Mixed, Re-Mixed & Mastered
I Ya Toyah
Funeral For Love
funeral for love – single
The Original Song
I Ya Toyah’s Funeral For Love was originally released on Valentine’s Day 2017. I Ya Toyah’s one-woman powerhouse Ania Tarnowska describes Funeral For Love as an anti-Valentine’s Day anthem, “only because love should be everyday and shouldn’t need a reminder.”
You can purchase I Ya Toyah’s entire catalog, including “Funeral For Love” and “Funeral For Love (The Gopal Metro Invasion)” at https://iyatoyah.bandcamp.com/
Funeral For Love
(The Gopal Metro Invasion)
This track was an absolute joy to produce!
Ania and I met on Facebook on January 24th, 2019, when she sent me a friend request. After I accepted, I reached out and offered my services, in case she ever needed a remix, and she thanked me. She was incredibly sweet, but it was one of those quick interactions where you don’t really expect anything to come of it.
On January 31st, she reached out. A band she had lined up for a remix that was due for release on Valentine’s day had to bow out and she was looking for someone who could move quickly.
I sent her some of my work and told her I was in. She sent me the remix pack the same day and I downloaded it at 11:35 on January 31st.
I take my client’s specs seriously and when I reviewed the README file in the pack, it said that the due date was January 31st. As in, the same day.
I was already working on two other records, but I put them on hold (their deadlines were the end of February and in no rush) and immediately started production on “Funeral For Love (The Gopal Metro Invasion)”.
Now, when I do a remix I very rarely listen to the original track before I start. Also, generally speaking, the only element I will use from the remix pack is the vocals. Everything else is produced from the ground up.
With “Funeral For Love”, the music and production just flowed! I delivered the final track at 1:49am on February 3rd. 2 days, 2 hours, and 14 minutes after starting. Ania had plenty of time to schedule and promote the release. I’m proud to have helped make that happen.
It was such a joy working Ania! Her voice is incredible and I really wanted to feature it strongly, so every element of the music is designed to support, accent and feature her vocals.
The composition, mix and mastering turned out beautifully, and “Funeral For Love (The Gopal Metro Invasion)” is one of my favorite songs I’ve produced to date.
The Original Demo
The Bhakti Boyz have a very good thing going.
If you are not familiar with Kirtan, it is an East Indian “call and response” style of music, where the lead Kirtani chants mantras or prayers, then the audience chants the same mantra back in response. It is considered an ecstatic form of spiritual worship, designed to make you feel good.
There is also a style of chant called a bhajan, another type of East Indian ecstatic folk music, where the Bhajanik chants about uplifting and spiritual subjects.
The Bhakti Boyz borrow from both of these traditions and blend them with folk, electronica, reggae and Caribbean styles.
The Bhakti Boyz are just getting off the ground, but, with this unusual mix of styles, they are already receiving critical acclaim throughout the yoga world.
Mixed and Mastered
Over the past 25 years, I have spent a lot of time in the rock, punk, goth and industrial genres and it is a joy to break out of my traditional studio mold and do something upbeat and on the electro-folk side of things. I’ve done quite a lot of FOH work in the folk, electronica and kirtan/bhajan realms, but not a ton of studio work in these genres.
It is a joy exploring this sound and I really love working with these guys. They are absolutely excellent human beings.
My job, as a mix engineer and producer, is to amplify and polish the artist’s vision; to really work closely with them to make certain that the final song meets and exceeds their expectations.
To that end, I have worked closely with Anthony and Gabe to create release-ready songs that speak not only to the band and their fans, but also to people who are completely unfamiliar with the genre and style.
I believe that we have succeeded.
Damaged If I Don’t; Broken If I Do
damaged if i don’t; broken if i do do – single
Before doing this remix, I didn’t know Thomas Duerig all that well. I am glad that we were able to connect! Not only did this remix happen, but he was also a very moving guest on Metro Pirate Radio.
Damaged If I Don’t; Broken If I Do is a tortured but upbeat post-punk track about distance, attraction, blame and the inevitable emotional wounds that come from desire.
Thomas has quite a vast catalog of music. Definitely check out his other work at thepurgeva.bandcamp.com.
Damaged If I Don’t, Broken If I Do
(The Gopal Metro Invasion)
This was a fun one.
As is my wont, I only listened to Thomas’s vocal track-outs. Immediately I was inspired to make something industrial, clinical and fucking dark.
I started out with a pounding, machine-like beat and let it play for the entire track. I added a semi-random, highly melodic, brightly staccato computer-esque beeping.
The vocals were the masterpiece, though. I tuned them aggressively, slamming every word into computer-perfect pitch. Then, on the end of every word, I enhanced the natural pitch bends, keeping an element of human emotion that is sharply justified against the pitch-perfect precision of the rest of the performance.
Next up, I turned to timing. Again, I slammed the vocals into beat accurate timing, locking them into sync with the pounding drums and pinprick synths. Then I started to really play with the feel of the track, stretching the words into an inhuman slur, or bunching them up into a tight rhythmic rush, syncopating them with the rest of the track. I took the tortured harmonies at the end of the verse and slammed them hard in key and timing, then emphasized the pitch bends again, making them sound even more tortured.
In the pre-chorus, I pulled the vocals way back in the mix and rolled of the high frequencies, creating a feel of the vocalist almost talking to himself.
In the pre-chorus and chorus, I also used a beat slicer on the lead vocals in parallel with the lead track to create even more glitching rhythmic elements.
The chorus also adds a new synth, creating another melodic element, this time a sharp arpeggiated synthetic stab.
Closing in on the end of the track, I added a distorted rhythmic synth, then chopped up and stuttered the vocals even more, re-assembling them to make an even darker message of angst and anger.
Again, if you couldn’t tell, this is another one of my favorites.
Is There Light
Hel feat. Willow Zember
In my personal work, I borrow heavily from fairytales, folklore, mythology, science fiction and fantasy.
Hel stems from the Scandanavian goddess of the same name. She is the ruler of the underworld, also named Hel, though no direct relation to the Judeo-Christian Hell. In one strange conflation of ancient Indian and traditional Scandinavian mythology that came about due to trade in early 1100 AD (that may or may not have real historical basis), Hel’s role evolved from simply being the custodian of the underworld to being a judge of the souls of the dead. In this song, Hel represents a man’s lover who has judged him unworthy and the pain that comes from his unrequited love.
Black Lace (Cyberpunk 2020 Unofficial Soundtrack)
From the time I was a kid, I’ve loved the cyberpunk aesthetic. One of my early cyberpunk influences was the much beloved Cyberpunk 2020. For whatever dystopian reason, the idea of a crime infested future controlled my street gangs, military police and mega corporations seemed freaking cool.
Mere months away from the release of Cyberpunk 2077 I was inspired to revisit that world. This particular song is about an assassin who ODs on Black Lace.
If you don’t know, don’t worry about it.