Sunday, January 20, 2008

eX1 - Touch Me, Hold Me

Hear The Track Here

Considering I've been yapping with him for a while I know surprisingly little about POPspace's eX1, and that is most definitely my fault - not enough time in the day doncha know. Between reviewing and real life is a chasm counted in minutes. His page isn't going to be a lot of help either except he's an electronica artist from California, and that shouldn't come as a surprise. That he's an electronic musician mind, not that's he's from California; everyone comes from somewhere. I'm not sure, especially, how long he has been doing this but the following comments are based on what I know and what I hear.

Uh oh?? Naaaah, t'aint that bad.

Here's the scenario: artist discovers a jam packed DVD full of samples and instantly whips up 8 million tasty confections. Sound familiar? Thought so, we've all done it. The key element here, in a lot of ways, is the main vocal line; an almost complete peice that Jim (aka eX1) worked into his track simply because he couldn't resist. Can't say I blame him either, because the vocal IS that good. I woulda killed to get it before him but maybe I'll wander over his house tonight and just steal the damn DVD. All larcenous thoughts aside, working around an almost complete vocal while constructing a track behind it is a very, very difficult job - especially if you want to get it right. As a practice for my own work in this style, I started doing remixes over at Acidplanet who run regular contests featuring well known names and often great vocals to work with. After doing hundreds of the things, I truly appreciate how hard it is; which is why I feel I can say what follows.

As an exercise, Touch Me, Hold Me just about hangs together; the key word here being just. The problem with working with such vocals is that you have to follow its own metier; the rhythm and flow of the vocal. Unless you have that in mind from the getgo, whatever you do will not fit. It may appear to, but when push comes to shove it just doesn't. The same holds true of this track; a sparse slice of electronica is extremely linear and does nothing whatsoever to work with the nuances of the vocal. Mind you, as eX1 admits, this was pretty much right out of the bag and - given that explanation - it's definitely nothing to ashamed of. Believe me, I have made far, far worse but those are usually the ones that never see the time of day :D The worst thing about internet life is that we are judged on EVERY track we release.

Great vocal, no doubt. Tune with it? (waggles his hand)

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