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Africa Hitech
Old 20th June 2016
Here for the gear

Africa Hitech

Good evening Mark!

Absolutely adore the production on 93 Million Miles, and especially all the frenetic automation stuff that seems to go on there.

Could you open up a little bit the way you guys approached the tunes on that album, arrangement wise, and what hardware / plugins were used to create the various different sonic changes and swifts inside the motifs of those songs.

'Our Luv' has these amazing sequenced vocal riffs, that I'd be interested in, and 'Gangslap' is also one of those jams that has that has some interesting modulation-business going on. Are the robotic female vocals on '93 Million Miles' sampled, or did someone record them?

Any insight is greatly appreciated!

Love the music, keep putting it out!

- Willie
Old 21st June 2016
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Mark P's Avatar

Cheers Willie,

The Basis of Our Luv was done on a standalone plug in called C basic core or C64 Basic core, i had a quick look online i couldn't find it. I think it stopped working actually on my laptop and main computer. Wind it up the track i did with Om'mas Keith on Hyperdub records was also done with that.

Steve jammed down the track live and it was just a 2 track. I think it was 14 mins long or something. I edited it down and then as the timing was shifting all the way through, i had to by hand! Chop every part of the track to see where each part with landing, took 2 days.

After doing that i layered kicks and snares and extra hats to give it some more depth.

Also meant i could layer extra Bass and other riffs. It was a serious mission, but the tune was worth it.

The vocals are one of the mac voices. Victoria or Vicky from memory. The sequenced riff that comes in at the end is the word Together which i put in the Exs in Logic and copied it over a load of times and had each one in a different panning position. I backed up some of the main vocals with my voice. The melodic vocal things i just put words on tracks and put the Logic vocal transformer on them and just changed pitches and the formant.

So basically finding different ways to make the vocal keep varying through the track.

I used the Effectrix plug in by Sugar Bytes to the intro.

The Extra Synth is Arp Odyssey, the pad was in the GForce Minimonsta

It was a lot of work that track, but its my fav on the album, it was quite a battle to get some warmth into it sound wise. Thats the tricky thing with 8 bit sounding stuff.

The bases for 93 Million miles was done on a iPhone app called iSyn. We plugged it into the desk and Steve did a few live takes of it. When you move the phone around it changes the filters and pitches of the drums. All the drums and baseline and high synth melody is from iSyn.

I edit a arrangement out of it from the 2 takes. Then started adding stuff. Vocals are Mac voice again similar techniques to Our Luv. I have a book called Dictionary of Science and it had various distances from the sun in there so thats where the vocal ideas came from. Pitch vocal stuff at the end is just putting Slow down pitch fades in Logic.

At 3:10 2 extra synth parts come in and they were DaHornet Plug in by Nusofting. When it slows down at the end i just used Flex time and just put a tempo change in.

Glangslap is C basic core again, 2 track bounced out. And then Effectrix again and various other effects getting punched in all the way through. Steve had called it Glangslap and i did the vocals. Bass is Spectrasonics Trillion 3 different ones. And then i used EFM (metallic riffs) in logic playing the same bass riff but shifted off bar.

Steve did the vocal at the end.

I sang on Spirit, my first ever verse I do the first verse Steve does the 2nd. I did the main Bvs and then steve added to them. I Also sing on Don't fight it. Tbh i was just putting down ideas with the view to Steve Re singing them all as he is a actual singer But he really encouraged me to just do it. Steve told me the story that he wasn't ever going to be a singer, but the singer in the band he was in left and then someone encouraged him to do it. Good job they did!

It will still be a while b4 i bust out whole songs though, but i like doing Bv's and bits of vocals.

So really its just loads of subtle detail on all these tracks, Delay designer was used a lot as well, i would just get something and bounce it in and then make another one so there was lots of one off effects going on that were never repeating.

So those 3 started out as jams by steve and i went in on them. Other tracks i would start and steve would add stuff.

Steve's a Genius, so talented, all aspects as well. We both moved from the Uk and ended up 5 mins from each other on the other side of the world in the same year. I had already worked with him on 2 tracks for the Troubleman project and a release on Sonar Collective. So it was great to have someone that i knew and loved working with as soon as i moved here. Really easy to work with as well, we didn't really need to talk about stuff, we have the same outlook on music and we both knew what we wanted and grew up with Similar music.

Steve's Brother is Darren D Bridge, a Very Talented Family

Cheers Mark
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