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Friday, March 26, 2010

8. "The Sound of Fun Surrounds You" by Six Flags Over Texas

This selection comes courtesy of one or the other 365 Days Projects, daily collections of audio oddities and ephemera which might well appeal to anyone who enjoys what I'm doing here. It's a vintage record you could buy at the Six Flags Over Texas theme park in days of yore, containing a sort of travelogue-y approximation of a visit to the park. Somewhere between a promotional item and a souvenir, I suppose, narrated in full by Fifties Filmstrip Guy. In other words, the perfect grist for the mill of audio collages and techno pastiches, although I did (again) toy with other approaches, like a full cast recreation of the thing... but it's early days, so I tend towards first impulses as of now.

That said, one line in the monologue suggested an unusual approach for the techno treatment, and I just went with it. If I were prone to subtitling my covers, which I'm not as a matter of principle signifying nothing, this would carry the label "The Sound of Fun Surrounds You (Smell the Horse Mix)". Also of passing interest: the first two tracks to occur to me as sample sources aside from the track picked by The Machine... amazingly happened to be in the same key. Maybe dumb luck, or maybe an indicator that my brain holds onto information about, and connections between, musical pieces on a level about which I hold no conscious awareness. Doubtful, but entertaining to ponder, if you're me.

Truthfully, this was also sort of an experiment to see if I could get samples to match up with each other using a couple of different freeware programs and a lot of scratch paper. At some point in the future I may go into some detail about the limitations of my gear and recording skills, but for now, let's just say... they are both rudimentary at best.

Assembled and mixed by Rex Broome
Art alterations by Miranda & Ridley Broome
Sample credits in comments



I suppose I got through the above without literally spelling out the heavy use of Neil Young & Crazy Horse samples, certainly a rarity in the electronic music field, in order to preserve the surprise for the folks were about to listen to it and would understand what it was. Not sure about that strategy in hindsight.

The editing is pretty good for a moron, which is what I was. At the time I had not learned how to create my own loops and slave them to a tempo, so everything you hear here, while not literally created by splicing audiotape, is done almost less efficiently. There are a few loops, but they are GarageBand freebies; the samples from "Fuckin' Up" and 808 State's "In Your Face" were trimmed and sliced and retrimmed and jammed together to fit the tempo of the loops, which was my best approximation of the tempo of the songs (I hadn't figured out how to figure that out either). The hoppy-skippy quality leant to the track by that peculiarity is something I can forgive myself for-- it was part of the learning curve-- but I don't know why I ended up undermixing the vocal samples. That's the part that's frustrating to me now. However, I do still get a chuckle out of some of the bits, especially the difficult to discern bit where I chopped up the Six Flags narrator's voice and spliced it with Neil's to create the phrase "The SMELL of THE HORSE surrounds you!"

I think this is the first 39-40 entry for which absolutely no new audio was recorded. It's completely made from samples and clips of previous works. That would remain rare, especially once I figured out how to work the sequencers and easily fly transitional bits into the tracks to smooth out segues or hold down the key. Basically, I made this one harder than it needed to be. And it won't be the last time, either.

The album artwork is cool, though... that was Miranda and Ridley drawing pictures based on some of the phrases in the song and then inlaying them into the shapes of the images on the Six Flags cover. Take a moment to look at it... it's at least as worthwhile as the music.


  1. Embodies portions of "F@#&in' Up" as performed by Neil Young & Crazy Horse, and "In Yer Face" performed by 808 State, in a factory which also processes nuts.

  2. was six flags over texas the park that was in the credits to the banana splits ?

    brilliant idea for a blog - personally I hate covers normally but done like this takes it to extremes - go for it !

  3. Awesome cover, love the mash. Doesn't look like the original is posted anymore, perhaps the Six Flags music police have caught up to you?