Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Timbaland in Remix Magazine

This article is from last month and though I looked for it then, it was finally just posted on the Remix website. It's a pretty straight forward article though it does mention what kind of equipment Tim uses and talks about his new "junkyard sound". Definitely worth a read so here is a sample:

****“I call it the junkyard sound,” he explains. “It's about just taking it back to where I'm having fun, you know? I used to try to imagine how James Brown did it when he went into a jam session, and I made that my approach — mix in a little of the new electronic stuff, but keep it sounding live, too. And it started with all these types of drums that I've collected from different countries. I just got in the room at my studio and played them.”

The mad-hypnotic single “Give It to Me” (with Furtado and Timberlake joining Timbaland on the mic) is straight out of the junkyard. The song opens with a tribal beat laid down with sticks on what sounds like a handful of African drums and woodblocks; the drums are soon joined by a whistling sci-fi synth line (in the video for the song, Timbaland can be seen playing this on a Minimoog Voyager) and a low-end synth bass line that shadows a dry-sounding kick. By the time Furtado struts her sinewy stuff on the first verse — a weirdly syncopated melody that jumps off in the middle of the measure — it's clear we're into something far-out to say the least. Even crazier, the main rhythm comprises only two or three continuous passes of Timbaland's live performance, edited and spliced into minute-long chunks.

The track is a marvel of what has long been crucial to any Timbaland production — the artful and economic layering of sounds, but with strict attention paid to the spaces between them, which adds a weird feeling of looseness to the rhythm. The effect is almost like thinking you've reached the bottom of a darkened flight of stairs when you actually still have one more step to go — for an instant, the floor seems to slip out from under you until you regain your balance. Lend some drive time to “Bounce” — a menacingly dark slow-groove jaunt with Timberlake, Dr. Dre and Missy Elliott (whose priceless rhyme “Hold up/Hell no/Like Britney Spears/I wear no drawers” speaks unexpected volumes) — and you'll feel a similar sense of disorientation.

“There's really no method to the madness,” agrees Demacio “Demo” Castellon, who has risen through the ranks to become one of the lead engineers at Timbaland's Thomas Crown Studios in Virginia Beach (see the sidebar, “Crown Jewels”). “I think that's what gives Tim the edge. Any sound is open game to be put in at any measure. It's like a free-for-all. He's taken sounds from the weirdest places, and I've seen him make stuff out of it. I mean, dude took a baby crying and put it in a track [Aaliyah's “Are You That Somebody?” from 1998], so there you go.” *****

Full Article Page 1

Full Article Page 2

1 comment :

  1. “It does depend on the vibe of the record and what exactly we're trying to accomplish,” Demo clarifies, “but the main thing is we don't really ever try to repeat ourselves with what we do, so usually it's more experimental than anything.

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