It’s been a while since I posted a blog entry, tending to use Facebook for updates so make sure you follow the page for the latest news.
In studio news the Yamaha SY77 has gone and been replaced by a Korg DSS-1 sampler, old school, 12 bit and analog filters. In the quest to keep things minimal in the studio I’m hoping to chuck loads of stuff through this to give the sounds plenty of analog grit and fatness. It’s fairly sick at the moment but I’ve begun investigating the fault(s). Fingers crossed I can sort it out as it sounds like an amazing piece of kit. Also enjoying creating some fantastic dubby echo fx using Fabfilter Timeless 2, stunning piece of software!. Continuing to learn Absynth and build insane machines in KarmaFX modular and talking of insane machines I just picked up a copy of Native Instruments Reaktor 5 in their June sale, can’t wait to dive into it.
I’m working on some tunes and slowly beavering away getting stuff ready for the EP, moving in a fairly bass-heavy trip-step/chillstep direction more like Phaeleh, Kryptic Minds and Clubroot and liking how the stuff is sounding. Will try and get some previews up soon.
Finally the single ‘Girl’ released under my Sleepwalker alias has been treated to an instrumental edit and featured in a documentary on the upcoming rock-climbing film Change about the incredible Czech climber Adam Ondra. As a keen climber myself and a big fan of Adam and the work of Petr Pavlicek who made the film I’m very proud to have provided some music as a backdrop to Adam’s climbing. Here’s the documentary:
Some nice news this morning, the Sleepwalker single “Girl” has been featured on a new liquid drum & bass mix from IdealNoise.
Their compilation Liquid Motions 4 features tracks with “More soulful vibes and less bang this time. Includes tracks by staples of Liquid DnB genre as well as some up and coming ones. Old and new mixed into a delicious 60 minute mix”. The mix is free to download and there are some really great tracks in there, click on the picture to go to the Soundcloud page for the download and if you like it give a shout to IdealNoise on their Facebook page and tell them Sleepwalker sent you.
My latest single, recorded under the Sleepwalker alias which I use to record Drum & Bass tunes has met with some very positive press and received a fair amount of publicity through Youtube channels and music blogs aimed at fans of bass music. It’s also currently sitting at No. 26 in theaudience.co.nz New Zealand music charts and number 5 in the drumnbass.net chart for December!
If you haven’t heard it already, here’s the track, if you like it grab the free download.
Here are a couple of excerpts from the reviews:
“I don’t often come across tunes that I can relate to in such a strong sense with my own personal life, but this would be the exception. Sleepwalker NZs magical drum & bass mixed with the vocals to Antiqcools‘ “Girl in a Room” is such a brilliant pairing. Coming from opposite ends of the genre spectrum, they fit so well together that it leaves me breathless. Be sure to grab your copy from Sleepwalkers SC for free and say thank you”
“‘Girl’ is a prime example of the production level to be expected from this guy. Expect incredibly clean mixes and exemplary compositional development within each piece. The journey that is ‘Girl’ is certainly worthy of a full listen.”
“Sometime you come across a song that mirrors your personal life and touches your soul. SleepwalkerNZ – Liquid DnB - Liquid DnB magical drum & bass mixed with the vocals to Antiqcool‘s “Girl in a Room” is just the tune!”
I’m working hard in the studio on some Octopus Empire tracks and also some more D&B for Sleepwalker so expect EP releases in the first quarter of 2013.
All the best to all fans of Octopus Empire and Sleepwalker, have a great christmas and New Year and thanks for the support in 2012. Stay safe, enjoy the mince pies and listen to plenty of good music!
I’ve collected my favourite of my dark, dusty, glitchy, analog-synth filled remixes together into an album in order to facilitate convenient insertion into your ears.
FREE DOWNLOAD so feel free to share with your friends, enemies, colleagues, masseuse and people you meet in the street.
Includes the Octopus Empire versions of Running up that hill by Placebo, Sooner or later & Broken by Trifonic, Butterfly Effect by Lamb, Steepless by Portico Quartet and Eye wide open by Dynasty Electric.
The original free TAL chorus was a great effect (as are all of the TAL freebies) and very close to the sound of the chorus on the Roland Juno 60 (I have a Juno 60 to compare and they are very very similar even down to the noise).
TAL have updated the free chorus using the code from their first non-free (but very cheap) synth the U-NO LX.
I’ve grabbed a copy, you can also do so here. I’ve yet to play with it extensively but I tried running the Juno dry through it and switching between the software version and the chorus on the Juno and the similarities certainly are striking. I suspect if you didn’t have the hardware to compare you’d assume it was a Juno.
The only more obvious difference I could spot was the behaviour when both switches are pressed, on the software the effect is quite pleasing whereas on my hardware Juno the sound is confused and not very nice, perhaps that’s just my unit though. One nice point was running the Juno through it and turning down the dry/wet knob to give less chorus for a more subtle sound that I’d say would find use in more tracks. I often wish I could tone down the chorus on the Juno just a bit, now I can. If you try it out let me know what you think.
I haven’t posted here for a while as the Octopus Empire facebook page was serving as a good place for easy, frequent updates on what I’m up to and what music I’m listening to. However recent changes to the way Facebook is controlling visibility of page updates to fans who’ve signed up to get those updates in their newsfeed mean that only 15% can expect to see what I post unless I pay to promote each post. As a result I’ve decided to stop using Facebook for promotion of Octopus Empire and will be posting the content on the blog here and also more bite-size updates on twitter, if you’re also a twitterer find me @octopusempire
I’ve been planning an email newsletter for a while so if you want to receive that just flick me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll add you to the list, updates won’t be too often, I don’t plan to start spamming your mailbox daily. Finally if you really do just want to use Facebook then my personal page is a good place to keep in touch, feel free to send a request to me.
Work is progressing slowly on the debut EP – Daydream Nation and I’m still optimistic for a release before Christmas. In the mean time I’ve finished off a remix I’ve had in the pipeline for a while. It’s a remake of the Kate Bush/Placebo classic “Running up that hill” using the Brian Molko vocal, all the vocal treatment, editing and all instrumentation and arrangement are Octopus Empire. I also completed another demo for the French synth company Xils-Lab of their superb new synth Oxium. If you’re into your synths and like them with character I recommend checking it out. Hope you enjoy and I look forward to sharing lots more news and interesting stuff soon.
Sorry for the terrible word-pun, so moving swiftly on…
I’ve formed a page/brand/company…..thing called SYNTHDemo which, as the name would suggest, exists to bring demos of synths to the eager ears of prospective buyers. There are lots of demos on the web, some decent, many not so good. My plan is to make fully-formed, musically enjoyable pieces of electronica which just happen to be constructed using only a single synth. I’m allowing the odd bit of vocal or drum part from elsewhere but that’s it and where the synth permits it the drums/perc will come from it too. Each piece should give you a decent idea of the general sound of the synth and the breadth of timbres it’s capable of.
It’s going to take a while to grow the….thing to a decent size but I’m hoping it’ll end up being a useful resource for buyers and ultimately a marketing tool for manufacturers.
And to the subject of the post: Xils Lab’s new VA – Oxium. You can check the SYNTHDemo Facebook page for my impressions of the synth but here is the demo. All parts except drums and vocal are from Oxium. I highly recommend it and if you’re quick you can still score it for 69 Euro.