Inside The "8-track" Album with Cristoph
One of our favourite English Tech-heads – Cristoph returns to Hot Since 82’s Knee Deep In Sound imprint this month, bringing an album to the table this time. We were stoked to chat to the Geordie about his much-anticipated ’8-Track’ release and he dissected each of the deep and dark tracks that went into the album. Read on..
“8-track” Album is out on Traxsource ‘HERE’.
I wrote this track before the opportunity to write 8-track was even presented to me. I had heard Jinadu’s voice on a track in a Dixon set from mexico a couple of years ago and really wanted to work with him. I set about writing a more downtempo track than what I have released previously and left it quite basic until I got the vocals laid down. Once they were sorted I added some extra percussion but didn’t want to over do it as I wanted the track to be more about the vocals and the musical elements.
With 8-track now agreed I had decided on the route I wanted the album to take. With Closer being the opening track I thought I needed to follow it up with a more driving track. I’m quite into using little vocal stabs and putting some reverb and delay on them to give it a kind of haunting effect, they seem to fit well with the direction my music is going. I wanted the breakdown to be quite dramatic, so a plugin called TAL-U-NO-LX for the bass sound in there and used Omnisphere 2 for the choir vocal which comes across the top.
This was another track i had written prior to producing 8-track. It was originally done as a tool for my sets but after playing it out a few times I thought it had something. The vocal is taken from an old pack i had lying around on my computer – I think Defected may have even sent it across. I cut the parts i wanted out and worked around that. It all came together quite quickly to be honest as I knew what I wanted to do before I had even sat down in the studio.
The Enemy Within
I was messing around on YouTube one day and stumbled across this Bulgarian Choir acapella. It’s about an hour so long I think so had a flick through and found some really interesting parts I thought I could use. I decided that I wanted to build it around quite a heavy sounding bass track so decided to use my Sub 37 for the bass sound and basically make a track which builds and chugs along nicely – something for the middle of 8-track.
When I first showed people the finished version of 8-track this is the one that seemed to catch people’s attention the most. I don’t quite know why, the general answer seems to be ‘I love how it just stomps along’ – whatever they mean by that haha. Again this started around the vocal. I was messing around with a few samples I had cut, putting them in a plugin called Effectrix and seeing what I could create. I really enjoyed the stuttering effect one preset was giving me so decided to work around that. The main break I use the TAL plugin for the bass again, its quite often a go to sound for me for breakdowns. I’m also a huge fan of piano’s so decided to put a piano stab throughout the track to help drive it on.
Where this track was going to be placed in the mix I knew it had to be more uptempo as that’s how I had planned it to help the whole of 8-track take the listener on a journey. I wanted the bassline to be quite short and repetitive to help create the drive with the percussion being quite prominent to help it move along aswell. I went back to my old tricks of placing a rolling vocal underneath – again to help the track become more of a peak sounding record. The arrangement was pretty straight forward as it takes the usual route I tend to follow for these type of tracks. I wanted it to have some dark, eerie sounds in there too hence the synth which comes in around 3min 35ish.
I wanted to create a bit of a tougher sounding track for the penultimate record in the mix. I wanted some darker sounds in there to help fit in with the rest of 8-track so used plugins such as Pro53 to help create them. I once again have a rolling vocal lying underneath to help drive the track on. The vocal is just samples cut up and put together, it’s something i really enjoy doing so tend to do it in quite a lot of my productions.
I wrote this about a year ago. I wanted to write quite a euphoric track, maybe as a set ender or something. Just using older progressive house (which I love) as my influences. I love bell sounds and violins so wanted to somehow get those in along with those darker synth sounds I’m in to. I wanted a dramatic break – something I’m getting known for in amongst a few people. The violins which come in the main break really add some emotion for me. The whole arrangement came together quite quickly, I do most of my tracks in a day and I think this one was a matter of hours. I played it out a few times and the reaction was insane. I just didn’t know where to send it so decided to keep it until the right project came along and 8-track was that!