lundi, janvier 22, 2007

Beatport & Gearlust

I had one of those days at work, where you show up and there is a constant stream of things to do. Nothing hurried or panicked; I just found that as soon as I finished one thing, there was something else waiting for me to deal with. So, while the workday itself wasn't stressful, it was definitely busy. Once my shift had ended but before I left my office, there was some unpleasantness with a potential interlocutor (read: consultant, informant, collaborator) over the phone, which kept me in my officer longer than I had wanted. (Details will have to wait, if ever.) The end result was that I got home rather late in the afternoon, with little interest in cooking dinner. I stopped by a traiteur asiatique (Chinese fast-food) and got a bunch of stuff, and off to the boulangerie to get a baguette. The owner (I think he's the owner) had a gift for me, to thank me for the papa a la huancaína that I gave him last week (I always make an extra batch for him when I make it). He gave me one of his galettes des rois, which is essentially a large disk of frangipane (flully marzipan) wrapped in puff pastry and cooked. It's a traditional dessert for January (notably for the Epiphany; "les rois" = "the kings", i.e., three wise men). I ate a reasonably large slice with dinner that night, and then decided to re-gift the rest of it to my friends at the front desk in my building. No way I can have that massive pastry sitting around in my apartment.

So anyway, while I did most of my Beatport-shopping on Sunday afternoon, I spent most of Monday night listening to them and playing with them on Ableton Live.

So let me just take a moment to declare that I love everything coming off the FoundSound record label (which is available on Beatport, natch). They also have a para-label, called unFoundSound (same website, but click on "switch to unFoundSound"), which features free, Creative Commons-licensed tracks and a similarly free bank of field recordings for your own remixing fun. If you want an idea of what I mean when I say "microhouse," and what sort of music I am really interested in right now, you could just listen to the majority of the releases on FoundSound.

One of the Someone Else's (DJ, producer and label-head) tracks on the label's very first release, Marshmelon Sooprise, is still a delightful example of all things clickety-clack (go to the 1/4 mark for full effect). At the same time, though, I'm loving the more recent releases, such as Fusiphorm's "thanx for the add" on the yourspace ep (skip to the 3/4 mark for the best groove), both tracks on Miskate's recent Pharm Whacker ep and everything on Fusiphorm's you am i ep.

After downloading these tracks (legally, from Beatport, you cynics) and playing with them in Live, the evil seed of Gearlust was planted in deep in my heart. Of course, it's not like I haven't coveted nice gear before, but I suddenly found myself rationalizing a big M-Audio FireWire Audio Interface or control surface. Or maybe some really expensive headphones. The problem with this sort of gearlust, of course, is that it's just deferral. You end up writing promissory notes to yourself, saying "once I get that really expensive box of electronics, I'll make amazing stuff," without acknowledging that it will never come true unless you start making stuff now with what you have. So I've committed myself to working as much as I can with a laptop, an iMic, and a pair of in-ear headphones to do what I can until I have the skills to make expensive gear sing. Since I'm guessing that will take a while, I'll just have to wait and practice.

1 commentaire:

Mark a dit…

You really don't want to give in to audio gearlust -- it's one of the worst kinds. (I believe the muso term is "GAS", for Gear Acquisition Syndrome.)

I just got my iMic, and it's a bit noisy, but easy to fix: record some empty sound, then sample it and de-noise the rest of the audio. If only I had the iMic for the job talks... better late than never.