"Somaphone 3: Bangers" is one half of a collection of beatbox tunes (they seem too simple for the word "songs") that had come to me randomly over the course of many months. When they occurred to me (typically while walking about NYC) I would record them (typically by calling my home answering machine from my cellphone and leaving myself a message.) Later, I listened to them and made these recordings of them. All of the tracks follow the same recording process: I would find the proper tempo for the song, then record three quick takes of the tune "blind" (ie without hearing any of the other takes.) This is done to prove that, for the most part, I have something akin to perfect pitch (ie all of the takes are in tune.)These tunes are, for the most part, pretty boring. That's because they are more or less a single musical idea repeated over and over again. In my mind, much more of the variation of the tunes was supposed to've come out of the process of doing them blind, and shifting from beat to bass to treble and back again, than did. But, the tunes are boring for another reason: they are not meant to be songs which are complex (and therefore interesting) in the usual way. They are meant to be backgrounds for crews of emcees (or solo emcees) to rock to (specifically crews without beatboxers in them.) In this sense, "Somaphone 3" is less of an album and more of a tool. Also, it is meant to be a testament to the restless creativeness of my mind; this many beats of this quality occur to me over the course of a handful of months busy with other artistic activity.
A word about the track titles. The first, 5-digit decimal number is the tempo of the song. Notice that the tracks are put in order of increasing tempo (this is to enhance the album's use as a tool.) The second, 2-digit number is the order in which the songs were recorded (I recorded one a day for a couple of months.) This is included for those curious to see if there was any particular kind of progression as far as recording method or performance approach over the course of the recording process. The letter B stands for "Banger" and indicates that I thought the track was more traditional hiphop, the letter M stands for "Mash" and indicates that I thought the track was less traditional hiphop (again, focussed on enhancing the "tool's" usability.) I divided them up this way because there were too many tracks to fit on a single CD and I needed some natural way to put them into two camps, and to communicate to any savvy listeners that I understand that these tunes do not all share the same level of appeal as far as being something worth emceeing to.
All of the tunes were recorded the same way: the first take was panned hard left, the second take was panned dead center, the third take was panned hard right. I put the same light touch of reverb on all of them.
I recorded all these tracks onto MOTU's Digital Performer on a Macintosh. I "mixed" and "mastered" them all myself. I created the cover artwork.