12/28/10

Mikro sampling - um The Field

Ein bloggur við einum sindri av fríari youtube assosiatión um hugtakið mikro sampling; hetta at sampla evarska lítil brot úr øðrum sangum og verkum, og síðani konstruera størri samanhangir burturúr teimum.

Tað byrjaði við at eg fyri kortum hugdi eftir einum stuttligum parti av Family Guy, ið m.a. innihelt hetta brotið:

Family Guy speisemi tá tað er best! Tó var eitt annað, sum fangaði meg við brotinum, tá eg hugdi eftir tí umaftur. Talan var um ljóðførissamansetingina í Lionel Richie sanginum, soleiðis sum hon hoyrist á uml. 0:22 markinum í klippinum omanfyri. Eg helt meg hava hoyrt akkurát hasi sekundini ella taktina/taktirnar fyrr. Í video'ini til "Hello" hoyrist sama brot á uml. 1:23 markinum:


Fantastisk 80'ara video forrestin. Niðurstøðan viðvíkjandi hasum brotinum var, at eg hevði hoyrt tað fyrr. Fann útav online, at svenski techno framleiðarin The Field brúkar tað sum eitt grundleggjandi element í lagnum hjá sær, nevnt "A Paw In My Face". Lagið finst á debutplátuni hjá honum, nevnd From Here We Go Sublime frá 2007. Henni havi eg lurtað nógv eftir, og tískil kendi eg tað aftur hagani.

Umrødda brot og fleiri onnur element úr sama sangi vera nýtt gjøgnumgangandi í lagnum hjá The Field. Í endanum hoyrist eisini eitt brot úr solo'ini/c-stykkinum í Richie sanginum, har eitt frekt synkoperað taktslag hoyrist...prøva og gev tí eitt lurt:

Eg haldi at hetta er ein fasinerandi og hamrandi kulur máti at gera tónleik uppá. At man tekur evarska lítlar "sellur" ella brotabitar úr einum lagi, og setur hesar saman í ein nýggjan samanhang, hvørs heild onkursvegna er meir enn hvat einstøku lutirnir leggja upp til.

"Tension/release" er eitt væl kent trick í nógvum techno. "Spenningur og forloysing" á nøkunlunda føroyskum. Hetta kann vera ítøkiligt; at bygt verður upp til klimaks o.a., men "tension/release" er mangan eitt slag av grundleggjandi støðu í sjálvum tónleikinum. Eitt væl frágingið techno lag kann gjøgnumgangandi innihalda bæði spenning og forloysing samstundis. Tað er ótrúliga feitt, tá fólkið aftanfyri dugir. Og The Field hann dugir.

Lionel Richie er ikki einasta samplingar-keldan, ið verður nýtt á From Here We Go Sublime. Byrjunarlagið "Over The Ice" heintar eisini samplingar aðrastaðni frá, hesuferð frá "Under Ice" hjá Kate Bush. Lagið er av Hounds of Love plátuni frá 1985;
KATE BUSH Under The Ice (1) from Sky Vibes on Vimeo.

Eitt friðarligt og eitt sindur ófrættakent lag, við vakra sanginum hjá Bush og tí sum kundi ljóða sum eitt bland av akkustiskum og elektroniskum strúkarum í fokus. Kate Bush syngur eina yrking og eina søgugongd, ið berir sangin fram.
Síðani kunnu vit lurta eftir "Over The Ice" hjá The Field, og vita eftir hvussu hann nýtir samplingarnar:

Tað hoyrist at hann serliga nýtir røddina hjá Kate Bush til at skapa melodiir og hugløg. Eg meini meg eisini hoyra bakgrunds synthin í "Under Ice" havandi ein líknandi leiklut í "Over The Ice". Men røddin er tað sum onkursvegna er fremst í myndini. Tó eru tað ikki orð vit hoyra, men einstøk stavilsir og tað sum er uppaftur styttri. Røddin verður sostatt eitt ljóðføri uttan semantiskan týdning.

Hetta at taka vokalin og separera hann frá semantiska týdninginum minnir meg eitt sindur um Different Trains hjá amerikanska Steve Reich. Verkið er frá 1988, skrivað fyri strúkarakvartett og band/tape og í trimum pørtum:

America-Before the War (movement 1)
Europe-During the War (movement 2)
After the War (movement 3)

Reich var smádrongur undir 2. veraldarbardaga, og tá plagdi hann at ferðast við toki millum New York og Los Angeles, tí foreldrini vóru fráskild, og búðu í hvør sínum býi. Reich er av jødiskari ætt, og seinni fór hann at hugsa um at um hann hevði búð í Europa heldur enn USA hesi árini, so hevði hann kanska ferðast í Holocaust tokum, tvs. tokum, ið koyrdu jødiskar fangar til týningarlegur.

Í verkinum nýtir Reich samrøður við fólk, ið tosa um tað at koyra í toki. Í fyrsta parti um tað at koyra í toki í USA áðrenn kríggið, í næsta um at koyra í toki í Evropa undir krígnum, og síðani um at koyra í toki aftaná kríggið.

Eitt áhugavert við hesum er at Reich nýtir tosandi røddirnar sum grundarlag fyri melodiskum tilfari. Tá vit tosa vanligt eru tónar í røddum okkara, og arbeiðir Reich við hesum í verkinum. Hóast tok og tokferðir, USA/Evropa og ræðusøgan um kríggið og Holocaust er "bakgrundsteppi" fyri verkið, so snýr ítøkiliga nýtslan av tosandi røddunum seg fyrst og fremst um teirra fonetiska virði, og síðani um teirra semantiska virði:

Eitt sindur av hesum hoyra vit hjá The Field. Eg sigi bara "eitt sindur", tí hjá The Field er alt klipt nógv  meira sundur í styttri brot, og hjá Reich er eisini talan um eitt melodiskt samspæl við akkustiskar strúkarar, og tað gevur nakrar øðrvísi arbeiðshættir.

...men The Field MÁ hava lurtað eftir Reich...eg havi í hvussu so er ein sterkan illgruna um tað. Hvussu enn er og ikki, so ger The Field sera áhugaverdan og feitan tónleik. Pláturnar eru higartil tvær í tali; From Here We Go Sublime frá 2007 og Yesterday and Today frá 2009. Báðar eru útkomnar á spennandi týska techno plátufelagnum Kompakt, ið heldur til í Köln.

Her at enda eitt lag av nýggjastu The Field plátuni Yesterday and Today; hitt frálíka "Leave It". Eg haldi meg hoyra nógv element frá minimalismuni hjá Reich og co. í hesum lagnum. Hvussu enn er og ikki, so er talan um eitt avbera feitt lag, har tað ber væl til at blíva vekk í vakurt konstrueraða meyldrinum av friðsælu og rokaligheit;

12/10/10

Thoughts on Music #6 (Thomas Bangalter)

Thomas Bangalter
This is the sixth post in my "Thoughts on Music" series which feature quotes containing interesting thoughts on music that someone has said or written (or both). This post is related to my last post about Daft Punk, Tron & the legacy of Kraftwerk

Here's Thomas Bangalter of Daft Punk sharing his thougths on longevity and ephemerality;

"A cello was there 400 years ago and will still be here in 400 years. But synthesizers that were invented 20 years ago will probably be gone in the next 20. Synths are a very low level of artificial intelligence. Whereas you have a Stradivarius that will live for a thousand years. In the past, we have worked with clashing genres like disco and heavy metal, and here we would do it with film scores... this idea of the ultimate retro-futurism."
-Thomas Bangalter, Daft Punk, Dazed & Confused Magazine dec. 2010

Good point. I sense this kind of "machine melancholy" behind his statement. I've seen it other places as well. Might be worth exploring further. Look out for related blog posts in the future :)
Anyways, Daft Punk makes extensive use of a 90 piece symphony orchestra on the Tron:Legacy soundtrack and so far I can say that they've expanded the Daft Punk formula to also include classical instruments and epic, emotive sci-fi film scores...the hairs on my back stood up on two occasions while listening. That's nice.
The final verdict will have to wait until the film arrives though. This is music for a film, y'know.

12/6/10

Daft Punk, Tron & the legacy of Kraftwerk

Daft Punk. Tron Legacy promo photo.
This blog post originally appeared on Faroese art blog listinblog.blogspot.com. Here's a translated version for all you English speaking multitudes out there!

Sci-fi flick Tron: Legacy is out this december and I'm excited and curious to see how it will work out. Not least because of the soundtrack by most excellent french electronica/house duo Daft Punk. The soundtrack is out today and the film premieres in mid-december.

Tron: Legacy is the follow-up to 1982 cult film Tron. Disney is behind both films. The fact that Daft Punk made the music for this, by the look of it, inventive and goofy-in-a-cool-way film is no less than brilliant since the dream of an unlimited future is contained within Daft Punk's music.

Many bands and artists work within the field of electronic music but few have managed to make far-fetched sci-fi sound like plausible reality. Historically, Kraftwerk is probably the best and most convincing example of such a band. They formed the basis to pretty much everything we know as electronic popular music.
Kraftwerk's appearance and music is characterized by a clear and strong concept; four iconic musicians, suits and ties, short cut hair etc. Also, the individual records are characterized by a well-defined theme that opens up a broad range of reflections.
 
Kraftwerk. The Man Machine LP. The first track is called "The Robots". "Robotnik" means "worker" in Russian. A play with ambiguous meaning and visual influence from constructivism and communism.
The four members of Kraftwerk in copied doll/machine/robot form.
To my ears Daft Punk is one of few bands that have managed to lift the legacy of Kraftwerk. When you're listening to Daft Punk the sci-fi dream of a crazy limitless future is alive again. Visually they're also working with some of the same elements as Kraftwerk; a clear, strong concept, that can't be mistaken.

Sure this is a duo but like Kraftwerk Thomas Bangalter and Guy Manuel de Homem-Christo have a characteristic look and can also be said to be icons of sorts. They've taken the whole machine and robot aesthetic a step further and always present themselves in robot helmets on press photos, in concerts as well as in other public appearances. Most people don't know what Daft Punk look like in reality. We only recognize them as robots. There are some older photos of them without helmets but we have to go way back to the days when Daft Punk had yet to truly manifest themselves as Daft Punk.
Daft Punk
The fact that the two of them are anonymous and have a robot image is also consistent with the anonymity that is quite widespread in the culture around electronic dance music, where DJs play other people's music for the audience on the dance floor. In most cases, the artist who made the music is absent from its performance. Instead a third person, a DJ, acts as intermediary between sender and receiver. It's a play with anonymity and similar elements can be perceived in the visual style of Daft Punk.
Homework (1997)
The duo has released three albums so far and personally I like them all. Homework (1997) laid out some impressive basics and is a modern classic in house and electronic dance music. Discovery (2001) gets its inspiration and samples from a range of older disco, funk and soul tracks. These sources are worked together into a colorful and catchy futureworld, whose finishing touches came when Daft Punk and Japanese Manga director Leiji Matsumo produced the animated musical film Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem, that accompanies the full Discovery album. Or maybe the album accompanies the film. Or both.
Discovery (2001)
2005 saw the release of the raw, minimalistic and edgy Human After All, an album that only took six weeks to produce. The record didn't get the same acclaim as the previous ones, but amidst the monotonous grittiness some golden moments occur, and the album can almost be understood as a series of philosophical questions; Where does the human end? Where does the machine begin? What is human? What is human in music? Thomas Bangalter once said that Human After All was an attempt to understand where human feelings reside in music.

Human After All (2005)
 Tron and Tron: Legacy are a whole story of their own. The first Tron movie contained groundbreaking use of computer graphics and is a charming and visually impressive 80's sci-fi film. Jeff Bridges plays the lead role as the protagonist and computer game developer Kevin Flynn, and in Tron: Legacy Gareth Hedlund plays his son Sam Flynn. These are imaginative and colorful films for kids and those young at heart. Those who want to and know how to wonder.

Click the links above for more information. I'm looking forward to seeing the film and not least to hear how the soundtrack works in it. I've listened to it a couple of times already and the epic-ness of it made the hairs on my back stand up on two occasions. But the full disclosure won't come until the film is out.
  Tron: Legacy trailer with one of the Daft Punk tracks from the movie: