Heroes of Popular Wars “Goodbye” (Influenza)
Published in Blog Archive, Culture Bully. Tags: Influenza, Music.
Approach Influenza as a series which serves to help give insight as to where music is born; these are the thoughts, influences and the inspirations directly from the mind of the artists. In this edition, the formulation of a recent track by the Brooklyn-based group Heroes of Popular Wars is explained by the group’s DJ, S2K. Describing the song’s transformation from conception to layered actualization he delivers “Goodbye” with humanity in spite of its overwhelmingly synthetic feel.
Music technology is so powerful, so capable of doing so much so quickly, it can be overwhelming. When we first started composing the material for this EP I found myself getting bogged down in minutiae – a lot. I’m a techno-phile and German which means I can obsess about processes endlessly. I discovered that the best way for me to be most productive was to impose limits on myself for every project; sometimes a simple time limit, sometimes a limit more arbitrary. For “Goodbye” I did all of the initial sequencing on a Sony Playstation using MTV Music Generatorsoftware. That meant that I was constrained to using only the beats and keyboard patches bundled with the software. In fact the limited storage (a PS1 memory card) could only handle two imported samples.
They open and close the song: a recording of my grandfather, and a recording of my mom’s church choir. The song was pretty much a mess until we all got into a rehearsal space together and totally opened up the arrangement. Our keyboard player, The Elloneer, came up with a great simple piano hook, she discovered some incredible percussion variations to match and contrast the samples. We were all pretty pleased with ourselves and when we finally got into the recording studio The Blue Eyed Devil laid down the guitar tracks that I think make the song. – S2K