Big Beat comeback

Chris Randall posted this video on his blog with a description of Big Beat and the acts that popularised this style of EDM in the late '90s. It struck me as being the sorta track I'd more likely call Electronica, as it has less of a focus on samples from (sometimes cheese-y) sources that characterised the Big Beat tracks of Fatboy Slim, Bentley Rhythm Ace and The Propellerheads.

Not to look like a pedant because it seems the use of the term Big Beat varies depending on which side of the Atlantic you reside on:
Big beat later gained popularity and commercial success in the American market, largely due to the "rock-like" qualities and influences cited in the work of The Chemical Brothers and The Prodigy, who were featuring loud and heavy guitar sounds more and more in their material at the time.

One of my favourite sources of Big Beat was the Dope On Plastic compilations, which started in 1994 and successfully picked a number of tracks that went on to find popularity like Blueboy's 'Remember Me', DJ Kool's 'Let Me Clear My Throat' and 'B-Boy Stance' (featuring Tenor Fly) by The Freestylers.

Found this beaut mix of Plastic tracks while googling:

Naturalist trio

The Disquiet Junto this week was a bit like an Iron Chef-style challenge to create a song from only three ingredients:
Combine the following three field recordings of animals into an unlikely vocal trio: 

You can manipulate the sounds as you see fit, but at some point in the finished piece each sound should be recognizable by its source material. You may not add external sound sources.

My approach was to find a rhythm first. I used the bird recording because the gain on it was going to be a problem without gating anyway. Then I tried to make a bassline from the pig but it ended up sounding better as a kind of synth sound with a resonator. I looped the kitten to make the bassline, using my favourite Ohymboyz preset for the swelling drone.

To give the piece some structure I automated a few fades, as well as re-looping the pig and re-pitching the kitten. During mastering I ran the track through an EMT140-style reverb for that chrome character.

Netlabel hybrid

The Disquiet Junto this week asked for a remix drawing on sections from three tracks released under Creative Commons.

I settled on a few short loops from Archean by PlotKA for the drums and the bass comes from Dark City by Marc Pastco, although I reversed it. My remix opens with a short loop from Zamenhof Blues by Digital_Me, which you can hear pitched up four octaves and after that it adds grainy bursts of texture.

Most of the effects come from Ableton Live, particularly Beat Repeat, Gate, Autofilter and Resonator.