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Showing posts from November, 2012

Shuggie Otis Jazz Cafe Review, London

A musical genius takes tentative steps back into the spotlight

Descending onto the Jazz CafĂ© stage from the steep stairway above, tall, slender and well groomed, in a black velvet coat, black pants and high boots, Shuggie Otis exudes superstar charisma.  However, when he strikes the first chords on his blood red guitar and nothing comes out of his amp, nervousness washes over him.  His raspberry coloured shades come off.  ‘Soundman, can I have some help please? I can’t work this thing’.  He apologises for the delay.   ‘Take your time, Otis, we love you’ a voice in the crowd reassures, applause backs her up.   It takes a few minutes for the soundman to bring the amp back to life.  When Otis and the band then explode into ‘Inspiration Information’ it is to the relief of everyone.

Minor mishaps and musical mastery are tonight’s themes.  There are gorgeous renditions of ‘Aht Uh Mi Hed’ and ‘Island Letter’ amongst others.  In particular, drummer Marvin ‘Smitty’ Smith and keyboardist Nick Smi…

Lanzo: Snack Bags

An addictive head nodder from Chicago beatmaker Lanzo.  There's a lot going on in this deceptively simple track.  At first, you may notice the sense of tension in the intro and outro and the great sense of movement, as the drum bounces along under the hypnotic bass notes.  Listen closer, however, touches like the perfectly placed vocal snatches, the simple but hypnotic bass notes and the lightly plucked strings are a real delight.  
Update: 'Snack Bag's by itself is no longer on Lanzo's soundcloud, but it is the first song on the rather stupendous 'S O C' beat tape. Enjoy the full project above, then check out my review of the project here.  Alternatively, enjoy both at the same time.

For all Lanzo posts, click here.
For more: soundcloud.com/lanzobeats

Disclosure featuring Sam Smith 'Latch'

Big, shiny and sexy.  'Latch'is a perfect combination of pop, RnB and garage.A great example of a track soundingso much bigger because everything has its own place in the mix.  The double tracked vocals with lots of reverb is a Disclosure speciality and, as icing on the cake, Sam magically transforms into K Ci Hailey at the 2:10 mark.  Love it.

Buy 'Latch' here (USA)
Buy 'Latch' and more from Disclosure here

Credits
Image: www.soundcloud.com
Music: www.soundcloud.com


More Music

Free Commodore 64 Synthesizer Sessions Sound Library by Bedroom Producers Blog / Rhythmic Robot

30 multi-sampled instruments recorded directly from three different versions of the Commodore 64 home computer.  There are blips and blopsand a complete Commodore 64 drum kit.  Requires Kontakt 4 or above, or SFZ and Zampler.  This is BPB / Rhythmic Robot's entry into the KVR Developer's Challenge 2012.  More on that here.

Download from:www.bedroomproducersblog.com;www.rhythmicrobot.com


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Carl Craig Interview: dubspot.com

A great interview with the techno legend.  Carl explainswhy seeing Derrick May helped shape his approach to performing, why he's a big fan of Apple's Logic and why it's important to learn from up and coming artists.  Featuring some of Carl's classic tracks, including '4 My Peepz' and his 'Use Me Again' remix.
Find out more: www.dubspot.com; www.carlcraig.net

Credits
Image: www.dubspot.com
Video: www.youtube.com/user/DubSpot


More Interviews

Native Instruments Action Strings

'Action Strings is the epic, orchestral sound of blockbuster movies, made simple via immaculately sampled and easily playable phrases. With a truly natural sound, over 14 GB of live-recorded string phrases are ready to add big screen suspense and drama to your movie or game scores – or even spice up your rock, pop and R’n’B tracks.

Running in KONTAKT 5 or the free KONTAKT 5 PLAYER, Action Strings lets you select phrases with your left hand and control chords, melodies and tonality with your right – making it a cinch to create edge-of-the-seat sequences, whatever your production expertise.'
Find out more: www.native-instruments.com

Credits
Image: www.kvraudio.com
Video: www.youtube.com/user/NativeInstruments


More Higher-End Gear

Ackryte 'Nebula' and 'Red Clay' Remix

Wow.  There is so much going on in 'Nebula' I hardly know where to begin. Listen to how he complements the collage of mid range sounds with a simple 'up and down the stairs' bassline in the hook.  And how the drums are frenetic, but not overpowering.  In his 'Red Clay' remix, check how he perfectly marries elements of the original with his signature sounds and style.  Bravo, Ackryte.
Find out more: www.huhwhatandwhere.com
Credits
Image:www.lastfm.com
Music:www.soundcloud.com/ackryte


More Music

The KVR Audio Developer Challenge 2012

Vote, donate and get dozens of great plug-ins for free.

The deadline for entries to the KVR Developer Challenge 2012, the fourth free-for-all audio plug-in / audio application / soundware design event, has passed and we are now in the free download, vote and donate phase of the event - the best bit!

There are 55 entries - the best turnout yet! 49 run on Windows, 7 on Mac OS X and 6 are Soundware for other products. Thank you and good luck to all the developers who have submitted an entry.

Please download and try as many entries as possible before voting and please spread the word - Tweet, Facebook, Blog, Email, - annoy everyone you know so they don't miss out (don't forget grandma, grandpa and little cousin Jimmy ;))!

Thanks to everyone who's donated to the DC fund so far (which is currently $1140!). If you haven't yet donated and have a few pennies jangling about in your PayPal account that you want to get rid of, you can do so on the KVR DC 12 page.
KVR Audio is the go-t…

Creating Loops

From house to hip hop, creating loops is one of the fundamental elements of beat making and electronic music production. 



Creating Disco House Loops with Danny J Lewis for Point Blank

Point Blank's Danny J Lewis takes a well-known disco favourite - Shalamar's 'A Night to Remember' - and flips it to give it that very popular sultry house vibe.

To do this, he starts by time stretching the track just a little bit, so as not to corrupt the quality of the sample.  He then finds parts of the track that he wants to loop, staying away from the chorus and instead highlighting less familiar parts of the track, which has a real groove throughout.  

Later on, Danny introduces delays and in time honoured tradition, filters the samples using a low pass filter, creating a quintessential dance music effect. 

This is a great video for anyone starting out making sample based music.  Danny uses a lot of effects and techniques which are fundamental to making sample based music in a way which…