Alex Strain + Mr_mark_dollin: Phoebe

About 3 months back Alex contacted me about mixing one of his tunes. Fascinated with the alien complexity of the beats I accidentally heard a dub style bass-line in my head that seemed to go with the beats. I built the bass into the altered mix and sent it back to Alex. He liked the vibe and suggested that we do a co-op and finish the song together. He fleshed out the first section of the song and sent it to me for my attention. We roughly planned to have Alex do the first and last sections while I do the middle.

With motives I’m still unclear about, I decided to hand back my additions in the form of something that would be difficult for Alex to work with. His breakcore had no easy musical linkage with the epic dreamy dub I provided, some six to seven minutes of it. He took to the challenge impressively, changing tack with the song structure and weaving the breakcore around the dub themes. I took the mix back and did some final polishing as well as adding some vocals. The vocal process was easier than ever due to the synchronised recording feature of the new version of Renoise (specifically 1.8 beta 5).

The end product is a rather ambitious 9 minute piece detailing the meeting points of dub and breakcore. It’s no easy marriage, but hopefully we make a good case for flexibility in sonic presentation. The lessons learnt here will be beneficial for future projects. The song can be obtained here:

Alex Strain + mr_mark_dollin - Phoebe

Post back if you find this interesting.

A great track! I had the chance to listen to some previews and the critics i had are gone, great result of you two. Good mixing, nice dubby atmosphere and vocals are fitting well. Though i’ve hoped the end would be a nice climax going a bit more crazy with the breaks. You two should collab more often! :)

Great track indeed! :walkman:

If i have any critique worth mentioning at all, it might be that the track is pretty long for “radio”, but who cares. I don’t agree with the lack of climax being a bad thing, I think it suits the atmosphere better to bring it down gently as done. It could maybe do without the very last comeback before ending. Good mix too btw, the kick seems to be sitting a tad too high at times maybe, but again, that’s a matter of taste and does keep it bumping. So feel free to ignore. ;)

Great work, guys! :yeah:

Good words guys! Thanks for the interest. I think it is on the cards for both of us to do remixes of this track - there are some many possible avenues to explore. Immediately I thought an ambient mix would be appropriate. Also I think Alex would be capable of making a real hard peaking sequence too. They guy is having some stressful issues at the moment, so lets hope he comes back at that later on! :)

The kick could be a touch too high because I don’t have an acurate sub setup to A-B test things with. For now, just let it booooooom! :o

I knew when it became apparent that this piece was going to be experimental (i.e. melting dub and breakcore) that a radio style arrangement would not let the idea breathe out fully. The experience is more psychedelic and slow. There should be enough changes in there to prevent tiresom repetition, at least I hope so.

Listening now, this is hq stuff guys. Respect!

Thanks Sagosen! Alex has been great to work with. It looks likely that we’ll do some more lateral stuff in the future.

Thanks for the warm reception on this one guys, and foo?, the feeling is mutual. Drop me a line any time you want some messy beats splattered across your lovely work :)

this track is very very sexy!! big up!!


This track is awesome! I absolutely love the fusion of genres and styles you guys were able to accomplish. Those beats are absolutely raw, but yet they’re somehow tamed by the atmospherics and that silky deep dub bassline.

The only critique that came to mind is maybe bringing those ending vocals more up front in the mix. They’re cool as they are now, but I think a more climactic feeling would be achieved if they were more in your face. I only suggest this since a few people have mentioned the lack of any real “climax” at the end …

Otherwise, really cool stuff. I enjoyed every minute of it!

Listening now :)

I don’t really like the vocals but that’s more my personal preference, but overall this not bad stuff to say the least, big thumb up!

Thanks for the comments gents! Yes Sonus, give me a phat sub bass any day, it really floats my boat.

As for the vocals you get differing opinions depending on who you ask, so it’s always a risk for a novice vocalist to put that stuff out there. I prefer a message in songs, but others can be very happy with just a sonic journey. I was hoping that Alex would do a more violent cut of up this track without the vocals, but we’ll see. After all, it is a genre experiment and could be taken in so many different directions. This mix is ‘an attempt to cater for all’ so it ends up being 9 minutes and has lengthy sections without vocals that hold their own.

Now I wanna see some more genre mash ups from you guys. Jazz metal funk glitch anyone?