The Journal of Jon Hicks, one half of Hicksdesign.

Troika #20: Take it Slow

Troika #20: Take it Slow

This time its all about taking it slow. Songs or pieces of music that either sound better, or take on a new form, when slowed down.

  1. ‘Feel it all Around’ by Washed Out
    Ernest Greenes’ project ‘Washed Out’ take the backing from Gary Low’s 1983 single I Want You and slows it to nice laid back pace, creating this lovely slurry sound. I’m told this is also the theme to the TV Series Portlandia, but I haven’t seen that yet.
  2. ‘How do I make you’ by The Chipmunks
    To record Chipmunks versions of songs, they have to be sung at a slower pace, so that when sped up, both the pitch and length is correct. So what happens when you slow the whole back down to the pace of the original vocal? Sludgepop! There’s loads more on Soundcloud. Check out ‘My Sharona in particular – I just felt it was a bit long for this episode,especially when you see how long the last track is…
  3. The Jurassic Park Theme – 1000% slower
    Drawn out to almost an hour, John Williams’ theme to Jurassic Park is a beautiful ambient drone epic! It does start quiet, but the volume builds towards the end! (Original Source on Soundcloud Jurassic Park Theme 1000% slower)

In this episode I also mention about how Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack for Inception was inspired by the slowed down version of Edith Piafs’ “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien”, a musical motif used throughout the story. More on that here.

How to get this episode

Listen using the player above, download Troika #20: Take it Slow as an mp3, Subscribe to Troika with an RSS reader or via iTunes.

All music featured is the copyright of the respective artists.

Troika #19: Bleeps

Troika #19: Bleeps

In the early eighties I was really into artists like Jean Michel Jarre, Depeche Mode and Howard Jones. I loved synths! After about ’86 I moved away to more guitar-based music, Metal and then a wee folky phase in the early nineties.

During my last year at college in 94 I started rediscovering electronic music. As well as purveyors of ambience like Aphex Twin and The Orb, I also got into the slightly more ‘dancey’ end of the spectrum, even though I wasn’t a fan of dancing or nightclubs. I kind of just nodded my head along ;)

So, without interruption, here’s the three tracks I’ve chosen from : Leftfield, Future Sound of London and The Chemical Brothers. Enjoy!

  1. ‘Storm 3000’ – Leftfield
  2. ‘Dead Skin Cells’ – Future Sound of London
  3. ‘One Too Many Mornings’ – The Chemical Brothers
    This one is an all time favourite. Pure bliss!

How to get this episode

Listen using the player above, download Troika #19: Bleeps as an mp3, Subscribe to Troika with an RSS reader or via iTunes.

All music featured is the copyright of the respective artists.

Troika #18: Randoms

Troika #18: Randoms

Troika number 18 is a straightforward simpler episode! The only thematic link this time is tracks that I’ve discovered either by shuffle or playback glitches. Random songs! (Maybe a little bit of swearing too)

  1. ‘Cissy Strut’ – Butch Cassidy Sound System
    Butch Cassidy Sound System is a pseudonym Michael Hunter, who composed music for Grand Theft Auto.
  2. ‘Auditorium’ – Mos Def feat. Slick Rick
    From 2009’s album ‘Ecstatic’
  3. ‘Babe you turn me on’ – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
    Listen out for the bit where Nick Cave compares ‘Babe’ to an atom bomb, followed by an impression. In all seriousness, its a beautiful song

How to get this episode

Listen using the player above, download Troika #18: Randoms as an mp3, Subscribe to Troika with an RSS reader or via iTunes.

All music featured is the copyright of the respective artists.

Troika #17: The Scotch Egg

Troika #17: The Scotch Egg

This Troika is a musical representation of one of my favourite foods – the mighty Scotch Egg!

Scotch Eggs, just in case you’ve never come across such a delicacy, consist of three layers (just like a Troika!). At it’s core is a hardboiled (but can be softboiled) egg, wrapped in sausage meat and then coated in breadcrumbs before frying. Some fancy ‘artisan’ scotch eggs do things like substitute smoked haddock or black pudding for the sausage meat, while others wrap in crisps rather than breadcrumbs! They’re all tasty, but this one is dedicated to the ‘classic’ no-nonsense scotch egg.

So here we are – less waffle with this episode, lets get on with it! Here are the ingredients in this Troika Scotch Egg:

  1. ‘Breadcrumbs’ – Deca
    This is my kind of hip-hop. Laid back, quality wordplay and great samples! Deca is an artist (in the musical and physical sense) from Brooklyn.
  2. ‘Valley of the Sausages’ – Mr Scruff
    This is the first track I thought of when I decided to do this theme. A great pick from Mr Scruffs ‘Trouser Jazz’ album.
  3. ‘Egg’ – The Garden
    And so we got to a bass & drums duo from Orange County, California, who describe their style as ‘Vada-Vada’ to avoid being pigeonholed.

The Guardian has a nice little article if you want to familiarise yourself with history and global variations of this king of picnic snacks.

How to get this episode

Listen using the player above, download Troika #17: The Scotch Egg as an mp3, Subscribe to Troika with an RSS reader or via iTunes.

All music featured is the copyright of the respective artists.

Troika #16: Diddly-dum! Diddly-dum!…

Troika #16: Diddly-dum! Diddly-dum!…

With the new series of Dr Who starting this weekend, I decided it was time for a Troika on the iconic TV theme! There has been a lot of ‘official’ versions and many more covers (including a terrible disco-ified one by Mankind in 1979), but here is the original, along with my two favourite unofficial versions!

  1. Doctor Who (1963 original theme) – Ron Grainer & Delia Derbyshire
    Ron Grainer wrote the score, but it was Delia Derbyshire at the BBC Radiophonic workshop that brought it to life, using techniques that she and Dick Mills invented as they went along. It was revolutionary, and their work continues to inspire electronica today, especially in bands like Stereolab
  2. ‘Dr Qui’ – Bill Bailey
    Bill Bailey is the first artist to be featured again on Troika, and this time it’s for his Belgian Jazz (with french lyrics) version of the theme. (He also appeared in the show as Droxil in ‘The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe’ fact fans).
  3. ‘Dr Who’ – Orbital (live at Glastonbury)
    The men with laser beams for eyes regularly perform this lively EDM version in their live set. This one is taken from the 2004 Glastonbury Festival. They came back in 2010, and performed it with the then Eleventh Doctor, Matt Smith. Not sure how much he actually did – maybe just twiddled a few knobs?

P.S – sorry for the abrupt ending, thats how the last track finishes! Tsk…

How to get this episode

Listen using the player above, download Troika #16: Diddly-dum! Diddly-dum!… as an mp3, Subscribe to Troika with an RSS reader or via iTunes.

All music featured is the copyright of the respective artists.

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