Tag Archives: electronica

KNEW YOU (Who is Dewey Steez?)

here’s some new stuff from DUI DOLLAR SIGN.

who is this chump? well…

ursa: so what’s this thing.

SD: well mkhhmm, if you take my name and switch the letters. and so on. plus it means “flow”.

ursa: flow?

SD: yeah, you know how rappers talk about flow?

ursa: right, but the name means flow?

SD: yeah, yeah, if you etymologize them words you find dewey is wet and steez flows. but we’re done that. now we’re called dui dollar sign. no caps. never any caps.

ursa: my mistake.

SD: yeah and its super fitting and sorta matches everything that’s been going on. dui dollar sign is also flow.

ursa: oh! like draft and cash…

SD: yeah something like that. and you know how people are re-branding themselves all the time. this works for rapping. and steez rhymes with please. and dui was neat, i’ve had one, and instead of being stupid and making my name $teez, i took “dollar sign”.  i haven’t seen there to be any specific word for that symbol.

ursa: …tell me about this track.

SD: well i often blatantly steal ideas from people. in this case i was stealing some minimal funk stuff from prince and it ended up sounding more like the disco-housey-whatever stylings of jamiroquai. like especially when the bass gets busy and then even more when the synthy thing comes in at 2:40 doing this pan thing. it’s playing these bizarre chords on top of that ostinato bass. very cool. very… jamiroquai. like post disco. and my gf was all “sounds like robots”. i was very happy about that. i mean i wrote this years ago. like sep 2010? and there’s a vocal idea for it as well. but it’ll be tricky fitting it in.

ursa: why come?

SD: well when mixing there needs to be space for the voice to sit and this mix is a little heavy in those areas, but that’s fine.

ursa: esplain a tad deeper, sir.

SD: well the voice core, which is the part that people really HEAR [the words], yknow, the part where they tell you to sing louder? the bit above that nasally sound? it sits like between i don’t know, 2000 up to like 4000hz, is being covered by other instruments. you can hear the space in the 500 range where the voice um, notes would be and your ears might even think there are bits missing from the music, well that’s what’s missing.  I really had this huge funk outfit idea for the track but production is hard and i doubt we’ll get around to it, so i post as an instrumental. my friend and musical partner jeanette robertson and i have a hilarious demo of autotune on the original of this track that i will likely lift the melody from, i mean i don’t know if i’ll ever have time for that though. and even then the tune would need to be extended like twice as much?

ursa: why twice as long?

SD: have you heard funk tracks? fuck they could go all night! you don’t have to change the track till people stop dancing. shit the only reason mine is so short is cuz there’s no vocals. I’d probably even save that bad ass guitar solo thingy for much later if there were.

ursa: send me some thingies with vocals next and we’ll discuss more.

interview by ursa urn

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Yoko Kanno Week #5

Here comes portion five of our Yoko Kanno feature artist week (the loosest definition of a week here applies). Today we’ll be looking at some electronic and ambient pieces. I mentioned in the previous entry how Ghost in The Shell: Stand Alone Complex planted the seed of what today has become my propensity towards electronica, ambience, trip-hop whatever you want to call it. Consequently, you’ll be seeing a couple tracks from GITS, but you can frequently find little electro-oddities on her other OST works as well.

Here’s some in Cowboy Bebop! Now, like many Kanno pieces, this track is hard to place in terms of genre (it sounds like a music box. Music box is not a genre). I may be stretching the term ‘ambient’ here, but it’s all in the details to me. The huge echo applied, for instance, the hesitancy of the rhythm, and the general sensation of weightlessness and vastness. That last point is especially relevant in a series about bounty hunters in space.
Cowboy Bebop OST III (Blue)- Stella by Moore

Earth Girl Arjuna (or Earth Maiden Arjuna, depending on how you wanna be about it) is a good example of the Magical Girl  anime archetype, and a good example of something I would have never discovered had I not done this Yoko Kanno feature week. I had never heard any of the music she wrote for this series, and likely never would have due to my general distaste for Magical Girl and Harem anime series (Sailor Moon and Ranma 1/2 notwithstanding) I may have to watch Arjuna, though, because I am dying to see what kind of visuals this outstanding original score was paired with. Take your time with this track, it’s a slow build, but it’s building up to something good.
Earth Girl Arjuna OST I- Time to Die

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is chock-full of these short, mechanical little songs that leave me wanting (which I love), and the album with the best collection of these pieces has got to be the fourth album, be HumanIt was supremely difficult to choose which song to include, and I encourage you to listen to the entire album, but Let’s Oil is a fair representative.
be Human- Let’s Oil

Okay, so I have this weakness for genre perversion. Gonna Rice could have very easily been included in the ‘rock’ category posted recently, but I saved it until now. I love those almost irrhythmic clicks and snaps and the gradual wax-and-wane of the distortion on the guitar. It takes an otherwise average grunge-rock sound and makes it something really nicely distracting to listen to.
Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex OST II- Gonna Rice

Before you listen to this last track (from Bebop again), I want you to think of the last time you laughed so hard you couldn’t stop, even though you were going to get in trouble if you didn’t. You know, one of those hysterical laughs where the longer you laugh, the funnier it is; the funnier it is, the harder you laugh until it devolves into pure, uncontrollably manic joy. Are you there? Are you remembering the last time? This is the song that was playing when it happened.
Cowboy Bebop OST II (No Disc)- Cat on Mars

(Bonus note: it is especially pleasing to me to see how poorly the exaggeratedly happy music matches the cover art displayed during the video. “OH GOD” she sobs “This is tragic, I am so depressed!” Meanwhile, the music: “Ba ba baaa! Ba ba baaa! Neko mitai ni!”)

-Pont

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