Things have been busy for me this week at The Loop Loft. Today we just released two new Multitrack Drum Sessions, “Funk Meets Fusion” and “Thick & Meaty”. Check ’em out below:
What would it sound like if legendary funk drummer, Clyde Stubblefield (James Brown) joined a legendary fusion band like Weather Report, and they only performed in dance clubs where the tempo was regulated to 128 bpm? Well, we’re not sure if such a bizarre/awesome union like this would ever occur, but if it did, the drums would probably sound a lot like our latest multitrack release, “Funk Meets Fusion”.
Just like the name implies, the Thick and Meaty Multitrack Sessions are loaded with drums that give you plenty to chew on… and more. Using one of our beloved birch studio kits, we slapped on some extra-punchy Remo Pinstripe heads and pulled out our ultra-aggressive brass snare drum, all to give you a sound that is fat, juicy and totally in your face. Along with all of the individual drum tracks, we also captured the room sound on a separate channel, putting an even bigger (and natural) sound at your disposal. Just adjust the faders and mix to taste!
Here’s some simple, straight ahead drumming by Chris “Daddy” Dave. Nothing unusual here, other than the rhythmic morphing that another YouTube viewer took the time to transcribe:
“0.55-1.11 are quintuplets grouped in 3’s & 2’s; 1.35-1.43 are septuplets grouped in 5’s; 2.05-2.30 the time implied is based? off 5:2 polyrhythm, so the 5:2 is the new tempo with swung time; 3.03-3.19 are septuplets; 3.25-3.49 the time is based from 5:2 polyrhythm; 3.49-4.04 is a groove based on 7:4 polyrhythm, the 7:4 is grouped in 8; 4.04-4.11 is a grooved based on 9:5 polyrhythm! which is grouped 8; 4.25-6.25 is time based on 5:2; 7.33-8.01 is again based on 5:2.”
This morning, while eating a delicious bowl of oatmeal and listening to Billy Cobham’s classic album, “Spectrum”, I realized that I haven’t posted an odd meter loop in quite awhile. The whole intent of this blog is to record and write about as many musical genres as my baby soft hands can handle. I can’t just cater to the pop songwriters and dance producers… I also need to show the fusion crowd a little love as well. As the final few measures of “Red Baron” faded out, I pounded my third cup of coffee and went into the studio to lay down some tracks for those of you looking for something outside the world of 4/4.
When most people think about odd meter music, it’s typically one measure of a certain meter, repeated over and over (7/8, 5/8 etc). While this is great, and I’ve spent hours upon hours wanking some serious fusion jams in 9/8, I like to mix up odd meters alongside more straight ahead time signatures. In this case, I take a 4/4 groove and place it next to a bar of 7/8. Now, you can look at this phrasing in a lot of different ways. One could call it 15/8, or you can think about it smaller rhythmic chunks (4+4+4+3). Whatever floats your boat. These types of grooves allow the average listener to grasp on to a back beat while, at the same time, contains enough rhythmic complexity to satisfy even the most jaded of fusion musicians.
After a long, stressful day, some people tend to wind down with a few drinks. Others find solace in working out or smoking crack. And me? Well, I find that nothing helps me kick back and relax like turning on the dry ice machine, inverting a few splash cymbals and playing some overindulgent fusion. There’s really nothing like the sound of 32nd notes on the hi hats to take the edge off.
Today’s loop is a two bar snippet of the hour long fusion session that was unfortunately caught on tape (and you can bet your permed mullet that the rest of the tracks will be included in Volume IV). It’s actually one of the more restrained moments of the entire recording. With two snare drums, an over the bar fill and a five stroke roll somewhere in the middle, it’s enough notes to properly fit into any mid-90’s GRP release.
Odd meters aren’t just for fusion jams and epic, prog rock instrumentals. They can even be used in hit songs, especially when the meter is in five. From Dave Brubeck to Radiohead, this odd meter has been working it’s way up the charts and into the public consciousness for decades.
Today’s loop is a groove in 5/4 (sans splash cymbals and octobans). To keep it from falling into the hands of someone holding a seven string Ibanez, I downsampled the output and made sure it didn’t live in its parents’ basement.
In 1970 Miles Davis turned the jazz world upside down with the release of Bitches Brew. Featuring 20+ minute songs and an expanded rhythm section, Miles pushed the envelope of a genre that would be later be known as “fusion”. Blending jazz improvisation with rock instrumentation and grooves, Bitches Brew was a turning point not only for Davis, but for several members of his band.
One of those members was keyboardist, Joe Zawinul. After the release of Bitches Brew, Zawinul went on to start his own band, Weather Report along with sax player and fellow Davis alum, Wayne Shorter. Weather Report carried the fusion torch into the 1980’s, releasing several classic albums along the way including; I Sing the Body Electric, Night Passage and my personal favorite, Heavy Weather.
Today’s loop takes the hypnotic, vamping style of Bitches Brew and mixes it with the quarter note, cross stick grooves found on several tracks from Heavy Weather. I took out all of the muffling in the kick drum and tried to lay down the foundation with more “boom” than “thud”. Unlike many of the albums mentioned above, no drugs were used during the recording process (mom, I swear).