I had intended to spend most of today locked in my studio, laying down all kinds of new loops, guzzling a few gallons of coffee and writing my usual “top-notch” commentary… but that didn’t happen. Boston’s first blizzard of the year had other plans for me. Like shoveling snow all afternoon. Awesome.
I did manage to crank out one quick session before the day was over. While I was breaking my back, digging out my driveway, I was listening to Radiohead’s classic album, “The Bends”. I forgot how much I loved the drum sound of “High and Dry”. Specifically, the slapback type reverb that sits so tastefully in the drum mix. With a much more angular groove, I took this same approach when mixing down today’s session… if even a bit more indulgent in the delay.
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.
Today’s loop started off as your typical 6/8 Afro Cuban groove. Well, not that typical. I took the traditional bembé clave which is normally played on a cowbell and moved it around the toms. If you want authentic latin beats, don’t turn to the kid who grew up in Iowa. I mean, I went to high school with these clowns.
6/8 Afro Cuban, from someone who has never been to Africa or Cuba:
Anyway, to bastardize this loop to the fullest, I ran all of the drum tracks through Logic’s EVOC 20 Filterbank. I played with the stereo width, LFO rates and resonance levels until my vanilla, 4 bar beat turned into something that didn’t even resemble a drum set.
Björk just called. She wants her production style back. But I’ll post it anyway…