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Ambient Disco

Ambient Disco


The Album

Ambient Disco

  1. In, Out, Thru,
  2. Soft Light
  3. Mojave
  4. Yurt Rave
  5. Herro Botnick!
  6. Snowdown
  7. Revolution #2

Or, download the whole album

About The Album

Ambient Disco, recorded Jan 07 - Jan 13, 2011.

I called it Ambient Disco because that's what it is. Too ambient to be disco, but too disco to be ambient.

Each song is about whatever was in the forefront of my mind that day when I went down to the studio to record it. The songs are presented in the order which they were recorded.

All songs are hardware jams sequenced off the MPC 1000. For each song I'd spend a few hours wiring + programming my synths and samplers, then record live to hard disk. There were a few edits to fix sudden blasts of volume, some fades... but there are less than a dozen such edits on the whole album. Mostly because I'm lazy, but also because, if I'm going to go OCD on this shit, I may as well write the whole song on the computer (and I do plenty of that already).

Gear List:

Album Cover: mixed-media collage fing I've done over the last few months in the room at the end of the hall.

About Each Song

In, Out, Thru,

Recorded Jan 07, 2011

Whirling black hole sucking in a swirl of dub and disco. Powerful but smooth. Named after some friendly ports, through which things seem to go around, and around, and around,

Three cheers for daisy-chaining. Someone want to buy me some more MIDI cables?

Soft Light

Recorded Jan 08, 2011

I'd been getting up much earlier than I usually do, and noticing how different the lighting was in the kitchen during sunrise. It kind of came back on me when I sat down to do a song that day.

Soft Light. Softlight. Soft, Light. Soft + Light.... In Soft Light... In Soft Light.... dunnnanunaaanunah


Recorded Jan 09, 2011

I've been playing a lot of Fallout 3: New Vegas recently. I didn't set out to do a song about the Mojave desert; I just kind of realized I was doing one about midway through. Some scrying on youtube led to the perfect miscellaneous sample for about and for the middle. I suppose I get the motion of a helicopter flight over the desert. Lots of happy accidents here...

In Mojave. In Mojaaave. In Mawhirwuh. Inmawirwuh. Inmawirwuh.

Yurt Rave

Recorded Jan 10-11, 2011

Even more convoluted than usual. A friend of mine has a bot running on Twitter, and by some mysterious algorithm it arrived at the tweet "you cruise by my fucking yurt one time." We had extensive discussions about this phrase: was it a greeting, or a threat? Like, "You cruise by my fucking yurt one time, muthafucka, and..." (the threat) vs. "Haii!!! You cruise by my fucking yurt one time!", e.g. "I saw you at the supermarket once." I simply can't top the deciding argument my friend made about how to interpret the phrase, so I'll quote it: "If speaker is assumed to have mastered conjugation of verbs, it is a threat. If speaker is hurling broken english with an eastern european accent, it is a friendly greeting."

In any case, I didn't even know what a yurt was before all this, so I'd looked it up on Wikipedia. It is a portable, felt-roofed hut. More importantly, however, Wikipedia had this gorgeous photo.

I decided to do a song about hosting a rave in such a setting. My equipment immediately got into the spirit of a ghetto, native rave by giving me all sorts of grief and technical difficulties. My SH-101 died making this song! I barely got it recorded, and even then it was crackling all over. Insane issues keeping the equipment in sync... but christ, I look at that photo with the colors bleeding, and I realize it's exactly as it should be.

I usually like to do it all in a session, but I decided to hold off recording until the next day in order to try and do a quick patch-up on the SH-101 (and get a bit drunk to ease the seething frustration I was feeling at that point). The next day, I got it going enough to record the song, after which it promptly shat itself again. I still need to fix the poor dear properly, as of this writing.

Herro Botnick!

Recorded Jan 11, 2011

I was relieved to have Yurt Rave on the disk. I put the SH-101 on a shelf, rebooted my MPC, and promptly got sucked into the distractions of the interwebs. On a forum, in a thread about italo disco, I found the video The Analog Session - N5 From Outer Space from Alexander Robotnick. These silly men bobbing about. I imagine the ladies find him adorable (hence, my "clever" title). Inspired, I set out to do a Robotnick Disco Trax, one of the rules of which was that I bob about exactly as he does in N5 From Outer Space. I used some digital gear, but I daresay I nailed the groove.

(Also from Herr Robotnick, check out Can I have An Ashtray? Amazing.)


Recorded Jan 12, 2011

I woke up the morning of the 12th, and... snow! Everywhere. There had been none when I went to sleep, and the landscape was covered when I woke up. Shoveling is an activity that gets old quickly, but the first round of the year is actually a great pleasure. I didn't intend to do a song about it, but when I sat down later it came out pretty quickly. Pretty snow on the trees.

Revolution #2

Recorded Jan 13, 2011

A sonic portrait of my morning shit (please quote me on that). Most definitely the silliest song on the album. It came out of me going back to listen to music from my childhood -- Rosenshontz and Raffi, in particular. I heard Raffi's "Numbers Rhumba" and a certain part of the song made me absolutely lose it in a moment of immature, scatalogical glee. I recalled Fatboy Slim said he looked for things that made him laugh when he was sampling... so off I went. I carefully carved my own groove out from Raffi, and then set about adorning it with scatalogical patterns and noises. The wood grain of the door. The eager chaos of the floor tile. The sunny window view. My mug of coffee on the windowsill. The echoey, waterfall-vibe shower. The sights, the sounds, the smells. All these things are accounted for. Afterwards, I had a channel left over on my MPC. As I was ass-deep in illegal sampling already, I went and dug out some nice scatological quotes from things I watch when I'm not making music.

I was sore after I recorded this song, as I couldn't stop laughing while making it! Poor Raffi. I like to think he'd have a big ol' laugh over this song....