As I was finishing up my latest album, the thought struck me that I should make a kit and share the drum sounds I made it with. Listening to the fullness, how punchy, and distinctly clear these pure analog sounds were, I felt that many others would likely enjoy having some Vermona power in their beat making arsenals. Therefore, I decided to create a gift for the people who check for me. These are my personal sounds. The very same ones I use and not some throwaway, reduced quality hits. Use them as you please. It will be great to hear some new battery out there. As the classic sounds are ubiquitous at this point, and our music culture is supposed to be about “new” sounds. In this project I do my part to propel the culture forward by contributing an update to the rhythmic lexicon.
A few words from Vermona themselves
Uniquely universal with unparalleled uniqueness
If you are searching for the perfect emulation of analogue drum classics, we unfortunately have to disappoint you. Our DRM1 MKIII is anything but a clone. It is rather on its way to become a classic itself after being in production for 14 years!
If you are looking for a versatile sound engine for electronic drums with distinctive character and authority, this will be the end of your search!
The DRM1 MKIII offers eight perfectly matched analogue drum- and percussion-instruments with extraordinary versatility, paired with highest clarity.
Knobs for each parameter
The DRM1 MKIII’s eight instruments generate individual sounds and therefore offer different sound controls. We have carefully scaled these with generous ranges allowing you to create unusual sounds, e.g. from a dedicated snare channel. You decide whether your bass drum sounds short and tight or loooong and voluminous.
With a total of 73 controls, the handling of this drum-synthesizer is unmistakably intuitive.
You’re never too old until you’re dead. Although BMX is an extreme action sport, and despite being so physically demanding, it’s a total head game. Like much of life really. The classic line “I think, therefore I am” comes to mind. I am 2 weeks away from my 46th birthday and I am in the best shape of my life. Strong, full of stamina, and ripped lean (full 6 pack, vascular thighs and striated pecs). I can ride my bike better than most ever will AND I am just getting started.
I am the type to get super good at something. On an international level, and then start from the bottom again as I perfect a new craft. I feel the need to constantly be setting the bar higher for myself. Which is not at all recognized, encouraged, or celebrated these days.
As always, I am in a competition with myself to be a better me today than I was yesterday.
BMX is the vehicle. Why? Because it’s hard. Just like everything else I have a passion for.
And because I enjoy being art just as much as making it. Whether dancing, mixing records, spitting raps, or riding freestyle.
The struggle is real, and it continues. No gigs. Looking for a fulltime job that is not connected with the music industry. It is what it is. Steady mobbin’, keeping it real, and doing me. Perfecting my bunnyhop technique, and trying to gain height/hang time so that I can begin to learn 360s. Which I hope to have down by my birthday. We’ll see how it goes though, as meeting basic survival needs living well under the poverty line takes precedence over riding and BMX progression. At any rate “we out here!” We, meaning me. The one man gang. Facts!
2 weeks ago I went O.T.B. (over the bars) a day after playing with Cassy in Berlin. I didn’t commit and ate concrete big time. Total O.T.B. with a level 3 shoulder separation it appears. I’ll be permanently disfigured with this one. BMX tax, I guess.
At any rate, I got to visit a BMX shop in Madrid. Action Wheels BMX. They gave me a free T-shirt.
Both gigs and cities were lit! My hosts were more than gracious, and I got to ride while healing. All in all, it was a great 2 weeks.
Today was an excellent Sunday for a ride. I made a lot of progress today on the bike. Getting more and more comfortable controlling it.
This episode finds me practicing my 180s. Both bump hop and on a bank.
I met some girls at the pump track and chatted them up. It was fun getting the footage.
Amir Alexander Releases The Lands Beyond Part.2 EP
“We welcome to the label Chicago’s Maestro Amir Alexander with The Land’s Beyond EP
A straight to the floor 4 dance tracker.”
Artist: Amir Alexander
Released : 17 August 2017
Official press release text:
With the Recent Releases stepping up in the vinyl outlets and including artists on the label roster such as Vakula, Chicago’s Vincent Floyd, Detroit’s Norm Talley, Simoncino, Losoul, Reggie Dokes, Dj Aakmael and with also their excellent digital series featuring up and coming Artists Release sustain is getting common ground for forward thinking and quality 21st century dance music.
This Time they are back on Vinyl with no one else than Chicago’s own son Amir Alexander ! who features an EP of His continuing work since the super successful ‘the lands beyond EP’
The Land’s beyond part 2 comes with 4 awesome tracks that so represent the artists signature, dark and groovy dancefloor music !
It is with great pleasure then that we share with you this great EP by one of the most interesting underground producers out there.
Laurent Garnier: ” Very cool tracks — will play!”
Orlando Voorn: ” Been bumping How you make me feel for a while..REAL proper stuff i love it will check the others as well thanks! “
Luciano: ” very very cool! thank you”
Molly: It’s always quality music from Amir Alexander !! Thanks
Buy : https://www.decks.de/t/amir_alexander-the_lands_beyond_pt2/cag-c0 https://www.deejay.de/Amir_Alexander_The_Lands_Beyond_Pt2_RS026_Vinyl__282740 http://www.juno.co.uk/products/amir-alexander-the-lands-beyond-pt-2/658875-01/
My two cents, thoughts, comments, etc…
“The Lands Beyond”concept was inspired by my research into the “Hollow Earth” and “The Inner Earth & Realm of Aghartha”. Upon learning of the supposed “Ascended Masters” and “The Lands Beyond” I began to try to imagine what the vibes of this place might sound like. Dark, cold, dusty, mechanical, distant, and other-worldly sub-subterranean Earth. The year would have been about late 2008 or very early 2009. Just about the time my first vinyl with G. Marcell was released. “The Experience EP” (more on that in a future post).
At the time the tracks were first made my engineering skills were not equal to that of my production and compositional skills so they sat for several years on an old spare hard drive. Some of the only music left from that pre- Gutter Flex era. In 2014 when finally my time came to release a solo vinyl EP for Plan B Recordings NYC, Spider requested the track “The lands Beyond” from the original demo package I sent him and Lola. During this time I had yet to build a proper studio in Sweden, so trying to do final mix-downs in my ex-girlfriends living room in my ad-hock porta-studio was the only option. Needless to say, the conditions were less than ideal.
Regardless, I did the best I could do at the time with the resources I had available to me. The result is a crusty dusty record that has found it’s way into the collections of many eclectic DJs all around the world.
“The Lands Beyond” is for me, one of “those” records. The people’s release. Many consider it classic Amir Alexander. Lola and Spider, the consumsmate A&R people they are, most certainly did. Spider’s got an ear for that distinct “Plan B” vibe/back bone that was the bedrock of each of our distinctive sounds. I love it! Totally Plan B. Yet totally me. This is the exact record Gabbi Lopez referenced when requesting a sound pallet for a record he would like to release with me.
This came shortly after a singe track for a V/A comp he was doing for his label “Release-Sustain” was submitted and confirmed.
He had already released artists I hold in high esteem on this series. Names like Norm Talley, Reggie Dokes, Vakula, and Nick Anthony Simoncino to name a few. This had already caught my attention. So that, along with the good vibes I got from chatting with Gabbi led to the creation and release of what would become “The Lands Beyond Pt. 2”
A1 – “How You Make Me Feel” The original track was for a remix I did for a Swedish label that actually rejected it. They liked the music, but knew it would not work for their audience. At the time I was stunned, as I felt that the track was Bomb and would be well received by the heads as well as the party people. The vox are from one of my favorite altos of all times. I had them in my mpc chop folder and decided to lay them over the instrumental just to see how it sounded. The “eureka moment” was profound to say the least. I’m so glad they rejected that remix. A2 – “Walk The Talk” One of the tracks from back in the late 00s that was made around the same time period as the original EPs material. I never released it because it was an engineering nightmare. It took 8 years for me to lean how to fix all the built in fidelity killers. While at the same time, preserving the original synth patches and arrangement, etc. It was so NOT fun, but I learned a lot as I basically had to re-create this one (as well as the next 2) completely from scratch.
I had to re-write tracks I made almost a decade ago. Every producer should try it sometime. It’s a very humbling experience. B1- “Telepathy” A big “club” track made for the peak hour. I rarely set out to make one of those specifically, but this time I did just that. Fat bass-line. Epic break-down (LOL, or at least for me), ghostly lead synth, rolling vibes. Totally rewritten using all the same sounds. Having to chase down obscure vst’s from the early 00s and then try to recreate some patches by ear was a cool learning experience. I’m a better producer now than I was before I completed these tasks. B2- “Bunker Buster” This one was written in late 2011. Chris and I had just sent our first Vanguard Sound! release of the be mastered and then pressed in Detroit’s Archer Record Pressing. It was one of two tracks I made as catharsis for the loss of my dog Rufus. I had him for 13 years. I made a “sad” track, ” Komm, Süßer, Tod Komm Selge Ruh that was released on my debut album “Love And Fear“ – (Anunnaki Cartel) 2015. The second was a banger entitled “Bunker Buster”. I loved this track from the moment I made it, but knew that I could not release it until I could figure out how to “clean it up”. The lead, the kick and the bass-line all competed for the same frequency range.
It was the toughest to re-write.
I originally intended for it to be the A1 track. Gabbi wanted “Telepathy”. We decided on “How You Make Me Feel” after we got back the 3rd set of masters.
We had mad delays due to the record just not sounding right the first 2 times. We will never even break even with this one but, at least we’re happy with the fidelity. Hopefully we can at least sell the existing stock.
The record is available now and the tracks are getting an excellent reception from every dance floor that gets to hear them. Heavy hitters like Laurent Garnier, Orlando Voorn, Luciano, and Molly are showing love. Perhaps you will too.
Continuing the “banned worldwide” series, the next installment is from my Vanguard Sound! solo debut,
The infamous “Idiot Savant Masterpieces” (more on how that title came about in a future post).
This one was actually the first to be banned. Actually right after I uploaded it. As a result, most have never seen it.
The imagery is all metaphor. I imagined myself as the “monster”. Especially as I was struggling to “break out” and was feeling unrecognized and underappreciated. This video provided catharsis.
The “hero” searched for love, but was rejected by his own. Heartbroken and spurned, he self-destructively takes out everything and everyone. As to exist without his love is no existence at all. This was reflected by my do or die/breakout by 40 years old or cease living mentality. Good thing I accomplished my goals, or perhaps I might not be here now.
I love life, living, and people, so it turned out well for me. It is what it is. Sometimes artists do crazy things……
In this case, the phrase “Do or Die” was quite literal.
Fortunately, I seek validation internally now. I have already proven to myself everything I needed to prove. Now it’s all about lightness and fun. Not heaviness and pressure. Been there, done that. Hit records, or zero sales, I know who I am and what I am capable of accomplishing.
Self discovery is what it’s all about as an artist.
The saga continues……
Created and published over 5 years ago, this particular video remains the most watched/popular despite having been banned worldwide for almost 4 of the 5 years.
Perhaps it’s the track, or maybe it’s the imagery that draws people in. Perhaps it was the time and place?
Regardless, I am ever grateful to have struck a chord with so many people.
Over the years I have pondered appealing the worldwide ban, but decided not to go up against the mighty BBC who made the copyright strike. I considered making a DVD with all the videos and alternate versions (and perhaps I still will someday) but, for now I shall place it here. Nestled safe in the belly of Vanguard Sound! headquarters.
To old fans of this particular work, thank you for waiting patiently. Your old friend is back.
To those of you who have never seen it…….
You’re in for a treat. 100% pure raw and militant Vanguard Sound!
It is my plan to do a fresh mixdown so that this track can be re-mastered and repressed with much better sound quality than I was able to achieve back in 2011.
Bless up! and enjoy.