Late throwback today and therefore a quick one. Spent the day in Centreville for work (or as I affectionately call it, Centre-of-nowhere-ville) and heading to the Valley tomorrow with my wife. Between now and then I need to bounce some stems for The WAX record, send some work e-mails, buy and mail a gift, mail another gift, do laundry, pack, and probably 7 other things that I’ve forgotten.
As such I figured it would behoove me to post something to help calm my nerves. So here’s a tune off of Alaska’s “Arctic Foundations” album – one out of the stand-outs for me, next to Halcyon 4.1. Love the little guitar-esque sounds, the way the bass drops in effortlessly and of course the little drum work about 3/4 of the way through.
So I’m headed into the studio next week for a week-long recording session with The WAX. I can’t help but think back to my first recording experience with my little high-school rock band.
It must have been 1995. I was just starting to find out about real electronic music at the time so I would have been listening primarily to the grungey rock sound of that era: Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Weezer, Smashing Pumpkins and of course Canada’s own Treble Charger.
We recorded at this dank little studio in the basement of a strip mall in Orleans, Ontario (suburb of Ottawa) over the course of a couple nights. I remember that the owner was in a Doors tribute band and had the biggest drum kit I’d ever seen.
We recorded everything live off the floor to ADAT and overdubbed vox. No click tracks or computers involved. A far cry from the way things are generally done today.
As I recall I don’t think we ever actually released the album, although I’m sure there are still a few copies floating around on tape. If you happen to have one please either destroy it or send it to me, hehe.
Anyway, I was ultimately kicked out of the band because my songs were too “easy listening”. Not all that much different than today, I guess 😉 I can listen to and enjoy the heavy stuff but when it comes to writing I naturally gravitate towards music with depth and emotion.
I chose today’s throwback because I specifically remember writing a song with the same rhythm as the verse… though with different chords, I think (/hope). They say imitation is the best form of flattery, anyway.
For better or for worse the Chemical Brothers played an integral role in bringing electronic music to the masses in the mid 90s. Being backed by a major label certainly didn’t hurt, as it funded their music videos and got their music out there via widespread distribution.
Today’s throwback – a collaboration with Noel Gallagher – really sealed the deal. The music video saw regular rotation here in Canada on Much Music (back when they actually played music videos) and the single debuted at number one in UK. No doubt this, along with Gallagher’s vocals, brought “electronic” (I use the term somewhat loosely) to a whole new demographic.
Coincidentally this was actually the first MP3 I ever downloaded. I have no idea where I found it – MP3s were fairly new at the time and it wasn’t till a few years later that file sharing become more prominent.
Personally I wouldn’t say this is the best track by the Chemical Brothers, nor does it stand the test of time as much of some of the other throwbacks I’ve posted, but it definitely represents a key turning point in electronic music in my humble opinion.
Chemical Brother’s “Setting Sun” feat. Noel Gallagher c. 1996:
For those of you in Canada: have a great Canada Day. For those of you not: you should visit some time, it’s nice here.
P.S. sorry for the lateness in posting this – vacation followed by work followed by intense writing/jam session in preparation for The WAX recording in a couple weeks!
Two opportunities to catch yours truly at the ECMAs this year:
Thursday April 14th/Friday morning @ 1:00 AM (Snug)
I’ll be playing some solo electronic stuff in the ECMA Member’s Lounge, located in The Club at the Delta Charlottetown (18 Queen Street).
Playing alongside me that evening are Marko Simmonds, The Arka Teks, DJ KonfliKt and Coyote.
Friday April 15th @ 5:00 PM (The WAX)
My indie pop/rock band The WAX will be playing on the Discovery stage, located at Murphy’s Community Center (200 Richmond Street – 2-3 blocks from The Delta).
Also playing on the stage that day are Kristina Trites, Jason MacDonald, Katherine Moller, Back Pocket Material, The Disengagement, The Repercussionists, Big Deal, North Lakes, The Belle Comedians, Remedy, The Company, 7 Mile Stare, Arrows in the Air, Craig Mercer & The Will Be Gones and Milks & Rectangles.
Well it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted anything. I’ve been busy getting engaged, buying and moving into a house, recording, putting on shows, etc! I hope to start doing updates more regularly, mostly pertaining to my various music projects and what’s going on with them. So without further ado here’s the first one!
If you live in the Halifax region come check my indie pop/rock band, The Wax, at the Garrison Brewery on Thursday May 7th
We actually did a show there a couple months ago. Here are a few pics: