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Creating Magic With Samples
Happy weekend! A few weeks back, we came across a great piece of music. The track samples an older classic and transforms it into something completely fresh and new. We were so blown away by the track and its buildup that we just had to reach out to the artist behind it.
This week's track is 'Just a Bitter Love' by The Dead Rose Music Company.
Hi Matt, AKA The Dead Rose Music Company. We are eager to learn more about your journey and the Dead Rose Music Company. Could you briefly tell us more about DRMC? What kind of music influences and inspires your creative process?
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TDRMC started out originally as a secret project resurrecting old tracks and creating something new from samples, stolen parts and dusty old records. I'm from a very musically diverse background having spent my youth working in a record store in the UK and then DJ'ing for more years than I care to remember. Some of these gigs have been super underground and others have been very commercially focussed in order to pay a mortgage. This exposes you to all sorts of crowds and their musical requests and demands, part of this journey leads you to play and hear things that are sample worthy and make you think "I can do something cool with that". This last year in particular has seen me open my studio door and make music for and with other artists so I have been further exposed to genres and styles that I have historically not attempted to make and in doing so I have learnt a huge amount and changed many parts of my process. I can be very excitable and as soon as an idea hits I want to be able to capitalize on it as quickly as possible so my setup is geared towards speed.
Q: What was the creative process like for 'Just a Bitter Love'? Did you have a clear idea in mind, and how did you come across the sample from Gladys Knight & the Pips?
Serendipity struck, I hadn't heard the song before and I was digging through a load of old records in my studio and it was on some dusty vinyl and I just ripped it straight away, if you listen carefully you can hear the dust and crackle in the sample and it just so happens to be in time with the track so I left it in. I rarely start with an idea fully formed but I do have process that I typically follow, this is to go through the track end to end in logic and I chop out all the sounds I like, that can be a single word, breath, drum hit or anything and then I drag them to individual channels and start laying out a new groove or pattern with the cuts and then build the track around that, adding new drums, bass and FX etc.
Q: What techniques and tools did you use to create the unique sound and atmosphere of 'Just a Bitter Love'?
More reverb than is healthy!! When I made the track I think that its all stock logic plugins, even the bass is the monophonic synth and stock preset, the drums were all programmed using samples of an MPC kit and then washed in verb and EQ'd to high heaven. This track gets quite a unique sound because of the layers and layers of the same samples which I have EQ'd, panned and effected so it creates a phasing effect and I like tracks that sound like they are moving around your head so you will hear a lot of tremolo effects that are slightly behind the beat to give you a woozy sound that swirls around before coming back to the centre when the kick and bass hit.
Q: You must have had some great memorable experiences or gigs where you played 'Just a Bitter Love.' How did audiences react to the track in those situations?
I have dined out on this track for ages and I am always taken by how much people seem to love it, the silence before the claps hit does make me nervous in case people think that the system is broken or the music has stopped. I was also really surprised to hear other DJ's play it really pitched up and it seems to work, Solomun played it at a NYE gig at about 125 bpm and it went off.
Q: For listeners who want to learn more about you and your music, where can they find you online or follow your latest projects?
I have many guises and pseudonyms, you can find me mainly at TDRMC, and I am just about to launch a new brand called Syncia and this can be found most places at SynciaOfficial, under this guise I have releases due out on Release LDN, Sankeys, Kneaded Pains and we have a load of remixes due out shortly, expect a much tougher sound from this outlet though.