I played a set this last weekend where 80% of the music was brand new….just produced and made it to the ‘Release to BandCamp’ level. I spend 2 weeks putting together the raw stems I would need to improvise these tracks live….and then did it!
The goal, to real-time road test if any of this music should be on my next album. Some are ‘sure-ins’ (a), others not (b), and then others are likely to be in, but need work (c). And the hurdle to get in???
Did I have a shit load of fun playing them live?
Did the result of improvising that track live represent what I want to put out into the world musically and..
[Most importantly] Did other people ‘get it’!
See which of these tracks do you think were in the (a), (b) and (c) categories above…
Part of my creative process is to just free jam and improvise over an initial idea. The idea is most often just a Splurge (a 20-30 minute quick brain dump of free flow ideas that I do EVERY day, first thing in my studio). These splurges are usually quite bare bones and just the initial ideas of where a track might go.
Then I do a quick Discovery Session with the track to tease out some more direction, before I set-up to do a live stream creative improvisation as a means of producing a more fully formed track. The track below I live streamed from Berlin in 2018 when I spend a few months there on creative sabbatical. This live jam is one of the one that really worked.
Savannah Soul was the resulting track, and whilst I’ve played it out live many times since, I have never really managed to capture the essence of that live jam. It’s a definite for the new album and I am going to spend the next few weeks recapturing the fun I had when jamming this track, as it really does capture a lot of what I believe my sound is and what I want to come through in the album.
Check out the original creation of Savannah Soul right here:
So, as planned I was about to do a live stream of a part of my creative process. BUT….
Technology has screwed me again. It’s a few days before I leave my Rome studio and head back to Sydney, and my slackness with streaming over the last while has come back to haunt me…with none of my cameras working! So, rather than waste hours doing fault finding, I’ve just created a quick WIP sample of what I’m working on – the (working) title of the track is At Most Fear:
I’m not even sure if this track will make it onto the album. I’m still in the process of creating a bunch of tracks and will see what cohesive theme and vibe emerges – much more a process of discovery, rather than creation.
This track started life as what I call a splurge (actually my creative coach Mike Monday came up with the term, as well as many of my processes – catch him here if you want some great coaching). A splurge is the musical equivalent of creative pages (for writers), and would have been a brain-dump idea that I threw down (at 5:30am), in 30 minutes. It then ‘incubates’ for 2 weeks when I don’t even listen back to the ideas. 2 weeks later I take a listen, and see if I think there is anything in the music worth taking further – I rate the musical ideas:
1 – In Play (I’m super keen to work on this music NOW!)
2 – Has Potential (definitely will do something with it, but not right now)
3 – Good [thing] Has an element that is worth coming back to in the future to develop, or cut and paste along with other bright ideas
4 – Ok (nothing too exciting…for now. That could change as my subjective mind changes).
All splurges that have been rated as above end up in my Sketchbook which is a massive wealth of musical creativity (I currently have 26 tracks rated 1 – In play, over 600 rated 2 – Has Potential, and over 200 rated 3 – Good [Thing]. And that’s with me finishing a track a week for the last few years.
The music I work on at any one time comes from the 1 – In Play rated tracks.
So the above track had 30 minutes spent in the morning – actually from October 2022, and then one session to discover more about the track. This is where I’m at…and I’m almost at the point where I know that this track will be. I won’t have created all the parts, but enough to know that’s where this track will go.
Why? What? When? How? All will be revealed over the next while. All I can say at this stage is that it’s all going to be going down in the first 5 months of 2023.
If you’re not already a supporter, sign up here to get all the updates of the trials and tribulations as I navigate this process, and you’ll also get a free high quality download of the finished album when it’s released.
I’m also going to be working out a cunning plan as to how I integrate the prime focus of my music – playing Live, into the making of this album. That still remains the main aim of why I’m playing this music game… more to follow.
Well, actually it’s a wonderful time to go to Bandcamp…
…where all supporters can grab a high quality download of ALL of my releases (apologies to existing supporters, but unfortunately you’ll need to provide your email address again as Bandcamp does not yet support integration with existing supporter lists – it should be a once-off thing though).
Hopefully this will give all supporters an easy site to grab my music.
10 tracks hand-picked from the 10,000 July releases
Some more techno for you. Starting off with the somewhat wistful Lay Down byKalyma, things quickly get a lot more serious. I’m quite enjoying the Joseph CapriatiRemix of Dubfire & Oliver Huntermann’s Terra this month.
Yes I know, the 15th of the month has come and gone and there has been no Pottz Panned – the monthly live video of one of my tracks.
Well, I have a very valid excuse reason this month. I have decided that from now on my monthly videos will be streamed live on Facebook Live Video. Sure you will lose the high quality 3 camera edits that you have grown used to, and the various other video gimmickry I’ve deployed before, but it will be 100% LIVE.
It was always my intention with these monthly videos to have a forum for ongoing improvement of my live material, with the intention to get some live gigs. Well, it’s time to really put it out there.
I’m just waiting for the delivery of a little piece of hardware that will ensure that the sound quality is good…and I’ll get July’s post out there (at this stage I’m thinking of posting it live to the Tech House Australia FB Group…maybe some more international sites thereafter.
Here’s little tester I did (with sub-par quality…audio gizmo still en route).
September has been a busy month. There’s the usual selection of new music to listen to, but this month, there’re a few differences. I wrote a new track for the Strawberry Fields Festival and CDR project competition. A great compo that required using at least one of a bunch of samples provided and maintaining the Strawberry Fields ethos. Check out my offering Fields of Waves.
Something else I started this month was a creative project that required me to write a bunch of tracks with different influences and inspirations. It’s called Project Godard and my explorations can be found in the Project Godard Playlist (expect a varied array). Watch out for my Kanye West inspired hip hop track out next month, entitled Blah, Blah, Blah…hopefully with video.
And, of course, the usual monthly tracks. So, 7 new musical musings for the month.
Also, I played a 1h45 Live set at the launch of Yoke Magazine which was a great opportunity to get some Steve Potz out there to the spiritual set.
Finally, the big news is that at the end of October, the first Fine Tune Records release will happen with the Steve Pottz debut EP – Sydney Summertime, coming out on Beatport, iTune, Amazon, Google Play, Spotify, Shazam and a slew of other digital distributors. A very exciting milestone, getting the record label set-up and music finally making commercial release (time to start saving?).
It’s that time of the month again and here’s a new collection of tracks.
A busy month with a bunch of time taken up with preparing the masters for my first EP release coming out in Spring – watch this space.
There’s a definite element of the deeper house sound creeping in with some of the tracks – check out Mannenberg, a deep house treatment of a Cape jazz song by Abdullah Ibrahim that I used to play in the South African band Sabenza. Chameleon is another nod back to my jazz past, covering the Herbie Hancock classic.
Back Down gets a lot tougher with a growly bass that keeps this track moving along.