Here's the slightly enhanced new version on Alonetone:
My 2017 album Moderate Rebels is added to the jukebox and downloadable here:
I'll be uploading a slightly enhanced version to alonetone shortly (next week?); some rerecorded parts, overdubs, better mix...
The first 5 years of RPM I used to give a track by track breakdown of the record. Since I managed to finally squeeze out another "proper" RPM-record in that tradition here's the breakdown of 2017's Moderate Rebels <- click the link for my player:
The first track I had lyrics and vocal for and the track that set the tone and the direction for the rest of the album for me. The lyrics were directly inspired by this and in general my disgust for authoritarians on the march these days (from all sides) Musically it came together really organically; I like all the parts (especially the bassline) The drums are NI Abbey Road Drums and I used that on all tracks. I used a recording of a riot from here with someone screaming: No violence! No violence!
This song doesn't really go anywhere but that maybe fits the lyrics. There are some nice guitarparts. But I might replace the piano with another guitar and see if I can do something else with the drum and maybe percussion for a new version.
Lyrically it's about this dream to live another kind of life as in Tim Ferriss' book. The last three years I had managed to live on working in a bar in the weekends, being a guinea pig for medical tests, travelling the world as an On Board Courier and working on my "career" as a painter. Now I'm back at a callcenter job again, still looking for other alternatives. Musically it has some tricks up it's sleeve. The synth is a Waldorf Streichfett chopped up by the Soundtoys Tremolator. There is a EH Q-tron on the bass and the backing vocals is a vocoder from NI Razor (used it on Flightmode too)
I set this up to be like a Madchester/early 90's-track. When I took out the drums in the verse (as an experiment) it suddenly reminded me of the German 60's hit Marmor, stein und Eisen bricht. Those lyrics go like "Marble, stone and iron break, but our love won't" so that led me to "Marble, stone and iron break, but one thing that is here to stay is plastic" I was planning to add a theremin, monosynth and backing-vocals at the end and really built it up. I still might do that for a new version.
I had programmed a drumtrack based on Can's Vitamin C at the end of january in preparation for RPM. Last week I read that the drummer Jaki Liebzeit died the 22th of january. The other idea was to stay on one chord for a long time and use reverb to create space like in Cocteau Twins' Pandora The lyrics is just some minimal lines around the different meanings of the word Flightmode.
6. To my kids
Midlife crisis? I'm not going to reflect too much on these lyrics. It might be interesting to myself to hear again 5 or 10 years from now. I used a guitarnoise with a EH Graphic Fuzz and Hardwire RV-7 with a reverse reverb (I used this too in 3,4, and 5; in 5 with the Tremolator)
The lyrics are pretty bad and I had to record the second guitar through an ampsim late in the evening of the 28th, so that sounds not very good either. This is where the record starts to fall apart a bit.
I had a vague idea to write a lyric about Julian Assange's daily life in the Ecuadorian Embassy; no sun, being confined to a small office-space... I didn't get round to it so I added some lame Mellotron (IK Sampletron) parts and called it finished.
Another unintentional instrumental. I quite like this as a track though it doesn't really go anywhere.
The idea of this was to combine Otis Redding's Sitting on the Dock of Bay with the perspective of a refugee (or of myself as a refugee) sitting in some port trying to flee to a better life. Though not all lines are perfect I'm quite happy with how this turned out and it ties the record nicely together thematically and musically. The strings and tubular bells are from Garritan's Personal Orchestra.
I'm listening to it now. It's ten tracks; 8 with lyrics and vocals and two instrumentals that were supposed to have vocals too. I think it's an interesting record. I learned some new things and the best songs definitely are amongst the best I have done so far. It's quite rough cause I didn't get around to adding percussion and synths and other stuff and cleaning the mix up. I might do that for a second version to upload to alonetone (and bandcamp and youtube?)
I'm not sure about the deadline this year. I'll try to upload the tracks later tonight (it's now 01:27) but maybe make a cover tomorrow. OK?
Here's the "single" in anticipation of the album that might never materialize; the only two tracks with vocals now.
I have been working on 12 tracks in my classic RPM-working-method of building them up layer by layer. The weak point of this method is that the vocals/lyrics-thing always seems to come last and this time it's no different. I had one song with lyrics halfway through the month that I'm really pleased with. I managed to squeeze out some questionable lyrics and vocals for another one today. That leaves the rest unfinished. So I already decided to ditch two tracks and focus on the other 8. I will only have three free days left now unfortunately. OK...onwards...(to sleep first of all, gotta work tomorrow morning)
I'm mixing as I go along with recording and I find this simple free plug-in is actually really usefull. I have to hold myself back from using it on every channel.
"The ADT technique was developed at Abbey Road Studios by engineers recording the Beatles in the 1960s. To free John Lennon from having to sing everything twice for real double tracking they came up with an artificial replacement: they sent the original signal to another tape machine and re-recorded it. Due to the physical distance between record and playback heads the new signal was delayed. The length of the delay depends on the tape speed (the slower the tape is running the longer it takes for the signal to travel from the record to the playback head). However, due to the machine's (small amounts of) Wow and Flutter the delay time was not fixed but varied slightly, giving an additional chorus-like effect."
If you're interested, you can find here:
Here's the second video of me working on the RPM Challenge.
Somehow a lyric wrote itself last week and I recorded some vocals yesterday. Usually I start panicking about lyrics halfway the month and end up writing and recording them in the last three days. So this is good. This will probably be the openings (and title)song of the album. I definitely don't plan to make a whole album of sarcastic, angry, political songs but this one just had to be. I'm not sure if I should explain the lyrics. They go like this:
I was a nice kid, now I'm sad and bitter
and I hate you, you are literally Hitler
I'm a moderate rebel, I'm a moderate rebel
I'll cut your head off and I'll rape your sister
and I will tell them the Russians did it
cause I'm a moderate rebel, I'm a moderate rebel
I was taught, when I grew up
the thing to be, is an enemy of society
I guess there won't be another job for me
All I have is my identity
I'll march your streets and I will trash your city
You are against me when you're not with me
cause I'm a moderate rebel, I'm a moderate rebel
I am pure in thought and deed
I will silence you and make you bleed
But I'm a moderate rebel, I'm a moderate rebel
Big Thanks-- Until Next Year!
by Strange Dream
Songs up on Alonetone
by Terri Ellen
Moderate Rebels 2.0 on Alonetone
Partying alone. With a cup of tea.
by Porter Harris
by A Beautiful Scene
by angie fights crime
Various and Sundry
by Gary Fox
One Fine Day
by Chloe Radcliffe
Can't make Portsmouth this weekend
by Keith Landry
For the love of it all
by Steve John Fortin
RPM Desktop Jukebox
by Alternate Modes of Underwater Conciousness
Moderate Rebels in the Jukebox
Final Blog of 2017, probably
by Matt Ferrara
11 YEARS!!! Feels like it was just yesterday.
by Balloon Marsupials