Promoters: How it’s not being done

Annoyed-PicardI had a flight from Malaysia to Manila on Friday that I chose to be just in time to arrive at the airport, get picked up by the Missus and drive directly to my gig at The Electronica Festival. Everything was okay, although my flight had a delay of 45 minutes. Arriving there (the way to the venue already told lots about the venue itself) we immediately recognized that there weren’t a lot of people. No one was able to introduce me to anyone who was responsible for artists, I had to walk around for 20 minutes to find a DJ mate who was actually as lost as myself. We somehow got it managed to find our stage. Then there were no drinks for us, we were supposed to manage everything ourselves, including carrying cups of drinks from one bar 300 meters away from our stage, to have something to drink whilst performing. No one assisted us or gave us any comfort. In “exchange” I received like 400 texts from random (and unknown to me) people, “reminding” me of my performance on stage at 4AM. Actually, I started playing at 3.45AM already, but, of course, no one took notice of that, apart from some fans and fellow artists (thank you Emel and David) who enjoyed the set.

For some reason I started to feel really terrible like 1 hour into my set. Luckily the bathrooms were just behind the stage, so I went vomiting 2 times, but didn’t interrupt my set and tried to be as professional as I could. I think no one even noticed that I felt like shit. After my set, I randomly asked about who’s gonna pay out the talent fee, but no one was able to give a straight answer. To make a long story short: in the end I had to chase down responsible people for like half an hour and become VERY energetic, insisting on paying me my fee in full after a given performance. They tried to tell me that all would be paid out on Monday, but I stated that this is zero acceptable and not gonna happen, otherwise … you know what I mean. I can get very angry, and yes: intimidating, when I feel that someone tries to bullshit me.

After all, I can only hope my artist mates got/get a hold of their money and nothing more catastrophic happened. I texted one of the responsible persons afterwards to never contact or ask me again. I don’t want to work with totally unprofessional people. Go learn the business first, then organize events.

2014-11-24 13.26.56

Pink Floyd – The Endless River | A (not too long) Review

coverA review about a Pink Floyd record should be biased, in my case. I’m a huge fan since for ever, and bands like Pink Floyd are the major part of my musical imprints, this (Progressive Rock) is the music I grew up with. But I guess this review isn’t as biased as one would expect, for a simple reason: I’m not a boy anymore, but a professional musician myself, and here’s some anticipation: the record is no masterpiece at all. We’re talking about this product  (Deluxe CD\ Blu-ray Casebook Edition), to be precise.

So, I’ve listened to all material twice, in 24bit / 96khz audio quality, on my dry and natural sounding YAMAHA NS-G 30 speakers. If something sounds good on those, they sound fabulous on every system.

Let’s start there, at the mix and mastering of the album. To make it short: it’s crap, if you ask me. You don’t need 24bit / 96khz at all when you have a mix and mastering that is as bad as this. I really have no idea how a band with this history and financial background can deliver a bad sounding album like this.

The mix is muddy, intransparent, lacks a real stereo imaging and filling of the panorama (some things sound totally mono to me), especially the guitars and pianos are too loud and sharp, the drums go under and totally lack presence.

The mastering lacks everything from punch to richness and brilliance … this record just has zero BOOM and WOW, something that was always present on other Pink Floyd records. All of this isn’t given, “Louder Than Words” sounds like a bad rip off a crappy radio station.

Nick Mason has never been an exceptional drummer, but on this record most of the drum parts sound like he’s a total beginner. Bad timing (not even audio-quantized in post production), and same goes for some parts of Richard Wright. I mean, when the band brags about more than 2 years of work on an album, I expect things to be on point, at least.

Of course, David Gilmour IS an exceptional player, and his guitar play is actually the only thrilling element on the whole album. There are some really good moments, but all of this isn’t enough to touch or move me emotionally. The album sounds unprofessional, unfinished and uninspired.

The artwork is ‘nice’ at best, but nothing like the Storm Thorgerson artworks of the past. Okay, the guy is dead (so is Richard Wright), but I think the band could’ve come up with something more original.

One more thing on mix and mastering … please, take the time to listen to those 2 pieces and compare the qualities:

This one is recorded, produced, mixed and mastered by myself (you might wanna skip to 6:35 for the fabulous Gilmour-esque guitar):

This the “Making Of …” video, showing the recording, narrated in German by guest guitarist Alex Schweigert:

Make up your own mind. My rating for “The Endless River”:

icon-23-staricon-23-staricon-23-staricon-23-staricon-23-staricon-23-staricon-23-staricon-23-staricon-23-staricon-23-star

4/10 for David Gilmour’s guitar play and the bands legacy.

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