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KFA66 – A Million Miles – Risk! E.P Video Three

This one is really important, to me at least. It is…sort of…the genesis of the E.P, and therefore everything else, the rebirth of KFA and my desire to make music again etc etc. The completion of this track marks the point where I started to take control of myself and rebuild myself. It also marks the point at which I finally felt like I was an artist for real. I know that is a weird thing to say lol, but there it is. However, the reason I say “sort of” is because the original version of this track had different lyrics. I changed them because they did not suit the track, and because they were written at a very dark time – I did not know it was my first step out from the mess I had made when I wrote the track, you see? It is only after some time had passed that I realised I had moved on from that place. I have a few tracks I have written that go to extremely dark places for me, and I am not against sharing those thoughts or those tracks…just…not yet lol.

Having said that, all of the tracks on this E.P went through vocal changes – the original of Take Me Home was a call and response type thing between my lyrics and samples. It was interesting, but in the end I rewrote the entire lyrics, and it is much better for it.

A Million Miles was a breakthrough because I managed to combine two things that probably should never be combined, and I made it work. Those two things are guitar strumming singer songwriter stuff with all natural ingredients and fucked up amens lol. I made so many attempts at combining these two things, and failed again and again. I know that this one works. I am not sure if it would work on the dance floor as well as the other two, but to me it is perfect. It is exactly the balance I was trying to find. Once this song was completed, it was like…imagine trying to climb mount Everest. You are well aware there are smaller mountains to climb, but that one…its the target. Once you have climbed it, the smaller ones seem easier to climb. Thats the long way of saying, it would have been easier to make Take Me Home before making A Million Miles because Take Me Home is mostly ingredients that are found in d’n’b / hardcore with my vocals added. A smaller, easier mountain to climb. But I could not have made that one first, because my target was to combine the elements I described above. i did not even look at the other mountains, I just wanted Everest.

A Million Miles is also more of a song format. Even so, it features some of the best beat work I have ever done – not because it is particularly fancy, but because it sounds so right with the guitars, violin strings, live hand claps, singing and distorted pulsing bass. I called this E.P Risk! because it takes many of them. Not only in content, but in form. This track has a different style of singing, and is folky in ethic – that is to say, it is not perfect, and that makes it perfect.

I struggled as for an idea for this video. The Risk! EP kept expanding in scope. I was originally going to do the professional video for the E.P and it would have been for this track. Then I thought of the idea for a video for Take Me Home, and found myself doing that. Then I thought, “well, I cant do 2 videos, its either 4 or 1”. Because…just because. So I was a little stuck. Then I had the idea of animating myself. I almost with I hadn’t lol. This video involved recording myself against a white screen, then going through that recording freezing the frame, making a still, and editing out the white background. I had to do that about 900 times.

Then I had to make the actual video images, so I had to carefully make each frame, changing elements to show movement, often with multiple things changing in each scene. This meant another 500 or so images had to be made, and each of these was linked to the one before it and after it.

In the end, this video took about 80 hours to put together. I think its pretty good 🙂 Here is the link….

Luna-C & Reeve – A Million Miles

The last of the four video’s will go up next Monday…see you then….

 

Chris / Luna-C

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KFA66 – Remorse & Glory – Risk! E.P Video Two

I wont lie. In the past, I have been different just for the sake of being different. I have always enjoyed the perverse thrill of doing exactly the unexpected thing, or heading in a totally different direction to what it looks like I am doing.

I don’t do that anymore. I just take what I feel is the correct step each time.

The result? Pretty much the same as it was, really lol. I am still doing things differently to what might be expected, but instead of it being a deliberate act, it is a natural one.

I mention this because here is my second video from the Risk! E.P. The track is called Remorse & Glory. Of the four video clips, this is the only one professionally filmed – the others were homemade. Have a look, and then, if you feel like it, have a read. I promise this blog will be a little more fun than the last one:

Luna-C & Reeve – Remorse & Glory

 

The first thing you will notice is that Remorse & Glory is very different to Take Me Home in both music and video content and style. The Risk! EP was made over a period of 8 months or so. Each completed track took a number of weeks, and between each completed track there were numerous starts and stops, attempts that went nowhere, tracks that started off strong but failed in one way or another. Some of them started with a guitar riff and lyrics, such as next weeks video “A Million Miles”. Others came together in parts, such as “Take Me Home”. My point is that there was no plan to be this way or that way, I just went at it with everything I had, and these four tracks are the result. And interestingly, if you could categorise them, they would be:

Take Me Home – D’n’B (ish)

Remorse & Glory – Gabber (ish)

A Million Miles – Old Skool (ish)

Can It Be Sweet – Modern Hardcore (ish)

My aim was just to make tracks from the heart, that were pure in intent and concept. But then, maybe it is only right that all four are different in concept and style. I like variety. And it is fitting, in its way. And somehow, each video became its own entity as well, entirely different from the one preceding it.

My original intent was to tell you about each track and video with each blog post. But last week I had to fill you in on the back story, and the blog was so long that I did not have time really to tell you about Take Me Home. So I will tell you a little about that one, and then a little about Remorse & Glory.

Take Me Home required an insane amount of prep. I had to record 6 full length videos, edit them, time them up. Some of them required me making numerous photoshop stills, and others were “live action”. I had to build a rig to hold the camera away from my face but still. I then built a large circular arena in my front room (after moving everything else out of it) and went to a few charity shops to buy monitors and dvd players. I then had to set up all the stuff in the arena. I placed a turntable in the centre to put the camera on. Then I triggered each video to start at the same time, while the camera was spinning. All of that was arduous and frustrating to complete.

I had to do numerous takes, because pressing play on a DVD player is not like pressing play on a CDJ. There is no defined time between when you press play, and when the DVD plays. Might be instant, might be half a second, might be two seconds. Likewise the ipad Quicktime and VLC on the laptop. This meant that it was impossible to get every video to be in time with the music. And because of the constant motion of the camera, it had to be done in one take. And there are things that change within the video while filming, such as the dominoes falling. So after each take went wrong – as they did because my vocals would be massively out of sync owing to delayed start times on one or more of the videos playing – I would have to rerecord the whole thing. In the end, it took about 6 days, 20 attempts and a lot of messing about to get the video I eventually went with, and it annoys me that the quick sample of “Are You Concerned About Me” by Jack Nicholson is out of time, but it was the best I could get. I am happy with it. Even if it made people dizzy lol.

Remorse & Glory was a whole different bunch of issues. I hired a friend who runs a film company to film and edit it. This was filmed in downtown Raleigh in the snow, and on a bridge above a freeway at night and also in a studio. It took a lot of planning. I pitched down the track so that when recording the footage, I was singing it at 75% slower than it should be but doing my hand movements etc at double the speed. Then, once the recording was finished, we sped the film up – this made it so that my hand movements were ludicrously fast but my lips were still in sync. I was very pleased with the result.

The concept and filming took maybe 3 days over a period of 6 or 7 weeks, as we waited for snow and I bought the things we would need.

Some things to note about this video – the duck walk was initially removed, but then I asked for it to be put back because it is funny. You will know what I am talking about when you see it, it is just a split second.

Take Me Home has a fairly obvious theme. This one, less so. But I do not wish to explain the lyrics on any of my songs especially. They will either speak to you, or not 🙂

Lastly, while filming the snow sections of this, someone shouted “Stop being a Ninja” which I wish I could have left in the video, but as the film was sped up, you would not have heard it clearly anyway. This video was immensely embarrassing to make. But…worth it, I think. And if nothing else, I have proven that I can dance even worse that I did in Smart Es. So thats a notable achievement right there 🙂

Okay, I am in the process of moving house this week. So I am going to post this and run. I hope you enjoy it, and I will be back next week for A Million Miles. I look forward to your comments, and am grateful for any shares via Facebook etc etc!

Also, the Best Of KFA, mixed by Dj Sayian is out today! Whoop! Sorry that has got such little promotion, time has been very tight. But please support it and post about it if you can!KFA66 Artwork Back500

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KFA66 – Take Me Home Video & News

It became a question of art. It became a question of self. It became a question of survival.

Do you like my pretentious first line? I thought you might. I thought it was a good way to start, as this blog is a slight departure from my usual ones. It is very long, so you might want to grab a cup of tea before continuing.

I am writing it because I am announcing the first of four music videos from my new E.P, The Risk! E.P. The artist is Luna-C & Reeve, the track is Take Me Home, and the video  is here:

Luna-C & Reeve – Take Me Home

You can watch it then read, or read then watch it, either way is fine!  There will be three other videos released each week following this one – Remorse & Glory, A Million Miles, and Can It Be Sweet. The four tracks make up the Risk! E.P which will be released on the 18th of May.

The reason for the long blog post is that I need to talk to you about what I have done with this project because I would like to be understood, and to do that you will need a little history. Most of it is personal, and I do not like to put personal stuff in the public eye, either on my Facebook page or my Kniteforce blogs. But sometimes I feel it is sort of necessary. I wrote about the state of the hardcore scene and my place in it on the back sleeve of Luna-C Project 7. I spoke a little about my fathers death on the sleeve of the My Angel E.P. Both of these releases were deeply personal, and it was fitting that I explained some personal things about them at the time.

The Risk! E.P requires the same thing, but there is no sleeve to write it on, so I am going to post this, and then I am probably not going to answer questions, because while you could benefit from the information about the genesis of the E.P, I really do not wish to discuss my private life online except for where it is relevant. Plus the E.P will tell you what you need to know 🙂

Simply put, I have suffered from depression for most of my adult life. I was also unaware of it for most of my adult life. How can that be? Well, my life has been a little strange, and I always assumed that strange emotional costs were pretty much part of the package. However, once I became aware of the problem, the evidence is there to be seen throughout my past. It is in the cycle of my music, my love life, and my working life. It reared its ugly head many times, but it did not last too long, and I would find my way out without realising what I was doing. I would usually fix myself with music, kung fu, reading “serious” books, or it would move along in its own time and I would just sit it out.

At the end of 2012 my depression, which I was still unaware was even a thing I had, started its usual cycle. But instead of me working it out or it passing, it got worse through 2013 and 2014. It made me behave irrationally, and my actions cost me my marriage at the end of 2013, and my music and nearly my life. I made many mistakes, hurt and scared people I love dearly, and basically made a right fucking mess of everything. It was 2014 before I started pulling myself back together, and I did not really find my feet until the end of the year.

I do not ask for sympathy. I own my issues, no need for tissues. So with that in mind, who wants to listen to some happy hardcore? 😉

Here’s the thing. Part of me pulling myself back together was finding a new way forward and that involved hardcore music. Part of what allowed the depression to stay (other than the chemical imbalance in my brain) was that music was no longer available to me as a tool. Hardcore music has been my main music for most of my life, but it no longer held any magic for me, and it was not enough of a challenge. I have come to understand that having a challenge is a fundamentally essential thing, and I need to have it almost as much as I need food and water and shelter. It is simply how I am built. This explains why I did the Reeve album, which in hindsight is not the best thing I have ever done, but I am still fairly proud of it. I needed to do something that forced me way out of my comfort zone. Having said that, even while I was very engrossed in making it, I knew that the acoustic / singer songwriter part of me was just that – a part of me. And I had fallen to pieces, you see? I needed to save a few bits of me, and that was one of the things I used to hang on to myself. It was not the ideal tool, but it helped a little.

It is now 2015, and I am not the same person I was. I have discovered things about myself that shocked me, that disturbed me, and that upset me. I have moved along from the mess I made of things as best I can. In the process, I have discovered some of the tools I need to be better. I feel like a man rebuilt, with some new pieces, some old pieces, some pieces missing, and a bunch of space that is waiting to be filled. I also found my fire again, my desire to be better in all the things that are important to me. And I am now aware of the signs of depression, and can tell the difference between that and naturally feeling sad (at least, some of the times) so I have a better handle on it.

None of this was easy, and it was only possible with the help of those who cared about me – and it is still a work in progress. Suffice to say, I have found various tools and methods to get better. And that is what I am doing now, and will be doing for some time no doubt.

Is it weird that hardcore is one of those tools? Well, there it is.

While I always tried to put myself into my music, it was rare that I truly expressed myself, because the medium I work in – hardcore – is not really meant to channel any emotion other than “wheeeee!”. The problem is, I have always been full of extreme emotions from ecstatic to despair in every shape and form and those emotions are always wanting to explode from me. I had been ecstatic many times in my life, but only truly / dangerously suicidal last year. Sometimes I am still surprised to be here. So I guess we could say my range has increased, ha ha. I joke, but I do sort of feel that is a good thing. I know and understand more about myself and my needs and desires than I used to, even though the cost to me and people I cared about was so high.

In order for me to move forward, I had to make music that was truly me. I could no longer put just one part of me into it. I was utterly bored of where I was musically, it felt thin and tiresome. I had done everything there is to do within the industry, and as I said earlier, I needed a challenge.

My time on the Reeve album taught me an enormous amount about music. Most of my work with hardcore since then has benefitted drastically from it. For an example, listen to “I Got This” on KF 63, compared to the other two tracks on the EP. This piece has a clarity and production level that to me stands above my other work at the time. Well, it did for a little while. I made that late last year, and in the months since, I have honed that clarity and become much more professional in my execution of ideas, and considerably more able to put what I want into my music.

However, “I Got This” is still simply a hardcore track. One of my better ones I think, but no big step forward artistically. Technically, though? Yes.

The real breakthrough came when, after 15 or so attempts, I managed to combine my Reeve stuff – my songwriting and guitar work – with my Luna-C stuff – hardcore.

The result is the Risk! E.P

It has taken over 8 months to put this together. It is called the Risk E.P because it is risky on a number of levels. Firstly, I am combining personal lyrics with the various styles of hardcore and d’n’b and gabber and old school that I love. This is, obviously, a bad idea. Secondly, it involves me singing, which again, it could be argued, is a bad idea. Thirdly, I cannot write lyrics that don’t have truth in them. For a person that does not put his feelings out there in the world, that is terrifying. And right now you are probably thinking the same thing as I was when I started to do this E.P –  “Seriously? A hardcore Dj combining guitars and hardcore? Emotional lyrics that are not about rainbows or flying high in the sky? And lets call it a…passable…sort of singing? That is a disaster waiting to happen”.

And it was. Many attempts ended in failure. I ran into technical and production issues time and time again. It was emotionally challenging, it was scary in concept, and it was incredibly difficult in every way to make the Risk! E.P

And I loved every second of it.

I felt truly alive again making this EP. It required everything I knew, everything I had learned, and a great many new skills I had to develop along the way just to pull off each track.

It is my best work to date. I am fiercely proud of it.

That doesn’t mean anyone else will like it though lol. And so as a final risk, it could be a terrible misjudgement on my part to put this out at all.

I finished the first Luna-C and Reeve track, and I knew, knew that I could and that I should do more like it. It was a necessity for me. As long as each track remained honest. Everything had to be a challenge in all aspects. Each track had to cost me. I have come to embrace the old saying that if your art doesn’t terrify you, you are doing it wrong.

My experiences with my depression and how badly I fucked things up had an amazing and unexpected side effect. I was suddenly free in my studio. I could make what I wanted to make, whatever that might be, even if everyone who hears it thinks it’s shit. Because I almost ended it all, you see? Really, what everyone thinks at this point is not an issue. I had always thought I did not care what people thought of me. I was kidding myself. I did, and I do. But at this point, I feel like I am going to do it anyway. Mainly because I have to, and I have come to far to do anything else.

So when I am in the studio now, I feel free to follow where my art leads me, regardless of cost. My long history and the skills and techniques I developed on the Reeve album have given me all the tools I need. As I was putting my entire self into the Luna-C & Reeve tracks, trying to make something pure and with meaning, I found I also had the energy and desire to make some simple, fun hardcore as well. The Risk! E.P was designed so that it could be played on the dance floor. That was one of the many challenges – I did not want to make singer / songwriter tracks that had elements of hardcore – I wanted to make hardcore singer / songwriter tracks. Having said that, the song ruled and it had to be both a song and a hardcore track.

Again, I accept this is a mad idea. But I also think I have made it work. At least, with these four tracks.

In between working on the Risk! E.P, I found I had so much excess excitement, and such a renewed sense of freedom in the studio, that I started doing other things just for the sheer pleasure of it. I cannot adequately explain how wonderful that felt and feels. I am a wiser version of the boy I was when I started Kniteforce back in the day, but this is the first time I have felt the same burning enthusiasm and excitement as I did back then. In 1992 I knew what I wanted to do, but did not have the skill to do it. In 2015 I have both. I know what I am doing, and how to hit the targets I used to miss.

So it took a while to get here, in other words lol.

The first thing I did with my excess energy separately from the Risk! E.P was to recreate all the hardcore classics that I loved from my past. This became the Timewarp set. Why did I do it? I just felt like it. But it served another purpose and I think I knew it, subconsciously. Those tracks were essential parts of my early life and remaking them reinvigorated me, got me back to my roots, allowed me to reset and move forward. Just like the Risk! E.P, they were a huge challenge but unlike the Risk! E.P, the challenge was not emotional except for how much pleasure I got from it. I will go into more detail about Timewarp tracks at a later date. Suffice to say it was a ridiculous amount of work, and very exciting to do.

That was two huge projects. I was making the Risk! E.P and the Timewarp set at the same time – and amazingly, I still had energy to spare. So I also started work on a new Luna-C E.P – the forthcoming “Almost No Spiders, Guaranteed” which is the most fun and dance floor friendly full on hardcore E.P I have ever made. It has the clarity of vision I now apply to all my music, and it is absolutely nothing like the Risk! E.P. Timewarp is me connecting to may past. No Spiders is rave me having a good time. Risk! Is all me, good and bad lol.

In the end, what I am trying to say is that I hope you like the Risk! E.P. I hope you like the videos, even though I found them very embarrassing to make (please keep your mocking gentle) lol. They were yet another challenge I added to all the music I was making. I think I have finally become an artist, after all these years. I made the videos because I wanted to art. So I arted. I arted all over the place. It was wonderful. And you will see that, despite it all, I remain self aware enough to know the joke is on me – isn’t it always, in the end?

I am going to keep making Luna-C & Reeve stuff. Because I want to do it, and because I need to do it. But every other bit of hardcore coming from me, and the way the label is now taking off, my enthusiasm for hardcore, my coming back to the scene, all of it can be laid at the feet of the Risk! E.P. If that had not have happened, none of the other stuff would have happened. So even if you hate it (which is fine by the way) I hope you will appreciate its importance to me, and to what I am doing now.

I am back, different but the same.

Kniteforce is back, the same but different.

And the future is uncertain and full of challenges. It will probably all go horribly wrong. Isn’t it exciting?

Nice one,

Chris / Luna-C

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February 2015 Status Report

KFprogressgraph 5th feb 2015

Hello Everyone,

 

Do you like my graph? I know, I know, its brilliant. I just thought it might be fun to do an update at the beginning of each month, so you can see what is going on, and as a helpful reminder to myself.

Anyone who has been paying attention will have noticed a continual increase in activity from me. There are many reasons that this has come about, and I will go into them at a later date, but all you need to know for now is that I am absolutely loving what I am doing, and I am doing a lot of it. I seem to have the same excitement and drive I had in 1993. Which is personally pretty stunning to me, and very exciting. The result of this is that I have been getting quite a lot done. By which I mean, I have got more stuff done in the last 2 months than in the previous 2 years. Since December, I have finished a huge number of tracks (20 maybe?), often working 12-18 hours in the studio. Because I had to. I cant asleep, too many ideas. So welcome back, 1993 Luna-C, you who worked so hard and also had insomnia lol.

So a quick rundown explaining the above graph…

KFA65 is a Remix E.P. It is complete, but I am still waiting for the delivery of the remixes – all are due this month. This will no doubt be the next release.

KFA66 was the start of the snowball increase of productivity. I had been working on something on and off for about a year, but every attempt resulted in something shitty or it just didn’t work. I started and scrapped maybe 15 attempts, probably more. At the end of October, the thing I had been trying to do finally came together and I finished possibly the best track I have ever written – something truly me, from the heart. I think at this point, I finally became an “artist” for want of a better word. I broke through barriers that had held me back since I first got into the business. I sit it next to My Angel, only better because…well. You will see. But one track is not enough. October was spent trying to pull off the same magic again. And at the end of October, I did. November bought a third track. And a fourth. But…there are things that need to happen before I can release this E.P. Sorry to be vague, but many things will make more sense when you hear it. So its not quite complete, and may well come out after a few other KFAs!

KFA67 is a brand new, recently signed artist to KFA called Demise. Some proper solid hardcore that I cant wait to play for you all. I expect this will come out after KFA65.

KFA68 and KFA69 are likely to be Idealz and Doughboy. Both are working on new E.Ps for KFA. I have one of the Idealz tracks already, and its marvelous!

KFA70 is what I have been working on the last few weeks, making tracks betweeen the Supaset 16 tracks. I have 3 tracks completed, and am waiting for the forth to be finished. It is very different from the Risk E.P. If you were a raver and had no idea who Luna-C was as an artist, and I played you the 2 E.Ps, you probably would think they were different artists altogether. KFA70 largely came about because of inspiration from the creation of Supaset 16, although the actual tracks are more likely to appear in Supaset 15. This will make sense, I promise you, even if it sounds insane at the moment.

The concept and the first track for Supaset 15 arrived in one go, and I was ready to work on it immediately. But then I had another idea for a set, and it was so good I had to drop everything and work on it. So Supaset 15 has one or two tracks ready, and the concept in place, and I am gathering material for it while thinking about the execution of it. But I am furiously working on…

Supaset 16, which is either the greatest idea and concept I have ever had, or is so stupid that I will never live it down. It will cause a stir I think, maybe even an uproar. Or perhaps no one will give a shit. Whatever, sometimes you are called to something, and then you go for it. I have 10 completed full length tracks for Supaset 16, all of which will get released somehow. In fact, both Supaset 15 and 16 are being built in a different manner. Instead of making small 2-3 minute tracks, I am making full tracks, then editing them down for the sets. This way, I will be able to sell or actually do something with the tracks I make, even if they are simply freebies for the mailing list.

Old Skool Supaset 3 is on the back burner at the moment. But I have maybe the first 10 minutes of it done.

Other things people will want to know about:

The KFA Mix Competition – I am now down to the last 5 mixes to listen to. It has been an amazing thing, hearing all theses mixes. At this time I am likely to get everything done and have the winner announcement ready for the promised date.

Free Supaset Tracks – I talked on Facebook about giving away some remakes of the older Supaset Tracks. This is definitely gonna happen. I intend to send the mailing list one a month, every month. They will be available for a week or so each time, then gone. However, I have yet to remake a single one of the older Supaset tracks. Sorry. Its just, new stuff was calling me, and I have to ride that creative wave until it throws me ashore. When it does, I can get on to the older Supaset stuff, as that takes technical creativity but not creative creativity, if you see what I mean?

The February Idiotic Product is coming soon. It is very idiotic, and also very cheap and free postage. So if you are thinking “I wont buy the presale of the KFC shirt because I don’t want to miss the Idiotic Product for February” then you are insane. That aside, you don’t need to worry about it – free postage you see? I have to say though, I do these stupid products, and every time people buy them and every time I am surprised. Having said that, I use my KF Coffee Mug all the time. So I guess I have to raise the stupidity of what I am selling? I think Februarys product will cover that lol.

Oh, and yes, after relentless demand, I finally got the KFC shirt ready. Presale open now, for a week! Clicky…

KFA Shirt

Okay, thats it for me for now – back to the 4th track on KFA70. Git er dun. Nice one, Peace Out Fools! Fist Bump. And etc.

Luna-C

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