GRANDMA TAPES – A fantastic sample filled EP from Brooklyn’s Ink Jet

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When I visited Ink Jet’s Brooklyn-based studio early this year I got the chance to hear some early edits of an EP he’d been working with his Octatrack. It’s a fantastic and very personal approach to making a record which has really paid off. Check out the first he has made and pickup up a copy here:

When my grandma Celia died in 2011, I inherited her cassette collection. She was an avid classical music listener all of her life – particularly Romantic composers – and had amassed many interesting tapes.

Music was an interest we shared. Whenever we talked, my grandma would tell me what she’d been listening to lately. When we were together, we’d go to hear live music.

Earlier this year, I set out to make a record based on samples from her collection. The Grandma Tapes EP is the result. At the start of the process, I came up with three rules to guide me:

  1. All sounds come from the tapes. Everything you hear is a sample. For the most part, these samples are quite short – individual notes and chords rather than longer phrases. The sounds have been processed – pitch-shifted, filtered, delayed, etc. – but they all started out as classical music. Even the drum sounds are samples, albeit extremely short ones that have been significantly warped.
  2. One tape per track. Each of the six tracks on Grandma Tapes has its own corresponding sample tape. Furthermore, each track is composed of samples from a single composer, and usually a single composition.
  3. No software. All of the sounds were recorded, processed, arranged, and mixed on a hardware sampler. This forced me to work less visually and rely more on my ears.