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kickin' the break so it shakes like an earthquake

Author: karl (Page 1 of 21)

life.refactored

Just a little over 6 years ago, I released life.remixedSimilar to what I was able to do for Existential FunkI wanted to somehow update the release for it’s 5th anniversary.  I’ve been working on this for almost 2 years now, and I missed the release date by a year and a half, but today I am ready to release this “special edition” of life.remixedlife.refactored.

life.refactored started as a DJ mix of the entire life.remixed album.  However, it quickly came to my attention that the album was too diverse for a straight DJ mix, so it was necessary to “remix life.remixed”.  Rather than remixing the tracks on an individual basis, this is a remix of the entire album – the tracks are split up at an atomic level and mixed together to form something totally different.  In the making of this mix I constrained myself to only using samples from the original album, with small exception (a breakbeat and a cymbal).

This mix is inspired by some of my favorite DJ mixes, like Richie Hawtin’s DE9 series and King Cannibal’s Way of the Ninja – like these examples, this mix is greater than the sum of its parts.

Interestingly and only by coincidence, life.refactored is 10 tracks, just like the original.

The quintessential life.refactored experience is to listen to the continuous mix (linked below), and although it would be best to have some familiarity with the original life.remixed, it is not required.  You can also click through the link below to download the entire life.refactored album, including the individual tracks.

randombeats.com Mix Series 10: Into the Void

Anything or anyone who falls through the event horizon will soon reach the region of infinite density and the end of time.

Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time

As a young child, I read a children’s book which covered a number of natural and scientific topics. There is a part which particularly interested me which talked about the death of our Sun, to occur in 5 billion years.  I would read this again and again until I was overcome with dread.  Looking back this is probably a bit ghastly of a topic for 5-year old readers.  As an adult, I have maintained a fascination with space, and find myself with a similar fixation on black holes.

The first part of this mix is an exciting and fast-paced breakbeat set with a lot of new material, my favorite being the remix of “Abyss“. In the second half, a dark, spacy drum and bass mix with a few old favorites and a couple new ones.  A new track “Titan” is being debuted here, and is one of the most dramatic of the entire mix (for that matter, recent memory).

This is presented as a concept mix in two parts, with a vision of travelling a great distance from Earth to a black hole.  Starting from the excitement of beginning a journey, this moves to feelings of dread and timelessness near the end.  This is Into the Void.  

Part I – Liftoff: Explosive Breaks to Begin the Journey

  1. 0:00   Karl D – Get Wrecked
  2. 0:56   Karl D – Tube Transit
  3. 02:36   Karl D – Solar Flare
  4. 05:30   Karl D – Award Winning
  5. 10:04   Karl D – Lorentz Factor
  6. 12:12   Karl D – Abyss (Remix)
  7. 15:17   Karl D – Evening
  8. 18:36   Karl D – Dodge This

Part II – Event Horizon: D&B as Dark as the Depths of Space

  1. 21:02   Karl D – Apex Predator
  2. 22:44   Karl D – Dirt
  3. 24:37   Karl D – R
  4. 26:41   1_13 (from random beats, vol 1)
  5. 28:00   Karl D – Things You’ll Need to Know
  6. 32:39   Karl D – Titan
  7. 35:31   Jules AI Outro

Karl D – Into the Void (right click and choose “Save As” to download)

randombeats.com Mix Series 09: Because They are Hard

…there is no money in this industry, but it’s still true…and it’s a music, like, which comes from your heart, from your soul.

-Lady Waks, US Tour Documentary

We choose to go to the moon.  We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.

John F. Kennedy

In certain circles, “hard house” has been overshadowed by the more commercial “EDM”, but to me this is the difference of a craft-made beer vs. Pabst Blue Ribbon. One could argue each has their place, but something is missing for me with EDM (and PBR for that matter).

The quote from Lady Waks (she may have been talking breaks, but she’s spot on), as well as the one from Kennedy sum it up.  At this point, there’s no money in this, one has to really want to participate, both in creating and listening.  The hardness no longer refers to the just the music itself, it is a struggle to keep the community alive.  For an artist, the work has to be its own reward.

The mix is pretty diverse, spanning over 15 years of my own hard house production, mashed up in hard dance appropriate style with a few other tracks.  This has been in the works for a long time – perfection was the goal but doing the work is more important.

This is hard on purpose.  We do these things not because they are easy, but Because They are Hard.  

  1. (0:00) Karl D – Mashup intro
  2. (0:51) Karl D – Pure NRG (Remix)
    (1:52) Karl D – Rock the House
  3. (2:33) Karl D – 4_11 (Remix)
  4. (4:54) Karl D – Climbing to the Top vs. Brothers in Rhythm – Such a Good Feeling
  5. (7:34) Karl D – 3_01
  6. (10:08) Karl D – Unrefined Emotion (Remix)
  7. (13:32) Vengaboys – We Like to Party (Karl D Remix)
  8. (15:53) Karl D – At the Base of the Mountain (Remix) vs. Britney Spears – Til the World Ends
  9. (18:20) Heaven’s Cry – Til Tears Do us Part
  10. (21:07) Karl D – The Exchange (2018 Hard House Mix)

 

Karl D – Because They are Hard(right click and choose “Save As” to download)

 

randombeats.com Mix Series 08: The Gateless Gate – A Higher Plane of Trance

The Way does not belong to knowing or not knowing. To know is to have a concept; to not know is to be ignorant.

-Mumon, The Gateless Gate, Case 19

…there’s a difference between knowing the path, and walking the path.

-Morpheus, The Matrix

The namesake of this mix is an interesting, challenging read.  Although brief, you could spend a long time trying to understand.  What I suppose I get out of it, in short, is non-judgement.
This is a hard endeavor for a human and an even harder one for an artist, in particular because an endeavor itself is a form of judgement.

Choosing one thing means rejecting another.  I do what I can, however, to “experience” rather than “decide”.

Some listening notes:  Psytrance was the main inspiration for this mix, although it goes into euro-trance territory in places.  It’s also worth noting that “Third Time” is the third version of an older favorite, and “Start to Finish” is an adaptation, rather than a remix or cover of, Bear McCreary’s excellent score from the Walking Dead episode of the same name (S6E8).

You need no permission from the gatekeeper – the only barrier is yourself.  This is The Gateless Gate.

  1. (0:00)     Karl D – Melt
  2. (05:22)   2_12(remix)(Original from random beats, vol 2.)
  3. (07:20)   Karl D – Third Time (Just Like the First Time, 2017 remix)
  4. (11:29)    Karl D – Neural Net
  5. (17:06)    Karl D – Start to Finish
  6. (21:30)    Karl D – Mind Wipe

Karl D – The Gateless Gate(right click and choose “Save As” to download)

Karl D – Abyss

Deep, moody dubstep.  This is a dramatic piece which goes a lot of different directions, but was ultimately driven (as is the whole track) by the heavy bassline.

The electric piano was the last addition to the track, but has become the glue putting the whole thing together.

Karl D – Abyss(right click and choose Save As to download)

VIP Mixes for Prism and Apex Predator

A brief follow up to the last post: the Rock the Bells EP has been updated to include a pair of VIP mixes for a couple of my favorite cuts on the album, “Prism” and “Apex Predator”.

“Prism” gained some BPM to become a groovy slice of electro-house.

“Apex Predator” stayed mostly the same, although the bassline became a little meaner and the production loses the big hip-hop style to become more…terrifying.

I’ve never made a “deliberate” variation in production, and both of these were somewhat organic in that both could have been the “canonical” versions of each track, and a fairly equivalent amount of time was spent producing each version before deciding which way to go.  However, at this point I do think these versions are secondary to the originals, if only by a hair.

These tracks are included below for your listening pleasure, and can be downloaded individually or as part of the entire EP.

Rock the Bells EP

The final track in the Rock the Bells EP has been released; it’s entitled “Prism”. This is a dense, foggy piece of dream pop with some 1980s synthesizer vibes.

This does mean that the EP is complete, and the only way to hear the new track is to find it on the album’s page on Bandcamp.

Check the links to Bandcamp below to stream or download the whole album!  As is typically the case, this is a free download.  I hope you find it to be a good value for that price; I had a lot of fun making this album and it’s one of the best ones (even though it’s one of the shortest).

Enjoy.

Karl D – Apex Predator

This one has been brewing for months.  In fact, there’s another version which may or may not be released (edit 05/25/17 – yeah, it was!), and I had a hard time deciding which one to go with.

After near endless tweaks and minor revisions, I’m ready to let this one loose.  This is a dense, assertive drum and bass track (or, “Drumstep” if you like), which is part of the Rock the Bells EPThere’s a theme emerging in this EP, with regards to not only the bells (as intended) but also the dark, heavy basslines.

Edit 04/06/17: Visit Bandcamp with the link below to download “Apex Predator” and the entire Rock the Bells EP.

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