Monday, March 28, 2011

Amha Baraka vocal tracking 2/25/11
NoDough (feat. Amha Baraka & VersaKyle)
"Don't Accept Wooden Nickels" [dub]
Produced by ScottDough
Engineered by Kyle Lesley

Don't Accept Wooden Nickels (dub) feat. Amha Baraka & VersaKyle by NoDough Dub

Amha Baraka - heartbreaker, money-taker
Hatched at the former Thrasher Magazine vert ramp warehouse studio, “Don’t Accept Wooden Nickels” features prolific rasta frontman and World Studios co-founder Amha Baraka. It was a great thrill to learn that we’d be collaborating with a gifted vocalist whose been blessed with a rich tenor. An added bonus to the equation was the opportunity to once again work with engineer/producer Kyle Lesley, who also contributed some understated yet real sweet two-tone guitar stylie to the dub.
Kyle Lesley & Amha Baraka
Baraka has broad range;  so we stretched things out a bit and within a reasonable amount of time  were able to multi-track some rad 4-pt. harmonies for the hook (he gives decent freestyle too, which was tucked in beneath the mix). I scratch some minimal elec. guitar at the outset but from  1:00 or so on it's all Kyle, as is the ancient Roland whomp box synth riffing inside that first minute.

A capella vocal of the hook with the instrumental dropping to a headphone bleed at the outro was all Kyle. Fun stuff. 

"Let's Get Sued" (Dream Merchant mix)
Composed & Arranged by ScottDough
Engineered by Dan Menapace

Marimba is making a big comeback. I'm kidding of course. Other than a recent Kruder & Dorfmeister binge, I don't really listen to a whole lot of dnb music and up until lately the high-handed musician in me didn't hide the disdain I had for DJs and other *alleged* 'non-musicians'. Just to put it in perspective, I’ve been in a vacuum, musically, and by design haven't listened to... anything(!) in quite some time. so if any of what I’m etching at the moment seems derivative then it's accidental. My formerly close-minded DJ aversion notwithstanding, in this secular environment I still pride myself in performing and creating most of what's on the flavor palette (e.g., loops/samples and/or content derived from my own live playing) -- any knucklehead can twist knobs, or better yet, tell somebody ELSE to do it.
"Soundtweaker" Dan Menapace's Sonor/Edirol rig

As for the marimba, I am far from well-versed on the instrument, though I have grown more comfortable playing double mallets and can coax a modest range of flavors from it: Caribbean, and Far-Eastern-tinged staccato.

Without intending to, we tracked a song that has no electric (or acoustic or bass) guitar. The indignant musician/bassist in me felt filthy dirty.

But there we were.

Marimba crafted in St. Thomas
The natural wood marimba’s melodic yet percussive timbre is tonally pleasing on its own acoustic merits. And before collaborating with Dan Menapace, I’d never have thought you could get so much range out of the instrument. DM's 'Soundtweaker' handle is highly appropriate -- the swooshing wah-wah soundscapes and oscillating tones both originated from the marimba. Same for the reverse-feedback trickery fingered in post-; these textures were simply isolated mallet hits which were EQ’d with a high pass filter, then had some stereo-delay added to sweeten it up. Comparatively speaking, there is very little synth on this track.

The final :40 seconds or so of "Let's Get Sued" is a flourish of slick instrumentation weaved over top of relentless jungle-dnb drumming, which results in some almost Donald Fagen-esque riffing (at least I thought so!) with the elec. piano, marimba and tenor sax interplay cruising into the fade.