Smörgåsbord

 
 

A tribute to synth solos.

 

Listen to Smörgåsbord: Sugar & Cheese and Bread & Butter.

First of all, excuse my English.

This thing started after Radio Soulwax had published those massive compilations, what happened at same time I was exploring first Madlib Medicine Shows. The idea of paying tribute to my favourite keyboard players in those obsessive mixes was very seductive and begin to develop in my head unintentionally.

I think it’s this childish fascination of the ability to build brief (or not so brief) tales in addition to this rush induced by the fast fingers finding the next note to play, and the imagination of the keyboardist —at a times flowing as a frustrated guitar soloist— is what absolutely mesmerizes me.

Even more, once at home there were those beautiful Roland D-50 and Yamaha DX7 Mark II ready to play, as my dad was rehearsing with his band. Maybe I was 5, or 6. I tried to emulate sounds from fusion jazz and prog rock albums my dad played at home. But I’m not so good at improvisation.

All those ideas were boiling in my head, and the engine started: plenty of those little synth phrases began to glue one next to other in my brain —and barely after, in Ableton Live— so there was no turning back.

Smörgåsbord is a tribute. Is a compilation/mix of 142 synth solos. There is no perfect match between two songs, but I only used crossfading and EQ to mix them, so there is no pitch correction nor timestretching. By the way, names of the tracks came after remembering how some synth players describe sound properties as food: adding more chorus as adding more cheese or butter, and so on. Smörgåsbord (Swedish: [ˈsmœ̞rɡɔsˌbuːɖ] is a kind of Scandinavian very large breakfast/meal served in Sweden.

This is an homage to George Duke, Rick Wakeman, Lyle Mays, Tom Coster,… very inspiring people who influenced me so deeply with their jazzy ideas. In the world of music, compositional techniques tend to stay age proportionally to its complexity, but it’s good to see musicians in this century as Jamie Lidell or Todd Terje are getting back the synth solo. For years —specially in the 90s— those freak dudes tweaking knobs while running through the keyboard seemed to be the most old-fashioned thing on Earth. Long live the synth solo.

Tracklist (soloist between brackets)

1. The Tornados — Telstar (Roger Lavern) / 2. Yellowjackets — I Got Rhythm (Russell Ferrante) / 3. George Duke — For Love (George Duke) / 4. Pat Metheny — The Epic (Lyle Mays) / 5. Hawkwind — Kadu Flyer (Simon House) / 6. Sugarloaf — Green-Eyed Lady (Jerry Corbetta) / 7. Stanley Clarke — The Dancer (David Sancious) / 8. Manfred Mann’s Earth Band — Waiter, There’s A Yawn In My Ear (Manfred Mann) / 9. Hawkwind — Reefer Madness (Simon House) / 10. Yes — Sound Chaser (Patrick Moraz) / 11.Head East — Never Been Any Reason (Roger Boyd) / 12. Asia — Here Comes The Feeling (Geoffrey Downes) / 13. Rush — Subdivisions (Geddy Lee) / 14. Genesis — The Cinema Show (Tony Banks) / 15. Daft Punk — Digital Love (Daft Punk) / 16. Michael Jackson — Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough (Greg Phillinganes) / 17. Jordan Rudess — Crack The Meter (Jordan Rudess) / 18. Jamie Lidell — So Cold (Andre Vida) / 19. UK — Presto Vivace (Eddie Jobson) / 20. Frank Zappa — Inca Road (George Duke) / 21. Brass Construction — Movin’ (Randy Muller) / 22. The Pinker Tones — Sonido Total (Mr. Furia) / 23. Breakbot — Break Of Dawn (Thibaut Berland) / 24. Osibisa — Dance The Body Music (Robert Bailey) / 25. Pegasus — Conga Con Ganas (Josep Mas ‘Kitflus’) / 26. Dave Weckl — Tomatillo (Jay Oliver) / 27. Mezzoforte — Metal Fusion (Eythor Gunnarsson) / 28. Seis Del Solar — Decisión (Arturo Ortiz) / 29. Pat Thomas — Yesu San Bra (Bob Edwin Fician) / 30. Grupo Nuevas Raíces — Baila Mi Guaguanco (Pucho López) / 31. Chaka Khan — And The Melody Still Lingers (Herbie Hancock) / 32. Allan Holdsworth, Anders Johansson & Jens Johansson — Never Mind Our Weather (Jens Johansson) / 33. George Duke — Brazilian Sugar (George Duke) / 34. Rick Wakeman — Journey To The Center Of The Earth Pt. 1 (Rick Wakeman) / 35. Tomas Bodin — Last Eagle (Tomas Bodin) / 36. La Máquina De Hacer Pájaros — Obertura 777 (Charly Garcia) / 37. Rick Wakeman — Anne Boleyn (Rick Wakeman) / 38. Tribal Tech — Sheik Of Encino (Scott Kinsey) / 39. Iceberg — Embrujo (Josep Mas ‘Kitflus’) / 40. Martin Kratochvíl — Toledo (Martin Kratochvíl) / 41. Weather Report — Db Waltz (Joe Zawinul) / 42. Iceberg — El Caminant Nocturn (Josep Mas ‘Kitflus’) / 43. Jamie Lidell — Figured Me Out (Jamie Lidell) / 44. Styx — Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man) (Dennis DeYoung) / 45. Mike Post — The Rockford Files (Mike Post) / 46. Heart — Magic Man (Howard Leese) / 47. George Porter Jr. — Same Old Thing (Arthur ‘Art’ Neville) / 48. Dream Theater — Beyond This Life (Jordan Rudess) / 49. Fusioon –Parsa Del Buen Vivir (Manuel Camp) / 50.Funkadelic — You’ll Like It Too (Michael Williams) / 51. Elton John — Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding (David Hentschel) / 52. Bad Medicine — Trespasser Pt. 1 (George Day) / 53. Pierre Moerlen’s Gong — Deep End (Frank Fischer) / 54. Yellowjackets– Goin’ Home (Russell Ferrante) / 55. Led Zeppelin — All My Love (John Paul Jones) / 56. Marillion — Just For The Record (Mark Kelly) / 57. Caravan — The Dog, The Dog, He’s At It Again (Dave Sinclair) / 58. Blue Öyster Cult — Flaming Telepaths (Eric Bloom) / 59. Paul McCartney & Wings — Band On The Run (Linda McCartney) / 60. Mangala Vallis — The Book Of Dreams (Enzo Cattini) / 61. Billy Joel — Prelude/Angry Young Man (Billy Joel) / 62. Stanley Clarke — Wild Dog (George Duke) / 63. Spyro Gyra — Bob Goes To The Store (Tom Schuman) / 64. Camel — Wait (Andrew Latimer) / 65. Yes — Mind Drive (Rick Wakeman) / 66. Camel — Echoes (Andrew Latimer) / 67. Kansas –Incommudro-Hymn To The Atman (Kerry Livgren) / 68. A-Ha — Take On Me (Magne Furuholmen) / 69. Metronomy — The Look (Oscar Cash) / 70. Berlin — The Metro (Matt Reid) / 71. The Black Mages — FFVII JENOVA (Nobuo Uematu) / 72. Thank You Scientist — Gemini (Andrew Digrius) / 73. Tomas Bodin — Harlem Heat (Tomas Bodin) / 74. Cesar Camargo Mariano & Nelson Ayres — Prisma Luminoso (Cesar Camargo Mariano) / 75. Radavique — Hiding Games (Jan de Jager) / 76. Magnum — The Battle (Mark Stanway) / 77. INXS — Learn To Smile (Andrew Farriss) / 78. Tomas Bodin– I A M Pt. 1 (Tomas Bodin) / 79. Giorgio Moroder & Philip Oakey — Together In Electric Dreams (Extended) (Giorgio Moroder) / 80. Mike Posner — Cooler Than Me (Mike Posner) / 81. Tim Blake — Blake’s New Jerusalem (Tim Blake) / 82. Joe Thomas — Polarizer (Barry Miles) / 83. Jean-Luc Ponty –Mirage (Allan Zavod) / 84. Daft Punk — The Game Of Love (Daft Punk) / 85.Genesis — Dodo-Lurker (Tony Banks) / 86 Utopia — Intro/Mr. Triscuits (Ralph Schuckett) / 87. Rose Royce — Do Your Dance (Mark Davis) / 88. Marvin Gaye — T Plays It Cool (Marvin Gaye) / 89. Mezzoforte — Drive (Eythor Gunnarsson) / 90. Weather Report — Black Market (Joe Zawinul) / 91. Five Star — Rain Or Shine (Billy Livsey) / 92. Nik Kershaw — Wouldn’t It Be Good (Paul Wickens) / 93. Of Montreal — Hydra Fancies (Jon Brion) / 94. General Caine — Can We Warm It Up (David Chadwick) / 95.Pointer Sisters — He’s So Shy (Tom Snow) / 96. Justice — Horsepower (Gaspard Michel Andre Augé/Xavier de Rosnay)

#2 Bread & Butter

97. Prince — Uptown (Prince Rogers Nelson) / 98. Jeff Wayne — The Eve Of War (Jeff Wayne) / 99. The Tangent — Cantermemorabilia (Sam Bayne) / 100. Deodato — Skyscrapers (Eumir Deodato) / 101. George Duke — We Give Our Love (George Duke) / 102. Head East — Fly By Night Lady (Roger Boyd) / 103. Polvo — Light, Raking (Ash Bowie) / 104. Tom Coster — Boogaloo Strutt Pt. 1 (Tom Coster) / 105. Mike Oldfield — Guilty (Dana McCurdy) / 106. Joan Bibiloni Band — Valerie (Joan Bibiloni) / 107. Cherrelle — I Didn’t Mean To Turn You On (Terry Lewis) / 108. Prince — Head (Prince Rogers Nelson) / 109. Ray Parker Jr. & Raydio — You Can’t Fight What You Feel (Ray Parker Jr.) / 110. Deep Purple — You Can’t Do It Right (With The One You Love) (Jon Lord) / 111. Blondie — Heart Of Glass (Jimmy Destri) / 112. Steve Winwood — Valerie (Steve Winwood) / 113.Mezzoforte — Garden Party (Eythor Gunnarsson) / 114. Dexter Wansel — Life On Mars (Dexter Wansel) / 115. Powerful People — (Little Girl) Say Yes (L.E. Swanson ???) / 116. Pierre Moerlen’s Gong — Au Chalet (Frank Fischer) / 117. Camel — Lunar Sea (Andrew Latimer) / 118. Energit — Apoteóza (Emil Viklický) / 119. Gryphon — Lament (Richard Harvey) / 120. Cuzo — Caída y Auge del Heavy Metal (Jaume Pantaleón) / 121. Pekka Pohjola — Nykivä Keskustelu Tuntemattoman Kanssa (Wlodek Gulgowski) / 122. Radiohead — Climbing Up The Walls (Jonny Greenwood) / 123. Billy Cobham — Stratus (Gil Goldstein) / 124. Brand X — Disco Suicide (Robin Lumley) / 125. Impuls — Sextant (Pavel Kostiuk) / 126. George Duke — Funny Funk (George Duke) / 127.Genesis — Firth Of Fifth (Tony Banks) / 128. Dennis Coffey — Funk Connection (Garry Schunk) / 129. Starfucker — Pop Song (Josh Hodges) / 130. Fusioon — Contraste (Manuel Camp) / 131. Todd Terje — Preben Goes To Acapulco (Terje Olsen) / 132.Cold, Bold & Together — Somebody’s Gonna Burn Ya (Philip Woo) / 133. George Porter Jr. — I Need More Time (Arthur ‘Art’ Neville) / 134. Pierre Moerlen’s Gong — Esnuria Pt. 2 (Frank Fischer) / 135. Les McCann — The Harlem Buck Dance Strut (Les McCann) / 136. Pierre Moerlen’s Gong — Airway To Seven (Frank Fischer) / 137. John Scofield — Dirty Rice (George Duke) / 138.The Tubes — What Do You Want From Life (Michael Cotten) / 139. Pierre Moerlen’s Gong — The Bender (Frank Fischer) / 140.Seis Del Solar — Un Nuevo Día (Arturo Ortiz) / 141. Jordan Rudess — What Four (Jordan Rudess) / 142. Mandre — Isle De Joie (Michael Andre Lewis)

Carlos Martorell