Notes for the Household Kit LP on Bandcamp. These are mostly tech jottings so I remember what I did. Any thoughts, questions, etc on the music itself are welcome at the email address on this about page.
1. Triphop Turnstiles 03:31
An older tune, "Tasteful Triphop," reworked, with added house-y riffs from a Steinberg ROMpler called "Loopmash" and a field recording from the 34th Street subway station. The tinkly digital synth way off in the background, sounding like something from a Paris airport, is a venerable interactive art piece called "Reach," from the N/R/Q platform.
2. Barely See Ya 03:17
The second half of the same field recording. An Orphean ascent from subway bowels (my boots tramping up the staircase) precedes the polyglot voices of a busy midtown intersection. The voices become loop material -- digitally orchestrated, gospel-like (!) call-and-response patterns from random snippets of people talking to cell phones or each other. An older track, "Fuschia Refraction," with self-oscillating filter swoops, was also used here, along with Reaktor Massive riffs to sweeten the proceedings.
3. Noise Chamber 02:59
I made a wav file drum kit of household sounds -- spinning pan lid banging against a water glass, chair wheel rolling and thumping on floor, a shaken container of rice, fist smacking into palm, finger snaps, etc. -- and have been playing it with various hardware and software. Here the sounds are transformed via granular synthesis into crunchy distortion and pitched whines by means of the Qu-Bit Nebulae (Eurorack module -- see LP cover). Also heard throughout is a SID chip processed with various filters and LFOs, and some softsynth beats and bass notes.
4. Green Algae (Octatrack) 02:47
Drum hits from Native Instruments' first generation of Battery "Synthetic Drums" kits, specifically the "Green Algae Atmo" kit (now unavailable from the company), loaded into the Elektron Octatrack sampler/sequencer and massaged into a song.
5. Household Controller 01:18
More sounds from the Household Kit described above, processed through the Qu-Bit Nebulae into drones and percussive thwacks and further altered with Doepfer's A-187-1 digital effects module (reverb, chorus, delay, etc). The marimba and synth were something I wrote in the MIDI piano roll years ago and fished off the hard drive of an older PC. The baroque fillip at the end was added recently.
6. Spunky Cluster (2014) 02:35
A tune from several years ago I thought was finished until this month. Previously posted as "Spunky Cluster (Nausicaa Mix)," without the added melody line first heard at the beginning. The choppy syncopated beats that might stand in for a wah-wah rhythm guitar are turntable scratch samples granularized in Krypt and/or filtered in Reaktor's Analogic Filter Box effect. The airy middle section is an Absynth patch called Nausicaa -- running beneath it I added a field recording of street sounds outside my apartment.
7. Noise Chamber (Massive) 01:52
Another tune with the Household Kit playing in the Qu-Bit Nebulae module, with Doepfer A-187-1 effects. The keyboard part that runs throughout is a Massive preset, suggesting house organ stabs. The challenge here was writing enough variations for it by hand (ear?) in the Cubase MIDI piano roll so it wasn't machine-repetitive, as a composition.
8. Alpha Wave Male 02:10
The "organ" is Linplug's Alpha softsynth. The middle section combines riffs done with Reaktor Krypt-ized modular synth samples (the plucking and clucking bits) layered over sounds from the Green Algae Atmo kit. Then the organ riff comes back in. The Household Kit samples also make an appearance here, played in Battery.
9. Full Metal Hoodie 01:34
The opening riff is a remnant from sessions with Doepfer's A-112 sampler/wavetable oscillator two LPs back (it briefly appears in the background of "Ambiguous Anthem"). Gradually some sounds from the Green Algae Atmo kit are phased in. Then a riff done with those Krypt-ized modular synth samples described in No. 8 above. Then a Massive riff for some sort of closure.
10. Deadly Hiphop Kick Squad 02:50
"Kick Variations," a 2012 track featuring electronic kick drum sounds processed with the modular synth, yielded some samples -- about six in all -- that I play here in Kontakt in a more orchestrated form, with some added percussion. This version was posted in September 2012 as "Kick Variations (Deadly Hiphop Kick Squad)," but for the LP I mastered it slightly louder and added a field recording of street sounds in the middle section. A neighbor's gate clanging comes in at just the right moments.