Yearly Archives: 2009

Electronica EP update

It’s no good. I’m far too self-conscious with this singing stuff. “Not Moving On” is all but finished, but I must have re-recorded the vocal about 20 times already, including harmony parts, and am still not 100% happy with it, so think I’ll park that project for the moment. I’m sure revisiting it with a clear pair of ears in the new year will give me back some much needed objectivity.

The good news is things are progressing nicely on the electronica EP and the first two tracks are finished, “Dreams in Plastic” and “Throwing Stones”. These are veering more towards the cinematic soundtrack side but there will also be a mix of uptempo numbers on the EP to balance things out a bit. Hoping to have the finished EP ready for the new year.

On the collaboration front, Cosmo from Clear Air Turbulence is keen for us to put together a live show next year. This will likely be a mixture of C.A.T. and ScarKord material and I’m just working out the logistics at the moment and listening through C.A.T. material to get a rough running order together. We’re also working on some new C.A.T. demos, with me adding additional keyboard parts and sequences to flesh things out a bit.

ScarKord Sings

Quick update on what I’m working on. I’ve made a conscious decision to stop remixing for a while so as to wade through the literally hundreds of music ideas I’ve been filing away on my hard-drive for the last few years. Early days, but I’m hoping that out of this will come a pure electronic EP and a song-based album. I’m also terribly late with sending through a track for the Synthvox compilation, but that’s another story 🙂

The song based album in particular is turning into quite an interesting experiment. I’ve always written lyrics, but never been that happy when I demo them in a song form as they sound (to me) quite cringe-worthy and make me very self-conscious.

However, I’m doing my best to disable my inner critic until I have a body of work I’m happy(ish) with, then I’ll probably remix it as if it was someone else’s album! The first result of this experiment is an almost 20 year old song which I’ve just finished the ‘someone else’ version of and am now starting to give the ScarKord remix treatment. It might even work 😉

Who would have thought…

… a new soundcard would give you so much joy!

I’ve been through quite a few soundcards since moving to a laptop and never really got along with any of them. First, I went down the USB route, using my NI Kore controller but got lots of glitches. Then a Novation XioSynth, less glitches but had to whack the latency up pretty high. Then I tried using ASIO4ALL with the onboard soundcard. Surprisingly, this gave the least glitches of all but shocking sound quality. Finally, I made the jump to Firewire via the Saffire LE – great sound, but more glitches and flakey as hell! (e.g. Random drop outs requiring a reboot about once an hour.) To be fair, the firewire implementation on my Dell Studio is meant to be pretty crap so it’s more likely to be that than the soundcard, but it was still annoying!

But then I found the Echo DJx. All I can say is WOW! Great sound, no glitches at all (!) and running drum racks in Ableton at 3ms latency! Finally, what I’m hearing from my headphones is exactly what I’m playing on the PadKontrol. And being an expresscard, it fits nicely on the side of my laptop with no nasty wires or PSU’s to contend with.

Now all I need is my APC40 to arrive, then I can start working out how to take ScarKord live!

Stuff

Just a quick update on what I’ve been working on of late. (Apart from cracking out a few remixes for AcidPlanet competitions that is!)

I’ve been asked to contribute a track to a forthcoming SynthVox Summer compilation (not that the UK weather is anything like summery at the moment). This will be some original ScarKord material rather than a remix, I’m just trying to decide what style of track will work best. Got a nice little electronica piece I’ve been tinkering with, with the working title of ‘Dreams in Plastic’ which is the current frontrunner. Just finished adding in an oboe part (really) which I think sounds cool. Just gotta squeeze in a string part and some drum edits then I think it will be finished.

I’m also collaborating with my old friend Cosmo Valseca of Clear Air Turbulence again, contributing some keyboard overdubs to his latest demos.

The track ‘Sail Instead’ is now on Cosmo’s Myspace page and features my keyboard parts on the chorus.

Might Like You Better (ScarKord’s Serious Remix)

Just uploaded an alternative mix at a more sedate 130 bpm. But the mix is anything but sedate! Breaks, false ending, hidden acid, glitched vox and even a little nod to Kraftwerks Tour de France in there too. (Thanks to a vox loop from the rather excellent ‘Electronic Point Blank’ library).

To be honest, this is much more my usual sound than that drum & bass nonsense I’ve been dabbliing with (ha ha).

Anyway, please have a listen and leave some feedback on acidplanet if you can. Be interesting to hear whether the ‘real’ me is preferred to the fake one!

Might Like You Better (ScarKord’s Serious Remix)

Time for a change in direction?

Funny isn’t it. You can spend ages refining, editing and sculpting your electronic masterpiece, making sure not a single beat is out of place and no one listens to it.

But when you spend a couple of hours one rainy evening, doing a ‘just for fun’ drum and bass remix, everyone listens to it, you get your highest chart placing and loads of glowing reviews!

I think there’s a lesson in there somewhere 🙂

Birds as High as Planes (ScarKord Remix)

There’s a new ScarKord remix available over on acidplanet. It’s a fierce drum & bass remix of the track ‘Birds as High as Planes’ by the band Bleed Electric.

As well as suitably manic beats and vocals glitched to buggery it features some evil swept bass courtesy of Native Instruments Massive. Not my usual style, but good fun all the same.