Damian Doucette

Damian Doucette

Damian Doucette


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Damian Doucette submitted media.

UNTITLED 2020.314wav by Levitated

Alex Stillhead

Eerie intro noises - gives things a nice bit of anticipation. Lovely sort of "anti-drop" there too - sort of doesn't go overboard, but lets the synth come in. Problem is beyond the drop, I think this one doesn't feel like it really goes anywhere.

I think listening to this, generally I found it enjoyable - but it wasn't doing wild things for me - possibly just because I wasn't really surprised in any way by the track. It came and went in regular fashion, and didn't feel overly adventurous. There were plenty of sounds that I liked, and nothing really offended me, plus no real issues with production of the sounds, levels (mix) or even structure really, but I think it's the sort of track that felt like it would fade into the background on a compilation of similar downtempo pieces.

The thing with downtempo and chill stuff is that sometimes THAT's the point - like, it's background style music - but I don't know if that's where you're trying to take this. I think given what I feel you were trying to do - this sounds too "safe" if you get me. It might be the rhythm and that it's nothing particularly mind blowing (relatively simple drum structure and patterns) or it might just be that there's not one or two sounds really pushing through and doing anything special.

I have suffered this same issue with my own music, so I know how it probably feels to hear this stuff - and I apologies if it's not super helpful - but I think I'd say worry less about making it sound "right" and go to town on messing about - experiment, and really push things. Push the music, push yourself and see how far you can take it - think about structure, think about what might surprise someone, and think about whether it's a track that you're happy to listen back to again and again.

If you have any follow up questions, or any specifics you'd like me to elaborate on, please let me know, I'd be happy to go into more detail if necessary.

Damian Doucette submitted media.

An Image Of Radiance by LEVITATED

Jen Dan

This soundscape opus is true to your moniker Levitated! That uplifting, but also calming vibe emanates throughout this track. A beautiful unhurried, unfurling of a variety of sounds, with the beginning infusion of nature (the nighttime crickets hum) and heartbeat pulse. Then the gradual addition of more percussion, with a sandy rasping rhythm, sharp finger snap, and other crisp 'n' crunchy sonics.
I'm also diggin' the flow of echoing globular electronic notes and the build up and opening up of the song with a steady, marching-forward pace and the inclusion brighter reverberating electronics and quirky robot-like mechanics noises that still come off as warm and glowing in the context of this copacetic song.
Definitely engaging and relaxing at the same time. You mention this is a less 'busy' number than others you've composed, but there's definitely a lot of different sounds coming together smoothly on this one. Lovely and a mood-brightener!

Alex Stillhead

Nice clean intro - like the verbed clicks as they come in before the shaker - nice buildup of sounds - I wonder if a pad or echoes of a pad might be nice before the key sound and bassline come in. Just a sort of drone/pad/ethereal sound in the background to tie it all together.

I like the bass sounds playing off one another (I think part of it is the low piano note or a double bass sound) - either way nice. Nice things happening up top as this develops too.

I think this track feels a little predictable in its structure. I also think I heard some kicks clashing just after the 2 minute mark - maybe keep an eye on the spectrum  analyser - again just before 2:40. Sounds like maybe 2 kicks hitting in very close succession. Possibly intentional but sounds too close to not be an error. May even be soundcloud playing silly buggers. Hard to tell. Again around 2:22ish maybe?

Anyway - I imagine this being some sort of Portishead instrumental and would be the sort of thing that fits a trip hop singer quite well - some female vocals to bring up the interest and give something to focus on that runs throughout.

Some nice sounds coming in about halfway there as you build out of the break.

I do feel all the sounds here are quite staccato - and I wonder if the track would benefit from (as mentioned before) some pads or longer sounds that span multiple bars and tie things together.

I think you're also running slightly into predictable-loops territory too, where you build things up and break them down in quite a simple structured way and I do tend to warm more to tracks which have less of that - but it's a hard balance to find :)

About the 5:50 mark you have some slightly longer melodic sounds - I'd want to play with more of those and bring them out earlier.

I'd also consider doing something new with the beat throughout - maybe change patterns, or something drastic like moving the snares to the 3rd beat or cutting various bits and shifting them so there's a different, perhaps less predictable rhythm. Maybe some swing? I don't know - you'd have to play with it a bit I think.

I didn't dislike the track - but I don't know if it's something I'd return to regularly - I think I'd want less staccato sounds and more pad/melody to feel like I can enjoy it fully :)

Hope this helps!

Damian Doucette submitted media.

Alex Stillhead

First impressions are GOOD. I'm a big fan of dub, glitchy and deep stuff so this is right up my street.

The sounds are clear, and the mix is excellent - that sub bass really shines through on my system here. All the sounds you're using are wicked. Proper nice dub-techno vibes, but brought back to a roots-style dub rhythm, and lots of consideration gone into the sounds - plenty detail, lots for the ear to find.

If I had one criticism initially it would be an over abundance of sounds - and sometimes deeper dubby stuff like this benefits from a sparser sound, just since it allows someone to really focus on a few elements - and it means any subtle changes often get noticed more. This has lots happening and lots of wonderful development so it's sort of a juxtaposition of cumulative sounds all sitting well in the mix, but that slower tempo and sluggish sub line.

The track feels like it's influenced a fair bit by the psy-trance end of the spectrum. I'd place this in a world where the producer was a big fan of festivals like Boom (Portugal) but preferred to go and play the chill out stage. It would fit right in there.

There are lots of labels that support this type of stuff, and I don't think you'd have too much difficulty getting this signed to a small to mid sized label if that's the way you wanted to go. I'd start with a guy called Alexander Descroix at Iboga Records, and tell him Alex/Stillhead sent you and he'll be able to put you in the right direction and likely recommend other labels too. You might get traction from Ultimae records in France, but I think they're deeper still (to the point of being meditative and kind of dark whereas this track is not so dark in style).

Thanks for sending this - I really enjoyed listening to it!

Damian Doucette submitted media.


Jen Dan

This pleasing, slowly winding downtempo-imbued track has a lot of other ambient sounds and rhythms running through it with laid-back ease.
Hypnotic and flowing, yet with a kicky beat, and rife with electronic zigs, zags, and reverberations and echoing clacks give it a starry-eyed effect, like voyaging from one satellite to another in the vast realm of space.
It comes across as an exploration, where the regular to staccato beat changes up the mood, including an ending that adds morphing squelchy notes.
An enchanting tune that kept my attention due to its interesting atmosphere and ever-shifting sonics.

Damian Doucette submitted media.

Alex Stillhead


OK, I definitely like the growling intro, and that initial percussion coming in - very stylish, moody - give it a nice vibe. I recall liking your intro before too - and your sound selection seems very fitting.

All your sounds in the track seem to fit much more tightly now, which is excellent. Lots of nice little details coming in and out throughout which I think keeps things nice and interesting too.

Your breakdown and subsequent half-time stuff half way through is still really nice and the sounds coming in around the 4:10 mark are great - high synths, and I like the bassline hinting at the familiarity of the Sleng Teng bass.

The mix/levels don't sound too bad here, although I imagine a push in mastering would bring it all up and it would end up being a bit brighter which would top it off nicely.

I think this is definitely a big improvement - largely because I don't have anything bad to say here - very well done on this.

Keep up the good work man!

Damian Doucette submitted media.

JUNO DUBSTA by Levitated

Alex Stillhead

Nice atmosphere to begin with - always a fan of rain :) Nice solid kick pattern and the hi synth line is nice too. Not anything that I've not heard before, but not badly put together.

The pluck sounds that come in don't do it for me sound-design-wise, but they don't sound completely out of place.

I think about the 1:40 mark where the cymbal hits and it sort of relaxes into a groove with the sub is nice - feels like the track has laid back into something here and released the tension a bit.

I can appreciate you're trying to go somewhere with the bassline too - although the remainder of the track still feels quite loopy at parts.

Lovely sounds in the breakdown at the 2:50 mark - reminiscent of some of Mike Sheridan's earlier work (which I think you'd enjoy if you don't mind slightly more experimental stuff).

The sounds here are nice and clean - well put together, and nothing really stands out as bad or out of place. Normally that would be a great thing - but the flip side to that coin is that, also, nothing stands out enough as a hook or riff to get my teeth into - there's no excitement or particular element to catch my ear (normally I guess some sort of vocals would do this, but it doesn't have to be).

The mark at about 4:32 where you introduce a new sound and the beat goes half-time, kinda wonky - this is more like what I'm talking about - something to get my teeth into. I don't think the bassline works here, but the rest of the track at this point really comes alive - it's far more engaging.

The synth top lines that come in after this part too add something lovely - a bit more aural interest.

This is better than I'd say about 80% of what I get sent (not on Fluence necessarily but all the stuff I get sent every day) - so that's something - but it's not got that hook or that particular interest to grab me.

It's also missing some mystery in terms of sound design - I want something to sound like "whoa, how did they do that?" or something to be such a unique sound that it makes me excited about trying to hear it again or isolate it in some way.

I can see you developing your sound into something that would fit nicely on the Ultimae label or something reminiscent of the early Nordic electronica scene - keep at it, and don't be afraid to go really weird with it :)