Tag Archives: WMOM

RIP Allan Holdsworth (1946-2017)

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.

CeMeGo… It Alone (First Solo Album)

CeMeGo... It Alone

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):

  1. Charging Ahead, Blindly (1:56)  This was formerly named wowneewow project.  I have no idea why.
  2. 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).
  3. Blinkin Asteroid (3:48) This was inspired by Brian Eno and Karl Hyde’s song The Satellites.
  4. Arpeggiate Your Ass Off 1 (3:30) Behold the power of the MicroKorg Arpeggiator.
  5. Rain Keys (2:49) Someone left the Harold Budd record in the oven and it melted.
  6. Funkola (4:33) Inspired by a million repeated listens to Kamasi Washington’s, “The Epic” album.
  7. 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).
  8. I’m Keeping This (This One is Mine) (4:14) Selfish little robot voice.
  9. Out of Sync (5:25) Rhythm was never my strong suit but I try.
  10. 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.
  11. Out of Time (6:48) Companion piece to Out of Sync.  Pick a winner.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Bruford Gives Up (0:43) A silly tribute to one of the best drummers in music, Bill Bruford, who was always really great with the tuned percussion.   This sounds like him just flailing about and saying “to hell with it”.  It makes me laugh.
  15. Fugue U (10:54) A fugue piled up like a mile high jenga tower.  Collapse eminent.
  16. Wooda Womp El Grande (9:27) This title came from the sound of this song.  Part march, part hat dance, part goose step.
  17. The Black Keys Thing (12:23) Played on all the black keys because, why not.
  18. Jamola Number Three (14:23) Obviously Jamola Number One and Two just weren’t worth it.
  19. Those Three Notes (9:26) An experiment built on three notes.
  20. 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!).

Here’s the 110 meg zip file of all the tracks and the cover!  Enjoy!

And as always, like Todd Rundgren said, “Yer gonna wanna get out yer headphones, cause they’re really gonna help ya on this one.”

UPDATED!!! Novation LaunchPad Pro + Ableton + Rush = High Mystic Water Rhythms

Rush Cartoon
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.

Novation LaunchPad Pro

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! 🙂

UPDATED!!!

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!

CHOB III

chob3-cover

This is compiled from sessions recorded in 2016.  Bob and CeMeGo had things scattered all over the hard drives.  It has taken a while to compile all of this together.  Some you may recognize from this blog, others were created and never posted.

Track List

  1. Oh It’s a Harold Budd Start (2:36)
  2. Start The Reactor (3:11)
  3. The Surface (7:07)
  4. Overmodulated M F’er (3:45)
  5. The Big Test (0:52)
  6. A Serious Dialogue (Noise Your Dick Off at 300bpm) (4:24)
  7. Breakfast Project (1:56)
  8. Chob Gives Up (1:14)
  9. Our Own Girls (7:20)
  10. That Darn Delay Thing (4:42)
  11. It Builds to Something Special (3:44)
  12. Chobwahwah (3:57)
  13. Oh It’s a Harold Budd Ending (1:16)

Personnel

Bob & CeMeGo (and occasional Nguyen Chaney).

Tools

Ableton Live (The great learning curve)
Adobe Audition (too useful unfortunately!)
Korg Mini-KP
Korg Kaossilator Pro
Korg MicroKey
Korg MicroKorg
Sony Acid Pro 7
Korg Volca Bass
Korg Volca  Beats
Korg Volca  Keys
Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator PO-12

Click here to download the album in a zip file with cover art (46 megs).

We still don’t make money off of this crap. We do it for fun! The best compensation would be a comment or review right here on this blog again. Chob thanks YOU for your junk!

With or Without Doobies?

Douche
Bob and I took to MicroKorg and Monotron respectively, and improved the Doobie Brothers. The results are just incredible…. MY GOD we’re good.

Here we are WITH the Doobies…

Here we are WITHOUT the Doobies (SUBSTANTIALLY betterrrrr…)

Which is betterrrrrr?

View Results

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CHOB: A Serious Dialogue

serious dialogue


Still at it! You were warned!

It can’t get much better than this at this point. This was seriously considered as a viable song, then we just gave up and moved the BPM up to 300 just to see how it sounded. We went to IHOP for breakfast at 4pm and came back and finished this. I blame IHOP !!

Starring:

    1. North Korean news anchors
    1. A young Arnold Schwarzenegger
    1. Jim Bakker
    1. A Cattle Auctioneer
    1. And a guy teaching Algebra
  •       Anonymous Montgomery County Maryland Police Officer

CHOB: Our Own Girls !!

our own girls

Bob showed up in North Barfthesda and we educated and learn’t each other to make this thing.

Used:  Volcas, MicroKorg, Kaossilator Pro, MiniKP, Phone

We have made and are making more of the best you have ever heard.  You will have so much more you will ask for no more more. Believe me. Stay tuned.

Big Build Up. Fugue You!

Fugue You!

This is a bit I made called “Fugue You”.  Let us now define the “Fugue”.  There are two definitions.  First one musical, the second one psychiatric.

Fugue, [fyoog], noun
  1. In Music. a polyphonic composition based upon one, two, or more themes, which are enunciated by several voices or parts in turn,subjected to contrapuntal treatment, and gradually built up into complex form having somewhat distinct divisions or stages of development and a marked climax at the end.
  2. In Psychiatry. a period during which a person suffers from loss of memory, often begins a new life, and, upon recovery, remembers nothing of the amnesic phase.

Either of these definitions seem appropriate.  I thought the image above suited the musical concept the best.  At least this is how I felt while performing it, with middle fingers everywhere.

There is a four note simple melody that was banging around my head from The New Deal song Navidrome.  I reproduced this as best I could on the Volca Bass (at the very beginning), then just built crap on top of it.  The final turned out to be 10 and some minutes (originally 12… I deleted some off the top before I was done).

Geek Notes (All are Korg products unless noted):

  • Volca Bass does the 4 note bass melody at the beginning and throughout.
  • Volca Beats carries the beat the whole time.
  • Volca Keys is played live then eventually I give up and sequence it.  It provides that Moog Modular mono sound that solo’s over top of the mess and finishes the song.  For those of you scoring at home, Volca Keys has it’s own delay/reverb effect used heavily in this song.
  • Kaossilator Pro is (once again) the master clock used for looping MicroKorg sounds (poorly) and provides some studio drums near the end that go out of timing for unexplainable reasons (so I fade them under the mess).  I apologize for the stumbling around with the MicroKorg arpeggio near the front of the song.  I need more arms and hands.  This was looped (safely thankfully) into the Kaossilator then NEVER TOUCHED AGAIN.  This, unfortunately, is how I work with the Kaossilator looper in my rig at this point.  I need to figure this crap out a little better.
  • MicroKorg provides some soloing and (as usual) bitchin’ arpeggios.  There’s also some neat techno metal noise arpeggio  on the MicroKorg that goes kling klang ping pong pang in there that I thought was cool.
  • MiniKP (red box) provides reverb (setting 62) on most MicroKorg sounds.
  • Tempo is a BPM of 80.

Let’s play the game, “see if you can hear Chad screw up in 10.5 minutes”.

“Did you hear it?”

“I HEARD IT!”

“All right Janet!”

Volca Waves

volcawaves

Since I did the (Overmodulated) Jamola Number 3 yesterday and left out the Volca Beats, I thought I would do one real quick INCLUDING the Volca Beats.

Here’s a bit called Volca Waves. It started as an atmospheric “hearts of space” thing and then I decided to put the driving Kaossilator studio drums in the middle. I admit everything is a little “make it up as you go”. Lately I haven’t been really arranging anything. I’ve been striving to do things without any arrangement and just spew it out live. This was the reason for the little errors throughout. I have been trying to learn the “one man band live experience” by playing everything live in real time with little to no preparation. There are some things done ahead of time. Obviously the sequences and SOME selection of sounds are done in advance of pressing the record button. I have literally been writing MicroKorg presets I like on scrap paper to remember them. But I will admit, that a lot of times, I start swaying in time and stabbing a setting with my finger and biting my lip as I hit a key. Results can be bad, some can be good. You, the listener, get to hear BOTH the good and the bad which is my gift to you.

Either way here are the geek notes:

  • Kaossilator Pro is master clock, studio drums, a string chord and an arppegio.
  • Volca Beats has a simple electronic drum sequence that I build up along the way.
  • Volca Keys plays the main melody loop.
  • Volca Bass has 3 bass lines that chain together. The first one starts alone.
  • MicroKorg does the atmosphere and solo strings through the MiniKP (red box) with heavy delay.
  • Tempo is a BPM of 56.

Hope you find it interesting.

PS Thanks to those who bother to comment. It means a lot and it makes having this blog worthwhile. I dont want to use facebook for this, because if one of these little bits IS really good, I would prefer to own the rights to it (which wouldn’t be the case if I posted them to facebook).

(Over modulated) Jamola Number 3

jamola3

Well…..

I wanted to take this rainy, do nothing, Saturday and have a little jam session with myself. I made a 14:30 whopper. The object was to get the Electribe synced with the set up. I got it synced in the chain and it’s TOO MUCH FUN. Here’s the geek details.

Kaossilator pro is the master clock (still). The master clock (tempo) MIDI signal is split and fed down 2 chains.

Chain #1: Sets the tempo for the Volca Bass to the Volca Keys and then to the Electribe.
Chain #2: Sets the tempo for the MicroKorg whose audio is output through the Mini KP (red box for effects… mostly heavy delay) where the tempo is set manually (matching BPM to the master clock, Kaossilator Pro).

My levels are really bad. For this I am sorry and hang my head in shame. It seems these bad levels are coming from my mini mixer that couples the Electribe and the 3 Volcas. I have since adjusted this and will make sure next time this doesn’t happen. This was so much fun I may take another shot with a different spin.

Most of the drums come from the Electribe however there’s a little bit of a conga loop in there from the Kaossilator pro. There’s a small bass and key sequence from the Volca bass and keys respectively that I drop in and out. I didn’t use the Volca Beats on this as there are enough drum devices working on this thing already (and you will find it gets mighty busy).

In the words of Todd Rundgren, “Yer gonna wanna get yer headphones out… Cuz they’re really gonna help you on this one…”

This is done in the “Key of Yo Momma” in the “Scale of my Ass”. Time=14:23. Filesize=13.5megs. Hope you enjoy as much I did making it.