My Christmas present!

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
A little bit of history first.

Back in 1987, I was part of a band called "Compartiment Fumeurs" and we recorded a demo live in the studio (best of 3 takes for each songs) in autumn 1988, at the time the purpose of this recording was 1. to promote ourselves, 2. to have the tapes for any would be fans during our touring within the country (Switzerland).

This was recorded on D.A.T. at the time, then we did a 1000's copies on audio tapes, and of course, I gave some to my friends and family.

And yesterday I received a parcell from a long time drummer friend, it was this demo recording on a CD!!! with the apropriate "Merry Christmas card". By some technical wizzardy, he managed to transfer his audio tape copy onto a CD (it's amazing what you can do these days).

Since it's my only digital recording (it's now on my playlist on my computer, he he he), I decided to share it with you.

I've selected the best 2 tracks IMO from that antique recording.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sf1hUd61aHo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_zdCYoA9cs

Feel free to comment if you wish, but bare in mind that's 23 years old stuff, haha :)
 

David Floegel

Silver Member
Wow I really like that stuff!! =)

I really like the Sax at 1:30 and 2:00 in "Solitude" =)
And great solo in the double time section! =)
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
This is completely crazy for late 80's. Absolutely bloody superb! Wow, even the tape hiss has class.

Liking the sax vibe in Solitude. Lovely "lazy" doubles on bass drum really lift the under groove beautifully.

The track I really like is L 'Ocean Bleu. Great groove, great atmosphere, great build. Some highlights for me:

The little accent piece at 3:11, later echoed in the piece.

Stunning snare lift at 4:17 & subsequent ghosts.

Most of all, I love the almost disconnected vibe between your bass drum pattern & ride. Both working in their own right, but barely holding together. I love that tension, & it's very difficult to pull off. Unless I'm mistaken, you're working the bass drum exactly in time with the slightly (purposely) dragging bass guitar, & aligning the ride to the song count. If so, that's world class execution right there!

What can I say? You're a deeply impressive player, & It's an honour to be associated with you. You really are a very welcome addition of depth to this forum.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
That's some cool stuff. Although unlike Andy, I don't have any highlights, I just liked the entire vibe of the tunes. Question, the YouTube video led to some live video of the band - is that also you playing there? Or no?

Good stuff.
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
Wow I really like that stuff!! =)

I really like the Sax at 1:30 and 2:00 in "Solitude" =)
And great solo in the double time section! =)
Thank you Kalma, Claude is indeed a very acomplished sax player and great friend.

This is completely crazy for late 80's. Absolutely bloody superb! Wow, even the tape hiss has class...

What can I say? You're a deeply impressive player, & It's an honour to be associated with you. You really are a very welcome addition of depth to this forum.
Andy, thank you so much for such nice and uplifting comments (I'm blushing now!), it's really appreciated... :))

BTW, it's the Tama Artstar Cordia on these recordings with a Sonor Signature snare.

That's some cool stuff. Although unlike Andy, I don't have any highlights, I just liked the entire vibe of the tunes. Question, the YouTube video led to some live video of the band - is that also you playing there? Or no?

Good stuff.
Thank you Bo, the live videos has the same singer, he has put the band back together about 5 or 6 years ago after his solo career as a performer, so no, it's not me on the live videos nor any other musicians for that matter, only the singer is the remaining musician of this band (back in the 80's he wrote all the lyrics and 85% of the music and he was only 19!)
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Great Xmas pressie, MAD! That's really good music - love it!

Good clear sound, interesting and clever songwriting and ideas, vocalist and soloists are excellent, your kick was shaky at times in each song but the drumming was generally smart, stylish and a pleasure to listen to. There's a lot to like in these recordings. Saved to my YouTube Favourites.
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
Great Xmas pressie, MAD! That's really good music - love it!

Good clear sound, interesting and clever songwriting and ideas, vocalist and soloists are excellent, your kick was shaky at times in each song but the drumming was generally smart, stylish and a pleasure to listen to. There's a lot to like in these recordings. Saved to my YouTube Favourites.
Thanks Polly, ...Wow! saved in your YouTube favourites, cool!

Yep, my bass drums workout has much improved since then, haha :))
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Thanks Polly, ...Wow! saved in your YouTube favourites, cool!

Yep, my bass drums workout has much improved since then, haha :))
I kinda like the bass drum parts. Strange, as I'm normally very keen on bass drum placement, but the bass drum performance in these pieces takes away that potential contrived "we're a bunch of serious muso's" vibe so frequently punted back in the day.
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
I kinda like the bass drum parts. Strange, as I'm normally very keen on bass drum placement, but the bass drum performance in these pieces takes away that potential contrived "we're a bunch of serious muso's" vibe so frequently punted back in the day.
Thanks for that comment Andy, somehow, I can agree with it, as a matter of feels and vibes to such type of music, it gives kind of a more "organic" feel as opposed to the "clinical" feel sometimes associated to this type of music.

However, since then, I changed completely the feet technique on BD's, I used to bury the beaters into the batter heads, and around 1993, I switched to "rebound" technique (with both techniques I play heel-up), which IMO gives more control and offer a more "open" sound to the kick drums, for me it's the same approach as playing the snares and toms.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
I kinda like the bass drum parts. Strange, as I'm normally very keen on bass drum placement, but the bass drum performance in these pieces takes away that potential contrived "we're a bunch of serious muso's" vibe so frequently punted back in the day.
Ah, you're talking about a charming touch of garage ... just a touch :)

I know what you mean and it's small enough for me to still add them to my Faves, but if it was me I'd have had a few ouch moments on playback (as most of us do at times), and I expect MAD would have had them at the same moments. Am I right, MAD?
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
Ah, you're talking about a charming touch of garage ... just a touch :)

I know what you mean and it's small enough for me to still add them to my Faves, but if it was me I'd have had a few ouch moments on playback (as most of us do at times), and I expect MAD would have had them at the same moments. Am I right, MAD?
You're dead right! and it doesn't just apply to the bass drums...

Now, it was played live with no click track, each songs played 3 times in a row, all in one day.

The following day was based on choosing the best versions (and that took some time, I can tell you), taking into account everybody's performances, and in my opinion, there was better drum tracks on other takes, but being in a democratic band, we had to choose the takes that was felt as the "better" version from the majority of the band (7 pieces band).
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
You're dead right! and it doesn't just apply to the bass drums...

Now, it was played live with no click track, each songs played 3 times in a row, all in one day.

The following day was based on choosing the best versions (and that took some time, I can tell you), taking into account everybody's performances, and in my opinion, there was better drum tracks on other takes, but being in a democratic band, we had to choose the takes that was felt as the "better" version from the majority of the band (7 pieces band).
Yeah, that's how my current band records. It's all about settling in the end. Do some run throughs and decide on the best overall.

Doesn't it kill ya when you get it spot on and someone else in the band blows it? And doesn't it kill your conscience when someone else does a perfect take and you stuff up? lol

Even so, I much prefer recording en masse to individual takes.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
I much prefer recording en masse to individual takes.
I'd go with that Pol. Our last budget studio venture suffered badly from individual tracking in a rush. When a studio recording is well below the standard & vibe of your live performance, you know you've made bad decisions. Next time out, we'll make sure we record somewhere that has the isolation facilities to do live takes.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
I'd go with that Pol. Our last budget studio venture suffered badly from individual tracking in a rush. When a studio recording is well below the standard & vibe of your live performance, you know you've made bad decisions. Next time out, we'll make sure we record somewhere that has the isolation facilities to do live takes.
Even if the isolation isn't great, I'd rather have the feeling of a performance than an artful assembly. If you're not competing at the top end of the market where you need great hi fi, it's worth sacrificing a bit of fi for a better vibe ... IMO anyway.

MAD, just listened to Solitude twice more - awesome music - like David Sylvian with some acid jazz and Canterbury scene touches. Right in my zone :)
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
Even so, I much prefer recording en masse to individual takes.
Me too, even it it's a more challenging approach, you just can't mess it up, a really difficult task indeed, but nowadays I would feel that little bit more confident about it, it's so much a state of mind approach....

Our last budget studio venture suffered badly from individual tracking in a rush. When a studio recording is well below the standard & vibe of your live performance, you know you've made bad decisions....
These recordings were made with some rush Andy, with 1/4 of the first day spend to EQ the band, we all had the pressure once the red light was on, especially for me and a couple of other musicisians as it was our fisrt "proper" studio experience, we couldn't afford another session day (it was financed with the band's gigs money), and we all agreed at the time that it was "below the standard & vibe of our live performance", to use your quote....

I'd rather have the feeling of a performance than an artful assembly...
Yes, I agree, but there's other way to achieve this, nowadays, I would prefer to play the song live with the band, but with a click, then everyone re-do their part using that "master" and If I can help it, record my part last as to be able to interact with the soloist (it's a different solo on each takes)...

MAD, just listened to Solitude twice more - awesome music - like David Sylvian with some acid jazz and Canterbury scene touches. Right in my zone :)
I'm glad and chuffed that you like this song, the intro riff was inspired by a Sting's song...
 
S

sticks4drums

Guest
That must of been a nice surprise for Christmas. Hated the music, hated the singers voice, too smooshy, not a word, I know, but you get the idea, but enjoyed your playing. Nice feel buddy. What kind of stuff do you play nowadays?
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
That must of been a nice surprise for Christmas. Hated the music, hated the singers voice, too smooshy, not a word, I know, but you get the idea, but enjoyed your playing. Nice feel buddy. What kind of stuff do you play nowadays?
It is indeed a nice Chistmas present, I've not listened to these recordings for years, so it does bring back nice memories.... (although, very painful to my ears on certain songs, haha...)

Thanks for your comments, at least your being honest about your tastes, I like that, and I'm chuffed that you enjoyed my playing...

Nowadays I play some funk jazzy fusion, but I'm currently with no band at the moment, and I wouldn't mind to be part of a rock project, just for old time sake...
 

aydee

Platinum Member
...

Henri!

I didnt see this before Pol pointed my nose in this direction. This is totally brilliant, both tunes. Tasty comps, fabulously restrained arrgements, and kickass playing by all, and boy do you have a fatass greasegrinder of a groove! I loved it / and your playing. I liked that little double on the kick, which was a nice touch....

Sure the sound feels a little too 80s now, but these tunes evoked Headhunters and Steely Dan for me.Coming from me, thats high praise.

Bravo!


...
 

Mad About Drums

Pollyanna's Agent
...

Henri!

I didnt see this before Pol pointed my nose in this direction. This is totally brilliant, both tunes. Tasty comps, fabulously restrained arrgements, and kickass playing by all, and boy do you have a fatass greasegrinder of a groove! I loved it / and your playing. I liked that little double on the kick, which was a nice touch....

Sure the sound feels a little too 80s now, but these tunes evoked Headhunters and Steely Dan for me.Coming from me, thats high praise.

Bravo!


...
Thank you so much Abe for such high praise from a drummer of your caliber, it does mean a lot for me :))

Steely Dan? ... wow man, I like you ;-))
 

calim

Member
Et en plus c'est en Français :) J'ai beaucoup aimé, mais je dois ré-écouter encore car j'ai trouvé des placements particulièrement audacieux (dans le sens 'intéressant'). Je reviendrai !
 
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