Disquiet Junto Project 0556: Gabber Ambient

This post popped up at disquiet.com/0556 (thank you, powers of automation!) shortly after 12:10am Pacific Time on August 25, and then at twitter.com/disquiet a little further along. (I was asleep at the time.) The email containing those instructions went out via tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto later in the morning (after I woke up properly), and then I posted them here. Thanks to @sevenism for proposing this project.

Each Thursday in the Disquiet Junto group, a new compositional challenge is set before the group’s members, who then have just over four days to upload a track in response to the assignment. Membership in the Junto is open: just join and participate. (A SoundCloud account is helpful but not required.) There’s no pressure to do every project. It’s weekly so that you know it’s there, every Thursday through Monday, when you have the time.

Deadline: This project’s deadline is the end of the day Monday, August 28, 2022, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, August 25, 2022.

Tracks are added to the SoundCloud playlist for the duration of the project. Additional (non-SoundCloud) tracks appear in the llllllll.co discussion thread.

These are the instructions that went out to the group’s email list (at tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto):

Disquiet Junto Project 0556: Gabber Ambient
The Assignment: Field-test a hybrid genre.

Thanks to Sevenism for having proposed this project.

Gabber and ambient music seem like polar opposites. Gabber is typified by a constant distorted kick drum pummelling you at upwards of 200bpm. Ambient, on the other hand, can be deeply immersive or barely noticeable. This project asks the question: is “gabber ambient” possible?

Step 1: Consider what makes gabber gabber and what makes ambient ambient. Where is there crossover?

Step 2: Make a track that could be construed as “gabba ambient.”

Step 3: You’re probably going to want to delete it. Try not to. Save and upload.

Eight Important Steps When Your Track Is Done:

Step 1: Include “disquiet0556” (no spaces or quotation marks) in the name of your tracks.

Step 2: If your audio-hosting platform allows for tags, be sure to also include the project tag “disquiet0556” (no spaces or quotation marks). If you’re posting on SoundCloud in particular, this is essential to subsequent location of tracks for the creation of a project playlist.

Step 3: Upload your tracks. It is helpful but not essential that you use SoundCloud to host your tracks.

Step 4: Post your track in the following discussion thread at llllllll.co:

Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co: https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0556-gabber-ambient/

Step 5: Annotate your track with a brief explanation of your approach and process.

Step 6: If posting on social media, please consider using the hashtag #DisquietJunto so fellow participants are more likely to locate your communication.

Step 7: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Step 8: Also join in the discussion on the Disquiet Junto Slack. Send your email address to marc@disquiet.com for Slack inclusion.

Note: Please post one track for this weekly Junto project. If you choose to post more than one, and do so on SoundCloud, please let me know which you’d like added to the playlist. Thanks.

Additional Details:

Deadline: This project’s deadline is the end of the day Monday, August 28, 2022, at 11:59pm (that is, just before midnight) wherever you are. It was posted on Thursday, August 25, 2022.

Length: The length is up to you. Does fast mean long or short?

Title/Tag: When posting your tracks, please include “disquiet0556” in the title of the tracks, and where applicable (on SoundCloud, for example) as a tag.

Upload: When participating in this project, be sure to include a description of your process in planning, composing, and recording it. This description is an essential element of the communicative process inherent in the Disquiet Junto. Photos, video, and lists of equipment are always appreciated.

Download: It is always best to set your track as downloadable and allowing for attributed remixing (i.e., a Creative Commons license permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution, allowing for derivatives).

For context, when posting the track online, please be sure to include this following information:

More on this 556th weekly Disquiet Junto project – Gabber Ambient (The Assignment: Field-test a hybrid genre) – at: https://disquiet.com/0556/

Thanks to Sevenism for having proposed this project.

More on the Disquiet Junto at: https://disquiet.com/junto/

Subscribe to project announcements here: https://tinyletter.com/disquiet-junto/

Project discussion takes place on llllllll.co: https://llllllll.co/t/disquiet-junto-project-0556-gabber-ambient/

Image by BranMoviC, used thanks to a Creative Commons license:

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:BranMoviC_Hakken.gif#mw-jump-to-license

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And the project is now live. Thanks, @sevenism!

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Last week I unfortunately didn’t make it past a few thoughts on simplicity. This week’s assignment seems to have been simpler for me:

  • Gabber is Gabber because of questionable fashion choices, brutal beats at 180 bpm upwards and aggressive melodies. And, of course, cheesy samples. It hammers at you.
  • Ambient is Ambient because of non-distinct sounds embedded in a broad soundscape. It engulfs you.

What they both (can) share: noise and repetition. So that’s what I went for. I recorded two different takes of the same “musical” idea (with Circuit tracks, Volca keys and Volca FM), applied effects and cut and mixed away. Some old movie vocal samples glued it together.

And then I resisted the urge to delete the whole piece – as advised. Is it Gabber enough? Is it Ambient enough? I don’t know.

Tempo: 180 bpm.

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Björk thoughts that will be on my mind throughout the assignment.

  • “There’s always a BPM in our bodies, you know? And I think through Covid we were all pretty lazy, just sitting home reading books, so when we got drunk or partied it was like we went a little bit mental, then we just fell asleep before midnight. Slow energy, but then it goes double.” And that, she realised, is “a little bit gabber”.
  • Gabber Modus Operandi are taking Gabber into the 21st century.
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What makes Gabber gabbery? For me it’s the relentless pounding filthy kick whilst ambient is more floaty and beatless. There is a sense of release in succumbing to a monolithic merciless beat whilst ambient works by avoiding committing to the grid.I thought of making a gabber track more ambient by replacing the kick with more organic sounds, maybe heart beats or muffled womby kicks, but I thought that at 170bpm it would be like listening to a panic attack.
In the end I created a 170bpm distorted kick track on a Dfam and fed it through Beads, cranked up the reverb and wet out. I had the right channel of beads sending out a probability skipping pulse to the trigger of Clouds in Resonator mode. I also fed in the output from a contact mic in my modular case which caught the sound of me brushing against cables or pressing switches.
My first attempt involved starting from a heavily processed dfam, gradually stripping away the effects to reveal the kick and then bringing them back again. I edited it down, stripping out a lot of the slow build up and then just throwing it through some more reverb and fuzz just for the hell of it.
It’s ambient noise in the sense it picked up sounds from my immediate environment but not as ethereal as I originally aimed for.

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What is slow? This week we were invited to combine Gabber (which I learned is basically early 90s electronic hard dance music) with Ambient (which I knew was not). And Gabber is fast and Ambient is slow.

But what if it wasn’t? I have a few bits of favorite music where I’m not sure if they are fast or slow. And so I sort of leaned into that idea here. With a result which, if I had developed it for 19 minutes, may have become hypnotic, but that’s kinda anti-social for the disquiet, so here’s a 2:30 version.

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The process starts with a research of what ambient and gabber mean…I’m an ambient fan, so this is easy. But I needed to search for the meaning of Gabber, since I wasn’t familiar with the term. After the research, I understood that it refers to the hardcore techno I used to dance in Barcelona when I was 16. For creating the track, I’ve sampled Brian Eno from Youtube and added 200 bpm distorted 909 drums to produce a pattern. There, Brian Eno meets gabber. After that, I’ve morphed the pattern into some ambient-ish piece.
I’ve used Octatrack as the only instrument involved.Then, I’ve live-recorded the piece into a Zoom H4n without postprocessing. Finally, the title looks for a bit of fun with Eno’s sample. Overall, I’ve enjoyed the challenge!

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I’m a total sucker for projects like this

not sure it’s either gabber or ambient but it is at 220bpm

syntakt, spitfire choir , Roland Jupiter 8 (via Roland cloud) and lots of vallhalla and sound toys

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Hey All, From listening to the tracks so far I would say Ambient Gabber is a legitimate genre to be explored.

Ambient can be anything under the sun but I guess the vibe overall is to be peaceful.
I had no idea what gabber is. I know what a flapper is but not a gabber. My research led me to this video.

The guy in red was outstanding. So real hard core techno.
I grabbed 3 ambient files from freesound and I gave a shot at the gabber part. I think it goes too far into ambient but the gabber does give it a twist especially if heard very loud and maybe with some drugs but they are not required.
Hope all are well.

Peace, Hugh

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220 bpm thumps and textured noise brought to you with an extra dose of religious fervor, fire and brimstone

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I took an early version of last weeks entry, added a filter, a delay and a kick drum. Could do with a damn good EQing but Hey, Work in Progress :smile:

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I gated an ambient loop with gabber kicks and played with tempo automation to move from techno patterns to ambient textures. It’s certainly a bit less danceable now!

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The playlist is live:

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i’ve enjoyed listening to these immensely, thanks!

gabba was badly recorded bootleg tapes of lenny dee and loftgroover
so badly recorded that sometimes there was just hiss in one channel
it was muffled MCs and unintelligible samples.
it was the radio edit of technohead’s ‘i wanna be a hippy’: laughing, stoned, to the cut words: i wanna be a __ and i wanna get __ on mari_ mari__(hippy, stoned and …juana were censored if i remember right)
it was listening over and over to the same tapes we didnt even like til they became ambient background noise

to empathize with my teenage self:
ambient is, like, everything you know

i’ve gone for the hauntology / ghost gabba angle

moody distorted strings in iris 2
hi freq rave stabs in cube (hidden in supermassive)
the hiss is recorded nothing (ghosts in the machine) normalized eq’d supermassive
gabba kick from @rbxbx samples (Dropbox - hxcx.aif - Simplify your life) further distorted, stretched, izotope vinyl, echo
the gabba sounds are quite low in the mix!

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Hello. Here’s my contribution.

Done in VCV Rack mainly using the virtual versions of Mutable Instruments Plaits, Warps and Tides, with Alright Devices Chronoblob2 and the Doepfer Wasp filter doing the delay. Some post processing in Amadeus Pro to compress and EQ using u-he Presswerk. The “clap” sound came from “scrolling” through the Warps algorithms using an envelope from Tides synced to the clock.

Gabber to me means the drone-like kick drum and ambient means drones so what I was aiming for here was mixing them, turning the kick into a drone.

The camel was added as, after I watched the gabber dancing video above, I had a very silly thought of how a camel would look gabber dancing. Made me giggle anyway. :slight_smile:

Enjoy! (Or not!!!) Thanks for the inspiration.

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forgot my tag :frowning: now added

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Had a lot of fun with this one. Gabber isn’t a genre I’ve ever tried or even listened to that much. Like most people the first thing that comes to mind is very high tempos and an ever pounding distorted kick. I tried to do a recreation from memory which would gradually weave into an ambient track using reinterpretations of the same elements and wind up again somewhere between the two.

Using Digitakt, Ableton, rave generator vst and synth plugins + loads of random samples. Simon Reynolds book Energy Flash on the history of dance culture mentions that in this episode of inspector morse the line “It’s a rave, Lewis!” was sampled for pirate radio, I couldn’t find it though - so just took a bunch of other snippets from there

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I started with a 200 bpm Kickdrum in Live. It seemed to be enough for some minutes. I added a lot of things, just to not be lazy. From there I went one by feeling. It was basically a loop with minimal variations when I exported stems and recut the track in Reaper by destroying some things to have more chaos.

I am really neither a fan of Kickdrums nor from bpms faster than 90, but after all I liked the track. (One day later, I did a reduced, more ambient version here.)

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