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Patrick Alexander's Melody Zone - Relax, Will Ya?

Reader Patrick Alexander has released another mad album. Relax, Will Ya? is stunning in its musicality, as well as its absurdity. The album will lull you with a lullaby before smacking you with some of the weirdest fucking noises I've ever heard. Somehow it manages to stay very musical through all of the change-ups and interludes into insanity. I particularly enjoyed the first two tracks. I can't overstate how oddly relaxing the melodies are.

Reader Comments 3

Good lord! Love the sonic textures and stupid adorable melodies! What the hell did he record this all in? The vocal synths on the second track are amazing
October 16, 2018  | person_outline Tom
This is indeed relaxing, but very focused with intent. It parts with the typical 7 layer electronic music burrito of rhythm, then bass, then pad, etc.I would compare this favorably with Tomita and Disney classics. A shroom journey for sure.

Thanks for bringing this out to us Tim!
October 16, 2018  | person Humbuzz
Patrick here! Thank you Tom and Humbuzz for listening and for your kind and thoughtful comments, and thank you again Tim for your wonderful post. This album ate my free time for the best part of a year, so I can't overstate how grateful I am to have anyone listening to it and appreciating it.

I just wanted to post to answer Tom's question. Basically this album was done in Gadget and mixed in Cubasis, but with heavy use of Vancouver and Bilbao, and quite a bit of Abu Dhabi too, which means some other apps make an appearance too. But most of the weird noises are either my own voice/mouth, or sounds from around my home, sometimes manipulated to sound very different, but manipulated less than you might think.

Re: the 'vocal synths' you mention: that track is actually the first one I made for this project. It occurred to me that in Abu Dhabi, with sixteen slices available, I could record myself singing two octaves in a scale, slice up the notes, and use Abu Dhabi's buttons to play melodies. But I wouldn't just sing 'la la la', I'd sing a complete phrase, so each note would be a word (or syllable), so as long as I played each note at least once during the song, it would theoretically be possible for someone to isolate all the notes, put them in ascending order, and recreate the phrase.

That was the concept, anyway. (It was a better-planned extension of the way I'd used Abu Dhabi in the song 'The Club Ballad of Mr Slug', on my previous project.) In the end I cheated the meticulous listener by playing the full scale at the end of the song anyway, but it felt natural to do so. (If you can't make it out, the 15-syllable phrase is: "You and I are wide awake now. Will we ever sleep again?")

So I sung the phrase into Cubasis and, whether for the sake of melodic accuracy or just added weirdness, I put some sort of auto-tuney, vocoder-y effect on it, perhaps with a chorus effect too, from the sounds of it. The disappointing part of this very long story is that I can't remember what effects they were! I'm sorry! Nothin' fancy though, I'm sure.

I also time-squished the phrase into five seconds exactly, to be certain it would work in Abu Dhabi. (I think Abu Dhabi's limit might be ten seconds, actually, but I wasn't sure.) Then I'll have mixed it down, exported to AudioShare, and imported to Abu Dhabi in Gadget. Looking at the Gadget project file now, I can see that I've added the 'Ensemble' effect to some but not all of the notes! That must be why some syllables are suddenly wider than others! I'd completely forgotten; that made it a hassle to mix.

Yikes, that took longer to explain than I expected. I can only hope that you treat this post with the same kind patience with which you have treated my strange album, and that it might be slightly helpful or interesting, somehow!
October 17, 2018  | person_outline Patrick Alexander
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