Several days ago I randomly discovered a clip on youtube that impressed me much. It is a performance by an MC on a train. He does some “scratches” with his mouth, and he makes his beats only by hands using the surroundings (mainly seats and windows as he’s actually on a train). But this is not what I was impressed by. I was much more affected by the guy’s flow and his vocal blend. He sounds rough and authentic, obviously heavily influenced by old school hip hop. This is something I admire especially in times when cheesy “hip hop” is massively promoted. Below is the video of the performance I am talking about:
SSL SL9000J (72ch) console at Cutting Room Recording Studio, NYC. Photo by Rebecca Wilson, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic Licence
Audio mixing is an integral part of music or sound production of any type – from hip hop to rock, from music for TV ads to podcasts. The constantly increasing speeds of broadband internet and the penetration and rising popularity of cloud services opened space for online mixing services. An additional prerequisite for the development of such services is the constant improvement of software plugins which emulate classic hardware used for audio mixing. I myself have recently tested one of these services (of course I chose the cheapest) and this led to my decision to write a comparative article about what is on the online mixing market. For comparison, I picked up only 5 online mixing services and chose several parameters to compare them by: price, what you get, song time limit, promotions or discounts, delivery time, DAW sessions accepted. Interestingly, comparing just 5 services provided some insight that online mixing services can differ significantly, but have quite similar user experience. Usually, the client is required to export each track in wav or aiff format, then zipping the tracks together, uploading the file to the internet. Afterwards the engineers at the online mixing service do their job, and send the final mix back to the client.
Cover of Addis by 5CRNRS. Background picture by Sam Effron, used with CC BY-SA 2.0 license
Addis by 5CRNRS is a breakbeat/hip-hop track which groove was inspired greatly by Ethiopian jazz. It starts with some dubby elements and continues with finely chopped funky beats, several simple chords and some strings. The result is quite pleasant. It was nicely mixed by In The Box Online Mixing which gave it a specific flavour. Afterwards the track was mastered by Psystein.
Since I am currently living in a place where I use only headphones to monitor my sound, I am having a great problem with listening to my productions properly. Moreover, I must admit that I am not the best sound engineer, even though I try to produce reasonably good sound. I am more interested in the creative part of the process. The fact that I have no access to a studio and that my budget is always limited made me think about trying an online mixing service. I chose In The Box Online Mixing. According to their website, for $99 they provide optimized sound by brilliant craftsmanship for up to 32 tracks. On top of that, there is an option for clients to hear a 40 second sample before paying for the full high resolution mix. Below is the online mixing review. Continue reading →
This post is my attempt to get a job at One Handed Music as a Label Assistant, and is part of their recruitment process. Along with my CV, they required to give short arguments for and against making music available on streaming services at the time of the physical and MP3 releases. I decided it is better to make a post about it here instead of sending them my arguments in the body of the e-mail.
In recent years streaming services for video and music have become increasingly popular and widely available to the mass consumer. This is due to several factors: technological developments, the deep penetration of smartphones and tablets, and the constantly increasing speed of mobile internet. For music fans this is very convenient as services such as Spotify, Deezer, Pandora, etc., provide a very cheap alternative to buying CDs or MP3. In order for them to instantly listen to a catalogue including millions of songs, they only need a device (phone, PC or tablet) and decent internet connection. This is great for the fans but it has to be looked at from the side of labels and artists as well. It is important for labels to be able to earn money in order to cover production costs, marketing costs and reinvest. As streaming services are well developed, they need to be present in any label’s business and marketing strategies. The question is whether a new release should be available in the streaming services at the same time with physical and MP3 releases or should this be delayed. Continue reading →
This beat was not intended to have any “speaking” until yesterday. After I watched this interview of the Bulgarian rapper 100 Kila at TV7, I had to include a segment of the final part of the broadcast. This segment was presented as some kind of “psycho-linguistic analysis”, which was biased against rap music. Additionally, the whole interview was done by narrow-minded “journalists” who obviously have prejudice against rap and don’t like the fact that their children listen to artists such as 100 Kila because they talk about reality. They put the blame on the artist, rather on themselves and the way they brought up their children. To get an idea of what this is about, here is what the so-called “psycho-linguistic analysis” included:
I remember that today’s representatives of rap music spread ideas of demonization, fetishism and swastikas of the evil. They defile and suppress the intellect in such way that after growing older than 12, rap fans imperceptibly become worshipers of lower “chalga” music, which is allegedly denied by rap.
What kind of utter shit is this? Demonization? Fetishism? Swastikas of evil? How insulting for rap fans! This had to be present in my new beat:
In the beginning of the New Year I decided to create a list of the best Bulgarian rap that was released in 2012. The list, of course, is subjective to my personal tastes. As a lover of non-commercial rap, I was looking for and following artists who are often not able to make it to the mainstream radio and TV, but who more often have a real message for the audience than the ones who do. I believe that quality is not measured in views, clicks, likes, etc., but is rather a personal perception of music. The list does not have any particular order and I hope to be able to collect at least 10 releases (videos and/or albums) which are worth listening. It is important to note that this is not a chart and the order of the releases below does not matter in any way. Continue reading →
Initially this beat was based on “Blues My Naughtie Sweetie Gives To Me”, which was originally written in 1919 by N. Swanstone. Anyone can guess what the original composition is about. Anyway, this came out something completely different from what I intended at first. Personally I think it can be given further variety but I publish it as it is: