Ektopia Tunes Online…

Surprise by ektopia

I’ve hosted my tunes in various places over the years but about a year ago I shifted them over to soundcloud. I’ve just logged in for the first time in months to discover that the tunes have been listened too more than 2000 times, which I’m very grateful for. Head over to Ektopic Beats or take a listen to one of my first tunes that I made back in 2002, which I found earlier and added to the page.

Ektopic Beats Tunes Back Online

elms

For those that don’t know – I wrote and recorded a few tunes as well as recorded a few cover versions and hosted them here (one of the original reasons for starting Ektopia actually). More recently, I had to remove them from my server due to bandwidth issues> This was partly due to the fact that my more recent remixes were getting a hammering, especially the Postishead tune. Anyways, the good news is that I’ve just uploaded them all to Ektopia’s Ektopic Beats Drop.io site. So, have a listen to the tunes if you fancy. You can either check them from the embedded players on my tunes page or direct from the Drop.io site. I would recommend working backwards from the most recent backward. As for the image above? Noting to do with the tunes at all! [Cheers to Ed for the Drop.io tip]

Portishead Remixed – Dumb

Perhaps the greatest news so far this year has to be the release of Portishead Remixed – Dumb. So why an I so happy? Well, two reasons. First of all is that it’s a fantastic remix/mash-up album made by bedroom musicians around the world. All the tracks have been reworked to make a unique alternative to the Portishead’s original, and amazing, debut album, Dummy. Secondly, my version of Biscuit is included (under the moniker Ektopic Beats). The full artist line-up is JoolsMF, Rolo, DJ Matt Hite, Pheugoo, Lenlow, Pilchard, Thriftshop XL, CompactRisk, Solcofn, Ektopic Beats and Alex C. That’s not all – a guest vocalist, Katie Enlow, was invited to add some vocals to a couple of the tracks; her vocals have gelled the collection of tunes together beautifully. I think that if you love the original (what do you mean you’ve not got it!) you’ll love this too, it’s a fitting tribute (without being a tribute album) to the original musicians and their seminal work.

Go take a look at the Portishead Remixed site, get downloading, read the info while you wait (including the all important Donate page) and then enjoy the tunes. At the moment it’s only available as a Bit Torrent file. If you’re not familiar with Bit Torrent then don’t be afraid; go download a Bit Torrent client and get downloading. If like what you hear then feel free to spread the word, the link and the torrent file.

Well done to everyone else involved, especially Mixomatosis for coming up with the idea, planning it and seeing it through to completion and release.

Update – 22/12/06 – Just realised that the main site is no longer active so here’s my tune if anyone’s interested.

 

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Radiohead’s Stand Up Sit Down Boot – Ektopia Stylee

It’s with both disappointment as well as excitement that I announce a new tune mixed by myself, under the moniker, Ektopic Beats. “So why the sad face Reevo?” Well, about a year ago I got involved in a project called “Hail To The Copyright Thief” which was going to be mash-up of Radiohead’sHail To The Thiefalbum. I was pretty excited about it for a long while but here we are, a year down the line, for reasons unknown to me, the project has finally been deemed dead and buried, which is a shame. I would have thought someone could have pulled it out of the bag but people have already posted their individual tracks onto GYBO, I’m convinced it would have been a fantastic collection of tunes.

Anyways, here’s my version of Stand Up Sit Down for you all to have a listen to. I’m so far removed from it now (historically and emotionally) that I can hardly remember what samples came from what tune and artist or anything else interesting to report about its creation. I guess I’m pretty happy with it although I recall it being a pig to mix as there’s so much going on at the end.

On a more positive not, I’ve been involved in another boot project that should hopefully be announced in the not to distant future. I’ll keep you informed. For people who have only started visiting Ektopia over the last year or so I should explain that I’ve been writing, recording and stealing samples on and off for a long while and you can check out my previous tunes here. Hope you find something you can tolerate or even enjoy!!!

348 seconds (8.0 meg)

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You’ve Been Flirting Again Mix

This one’s a version of Bjork’s You’ve Been Flirting Again that’s been under construction for far too long.

The geeky bit: Vocals are a monotonous chant from part of a live Icelandic version of the tune buy it’s just as I wanted them. What I like most about the track is the rhythm, which is taken care of by a number of samples that I got from a Michel Gondry (video & movie director) documentary a few years back. The samples were all of him playing a toy drum kit under bridges and on the side of roads etc. which is why there’s plenty of ambient noise along the way (of note is that he directed quite a few of Bjork’s tunes, tenuous link but there you go…I thought it was clever a couple of years back!). Bass is a sample of me playing along with a sub bass and there’s a home made pseudo-analogue sweeping sound that I created from some simple waveforms. Enjoy.

236 seconds (3.6 megs)

 

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What No New Tunes?

Right, I’ve finally sorted the new sounds page out and just noticed how un-prolific I’ve been for the last year or so. I’ve been crazy busy at work and also playing with They Fight Crime. I have actually been recording and playing around with sounds (Around with Sounds..good name for a band?) but just not got anything actually finished. I’ve got an interesting backing for the next tune already, it’s a sample from a toy that Em bought me from the Pompidou Centre last year. I’m going to do my best to get something up here again real soon…honest guv.

Unhinged

This is a jazzy little Ektopic Beats tune called Unhinged that was created as an experiment to learn how to use my new software sampler, Native Instrument’s Kontakt.

Geek stuff if you feel the need to know it: Starting from the top, the sampled beat was from the intro to a movie (can’t remember which one, I watch a lot of movies, not that I would say which one anyways!), the other drums are programmed by me using a Battery Studio Drums jazz kit for those lovely brushed snare and tom sounds. The vocal sample was taken from a program I watched on TV (Channel 4 not 3!) and pushed through Kontakt’s "Time Machine" effect, which stretches and compresses samples without altering their pitch. This sample is also responsible for most of the synth sounding parts of the lead line, which is slowed right down until it actually sounds like a synth (very cool). There are plenty of other bits and pieces in their, including my vocals, that I wont go into but my favourite has to be the double bass. This was created by chopping up a double bass sample from a re-recorded classic jazz tune. I the re-arranged the individual samples to create the new melody that you hear. I’m not sure if it has enough bass as I mastered it in my music room as apposed to my living room (I get better results down there). Anyways, enough gassing, have a listen to version 1.1 (now there’s a first!), enjoy.

Update (05/01/03) You can now also listen to Unhinged [Instrumental]

197 seconds (3.0 meg)

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Don’t Change Your Plans

This is the Jack Leg version of the amazing Ben Folds Five tune Don’t Change Your Plans. Two things to say about this tune, firstly I am sorry to any hardcore BBF lovers (the original is such a beautiful tune) and secondly, I’m chuffed with how this tune turned out!

Geek stuff if you want it: Battery for the drums with a customised funk kit for the snares (and just for fun), lots of guitars (and loads of overdubs!), bass and a simple double tracked vocal with no harmonies at all (all taken care of by the guitars in the middle) and the now obligatory shaker! Of note is that I used a great little foot pedal for part of the guitar solo, it’s a Colorsound Wah/Fuzz/Swell that dates from the 60s. It’s a great bit of kit that sometimes picks up foreign radio when you turn the fuzz and the wah up full and the volume on the guitar all the way down!! Talking of the solo…there’s even some duelling left and right guitars going on Iron Maiden stylee! Maybe I should work on my Bruce Dickinson vocal and do an Iron Maiden tune next (or maybe not)! This mix is version 1.3

187 seconds (2.9 meg)

Update (21/06/04) I get most of my referred hits from people searching for information about the Colorsound Wah/Fuzz/Swell pedal, just thought I would mention it!

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If You Can’t Switch Off…

Our minds are saturated by hundreds of commercial messages every day and this is what If You Can’t Switch Off… is all about. This tune was originally written and recorded (badly!) about 2 years ago. I recently re-recorded it and changed a couple of bits.

Geek stuff for those that care: Nothing much to say here really, I used the same kit as I normally use including Battery for the drums using a customised pop kit this time for the extra projection that the tight toms gave. One problem that I encountered was that I couldn’t get the backwards guitar bit in the middle 8 to sound half as good as the original version so I simply cut and pasted the nasty original bit into this version. I guess I should also mention that after mastering it to a wave file I converted it to mp3 using a program called Cdex. It’s a freeware CD ripper with loads of neat functions. Anyway, here ‘s the tune…version 2.1, hope you enjoy it

204 seconds (3.2 meg)

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Fine: Song For Emma

Here’s a tune called Fine: Song For Emma that I wrote and recorded (and then re-wrote and re-recorded!) for Emma for putting up with me over the last couple of years (not that it’s been that hard for her ;-)

Geek stuff for anyone that cares: A small change in to my normal technique for this one. I used Native Instruments Battery for the drums with a customised rock kit! I also I used my lovely Ibanez 12-string acoustic during the choruses and a funky little shaker that Em got me. The rest was recorded as normal – Rode microphone, Ibanez RG550 (The Yellow Heavy Metal Guitar!), Behringer V-Amp with the V2 upgrade, Aria Pro II bass and Cakewalk Sonar. The original mix for version 2 was mixed down at a friend’s (Dave) home studio to see if I could get a better sound using custom monitoring equipment (which I haven’t got) but the vocals were way too loud so I remixed it back @ home and this is the end result, V2.2. Hope you like it

209 seconds (3.3 meg)

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