Hello loyal friends and readers of Wire to the Ear! You may have noticed I took an unannounced break from posting here. If you thought this blog would die after seven years of post you were wrong. Sometimes life throws you curveballs. If you have been following this blog for a while you will know that I usually tell you about them. However this time stuff just happened and I needed some privacy. I love music more than anything. I love sharing music I find with you. I love sharing the music I create with you. I love talking about the tools we use to make music. Thanks for being patient. Now let’s get back to it!
“A problem, which can be caused for different reasons, and, if solvable, can usually be solved in a number of different ways, is defined in a number of different ways.” – Wikipedia
Alexander Shulgin passed away today. He brought MDMA to the masses. I honestly think “E” is quite a different drug than any of the others. I think it really does help people.
“Born in California, he is credited with discovering and synthesising over 200 psychoactive drug compounds for psychedelic evaluation alongside his wife. Among these was MDMA, which is believed to have been originally synthesised by German pharmaceutical company Merck in 1912. Shulgin famously rediscovered the drug and was instrumental in bringing it to the attention of the wider world. Without him, dance music culture would be very different today.” – mixmag
I’ve been going through a lot in my personal life lately. Luckily for musicians change and life happening makes for great music. I’ve never been so exciting about recording as I am now. My day job has let me build a time machine our of music gear. I did an extensive interview at the Rockerill Festival last month which will end up in a few different languages and countries. They recorded my answers in audio and transcribed them so it’s an interview in which you can hear my real voice unlike many in the past. It was right after the show so I was pretty excited and talk candidly about a lot of things. When I was in Leipzig I was invited to record with the band Haujobb. I did vocals for a song now called The Dancer. It’s coming soon and the other side features Jean Luc Demeyer of Front 242. When you leave someone with your vocals that can make you sound pretty lame or like a master. They made me a master on this one for sure. I truly am thrilled with what they did. New album recording starts now. Your going to love this one. Time for the next round. The Things to Come.
“For certain things you want the real thing, like for bassline sequencing that’s gonna sound authentic, you want analog. You can do anything in digital but you have to work harder. Yo have to play with EQ, with effects etc. When you work with analog machine, you just play with the level and it sounds good. You don’t have to finesse it so much.” – Interview Excerpt (Oliver Chesler)
As you know I love most anything 80s. Apparently people from my age bracket are clearly working at advertising agencies these days. I used to love Radio Shack. My first computer was a TRS-80 CoCo. Radio Shack was a destination for me. I miss the isles of small parts and such. Sadly, today’s RS is basically a cell phone store. As a frequent flyer on Delta I noticed the past few safety videos have been pretty funny. The latest one is the best of course. Finally we end this blog post with a look at what Instagram would have looked like 30 years ago.
“The 80s called … they want their store back. 80s celebrities invade a RadioShack to take back their old stuff and make room for the RadioShack of the future.” – Radio Shack
What are the things to come for 2014? A new album and a new very special side project. Several big and small named remixes will leave the now heavily armed hardware studio. Live shows are already being set up for Stuttgart, Zwickau, Leipzig, Laucha, Naples, Lodz, Charleroi and more. DJ gigs are also being booked starting this coming weekend at Synthicide, Brooklyn (link)!
“2014 (MMXIV) will be a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar, the 2014th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 14th year of the 3rd millennium, the 14th year of the 21st century, and the 5th year of the 2010s decade.” – Wikipedia
I have a lot of friends in the movie and theater industry. I’m always amazed how their unions protect them. Musicians have basically been hung out to try. We have been experimented on by technology companies. Yes ok I love tech and that I can listen to any song I want anytime, anywhere. I love how I can be my own distribution and promotion company. Still there are some who take advantage of us and the streaming services are guilty of that. This week Pink Floyd wrote an opinion piece for USA Today I think you should read (link).
“Internet radio companies are trying to trick artists into supporting their own pay cut…. Sounds good. Who wouldn’t want to be “part of a conversation”? Who doesn’t support Internet radio? What scrooge would refuse to sign such a positive, pro-music statement? Of course, this letter doesn’t say anything about an 85% artist pay cut.” – Pink Floyd
In the video above you see the emerging dance scene in NYC. If you ever listen New Order’s Confusion and thought wow this is well produced and really works well in a nightclub now you can know the reason. Producer Arthur Baker tells how he tested the track in club specifically to sound good there. At that time most music heard even in clubs had melody and lyrics. At 13:58 in the reporter amazingly has an epic thought and asks Baker if he thinks if eventually dance music will just be rhythmic without vocals or melody. He knew the future!
“The other question is what would be the next? Because things are becoming more and more rhythmic. Do you think we will end up with just complete rhythm records with no melody whatsoever?”