Good morning! Today’s news features Simian Mobile Disco, I Love This City SF, Chromatics, and 2020 Vision. Please read on after the jump.
Simian Mobile Disco reveal the sources of their favourite sounds
808 Kick Drum
The Roland TR-808 is the classic drum machine.
It was both hip-hop and house, it formed and invented a lot of club music. People recreate that sound to this day, but when you hear a real 808 doing it, you can still tell. It’s an analogue machine, which means a new sound is generated every time it’s played, every one is different. You can’t deny that the machine does bring up a nostalgic feeling, it’s instantly there, but there’s still a million ways you can use it and make a really modern record with it. Interference, a track from our new album, is just the 808, some reverb and, er, that’s pretty much it. Of all the effects on the machine, the kick drum is probably the star. It’s subby and bassy and in many tracks, hip-hop especially, it’s the whole bottom end. It’s just one of those classic sounds you can’t get away from.
We enjoy the physical element to making music. We come from a guitar background, we’re used to shoving quarter-inch jacks into everything, but nowadays much electronic music is just about wiping your finger around a trackpad. The performance element, the thrill of creating something that’s a one-off, is what we want. And with classic electronic equipment you get that. Every element of the thing is physical. A twip is a good example of this. It’s the noise you hear in Kraftwerk, the “ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch” that’s like the sound of the future coming from the past. Essentially it’s just avery short envelope [the term for the shape of a sound – Technical Ed] where the sound goes from high to low very quickly and there’s a filter being boinked from the top to the bottom. It’s basically like a high hat, just with more … er, twip.
We’re not sure if anyone else uses the term “zong” or whether it’s just us. It is true though that quite often we’ll be recording something and say to each other, “It could do with a bit more Zong on that.” The zong is basically a sound repeated over and over and if you do it really quickly, it has a percussive element to it and you can tune it into the track. To be factish about it, what we call zong is, in academic circles, called Karplus Strong Synthesis. People use it for physical modelling sounds, it’s loads of maths. Sometimes we read books on this sort of stuff then think of a silly name for it to make us feel better. For us, the classic zong would be in electro. Old-school electro, though, not in the modern banger sense, stuff from around the time of Afrika Bambaataa, like Jonzun Crew. They made odd tracks about going into space, but everything they did was put through a zong. You can put a twip into a zong, by the way, it’ll blow your tiny little mind.
We’ve got a little piece of sheet metal off Ebay. It’s got contact mics on it and you can make really great reverb off it. A Spring reverb is so called because, basically, it was reverb made by a spring. You’d send a sound down it, the spring would wobble and you’d capture the effect at the other end. We love it, it always reminds us Delia Derbyshire, the homemade sounds of the Radiophonic workshop. It’s also, of course, an effect used extensively in dub reggae. A lot of those dub records, when you look at the room they recorded it in, it was absolutely tiny, a tiny little room a simple little desk, a spring and a fader. Done.
The Lately Bass
Most of the music we grew up loving came from the US. Detroit techno, Chicago house. Lately we’ve been seeing America’s appetite for dance music explode again, but sadly it’s all this 135bpm stuff with a Rihanna a cappella over the top. Some people would probably still associate us with some of the acts that have at least inspired some of these big, horrible tunes. But to be honest we’ve spent most of our time recently running in the opposite direction as far as possible. The Lately Bass is a sound we love though. It’s a percussive, short, bumpy little bass sound that is all over early house music. It’s a preset on the Yamaha TX91Z and if you want to make your own you can pick one up for about £40. It’s a really distinctive sound, but it fits really easily into tracks, it never gets in the way of the kick drum.
(via The Guardian)
I Love This City SF Adds Afrojack and Sebastian Ingrosso
Chromatics Share Drumless Version of Kill for Love, Tour With Hot Chip
Chromatics have stripped the percussion from 11 Kill for Love tracks and offered the results for free download here. The band has also announced a series of tour dates, including a stretch with Hot Chip.
Speaking about the drumless Kill for Love, Jewel said:
It’s just for people to have fun with… It’s 11 tracks, because some of the tracks don’t have drums to begin with. It’s all the pop songs without drums… I think people will have a lot of fun with it because everyone keeps remixing ‘Birds of Paradise’ because there were no drums on it… I also mastered an instrumental version of the entire album. I always master multiple versions in case I want to collage or edit them later. I was really liking the way the vocal mixes sounded with no drums and I think that the drums on the album are so heavy, that it’s interesting to hear the record as this almost empty, almost a cappella kind of thing.
Drumless Kill for Love:
01 The Page
02 These Streets Will Never Look the Same
04 Kill for Love
05 At Your Door
06 Back From the Grave
07 A Matter of Time
09 The River
10 There’s a Light Out on the Horizon
11 Into the Black
05-12 Mexico City, Mexico – Auditorio Blackberry $
05-30 Copenhagen, Denmark – Distortion Festival
05-31 Paris, France – La Gaîté Lyrique
06-02 Barcelona, Spain – Primavera Sound
06-04 Dublin, Ireland – Forbidden Fruit Festival
06-06 London, England – Village Underground
06-07 Rome, Italy – TBA
06-08 Milan, Italy – TBA
06-09 Brussels, Belgium – Brussels Film Fest
06-29-07-01 Rothbury, MI – Electric Forest
07-13 Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue *
07-14 Chicago, IL – TBA
07-17 Boston, MA – House of Blues *
07-21 Philadelphia, PA – The Electric Factory *
07-22 Brooklyn, NY – Fixed x Dog and Pony at Dekalb Market
$ with Glass Candy
* with Hot Chip
2020 Vision Launches New Label
The guys at Leeds-based label 2020 Vision and somethinksounds have linked up to launch 2020 Midnight Visions, a new, forward-thinking dance imprint with a strong visual focus.
2020 Vision, who have artists such as Motor City Drum Ensemble and Maya Jone Coles on their books, want to bring forward “a diverse pool of artists at the forefront of electronic music” through their new label.
The imprint’s first release will come from Brixton’s PhOtOmachine on the 28th of May, entitled the On U EP.
Kazim Kazim Kazim of somethinksounds will be in charge of A&R, and artwork and creative direction will also feature an integrated visual aspect by Simon Wellbellove.
Releases on the label have already been penciled in for 2012 from Presk, Doc Daneeka, and Ossie.