Friday, February 29, 2008

TF7: Vampires (180 minutes)

Click here for podcast. This one is 3 hours long. Also due to a bug at web.mac.com, you will need to download the full 200meg before you see any text appear over there.

The Ableton timeline is so long that it doesn’t convey any information so instead you get a nice picture of me mixing this. I blogged about visiting JBoss World recently but the coverage was all about the business. In fact part of the fun was talking music with some of the attendees. Many of them were familiar with my remixing endeavors and were avid listeners of this podcast. Made me happy.

One particular feedback I took to heart. The kid comes up to me, this is late into the Disney party, he is visibly completely smashed. I know him from back when and this is a european kid I like. He starts “Marc, I have all your podcast, love the mixing”. I ask him which one in particular, he says “the Neuchatel one is my favorite”. I tell him “that is my least favorite, what did you think of acid-michael”, “hated it” he answers in a slur. That gives me pause, for my personal taste michael was my favorite... goes to prove you never know. The second thing he says is “your mixes are too short man! you need to do an hour long”. I mumble something about liking the 30 min format, he slurs back “yeah whatever, do 3 hours if you can!”. I give it some thought, talk to another good friend of mine he gives me the same feedback “go 6 hours, do a Laurent Garnier”.

The last straw that broke my camel’s back is the influence of Robotnick, I have covered him in my last “pick and pan: the electro DJ”. I have been very impressed with Alexander Robotnick. He embodies the “old is new” wave and mixing 80’s pop with cutting edge 08 electro sounds like a slice of heaven to me. I got to say that he has given me the courage and inspiration to put this mix together.

So I decided to scout my collection. I got about 4000 tracks right now and scouting it is difficult. I use tools to do that, harmonic matching, beat matching and ranking. For the first two, “mix-in-key” helps a lot, for the rankings iTunes is my favorite. Everything here got enough ranking to get my attention meaning I like “something” about it. I also indulge in long mixing of old stuff (here you will find pop, funk and disco) with modern beats. The old-on-new style is fun with tools like LIVE.

I got seriously into the groove, working non-stop on the first pass. I managed to pull out 80 records that would flow together well. I love getting in the zone, loosing track of time. I am glad I still have that power of concentration over *something*. I spent a straight 12 hours washed in natural endorphins :). The resulting track was 6 hours long, non-stop.

Unfortunately Live will not render more than 3 hours at a time. So I am cutting it in two parts. Part one is here :”Vampires”. Part two will come later.

Playlist

1- I got garlic hanging on my front door, Marasma
Time: 0:00- 4:20.
Released a week after 9/11. Mixed in a Carl Craig album, a great stand-alone track. The title vampires comes from this classic electro track.

2- Driven, Estroe
Time: 2:57-10:10
This late 2007 track is featured on the Robotnick compilation. An instant classic in my mind. Nice bleeps, rythm, synth, everything you can ask and more. And it plays nicely with the other tracks.

3- Analog Assassin, UR
Time: 8:10-17:20
One of the harder sides of underground Detroit Techno. I use it standalone and as foundation for an “old-on-new” mix coming up.

4- Blue Monday, Flunk, Jori Hulkkonen remix
Time: 11:20-18:00
I love Jori, one of the most creative artists on F-Comm. Blue monday is a classic pop track by New Order for those of you that were born in the 70’s and remember New Order. This was re-released in 2007. The overlay is continuous on the previous track.

5- Diabla, Funk D’Void, Heavenly Mix
Time: 16:50-25:35
Very “by the book” Detroit Techno in a way. It is kind of difficult to mix with anything else. It is a rich sound that doesn’t play well with other but I make do with it.

6- Turbine, Stephan Bodzin.
Time: 23:42-31-25
Modern techno with a bite. I like this track. It also mixes great with the previous and more importantly to me, the next track, the melody mixes NICE

7- When the dawn breaks, Narcotic Thrust, Pure Behrouz mix
Time:27:10-36-30
First caught this song on a compilation by Dean Coleman, local ATL DJ that works with Yoshitoshi material. This Deep Dish remix rings a bell with me. I like the refrain and I really like how the intro “tick-tock, clock starts ticking” plays on top of turbine.

8- I take you out to Space, The Mulder.
Time: 34:10-47:00
This track released in early 2008 is a good house tune. I mix it here for more than 13 minutes and it provides the “new” foundation to “Quetzal” and then it runs by itself.

9- Quetzal, Los Hermanos
Time: 34:10- 40:40
The UR label has done so much for melodic Detroit Techno. Here is 2006 re-release of the classic by Los Hermanos. If you pay attention you will see that 7,8 and 9 run together for about 2 minutes (from 34:10 to 36:30) and I am quite proud of the resulting melting pot of 3 tracks. It works. Quetzal always runs on top of space and then at 40:40 it is space by itself.

10- Funk 006 (Drop), Pigna People
Time: 45:30-57:50
Release in 2005, a good spacy, bleepy track. Nice rythm to it and a great funk base for a funk classic coming up.

11- Ring My Bell, Anita Ward
Time: 50:00-57:50
Ah come on, nothing better than a late 70’s disco classic remixed with modern stuff. That is my favorite mixing style, where I really get my kicks. Of course the sound is heavily processed and thank God for Live’s warping features. It is a bit of work to set it up but then it is “yes, more please!”. I find myself looping on the passage and I the old on new really gets a hold of me.

12- Rationality The Only Way to Freedom, Alexander Robotnick
Time: 56:20-61:00
In honor of Mr Robotnick who inspired me for this mix. And as a transition to a rather full sound of “the Path”

13- The Path, Salvation mix, Teddy Douglas
Time: 59:40-67-30
While the original was a mediocre House track, this remix stands out as a classic. The more techno sounding drive, takes off from deep house and delivers energy. I really like this remix. It is full sounding so difficult to mix with anything. But that electro sound with the “island” drums really delivers a high energy track. It has a “sad optimism” vibe to it. I have only heard that in “it is all gone pear shaped” from Digital Justice. It has a 6AM energy to it... hmmmm I will need to remix that one.

14- No revolution, Joris Voorn
Time: 66:30-71:50
A transition from the Path (it is tough coming off of it), No revolution stands on its own as a good track and transitions us into more older classic techno.

15- Astral Apache, Galaxy 2 Galaxy
Time: 70:50-76:10
Galaxy 2 Galaxy is the brain child of “mad mike”. I am curious to know what “mad mike” has become. Apart from kickstarting the Underground Resistance label that has given us so much outstanding electronic music, mad mike stands out as an individual genius on the scene. Astral Apache is not one of his simpler tracks. It sounds good to me but may turn off some of you out there. If anyone reading this knows what I am talking about and has information, I would appreciate it.

16- Urban Forest, Dosem
Time: 75:30-82:10
This was released in Jan 2008 (couple of weeks ago) and I truly appreciate the bass and drum here. I use it as the “new” base for the “old” Sun Chaser.

17- Sun Chaser, The Martian
Time: 80:30-90:30
I suspect “Mad Mike” is the guy behind “the Martian”. How do I know? I don’t know, just a hunch, the same period, same Detroit origin, the same anonymity, the same sound, the same synth and very frankly, the same overwhelming musical genius. Sun Chaser is the old to the previous track but will morph (it is remixed here) into the “new” for the following track.

18- Smalltown boy, Bronski Beat
Time: 86:30-92:10
Mr Robotnick inspired me to take that song and include it. I gotta admit I wanted to one up the old legend and did a continuous remix here. I cheat, I use Live in a studio fashion while he uses Live “live” with CDJ decks... so while I am showing off, I doubt I could use the software to that effect in real time, I don’t know. Anyway, it is one of the more sketchy mixes in here and needed a lot of manual intervention to smooth out.

19- It’s more fun to compute, Kraftwerk
Time: 91:00-94:50
I am huge fan of kraftwerk since I am 14 years old. I remember the night where i heard Trans Europe Express and it hit me like a train (pun). However I only heard “compute” in 2004 on a Juan Atkins mix-tape. The track was released in 1981, 27 years ago and still sounds eerily fresh, church sounding.

20- Sex in zero gravity, The Martian
Time: 93:10-98:30
Read above about the Martian. The same joyful, soulful, old school techno.

21- Transition, Galaxy 2 Galaxy
Time: 97:20-103:20
See above about the Martian and Galaxy to Galaxy:) Except we are hearing the Martian speak (mad mike). The transition works well with the next one. The melody works.

22- Let Me Be Me, The other people place.
Time: 100:50-111:20
I like this track on several levels. First I like it as a standalone track. I discovered it when I left RHT and it was something therapeutic listening to the soothing, foggy “let me be what I want to be”. It has a “misty” head-heavy quality to it. The track further works well as a “new” base for old classics. It plays nice.

23- Don’t go, Yaz
Time: 104:40-107:30
A 80’s classic. Many of you will recognize. Again in honor of Mr Robotnick who played this one in the set that impressed so much. Here is to you! This is old on new.

24- Destination High, Christian Paduraru
Time: 109:00-127:30
A good 18 minutes of this is coming up so buckle up Dorothy. A high energy track. It is good standalone , and I play it fully and then mixes well with the old too :)

25- The Glamorous Life, Club edit, Sheila-E
Time: 117:30-125:00
This Prince protegee was huge in the late 80’s. I really like the drums. Overlaid on Destination high it truly sounds fresh. A lot of sound work has gone into the remix and Live helps, I flange, chorus and “in the air” (EQ) the 2 tracks heavily. The result is a decent Old on New mix. The mix is kind of counter intuitive, usually you will use the drums on a new track to support old synth, but on this one it is the reverse. The bumpy sound of this 80’s drum box is just too princey to do away with, I find the 80’s melody mickey mousey, but destination high works. I like both the intro and outro mixes here.

26- C-Side 10, Tech mix, Silicon
Time: 124:00-127:50
Interestingly enough this is a track I really liked the first time i listened to it, I still like it when i hear it stand alone, but sort of falls flat when mixed. I really don’t know why... I had to let Destination high run just to give it support. It serves more as a transition than anything else.

27- Confusion, New Order
Time: 127:10-131:40
A mid 80’s classic out of Manchester and the “Music Factory” label. I am sure most of you know this. I always liked New Order and on this particular instance decided to leave it almost “un-remixed”, out of laziness mostly. In fact it ends a bit abruptly, which is boring technically speaking but actually sounds pretty good :)

28- Birth of 3000, Los Hermanos
Time: 131:00-136:00
What can I say, love Los Hermanos. Again the UR connection, Detroit, Mad Mike, Galaxy 2 Galaxy, the whole family thing. These guys set the baseline at “our melodic senses are still doing fine thank you very much” at a time when the techno scene was going mad with drums and pleasing only the skin-head faction. These guys kept the soulful techno flame alive through the “dark ages” as far as I am concerned (2000). Stay underground! was their rallying cry.

29- Northern Lights, Caucasian boy
Time: 135:10-140:30
A 2007 rerelease of the 1993 acid house classic, from the Strictly Rhythm website:

Strictly Rhythm

The first wave of acid house from Chicago burned out within two years, suffocated by a wave of poor copycat tracks and cash-in compilations from people who didn’t have a clue about the music. But the flame was passed on and in the early ‘90s a harder and more frantic acid house came out of Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. Coming out of the UK, Caucasian Boy’s ‘Northern Lights’ took a different path and today stands up against the Chicago originals as one of the finest melodic deep acid tracks ever made. Producer Crispin J Glover never tried to repeat the formula, instead going into deeper funk influences, evidenced by flip ‘Honeydip’.

30- W, Cobblestone Jazz
Time: 139:20-151:50
Released a couple of weeks ago in 2008, the melodic chant is an instant hit with me. I like the way it mixes with the previous track and the next ones.... “watcha dum da dum hum de ween dabala, make umbadara ondewumbadala”. I have no idea what they are saying and I like it that way.

31- The Body Movin’, NYC throwback mix.
Time: 144:20-150:40
I found this in the collection of a friend. I recognize it, I want to say... 1986? but I don’t know who it is, just the title. I like it and it works well with the previous track “and it goes a little something like this” he he.

32- The Sky is Clear, Agoria
Time: 149:30-154:50
I have tried for a long time to mix this track. Never could, too heavy, to noisy. I actually really like it but it is one of those great tracks that doesn’t play well with other kids. It does work here and I am glad I found a home for it. Great classic techno... non-Detroit :)

33- Analog Feel, Cosmic Gate
Time: 153:40-159:10
Ok, so sue me, I am actually playing some Trance. I am not invincible. I like this track. As far as Trance goes, I feel it really holds its own and it doesn’t hurt every once in a while.

34- Europa, Agoria
Time: 158:00-163:50
Back for seconds with Agoria. Interestingly enough, I vividly remember seeing the album cover in the dance section of CD shops . I didn’t like the cover and never got to buy the album. Only 3 years later, did I hear“ all I need” on a compilation (which is not included here) and got around to listening to the album. Where I had been, I had missed one of the most interesting records of the early 2000.

35- Kinkyfunk, Danny Howells & Dick Trevor
Time: 162:50-163:50
Good and easy modern space electro. Mostly used here as the basis for the end mix of “this is not a love song”.

36- This is not a love song, Public Image Limited
Time: 167:50-171:40
Originally published in 1983, i remember really liking this track that was mostly influenced by the punk movement (PIL were punk) but as you can hear here what i liked was the early warning signs of the electronic revolution that are clearly embedded here :) Also Live makes it all too easy to re-use this material :)

37- Clear, Cybotron
Time: 172:10-176:30
If you have read this far, you know who Juan Atkins is. And if you don’t just enjoy this 1983 UFO. From discogs

One of the first Detroit electronic classics appeared suddenly at the beginning of the eighties, made by the later techno pioneer Juan Atkins with Rick Davis (aka 3070) in a project called Cybotron. 'Clear' has a full electro esthetic in a combination of break beats, futuristic synths, robotic vocoders and a sinister bassline. Certainly a hotspot on the electro tunes history, an all-time classic that represented at the same time a shining example for the future techno & electro artists.

Yeah whatever, it is a rip-off of Kraftwerk and a great one at that :) and true, Juan Atkins is today considered the grandfather of Techno.

As I mentioned before we are now at the 3 hours mark and while it was originally mixed with “Play at your own risk”, I had to cut it short.

To be continued....

6 comments:

oogifu said...

Jeez - Marc! I have always wondered how one can listen continuously to 180 minutes of music..

Marcf said...

well, yeah, it is a bit of an acquired taste. But I usually can go on for 10 hours :)

ståle said...

hehe, i like being in my thirties and still called a kid :)
ive listened to vampires 3-4 times already and i like it. some parts are better than others but hey, i dont like michael jackson so dont listen to me. keep up the good work, looking forward to the second part.
- and btw, the upcoming game i couldnt remember the name of since i was so "waisted" is bad company. its not a "complete" physics game, but its getting there. atleast you can blow stuff up :)

Marcf said...

Hey Stale,

glad your headache didn't kill you :)

I didn't realize you were in your 30's, apologies for calling you a kid! Take it as a compliment... you know I think it is the coding and the music: keeps people young. Cheers, glad you liked it, 2nd' part served straight up next week.

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