In this episode, I spoke with recording engineer, music producer, and practitioner of Thelemic magic Oz Fritz. Oz has an extensive credit list in recording, having worked with Bill Laswell, Bernie Worrell, Tom Waits, Oysterhead, Primus, Hakim, Bey, and many, many others.
We spoke about creating space in magic & music, consciousness, brain change, quantum physics, and quite a bit about recording and mixing music and audio.
All the music heard in this episode was recorded & mixed by Oz, and performed by Bernie Worrell, used with permission. Songs include:
This book looks amazing, I can’t wait to check it out.
Putting the soundtrack together was fun. It contains mostly 3 tracks: first is the song Thieves’ Oil by Disemballerina, which I edited to fit the mood & timeframe of the video. Also, there are 2 different public domain recordings from radical/feminist protests in Brazil. A friend of mine who is fluent in Portuguese translated the chants as “Our body is ours, it is our choice” and “Watch out macho! Latin America is going to be completely feminist!”
“The Storming of the Bastille”, by Jean-Pierre Houël. Public Domain.
This episode was a treat. I was lucky enough to interview A Peoples’ Remembrancer, Peter Linebaugh, on Bastille Day. These comments are taken from that conversation. We spoke about a lot of things, including Bastille Day; the Green and Red struggles of May Day; prisons, plantations, & the factory as locations of struggle; coal miners; the lungs as part of the nature; rewilding the cities; welfare as referring to wellness; how the magical Will is a social creation and becomes more powerful when shared collectively; and revolt as a Peoples’ Magic.
The excitement, the joy, the emotions, and the will is collective when it becomes powerful, and then it produces events that are totally unthought of. Who could have possibly imagined that a wall 90 feet high, in parts 30 feet thick, surrounded by a moat deep enough to drown in, who would have thought that such an edifice which had remained for centuries could be brought down in the space of less than 24 hours. That’s what we’re celebrating on the 14th of July, 1789. This edifice of tyranny, this edifice of repression, this action of people who are rewilding it has provided inspiration for every urban revolution that has ever taken place, and it provides us inspiration now that the carceral archipelago, the huge military prison complex of the USA, can be brought down in a twinkling. These are the miracles of history, but it’s just as accurate to say these are peoples’ magic.”
Several months ago, I had an opportunity to record Moore, Wild, & Lynch in a living room in Maine. The music in this episode, an instrumental called “The Jig,” is from that session, along with several ambient recordings of city people celebrating and the ocean.
Those of you who wanted to hear more from Dr. Bones, whose masterful sermons and rants have been a big part of our podcasts thus far, here you are. Not much more to add; go listen to the man himself tell his story.
I’m really happy to share this one! It is the first track from Eddy Dyer’s upcoming album, Love Is At The Heart Of This Thing, Right?
The drums were played by Charles Greenwood, and recorded at Wonka Sound by Bob Nash. Eddy played everything else, recording the synths and bass at home, and vocals and guitars with me. The guitars were fun…. there is a percussive acoustic guitar part doubling the bass line that gives great tonality and punch. The electric guitars, if I remember right, were a strat played through tube amps, possibly an old Gibson amp that I have. They sound really good, punchy but not like saturated, over-the-top distortion.
I then mixed the track, and had Scott at Old Colony Mastering put the finishing mastering touches on it. Cover art by Che Arrajj.
If you enjoy the sound of this song, then give Eddy some support, and contact me to help you get your music sounding good.
The music came from several sources. Thanks to The Droimlins — Eddy Dyer on guitar and Jimmy Otis on accordion — with their songs “Horse Hooves on the Steppes of Eurasia (765 AD)” and “Tenement Polka.” Also thanks to Eddy Dyer for his vocals and Ethan Winer for his bass on our punk-tinged cover of “You Don’t Know What You’ve Got” by Ral Donner. Above all, thanks to the birds in the forest for allowing me to record their conversations one morning.
For a detailed discussion on the content of this episode — both on what The Commons is and why I am using the term “magic” to describe it — is available on the writeup over at Gods & Radicals.
I’m posting about another podcast intro I did for a client. I really enjoy working with podcast clients. There are so many podcasts, with a myriad of topics and styles, to suit everyone’s individual taste. The biggest challenge in producing podcast music is to get “tuned in” to the vibe of each one, so that I can deliver the goods in a way that pleases the client.
This time, I worked with Jarrod Warren of the Success 101 Podcast. As I always do with clients, we had a detailed conversation about what he wanted it to sound like, and he gave me several specific examples of the music he liked, what he had been using, and other sonic elements he liked from other sources.
After a few revisions, here is what we ended up with:
Jarrod was very happy with the result, and gracious: “Awesome! We (you) did it! Love it! The tracks sound great. Thanks again for all your help.”
I’ve known Daniel Vitalis for several years now, and have been interested in his work combining health strategies with a (quite pagan, from where I stand!) philosophy based in the elements. Recently he asked me to help him both with consultations to improve the audio quality of his ReWild Yourself podcast, as well as to produce a new intro for the podcasts. So he upgraded both his equipment and his recording space with some room treatments, and after extensive conversations I put together an intro. This is the result:
One thing about Daniel’s work is that it inspires multifaceted intentions, which all work together in a coherent unity. As such, there are a lot of layers to this intro. All the sounds you hear were recorded by me, usually out in the woods, including the sound of Cooper Spring, a Barred Owl behind my home, and a campfire in the woods.Then the music starts, which contains two large, tribal drums I’ve recorded and several synthesizer parts I played. Then, you can hear Daniel’s voice doing the intro and the tagline, with the sound of a Maine thunderstorm closing it out. All these sounds work together perfectly for a podcast about rewilding — Daniel pointed out to me that these are wild foraged recordings! I got a big kick out of that.
Working with Daniel & his team was also great. They had a clear idea of what would — and would not — work for them and were communicative. In the end, they were kind enough to say: “James, these are amazing!! We love the final versions so much!!! Thanks so much again for all of your hard work on this project. It was fun to work with you!”
“There’s everything else in the world, and then there’s whiskey….”
Very happy this song from The Droimlins was released. This is probably my favorite track from the EP we did earlier this year. These are a bunch of great songs, but this one had something special in the performance. The Droimlins describe themselves thusly:
Multi-instrumentalist Jimmy Otis and songsmith Eddy Dyer, both formerly of The Reagan Babies have again joined forces tocreate The Droimlins, Lowell’s newest Celtic Gypsy Punk outfit; regaling you with songs of Drinking And Rebellion.
The recording was done very simply, in a small, untreated room. It was done live in one take to preserve the performance aspect of what they do. The arrangement on this song is fantastic, the interplay between the guitar and the accordion, with the vocals sitting right on top, is really good.
I recorded the accordion with 2 dynamic microphones that have excellent sound and fantastic rear rejection, so I could maximize separation from the guitar & Eddy’s voice. Accordions produce sounds from both ends, so you really need 2 mics to do it justice. I used a pair of ribbons to record Eddy’s acoustic guitar, along with a tube mic for Eddy’s vocals. These all gave really nice tones, despite the very far from perfect room, with lots of flexibility during the mix. Because there was significant bleed between everything, I didn’t bother recording room mics, and they weren’t needed in the mix.