Djent Kennedies

sticker,375x360.u3I had too much fun with this. Recently when I was reading about geeky guitar stuff I kept running across this word “djent” and got curious. It turns out is is an esteemed sound in this sort of bro-metal genre, like frat-dude-with-a-sideways-baseball-cap-at-a-keg party metal. It refers to the appropriate sound of the guitar : “dj-dj-dj-dj djent.” It obviously follows that he appropriate question to ask of all proper music is “Does it Djent?”  Some of it is actually kinda cool, like this guy who made a djent guitar with only one giant piano wire string on it.   I tried to get the sound and found it was super easy and made flailing away at one or three notes sound really cool.

“Djent Kennedies” starts with my take on the death metal vocal howl. I always thought the vocals in death metal sounded like a cappuccino machine, so I did this thing called vocoding and crossed my distorted metal voice with the sound of a capuucino machine. I think I was right.  I then wondered what would happen if brometal got in a soundclash with the Dead Kennedies, so the howl is followed by Djello’s response.  Sorry Djents.  Sorry Djello.

Geek part below the soundcloud.

Geek Part:

The key to the sound is a gate that shuts off all the sound immediately upon the guitar going below a certain volume, making the stops sound way more accurate than they actually are. I should have tuned several octaves lower too, but made up for it with a bass synth. I then put the gates on everything else too, so everyone ( &me) plays and stops together.


rreplay – lucid dream

Third installment of the weekly track series. Quiet sweet guitar and bass. One of Rich’s favs.

Rogue Guitar, Adios Sierra Madre

Here is the last installment of my slide guitar recording from Sierra Madre.  I think it is the best sounding one yet.


adios sierra madre

Rogue Slide Guitar, Installment 2

Here is the second installment of the Rogue guitar, this one called telephone blues, cuz of the ending.  And the pic is me serenading my nephew, Kieran (in the car seat) with Monisha driving.

Rich, Kieran, and Monisha
Rich, Kieran, and Monisha

Rogue Guitar, installment 1

Here is the project for the next few weeks: slide guitar fest installment 1.

I will be learning how to record resonator guitar, play it, and pick up the ins and outs of my new digital field recorder, a Marantz PMD 671 with the basic preamp mod by Oade Bros. More on that another time.

rogue guitar
Rogue Resonator

I just got a new guitar, a Rogue cheapo resonator model, made in Korea.  The neat thing about resonator guitars is that most of the tone is in the tin pan that sits under the strings, so I (actually Ty at Guitar Works) replaced the one that came with it with a spun aluminum jobbie from Beard Guitars and put in an ebony/maple bridge and it sounds awesome.

The recording is through two matched Oktava mics set in an X about level with the twelfth fret from about three feet away to get a little of the room. I am going to try some different positions, maybe putting one mic on the resonator and the second a ways back to pick up the room ambiance next.

Update: I had the good fortune of playing a 1936 Dobro today and have come to appreciate that a vintage Dobro has certain advantages over the Rogue! Sweet guitar, so thanks to the folks at Pasadena Guitars for letting me try it, along with some nice acoustics and some sweet amps, especially the Matchless Independence 35.  A steal at $3395, but I left it there, can you believe it?

To Tahrir

To Tahrir (music link – opens in new window).  It is a toast, or a direction we could or should be heading, or a love letter, or a dedication, or an address.  As a piece of program music, it reflects the various times when it looked like the people might be stopped, but they came back stronger each time. Tahrir

Actually I originally called it “Spectral Youth,” and when Monisha heard it, she suggested “To Egypt” because of the youth there, and I pitched in with “To Tahrir,” which of course means “to liberation.” Eric and I recorded it last June so there is an element of time travel and anachronism that is difficult for me as a historian, but Monisha said to just tell them a sociologist did it.

There is precedent for program music being made before the program was decided upon. When I was an undergrad, one of my music professors said he spoke with Krzysztof Penderecki about his famous piece, Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima. My prof told him that the piece evoked the event beautifully, it really gave him a new and deeper understanding of the travails of the people of Hiroshima. He then went into detailed descriptions of which part of it aligned which what portions of the events.  Penderecki then informed my crestfallen prof that he wrote the piece before he came up with the name, originally calling it just 8’37”.

What I was trying to do was get a Sonic Youth-ish thing going, with a thrashy Thurston Moor-ish guitar line modifed by a Lee Renaldo-ish feedbacky thing. The cool thing about it is that the sound is on a bunch of different variable axes at once. There is the regular vaguely acoustic sound of the chugging rhythm, and the loudness of the playing sets the tone on a spectral gate, which has a chimey sound. The location of where I was playing on the string sets the sweep of the filter (the whooshy, wah wah sounds) while the time between notes sets the delay time which creates the chirping echo effects. As always, Eric immediately grokked the situation and provided a spot on perfect bass line. Plus we did not forget to stop, so it does not go on for a half hour.

As usual, Facebook people, if you got this far, you might have to come to for the links and the music.

Revolution Books gig

The Revolution Books show went well. I gave the synesthesia machine its public debut. It was a big hit. I have a short video I’ll post once we get internet in Kolkata for those who don’t know what I’m talking about.

DJ Anthony Chang beatboxed to “The Revolution will not be on the internet.” He and his friend Matt were visiting from CA. I will post links to some of their music soon.

Now for 34 hours of flying!!

Rich at Revolution Books this Sunday

I’ll be playing at Revolution Books for their open house some time between 3 and 5 Sunday Dec. 12. Hope you can make it for some revolutionary muzak!

Rev Bks map

2626 S King St # 201
Honolulu, HI 96826-3248
(808) 944-3106


Two new experimental tracks from rreplay are available.  Pop the player out in the background here and come back to read while you give them a listen.

They are from the more experimental end of our stuff.  I think I was having a hard drive problem and had to use a bunch of stuff I don’t normally use for jamming, and we had no drum loops.  The first, short piece is modem and dial tone sounds worked through a sampler that I played via my guitar.  The second uses chipsounds and something called scanned synthesis.  One of the big breakthroughs in the 1980s synth scene was wavetable synthesis, where you could construct one cycle of  a sound wave of any shape you desired, load it into memory,  and then play it at any pitch.  While it opened up new possibilities for synthesis, it also had its limits, the most telling being that the wavetable is  static, while the timbre and thus waveshape of acoustic instruments varies over time.  Scanned synthesis (pdf) attacks this problem by having the wavetable change over time using  shifts to the wavetable so that the sound evolves.  The shifts are slow vibrations that vary over time,  modelled on struck, plucked, and bowed vibrating objects (like a string, for example), and lately on multi-dimensional creations that exist in more than four dimensions.  The result is much livelier, natural sounding synth where the tone evolves with the playing.  Strings are actually a lively area of math and theoretical physics work right now, and I think some of the concepts from string theory are working their way into the synthesis method (pdf).

As usual, lots more to listen too at  Please give us a listen.

Watch ’em Burn

This is an old thing I probably wrote 30 years ago  It is a bit orchestral in a post-trippy sort of way.  It has words, and this is just a draft of it, but I was pleased with how it worked out.  Hope you like it.  As usual, FB people might have to come to the waymusic page ( to hear it.  I hope you enjoy it.  It is not my usual fare.  I’m not sure if that means it is more or less likely you will like it!

For plugin freaks, the strings are from Cakewalk’s Dimension synth.  The acoustic guitar is the Godin xTSA played through Voxengo’s Perfect Space, but with the convolution set to the sound of ice defrosting in Lake Baikal instead of crossing it with the usual acoustic guitar body.  The loop for the acoustic sound is made with Mobius.  The electric guitar in the rhythm is played through a twangy setting on Voxengo’s great free boogex amplifier then piped through the no longer available Glaceverb reverb set to model the inside of a piano with the sustain pedal down and all the string resonating.  The electric guitar in the last half of the piece is again the Boogex, this time heavily distorted with the speaker modeling turned off and run through the same setting on the glaceverb.