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An amazing few weeks and the curse of the remixer!!

The last few weeks have been a fantastic time for me. As well as finishing a very busy work period, I’ve also been asked to do some remixes for a couple of major artists – which was very exciting and also slightly daunting at first but once I got my teeth into them, the nerves disappeared and I’m enjoying every second. When I think back only three or four years ago, I would have sold my sister (If I had one) to even just get my stuff played out at a gig so to be asked to work on official remixes for well known artists is mind blowing for me. More news soon….

The remixes are going well – I’m really happy with how they are coming along but its so hard to escape from the dreaded remixer’s curse – by that I mean, no matter how well a certain mix is going and I might have laid down some nice keys or a funky bassline but somehow you can’t stop thinking that you could do it better or find a nicer sound to use! I think anyone who’s ever had a go at remixing will understand exactly where I’m coming from. Its truly a nightmare and somewhere along the line I have to have a word with myself and convince myself that what I’ve already done is good….you should hear the neiltomo ‘hidden’ files…there’s probably a gem or two in there somewhere…haha!

Anyway, more news coming soon….thanks for all the support and apologies for the radio silence over the last few weeks.

Cheers, Neil

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Posted by on July 15, 2011 in News

 

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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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