Dead Man Walking

 

I’d be lying if I said I knew exactly what I was doing when creating a piece of music.  A lot of the time I am just experimenting, trying to find new ways to do things, to hold a piece of music together.

In 2003 I got some of the drum sounds from iacon and burnt them onto a CD, then scratched the surface of the disc so when I ripped the CD it was full of errors and glitches.  These days there are plugins that can ‘glitch’ things for you so no need to waste CDs or acetate!

I then got the ripped wavs and put them through some old Audio Ease software called Th0nk, which takes an audio file and spits out continuous granular synthesised sound based on a hidden set of rules.  Th0nk has a few rule sets to choose from which changed things like how often the granular output would reach a peak in intensity or how musical it was.

i also used it for Caramel Cognac to make the drum fills -

Raw breakbeat -

 

Th0nked breakbeat used for fills -

 

Here is the final track Caramel Cognac for reference -

Anyway, Caramel Cognac stuff aside, using the Th0nk’d granular recordings from iacon I wrote a new piece called Hyrax, that never got released (for the best! it was meandering idm and hasn’t aged so well).

 

Clip from unreleased Hyrax with Th0nk’d, iacon CD scratched sounds -

 

I knew I wanted to do something more engaging with these sounds.

In 2005 I did a show for the Sequence guys in Manchester at The Attic, one of my all-time favourite nights, Virus Syndicate were also on the bill.  It was an insane party, people were freaking out.  I’ve been back to play there with Neil Landstrumm since, just as crazy.

I loved Virus Syndicate’s take on Grime, it was visceral.  I had already imagined what decent grime vocals would sound like with an experimental/industrial backing, I had wanted to do it for ages, so I asked them if they wanted to collaborate and they were really up for it.

They sent me the vocals to a recent track they had recorded called Dead Man Walking, immediately I reached for the Hyrax edits, and put a ring mod on the vocals, it just worked.  I had just seen the awesome War Of The Worlds (2005), the warning call sound of the Alien Tripods was immediately something I wanted to sample.  It took 3 weeks to finish the track.

 

Milanese featuring Virus Syndicate – Dead Man Walking -

It got a lot of support with Mary Anne Hobbs even putting it as the 1st track of her compilation album Warrior Dubz along with Loefah, The Bug, JME and Burial.

Thanks to Matt Burden for the awesome artwork on the cover of this record, he did an amazing job – http://www.mattburden.co.uk/portfolio.htm Cheers Matt!



8 Responses to “Dead Man Walking”

  1. cool insight into your sounds, great album and two of the best tracks

  2. Stich says:

    I love this track. Still sounds so fresh and better than most of modern bass music.

  3. The good old days of trashing data discs to get those unexpected glitches, sometimes I miss that. I don’t miss the piles of CD-Rs everywhere. Thanks for the story on how/what you used to make those songs. I had a friend that was so jealous you used that Alien Tripod sound from War of the Worlds before he got to. That was a great sound to use.

  4. anon-y says:

    I thought that the Th0nked breakbeat fills for Caramel Cognac sounded like a sample of duct tape! I love that track.

  5. UVD says:

    Shout out from UVD. Nice work Th0nk!

  6. Ste Sequence says:

    The night you and Virus played for us was one of my all time favourite nights we put on. Genuinely felt like it was gonna turn into a riot :) Cool to know that we had some small part in your hook up with them. Hope you’re well mate.

    Ste

  7. Steve Whetman says:

    Hey Ste, nice to hear from you mate! likewise one of my favourite parties ever, that was a crazy night, I remember people getting so hyped they were dancing on tables shouting and screaming. 2005 was a ‘golden age’ for bass music, there were no rules, we did whatever we wanted.

    Cheers, Steve.

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