Michael Hedges died on December 2nd,12 years ago. I only learned this recently and was completely unaware at the time I did this remix of Point B, Michael’s track released on his album Taproot in 1990. Like many of Michael’s works, Point B (as well as Point A) are solo guitar pieces performed using a Steinberger guitar. (I really like the original Steinbergers and have a few of my own. Btw, the photo on the left shows Michael with a custom Steinberger Klein guitar, which was a result of a collaboration between Steve Klein and Ned Steinberger.) Micheal did some cool stuff with Steinberger’s TramsTrem which caught my attention.
While the Point B is a very focused effort, my version features lots of instrumentation and beats with the goal of creating a very different aural experience. I purposely didn’t stay true to the source material but instead wanted to go in the quite opposite direction. Enjoy. And check out the Michael Hedges store on Amazon.com for all of his releases.
If you are familiar with the track Hide And Seek, you know that its a voice-only track, vocoded and layered to perfection by the one and only Imogen Heap. This little missy just released her new album Ellipse and while I’m still trying to get into it, I remembered that a while ago I tried dropping some beats on Hide And Seek to see how that would sound. I quickly realized that the tempo of the track is very free-form and unless I busted out a real drumset and mics, getting this to work in a digital domain was going to require some heavy time adjustments.
Enter Ableton Live‘s sick Warp feature. (Time) warp works automatically by assessing the nature of the track and figuring out where stuff fits on its timeline as well as whether it should create a loop or sections that it attempts to play quantized (in time). It does a decent job but usually requires manual adjustments even for very straight-forward and repetitive dance tracks. But as expected, it had no idea how to deal with Imogen Heap’s beat-less jam. After manually tweaking words into time for a while without totally ruining the the vibe of the song, I dropped a few drum hits under it. (Admittedly, the first few verses could use further adjustments, but I got lazy.) The plan was to add other orchestration but that never happened (well, not yet). So I’m posting this here for you to listen to, drop in your editor and mess with further, or whatever. The BPM is 120.
I hope I don’t get in trouble with IH’s label or the miss directly. It might be wise to pull this one off asap since it may not last long.
Look for the updated remix at some point in the future, but for now here’s the first draft tagged as in progress.
Produced 6 years ago (almost to the day), Battery is an alternate version of Alkaline, a track released in 2003 on one of New York’s premier techno labels: Gotham Grooves. Alkaline was a B-side on the Funk Matter EP, which featured remixes of the title track by Agent Orange and Valentino Kanzyani and will be covered here more directly later, but for now we’ll just focus on the Alkaline‘s gentler sibling.
Unlike the released version which has a darker, mangled vibe, Battery is a funkier jam with a free style bassline. Until now, only a couple of select few DJs had access to this rare mix. Now you do too.
Tori Amos rules. There’s absolutely no need to mess with her work but I decided to do it anyway as an exercise and the result is this remix of her song (a favorite) Iieee, released on her 1998 album From the Choirgirl Hotel. Working with only the original track and wanting to keep her voice present as much as possible I had to apply pretty heavy filtering to drown out the rest of the original track and make room for my own music tracks. A fun challenge.
The remix ended up having a weird IDM/Drum’n’Bass vibe and includes an improv break about 2.5 minutes into it before returning to the chorus.
Around this time (year 2004) I stepped away from the dance productions and experimented with a different sound under the handle Montaz, the Serbian word for “montage”. This remix is the second Montaz effort, preceded by a track called Ego Programme, also featured on this blog.