photo manipulation by nacrowe
when i discovered the band FAILURE in the 2000s when i was in college, years after their demise, i could not believe that i completely missed out on such a great band during their heyday. it made me reconsider my MOUNT RUSHMORE of great bands from that ALTERNATIVE ROCK era (JANE'S ADDICTION, FAITH NO MORE, TOOL, ALICE IN CHAINS, NIRVANA, SOUNDGARDEN, etc) to include one more. specifically the sounds found on their respective second and third releases, MAGNIFIED (SLASH, 1994) and FANTASTIC PLANET (SLASH, 1996) are HUUUUUUGGGGEEE.
almost PINK FLOYD-ish without the literary pretensions. just huge rock riffs with lots of space. in fact whenever i listen to their records now, even the releases post-reunion, i just feel like i am experiencing a defined space with lots of DEPTH and WEIGHT. its amazing that FAILURE mastermind KEN ANDREWS produced and mixed those records back in the 1990s. since their demise he has been an in-demand mixer that has worked with NINE INCH NAILS, PARAMORE, A DAY TO REMEMBER, TENACIOUS D, THE ICARUS LINE, JIMMY EAT WORLD, and M83 among others.
started before the quarantine, he created a YOUTUBE channel where he goes over his mixing techniques and utilizes the FAILURE back catalogue as examples. even if you are not a musician or studio rat, just a fan of his band then this is a real treat. its next level that a dude that went the DIY route (even with regard to their stylized, futuristic music videos) was able to track and mix content that held up to professional standards of the time. its also cool to get a sense of his writing process, which is layered and methodical.
if you haven't heard MAGNIFIED or FANTASTIC PLANET, please stop reading this and just go find a comfortable place and zone out on SPOTIFY for the next two hours. you can thank me later.
thank you to FAILURE for retweeting out posting! so cool.
photo manipulation by nacrowe
for me one of the great aspects of HIP HOP PRODUCTION is the cutup tecnhique whereby a song is made of an assemblage of parts derived from one's vinyl collection. the more eclectic arguably the bette. in my mind it gets into concepts of postmodernism and poststructuralism, which is why i've used songs like "BEWARE" by PANJABI MC feat. JAY-Z when explaining such ideas to high school students. that song incorporates a traditional BHANGRA drumming pattern, JAY-Z and the NIGHT RIDER THEME SONG. shouldn't work well but it does.
anyway, the discontinued YOUTUBE series RYTHM ROULETTE produced by MASS APPEAL featured numerous top-flight HIP HOP producers walking into a local record store to buy three records while blind-folded. they then went to their respective studio setups and went about creating a beat based solely on those records. what i love is the randomness and chaos of it and the fact that when it works, it really works as some of these concoctions are downright seriously slammin'. you really get the sense that music hast the capacity to transcend all and seemingly disparate musical styles really do have the potential to speak on the same level.
if you have any inclination to appreciate HIP HOP production, or perhaps even appreciate writers like WILLIAM S. BURROUGHS and his cut-up technique, this series is definitely for you. entertaining as all hell.
SPECIAL THANKS TO 9TH WONDER FOR RESHARING OUR IG STORY!