Nur Ein XII Round Five

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Nur Ein XII Round Five

Postby j$ » Mon May 15, 2017 3:50 am

Welcome to the fifth round of the twelfth edition of the Nur Ein.

Title: Elevator Men
Non-optional challenge: Prominent musical repetition - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Repetitive_music / https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Repetition_(music)

Songs are Due on: Monday, May 22nd @ 12:01 AM Eastern
Send your MP3 to nurein.sidefight@gmail.com

NUR EIN!!!!
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Re: Nur Ein XII Round Five

Postby Lunkhead » Mon May 15, 2017 7:32 am

You guys have been seriously overly prescriptive with these challenges. Telling us what to write our songs about, telling us what kind of music to make, conscripting our lyric, forcing instrumentation and arrangement details, etc. etc. I think the result has been a lot of songs that are too similar in how they deal with the challenge. I've generally never loved the challenge aspect but this year has been a particular drag. How about having a challenge that doesn't involve having to read a Wikipedia entry at least next time? :roll:
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Re: Nur Ein XII Round Five

Postby Manhattan Glutton » Mon May 15, 2017 7:46 am

All music is repetitive by nature, and there's a lot of interpretation to be had. Don't sweat it. Look at the genres from that article:
Examples include minimalist music, krautrock, disco (and its later derivatives such as house music), some techno, some of Igor Stravinsky's compositions, barococo and the Suzuki method. (Fink 2005, p. 5)

Other important genres with repetitive songwriting are post rock, ambient/dark ambient and black metal.


All sound good to me!!!
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Re: Nur Ein XII Round Five

Postby Chumpy » Mon May 15, 2017 7:56 am

I often listen to repetitive minimalist music while working, I find it soothing and easy to concentrate. Some of it is hauntingly beautiful too.
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Re: Nur Ein XII Round Five

Postby j$ » Mon May 15, 2017 8:28 am

Lunkhead wrote:You guys have been seriously overly prescriptive with these challenges. Telling us what to write our songs about, telling us what kind of music to make, conscripting our lyric, forcing instrumentation and arrangement details, etc. etc. I think the result has been a lot of songs that are too similar in how they deal with the challenge. I've generally never loved the challenge aspect but this year has been a particular drag. How about having a challenge that doesn't involve having to read a Wikipedia entry at least next time? :roll:


Yawn. Says the man who whined endlessly when 'How Does She Do That?" challenge wasn't clear enough for him, though he hadn't asked for clarification? As ever, the links are there for assistance / clarification not instruction. I don't have time for people who will whine about anything just because they like to whine. Grow up, make music or don't.
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Re: Nur Ein XII Round Five

Postby Lunkhead » Mon May 15, 2017 8:38 am

viewtopic.php?f=26&t=10658

Ugh, I only managed to make it five rounds without an outburst this time. :( Curse you Nur Ein rage!
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Re: Nur Ein XII Round Five

Postby HeuristicsInc » Mon May 15, 2017 10:57 am

somebody proposed a challenge where they wanted to specify the genre of music you'd have to create. if you think this is bad, you should be glad i vetoed that one :)
-bill
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Re: Nur Ein XII Round Five

Postby noma » Mon May 15, 2017 11:56 am

HeuristicsInc wrote:somebody proposed a challenge where they wanted to specify the genre of music you'd have to create. if you think this is bad, you should be glad i vetoed that one :)
-bill

And seriously, I wouldn't mind that either. We had "Metal", "Waltz", "Guitar and voice only", and, suggested by me, "Psychedelic" before. Some challenges tend to be more prescriptive, others not so; that's the nature of the Ein. Personally, I like this one because it gives me the opportunity to... kind of not sing, in case my voice is still down the drain next week. (Planning to do some electronica something then.)
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Re: Nur Ein XII Round Five

Postby furrypedro » Mon May 15, 2017 12:41 pm

HeuristicsInc wrote:somebody proposed a challenge where they wanted to specify the genre of music you'd have to create. if you think this is bad, you should be glad i vetoed that one :)
-bill


I consider myself lucky, thanks Bill. I remember getting boned (or boning myself) with the metal challenge.


On the other hand I loves me a bit of Steve Reich. Hmmm....
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Re: Nur Ein XII Round Five

Postby Lunkhead » Mon May 15, 2017 1:48 pm

Yeah, that would be worse. I know it's not so bad, this is voluntary, making music is fun, etc.etc. As a token of atonement for my whining I will try to say something nice about everybody's songs tonight. :)
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Re: Nur Ein XII Round Five

Postby ken » Mon May 15, 2017 2:18 pm

Lunkhead wrote:Yeah, that would be worse. I know it's not so bad, this is voluntary, making music is fun, etc.etc. As a token of atonement for my whining I will try to say something nice about everybody's songs tonight. :)


Maybe you can come up with some statistics about how many people used the same Mondegreens. ;)
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Re: Nur Ein XII Round Five

Postby BoffoYux » Mon May 15, 2017 9:52 pm

For a change, I'll give some advance notice on the links for the LP

Nur Ein 12 Round 5 - Monday, 5/22 9 pm EST


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SorTz7SPwfA

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Re: Nur Ein XII Round Five

Postby Caravan Ray » Tue May 16, 2017 7:47 am

This whole Nur Ein has been entirely disturbing for me.

I have been recording as "strangelove". There was no rhyme nor reason to that. I simply had no name and a friend at the pub suggested it. So I used it.

But...since this started - for some reason I have started writing the most autobiographical songs I have ever done (I have always avoided writing personally - "Caravan Ray" has always been an alter ego) - and "strangelove " seems to fit perfectly.

"Fingers Crossed" was a reaction to me getting a new job and to also decide to move in with my current girlfriend.
"After You" was a reflection on several, but one in particular recent relationships
"Tired of Talking" was a recall of my entry to the dating world as a middle-aged man
"Regime Change" was just pretty much a restatement of the themes of the first 3 songs. But it was sung by "Caravan Ray" - who now seems to be more than an alter ego.
"Sense of the Absurd" is a recollection of a lovely but bittersweet event that occurred at the end of one of the relationships in song 2 (and yes, the opera singer did actually leave me for a bluegrass player in Nashville after a night on a cricket pitch in Byron Bay - that is a touch absurd).

I almost dropped out last week. I wrote the song - but really didn't want the song to be written. My current girlfriend doesn't need to hear the song (though I have told her the story), my ex-girlfriend doesn't need to hear the song (though we are still good friends and I am pretty sure she would find it funny - we broke up 2 days later for completely unrelated reasons), and the lady in the song - well, she would find it pretty funny too. Anyway - the song is written - it was a funny event - now recorded for posterity.

So..."strangelove" indeed.

I have no ideas at all yet for this round.

I am wondering where my muses will take me - and it bothers me....
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Re: Nur Ein XII Round Five

Postby glennny » Wed May 17, 2017 4:12 am

I'm curious. The band Can seems like the perfect model for this challenge. Yet I doubt you really want 8 and 9minute songs. Also my favorite Can song I don't think would pass the challenge. Would it?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxGaC4wzt50

(Once covered by BLT and Paco del Stinko, but I can't find the link)
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Re: Nur Ein XII Round Five

Postby j$ » Wed May 17, 2017 4:37 am

This would pass the challenge. It's prominent use of musical repetition - which this has in spades. I love Can. I imagined this along with Stereolab would be go-tos for reference but plenty of punk and post punk songs fit the model as well - 'Public Image' by PIL and 'Boredom' by Buzzcocks spring to mind. Also Serge Gainsbourg songs tend to be the same four chord motifs in sequence, (well, certainly late 60s and 70s) so that would pass the challenge as well - if you'd rather go louche pop.

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Re: Nur Ein XII Round Five

Postby glennny » Wed May 17, 2017 4:48 am

This is good to hear. The current version of the Cavedwellers song has pretty much one chord and one repeated phrase. It's great for getting trancey but doesn't seem smart for a competition. It's just "prominent", it's not just one note at a steady pulse for 3 minutes.

I wonder where the tipping point is from normal music with it's naturally repetitive structure to repetitive music.
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Re: Nur Ein XII Round Five

Postby j$ » Wed May 17, 2017 8:15 am

Yeah, I agree. I mean by the terms of the challenge, a prominent enough repeating riff would be enough to 'pass the challenge', though I think it might be seen as a cop-out ...
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Re: Nur Ein XII Round Five

Postby Manhattan Glutton » Wed May 17, 2017 8:38 am

glennny wrote:This is good to hear. The current version of the Cavedwellers song has pretty much one chord and one repeated phrase.


You are wagering a lot on a single phrase. Hope it's good! ;)
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Re: Nur Ein XII Round Five

Postby j$ » Wed May 17, 2017 10:40 am

Sadly, moot...
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Re: Nur Ein XII Round Five

Postby Spintown » Wed May 17, 2017 11:16 am

somebody proposed a challenge where they wanted to specify the genre of music you'd have to create. if you think this is bad, you should be glad i vetoed that one :)
-bill


Personally I don't mind genra challenges from time to time. If it'll force someone to do something they wouldn't normally do I like it as a challenge. In SpinTunes I tried to get the judges to do a rap challenge for a couple years & couldn't get the support. Finally did one year, and it went over like I expected. Lots of belly-aching, with some people not turning in songs, but of the people who did turn in a track a number found they enjoyed it. And the album turned out pretty damn good. Still one of my favorite albums to listen to of the 12 contests I ran. (Keep in mind rap isn't my favorite genra either. Although I can appreciate it.)
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Re: Nur Ein XII Round Five

Postby Manhattan Glutton » Mon May 22, 2017 7:10 am

I'm going to go to my judging booth and ponder how to rank these. You all put in some great work - but someone's gotta get cut, and that makes me sad.

73 Keep It Beautiful - This is fantastic. Cute drum sounds. Nice synth. Very solid - I have nothing critical or interesting to say - in a good way.

Balance Lost - I could have done without hearing the inhale before the first words. That's ok. Nice change-ups. Good bass work and eclectic mix of instruments, which I've become accustomed to expect. The repeated lyrics feel unnecessary in places, and distract a little from an otherwise solid - if a little standard - song. It's a cute touch that I hear your singing at the very end.

Berkeley Social Scene - These guitars are fun! Not entirely sold on the hi-hat at the chorus because it distracts from the other stuff, but it's fun, too. I think I'd have preferred a different drum mix or sound, but I really like the funk beat at the verses. Thoroughly enjoy the bridge. The chorus leaves a little to be desired, as it feels like a pre-chorus transition. I think I would like the vocals dryer and a smidge louder on this one.

Glenn Case - I can't tell if I love this or if I'm turned off by the parts where the repeating line doesn't exactly work. It feels like it's fighting the scale as you do the chorus. Great singing and the stripped back drums are a fantastic tweak. I like how you've taken your home style and melded it with the challenge. I really really like where it gets stripped down, but I'd rather it came back up for a final refrain instead of meander into the repetitive abyss. With that ending, it feels more like "there I did the stupid challenge, see?" rather than ending on a more profound note that it felt like it was building to.

Merisan - I like how you've clearly gone for elevator music, but threw it on a 10/8 beat. Love the drum work and mixing here. And of course, +1 for vibraslaps. I kind of feel like you're challenging the judges so you can be pissed off when the late one phones in rankings. ;) The vocal melodies really don't do much for me until the bop bop bop bops. Really like the synth work and bass line. On subsequent listens, I think the bass should have been a little higher - it is the melodic thread that ties the song in a bow for me.

Micah Sommersmith - I feel like you're borrowed the scale melody singing from round 0. This is much more coherent as a song than that one, though the mixing and mastering could be better. I enjoy the stops and what you've done with the call/response. The arrangement of instrumentation is surprisingly effective. I think I have one useful takeaway from this song - maybe you should avoid singing in your lower register.

Skub - I'd have been goood had the instruments not come in, but they make it so much better. It's a welcome genre change to the competition and I like it. Your lyrics and ending are noticeably more impactful this round, too. Nice work! It's like you're just showing off with that falsetto.

strangelove - This is very cool and well-done. Nice random instrument sounds all over. I'm torn between the fantastic execution and kitchy feel. The speed changes are awesome. I don't know what an elevator man is in this context.
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Re: Nur Ein XII Round Five

Postby furrypedro » Mon May 22, 2017 7:50 am

Strangeluuuurve: Well this is a jaunty little number. I am impressed with the speed at which you can recite the lyrics. Is that studio trickery or are you actually some kind of scat guru? Suitably smutty lyrics. I like the variety of percussion, it accentuates the sense of fun even more. Not only one of the more memorable songs from the fight, but also a good challenge for a drinking game. Sing this after 5 pints.

Skub: I’m always impressed when someone has the balls to go acappella. You absolutely have the voice to carry it off, though I’m not sure about the beatboxing. My feeling is that if you have to beatbox you should go big or go home, and you’ve gone semi-big (or medium as some people call it). Awesome bass sound, and a good song all-round really. I think I prefer the louche stomp of the verse to the chorus, though I appreciate you’ve tried to take the song up a notch in the choruses.

Micah Sommersmith: It’s cool how you have the repeating synth phrases syncopating with each other. Much like Cavedweller’s entry last week I think this is the song that requires the most listens to hear everything that’s going on. After a few spins I feel like I remember the song but I’d struggle to sing any of it back to you. It’s interesting how the vocals in the middle section sound like a completely different person to the rest of the song, and in a different room, having listened to the lyrics closer that makes sense now and I do like the little reveal in this section. Probably a few of us can identify with this.

Merisan: Cool change of pace here. The vocals are really lush. They sound chrome-plated, and the melody, while simple in metre, has some inventive intervals which complement the song really well. Love the twinkly arp. Reminds me of Juxtaposed With You by Super Furry Animals (I have grown to love that song), but overall this makes me feel like I’m by a swimming pool surrounded by palm trees at night with a mango-based cocktail in my hand. Niiiice.

Glengarry Glenn Case: Another change-up here. Kudos for getting out of the comfort zone. The string patch does sound a little ropey unfortunately. When the band kicks in the song comes into its own, there is a real taught energy to the way you deliver the vocals which I like. The strings underneath make it sound a little bit Sting. A better quality sound for that part and this would be killer I reckon. It’s still really good as it is. I’m going back for another listen. Yeah, the phrasing of the lyrics is really good.

BSS: The dual guitars in the verse immediately grab me here. The drum beat is really cool as well, nice groove to it. Hooky vocals. I like how the song goes from being nice and tight to opening up in the spacey middle section. Perfectly formed. Good job.

73 Keep It Beautiful: I like a bit of krautrock. I keep wanting to reference Grandaddy when listening to your songs, it just has this nice soft feel to it. I actually wish the synth between the verses was just that little bit dirtier, but that’s just my personal taste. Also, it would’ve been cool if some bigger drums had crashed in near the end to thunder their way to the finale, but these are minor things that I’m only saying cos I like the song. Ding!

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