Ok, now it's out of the bag...
As usual (am I boring, predictable?), once a year I invite the listeners to read about the "inside" story of a new album. How I vanish into my reclusive hole and come back with some new, fresh & above all: haha, brilliant music. But hey, there's no hidden message here!. For me, music has to be fun, joy, melodic, funky, over the top, ironic, colourful and full of character. I Mimic Me.
After my last album "The Ballooning Brouhaha" floated through digital spaces, I immediately sat down to the work. Ideas "always" come quick, emotions keep pouring out of my fingertips. But how to shape them in attractive little ditties?
I always start recording with a basic track (rhythm pattern) and the first instrument (piano, guitar) I've chosen to write on. I want to record as fast as possible to capture the energy and/or the emotion of that particular "high" moment of inspiration. Record as if in "performance". Forget "studio".
Choices, doubts, solutions, inspiration going back and forth. Well, mostly for me, I'm working around the more technical shortcommings I have as a recording-in the flesh- musician. So the last few years I've been watching some show-off sound engineer pros showing their flashy studio stuff on Youtube. There are a lot of choices you can make, details you can alter with your workstation (Pro Tools is mine), especially in the mixing process, which makes the whole process even more challenging to keep things as organic as possible.
As long as it helps me further. But it all starts with a tight rehearsed performance, so what you can't fix....
Now, press on your application of choice (sorry no vinyl), like Deezer, Spotify or iTunes or maybe your free download and let those little stories stir up your imagination.
01.Cowboy On The Moon
Build around a chord progression I luckely found on the piano almost a year ago(!). I wrote a few countermelodies (guitar and woodwinds) that brought more layered excitement arrangementwise that I wanted for the song. I had lot of fun with this one, never stopped developping ideas in that department. Took a long time to write about cowboys-no indians-but moons though...
O U T L A W
This took 3 minutes to write, but the vision to work it out, took a lot longer....
You can guess this is about Lou Reed, my indirect connection with him, expressed in a an uplifting, I hope, tribute song. His death and his music got me closer again to the legend and his work (my fave is 1973's Berlin). Yes, I tried to use some of his typical pronounciation (but "I mimic me" right?) and a few of his familiar lines (wild side, white heat white light). Fun song!
Btw, great read: two biographies of Lou and the Velvet Underground by Victor Bockris.
N E W Y O R K
03.Buy (Bye Bye)
Topic: a pact with the devil/Faust: selling out in favor of becoming successful. Bye, buy...
I used this funkbeat for intensity, although I can never be that hypnotic like James Brown, but I can in a, uuh, funny JoosTVD kind of way.
F A U S T
Overblown ballroom showstopper (took a lot of mindslapping working this out!) about windbags and other loudmouths. You know who you are. Now shut the f... up!
O V E R K I L L
One of those fun songs that wrote itself and relatively quick both musically and lyrically. All 13 songs came quick, but mostly musically.The choice of intruments, how to colour the arrangements...they' re already there in my head when I wrote this song.
H A P P I N E S S
06.I Mimic Me
Here I go again! The same burst of creativity happened like song 5. Short and sweet. I really like that. Maybe the next time I can put out an album even quicker. Well.....these explosive moments are rare though. And I love what Jack Bruce did with Kip Hanrahan. (great album: Vertical Currency 1984)
M I R R O R
07.Different Kind Of Cool
Yeah, a fast, funpowerpop rocksong. Something (rock) I do not do often, but it gives the album a different- rockier- colour.
O U T C A S T
08.Intermission Of Love
Hey lunch hour! A little (one minute!) Tin Pan Alley love song. Yes, I really love the creativity of Irving berlin and Cole Porter. These chords say it all: melodic, romantic. Ahh, my soft side...
S I N P A N A L L E Y
09.Cats (Walk With A Swagger)
One of the first tunes I wrote for this album. It gave me purpose of direction. A lot of funny (real cat sounds) stuff happening, surprising breaks and stops in combination with melodies. (thanks to Arto Lindsay & the Ambitious Lovers)
D O G G Y C A T
10.Sin Pan Alleyman
Unexpectacly, former musical mate Wijnand Brant (WB) helped me out with his unstoppable fingers & guitars on this forgotten instrumental idea, one of many I've piled up on my harddisk.
(C O N) F U S I O N ? !
11.Lovesong For The Ghetto
Wrote this relatively quick on guitar, sang the title (and liked the melodic refrain a lot) and voila...it's a bit dark (ghetto), but eased, counterbalanced with some eerie female voices, which I found fitting with my own low male singing.
G H E T T O
Also one of the first more uplifting (listen to the guitar chords, variations in D), funky song I wrote, musically that is. The theme is a little dark though: "put the sickness in the ground". No, no cofee needed. A coffin with a "n". Not a special message I have here, it's just dark humor, sardonic wordplay.
C O F F I N
13.I See You
To counterbalance the more energetic songs, there' s always some sort of melancholic ballad I come up with- developped on the piano- after much rehearsel, this was recorded live. I've tried to come up with something uplifting, melodic, not too self-important or dramatic.
P I A N O
14.Cowboy In Your Room
Reprising song nr.1 here, it has got a few nice breaks in it, so the idea for an instrumental promo (see video post) was born.
P R O M O
Thanks again for listening!