|Posted by Feywer on August 14, 2017 at 11:55 PM||comments (0)|
Escape (June 2017)
After the production of “Heartbreak Tapes” I let it sit on my computer for a while gathering digital dust. The music I was inspired by was becoming less dark and dreary and more uplifting and determined.
The relationship fiasco I was dealing with oddly gave me a sense of power and positivity over the direction of my life. Instead of letting it crush me, I let myself be uncrushable. And out of this, arrived Escape.
The “dark-wave” sound was turning to a more “ethereal-wave” sound. Instead of the Cocteau Twins’ moody and gothic atmospheres I was inspired by the lush expansive and rushing textures of Slowdive. The CD case reads:
“Escape is an ethereal wave/shoegaze-style album with a focus on heavy guitar distortion and effect-filters, groovy percussion and drum ’n’ bass rhythms, smashing progressions and some vocals. Let my dark and groovy ethereal rhythms immerse you into an Escape.”
The first track, Make Away (Ambient) is, you guessed it, the ambient version of a song called “Make Away” - but only the ‘ambient’ version was released. Make Away starts the album off with a strong and promising demeanor. The heavy and deep guitar motifs and the smashing snare hits let this song start with a bang. The ever-introducing percussion and layers just keep sprinkling the toppings on this moody ice-cream masterpiece. And when the second guitar lead builds higher off of that, it’s like a digital overdose of sonic perfection. The song lets down nice and easy with the same smashing lead-on as in the beginning.
Friday, the second track, continues the slammin’ rhythm as in the first song but in a different light. It is more upbeat and percussive than the first, and not as heavy and downing. The bright break-beats and always-hitting snares keep the movement until the end, where the nice and steady guitar grooves enter right back in and finish off until the song comes to a gradual fade.
Good Day is less atmospheric and ethereal than Make Away and Friday but makes up for it in its jumpy beat and tapping percussive rhythm. The waving and mysterious sounding guitar motifs sparsely but appropriately dot the track and create the full flow of this loose and simple track until it carries to the end.
Summer Down gets down and dirty immediately with its full and grooving leads. Right off the bat the guitar and beat-percussion hits enter into a faster-paced flow. The choral and string patterns fill in with the sound of the glassy snare-hits, similar to the ones heard on “Heartbreak Tapes” in the song Tomorrow is Promised For No One. It drops off with simple and elegant guitar riffs until the song tapers back in full-force and heavily heads for a nice but abrupt exit.
Melt shifts down to a slower gear and unwinds the force built up by the previous songs with it’s steady and relaxed vibe. The ‘beat and hit’ track helps the mellow and ethereal guitar into the lead. Strings fill in the gaps while the guitar takes a break. The drums hit hard with the percussion snapping back in, and the guitar’s second lead riff-motif slaps it all back together into a groovy and smashing ethereal song. The percussion taps with a graceful echo and lets the song evolve and unfold through some slower breaks until it calmly lets down into intoxicating guitar rushes, the snare lightly tapping in until the end.
Ground Zero is the most upbeat track on the whole album of “Escape”. It begins with rapid kicks and snare hits from a drum machine while the guitar holds to an uplifting expectation with its grooving and placed switches. The snare rapidly hits in the vocals:
Over the lip of the pool and deep to the bottom
Birds won’t stay in paradise
Over the lip of the pool and deep to the bottom
Clattering trunks like teeth gum
The vocals elegantly fit over the evolving and happy-sounding guitar rushes and gritty atmospheres. They mesh and mix into each other as the vocals fly over the track until it makes for a nice and graceful fade.
Sweetheart is a more emotional song, the dreary piano delays and worrying string changing over the bassline as the vocals set the song in full swing:
Keep me in your island
and set me free
Wrap your arms around me
and caress me
Hold me close and touch me
I think about you when I dream
I think about you in my dreams
I can’t keep you out of me when I scream
Dancing alone it’s all a dream
The guitar’s mad and rushed sound adds to the complex and changing texture of the song until it quietly fades.
Heavy is - you guessed it - the heaviest track on the album. The bass is loud and heavy and fades the guitar’s siren-sounding guitar lead into the smashing percussion and drum beat. All the while the bass kicks on. Another desperate and wild-sounding guitar enters the stage for a short time until the song ends just as heavy as it started.
Slide is a bonus track on “Escape”. It is not featured on the official release. The bass clues in with the striking sound of kicks and snares. A guitar coyly slides in with the sound of another guitar’s quiet leads in a clever way. It breaks for a hesitant but jumpy moment and then resumes its plucky and up-beat attitude. The delayed sound of a snare’s relentless intrusion leads the song to it’s sliding end.
After I produced Escape, I had submitted it to various local radio stations. And because I had moved around California from the North to the Bay-area and then to Sacramento, it gave me chances to send out inquiries to many stations in the area.
Listen on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mf1Y9Hg4CK8
|Posted by Feywer on May 27, 2017 at 8:20 AM||comments (0)|
Heartbreak Tapes (April 2017)
“And here came Heartbreak Tapes”
It was only months later. I had just freshly gotten out of a bad relationship. Feeling all sorts of emotions, I decided that I needed to focus on “me”, so I thought I would lock myself up in my room for a few days - and out came “Heartbreak Tapes.”
I was heavily influenced and inspired by the Cocteau Twins, chiefly; then others like Trance to the Sun, Slowdive and early Dead Can Dance songs, when they were more dark and gothic. I was really digging all their sounds and so I wanted to - not emulate or imitate - but play around with the styles I was hearing, and making my own from what I thought was the “best” from what I was listening to.
The first song is “Bloody and Bitch”, a namesake salute to the Cocteau Twins song “Blood Bitch” from their Garlands LP, and in many ways resembles that album in texture and style, with the relentless drum machine and wild and gushing guitar riffs and sounds. It’s a simply structured song. More of an idea, but I thought was a good first track because it introduces the feel of the album.
There was a vocal version of the song, but it was not released, in favor of the instrumental version. An excerpt from the lyrics hints at the mood conveyed through the steady beat:
Bloody and Bitch
Fake smile and hollow voice
Bloody and Bitch
Hang up the line
The previous album, Approaching Desolation, was small - it had only 4 songs on it - and they were all basic. I guess you could say it was the launchpad for Heartbreak Tapes, leaving behind the preset-sounding structures for something more crystalized and focused.
I had a book full of poetry and songs I had written during the multiple-month fiasco with my bad relationship, so that was my source for my songs and the heavy and hard drums and wild synths, guitars and vocals. It all felt, at the time, right.
The second song, “Salt Wax” shifts to a more gritty and wild sound. Whiny guitar expressions combined with a steady but lurking beat, different from the more up-beat first track. The only vocal verses add to the texture of the song, and the obscure lyrics hint again:
Angels in a far away land
Footing on the sands
The third song Ruddled in Red again returns to the more upbeat progression, and is much longer than the first two songs, but actively uninteresting. The sustaining pattern and guitar provide the backdrop for the vocals:
Here I am in the ghost of a shell
No home at all but except the one but a Hell
Here watch me go
Leave it to you
Ruddled in Red
Said I was Dead
The fourth song, Tomorrow Is Promised For No One ventures into dreamy reverbs and delays, distorted guitar riffs, and with a different beat and structure than the first three songs. The strings and bass’ heroic-sounding patterned chorus let the guitar flow freely in a swirling and rushing expanse, and the grooving percussion lead it on. It features no vocals.
Word Darts brings back the gritty and wild guitar whines as found in Salt Wax, but with a more “astringent” or straining sound. The desolate but persistent woans carry over the evolving pattern of the drum machine until it makes for a solemn exit.
Spindles and Death is a more sassy and stern track with he hard and striking drum and percussion. The guitar sounds heavy and points to an almost revengeful attitude. The vocals emphasize:
Spindles and Death
Re-kindle the Fire
The final track on “Heartbreak Tapes”, Woozy and Wild, is actually a demonstration song produced before any of the other tracks on this small release. The guitar sounds almost typical of the other tracks and familiar. It’s sound is quiet and raw and the vocals are muttered over a very unmastered drum track:
Woozy and Wild
Raining diamond jewels
Out of it
Case blood in vial prick
Ring covered fingers
Hair clenched fist
In a Teacup
|Posted by Feywer on April 15, 2017 at 1:20 PM||comments (0)|
My musical 'upbringing' was originally heavily based on the few artists I had listened to. When I was just getting into music, my mother had bought me and my brother an electronic keyboard, but I was the one that mainly used it. I had been taking piano lessons, but honestly, as a child I didn't 'care' – or moreso that it really wasn't an interest that held my mind at the time. I only had the keyboard, and on the keyboard was your basic GM sound bank with some special 'sound kits' included.
My idea of recording music at the time was simply to tape a microphone (I had a cheesy headset mic) over the speaker on the keyboard, and then record my songs using Microsoft Sound Recorder on XP. I didn't really know much. And what I did know, what also heavily influenced by the small-group of artists I listened to; mainly Constance Demby, Enya and some various artists. They say 'imitation is the best form of flattery' – and if that was true, then I guess I was trying to flatter the artists I was listening to; the music I produced in the 'pre-album years' was honestly pretty bad, the stuff I came up with sounded more like the artists I were 'inspired' by rather than anything of my own; and not helping that was the email correspondence between me and CD – it only perpetuated the imitation. Eventually I stopped making music for a while because I realized this (and as well as mixed with other things).
I think it was around seventh grade when my brother had been enrolled in a basic computer class (called 'EAST') at our local middle-school. I didn't have this class – but while my brother was in the class he had learned about a program that was on the computer called FL Studio (version 4). He told me about it and how he could make music in it; I thought it was cool, but at the time I thought it was 'too complex' and didn't take to it.
It was when I was in my freshman year of high school that I really learned about and got into the use of FL as a way to produce music. Actually before FL Studio I had purchased an iMac, and that had Garageband on it; and there I had used the present sounds. I purchased a MIDI cable for the first time and that was the turning point I'd say with how I produced my music. I got into Garageband and produced my 'first' 'album' - “Stargates: the Galactic Chalice” (2012), which was really more of a copy of CD's Novus Magnificat that I should had said was 'inspired' by it rather than my own work.
I had a website I made and I populated it with similar 'copy cat' albums; and childishly I tried to 'be just like Constance Demby'. It was really a childhood growing up phase. Just as any other child growing up has his or her idols or similar persons they look up to, I was so into CD's music that my own music was honestly like imitation CD – just as imitation crab is to real crab.
Looking back, the website was crap. I recently tried to take it off-line, but because I had removed the email associated with the login to the website, I was never quite able to take it offline – even my inquiry to the website hosting service was met with failure because they said that they couldn't verify me as the website creator because the email no longer existed. So that website is probably still floating around out in there in the Internet somewhere. It's quite personally embarrassing, but it is so.
I started to really produce music that was my own when I got into band at the local high school. The band teacher was really nice. I wanted to be in band class, and even though they already had a pianist, they allowed me to be in the class as another pianist – so in the class it was me and this other guy both sitting on the piano bench. I honestly felt stupid there; like it was 'just for me'; and I didn't really even remember how to play what I had remembered (from lessons so long ago in childhood), so I couldn't read the sheet music enough to play with the band when they required me to, so I sat on the bench while everyone else did their thing usually.
At home is when I would get into the music phase. That same year is when I produced “Cathedral” (2013). That album was more on the keyboard-sampled side, and that was the time when I had to re-examine my 'roots' in more 'classical' piano. I started to get into Acid House music for a short time, and I do have a small little compilation album out on the YouTube (as with most of my albums), but I veered away from it because I felt it was not my 'realm' of music to be pioneering and exploring.
I would get really high and then I would open FL and produce some 'electro-mind-doodles'; around this time is when I produced “Dreamtime Journey” (2013). It was more on the sequenced and arranged side of music, so there wasn't much raw keyboard in that album.
Discovering Steve Roach, Robert Rich and Michael Stearn all got me into the deep and intoxicating area of soundscapes and percussive-ambient music. I produced “The Oracle” (2013), which was an experiment in ambient-drone music.
I took a break for the year of 2014, examining my own musical tastes and area (as well as dealing with mundane affairs). I had discovered and gotten really into psychedelic, krautrock, cosmic and space rock. Tangerine Dream would be the rope I would be hanging onto for my years as a Junior and Senior in high school, because I had gotten sent to a continuation high school because my grades were so poor.
My brother had gotten an electric guitar for Christmas a couple of year previously, and he didn't use it, so he let me use it for a while, and so I experimented with it. I produced a couple of unreleased tracks and a few 'spawn albums' (also unreleased) “Moments of Dawn” (2014), “Nirvana” (2014) and “Origin” (2014).
In the year 2015 is when I produced my first official album that I released - “Artefacts” (2015); and currently am attempting to market at local businesses. It features heavy use of electric guitar, weird and original samples, and is overall reminiscent of TD's “Electronic Meditation” (1970). That album would be the foundation for all my other albums in the future, because now in my current musical projects I take and use my own samples rather than use already existing ones, I more prominently use vocals (more like hums and drones, wails and other weird sounds), and combine my electronic-upbringing with my analog-exploration, so I feel like now I attempt to healthily mix the two in a niche of self-expression, rather than try and 'be someone else'.
Currently I find myself working on “Forgotten Ones” (2015), and a have a project in the works even (I always bite off more than I can chew) after that, “Machine”. I created another website, this time, more 'real', and more to-the-point, which is where you probably are reading this right now. I even have offers to do collaborations with individuals that have contacted me, so my musical life is just starting, for having been 'started' all ready. Oof!
I personally don't like the labels that artists and musicians are applying to themselves. All the sub-genre labels and identifying-terms seem to be our generation's need to be comfortable with themselves and the requirement that all musicians absolutely have to be part of a group – or in this case, it seems like they absolutely must apply some sub-genre's term to their own music rather than use an already-existing one.
For instance, it's similar here to when artists come up with persona's or names for their groups; everyone is on the mindset of being original, but in consequence from that we have an over-saturation with people trying to make it big in the music industry.
Don't get me wrong – everyone has to start somewhere, but I think there is a fine line between actually having a knack for musical expression and a person that is try-hard with what they are doing. I think that there comes a certain point when either one makes it or breaks it – and that goes for anything – but in music, it's really when one keeps pressing on and has the 'musical endurance' to keep going, and to prove to themselves.
Music is all about expression. And I think, especially with instrumental or vocal-less songs, it allows for a more complete way of relaying one’s feelings and emotions. With or without lyrics - music comes from the heart, it’s all about how we feel. People listen to “such and such” during a phase or part in their life, maybe discover new things that they like, and then that new stuff takes over - and so everyone is always musically growing. But it also says something about us. The music we produce - and also listen to.
Looking back on my musical “career” (as if I could even call it that), and listening to some of my older music, shows me how I was thinking at the time, how I felt - and gives me the ability to think about and reminisce about what exactly I may have been going through, or how my mind was working at the time. In many ways, a musician listening to their older works “takes them back” - to themselves - much in the same way as reading a journal and seeing how one was in the past compared to now. It’s almost as indispensable as a journal. Music can express all the things that may not have been written, but how one felt. It goes beyond the written word and enters into the realm of feeling. In my opinion they often compliment one another.
I think for anyone, musical expression is healthy and should be considered and explored. Even if one may not be “good” at it (whatever that means!) - give it a shot - and see what you can come up with. Of course, people are influenced by what they listen to - like how I was in my “early years” with CD. But when you can break the shackles of imitation or influence from other artists - and come up with something purely original - there is where the gold is. And it may teach you about yourself in ways you had never known.
|Posted by Feywer on November 27, 2015 at 10:45 PM||comments (0)|
Dreamtime Journey (2013)
Dreamtime Journey is an album that shifts from the solemn realm of pads and drones and evolves to a more complex and electronic-groove. This album was a musing in sequencing, layering and tribal drums, made in 2013.
01 - Arrival (6:05)
02 - Procession (6:56)
03 - Running Alone (2:19)
04 - Ceremony (8:10)
05 - Tribal Apparition (5:39)
06 - Desert Orbs (2:10)
07 - Portal of Dreams (1:56)
Total TIme: 33:10
YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVkCcKtxI8w
|Posted by Feywer on November 27, 2015 at 7:00 PM||comments (0)|
The Oracle (2013)
The Oracle was an album that I created in 2013 over various months of music expression. It's not very active in terms of dynamic, and the album maintains a pretty steady drone, which largely remains unchanging. This is the feature experimentation of the album, however, so it suits meditations nicely.
The Oracle is an album created throughout various months of musical expression, in particular, The Oracle was suppose to evoke the feeling of arriving at some mysterious Temple and speaking to an Oracle - one could picture, perhaps, the imagery of the Temple at Delphi. The Oracle is an ambient musical experimental track that is suitable for low-level listening environments, or even deep, meditative listening when you really want to immerse yourself.
01. The Oracle (18:56)
This song is divided into two parts, and each of those with their respective sections of the song; The names ofthese parts are as follows:
0:00 - Part One
0:00 - Journey
8:03 - A Feeling of Danger
11:05 - Part Two
11:05 - The Smell of Incense
15:30 - A Figure in Smoke
16:22 - Looming Presence
17:33 - The Oracle
Also, perhaps of personal significance, if not for others, but, this album was rendered with the maximum stereo quality without loss, so the sound is clear and 'correct'.
YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrHCFFSZ-lA
|Posted by Feywer on November 14, 2015 at 1:30 PM||comments (0)|
Cathedral is one of my earlier albums. In this album the instrumentation got a bit more interactive. When this was produced, I had gotten MIDI cables and discovered sampling and soundfonts. This was produced using soundfonts within the public domain, actually. It of course, has effects, filters and manipulations added to make it sound more ambient.
Cathedral's focus is more of a sacred space, or, well - Cathedral. Bells and chimes are a theme throughout the album, combined with the richly-sounding choirs and depthful pads, the album gives a unique texture and feel that makes it memoriable.
01 - Bringing Down the Silence (7:06)
02 - Calling the Angelic Beings (5:26)
03 - Prayers (6:58)
04 - Return (8:52)
Youtube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcJQ7Rb8zyo
|Posted by Feywer on November 14, 2015 at 1:10 PM||comments (0)|
Dark Evening (2012)
Dark Evening was really one of my first musical musings with keyboard. I had gotten a keyboard for christmas one year and it had a built-in bank of General MIDI sounds. I didn't have any way of recording my music back then because I had no idea what MIDI even was or how it was interfaced with a computer, so what I did was literally tape a headset microphone to the speaker and record the output. It was definetly not graceful, but the sound didn't come out too bad, actually.
When I made this album I was heavily listening to Constance Demby, she's a pretty good space-music artist. At the time perhaps I was unconsciously motivated by her music in this album, because comparatively it sounds reminicnent to some of her works, listening to it again. In terms of activity, this album isn't really ranking high in that regard. It's focus are the monotinous swirling pads.
This album used soft, slow and swelling strings in different chord combinations in a progression that lasts around thirty minutes. This album wasn't released, so it sat dormant on some hard drive somewhere until I recently just discovered it again. In lieu of this I've added it along with all my other albums, rightly so. It may not be very active in terms of excitement in the album, but it does create a meditative lull that can be used for trance induction or meditations.
01 - Dark Evening (27:39)
No YouTube just yet.