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LO - Black Keys (RAC2012)

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Entry for the Represent a Country contest, JAPAN!!

So, why is this Japanese? Well first of all, Japanese music is for 99.9% written in pentatonic scales (scales with only 5 tones in them). This song is also written in a pentatonic scale. USually you can tell if a song is pentatonic because it will sound Japan-ish then. In fact, this song is written in a special pentatonic scale: F#, also known as the 'black-keys-only' scale (hence the name). This scale is played on the black keys only, and I'm pretty sure it's the most common pentatonic scale there is because everybody who wants to play Japanese music for fun plays on the black keys.
Also, this song contains a lot of squared synths. I'm not sure if you're ever heard modern Japanese dance music (and I don't mean that dance-core techno stuff) you'll know that a lot of square synths are used in Japanese electronic music.
I've also used some glissandos and arpeggios that sound Japanese. Unfortunately, they're digitally created, because I would've loved to let a guzheng or koto play them but I
couldn't find a proper soundfont for one.
Last but not least, I've used a Japanese text-to-speech thing to creating a Japanese monologue, you can find the text below.

So yeah, enjoy this frizzle :)

Here's the translation of the speech:

"Once upon a time there was a wobble, a wobble that was so dirty and muddy that everybody who listened to it, even for a split second, would get the best eargasm they could wish for. And that wobble is playing right fucking now!"

No joke.

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well good tunes friend dancing on floor alway through this so it must be good and i have added it to my favorite music 5/5 :)

Wow. Really? Well done.

From the start I was intrigued by the voice used, simply because as a RAC submission I thought you might have gone for the more oriental side. So I was surprised to hear synths. Upon reading your description, though, I understand the reason why.

The bass dropping at 0:50 is MAJOR. Seriously, it is a very great drop. I also like that it is syncopated with Passion-Pit-esque synth riffs at about 1:00 as well. Then I can really feel the influence of that band at the 1:20 mark, with the nicely-sidechained soothing square pads giving a feel-good vibe.

Your skill in mixing is very apparent, although I didn't really feel it the first time, but at 2:10 it was much more potent. I would have liked to have heard some authentic Japanese instrumentation throughout, simply because it would have created a nice depth. The second drop at 2:45 didn't hit me as startling as the first, but that was OK, because it was still good.

Overall, this is a very unique submission into the RAC, incorporating melodic tendencies of the Japanese, to create your very own style of Fidget-House-cum-Brostep-cum-Synth-Po p-cum-Indie-Electronic-Hooplah. And I commend you for that.

Beauty: 8.5/10
Skill: 9.5/10
Intent: 8.5/10
Dynamics: 7.5/10
X-Factor: 8/10
Overall: 42/50 (84%) [A-]

I loved the voice, what program did you use (or is that a trade secret)?

While true Japanese music relies heavily on pentatonic scales, so does bebop and American folk music. The very first part of the melody evoked Japan and the voice absolutely sang (pun intended) of the Far East, but otherwise, this could've been any old electronic tune. Don't get me wrong, I like it, I just don't see a lot of people hearing Japanese influence beyond the two parts already mentioned.

Very dance-able, very download-able. Nicely done!

Oakwood responds:

Google 'japanese text to speech' and you should find the program I used.
Thanks for the critics!

Oh man, this is pretty sick! Liked the way you wrote for all the parts, they each had convincing and stylised writing I felt, and the beginning dubstep section (0:00-1:52) was pretty freakin intense. I'd like another drop though! Equally, I think some shakuachi samples could have worked quite well on top of this as well, and brought you extra representation points to bit. Maybe turn down the synth at the beginning, or automate the compression so it doesn't come into effect that early on.

Love the cheeky wub at the end too bro :P Its gotta be a ten for Eastern dubstep broski. Repping it for the Eastern Dub movement. BTW, you OK if I remix this? :)

Oakwood responds:

To be honest, I would've loved another drop as well, but I just couldn't find a good spot for it :(
Of course you can remix this! Just give me credit, will ya? I could provide you some MIDI's if you need too :)

Thanks for the review!

This is more like Euro-Trance or something in that genre. The beginning synth is loud as hell too! Its not bad, but definitely not dubstep other than the use of the quick wobble here and there. I would put this under Dance or Trance.

Oakwood responds:

Yeah, you're right, I put it under Dance now. I'm probably gonna turn down that synth at the start too. Thanks for the review!

Credits & Info


3.88 / 5.00

Mar 15, 2012
2:19 PM EDT
File Info
8.1 MB
3 min 33 sec

Licensing Terms

Please contact me if you would like to use this in a project. We can discuss the details.