These days I only check my Twitter account a couple of times per week. Today I saw this tweet from Andrew Gaskins. I love Desert Island Lists! Thank you!
We have opened a little online store for 2016 merchandise and a few CDs. This store will be open for a limited time only. The URL is https://squareup.com/store/spiral-subwave-records-international.
My new album “slow” was released in our own ListeningLounge today.
Here is a link to the album page on our website.
This is a direct link to the album in our ListeningLounge.
And this is the link to a special page about the album, with background information and a track by track guide.
We will have the CD for sale during the last leg of this year’s tour, which starts a week from today in Fort Lauderdale. Here are the dates:
Nov 11 – Fort Lauderdale, FL – Parker Playhouse
Nov 12 – Clearwater, FL – Capitol Theater
Nov 13 – Orlando, FL – Plaza Theater
Nov 14 – Atlanta, GA – Variety Playhouse
Nov 17 – Houston, TX – House of Blues
Nov 18 – Austin, TX – One World Theatre
Nov 19 – San Antonio, TX – Aztec Theater
Nov 20 – Dallas, TX – House of Blues
November 18th is the official release date of the album, and CDs should arrive in stores then. Digital distribution is seriously backlogged for all indies, so the album will be available in digital form at iTunes and Amazon, but I don’t yet know when. I’ll keep you posted.
On “Heart Still/Beating” Chris played the famous Reggae “One Drop” beat for the most part, except for the second verse. Here the cajon plays the Tangos rhythm. In addition one of the rhythm guitars plays Tangos rhythm throughout both of the verses. “Heart Still/Beating” and “Them Belly Full” contain trumpet-only horn sections that were written and performed by JQ Whitcomb.
The horn section on “Is This Love” and “Lively Up Yourself” consists of trumpets and an electric bass guitar. The bass guitar replaces the saxophone that would be used in a traditional horn section. I thought this would brighten the sound of the horn section and sit better with the Flamenco guitars.
On “Could You Be Loved” the guitar chorus melody is doubled by two accordions panned far right and far left. This is one of the things I always loved about Bob Marley’s albums – they were mixed so well. One finds keyboards or percussion elements hard-panned and out of the way. Marley albums weren’t a wall of sound. They were a large landscape, a wide-screen movie, with exciting stuff happening on the edges instead of everything being bunched up in the middle.
“No Woman No Cry” starts with the chorus played in Tangos Flamenco rhythm, with cajon and upright bass. The first verse uses a variation of the Reggae One Drop beat, together with electric bass guitar and pick bass. Pick bass is usually done on a guitar that plays in unison with the bass. Here, and elsewhere on this album, Jon performed the pick bass on a second bass guitar. On the third chorus the drumkit plays the Tangos beat (The kick drum sits between beats 2 and 3 and then on 4.)
On “Jamming” Robby plays silverware on the Choruses. The silverware stems from my great grandparents and is over a hundred years old. Robby “auditioned” a whole bunch of forks and knives until he found the right sound.
“Three Little Birds” – a cajon plays the Tangos rhythm throughout. Jon plays upright bass – there is no electric instrument on this song. The guitar solo wasn’t meant to stay. It was my first exploratory take and was supposed to be replaced, by something more “impressive and interesting”, but then a friend of mine heard the song and said “nice jam” and I realized that it was that kind of song. Guys making music around a camp fire, jamming, and not trying to impress anyone.
I have wanted to record a Reggae version of “Barcelona Nights” since the mid Nineties! Again, one of the rhythm guitars plays Tangos during the verses.
After the intro to “Them Belly Full” the cajon once again plays the Tangos rhythm, followed by the drumkit playing variations of the Tangos beat. In the chorus, a cajon plays Tangos and a drum machine plays a half-time Reggae beat. Char takes over the melody in the next section. Jon switches to upright bass and plays a Salsa figure (Salsa, like Reggae and Tangos, also avoids beat one) and the cajon is playing Tangos.
The original recording of “I Shot the Sheriff” was really a Reggae murder-ballad. I recorded fewer verses than are in the original. The third verse switches from Reggae drumkit to Tangos cajon. The drumkit plays “One Drop”, but with a snare added between beat four and beat one.
The guitar riff at the end of “Lively Up Yourself” is one of my experiments that combines Flamenco rasguado techniques with Funk.
On “Waiting In Vain” the drumkit plays the Reggae “One Drop” beat. A cajon, playing the Tangos rhythm, is added for the second verse and during the guitar solo.
I hope you will agree that Tangos and Reggae are siblings who, although separated for centuries, are completely comfortable together.
Reviewed by All-About-Jazz:
Ottmar Liebert: Waiting n Swan
This is the music of Bob Marley done with grace and finesse—with all the pomp and panache that Liebert is acknowledged for—and the proper respect and integrity it deserves.
Waiting n Swan CDs are not available in stores yet, but will be very soon. So we decided to sell the CD on this website for a short while. And then we thought why not do something special and sell signed and personalized CDs! The holidays are approaching and CDs still sound better than mp3s. :-)
This offer will be only be available until November 10th.
Regarding the title of the new album, “Waiting n Swan”, the word “waiting” refers, of course, to the song “Waiting in Vain” and the phrase “n Swan” is Caribbean creole meaning “and so on”.
Last year I decided to record an album of songs that mix elements of the Tangos Flamenco rhythm with Reggae beats.
Reggae and Tangos Flamenco — not to be confused with the Argentine Tango — are deeply connected. Tangos has a lilt and features the same avoidance of beat one that Reggae and Salsa have, and to my ears it always sounded very different from other Flamenco forms.
I read that some believe the Caribbean rhythm was brought to the Spanish port Cadiz by sailors from merchant vessels, and that the catchy rhythm soon traveled to Andalusia, where it blended with local musical styles and became Tangos Flamenco. The word ‘tangos’ itself might be derived from the onomatopoeia ‘tang’ which resembles ‘the sound of the drum‘, while in some parts of South America the word ‘tangosa’ refers to Africans dancing to the beat of drums.
The deep roots of these three rhythms, Tangos, Reggae and Salsa, of course, lie in Africa.
The new album will be released on October 23rd.
Here is another track from three-oh-five, perhaps more unusual than the others. I came up with the music backstage at the Dewan Filharmonik in Kuala Lumpur, waiting for the start of our concert there last November. The rhythm shifts between different meters while the tremolo guitar plays a 12/8 ostinato (Bulerias).
I would like to do a whole album of music like this someday, atmospheric, trippy… but perhaps it is best to slide the occasional piece like this into a “regular” album.
On 22. April SSRI will release my two new albums. The music on these two albums is quite different, but one melody is present on both, as a bridge connecting the albums and a way to demonstrate the approach I took on each album.
Here are a few photos documenting the photo shoot for the three-oh-five cover.
Drawing the three-oh-five logo on the window:
The above photos are by Diane Small and the location was Shibui, Richard Yaski’s sculpture garden in Little River, near Mendocino, on the Northern Californian coast.
And here is the finished cover:
Ottmar Liebert & Luna Negra binaural: the Fritz Files
“I find the binaural experience much more natural than 5.1 or anything like that,” says Ottmar Liebert. “By comparison those multi-speaker arrays sound very artificial — and are expensive….”
(read the whole review at Culture Court)
(You may ask yourself, why do we sell the HD files for Up Close now? We found out that HDTracks.com apparently does not sell outside the USA and by making Up Close available in our ListeningLounge we are making the album available in this HD version to the rest of the world.)
© Greg Gorman 2013
On new year’s eve I redid three mixes for the new album “three-oh-five”. Then I sat down with a glass of wine and listened to the whole album using Audeze LCD-2 headphones – through an old Parasound DAC and preamp.
I loved every track and heard nothing that took me out of the experience, which means it looks like I was able to finish the music on the last day of 2013.
Now I can turn my attention to another album I want to release this Spring…