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Messages - jkn

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Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Techno Music
« on: December 18, 2007, 08:40:33 AM »
I'll agree with earlier posts that "techno" enjoyed a brief stint as poster child for electronic music in some magazines - and then it faded back dow to the dedicated niche following that it's enjoyed for years.   When I think of techno I think of Derrick May, Drexciya, Tresor label, Richie Hawtin, Speedy J, and all the fun dubby goodness that's been mentioned already from the Basic Channel, Chain Reaction labels and the more recent Deepchord and Echospace stuff currently.    In fact - the Basic Channel CD comp is playing at my desk here at work right now...

I kind of get all the IDM, dnb, techno, and just generally electronic stuff all blurred in my head anyway - they all sort of push and pull each other anyway.   The "big beat" stuff like Chemical Brothers - yeah - Surrender - there are some brilliant tracks on that one.  I stopped buying after that (but I pretty much cut waaaay back on any cd buys after that).

Crystal Method - "Vegas" is a brilliant album - and there are moments from Tweekend and Legions of Boom that are very nice.   

Underworld - there isn't much I don't like from them - always good -even the post-Emmerson stuff - though I tend to like the dubnobass through beaucoup fish stuff best.

IDM-land... definitely a fan of a lot of the 90's era Warp and Warp-like stuff - Two Lone Swordsmen, Autechre, Richard H. Kirk, The Black Dog / Plaid, etc. etc. etc..


Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: December 18, 2007, 07:05:34 AM »
Listening to the lovely subtle dub techno sounds of the Basic Channel - CD this morning.   It never gets old to me.

Listening: Podcasts, Mixes, and Music Sample Clips / Re: jkn's archives...
« on: December 18, 2007, 07:03:36 AM »
Oh Jesse - you know you will always be my 9th love.  :)   I'll never forget...

Anyway... I posted a 4th track... "A Terrible Dream" which is the last of my 3 big "epics" from 1989.  I hope you enjoy these three tracks - all are very different but share sort of a similar theme of longer eploration type tracks - and these three are definitely the sort of "pivot" point in my song writing of going from the more synthpop and industrial and shorter tracks I was writing to longer, leaning towards ambient, leaning towards slowing down and loosening up, maybe just exploring new possibilities is a good term.   All are 4 track and all are mostly on borrowed equipment except for my old friends the Korg DSS-1 and SDD-1200 delay - which at that time I was really starting to get to know well and discovering what they were good at and how I could push myself in using them.    I still use them now almost 20 years later.   

Thanks again for listening and I'd love to hear any comments in the thread or via pm.

Everything and Nothing / Re: Best Friend
« on: December 17, 2007, 05:11:19 AM »
My thoughts are with you and your friend's family.   

The "why" question is so hard to deal with.   There can be no signs at all - or the signs are so subtle no one could possibly notice until looking back.   It's been a decade now since a family member very, very close attempted to end their life and thankfully didn't succeed.   It was a stunning blow to everyone - this solid rock of a man, someone I look up to wish I was more like, happiest - friendliest guy you'd ever meet was so good at hiding what he was going through inside.

I'm lucky - he didn't succeed - though the doctors don't know how he actually survived.   And he was with us for another 6 years before medical conditions took him from us.

Sometimes I think the worst thing is to tell someone - hey - I've been through something sort of similar, but I hope knowing that we had no clue - and it's someone we talked to every day and saw constantly...  at least gives you a bit of comfort and you don't blame yourself quite as bad for missing "signs".   There may not have been any.

Everything and Nothing / Re: avatars
« on: December 15, 2007, 12:52:57 PM »
Go to profile.  Click "forum profile information".  It's right at the top of that page.

Listening: Podcasts, Mixes, and Music Sample Clips / Re: jkn's archives...
« on: December 14, 2007, 07:13:09 AM »
Unfortunately, I'm not a very romantic guy.   I have my moments I guess.

Thanks for listening!    I'm very proud of that recording - even though it's bad in the sound quality sense, it's a moment in time that can't be recreated - and I love hearing my dogs, London and Mickey, walking around.

I'm adding another song to the first post - another 'epic' from 1989 called "a hole in time".   I admit - I've never been all that good at naming tracks... ha.

I've got a couple nephews (13 and 11) that are thrilled to have discovered classic rock songs through games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band...   I have to admit it cracks me up.   We were good aunts and uncles on Wednesday and watched them for the evening and half the night was them playing little mp3 clips on their cell phones trying to stump us on what song was what - bands like ac/dc, scorpions, foghat, and blue oyster cult...    So one of them throws on Don't Fear the Reaper and I roll into the "needs more cowbell" quotes from the Saturday Night Live sketch (which they haven't seen).  Heidi starts laughing.   

Later that evening we end up at Best Buy and they "force" us to completely embarrass ourselves playing rock band in the store playing, of course, the Don't Fear the Reaper song - which starts off with a quote from the SNL skit. It's hilarious... so when we get home I pull out our SNL dvd and play the skit. 

Anyway - my point for the topic was having kids discover classic rock tunes through the video games. It's actually kind of neat - and it'll be fun where they head next in music (they both are learning guitar) - I think the older one has a decent open mind towards types of music which I think is cool....

Anyway - got to get rolling so I can get to work!

Everything and Nothing / Humor: Reserve a Spot In Heaven
« on: December 12, 2007, 09:06:57 AM »

This might be an old one floating around, but a coworker just pointed it out today.  It's hilarious.

Of course, I've probably just bought a one way ticket to hell by posting this...


I enjoyed the Echospace review... I really need to pick up some more of the Deepchord/Echospace stuff one of these days.   

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: December 12, 2007, 07:50:57 AM »
Various - Transmissions from the Planet Dog

It's an enjoyable compilation of trance stuff from Planet Dog label acts - see for more info.   Not great, but fun.  Some of the sample heavy tracks crack me up a bit.   I tend to like disc 1 with Eat Static and Banco de Gaia tracks the best.

Laurent Garnier - Unreasonable Behaviour

This album is half brilliant and half merely really good.   Has a nice range of different styles - mostly in techno territory.   

Everything and Nothing / Re: Pet Sounds
« on: December 12, 2007, 06:47:24 AM »
Theo is definitely a cutie.   

We're dogless... and probably will be for a long time.   Our long battles with elderly sick dogs took it's toll.   We loved them dearly and I'm sure we'll adopt one some year down the road.   We had our cocker mix, London, for 15 years - we got her about 10 days after we were married in 1992.  She passed away at about 17 years old last summer.   Tippi was our mini-schnauzer which we adopted when she was 7 - and she passed away at 12 last year.   We also had a mini-longhair-dachshund, Mickey - for about 5 years - he's pre-digital camera and I don't have any scans handy to post yet... :)

A few of photos:

Me and Tippi:

Tippi stepping into a shot of London and Heidi (I LOVE this shot!):

Downward dog:

London, Tippi, and Heidi (playing tetris):

Scott.. ouch.  Good point!

I should clarify - all of my gear is unused at the moment only because I'm not recording.   Everything I've listed so far are my favorites when I'm recording (well, except for the TG33).  :)

I posted a track that's very DSS-1 heavy in the listening booth forum - it's from 1989 though - nothing current.  :)

Listening: Podcasts, Mixes, and Music Sample Clips / jkn's archives...
« on: December 11, 2007, 06:35:48 PM »
I thought I'd post some of my old unreleased stuff for your amusement and/or enjoyment.

Marie - 3:01 - 1996 - piano recorded on a boom box - file size: 5.6 mb jkn_log_03_marie.mp3

This is a short piano song - recorded on a boom box so don't expect even close to good sound quality!   However, I really like this track so thought I'd share it.  I recorded it in 1996 while my wife was away for three weeks with work.   It was written for her.  You can hear our two dogs eating and making tinkly noises with their tags as they walk around - and they bark at the end as I was finishing. 

Evolutionary Dawn - 18:57 - 1989 - 4 track - file size: 34.8 mb jkn_log_01_evolutionary_dawn.mp3

Recorded sometime in 1989 on a 4-track recorder.   There are only 3 tracks used.   First track recorded was the drums using a Roland R8 drum machine and Korg SDD-1200 dual delay.  Second track is the pads coming from a Korg DSS-1 at times run through a Rat Distortion pedal.   Third is the bass/lead line, played on DSS-1, run through a crybaby wah pedal.    

The drums are only three patterns, however, I'm playing live over top of them all the way through.   I ran it out of voices every so often which had a nifty effect of removing some of the other drums - making it sound a bit more active and changing.   The tracks were recorded basically in three straight passes - it's almost entirely improv.  No overdubs or punching in, etc...

This was one of my first big long "epics" (as a friend called them... ha).   There are two others from this same year that I'll post in a while.

A Hole In Time - 14:03 - 1989 - 4 Track - file size:  25.8 mb jkn_log_02_a_hole_in_time.mp3

Added 12/14/2007

This is a 4 track recording which uses a few tape tricks - one track is running backwards the entire way through.  The beginning is made up of several tracks recorded at double speed and then played back at normal speed - some forward some backwards - a lot of punching in on this.    The drums... ha - I didn't have a borrowed drum machine handy at the time so I had to use a sample I pulled from a Psychedelic Furs track (called Wedding Song I think) - I'm running it through a borrowed Art reverb unit (I think it was John's (that Vir Unis guy) or his brothers...).   

During the mixdown from 4-track to stereo - I'm playing drums "live" on the keys of my DSS-1 - so you'll hear lots of other drum stuff going on besides just the drum loop... 

I mentioned earlier that one track is running backwarks throughout the track - that's a Juno 106.   The "flute" playing is me on my DSS-1 - I do like the little flute solos. 

As you get closer to the end of the track you get into more and more feedback and dense noise - coming from everything and the kitchen sink (DSS-1, Prophet 600, Juno 106, feedback from my dual delay SDD-1200, etc...) - the strings and everything else are DSS-1.   

There's one thing I utterly hate about this track - and wish I could remove it, but I've lost the original 4-track and only have the mixdown - and frankly if I went back to the original I'd lose the drum track recorded during mixdown...  Anyway - I hate the vocal sample when it breaks from the intro section into the main groove.    WHAT was I thinking???   Oh well... it was almost 20 years ago... ha!

A Terrible Dream - 15:55 - 1989 - 4-track - file size:  29.2 mb jkn_log_06_a_terrible_dream.mp3

The last of my three "epics" from 1989...  this one I haven't shown very many people at all due to the heavy (over) use of samples.   I've never been a huge fan of samples in my own music - though listened to tons of music that used samples frequently.   This truck uses drums fairly heavily - although it's a very laid back slower beat.   Many, many punch ins on this - since I only had a 4-track recorder borrowed from work - there were very limited tracks to work with (aren't computer DAW's freaking amazing?).  There's some ping ponging down of multiple tracks to one track to make room for another track.  Also - many different instruments are recorded on the same track - so at the beginning it's one instrument, in the middle something else, etc...

The drum machine is a Korg DD5 if I remember right.   I always thought of the DD5 and it's big brother the DD1 as kind of "sluggish" sounding - the drum samples were lower bit rate - it felt sluggish to play - it lended itself to slower beats for me.

Most of instruments are Korg DSS-1 - note, there's no sequencing - I think I've only used a sequencer on one, maybe two tracks - and none of these were.    Heck - you can hear me go out of time from time to time - so the lack of sequencing and quantizing should be obvious... ha... :)   Of course - I like it that way.  :)

Samples samples samples...  the train is from the movie Top Secret.   "You're safe now" is Sting from The Bride.   "I've had a terrible dream" is from the 1960 version of the movie The Haunting.   The screechy door slam whoooom noise is from the movie The Abyss.    Oh!  Almost forgot - there's a big orchestra stab stolen from Depeche Mode... eek.  I like how I used it though - especially underneath the trumpet solo.

The "trumpet" solo is a Yamaha SY22 keyboard - Yes - I threw the chord into the solo near the end as a sort - yep, it's a keyboard not a trumpet moment.    As far as the trumpet playing -I think I got the breathing right for the different phrasings and I like several moments in the solo.   Total improv - one take - as is the entire track actually... (even all the punch ins for different instruments were one takes...)

The last few minutes starts breaking into my more atonal playing - and the feedback really starts to take the forefront in a musical way - I think this is my first song to really push feedback so far forward and yet not be grinding industrial noise, but more of a musical ambient type of journey.

Still - 1:22 - ~1992 - Yamaha SY77 sequence to cassette - file size:  2.6 mb jkn_log_04_still.mp3

Back around 1992 I was still teaching piano at the music store that I'd worked at for 6 years - and one of my students called in sick so I toyed around with a Yamaha SY77 synth for a half hour.   I recorded this little sort of light jazzy sort of thing which I liked and dumped to cassette.   It's a sequence - but I didn't have quantizing turned on (or at least it was at 1/96 or something ridiculous).   The drums are just played on the keys live through the track (which is somewhat painfully obvious in spots... ha.).   

Anyway - I like this short little track - it's not ambient or fantastic or anything - but it was fun to throw together.

Thrown - ~1993 - 4:13 - Yamaha RX-8 pattern sequence straight to cassette - file size:  7.8 mb jkn_log_07_thrown.mp3

This is totally different from anything posted above.   A little closer to industrial than ambient... although calling this industrial is completely laughable...  Lets just say it's instrumental that leans a tad more towards Skinny Puppy.

Another "waiting for piano students" moment at the music store - I think there was a bad snowstorm so a bunch cancelled.   I took a Yamaha RX-8 drum machine and midi'd it up to 6 or 7 different synths at the store - SY's, DX's, the monstrous Roland RD-something or other ( I guess I could go look it up - the one with all the sliders that failed to sell well - but was a cool mix of digital with analogue like controls...).   Anyway - this was a fun experiment.   

The track is completely live -there are no overdubs.  I'm changing volume and patches on the synths - and playing the Roland RD-____ throughout the track.   The geeetar solo is the RD...

Everything and Nothing / Re: TV: Lost
« on: December 11, 2007, 02:53:36 PM »
Hallu... of course, I disagree because I love Lost and planning to get the new season 3 dvd - but it's great to have a dissenting opinion.   

My coworker loaned me season 1 of House - so I'll be taking a look at that one soon.   I definitely agree on Sopranos and Six Feet Under... :)

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Twin Peaks fans should have a look
« on: December 11, 2007, 01:05:43 PM »
Beymer was in a Murder She Wrote we watched two days ago... :)

Everything and Nothing / Re: This new SMF forum
« on: December 11, 2007, 01:03:47 PM »
Good luck on the move!

It's been awhile since I've migrated a domain (either for home or work...) - it used to take from 12 to 48+ hours for all the DNS tables around the net to update - so a site could disappear for a few people and be up and switched for others.    Since you'll likely still have the old domain up - most people shouldn't notice - but there's always that outside 'flaky factor'... :)

Everything and Nothing / Re: Creating: inspiration, roadblocks, resources
« on: December 11, 2007, 07:25:51 AM »
Inspiration I pull from just about everything - I believe that everything is related and tied into each other.    My music is informed by other music, tv/movies, reading, games, nature, friends, work, etc... 

Even though I haven't recorded in 4 years - I still feel very creative - it's just coming out in diffferent ways...   (photography, a lot of stuff I do at work, my piano playing, etc...)   

When I feel like I *have* to do something - that's usually when my brain clamps down and refuses to do things.   So I try to go with the flow and at least for creative things - let my whims take me where they want to go.   

What's harder is those firm deadlines...  obviously something due for work - well... not much I can do there except crank through the best I can...   I've found that trying too hard to come up with a creative solution rarely works.  Walking away, doing something else, sleeping on it - that's when the inpiration tends to hit.    Sometimes I have to plow through whether I want to or not (that's why it's work... ha.)

Everything and Nothing / Re: Now watching
« on: December 11, 2007, 07:16:43 AM »
We're still watching a lot of Murder She Wrote - there was a really nice one from the third season where they took a movie from 1949 or so and had several of the actors from the movie portray their roles for the episode.   A very young Harry Morgan (you know him from MASH as Col. Potter or from Dragnet...) - was in the movie and episode.   Definitely the fun part of Murder She Wrote is all the older actors that make guest appearances.   The other really nice thing about this show is we can just kind of leave it on in the background - it's nice "ambient" tv...   ha. 

We bought the George C. Scott version of A Christmas Carol - which was really good.  Fun part of it for us was it looks like the Department 56 Dickens Village pieces that we collect - a lot of them look like they were modeled after the movie (and the city it was filmed in).    For me, the best version will always be the Alistair Sim version of Scrooge from about 1951.  I have very fond memories of that growing up -waking up before mom and dad and watching that downstairs sitting by the fireplace waiting for them to get up...    I was thrilled when I found the dvd version.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: December 11, 2007, 06:42:42 AM »

Ben Fleury-Steiner - Drifts

Semi-drifty synth chords, subdued rhythmic movement, the occassional tinkly bit, leans towards glitchy moments without diving headlong into all out glitch territory.    Gets a bit meandery for my tastes in some of the later tracks.    One thing that bugs me is the lack of movement in the bass range - which Ben has told me is intentional.   This is where my being a bass player and loving the low end pulls me a back a bit on this album - I love a bit of a bass line... :)    But just because I wouldn't have written it this way doesn't mean it's not a good album.

I like this album and spin it about every three months or so, a good effort from Ben and probably one most ambient fans will enjoy.   

Everything and Nothing / TV: Lost
« on: December 10, 2007, 06:15:15 PM »
We had a nice Lost thread before...

Despite a good friend's prompting that I need to put the TV away and start recording again (smile!)... Lost season 3 comes out tomorrow!   We haven't seen any episodes of season 3...  we can't wait!   

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