How I Finished Crush
12th August 2010
There’s been something of a chorus of approval for my 10 tracks 10 weeks week 4 tune “Crush”.
For that I’m especially grateful given that I had the biggest crisis so far in my 10 tracks 10 weeks project just over 24 hours before completing it on Sunday night.
It’s been suggested that I post an early version of the track so you can hear what caused me to lose my marbles. And after I got over the initial horror and fear of sharing my “dirty linen” (in the form of an unfinished demo) with the world, I realised that it was a great idea.
I don’t have a recording of its state immediately pre-meltdown, so here’s the version I recorded on Friday evening. I spent most of Saturday morning going round in circles, so it was pretty much still like this:
In hindsight it doesn’t seem too bad, in fact it’s quite pleasant. But the demo doesn’t have a fraction of the impact of the finished article:
In the final version I highlighted this structure by removing many of the verse parts in the chorus and by adding hugely different instrumentation. In the demo many of the same parts continue through both sections. But in the final version the contrast between the verse and chorus creates tension and release which isn’t present in the demo, leaving it as flat as a proverbial pancake.
Use of light and shade is one of the most powerful tools we have as musicians, and I often think that contrast is lacking in much electronic music, including my own. If you think about a classic song like Nirvana “Smells Like Teen Spirit” contrast is used to devastating effect.
So in an attempt to remember this, I’ve now got two bits of paper with “light and shade” and “tension and release” writ large on my wall and if I get stuck again I’ll know what to focus on.