Thursday, February 13, 2020

For the love of Bass

Working out some bass lines for these
songs back in Summer (see insta post below)
At the time of writing, two songs on which I play bass, yes bass! ..are due out tomorrow, or if you are reading this on or after Valentine's Day 2020, you can enjoy them right now (see videos below!).

Tim Lee is a wonderfully talented songwriter of moving, heartfelt music who I've had the pleasure of sharing stages and recording studios with many times. He knew that I was really getting into bass playing and was kind enough to offer me the chance to perform bass guitar on his to-be-released album 'Tulpa'. 

Back in mid-summer; myself, fellow bassist (and another close collaborator) Rob who is also playing on the album (and, I understand,  made the video for 'Love is Easy', below) joined Tim and producer Glyn from Collossus Productions who are releasing the whole thing, for a recording session which I blogged about here.

In a sense, these songs represent my bass debut, so it's an exciting moment for me, though in reality , I have also recorded a solo album of songs in which bass features very heavily some two summers ago (though this is now on the release back burner for a number of reasons, not least because of the new recording project with The Blue Yellows which is now underway). In fact, so excited have I been about my new favourite toy, the bass guitar, that many of the songs which will be on my next solo album have been written on bass, and are very bass-orientated in terms of groove and rhythm. On the experimental ‘Raflessia Dreams’ I ‘played bass’ on the lower strings of a standard guitar, or did a vocal bass thing, and then EQed it. It seems almost impossible to pick the bass up without coming up without coming up with new grooves. Maybe I'll even get to play bass live some day, who knows?

Anyway, enjoy these two great tracks!

Sunday, February 09, 2020

EP Day 3: Keys to a great sound.

Third time in the studio and time for the band’s “secret weapon” according to a recent review, Em.

Both keyboards and accordion were deployed with keyboard sounds ranging from Grand Piano to a Fender Rhodes sound for use with one song, the plan being to record both the ‘natural’ sound of the keyboard through amp and through the infinitely flexible midi, in the end using ‘just’ the midi was fine,  plus the more breathy tones of the accordion caught with 2 mics (or was it 3 with an additional room mic?) through the air.

Emma made fast work of whipping through the tracks, mostly in one take (some tracks being doubled -up in any case). You couldn’t really meet a calmer, more professionally focused pair of musos than Em or José.

Top work!

Sunday, February 02, 2020

EP Day 2: Rock Out with your Sock Out.

Updated 05/02/2020

Although recording full drums would be the ideal way to start tracking-proper, time restraints and a keenness from all concerned meant we wanted to get on with it and record what we can in the hours available.
Drummer Dave, myself and producer José gathered at a José’s brand new home studio to record percussion and acoustic guitar tracks.
Recording sessions always seem to throw up some quirky moments... Dave found that zip-tying a pair of José’s socks to his mallets perfected the tone on the wash effect he was aiming for on the ride cymbal.
José and Dave discuss the approach.

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