Writing: Foxxy Angel
Vocals: Mixer Jaëxx
Mastering: Mixer Jaëxx
Copyright: Mixer Jaëxx, U.S. Copyright Office, 2018
Vocals: Foxxy Angel
Production: Mixer Jaëxx
Album: Sound-sized Treats
Life can be a lockdown Life can be a lockdown Life can be a lockdown Life can be a lockdown Mentally and physically a lockdown
The story behind Life Lockdown is pretty interesting. Life Lockdown started its life as a “Super Edition” for the song Department of Corrections. When I was considering ideas for doing a remix for Department of Corrections, I floated the idea of doing vocals to Foxxy Angel.
I gave her some lyrics to record for Department of Corrections before any remix version had been created. She recorded the lyrics. In creating the “super” part of this remix, I created a new 30 second area of the remix with completely new compositions, drums and everything. It wasn’t intended to have vocals, but I let Foxxy hear it in case she had any ideas.
In the next day or two, while thinking about this new “groovy” section, she came up with lyrics while in the shower.
“Life… can be a lockdown. Mentally and physically a lockdown.”
We then recorded the lyrics for this section. The lyrics, coupled with the new composition for this “groovy” section of the remix, sounded so amazing.
I finished the “Super Edition” of Department of Corrections… but both me and Foxxy felt like this version probably wouldn’t be appreciated for what it was. So we decided to not release it. (I later released, instead, Department of Corrections (MJ’s Quality Electric Remix).
One of the main melodies is a Rhodes MkI (“9Rhodes”) via an NN-XT. Most producers of this genre (chill-out, chill-hop, acid jazz, downtempo, etc) aren’t creating music but are simply sampling parts of other songs. I don’t do that, my piano was created via MIDI notes (playing the actual piano). But I wanted to make it sound like it was sampled.
I achieved this by automating the pitch wheel. Unlike a synthesizer, the NN-XT is a sampler instrument capable of near-flawlessly reproducing the behavior and sound of other instruments. Because it’s a sampler, however, when songs are pitched down via a keyboard pitch wheel while a note is being played, it creates a slowed down sound (like someone slowing down a record). This is an undesired sound in most situations. But I used this to make the piano sound like its audio sampled rather than being played via MIDI notes.
I added a distortion device known as a Pulveriser onto the piano set to a tremor setting. This makes the audio wobble between left and right slightly (reminiscent to a “Leslie speaker”).
To add to the sampled-nature, I created a parallel channel and added an Audiomatic device that generates vinyl static whenever audio is passed through to it. So each time I’d strike a key on the NN-XT Rhodes MkI, vinyl static would play and slowly fade out if no other notes are pressed.
But the most important sound to the “Rhodes9” is the ate-up sound to it. That’s done via a Synchronous device. As the song plays, I have distortion, a high-pass filter (HPF) and a delay being modulated over time. Most importantly is that the feedback setting of the delay is being modulated. I kept everything in-sync regarding the timing. This creates a sound that is ingenious; it sounds like I’ve simply sampled piano from another song and I’m chopping the wave forms up, pitching them up and down. When, in actuality, it’s all MIDI notes and effects generated live.