Every two years, on even years, on weeklybeats.com, there’s a sorta kind music contest (without the actual contest part) where the idea is to submit a piece of music, at least one minute long, every week, for the whole year.

I have attempted this twice so far, in 2014 (Where I managed to create 15 beats) and 2018 (14 beats). I always had a phase of joy in the beginning, then it became work and then I quit. This year, at least so far, feels different, as I am giving myself a lot more slack and let stuff be unfinished, if I can’t make it. Let’s see how many beats I can make this year. I thought it would be kinda fun to write up some notes on all of these beats I managed to release so far.

These are more or less the notes I wrote as descriptions on weeklybeats.com plus extra information or thoughts whenever I see fit (Marked as “Editor’s notes”. I’m going to update this article over the year.

This is a continuation from this post containing all beats from Q1.

Week 14

halfbyte · WB2414 Flachsdreschen

I’ve been watching a ton of historical documentations on old crafts on this youtube channel by the Landschaftsverband Rheinland and one of them was about preparing flax for spinning, including the threshing to free the flaxseed from the pods. Threshing by hand in a group inevitably produces some sort of rhythm and that’s how I ended up sampling that video under the CC license.

I didn’t spend a ton of time on the track except for arranging the voice samples and making sure the threshing was somewhat in rhythm. Lots of warp markers in these.

Editor’s note

I’m a bit torn on this. On one hand I like it, but also I do realise that the music part of this is a bit underdeveloped and primitive while the combination with the old film commentary can feel a bit gimmicky. Also, I guess this is much more enjoyable (and you’ll be able get the small gags I managed to squeeze in by specifically sequencing the spoken words with particular parts of the music) when you are able to understand the german words.

Week 15

half/byte · WB2415 No Compromise

This started out with a sound exploration in Serum for the stabby sample (now played through AMIGO) that flies in at the beginning. The timing of that sound was a bit odd which prompted me to try to make this a triplet based Drum’n’Bass thing.

I had a bit more time that anticipated on friday and tried to make this a bit more interesting with a couple of nice transitions and breaks but this is still not my biggest forte.

My plan is to reuse that sample next week in a more dub-techno kinda affair, let’s see if that idea holds up.

Editor’s note

I think this track is a bit weak in the sense that I don’t particularly like the lead that comes in later, it feels a bit flat to me. I am still happy with the outcome, but it could be better. I definitely am not the king of catchy ravey hooks.

Week 16

half/byte · WB2416 Zweitverwertung

The title means “secondary utilization” and is part of the bigger compound word Zweitverwertungsrechte which translates to secondary publication rights and I found this fitting because this reuses the main sample from last week’s song. This was a bit of a close shave as I was only able to start on friday and I was lucky in that my SO was unlucky and caught a cold so I basically have an unplanned free weekend.

Nevertheless tonight feels like I need to submit this, as working on this was a bit annoying. Dub tech stabs are usually a bitch to mix, with the filter sweeps and all, but this one didn’t want to gel at all and I still don’t think it is particularly well mixed but I tried.

Last week I was pondering how this year feels different in that I don’t feel particularly burned out (In both 2014 and 2018 I stopped submitting somewhere around this time of the year with a couple of unsuccessful reboots over the rest of the year) but this week felt a little bit more like, you know, work. Maybe I’ll need to pause next week or do a little quick sketch or something so that I can relax a bit.

In any case, 15 Songs per Year is my current record and I just beat that with just one missing (in week two where I was seriously sick), so I should feel pretty good about this.

Let’s see.

Editor’s note

I wrote that longish blob of text on Saturday evening and it does feel accurate still, even though I managed to make some more (different) music on Sunday that may or may not turn into the next beat.

I hope this is just a momentary issue or that I maybe painted myself into a corner with that idea to reuse the sample. Listening to the track a couple more times I start to like it a bit more, so maybe it’s a similar case to the Drum&Bass track “Regulators” where I also had similar issues.

For some reason I managed to export the track from Ableton (twice!) with a cut off tail, not sure how that happened. Usually I listen to the export a couple of times on different devices to check the mix but since I was so annoyed, I seem to have always skipped the end and so I noticed this just before going to bed and had to re-export (twice!) and re-upload. It would help if my ISP would not currently limit my uplink to below 2Mbit, which makes uploading full wav exports to Soundcloud quite the hassle. But that ISP thing is another story. I recently vented about it on LinkedIn in the vain hopes someone from the ISP would see it, but I think it’s worth writing it up in a blog post as well.