I looked and there before me was a pale horse. Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him…
Yes, here we go: Proudly announcing that the video for Call Me Greenhorn‘s Armageddon Dub is now up and running! Directed by Robert Boud it’s based on his great photo project Aftermath Apocalypse and fits the bleak industrial sounds of the song just perfectly. I already written about how the song was conceived, but my stats show you guys sure don’t like to click stuff, so it all began with me trying out both some new parallel processing techniques as well as getting to know the utterly insane Russian VST Molot one weekend, getting an initial basic track finished late on Friday evening and going to bed ending up having the worst nightmare in years.
With a heavy Walking Dead feel, the nightmare kinda freaked me out and I spent that Saturday trying to re-create the desolate feel of it and ended up with a weird, industrial soundtrack to go with the pretty standard meat-and-potatoes Dub rhythm track. Totally satisfied with the results I was kinda taken aback by the sheer darkness of the damn thing and am still scratching my head how it just kinda jumped out of me. Where the hell did that come from? Anyway, as much as I like the song I’m not adding it to the coming full length as its feel just differs from the rest of the material too damn much.
Now, if you wanna talk synchronicity let’s rewind roughly two weeks where I’m a bit bummed out about not having the equipment to edit new Greenhorn videos (I switched computers early 2013) and am trying to figure out just when and how to get something rolling when I jot down my little post about the Necronomicon Ex Mortis iPhone Case and wouldn’t you know somewhere in the UK was Robert reading it, clicking “like” and the next thing I’m checking out his portfolio and being blown away by his work – with the rest being history. Like I already stated he was perfect for the job as his imagery fits the feel of the song so good it’s eerie.
So make sure you check out the video on YouTube, it has been added as a download bonus goodie on Bandcamp so check that one out here, and please pay Robert a visit on his official site to check out his portfolio ’cause it’s damn good work. And if you wanna try out the insane Molot VST you can do so here.
copyright Sellergren Design 2013!
Yeah, things are moving along somewhat satisfactory at Camp Sellergren (more info about that when it’s been solved), and in the mean time I actually managed to put out a bonus release: Call Me Greenhorn‘s Armageddon Dub! Yup, the track was initially posted in it’s raw form on my SoundCloud some time ago, and even though my sentiments about it hasn’t changed a bit – it’s just too damn dark! – I gave it a spin and decided it worthy of release, albeit on it’s own and those who feel they can take it can feel free to do so. I still love what I achieved with it and the extra beef in its production is a result of getting heavy with that crazy Russian VST Molot.
Now, I already written about how this song came about – read it again here – so I’ll focus on the second track Trinity (Once Upon a Dub) that spent a good time just collecting dust on my computer. Starting out with some great drum fills The Jimmy C sent me, I set out to do a mix of heavy 70′s Jamaican dub and a sort of tribute to 1960′s Italian spaghetti westerns. (Yeah, I thought it sounded insane too, ha ha ha!) Anyway, add some great Lee Perry-esque horns courtesy The New York Brass – I just had to phase them! – and there ya go! The intro is pretty cool and really throws you off as it progresses into something completely different than what you’d initially expect.
The sleeve was actually quite simple to create. Immediately wanting to do something along the lines of the iconic graphics used by The Clash for their great batch of 7″ singles released between their first and second album (FYI: Complete Control, (White Man) In Hammersmith Palais, Clash City Rockers + the 1979 The Cost of Living EP), I googled ‘ruins’, ‘Armageddon’ (boy, is that movie popular!) and finally found some WWII photos on Wikipedia that looked fitting. Considered to be in the public domain, I made a collage out of various bombed out buildings etc., and wrapped it all up by adding the similar sort of crazy color schemes and fonts used by the band.
Now, I am aware that Dub is an assorted taste, but personally I love it and think it’s a damn unique art form or musical genre as it is the only one to my knowledge where the mixing console itself becomes the main instrument. The concept spans the world these days, but remixing actually has its roots in what geniuses like King Tubby and The Scientist were creating in make shift Jamaican studios throughout the 1970′s – in Tubby’s case using equipment he built himself! – so if you’re the slightest curious about this phenomena please do check them out!
Anyway, available via my Bandcamp so check it out here, and I uploaded a taste on my SoundCloud here, so spread the word and share if you like it. The single:
So, yeah, this is gonna be yet another one of those posts aimed towards the fellow audiophile, so all you normal people can move along while us nerds drool and whatnot.
Recently I find myself getting almost a Hunter S. Thompson-esque air when it comes to the Molot tube compressor I wrote about earlier. Using this insane piece of technology on everything from drums to the final stages of mastering I’ve kinda adopted his body language and spout off “oh you magnificent beast!” in the same way good ol’ Doc used to talk about Cadillacs and .357 Magnums. I love this gadget. For all its unruliness and unmatched depth of ugly this takes whatever comes through it and sends it straight off to that “whoa! territory” I’ve mentioned in an earlier post. This is a wild buck impossible to tame. Pure masculinity. No holds barred. You just gotta buckle up, buy the ticket, and take the ride with a big grin on your face, ha ha ha.
So with that hunk of Russian primeval just ready to pretty much hurt anything I might point my finger at, plus me reading the great interview Sound on Sound did with French madman Phillippe Zdar about mixing The Beastie Boys‘ great (and final?) album Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, I was curious to try out his mixing technique – especially submixing sounds by splitting an audio source into threes (lows, mids and highs) and treat them with a different chain of EQs and compressors. Even though I’ve never been much of a rap/hiphop fan, the Beasties are totally different because they (1) have a unique approach to the form that keeps it interesting and (2) have a genuine punk/hardcore background giving them a street cred that no PR staff in the world can fake, resulting in a musical style that’s energetic and raw. Listening to that album I was blown away by its creativity, the variety of the material and just how dense the damn thing sounded. So of course I had to look it up, read up on the techniques used achieving it and then find an excuse to take what I’ve learned and just try it out.
As soon as I came home Friday afternoon I started working on a dub song using a classic drum loop and pretty much spent all evening working on it. The initial try had me ripping off my earphones again of course ’cause that damn Molot is kinda like dealing with a 900 lb gorilla trying to quit smoking, but once I had the levels right and started getting into it – using mainly tube compressors, expanders, a classic spring reverb and the occasional dub delay – I knew I was onto something. Cranking up the volume the track sounded hot, dense and just jumped at you. I went to bed around 1:00 am and oddly enough had my first nightmare in years. I summed it up earlier Saturday morning on Facebook, so ‘scuse me while I cut and paste:
Wow. I woke up way too early today on account of having my first nightmare in years. Ironically (’cause I don’t believe in the Mayan ‘The World ends in December 2012!’) I found myself in a quiet post-apocalyptic world, sneaking through the streets (’cause if you start hollering out who you are and where you are before you’ve gotten your bearings or a firm grasp of the situation you’re a damn idiot) trying to figure out what the hell had happened.
After breaking into a TV-station I saw videos of chaos, politicians desperately trying to maintain the illusion they were in control (while their bodyguards/police/military were being torn apart by brainless maniacs in the background), tv-presenters crying as they reported the latest updates and then just silence. No specifics mentioned but after all the initial chaos it all just went out like a lightbulb.
And I am aware that it’s anticlimactic but that was the horror of the dream. The silence. Cities completely devoid of life. The horror and unbearable sadness of waking up one day with everything just gone and no one to explain how or why.
Yeah, I agree. I definitely gotta cut back on the weekly amount of The Walking Dead episodes. Anyway, drawing inspiration from that I dug through my old industrial samples and worked out something that would’ve fit the horrific scenario. The title Armageddon Dub was pretty much a given. It turned out fine but way too dark and industrial-sounding for what I had in mind for the Call Me Greenhorn full length. I’m on the fence about it right now, but I’ll make up my mind about including it or not some time soon. It’s available via SoundCloud, so check it out and please share!
Well, I’ve noticed that I’ve got some fellow audiophiles among my visitors so I thought I’d share the latest find when it comes to free VSTs available: Meet Russian behemoth Molot! And dear God is this a fierce beast! You know the climactic scene in Evil Dead II when the demonic dimension rips through the fabrics of reality and the Rotten Apple Head comes through the door to swallow Ash? Well, this piece of tube-powered compression emulator kinda does that with your sounds.
I initially tried it out on the unmastered track of Call Me Greenhorn‘s album teaser – and to be honest I don’t have a title for that one yet – and I had to rip my earphones off ’cause it damn near took my head clean off. And I live for that kinda sound. There an almost endless amount of variety offered plus some nice presets if you’re new to it or just wanna save some time (personally I found the “room” setting kinda nice ’cause it had a slight SSL feel).
Based on the same technology that gave the World that other beast (the Sovtek-powered Big Muff distortion pedal), it’s a primitive, no-bullshit chunk of gnarly oomph! that does not aim for sophistication. Like author Vladislav Goncharov himself says: “[If you're...] Looking for transparent compressor? This not your choice. This compressor adds a lot of coloring to sound.” And he’s not kidding. This’ll color everything. It’s loud and noisy and ugly and just everything that makes rough and raw music great.
You can download it here, and he’s offering some limiters and clippers as well that I’m gonna check out as soon as my damn ears stop ringing…