My first submission for the weekly Disquiet Junto project!
For a brief time as a teenager, I was a tape making machine.
Rap music was hard to come by where I grew up. It wasn't on the radio much and no one I knew had much money for buying new music. I did have basic cable though… Every day after school I'd come home and record songs from Yo! MTV Raps and Rap City onto a VHS tape. Then I'd hook the VCR up to one of those janky boom boxes with the removable speakers which was meant to look like a shrunken component stereo system. With the two tape decks I would assemble mixes from songs that were on TV. Cutting out any pre-song talking. Dropping bad verses. Awkwardly looping the good parts. Eventually making my own skits to go between tracks (grab some of Heavy D trying to pick up a girl in the bit before the song starts, replace her lines with Ed Lover saying crazy shit).
For this weeks project I added some extra limitations of my own, to try an bring back that chunky timing feel. I tuned off all grid snapping in Bitwig. Kept a single zoomed out view while working, avoided fades on individual bits (keeping any pops) and only deleted a part if I was willing to delete everything after it (no editing and shifting clips in time).
I stuck to all of them but the last. I couldn't resist a little timing tweaking at the end.
The only processing is a bit of tape saturation once everything was finished.
The result isn’t anything like those old mix tapes. It's more collage than song. Repetition and textures anchored with vocal snippet’s from "The Pelt" (a spoken word album by Doseone which is also in a pause tape style - it's full of lovely cassette button clicks).
I ran out of time trying to piece together the end. The collection of parts I ended up with didn’t point to an obvious resolution. Still, I like where it landed.
Thanks for listening.