I've managed to kind of accidentally make a new album. Which is nice, since I haven't released anything substantial in years.
It's only 35 minutes long, it's full of fat drones and mangled steel tongue drum, drowned in glitches, reverb and delay, everything has been patched together somewhat randomly with even more randomness, yet it feels, I don't know, wholesome?
Maybe I'll hate it tomorrow. Not sure when I'll release it. For now, here's the cover art.
Agonizing over whether I should mix all tracks to make them fade into each other, or keep them all separated by silence.
A full mix would make sense, we're clearly in ambient territory with long drones, and silences feel like interruptions. It would in fact be the same process I followed to make the tracks, but at a higher level.
The only reason I wouldn't do this is that I never did it before, and it may be harder than I think, but it's in fact one more reason to do it, right?
Plot twist: I don't like a couple of tracks, and I have more ideas for more tracks. So, maybe releasing this album will take a bit more time than expected. But it's freaking great that the juice keeps flowing!
Time to stop messing around with my various tracks and attempt that full album mix. I think I'll just approach the whole thing as a bigger track made of long samples. Technically, it's nothing more than that... I just hope the process won't show me the tracks with a different perspective and make me hate them.
My new album is almost ready, but I can't decide if the Bandcamp featured track should be the first one, which is nice but very short and followed by a long experimental piece, or the fifth one, which is probably more representative of the whole album, but is also, well, in the middle.
I mean, I'm not sure if I want people to jump straight to the second half of the album, it doesn't really make sense. I'm probably overthinking this...
So, here comes my new album.
I made it for myself, on a sudden impulse, with no other goal than to have fun. And maybe a little introspection. It's a mess, but a mess I'm happy with.
@ice Honestly being able to "accidentally make an album" is pretty awesome! I'm totally admirative of that :D
@yhancik Story of my life lol
Let's say it all came suddenly together within the last few days, with no clear direction and zero planning.
For months, I've been alternating between being lazy and being obsessed with technical details, which was highly unproductive and depressing.
Now I just did *something* for myself without thinking about a goal or a genre. I just had fun. And think I should do that more often. No matter the result, it's way better than doing, well, nothing :)
@rozina Totally! The weird thing is it's hard to reach that point where you don't care about a particular genre or aesthetics and just make something. I'd be lying if I said this came out of nowhere, it's indeed the product of many previous failed attempts and experiments, but for example I knew I had been trying too hard to focus on song structure and melodies, so I took the opposite direction, and it felt really liberating. And fun :)
@ice honestly, creating my album was literally a product of boredom from those tiered lockdowns towards the end of 2020, so i just put together some noises, and somehow the rest followed.
however, if i'd read too much into it, and knew at least an ounce of music theory, playing around and creating a genre defying album never would have happened
@rozina Yeah, music theory is a strange beast. You'd think it's only a tool, but it's actually a massive mental framework, and it's hard to escape it once you've started to look into it. It's very useful if you want to stick with the standard western music culture, but it's also a metric you feel obliged to use for everything, to compare your skills to people who spent years studying it, and as such it can be more restricting and demotivating than helpful.
@paul @rozina Yes, you certainly can. I’m kind of biased because I always had a love/hate relationship with music theory. I went into electronic music because I never felt skilled enough to learn a "real" instrument, and while I slowly grasped the basics over the years, I’m only starting to actually get what it’s about since I’ve started to play the steel tongue drum. I’d say learning music theory isn’t mandatory, but it can really help to understand the medium. It’s hard to avoid it entirely.
@ice @rozina I would say it was greatly beneficial to have been learning theory while doing ear training and actively playing my principal instrument. It can be really easy to get to a point in theory where you're "seeing" more than you're actually hearing. It's kind of like studying poetry without ever attempting to read it aloud.
@paul @rozina I think ear training is my big weakness. I suspect it's linked to my inability to sing, which likely comes from my strong introvert tendencies. Lately, I've been considering to learn how to sing, even if it's something that's way out of my comfort zone. Just for myself, to see if I in fact can, for a start. I'm kind of doing everything in reverse, I guess :)
@palomakop I’ll probably release it before the end of the week. I mean, I could agonize over details and tweak it forever, but it’s precisely not what I want to do :)
@ice i feel like a full mix is the nicer experience, and if you have the energy and time to do it, it's probably worth
some people might like to have the individual tracks for their playlists though, so offering the unmixed tracks as an alternate download could be cool if it's not too much hassle
@gaeel That's a good idea, thanks :) I could host a non-mixed version on my website and keep the "main" mixed version on Bandcamp.
@metasyn Thanks :) It's also among my favorites, this is a direction I'd like to explore further. Most of the material I had recorded wasn't suitable for adding regular beats, so I turned to a more ambient side, but I expect to dabble more into techno in the future.
@minimaldotclick Thanks! It's one of my favorite tracks. At first, it was very short, but I felt it needed more space, so kept extending it... then I realized it had become the longest, haha.
@bd Thanks a lot! Great to hear it makes a good work soundtrack, it means it does its ambient job :)
@ice Definitely try it, I'd say!
I tried this for my first album – rendered the tracks as audio and started mixing them together in a new project. It was hard to blend them right… but I ended up producing more music directly in the mix to help glue it all together.
@slisne Yeah, this should be fun, I was thinking I’d probably end up making short additional transitions as well :) I don’t mind if it takes more time, I like the idea!
@ice I'm listening right now, I like how diverse it is. At the same time one can tell all of the tracks were created by the same hands. Good stuff, thank you for releasing it! PS. Also, the titles and the cover art are really well chosen!
@okr Thanks, glad you like it :) The fact I somehow managed to make it feel cohesive despite the variety of the source material surprised me. Everything comes from the same instrument, with the same scale, but played and processed differently, so it probably helped.
I'd say titles and the cover are a way to acknowledge the duality between the emotional and the computerized parts of the process. Making this allowed me to see more possibilities in the future, I'll try to refine these ideas.
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