Malium loves Oggz

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Because I said so

It's been a while since I posted any new tracks even though I've been working in the studio about 20 hours each weekend.

Kurt, who played in a band with me years ago, came for a recent visit and there's a nice track with some bass and keyboard work from him around a chord progression and melody I came up with. That's still mutating after a couple of weeks.

Here's a new one I started August 25th. The title is a phrase I heard in one of the sax riffs:


Though it uses some tablas from a Laswell sample CD I hadn't really intended the bass to sound like Laswell. Somehow the processed acoustic bass ended up reminding me of him once the track started fleshing out with a dubby bass and drum groove. The sax crept in last Monday morning just as I was getting ready to park it. that led to some more horns that may end up disappearing. This mix here crops off the intro and takes it from a short 2 minute sketch to about 1:40. I'm pretty happy with it and ready to park it for a while to move on.

The result, to me, is a nice fusion of Indian percussion with a dub feeling groove and some sax and horns that flesh it out with a nice mood.

I'd like to add a little more dub effects to it and may come back and remix it along those lines to strip it down and send some echoes bouncing around more in classic dub style.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Free Radicals

Malium - Free Radicals

I've been working on this for the last week and it's gone through a lot of changes until it found a wandering lead that got me pretty excited.

This reminds me of Zappa for some reason, perhaps around the time the time he was doing Ship Arriving Too Late Too Save a Drowning Witch, which I have on vinyl and haven't heard in years. I suspect that's my imagination and it is more likely because the whole track kicks in like one of Frank's Guitar Solos tracks without a real melody or song framing it. It also pokes at a bit of a Brand-X-ish pumped up fusion vibe.

It doesn't feel finished and the mix is a bit rough, but I need to move on for now after listening to it and tweaking it since last Saturday. I think it's the best thing I've done in a a few weeks and wanted to share it.

Let me know what you think of it.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Trial Run

Malium - Trial Run

Listen to Malium - Trial Run in your browser's default web MP3 player, or right click to save a copy to your PC.

I'm having a hard time getting a mix of this that finds a good balance between the 70's style fusion of the electric piano riff that started this and wall of noise heavy echoed guitar brings with it. I did two takes on the guitar and thought I screwed them both up, but then decided it works ok with them mixed. They sound like they're ricocheting around in slow motion to me, especially compared to the fairly frenetic feel of the groove.

The core to this was one of the first sessions I had trying to learn Ableton Live to use for pattern shifting so I could get a littler tighter construction and ABC style sequencing to build a more formal song structure of pattern repetitions. There's some off the shelf drum, bass, and wah guitar loops mixed in, but the piano riffs I played haunted me enough to revisit this for the last few weeks to add in a moog bass and the guitar that drive over the edge. This one and another one I started around the same time could make for the roots to a 70's jazz-fusion style CD if I work in this direction a bit more.

A little marimba doubling some of the keyboard riffs got added almost as an after-thought, making it pretty dense, but also rhythmically fleshing it out a bit more melodically. It sounds a little bit too fast to me, and I'm having a hard time getting a mix that really works quite right. But this is pretty close, and I need to park it and start a new track.

March 24

Malium - March 24

Listen to Malium - March 24 in your browser's default web MP3 player, or right click to save a copy to your PC.

This is a Frippertronics style loop based piece using a software based looping system.

All of the sound here is created with guitar, with various layers added as a live performance in the studio as a series of overdubbed loops.

Basically it was a practice run testing how this software works as a compositional tool if I overdub layers of short loops on top of each other, and then I take the loops and feed those into a loop based music program to mix the layers.

It's an interesting approach that gives a lot more flexibility than the traditional tape-overdub style looping systems because I can control relative volume and fade loops in and out.

March 13th

Malium - March 13th

Listen to Malium - March 13th in your browser's default web MP3 player, or right click to save a copy to your PC.

Naming stuff gets a bit complicated, especially when something doesn't seem complete. I tend to ID my projects by numbers or dates until they get to the point where they seem to need a name. In this case I started recording on March 13th, exploring a few chords that I have been fond for for years on keyboard and trying to flesh out some new ideas with synth textures and guitar to complement them.

Sometimes, in a case like this, I record a few tracks over a span of a few hours or less and then move on. Sometimes I come back over a few days or weeks to add more.

This is more of a fragment than much of the stuff I've posted so far. It's a good example of why I want to share works in progress even if it's flawed, incomplete or likely not to evolve much beyond the current mix in this particular recording. If you want to hear something a bit more polished please have a listen to some of the other projects shared here.

This features analog synthesizer, guitar, electric piano and other sundry bits blended together. The guitar tone has a quality I really love, but the performance hits some notes I don't like. Overall I love the texture of the piece, but if it were a fish I'd thrown it back to let it grow a bit bigger.

One of my biggest self criticisms is that I tend to gravitate towards textures (which I see as a collection of sound or instruments and a blend of them in space and time) and a groove around a basic structure like this. What's sometimes missing is any kind of break, chorus or modulation from the basic theme.

In this case I left out a few chord changes that I've been using in this basic sequence, as long ago as 1988, to try to find a different way of hearing it. It's an old friend, in a new suit, with a haircut but a few limbs missing.

This is a good example of why I tend to consider some of these works as fragments or sketches that I feel are worth sharing, but that I don't consider a "finished product". I also think it's interesting and a bit unusual to share the creative process behind the evolution of a recording, which is another reason I want to talk about how a project grows legs of it's own before it walks away or I tame it.

I'm not fond of the idea of music as a product, or of looking at my work as finite, complete, or finished. Pieces take on a life of their own, and eventually probably will thematically recycle themselves into future works as I continue to evolve my visions and technical skills.

For just about any piece here I could post alternate mixes that show the evolution of a composition, in some cases with significantly different takes and edits.

I've tried to break from my sense of my 20+ years of unreleased music as being fragments and raw sketches for the first few posts on this site so I could try to show that I'm capable of doing things that I consider polished enough for proper release, such as the tracks I've put up on

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Mind Control


Continue breathing rhythmically... Inhale.... Exhale ... Listen to the sound of my voice...

Listen to Malium - MIND ENGINEERING.mp3

My Latest Podcast (video)

I created this video about a year ago, using text from a post to the Brian Eno list that someone sent as a parody of other podcast emails, with some some nods to Phillip Glass's Einstein on the Beach.

I set the text to a piece I had improvised while shooting videos of glowing Oggz-like aliens and other fun stuff, and had a computer read the text.

Saturday, April 14, 2007


This evolved around the bass track with a bit of a middle eastern feel, and started evoking images of deserts as I added keyboards and guitar. I started thinking a bit abut Morrocco, Paul Bowles' Sheltering Sky, and William Burroughs working on Naked Lunch.

This track can be downloaded from via the link above. Higher quality MP3 files are available on request.

It's Trouble, Man

I stole the title from my favorite Marvin Gaye album, the Trouble Man soundtrack.

I'm a fan of Film Noir and Blaxploitation flicks and this probably falls under that influence. This is an excerpt of the sketch and may go on a little long for what it is. I'll probably come back to it to change it around a bit and add some more tracks someday.


This started out from a horn riff in a Miles Davis track that I liked and tried to learn how to play on piano and horns. I missed a few of the changes, but liked the general direction of it improvised heavily around the first track that improvised on some Miles chords.

I added tracks and lost a few of them along the way to this mix. The original piece goes on for about 11 minutes and has some nice other parts in it, but didn't make a very smooth transition as a whole. There's about 15 tracks and at least a dozen alternate takes of individual tracks. So it's a piece that hasn't sat still enough to say that it wont' return in some other form.

There's an alternate mix with a heavily distorted guitar/keyboard track that sends it off into another direction entirely, much more abrasively, with more a feel towards Soft Machine, perhaps, while I think of this more as an ECM style and feel. I thought the trumpet track on here sounds best without that heavy track, so depending on which way I go a few other horn tracks come or go also in various mixes.

So, I'll probably return to this and work on some more mixes, but it works pretty well for me this way. It ended up being one of the jazziest things I've done in a long time.

It's Been a While

This is a piece that I think evolved well with some interesting interplay between the synth, piano, cello and guitars. It started out with the synth and then three guitar tracks, and lost one of them along the way. sampler

I put a few tracks that are candidates for a CD I am working on up on at to let them stream and get downloaded from there, and to see what kind of response they get. It also gives me a handy way to embed tracks here.

I'm still tweaking the "It's Trouble, Man" track, so that may still evolve more.