Nur Ein VIII Round Three "All Hail the Snake"

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Re: Nur Ein VIII- Round Three

Post by Heather. Redmon. » Tue May 14, 2013 10:31 pm

Paco Del Stinko wrote:Wow! I am thrilled! It wouldn't have happened without Heather, so I owe her big time. Thanks judges, listeners, and all who wrote comments but especially Heather for being the mom on demand and Phil for rocking some leads. Sorry to see the others go, but that's part of the game. Don'trforget to vote in the final round! NUR EIN!!!!!!!!
Paco, you're more than welcome! I was rusty, but I'm glad you brought me out of retirement! I had so much fun working with you and you made it easy by handing us a pretty much fully formed song! You deserve way more credit for this win than you're taking. Enjoy your immunity! Thanks for thinking of me for your mom collab :-)

(And I told you it was gonna totally kick ass!) NUR EIN!!!

-Heather
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Re: Nur Ein VIII- Round Three

Post by iVeg » Tue May 14, 2013 11:02 pm

Thank you all for a terrific learning experience. I hadn't recorded anything in years, so everything was super rusty. Thanks for everything. I'm working on "Come Out" for the regular SongFight, so I hope to improve a lot by next year's Nur Ein!
BoffoYux wrote: And as an aside - if people want to shadow the songs, I'll play them at the LP. That's a tradition for the SpinTunes LP's , and I'd like to continue it here if people are willing to keep up with the pack.
So continue on with round 4, even though eliminated?

Again, congrats to all the bands that made it. Looking forward to the next rounds, and some great music. Nur Ein!!
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Re: Nur Ein VIII- Round Three

Post by j$ » Wed May 15, 2013 3:41 am

WAIL. IAAC.
A few notes-
In order to rank these songs, none of which are bad, meant that I needed to get tough/arbitrary. All those gentle warnings I have given in the past about dynamics, length of song, consideration to the listener, now start to score accordingly in my rankings. tick-box, “yup, done that. Now here’s my song” approaches to the challenge now start losing you points.
I comment as little as possible on the guest collaborators only because I don’t like the idea of being rude to / about non-SF people I don’t know, who are here to do a favour rather than attention-seeking like the rest of you :)


Balance Lost – Pretty. Nice tune. Who is Jane / Jake? Who is Damien? Your life is of no interest to me lyrically but I do like the concept of “evil hair”. Pleasant then over. Challenge met. Doesn't acheieve much more than that for me.

Boffo Yox Dudes – overuse of samples make this harder to listen to than expected. I like musically what’s there, but it doesn’t really go anywhere, and it’s a bit thin. A little over-packed rather than considered, overall and oddly feels too long for what it is, despite everything that’s going on.

Carlo Bruno jr – Awesome music. This metally fast punk suits your voice, I feel. A nice change up in tone from previous rounds as well. That said my favourite part is the last 30 seconds rather arbitrary challenge bit where the ladies start shouting. That is a punk band I want to fall in love with. You lose points with stupid me for making a great song and then hinting at something greater that I would like to have listened to instead. Also for arbitrary challenge meeting.

Cave Dwellers – I have given you fair warning in the past. Lack of efficiency means you will suffer in my ranking accordingly. Another very nice song that just needs to be shorter. The best part is the female backing vocals under the chorus. And that tone on the solo guitar. I can’t be too hard in the ranking as many of its many, many parts are as usual beautifully written and performed and on the surface lovely to listen to, but the song starts to lose its way and just carries on anyway, not asking for directions, only to get further lost. I also worry that emotionally, it lacks a sense of conviction. Which I'm sure isn't true, it just comes across that way.

Chokehold Princess – minus points for not really using the title. I like the “mom” bit. Also although once again it’s a one-verse joke that goes on without developing I like the mood of it more than previous entries.

DJ Ranger Den – I love this kind of shit, as long as it’s considered and well-paced, and evolves. And knows when the point is made and gets out with dignity and grace. You can probably see where I’m going with this review. BIG minus points for a two minute drone dragged out for nearly 5. Also for spattering samples and drowning the mood unnecessarily. A germ of several great ideas here, especially where the story and the samples collide and cross over, but ergonomically this is nowhere near as subtle and creeping-up-on-you-creepy as it appears to think it is. [EDIT: So sorry to see you go.]

Frankie Big Face – I think the other judges are starting to suspect that 10 years ago, you created "J$" as a SF alias in a long-term cunning plan to win Nur Ein 3 times. Well, i make no apologies for being in the fan club on the basis of what I’m listening to – this is a wonderful song, out of your usual comfort zone / style, and all the better for it. This is a fine piece of work by everyone involved.

Governing Dynamics – I find the mom parts very effecting. And the mix has improved from the one I first listened to. But it’s just a little plodding for me, a little familiar in feel to loads of other stuff I have heard before a hundred times (nothing in particular, just nothing new) – in fact the mom part, in all of its wobbly, warm glory, might just save you in my rankings.

IVeg – I love the riff, and the song in general as it is written, but this is so loose and messy in the construction that it makes it very difficult to listen to all the way through. I haven’t noticed the challenge being met. Oh and it goes on and on. And it’s only 3 minutes long. There’s something good going on (i think) with a deep / downshifted backing vocal but overall it lacks cohesion for this listener.

Manhattan Glutton – So on my second listen, I wrote “Too synthetic a backing too track (all hail the fake?), too .... erm, organic a vocal. Stay away from the falsetto. That’s a nasty thing right there”. On the second listen I could get to 1.22. there was no third listen. That is how much I disliked this song, for no reason I can put my finger on - except it felt it was thrown together for no good reason - unless you just wanted to keep your music-making muscles loosened for next round. Maybe I just missed any reference to the challenge and it bugged me. Either way, sorry for an over-harsh review but "just because you can doesn't mean that you should" is one of my mantras.

Merisan – You know, I do hear Tom Waits but I hear this more - - fortunately I like the Thompson Twins :) My big issue here is that going for that swordfishtrombones / Carnivàle feel, well you come across as too good / not dirty enough here. What I want from this is storyteller(s) who i believe are slightly sleazy and scary. Not in the performance, but just that edginess. What i get here is someone telling a story. Also “she likes to shake her tail, she really likes to shake her tail” comes across as a bit sniggersome rather than the intended freakshow sensuousness I think you were after. It's like Merisan here are Brad and Janet in the Rocky Horror Picture Show. And that was a comedy. [EDIT: Ooh, I only just noticed you reference Carnivàle in your own review. Spooky!]

Paco del Stinko – Ah talking of being members of the fan club. HELLYEAH! Where you two BEEEN? I am unable to be objective about how excited I was when I clicked on this without having read any pre-pub. All I can think to say negatively is the tone on the instruments could do with being ... not dirtier, exactly, but warmer. It’s a very clean almost cold mix. And the beautiful backing vocals higher or more defined in the mix, please.

Ross Durand – I like the lyric (despite the grey areas it walks, or perhaps because of it) but it’s come out exactly as I feared. Country. Those trumpets are great. And I love the shared vocal. It’s all a bit portentous and slow. If this started playing at a (mythical country and western) disco (that I would actually go to in the first place) everyone else would punch the air and I would come away from it feeling alienated.

Tydon Docks – I complained last round about you resting on your aus yob laurels, BUT if you’re going to dance / disco / whatever you want to call it, (music I love and for once can talk with some certainty about) you have to get the mix right. This does not fill the speakers. The bass is loud without being compressed /Eq-ed to stand out in the mix. The backing vocals (well, you know what I mean – the chorus vocals) need to be double / triple-tracked in most places because while they’re in tune, they don’t carry the punch they need to carry the tune. The rap, while fine, and I suppose amusing enough, isn’t really worthy of spoken word. Could you not have cut it down in half, simply by cutting out the chaff lines, and given it a melody?. There is not enough melody in this song, not enough by way of memorable hook. So while it is in no way bad, it rankles me as a missed opportunity.

Wreckdom – I didn’t like this very much on first listen, despite the amazing instrument arrangement* and the clever way the “mom” part and (I assume) Wreckdomelle’s vocal do and don’t cut in across each other. No my problem here (apart from flute samples – evil – and the awful “Cleveland show” snake voice – that is a TERRIBLE choice) THERE IS NOT ENOUGH TUNE. Write a fucking chorus. Add it to this amazing backing track. Possibly work on making the words a bit more engaging. And then we have gold. In my Olympics anyway. And you probably don’t want to participate in those, to be fair.

*Really, been meaning to say - Wreckdom have been producing the most amazingly constructed "backing" tracks this Nur Ein. whoever is your arranger / editor / constructor of sounds should get a shiny badge.
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Re: Nur Ein VIII- Round Three

Post by Eric Y. » Wed May 15, 2013 4:26 am

j$ wrote:Balance Lost – Who is Jake? Who is Damien?
Jake "The Snake" Roberts was a professional wrestler during the 1980s (possibly later, too, but that's the only time I ever watched it. Damien was the name of his pet snake, which he'd bring out and place on his opponent following a victory. Also, the reference to "DDT" is the name of a particular wrestling move.

Obscure references to pop culture are usually lost on me, so I was sort of happy to pick up on this one. The rest of this song, as well as the Boffo Yox song, appears to involve the movie "Escape from New York", which I wouldn't have known without a bit of research.
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Re: Nur Ein VIII- Round Three

Post by Niveous » Wed May 15, 2013 4:51 am

Jake "The Snake" Roberts. This little tribute video sums him up nicely (minus the rampant drug use or the born again phase or the return to rampant drug use).



The rest of Balance Lost's song has references to Snake from the Simpsons and Snake from the two Escape From movies.
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Re: Nur Ein VIII- Round Three

Post by roymond » Wed May 15, 2013 5:24 am

j$ wrote:Ross Durand – I like the lyric (despite the grey areas it walks, or perhaps because of it) but it’s come out exactly as I feared. Country. Those trumpets are great. And I love the shared vocal. It’s all a bit portentous and slow. If this started playing at a (mythical country and western) disco (that I would actually go to in the first place) everyone else would punch the air and I would come away from it feeling alienated.
I'll have my reviews at some point but I'll ditto j$ here, though I'm curious about that mythical country and western disco. This is a fucking kiss ass piece of songwriting and regardless of the over/undertones of patriotic schmalz, it is one of the tightest, well produced and solid songs that's been around here in a long time. The performances are superb and the mom rocks. This would bring tears to the Ken Burns fan club.
j$ wrote:*Really, been meaning to say - Wreckdom have been producing the most amazingly constructed "backing" tracks this Nur Ein. whoever is your arranger / editor / constructor of sounds should get a shiny badge.
Again, yes. What is this new found verve in the Wreckdom woodshed? Who cares? It's awesome!
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Re: Nur Ein VIII- Round Three

Post by roymond » Wed May 15, 2013 5:29 am

RangerDenni wrote: I will say a general comment that if the track came across as awkward, lurching, choppy, or thrown against itself...a lot of it is due to subject matter. It's the dreamscape of a gaming teenage boy, lurching from topic to topic - jumping from subject to subject. Some of the ugliest parts ironically took the most time and I wished I'd just left them and spent more time on mixing and mastering. I like the idea of story-sound-scape-things...but it's genre work in progress for me. This was very educational.
I had you right in the middle this week. I loved the story telling through sound and could relate to the character (except no one talked to me about such things when I was that age, which explains something, perhaps). Dreamscapes are my comfort zone and you created a very fun, mystical environment sonically. I'm curious about which (if any) were friends/family talking throughout.
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Re: Nur Ein VIII- Round Three

Post by j$ » Wed May 15, 2013 6:23 am

roymond wrote:I'm curious about that mythical country and western disco.
I dunno where it is, but this guy is definitely the DJ.
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Re: Nur Ein VIII- Round Three

Post by carlo bruno jr » Wed May 15, 2013 6:31 am

Mes Dames et Monsieurs...The Sayonara Mamas
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Re: Nur Ein VIII- Round Three

Post by Billy's Little Trip » Wed May 15, 2013 7:30 am

Ha. Pruebas fotográficas de su madre. Bonito! ;)
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Re: Nur Ein VIII- Round Three

Post by Heather. Redmon. » Wed May 15, 2013 8:20 am

j$ wrote:
Paco del Stinko – Ah talking of being members of the fan club. HELLYEAH! Where you two BEEEN? I am unable to be objective about how excited I was when I clicked on this without having read any pre-pub. All I can think to say negatively is the tone on the instruments could do with being ... not dirtier, exactly, but warmer. It’s a very clean almost cold mix. And the beautiful backing vocals higher or more defined in the mix, please.
Apparently all Paco had to do was say our name three times and we appeared (just like in Beetlejuice)! It's nice to be back and we missed you too j$! Thanks for saying nice things. Paco is an awesome rocker and we were just the icing on his winning cake :)
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Re: Nur Ein VIII- Round Three

Post by Billy's Little Trip » Wed May 15, 2013 9:23 am

Heather. Redmon. wrote:Paco is an awesome rocker and we were just the icing on his wiener cake :)
fikzt. :P

Heather, I'm still hoping for "some" reason to get you and Phil to cover April March's "chick habit". I know it would be epic, I can sense these things.
.....maybe a Quentin Tarantino sound track side fight or something? I've already covered "little green bag" from Reservoir Dogs, so I'm one up already, heh. :)
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Re: Nur Ein VIII- Round Three

Post by Heather. Redmon. » Wed May 15, 2013 10:01 am

Nice edit there Mr. Trip. I'm tellin' ya "Hell Yeahs, Hell Yeahs, Hell Yeahs" and a little flattery in your PM to me and I'm sure we could deliver your long sought after Chick Habit cover :) I remember when you wanted this before, Phil and I listened to the song and were ready to surprise you with it, but then some sort of something got in the way and we never recorded it. I'll start hassling Phil about it again because I think it's a perfect fit.
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Re: Nur Ein VIII- Round Three

Post by Eric Y. » Wed May 15, 2013 11:11 am

Standard disclaimer: The following words are merely the thoughts and opinions of a single person, and as such, don't really hold much merit in regards to whether or not a particular song is GOOD -- but rather, whether or not I personally enjoyed certain elements of each song. So take all of this with a grain of salt.

Non-standard disclaimer: The following words are provided here for the potential benefit of those people who may be interested in reading one of the judges' opinions, or more specifically, why one judge happened to like or dislike each of the songs. These opinions and comments may differ significantly from your own beliefs. By continuing to read this post, you acknowledge that you have read and understand and agree to abide by the contents of this disclaimer.

SUPER SPECIAL EXTRA BONUS DISCLAIMER: The challenge was worded pretty vaguely ("collaborate with"), and as a result I can't really determine for certain how well you all followed it, so I am forced to assume that everyone handled the challenge adequately.

**************************
  • frankiebigface - Trippy, gorgeous. I love how open and naked the vocals sound, despite being covered up with such thick layers of effects. It isn't until you say "the diving bell" that I realize this track feels like it's underwater -- but that's exactly what it feels like. The reference to "my greatest mistake" is very vague, but I think I prefer it that way. I don't think I'd change anything here.
  • carlobrunojr - Awesome. Thanks for bringing the rock. I really struggled with the my ranking of the top two songs; I'd prefer to call this one "#1a" rather than "#2".
  • chokeholdprincess - First time I listened through all of these, I ranked this song first, because I thought it was really cute and well-done. After two or three more times, it moved down a little bit, because I guess a little bit of the novelty wore off with repeated listens. But still, I really like it. Thanks for bringing the Rockapella?
  • pacodelstinko - Nice -- although I can't quite shake the feeling that it's practically bursting at the seams with a sort of raw energy, somewhere beneath the surface, but none of that ever quite comes out. The fact that it stays relatively restrained makes the song feel sort of anti-climactic.
  • merisan - I like the arrangement a lot. Mysterious and -- kind of provocative, I guess. Suits the story. The lyrical construct "you might've seen things but you never seen this" is interesting, and sounds cool the first time -- but the fact that it gets repeated twice in each chorus, ultimately makes it feel a little awkward, to me.
  • governingdynamics - I don't know if it's EQ'd funny or has some kind of weird reverb effect, maybe both, but the second vocalist's part ends up sounding kind of weird and alien -- and sort of disjointed with the rest of the song. Outside of that, I rather enjoyed this.
  • wreckdom - The humor here is really, really subtle (i.e. the reason sharks live in water, the reason the dinosaurs are extinct), which I really appreciate. Aesthetically, this isn't really my favorite style of music, but I like what you're trying to do here. Out of curiosity -- during the description of the bear, the left and right voices deviate from each other on one single word ("ferocious" on the left, although I didn't quite catch the other, maybe "furious"?) -- was this done intentionally?
  • rossdurand - Am I the only one that finds it ironic that the "Don't Tread on Me" snake originally came from that "Unify or Die" cartoon around the time of the American Revolution -- and now it's being used as a symbol for specific factions of so-called "patriots" whose rhetoric is scathingly divisive? Anyway, that's entirely beside the point. Song sounds great, especially the french horn section in the middle.
  • thetydondocks - Vocals are rather quiet at some points, which makes it kind of hard to follow exactly what's happening here. But from the occasional bits I'm able to pick out, this strikes me as fairly well-written.
  • cavedwellers - Decent song; I like the semi-exotic scale of the melody lines. I don't know if I mentioned this before or not, but I don't typically pay much attention to lyrics unless they're especially prominent, or either especially good or especially bad. Usually I ignore the words and just listen to what the song sounds like. But your mention of "Bewitched" followed by "replace you with another Darren" really jumped out as an excellent turn of a phrase. And reminded me of the "Sargent York" joke from Wayne's World.
  • balancelost - A bunch of pop-culture references all smooshed together doesn't necessarily make for a high-quality song. It all sounds pleasant enough, but doesn't really do a whole lot.
  • inflatablevegetables - The singing here is okay, but the rhythmically spoken part really kind of turns me against this song. Which is unfortunate, because that happens at the very beginning. The overall attitude of the lyrics really ends up making your title not fit the song. No points deducted for this though; just making an observation.
  • boffoyuxdudes - I don't necessarily feel that you have too many samples here, but some of them (particularly the string of lines in the intro) are kind of poorly edited together. The singing parts are okay, but musically I have a tough time getting into this. Chalk it up to genre bias, maybe.
  • djrangerden - Full disclosure: while I determinedly stuck with this for the full five minutes the first time around, each subsequent time listening to the songs from this round, I found myself skipping over this one. There really isn't much "song" here, per se, and the collection of sounds and voices you've put together really didn't appeal to me very much at all. This was definitely compounded by the length of the track, I'm afraid. I know there's an audience out there for this sort of experimental soundscape, but I'm sorry to say it isn't for me.
**************************
  • manhattanglutton - Again, with the waltz thing! Oh well. Despite the fact that the arpeggios are a bit too "Sea of Love", I do enjoy the song itself. And the singing. Perhaps a different instrumentation would have improved it? (Except for the string part that briefly fades in from time to time -- that part is perfect.) Not that it matters anyway, because you don't get a ranking this time.
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Re: Nur Ein VIII- Round Three

Post by Paco Del Stinko » Wed May 15, 2013 11:45 am

Heather Redmon wrote: It's nice to be back and we missed you too j$! Thanks for saying nice things. Paco is an awesome rocker and we were just the icing on his winning cake :)
I don't know about cakes and all that, but let's hope the underlined part of that quote is true. You guys rock.
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Re: Nur Ein VIII- Round Three

Post by Paco Del Stinko » Wed May 15, 2013 11:50 am

Eric Y wrote:practically bursting at the seams with a sort of raw energy, somewhere beneath the surface, but none of that ever quite comes out.
Interesting. Combine this with J$'s comment about the mix sounding cold, and you're opening my eyes to what I can't always see without an outside perspective. This is why reviews are so helpful so please, keep'em coming!
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Re: Nur Ein VIII- Round Three

Post by Billy's Little Trip » Wed May 15, 2013 1:24 pm

Paco Del Stinko wrote:Interesting. Combine this with J$'s comment about the mix sounding cold, and you're opening my eyes to what I can't always see without an outside perspective. This is why reviews are so helpful so please, keep'em coming!
I felt sterility too, but it didn't hurt the song from being good, so it's a personal thing at that point. When we are producing our own music, we tend to want to make all the awesome little instrumental and lyrical bits well defined, so we end up with lots of layers that haven't fully bonded yet. Quite often simple warming gels everything. But something jb said a long time ago finally clicked after hearing it numerous times before. Adding a pad in the background gels everything together to a cold layered mix. It can be about anything that's fitting to the sound, strings are a common, but just ambient noise, synth or a sustained guitar notes and feedback work wonders. I've done this now on several songs and it has proven to me as a great production tool.
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Re: Nur Ein VIII- Round Three

Post by glennny » Wed May 15, 2013 1:51 pm

@J$- efficiency. I heard you, and I thought I was adjusting: r1 4:30, r2 4:00, r3 3:30. It bums me out you still think its bloated. I work very hard to make each measure mean something to the arc and the drama of the song. Thanks for the notes, I'll keep working.
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Re: Nur Ein VIII- Round Three

Post by Paco Del Stinko » Wed May 15, 2013 2:04 pm

BLT wrote:I felt sterility too
Heh. For years and years I always tried to blend things together making a canvas of sound, I think is a good term instead of a wall of sound. You know, colors all blended (or smushed) together forming a whole. But in my SF! years, I've always been trying to learn and practice separation in my mixes, attempting clarity of instruments. Maybe this is part of the sterile sound. Also, I'm sure, is my drumming. I try hard to not be sloppy and end up whittling down the beat to stiff patterns. While I'm no drummer, I'm a lot looser when just messin' around. I also tend to double up parts, "All Hail..." no exception. They got to be tight to work, right? Anyway, enough public analyzing. Thanks for the perspectives, people.
Bringin' the stink since 2006.
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WreckdoMelle
Tarsier
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Instruments: Gibson SG, clarinet, tuba, bass guitar, baritone horn, mandolin, vox
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Re: Nur Ein VIII- Round Three

Post by WreckdoMelle » Wed May 15, 2013 2:16 pm

Congrats to Paco, ripping it all up!

Thanks J$, King Colon is our arrangements/noise manipulation mastermind. I'll gladly give him a shiny badge. I actually did next to nothing this round, except gather the mom recordings, twist some knobs, throw on some effects. My friend on the track sounds eerily similar to me and to Femme Fecale who also sounds like me and appears often in the mix doubling up my vox.

To answer Eric Y., the ferocious/furious diversion was a mom-induced mix-up.

My mom was doing her recording on her laptop, down in the basement where there would be no background noise, and her computer generated some of the most bizarre sounds, including microwave alarm beeping, cow-moos, and faint, epic movie soundtrack music. She supposes the computer may be haunted. Hence the muddied vox.
YYYYYeeeeeaaaaahhhhh boy, I tell ya!
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Billy's Little Trip
Odie
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Submitting as: Billy's Little Trip, Billy and the Psychotics
Location: Cali fucking ornia

Re: Nur Ein VIII- Round Three

Post by Billy's Little Trip » Wed May 15, 2013 2:25 pm

Paco Del Stinko wrote:
BLT wrote:I felt sterility too
Heh. For years and years I always tried to blend things together making a canvas of sound, I think is a good term instead of a wall of sound. You know, colors all blended (or smushed) together forming a whole. But in my SF! years, I've always been trying to learn and practice separation in my mixes, attempting clarity of instruments. Maybe this is part of the sterile sound. Also, I'm sure, is my drumming. I try hard to not be sloppy and end up whittling down the beat to stiff patterns. While I'm no drummer, I'm a lot looser when just messin' around. I also tend to double up parts, "All Hail..." no exception. They got to be tight to work, right? Anyway, enough public analyzing. Thanks for the perspectives, people.
As said, it really doesn't matter, the song is bad ass. ;)
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Paco Del Stinko
Lemur
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Instruments: Basic rock, at a basic level.
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Location: Massachusetts. God save the Commonwealth!

Re: Nur Ein VIII- Round Three

Post by Paco Del Stinko » Wed May 15, 2013 3:19 pm

Aw, yeah. Not bent or anything: motivated! Onward and upwards!
Bringin' the stink since 2006.
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