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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Milk is Chilling

posted by on August 21 at 11:52 AM

Listen closely, it’s not an echo—the repetition of a sound after its source. With “Top Billin’,” the word or words are heard before their source. The movement is not from real to ghostly, from life to afterlife, but from ghostly to real, from afterlife to life. It is the sonic version of raising the dead. And I can think of no other rapper who used this special magic, this other kind of dub—the echo as its opposite.

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Metallica did this with "Blackened" in '88.

Posted by paulus | August 21, 2008 12:55 PM

As once said by Jimmy Page, the "inventor" of this effect:

During one session [with The Yardbirds], we were recording "Ten Little Indians", which was an extremely silly song that featured a truly awful brass arrangement. In fact, the whole track sounded terrible. In a desperate attempt to salvage it, I hit upon an idea. I said, "Look, turn the tape over and employ the echo for the brass on a spare track. Then turn it back over and we'll get the echo preceding the signal." The result was very interesting -- it made the track sound like it was going backwards.

Later, when we recorded "You Shook Me", I told the engineer, Glyn Johns, that I wanted to use backwards echo on the end. He said, "Jimmy, it can't be done". I said "Yes, it can. I've already done it." Then he began arguing, so I said, "Look, Im the producer. Im going to tell you what to do, and just do it." So he grudgingly did everything I told him to, and when we were finished he started refusing to push the fader up so I could hear the result. Finally, I had to scream, "Push the bloody fader up!" And low and behold, the effect worked perfectly.

Posted by Brandon | August 21, 2008 2:03 PM

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