~~~~Originally on Mishka~~~~~
***Just To Be Clear, I’m Comparing Two Pieces Of Music, Not On Their Quality, But On Their Unique Capabilities***
Producer/remixer/sound-arranger Stacy creates what he calls an “Altered State” version of Caleb Stone, Alexander Spit, Speak!, Mike G, and Cashius Green’s “Savion Glover”. The original and it’s altered state are two entirely different tracks, in large part, due to their (imagined) sourcing. Where the original is built from the top-down, with little coherence (in a good way), Stacy’s version is built bottom-up, fitting sounds together. I heard the incredibly virile original a few weeks ago when it came out, and wrote about it on CUTTINGPRACTICE.COM.
I said that it “…goes from minimally constructed from sharp wooden clogs, to hard booms and claps, to piercing ekes, to jazz, to a lo-fi rendition of the booms, to watery strums from a keyboard, and finishes with a crescendo that borrows from all of these past iterations of the beat. Each lyricist gets their own shot at their own distinct portion of the beat. The switches from one lyricist to the next don’t necessarily coincide with shifts in the beat; nor do the switches from one portion of the beat to the next follow a lyricist. This unpredictability, that at any moment we could lose one of the contributors (be it a sound or a lyricist) keeps us on our toes.”
That right there is an erratically-charged piece of work. The original moderates a host of sounds, tempos, and sonic relationships. That’s a huge part of its strength. Stacy’s “Altered State”, on the other hand, brings the track into a hazy thump, rarely shifting, opening up the dialogue to the lyrical contributions in a new way. Stacy keeps the crisp wooden taps in the background, retaining an important element of the original. He uses this as the base from which to build, and comes up with something totally different than Caleb Stone.
Where Stone found dissent, Stacy found order. Where Stone forced his lyricists’ atmospheres, Stacy falls back. Where Stone accosted listeners (thumbs up), Stacy floats by with them. This ease, though, that Stacy finds, comes from his ability to build a track from one single element, and organically compose sounds around it. To introduce the wooden-tap base, he gives us a short piano riff that fades into a spanning background alongside a vocal sample, catching the strings. From simple wooden taps, we get bass. We get a cymbal. And we get deep drums. Together, from an organic state of growth, Stacy arranges sounds towards the end of cruising a beat.
Oddly, though, this also results in a heightened awareness of the range flexxxed by the lyricists. Although each one had their own spotlight on the original, by virtue of the variant beat(s), listeners now get to hear them as emergent from the beat, built from it. We face two different beats that serve two different ends. And that’s because they come from two different beginnings. In each, we can feel the process. Stacy’s process is one that is nurtured, slowly carving out its resilience.
***I Love Both Tracks, But For Two Different Reasons***