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WeeklyBeats.com / Music / CosmicCairns's music / Combustion Engine (2018)

Combustion Engine (2018)

By CosmicCairns on January 23, 2018 5:36 am

This is a brand new recording of a song I wrote back in 1999.  The original version was recorded on an 4-track and now only exists on a cassette tape somewhere that I'm not exactly sure where it is.  I've managed to build up a pretty decent sized back catalog over the years and as much as I'm always feeling the urge to push forward and do something new, I also think WeeklyBeats provides a good opportunity to look back and return to some old ideas as well.  I think there's something interesting about revisiting songs from a long time ago through the lens of now, especially since some of them were pretty amateurishly recorded in the first place or may be difficult to access since they're on dusty old misplaced cassettes. So I think I'd like to remake a few old songs over the course of this year. Music is kind of crazy in that I still feel like there's so much to learn even after all these years, but I think I've gotten a little bit better at recording since the 90's.  Not much maybe, but a little.  smile 

It's funny because no matter how sloppy and primitive and full of mistakes an early recording is, I've noticed that whenever I try to remake one there's always some element of the original that feels essential somehow that I'm never able to recapture.  But that's part of what makes it interesting to look back I think.  I'm not the same person I was back then and yet something in these old songs still rings true or reminds me of who I was once upon a time, which is cool. 

I've always had a soft spot for this song and some of the lyrics feel more pertinent now than they did back then. I didn't radically alter the original song this time although I did tweak a few lyrics and change a few parts in the arrangement.  Otherwise it's a pretty true reading of the old version.  Or at least how I remember it.  It's been awhile since I busted out that old cassette tape.  smile

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January 29, 2018 3:03 am

I have some old stuff I should revisit. There were some songs that I recorded before I knew anything about songwriting or mixtape no or mastering and I couldn’t really play guitar very well either, but there was some magic in a few of those songs that I lost at some point.

January 29, 2018 3:43 am

I know exactly what you mean about elements of an older piece that you can never quite recapture. Not knowing how this post differs, but it's damn good.

January 29, 2018 4:17 am
E-dub wrote:

I have some old stuff I should revisit. There were some songs that I recorded before I knew anything about songwriting or mixtape no or mastering and I couldn’t really play guitar very well either, but there was some magic in a few of those songs that I lost at some point.

  There's definitely something fun about revisiting old stuff and I would encourage you to do it once in awhile!  I hear you on the losing magic, too.  Some of my very earliest stuff probably should never see the light of day and yet there was something about not knowing how to record or play guitar that led me to do some weird intuitive stuff that was sometimes cool and that I'm no longer even able to do anymore.



Jim Wood wrote:

I know exactly what you mean about elements of an older piece that you can never quite recapture. Not knowing how this post differs, but it's damn good.

  It's weird how you just can't recapture some stuff.  It's kind of cool to know that it happens to others, too!  That's a good idea to post comparisons with the original work.  I can't with this one because I'm not even sure where the original recording is, but maybe later in the year I'll remake some stuff that's slightly more recent and I can post a link to the original recording as well.  That would be fun.  I actually did digitize some of my old cassette recordings back in like 2004 or something, but then I got lazy and didn't do all of them.  I wish I had since I lost some of the cassettes or the tape parts got tangled up on some.  They definitely lost something in the sound area in the process of converting from analog to digital, but it's still better to have an easily accessible version than nothing at all.

January 29, 2018 3:02 pm

beautiful song. Love the indie feel of it.

January 29, 2018 4:42 pm

Great song... again! wink
Good that you remembered this smile
The pads right before the last refrain are especially nice as well as the melodie at the beginning...

January 29, 2018 6:32 pm

Sorry, but even this new version is a magic piece of music. Wonderful emotional singing and very nicely orchestrated with strings and percussions. There is a beautiful energy going on. Of course I would be very happy to hear your original tapes one day, too!! This is a good plan to release it, YES, please do it..
Two days ago, I drove to a rehearsal with a car without CD-player. Only cassettes did brought me some audio.
So I grabbed some of my old tapes, I did not touch for 30 years!! While driving and listening I had moments of deep goose bumps and some teardrops. But hectic fast forward button pressing as well. And finally I discoverd my first homerecording from 1988 with a guitar and pianet. I considered to smuggle it into weeklybeats 2018.
In the end I had a beautiful rehearsal, produced another recording full of energy that I felt inside.
Thank you for bringing in your thoughts about nostalgia and music.

January 30, 2018 7:45 am

It's pretty good.

Fun fact, pestilence is technically not one of the horsemen of the apocalypse. It does suit the lyrics well though.

January 31, 2018 1:22 am

Really enjoyed that! We're crushed under the snow here, and the song felt like a nice summer night, so thank you for that!

January 31, 2018 5:50 am

So nice! Enjoyed this, lovely melodies and really good lyrics, and nice textures and layers that bubble and support underneath. A vacuum to the head would be interesting experience smile
What's the percussion? Sounds very organic, nice job. I only have a year or two of my own songs to revisit, but I think going back to revisit songs is a great idea and plan on doing that more. Always amazing how music, for me more than any art form I think, can transport me back to another time, or conjure up emotions and vivid memories.

January 31, 2018 4:05 pm
dj someguy wrote:

beautiful song. Love the indie feel of it.

  Thanks for listening!  It definitely dates back to my prime indie rock phase.



theGuen wrote:

Great song... again! wink
Good that you remembered this smile
The pads right before the last refrain are especially nice as well as the melodie at the beginning...

  Thanks!  Those pads were a new touch for this version.  I've kept a pretty good log of songs I've written over the years, even if I've misplaced the recordings themselves.





Q-Rosh wrote:

Sorry, but even this new version is a magic piece of music. Wonderful emotional singing and very nicely orchestrated with strings and percussions. There is a beautiful energy going on. Of course I would be very happy to hear your original tapes one day, too!! This is a good plan to release it, YES, please do it..
Two days ago, I drove to a rehearsal with a car without CD-player. Only cassettes did brought me some audio.
So I grabbed some of my old tapes, I did not touch for 30 years!! While driving and listening I had moments of deep goose bumps and some teardrops. But hectic fast forward button pressing as well. And finally I discoverd my first homerecording from 1988 with a guitar and pianet. I considered to smuggle it into weeklybeats 2018.
In the end I had a beautiful rehearsal, produced another recording full of energy that I felt inside.
Thank you for bringing in your thoughts about nostalgia and music.

  That's a very cool story.  I've got one old car that still has a cassette player and I think that's the only cassette player I currently own in any format, so every now and then I'll bust out some of my old tapes while driving.  I think every musician should re-visit their early recordings once in awhile.  It's cool to see how far you've come, but there's also something to be said for getting back in touch with what drove you to create music in the first place.



Devieus wrote:

It's pretty good.

Fun fact, pestilence is technically not one of the horsemen of the apocalypse. It does suit the lyrics well though.

  I wasn't totally aiming for horsemen of the apocalypse per se, just sort of liked the ring of it. Although I must admit I actually did think pestilence was one of them.  I had to look it up to see it's actually conquest. Apparently a lot of tv shows have decided to substitute in pestilence or something so that's probably where the confusion comes in.  Also it kind of seems to me like war and conquest are kind of the same thing.  Maybe it SHOULD be pestilence, damn it.  smile



RawTicks wrote:

Really enjoyed that! We're crushed under the snow here, and the song felt like a nice summer night, so thank you for that!

  Oof.  Glad I could bring a little summer feel to your nasty winter day!



miraclemiles wrote:

So nice! Enjoyed this, lovely melodies and really good lyrics, and nice textures and layers that bubble and support underneath. A vacuum to the head would be interesting experience smile
What's the percussion? Sounds very organic, nice job. I only have a year or two of my own songs to revisit, but I think going back to revisit songs is a great idea and plan on doing that more. Always amazing how music, for me more than any art form I think, can transport me back to another time, or conjure up emotions and vivid memories.

  The percussion is just beating on the back of my acoustic guitar, which is a trick I like to use decently often.  I think the first time I ever tried to remake a song was three years after I first started making music.  I felt like I'd progressed so much just in that time I wanted to see what I could do with some of the really early stuff.  I agree though, one of the coolest parts about music is how it can take you right back to certain moments in a really vivid way.   

January 31, 2018 4:46 pm
CosmicCairns wrote:


Devieus wrote:

It's pretty good.

Fun fact, pestilence is technically not one of the horsemen of the apocalypse. It does suit the lyrics well though.

  I wasn't totally aiming for horsemen of the apocalypse per se, just sort of liked the ring of it. Although I must admit I actually did think pestilence was one of them.  I had to look it up to see it's actually conquest. Apparently a lot of tv shows have decided to substitute in pestilence or something so that's probably where the confusion comes in.  Also it kind of seems to me like war and conquest are kind of the same thing.  Maybe it SHOULD be pestilence, damn it.  smile


I totally agree. It's probably easier to just retcon the bible and call it the five horsemen instead.

February 1, 2018 4:07 pm

Digging the lyrics and the stereo vocal harmonies.  It definitely is fun to rework/visit old tunes.  I've had the same issue with getting those certain fragments recreated, which usually ends in me making some new smile  Nice job!

February 3, 2018 3:06 am
Tone Matrix wrote:

Digging the lyrics and the stereo vocal harmonies.  It definitely is fun to rework/visit old tunes.  I've had the same issue with getting those certain fragments recreated, which usually ends in me making some new smile  Nice job!

  Yeah, in some ways the point isn't just to slavishly recreate something.  In theory, you're trying to make it better!  It just always seems like there's something I liked though from the first version that just doesn't make the jump to the new one.  Thanks for listening!

February 3, 2018 12:26 pm

If John Lennon's second cousin started a basement band... this is their first single smile I like

February 4, 2018 2:39 am
Podling wrote:

If John Lennon's second cousin started a basement band... this is their first single smile I like


Now that sounds like a band I'd like to check out.  Thanks for listening and commenting!

February 6, 2018 12:16 am

I'm back for a 2nd listen. I love it

February 6, 2018 3:09 am
cfurrow wrote:

I'm back for a 2nd listen. I love it

  Thanks!  I'm hoping to do a few more of these self covers this year.  You might recognize some of them.

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