Kind of Dead

from by Wayne Horvitz

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Like last week, this track is also from Pigpen, my first Seattle based band, which started in the early 90s and ended 7 or 8 years later. Today's track, entitled "Kind of Dead", is in many ways the complete opposite of last weeks track. Looped based, it layers samples and overdubs over Mike Stone's drumbeat (also looped) and owes more to the technical approaches of early hip-hop and rap then to the cut and paste approaches Zorn used in Naked City.

Speaking of techniques, this was made before most of us were using computers, although the dedicated samplers and sequencers we used definitely had digital brains. Instead of looping audio files in a DAW, each sample was triggered from the sequencer to the sampler every 4 beats or 8 beats or whatever. If the sample were not in time, or more spontaneous, they would be triggered manually from a keyboard. Everything was printed on tape.

The title is a reference to both Kind of Blue and a band with the word "Dead" in it. Unlike most of Pigpen's music, this track was definitely a product of the recording studio and never performed live. In fact it never even appeared on a Pigpen album and was only released as a 7" (of which I have 3 copies left). Not too long ago I had a transfer made from a virgin copy of the 7" to digital so that I could include it in a compilation. You can hear the little pops from the vinyl.

I am lucky in that my two children often appreciate my music, which I gather isn't always the case. They also, in my humble and prejudiced opinion, possess broad and nuanced tastes in music, and I often learn about great tracks and artists from them both. Nica, my oldest daughter, has very astute and articulate opinions and observations about all sorts of music, as she does about most things. She has, on a few occasions, said that this track is her favorite piece of music of mine. One side of me wants to scream, 'but what about this tune, what about this song, what about this composition", but another side of me totally gets it. I hope you get it too, and I hope you enjoy the music.


(with Briggan Krauss, Mike Stone and Fred Chalenor-PIGPEN appears at the OK HOTEL FESTIVAL on February 28th at The Royal Room with special guests)

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from 52 Weeks Of Downloads, track released January 19, 2016
Photo: Charles Peterson

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Wayne Horvitz

Wayne Horvitz is a composer, pianist and electronic musician who has performed extensively throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, and North America.

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