This is a cover of Alan Parsons Project‘s ‘I Robot’. I always loved the original – it really is a belter. I’m always a really big fan of arpeggios, in case you hadn’t guessed, and I thought it’d be pretty cool if I dug up a weird version like this of ‘I Robot’ in a dusty old record shop, so that’s what I set out to make. So I managed to get hold of the sheet music for this one and figured out the chords. I just wanted to make a deeper, more ambient version that I felt would fit in well in the album. I added the drums at the end from the Simpler in Ableton – they sound kind of psychedelic rock-style, or something that fits in well with the ethos of Alan Parsons. I added some weird flange and some fluctuating compression to them to make them more interesting. I also recorded the finished version hot through tape to get the added authentic cosmic vibe.
I was working on a track arrangement in Ableton on my laptop, then the computer crashed. A weird crash. It didn’t turn off, but the track was corrupt or something, and it played the original track stuck in the loop I had been working on, but perhaps like 50 times slower than it should have been – massively time-stretched, if you will. It sounded amazing through my speakers. I was starting to panic, though, as I wondered how long it would last before it turned off. I also didn’t have an obvious way to capture this sound instantly, apart from my iPhone. I remembered thinking before, The microphone isn’t that bad in there, so I recorded the sounds through the iPhone – I think you can hear my voice mumbling a bit in the recording. Then I bounced the memo recording to Ableton, EQd it a little, maybe tried to fatten it up a little, and that was it.
Friday Analogue Jam
It does exactly what it says on the tin! Apologies for an unimaginitive song title – this one slipped through the net – I should have renamed it ‘FAJ’. Anyway, this is a live jam with the 808, SH-101 and Juno-60. This is a common way for me to work: just play the 808, triggering the two synths and creating arps with the drum pattern triggering the synths. Its an age-old way of working with the 808 and synths, and that’s why I like it: no computers were involved in the making of the basis of this track (not until after, anyway).
Once I had the main idea down and recorded, I bounced it to Ableton, edited the master, then I felt like it needed a little bit more, so I added a lead synth sound from the Korg Mono/Poly plugin and that gives it the more mysterious edge. I added the Waves H-Delay on this sound and automated it. I really love this delay – I use it a lot.
These last two tunes are the oldest on the album – maybe at least seven years old. They were done after the first album on Rekids. This one was a full track initially. The synth sound you hear is a simple Ableton plugin, probably manipulated with the arpeggiator. The rest of the track beats and bassline that were initially in it – I felt were wack – and I really couldn’t seem to nail the right parts for this track – so I kept the synth sound solely as I felt very strongly attached to it! I edited it to a short little skit, and at then end you can hear me do one of my standard tricks – half speed the wave of the sound – always creates a really nice effect.
This is also seven years old. It may be another Italian tribute track – I can’t quite remember my original mindset when making it! There is a lot of reverb in use in this track to give it a certain amount of space in the sounds. You can hear it a lot in the toms.
It’s all samples and a couple of plugin synths. I remember layering up the synths on top of each other for that slightly more euphoric sound. The arpeggiator is brought into heavy use on the bassline around five minutes or so.