Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Making of Lal Subah

Sex in the Attic!!
A few years ago, I was trying to perfect the art of playing realistic guitar arpeggios on the keyboard, and then i stumbled upon this trick which would make that possible . I used a preset sound from my old triton keyboard, and tweaked it a little, and came up with this cool riff, and a chord progression.. i built upon it and ended calling it Sex in the attic.. as it kinda sounded like cheesy porn music/elevator music fusion. Anyways heres what i had recorded a few years ago.

Sex In The Attic

Pink Floydish!!!!
So of late i have been working on getting realistic guitar tones, and runs on the keyboard. I was working on these set of sounds and arps on my new keyboard, and after some experimentation was able to recreate a mood that was reminiscent of pink floyd with shades of sting from the 90s.. here is an example of me jamming on this sound template..

Pink Floydish

Lal Subah??

So Sanjeev heard my floydish jam, and then and there came up with the mukda..

phir ek baar,
lal subah utri hai
aankhon mein aaj..,

He basically focused on the the fact that the first bars of floyids are a I VI chord sequence, and actually gave me the wonderful melody of the first line as well (hence he gets credits for music as well).

I heard him sing the words, and was like what the f#$% is laal subah? and utri hain aankhon mein aaj?
Let me tell u something about sanjeev, u should see his song book.. he is like gulzar on steroids.. very abstract.. he is a wonderful artiste with awesome sketches, and plays the guitar really well.. complete artiste.. neways i was like what the f is lal subah? sounded like a communist song to me.. then he explained.. that the guy had been up all night.. so his eyes are red.. and this tubelight at last blinked got the metaphor... so he went back to write the song, and i had new found perspective .

Anatomy of a red dawn..
so i played floydish,mp3 on my iTunes again thinking about lal subah.. but i couldnt think of a verse.. my iTunes was in shuffle mode, the next song it played was Sex in The attic.. and there it was.. i pulled a himesh reshammiya, deva, pritam (or who ever you hate most for copying), and decided to cannabalize my own song.. (which was never released, and will never be released, as very less people have sex in the attic, so i have no hopes of making money)

I came up with a concept track, basically using the arpeggiation from sex in the attic on my floydish guitar patch.. and also borrowed elements of its chord progressions, and sent this to sanjeev

instrumental draft 1

Draft 1

Enter Mohan!!!
sanjeev finished the first verse, and we got mohan to sing the song.. here is our first concept track..

Draft 2

Live! No Loops!!!
what this song was lacking was a live feel, and i felt the only way i could get that is by using a live drummer. I strongly believe that it is better to pay 200$ to a session drummer, than paying 200$ for some drum loops.. and thats exactly what i did.. had the drum track recorded by session drummer Ben Smith. Mixing his 16 tracks of raw drums was a real fun task for me. After drums, i got live bass recorded by my good friend Sam. Now that I had cool drums and bass, I redid all my tracks again, end to end live . And mixed whats essentially the male solo version of Lal Subah.

Reecha !
Around the time i was mixing the song, I helped reecha tripathi with some cover remixes of some hindi songs that she could use as demos. During one of her recording sessions, I asked her to rsing lal subah and the results were pretty amazing, she is an amazing new talent, and i really hope has a successful career as a singer.

Thats the story of Lal Subah, my first formally released song!




Jo said...

Very nice reading about the birth of Lal Subah. :-)

gumbals said...

dude- I enjoyed the first concept track with Mohan's vocals on it!

Here is a thought that just propped up by looking at your post!

Kinda-like MTV's making the band, we should try blogswara's "making the song" - and start posting the pieces of that song as it progresses and finalize that song with the launch of BLS-4!

It can be a collaborative effort from 3/4 blogswarites - say you could own the guitar tracks, some one else could own the drum tracks, others lyrics, vocals , mixing, keyboards etc etc?

It could be one long teaser and a series of blog items to keep the traffic coming until bls-4?

Any comments?


Ramesh said...

Very melodious Jay - Liked your narration on how Lal Subah took its birth.

kanna said...

Hi, I'm trying to listen to your song, but it asks me for a password when I try to download it. I'm quite intrigued by your description of the making of the song, and I'd really love to listen to the track. Any help? :)

kanna said...

oh and my opinion on gumbals' comment above, I don't think it's a good idea as it'll give the song away even before the release. I think what should be done is release the song, and then release the making a week or so later. If we see the making of a song, we can't catch the beauty of it as it is, the way the composer wanted us to. :)