I recently came into possession of an Alesis HR16 drum machine. By all measures, almost nobody cared about that model. “Mr. Wendal” features it, and possibly some other songs.
It is a glorious button-laden gray box, with a flip top that actually houses, in microscopic print, the entire user manual. My mission was to simply acquire a power adapter and figure out how to make a beat.
As soon as I patched MIDI into it, I was in a world of 80s bliss. Needless to say, there has been some mission scope creep.
The Scope Creep
It wasn’t many days after my initial jolt of drum machine goodness that my buddy, Webber, invoked “The Wake Up Song” in a group chat. This reference to the first song I ever wrote triggered an idea: Reconnect with my mullet-sotted, pock-marked teenager self.
Back in the day, my brother was kind enough to hand me down a Roland TR505. I culled together a production of “The Wake Up Song” with 3 patterns from that, and poorly-chosen sounds from my Korg DS-8. I think maybe the multitrack came from my dual cassette stereo (recording several generations of audio, such that each generation/track is noisier than the last) and a Radio Shack microphone.
So, it is with this nostalgia that I have embarked on my 2018 album. I’ve not decided on a title. But, The Wake Up Song and The Game Show From Hell (retitled Learn How To Learn) will make it. And a couple of new ones. And, it will be much, much more listenable.
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