Musik - Cabaret and EP

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303krs
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Re: Musik - Cabaret and EP

#226 Post by 303krs » Wed 14 Aug 2019, 4:29 pm

Thanks BlueSwan !

I was thinking the same but I didn’t dare saying it that way here...

It’s such a shame that the production is so weak (I am also a knobs pusher amateur/synths freak and I could probably make those tracks sound better within 2 days): the songs are pure PSB - clever, funny and so human - but the production makes my ears bleed...

Yes, it’s a side project but « they are the bloody Pet Shop Boys » ! They shouldn’t have released the songs « officially » before some serious work would be done on them by a « current » producer. Those recordings are demoes to me. I still like them.
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Re: Musik - Cabaret and EP

#227 Post by joe stalin » Wed 14 Aug 2019, 4:40 pm

Hi Blueswan

Why not simply ask Pete who remixed the tracks about what was the intention in presenting the songs as demo-like ? He’s on twitter as cheeky Pete and comes across as amenable if you ask politely

For me, I prefer the production of this to super. I prefer raw over over done.

I still believe the best producer the boys have ever worked with is and will always be Stephen Hague

I wish the boys would work with him again soon

IMHO

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jamie1978
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Re: Musik - Cabaret and EP

#228 Post by jamie1978 » Wed 14 Aug 2019, 6:49 pm

Erm... just FYI there is no such thing as 'general midi drum sounds'.

General Midi only defines the name of the sound, not the actual sound itself, which could be anything.

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Re: Musik - Cabaret and EP

#229 Post by BlueSwan » Wed 14 Aug 2019, 7:16 pm

jamie1978 wrote:
Wed 14 Aug 2019, 6:49 pm
Erm... just FYI there is no such thing as 'general midi drum sounds'.

General Midi only defines the name of the sound, not the actual sound itself, which could be anything.
I am referring to two things:

One is the rhythmic patterns, which sounds like those found on "arranger keyboards" in the 80's and 90's, where you basically just press play and get a shitty bogstandard drum pattern.

Second are the drum sounds themselves, which sounds like vanilla drums found on any of said keyboards, unprocessed and not treated individually in the mix. Pretty criminal in 2019.
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Re: Musik - Cabaret and EP

#230 Post by NotInvisible » Wed 14 Aug 2019, 7:45 pm

BlueSwan wrote:
Wed 14 Aug 2019, 3:52 pm
Absolutely no need to spend tonnes of money. Just a little effort really. Or alternatively reel in some young producer who's dying to work with a couple of synth-pop legends for a dime.
Sounds like you have no idea what the Edinburgh Fringe is, nor the context of the one-woman show itself. The songs are meant to sound like this, because Billie Trix is an also-ran who thinks she was a pioneer. The work is a satire, the songs are satiric, the execution of the songs is satiric.

Roping in "some young producer who's dying to work with a couple of synth-pop legends" would have profoundly missed the point of the entire endeavor on every conceivable level.

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Re: Musik - Cabaret and EP

#231 Post by NotInvisible » Wed 14 Aug 2019, 7:47 pm

BlueSwan wrote:
Wed 14 Aug 2019, 7:16 pm
One is the rhythmic patterns, which sounds like those found on "arranger keyboards" in the 80's and 90's, where you basically just press play and get a shitty bogstandard drum pattern.

Second are the drum sounds themselves, which sounds like vanilla drums found on any of said keyboards, unprocessed and not treated individually in the mix.
Ergo absolutely perfect for this particular project.

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Re: Musik - Cabaret and EP

#232 Post by BlueSwan » Wed 14 Aug 2019, 8:02 pm

NotInvisible wrote:
Wed 14 Aug 2019, 7:45 pm
BlueSwan wrote:
Wed 14 Aug 2019, 3:52 pm
Absolutely no need to spend tonnes of money. Just a little effort really. Or alternatively reel in some young producer who's dying to work with a couple of synth-pop legends for a dime.
Sounds like you have no idea what the Edinburgh Fringe is, nor the context of the one-woman show itself. The songs are meant to sound like this, because Billie Trix is an also-ran who thinks she was a pioneer. The work is a satire, the songs are satiric, the execution of the songs is satiric.

Roping in "some young producer who's dying to work with a couple of synth-pop legends" would have profoundly missed the point of the entire endeavor on every conceivable level.
You're right. I don't know the concept. I am judging the music and it sounds terrible.
http://www.soundcloud.com/blueswan (Blue Swan tracks, my solo tracks and remixes)

http://soundcloud.com/groups/inspired-by-pet-shop-boys (A collection of various artists PSB covers, PSB remixes and original songs inspired by PSB - anyone interested can contribute tracks)

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Re: Musik - Cabaret and EP

#233 Post by alig » Wed 14 Aug 2019, 9:03 pm

BlueSwan wrote:
Wed 14 Aug 2019, 3:52 pm
alig wrote:
Wed 14 Aug 2019, 3:14 pm
BlueSwan wrote:
Wed 14 Aug 2019, 11:43 am
OK, I didn't even discover this until today. Shows you how much out of the loop I am. Anyway, a mini-rant coming on:

The production on this is PISS-POOR. This is arguably the worst production I have heard on any "proper" release by any artist in decades. Frankly, maybe ever.

And this is coming from a duo who should know better than most how important SOUND is to a record. After all, while Tennant and Lowe are amazing songwriters, they made their career from releasing absolutely fantastic sounding singles, that while each adhering to somewhat the same aestethic, still each sounded unique and carefully crafted.

If West End Girls, It's A Sin or Suburbia had sounded like this, nobody would ever have heard of the Pet Shop Boys.

I mean we are talking production that goes beyond just being lazy. The drums sound like unprocessed general MIDI rhythm presets. It tells you everything that the two best sounding tracks are Run Girl Girl - a rerecording - and Friendly Fire, another rerecording, despite still featuring that horrible synth that tries to be an electric guitar.

I spent years in the 00's listening to demos from hundreds of amateur musicians and the vast majority sounded way better than this.

As a general rule one should NEVER use synths unless they are used to make the recording sound good. If you intent on using general MIDI rhythm patters and stock preset pads on everything, then you are MUCH better off just singing the songs to a backing of pianos or acoustic guitars.

And this is from the Pet Shop Boys. A group who helped revolutionize the standards of modern pop productions in the 80s.

I have been retired from music production for more than 6 years, but give me one day with each of these tracks and I guarantee you I could make them sound 10 times better. And I am a complete amateur.

Damn.

EDIT: Having said all of that, the songs are actually good, which makes it even more of a shame, frankly.
Why would they spend tonnes of money and time on a fringe project? I'm sure they could have done better but who cares? I don't.
Absolutely no need to spend tonnes of money. Just a little effort really. Or alternatively reel in some young producer who's dying to work with a couple of synth-pop legends for a dime.
Well, the effort was good enough.
"John 3:16."

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Drico One
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Re: Musik - Cabaret and EP

#234 Post by Drico One » Wed 14 Aug 2019, 9:09 pm

To be fair, the concept is rather important to the full understanding and, thus, appreciation of the project - at least in artistic terms. For example, if one didn't know the preposterous "story" of Billie Trix involved an encounter with Andy Warhol and copious quantities of drugs, Soup would rather fly over one's head.

I haven't enough interest in Billie Trix, even less Jonathan Harvey, to endure the queeny frivolity on stage in Edinburgh in a bid to "get" this, but I don't think "production" is the biggest stick to beat them with here. I'd offer the fact that they continue to work with a low-rent collaborator like Harvey - a man for whom one cheap cliche is never enough when two will do instead - is more damning.

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glennjridge
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Re: Musik - Cabaret and EP

#235 Post by glennjridge » Thu 15 Aug 2019, 1:36 am

I felt musically it was a step back into the simplistic straight ahead musicality of early demo-ish sounding PSB..which I never liked.

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Re: Musik - Cabaret and EP

#236 Post by NotInvisible » Thu 15 Aug 2019, 10:11 pm

BlueSwan wrote:
Wed 14 Aug 2019, 8:02 pm
You're right. I don't know the concept. I am judging the music and it sounds terrible.
You are doing the equivalent of judging a comedy as a drama. It's a pointless exercise that makes you look silly.

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Gabby
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Re: Musik - Cabaret and EP

#237 Post by Gabby » Thu 15 Aug 2019, 10:30 pm

I sort of wish Neil and Chris would confirm that the quality (or lack thereof) is intentional.

Imagine how soul destroying it would be for them (and Pete Gleadall) to see us bitching about the quality of the songs if they really DID put their heart and soul into them and thought they were top notch quality and never intended to be seen this way.

FWIW, I am sure you're right - the idea is to present these not as PSB tracks, but as Billie Trix numbers, so it makes a modicum of sense that they would be intentionally of a different musical/lyrical style and content to Tennant/Lowe.

If Chris decided to write something that sounded like it was written on a ZX Spectrum while taking on the persona of "Spotty kid from the 80's", nobody would be calling him out on sound quality. :) With a character like Billie Trix, it's rather more nuanced than that is all.

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Re: Musik - Cabaret and EP

#238 Post by retrofuturist » Fri 16 Aug 2019, 6:22 am

Greetings,
Gabby wrote:
Thu 15 Aug 2019, 10:30 pm
I sort of wish Neil and Chris would confirm that the quality (or lack thereof) is intentional.
I feel similarly regarding this year's releases. It reminds me of the Nightlife / Release era, where the instrument/sound selection was strange.

Retro. :)

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BlueSwan
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Re: Musik - Cabaret and EP

#239 Post by BlueSwan » Fri 16 Aug 2019, 1:11 pm

NotInvisible wrote:
Thu 15 Aug 2019, 10:11 pm
BlueSwan wrote:
Wed 14 Aug 2019, 8:02 pm
You're right. I don't know the concept. I am judging the music and it sounds terrible.
You are doing the equivalent of judging a comedy as a drama. It's a pointless exercise that makes you look silly.
That's ridiculous. Music should be able to be judged on its own merit, especially when said music is actually released independently of the musical. It makes no sense to want people to listen to a piece of musical work and then not get it when people complain about it sounding terribly with the excuse that they are not listening to the music in the right context. If these tracks are not meant to be consumed as a musical piece of work then they shouldn't have been released.

I am not at all convinced that the poor production is intentional, BTW. My hunch is that it is laziness.
http://www.soundcloud.com/blueswan (Blue Swan tracks, my solo tracks and remixes)

http://soundcloud.com/groups/inspired-by-pet-shop-boys (A collection of various artists PSB covers, PSB remixes and original songs inspired by PSB - anyone interested can contribute tracks)

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Re: Musik - Cabaret and EP

#240 Post by Ghost within this house » Fri 16 Aug 2019, 3:26 pm

BlueSwan wrote:
Fri 16 Aug 2019, 1:11 pm
NotInvisible wrote:
Thu 15 Aug 2019, 10:11 pm
BlueSwan wrote:
Wed 14 Aug 2019, 8:02 pm
You're right. I don't know the concept. I am judging the music and it sounds terrible.
You are doing the equivalent of judging a comedy as a drama. It's a pointless exercise that makes you look silly.
That's ridiculous. Music should be able to be judged on its own merit, especially when said music is actually released independently of the musical. It makes no sense to want people to listen to a piece of musical work and then not get it when people complain about it sounding terribly with the excuse that they are not listening to the music in the right context. If these tracks are not meant to be consumed as a musical piece of work then they shouldn't have been released.

I am not at all convinced that the poor production is intentional, BTW. My hunch is that it is laziness.
Is the laziness unintentional? Discuss.
Perhaps they didn't have time because they are busy fine-tuning the Berghain-inspired sound-stage of their groundbreaking new album....!
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