As easy as it is today, anybody can pile 40 channels or more onto their songs, making todays computer power and the huge pletoria of software heaven for every musician and producer.
However, sometimes the challenge lies in some limitations to enhance your creative process. Probably you heard of Peter Schmidt and Brian Enos deck of cards, “Oblique Strategies“, wich is one way to push your creativity into new directions.
One easy way is however to limit the amount of channels or instruments you’re going to use in a project.
This is how “the Challenge” was born.
It was between Out Of Focus, Carl Arsenic and me.
The Challenge was to make a song with at most three instruments and five drum sounds. OOF also wanted a song track; as a result you can hear me “sing” for the first time…oh, well.
After the challenge was set I realised that Carl had and huge advantage, with his history in several renowned punk bands… so here we are, after one thing and another finally you are agle to enjoy the results, all three in different styles.
This song is very different compared to what I have done earlier, and I bet this will surpise you in more than one way;
One thing is that I “sing” solo on an recording for the first time, also that I’m a into the land of EBM/industrial with some guitar combo. Inspired also by Ultravox, themselves inspired by the german krautrock scene.
Speedy is a classic catchy song – commuterpop style.
Originally I started working on this song in 2007. For some reason I really couldn’t move beyond the first parts, even though I really liked the idea. I’ve been listening to it on and off through the years without finding that divine inspiration that was there the first time.
Sometimes you know that if you don’t force yourself to do it, it will never be finished and that was the case with me and this song, so here we go.
Also, Bear from Out of Focus had some ideas to develop it to a more classical pop song instead of the dance music arrangement. I’m waiting eagerly to hear the result – it will be posted here.
I had the great honour to mix and remix of Out Of Focus‘ song “Värdighet” (“Dignity” in Swedish – they also have a lot of songs in english, so check them out!).
First, we mixed the original version, totally separate from each other, with very different result as you can hear. A practical lesson in how much the mixing process and different mixing engineers can influence a piece.
Also a pleasure to do and, as those remembering physical records, those B-side songs or remixes could be quite freely arranged or really out there, so hence the name, and – as you can guess – I did it quite in a spontaneous way.
I highly recommend it to you music makers out there, as it gives you a feeling of total freedom! 🙂
Out Of Focus is two very talented musicians who has worked together since the 80s, and it was a real pleasure to do this with them. Their style could perhaps be described as pop in 80’s arrangements but modern sounds, and the lyrics… are they dark humour or unhappiness for real?
Following my date tradition, I follow up the singles “101010” and “111111” today with “121212”
The track “121212” (Click the triangle to listen) is a upbeat, funky song with horns, hammond and swingy percussion on a solid bass drum bed.
Actually the beginning of the song saw the daylight a couple of years ago, and enhanched with some rearanging tips from my extremely multitalended brother in law Carl Arsenic
Nobody said its gonna be easy (Click the triangle to listen) is a path I will discover more, somewhere in the borderlands between cinematic music and experimental.
The title refers to the listening experience of the song…. 🙂
If you prefer to download both, with cover art included, as a zip file you can do it by following this link.
“How about our dinner invitation” i a moody, chillout ambient song with some lightharted quirky sounds to complement it.
It was originally published in 2009 on the now closed Tunited site, Midge Ure’s project of nurturing bands into the business, and the title was a humourus way of reminding him that he hadn’t answer our dinner invitation when he and the rest of Ultravox was coming to play in Stockholm…:-)