A decade ago I was traveling to and from Sarajevo and spending a lot of time in boutique hotels and local bars. I made friends with bartenders. I even recorded a song with one of them.
Why? I was younger. And we were drinking. Some random diplomat came down the hotel stairs to yell at us, because we were too loud. A "F**k the Ambassador" song was in order.
Here is a piece of the recording. The song was a mixture of local folklore, rock, and hip hop, in my broken Bosnian. It was recorded on a laptop, through the laptop microphone and the laptop soundcard, with programmed drums, an acoustic guitar, and vocals. It is a demo and it sounds like a demo. It took, all in all, an hour of work, including writing and recording. We didn’t put any effort into re-recording and mixing.
Click to hear F**k the Ambassador.
The take does not lie
I remembered this song recently. I was with a couple of friends and we were putting together a list of songs to play out, unplugged. The list included a couple of covers and a lot of original songs.
We chose, of course, the songs that sounded good in our original, electric, well-mixed recording. We put a microphone and the middle of the room and recorded each song.
And we immediately dropped half of the songs.
- One just wouldn't come together. It sounded disjoint, as if each of us was playing alone with zero concern for the timing and dynamics of others. I suppose, in our acoustic, drum-less scenario, it was missing the drums of the original recording.
- A couple were just too boring. Perhaps they were boring as originally recorded. Perhaps the original, plugged-in mixes had more – extra riffs, overdubbing, etc.
- One song was removed from the list as my vocals didn't fit. Either the extra processing in the original recording gave my vocals a different quality, or my vocals had changed (the original recording was from a decade ago).
The funny part was that the songs that we dropped were the songs we thought were the better ones.
I remembered the song about the ambassador. As bad as the recording is, the song is fun. I can listen to the song without cringing, even though the recording needs a lot of work. Perhaps it was some special moment of the muse or perhaps it is just a cool song. The recording take does not lie!