From The Vault – “Reach 4 It”

Hey people…

Hope all is well. Sitting in The Lab this Saturday nite, prepping some stuff for the CD project my partner and I are trying to wrap up. In discussing some remix material with him a few days ago, I came across a track I began recording for a vocalist I was starting to work with early this year. She has a variety of genres mixed into her style and one of them is house music. Some of you who have known me for some time also know that I have an undying love for house music. Growing up in NJ, I found myself in NYC a lot and it’s NYC that sparked my love for house. Needless to say, it’s all in my music collection and I find myself always gravitating to it, one way or another, in my productions.

The name of this track is “Reach For It”. Like many genres of music these days, they all have subgenres, and one of my favorite genres of house music (if not my TRUE favorite) is ‘soulful house’ a la Blaze and other artists.

This track was done in a day or so and it’s a work in progress, ready for resurrection, now that I listen back to it. All comments welcome. It’s up on Soundcloud…and so am I.

Reach 4 It by mrfresh

Ok…back to work (I love it here…)

Enjoy the weekend.

::: oceans of rhythm :::

Fresh!

Sampling and Music Composition- A “Fresh” Perspective. Pt. 3: Presently Speaking


Native Instruments’ Maschine

Crew,
Hello. Here I am, back with the final installment of this blog post. Took the day off (Happy Birthday to me), sitting in Starbucks, finishing up this blog post. Listening to Foreign Exchange’s “Authenticity” (superb new release by Nic, Phonte, Zo, Yah, etc). Nice day so far.

I’ve had time to do some more reading, see some more tweets, have some more conversations, all related to this topic. That being said, I’ll be highlighting three of those diatribes later on this post.

On the information highway, Twitter is my primary stop for all things. Readers of this blog and followers of me on Twitter have heard me sing the praises of how I use Twitter to get all info I am interested pushed to me, based on the IDs that I follow. It keeps me abreast of, and learning about, the things that make me smarter, without having to hop on Google search (pull info) all the time (though that’s a regular activity too)

In any event, outside of the topic matter in the first two posts, Part 1, and Part 2, Twitter has brought directly to my attention how many sample construction kit/sample vendors there are out there. Yeah, I read a few music production magazines, but the info-push from Twitter places them in front of me on a daily basis. This, in itself, (for the most part) really shows the popularity in using samples in music composition today…anywhere from the computer novice and “beat maker” to the most accomplished trained musicians and writers of film scores. Speaking of which, here’s a good article on the use of such from another follower on Twitter, Soundsandgear. His article is here.

That being said, I decided to leverage the power of my Twitter connections and present a survey to two of my followers to get some feedback from them on the very topic of this series. Since sampling does have it’s roots in hip-hop, I’ll present first some footage of a video interview done by Propellerheads (Reason, Record, Recycle, etc) of the legendary Hank Shocklee, sonic architect, producer, artist, behind the hip-hop legends, Public Enemy. The first minute of his commentary confirms how sampling has continued to live:

Good video. Now, I’ll let one of my followers, MsTrisBeats, a producer and studio engineer out of Baltimore, answer a series of questions I presented to her, regarding the topic of this series;

Fresh: What got you interested in sampling?

MB: I was in a rap group and our producer DJ Profaze was, and is a sample king. He introduced me to it before I touched a sampler. Over the years as a rapper, producers came and went. I knew I had ideas. I purchased an Ensoniq Eps. I started going crazy with crate digging. Profaze taught me how to extend the time on the Eps. When I first started producing hip hop, I had no idea that 90% was sample based. I’d recognize some songs, but my favorite producer at the time, RZA, was great at chopping samples beyond obvious recognition. Later, I learned more about sampling from another producer Scottie B, Baltimore Club Music pioneer. He raved about the new Ensoniq sample workstation, the infamous Asr10. Once I found out RZA also used it, I purchased one and it was on..

Fresh: What got u interested in using sampling as a primary means of composing your music? (If you don’t consider it a primary means, explain to what extent you use it).

MB: It was primary in the beginning, because I could only play by ear. No real chord progressions or any thing. Just playing what sounded good, as far as composing was concerned. Hip Hop was all about sampling at the time. I remember artist saying ” I don’t like whack keyboard beats”. They were meaning beats without samples. Every producer I loved was sampling as well. It wasn’t that I was only interested in sampling, sampling was how hip hop I loved was made.

Fresh: What are your thoughts on the history of sampling. How has it’s evolution played a part in music composition to date?

MB: Sampling gave birth to rap music. Although it has evolved into using more composed tracks, the history is there from the Bronx. DJ’s played and looped a sample of old soul music, the emcee rhymed over it.

Before that, the first synthesizers were being created with samples. Music would not sound the way it does today without samplers. Samplers allowed musicians to extend the limits of sound, and sound manipulation.

On an extreme extent, samplers have cut the cost of music. If you’ve seen “Whats Love Got To Do With It”, there’s a scene with a huge orchestra. Talk about money to pay all the players and engineers for one song?..wow. Samples have allowed musicians with little budget, to create the feel of full orchestras with one module.

Fresh: What are your favorite tools and current methodologies for sampling in your composition?

MB: I’m sort of a gear junkie..lol. I love learning all types of hardware and software. My favorites have been , the Asr10, Fl Studio’s slicer and slicex. I use the mpc2500 as well. Today I honestly found the best sampler for my set up in Native Instruments Maschine. It mixes both hardware and software for endless possibilities. It’s a concept which brings the ease of Fl studio to the hands on of the Mpc… brilliant!

There are many many styles of Sampling. Chopping a sample into many parts and replaying the chops is my favorite style. It gives a song a certain feel which no one can create playing straight melodies. This style has a swing most popular in boom bap hip hop.

When I use samples, I chop/slice samples with an editor into as small as 1bar loops. I assign each slice to a keys or pad. The sample is now like an instrument. I play it with keys or pads of the sampler.

Fresh: How do u see sampled based music (loops and samples only) as a means for composing music today with regards to the ease and popularity of such music in popular genres that use it.

MB: I’ve been learning more music theory, which allows me to compose my own samples. There are so many laws against sampling, that a lot of industry artist don’t want to deal with. It can be very expensive for sample clearance. The copyright owner may not even allow use.

It’s only right morally and legally to pay if using music that another artist made. The mainstream artist that still use beats with samples, can usually afford clearance. It’s gotten so expensive that many want to take it out of the producers budget.

I don’t think there is an ease of use anymore, unless you don’t plan to release the sample based song on a major level.

Fresh: Do you think a composer that has no formal knowledge of music, but learned knowledge of computers, digital audio workstation software and the use of samples and loops only, is considered a musician?

MB: A musician makes music, instrumentalist play instruments. Some people do both. Some are masters and some are not. I would not consider some one who arranges straight loops as a master of the craft, but the fact remains they are musicians if they make music.

It’s more about how they use the samples, computers, and software that would make the general public consider one a musician . Some people are born with musicianship as a natural gift.

It’s 2010, we have kicked off a new millennium. Music has taken a digital turn. Anyone who uses a sound module like the Motif, Triton, or Fantom are actually using “computer, software, samples, and loops”. When the composer sits down and plays a orchestra type chord on the motif, there is no chamber, no oboes, or trumpets. Yes that’s all samples played together to make a chord. Because he/she did not blow the reeds or horn, does not mean he or she isn’t a musician.

I know people with no formal training who sample a chord, place it across a software piano roll, and make entire songs drawing in each and every note or step. All samples, all digital, and they make the most amazing music.

You have composers/instrumentalist with formal knowledge of music theory, and those who sample with no formal knowledge both winning Grammys. I think the instrumentalist with formal knowledge are the only ones who wouldn’t classify computer musicians as musicians today in the 21st century.

*****

That was an interesting take on the topic. Below is another set of viewpoints, this time by another follower, Lady The Producer, a producer, songwriter, arranger, trained pianist, and studio engineer.

Fresh: What got u interested in using sampling as a primary means of composing your music? (If you don’t consider it a primary means, explain to what extent you use it).

LP: It’s not so much my primary means of sampling because I do a lot of work without sampling, however, I enjoy sampling because I enjoy music. I am a trained pianist, and have dabbled with other instruments too. I’ve always collected old music and I love the idea of being creative in conjoining pieces of another creative piece into something extra special.

Fresh: What got you interested in sampling?

LP: Listening to music all my life, and the passion to play and program sound is a drug to me.

Fresh: What are your thoughts on the history of sampling. How has it’s evolution played a part in music composition to date?

LP: When I heard a sampled joint for the first time, it was an amazing discovery to my ears! To take a creative piece of music and recreate something even more special is a collaborative effort in my opinion. I call it recycled music. I call it appreciating the value of what the original artists and producers brought to the song. I also think at times, it’s a win-win for both parties involved. Often times old songs are forgotten and revamped into major hits because they were chopped into a new song. As long as the paperwork is right at the end of the day, and all parties are happy, what can be more beautiful?! I’m grateful for the history of sampling, and regarding the evolution…Kanye is one of the big names that made it a commercial art. Personally, as one of my goals, I’d love to get a production deal topped with a hefty sampling budget…talk about the ultimate exploration of music!

Fresh: What are your favorite tools and current methodologies for sampling in your composition?

LP: I’m a sista from the hardware era, so I like to touch knobs, push buttons, and scroll through screens while programming my music. I like being made to hear the music and not just see it in a wave form. It’s a certain discipline for me. My preferred tools for sampling is the Roland Fantom X6, Ensoniq ASR 10 and the Beat Kangz Beat Thang Virtual. I’ve also used software titles Ableton Live, and Reason. As for my methods of sampling, I’m different from a lot of cats in the process. It’s not just about snatching a bit of a song and dropping a drum loop over it, and done in 5 minutes. I process every detail of the chop, and I’m very particular about my chops and placement. I don’t use drum based loops to build upon the track. I actually process and play my drums around my chops. I also may play over my chops… the list goes on (can’t give away all my lil’ secrets!)

Fresh: How do u see sampled based music (loops and samples only) as a means for composing music today with regards to the ease and popularity of such music in popular genres that use it.

LP: There are some really great companies out there with tons of sounds, plus as we all know, any piece of hardware or software production tool you buy comes loaded with sound samples. I like manipulating those sounds. I don’t use drum-based loops, I create my own. I think with composing music today or anytime, the art of it lies within the creator or producer. I find that many aspiring producers today are seeking the easiest way to produce a track, and it shows in the end result.

Fresh: Do you think a composer that has no formal knowledge of music, but learned knowledge of computers, digital audio workstation software and the use of samples and loops only, is considered a musician?

LP: Formal knowledge alone doesn’t make you a musician… you must have a talent first. Also, understanding the depth of the creation process, obtaining your own tricks of the trade, studying and perfecting your craft and being able to ‘play’ and understand music is what makes you a musician in my opinion. You can know your software in and out, even your DAW, but you have to know your music and be able to communicate it. You know immediately when you’ve come across a musician by their sound, and it’s definitely not through a couple loops. To be a musician is an acquired behavior!

*****

Very good insight by Lady Producher. It was my intent, in 2010, as a musician who has been writing and composing music from my teenage years, to look at the evolution of sampling in how music is composed today, especially in the urban contemporary and dance music scenes.

Lastly, for your listening pleasure, is a podcast I did with Todd Kelley, aka The Big La, for a series I wanted to start back in 2007 called Fusion. This podcast, done back in 2007, is an interview I did featuring the history of Todd Kelley, the producer/writer/arranger/podcaster/hip-hop and soul lover, who has leveraged technology in producing his music as well. This is 50 minute interview so be ready for a long one.

With that, I’ll conclude this series. I hope you’ve found it interesting. It’s given me food for thought…not anything new, but just a wider outlook from other creators words, not just actual articles. I’m much like Lady Producher, still love my hardware (buttons, knobs, LCDs and LEDs – the whole tactile thing in creating and producing music), which (to me) goes hand-in-hand (no pun intended) with my 30+ years as a guitarist, bassist and *somewhat* keyboardist – haha! I love the ability to be able to use samples at the level I choose in my compositions, but find it more difficulty to solely rely on loops and construction kits for a finished product. Be it personal or not, these days, in any way you tend to look at it, it’s the final product that speaks.

For more on my followers, check out their sites:
Lady Producher – StudioNoize
MsTris Beats – MsTris Music
Todd Kelley
Sounds and Gear

Thanks for the read…

peace,
Fresh!

Sampling and Music Composition – A “Fresh” Perspective. Pt 2 – Sampling/Interpolation/Legalities


Photo Credit: Akai MPC 2500 w/black pads by: ficusrock

Greetings crew…

Hope all is well with you. I’ve finally gotten around to Pt 2 of this series. In Part 1, I gave a brief history of sampling and, specifically, the tools used in the early days; and the explosion of sampling in the 80’s and 90’s that was fueled by the music of James Brown. Since then, not only has sampling evolved greatly with the advent of sampling technology, both in hardware and software tools, but it’s also taken on the form of a different kind of sampling – taking a song’s basic arrangement and feel (usually the hook) and creating a new song from it. One example that immediately come to mind in the last decade is Kirk Franklin’ s radio version (remix) of “Stomp”. When this release first hit the airwaves, it was quite noticeable to the listening public that the song’s groove was reminiscent of a very popular song by Funkadelic, namely “One Nation Under A Groove”. The interpolation comes into play as the tempo of “One Nation Under A Groove” (the verse section) was slowed down and the bass track was extracted for the main groove for “Stomp”. Whosampled.com shows a side by side comparison of the two. In this particular case, Kirk took the obtained permission and provided reference and credit to Funkadelic in the liner notes of his release. Before, during, and since then, there have been many instances were permission was not granted, resulting in copyright infringement lawsuits. While I’d venture to guess hip-hop holds the record for the highest count of sampling lawsuits, especially with the landmark case involving Biz Markie’s “I Need A Haircut” sampling of Gilbert Sullivan’s “Alone Again Naturally”, Kid AdRock of The Beastie Boys claims they hold the first sample lawsuit.

The laws of copyright infringement in cases like those above span far and wide and, to many, are still open to interpretation. I came across an interesting article (I’m sure there are many more out there) written by an artist on Twitter named Sean Grey. His article Thinking Out Loud: How to Legally Sample Songs For Free, provides some interesting questions for consideration, as well as feedback from other readers. While it’s not my intention to delve into the legalities of sampling in this post, it’s an area with depth that continues to be revisited time and time again. One of many good resources on this subject is here. Disc Makers also recently posted a good article entitled Sampling Safely – A Primer to Avoiding Lawsuits.

As the late 80’s progressed into the 90’s, Sean “Puff Daddy (bka Diddy)” Combs took arranging and composing based on sampling a step further and actually obtained permission to use the actual masters (not samples or interpolations) of songs to compose songs for releases under his artists Junior Mafia, Biggee Smalls, Little, Kim, Lil Cease, Faith Evans, etc. Popular hip hop songs were produced that used actual hooks from Diana Ross’s “I’m Coming Out”, Herb Alpert’s “Rise”, The Police’s “Every Step You Take”, even Jeff Lorber’s classic fusion track “Rain Song”. You may be able to associated each song above with the hit Diddy produced.

This type of new song arranging and composing hit it very big, and still continues to do so, with the likes of Kirk Franklin using the hook to Patrice Rushen’s “Haven’t You Heard” for his 2005 hit “Looking For You”.

The topic matter in this particular post is nothing new. The question I have is, as of late, is there any merit to what I call “gross sampling” (using the actual song itself, (in the case of what Diddy and Kirk have done)? I would submit that there is some skill level, maybe some would say an art, to composing new (and I use the term loosely) songs. What, if any, are your thoughts? As an artist, songwriter, composer, and producer, I have my own but will reserve them until I finish this series.

In Part 3, I’ll give my perspective on sampling, sample packs, the tons of vendors that make them, the use of them in music composition, and related issues.

::: oceans of rhythm :::

Fresh!

Welcome To The Sunday Soundtrack – 19 Sep 10

Morning Sky
“Morning Sky”- Photo Credit: Hey Kim! 2010

Good day listeners…

Welcome to another edition of The Sunday Soundtrack. I hope your week was (or is) going well. Here we are half way through September and I have to ask the all to well known question: “Where has the time gone?” That question is rhetorical as I think our answers are all pretty similar. In any event, without time passing, I’d never reach this point of bringing you yet another podcast. Amidst the excitement of an oncoming start to the NBA season and football season underway, I hope you incorporate this musical into the time you find to chill.

I’ve been doing some trackhunting over the past week and have discovered a new way of getting new music for the podcast which is pretty exciting. With that, ahead of you is an hour of all brand new tracks that I hope you enjoy. Among the tracks are two from San Francisco based DJ and producer, Kaskade, and two from sought after and finally found artist, Lazybatusu. I’ve featured tracks from Kaskade on the podcast before, but Lazybatusu has been elusive in obtaining via my usual haunts…until I discovered my new source. I really like the flow of Lazybatusu and will be featuring more of their tracks in future SSPs. Their track “8am” I’ve heard numerous times on somafm.com’s Groove Salad and SiriusXM’s Chill, two long time sources of the tracks you hear in the podcast. I hope you enjoy it as well as I do.

In the coming months I hope to be showcasing some more of my own smooth electronica here as well. Stay tuned. With that, let’s tune into this week’s playlist:

1. Tonite f/Amy Michelle – Kaskade/Om Lounge
2. Close – Kaskade/OM Lounge 8
3. R-Evolution – Lazybatusu/Cafe Solaire Vol. 2
4. Mellow – Seductive Souls/Cafe Solaire Vol. 14
5. Can U Feel It? – Marc Antoine/Rendezvous Lounge 2
6. Get It On – Spacefish/Global Psychedelic Chill Out – Compilation Vol. 4
7. 8am – Lazybatusu/Cafe Solaire Vol. 14
8. Nkechi – Konferenz/Kontakt
9. Bay Of Hope – Planet Lounge/Grill Out
10. The Story Of Us – Chevalier

Thought I’d shoot a short video of where The Sunday Soundtrack podcast is created. Insight is always valuable. Thanks to my brother-in-podcasting, DarrenKeith over at My Love For Music for the idea. He’s done an on-location video of where he shot his podcast recently.

Thanks for listening, always appreciated, and a special shout to my entire podcasting massive, especially for the drops. Time for me to send new ones out to you as well.

To download the podcast, just right-click on the “Download” link and save it to your hard drive.

::: oceans of rhythm :::

F!

“Give It To Ya” goes international!

Some of you received an email from me about two weeks ago about a single put out by a group I’m in called C3. Here’s the scoop in case you haven’t seen it:

I am pleased to share with you the debut single, “Give it 2 Ya” from our upcoming EP, Contempojazzsoulhop.

Produced by The Big La and Fave
Lyrics written by Fave
Drums and Sampling: The Big La
Electric guitar: Fresh
Keys and Vocals: Fave

It’s a challenge scheduling our families, careers and other “life stuff” in order to coordinate this project, but it is (and continues to be) a blessing to work with such open-minded, talented and tech savvy brothers. You may download the single using the title link above or from our website. Feel free to share it among your social networks (i.e., Twitter, Facebook, etc.).

In the interim, we appreciate your time and support. Have a fantastic week!

Kind regards,

Fave
_______________________________________
Fave Media | PO Box 301046 • Houston TX 77230
+1 713 568 9089 mobile • AIM: fridayfavecast
www.fridayfavecast.com • www.allthingsfave.com

Well, Fave just contacted us last night with this email:

From: soulunsigned@aol.com
Date: June 21, 2010 1:24:44 AM CDT
To: tomglide1@mac.com, smoothswingrecords@gmail.com, chris.young@nurturemusic.co.uk, funkeepers@mundo-r.com, lars@candycream.de, soulfoodmusicuk@gmail.com, diesler.promo@googlemail.com, dsingleton@gedsoulrecords.com, favecast@gmail.com, breakingartists@btinternet.com, igo1077@gmail.com, soulman1902@gmail.com
Subject: Soul Unsigned Show (Edition 2010-024)

You (or someone you represent) has been featured on this week’s Soul Unsigned show, which was aired on all of the following radio stations –

Jun 16th – Network 1 (UK)
Jun 17th – International Showcase Radio (UK)
Jun 17th – Raunchy Rhythms Radio (UK)
Jun 17th – QFM 94.3 Tenerife (Canary Islands, Spain)
Jun 17th – Exite FM 93.1 Costa Blanca (Spain)
Jun 17th – Positiva FM 96.0 Tenerife (Canary Islands, Spain)
Jun 17th – Radio Bombo FM 100.1 Treni (Italy)
Jun 18th – MRS 90.5 Stockholm (Sweden)
Jun 19th – HearDat (UK)
Jun 20th – Netjazz (UK)
Jun 20th – Kiss FM 91.6 Kristianstad (Sweden)
Jun 20th – APCS Radio (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
Jun 20th – Key 56 (San Diego, USA)
Jun 21st – Soul And Jazz (UK)
Jun 22nd – MotionFM (Toronto, Canada)

You can hear a full copy of the show on Podomatic –

http://soulunsigned.podomatic.com

Playlist (2010-024)

Tom Glide & The Luv Allstars – Kool party
Oui & Fresh – Steppin out
Max Sedgley – All around me
Funkeepers – Im gonna stay
Candycream – Love what you do
Edei – In my bed (Sed Soul remix)
Diesler – Zebra boogie
DeRobert & The Half Truths – The joy
Crosscountrycollective – Give it 2 Ya
Boozoo Bajou – Take it slow
Jumbo Aniebiet – Love change the world
Groove Stu – Be free
KS – Worthless
YCB – Jazzified

Our Website
If you haven’t previously been featured on a show, a link to you has been added to the “artists” section on the Soul Unsigned website –
http://www.soulunsigned.com/artists.htm

Your Website
We would greatly appreciate a reciprocal link to the Soul Unsigned website on your website and/or myspace page so that your fans and other artists and musicians visiting your website will be aware of Soul Unsigned and what we have to offer.

Thanks

Phil Driver
Soul Unsigned
www.soulunsigned.com

Pretty cool…. Keep ya eyes, we’re comin’ in 2010!

peace,
F!

The Musical Journey – The Current Flow

304288_Full

Greetings….

10:15pm, Friday night. The day part was long, and busy, so I am definitely appreciative of this part. I’m sitting in the studio…really chillin’. As usual, I’m thinking of projects that need to continue, get finished, or get started, but tonite…I’m relaxing, and catching up on blogging (*yawn*).

They say when it rains, it pours. It’s been doing that figuratively and literally (more figuratively then literally). For the longest time, I, and my biz partner, Dan McCollum, have been working on our CD project….the longest time is a time I care not to divulge, but hey…life get’s in the way. The CD is entitled “What Love Is”. We are known as After Six Productions. It started out, and still is, a labor of love project, as opposed to one created to get a record deal. We have a record company established under which A6P falls, Hall Effect Records. While we are now down to pretty much nearing completion of the project, we’re really seeing how much work it entails. Our only desire, be it lofty or not, is to put out songs that can stand the test of time. A bit ambitious…maybe…but in light of what the urban music industry is offering, we feel it’s high time for a change….we’ll see. We’re coming.

I won’t bore ya with my humble beginnings, but just let you know what the journey has been like over the last year. I’ve had the studio running for quite some time. This year there have been other projects like recording a four-voice ensemble to a welcome song written for our church mass choir. The result of that demo CD drew similar artists in, with songs of their own from time to time (I have three in the queue currently). Having *clientele* like this is not something I expected at this point, but it gives me an idea what it really takes to produce and learn the recording hardware and software I have.

Over the last few months, I’ve begun a remote collaboration project with two other very talented musicians AND friends I have on twitter: @fave (in Houston) and @toddkelley (in Cali). Fave and Todd have been doing collaboration songs back and forth that I’ve been fortunate to hear. These tracks, everyone, have been slammin’. Down the line, we all started talking about collaborating to some extent. Fave came around and seem to set the wheels in motion, farming out some incomplete tracks to Todd and I to work on, Todd doing the same to Fave, and Fave feeding what Todd and he did to me, for the guitar work. So far, tracks done, and released to the public to hear, have been met with great enthusiasm. The name of the project is called C3 or deeper still, “contempojazzsoulhop”, a name that describes the flow of all three of us combined as one. Here’s Fave talking about the origin and development of the project (yeah, man…we both owe u inputs! LOL):

I’ve been working on my own tracks for years, under a project entitled Songs From The Future (SFTF). While I won’t get into my whole workflow, inspirations and such, songs come to me in many different ways, different times and are often built from a little as something like this. My plan is to get under way with my CD in 2010, as soon as we drop “What Love Is”

Within the last, what, almost two months, I got the grand opportunity (again via Twitter) to be asked to do remixes (seemingly a life long dream), for one VERY funky and soulful artist by the name of Philip Clark. Via some tweets read about the development of “contempojazzsoulhop”, he got wind of the fact that I produce my own music and was always interested in doing a remix. After a little discussion, he approached me and asked if I wanted to do some remixes of tracks from his debut album. Of course I jumped at the chance to do so and picked the track “Granted”. Happy to say that after hearing the rough version, he is pleased with it….but not more pleased that I to know he’s diggin’ it. I plan two other remixes of the track. He’s a pleasure to work with and has displayed a great mind for the business as well. I like what he has in store for the remix project as a whole. I applaud that, as well as his musical flow. Definitely check out his tracks. His official site is here. Much thanks to the shout for my podcast.

As far as live music, I’ve been playing in my church’s music ministry with all the various choirs since 1994 as well as with a band, 150East for a few years now. Here’s a short vid of the band:


Since 150East, I’ve started teaching guitar, as well as studying jazz guitar under a Washington DC guitar instructor and recording artist, Dave Mosick. The latest project about to kick off is with a local sax player and good friend, Kelvin Wilson.

So, needless to say….busy for sure. Just tryna make it happen, and that always starts in ‘The Lab.

I won’t say what time it is now…but, I will say…thank for reading….The weekend is here…let’s go…

Shouts to my boy Fave and Todd for the mad flow!

peace,
Doug

The Session…Jazzy vibes in The ‘Lab

The Lab.

So….I had a recording session tonite at The Lab. A fellow musician, friend, and talented keyboardist came by to record some original material he records live when we do sound checks early Sunday mornng…so much so, that he has 4 CDs of various musicians (including me) improvising over very nice arrangements he just comes up with as the audio crew gets us ready for the service.

What was cool about this session is that it was just him laying down keyboard tracks. I record in Logic Pro which really has some NICE drum loops across a great deal of genres, not to mention EXCELLENT acoustic and electric piano emulations as well.

About seven track were recorded, but only one, an uptempo tune with a Latin feel, used an acoustic piano. The rest we use a Suitcase Mk II Fender Rhodes electric piano….very nice….fit the vibe of the tunes perfectly. I couldn’t find specific drum loops to fit every track we recorded, but the absence thereof even lent a new feel to the track itself, in some cases.

I have some drum programming to do…looking forward to that in hopes of seeing what new life will be breathed into these songs….

It was good….very good.

peace,
F!

Music – The Global Outreach and Eternal Gift (A contest too!)

A very cool thing occurred this afternoon while at work. A few months ago, I was passing through the usual virtual spots and, as customary, always keeping an eye out for interesting websites that would fit the overall theme of what vibesnscribes.com is about. This one particular site I came across happened to be an indie netlabel called Dusted Wax Kingdom. On that label I found some artists specializing in underground soulful instrumental hip hop, often composed on the all too famous Akai MPC. I took a liking to the tunes by an artist named Skipless, so much so that I decided to feature his tracks on a recent Sunday Soundtrack podcast. He also has myspace page as well.

I took the liberty to reach out to let him know how much I enjoyed his EP and that I featured it on the podcast. He, in turn, mentioned that he would send me a CD and was grateful that I enjoyed his tracks enough to feature them on the podcast. Noticing his locale, I thanked him, but passed it off as a gesture that probably would remain as that, although we decided to follow each other on myspace.

Lo and behold, today, our receptionist came to my desk with this:

skipless1

skipless2

Ha…I’m even diggin’ the CD emulating vinyl…it looks cool! That delivery was a GREAT surprise and showed me, once again, how the gift of music can communicate greatly. In addition, the whole vibe, from the first listen, to the online communication, to the gift was very cool. I often sit in my studio workin on personal tracks, messin’ around with beats, our own CD project, the whole nine, and sometimes wonder how many others are doing the same thing I am doing…in a bright bedroom, dark area, minimal gear, maximum set up, professional studio, etc.

In any event, he not only sent me one CD, but several, and asked me to give them away to friends and continue to spread the word. To that end, here’s a little contest. If u like what you’ve heard on my previous podcast, be the first to send me the country in which he lives, and I will send u one – Hint: Read this post carefully. I’ll determine the winner by the first time stamp of the answer that I receive as a comment to this post.

Ok…about to get some breakfast and get into the day….a busy one is predicted. Thanks for the read.

Flow positivity…

peace,
F!

The Sunday Soundtrack Pt. 2 – 12 Apr 2009

(Thx to AK for the photo “donation” [wink])

Welcome back (smile). This is a first…two podcasts in one day. I was going to save this one for next week, but I’m in the mood to bring it from both ends today. I like the tracks I found this week and wanted to bring them forth. One, of course, as mentioned is your’s truly, with a track I featured before, Cham’s Groove. This track is one I wrote while on business travel in Guam. Inspired by the people there, the city, the etc. I composed it and recorded it right there in my hotel room…ahhh technology (wink).

On the playlist this week is the hip-hop influenced chill out of none other than the world renowned DJ Cam and independent artist, Skipless, of the indie label Dusted Wax, the smooth downtempo of pearlcoder out of Germany, and two new artists I just discovered week, via XM Radio, Rory Hoy and Bluemind. Presenting…the playlist:

1. Kalimba Groove – DJ Cam/Liquid Hip Hop
2. Alter – Skipless/Rooftops
3. Cham’s Groove – Groove 7/SFTF – Barrigada Sky
4. jazzilanvon – pearlcoder/moving pattern session 1
5. Marrakech (Specek Main Mix) – Incognito/Future Remixed
6. Hypnotease – Rory Hoy/Cosmic Child
7. Really – Bluemind/Om Chilled, Vol. 2

Seven tracks….a complete number. Enough to whet your musical appetite? I hope so. As always, u know I like to keep it short, sweet, and to the point…..the point being…chilled beats.

Lazy with the links today, folks, grrr. All the artists above can be found on iTunes (with the exception of Skipless, and…..me). For more information, check Discogs.com as well.

Two shout outs today. First, big up to my boy Donny Shelton. Donny and I go back to middle school. Thanks for the call about the Sunday Soundtrack enjoyment, both from a listening and audiophile standpoint…I appreciate the comment…let me know when you can listen to it on that high end system of yours!. Second one to Regina in NYC…hey you! Thanks for the e-mail comments on the podcast….glad it can get your through your work day and complaining co-workers (wink).

For those of you on Facebook, please consider joining the group there. Thanks to those who have joined. I appreciate it. The Sunday Soundtrack on Facebook.

On Twitter…yeah, it’s there too: The Sunday Soundtrack Twitter Page. Please follow me there for weekly updates (new contest coming soon….)

Enjoy your day!

peace,

F!