The Horrorist DJ Set March 3, 2012

The weekend is over but not for everyone. Here’s another “The Horrorist” DJ Set for everyone still going on a Monday and for all worker drones in cubicles. This week’s mix is a bit more party than last weeks. How about I give you an offical party story to go with this mix? About 10 years ago I performed in Amsterdam for some giant hardcore event. I think it was the Thunderdome 10 year thing. I did my show and was almost burnt alive Michael Jackson style when I climbed around on the stage and giant flames appeared out of the Thunderdome Wizard guy’s eyes. That must have what triggered my need to take a estacy pill. After and “after” is the key word I remembered Marc Acardipane asked me to sing Metal Man on stage while he did his thing. So of course he goes on and I jump up and as soon as I start screaming the lyrics the pills goes into overdrive. By the time I was done doing my best to scare everyone my legs were saying “hey I feel nice and light”. Those who know know what I mean. Anyway I walk around a look at 70,000 bald kids hopping like lunatics and get to the hotel with Matt Satronica. I do my best to keep my now well known reputation in order and find Marc Acardipane and other sober fools eating breakfast, order a shit ton of vodka, J├Ąger and whatever else. Satronica is a trooper and joins in as I abuse the wait staff. To make me feel better Acardipane charges all the alcohol to Lenny Dee’s room and Matt and I head into Amerstand to find DJ Jeroen Flammen. We figure he lives here and and well knows everyone so therefore knows where to score some more pills or anything else. We have the wrong address but unbelievably the taxi driver knows Flammen and take us there. Flammens not there and so we walk a bit and go into some Budist Monestary. It was cool but I’m not Zen and think religion is a waste of time so we walk some more. The sun is up and I’m still in my black show gear so it seemed fitting to go into some kinda of Dungeons and Dragons figurine store. They have those in Amsterdam and inside kids or unfortunately grown men play with toys and stage fake battles. I get into some deep conversations with everyone inside interupting every other sentence explaining that I’m “The Horrorist”. Eventually someone recognizes me or takes pitty and pretends they know who I am. It doesn’t matter my ego was healed for a minute so we left. Back into a cab and we basically told the guy we need to party ASAP. By then it was Monday and he said there was only one place called “The Living Room”. It was about 40 minutes outside the city but we had no choice so off we went. We get there and indeed the sign on the front door says, “The Living Room. Your Home for the Weekend!”. If you went there sober you would say something like, “Oh god horrible.”. Trashed on a Monday you say, “HOME!”. We go in and it’s all neon and blacklights. It’s half empty with a small round table in the center of the dance floor. I remember wondering “why the table?”. We drink and start dancing to extremely fast high energy trance. I look at Matt and he starts to sit down but I notice there’s someone in the seat. He ends up sitting on a very transexual person. I remember it being funny. In fact that moment alone was worth the years I took off my life for those 3 (ok 4) days. The club fills up with mega tranny’s and I’m in the middle of the dance floor with a full drink. I look next to me and there’s that table. I put my drink down and say, “ah that’s why!”. Enjoy this DJ set. No regrets.

“Thunderdome is a famous concept in hardcore techno and gabber music, and is mainly used for an ongoing series of parties and CD-albums. It is organized by the Dutch entertainment company ID&T. In 2002 the concept for the party was the ten year anniversary of Thunderdome.” – Wikipedia

For more info: thehorrorist.com

Back from a West Virginia vacation

I spent the labor day weekend in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. I took Amtrak down from Penn Station, NYC to visit my friend Matt. Matt who by day is a programmer by day at a company down there called The Library also records under the name Satronica. My brother also met us in WV and when he’s not in the science lab (he’s a neurobiologist) he records under the name Acrosome.

We tubed down the very warm Potamac river, biked 27 miles to Harpers Ferry, had a few meals in the trendy Shepherdstown, saw the movie “The American” and played a few competitive rounds of Fruit Ninja and Glow Hockey on the iPad. Matt lives on what seems like a few hundred acres of pseudo desert. The insects are far louder than anything out my window in NYC.

Matt has a bedroom studio where he sequences with Cubase and has a Sherman Filter Bank and Dave Smith Prophet 8. My brother just bought about 4k worth of new gear and is about to start recording again. He picked up an new Oberheim module, Jomox Mbase & Mbrane, DSI Tertri, Motu Volta and Vermona DRM1 MKIII (you can see he reads this blog!). I would have checked in via Facebook Places but why tell the world I’m a few states away? On the way back I was pleased to see the Amtrak Acela train had WiFi so I caught up on a few KVR Audio forum posts.

It was a good trip and if you’ve been stuck in the studio too much I hope this post inspires you to call some friends and head outside.

For a few more photo: click here

My Implant and Satronica remixes are finished.

I am finally free of all obligations other than to finish my next album. It’s a good feeling especially because these last two remixes had me pulling my hair out. Satronica’s remix for a song called Shout will end up on Lenny Dee’s Industrial Strength Records. Originally he sent me a song called Revenge Plan but after remixing it twice and still not being happy with the end result I told him to send me something different. This brings up a point: Trash the stuff that you do that’s not great! There is a mountain of average crap out there. I spent a week remixing Revenge Plan and I put those files in my trash and emptied it twice! If I don’t love the remix I’m not going to torture the rest of you with it.

For the song “Shout” Matt (Satronica) only sent me vocals. The biggest nicety in this remix is the automated TC Powercore Chorus/Delay plug-in on his voice. As you can see in the faded orange circle above I spent a good amount of time tweaking the envelope breakpoints to catch certain syllables he was screaming and have them shoot off motion wise in different ways. When the Chorus is tight is has a modern Hip Hop vocal sound. I also like what I was able to to at the breaks using Effectix. Using only the Loop parameter I was able to make it seem like the song is slowing down and breaking up. What else? Ah yes, I like the 80s tom fills but those are standard in almost any song I do these days. Take a listen:

I decided to have my Italian pianist friend Gabri help me with my remix for Belgian band Implant. Their song “We Are Noise” was a simple but effective electro verse chorus type of diddy. I wanted to make it a bit darker so Gabri took their somewhat simple melodies and expanded them using several tracks and different synths. Gabri always picked his favorite VST ReFX Vanguard (Gabri is also a trance producer :)).

After Gabri left Berlin I spent a good amount of time taking each new synth line and dumping tons of effects on them. With today’s CPU power I like to add one 4-5 things to each channel and just let me ears pick out the tasty colors. For example I added Izotope’s Trash and Fabfilter’s Volcano 2 to several of the synth lines. A great thing about Volcano is it’s ability to generate internal feedback. You can hear it rolling along semi-randomly in several sections. The drums are from my new and beloved Vermona DRM-1 MKIII. Lastly, I used Simpler quite a bit on the some vocal parts automating the start and loop times. Take a listen:

Thanks as always for taking a listen. I wish I could put the full songs up here but I don’t have the rights. Now it’s time for my own tunes!

Giving my ears a break from remixing Satronica.

I’m happiest when creating songs for fun. Music that doesn’t have to fit anyone’s expectations. Constantly those recordings are my best. Remixes fall in the “oh man why am I doing this” category. I really pull my hair out trying to bend someone else’s vision into my own. For the most part if a song is great to start with it won’t need a remix. Sure there are super rock or melodic songs that need to be made into club hits but most of the remixes I get offered are already electronic.

Today I’m remixing a guy named Satronica. He’s one of my good friends from New York. He’s working on an album for Lenny Dee’s Industrial Strength Records. The song titled “Revenge Plan” is vocal heavy. The way he sings is pretty weird, almost an Arab chant style. I’m still trying to figure out how to mash the vocals into a tight grid. I may end up cutting each word up and throwing it into Reason’s NN-XT.

Because the vocals are so strong I don’t feel the need to keep his original music so I fired up some new toys and here’s a clip of what’s on the machine today.Keep in mind it’s just the synths and basic beat at this point. Purely amateur time so far:

The kick is Jomox Mbase 01, the main synth is the Voice of Saturn being sidechained with the key using Ableton’s compressor, later I add in another two copies of the Voice of Saturn channel but detuned left and right. The lazer zap’s are from an Audiorealism ABL. The drum roll is D16′s Drumazon and Devastor also sidechained with the Mbase 01. The snare is loaded into Native Instrument’s Battery 3 and if from a freebee disc I got with Computer Music magazine a few years ago.

It’s not nearly where it will end up but I thought you’d like to check in on the process. Writing this post gave my ears a few minutes break.