albums
Underway
2017 The Walking Dad
2006 Wonday
Compilations
1993 Songs to Sleep By
1997 Songs to Sleep By 2
2002 Sunday Sampler
2002 Dad's Picks
1999 Mix 1 (sy55)
2010 Mix 2 (triton vocal)
2010 Mix 3 (triton instr.)
SY55
1991 Archives
1992 College Collection
1993 College Collage
1994 The Hermit
1997 Where's My Muse
1999 South or Southeast
Triton
2001 In the Margins
2002 Renewal
2002 Re-treat
2002 Convenience
2002 Back Up
2003 So So
2003 So On
2003 So Long
2003 Baby Steps
2003 Baby Talk
2004 Schmocial
2004 Brroom
2004 Chuckadee
2004 Disco Hike
2004 Extra Extra
2005 Coma Pill
2005 Ourboretum
2005 Jaminy
2005 Padden Drift
2005 Gorilla Love
2005 Aminals
2005 Vegibles
2006 Fruitine
2006 Dignored
2006 Miner
2006 Mouseculine
2006 Yata
2007 Zipit
2007 Sixawon
2007 Halfdosin
2007 Whatcom Home
2008 What Roses
2008 Pho Kit
2008 Composed Pile
2009 Decomposed Pie
2009 Swaddlicious
2010 Lost Train
Soft Synths
2011 Out the Margins
2011 Redebut
2011 Reprogression
2012 Working Progress
2013 Tripico
2014 Aerosol Concrete
2015 Reduced to Clear
2016 Motions
  • Title: Tripico
  • Artist: Tripecac
  • Timespan: 2013
  • Theme: tropical tripecac
  • Length: 64:04
  • Tracks: 15
  • Lyrics: 1
  • MP3s: 15 play all locally
  • Rating: (none) rate this album

Track List

# title lyrics time download listen started recorded rating
1 Who My Kidden - 3:08 download listen locally 2013-03-11 2013-04-15
2 Semishadow - 4:17 download listen locally 2013-03-22 2013-04-17 (none)
3 Knoware - 3:19 download listen locally 2013-04-18 2013-05-01 (none)
4 Rah Star - 2:51 download listen locally 2013-05-03 2013-05-10 (none)
5 Fasta - 3:45 download listen locally 2013-05-15 2013-05-23 (none)
6 Dread Full - 5:22 download listen locally 2013-05-28 2013-06-08 (none)
7 Jam Acre - 5:07 download listen locally 2013-06-12 2013-06-27
8 Dub n Dubber - 5:29 download listen locally 2013-07-02 2013-07-12
9 Ciots - 5:20 download listen locally 2013-07-16 2013-07-23 (none)
10 Areggae - 4:57 download listen locally 2013-07-30 2013-08-09
11 Splaugh - 3:06 download listen locally 2013-08-19 2013-11-12 (none)
12 Extree lyrics 3:58 download listen locally 2013-11-18 2013-11-28
13 Caribeing - 3:37 download listen locally 2013-12-03 2013-12-11 (none)
14 Stermon - 4:58 download listen locally 2013-12-12 2013-12-20 (none)
15 Wrong Tail - 4:50 download listen locally 2013-12-26 2013-12-30 (none)
Total 64:04 play all locally album rating: (none)

Notes

For this album I wanted a strong musical theme. I was tired of tentatively attempting different styles of music, falling short, getting frustrated with the technology, etc. I wanted this album to be different. I wanted to focus on a single genre, to concentrate my energy on learning the tools and techniques that would help me "master" that one genre, so that I could finally get a sense of musical accomplishment.

So, which genre?

When I was starting the album, I was listening to a lot of reggae CDs. It had been a long time since I'd deliberately attempted to create reggae songs, so I decided to dedicate the entire album to reggae.

No problem, right? After all, most of my music is reggae-tinged. So how hard would it be to exaggerate my reggae habits, distilling them into a "pure" reggae sound?

Well, after a song or two, it became evident that "no problem" really meant "big problem", and a few songs later it meant "insurmountable problem". You see, no matter what I tried, I just couldn't figure out how to get a realistic reggae sound. Something always went wrong, whether it was the instruments I chose, the rhythms I played, the chord progressions, the effects, the jazzy little riffs I added here and there... It all ended up sounding like Tripecac rather than reggae. After a while I gave up on creating "real" reggae, and just focused on trying to finish the album by the end of the year.

So what's the end result? Well, each song does have a slight reggae feel, but then again so do most of the songs on my other albums, so I can't exactly count that as an accomplishment. Some songs have interesting moments, instrumentation, or effects. Others are just run-of-the-mill. Many end abruptly, which is a sign of my frustration; as I was finishing each song I told myself, "this isn't working; let's just get it over with and maybe the next one will work." And it shows.

Oh well. Count this as another fizzled experiment. Another coaster for the bottom of the glove box. Hopefully it's at least listable. In that amateur muzak sort of way.

The album name, in sticking with the Caribbean theme, comes from a combination of "Tripecac" and "Tropico", which was a game I was playing around the time I started the album.

Songs

Who My Kidden

So here we go with reggae song #1.

Except it doesn't really sounds like reggae. It's more like cheesy, canned music for a car wash commercial.

Oh well. A little suds won't kill anyone!

User Comments:

  1. "Cute, sweet song. Can you make a vocal version too?" - giovanna (2013-04-15)

Semishadow

I came up with the general idea for this song in the shower, and managed to hum it into my camera. The recording might not have been good, but I still remembered the idea the next day, and started working on it.

Unfortunately, the resulting song never matched the idea in my head. I ended up fiddling with too many instruments while trying to come up with the perfect sound. For each instrument, I kept adding different solos and melodies which, when I listened to them days later, I didn't like. So I muted the bad ideas instead of deleting them, and added more instruments. Later, not wanting to lose anything, I unmuted the "bad" tracks and tried to fit them into the new ideas. And it didn't really work.

Does this sound more like "real" reggae than the last song? I don't know. It definitely has a darker sound. But it still is too jazzy, too complex. Hopefully the next song will be simpler and less confused.

The title comes from the cliche of having a face half shadowed. This song has a "heavy" part and a "light" part. Light and dark.

Knoware

I wanted something rhythmic and dubby, with not too many instruments (since the last 2 songs felt cluttery).

To prevent the song from sounding overly simplistic, I added lots of effects on the drums. I randomly found a effect that muffled them, and found I liked it. I then overdubbed a non-muffled hi-hat on top, so it wasn't complete mud. The hat gets a bit tedious at times, but I think the overall feel of the song is decent.

Is it reggae?

Well, not really.

Knoware close.

Rah Star

I decided to see if using Cakewalk's synths would give me more luck with finding that reggae feel.

The rhythm section does indeed seem to be more genuine, but the melodies sound a bit too jazzy/new-age/cheesy. And it feels a bit slow.

Is this an improvement over the last three songs? I don't know.

Is is shorter? Yes!

Well, at least it has that going for it. :)

Fasta

I wanted this song to be faster than the previous ones. Hence the name.

Well, it's faster. But is it reggae? Not really. Yes, there's "skanking" on 2 and 4, but the overall vibe is much more [empty-headed] dance/techno than reggae.

The morale of the story is: 2 and 4 do not a reggae song make.

Dread Full

Inspired by seeing some real reggae musicians in a reggae documentary playing piano on the off-beats, I decided to try a piano sound for the "skank". Fake piano, of course. Everything's fake.

I also tried to make the drums denser, with more ghost notes. Hopefully it sounds more like a real drummer and less like a canned rhythm.

For some reason, this experiment worked better than the others. Perhaps it's because there's some melodies in there, and a rough verse/chorus/bridge structure. Or maybe the tempo is nice and lively, without deviating from the reggae feel. Or maybe I just got lucky.

Luck and fakery, that's the secret. Fake luck. F---. Ha!

Jam Acre

More pseudo-reggae. Or rather, pseudo-reggae-tinged jazz. Pseudo-jazz. So much pseudo, I should start a meth lab! ;)

This song attempted to use heavy effects (primarily on the drums) to give it a processed, "trippy" feel. It doesn't really work. There were just too many parts in the same sonic range, often playing the same thing, which made this hard to mix. And the actual song idea was too flimsy for me to retain my interest long enough to figure out how to mix it properly.

Oh well. On to the next disposable "test" song!

User Comments:

  1. "I like it's really trippy and atmospheric." - giovanna (2013-06-27)

Dub n Dubber

This album felt like it was taking forever to finish, so I wanted to make a nice long song. I also decided to restrict the melodic instruments to the freebie AAS Player. Just for fun. Yep, fun.

So what happened to the fun?

Well, the "fun" part was creating the initial EP groove, which had a cool sound and ended up being a long, rambly improv. There was no consistent melody or chord pattern, but I liked the sound so much I decided to keep it. All of it.

I then layered some simple reggae-ish drums on top, which sounded pretty cool. But that's where the fun ended.

I tried to find a nice bass part to fit the rest of the groove, but the "best" bass sound the AAS Player had to offer was the horrible distorted crunchy thing. Guitar Rig helped give it some depth, but it still sounds overly loud and annoying. And the thing about the AAS Player is that you cannot edit sound properties! So we're stuck with the yucky distorted crunch. Ugh.

Then came the plucky string sample. More ugh. Despite sounding way too wimpy in the mix, it still distorts for some reason. What's with all the distortion, AAS???

And then the worst of all, the shrieky reed thing which acted as my "lead" instrument. Mega-ugh! It's one horrid monophonic mess.

Except for the cool EP part, my conclusion is this: the AAS Player needs another S in the name.

User Comments:

  1. "The name of the song made me smile but the reggae sound is thin!" - giovanna (2013-07-12)

Ciots

This is about as "reggae" as I am stoic.

It's actually more like slightly funky elevator music. Where you're stuck on the elevator with someone really sweaty. And you can't get off, because there's luggage carts blocking your way. And the music keeps getting louder and more annoying...

Yep, that's right. Welcome to the elevator of dread!

Get it?

Areggae

Before I even started this one, I knew I wouldn't be able to come up with anything that sounded reggae, so I figured I might as well name it appropriately. My reasoning was: if I can't get the style right, then at least I can get the label right.

Predictably, it ended up sound like typical Tripecac. Not horrible, not great, just kinda middlin'.

It might not be reggae, and it might not be good, but at least it was fun to create. At times. So in the context of a hobby, it was a success.

The sax part still bothers me, though. Perhaps that's because it keeps playing an E while the key is C minor. Gotta get me a better sax player!

User Comments:

  1. "I like how you don't get the the reggae sound get in the way of making a good song :)" - giovanna (2013-08-11)

Splaugh

The name is a combination of "spliff" and "laugh". The real joke is that it took almost 3 months to finish it.

Well, there was a gap of more than 2 months in the middle, due to a move. But still... This does not sound like I spent more than an hour or two working on it.

It also does not sound like reggae.

It's somewhat interesting when the faster bass line kicks in. But then it digresses. Oh yes, it digresses. Boy, does it digress.

Extree

I recently upgraded to Sonar X3. For this song I decided to only use the newly added instruments and effects.

The time signature is a bit weird, and there's not really a reggae feel, but I think we've pretty much given on that, haven't we?

On my second day with this song, I was feeing whimsical and added some vocals. Yes, vocals! And man are they impressive!

Lyrics to "Extree":

i was looking at the sun
i was looking at the sun

  mommy said don't look at the sun    
  mommy said don't look at the sun    

    mommy said don't look at the sun    
    my eyes my eyes are burning
  

User Comments:

  1. "Pretty nice!!" - giovanna (2013-11-29)

Caribeing

The title is a horrible mangling of "Caribbean".

The music isn't nearly as mangly. It's actually pretty straight. So straight that you barely notice it's there.

Except the ending. You'll notice that. The ending is, to put it euphemistically, poo.

Stermon

Scrambled monster. Much better than sunny side up monster. Or soft boiled monster. Or poached monster.

Unfortunately, the music is about as muddled and unappetizing as that first paragraph.

We could blame it on my rush to finish the album by the end of the year. Or my fatigue with the reggae album idea. Or my dwindling patience with Sonar's annoying interface issues. Or the lack of creative energy due to feeling overworked at my US-based job.

But the truth is, that yucky TV-dinner taste comes from all of the above.

Scrambled together.

Wrong Tail

I started this song on Boxing Day. I knew I only had enough time to finish one more song this year. Since I felt that 59 minutes was "too short", but didn't want the album to span multiple years, I decided to make one last song which would push the album over the one hour mark.

I initially named this "Long Tail", in hopes that it would be a really long song. But it ended up being average length, so I renamed it "Wrong Tail".

It's not really reggae, but I gave up on that quest many songs ago. True reggae eludes my composing and production skills... as does post-punk, dance, and just about every genre other than the long-established Tripecac formula of light, jazzy, funky, reggae muzak.

Oh well.