jamesnotjim.com a music site of solo recordings by james “wheatbread” martin

Ocean

Details

Track Name: Ocean
Release Date: 02.04.06
Instrumentation: Fender Jazz Bass Special (4-string, fretted), drum programming.

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Composition/Recording Notes

Most of the track is three basses: the root + harmonics rhythm part, a melody line, and the same melody doubled an octave lower. The two melody lines are genreally panned 18% left and right. There is occasionally a counter-melody line or an additional harmony overdub, bringing the total basses to four in places. During the solos, the melody drops out entirely, leaving just the solo voice (w/o doubling) and the rhythm part, both panned dead center. The harmonics give it space and fill the function that a keyboard might. But, other than the drum part, it's all bass. The drum part itself is a simple line created with a few samples (kick drum and a closed hat). The entire mix has a touch of compression, small hall reverb, and noise gate (in addition to giving the mix a nice shape, this combo really improves the sound of the drums). The only effect on the individual tracks is a touch of EQ on the rhythm basses to bring out the harmonics.

The title comes from the repetitive rhythm part, which I used to loop for long stretches of time while working out the melodies. It reminds me of the rhythms of ocean waves. And the ocean is a truly beatiful thing. So I, of course, would like to associate a little of that beauty with the track.

I came up with the verse rhythm part back in 2003. The melody and chorus section came later. I've made two or three previous attempts to record it. And each has affected the composition somewhat (The solo used to be over the verse, rather than the chorus. The melody, especially over the chorus, has become more complicated over time). But I think this is clearly the best of the recorded versions, so it's the only one I've released.