‘Discovering the process of these tracks will have you thinking about them in a whole new way.’
Intro to Track Deconstructions:
Those of you who are regulars at Listen to Discover will already be fully aware that there are always two key elements involved in features: connection and detail. Lying at the centre of coverage decisions, connection comes first via a release immediately catching the ear for a multitude of reasons. Then, once the track has been chosen, the detail arrives in the form of reviews that fully consider musical nuances, artist intentions and lyrical storytelling of the release. For me, it’s what makes this site so different to many other music blogs. Therefore, with Listen to Discover being approached by Point Blank Music School about a set of collaboration features, their Track Deconstructions instantly felt like the perfect addition.
How does the feature work?
In the series of videos, a well known track is chosen, completely stripped back and recreated step by step to sound as close to the original as can be. And trust me, the similarities are phenomenal! Considering everything from musical contexts and uses of samples to chord progressions and production techniques, they not only give an insight to everything you could want to know, but are the perfect way for new artists to learn more about some of the best tracks in the world and gain further inspiration. But don’t just take my word for it, here’s what Curtis MacPherson has to say:
“Point Blank return with another Deconstruction from their Head of Education & Development and master of Deconstructions, Ski Oakenfull. This time, Ski unveils the magic behind Björk’s track ‘Venus As A Boy’ breaking down each of the track’s elements and carefully mapping them together. You can check out Point Blank’s catalogue of deconstructions on their YouTube channel and don’t forget to check out their production courses in London and their Online Courses for more in-depth tuition.
‘Venus As A Boy’ features on the Icelandic singer’s 1993 album, Debut, which was released on the independent record label, One Little Indian. It was produced by Nellee Hooper, a British producer, songwriter and remixer who produced six Grammy-Award winning albums for the likes of Smashing Pumpkins, U2, Soul II Soul and Sinead O’Connor. The track itself is a melting pot of genres with nods to dub, ambient and chillout and features enchanting Indian percussive elements as well as abstract Japanese samples.” Curtis MacPherson, Point Blank Music School.
So why did I select Björk’s ‘Venus As A Boy’?
Truth be told, until I watched the video I wasn’t aware of this incredible track! But, much like when I choose tracks to review, the connection was instant. As you would expect, and many of you will already know is the case, ‘Venus As A Boy’ carries swathes of curiousity and delivers an endless supply of utterly engaging musicality. The strings soar beautifully, the vocals are of course unique and the seamless mix of fragmented samples equally so. Quite how I haven’t come across it until now, I don’t know. However, since I have it seems to be literally and metaphorically stalking me. At times it’s turning up in unexpected places – like on saxophonist Jess Gillam’s new album – and other times I’ll have a little motif in my head and realise it’s one of the many incredible earworms from this truly sensational track.
So whether you’re a new artist or an experienced music producer, take a watch of the Track Deconstruction below and discover exactly how such a unique release was created.
Thanks Point Blank Music School for collaborating with Listen to Discover.