Music

These songs may seem familiar to you

I am proud to release a brand new, free, digital-only album today entitled “Mergers & Acquisitions, Inc.” exclusively on Bandcamp. That’s right, a free digital Psycliq album, yours for the taking right now. Here it is:

There’s a catch though: I didn’t write any of the songs. Not a one. Everything on this album is a cover or a remix of someone else’s music, the titular mergers and acquisitions. I did do all the arrangements and most of the instrumentation, though. And I suppose I did try to give each song the full Psycliq treatment, whatever that means.

There’s also something else funny about this album. It’s not a traditional album in the sense of it being a static collection of songs that have been fit-and-finished and will remain together as a closed set. Instead, this is going to be more of an online folder, a banner for me to publish future covers and remixes under. I intend for all releases under Mergers & Acquisitions, Inc. to be digital only and freely available online. For the forseeable future, it’ll only be available on the bandcamp-powered music site. What this means for you, dear listener, is that this album will grow with time. I’ll be sure to announce additions to it all over the place.

Don’t worry, this isn’t a replacement for Results Not Typical; rest assured that I’m still working on that project and do intend to have it up soon as well. But I didn’t want these recordings to languish on my hard drive forever. They belong on your hard drive instead. And all of your friends’ hard drives, so please hit that “share” link and tell everyone you know.

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Production

An Inadvertent Time Warp

This evening, I was able to grab a little time in the studio to work on some stuff, and I found myself pulling out my trusty old Silvertone guitar and the shiny still-on-loan-but-I-promise-I’ll-give-it-back-sometime wavedrum and did some tracking and overdubbing for “Open To Suggestions”. This song started its life when I was asked to “just go play something on the piano for background music” in church one night. I just began noodling around and this neat lilting cadence came out. A friend joined me on the conga to add some structure to the rhythm, and things came together pretty quickly there. Back in my home studio, I was able to transcribe the piano parts from memory, and the wavedrum filled in nicely with a pair of percussion sounds to round things out.  I’m still not a very good drummer, but that’s OK for now.

Also when recording it here, I very quickly realized that it needed some kind of melody countering things over the top. This is something that electric guitars are very good at. So out came the big red beast and the little green Tube Screamer, and away I went. I was liking where things were headed, but something was missing about the guitar’s sound. Now, I’m really not much of a tone-head. I flail at knobs and settings on amps and pedals with no idea what I’m looking for, hoping that eventually something useful will come out. On a whim, I threw a flanger effect onto the guitar channel. That’s when something weird happened.

The song instantly turned into something from the early 1970’s. I’m not sure how it happened, but it went from being modern to retro as quickly as I flipped a switch. Mind you, the rest of the song that I’d been working on didn’t change at all prior to this. And in my opinion, this jump is just what it needed to find its home.

This may also be a sign that I’m turning into an old guy and starting to make old guy rock. We’ll just have to see how that one turns out.

Production

Guitars and the acoustic properties thereof

Like any self-respecting electronic band, I’ve got myself a fair bit of stuff that makes bleeps and bloops sitting about the studio. Some of which really likes to misbehave, but more on that another time. But anyway, it would seem that my preparations for this next album have made me break down and pick up some new equipment, quite in the opposite direction. You see, I finally went out and got myself a decent acoustic guitar.

What makes this interesting in terms of my music is that I’ve never actually used an acoustic guitar in any of my released material. Well, OK, there was that one time for the Kickstarter rewards project, but only the Kickstarter backers will ever hear that one. And in fact it was listening to that recording that convinced me that the old one just had to go.

But now I’ve gone and picked myself up an acoustic guitar with a built-in pickup. I know, the wonders of technology, right? Since my house is rarely quiet enough to use a microphone these days, this is an especially important feature. And now that I have it, my mind’s already started to run along with possibilities for adding this sound into the mix. It will definitely be in use on Results Not Typical, as I’ve already got three songs tracked out waiting for it. But I’m also thinking past this odd little project into how I could use it in other stuff. Being mostly a keyboard player that dabbles in electric guitars, I look forward to the challenge of incorporating this instrument into more of my music.

After all, why limit myself to just a bunch of sinewaves?

Uncategorized

Four songs?

Today, while dusting off things for my monthly off-drive backups (kids, it’s always important to keep things on more than one disk!), I went through a few different directories in my ProTools hierarchy and figured out that I have four songs all but finished for Results. These are four piano-based pieces, some with some programmed drums and one with a whole pile of synths on top. That still leaves a lot of dangling bits for an album that is mostly made of dangling bits, but in light of recent craziness I was a little surprised to find myself fairly happy with the state of so many songs already. Once I can get my studio put back together more properly, I can start tracking on some of the more guitar-heavy ones. Also once my neighbors decide to stop riding their Harleys at all hours. Don’t they know that v-twin bleeds into the recording? Though I can think of one track where that might actually help. Hm!

In other news, I think I have made a technological leap and managed to connect this wordpress account to my personal twitter account. OAuth is such a wonderful thing. But, then again, I am a nerd.

Update: in future, I will preview the twitter message this thing spits out. That must have been very confusing to most people.