, one is hard pressed to find fault, both musically and technically, to his post-“With Teeth” output. His last commercial work to date, “Year Zero”, is a tour de force of clever programming, catchy choruses and rich artwork. Its marketing campaign was also pretty elaborate, with USB songs lost on purpose in hotel rooms, so that they might resurface on their own. Yet there is something unsettling about the whole album. Something missing, some sense of urgency and danger, that music is the expression of a deep-seated urge to tear the universe apart. On the other hand, “Right where it Belongs”, like his pre-“With Teeth” work, is the diary of a dark night of the soul, profoundly humane, flawed and fragile.

Fitzgerald again: “Every man has a breaking point”. This is the point of realization, where there is a choice you have to make. “You can live in this illusion - You can choose to believe”. Well, like TS Eliot once said, “After such knowledge, what forgiveness?” You either face complacency or moral despair. Fitzgerald chose the former, going back to Hollywood, a dull, mediocre version of his youthful flamboyant self. On “Right where it Belongs”, the use of applause samples reminds us of Pink Floyd’s “Welcome to the Machine”, another song about the empty pursuit of fame and fortune. Indeed, Reznor make it very clear that the hollowness of his neat little world is at stake. This is an outstanding piece of music, which speaks from the heart, the self-diagnosis of a painful transition, the record of a loss that the writer is unable to fully understand.