Third Option “The Monkey Set”

Back to music. Well I think maybe I should post all the songs for The Monkey Set at once – or maybe I’ll just embed the music player from the NQuit site. Thing is, it’s really just one long set – a 20 minute mix set – and there’s distinct sort of “songs” sort of, but taken out of context they all kind of suck in a way. I remember I was posting them individually one time on and people can anonymously review them, and some of them were like “this is the biggest trash I’ve seen ever!” and such. Granted that was probably a bit harsh 😉

The one that got me was the last tune, “Monkey Rhymes” is specifically supposed to be this sort of sarcastic commentary on the vapidness of rappers and the culture and such. But it’s a “persona” piece, if you will, because I take on the character of this vapid frat boy type monkey, and start bragging and stuff. The larger context and commentary was totally lost on the person that just tore it to shreds, talking about how insufferably shallow and idiotic it was and such. But then again, the thing is, I’m not sure even in the context of the whole mix set that I’ve really made it clear what I’m trying to do.

So here I am in a blog EXPLAINING what I’m trying to do 🙂

The Monkey Set was this thing I did in literally one day. Maybe a half day’s worth of work. I made all the basic beats and themes using Propellerhead’s (a software company) “Rebirth”. This is a piece of software that emulates some very old classic synthesizers – the three synthesizers that are responsible for the sound we associate with “techno” music. You know that “808” bass drum, the big smooth booming thing you hear every time you go to the club? That’s the Roland TR-808, one of the original drum machines.

Anyway, too technical, I know. I fired up that software, and it’s a looping software. You set it in motion and it just keeps playing some loop of something and as it goes, you can change settings and have it change what it’s doing. So what I did was, I live on the fly changed and morphed and mixed like a DJ or something, and I did that for around 20 minutes. I recorded that on a .wav file. I did this on my normal old PC in my apartment. This was the first time I started doing things this way, realizing that technology had changed, and since I could save stuff to digital files, I could easily do a bunch of the work that used to be done in the studio on any old computer.

Then I took that big ‘ol .wav file to my little studio (which was downstairs in this house a bunch of us lived in), and I went and added a few extra drums and played some other synthesizer stuff on the keyboard to make it a little bigger and juicier. Then I took this little “poem” I’d jotted down about a monkey escaping from Santa Monica Zoo (track 2 I think) and going with that theme, I started recording vocals and writing new little stuff and recording it.

The picture in my head was of Curious George if he’d decided to become “cool” and started going to nightclubs and dancing with the sorority chicks and becoming one of these 20 something hipsters I hear so much about 😉 Really it was this jokey funny fuck around thing, but then I started looking at it and this jokey funny fuck around thing I thought I was doing was really this commentary on life in the club scene, life in general, the fuck ups of our society, all that shit. And there was this really pedestrian analogy of human-monkey, which has been done to death, but I didn’t mean to do it, so there it was. And in one piece, there was all this race stuff that I hadn’t noticed, and I had without even realizing it, thrown in this black thing and said “and NOBODY calls us MONKEY, anymore”, and realized “oh my god the slave drivers and klansmen and racist boobs of the south used to call people monkeys” and I thought shit man, this is sort of powerful.

So I went forward with it, taking on the persona of this monkey who’s been wrapped into this world of fucked up drugs and anger and machismo and dominance, but who is in fact NOT the vapid dumbass you hear in the last tune (if you’re not paying attention). He’s actually smart, and he’s decided to become educated, and he’s the leader of this revolution. And there’s even some of one of my core beliefs in there, about the cycle repeating, and about how when you rise up and make a revolution, and take power, you become the thing that someone else needs to rise up and revolt against. You become your enemy.

There’s just a lot of stuff in there, man.

But in the end it’s so avant-garde and thrown together, that I mean I kind of doubt that most people will really hear all that’s in there, from a poetic standpoint. From a musical standpoint it’s really just this mixset. Big deal big whoop. But I ended up releasing it and it’s sort of turned out to be this Third Option thing that’s a lot different from any other Third Option thing.

Here’s track 1 – at present (incredibly) I don’t have a way to string them together for you…yeah I know

So yeah – there you go – if you want, I’ve got FREE Third Option stuff 🙂 RIGHT HERE! 🙂 🙂

– Aaron

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