Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Reanimator - Music to Slit Wrists By

"Everything You Know Is Wrong" from Music to Slit Wrists By (2005, Litterthugz Entertainment/GrandGood)
"I Feel Good Today" from Music to Slit Wrists By (2005, Litterthugz Entertainment/GrandGood)

Reanimator's "Music to Slit Wrists By" is one of my favorite instrumental albums of the year (although it happens to be a rerelease of a limited 2003 effort). The album is a sombrous eighty minute experience, spanning twenty-seven tracks. I had a hard time picking out a pair of tracks for y'all to check out, selecting only two of them doesn't do the album justice in my opinion. "Music to Slit Wrists By" is really something to hear from beginning to end to appreciate fully. Each track seems meticulously created to compliment the next for a flowing, full album listen. Anyway, I won't go on with too many of my own thoughts. Here's some insight on the album from Reanimator himself:

"Hopefully, not too many of the samples are easily recognizable. I didn't necessarily intend to try to use rare samples by any means, nor do I spend alot of money on rare records, I mainly tried to use records that typically weren't sampled much, except for the breaks.

Anyway, the album is primarily all samples from records and old tapes of things I've recorded over time. In addition, the instruments/equipment I used were...

Fender Rhodes Suitcase Model Electric Piano
Wurlitzer EP-200A Electric Piano
Korg MS-10 Synthesizer
Ensoniq ASR-10 Sampler
Sonic Foundry Acid
Sonic Foundry Sound Forge
Technics SL-1200 Turntable

The album was sequenced mostly in Acid, not really for it's looping functionality, but more so because PCs have so much RAM, that it made it easier to hold large sections of audio at a time. Also, the timeline interface made it much easier to see larger parts as a whole rather than trying to sequence on a hardware piece, like an ASR or MPC, whose functionality is usually based on stringing together smaller events. Also, with Acid, it made it much easier to zoom in real close to make sure all drum hits in a break were falling precisely with the hits of the other samples since there are a lot of layers going on at times and I didn't necessarily want to quantize to any standard meter. Instead, I moved events to hit with whatever sample had the groove I wanted to match, which is tough to do on hardware samplers.

It took probably 3 years to make. I had put together most of the basic songs in about 2 years and then the last year was spent merging songs and interludes to make it flow mostly in a continuous manner for 80 minutes, and mixing everything down and mastering it. No real funny stories about it except that I had to do tons of little trimming here and there to get it to 80 minutes and still have the elements I wanted to be on there. It started out originally at about 120 minutes and then I removed and merged a bunch of songs to get it to about 85. Then, I just kept trimming little pieces to get it to 80. I kind of wanted it to flow like a mixtape. If I do another album, I would probably keep it in a more proper song format because sometimes the songs on Music to Slit Wrists By seem a little short if you consider them individual songs.

There are a few elements here and there that re-appear on Sage's Healthy Distrust. Sage heard some early versions of the album if I recall. One of the earlier versions had a stripped down version of what ended up being "Strange Famous Mullet Remover".

There are no plans for a vinyl release of the full album. I have toyed with a possible 45, but am leaning towards putting new songs out on a 45 instead."

"Music to Slit Wrists By" is available from a number of online retailers, but I would suggest purchasing it from our friends at GrandGood directly. It's only $13.50 out the door, who can complain? Until next time, peace.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Supastition - Chain Letters

"Chain Letters Sampler (Mixed by DJ Statik)" from Soulspazm.com (2005, Soulspazm Records)
"Nickeled Needles" from Chain Letters (2005, Soulspazm Records)

To quote the man on his own album intro, North Carolina native Supastition has "made it through the stormy weather". From being a victim of shady business practice at Freshchest Records, to having unfruitful stints on both Grit Records and Pockets Linted Entertainment, he's had more than his share of struggles. But now, after having his track "The Williams" selected as the winner of Okayplayer's "True Notes Vol. 1" contest (out of five thousand plus entries, no less) and successfully building hype with his "Deadline EP" at his new label home Soulspazm Records, things are looking up for this MC.

Supastition's latest Soulspazm effort "Chain Letters" is the result of his industry hardships, and in my opinion his most consistant release to date. The album is accompanied with a real sense of achievement, a "finally making it" attitude. You could call it borderline cockiness, but with all he's gone through in the last few years, can you really blame him? As he says on the track "100%", "I just write what I feel and speak from experience". Let me tell you, the things he's experienced make for one hell of an album. On top of Supastition's stellar, assertive rhymes "Chain Letters" possesses solid production from the likes of budding super producer Jake One, Nicolay of The Justus League, Madwreck, and one time Wax Reform crewmates Illmind and M-Phazes. The combination of Supa's newly found swagger and a consistant production lineup makes "Chain Letters" worth every cent. Go out and support, "Chain Letters" is in stores now...

To learn more about Supastition, visit his recently relaunched website Supastition.com.