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Tag: experimental (Page 2 of 3)

Karl D – 3rd Level Down

I’m proud and excited to present this just-finished production to you.

“3rd Level Down” is a dark, illbient-style trip-hop experience. Slow to build up, this track has a definite apex as all the elements come together to make this track very moody and dramatic.

Those who are clever and informed enough may infer that the title’s inspiration comes from Inception. I’d be lying if I said the movie wasn’t an influence; in fact, the basics of this track were put down only minutes after I saw the film.

Enjoy a free download of this song below the player!

Karl D – 3rd Level Down


Lo-fi beats provide the backdrop for the electronic drama in this minimal track.  Lots of vintage sounds at work here.

Review: Small Mammal – Self Titled CD

The following is a repost of a comment from Myspace from me to my new friend Matt Terrell, aka Small Mammal.  Matt is an independent electronic music producer based in Asheville, NC, and he and I recently conducted a CD exchange.   I thouroughly liked his CD and wanted to pass on the good word about it.

Read on for my review of Small Mammal’s self titled CD, which is a great value at $5.  Matt is distributing this title himself and can be reached via his myspace page.  You can also download a promo 2-track pack from the CD here.


Got your CD in the mail yesterday.  I’ve had the chance to listen to it twice since then.

The CD is very intricate, from the moment you pick it up.  I loved the cover – I’m very in to the idea of CDs as a “tactile” format.  I like picking up a CD and looking at it, and the packaging certainly has an effect on me.  Unfortunately this idea is lost on a lot of people, since the days of going to the record store for a few hours is gone, having been replaced by iTunes.

The intricacy continued once I got it in my CD player.  I can tell that every sound on the disc is the result of a deliberate, programmed action.  The live guitar and drums sound great especially after you get them into your sampler for modification.  Nice glitchy chops and edits.  The quality of the samples and instruments was very consistent and pleasing.

My favorites on the disc were tracks 1, 2,and 3.  (10 is a close runner-up).  I can’t say I’m familiar with all of your influences(like Boards of Canada), but my musical heritage does include some Aphex Twin, Autechre, and Dntel(as well as Postal Service).  I can definitely appreciate the IDM(if that’s a word you’re comfortable with) influence in the first few tracks’ glitch-hop style.  The rest of the disc is simply fascinating and I can definitely hear the echoes of Phillip Glass’ complex chord composition, Corea-esque electric piano, and the great use of space found in Dark Side-era Pink Floyd throughout.

The disc definitely has made it in to my “rainy day classics” file, along with Massive Attack’s “Mezzanine” and Aphex’ “Druqs”.  Thanks Matt for conducting this experiment in the barter system with me.  I hope you enjoy your new CD.

Good luck,

P.S.  Matt contacted me directly on the “Contact” page here on randombeats.com, which began our exchange.  If there are any other independent musicians out there that want to engage in a similar CD exchange, I’d be glad to hear from you.  All it will cost you is postage.


There’s a word that describes art that is meant to be painful or disturbing.  I can’t remember the word, but an example of this would be the film “Funny Games“.  Although brutally violent, most of the violence in the movie happens off screen, which the director intended to be the “trick” – not showing any violence while disturbing the viewer because of the amount of it.

Similarly, I intended for this tune to be a little more difficult of a listen.  The tension manufactured by the dissonant chords is meant to be somewhat uncomfortable. The piano is one of the only consonant sounds in the mix.

Although I hope none of the music on this site evokes any kind of response similar to watching “Funny Games”, I hope you can appreciate this track”s significance in it’s own “ugliness”.


I programmed the drums in this track in what I considered to be a quite unusual way.  I think it made the track sound quite unique due to the odd placement of the  drum sounds.  I really like the fade effects and the arpeggio synth here.  Not so sure about the organ, though…I didn’t have an instrument that made exactly the sound I was looking for.


Anyone looking for some groovy, mainstream electronica?  This ain’t it.  This highly experimental track starts with some abstract trip-hop drums, and moves on to a barely melodic mix of “dolphin cries” and a breathy bass sound.  This is one of those really minimal tracks that I don’t neccecarily expect most people to have the patience for.  Hopefully you can catch on to the subtlety.

Old Tracks: Why I Hate Dante

Through my adolescence I became fascinated with the works of Dante Aligheri.  I read the Inferno a couple times in high school out of my own interest, and I continued to read it in my college years.   I have read multiple translations and have become somewhat of an Inferno scholar by doing so.

Spending as much time as I did reading the book, it became a natural source of inspiration for me.  Unfortunately, this inspiration came about in the form of terrible recurring nightmares about Hell, damnation, and the Devil.  A day came in about 2001, when I was just getting into music production, that I was able to focus all of this emotion into a song that I called “Why I Hate Dante”.  I finished the song in an afternoon, and I don’t remember doing much of it.  Looking back, creating the song was somewhat of a mystical experience for me.

This song remains to be some of my best work.  It has a strong trip-hop groove that evolves throughout the song until it finally reaches critical mass and turns into a thrilling drill and bass monster.  This is one of my longer works but I guarantee the tension justifies the entire length of the track.


What can be said about this track?  There’s not much to it.

Today, I present a very minimal, space-music inspired ambient-dub piece. Headphones are pretty much required for this exercise.

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