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INK 20 - ANOTHER FULL INKTOBER MIXTAPE!

I've got a new mixtape out y'all! (Hope I'm not abusing the CAPS there ^.)

True to tradition it's mastered by Nick AKA @Jabun of Jabun Audio, is a recalibration and mastering of all my Inktober work of 2020, is available for free both here, and on YT NG and shortly - in limited dosage - on SC.

I only upload a limited selection there since they have a cap on your upload time with free accounts, and I don't want to exhaust mine yet. Hopefully there are still a few more of these tapes waiting down the road to save room for, not least the last year material one...

It's a bit belated this one. I was hoping to have this out before the New Year, but with work schedules and covid and all intervening - and when I was finally better Nick was sick - it so came to be it came out this year instead. Hopefully we'll get started on the next one earlier.

But for now rejoice! Feast your ears here on this here veneered share.

In total time of cleaning, mixing, mastering, revising and in other ways managing these files there's probably at least a solid thousand hours of prep time in the pipeline on this one. So you know, I'm pretty proud. :)

I've no idea how much time goes into the average album but I imagine it's less. I imagine professional musicians make less of a mess with their recordings. I imagine they don't mix and publish and then remix and master in two individual sessions - a year apart - or spend quite as much time double-checking ISRC codes, or composing copious amount of off-looking cover mock-up's before they settle on a better one, but that's something for another post - gotta showcase some of those too.

What matters now is this is OUT, and I am joyous, and happy, and I thank you @Jabun for all the hard work you put into making this the wholesome, beautiful, audial Inktober adventure it has thus now finally become.

You can download it for free here too. Share away if you like!

And compare the grand finale track I posted at the end of last year's Inktober post (commemorating both the last mixtape release and another month of Inktober done well - the month that's now being released in full and more flawless form here above) with the brand new here below:


Old and new, in that order. Can you hear the difference, can you? ;)

Have a great day y'all! It's a grand new FULL INKTOBER MIXTAPE for me and the masses, and with that I bid you adieu. Whoop!

Ciao soon.

The Fruits (why fruits though why don't we ever say vegetables or nuts or berries or something?) of Inktober

Hold up! Before I delve into a long-winded and long overdue recollection and ramble on the potential crops of labor this my second year of audial Inktober may have produced, let me first give you this.

INK19

It may not be all instrumental, it may not be all metal (maybe not at all metal?), but for me at least it is somewhat monumental! And maybe momentarily a little mental - but I meant all that I sent y'all.

INK 19 is all of last year's daily material in mixtape form, with thorough additional mixing and mastering by the one and only @Jabun! Starring @S3C, @HOTSTUFFDX, @Father-of-Death, @JamesHeart, @Jabun here too, @littlbox and WyteNoiz on occasional instrumentals/beats/boxes, and a few exclusive leftover bits from way back when. Everything's fully revisited; balanced; hopefully as good as recording quality allows it to be.

You can listen to the full thing here on NG, on my site, or download the full pack with individual tracks right here.

Share if you like! Enjoy, and go check out @Jabun's solo material too if you haven't already - or his showreel if you need a master master!

Now over to that long overdue; by now old and fruity Inktober rant:

Inktober turned out awesome this year. Wasn't sure it'd match up to last, but how wrong was I? It all comes back to you, and then some.

I started with a lot of resistance, but as Steven Pressfield says you just gotta learn to overcome that systemically to stay creative; keep pushing yourself and make new things. The War of Art. Thanks @BenTibbetts for that great random (to me at the time - very thought-out otherwise) reading recommendation a few years back!

I ended up collabing with NG peeps on more than half of the daily recordings this year, of which at least 3-4 were pretty elaborate. @ninjamuffin99 and @KillerRATband handled the mixes on theirs for appreciatively different flavors, but everything else is yours truly. For now. Potential reinterpretations and improvements on a few of the better ones may be on route, like this just recently. And this a while earlier - that one's been a looong time coming now!

Hope to do even more next year. Collabs I mean. Collabs every day? Is that possible? Without planning ahead too much and thus entirely bypassing the very essence of what Inktober is meant to be?

I felt like I burnt myself out enough with what I did this year, but then again I felt the same way last year and that amounted to just half as much, and nothing after, with shorter acapellas too on most days with no collabs. It feels like you realize when you push yourself that you're capable of so much more than you think.

It's an inspiring feeling; something only this particular challenge has truly brought forth in me for the past two years now. So maybe I need to push myself even further to truly greet that greatness I desire to aspire?

You learn to handle stress better too. You grow efficient by necessity. You effectivize your workflow in ways you never knew you needed to until you just don't have the time to do things the hard way, like how I just recently learned how much more efficient the envelope tool in Audacity might be at consistently adjusting the flow of the sound instead of manually amplifying individual bits up and down (thanks for that one @Jabun). And compression. I need to use that. Probably. And panning. Production game be stepping. Up!

So I'm definitely getting back to this 2021! No matter how much resistance I might feel for it at that particular point in time. And hopefully I won't have that familiar phase before then where I drop these creative pursuits entirely; need to warm up to the idea of it all over again. It's all too easy to get into a rut. To get comfortable. To let that spark diminish. Don't let it!

Lemme know if y'all want to collab again next year! Or whenever. I'm down now. Life's looking up. Days are busy but awesome. And here you go again, don't miss that mixtape! Revised somewhat by me with additional mixing and mastering by the one and only y'allreadyknow @Jabun!

We've been going back and forth on this the past month now, and though the original recordings are far from best source quality (I'll blame those daily deadlines and frequent lack of time overall but should probably be blaming my recording/production ethics) I'm really happy with how this turned out! Going to be playing it on every drive to work for a while now; rap along with myself. Good practice; efficient jam sessions; suitable methods of keeping you awake and stimulated whilst on those dark and wet wintery roads that just started getting brighter again! This time's the time it all turns.

This really turned into a rant, or maybe more so a causerie of observations and experiences regarding this particular yearly event. Also read up on the controversy surrounding the Inktober name back when I wrote the above. It's trademarked. Though with non-profit things it should be no problem, so I guess I'll keep using it anyway since I've done so thus far! Until a better name comes along.

TLDR (but do read anyway cause you do get better at longer reading the longer you read long writing): I had a blast this year and I think I might've improved a little since last! I'll let this play in conclusion:

Was going to list some favorites but I can't just choose a few now. Here's a playlist for this year and last and again last year all properly mixed and mastered and possibly with a little more material than the original and this link's local but go check out the NG version above too.

Thanks again @Jabun on that mastering magic on the mix! :) Happy this came to fruition, and happy with this year too! All in time to have a listen as we unwind and greet the new.

Toodles.

Grounds Dog (1:22)

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Help Rhyme (1:46)

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Sunday Dues & Blues

So I didn't catch up at all last weekend, and it's been another pretty intense (but not nearly as intense as the last one) concert week since then.

I actually skipped Queens of the Stone Age last Sunday, because the weather was great, the crowd was thus potentially huge (at least 14,000 interested on FB), and I was feeling... kinda tired! I had no other dues in the city either so taking that train back and forth - as I do all work days of the week - didn't feel very tempting. Tried getting stuff done instead. Right...

This week it's been Beck, Brian Fallon & The Howling Weather and Hurula. They were all fantastic, and most so Beck - who wasn't actually from Sweden at all, as I thought, but from California!

Apparently they felt right at home (him and the band) with the heatwave we currently have over here too. Or had this week - it's raining now.

I didn't catch up at all this weekend either, and tomorrow it's a three day straight of work and concerts again. Full steam ahead.

I've been at two restaurants this week, first Hälsocafeet by Bysistorget, where I tried a Knivsöder (AKA Knife South) - named after the area with its bloody past. Glass noodles and mango. Delicious. Then I went to Burger King, and didn't forget the gluten-free bread this time. It still wasn't great, but burgers + bread is definitely a better combination than just burgers.

Actually that's no combination at all is it.

What else? Oh sign this! ASAP! Been meaning to post it for a while now. It's real important stuff. Really. Censorship. Future of the Internet. That stuff.

Renaine was finally funded a while ago too, yay (the last Kickstarter failed), and I've been doing a voice acting thing. It's a bit bigger a project this time. I stayed up way too late taking way too many takes the first day, but they were received pretty well, so that was great. Hyped to hear the results.

Stayed up till two the night after helping my nephew write an integrity policy for that company he just started too - that had to be done before he began casting the next day. He was pressing up posters and stuff too. Not sure he slept at all. Busy nights - but the weekend's been great after that.

I recorded something real fast for today (reminds me I've got to fix the player interface - it broke with a recent update, but you can still play):

Lyrics are here (you might need them ;). Hope y'all had a good weekend! And see you in a few.

Week 1 - 52, 2017

Earlier this year, about ten weeks in, I thought I'd try recording ten of these weekly verses in one swoop.

I promised then that I'd give it another try when I reached twenty... and I did, I think. I'm not sure how it went though, or where I have the recording, but as the year slowly came to an end I thought: why not record everything in one swoop? All 52 verses back to back, as only a lyrical master might be able to! Right. Yeah. It seemed like a good idea at the time...

As it turns out managing a full two hours of recordings in one session was a bit much even for me (more like especially for me), so I split up my verses in two batches: up until summer, and everything after that.

They're both about forty minutes long, fast-paced, ferocious, with occasional freestyles and... full of flaws. That's what happens when you attempt such a thing in a single take... but I am pretty proud of the results regardless! I did it. It didn't turn out perfect, but it was fun, good practice, and it feels like a great way to conclude both year and project!

I uploaded the earlier batch completely unmodified, but this time I've at least compressed and normalized the tracks a bit, so they hopefully match the sound levels of all the other recordings for the year. If you ever feel like playing all of them back to back these are the last two: 53 and 54. ;)

It's been a long year! Some weeks were fun, others not so much, but I'm happy with the consistent outlet (and put) of creative verse this project provided. They were longer at the start of the year, during summer, and during the end of it, but some of my favorite pieces are the shortest ones, too. If you're looking for one favorite I think Week 27 is the one I like most. Maybe because I was in a special place when I wrote it, or because it makes me feel like I can actually sing, a little... there's also Week 50. Keep in mind there is no autotune or similar being used here. I know it's not perfect, but it's all natural, and I feel like I'm getting better.

Actually there's a lot of other ones I like too. I'd better not get into it too much. Feel free to browse through the year that's been and see which ones you like more than others, and don't forget to leave a comment. ;)

Without further ado here's the final two-take session of Project 2017 verses, recorded on the last two days of the year. First verse 1-27...

...and then 28-52, microphoned in right before the fireworks struck the sky!

That's all for 2017, and for this year there is no project. I've kept it going in varied forms for a few years now, but I feel like it's time to take a break from that routine: to seek new perspectives, priorities, and purpose with my craft, though there'll still be plenty of creativity and craft on the blog!

May the New Year be full of good things, growth, and new opportunity!

Happy 2018.

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