Tuesday, March 30, 2010

"Pop" Samples

A few months ago I played a bunch of the songs I've created while my pal Duke Lee was visiting. He is a friend who has been making sample based noise music for a long time and we've collaborated several times in the past. He knows me and what I do very well by this point. When we were listening to the songs I remember in particular his reaction to "Spock Sox". He mentioned that this song really showed how he and I treat samples and noise very differently. In that his stuff is more abstract and pure noise. I, on the other hand, tend to do things that have voices in them, things that you can recognize. I make "Pop" noise.

I was thinking about this in anticipation of releasing "Spock Sox" to the world on April 1st. To me, and people like Duke Lee who are used to this sort of stuff, my stuff is "Pop" noise. But what will the other 99% of the world think?! I'm imagining that a lot of people will hear the new song and just hear noise. Or different things that "don't go together".

I spent a big chunk of the day today getting ready for the 1st. I updated all the web pages but haven't uploaded them to the server. I'll do that at midnight on the 31st or something like that. I also spent almost all afternoon mixing the song. It always takes me a long time to get that done. I'm planning on listening to the mix a bunch this afternoon in different places to make sure I like it. I usually check it out on the home stereo and then on a boom box and also in the car. It's gotta sound good in all three places.

While I was listening to the song something struck me. I don't actually play any "real" instruments on this one. Spoon does some fantastic drums and percussion but I never recorded a bass or guitar or keyboard part. It didn't seem necessary. The samples that I put together sounded good enough to me. So in some ways this puts "Spock Sox" on the fringes of music. What is this thing? Is it a song? What genre is it? What do I "play" in this song? Does creating, using, and modifying samples count as creating music?

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