Live in Los Angeles? Home studios are everywhere in this city, and whether you listen to Top 40 or buy vinyl from Vacation, there’s a better than bad chance that some of the music you love was made in a residence near you. Maybe even next door. With the help of pop producer Ricky Reed, Grizzly Bear’s bassist/utilities man Chris Taylor, the irrepressible will.i.am, and a few folks behind the scenes, I give you this quick but kinda deep dive into the world of home-recording, which, as it turns out, happens to be the world that the rest of us live in… only, sometimes Kesha stops by.
Sweet sax prevails on this episode of Tuesday Reviewsday. The voice of my usual co-anchor Shirley Halperin was beamed in from New York, so I couldn’t actually see her grooving to Lazyboy Empire’s batshit “Vampire” track, but of course it happened. I also spoke on SPORTS and their new (final?) album, All of Something. TRD is now podcast on iTunes. It’s below too:
Some folks have so much going on that a Day in the Life simply isn’t enough. I sat down with L.A. producer-on-the-rise Ricky Reed (Jason Derulo, Lunchmoney Lewis, Robin Thicke, Icona Pop) to trace an entire week’s worth of studio sessions, release parties, and — yep — grade-school plays.
I recently published a piece (via LA Weekly) detailing, blow-by-blow, the way in which Wallpaper’s Eric Frederic, helped by a cadre of rabid friends (myself included), took his latest remix incredibly viral. Which remix? Why the one in which he AutoTunes Jay-Z, of course. Read the new article here.
It’s my honor to introduce a furiously banging track by my dear friends in Oakland-based duo Wallpaper. This thing should be viral soon enough, but for now, you can stream it and download (by right-clicking) below.
Now the backstory: Jay-Z recently contributed his piece to the raging (har har) international debate over the blatant overuse of AutoTune in radio pop. Essentially hopping on an already existing meme, he named his track “D.O.A. (Death Of Autotune)” — co-produced, ironically, by one of the fad’s biggest abusers, Kanye West — and caused a stir with the lyric, “This is anti-AutoTune / Death of the ringtone / This ain’t for iTunes / This ain’t for sing-along.”
Here, Wallpaper., a group that’s used AutoTune as an instrument since early 2005 (that’s pre-T-Pain, for those taking notes), repurposes that lyric for a very singable, digitally modified hook. The somewhat brillaint ironic appropriation doesn’t end there, however. The meat of the track comes from Jay’s monstrous 2004 hit, “99 Problems,” which leads to this rather astute line from Wallpaper vocalist Ricky Reed: “I’ve got 99 problems but my pitch ain’t one.”
Oh, and did I mentioned that Jay’s voice is AutoTuned throughout?