Monday, September 26, 2011

PAD Challenge: 5 New Tracks From Nikolai Bonamente

I poked a little fun at Nikolai Bonamente (formerly 1.44 MB) during one of my recent Challenge update posts, because during last year's Challenge he managed to produce two tracks, while everyone else worked feverishly to come up with just one. My joke was that even if no one else creates a track for the challenge, we'd no doubt have a couple of tracks from Nikolai to fill our ears and time.

Well, as it turns out, not only did Nikolai manage to surpass his output from last year, but he completely blew my good-natured prediction out of the water, writing a whopping FIVE tracks during the week. This is what Nikolai had to say about his efforts over the last week:

Each song was put together roughly over the course of a weekday evening after work with a beer (or two) and a cat climbing over everything. The production isn't fabulous but as I usually compose and then try to spend some time away from the track to lose familiarity before going back to calm everything down that wasn't going to happen in the tome allowed. Most tracks were put together with Robb's PADs and standard Reason soundbank patches - with the exception of the beats on a couple of tracks being from the Rebirth 808 / 909 refill.... oh and I used Peff's fantastic square bass (free from his site) on a couple as well. Each track up on the soundcloud site has track notes regarding which PAD's were included.

Nikolai's trick of inserting comments where each patch from Reason Patch A Day appears is actually really clever and makes listening along a lot of fun.

Here's his first track, Nomad....

2011 PAD challenge NOMAD by Nikolai Bonamente

As you can see from his Comment "signposts," Nikolai used the Chimera - Thor, Nomad - subtractor PAD, and Reductio Ad Absurdum - Malstrom patches in Nomad. Nikolai wrote the following about his track:

This is the last one that was put together on Friday and I think is my favorite of the bunch - it achieves the feel I was going for early this year with Thorong-La and Glide-Plane . While both of these tracks headed off into embellishment land Nomad stays fairly minimal with lots of space and has a sort of lazy drifting lilt that it's name suggests.

2011 PAD challenge NERVE AGENT by Nikolai Bonamente

His second track, Nerve Agent, used the following patches: Ironic is Iconic - Subtractor, Newcomer - Malstrom, Peanut Snap - Sample, Rebop HiHat 6 - Kong, Rebop Snare 4 - Kong, Reductio Ad Absurdum - Malstrom, and Starpower - Thor.

Nikolai had this to say about his track:

An attempt to tweak some acid out of Robbs pads - I've been tooling around with the rebirth refills lately so I wanted something in that general area. This track shows examples of Robb's PADs after a fair degree of tweaking, some nice airly reverb layer percussion and my desire to try sounds that grate a little around the edges in otherwise fairly commercial sounding tracks.

2011 PAD challenge COVER PRICE by Nikolai Bonamente

Again, as you can see from Nikolai's carefully placed comments, the patches Brush - Malstrom, Peanut Snap - Sample, Rebop HiHat 6 - Kong, Rebop Snare 4 - Kong, and Secret Door - Thor (processed through the Veiled effects combinator) make an appearance in Cover Price.

This one came out of nowhere - I think I was a little um tipsy when I knocked it up. In the past I've not been a big beat head, but I'm getting closer so this track again shows experimentation with some of Robb's latest Kong patches.

2011 PAD challenge INFINITE RIM SHOT (short cut to sanity remix) by Nikolai Bonamente

Acrimony - Malstrom, Rebop Kick1 - Kong, Rebop Rimshot 3 - Kong, and Rebop Snare 3 - Kong all make an appearance in Infinite Rim Shot (Short Cut to Sanity Remix).

Nikolai had this to say about Infinite Rim Shot:

The result of 20 minutes playing with the rebop rimshot and delay and reverb - I almost did a minimal track with just that oscillating around for 7 minutes. After a while I thought some more percussion and another screeching PAD would go nicely.

2011 PAD challenge MILKWEED KEEPSAKE by Nikolai Bonamente

And lastly, Milkweed Keepsake uses the following patches: Keepsake - Malstrom, Milkweed - Malstrom, and Rebop Tom 2 - Kong, among others.

Of his song Milkweek Keepsake, Nikolai wrote:

This was heading in the direction ambient drum and bass but then took a big swing elsewhere - another attempt to make spooky left field ambient pads dancable.

A truly Herculean effort, Nikolai! The best part is that we all have five new tunes to listen to because of it, so thanks for submitting all of these to the Challenge.

If anyone has any constructive criticism for Nikolai, please be sure to post a comment or two on his tracks via Soundcloud or leave a message for him in the comments section here.


dj mad wax said...

Nomad is dope as hell - love the broken drum style with the empty desert vibe.

Nikolai said...

Wow - thanks for the comment Wax - I think that's my first ever 'dope as hell'! Means a lot coming from someone who makes tunes I really like. Nomad That was one of those tunes that comes together really nicely pretty much in the first 15 mins playing around then just need arranging a little, in this case the ridiculous time pressure (self imposed) really "helped" me keep things simple. Don't know why but as soon as I heard the pad I knew it was going to go with broken beats.

Patch-A-Day Robbneu said...

I don't think there's a clunker in the group, Wax. They're all good. Well done, Nikolai!

Nikolai said...

Just noticed that the Nomad track on Soundcloud had the last minute cut off it - must've been a glitch uploading. I've gone back and now its the correct 4.04 minutes long.

Patch-A-Day Robbneu said...

Thanks for the update on Nomad, Nikolai!