Thursday, August 04, 2005

Funky D and His Fabulous Cassette Archive

d drums
Originally uploaded by chrisbreitenbach.
When Dennis turned 34 he decided what he really wanted was a set of drums. That we were all so lucky to know our birthday needs so well. I’ve become dangerously lame when it comes to my own birthday fortunes, forfeiting anything more adventurous then indulging my appetite for ever more books and music. Note to self: One of these days you should ask for an omnichord.

I spent some time with Dennis and his drums this past Monday. Neither one of us is anywhere within walking distance of the ambidextrous effortlessness necessary to really swing, but we both managed to hold down some meek but manageable grooves on the new set while the other added various percussive elements and barnyard hoots. Dennis recorded a lot of it on the trusty 880.

As Dennis begins to get a feel for the skins, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he’ll be inspired to put together an album of his recordings. He has one of the most impressive cassette libraries of personal recordings, dating back to the early 90’s, of anyone I know. In fact, one of my musical obsessions over the last few years has been to work with these tapes (which include a number of improvisations Dennis and I committed, for better or worse, worse probably, to 4-track back over the years), feeding interesting passages, riffs and percussion culled from this sonic molasses to my sampler and rebuilding the tracks from the inside out. The appeal, I think, comes from thinking of this 4-track tape collection as though it were some exotic cachet of sonic curiosities, a hodgepodge archive of musical meanderings waiting to be composted with the help of my sampler, ample sound processing and some Pro Tools editing.

Please, give the drummer some.

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