This week’s throwback dispatch comes courtesy of Noisia. Fresh from yesterday’s sickeningly wicked upload Reptilians (with Mefjus and Hybris), we called up Noisia HQ for the story behind My World: a distinctive destruction jam we uploaded exactly five years ago:
Thijs answered the call and was happy to oblige. Turns out My World harbours a production technique they’d never explored before and triggered an interesting story on their relationship with vocals and the genus of their I Am Legion project with Foreign Beggars.
Vocals are a challenge for us full stop. They always have been. We love vocal tunes but they have to be done in a way that doesn’t clash. This is very hard… especially when your instrumentals are as upfront as ours.
“Moving harmonics are the very first thing that spring to mind when I think of My World. The bassline is a complex wave comprising a couple of steady, simple waves; together they form a complex wave. So you have the first wave on the base, the second an octave above then a couple of overtones.
What happens in My World is that they all move down together but the accent in frequency moves up. The lowest frequency loses its weight while the upper frequencies start to dominate. It’s a very unusual sound and this is the first track we did this deliberately.
Even though our manager and label manager and everyone else is screaming for us to get a vocal; we try it out and the tune doesn’t want it. We don’t want it. Fuck it.
The second thing that springs to mind is, of course, the vocals. We don’t do many vocal tunes. But we’d sampled The Supremes’ My World Is Empty Without You and we needed to get them re-sung. Giovanca is a fairly big singer here in Holland. You often hear her being played on the radio. She had a very cool, kinda edgy hip-hop tune out around this time but she’s mainly jazz and soul and was fun to work with.
Vocals are a challenge for us full stop. They always have been. We love vocal tunes but they have to be done in a way that doesn’t clash. This is very hard… especially when your instrumentals are as upfront as ours. You really have to get vocalists who get it and understand what rave vocals have to do.
We’ve worked on vocal versions for radio on several occasions and ended up thinking ‘fuck it’ – even though our manager and label manager and everyone else is screaming for us to get a vocal; we try it out and the tune doesn’t want it. We don’t want it. Fuck it.
That’s actually how we met Foreign Beggars. They came over to demo vocals for the Split The Atom radio version. After a while we all decided it didn’t work and worked on making cool stuff instead. Contact came about through that same session, along with a few things that ended up being shelved at the time.
Time went by… We did our album. They did their albums. After a few more sessions – during which we made Shellshock – we thought ‘these beats need a place’ so we did an album together that wasn’t a Noisia album, that wasn’t a Foreign Beggars album but something that stood for itself. And it started with a tune that didn’t need any vocals.”