I thought that I had posted this, but apparently not...
A few months ago, I was drifting in and out of Wheel of Fortune when I looked up and saw that the puzzle briefly read Popsicle Stick Shit until it was solved. Being an incredibly immature forty year old mad-child, seeing the ever-classy Vanna White standing next to what looked and sounded like a line from a dirty limerick was as precious as it was priceless.
Satan used drugs as a key to unlock my subconscious...
Well kids, it's that time of the year when we dress our kids up in pseudo-slutty outfits and have them roam the neighborhood and beg for tasty morsels. As a kid, I loved Halloween and could care less about what it meant because it gave me a chance to dress in costume and act-a-fool with the understood payment of fun-sized candy or other sugary sweets. In the mid/late 80's, my dad decided to send me to a private christian school, and it was there that I first learned of just how evil Halloween was, and how the day does nothing more than glorify Satan. The school didn't object to the revelry of dressing in costume and trick or treating necessarily, but they definitely attempted to impress that there was a much darker and dangerous side to Halloween that went far beyond poisoned candy and razor blades in apples. This was the first of many poignant moments in my life that made me question, if not snicker at, the religious agenda.
Before I go any further, I must stress that, whereas my parents were christian, we rarely, if ever, went to church, and withstanding the obligatory saying grace before dinner, religion and so-called christian values were not a component in my upbringing. According to my dad, he sent me to a private christian school, not to enrich my life with the word of god, but rather to "keep me from hanging out with the black kids and getting my ass kicked". Rather than the ups and downs (and foretold ass-kickings) of public school, I was introduced to blind submission, boogiemen, propaganda, prophecies, hourly prayer, and immeasurable amounts of bullshit which lacked any logical basis. From that point forward, I never took religion seriously and always got a chuckle out of those that try to push the religious agenda to the masses, especially as it relates to Halloween or anything else that brings pleasure to humanity.
Here we have a shining example of this absurd agenda as delivered in 1979 by Mike Warnke aptly titled A Christian Perspective on Halloween. When I first heard this record, it sounded like a spoof piece, but sadly, and despite Warnke being an occasional comedian, the message here is just about as serious as you can get; every single element of Halloween celebrates Satan. This album is chock full of stories, anecdotes, tales of demons, self-redemption, and if you're looking for something different to listen to, or if you want a cheap laugh to kick off your Halloween festivities, then you should definitely check out this gem!
(55mb via Zippyshare)
If you happen to own the Roland TR-8, you might be interested in knowing that a firmware update was made available back in July which adds a few new (mainly minor) features to this bad-ass beatbox. Word on the street is that they will be introducing an additional firmware update down the road which will add TR-707 sounds to the TR-8, and that will be pretty dope and well worth waiting for! The current firmware update and instructions can be found here.
Ah yes, let's rewind the tape machine back to the oh-so-glorious days between 2006 and 2007 when life was fueled by sleaze, debauchery, bad decisions, and very little sleep. Most of my gear was holed up in storage, so whenever I had the chance to record, it was usually done with a minimal set-up on an extremely outdated desktop PC. I forgot the specs, but I wasn't able to run more than one or two VST instruments/effects at a time without latency issues or drop-outs, and due to this limitation, I was forced to experiment quite heavily with all of the sounds that I already had, and implement a whole new method of sample chopping. Around this time, in addition to the regular stuff that I typically listened to, I was checking out a lot of electro-clash and synthpop, and you can definitely hear that influence on several of the tracks. That said, Sleaze Machine is all over the musical map, teetering between instrumental hip-hop, electronic, lo-fi, and nearly all points in between. I do need to apologize in advance for the track, Black Girls On The Toilet, because frankly; it has no point and was a waste of a perfectly good sample. There was an old Chris Rock skit where he's talking about Players Magazine and how "it's a bunch of pictures of black girls on the toilet", and suffice to say, that's where the idea, as well as the sample came from. I always wanted to use the sample somehow, but it never quite fit into anything that I was working on. Since I needed to fill some space/time on the CD, I threw together a few quick tracks (Fifi Bags, Konichiwa, and of course; Black Girls On The Toilet) and slapped them on the Sleaze Machine project at the last minute. I think it came together in just a few minutes, and although being poorly mixed, it still ended up being released. Aside from that, this album is pretty solid, and it really represents where I was and what I was up to during those crazy years. If you dig surreal beats and strange shit, then check out Sleaze Machine!
Click here for track-list and download link!
No snares, no hats, no percussion; just bass.
When Eric G. started sampling the sustained kick drum from the Roland TR-808 into the Emu SP-1200, he instantly changed the production game by introducing multi-tonal bass that resonated in headphones, trunks, and boomboxes everywhere. Suffice to say, this unique sound redefined how Miami Bass (as well as hip-hop in general) was produced and took the focus from the analog beatbox to the all-in-one sampler/drum machine. As an homage to all of the amazing music that I grew up on and still love so much, and of course to use in my own music, I created an Ableton Live Drum Rack that contains no snares, no claps, no hats, no toms, nor rimshots....just deep, punchy, and often sustained bass kicks with an ever-so-slight touch of bit reduction. This project is based on the ill.Gates 128 method, so if you're familiar with those, then you probably understand what this is and know how it works. If not, simply follow the directions below....
Ableton Live + Drum Rack
Strongly suggested components: 8 MIDI pads + 8 knobs
PLEASE NOTE: This was made in Live 9.1 on a Windows PC, so I cannot confirm if this will work in earlier versions or on other platforms. Any feedback on this would be greatly appreciated!
How to install:
Click the included Miami Bass.als file OR you can drag and drop the Miami Bass.als onto any open project in Ableton Live - that's it!
How to operate:
Once the file is open in Live, you will have a Drum Rack which utilizes eight pads, and each of these pads contains anywhere between 16 and 24 individual sub bass/kick samples. The sample selector for each pads is mapped to a macro, which in turn can be mapped to any of the knobs on your MIDI controller. Each of the eight drum channels has its own bit reduction effect in order to loosely emulate the legendary "ringing" of SP-1200 drum machine/sampler. Lastly, to circumvent triggering multiple kicks simultaneously each drum pad is assigned to the same choke group, and although this, like any of the sampler/channel settings here can be changed, I strongly suggest keeping the choke group as-is.
Each of the 8 pads has its own unique samples, and whereas they definitely lend themselves to Miami Bass, they can also be used for hip-hop, drum and bass, trap, twerk, christian death metal, ambient goth rock, acid yodeling, or whenever deep-ass 808 kicks and subs are needed. Mmmmmm.....subs. The decay has not been mapped, nor has the pitch, but this is something that you can do on your end, however it's probably not necessary. Just stick with the eight pads and eight knobs and you should be a'ight!
This is my first shot at making a distributable Ableton Live project, so I'm hoping that it works for everybody. Ch-check it out and let me know what you think!
(114mb via direct download)