10 Tracks 10 Weeks Week 2 – Robot Go Disco
26th July 2010
I felt like jacking it in a couple of times this week.
Much of this was the anti-climax after the excitement of the first release, and the dawning realisation of the frightening task ahead of me. I’ve also got some other studio work on at the moment which I have to finish on Friday, so after that I hope things will get a little less fraught.
Despite this, I feel like I’ve hit my stride musically. There were a couple of times when I found myself falling into some old bad habits, like spending waaaay too long trying to find the “perfect” sound, but if I hadn’t I’d have finished Robot Go Disco very quickly. I had more trouble thinking of a name for it than writing the thing.
There are some implications that I hadn’t thought of previously in writing an album track by track in public. My ideal of writing music for myself alone would only really occur if I didn’t ever play it to anyone. Releasing the tracks as I write them means I’m opening myself up to (both good and bad) criticism way before the whole album is finished. This is bound to affect my album writing process, no matter how hard I try to ignore the noise.
For instance if I release a tune and it gets double the number of downloads of anything else, I might be tempted at worst to replicate it, or at best to make subconscious decisions in the studio as a result of the perceived success of that track. I’ve noticed that by just playing my music to someone else fundamentally and permanently changes my perception of it, so you can imagine what releasing it does!
But so far the benefits of this process are utterly out-weighing any downsides. Despite my couple of freak outs this week I’m loving it. And the weekly deadline, knowing that the world will be able to hear whatever I’ve done that week, is forcing me to write out of my skin. For every idea I’ve committed to audio there are another three that I can’t wait to get out.
Stuff I Learnt This Week
1/ At all costs I must avoid getting bored of the track I’m writing by over-playing it. Ironically this tends to happen with tracks that I’m most excited about. If I’m in danger of getting bored I must stop or move on. And constantly looping the same bit so I can have a boogie in the studio (whilst being fun) probably isn’t the best idea.
2/ My first idea has always been the best this week. Tinkering, editing or changing what I record has just made it worse.
3/ I musn’t overproduce. I should just leave it, as if it’s a bit rough I can get away with more musically.
4/ I need to stop checking my traffic and download numbers every five minutes. Its a pointless waste of time at this stage of the game. From now on I’m instituting a policy of two checks per day.