Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Transcription - Squarepusher, "Iambic 9 Poetry"

The same teacher that introduced me to Andy Kravtiz in the previous post also introduced me to Squarepusher around the same.  This stuff blew my mind.  I had friends who were really into acid house, techno, and happy hardcore, but that sound always seemed cheesy and boring to me.  As electronic music went, though, I could fully appreciate what Squarepusher was doing and enjoyed other artists in the drum 'n' bass/IDM/big beat scenes.

The first album I picked up was Feed Me Weird Things, the opening track "Squarepusher Theme" being a personal favorite of mine then and now.

I transcribed some of it 10 or 15 years ago, but it was a real slog, and when the laptop which stored the not backed up transcription was stolen I didn't have the heart or patience to start it again.

But recently I was checking out a later Squarepusher release called Ultravisitor and decided to write out some of the playing from the tune "Iambic 9 Poetry".  Squarepusher, real name Tom Jenkinson, is not only a DJ/producer but also an excellent bassist, with most of his bass lines being played live.

Jenkinson also plays drums and I believe is the one playing them on "Iambic 9 Poetry".  With Squarepusher's material it can sometimes be difficult to differentiate between what is played live and what is programmed.  It's even more difficult on this tune and all of Ultravisitor as he used clips from live performances in the creation of this studio album.  The drums on this particular tune sound pretty live to me until about the halfway point where it sounds like the might be some programming or effects going on.

Either way, it's a cool groove on a cool tune, so here is what I'm pretty sure is Tom Jenkinson playing drums on "Iambic 9 Poetry".  The first line repeats pretty much the same from 0:55 to about 2:10 where the second line starts and continues until in becomes basically untranscribable around 3:22.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Solo transcription - Andy Kravitz, "St. Teresa"

This is one of the first solos that taught me about subtlety.

In high school, my private teacher at the time suggested I check out Joan Osborne's album Relish.  I was skeptical because as a hard rock loving teenager I thought "One of Us", the hit single from that album, was stupid.  But, as he had yet to lead me astray, I nonetheless used my allowance money to pick up a copy of the album which I found was indeed very good.

One of the main reasons he suggested the album was because one or two tunes feature Omar Hakim, and the rest of the album has drummer/producer Andy Kravitz behind the kit.  Kravitz has worked with a wide array of artists that you'll especially remember from the 90s like Juliana Hatfield, Cypress Hill, Spearhead, and Urge Overkill, as well as with bigger names like Billy Joel and The Rolling Stones. 

Another one of the singles from Relish, "St. Teresa" has an understated solo at the end.  I still remember thinking how crazy it was that he wasn't playing all that many notes but it was still really cool.  The bass drum and rim click were coming in unexpected places to great effect.

This popped into my head the other day, so I put it on and realized I still remembered the solo note for note, so I figured I'd quickly jot it down and share it with you.  Solo starts around 4:30.

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Transcription - Dotô, "Incompatibilidade de Gênios"

Continuing on with the repique de anel that I mentioned in the last post, here is a transcription of one of the most famous recordings of the instrument.  It's played by the creator himself, Dotô, with João Bosco on his classic, "Incompatibilidade de Gênios".  Here you'll see most of the standard material that we talked about last time put into context.