- Friday, March 23, 2012

Behind The Mirror [2012]

Behind The Mirror is my latest (finished) album, a rock album.

Recorded as always by myself, it almost was going to be another funk album, in fact the first song recorded for it was a funky song with a bass line similar to a James Brown song and included some keyboard horns but when I recorded the guitars I found that they where not in tune with the bass so I discarded the song and decided to end the funk album concept I was going to start and instead recorded another simple rock album like "Memories Lost Under Grey Hair ".

This will be the last album that I use the really bad technique of mixing right after each instrument is recorded and build up a song bit by bit, I'm now using a software where I can mix it all when everything is recorded. I know this kind of software's been available for more than a decade but even though I'm a computer technician I am also very resistant to change that's why I don't have a Facebook or Twitter account, I now have an ipad and apart from recording a couple of songs using Garage Band and playing Soul Calibur I just have it stored in its case.

I hope you like it and find something in it that you will treasure which is what I look for in bands/artists, like for example I'm writing this while listening to Supertramp's "Goodbye Stranger" and that song is one of those special pop songs that will always sound good even if you listen to it 40 years later, I mean it's been like 32 years since it came out. I don't compare my songs to Supertramp's (and I wouldn't like to be compared to them) but "Goodbye Stranger" is such a great song that my goal is to have at least one song that people listen ten years from now and still like it.

Here's what I think of some of the songs:

The songs I like the least.

Was originally recorded with an acoustic guitar and decided to make it rock and it does rock a little, I love the middle solo section.

Was written about a guitarist from Seattle named Nancy who has a sister named Ann.

These songs were recorded using alternate tunings and is the first time I used those, I like how different they sound from the rest.

The solo was recorded using a guitar effect that emulates the Brian May sound.

I like the guitar lick which was inspired believe it or not by Sergio Mendes' version of "Pretty World".

One of my favorites, contains piano. Very short song.

My favorite song from the album, I like all the guitar parts, rhythm, filler and solo.

Another favorite. This one really is a cousin of "Maquis" from "La Résistance Française" and the first line is the same: "Word came from the mountain", I think this is my best tribute to Spacemen 3 / Spectrum. It's the only psychedelic song in the album.

There are two more albums in queue just waiting for lyrics. My goal right now is to finish both and maybe one more this year. I'm going on vacation next week so that will be a dead week for music but I'm not a bit sad about it.

If you can play it loud I guarantee it will sound so much better.

I will be using my dropbox account to upload my albums because of the latest attacks to some of the best known file sharing servers.

LINK [Including Artwork]: https://www.dropbox.com/s/h2maurhnih23uhj/BehindTheMirror.rar?dl=0


Anonymous said...

Hi Leonel,

Thank you for the album and also the included lyrics! I will post a comment on the music by the end of this week.

Take care,

Anonymous said...

Behind the Mirror continues your tradition of music filled with special moments, such as the middle section of Fame. I like that part even more so because my favorite song is Nancy Broke My Heart, which itself has a couple of interesting things going for it. The first is the sound of the guitars which reminds me a little of Nirvana's in Come As You Are. Not that they sound exactly alike, but both kind of have a rich sound and sleepy feel to them. I also love the music between 1:50 and 2:26. My subjective opinion is that the song would have been perfect if it had ended there instead of continuing on, as I thought it was a brilliant way to bring Nancy Broke My Heart to a close.

There are two songs early in the album that I tend to skip over - at least for now. Other highlights are The Mercury Drops, Absinthe, and I don't Care If You Care. This album is full of good music for sure.

Part of the enjoyment of a new album is how it draws me back to some of your older stuff. Now all of a sudden, I find myself listening to Spectrum and Slavery Ends With Art - even though all I can find for Slavery is a burned cd and not my original zipped or uncompressed file for it. While browsing through your catalog on my hard drive, I was astonished to count over 30 albums of yours in my music folder. While some of them are remakes, it is still quite an achievement to be able to write and record that much material and still come up with fresh music as you did with Behind The Mirror.

All in all, a very pleasing album. As always, I enjoyed your commentary on the songs, and the lyrics were a wonderful addition. Congratulations on a great album!

PW from Ohio.

Leonel Garcia said...

Hi PW,

Thanks for the comments, I always enjoy your words.
I think that after 30+ albums there are fresh ideas because most are not fully developed, it's like The Beatles if you look closely you will find that they recorded less songs when they got interesting and complicated (revolver through abbey road) and that's because you have to take your time to fully develop a song and in my case as I said before I do it for stress relief, a hobby, and when I play guitar sometimes I get an idea and then rush to record that guitar part, that's how it starts.

I'm in south Florida and will return to Puerto Rico tonight, if I get a chance and there's not a pile of work waiting for me I will get to it and write one of those albums that are ready for lyrics. I'll try to finish it in the next two to three weeks.

There's a lot of synth/keyboards on the next album and piano/organs on the next after that so they will sound different from each other and from the rest of my albums. I'm really finding myself getting away from the psych that I always try to incorporate into my songs and recording more indie or classic rock than ever. I'm getting more conservative each year, I'm sorry for the fans of "Wooden Flower".

Leonel Garcia

Anonymous said...

It is comforting to know that you still have a lot of ideas left to work with. One thing I admired about the Beatles was how they recorded different versions of many songs for the White Album until they got then right, and I presume they did it for their other albums at that point in their career as well. Have access to different versions of a song is one of my favorite things in music. It might be better then the original or it might not, other times the song is neither, just different. That is one reason why I really appreciate your posting of some alternative versions of songs from Lost In The Morning Dew. It is hard to believe that was over four years ago.

I certainly wasn't expecting to read your comments about getting away for psychedelic music. I don't mind that there may not be anymore, or at the very least, fewer albums like Wooden Flower, even though it was the first of yours that grabbed my attention. I wasn't expecting the announcement because you were still incorporated some psychedelic flavors into some relatively recent releases. Many of your albums that contain psych will always remain as my favorites, but I am more interested in hearing what you want to record rather than what may be expected of you.


Leonel Garcia said...

Hi Paul,

I don't think I will ever remove psychedelia from my influences but as I'm getting older I find myself more attracted to softer sounds, that's why you get "Constant reflections of the floor" which is really psych but in a dreamy way, not as obvious as "The door to delights" or the whole "Lizard"
album. Anyway, I just think I will
try more "White Albums" than "Sgt. Pepper's" in that they will be more varied like "Behind the mirror" and "Social Tea" or "And Now..."

Thanks for the comments they keep
me alive (musically) and inspired. At least I have someone to discuss
the process and feelings about each album.


Anonymous said...

One thing I have wondered about was if you had ever contemplated playing live, regardless of how likely it maybe, perhaps something as simple as assembling a group of musicians to play privately. If so, what kind of set list would you perform and which instrument(s) would you play? If it would ever happen, I must insist that you video tape the session and post it (okay, at least the audio).

I know you are working on finishing up new material as you have time, now that you are incorporating new software into your recording process, do you expect to re-record any of your older albums or are you satisfied with their quality?

One genre that you have briefly touched upon in the past was reggae. Even though you weren't completely happy with the results, I thought some of the songs were very good. I am bit of a novice as to what music circulates through Puerto Rico, but I would assume there is a good amount of reggae in various forms down there. Any reason why you haven't revisited the genre again? Wow - I just this moment read your comments from A New Perspective and see that it is roots reggae based (not that I know what roots reggae is!), so that may solve my dilemma as I was looking for anything similar to A New Perspective and not finding it. In fact it took two seconds to find a roots reggae playlist on youtube and I am totally loving it.

I am lucky and grateful to have you here to expand my musical palette. Looking forward to many new perspectives in the future!

Leonel Garcia said...

It is incredible that you write about roots reggae because I was contemplating about a new reggae album, in fact I recorded a bass track for one of the songs and later found it so bad that I deleted the track. I'm getting lazy regarding the lyrics department and don't know when will I be finishing the two albums I have in queue. I thought of re-recording a couple of my early albums which I have never posted but the laziness doesn't help. I wish I had all day just to record but my job consumes a lot of my time and the free time I get I like spending it with my family.
What you will hear in Puerto Rico is mostly latin pop and tropical music (salsa, bachata, merengue), there are a couple of roots reggae bands like Cultura Profetica who will have a concert with Easy Star All Stars (a reggae band most famous for their reggae cover of the "Dark Side Of The Moon" album).

I was raised on new wave, classic rock & pop. I listened to Bob Marley, Peter Tosh & Dennis Brown as I grew up but later found Toots & The Maytals, Ras Michaels, Culture, Desi Roots, Burning Spear and many other greats.

As a teenager I discovered hardcore punk like Dead Kennedys, Minor Threat, Husker Du and Crass although I was already a fan of The Clash, The Members, The Ruts and Buzzcocks.

I found psychedelia in my late teens and soon after that I became a fan of electronic/dance music which was the new psychedelia with albums from Orbit, Plastikman, The Chemical Brothers, Prodigy and hundreds of other great artists.

I like almost every kind of genre but prefer indie rock.

As for playing live I don't think that's going to happen because I'm incredibly shy and couldn't play for an audience.