Earthdiver – Puncture Misawa remix

The Puncture Misawa remix is based on a much older remix I had done for a previous incarnation of the original song that dates back to about 2004. See my post regarding the Puncture EP for more info on the history of the project.  Have a listen here while reading: For this remix, I was heavily influenced by a remix album that Godflesh, one of my favorite bands, had done back in 1997 called Love and Hate In Dub. I was fascinated with the idea of taking something extremely heavy and putting a raw hip hop spin on it the way they had done. In a lot of the Love and Hate In Dub arrangements, the guitar is completely removed to reveal the nasty bass tone I was such a huge fan of coupled with the vocal performances that felt even heavier without the band’s signature wall of guitars holding them up. So I felt that if I was going to experiment with something like this, Puncture seemed like the perfect song as Godflesh (particularly the Song of Love and Hate era) is such a huge influence for me with my band Earthdiver. With this approach in mind, it seemed pretty clear to me that immediately removing the guitars would be the way to go. In an effort for the arrangement not to feel *too* naked, I was able to procure a few pad-like lead parts from some tracks Markus Reuter had submitted for the original version that didn’t quite work for that initial arrangement. With a little tonal processing, a few loops of his touch-guitar work fit right in with this remix’s vibe. You can see below just how much material Markus gave us to work with and how little of it got used (these things happen all the time even with a performer as good as Markus!). puncture-misawa-mr-tracks The main groove comes from the bass parts I played on the original mix. The chorus bass line is reversed which is then followed with the chopped up drums and vocal groove. Here’s how the main vocal stutter lines up with the kick and snare tracks.

shame on me for not printing that MIDI kick!

shame on me for not printing that MIDI kick!

I decided to present an abstract version of the chorus vocal instead of simply using the original performance for the majority of the remix (though it does come in toward the end in full for a little pay-off after putting up with my shenanigans!). Below is an illustration of how I chopped this up. It consists of two vocal tracks. The light green track at the top (16) provides the stutter effect of hearing just a few syllables of the words to give the general melodic impression. The blue track with orange around it (18) is the stretched phrases using Logic’s flex time function in one of its crude settings to preserve some more “old school” time stretch artifacts that I enjoy hearing for something deliberate like this. Track 17 with the dotted rectangle around it isn’t in the mix, but shows you what the stretched tracks looked like before I applied the flex time. The arrows indicate that I stretched out each segment and applied a few flex markers in strategic places to preserve the chorus melody’s timing. This might be slightly confusing without making a video example but hopefully this makes sense. puncture-misawa-vocal-stretch-illustration This remix is called the Misawa mix due to a short clip I recorded on a flight from Tokyo to Misawa last year that turned into an ambient loop used in the original mix. This sound is more exposed in this remix. In a very uncharacteristic turn of events, I am extremely happy with the way this remix came out. The master of this track served as something of a benchmark for the rest of the Impostors collection I just put together. I felt like if I could make the other songs on that album sound as good as the Puncture Misawa mix, then I’d be in good shape. I hope you enjoy this one as well! Thanks for reading.

And one last thing.. a full shot of the session file here:

puncture-misawa-session-screencap

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