Caffeine – Slippery Ride

While I have been part of several local bands throughout the years, only this one – Caffeine – has released a video clip that actually aired on some tv stations. To put it simple, Caffeine was a rock act that had it’s major activity around the turn of the millenium and saw an EP and full length albums released. Quite far from the prog area (if not from some splashes from yours truly), this was a different thing and maybe not the usual dear channel viewer’s cup of tea. Still, I would like to present you a picture of what I was doing some years back, including some of my own bassline work. You will find “familiar” influences for sure, but also other elements that somehow are part of my style, if there is one.The bass however gets a bit lost in the mix, as this single edit of the song progresses. I used my J-Bass with flanger on the first part of the song, and on 2 occasional overdubs you may spot some 8-string harmonics. The video was shot in 2001 by the occasion of our only international performance, opening for Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds (after being invited by Mick Harvey) at La Riviera, Madrid – Spain, and in our homeland, at Lisbon’s Coliseu dos Recreios. Caffeine opened for other more and less well known international alternative acts such as Sigur Ros, Dakota Suite and Day-One.

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Le Mystére des Voix Bulgares – Сватба (Svatba) [arr. Miguel Falcão’s “BEBE”]

This idea was inspired by the magnificent music of the Bulgarian female choirs, better known as “Le Mystére des Voix Bulgares”, conceived by the great Filip Kutev. This Music is part of me since I long ago came across its 1st vinyl, released by 4AD. Only some years back I had the great priveledge of witnessing two great performances by The Bulgarian State Television Female Vocal Choir, directed by Prof. Dr. Dora Hristova. Needless to say, it was a dream come true. My little tribute’s idea is simple but not necessary successful – To recreate the choir format, such as the voices correspond to bass guitar timbres. Each of the 4 voices was attributed to one specific bass, and played twice to create the ensemble effect. Eventually each voice plays a slightly different line, usually intervals of a second, very specific of these arrangements. A tough task – to transcribe the piece by ear, adapt it to the playability of the basses, trying to mantain the dynamics of the piece, and produce it, so all the low frequences don’t colide too much and each “voice” can be heard. 10 tracks vere recorded and 2 to 6 vocal lines can be (hopefully) heard. No effects were used, to preserve each instruments own “voice”. And then producing the video. I invite you to discover this unique Music, checking my favourites section. This is only a mere recreation, done by heart and it’s galaxies away from the Real Thing. One of my favourite songs is “Svatba” (Wedding) – a Bolyar wedding celebration coming from far away. So, without further delays, I present you: the Rickenbacker 4001, the fret-ripped j-bass copy, and the Fender VI – I name it, with all due respect, the Bulgarian Electric Bass Ensemble, or simply, “BEBE”.

Vi (i saw) [improvisation for Fender VI]

This piece of music came along one night after some noodling on my Fender VI. I left the tape rolling just to save some ideas flowing by. I just played what was going on inside me. After I heard it, I thought it made sense to keep it as a solo improvisation. It’s something I enjoy doing once in a while but never had thought to actually record it. The idea for the video was also another sort of improvisation… Obviously I didn’t flim myself playing… you may decide to find a musical connection with the images or simply close your eyes and listen.

Run With The Fox

As Chris would say it – “Alan and I”, or as Alan would say it – “Chris and myself”. We wish you a Merry Christmas and another of many years sticking together! Merry Xmas everyone!

Machine Messiah

This was the 1st practice take with video and I decided to keep it and didn’t make subsequent takes! But I practiced a lot over the last week. Since I can’t go to the shows of the “In The Present Tour 2008”, this is my way to celebrate the comeback of the great “DRAMA” to a live Yes concert!!!!

Bass: Rickenbacker 4001 CS

Strings: Warwick Red Strings (45-105, stainless steel)

Preamp: Sansamp Bass Driver DI (BDDI)

Signal path: Bass→BDDI→PC

New Pictures

“Alternate tune”… I dared to include on my channel this little tune for 8-string bass. This song is still, though vaguely, Yes-related as it was my contribution for the alt.music.yes CD called “Cyberian Khatru”, released in 2000. The bass tuning was inspired by Chris Squire’s Ranney 8-string, with a slight change on the top string: E(e8),A(a8),D(a8),G(e8). I tried to explore the pureness of the instrument’s beautiful sound using open strings and some harmonics and keeping it simple, letting the bass sound freely… the sound is direct with a touch of reverb only. Hope you relax, meditate, but don’t fall asleep ;) Thanks for listening, friends!