I was in the mood to mess with my much neglected Korg Volca Bass, Keys & Beats synthesizer/sequencers. I needed more analog in my life I guess. So I did this stupid mindless jam on the Volcas then augmented it with some MicroKorg solos and some Ableton MIDI sounds. I even looped some MicroKorg into the Korg Kaossilator. If all this sounds confusing, it is probably because it was. The whole thing is a mess but it was fun to do. This was done at 110 bpm (like that matters).
Enjoy Volcanoid !!!
(as always this is best in headphones or in a car).
One of the few guitarists names that have dropped out of my mouth immediately when discussing guitar playing of any kind.
Allan Holdsworth passed away Saturday, April 15, 2017.
I’ve been having a time with it, as I really love his music. It’s not so much that he is a guitarist of unequaled skill and unique sound, but the way he structures chords and writes music is unlike anything I’ve ever heard. I have always thought it sounded pleasing to the ear, but not normal. It is complex but catchy. It was pleasant but warped. He managed to keep things upbeat and twisted at the same time. Whether with any random number of guest singers (all who are talented in their own right to even try singing Holdsworth’s music), or just instrumental, his music always seemed perfectly unique in quality.
YOU KNOW when you hear Holdsworth play, but when you hear him WRITE its a completely unique experience that just pulls on the ear.
This is possibly my favorite Holdsworth song (which is difficult to say) but its the one that stays in my head for reasons I cannot explain in ANY way.
Notice the way the chords and tune of the song slide along in a pleasant and almost sour tone with a stumbling but consistent rhythm. This is his style. It’s like a roller coaster that is happy it just found out how to go upside down. HA! Just amazing. His genius will be missed.
Here’s another all time favorite that he co-wrote with the band U.K. (with John Wetton on vocals/bass, Bill Bruford on drums, Eddie Jobson on keyboard/violin). This whole song from beginning to end is just polluted with Holdsworth writing style. Also, the late great John Wetton will be missed as well (cannot be stated enough, the Don Pardo of Prog Rock).
Even if you only listen to the last half of UK-Nevermore, you will be amazed. It is just THE SOUND of Progressive Rock, without question. Holdsworth was a key to this.
ALL CHANGE !!!
Now the fun part…
I stole a chord from a song off of his album Atavachron (the song is “Looking Glass”) and I contorted my inexperienced fingers on a MIDI keyboard and played the chord and messed with it rhythmically and loop’ily. I made this thing.
This is Holdsworthian2. I would never even THINK of saying it was a tribute, but I’ve been listening to him a lot and this happened. Think of it what you want, but I don’t think I’m done yet. I wanna tweak it more.
Well, here it is. This really isn’t a new album exactly. It’s more of a collection of things, doodles, and some seriously intentional music that I had made all by my little self. Most of this stuff is posted on this blog, but NOT ALL OF IT. This album compiles everything I’ve done on my own that I found worthy to put together in an album offering. The interesting part is some of this stuff dates back to 2013. I have acquired a lot more equipment, moved a lot, learned a lot, repaired a lot, failed a lot, but at least had fun along the way (with frequent backups). I just bought another piece of equipment that may change everything a bit (Novation Launchpad) and I wanted to compile everything I did personally up to this point and put it in an album.
Credits? Well, ALL ME!!!! I PLAYED AND DID EVERYTHING HERE.
Song List and commentary (Also known as “liner notes” because I miss the day of vinyl record album sleeves):
Charging Ahead, Blindly (1:56) This was formerly named wowneewow project. I have no idea why.
Red Box Hotty (3:33) I have always loved this track and it managed to slip off of all the CHOB and Hozpitality albums. It’s a drum loop from the Kaossilator tortured lovingly through the Mini KP (red box) effects unit. This is reminiscent of Brian Eno’s Over Fire Island track (in my opinion at least).
Arpeggiate Your Ass Off 2 (4:09) Because one of these was simply not enough for me. You get to decide which you like better (or not).
I’m Keeping This (This One is Mine) (4:14) Selfish little robot voice.
Out of Sync (5:25) Rhythm was never my strong suit but I try.
The Stinky Finger Boogie (4:59) This was paired with an animated GIF of Donald Trump pointing his finger nearly rhythmically in time. Inspired by the GIF not by the “man” himself.
Out of Time (6:48) Companion piece to Out of Sync. Pick a winner.
Volca Waves (11:40) I feel that this is one of my best stabs at doing something melodic and “mellow”. It is one of my favorite experiment results. Love this.
The One Measure Masturbatory Jam (3:38) This one barely made the cut. It is a bunch of instruments piled on one 16 beat measure then subtly (or not) altered throughout its’ repetition. Patience and a keen ear are required to understand its’ purpose and existence.
Fugue U (10:54) A fugue piled up like a mile high jenga tower. Collapse eminent.
Wooda Womp El Grande (9:27) This title came from the sound of this song. Part march, part hat dance, part goose step.
The Black Keys Thing (12:23) Played on all the black keys because, why not.
Jamola Number Three (14:23) Obviously Jamola Number One and Two just weren’t worth it.
Those Three Notes (9:26) An experiment built on three notes.
Behringer Mixer’s Last Stand (So Long Sucker) (0:16) This may be the very last recording done on my old Behringer mixer. At this point it had become so caked with dust, it had to warm up a good 10 minutes after power up. It became an investment of frustration and canned air. The hiss and uncontrollable distortion were a disaster at the end. New Audio Interface now in operation (THANK GOD!).
So I bought a Novation Launchpad Pro for Christmas (From me to me). This is a controller for digital audio software (mostly Ableton). I have always complained about the learning curve in Ableton and how it does things differently. Well, seeing that it IS an industry standard in an industry I lovingly call my “hobby”, I decided to invest in the software and force myself to learn it. This device helps that learning and makes understanding of it a lot easier.
I have started stealing drum sounds from Neil Peart (from Rush) and using them as my drum foundations on this project. These drum sounds and the riff are respectfully sampled from the song by Rush titled “High Water” (from the album “Hold Your Fire”). Admittedly, the groove/shuffle of the original drum pattern are lost a bit as I quantized it. It made it more robotic and less human which I think adds to it in an odd way. I called my version “High Water Pants” “High Mystic Water Rhythms”.
This is my first second stab at this, so be gentle. I am amazed at the simplicity and power of all of this technology and my mind has been blown multiple times in the past 48 hours. I’m in love with this stuff.
Check out my first second shot at a LaunchPad Pro mix with Ableton. Not too shabby. Take special note of the groovy drum solo break in the middle. I’m so nifty! 🙂
I have decided that one Rush song was not enough to destroy, so I also diced up Mystic Rhythms and added a whole new segment mixing the drums from this song along with the song mentioned above (High Water).
I’m sure Neil Peart will be completely pissed, but I am learning a lot and having fun! Let’s face it. The man’s drum sounds, sound awesome! I basically sampled each of his drum sounds separately (to a very short wav file), then assigned each drum (wav file) to a button, then wailed away on the pads and tried to make my own drum patterns out of HIS sounds. I put another nifty drum solo type break near the end. THIS IS JUST TOO MUCH POWWWWWERRRRR! I’m blowing myself away here!
If you are old enough you will remember this theme. I mixed it together with really bad audio bits from youtube. The opening theme is sewn up with the ending synthesizer funky theme. As a “bonus” (I guess) it reprises the opening at the end.
I just heard this out of the blue and remembered how funky it was. Crank dat shit (in the middle at least).