BlogThe usual and unusual happenings involving me and my musical projects

Primordial (Below Heaven and Earth) Track Deconstruction

neo | Nov, 29 2013 at 2:49 UTC | Track Deconstruction

The third track from Smear Campaign, Primordial, is probably the most complex of the entire album. It's name comes in two parts. First, Primordial came from the film Altered States, which I happened to be watching one day while working on the track. A pretty good film, I must add. The second portion was appended due to the hellish vibe the track ended up with.

The piece started with drums, which run the majority of the track's duration. The drum sounds were taken from an impromptu recording session with Ryan Boland and myself. The drum kit included a floor tom, a large plastic bucket, a cymbal and a snare with a wooden block bouncing around on top of it. I believe at some point I played a mesh trash can with guitar strings, but I don't believe that element exists in the track.

The initial drum line was simply two repetitions of Ryan's entire take, split by only a few seconds. This was trimmed apart some as the busier portion of his take became slightly awkward when slowed down (sounds amazing in real-time, for the record). The majority of the track revolves around about 45 seconds of the stretched take. Within this 45 seconds was a short laugh, which provides the demonic laugh when the drum loop ends in the middle and near the conclusion.

The main ambient portion of this track came from a 35 second Western rock piece I wrote for a contest on MusikPitch. It was obvious I was not going to take the prize with my entry, so I decided the best option was to recycle. This short bit ended up making a fantastic addition in that it brought a very unique vibe into the track. The original instrumentation of acoustic guitar, bass, drums, shakers and whistle turned into a fine blur of desolation.

What makes this track so complex are the shorter bits which are strewn about the entire piece. These bits include screams, distorted synth lines, bass drops, percussive hits and a brief sample from an amateur adult film, just to name a few. All of these clips were taken out of tracks I had previously composed, some dating as far back as 2004. 

Lesson learned here, you really never know when you might need that porn sample you used in a rap track one day 6 years ago.

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