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Listening to music differently

I just thought I’d share with you a little insight into how music is for me these days. Switch off now if you think this might send you to sleep or keep reading if your an insomniac…

Since I started creating my own music, I now listen to music completely differently and constantly find myself analysing other people’s tracks with an almost obsession like persistence. Whether its thinking about how an artist got a particular kick drum to sound like that or working out how the strings are arranged, I just can’t help it…..I think this thirst for musical knowledge has taken over my life!

As I’m not a ‘proper’ musician (although I’m learning more every day), the most difficult part to write and to lay down properly for me is the bassline. I might write a track (without a bassline) and then start to hum a workable bass riff in with it, but when you try and play that into the track – it somehow is very difficult to get across the energy or feel that you want. For this side of things I can see myself having to collaborate to get the feel that I want. And the thing is, the bass is so key to all the music that I want to create. Without a nice bassline to underpin it all, its easy for a track to not hit the heights it could do…which is why I really listen to other people’s basslines, to see what they did and how they did it….I urge you to try it yourself, as the bassline is an essential part of any modern soul track. Trust me…

My fave part of the listening and creative process is the keys and the percussion, which give me hours of fun and creativity. That feeling when a chord progression or a lead synth line hits the spot is amazing. Soulful house tracks in particular focus on this aspect and when they get it right, its amazing – think ‘Superman’ by Black Coffee – just listen to the keys – they’re amazing.

When I’m working on my own stuff, the rest of the track is shaped around those two components….be it a string harmony or a nice warm pad unpinning the verses – for me, it all needs to stem from the chords/keys and the percussion.

So, what I’m trying to say is, go out there and really listen to a track. Put your headphones on to get the full effect and hear how the producer has separated the hi-hats from the shakers or how the strings have a nice panning effect on them….honestly, you’ll appreciate the music that little bit more…

OK, is everyone fast asleep now? haha! Good night, God bless…

 
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Posted by on June 29, 2011 in News

 

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Original tracks….progress update

Well it’s been a while since my last post and you might have noticed that I’ve not been posting as many new and old mixes up lately. Its for two reasons really – firstly I’ve been so busy with my day job – at the last count, since the end of April I’ve managed 10 separate events, visited 6 different countries and been an usher at a wedding!

The second and probably more concious reason is because of my step towards creating my own material, which as I’m sure you can probably understand is quite demanding and requires a lot of focus.

As way of an update, I’m currently waiting for a couple of fantastic singer / songrwriters to write and record vocals to two of the tracks I’ve created – so that is very exciting. I’m sure once I’ve got their input, the tracks may take a slightly different route to their current state, but they will be developed to totally fit the vocals that they lay down for me…..I’m hoping to be able to bring you more news on this in a couple of weeks.

At my last count I think I’ve got 5 other decent grooves going on just waiting to be developed by vocalists but I’m waiting on these first two and then I will take those others to the next stage.

Also, whilst all this is going on, I’ve got to do some boring stuff like register for PRS and MCPS so that I can get paid properly if my stuff ever gets out there and is bought on iTunes, played on radio, etc. Believe me, its a complicated business!!! Luckily, I’ve got some fantastic people around me – thanks Jim Jackson, Shaun Gallagher, Jamie Taylor, Geoff Allman, Mark Goddard, Colin Curtis, Terl Bryant & Dee Majek (and anyone I’ve forgotten to mention) – to give me some great advice not only on the tracks I’m developing but also on the business side too…

Couldn’t do it without you guys 🙂

Neil T

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2011 in News, Uncategorized

 

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Finally, I’ve started writing my own material…..(gulp)

People have been saying it to me for a few years that I should start writing my own material – well, a month or so ago I started having a go and surprisingly to me, I’ve really enjoyed the process and it seems to be all I want to do at the moment. Hence the radio silence on here for a bit…

To date, I’ve got 7 or 8 tracks on the go – some much better than others and although I think a couple of them are really strong now, I’ve no doubt they will evolve as the vocals come in…

Speaking of which, I’ve got a couple of fantastic singer / songwriters that I’m working with to provide the vocals – I’m really excited and want to tell you all about them but I’ve just got to keep a lid on it for a bit longer.

Anyway, the proof will be in the pudding (as they say) so I don’t want to talk about it too much in case they don’t quite hit the spot….but feedback that I’ve had so far has been very positive so I’ll keep my head down and keep working hard at them.

Watch this space…or shouldn’t that be ‘Listen’ to this space????

 
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Posted by on June 3, 2011 in News

 

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Another Star (Regrooved Mix) – Stevie Wonder

To celebrate the great man’s birthday today, I thought I post up this regroove that I did for Caister in Autumn 2010. This one was a real labour of love as all the percussion was all over the place ranging between 118 and 124 bpm believe it or not!! I had to slice and place every single kick, snare and hi-hat that I added…it was well over 1000 of them!!!!!

 
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Posted by on May 13, 2011 in Full track

 

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MWorld feat. Chanel – One More Drink (Neil Thompson Regrooved Mix) – available soon…

Here’s the first of my official remixes for the MWorld team – Provisional release date: June 6th, 2011

Post a comment of the SoundCloud if you like it please…

 
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Posted by on May 8, 2011 in Full track, News

 

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A couple of Regrooves for Caister

Here’s a couple of sneak previews of tracks that may get a few spins at the upcoming spring Caister….

Here We Go Again (Neil Thompson ReGroove) – Aretha Franklin

How Long (Neil Thompson Regrooved Mix) – Thelma Jones

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2011 in Sample

 

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All Of That (Neil Thompson Regrooved Mix) – Thelma Houston

Well, I’m all back from my holidays in sunny Lanzarote, all refreshed and raring to go. Here’s a mix that I found deep in my ipod and had forgotten about it!!

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2011 in Full track

 

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