Let’s Dance

Zur Steigerung von Omar Hakim’s Viertel-lastigen Groove wird die Snare in der Bridge auf der Zählzeit „zwei“ in ein 16tel Ping-Pong Delay geschickt (mit drei Wiederholungen). Im Outro ist es dann die Zählzeit „vier“.
Da auch Tony Thompson einige Titel des Let’s Dance Albums trommelte, verweise ich auf einen ähnlichen Groove von ihm, der ebenso auf fetten Viertelnoten basiert und auch mit einem Echo aufgehübscht wurde: Addicted to Love
(Das sind übrigens zwei der vielen Beispiele aus meinem Echodrums.pdf)

PS. Auf dem 83er Bowie Album werden beide Drummer genannt, jedoch ohne konkreten Bezug auf die von ihnen getrommelten Songs. Der Blog https://bowiesongs.wordpress.com/ bringt Licht ins Dunkel:

>>* Rodgers deliberately didn’t list on which Let’s Dance tracks Omar Hakim and Tony Thompson drummed (Rodgers’ theory was that it helped session players to have a communal credit, so each could take credit for the whole record). Rodgers has only publicly confirmed that Thompson was on “Modern Love.” Conjecture is that Thompson did most of the drumming with the exception of the title track and “China Girl” (which he may still be on anyhow), but as Hakim was Thompson’s disciple, their styles are fairly similar and it’s hard to tell the two apart on this record.<<
https://bowiesongs.wordpress.com/2011/10/25/without-you/

>>“Let’s Dance,” the first song recorded for the album that it named, was crafted in the Power Station. Bowie already had recorded Scary Monstersthere, but by 1982, the Station had developed its trademark drum sound: gated snare reverb. It was the crushing beat of Let’s Dance, as well of the Eighties. While Visconti’s Harmonizer-altered drums on Low was a predecessor of the sound,4 the “classic” Eighties gated snare was developed concurrently at the Power Station by engineers like Bob Clearmountain, and at London’s Townhouse, where in 1980, on Peter Gabriel’s third album, Hugh Padham developed the sound for Phil Collins’ drum tracks.5

Engineers were always trying to better record the “snap” of a snare drum being hit. It’s an endless task, as a recording never quite captures the exact sound when heard live. Attempts at miking the snare in a reverb-heavy room like the Power Station wound up with the mike also picking up all of the echoes of the snare hit, and so muddying/dissipating its power. Power Station and Townhouse engineers hit upon the same solution: place a close mike (to capture the actual hit) and then a pair of stereo “ambiance” mikes above the kit, the latter using high compression and equipped with noise gates (so the mikes would capture the reverb of a stick hitting the snare for a half second or so, then snap off). This way engineers could get the hard “snap” of the hit with a dose of explosive reverb, yet without any secondary echoes.

So the snare hit became abstracted—it became a block of pure force, as precise and as alien-sounding as a drum machine but with more power. This sort of inhuman precision, an acoustic instrument turned into a synthetic giant of itself, defines “Let’s Dance”—not just Omar Hakim’s drums but even Figueroa’s percussion sounds like a mechanical rattlesnake. That’s not to downplay the brilliant workings of Rodgers’ arrangement: the way the horns and the bass play off each other, Hakim’s intricate bass drum pattern, which only repeats every eight bars (Duran Duran later admitted stealing it for “Union of the Snake”), the wide use of space in the mix, so that every instrument’s appearance seems like an event.

4: In 1983, Bowie described the Low drum sound as “that “mash” drum sound, that depressive, gorilla effect set down the studio drum fever fad for the next few years. It was something I wish we’d never created, having had to live through four years of it with other English bands, until it started changing into the “clap” sound we’ve got now.

5 Collins fell in love with the gated snare. Besotted, he dedicated his work in the Eighties to its worship: cf. the Collins-produced “I Know There Something Going On” by Frida, in which the former ABBA singer fights for her life against a set of all-devouring drums.
Greg Milner’s excellent Perfecting Sound Forever was key to understanding the development of the gated snare. Thanks to Lance Hoskins for sending me the Let’s Dance full band score some time ago.<<
https://bowiesongs.wordpress.com/2011/10/20/lets-dance/

 

 

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