The Maryville Daily Times published this lovely snapshot of Nathan Tipton’s Planet Icon mixed media collective, on the heels of their art show, Oneironaut, this Friday at Studio 212. It’s no surprise that a mention of El Deth was made. Tipton has been working with El Deth since the earliest days and has been a strong asset along the way. Within his constant stream of visual and aural undertakings, he is presently in the process of creating the album art for the upcoming Standstill release, Endless Winter.
Click to download the track:
Sometimes stress builds beyond our borders and so comes a time to release it with a good ol’ fashioned beat session. This one was recorded live one night when myself and Modifi were both in a fantastic, “fuck a buncha bullshit” mode. We set up, played out, then broke down. This is a continuous set. No extra special post edits or attention to detail beyond bpm and maybe tonality.
However, I did think I had an issue with the mastering on it. It sounded great in my car and in the studio, but in my office, some of the beats were lost in the mix. I couldn’t figure out why. I adjusted volume levels and remastered and reburned the disc at least six times. It was the same problem every time and it was killing me. Then I finally realized that I had my receiver set on a mono speaker output., hence causing some of the beats to phase each other out. So all I had to do was hit a single button all along. Totally lame.
In any case, the mystery has been solved and now you can listen for yourself. I also have a bunch of unnecessary test burns of this session now, as well. Some mastered better than others, but if you want one, email me or something. I don’t know why you would want a CD, though, if you can just download it here. The offer still stands.
DJ Modifi – beats, samples
Arrison Kirby – beats, samples
Click to download the tracks:
This session began as a semi-regular Never Sorry set without Dane. The girls and I were having some trouble breaking out of the mediocre, though we did get some newer versions of things in line for a good future nail down. Basically, though, it was a short night that was more building than interesting.
Katie and Rachel cut out relatively early, each for their own reasons. Not content to leave a record of practically nothing, Megan and I pressed forward with beat, bass and vocal improv. DJ Modifi, again, was not present in person, but we used his beats for the final track.
The recording, itself, could have been better had I ran Megan’s microphone directly into the board, rather than into a board into a board as we usually do. Here, it’s just too minimal for that and the result is this terrible hiss that persists throughout. Eventually, you may forget that it’s there as you listen…but it drives me crazy.
“What is This? (David Dalton Returns to the Sea)” – Megan didn’t have much to say at first, what with me all but shoving a microphone in her mouth and demanding she say something. I covered it myself by the second half, though. David Dalton is one of my personal heroes. I used to play in a hip hop band with him. It was called Flashmob. We used this beat relatively close to the end of Flashmob’s brief but powerful tenure. So it’s natural that my own vocal musings would begin mentioning that. Eventually it builds into exactly what it says in parenthesis up there in the song title: David Dalton returning to the sea. He is, after all, David Dolphin: The Porpoise with a Purpose.
“Life is Terrible” – I may have to make an executive band decision that Megan doesn’t talk about her job anymore at sessions. When such dialog bleeds into the music, you get this. It’s nicely sung…but very depressing.
“Party USA or Something” – I let someone secret hear this one and they remarked that it sounded like a Miley Cyrus song. I have to concur. That sample is from the song “Dime” by Cake. Also note my only vocals on this one: an interpolation of “Sweet Jane” by the Velvet Underground.
“Stand By Me” – A cover of the Ben King classic. She’s singing a lot better than I’m playing the bass. For whatever reason, I thought it would make some dumbass artistic statement if I played the whole song on mostly open strings, focusing not on variety, but cadence of simplicity. In the end it works…but I might should have actually stopped and thought about it somewhere in the five or so takes we did. That’s the same beat from “Free Day.”
“Forecast: Marked” – This beat was created by DJ Modifi and I love it. This is a mostly instrumental track and probably the best of this bunch.
Megan Driscoll – vocals
Arrison Kirby – beats, bass, vocals
DJ Modifi – beat composition
Click to download the tracks:
The instrumental tracks border on uplifting, as we continue down the experimental path we carved out in the last session. The two with lyrics run kind of dark. I almost thought about calling this session Apocalypse Light but I didn’t want the word “light” to diminish the gravity of “House of Satan.”
Katie is not on this session, as she was still visiting Peru at the time. However, we were able to rope in contributions from Augustin Brally and DJ Modifi. We also tackled a new cover song, but you can read all about that stuff below…
“Creep” – Ah. Radiohead’s classic breakout jam. It worked pretty well when I recorded it with David Davis. So we got to talking about it and decided to give it a try in this arrangement. Dane played bass. Megan played the omni. I trashed out my guitar. Rachel sang, of course. The beats come to us courtesy of DJ Modifi. He wasn’t at the session, but he was the composer of those beats.
“Move Her Aside” – This one is well paced. Punk rock stoner rock or something.
“House of Satan” – A song about the devil having a heavy heart, spilling it to you in the wee hours of the morning, after a night of partying with him. The lyrics were complete improvisation, yet I think it came out perfect, but for one line. I won’t say which, but it will be changed on subsequent recordings, most likely. For the most part, this song sits very heavy. The creepy theremin is being played by Georgia inhabitant, Augustin Bralley. He also does a wee bit of knob turning around some of the synth effects. This sounds like the song you play as the city you are in is burning.
“Translucent Corpses” – This was the pretty much immediate follow up to “House of Satan.” It really let’s the air back in, thankfully. I like the idea of translucent corpses following the devil’s moments of…uh…darkness. This song is like a spaceship out of all that mess.
Megan Driscoll – flute, omnichord
Dane Hill – drums, bass
Rachel Jae – vocals, auxillary percussion, omnichord
Arrison Kirby – guitar, beats, vocals
Augustin Bralley – theramin, effects
DJ Modifi – beat composition
Here are some outtakes and experiments from my sessions recording Part 3. Notice the art that accompanies this entry also. These are the original conceptual sketches for the album art. These sketches, as well as the end result are the handiwork of Japanese artiste, Saitarou. Click her name and check out her stuff. She’s incredibly unique and gifted in what she does.
As to the music, here is a guide:
“Yoko Intro” A lot of stars aligned to get me to Japan. My friend, Sean Deitrick, had just moved to Nagoya and had an extra room for me to stay in. Also in Nagoya, they were kicking off the opening of a new airport built on a landfill island. Because of this, I was able to get a round trip ticket for four hundred and forty-four dollars. Lastly, through the magic of social networking, I had befriended Homako. (She is a design wiz, by the way, so you should check out her stuff.) I knew her better as Yoko back then, when she lived in Nagano. Part 1 was a mix CD that I sent her in the mail when we first met. (She sent me candy and a CD by The Books.) Part 2 was another mix CD, which I hand delivered to her when I arrived at the Zenkouji Exit in Nagano. Part 3, of course, was the all original recording I did of all the songs I wrote when I was over there. Long story short, “Yoko Intro” was the first (and only original) track on Part 1.
“Tuesday, September 9th” I was in Japan in April. In May I went to Pennsylvania because my aunt was dying. I brought my MC-909, a hand held tape recorder, and a bag of cassettes with me and began programming work for “Jim on the Plane.” I also worked on three other tracks on that trip. One of them was this one. The news broadcast samples were recorded from the radio on the morning of September 11th. I call it “Tuesday, September 9th” because that first reporter states that Tuesday, September 9th, will go down in infamy. Either he messed up, or the conspiracies run deeper than we thought.
“Deadway” This beat formed out of the “Train to Nagano” beat quite accidentally. I was experimenting with different echo effects on the beat and then suddenly there was this thumping, crazy mess. When Dirtnap Dave and I were putting together the earliest beginnings of our hip hop ensemble, Flashmob, I presented this track (with others) for possible use in the project. Understandably, he poo-pooed it. His roomate at the time, Kactus, says it sounds like sweaty gay club music. I kind of hear it.
“Mimi and Chippu” This was another one that I presented for Flashmob, but we did not use. It’s the skeleton from “Chippu and Mimi” but with an assortment of additional sounds, obviously. I completely did away with the old arrangement and melodies, in fact.
“Chippu and Mimi (Alternate Version)” This essentially is “Chippu and Mimi” but with different beat arrangements. It almost made the final cut, but I decided on a last minute reworking after deciding that it sounded too disco-simple. The final version is much less half-assed. This one simply is what it is.
“Heaven” I used to be really proud of this piano piece. Unfortunately, I could never really find a home for it, outside of my own heart. We played it live with Obadiah a few times, but no one in the band really gave a shit about it except me. I held on to it as long as I could, but never wrote it down. Now it is completely gone from my memory banks and will probably never be played anywhere ever again. Sad. This is the only non-Obadiah recorded version of it. Though they are not present on this version, it did have lyrics. They were: “Heaven is in surround sound and the atmosphere is comprised of nitrous oxide.”
“Only Ghosts” I created this on my 909 during the sessions in Pennsylvania. (See above.) If you listen carefully, you can hear a sample from “Mr. Krinkle” by Primus in there. I had no real intention for it in the beginning, but this beat has since been used for a small handful of stuff. In regards to Part 3, I had first used it in “Bamse.” Since then, it has also been applied to my remix of “Disconap” by Senryu. The beat was also used by hip hop trio, Per Capita.
“Yoko’s Song” Before there was a Part 3 (or a Part 1 or 2 for that matter), there was “Yoko’s Song.” Homako and I had begun chatting in February. After hearing some of my music, she suggested that I make a song with a heartbeat in it. Then, on St. Valentines Day, I did just that. The result is this. I completed the whole thing in a day. Written, mixed, mastered and delivered on February 14th. It’s probably the schmaltziest thing I have ever written.