...And with that, it all feels official. Now to see if I can clear the calendar for the Listening Party.
Well Ive never taken part in this before.
I have to admit I cheated slighty actually developing a loops for one track that Id been meaning to finish for ages and another one was started a week or two before the challenge - but I saw this as the perfect opportunity to finish that and make new tracks. So what did I find ?
1. The tracks that were made entirely within the month were much easier to finish than the one mentioned above and I felt far more inspired to finish them and I was much happier with them- lesson learnt.
2.Often I satrt things but dont finish them. Having a one month limit definately got me to work on things that would normally be be started but then lie about on my harddrive for years never getting finished. However even though they have got a lot closer than normal to being finished, with nearly completely finished songs they are now not quite finished - I keep noticing things I need to fix and expand on - but its all good - I would never have got to that stage if it wasnt for the RPM challenge. So I intend to work on them more now the month is over and make something that I feel is actually finished- as such I see the tracks above more as demos than finished pieces of work.
3. I fucking love this - Im going to do it every year - and no cheating next year I promise - cheating at RPM is actually harder than following the rules !! i love the whole idea of making this just for the sake of it - not looking for fame or fortune - just making art anonymously for the sake of it - as it should be - a great reminder and a fantastic enteprise. I am honoured to be among others of similar mind here - and have found the quality of others peoples work on here to be absolutely stupendous - inspiring and original.
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.
Indulgient pretty much sums up my entry, Hehart Lake, this year.
I let myself not worry about keeping songs tight, a bad habit I got into over the last couple of years that really stifled my output. Breaking that habit was my main objective for doing RPM this year and so I channeled my influences that illustrate that stretched out pieces can be very rewarding (Vladislav Delay, Gas, BVDub, Pete Namlook to name a few).
In fact this version of "Your Horse" almost became my RPM entry, but I was enjoying working on so many of the other sketches I produced in the first 14 days that I thought better of it.
I have the "what should I do with myself" feeling post-RPM and will channel that energy into returning to some of the tracks collecting dust on my hard drive.
Can't wait to hear what everyone else was up to in February!
I've gotten some really positive feedback on a few on the new NoonsToons.
I like it so much I'm gonna impress it into congealed dinosaur goop
So after sorting out the mixing problems and the upload problems and all, I have a chance to kick back and re-listen to the album without any CRISIS looming over me - and I like it.
image filters and lower-case helvetica is electronic, often easy and downtempo, sometimes spooky, sometimes abrasive. It's probably my most musical RPM album yet, beating out Pixel Herd on that score.
It's not what I had planned to make on Feb 1, which was going to be an homage to old EBM bands I listened to back in the day. But I had to work the first weekend in the month and lost some crucial time. In the past I've let my ambition bite off more than I could chew, and stuck with doomed projects until far too late to recover, leaving me with half-done works, scrambling to come up with a replacement. Not so this year. I started on Plan B at the first sign of missing time.
As a result, I spat out a large number of "sketches" - so many that I almost thought I could do two albums this year - and in the end I'm glad I settled on just the one, though those extra sketches are still there and could certainly be used outside of RPM. My technical issues took away any hope of a last-minute bonus round.
In any case, I'm happy enough with the final result that I'm actually going to open a crowdfunding project on Qrates, to see if I can get enough people who like it to press it to vinyl. Well, by "going" I mean I did it, I just have to announce it:
Seriously, if you have any interest in it at all, spread the word and tell your friends. My network of contacts is pretty lame and I need people who might actually tell other people about stuff.
Therapist told me to write music that would express my innermost feelings, so I did.......mostly.
title. also, the jukebox says I only did rpm in 2015, but I've done it 2015, 16, and 17, though I might have forgotten to post to jukebox last year. Help is appreciated :)
It was one of the rare moments where inspiration struck and stuck. I have been wanting, for ages, to record a song that uses 12 notes played at once, in an octave, perhaps as a punctuation or as a rhythmic totem. My surprise when there was nothing sonorous! Ha, but it was not even rhythmic... not as I had rendered it.
But there was beauty, as always. So I grabbed my bass. I feel there is always a good bass part hiding just beneath the veneer of the lightest licks. I had none, but felt inspired by the beat I imagined that I should have made.
Due, in part, to my lack of a concrete motif at this point, I opted for octaves. I followed that with the standard minor 6 approach. The groove was solid! Humanity was saved!
Along the way, I added in some thoughts that I had been collecting in my notebook. The seeds of corruption will be there and we must expose them, yes?
The imagery I'd borrowed from Margaret Wise Brown was apt. I believe the final touches were success with guitar, harmony, and angst.
The means of production are what's always at stake ... right?
So completing the 2017 RPM challenge was a CHALLENGE indeed!Lots of new recording and production tricks learned and used, even as recording software froze as it was pushed beyond its limits.
Each track was its own experiment, using different tools and techniques. Mostly bass lines were single takes, with different recording and mixing and editing of the beats and other tracks.
But was the "Onuphrius" RPM 2017 album the proof of concept hoped for?
Well, even if the songs aren't great, some things kind of worked and -- in any case -- any result is some kind of proof!
The main thing is -- it was fun, and now it's done....
Time to listen to the other RPM 2017 recordings!
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BAND -- ALKDALEALBUM -- ONUPHRIUS
Technical details -- used an old iMac and Audacity, Fission, Amadeus Pro, Audio Hijack Pro software.
Instruments -- Fender P-Basses, at times with various effects pedals, electronic drums and sampled rhythms, various loops and select short samples.
Main ideas -- RHYTHMS, MELODIES, and MOTIONS, Arabic maqams, and melodic linear abstractions.
by Jim Anderson
by angie fights crime
Ways to improving writing skills
by sam berry
by Smooth Around The Bend
by Matt Ferrara
by angie fights crime
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