As a DJ, one question I always get asked it 'whats your favourite track right now?' which is a really hard question to answer because my favourite track changes every 3 and a half minutes - all depends on what genre or indeed what mood I am in. Slipknot aren't a band i'd put in a Trance set but 'Eyeless' has definitely been a favourite track of mine at one time or another when i was feeling particularly miffed.... anyway, I have drawn a tangent.
But then people ask, which of your OWN tracks do you like the most, and i've spent a while thinking about it... and I've narrowed it down to 3. Well, 3 Techno ones... (I'll do my Trance releases another day). So I'll tell you a little about each one, how it came about, some general history which I haven't written anywhere else... somewhat of an exclusive insight!
Acid Warning is the one that set it all off for me. My debut track with Keep On Techno. Constructed and released in July last year, this track was a product of the lockdown. Born out of frustration, I expelled my inner pent up energy into this production. I was using my old iMac and Logic 9, (this track was a lot more sampled based than my future productions on the upgraded logic pro x). I used a type to speech browser, wrote the dialog and played it back trying to find a USA Government emergency broadcast style announcement. The original 'acid' riff is one that I have cut up into different rhythms and patterns to give it some progression, development and to keep it interesting. I also LOVE using the Ultra Dub setting on the Tape Delay plug in... it allows for that wonderful rolling delay in the breakdown before the wall of sound hits you. Its a good production tip to have a millisecond of silence before a big drop and it allowed the speaker to rest at 0db momentarily to full punch. If there is sound already playing through the speaker, the punch will not be as impactful in comparison to a speaker which has no sound running through it. I am sure there are fancy technical terms for this, but its morning as I write this and the caffeine hasn't kicked in yet. I still play it on my livestream and my viewers / regulars love this track. Its still exciting to hear. It is heavily inspired by one of my favourite tracks from back in the day 'dj elite - that fuct camera' - the stuttered acid sound in the drop especially.
Sirens - A track signed and released (by the way, all my Techno is signed and released by Keep On Techno records - I have a production residency). I made it in Novemeber 2020 and was released in March this year. It was the first track I made on my new macbook pro, logic pro x and Spire synth plug in... Its going maaaaaassive Techno stabs, a riff I played in myself and a rather sneaky sample from one of my favourite British Sci Fi comedies. Love playing this track as the breakdown goes into a weird psy-trance triple step sequence which compels oneself to POGO on the spot! THATS IT! WE'RE DEADER THAN TANK TOPS! I dream of hearing the synth stabs echoing down the hall in Printworks, London.. And I have imagined that in the track by giving the synth stabs such generous reverb - so you can imagine hearing this track in a vast cavern of a nightclub.
- Im busy, Soz (remix)
Made in January, released THIS WEEK! Yeah! Hot off the press this one, and its not an original track.. but a remix for a good mate of mine and fellow Keep On Techno brethren, Hels.Yeah (Paul Helyer). When you get tasked to do a remix, the first thing you'll be sent is a 'stem pack', stems are often pieces / samples / midi parts to the original track, and then its your job to rearrange the track in your own fashion / style / wanting. And this one came together really nicely and fairly quickly. I always say that if you spent more than 2 days on a track, then the original emphasis / energy for the tracks initial birth would have gone ( I have watched documents covering the creation of some phenomenally big dance tracks and a bulk of the hard work is done in 2 days), so 2 days seems to be a magic number. Like with any track production, you have to pull at ideas until one takes, I talk about the creation tapestry... where you pull at loose threads / ideas, until one takes / starts unraveling the tapestry.
I had a MIDI track of an acid bassline, but instead of putting it through an 'acid' style synth, I found a bassline patch and put a distorted on it - giving a really roughed up, gnarly, grinding sound. Once again, I found a quirky voice clip for the breakdown whilst the original bassline swirled around, and for the moment / the drop, I did my momentary drop to 0db for full impact damage. Little tips I have learned along the way, which I learned from Devin Townsend, one of my favourite metal / producers of all time. It can be heard during his track 'Hypergeek' - that WALL of sound is something I have been working towards for a while, and its something I want to put in my tracks which will literally slap clubbers in the face with sonic force.
Theres also a 'scratch' style synth, and thats just an acid riff which I have twisted using the Spire Oscillator knobs... and going a bit mad on the modulators. The track just came together really nicely, and even causes moments of anxiety in some of my fellow producers - amazing how much can do that isnt it? Exact physical effects through the medium of sound, I love music. Its the ultimate tool of humanity.
Anyway, just a little look inside my head. Please do check out the tracks and hopefully you enjoy them a little more than people without this exclusive insight will!
All the best!