Saturday, 26 November 2011

Tea break's over: back on your heads

I didn't do a post last week due to being too busy to breathe, but hey, it took me three years to get round to doing this after I decided to so what's one week, eh? Still, lots more people have come by to check out my less banging offerings, and one (1) person has told me that The Rocker was their favourite. As far as I'm concerned these are equal and total vindication; I'm still as chuffed as I ever was to find out that one single person likes what I've done, let alone a few hundred.

Here are some more exclusive outtakes for my imaginary fan to devour.

This Ain't Music by Ghost Olympics

Once I was a carefree young buck who smoked fags, drank frequently and heartily and knew how to accentuate my sensory intake to positive effect through the media of dance, meditation etc. It was during this revelatory era one evening that I happened to find myself at home alone, happily accentuated and with a classic analogue synth* and a borrowed portastudio set up in the lounge. After a short time (somewhere between 2 minutes and 2 hours, I’d say) holding down one note and moving the sliders about on the synth, it occured to me that I really ought to lay this shit down.**

Now, when I smoked it was always a particular pleasure to light up a snout when your favourite tune came on. It somehow helped with the accentuation, the wallowing in sensory delight. Anyhoo, I therefore decided that what I would do would be record this exciting whooshing noise for as long as it took for me to smoke one fag, as whatever came out would then be the perfect length accompaniment to smoking future fags. I supposed this was like a junior version of the Spacemen 3 approach. So that’s what I did. All that remained to do was to knock out a diddy little tune to plonk on top and cut up the built-in drum patterns that came with the portstudio, and hey presto! A rousing hands in the air distorto-gabba anthem for triumphant festival headline sets. That’s what I heard, anyway. Pyramid stage here I come.

If you’ve read my previous posts you’ll have guessed that loud is the best way to hear this.

*Can you tell which one, classic analogue synth lovers? Answers on a Yazoo 12” please.

**On another occasion my flatmate and I experimented by making this synth noise happen over music we’d done on the computer and some My Bloody Valentine records (obviously we experimented with some drugs first). There exists somewhere a tape (a whole side, I think) of the resultant droning, hissing noise mixed with random beats and swooshes and some of the popular hits of the day. I seem to recall that it was actually much more listenable than you have assumed, and certainly beat the first two Cluster LPs hands down. Maybe one day it will go up here. Maybe when I decide I don’t want anyone ever to come here again.

More Wines! by Ghost Olympics

This is really half a work-in-progress, and it shows up the laziness of my working methods. Why use different chords or sounds when the ones you used before worked perfectly well? (Cf: overreliance on the preset 909 handclap sound (well, it’s cooler than the snare sound, and honing of the drum samples has always been very much something to to at the end of the project - which I never, ever reach)). And it's clear here how easy it is with this dancey stuff to just fanny around with the same four bar loop and not bother having a second idea. This is the state things get in before they go into limbo, and as "my studio" is currently occcupied by a baby Olympics, it will stay in this state for a while longer.

I do like the bassline though, so have it.

Lair Of The Worm by Ghost Olympics

This is one of the very first things I ever did on a computer, way back in the last century. Somebody gave me a knocked off copy of Rebirth and showed me a couple of tricks. I twiddled and fiddled for a bit, and made some good squelchy noises and a dirty beat. What more is there?

More of this very soon. I've got buckets of it.


Monday, 14 November 2011

Fangs very much

I'm a bit lost for words this week, having had another mention from the even lovelier than before Acid Ted, and also having gone out a bit more extravagantly than usual, which at my age and state of decrepitude takes its toll on the old functionality.

Here's an atonal bit of brutishness to clear the cobwebs out, and something to calm down with afterwards.

The Rocker by Ghost Olympics

Sometimes you start something with some sort of vague aim in mind, then lose your way a bit and decide to come back to it later. Some years later you return and discover it to be just fine as it is.

I really, really think it would help if you played it upsettingly loud though. Can't stress that enough.

Practice Run by Ghost Olympics

And here’s another one for the ladies.

Goodnight, ladies. Goodnight.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Ghoulash! (or Spookghetti)

So, it's time once again for another pair of loose meanderings from my furtive musical past, with which to delight my reader (hello darling, can you get some milk on the way home please?).

I've been very chuffed to be mentioned today on the excellent Acid Ted blog, who has been sharing lovely dancey bits for many a year now. Thanks Ted. A little recognition is all we want really, innit.

Thus I am all warmly aglow as I give you these snippets.

Dink 2 by Ghost Olympics

Everyone does a little Kraftwerk knock-off at some point (you don’t? what do you do?). This is mine, bipping and burbling along on an elastic band bass noise with some flutey bits popping up to say hi before I wandered off to do something else.

There is a Dink 1, which is a much more minimal version, ie there are fewer musicky bits. That’s for another day.

Ready for Six by Ghost Olympics

Falling asleep to music is a nice thing. I’ve done it since I had my first Walkman, nodding off under the covers to surprisingly loud music in a decade before this one. So I made a piece deliberately designed to fall asleep to. It’s droney, hissy, bongy and tinkly - all the noises that make the head happily heavy. You can’t just be boring though - I think sleep music needs to engage the brain enough to distract it from the thoughts that were keeping you awake in the first place. Therefore there are some pretty bits and some dreamlike mutation of shapes, yeah? When I first made this I actually used to use it as an insomnia cure. The clunk when the tape ran out would wake me up again though. Maybe don’t play it while driving, or the clunk when the road runs out might wake you.

That had better be all for now, eh? Do come again!