So my friend Chris turned 40 last month and I played a secret birthday part gig for him.
I was kinda fraught with concern about this gig as I haven’t played out in 6 years and my studio was only recently rebuilt. Â There was a lot of ground to cover and reworking of music to figure out. Â I considered bailing on it several times due to sheer frustration.
I’m so glad I didn’t! Â So now I should give a big shootout to Deftly Demolition for asking me to play. Â Thanks, D!
The whole thing was a surprise and included several others paling including myself, DJ Darryl Hell, Journey To The Center Of The Colon and David Doktor. I was kinda amped for my set and began prepping for a couple of week before. Â So glad I did.
I had an amazing time playing. Â Most of the stuff has never seen the light of day outside of my iPod. Â It was nice to play it for fresh ears and get some feedback. Â I rolled out the Krsna lunchbox synth for the first time and the lord god Krsna didn’t fail in amazing people. Â Love that. Â Also brought out Black Sheep! Â Black Sheep! to the gig. Â Both provided nice ambient noise madness in between songs.
[caption id=”attachment_3162” align=”alignnone” width=”300”] Great god Gort watches over me as I drop mad beats, lo-science and button pressing madness. Somewhere in there was some music, too.[/caption]
It was fantastic meeting new folks like Rob from Component Records, DJ Darryl Hell, Elizabeth from Pattern Behavior and Ed from Journey To The Center Of The Colon. Â I feel like you need to see a video of Ed aka JTTCOTC in action to get how massively awesome he is live. Â Amazing.
I’ll be posting more files from it soon on my Soundcloud page. Â For now here’s the first song of the set, my new theme song. Â Just in time for the end of 2013.
Some very great things also happened that night which I will be able to divulge soon once I am given permission.
Ok. Â Back to the lab. Â I got a mic to grab!
So I’m in my new studio digs and I really, really love them. Â Flow Control 7.0 is the latest and greatest incarnation of studio spaces since I put my grandfather’s old synth in my bedroom back in 1984.
Just about everything is connected and working. Â A few units are proving challenging but always seem to be that way. Â Need to get in and make sure they’re wired up right. Â Once I get the kinks ironed out and it’ll be working at 110%.
And I’ve been writing music during this process. Â I’m really liking what’s coming out. Â WIth each new iteration of the space comes a new way of working, especially as I like to keep my style fresh and incorporate new ideas into how I make music. Â Recently I had a major realization towards that end. Â I realized a few weeks ago that I approach my machines sometimes with the idea that merely by flipping them on they will immediately produce pleasing sounds and cohesive songs. Â That is just not how it works. Â I realized I need to explore more, dig into each device and cultivate my sound from them much like, say, Autechre does with their gear (though not to the obsessive degree they do). So lately I’ve been sitting with a specific device and digging around in it a bit more than usual, working out what I can do with it, what makes it produce a CRT sound or beat. Â So… Â After a few weeks of banging my head up against a few new ideas or methods I’m finally in a bit of a groove, it seems. Â A lot of ideas popping up and many living past the four bars of death. Â For instance…
Funny thing about the rebuilding is that it occurs to me that among the gear I have the first keyboard I ever got and some of the first cables, too. Â Those must be about 25-30 years old and still work. Â The keyboard is a Yamaha CE-25 as seen here in this vintage photo of me and my high school friend Brian Kelsey.
[caption id=”attachment_3179” align=”alignnone” width=”640”] Brian was and is still an amazing drummer and musician. I’ve lost some chops over the years while I’ve gained prowess in other areas. I will say that when you work with a drummer at 14 who could play note for note anything by Neil Peart of Stewart Copeland it absolutely ruins you for most other drummers for the rest of your life.[/caption]
What’s funny is that in addition to making fresh new tracks I’m also trolling back through the years and finding a ton of things from five to seven years ago that are pretty good but didn’t get much past those dread 4 bars. Â Funny how that works. Â While on a road trip, eternal homie of the dirty mind JUNGLE JMC was exposed to a song from 2006 and when I told him I did it 7 years ago he was pleasantly stunned.
"Why’d you sit on it for so long?" he asked.
"I dunno," I replied. Â "I thought it was lame."
His dropping jaw dented the floor of my car.
Oh, another thing.
This weird incident happened the other night where i found myself working later than usual - like 9:30 or so. Â Not such a big deal but unusual for me - and I was getting this weird feeling of anxiety. Â A fear of being up here at work. Â Not sure where it came from or what it was about but I felt like I was doing something wrong. Â I soon realized it was just a leftover feeling from not having my own space to do music for the last 8 years.
Now I have that space in Flow Control 7. Â Which is totally weird. Â And awesome all at once.
Here’s to making it go beep!