I’ve always hesitated to call myself a musician, composer, or even music producer. I can find the keys on a keyboard the match the melody in my head, but mostly I make beats, basslines, and sculpt sound with digital waveform transformations and effects. Sometimes I work alone, sometimes with a friend next to me. I like working both ways, the former to dig in and get work done, the latter to get out of my own head and expand the canvas–two minds are usually better than one.
I’ve run Loöq Records with Spesh since 1998, when we released our first album Tube Drivers (iTunes). These days, almost twenty years later, I sometimes wonder if we’re too old for this game and if it’s time to wrap it up. But the business stubbornly refuses to lose money, and continues to interest me. Every year we pay out a few thousand bucks in royalties to artist who are happy to have it, and every now and then we land a licensing deal that earns four or five figures. Our tracks are rarely top sellers, but when we do crack one of the Beatport genre charts, I’m as happy about it as the day we learned John Digweed was playing our record We Are Connected (Spotify).
So I guess for the moment, all signs point to stay in the game.
Three New Releases
About a month ago Spesh and I released a single called Size of Hands (Spotify). It’s tech house, but of the dreamy, floaty, layered variety. The sounds mostly come from Battery 4 (Native Instruments) and the Arturia V collection (highly accurate emulations of analog synths from decades past).
The Marshall Watson remix is incredible (I’ve probably listened to it a hundred times already).
Today, Momu (myself and Mark Musselman) released a new single, The Valley (exclusive on Beatport for the next couple of weeks). The track is based on a few musical samples (modified quite a bit) from a very famous older movie.
This one came together pretty quickly, after just a few studio sessions. Ultimately we’d rather use a real vocalist instead of vocal samples, but finding the right person can be difficult. Our last collaboration with a vocalist had some issues. The person in question wanted us to mail him marijuana (apparently the stuff we can get in California is way better than what’s available in New York), and the Brooklyn-based engineer we hired to record vocals fired him before the first studio session due to scheduling and/or miscommunication and/or personality conflicts. Talented guy, but the social overhead was too pricey.
Next up is a track called Vibrations, out Sep. 20 on Beatport (10/4 general release). It’s a simple deep house groove, but there might be something special about this one. It’s hard to say. We work hard on all our tracks, but sometimes there’s an intangible factor that shows up. That’s Alan Watts saying “Vibrations.” B-side is called “A Hike in the Rain.”
If any of these rub you the right way, please add them to your music collection in whatever way you see fit.