Friday, September 20, 2013

Strangers to Ourselves feat. Donnie Ozone - Willma grows up?

Willma grows up?
No idea if this is true. At least that was what an early listener of "Stranger to Ourselves" said about the track. The song was in fact already showcased the day before yesterday evening on Soundcloud and Facebook. Unfortunately, that listener could not explain in detail why Willma, in his opinion, grows up. I guess that he simply liked the song more than the previous releases. And "Strangers to Ourselves" actually differs in some aspects from all previous releases.

It is the first time that a human voice can be heard more than just fractions of a second in a Willma Poppen production. It has frequently been suggested by listeners to publish Willma Poppen productions with vocals, or at least spoken word. And several times, especially during the phase of community project, we tried it a few times. However, the attempts were regularly discarded during the early development state. And I personally didn't see any reason so far to produce music with vocals for any of my projects, partly for the following reasons:
  1. There is really enough music with vocals available. I know some of the listeners Willma Poppen project, who seem to be allergic against any form of vocal performance in music. They are happy about each and every instrumental piece. I also do not like to listen to music with vocals on some days . Especially when, for example, blogging . ;)
  2. I understand the aversion, mentioned in 1. pretty much, if I hear the often unbearable whining or intercourse noise, called singing these days, which finds particular application in electronic dance music. And let's not talk about the lyrics. Let's put it that way: The topic is very limited and not particularly demanding. This is nothing that I want to produce!
  3. Oh yes, there is also electronic dance music with quite sophisticated lyrics. But now listen to the previous Willma Poppen productions and think about whether lyrics with a deeper meaning would fit to it. I imagine just how someone sings, for example, socially critical lyrics, to, for example, the sound of "Heroes of the Popp-Culture". Inconceivable! And what kind of lyrics would fit the colorful and happy sound of the previous productions? Correct -> see 2. ;)
  4. Of cause there were singers who wanted to do collaborations. However, they mostly showed the sonic and lyrical preferences, described under 3. So a collaboration did never come to pass. At others the quality of the vocal performances was in no way suitable for a wider audience than the one that fits into a phone booth. Just as an example: A sound recording of a painful whining, most probably recorded using a cell phone, with "lyrics" constantly repeating "baby i want your uh uh!", does not motivate me to produce a piece of music with the performer.
This time, as I said, actually there is a human voice, namely by Donnie Ozone, present in the new song. It is "only" spoken words, but these have a deeper meaning.

Until recently, the use of minor chords and gloomy sound elements was largely prevented by the well known happy party image of the Willma Poppen project. Yes, "Strangers to Ourselves" is in some places ;) cheerful and lively too, but a lot "deeper" than the previous releases. Of cause it is "danceable". If I WOULD call "Strangers to Ourselves" a Psytrance track (where I personally locate it), I could be sure to turn all fans of this genre hostile against me... oops...

Single Release
This is the first Willma Poppen track, which will be released on iTunes , Amazon, eMusic , Routenote as a MP3 single upfront to the album release. The track will of course also be released on the upcoming album "Willma in Wunderland" in a revised version . The "insiders" are now wondering whether I have broken with my practice of "pre-release" and "final release" . Yes, exceptionally. However, I 've spent enough time, producing the track, to start this experiment. Yepp, it's an experiment :)

The History
As I already mentioned on Facebook, there is a little story behind the making of "Strangers to Ourselves": I recently became an avid fan of the BBC TV series "Doctor Who". No, I still have no TV. It is also available on DVD. And during that time I enjoyed listening to Psytrance while working on 3D projects. When I worked on new ideas for my music projects again, both things were somehow mutually influencing my work: I got the idea to produce something like Psytrance in my very personal style... as always. As "subject" of the song I had chosen the series "Doctor Who". So I wanted a track that was stylistically inspired by psytrance and I wanted it to be somehow "Doctor Who themed". I succeeded, in my opinion, quite well. I almost had arranged everything and wanted to start doing the detail work, when I noticed that "there's something missing". What was it? I just didn't get it! So i stopped working at the track for a few days. Then I listened to the track again. And BOOM! There it was! "Usually, vocals would be kicking in here...". A bold idea... indeed ;). So I went to CCMixter, a site which had already provided me with vocal material for the one or the other experiment of my other projects. A search for "acapella dance" gave gruelsome result of the kind mentioned above. I was about to abandon my plan and tried a search for "acapella" without "dance". The result: Tons of Rap! When I was about to completely give up, I found "Donnie Ozone - Strangers to Ourselves". It was a professionally recorded spoken word sample, not long, but the spoken text hit me like a bolt of lightning. IF something would fit a "Doctor Who themed" track, then this spoken text. Who is Doctor Who(phun intended)? A superhuman being, virtually immortal. If he dies, he simply regenerates a new body. AND despite his superhuman nature, he learns about who he really is only during his travels and adventures. If you now listen to the lyrics of "Strangers to Ourselves"... fits excellent. The sample was under the Creative Commons license "Attribution" and not "Non-Commercial", so it is enough that I specifically mention the author and then it  is allowed to use it even for commercial productions. Perfect !

Did I forget anything? For sure! But now you look at this monster of text... Oh, yes you have just read it ;). Yes, this song means a lot to me personally. I think it's just great. Is that bad? Ok, now that's enough. MUSIC!

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