Break. Beat. Box.

Multi-round, musical pugilism featuring jklabs and Ascent Stage


John Tolva

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  1. Jesse Kriss : Doctored
  2. John Tolva : Prophetess
  3. Jesse Kriss : Choices
  4. next: John Tolva

I actually took two clips from "Doctored." The guitar sample is gated and EQ'ed and has a delay that pongs around. Kinda sounds like a cello and it underlies nearly all of the track. The guitar sample also appears as a series of clipped, untreated stabs. The witch's brew of a pad is the keyboard sample from "Doctored". Still recognizable but made more sinister by a dash of chorus, a sprinkle of reverb, and a few handfuls of delay.

The ticking clocks are from Orbital's The Box EP from 1996. (Highly recommended that. I've always been unsettled by lots of clocks ticking out of time; moreso when they stop. Call it a fear of the unquantized.) Actually the treatment of the clocks is the most complex part of this track -- I've altered their speeds and pitches -- though you only really can hear it when it is alone in the mix.

The vocal sample, from an NPR interview of a linguist explaining the etymology of the word for computer in Icelandic, was prompted by the mention of witch doctors in "Doctored." Icelandic permits no foreign words so new concepts are sometimes fancifully-described. A computer is a "number witch doctor" or "prophetess." It is also my last name, coincidentally and wholly unrelatedly.

Production note: after treating the samples initially this track was "recorded" pretty much in one take moving from session view to arrangement view in Ableton Live. I tweaked certain envelopes after the take, but for the most part it was overlaid and mixed live.

Next rule

You can do anything you want to this track, but the next round must contain a new, intelligible sentence from rearranged components of the existing vocal samples.

Commentary forthcoming