1918 – 2018
I’ve just released a new Twelve album on bandcamp called 1918-2018.
I’m really pleased with it. I got the sound I was looking for; a mixture of Kraftwerk, Boards of Canada and Aphex Twin.
I used one drum machine and two synths through two guitar effects pedals and played these live onto DAT tape. I then bounced the stereo mix down whilst overdubbing one more synth part. This is how I used to work a lot with Julian Cope when I engineered and produced albums with him, he mainly always recorded in stereo, not multi track. I believe CAN also never multi-tracked, they recorded onto stereo tape and then edited the mixes together.
Making music like this is challenging because there is no going back. However, after a bit of practice you get some really great results and a real live feel to the music. It took me several months to set the synths and drum machine up and practice, but then once I had mastered the control of the machines, the album was really quick to record. It was just a case of playing it live.
The sound of this album is also very warm and punchy. If you record onto DAT tape and set the speed to slow you get a really gorgeous sounding natural digital tape distortion which is very pleasing to the ear. I read in an interview that this is what Aphex Twin did with his early recordings.
No computers were used, except in the editing and mastering process. I tried to let the machines play like Can, jam out odd grooves and poly rhythmic bass lines and not be afraid to make mistakes. It’s the little mistakes that make the music. Quite a lot of the music was at times unpredictable and hard to control, that’s when stuff happens, stuff that you can’t plan and this is what makes it so lively and organic.
I’m so pleased with the results and I’m really going to try hard to get this record onto vinyl and released commercially.
Please support Twelve if you can. I’ve noticed a lot more people are supporting Twelve now and the traffic on the site has gone up a lot in the last month or so.
For those of you that don’t know, I’ve been putting up quite a lot of free tracks as downloads on the Twelve website recently. I’ve now compiled these 12 tracks onto a CD (and a Free download).
It’s a jewel case CD and is only £5.00
There some great music on this CD ranging from Kraftwerk Computer Love melodic grooves to minimalist influenced loops and arpeggios.
Also, please pledge for The Submarine Broadcasting’s compilation vinyl KLANG on Kickstarter (featuring six by seven). He’s nearly halfway there now to making this happen. Please help if you can. He’s put a new video up featuring all of the bands on the record. You can have a look and pledge by clicking HERE.
In the meantime, please head over and grab yourself this free Twelve album, I’m sure there will be something on it for you to enjoy.
Thanks everyone. CHRIS
I managed to make this track today despite having man flu.
I took that picture of the Nottingham Trent University building the other day whilst walking past. It’s called the Newton building, I only ever went in there to pick up my grant cheque (before student loans) when I was a student.
Some guy jumped off it in my second year. Because I remember this and because it’s a dark fascist looking building, I find it quite foreboding.
Made with a Moog and Novation Synth for drums and Dave Smith Mopho analogue Synth.
I really like this tune. It’s in two halves really. I used a Novation analogue synth (lent to me by my mate Neil), they have a certain bubbly kind of sound which I love. I’m obsessed with making songs feel like the outro to Computer Love by Kraftwerk.
This album is made up of three albums I made about 4 or 5 years ago called Panik, Tragik and Magik. As I remember I used only a Moog synth with an 8 track recorder in my front room to make this music. However, listening back to some of the tracks I’m thinking I might be wrong as I can hear a Sequential Circuits 600 and an Oberheim Filter sound on some of the tracks and I know I borrowed these synths from a friend around that time for a brief period. Also, I may have used my Akai MPC to sequence the odd beat!
Anyway, the idea was to create some soundtrack music for a cold war spy film (which obviously doesn’t exist!). Listen to these tracks loud in a dark room sitting in the middle of the speakers. Sometimes these old analogue synths actually sound like they are alive.