Monday, April 6, 2015

LISTEN LIKE BRIAN

 
 A recently completed recording of an ode to Brian Wilson. The lyric is basically a string of Beach Boys titles or lines held together with a little spit & hope. Rob Green plays the solo and sings, Greg Loyacano plays drums and ray did the other bits. Available in mono & stereo depending on your tastes.
The song was written & copyright owned by Rob & ray.
Cheers ray & terry
Pygmy Beat, pygmybeat, pygmy beat extended, pygmy beat augmented

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

PYGMY BEAT Like Lies To Children THE ALBUM

FINALLY, something that has been in the making since Kim bought me a 4 Track recorder soon after we were married:
Pygmy Beat has released its 1st album: 
Like Lies To Children. The title can be explained, if you want to get into that sort of thing, by cross referencing Terry Pratchett and his explanation of Science. The cover photograph, by Kim, takes this to a local level.
YES, an album finally.
Terry Berman and I have written a suite of songs that cover a variety of themes, have been recorded in a variety of places with a variety of devices from 4 Track Cassette to Roland Disklab, to an R16,to  Cakewalk and finally Reaper. All tracks but one were stem mastered and prepared for the for the digital world by Jan at finemastering.de.
We've been ably assisted by Kim, Miriam Stavert (nee Webb), Rami, Gerry Steele, Marc Cornelis and Greg Loyacano to set down on a plastic disc 11 songs from what could be argued are our 1st 3 incarnations: moving from folk to folk rock to some slightly psychedelic rock.
You can listen to demos of some of the tracks on the Soundclick player on this page and have  a squiz at the covers as well as the cost (about $11 delivered) at Kunaki - Pygmy Beat.
The digital version can be downlaoded in various formats from BANDCAMP for AUS$7.
Yes, the world is flooded with disposable music that you don't hold onto for long but these songs have lasted from between 2 and 30 years already and only need a little support from you to last a lot longer.
Cheers
Terry & ray

Thursday, March 29, 2012

LITTLE PURPLE CIRCLES - Far Out Liars

One of my all time favourite bands has released their third album. LPC have kept the incredibly high standards set by their eponymous 1st album and the hugely wonderful 2nd disc called CLOUDS with Far Out Liars.
It's an album that builds on their established strengths writing Power Pop neo-classics and thought provoking ballads, (NO, not in the modern lovey dovey form), as well as developing a deft touch and penchant for a little prog in the rock tracks.
This is the 1st set of recordings with an expanded group as the original duo has been joined by a third multi-instrumentalist.
There are some really funny lyrics on this album - a couple of songs sketch amusing scenes and have a good laugh at them. There're a few that are, as usual, lyrically & thematically deeper: be it regarding relationships or as observations of the world around us. One track, & no clues about which one, takes a very lyrically accomplished, yet neutral, view of a mind set & event/s that has/have caused us all to draw a deep breath more than once in the last few years.
Elsewhere that beautiful Rhodes sound underpins yet another uplifting track.
How good is this album? I've played it daily since I managed to pop it into the CD player. I find a new fav. track every time I play it & I keep delving deeper into the lyrics and finding gems that impress me with the superb & quite emotive use of the language.
Musically: head shaking, head banging, foot tapping this one assays a range of tempos and styles yet is a coherent ALBUM of excellent songs by an excellent band.
The heading holds a link to take you to a taste test site.
"Do yourself a favour..."
Cheers ray

Thursday, January 12, 2012

THANATOGENOUS by Pygmy Beat Augmented

Happy New Year!
Joe, Gerry & Greg have combined again to make another piece of classic rock as Pygmy Beat Augmented.
I provided another song sketch with some words and left it to the three featured players to make something of it. The title also has high coincidence value as this song was my 1st venture using Reaper as the recording program.
With a lyrical theme originally inspired by Evelyn Waugh's The Loved One and later by Terry Pratchett's Discworld and a squillion guitars there was potential for something interesting to evlove. Gerry Steele was 1st in with a full track of excellent melodic lead work which was of such quality that an instrumental became a distinct possibility. Greg Loyacano then stepped up with a pounding drum track that lifted the song way beyond its dark Roland 505 rhythm roots. Joe Mizzi had to spend some time selecting lyrics that suited the backing. He chose a set that, in some ways ,matches the nomenclature for his new band: Angels Fall. He presented both lead and backing vocals to a melody he'd constructed.
I began to mix the project once all parts were in BUT, there's always a but, the mother board in my 2 year old DELL Inspiron 530 died mid way through. Luckily I had backed up to an external drive just a day or so beforehand.
I sent the saved project to Greg, (he's a whiz at Reaper), who finished mixing with all guitars blazing.
The resultant premaster was sent to Jan at finemastering.de who was pleased enough with the track to ask for the opportunity to mix it as well. What we now have are two different, and both excellent, mixes which were mastered by Jan.
There's a video as well, (of course), built from internet scrounged images and video clips.
The heading link will take you to that via Utub, (It has one of the mastered mixes randomly selected).
Here are links to high quality MP3s of each mastered mix:
Mix 1.
Mix 2.
Cheers
ray

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

D'AccorD's Newie: HELIKE

The gentlemen from D'AccorD have their new album OUT NOW. Released under the Karisma Records imprint, HELIKE is a new piece that is filtered through the lense of a true 70's prog concept LP with 2 "side" long suites, a gatefold to keep you reading whilst listening, lyrics to map the journey and a band sound laced with guitars, flutes and mellotron.
The influences on the music are many, varied and worn on the sleeve of all band members BUT this is not a tribute album or a pastiche: it's a work that stands up on its own by virtue of the songs.
The concept is based around the legend of Helike and associated Greek myths & gods. DON'T be put off by that if you're not into ancient mythology - the story has significant currency through the Japan earthquake & subsequent floods as well as the Boxing Day Tsunami.
D'Accord's playing is excellent throughout as is the recording and mixing (done by Daniel from the band) whilst the mastering is by a former Pink Floyd engineer. I really enjoy listening to this album and the only thing I need that isn't provided when doing so is an LP sized cover to hold & read while I'm sitting in the sweet spot. The last album was released on vinyl so there is hope yet.
If you like PROG you'll love this album. If you don't like prog you'll probably like it after listening to this CD. It can be had from iToons, and various other online providers in CD format as well as digital download.
Click on the headline to get a squiz at & listen to the band!
Cheers
ray

Monday, October 3, 2011

Silent Waltz

Recently I sent a remix of Silent Waltz to finemastering.de to have it "stem mastered" as an experiment. I hadn't had any of the Miriam & Me tracks mastered and wondered how they would translate.
The results were pretty successful. There's a bit of hiss at the very beginning which is a result of my recording chain at the time. I also asked Jan Ohlhorst, the M.E., if he could attempt to reduce the reverb that was printed to the vocal track. This was recorded at a time when I was a reverb junkie I'm afraid. Jan did a good job of that quite tall order.
The final result is a track that I'm very pleased with.
The vocals and melody are by Miriam Webb who also plays the nice 'cello lines. I did the rest; including the grumpy 'cello bits - the 'cello arrangement was an exercise in chording an arpeggio which Miriam, then my 'cello tutor, devised.
The link in the title will take you to a FLAC version and the link below this text is to a 320MP3.
320MP3
Cheers
ray

Friday, August 26, 2011

Haemophilliac Heroes Pygmy Beat Augmented

This little project was started just as 2011 was beginning but has taken rather a long time as there were all sorts of problems, of my making, during the development.
Greg Loyacano provides the power house drumming, Joe Mizzi sings up a storm on both backing and main vocals while Gerry Steele plays some simply amazing licks in all the right places.
Once the song was recorded, (each of the above recorded at their studios and sent the parts via server download), and mixed to everyone's satisfaction it was sent to finemastering.de for the final touches provided by Mastering Engineer Jan Ohlhorst. Jan spent quite some time and energy on this one as I kept discovering mistakes I'd made in the mix. He patiently allowed me to address problems as he went about his business - which was to provide a terrific sound and sense of cohesiveness that is achieved through an M.E.'s secret alchemy.
I spent a little time pulling together images to make a simple visual representation of the song with a quick peek at the band members as well.
I hope you enjoy this - it certainly was fun recording with the three real heroes of the piece as they provided the excellent musicianship, support, ideas and musicality that make it work.
Cheers
ray & terry

Friday, July 1, 2011

The MASTER Mastered


The recent Pygmy Beat Augmented experiment was so successful that I decided to take it to the logical conslusion and have the track mastered by a professional Mastering Engineer.
I did some listening, reading and questioning around and about places and people who know, knew and had recent experience with the process and selected FINEMASTERING and their stellar ME Jan Ohlhorst [info@finemastering.de] to have a crack at it.
Having heard the superb work done on recent tracks recorded by Gerry Steele of the Hamilton Steele Band I also decided to have the track "stem mastered". This means I break the song into audio sections which I give to Jan to treat and then recombine into the final song. The benefit of this process is that the ME has a greater degree of flexibility: a more surgical & less bloody path to deal with problems that are embedded in the mix, (mid mud, too much high end in a section etc). Jan consulted with me and sought my approval at stages through the process and presented a draft master for approval which is then replaced by a full red book wave file when all is done & agreed to.
The other reason for going for the stem process was to do justics to Gerry Steele's excellent solos, Greg Loyacano's superb drums and Joe Mizzi's fanmazing vocals.
The quality of the net result will be for you to decide on an idividiual basis but I can tell you that it brought a great big smile to my dial.
Click the heading to hear a streamer of the track from Soundclick. If you want better quality get in touch with me.
Cheers
ray & terry

Thursday, April 14, 2011

ANGELS FALL - JOE MIZZI

This is the 2nd album by Joe Mizzi that I've been lucky enough to get my hands on.
Angels Fall develops Age of Decay's modern metal with a range of themes as classically Heavy Metal as the title track's essay of the dynamic tidal flow between Good & Evil to the unlearned lessons of history we seem doomed to repeat which are addressed in Witchhunt. In between there are tales of succubi, tainted love and conflict.
Monster riffs, contagious melodies and soaring vocals combine over a rhythm section solid enough to take down masonry walls to make great songs.
Joe does the vast majority of the playing himself whilst drafting in Dave Whiting and Chris Frehse to spread a little extra magic with their superb lead offerings.
Jan Ohlhorst did a terrifc job mastering this album - I had the good fortune to hear some of the tracks in development and the premaster mixes were amazing. That Jan was able to take them a step further in the mastering process is a tribute to him and to the excellent quality of Joe's playing, recording and mixing.
This is an album you should own. Oh, I have to declare that I had a very, very small part to play in the album as I helped Joe with a couple of lyrical snippets. That the album survived my input is an even bigger reason for you to get a copy. There's a link in the title to take you to samples & digital sales.
Cheers
ray

Thursday, January 6, 2011

RAMI: PEACE RIOT

RAMI is, well that's actually quite correct. RAMI just IS! This is the third RAMI album I've bought. Yes, he's that good. I follow the man & buy his stuff when it becomes available.
This new album, PEACE RIOT, is a progression from POSSE but retains the funky rhythm edge to the rock that is so much a trade mark of the man & his music. Lyrically the narratives are smart, clever and have a sharp cynical edge. The album title should serve as a sampler for that.
RAMI have honed his vocal harmony skills & they are just one of the pleasures of this disc. Lead & rhythm guitars are hot, on the money and guaranteed to induce air guitar playing. The bass is solid, funky and has a growling tone to die for. Drums and percussion are a marvel. Again, funky but rockin' and beautifully defined. The keyboards? Well, there are none - & none are needed. The arrangements are uncluttered: there are spaces where the music breaths but no holes & no excuses for dropping in a synth line.
What makes the arrangements, playing and singing all the more remarkable is the simple fact that RAMI did it all himself. Oh, not JUST did it but did it all so well.
My fav. tracks? That's hard, but track one: Twisted State of Mind would have to be at the front of a tight pack and New World Disorder alongside it. There are 3 covers on this album: 2 from classic 60's bands who made rock what it could be and a strange 3rd choice that, despite my initial reservations upon reading the title, really amazed me.
An excellent album by an excellent songwriter, performer, engineer and producer.
Click on the title to go to RAMI's webpage where you can find three different ways of acquiring the album AND preview the tracks on CD baby.
Cheers
ray