Harder Faster Stranger
Track 1: Planned Entropy
This piece of pure techno emerged out of an experiment to see if I could create a track made solely from percussion. As per usual, the tune took a hard right turn along the way and became something entirely different.
Track 2: Patent Pending
Here's a piece that may be a bit of a challenge to get into. Comprised mostly of commercial loops, with some of my homegrown percussion thrown in for good measure, it's an exercise in juxtaposing slightly awkward sounds to see how far I can push things before they break. I've remixed it three times post-release, and I still might not be done with it.
Track 3: Harder Faster Stranger
The track that gave rise to the album of the same name is a genre-defying laundry bin overflowing with crazy loops all laid over an original drum and bass track. I confess it was little more than an excuse to use a lot of stuff I'd ordinarily never bother using. It was also a very enjoyable mixing challenge.
Track 4: Just Chill
It all started when I came upon a collection of beautiful little chords—in a hip-hop folder, of all places—and I assembled a bunch into a nice long progression. From there it went on to become an epic meditation on said progression, resulting in a track you can leave on repeat the whole day. The title says it all: just relax and let all of those deep, delicious chords carry you away.
Track 5: Parallel Lines
Here's a perfectly straightforward electronic trance track. It's interesting that, the simpler the tune, often the harder it is to get right. After starting with over two dozen sounds (half just for the rhythm), I kept paring it back until I was down to only those elements that were really needed, which was less than a quarter of them. Curiously, I also discovered that the discordant bass line worked much better than expected.
Track 6: Wait For It
This track started out as something very different: a somber jazz tune ("Good Question" from Quarter To), but it was going nowhere, and as I picked the track apart, it slowly evolved into this exuberant excuse to play with a bunch of brand new samples and loops. It was still a challenge: one single note took almost a day to get right! The lesson I learned is that sometimes you need to wait for inspiration and luck to come together before a track will.
Track 7: The River
When I accidentally stumbled into an unfamiliar time signature, I accepted the challenge and stuck with it; I think it was well worth the effort. Upbeat yet ethereal, "The River" is one of those tracks that seems to meander on forever, the kind of tune you can leave on repeat all afternoon—something to be said for simple compositions with no bridges and/or key changes. Incidentally, the rhythm track is all mine, assembled from individual drumbeats and percussion hits.
Track 8: Not You Again
The musical equivalent of an arms race, this descendant of "Bang" from Brain Churn would require at least eight drummers/percussionists if performed live. I took matters to absurd extremes: just when you think it can't possibly go any bigger or get more furious, it does.
Track 9: The Amazon
Dedicated to the warrior princess in your life, "The Amazon" is big and powerful in every way.
Track 10: Vox Synthetica
After spending a great deal of time on a vocorder effect, I suddenly realized, crap, it sounds a lot like Kraftwerk's "The Robots". Deciding, however, that it's different enough that it doesn't sound like I'm ripping them off, I pressed on. The result is 100% pure, unreconstituted EDM.
Copyright © 2012-2022 by David K. Smith.