Galaxy Class – Going Under (Mdavisto’s Mix)
Galaxy Class is an American duo based separately in Indiana and Chicago, comprising the compositional talents and devious synth mastery of Emil Hyde, and the vocal silk and sauciness of Lauren Moore.
Alert readers of this bolg will note that Lauren is also the voice behind ‘Verse, and this is not the first time I’ve worked with her. Hopefully it will also not be the last – her vocal talent has been described as “sad honey,” among other things.
This track started life as a doef-doef remix, which informed the basic structure, but something just wasn’t right, and I hit a wall. But then, when all hope seemed lost, I found inspiration in the most unlikely of places: dubstep.
I have a love/hate relationship with dubstep. I realise that it’s very hard to define what dubstep is given the way in which the term has been abused. I am not moved by the robots-fucking-each-other noises that seem to overwhelm the shallow end of the dubstep pool. Nor, having said that, am I against the work of Skrillex, who many hardcore fans would deny was dubstep at all. To me, dubstep is halftempo beats, with reggae influences, and wobbly basses, but it seems that everyone has a different definition, and everyone other than me is right.
Lauren posted an Ellie Goulding track on her Facebook wall, which prompted a discussion on how the dubstep remix was better. So, partly as a joke, I muted the doef-doef drums and replaced them with a half tempo stomp. It … worked. Really well, actually.
So from then on, that was the direction of the track. Honestly, it feels really weird to have dropped a track in this format, but I can’t deny that it sounds good. It’s like the song wanted to be this way all along.
From a technical standpoint, this was built in FL Studio 10, using almost entirely freeware synths. Preset jockeyism annoys me, and I am trying to make a point of building all the synth sounds I use by hand.
The gargantuan bass noise was built using TAL Elek7ro, as were the various zwarps and zorches, although now that I think about it, I may have made one in TAL NoiseMaker. The arpy synth chords were built in Phutura, and the guitar noises were made using the sadly discontinued SpicyGuitar and run through IL Hardcore for effects. Sundry swooshes were built in FL’s 3xOSC synth – basically just white noise with a bandpass filter and an LFO on the cutoff.
I think I am most proud, however, of the sonar-ish noise you hear in the intros and breaks. It’s a pair of barbells that I sampled at the gym in 2004. One day while doing curls at the local gym, I noticed that when the weights clanked together at the top of the movement, they produced a tone that was musical. I asked the manager if I could borrow the weights to sample them. He thought I was mad, but said that while I couldn’t take them home, if I wanted to come in and record them on site, that’d be ok.
So the next morning, they cleared the aerobics studio for me and I set up a portable recorder and a Shure beta57 mic, and clanked the weights together for a while. I think it was a bit of an anticlimax for the onlookers through the glass, but I got what I wanted – a really cool sonar sound for my signature set. So, to the crew at the Virgin Active in Kenilworth Park, Cape Town who humoured me – thanks a lot!
For some reason, Feedburner strips embedded music out, so if you’re receiving this via email, the remix can be found at: http://soundcloud.com/mdavisto/going_under_mdavistos_mix.
The original unmolested version of the song can be found here. And for the entirely nerdy among you, here is a screenshot of what the project looks like.