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FAO Blue: in defence of Sci-Clone's "El Son"

#26
naphta Wrote:have i read simon reynolds?

did i first hear of omni trio and rufige cru through simon reynolds back in in 1993? did he confirm just about every goddamn thing i'd ever thought myself about jungle/d+b or indeed ever written about the subject myself? is 'energy flash' my bible? does the pope shit in the woods? does statto like lists?

yeh git me?!?

i certainly do like lists Grin

so yes, i get you Wave
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#27
Where can I hear said song?
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#28
good question!
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#29
It's on the "Enforcers - Deadly Chambers Of Sound" compilation
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#30
i'm finally listening to it, and it's right up my alley! i can totally see why it would put some people off though, it's easy listening jazz
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#31
Holy fucking shit, now THIS is a thread! Excellent!

Some of my thoughts on the tune, for what it's worth:

I've generally liked most Sci-Clone releases; few have blown me away, one or two sides were superb, none are genius and "El Son" makes me want to immolate small animals. I'm with Blue on this.

However, Statto, I'll wholly agree with you on points 1, 2, and 3. No argument there. Circular, unresolving (or very seldomly resolving) harmony is a wonderful device for creating and maintaining tension. Radiohead does it a lot (for example). That, and the other things you mention contribute to the tune being, well, how do I put this nicely? Better than dross.

Still, to me, the overall effect is completely tedious. In regards to 4, I'll go further and say that I personally find Nathan Haines' playing aesthetically offensive. Again, with Blue on this: it's virtually indistinguishable from Kenny G. Anyone who's read my blather elsewhere online knows that I take my sax players very seriously and Nathan Haines--based on what I've heard in Sci Clone-- does not compete with the players I rate. His melodic and harmonic invention is tepid, flacid, predictable, obvious, arch, twee, and not even as good as late model Benny Maupin. Moreover, my tolerance for soprano sax is limited in the first place, and it's only in the hands of towering masters such as John Coltrane that the instrument has a fighting chance of impressing me, and Haines is no Coltrane. He is technically fine, and his work outside of Sci Clone might be inspired genius (if it is, I don't know about it), but I can only comment on what's in front of us now (as in Sci Clone).

Yes--to somewhat agree with Statto on this--it's unfair of me to freight this tune with the expectations and demands of true jazz. Yet, I think it's fair to suggest that the makers of it--and other like-minded 'Sophisticated Drum and Bass®'--are asking that we take this tune seriously as a work of "real" music; they are asking that we judge their work on its merits as whole music, not mere 'dance tracks,' and so I do, and I find it wanting.

Statto, I know you are being imprecise, but you refer to it as "lounge rock," and if that's the case, I can't think of a genre I'd be less inclined to listen to. It's the same reason for me why things like Thievery Corporation and all this Compost crap leave me feeling like a desiccated cow skeleton in the middle of the Mojave Desert (sorry, local color coming out).

As for the modulation, I've always been on/off with that. At moments, I'll agree that it helps invigorate the tune. At other moments, it puts me in mind of that creepy pop song device so beloved of Barry Manilow and Whitney Houston whereby the key of the song modulates up (what?...a fourth? a fifth?) towards the end to help build the Spine Tingling Climax. Oh, wait, Stevie Wonder (who's crafted some of the greatest music ever made, but also some of the worst) did it too on "I Just called to....whatever it's called to love you...etc."

Statto, you also refer to the speed and rhythm of the tune as being a factor that keeps it from being pure easy listening, and--again, personally--the monotonous, pounding arrangement of the drums is to me utterly, stultifyingly repetitive. The tone of the drums doesn't help at all. Not so much big and thick as sounding like a club wrapped in a wet rag bashing on a dumpster. Utterly doesn't fit with the tune. The intro was promising; I dig the faux-jazz time-keeping on the hat (something I've also done several times; check "Trip" on the flip to "Spiral" on Orgone if you're interested, but ignore "Spiral" because it sucks), and was hopeful that the tune would remain somehow faithful to that aesthetic but then it lapses into this utterly banal, pointless, plodding, meathead break. I know they can do better; some of the earlier Sci Clone singles had glorious breakwork; the break on this tune is just plain hamfisted.

Err, uh, I guess I don't like the tune, eh?

Hi board. Nice to meet you all. Nice start here.

Oh, and Naphta? You're right.

Okay, work to do.
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#32
welcome pieter

Falcon
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#33
pieter Wrote:holy fucking shit, now this is a thread! excellent!

Smile

pieter Wrote:"el son" makes me want to immolate small animals.

Eek Eek

pieter Wrote:however, statto, i'll wholly agree with you on points 1, 2, and 3. no argument there. circular, unresolving (or very seldomly resolving) harmony is a wonderful device for creating and maintaining tension. radiohead does it a lot (for example). that, and the other things you mention contribute to the tune being, well, how do i put this nicely? better than dross.

hmmmm... Neutral

pieter Wrote:i personally find nathan haines' playing aesthetically offensive. again, with blue on this: it's virtually indistinguishable from kenny g. anyone who's read my blather elsewhere online knows that i take my sax players very seriously and nathan haines--based on what i've heard in sci clone-- does not compete with the players i rate. his melodic and harmonic invention is tepid, flacid, predictable, obvious, arch, twee, and not even as good as late model benny maupin.

don't know any kenny g so i can't comment. but i'd agree that nathan's sax solo is not high art jazz. maybe it is predictable, obvious, arch, twee... but that's ok i think. it fits in here. if you have certain prejudices about sax playing try thinking about this sax as a keyboard.

pieter Wrote:yes--to somewhat agree with statto on this--it's unfair of me to freight this tune with the expectations and demands of true jazz. yet, i think it's fair to suggest that the makers of it--and other like-minded 'sophisticated drum and bass®'--are asking that we take this tune seriously as a work of "real" music; they are asking that we judge their work on its merits as whole music, not mere 'dance tracks,' and so i do, and i find it wanting.

indeed. it's more rock than jazz. but i was wrong to try and justify it intellectually. my basic response is emotional. see this thread: http://www.subvertcentral.com/forum/view...php?t=1280

pieter Wrote:statto, i know you are being imprecise, but you refer to it as "lounge rock," and if that's the case, i can't think of a genre i'd be less inclined to listen to. it's the same reason for me why things like thievery corporation and all this compost crap leave me feeling like a desiccated cow skeleton in the middle of the mojave desert (sorry, local color coming out).

fair enough. i can't think of anything else that even approaches lounge rock that i would like either. i just love this tune. and it isn't polished enough to be lounge really.

pieter Wrote:as for the modulation, i've always been on/off with that. at moments, i'll agree that it helps invigorate the tune. at other moments, it puts me in mind of that creepy pop song device so beloved of barry manilow and whitney houston whereby the key of the song modulates up (what?...a fourth? a fifth?) towards the end to help build the spine tingling climax. oh, wait, stevie wonder (who's crafted some of the greatest music ever made, but also some of the worst) did it too on "i just called to....whatever it's called to love you...etc."

i agree that modulation hardly ever works. the biggest pop cliché is a semi-tone rise towards the end of a song. that drives me nuts enough to resort to blue's hurl the record against the wall treatment. supposing i had any records that did this.

well, actually, thinking about it, i do have some... there are a couple of tracks on an edith piaf lp that do this – including her most famous song "non, je ne regrette rien". but i didn't buy the record for that. rather for stuff like "je m'en fous pas mal", "la vie en rose", "bal dans ma rue", "l'accordeoniste", ...

Grin

pieter Wrote:statto, you also refer to the speed and rhythm of the tune as being a factor that keeps it from being pure easy listening, and--again, personally--the monotonous, pounding arrangement of the drums is to me utterly, stultifyingly repetitive. the tone of the drums doesn't help at all. not so much big and thick as sounding like a club wrapped in a wet rag bashing on a dumpster. utterly doesn't fit with the tune. the intro was promising; i dig the faux-jazz time-keeping on the hat (something i've also done several times; check "trip" on the flip to "spiral" on orgone if you're interested, but ignore "spiral" because it sucks), and was hopeful that the tune would remain somehow faithful to that aesthetic but then it lapses into this utterly banal, pointless, plodding, meathead break. i know they can do better; some of the earlier sci clone singles had glorious breakwork; the break on this tune is just plain hamfisted.

don't think i said rhythm did i? just tempo. again think rock not jazz. although the drums are amateurishly high in the mix, they're just providing a backbeat really.

pieter Wrote:hi board. nice to meet you all. nice start here.

hello!

Lisa Wave Wave Rainbow
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#34
Hello Pieter me old mucker!!!

great first post.........

can i have some music please???
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#35
statto Wrote:
pieter Wrote:"el son" makes me want to immolate small animals.

Eek Eek

err, yeah...a bit extreme there. too much caffeine yesterday, and a little over-excited about a thoughtful, music-first forum.

you'd think i wasn't a vegie-geek 'be nice to the cute little furry creatures' type either! [note to self: moderate rhetoric]

statto Wrote:don't know any kenny g so i can't comment. but i'd agree that nathan's sax solo is not high art jazz. maybe it is predictable, obvious, arch, twee... but that's ok i think. it fits in here. if you have certain prejudices about sax playing try thinking about this sax as a keyboard.

re: kenny g: consider yourself lucky.

well, i'll agree that it fits in here; it does work in concert with the whole tune. i definitely don't fault them for lack of consistency within the tune itself...i just don't like it. i see what you mean about thinking of it as a keyboard; that kind of makes sense, in a jan hammer kind of way...problem is i don't like jan hammer either.

statto Wrote:indeed. it's more rock than jazz. but i was wrong to try and justify it intellectually. my basic response is emotional. see this thread: http://www.subvertcentral.com/forum/view...php?t=1280

right, but rock isn't what i turn to sci clone, nor reinforced, nor a-sides for. they certainly have all the right in the world to make anything they want, but if it's self-consciously meant to be an opening salvo in their campaign to rock-ify drum and bass, this--in my opinion--does not bode well for the fledgling genre. there are others on this board far better positioned to do that successfully.

that said, you're absolutely right about the terms on which you respond to this tune. i won't launch into some tendentious rumination on the nature of responses to art, i.e., emotional versus intellectual. if it works for you, that's all that matters for you, just as it doesn't work for me and that's all that matters for me.

statto Wrote:fair enough. i can't think of anything else that even approaches lounge rock that i would like either. i just love this tune. and it isn't polished enough to be lounge really.

true.

statto Wrote:i agree that modulation hardly ever works. the biggest pop cliché is a semi-tone rise towards the end of a song. that drives me nuts enough to resort to blue's hurl the record against the wall treatment. supposing i had any records that did this.

well, actually, thinking about it, i do have some... there are a couple of tracks on an edith piaf lp that do this – including her most famous song "non, je ne regrette rien". but i didn't buy the record for that. rather for stuff like "je m'en fous pas mal", "la vie en rose", "bal dans ma rue", "l'accordeoniste", ...

duh, a semi-tone...of course. you're right. i don't know how i thought otherwise. caffeine? plain dumbness?

yeah, piaf did that. then again, a fair number of french crooners were fond of that device. jacques brel (king of all that is arch) did it, charles aznevour (i think i'm remembering he did it anyway); i want to say gainsbourg, but i'm not sure at the moment. he wrote more songs than god, he must have at least once, especially in his weirdo, decadent early 70s phase.

funny, i almost--*almost* i say--used a sample from a piaf record last year. i recorded a few things off of one of her records i have, but it didn't work. i can't remember the song at this moment (i'm at work), but it was one of the most overwrought, heart-rending things imaginable, in a super over the top kind of way. makes sinatra's "she shot me down" (is that the title?) look like child's play.

statto Wrote:
pieter Wrote:statto, you also refer to the speed and rhythm of the tune as being a factor that keeps it from being pure easy listening, and--again, personally--the monotonous, pounding arrangement of the drums is to me utterly, stultifyingly repetitive. ...i know they can do better; some of the earlier sci clone singles had glorious breakwork; the break on this tune is just plain hamfisted.

don't think i said rhythm did i? just tempo. again think rock not jazz. although the drums are amateurishly high in the mix, they're just providing a backbeat really.

yes, you did and i let my haste get the best of me! i'm less spastic today.

man, what fun this is. serious, lengthy analysis of a single drum and bass choon! simon reynolds eat your heart out!
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#36
Blue Wrote:Hello Pieter me old mucker!!!

great first post.........

can i have some music please???

Hello back atcha and thanks! Some nice discussions going on here.

I'll trade you a CD. I'm thinking I sent you something last year but my memory is like a sieve.

Let's hook it up via email.

I've got a work luncheon to attend now. Yay work.
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#37
pieter Wrote:err, yeah...a bit extreme there. too much caffeine yesterday, and a little over-excited about a thoughtful, music-first forum.

they're not all like this though. Smile

pieter Wrote:i see what you mean about thinking of it as a keyboard; that kind of makes sense, in a jan hammer kind of way...problem is i don't like jan hammer either.

nor me. Smile

pieter Wrote:right, but rock isn't what i turn to sci clone, nor reinforced, nor a-sides for. they certainly have all the right in the world to make anything they want, but if it's self-consciously meant to be an opening salvo in their campaign to rock-ify drum and bass, this--in my opinion--does not bode well for the fledgling genre. there are others on this board far better positioned to do that successfully.

don't think it was intended as a seminal track. it's three years old and they've not done anything like it since. actually i don't think they've done anything since. Roll

pieter Wrote:yeah, piaf did that. then again, a fair number of french crooners were fond of that device. jacques brel (king of all that is arch) did it, charles aznevour (i think i'm remembering he did it anyway); i want to say gainsbourg, but i'm not sure at the moment. he wrote more songs than god, he must have at least once, especially in his weirdo, decadent early 70s phase.

amazing – someone else who knows about old time french songsters. Icon_eek

pieter Wrote:funny, i almost--*almost* i say--used a sample from a piaf record last year. i recorded a few things off of one of her records i have, but it didn't work. i can't remember the song at this moment (i'm at work), but it was one of the most overwrought, heart-rending things imaginable, in a super over the top kind of way. makes sinatra's "she shot me down" (is that the title?) look like child's play.

i'd be seriously interested to hear a dnb track with edith piaf samples. Yes Yes
[and yes, that's the title.]

pieter Wrote:man, what fun this is. serious, lengthy analysis of a single drum and bass choon! simon reynolds eat your heart out!

Hahaha
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#38
Jan Hammer had some great moments... but maybe you have to be 14 years of age to appreciate them!

BTW, Sinatra has always been a complete cunt - maybe his lazy vocal style is... is... whatever, but at the end of the day, I'd sooner lock myself in a toilet with the collected works of Peshay and J Majik 1998 - 2003 than listen to that smug fuck Sinatra jizzing all over a mic!
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#39
hmm, let me put it this way, i love the downtempo intro with the brush snares, i never heard that in a drum 'n bass tune before, anyone?

i think the strings are horribly misplaced tho, they could've let those out the whole tune.
after the uptempo part drops i don't find anything wrong with the tune, i think it's pretty decent, i enjoy this one more then most other, so called "jazzy" drum 'n bass out there, which just are just tunes with a 2 step beat and a contrabassline ala roni size.
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#40
Croms Wrote:hmm, let me put it this way, i love the downtempo intro with the brush snares, i never heard that in a drum 'n bass tune before, anyone?

.

i've used brushes many times before.

try Blue>Shockwave
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#41
Naphta Wrote:94 Dillinja and hi weirdo pitched string chords - gets the hairs on the back of my neck going, but would a trained musician interject on a point of order there, and inform me that I shouldn't be reacting so cos the notes are off-key? Maybe, but what I'm saying is: if it works, who gives a fuck?!?!?

?

Good points.. the thing is with dischord, it's very hard to get right. The "hi wierdo pitched string chords of 94 jungle.. was an influence straight from early detroit techno.. Mayday and Kevin Saunderson used to make all the strings with vintage electronic instrements so the offkey elements were all deliberate and part of what creates the feeling.. you can't just throw stuff together and hope it works one time.. sometimes the whole tune is consinent apart from one stabby lead line which would be a dissonant harmony... and often there is a way things would jerk in and out of harmony .. ever since Jazz a lot of underground music has involved dissonent harmonies that never resolve .. it's like a constant feeling of tension.. and the majority of ears just can't appreciate that vibe :violin Borg

this is why I hate 'trance' really .. just puts itself in the guise of 'out there' 'other side' music ... but is just simple minor key melodies that are obviously aimed at the masses.
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#42
hah maybe I should of read the whole thread before posting . Little nemo kind of already made my point..

a good example of getting it right would be .. 'Dissonance' by Richard H Kirk and Rob Gordon..on the mood set EP from 91..... two of the most legendary, influencial yet unknown producers ever in my book!
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#43
nice one, strength remix also has em as well
but the drums sounded a bit muffed away, probably caused by the guy who recorded them to mp3s

i like lalo btw, big up
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#44
Croms Wrote:nice one, strength remix also has em as well
but the drums sounded a bit muffed away, probably caused by the guy who recorded them to mp3s

i like lalo btw, big up

muffled? must have been the encoding.
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#45
i'm not able to read the whole thread right now, but i just want to say that the best ever musical device (to me) that dance/electronic music fully wringed out or "claimed" is the sampled chord or sampled bundle/stab of notes (and the implementation of such in note/chord progressions in the tunes)...

for some reason i always love the sound of chord progressions that do nothing but modulate up/down/wherever while retaining the exact same intervals/voicing (i.e. Gm7 -> Bbm7 -> Am7 -> Fm7, all with 1-7-3-5 voicings or something), and sampling chords in electronic music does that exactly, except it's less natural sounding (the timbre modulates too with sampled sounds unfortunately/fortunately) and the ear expects the chords to be modal (i.e. Gm7 -> Bbmaj7) by default in a progression, so it's become it's own weird point of departure for me... i have a difficult time weaning myself off playing with thick stabs or thick string washes where one key triggers 8-note voicings with assloads of tensions in them... it's so fun to hear the ease of modulating with one finger with such huge sounds... overlaying them... aggh...

rave stabs qualify too, but they're too dunderheaded for me at times....
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#46
Blue Wrote:muffled? must have been the encoding.

probably.

im still trying to find open good jazz brush styled drumkits on records, i've come across some, but those are usually the minimal swing hihat type ones. where are the ones that go all out damnit!

just got some nice ones off a ralph peterson guide cd, where he drums all sorts of jazz styles from new orleans to swing to salsa, quality.
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#47
croms Wrote:i think the strings are horribly misplaced tho, they could've let those out the whole tune.

no they aren't, no they couldn't Nono

sileni Wrote:for some reason i always love the sound of chord progressions that do nothing but modulate up/down/wherever while retaining the exact same intervals/voicing (i.e. gm7 -> bbm7 -> am7 -> fm7, all with 1-7-3-5 voicings or something), and sampling chords in electronic music does that exactly, except it's less natural sounding (the timbre modulates too with sampled sounds unfortunately/fortunately) and the ear expects the chords to be modal (i.e. gm7 -> bbmaj7) by default in a progression, so it's become it's own weird point of departure for me... i have a difficult time weaning myself off playing with thick stabs or thick string washes where one key triggers 8-note voicings with assloads of tensions in them... it's so fun to hear the ease of modulating with one finger with such huge sounds... overlaying them... aggh...

good post Xyxthumbs
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#48
statto Wrote:
croms Wrote:i think the strings are horribly misplaced tho, they could've let those out the whole tune.

no they aren't, no they couldn't Nono

imo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i think they are buttugly.
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#49
Croms Kisskiss Wave
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#50
Loris
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