DAY 3

Fabian and Luke woke up early to begin working on something new. Frustrated by the work of

the days before, they wanted something catchier and more upbeat. Inspired by SBTRKT’s use

of marimba in his pieces, they created an upbeat disco beat using a loop of marimba chords.

The chords already sounded cheesy but when Luke recorded both electric and synth bass, it

made the piece even cheesier. They chose to use the recordings from Vlad and Luke’s walk

from the day before to create the percussion of the piece. This created an extremely organic

sound that is lined up with Hummingbird Tapes’ MO.

Percussion Sample
00:00 / 00:20

After rerecording the guitar for the dream pop song, Fabian and Luke took a walk through the

countryside as they waited for everyone else to wake up, recording more sounds to add to our

field recording library as they went. Replaying the song in their head as they explored the

autumn trees and houses with weird roofs, they realized it was significantly too cheesy. They

hurried back to try something new.

Luke started thinking about how to make the song sound less like a golf instructional

commercial, and brought up the idea of using the varispeed function in Logic to slow the song

down to give it more of a vaporwave feel. Fabian, having never heard of this function,

was impressed that by lowering the speed and the pitch, the song went from disco to smooth

groovy pop. By slowing it down to 30% speed it made it sound much more funky. Inspired by

this, Bimpe added guitar leads, adding to the slickness of the song.

As it was going to get dark soon, despite the early hour, James and Fabian decided to go on a

second trip to the shops, while Bimpe and Luke worked on lyrics. The walk home from the shop

felt like we had meant to walk onto the set of Twin Peaks, but had found ourselves on the set of

Carrie instead. The dark rural pathway made us feel like we were being watched, but we were

obsessed with its beauty.

Inspired by Old Street station on the London Underground, which has unusual entrances

leading down underneath a roundabout, the lyrics developed into a song about asking an ex-

friend for a second chance. Once James and Fabian returned, the group collectively wrote the

second verse, and took the line “should I knock on your door?” as a chance to record a sound

from the house itself- its front door. With a mic on the longest lead we could find, we recorded

Bimpe knocking on the huge wooden door.

We then moved on to recording sax parts, but as the only mic stand had already been set up

upstairs for vocal recording, we used the handle from a suitcase as a stand, with a mic taped to

it.

This was probably the hardest part of recording the song, with some debate about the sax part,

and then continual tuning issues due to dry reeds. In the end we got some beautiful sax

harmonies that blended well with the synths, and created a subtle meshing of acoustic and

electronic elements.

Fabian got down to producing and editing the demos for both Honey from the Hive and the

dream pop song, while the rest of the team attended random activities around the house,

eventually cracking open the spirits. Having mixed and drunk a lion’s share of vodka/rum and

cokes, we decided to record an intense, aggressive outro to Honey From the Hive, with Luke

instructing everyone to go as crazy on their chosen instrument as possible. Bimpe played guitar

through a pitch-shifter pedal, James played his granular synthesiser, Vlad used a software

synth, and we routed Luke’s electric bass playing so that Fabian could ‘play’ the bass through

the Organelle. After a few very intense takes, Luke went to bed while everyone else carried on

the party.

The party continued as Fabian screamed about his love of Run The Jewels. Because of the

overwhelming isolation, things were getting pretty intense and anxious. With the eventuality of

James and Fabian fighting over tiny things, eventually waking Luke up at 6:30am with the sound

of the argument. As tempers had frayed so much over the course of a long night of drinking, we

decided to do something constructive by recording a Russian rap for ‘Honey From the Hive’.

Although the Russian rap was heavily changed in the mixing process, the image of Vlad

scream-rapping at 7:30 am is something none of us will ever forget.

DAY 4

© 2019 Hummingbird Tapes

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