It's that time again - Time for me to answer your questions. Time to find out if this really does smell like chloroform, time to find out if you can make it through this entire Klog without falling asleep. I hope this is enlightening.
Klayton: Did you see the new "Star Trek" movie? Did you have a Nerdgasm in the theater?
Thanks for the timely and engaging question, Klayton. The answers are simply "yes" and "yeeeeeessssssssss" (both times)
What bands, musicians and/or producers do you think are pushing the envelope in the scene today?
Tough question. I had to cut out some stuff that isn't necessarily 'current' to try to keep it to a list of people I think are making a difference right now. These are in no particilar order. Remember, this is only my opinion and that's what you guys asked for. So, check it:
IAMX - I have been spreading the word about Chris Corner's "new" gig since Sneaker Pimps. His songs blow Sneaker Pimps out of the water IMHO and his live show is energy-central. Run and go buy "The Alternative" at least. (I know a certain Bret Stahli who covered an IAMX track - maybe he will share with you some day if you bug him enough.)
Ctrl-Z - Great sounding energetic breaks. Check out his Computer Music tutorial video. I learned stuff watching him - so can you.
Aaron Spectre - He kinda got lumped into the "Breakcore" genre but he goes way beyond that. Check out his project "Drumcorps" on iTunes. Blew my mind - finally someone approaching metal from a different angle.
Far Too Loud - insane breaks and edits up the arse.
Noisia - these guys fall somewhere between breaks and drum and bass and beyond. Great production and groovy tracks.
Deadmau5 - It feels cheesy to mention him bc he's the hot producer right now, but props must be given where they are due. He's got skills galore. In fact, i think some of the cooler stuff he's done is not even in the House realm where he is king right now. Go find his free older tracks where his edits rival Richard James'. (Project 56)
Moshpit - Bret Stahli told me I must listen and I'm glad he hog tied me and made me. Energetic and raw. I want to start a Cyber-Punk band that does a whole album like this. My manager will kill me if i try to do anything other than work on "Wish Upon a Blackstar", but i can peretend at least...)
Hybrid - Been listening to them for years. Cinematic, clean production, great grooves.
Trifonic - Actually discovered these guys from Hybrid's "Soundsystem 01" disc. I recently edited together a 15 minute version of their song "Transgenic" to fall asleep to. Check them out at the FiXT Store.
Way Out West - I remember a period of time during the making of the debut Celldweller disc where the only album I would listen to in any airport I was in was "Don't Look Now" and that was only because I completely played out "Intensify."
Headroom - The production on "Artelligent" makes me wish i could make Psy Trance tracks that sound this good.
Pendulum - C.mon, You guys have to know who they are. I listened to "Hold Your Color" for a few years and was totally flattered when they approached me to remix "Propane Nightmares" from their new album, In Silico. If you haven't heard them, you absolutely have to.
Trentemoller - Gabe from Growling Machines turned me onto Trentemoller when i was playing with them in Brazil. I had heard his name, but didn't know his music. I won't even try to describe it. Just go listen to his "Moan" remix. I think i looped that track for 2 hours straight the first time i heard it. Other notable tracks "Take me into your skin" from "The Last Resort" and check out his rework of Moby's "Go."
Unkle - James Lavelle just captures something that is hard to describe. Raw and emotional and with some great collaborators. Check out "War Stories"
What inspired you to make "Outland"? What inspired you to make "Aurora Borealis"?
Both of these tracks (like many of the songs on "Soundtrack for the Voices in My Head Vol.01) weren't conceived in advance. i didn't sit down and deliberately write these pieces to be something specific. They both have a similar history though. I created the intro 'scraping' beat to Outland years ago along with some of the atmospheric elements i created in Reaktor. Similarly, i was playing with my Izotope Trash plugin and running some drums through it and discovered this parameter i could tweak to give a boring drumbeat i had super wide stereo width. I compressed the hell out of the drums as well and that became the basis for the track. I liked both of these elements (Outland and Aurora Borealis respectively) enough to select these to be completed for SVH Vol 01.
What kind of person do you respect?
Funny you should ask that, in light of the song I'm working on RIGHT NOW. The song "Louder Than Words" (coming up on Chapter 1 of "Wish Upon a Blackstar") covers that concept. The chorus is simply "Actions speak louder than words do - I don't want to hear dead words from you - Actions speak louder than words do - I don't want to hear what you will do."
I'm not big into the handjobbing "I love your work - let's do lunch, bro!" thing. If you think I suck, then tell me. You won't hurt my feelings. I'll tell you if I think you suck, I'm pretty sure you could find a few references if you don't believe me. I respect someone who works hard. i respect someone who is honest. i respect someone who is loyal. My father was a shining example of these things to me growing up and i am truly thankful now, though i may not have understood it's importance as a munchkin. This is what shaped me into the dude i've become (not "The Dude" from The Big Lebowski people, c'mon.) It's hard for me to respect the people I've had in my life that complain to me about not "accomplishing their dreams" but are more than willing to spend huge chunks of time smoking bowls while watching Ren & Stimpy reruns. Cool, I love Ren and Stimpy. I don't particularly love smoking bowls or smoking anything for that matter, but that is irrelevant - the point is, if you want something then go get it. You can't complain about failure if you're not actively trying to succeed, IMHO. Nobody is going to come along and wipe your ass, put on a fresh diaper and stick a golden spoon up your nose while they hand you the keys to the kingdom. Congratulations if you're the exception to that rule, but I wasn't that "fortunate." Thusly I can and do respect those who work hard for what they've accomplished.
Huh, what? Where am I... Oh, i guess you can consider that my little tangent/tirade i went off on to encourage those who are truly seeking it. If you want something badly enough, you will only ever get there by trying, and you may quite possibly win the respect of your peers along the way.
Andy - favorite plugin ever?
Impossible to narrow it down to one. This is a big reason why I want to start doing little video tutorials that show different plugins I use, how I use them and why I dig them. I know I'll find the time any day now...
If you made it this far into the Klog, then you're awesome.