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Hissy Fit “Outdoor Life” (Influenza)

Published in Blog Archive, Culture Bully. Tags: , , .

Over the past couple weeks alone, under his Hissy Fit pseudonym, beat-maker Matthew Hiscock has already released a live podcast via Swing and Skip Records and an EP via Phuturelabs. He also has a another full-length 12″ on its way next month via S&S, and still the Newfoundland-born producer finds time to curate a bass-friendly music blog. In speaking of the Crosstrainers EP, Passion of the Weiss‘ Sach O recently explained the album’s “off-kilter beats” as both “a sugar rush” and “pastoral,” the latter referring to the “Outdoor Life” single. The song opens with a heavy-handed beat that later collapses into a smooth trance with a bubbling bass line which, as explained by Hiscock, might lead you to break into Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time.” In this edition of Influenza, the Montreal-based producer dissects the track and its emotional context, comparing it to a feeling of awaking from a harsh winter to once again enjoy life in the great outdoors.


Apparently there’s a magazine called Outdoor Life—this tune has nothing to do with that.

Montreal gets oppressively cold in the winter. I live here despite that, not because of it. The title comes from that point in the spring at which you can start to open your windows once in a while and move your life outdoors; sit in a park and read, or have a picnic. It’s always a really nice time, and this tune was made right at that point in early 2010.

I played the guitar part. It sounds pretty 1980′s because of the delay unit I used, which is a Memory Man Deluxe. It’s great if you want to sound like The Edge circa 1983, which I personally think is a good thing. I put it loud in the mix because: 1) I like it, and 2) to separate the men from the boys; make it a love-it-or-hate-it-type of thing. To have that buried amongst the other elements would have been a bit cowardly in my opinion.

The first big play it got was from Dusk & Blackdown, who played it on their Rinse FM radio show but who, due to mixer problems, failed to take it off before the guitar came in. They immediately cut the track and put on the next one, asking why anybody would put on a “Kate Bush solo” on that track. Made me chuckle.

It being a warm weather tune and all, it made sense to have some kind of chord structure that moves around, so you get the chords that come in about 30 seconds in. You can sing the chorus of “Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper over top if you like—it’s not intentional. The bass line is part of my continuing romance with all things acid. Not sure why, but there’s something gratifying about the sound of an analog synth with a very resonant filter, in this case my home brew Franken-synth—it’s artificial to the highest degree, a type of “I’m making my ‘fake’ instrument as ‘fake’ as it can be, now DANCE!”