Koyaanisqatsi (Final Major)

A few weeks ago Mark suggested that I put one of my tracks over some existing footage. Prior to this Phil had played one of my older tracks ‘Dune’ alongside the film ‘Koyannisqatsi’ and had shown me the result. It worked really well and so today I decided to edit some of the film’s footage to my track. I was sifting through over an hour of clips and found some that I really liked so I cut them and muted the original soundtrack. Then I imported ‘Dune’ and did a more precise cut so that the shots would change as the music developed.

When the percussion in Dune kicked in I place footage from the film that was shot at night and i think this gives the visuals an almost menacing undertone.

Below is the video.

I think that this is a good representation of how my music could be used in a professional environment. I know I can cater to different briefs and contexts so hopefully this will show people I can make effective music. I’ve already got some cool feedback after making the video public.

Jonti says:

Think you’ve done a really good job here,
You’ve captured the actual feel and context of the video very well, your music emphasizes the Japanese (I believe its Japanese) instruments and atmosphere, But mixing that up with a very relaxed tune, which contrasts with the footage, showing fast, urban life.
It comes across like meditation music and the sort of themes and sounds you would hear in the more rural parts of Japan.

Promo Promo Promo (Final Major)

Today I’m really gonna push the promotional side of my release as much as I can by getting people to follow my SoundCloud, which should hopefully then direct people to my Bandcamp page.

As I know that I’ve got some awesome followers of this blog I’ll also use this as an opportunity to promote my free music.

Below is an embedded clip of the title track. I’ve posted this on Twitter and asked people to follow or share it if they like it.

I’ve also added the track to various groups on Soundcloud.

I've added other tracks to Groups before.

I’ve added other tracks to Groups before.

I’ve found that on some of my tracks this has been a really effective way to get feedback, shares and followers. It’s good because you can specifically target a group of people who all share a similar interst in music.

In the description of the track I’ve added a link to my Bandcamp profile and a little bit of information about the EP. I’ve also advertised that it is a free release as at this stage of my production career I feel its of great importance to build a following.

I’ve also just been hitting up Twitter. A form of social media that I’m not so great with. However from hash tagging I’ve gained 4 followers in the last 15 minuites. It’s a bit annoying that they havn’t followed the Soundcloud, but 4 new followers on twitter is potentially 4 more people to hear my work.

My main hope is that once the cover art is released it persuade people to listen to my tracks. I was thinking about this yesterday and realised just how effective it could be.

For example I was searching for record labels that I’m interested in on Bandcamp and found the page for Terrorythm Records.

got a few Terrorythm releases myself but saw some of their recent album artwork and realised that I was listening to the tracks that had artwork I really liked to accompany them.

I found that these 4 covers were particularly appealing.

I found that these 4 covers were particularly appealing.

I even ended up downloading one of the releases.

My EP cover isn’t as vibrant as these releases as it would not suit the vibe I’m trying to put across however I think that It’s a great photo which represents me and my music on the release.

Wordpress Followers get Rare acess to the cover art.

WordPress Followers get Rare acess to the cover art.

Hopefully people will see the cover and want to listen to the tracks.

Loose Ends (Final Major)

Today, apart from listening through to the same 4 tracks around 100 times each. I’ve been making last minuite changes to them and preparing them for the bandcamp platform. One of the steps I had to do was add Metadata to the tracks. Metadata is the information that is saved in the file data. This can include the artist, album, year ect.

Here is the Metadata for the title track 'Aviation'

Here is the Metadata for the title track ‘Aviation’

As well as this I’ve uploaded the EP to my Bandcamp profile. It is currently available for private viewing only as I’m planning to release it to the public on the 18th (The day of the crits).

Here is what it looks like at the moment.

Official artwork, to rare to show before release.

Official artwork, to rare to show before release.

I really like the way it looks. I think the colour of the text suits the cover art. The text used to be lime green but it just looked wierd.

I also decided on how much the EP will cost to download… It’s absolutely free. My tactic at this moment in my journey as a producer is to establish my self as an artist. My main goal is to develop a fan base through downloads and shares. That will hopefully lead to future sales. I have however enabled the option to donate money to me if people download the EP.

Last week Mark also reccomended that I connect my social media accounts to my Bandcamp and try to all give them a similar theme or brand.

As you can see I've tried to keep the same theme consistant on my Twitter page.

As you can see I’ve tried to keep the same theme consistant on my Twitter page.

As well as Twitter, I updated the look of my Soundcloud.

The options to customize the design of your profile are much more limited on soundcloud.  I links that lead to all my relevant sites on the left.

The options to customize the design of your profile are much more limited on soundcloud.
I links that lead to all my relevant sites on the left.

When uploading to Soundcloud, I will upload the EP as a Playlist of tracks. I will make download links available but these will re-direct people to my Bandcamp.

Branding the Release (Final Major)

A few weeks ago my mate George took some photos for my release. The whole release is influenced by purple, bars, and cocktails and I wanted the cover to reflect this. I talked to George about the shoot and I already had a location that I wanted the shoot to take place in. It’s in the bar that we both work in. I chose this for two reasons, firstly the colour scheme and interior design is the perfect blend of taccy looking artwork and purple decor. It’s also a place I spend a lot of time in (working not drinking) and some weeks I spend more time at work than I do at home (excluding sleep).

Below are some photos of the location.

Classy Ting

Classy Ting

It's reem

It’s reem

So I had this location sorted after clearing it with my boss. Then I started to think about how an album cover can sell a record.

I looked into some album covers that I really like for some inspiration.

Dizzee Rascal – Boy In Da Corner

Essential Grime

Essential Grime

What draws me to this album cover is the colour scheme initally and the presence that Dizzee has on it. The album itself is cold and raw sounding and I feel that this is mirrored by the positioning and pose of the artist.

El-B – The Roots of El-B

2 step vibes.

2 step vibes.

Again the way the artist is hunched over reflects the cold nature of this release’s sound.

Yung Lean – Unknown Memory

:(

😦

What draws me to this cover is the text. I love the font that has been chosen. Seeing this made me think about how the text should look on my cover. I’ve asked Shoma to design a “swag font”.

So with these influences in my mind I felt said a bit about me. One of these was my Maschine hardware. The other is a bottle of Kwai Feh, a lychee liquere that I’ve developed a lot of affection for.

Feeling like emporer Ming

Feeling like emporer Ming

Then I started thinking about my outfit. I made my mind up almost instantly that I wanted to be wearing my full black tracksuit. This is the type of clothes I wear all the time, so it’s a good representation of me. Then I remembered seeing a picture of me wearing some funny shades that make me look a bit like an alien. I chose to wear these in the shoot as I feel that they give me an almost awkward/detached look which I like.

Below is the final image that George Drake shot and edited.

Minus the font.

Minus the font.

Im planning to have the text in the top right hand corner. As well as representing various aspects of my lifestyle I wanted the cover to have an element of humour to it. I showed it to Maceo and he looked at it and said “that pose… just screams I don’t give a fuck” Which is the vibe I want to give.

So Many Drafts (Final Major)

Drafty.

Drafty.

Above is the current ammount of saved projects (mostly drafts) that I’ve worked on in the last couple of months. As you can see many of the files have multiple versions. These versions are usually adjustments in the mixdowns of the track. I estimate that as well as these drafts there would be around 100 projects that I didn’t like enough to save.

This is the current project file for The Aviation E.P.

This is the current project file for The Aviation E.P.

I’ve already decided that two of these tracks, ‘Get over It’ and ‘3000’ will not make the cut into the final release. I feel they sound a little out of place or the quality of the productions are not up too scratch. ‘Purple Day’ is the original project name for the title track ‘Aviation’. which as you can see has multiple exports with differences in EQ and compression.

I’ve learnt that being critical is key. I want everything to sound as polished as It can be with the time and resources that I have. This is part of the reason why I have so many drafts that I will probably never upload publicly. It’s frustrating in some ways as some of these tracks have certain elements that I really like and nobody will get to hear them. However, I feel like it’s really important to know when not to upload things and to pace yourself with how many tracks you put out publicly. I don’t want to be that guy who feels like he has to upload a new track each week and then have to cut corners during production to achieve this.

Brand & Identity (Final Major)

Today I had a tutorial with Mark and he asked me about how people can listen to my music. I told him about my SoundCloud, my BandCamp and my new WordPress site. He thought that these were good platforms to be using told me that there was room for improvement. For example connecting all these accounts to each other so that it’s easy for people to jump from my SoundCloud to my BandCamp and so on. He also told me that I need to loose the student vibe on my music blog and writing in a more confident, professional manner. Part of this push for professionalism includes purchasing a domain name for my music blog. Mark also suggested that I create a linked in page to start networking with people in the creative industry.

As well as this I’ve started to plug my release online.

So I havnt given the artwork away and tried to make it as much of a teaser as possible.

So I havnt given the artwork away and tried to make it as much of a teaser as possible.

I talked to Mark and we both decided that It would be a good idea to start promoting my work before the release. At first I wanted to keep it hush right up until I released it, but I’ve decided to plug it a bit and let people know there’s something to expect from me and that it’ll be free. I’m really excited to release it and hope that I get some constructive feedback from people and most importantly that people enjoy it.

I named it ‘The Aviation E.P.’, ‘Aviation’ is also the name of the first track. It’s named after my favourite cocktail. This is what this release is all about, it’s my interpretation of bars, cocktails and purple.

Aviation

Aviation

I think the tracks I’m putting in the release all have a similar theme running through them. They are all mellow pieces that I feel would work well in a bar environment. The final track which is a small outro to the E.P. is a little different. It’s an ambient piece that has a much darker tone. I wanted to incorporate some of my ambient work in this release and thought that these style of tracks would be suited to an outro.

The outro, currently named ‘Sin’ was my way of showing my versatility in production styles. I also wanted to make a track with a more melody driven core to it than the other pieces that feature. It’s the shortest track on the release but also I feel the most expressive. I think that people who know the music I usually produce will like this track the most as it has something dark and edgy about it.

Reasoning

The main reason I’ve been working on this release is to show people that I’m not just a grime guy or an ambient producer. I also wanted to challenge myself, take my productions out of my comfort zone and to experiment with different tempos and genres.