cinnamon sugar demo

so here's an updated cinnamon sugar, as promised. a run down on the changes
- snare is changed significantly
- volcanoes smoothed out a bit and given space away from the vocals in the stereo spectrum, as well as lowered in volume during singing
- piano much cleaner and more sharply eq.ed
- kick reduced in volume and tightened in decay length
i think that's about it.


sunday wreckovery - march 2009

cover and cinnamon sugar

another couple of tracks that have been worked on a fair bit over the last week. the first is cover. let me know if there are any small details that need fixing. blake - both bec and i decided that the cornets sounded good in the last vocal section and gave it a climactic feel. we removed all the glockenspiel parts from that section which freed up the space and made it not so congested. eliza's high harmony only appears in that section as well, and the recording of it is all glitched up due to latency issues. however, i've used it anyway as it adds some interesting textural qualities, especially with the nice choppy delay that is also used on other instruments, and it still provides the same actual harmonic notes. but have a listen for it to see what you all think.

the second now has a working title of cinnamon sugar (ask eliza) though may well have a real title of its own - i just don't know what it is and didn't want to presume. (does it have a real title, eliza?) this is the piece that blake started on boxing day. the piano part is very nice, but the actual timbre of the piano had too much in common with the timbre of the synth bit. they both had the effect of making each other a messy blur. so i processed the piano quite heavily to give it its own sonic space. i let it come through as a clean piano in some sections where there's no synth. i've also edited down the structure of the track so it doesn't meander quite as aimlessly as it once did (before it had a song. again, all feedback from any quarter desired.

i've also updated the dj foundation mix post down here to include the actual telafonica remix in its entirety (and at a bit better bitrate) if anyone would like to hear it.


the recording process

the last couple of months have been pretty prolific in terms of writing and recording new things. here's a couple of photos. one is of eliza doing some vocalising - some the finishing touches for slightly older things and some brand new material. the other photo is of my cousin vanessa, who was visiting from spain for a month over christmas/new year. i got her over one night and recorded a whole bunch of castanet playing - she's been playing since she was 4 and is quite expert. a couple of tracks had things recorded specifically for them, and then i just recorded her playing a whole bunch of things which i plan to cut and paste into future work.

as you can see, the recordings were done in airconditioned comfort - one of the joys of a laptop and small-ish mixer.

i'll post some of the newer demos as i upload them to imeem over the next few days. any feedback from anywhere will be welcome.

tape noise pictures.

Initial sketches for tape noise video idea.



this is the version of the severed heads track twister that we've been putting together over the last month or so. it would be good to get a few opinions on whether or not its ready to be submitted for consideration for the severed heads tribute album that clan analogue are putting together. my feeling is that it is finished, but then perhaps i'm too close to it as well. if anyone is interested, the original version (and lots of other stuff as well) can be downloaded free and legally from the severed heads website



i went to the sydney chapter of the laneway festival on sunday. it was brilliant. it was big enough for an atmosphere to be created but small enough that you could actually see everything you wanted without too much hassle (which is particularly important for short folk like myself). and the lineup was excellent - there was only one spot during the day where i didn't much care for any of the artists playing, but even then i was able to wander through the markets etc.

a couple of the things i most enjoyed, and which have inspired the most musical thought since then, were dorian concept and, of course, fourtet.

the thing that most impressed me was the idea of how much rhythm can be broken down while still maintaining forward momentum that inspired movement in the audience.
dorian concept played blippy grainy electronics with hints of dubstep thrown in. here, rhythms made by tradtionally rhythmic sounds (snares, kicks, hats etc) often are used to make mangled beats with accents in all the wrong places, yet are still regular. it is then often left to the bass to keep the driving rhythm. he also used lots of jazz influenced keyboard improvisation, but because of the extremely electronic and processed nature of his synth sounds, it rarely sounded like jazz. he was often even able to just whack random clusters of notes on his keyboard and the resulting sound, run through all the processing, was more off-kilter rhythms. the whole set was, nonetheless, propulsive, and absolutely dance music.

fourtet came at things from the opposite angle. his rhythms were actually very traditional, even conservative (and certainly didn't have anything like the bottom end power of dorian concept). but the rhythms he did use remained as a consistent pulse under what he was doing. that pulse worked in a similar manner to minimalist techno, in terms of grounding. but over that is where the action was, and made the actual music very unminimal. he layered lots of little musical samples, textural samples, snatches of voices etc, without too much concern for actual structure. these were then processed on the fly. the most significant thing for me was his use of delays, which were, in the main, completely out of sync with the underlying beat. they shifted constantly, never settling anywhere. and this is where he was able to push the limits of what is rhythmic. it was only the simple beat that was in time, everything else was very random in its tempo. this and other processing also had the effect of building lots of layers of noise, none overwhelming, but it was definitely grainy. yet, here as well, you could definitely dance to it. while he pushed and pulled rhythm at will, he still made dance music.

i was pleased with how far both could push rhythm around. it actually made the dj set by buraka som sistema, which i was very much looking forward to, seem a bit bland, straight and unadventurous. it was still great sweaty fun, just not cerebrally challenging. dorian concept and fourtet were able to be both simultaneously, which i greatly admire.


tape noise pictures

i've been conversing with dave shooter over the last few days about the possibility of making a film for a telafonica track. this is a run down of his first 'brief' ideas (presented about a day after first hearing the track!). dave was a little concerned about publishing the spoilers, but i'm thinking the traffic through here probably isn't too intense and by the time it's all complete, everyone will have forgotten anyway. so, over to snowy....

Ok, I am way to addicted to Tape Noise. Love it.

I have a video clip idea for it that I'll run by you, probably inadequetly because in my head it looks wonderful. It came to me pretty quickly on one of the listens through. The core scenes seemed to just fit in as I was listening.

I was thinking about rewinding - history repeating itself - warnings in time - revelation. And then this story idea came...

If you can imagine it as animation, tracing over photographs / video with a stylised feel - a skectchy black and white, Rough Pencil scribble with outlines, with colour splashes. I guess the style and feel exists somewhere between, Gorillaz, Wall-E and Princess Monoke! (sheesh)

I also put the timecodes on so there is a vague idea of reading along with the music.


0.00 - 0.10
Zooming in through a 70's sci-fi ish looking mission control crew watching a small retro television.

0.11 - 0.13
Casette is inserted into retro-ish video machine. (on sound effect)

0.13 - 0.18
Text on screen describes that this is a recording of some sort of flight mission. ("Captains Log" ...hm, sounds corny, but will look rad.)

0.19 - 0.25
A ship is on screen. The main Control guy (in time with the sound effect) pushes fast forward. And the video fasts forward. The screen fills the frame. Fast forward again. We are following the ship through space.

A smaller ship leaves unlocks from the larger ship (Beat at 0.30) and heads towards the planet. It skims across the atmosphere. We see the ruins of this world, apocalptic looking but beautiful. Suddenly the ship has an accident and both pilots must eject. (around 0.50). Slow with lots of debri as the came out of their planes. Parchute opens (0.59 that pause in the beat)

We follow one of the the characters as he floats down into this strange world (1.00 when the mood kicks in), a ruin, with nature scattered through it and huge beautiful beasts moving slowly through it. His parachute gets stuck in a pylon and he is left sitting in his ejector chair hovering a metre above the ground. In front of him (if you are looking closely) the ruins form a strange stage, it would look like he was the only audience member in an empty theatre. (1.30) As he looks around and up at this beautiful, but desolate world he sees a figure, off in the distant. (1.30)

She wears a strange headress, somewhere between a gridiron helmet, an Native-American Headress and those huge Stone heads Masks (forget where they exist). She carries a baseball bat. and her poncho-like tattered shawl is covered with badges. Suddenly she lifts a small pink cassette player above her head and inserts the tape, (fitting with the sound effect (1.40) presses, record and begins to run aggressively towards the space man, just perfectly as the beat kicks back in. Her arms swing to the time of the music. She leaps (small pause at 1.50)

And then she dances (1.54). A mixture of break-dancing, an aboriginal corrobee, Krimping, and a street fighter game. Quite violent, emotional. She tells the story of revelation, a warning, the sun fell to earth, dust storms, falling debri, the loss...

The Spacemen watches intently (at first she was quite frightening), amazed. (2.27)

There was losses, someone close to her maybe, the dance motions a child. She reaches a pinnacle, like a whirlwind, And then she stops (2.35) and she is holding the tape, she is not angry but almost pleading. His eyes kind-of quivering, maybe he is crying, but whatever the case she sees he has understood (2.41) . She smiles. (2.47)

Suddenly the second pilot appears, (2.48) he shoots a blast from a raygun, her arm flings back, the tape rolls out, the tape, black inside unravels, we follow the string of black tape (all really really quickly) and it reconnects up to the tape in the hand of the main character back at mission control, the one initially watching the screen. Tape Noise it says on the label.


as well as the actual film clip, the plan will also be for him to produce a comic of sorts from the stills and include a cd with the music (and maybe the film clip itself?) with it.


the one that got away

after to-ing and fro-ing with darren the booker for candy's apartment today, i finally sent an e-mail saying we could do the gig on the 13th. he was after a headline band, which i wasn't sure we could do, to replace an act that had pulled out at short notice. anyway, i then got a message to say that another band had got in just before us. so in the end we missed out, but i think it will be ok - it was good to get to talk to him and we're on the radar now, so hopefully something can come of it down the line.

in a really bizarre train of events, however, two of the other great venues in sydney, the hopetoun and spectrum, emailed out of the blue to offer us spots at their respective new band nights. so all these gigs are now floating around, which is quite nice. just need to work out some details.