19th Oct 2010 Remixing and video making

With the Jamie Says album done and dusted I wanted to do a remix of a track I particularly liked. It’s called ‘Static’. Really lovely sentiment. I took the vocal and fiddled for an hour, and so far have a nice vibe.. really dreamy. More of that later in the week. Very rewarding, remixing.. I don’t take it as genre mashing or whatever these youngsters do (!), I look at it more of a re-imagining of it…. this one in particular is bringing out a different feeling that was there all along, but hidden within the original… (I hope!)

Made a video for a WAA track.. I found a nice Youtube clip I’ve hacked up. Just see if John R likes it before I post it online.

WAA album seemed to disappear from CD baby pre Itunes, but it’s back now…weird. John R’s been sorting the stickers out. We need to nail the sleeve, now and send the master to Tapeline.

17th Oct 2010 Old songs and mastering

Mastered the WAA remix I did. Decided on an alias for the upcoming remix things I’m doing. They’ll go out under ‘The Rise and Demise of John’ mixes. This is the name of a song I started to write 2 or 3 years ago at the start of WAA. It got as far as a verse and chorus from me, then over to John R for a second verse and middle bit. We finished it but it didn’t feel right, so we shelved it. Really love the chorus and may revisit it one day, but for now it’ll do as an umbrella. It’s ridiculous!

A while back, we sent a WAA track to Andy and Sarah from Butterfly Polite to try to do the vocals for. John R and I had bashed our head against a wall on this one song, called “Romance”. I love the song but neither of us could nail the vocal, and I felt it needed a boy girl ‘thing’. They recorded the vocals and did a great job, but am still struggling with the song. Started stripping it back and putting it together again.. I get the feeling I’m a long way away yet…..

10th oct 2010. 2 albums put to bed and pastures new

Both Kafkadiva and Jamie Says albums are finished (bar the checking of the CDs by bands themselves) so it seemed like a good time start the next stage of plate spinning and something I’ve wanted to do for years. Last night I sent a handful of emails out to people along the years I’ve worked with who I’d like to contribute to my new and very long term project: a music for media company. Meaning to do it for a very long time. I’ve been doing some background reading on it for a while but nothing more. Unless I started getting people involved and relying on me handling their music , I could see it being another 5 years of silence. So, although theres a way to go, my intentions are focussed. Phew.

Other news: the We Are Altered album is waiting to be duplicated, but til we get know whether a track (called “we’re at our height”) is going to be used for  publisher we can’t finalise the tracks. Ironically one of the reasons for doing the WAA project with John R was to use the material for media, too.. but Lift (our publisher) didn’t want to use stuff that was being commercially released, so that was that planned fucked! Still, it doesn’t matter as the album sounds great and there was so much more to it than just the media aspect…. a real learning curve, and on it goes.

This week: Got Uber tech pioneers Roland coming in to show off at the day job tomorrow, a Jamie Says remix to start, WAA remix to master, and another Shortwave Fade track to mix. Not all of this will happen as I’ve got a short week.

One of the perks (the only?)of the day job is that I get to go to the Apple Training conference in a city in europe. Last two years I’ve been to Barcelona and Paris. This year it’s Munich. Never been. Very excited, and a real treat to end the first and one of the most stressful times of the year for me. So that’s thursday and friday this week…..

Oct 7th Gaps, WAA remix and Bernard Sumner Hot Chip collaboration

Sorted the gaps on the Kafkadiva album, then onto the WAA remix I’m doing. Trimmed the flab from the end and replaced a snare with a Linn snare sample. My favourite snare, fact fans.

Converse are running a series of collaborations at the moment. Bernard from New Order has done a collaboration with Hot Chip. ‘Didn’t know what love was’ is a slice of Electronic era Bernard. In true Hot Chip style, it sounds like a demo…they’ve made a career form it and lovely they are, too. Pretty good tune: best thing Bernard’s been involved with for a while.

Hot Chip have become a bit special to me over the last few years. Love their take on pop. Use of what can only be described as ‘shit sounds’ over ace songs is a winner for me. Even when the sounds aren’t shit, the results can be beautiful

and here’s another excuse to put this video up…….

28th Sept. All over Battersea. Waveburner, Kafka tweaking the tweaks of tweaked mixes

Exported the Jamie Says album to Dropbox for Kyle to peruse at his leisure. The album’s called ‘Blue Genes’ by the way.

Kafkadiva final (?) tweaks pre mastering: three tracks done tonight, rest tomorrow, then master the lot.

WAA ‘Valentine’ mix.. had a listen over breakfast and its pretty much there. Last third needs a good crop though.

Came across this link to some stunning pictures of Battersea Power Station. Nothing to do with music, but am picturing all those lovely switches and knobs as old compressors, gates and EQs.

26th Sept. Remix. PiL

Polished off the WAA remix tonight, but we’ll see. One of those things.. too close to it. Mailed it to John R for some input. Makes you realise how hard groove based stuff is to get right and to keep interest. I’m hardly Basshunter. Thank God

Had ‘Rise’ by PiL on loop all weekend. Sounds amazing.

Less amazing, but still rather great. ‘Disappointed’.

23rd Sept WAA remixing / publishing / British Sea Power

Devoted the evening to the We Are Altered remix I’m doing. Made headway, tho my mind always finds it hard to think in tracks over 4 or 5 minutes. There’s some magic happening, I think.

John R and my publisher for TV music we write (usually apart) has heard the WAA album and wanted to use a track called ‘We’re at our height’, so that’ll have to come off the album. Swings and roundabouts.

British Sea Power return with a new EP, and are giving the track ‘Zeus’ away. I love BSP: they create a world all of their own. I still have some BSP Kendal mint cake from a gig in 2003. Better than a T shirt. If you’ve not heard their last album proper, I urge you to listen. ‘Do You Like Rock Music’ sounds lovely.. like it was recored in a submarine (Actually, I think they did record it in a water cooler)

Here’s ‘No Lucifer’ from the album

and the wonderful ‘Waving Flags’

22nd Sept. Pub, chat and MUTE man

Spent a couple of hour with One Cure For Man , just chatting about their band and potential recording. Intelligent stuff. Urging James to start blogging his (many) thoughts.

MUTE records are now an indie again. I remember Mute initially through their logo. I used to borrow my brother’s Depeche Mode albums and pour over the sleeves. I was in love with the little walking MUTE man.

If you’re interested, excellent interview with MUTE boss Daniel Miller, here

Have got to finish the WAA remix, but very battered ears tonight, so will prioritise that tomorrow

15th Sept More Jamie Says, Kafkadiva mixing and Earrings

… limited hearing focus.. enough for three master tweaks for Jamie Says and a mix fiddle on a Kafkadiva track.

Uploaded the WAA to mine and John’s publisher.. they may be using some of it on library albums. If that happens we’ll need to rethink the album content. I think one of the tracks ‘We’re at out height’ is being used with some vocal. It’s one of my favourite tracks on the album.. we may end up giving that track in its original form sooner rather than later.

Read about a guy going under the name of Earrings in the Guardian. Check him out.. mysterious.. and some left of centre pop…

11th Sept WAA album stuff, Kafka Diva and Jamie Says tweaks.. and The Fall (ah)

Started the last tweaks to the Jamie Says album masters (but a new mix popped in my inbox this morning so maybe not!) and then mailed John R about the WAA album. Pretty much nailed but we need to choose the outer card sleeve now. Oh, and fiddled with ‘Already There’ by Kafkadiva.

Watched excellent documentary on Mark E Smith on BBC 4. Early 90s Fall really did open my tiny mind up to music as a stick that beats you round the head but gives you an occasional tickle. Here’s what I think is my favourite Fall track, ‘Bill is Dead’. Most Fall songs you couldn’t call a song, but this one.. actually you could see an X Factor hopeful using a version of this for their audition. Perhaps.

Gorgeous song from the album ‘Extricate’

….. still feeling Extrical?