A collection of: Live Recordings, Experimental Stuff and Cool Shit I Came Across On The Internet.

Blog Archive

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Man and Deck - Are Dj Decks instruments or just scratchie noise things?

Good Morning!
        Ok so this is a pretty controversial topic, something I've heard discussed occasionally between musicians and Dj's that tends to end in tears.

"Mixing isn't making music it's fucking about with someone elses music!"
"Decks are the future maan!  Guitars and shit are a dieing breed."

Neither of these are my opinions it's just sort of basically the stereotypical views I've heard on the subject.  So to settle this shit, let's have a look at the definition of a musical instrument.

"Any of various devices or contrivances that can be used to produce musical tones or sounds." - Google, provider of answers and most of my coursework.

So according to the definition of a musical instrument, the Dj deck would be considered a musical instrument, it produces sound. But under this logic we could also call a kettle a musical instrument, or a toaster or a vibrator, you get the idea. But who's to say those things aren't musical instruments? I'm pretty sure whoever made this video would call them instruments:

That shit gave me a bit of a rhythm boner.  It may not be an orchestra, but there's a solid beat right there that you can move to, there's structure, there's a song right there made with nothing but power tools and kitchen stuffs.

This leads on to one of my favorite arguments, can silence be counted as music?  I mean it's silence right?  No noise, no tune, no melody, no... well.. anything.  But it's a very important part of some songs, some songs have musical breaks to bring on suspense and seech, so in some cases, silence can be just as important and effective as a full on melody.

Once upon a time there was a dude called John Cage who was a pioneer of experimental music.  One of his most famous pieces though is called "4'33", it's been performed by many orchestras and musicians, it's 4 minutes and 33 seconds long and contains 3 different movements.  But here's the thing, it's all complete silence.  The point of it is to allow the listener(s) to experience the sounds around them as a musical piece making the piece different every time.  And for your... erm.. listening pleasure?  There's a video below of the piece performed by an orchestra conducted by Lawrence Foster which was aired live on TV in all seriousness, I shit you not, it's an interesting concept but you'll notice some of the members of the orchestra with rather large smiles.

I reckon they've got the treble a bit too high in the mix. HAHAHA I'm so funny.  Moving the fuck on.

Another argument is the feel of it all, people say that acoustic instruments like guitars and piano give off a sound that decks cannot, and they allow you to create feel through how hard or soft you play, how you strike the notes.  I can sort of agree with this, I mean music to me is about communication, a song that makes you feel something as you play it or as someone listens to it.

Now personally I think you can do this equally well with decks, basically I see decks as a way of manipulating other sounds and feels and changing them in to completely different feels.  Here's one example of a dude doing a deck cover of the star wars theme, he runs with and follows the original feel of it all but then totally changes that shit up at about 49 seconds in.  Check this shit oot:


And now to demonstrate communication between man and deck, I will once again seek the help of my chocolate daddy Mr. Watkin Tudor Jones, I may have previously mentioned how much I love his music.  Have I mentioned how much I love his music?  Anyway, I won't show you the whole track (although it's worth checking out) I'll just skip to the important bit.  Basically this is one of my favorite recordings of man and deck, Watkin starts to impersonate a deck and the Dj starts to follow Watkin with the deck, simple concept but it's so impressive, like a dueling banjo's between dude and Dj.  Sounds like he's summoning a tiny creature from the turntable, truly awesome.

Skip to 3:43 for Man VS Deck


Now that's some pretty good communication right there, but if that isn't a good enough example of musical communication between decks for you, lets bring it to a larger scale.

Just when I thought I lost my FIRST musical chubby..

Now the skill these guys are displaying is pretty immense, this is a beat you can blody move to.  They are controlling the entire feel of this track with their hands, kind of like finger painting a beat all in perfect time with each other, the tiniest of fuckups could send this performance spiraling to the worst sounding shit ever, but these guys keep it all tight together, on the mark consistently, full of feel, vibrancy and awesomeness.

In conclusion I believe that anything can be an instrument, if it can make you move, if you can communicate musically with it and if it can communicate with other instruments and melodies.  That is what defines an instrument for me.

Do you agree?  Disagree?  Am I missing something?  Perhaps I should stop writing get the fuck off the internet and go play football?  Let me know, drop a comment in there yo, all arguments and opinions welcome.

Ciao for now my lovelies,

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Some musical findings that caught my ear

Sup dawgs!  Gonna throw a couple of links your way that caught my ear.

The Constructus Corporation - Jellyfish

For a while now some of the stuff that's grabbed me the most is the work of Watkin Tudor Jones of Die Antwoord.  More specifically their older stuff, he's gone through several personas each with their own styles and feels.  All of his different personas are worth checking out, look in to them.  I could go on about this dude for ages, but this particular song of his is the one running through my head at the moment

At first I really wasn't sure about this track, sounded a bit too surreal and invasive.  But I felt the need to revisit it and now I'm in love.  The sloppy messiness of it with how tight and groovy that shit is just makes this scruffy son of a bitch wanna mooove.  Plus this video is pretty kick ass on it's own.

Bill Bailey - Deliverance Banjo Duel (Indian Style)

I've always been a pretty big fan of Bill Bailey, the ideas he has for choons are absolutely amazing, turning the bbc news theme in to a post apocalyptic rave track, his mildly Satanic rendition of The Magic Roundabout, not to mention his Belgian jazz cover of the Dr. Who theme (all of these are worth the watch) but this is the one I found a while back that really caught my ear.  What a fucking brilliant idea!  Why the fuck didn't I think of it?!

This is also one hell of a jam, these musicians are shit hot!

Dude of the Week: Steve Reich

I've loved Steve Reich's stuff for quite a while, so floaty and lovely.  It's a bit of a marmite thing really, some people think it's repetitive shite, some people think it's pure genius.  I happen to think it's pure genius, in the track below he uses polyrhythms which is basically two or more musical patterns that shouldn't work together which meet at certain points so that they do both work together.  So triplets and duplets being played together at the same time would be a polyrhytm.  And all the different polyrhythms in this track fit together like one big mind boggling audible jigsaw.  So mellow and so awesome to zone out to, but if you try counting it out it'll fuck with your head.

Music for 18 Musicians

He also does simpler rhythmic experiments, when I say simpler I mean simpler to write perhaps, but it sure as hell wouldn't be simpler to play!  Below is a little experiment he did with the phasing, basically it's two guys on two pianos playing the exact same pattern.  But one of these two dudes will be playing it just a tiny bit faster so that the patterns will start moving out of phase, this starts making loads of other new patterns until it eventually comes back in to phase again.  It sounds a bit relentless but if you have a listen to just a bit of it you'll get the idea.

Piano Phase

Both the exact same pattern, but it never sounds the same.  Really simple concept but it sounds so badass.

I've decided to try doing my own Steve Reich like track, gonna try use some of his phasing and time signature techniques and add a bit of my own spin to it, so I shall post the results soon!

Hope you enjoyed the read, if you've found anything musically awesome or magnificent please send it to me through either of these thingies below, would love to hear them:
E-mail: mail@jamqes.com
Facebook Message: http://www.facebook.com/Djjage

Ciao for now!

LIVE Living room jam session - Eat my Jazz Cock (Kieran Taylor, Djjage, Sticks O'Toole)

Sup y'all!
     Second post on the blog, thought I'd chuck this up.  A few of us like to get together occasionally, have a couple of drinks, eat some food and play some music together.  This time we decided to record it, so here's a full recording of the jam!  On guitar we have Kieran Taylor (you can check out his stuff by clicking here), on keys (bass n synth shit) we have myself (you can hear my shizzle here) and my father on the drums who decided to call himself Sticks O'Toole.

It was recorded with one condenser mic stuck in the corner of the room, so it all sounds a little raw!  None of these choons were practiced at all, so there are a few slips in there but I decided to leave those in for character, like you'd do with those weird stains on the seats of your car, or is that just me?

Anyway hope you like it, here be some links!


Stream it on Soundcloud:

Experimental Choons Blog - First Post

Sup yo!
        Thought I'd start something a little more personal where I can post some of my more experimental stuff that doesn't go on soundcloud, as well as recordings and cool little choons I find on the net.

So I'm basically going to start posting groups of things, if there's anything you'd like to hear more of just get in touch!

I'll also be keeping a record of everything with a podcast, so if you're interested in subscribing to that just click the linkage below:

Enjoy the reading and the choons!