Every so often I like to pull out an old track and see if I can improve on it. Recently this little favourite got the same treatment. This track is very reminiscent in structure of the Killers when Brandon is going through his Springsteen phases. It was our contribution to the No Excuses CD .
Donny Thompson of Ohio does the honours on vocals, while Mark Colquitt of Las Vegas provides the guitar solo playout.
We've got a lot going on at the moment. I'm putting together a nice project for Singapore's National Arts Council which will be featured in a festival at the Esplanade at the end of March. There are some interesting photography projects ongoing that I can't talk about. And the work on the Monjour follow-up is also steaming ahead at full speed.
I'm very excited about this new album. We really have gone out of our way to make the material much more melodic, so the pace is slightly slower, but I think you'll find that it's a much more coherent and deeper experience.
So as a teaser, and because I was working on it last night, I thought I'd share with you a little excerpt of one of the tracks, which is called If Only I Could. Cass's fluid guitar work replaced my epic fumblings on this.
Every so often we like to flex our music muscles. While waiting for the latest addition to the Calamity Studio equipment list, we spent a little time putting together this cover of a classic 70's track. Originally a hit for Stretch in 1975, this song gained a new lease of life when it was featured on the soundtrack of Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.
Our version was created in November/December 2011 in the KL Studio, with contributions from Rip Roren (vocals) and Ed McG (sax) from their own studios in America. The mix was finally polished and mastered in our KL facility. Enjoy!
Sometimes, just to spin your wheels, it's fun to take someone else's track and see what you can do with it. I always liked this bit of intensity from the seventies, Faith Healer, originally done by the Sensational Alex Harvey Band.
Our guitar collection expanded recently when we finally collected from Singapore a brand new, hand made Sadowsky Metro 5 string bass, #M5218. This beautiful instrument is set up so well that every single note on the fretboard is absolutely in tune, which is extremely rare with bass guitars. Expect to hear it soon as it becomes one of the central instruments in the follow up to Monjour.
Now that the studio is built and we've got lots of toys to play with, it's time to get productive. Last post I was writing the theme song for a new video idea that I'll putting together shortly - no not the promo video, something else - but over the last couple of weeks I've been putting together the basic building blocks for the 2nd Anawaty Russell album.
As you'll recall, the last one was called Monjour and it had some success, got lots of airplay on the smooth jazz and ambient podcasts, as well as a lot of night time radio in the USA. Now we have enough material to start producing the follow-up. This time we're concentrating on making it more accessible, but that doesn't mean that it will be pop fizzy. The world music influences will come across stronger, and I think that this time it will be more varied.
It's great to be producing again. Building the studio was fun, but building the new sounds is even more rewarding. I hope you're going to like what you hear.
Stuart Smith Has a New Home
It's good to see that my friend Stuart in Melbourne has taken some time out from his newly wed status to set up a very nice blogspot page where you can listen to some really cool material that he's put out over the years.
It's no secret that I've been a big fan of Stu's songwriting ability and a couple of years ago we worked together on a nice 6 track EP which you can download for free right below. Even though they were done in the old studio I think the mixes on these tracks still stand up - and the songs are great. One day someone will pick up one of Stu's tracks and have a massive hit with it. You can say you were there first. Go on, treat yourself.
I think my favourite is Dream Classic Alternative, but I also really like Better Off in Front and This Begin too. What's yours?
Now that the studio is done, the trips and the photo editing are done, the admin is done, the household refurbs are nearly done, and whatever else needs to be done somehow feels less urgent, I've allocated some time for creative endeavours.
Last week I wrote a tune for the Aussie Road Trip video, which I'll be editing next week. And this week I set myself the challenge of writing a sub-60 second piece for a promo video that will be used to promote this site. Rather than shout loud with an uptempo piece I wanted to give myself a nice editing pace so that the camerawork can be tasty. I'll be doing the principal photography over the next couple of days, but in the meantime, here's a preview of the music.