Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Second Hand Living [2016]


Second Hand Living is my latest album (mostly) recorded between july 2015 and july 2016.

I'm finding myself with less time to record new music each year. I think that if were to quit my job I would spend most of my time in a room recording music, a hermit, in fact I would use a pseudonym: The Hermit (just kidding!!!).

Well, the artwork is an edited picture taken from my first trip to Mexico, it was edited for both the front and the back cover.

The recording process was mostly started right after I finished the "Past Master, Future Servant" album with the exception of "Earth" and "Burned Our Wings In The Sun" which were recorded during the genesis of the "Slow Death" album and "Show Me The Way" which was recorded during the recordings of "Past Master" I just didn't include the Frampton classic in the latter album because I already had a cover of "Femme Fatale" and didn't want to have another one (I already seemed lazy enough waiting two years to record a new album).

I really like the album and am enjoying it a lot on the way to work each day.

The songs:

1. TO BURN YOUR DESIRE
When I recorded this song I was listening a lot to the Flamin' Groovies' Flamingo album and was influenced by it on several songs on this album, although it ended up sounding more like early 80' new wave (which I really looove) on some of the songs because I added "cheesy" 80's synths to most of them.

2. ETERNAL DOMAIN
This was an all acoustic song which ended up on sounding like early 80's new wave.

3. EARTH
One of the "Slow Death" outtakes, I loved it but didn't know how to finish it, it didn't have the clavinet and organ that you hear on the finished album. The roots reggae with dark sound is really good and I wish I could always do reggae this way but for me is not that easy.

4. THESE CHAINS
This was one of the Groovies' inspired songs and ended up sounding more like Jet (the band).

5. WASTED YEARS
This song was recorded and written last week, I wanted to use the Lindsey Buckingham muted guitar sound which seemed cocaine fueled on the "Tusk" album which is another story.

6. BURNED OUR WINGS IN THE SUN
This is the other song from the "Slow Death" sessions, another reggae song, in fact that was going to be a reggae album but I started working on other songs and put aside the concept. I like it but I find "Earth" closer to my heart, you can tell that I'm a Doors and Country Joe & The Fish fan by this preference.

7. EVERYBODY'S IN IT
Another Groovies' inspired song and like "These Chains" ended up sound like another thing altogether, this time I find it closer to early 80's hair metal (which I really haaate).

8. SECOND HAND LIVING
This is another Groovies' inspired song but just like before ended up sounding totally different which is a good thing because I don't want to copy a band or album.

9. SHOW ME THE WAY
My favorite Peter Frampton song, I remember from my childhood the strange sounding guitar, I like the original and not so much the "Comes Alive" version, in fact I think that the live album destroyed his career and it is one of the first albums that started that hate relationship of punk and classic rock acts because of it's huge success, that's sad because he was a great pop artist and right after that album he was never taken seriously again.

10. AFTER THE STARS HAVE ALL DIED
One of my favorites, it was an all acoustic song without drums and synths but ended up sounding great (imho).

11. LOOK INTO THE OTHER SIDE
Another all acoustic song that ended sounding totally different from what it started.

 There you have it, please enjoy and feel free to throw in your comments.


LINK [Including Artwork]: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/37711895/SecondHandLiving.zip

Saturday, July 18, 2015

NEW LOOK

Hello to all, hope you enjoy the new simpler look.
Download the new album Past Master, Future Servant and tell me what you think.

Leonel

Past Master, Future Servant [2015]




Past Master, Future Servant is my latest album; finished on June 2015, it took me two years to complete.

Some songs are from the Slow Death sessions, the basic tracks of those songs were recorded on Windows using the Nuendo Software and later finished on  Mac using Logic Pro while the rest of the album was produced entirely on the Mac. There's even one song that the basic track was recorded on an iPad using Garage Band and then added drums on Nuendo, that track was removed from the Slow Death album and now is a completely different entity.

I think this album took so long because I played around with a Hackintosh project until I got it right then when I felt comfortable I decided to convert the Nuendo tracks to Logic and ended disliking all of the original drums which I had to re-record. After all that I found out that the mastering process in Logic is not as easy (for me) as in Nuendo, so I wasted a couple of months trying to get "the sound" right, I later found out that "the sound" was on the original master and that I only needed a better mixing technique. After all that I build a proper Hackintosh and now I have a Monster Mac.

I used mostly an SX Guitar (Telecaster copy), the same I used for Black Lagoon and most of the albums recorded after that, I also used a Washburn Semi-hollow guitar which I don't use much but used it to record the Up In Arms ep, a Fender acoustic/electric guitar, a Montaya Acoustic Guitar from 1978 and a Squier Jagmaster guitar. I used an SX Bass guitar that I've used on all my albums since the Black Lagoon. I used a Behringer mini Keyboard which I have used since the Spectrum album. My drums, Alesis Head with ION pads, a Roland snare pad, Tama bass kick pedal and a Pintech hi-hat pedal; these were the cheapest drums I could find and they have been on all of my albums since And Now...Something Completely Similar

The songs:

1. MURMURS OF DEFIANCE
This is the oldest from the lot; this was the one that started in Garage Band. The original was so different, boring and not psychedelic at all, now I think it's menacing. I like the vocal effect right before the first solo and the sound of the guitar on that solo.

2. I WAS YOUR FRIEND
This started as a Bossanova.  One of the Nuendo tracks and also one of my favorites from the album.

3. REVOLUTION
One of the Nuendo tracks, this is one of the oldest; I stole the intro from "This Sportin' Life" because I thought it would sound great along the main blues riff of the song.

4. LONELY NIGHTS UPTOWN
This was going to be a longer suite but I got lazy and ended it, I think it was a good decision. Another one of the Nuendo tracks, it's got a Spanish Andalucian vibe but the final part is more rock than anything.

5. THE PLAN
This was completely recorded on the Mac. I like the guitar solo a lot.

6. MOON PATROL
Another of the newer Mac songs, actually my first one recorded on Logic, started as an electronic experiment and then I changed the instruments and added Bass & Drums. The lyrics are about the Atari classic.

7. YOUR BIGGEST FAN
This was one of the Nuendo tracks. I wrote the lyrics about a co-worker who was always kissing the darker end of the boss. Strangely enough, my voice, which was recorded without effects, sounds kind of different from my normal voice.

8. ON A WHIM
This is one of the Mac recorded songs. The lyrics are based on an incident from long ago.

9. LAME DUCK
This was done entirely on the Mac. The acoustic guitar was later added because I was uncomfortable with the sound. The name of the song is a metaphor to those incumbent government officials who are about to leave office, careless and irreverent.

10. PAST MASTER, FUTURE SERVANT
I recorded this on Nuendo days after I finished the Slow Death album, It was an instrumental and right then I decided that was the name I would give to the song, I just thought it was a great spin on the Past Masters album from The Beatles, then when I decided to write lyrics for it without noticing, the whole thing turned into an S&M thing even though that's not my thing it evolved into that. The second part of the song is kind of avant-garde and jazzy.

11. EVERYBODY'S SELLING
This was one of the Nuendo songs. As always I write the lyrics after the whole track has been recorded, this time the song is about a company at the end of their rope, kind of strange that this is a very slow song and kind of melancholic but the lyrics are about business productivity, well that's how it ended. The guitar solo was added later and I like it a lot.

12. FEMME FATALE
This song has been with me since my early teens and just when I found the time to learn it I thought of recording it. It really is a tribute to Lou Reed, I haven't recorded a cover since 2008's Connect The Polka Dots

13. KILLING PAIN
This was one of the Nuendo tracks. The song ends the album in a country rock note. The lyrics are about battling addiction. I edited the song as it was much longer I now feel it is very well executed.

The whole album has a mix of my many influences: Psychedelia, Bossanova, Flamenco, Blues, Country Rock, 80's New Wave and Pop. The songs I find myself listening to the most is "I Was Your Friend", "Moon Patrol" and "Femme Fatale" but I love the other ones as well . 

The album cover is from a pic of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico and a pic of a Cancun Cenote from Mexico, both taken by me.

I've already started recording a couple tracks for another album, but be patient please.


THE GOODS [Including Cover]: https://www.dropbox.com/s/lz96orarrnuqfo0/PastMaster.rar?dl=0