Quick brush fire in Australia update, we were able to raise $250! We made the donation on Thursday Jan 9, and a copy of the receipt has been uploaded to Instagram. Thanks so much to everyone that reposted, retweeted, bought a copy of an album or donated money directly. It was a fantastic effort and I’m beyond happy with how it turned out. I truly love how supportive and positive this community is!
Today’s jam is entitled Ice Water Ways. I started with a simple rhythmic beep from the Aturia Microfreak. The Behringer Deepmind is playing the ethereal sounding pad and I created a simple loop that the Volca FM plays during the chorus of the song. On drum duty is the trusty Alesis SR18 playing a sequence of my own programming.
Lots of more jams coming this month on IG, Youtube, and Twitter as part of the Jamuary event. Make sure you follow me on those platforms if you want to see and hear more synth and experimental jams.
This is a full version of a track I have created entitled Blank Stairs. It’s a play on words of the saying “blank stare.” I named it that because of the slippery way that the lead gets bent in the song. In this song, I used the Alesis SR18 drum machine to make a pounding, minimal drum beat and I’m using the drumbrute as nothing more than a master clock. The Arturia Microfreak is making the strange gurgly sound and it gets manipulated a few times throughout the track. The Behringer Deepmind 6 is playing the strange ethereal sounding pad.
Just to update, I released a new EP last week entitled Just Burn It All, currently it’s only available on BandCamp for $1. It will be hitting Spotify and all other major streaming services on Christmas Eve, December 24. Keep scrolling down to see the post!
If you are a fan of this tune, make sure you subscribe on YouTube and follow me on Instagram. I will be participating in the Jamuary event on IG which is a fun exercise that challenges you to create a jam every day during the month of January. Also, be sure to check back here on shelfblack.com for more gear demos, product reviews, articles, and synth jams coming up!
If you aren’t familiar with Welcome To Space Lounge on Instagram you are definitely missing out on one of the best collections of talented artists making music on the Internet. They use the tag line “Keep your head in the clouds” and when you hear the atmosphere and layers that these artists create, it’s incredibly easy to feel yourself start floating up, up, and away. There is no denying that Welcome To Space Lounge is an absolute juggernaut of Instagram.
When I first started making music on Instagram, I couldn’t help but see that most of my favorite accounts were constantly tagging Space Lounge in their posts. Naturally, I combed through their posts and was blown away by jams that populated the submissions. I made it a goal of mine to try and be featured on their account.
It actually helped me branch out and change the way I made some of my songs. I started experimenting with lower BPM’s. It absolutely pushed me to take some steps and leaps into sounds and vibes that I had never created before. It made me experiment with drumless tracks and even pushed me to try and make some ambient jams. It took a lot of submissions and a lot of experimentation but eventually I was featured on the page. I couldn’t believe it. It was, at that time, a huge goal achieved for me. After that, I began to converse more with the Space Lounge founder and learned that his passion and excitement for music was beyond inspiring.
A few months after I was first featured, I was approached by Space Lounge and extended an invitation to provide a song for their second cassette release entitled “Welcome To Space Lounge Volume II” I was beyond excited and immediately accepted the invite . This is definitely a dream come true and I couldn’t be happier with my submission entitled “Andromeda’s Brain” The cassette will be released for sale on Monday 11/11/2019. You will be able to order it from their official website and I will update this article with the link once it goes live.
These cassette releases are extremely limited and usually are only offered in one shot. If you are interested in getting one, I suggest trying to buy it the second it goes live. Otherwise, it may be out of touch and float slowly away from your grasp, into the atmosphere and beyond.
This is a bit more on the experimental side for me. I wanted a very guttural and intense main line. I looked no further than my workhorse synth, the Korg Monologue. I tweaked and manipulated the Korg line to make the synth sound like it was fighting and screaming and clawing it’s way through the track. The rest of the track features the usual suspects, the Behringer Deepmind, the Arturia Drumbrute Impact. I also used the Korg Kaosspad 3 for some of the scratchy sounding effects on the Monologue.
As always, to see and hear more original music just check out my YouTube page and subscribe. I upload a few songs per week. If you’re reading this and you are putting together a compilation album and you’d like a shelfblack track exclusively, just reach out!
I’ll do a demo video of the Korg Kaosspad 3 in the coming weeks.
This is a jam I put together starting with a slowed down 40 bpm minimal beat on the Arturia Drumbrute Impact. From there I layered in the Deepmind 6 with a weird, plonky key sequence, and some shimmery pad sounds from the Korg Volca FM. I also used a preset from the Microfreak to offset the Deepmind sequence and kicked it into overdrive with a blistering fireball bass line from the Korg Monologue. I made a 60 second version on Instagram and I have embedded the full version here from Youtube.