I prepared myself to this competiton competition by having long walks and listening several hours of muzak. I noticed that actually there’s quite many styles and most of the old muzak tracks were done very professionaly.
This voting is a tough part. One is forced to rank apples and oranges. My comments are quite spontaneous, some other day they might be quite different.
This one is superb meditational atmoshpheric song. I didn’t get bored at all although I didn’t find any melody line or stucture to this song. So I guess you’ve managed to add some magic into it.
It would be perfect to some movie, or to radio documentary. It’s certainly not classic muzak, but it could be very well a background music to some new age shop. So I guess you’ve ”gone the modern route”, and in that sense perfectly in the genre of this competition.
Mixing is also very coherent. That bass sound is fun, but here and there it disappears into space. Heart beat kick on the right works fine to me.
Sounds great and ready, … and muzak. I would call this background pop.
Song has nicely development. Instruments articulate the melody very nicely. So I have nothing to add. It feels to me you that you set your artistic standard high, even though you were to do muzak.
Also mix is very good for this competition’s genre. Smooth and beautiful.
Maybe kick is a bit loose. It’s not a good pair with snare now, somehow they don’t walk together properly. As if kick is stereo and snare mono, or something like that. Also snare hit 2/4 feels much weaker than 4/4.
Excellent! I like how you introduce new melodic element conversational way.
Arrangement is at the same static but has all the time nice changes and ear candies. Sounds like a perfect Muzak.
Guitar playing is very good. I like also keyboard parts. Actually it creates almost disturbing contrast with a drummer who doesn’t notice that other players have professional attitude even though they’re forced to play muzak in this session. Also the way the drummer adds some fills feels as if there are a timing problems, although I’m sure they are perfectly in grid. Maybe they are velocity problems.
Also mixing sounds good, very muzak. I think the amount of space is just right. As there are all the time widely panned instruments in stereo field, it might sound more focused if the drums were almost mono in the center. It might suit this style that drums are one instrument, not many separate instruments.
Excellent pastiche! That is if your plan was to make an authentic old time muzak. Sounds exactly as if I’m walking early in the morning in an empty shopping mall
Melody works very nicely as a muzak, but it lacks maybe artistic ambition. Chorus and verse are maybe a bit too similar. Or maybe it’s that muzak sound that somehow masks the nuances of your melody. Maybe sax could be couple of dbs higher.
Arrangement is truely 100% muzak. So you’ve done perfect job from that point of view. But still, it would be nice if there were also other instruments playing the solo part. Your saxophone is very well done, but even muzak has and needs some variations. Now the biggest variation in arrangement is the transition from the snare comping to ride comping that comes in during choruses. Maybe the keyboards could play some parts of melody.
I guess the mix is ready as such, it feels muzakially balanced to me, but from my personal point of view I think you have too much reverb in it now. It sounds as if you have printed the over-resonant listening environment in to your mix. (In some muzak lps in YouTube there was actually this huge space mixed in ) If this mix is listened in a big shopping mall, there would be double space and the result may end up to be too chaotic. On the other hand in a small lift it may just right solution; space of music might make the small cramped lift more spacios. Maybe if you can make reverb of drums a bit darker, shorter and a little bit less of it.
During the ride comp snare disappears
5 EatMe Woopi
This would be perfect for Super Mario games. You could have a career in game music. Well Done!
I’ve never thought of it before but game music and muzak are quite close to each other.
The melody and rhythm works nicely all the spots, but I would like to also hear some sort of variations. Change of insturments? Maybe some long notes in some parts? Now the sound is very arpeggio all the time. Maybe also the snare could disappear for short moments, or alter that 2/4 groove a bit in some small spots/add some fills.
End fading feels odd, as everything else disappear except drums.
NIce playing, it feels like I’m on some sort of love boat cruising.
Here and there it feels as if the melody line is missing and I’m hearing only accompaingment. It could be a problem with the mixing.
Around 1:20 and 2.10 band has difficulties keeping the playing together. And at the same time strings feel too mechanic.
I liked the drums very much, but probably they are mixed too high. Now the music stays too much in the background.
Nice opening, it feels very promising, but around 0.50 I’m starting lose the touch to this song. There’s lots of nice details and nuances, but still I’m having some difficulties to find the essence of this song.
I like the minimalistic attitude of drums, but I feel that groovewise the cymbals are too separate from kick and snare. As if there’s separate player for cymbals, and he doesn’t listen to the kick-snare player.
Drum sound is disturbing me a little. Maybe it’s a bit too boxy to be in so prominent role. Now it happens to me that I forget to listen the song, I end up listening the drums.
All in all, I feel you have a great sonic idea behind, but maybe you run out of time or something else, so you didn’t manage to refine it - yet.
8 Leonard Bowman
Very cool intro. One of the best. It could be opening for some Paul Simon style song. But around 0.40 when song should start, something happens, and the song looses the focus.
I like that there’s those small variations all the time. Actually each part of your song is nice as such, but somehow those part don’t create together a unified song.
After one minute song starts to feel maybe a bit too sparse. That electric piano riff is very good, but still I waited drums or something else steady pulsing instrument to come to keep the rest of the song together. So rhythmically it’s lacking a bit.
(How about adding rhythm guitar? Maybe rhythm guitar, bass and that electric piano together could make a rhythmic foundation for this song. They could be the steadily ”revolving door” and all the other solo instruments could be the ”people passing by”.)
Main thing - although I feel that this one hasn’t got a finished touch - I like very much the creative attitude. If you could combine your playful attitude in solo parts with a solid foundation of rhythm group, you’ll have very nice own sound.
Actually, I’ve heard one of your piano song in earlier competitions, and I liked it a lot. So I was expecting a little more focused song from you.
Melodic idea feels good but what disturbs me is that it sounds like that there’s tuning problems within band. Probably problems with some chord lines.
I think that the main problem with this song is with drums. Now drums lack real role in the band, and guitarist is trying to take drummer’s role. If you plan to develop this, you might first mute other tracks and listen in solo drums and bass, and check that they play together well. And when they establish jazzy groove alone, then start to add other instruments.
Maybe drums could play more basic beat with jazzy touch and guitar could add syncopation.
You could had introduced piano and solo guitar parts earlier. For example around 0:40. Now the arrangement feels a bit monotones. You have added nice nuances here and there, but they go a bit unnoticed, as the rhythm guitar steals the room by masking others with too dominant riff/sound.
In your mix the drums define the size of the room. Now rhythm guitar is roomless. You might add some early reflections to rhythm guitar, so that room experience would be more coherent. Guitar would still sound as a close instrument but in a room. Also consider panning the rhythm guitar away from the center. Now it has too big and thick role without giving any special nuances to song.