What's next?

Okay - here we go - I've been trying to come up with ideas for the next Dimaension X project, and have been immersing myself in a few different types of music:

Atmospheric Black Metal
Devin Townsend

Post-metal bands as mentioned in the previous blog have really been seeping onto my consciousness as of late, much more so than your typical metal music. I just find this kind of music more open and interesting, and capable of going into different directions, unlimited by the usual "constrictions" that most "Metal" bands feel the need to adhere to. It can be subtle and mellow, or heavier than hell. It can be fast or slow. Loud or soft. Brutal or melodic. So much interesting potential.

Atmospheric Black Metal is also an area of great potential, similar to post-metal, where it may have the typical blast-beats and tremolo picked riffs, but it is the haunting atmosphere and general feel of the music that removes it from the usual stereotype. I'm not about to start adding evil screeching vocals to the music. It's more about "atmosphere". I just discovered a great band called Organ, who play all-instrumental "black metal", but they sound more like Tortoise with blast-beats and weird vocal samples.

Devin Townsend and Strapping Young Lad have been coming out of my speakers lately. I've had an odd musical relationship with the HevyOne. At first, I found him to be really annoying, just overdoing the whole "wall-of-sound" thing, but as time has gone on, and I've acquainted myself more with his music, and with the way he creates music that I've come to respect the man and the music more, and even grow to like it a lot. His tuning alone has inspired me to once again re-tune the Schecter in a similar fashion. Dev tuned most of his music to an Open C chord (CGCGCE), but I have tuned to Open C minor (CGCGCEb). Personally, I think the Open C minor is better, because you can easily make the chord Major again with one finger fret. The problem is that I now have to re-learn the whole fretboard and associated scales/modes, which are completely different in this tuning.

Tortoise is a band that I never listened to until just recently. I think I did listen a bit years ago, but just didn't have the patience or musical maturity to fully appreciate them. Their music is open and expansive, jazzy and rockin', improvisational and stricltly composed. Each member is capable of playing numerous instruments, and does so in their live performances, switching from guitar to bass to vibraphone to synths, etc. I'd love to actually be able to put together some kind of similar ensemble of local musicians and do this kind of thing. If only I could actually find like-minded musicians. That's the problem.

So my next album with probably be some odd combination of all of the above. Or not. We shall see.


Post-Metal and beyond

As I approach the completion of the drums and mixes for the 2nd Moroghor album, I am looking at the future of Dimaension X and trying to decide what's next. I am beginning to reach a sense of frustration in the metal music world, and have begun to explore more on the boundaries of what might be known as post-metal. I am finding too many restrictive "rules" and cliches in metal. I want to be a bit more exploratory and daring. Go out on a limb and take more musical chances, rather than adhere to tremolo picking over blast-beats and dark atmospheres.

I've been discovering a few more bands that are more interesting and have more to do with my current musical interests.

From Monuments to Masses, Gifts From Enola and Ahkmed are a few of those bands, along with very experimental bands Maudlin of the Well and Kayo Dot. These bands still have some metal in their nature - loud, distorted guitars and basses, pounding drums, but there is a more experimental and meandering quality to their music.

The first two mentioned I can describe as having similarities to Sigur Ros, but without the annoying falsetto vocals, and with more "rock" in the sound. In fact, Gifts from Enola often sound downright heavy and angry, more like a lighter Neurosis or Isis. FMTM have more of a "pop" sound and can be pretty darn "funky" in spots, even if the beat is odd-timed. And I would describe Ahkmed as more expansive space-rock, similar to Subarachnoid Space or Led Zeppelin during the real long live versions of "Dazed and Confused" or "Whole Lotta Love". And not a blast-beat anywhere on any of there albums. Oh well.

Now, MOTW and Kayo Dot are basically the same band (sort or), being led by c-founder/multi-instrumentalist/composer Toby Driver. Their music contains elements from many different genres including doom metal, indie rock, jazz, progressive rock, post rock, progressive metal and death metal. Their latest album was made available for FREE download at their website. Very cool. Go there and download it now. Really.

So what now for Dimaension X. Frankly, I don't know. I am most certainly still a big metal fan, and metal will always be a significant part of my musical (and genetic) makeup, but I like other stuff, too, and will be incorporating more different stuff into my next projects. When I get around to it.

I am still job hunting, which is a big priority, and the weather right now is hot and humid - not great for sitting at a computer with my guitar as my fingers sweat all over the strings and the computer cooling fans are over-worked. So no music creating just this second. When the weather cools off, I'll start working on some new material, and I will be finishing Moroghor's new album very soon.


Drumming - UGH!!

I started working on the drums for the new Moroghor album. God, I am fricken' AWFUL!

My edrum kit is not exactly a professional setup. Two years ago, when I first got into edrums, I went out and bought TWO of those cheapo ION Audio drumkits at TARGET. Yes, Target.

I spent a few days looking at drum setups online, and basically customized the two kits into one decent setup. The only big problem was with the pedals that came with the kit. Terrible.

So first I built my own triggers from Radio Shack door buzzer parts and used a few actual kick drum pedals, but these were very inconsistent. Recently I upgraded to a new, and inexpensive alternative.

ROCK BAND replacement pedals. That's right. I went to the local Gamestop store and bought one of those $25 pedals that you can buy when you break the pedal that comes with Rock Band. Guess what. It works great. And you can buy two and link them together for double bass action. Which I haven't done yet, cause I'm still unemployed and shouldn't be spending my unemployment compensation on toys and such.

So anyway, back to the original topic. Now armed with an adequate setup, I can play and record decent drums. But I still basically suck, so yes, I will be doing quite a bit of Quantization and correction. And I most definitely will be programming any of the fast, double-bass work.

I admit it way up ahead folks. I ain't Neil Peart or Dave Lombardo. More like an even slower Phil Rudd. Luckily, playing drums for Doom/Drone Metal is not too complicated. So stand back while I have at it. Hopefully I'll be done soon.


Dimaension X - a drummer???

Well, you may have heard the bad news from the band Moroghor - their drummer, "Zatholal" is leaving the band due to musical disagreements. I'll be lazy, and copy-paste from their website news:

August 2, 2009 - Our drummer Zatholal has announced that he is leaving the band. The band has begun a definite shift in sound and style to a more Doom and Drone orientation. Zatholal stated that he "was not enthused about the changes in style" that the band will be pursuing over the next album or two, and will leave before doing any drumming for the albums. Dimaension X (aka Dave Lanciani) has stated that he will step in to temporarily replace Zatholal in the drum and percussion duties.
"I can't say as I really blame him," said Ygorathla. "Zatholal is a pretty technical drummer who really likes playing those fast blast beats and double-bass parts, and there really isn't much of that at all in our new music. It takes a rare drummer to have the patience to play in a Doom/Drone band. The drum beats and beat-per-minute tempii are incredibly slow and monotonous for most drummers who'd rather be playing more complex patterns."
"That's where I come in," stated Dimaension X. "I'm a terrible drummer to begin with, and can really only play very slow parts. I'll still be programming some of the parts I can't play, but I'm going to try actually sitting at my edrum kit and play as much as possible."
So the album will be slightly delayed as DX takes over as drummer.

We wish Zatholal all the best and are leaving the door open if he ever wants to come back.

So it looks like I'll be slammin' the skins (or rubber trigger pads) for Moroghor's next album. Yup. There will be MUCH QUANTIZATION happening in these tracks. Y'all know I am not originally a drummer, but with most Drone/Doom music, the tempo tends to be reeeaaaalll sssssllllloooooooowwwwwww. I don't have to play like Neil Peart. More like Phil Rudd on downers.

This means there will be a slight delay in the completion of the new album, as I bring my laptop downstairs, hook up to my edrum kit, and begin doing something that I almost never do.

Wish me luck.