mdreamsdigi001

05.02.2019

Hakim Murphy - Beatsmith - mdreamsdigi001

Beatsmith

It’s been a minute since the last Machining Dreams release, however I have come with an album. It is called Beatsmith. Really it is a retrospective project as this album was made several years ago. Now is the time to present these tunes to the world. All produced in a two period sometime in 2013 and will finally see the light of day. Many harmonies and rhythms protrude through speaker from my psyche, creating this LP presented here. There are nine tunes and three interludes for your listening pleasure. The nature is typical me, blurring the line between house and techno which work on the dance floor or sitting somewhere chilling. Digital only, the first Machining Dreams release to be like this is here for you:

Tears of Jack///We begin the journey with syncopated beats and an arpeggio. Futuristic in tone, the tune keeps evolving as more elements are added. Meanwhile the synth arp continues to modulate throughout the entire duration of the piece. Chords come in to add flavor to the mixture of elements. As well, the chord progression does not resolve until close to the end, which will reward and listener who chooses to stay throughout the 6:47.

Starship Prisms///More syncopated sounds here. A bass line and synth melody round out the elements until later when a melody comes in for a brief spell. The percussion is really driving, giving off the image of riding on a space ship through hyperspace.

Syncopated Movements///Bouncing rhythms that circulate around each other is the theme here. Percussion and chords strike first that leads a listener to a driving bass line. Notes in the high register start to vibrate giving the sound great diversity while the hats come in and pick up the pace. The pace is like bouncing up and down on a giant rubber ball while experiencing an barrage of tones.

Flowing Suns///Chords and sparse notes ring out introducing the rest of the tune. A bass line keeps the low register busy coupled with the continued chord progression running over the top. Modulating like sun flares, the chords keep the ear busy as the percussion changes, bringing the tune to life like suns do for planets.

Lullaby Beginnings///The first interlude happens with a melody with much delay from outer space.

Magic Rainfall///A deceptive breakbeat appears supported by an arpeggio line. Long notes ring out to fill up the spectrum that introduce chords and the driving bass line. Two arpeggio lines play with each other as the tune builds. The adventure takes a few turns and towards the end a chord progression comes in to add resolution. Like when one is skiing down a mountain and reaches the bottom safely.

Movements In Space///Bumping percussion drives the tune while chords and a bass line come in to cause more movement. Like the Marvel character ‘Juggernaut’, the track cannot be stopped once its starts. The sounds keep ringing from the entire spectrum causing one to shake their body eventually due to the swirling smoking tones.

Secret Melodies///Interlude number 2 is another melody that comes with much soul and delay too.

Damage Control///Another tune with bouncing effected percussion, this time however more of a chord progression from the outset. Sounding like a boxing match as the chords punch the bass line counter punches. The track continues to evolve as the journey continues with the modulating chords and percussion.

Machine Work///Syncopated percussion appears as a chord is sustained from time to time. From the outset the percussion is quite aggressive as the syncopated beats remain steady and a bit later a nice chord progression shows its head, but only for a bit before we return to the first section of the tune. Which reminds a listener of riding the train and seeing the same things in the landscape but then suddenly something catches your eye for a brief moment.

Transverse///The last interlude is an arpeggio from space that modulates like being dragged playfully through a wormhole.

Solar Winds///To end the excursion is deep house tune that features a chord progression as the main theme that swells up to introduce the bass line. The modulating chords continue to emote from the speakers as the percussions becomes more prevalent. A melody also comes in to add color and emotion, which is fitting for the end of the tune as the projected started aggressive and ends passive.

hakim murphy

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xcptape02

3.25.19

xcpt02

Shadow Wands

Chris Mitchell is back on the scene and this time he has flipped the script with a beatless LP titled “Shadow Lands” on XCPT. Available in cassette tape form and digital, this project will leave you stunned. Eight compositions that are completely unique and separate but yet fit together. The cohesive nature is due to the titles, each tune feels eerie and emotive by virtue of Mitchell’s synth choices and effects work. Really this release could be a series of soundtracks for movie scenes and the like. Mitchell really looked into himself to pull out these tones and his imagination has really matured in comparison to his earlier works. The sonic palette is quite full and impressive in that the full frequency spectrum is used and with every new listen you discover new elements. For chilling, cleaning, or smoking this release will keep one’s mind going, placing unconscious suggestions into your psyche, which will make one want to play it over and over again.

Severing the Pain on Analysis///Mitchell begins the project with a bubble like arpeggio that leads into melody and harmony tones. The choir effect is in full form, giving this first song an ancient church feel. The long drones become the forefront and hypnotize you just to be replace by a forever morphing arpeggio. The drones come in and out with different amount of velocities giving variety to the sound.

Undivided///A tin like melody comes out the box that is supported by a bass line. Like an 80’s science fiction movie, the synths and melody sound like they should be accompanying a low budget b film in where something shocking had been revealed. As the tune progresses, new tones appear to create an atmosphere of perhaps remorse.

Igo///Noise is the theme here, distorted waveforms pulsate while a sub bass booms underneath it all. Quite subtly is there a white noise line sounding and suddenly distraught tones play. These tones continue to modulate as one hi-hat can be heard keeping the tempo. Short and sweet is this track, and I am picturing a space traveler who’s life is suddenly in danger; and the traveler fails to save it.

Galdos///An aggressive bass tone begins followed by sparse synth work. The pulsating effects and distortion could cause some disturbing thoughts. One could ask what happened, or would be asking if this sound was brought to life. Again hi-hats strike as the next section begins with an arpeggio lightening up the mood a bit. Mitchell really got that SH-101 sound going here.

After the Fall///The lighter side of Mitchell is present here. The tones are not as harsh as in the previous tunes until the bass line arrives. The bass changes the complexion of the whole tune. Really it is sweet and sour. While the tones above are nice and airy with beautiful synth patches and effects, while the bass is evil and hard. Like the Gemini astrological sign, one is getting two personalities wrapped up in one.

Spirits of the Fallen///Sparse melody notes ring from the ether. The bass line is driving and all these elements are sounding. It is a slow sensory overload. The low sounding horns are speaking. I cannot quite make out the message but there is definitely meaning there. The bass line is keeping the pulse like a march to the place where the spirits will rest their weary souls.

Weighs in Passing///Dissident notes sound almost like random arpeggios, but there is order to this madness. The tone timbres are actually quite soft sounding but mixed with the tone pitches makes the piece a bit uneasy. Sometimes some of the tones are panning left to right and are joined by bass notes and drones. I get a feeling that a surprise is about to happen at any moment. Like a guy about to pull a table cloth from the table with dishes on it, except he never does. Quite the build up with no release is my description.

Prayers in Empty Street///Mitchell ends the project with arpeggios and droning synths. The drones make the tune rhythmic with them serving as the back beat, striking on the two and four. Maybe the most straight forward composition in the project, however I am okay with that due to the fact my brain needed the time to process all of what I just experienced.

hakim murphy

Perp-012

6.3.2018

After quite the long hiatus, I am back posting on Machining Dreams blog and I am starting back with a various piece featuring several Chicago luminaries.

Babershop LP_Cover
Perp-012

 

Welcome to the Barbershop. This LP arrives with tunes from some of your favorite artists representing Chicago’s underground dance music sphere on the city’s bred label; Perpetual Rhythms. A wide variety of fresh cuts and genres are showcased, ranging from Deep House and Techno to Experimental and Ambient, providing an eclectic listening experience. The central theme of the LP is “things that relate to a barbershop”, topics such as hairstyles, hair products and humor. We invite you to stay a while and experience this sonic journey with an open mind.

dcee – Suavecito // A smooth, deep house track filled with colorful chord pads, sparse bassline, and metallic percussion coupled with a chirping melody.

Chicagodeep – Blow Out // An in your face house beater where the bassline keeps the groove and organ stabs color the tune all while a low synth pad modulates underneath the groove.

DCook – Comb Over // Beat down sounds reside here through the slow tempo and chord progression. Sounding clean, the track takes the listener on a journey of tasty house elements.

Taelue – Razor Line Up // Continuing is another beat down track except we delve into darker territory. The bass line establishes the diabolical character while the tune builds momentum slowly and more dark sounds join the fray.

Hakim Murphy – Finger Wave // Sparse percussion strikes that lead into modulating chords of emotive goodness. The chord motif and percussion make playful changes as if one was floating through the clouds.

Obsolete Music Technology – High Top Fade // An energetic tune that straddles the house and techno genre pulsates with a steady bassline, melodic pads, and phasing percussion.

Specter – Butters Whipped // A classic drum set oozes from the speakers introducing warm sounds that tepidly caress the listener’s ear drums. The elements build up quite quickly assembling a sparkling groove that beats through time.

Isoke – Soul Glo // A bright banger that wastes no time establishing its feeling; driving percussion and 1 bar synth lines pay homage to the Chicago track masters from yesteryear.

Damon Lamar – Bermuda Triangle // Rounding out the LP is a deep rider that serves up a plate of beautiful nostalgia. The wonderful myriad of shuffling drums, bass and synth pads bring forth thoughts of sailing away on the Atlantic Ocean.

Chicago Skyway – Edged out // Reverb and delay introduce melodies of grandeur. The tones swirl around almost as if they are filtered through a kaleidoscope. This effect gives the tune several interesting tonal characters as it progresses.

As I’ve listened through the LP several times in order, I think it has a lot to say in these musical dark ages.

hakim

Available at:

Juno

Deejay

Decks

Redeye

 

Afrikan Sciences – Circuitous

2.18.15

So it has been a long minute since I have conducted an interview, or a review for that matter, but in this case I was compelled due to a cornucopia of sounds coming from Eric Douglas Porter aka Afrikan Sciences.

Afrikan Sciences Press Photo

Afrikan Sciences

Afrikan Sciences has put together a album that is an attack on the senses, one of the few people who chose to make music that does not focus a kick drum on the one or the backbeat on the two and four. Circuitous on Pan is what I would call an avant-garde LP that could someday in the future make its way into becoming a movie score. Really impressive use of sounds, full of many layers, meanwhile the arrangement moves around so subtly that your senses feel the difference but your eardrums are confused. So besides writing a review of the LP I wanted to see what makes Eric tick:

So where did it all begin? It meaning your love for making music.

Afrkian Sciences: It started in the crib, literally, well  at home you know, pops was into music heavy like. I can remember him bumpin Eddie Harris and Les McCan, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, the Beatles, and King Crimson. I remember that 21st Century Schizoid album cover bugged me the hell out. Later on in my youth, the pause tape loops were jumping off, then the Casio sk1, and then dj bug bit me and its been a wrap since then.

Sounds like a good introduction to music, did you take music lessons at somepoint in your life?

I took a few piano lessons as a child. Also I used to stick around the family church which had a piano there and I would spend hours just noodling. When I decided to pick up the bass, basically I was self-taught I Studied theory but for the most part I’ve been self taught.

Where did you grow up?

I was born in Brooklyn, the Flatbush section to be exact, but then ended up moving down south to Alabama as a kid. I wound up going back and forth between the East and South throughout my childhood so it instilled in me what I like to call Roots (southern) and Culture( NYC).

What is your day job?

I’ve held down many jobs in my days, telephone man, cable guy, always something technical, right now music is my focus, day and night and raising my son, thats my full-time gig.

That’s cool I can respect the that, we all need a job to eat from time to time, really cool you are exploring your art and making a family. When did you first start using Ableton? Did you record any music before this, you have some old cds/dats/tunes laying around somewhere?

I started using Ableton early on around version 2 before they even implemented MIDI. And before that yeah there are tapes that go all the way back to 1989, there’s a trunk in storage somewhere

I have used Ableton with the APC-40 very sparsely but I think you have taking it to a new level. What is your mindset before starting a tune?

I try to approach music from an painters POV, here is my blank canvas ,will the colors insight movement? Will there be a sense of depth? What do the overlapping hues produce? Where is the focus? Calm or busy?

Nice very cool, I think it really shows in your work, the senses are really worked when I listen to your tunes. How you ever been interested in making more “traditional” tunes, like stuff with four on the floor kick drum?

I have some straight ahead stuff but more often than not, when I try to do that I wound up making a left somewhere. I do have some more dance floor friendly related stuff slated to come out this year under different aliases.

What do you hope to incorporate into your set up in the future?

I’d like bring in more hardware into my live rig, nothing over the top, I believe in getting more out of less, but there is certainly some gear out there that I lust over.

If money was not an object what gear would fulfill your gear lust?

A Moog System 55, would be the business, most of Dave Smiths stuff too like a prophet 12, a Korg Odyssey too, I can geek out all day about gear!

Would you be interested in working on developing some new controllers for Ableton?

No doubt, I think performing artist are in the perfect position to advise companies on what it is we feel would accommodate performances.

Do you think the album format is better for what you are presenting?

Tangible is always better in my opinion, it bonds the listener closer to the music.

Have you scored any film projects?

I haven’t done any features yet. Its on my bucket list. I’ve had a song or 2 featured in this or that but no scores yet.

When performing do you use different set ups?

I don’t perform with my full studio set up, i usually streamline it to Ableton Push, laptop , iOS devices, and a few other bells and whistles. I leave the Moog and bass at home.

What is the most minimal set up you could do a live set with and feel that you could express yourself?

I think its not far fetched these days to come off with an iPad and Korg Volca or 2, properly routed, you have all the necessary tools to rock.

Do you incorporate any hardware into your set up?

My Moog is indispensable, and Waldorf Streichfett, as I said earlier i got my eye on some other bits. What up Elektron?!? 🙂

Yeah, the Elecktron stuff is super nice, I have my eye on that Octotrack. Thanks for your time and I look forward to hearing more music from you in the future.

Afrikan Sciences Performing

Afrikan Sciences in the Groove

Now that we know a little bit more about Afrikan Sciences, let’s get to some music:

Two in the Chamber///Vibes began as disjointed percussion comes in, meanwhile many sounds in the background. A bass line arrives to add some meter to the tune. Polyrhythmic as the tune moves through time, the percussion sounds and sounds the synths keep moving forward into a wash, a palette of many things, the arrangement movement is very surprising.

Reddin Off///The meter here is more pronounced as a breakbeat dominates at first, the sound, suddenly more percussion drops as the full avante-garde experimental beats hit. Chords ring out in the background as the closed hihat keeps the tempo steady. Several kick drums steadily move around in a 180 degrees motion ,like taking a walk in a park with heavy thoughts on your mind.

Transient Authority///Beginning reminds me of some downtempo joints from the late 2000’s, with voices and sprinkling keys in the background. The snare is the most pronounce instrument here, the sound at some points are very dissonant, making good use of the word transient as a metaphor. Meanwhile a bass line sneaks around in the background as a fm synth becomes harsher as time goes by.

Evolved Twists///Shuffling beats begin to disorientate a listener, then soft melodies and harmonies step up as the calm before the storm. Followed by a base line and more melodies in a very straight swing, which is like an oxymoron, but the tunes pulls you into different directions.

Circuitous///Rolling drums begin as the bass bins rock, melodies and bass hit hard. At this point the most palatable tune so far in the album and my personal favorite. The melodies really speak to me as everything rolls forward, sounding deep like riding on a boat for open water fishing. Triangles come to change up the timbre for a bit.

Kae///Industrial sounds as the kick drums hit, dramatic stings sparsely play a melody. Which turns into a full melody and harmony as an acid line rides out in the background, the sounds is like a film score that leads up to a final showdown. Tense as the textures keep moving throughout the piece.

Feel///Piano riffs are abundant as the melodies hit and the time signature seems to switch, many sounds arrive and cause confusion to the eardrums. Meanwhile the kick pulsates as the sounds continue to swish around. The tune continues to develop as the melody changes, causing a bouncing sensation.

Swash///Jazzy riffs begin as the syncopation grows into many sounds. Super feeling here, as the broken beat breaks through into slightly dissonant chord tones. Seems like the entire frequency spectrum and note possibilities are full as the tunes moves through space.

The Image///A running synth sequence begin, giving a dystopian feeling as melodies rain out. Car racing is the main feeling of this track as the toms hit, they blend into the background as the synth sequence continues to modulate causing tension. Later ‘The Music is the Image’ is spoken and the tune swells like thick split pea soup.

Group Home Reality///8 bit reality, the drums are crunchy and the pad behind it is very fuzzy, meanwhile the tones become very dissonant. Causing some uncomfortable feelings. Very emotive, ufo sounding synths wobble around and then change in tone, force feeding your eardrums with waveforms.

Alibi II///Retro sounding synths make a melody line meanwhile the beat is broken and a flurry of waveforms are sounded with Jazzy syncopated chords in the background that is promptly joined by bass line, the chords cause a floating feel as the arrangement subliminally changes.

DBC///Strings lead into pulsating synth sounds, the kick drum never sounds on the one. A lead comes in, very fuzzy and sounds some long notes as the percussion picks up speed. The feel is of straight syncopation.

I’m asking you KB///Very interesting drum loop going to begin this tune, long synth lines come out cause great emotion and take attention away from the the loop. Later the synths open up creating resolution, as the main loop goes, subtle sounds move in and out.

Tell Me Who Like That(Beside Manner)///The adventure ends with a tune that is full from the beginning and offers a nice compliment of horns, strings, and effects. The beat continues to break as the it moves through time. The melody lines switches between strings and horns and aliens voices are garbled in the background. Yet with so much going on, the tune can be describe as majestic.

Circuitous

Circuitous (Pan 54)

Circuitous Reviews:

Groove.de

Byte FM

Dazed

Juno Plus

Noisey Vice

Dusted Magazine

More info about Afrikan Sciences:

Discogs

Resident Advisor

Twitter

Electronic Beats

Podcasts:

Fact

Redbull Radio

hakim murphy

synapsis-008

9.19.13

synapsis008

Synapsis-008a

synapsis008

Synapsis-008b

008 materializes from Spirit of the Black 808 with a “12 called Guerilla Shit. SB808 manifests three rough, rugged, and raw tunes in which the waveforms are stopping eardrums and woofers meanwhile experimenting but still staying true to the Chicago ethos. So we at Synapsis continue to push the underground music; hence guerilla shit!

King Kong///Percussion rings out while tom drums began as the focal point of the tune. The attention torch is passed when a detuned bass melody begins to ring out notes. Periodically vocals come and go for most of the journey while some bass staccato sounds augment the piece. This tune begins the EP with an eerie feeling as the melody line continues to articulate long and slightly dissonant notes.

Guerilla Shit///Raw percussion begins as toms bang and synth lines pulsate. Chords come in early to join the flurry momentarily. Vocals ring out as a brother tries to catch your attention. Jack mode grabs the soul as the track continues to groove. “Man, you just got hit with some Guerilla Shit!”

4dabrothasthatainthere///To finish off the EP we have the most experimental tune holding down the B side. Slowed down acid lines begin while a voice gives a shout out to the fallen brothers. Emotive chords sound as the percussion moves and moves. After each phrase new sounds and rhythms proceed to fill out the beat while a subbass plays in the lowest note registers. Meanwhile the acid line is steadily tweaking to provide a journey.

Distributed by Crosstalk.

 

Hakim Murphy