tolga fidan – process part 377
When I was first asked to make something for Modyfier, I was told it could be anything – I thought of a track or a mix. I started by scrolling through hundreds of logic files for recordings and bumped into this – not that I had forgotten about it. Rather, it was more like a sketch of a full project – somehow the beginning of an album.
I recorded these 10 demos in 3 or 4 days with almost no sleep – just after I had just moved into my new flat. That was around 3 years ago now. It’s loosely entitled King Jomo. For those who might wonder where that silly name came from: I was looking out of the window listening to the tracks (I love looking out of the window at people passing by, don’t ask me why) and I saw a kid with ‘king’ written across the backpack. Turning back to the room, I saw my Jomox drum machine. So there you go: King Jomo. My soul shat that one out.
I won’t talk about the tracks one by one (because that would be too long and boring!) but, I will try to analyze aspects of the recording itself. The ideas, the bad edits and the mix down. A lot of people around me mix as they create material. I tend to record in a more barbaric way and then take care of the mix down. I prefer working on textures and quick edits because my attention span is pretty short. If the track is not recorded quickly I might alter it later until it is absolute garbage or rather maybe get bored and let it die somewhere in my external hard drive.
These tracks were recorded and left that way – but at least they were pretty much done – so it’s not like I have loops or anything. If I do release it one day, it will be different than what you can listen to here, but I will have enough to work from. This is why I like to record quickly and leave them to rest for a while.
For this project, the thoughts in my head were filled with all the memories I had left behind from my time in London. I lived there for quite a while and it’s a city that has shaped me musically. All those memories of raves and parties I went to while I was in university. What I’ve made here doesn’t necessarily sound like what was playing back then – I didn’t do a full on drum and bass or a ukg track – rather. It’s inspired by it.
Most of the vocals used I put there as a reminder. I was planning to ask my good friend, Elif Bicer, later on to do them or I thought maybe to leave some of them. I just wanted to have those kind of UK garage-type, ravey vocals. On Untitled 5, you can hear me singing extremely badly. I think of it as a placeholder: I can always re-do it, but it captures a direction, an intent. You can hear stuff that is mixed over or vice versa. It may be hard to listen to, but for me, it doesn’t matter so much – I can already hear how it will/could sound.
The one track I am happy about is Unit 6. I got the bass to sound exactly how I wanted and I think the edit is pretty good the way it is.
As an overall feeling, the tracks are soaked up in reverbs and echoes. From here, I could take them in 2 different directions. I could compress all the drums to death so that it sounds like a pile of rolling mud, make the synths even wilder through echoes, or to make it more dancefloor orientated – tame those extreme spaces to have a more balanced mix. I think the first option would be more suitable for the concept I had in mind when I began, I guess. Obviously, anyone that makes music would know that every single year we progress and learn more stuff and get better at achieving the sounds were looking for. So perhaps, the more these tracks wait, the better my chances of balancing them the way I want.
I find the mix down is pretty easy. I have a certain way of doing it that I am comfortable with. I do hate it, but I take great precautions in doing it myself. For instance, I tend to sub mix my kicks because I like to treat it as any other percussion. Growing up in Turkey, percussions and rhythms were everywhere. I grew up in the middle of it and they didn’t have a kick so the kick isn’t that important. It has no predominant role for me. The texture and sound of the kick definitely does, but the pumping kick doesn’t interest me. If my track is not grooving without it, the track goes to the bin. I like to make bass music, not kick music.
I wanted to show an exercise rather than an accomplished body of work. Still, I quite like them somehow. From the chilled housey vibe of the first track, the obviously AFX inspired Untitled 8 and the massive Untitled 9 (which is really funny), I mean: it can’t get any cheesier but still, I like it. I played it once in my liveset, in London funnily, in this big warehouse. It went pretty well there but I never had the guts to play it again. It’s too much to handle for me compared to what I normally do.
These tracks are in the order I made them. You can see how I started and ended. They might sound scratchy and sometimes the volume goes up and down – that is due to an old, bad quality tape on the reel-to-reel. They have been encoded to 128kbps mp3. I hope you will understand why.