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Genesis: behind the scenes

And the three things I’ve learned

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A couple of months ago I promised that I would tell you a story behind the creation of “Genesis”, a result of my collaboration with Cosmithex released on JOOF Recordings.

Genesis, 2015

I’m about to share some really, really rough drafts and show how the track progressed from point “A” where it all started to the point “B” — the version of the track you all know as the final one. You’ve been warned! This is something that most other producers never do, but as I listeners myself I was always curious how things were going behind the scenes, so this is my present for you.

October 2011

I’ve instantly become a huge fan of Cosmithex when I heard his music for the first time. That was a track titled “Projection” from his upcoming album by that time, thanks to John 00 Fleming’s radio show as he always supports new talents. And I told myself that someday I wish to make a remix or to collaborate with this guy because his music was like fresh air to me. 

Visions of Sound, 2011

June 2014

I had an album released a few months ago, so I’ve got some confidence in myself. I sent a message to Cosmithex asking if he’s interested in remixing or collaboration, and suddenly he said “yes”.

You don’t ask—you don’t get

By that time I had some new project started, so I sent him this:

This one sounds real far from the “Genesis” you know but bear with me. In fact, this very first sketch has few elements that went into the final production: 133 BPM tempo, C#m key, the pad sound, percussion which you can hear at 0:43, and the melody at the end. And obviously it was a super rough draft just to demonstrate the idea, don’t take a look at the arrangement and sound design as I know it’s terrible.

Also, as you can hear that track quite different from my usual sound, and that’s what I call “out of comfort zone”.

Getting out of comfort zone

I was always wondering how people collaborate technically when they are a thousand kilometres away, and even using different programs (DAWs)? It turned out you can easily set up a shared Dropbox folder and send WAV files to each other. So basically you just rendering all layers as separate files, and it doesn’t matter which plugins or DAW both musicians use because it sounds the same. And it worked for us pretty well.

August 2014

After some work, Cosmithex sent me back his vision:

Dark and tripy, we both certainly liked this one.

On that point, I’ve decided to add some stabs, textures, and effects, while Tanel adds his famous ‘303’ acid sound. Also, I’ve added the voice speech, which pretty much defined the final track’s title:

In the meantime, Cosmithex experimented with the bassline and more melodics, which led to this:

We found upper bassline really likeable but decided to get rid of these strings. In the meantime, we render out and share with each other more layers to experiment with the kick drum, the stabs, and other sounds.

Discussing the details

December 2014

Oh yes, it happens. Almost 4 months passed quickly with a routine as we both had full-time jobs, so almost forgot about the track. Luckily, our enthusiasm hasn’t gone yet.

After some serious thinking, tries and fails, I’ve come up with the all-new melody, which now you know as the main track’s theme:

Then Cosmithex made a fantastic job by putting everything together, including his acid sound by the end, which I love that much:

January 2015

New Year is a tough period for getting things done as everyone is quite busy. Also at that time I’ve moved to a new flat and had to build up a new studio space, which again took me away from the production.

A new studio

I guess I’m a tough person to collaborate with because if I don’t like something, I say it straight as it is. And I’m very thankful to Tanel that he didn’t give up.

Changing the environment and new studio allowed me to hear the track differently, so, in the end, I’ve decided to mixdown all layers by myself as we both felt that the project needs some fresh air.

Finally, this version made us totally enjoyed the result. Hurray!

This is it? Not quite yet, because few more things were still left: get the mastering done, sign it on the label, get remixes done, and then finally release it (hint: it’s been released in August 2015).

As you can see it was quite a long journey, so when I posted a video teaser, my excitement was totally real.

Project overview

What I’ve learned

Three things I’ve learned from this project:

  1. Whether you are under pressure of routine, or thing just doesn’t go the way you want, you always have a choice. A choice to give up, or to pull yourself together and finish what you’ve started.
  2. Never agree on “okay” result, always aim for the best. I’m really glad both Tanel and I didn’t say “sounds okay, we’re done”. It was quite a tough project, but eventually, we’ve got an excellent track that reached out top charts position and huge feedback from the audience.
  3. Set yourself a deadline, it’s a must. Without a specific time frame you risk to stretch out a project for too long, as a result, we have nearly abandoned the project!

And here are the things wish I knew before:

“Genesis” has been at #9 spot on the Beatport Top-100 chart and been massively supported by the artists like Jordan Suckley, Christopher Lawrence, Alex Di Stefano, John 00 Fleming and Mark Sherry just to name a few, not mentioning huge fans support for what I am immensely grateful. This blog has been written with consent from Tanel aka Cosmithex.

Read also: My first production experience: flashback to 1999-2005 (Part 1)

 1 comment    10   2016   Behind the scenes   Genesis

Music Talk blog review of Genesis

Music Talk is a blog that features exclusive interviews, reviews, and other interesting tidbits from artists who are part of the Electronic Dance Music world. Writer Kostas Voulgaris reviewed Genesis.

Daniel is indeed a storyteller. This is evident if you have happened to follow his string of releases. His tracks are loaded with just the right stuff to take us on destinations we would never have had the privilege of arriving at. In this trip, he joins forces with Cosmithex delivering us the massive “Genesis”.

If anything can be said about the masterminds behind the music it would be that the duo is certainly Trance masters of the Cosmos!

The aforementioned trip starts off in a state of awe as the melody is so divine, almost as a sound descending from the heavens. It feels like being taken back to the very beginning when the creator began assembling our planet as he saw fit.

The narrative vocals arriving at the precise moment in the midst of the track add an extra notch to the enhancement of the already epic aural ride we have been on. One feels himself/herself drawn, almost hypnotized to the rhythm and infectious vibe of this one!

If anything can be said about the masterminds behind the music it would be that the duo is certainly Trance masters of the Cosmos!

Link to the original post
Text — Kostas Voulgaris

 No comments    1   2015   Genesis   Press reviews

Genesis is out now

A collaboration with Cosmithex · JOOF Mantra

Daniel Lesden & Cosmthex, two of our grandest artists at JOOF. They come together in style and spirit to form ’Genesis’. Genesis is a track that incorporates dazzling melodies, bewitching soundscapes, and beauteous effects. On remix duties, we have Steve Birch and You Are My Salvation, whom without fail, embellish their mixes with their own alluring sounds.

If anything can be said about the masterminds behind the music it would be that the duo is certainly Trance masters of the Cosmos!

... or buy on iTunes

Written and produced by Daniel Sokolovskiy and Tanel Kurnim
Mastering by Milos Modrinic @ Sideform studio
Artwork by JOOF Recordings

 No comments    3   2015   Collaboration   Genesis   Psytrance   Release   Remix

Vand Sunete review of Genesis

Vând Sunete focuses on track recommendations and features everything from new releases to genre classics. This time he reviewed Genesis, the latest Daniel’s collaboration with Cosmithex.

Few releases have made me jump and down with joy quite like the latest one in the JOOF back catalogue, a collaboration between Daniel Lesden and Cosmithex. Why the excitement, you ask? Well, I’m not going to give it all away in the first two sentences, now am I? Let’s put it under the microscope.

Original Mix

A teaser, however short, can make or break the ‘hype’ for any piece of media, be it film, game, music, etc. Suffice to say the video that has been teasing this release since February did its job wonderfully, the end result being me bugging Daniel about more details on a couple of occasions.

Genesis sees Daniel and Cosmithex join forces for what is for me one of the classiest examples of modern psytrance. They haven’t overdone it on the effects or the whole arrangement, instead of focusing on the absolutely epic lead and beautifully executed break and build, plopping in a relevant vocal sample to seal things off.

I write these posts with the tracks blasting in my headphones and Genesis has more than once made me stop mid-sentence just grinning to myself at how great it sounds. I feel like my mouth is going to hurt from all the smiling since this particular EP is a triple serving of sound. Let us move on to the first of the remixes.

Genesis sees Daniel and Cosmithex join forces for what is for me one of the classiest examples of modern psytrance.

Steve Birch Remix

For his rework, Steve Birch bumps up the BPM a couple of notches and rolls the pronounced baseline right out the gate, with the vocal sample joining soon after. As the sample draws to an end, we transition to an offbeat base pattern, dropping not long after back into the rolling groove. The lead gets a nice FX treatment, helping further differentiate Steve’s reimagining and offering a fantastic alternative for those who want their psytrance just a tad faster.

You Are My Salvation Remix

This remix was probably the most surprising to me because I honestly didn’t know what to expect from it. Things start out in what I’d dare call near tribal fashion, with the drums reverberating in an oddly hypnotic fashion. Following a nicely controlled use of the vocal sample, we get treated to a tremendous psy-breaks arrangement, that slowly wraps itself around the melody and guides the listener towards the track’s break. I was damn speechless as the breakdown smoothly got unveiled and by the time the climax had rolled around, I had to pick my jaw up from the floor.

This fantastic 3 piece EP is out now on all digital download stores. If the text hasn’t convinced you, the samples most certainly will.

Link to the original post
Text — Florin Bodnărescu

 No comments    1   2015   Genesis   Press reviews
 No comments   2015   Genesis   Studio   Teaser   Video