Matthew Hall

Matthew Hall

Matthew Hall



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Matthew Hall submitted media.

Talpazan by Squeakstar

Alex Stillhead

Listening to the intro, the sounds feel a little on the thin side - maybe just down to percussion being centred - but just before the beat kicks in there's a nice flurry of snare sounds where they expand to left and right.

It's an interesting first section with that sort of squelchy loop - I felt that perhaps it was lacking in the low-end, since often techno of this sort feels a little sparse or unfinished without that booming low-end, whether it's a beefed-up kick or a sub-line of sorts.

Your percussion and drum sounds feel very single layered. I'd probably want to look at layering them up with more samples, to give them a bit more punch, and maybe allow them to take up a bit more of the frequency spectrum. You'd be surprised what a few extra drum layers will do - even if you don't notice much difference to begin with.

Although you have a few different defined sections, and the introduction of various other elements - there's something of a lack of progression in the track for me - it feels like a handful of elements are being brought in and out, but not necessarily with any real reason, or narrative. I'd like to see more of a story of sorts - some more engaging transitions, and maybe experimentation with ways of introducing or removing new sounds, so that it doesn't sound like they're just being turned on and off.

In general the track has me tapping my foot, and I dare say that in a set of similar material it wouldn't feel totally out of place, but I don't feel that it's going to turn enough heads in a set to make it a main-stay of my DJ box for example. I think I'd be wanting more of a cohesive groove.

There's also something to be said for allowing all the elements to gel. I'm not sure if these all do or not - there's almost a feeling that the track was done with hardware or a modular synth - in that the sounds feel a bit raw.

Another thing to mention may also be breathing room - building elements up is one thing, but also breaking them down effectively too - I don't know if this helps much actually, you do have build ups and break downs in here, but there's an element of clunkiness to them.

Lastly it's worth mentioning texture here too - there's something of an absence of texture in your track - anything from subtle noise, or keys in the background, however quiet or inconsequential, may help bring a feeling of cohesiveness to the track - at the moment, the sounds all feel like they exist somewhat in isolation, but for example the long drawn out sound at the 4:30-4:40 or 5:40 ish (that echoes out at the end) mark brings a bit more togetherness to the track, so I'd want to probably use much more of that throughout. Using relatively thin drum sounds without something to hold them together often makes things sound a little unfinished, which would be my worry with this.

I don't entirely dislike the track - but it's probably not something I'd go back to again and again I'm afraid.

Hopefully this gives you some more to refer to mate - thanks again for sending this my way :)

Matthew Hall submitted media.

Tribbles by squeakstar

Alex Stillhead

The off kilter percussion and rolling scattered drums on this threw me initially but actually they have a really hypnotic quality to them!

All of the elements used within the track I think work together, and in terms of mixdown, it seems to sound fine - there might be a little too much in the very top-end of the spectrum, but that could just be personal preference.

There are a few things that I'd say about the track in terms of general feel.

Normally I really get into a techno track when it "rolls" - when there's some sort of fluidity to the movement of the loops. Whether minimal or maximal, normally I feel the track has to propell its self along - this sounds very hazy and can often just be down to something like syncopation or a particular loop structure - but I felt this track more "chugged" along - less in the way of flow to my ears - it's a hard thing to pin down, but it may be down to the scattered drum pattern.

I tend to go for tracks where there's a mystery regarding the production methods - but for at least the first half of this track there was a very clear build-up loop-based structure - I would look into ways to make this stuff less obvious in future - the simple adding and removing of sounds needs to have more thought put in in order to really add that intrigue and mystery. I want to listen and think *whoah, how did they make THAT happen?!*

The breakdown at the 4:10 mark felt like it came too late in the track - I think it would have been nice to see more break downs and build ups before this point.

I think in general - it seems like you have all these great elements - but I'd want to sit with all of this in the DAW and do a "deconstructed" version - where you break down and build up more bits. Get crazy with stuff, really push it much further out in terms of which elements are on together at the same time etc.

As far as standing out amongst other techno tracks - I think this has the potential to do that, but I'd want to mess about with it a bit more before it had those idiosyncrasies that tend to make something unique. Don't be afraid to go beyond what you might consider "safe" - you've always got the undo button, so get caught up in the wild nature of some of these sounds - try techniques you've never done before.

I think the other area that was lacking a little bit here was the bass - the sub was evident throughout, but never really felt like it had played a crucial part - it never emerged above the noise of the rest of the elements, and it was very much a constant in the track - that may be something of a requirement for techno of this sort - but why not drop it out at more parts - bring it back in at others - change the pattern, see how the subtleties of changing the bass pattern affect the rest of the track.

I hope this gives you some food for thought at the very least - thank you for letting me listen to your stuff :)