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Dynamics Plus Track Spotlight Chaos Legion “Iron Fortress”

July 24, 2010 1 comment

Dynamics Plus Chaos Legion I "Iron Fortress"

Iron Fortress from the Dynamics Plus album Chaos Legion I

Back Story

“Iron Fortress” was a tough one to get going because I knew the first album needed an anchor song to end with. The subtitle for Chaos Legion album was originally Siege Machines and I wanted to create something really epic and grand. It was going to be the vision of the two forces, separated by a huge chasm, hurling all manner of ordinance at each other. In the set up interlude “Siege Machines” you get the sense that Dynamics Plus is wary of the whole idea and dislikes the ‘devil’s technology’. His officers tell him the machines will bring them victory. He asks “At what cost?” meaning in men and to their warror’s code for using such powerful weapons that kill from afar.

Lyric Study

“Battlelord Korrin-Ferrin, this is your last chance. Swing open the gates of the Iron Fortress or be destroyed by the Dynamics Plus and his Chaos Legion! – The sky lit up — looking like fireworks…”

One of my favorite touches is the announcement before the battle starts. The Chaos Legion attempted to intimidate Lord Praxis into giving up the siege machines in “The Liberators”. He answered back on his own system and countered the challenge. In this case, Ferrin never replies; he just starts firing his weapons. I like the fact that in each case, it didn’t have the desired effect. And of course, we’ll try this again in “One Stands Against Many” in Chaos Legion II

“The skies in twilights, her face shone bright
Grips my arm tight, it implodes and ignites
Overcome by the hum and buzz
I noticed how striking she was…”

This notes a key moment where you can argue Dynamics Plus begins to fall for his Amazon bodyguard Alanis. It’s a thrilling moment for both of them as she forgets herself while enjoying the lightshow and he remembers she’s a woman – even if she is off limits.

“Bring out Doctor Atomics! –
Machines turned on as he waved a wand
In his open hand marching band baton…”

Yes, it’s Doctor Atomics with a central role in this universe too. In Dynamic Universe Volume Six (Doctor Atomics and the Fortress of Solitude) he does double duty as both Fallout Shelter administrative task master and the head of my intelligence department in STACI: The Garden of Eden.

“I wiped my lens and took sight again
with signs he offends and his wall defends
His shields persists and the bombs resist
He stood on a lift and pumped his fist…
More bombs dropped, then his arms dropped
He looked to the heavens, prays his arms raised
looked this way, then saluted a grade
then was blown away -off the wall in a blaze….”

We’re watching each other through binoculars and earlier he spelled out a message along with an obscene gesture. He feels he has the upper hand and is almost celebrating on the high walls of his fortress. As his shield gives out, he realizes it’s over and actually salutes me before being blown off the wall.

Production Notes

As a child I watched Battle of the Planets (Gatchaman) and I was always inspired by the action music and theme songs. There was a horn riff that always signals ‘the bad guys are building stuff’ and I wanted that sound in this track. The Korg Kaossilator (partially chosen because of its name- yes, I’m weird like that) did the whole track except for the drums. The explosion sound effects were dropped live as the track ran. It took forever since I needed to have them drop in-between words and I kept blowing it. Mixing was another problem since I didn’t want the basic track to be drowned by the bombing sounds. The jazzy horn riffs originally filled the whole track, but the track began to get cluttered and overpower the vocals. Since the song was written in two parts, it made sense to save the live horn work for the latter half of the track.

Video Vision

Unreal Tournament is on my gaming top ten list so it was very cool to be able to use sampled clips for one of my videos. That’s Unreal Tournament 3 and I was stuck on whether or not I should use still frames or video clips. I went in-between with flipping frames. Clips from the horrible Quake: Enemy Territory were also used. Hey, I needed to get my money’s worth somehow.

UT is a very close approximation for what the actual Chaos Legion Universe looks like. Although the album artwork accentuates the more Spartan aspects of my army, it is still a futuristic force powered by electronics. So we are talking something in-between ancient Greek armor and futuristic battle armor.

Thanks for checking out my music.

-Dynamics Plus

http://www.TheDynamicUniverse.com

FREE MUSIC “M.O.P.H.O. The Last Analogue Transmission”

FREE MUSIC “M.O.P.H.O. The Last Analogue Transmission”

DSI MOPHO illustration from Producer's Edge digital magazine

Battlestrux Year One: Captain of a Starship Track Spotlight

A lot of my earlier albums had songs called Captain Dynamics Plus and then a more specific subtitle like “Planet Industry” or “stardust Memories”. These are short stories based around the idea of Dynamics Plus being a starship captain and having adventures. I enjoyed making and listening to them, but I didn’t know how to expand the idea beyond an album interlude.

Enter the MOPHO

Whenever reviewing a piece of gear for Producer’s Edge digital magazine, I always crank out a good number of tracks to both explore the unit and to familiarize myself with its workflow and tendencies. The Dave Smith Instruments MOPHO is a monophonic analog synthesizer that I found to be a joy to work with. You can read the review here. I was using both the surface knobs and the soft-editor and generating a ton of usable sounds. That inspired me to start using the MOPHO to create entire tracks by itself. If you are unfamiliar with synthesizers, you can think of a monophonic synthesizer as only being able to generate one sound at a time. Not entirely true, but true enough to realize that it takes a lot of programming and recording in passes or layers to make an entire song. It’s the equivalent of having one musician play every instrument. Easy enough, but now add in the fact that the musician has to make the instrument (sound) first!

One of the tracks caught my ear with an arpeggiated phrase that sounded like something I would have used in a CDP interlude. I hadn’t made one in a while so I thought ‘why not?’ and began writing. I now had a song as full as “Cosmic Centipede Episode V” from Foresight Wars. That in turn inspired a full length album based in the Captain Dynamics Plus universe. I had a lot of fun creating this song and we can explore some of the lyrics in the following Track Spotlight.

* The samples used in this song and more are available for sale on the www.StudioAVX.com Website.

Product page = Griffin Avid presents: MOPHO Drum Kits and Samples

M.O.P.H.O. Last Analogue Transmission

Chorus:
And this composition (Captain of a starship!)
The Xodus Phoenix expedition (Blast off Rocketship!)
My Final mission (A-shaped spaceship)
The Captains’ last Analog Transmission (The Last Transmission!)

My survey ship
the Phoenix Xodus receives a transmission

Xodus Phoenix is the nick name for a Producer’s Edge staffer. Xavier said that his name sounds like a cool Lenzmen alter-ego so I used it here knowing he’d get a kick out of that.

-it’s a series of blips from a far distance
set a course for it
[here’s your mission:] Ascertain the source and maintain an orbit
Sir, I have visual, it’s a spaceship (of an unknown kind)
It’s sending us a analog signal (well, let’s reply)
We can’t respond in digital (we’ll have to go inside)

A small reference to the difference between analogue and digital synthesizers- that the signal coming from the spaceship is so old, our modern equipment can’t understand the message.

The line has died A magnetic storm has arrived
take the ship down planet-side.
Send an away team while we wait for the waves to subside

Part II [Down and Away]

Can you hear me captain? Yes barely, boost his chip
It’s clearly an earthship, buried up to its tip
fairly certain the ancient rocketship has real analog circuits
powered by Curtis chips.

Dave Smith Instruments, the company that makes the MOPHO, has used Curtis Chips in its analogue synthesizers.

We’re stopping the rover and walking closer
There’s lettering on the hull, but its’ covered over
It reads MOPHO what?
M.O. in Code
Mike, Oscar, Papa, Hotel, Oscar
come in over?
Mopho. Find me a reference
the storms too intense
We’re losing communiqué
there’s too much interference
Captain, we’ve entered the main bay
proceeding down main passageway into the command gangway
Captain, the signals split
I can’t receive you but I can still transmit
I hope you’re getting all of this
Look here, we have a dead astronaut slumped over holding a yellow box.

The MOPHO looks like a yellow box in appearance and the dead crew member is holding one in his hands.

Sir, data package, live feed, it’s the ship’s ID
This doesn’t make sense; it’s logged under military defense.
MOPHO the letters meant Mass Obliteration Planetary Heavy Ordinance
There’s a red button sir.

The MOPHO features a red “Push It” button. Before the unit was released, many of us synth-heads were speculating what the button does. It starts the sequencer running and in context of this song, it’s the Red Button that arms/ detonates the MOPHO bomb.

I’m sure it’s a control
Yes, wires leading to the console.
No! Don’t press it.
I’m sure this resets it.
Blast off, emergency Lift-off

The Hull is peeling away!
Atomic yield phase shields raised
Planet Surface giving way.
massive waves of radioactive rays
displayed in an azure haze of Fallout blaze
(planetary shockwave!) gaining a range, mass action engine engage
burning inertial stage, surfing immersing in flames

The above section describes the scene of the starship Phoenix Xodus pulling away from the planet as it breaks apart after being destroyed by the MOPHO device.

Part III [Doctor Atomics sees the Light of Destruction]

The Ark is part of the pardon of Cain

Biblical and religious references abound. The flood, in this case, is a flood of flames and destruction. The Ark is Noah’s Ark which is the spaceship ferrying the crew members away.

the arc is part of the stay from acidic rains in face of his reign

This arc is the rainbow, a promise that the world would not be destroyed again by flooding.

shaping the plane and breaking the chains lights fade in the age of half-life decays
awaken a wraith and awaiting his rage

Describes the anger in using a weapon of this nature to wipe out a planet and its entire civilization. If our concept of God can wipe out the surface of a planet, what kind of terrible entity (us) would use a weapon to destroy an entire planet?

We become gods ourselves based on our destructive abilities.

[it’s the God]
birthing and cursing in his domain
[insert control rods]
the world spins on his lathe
action reaction a vain
attracting your acting a play
a pact to enact a delay
it’s an act of faith

The chance for a few humans and animals to survive gives us another chance to live properly.

we wait as he pulls the reins
plays the strings of fate
it’s the endgame of your ways

There is a pause while we wait. The reins hint at the four Horsemen.

But yet, there is a warning, which is about a coming Judgment Day. That’s considered the Endgame of our Ways.

Sir the gravity gauge
well, check the display
It’s confirmed we’re pulling away.
We were almost burned
Set course for return
Close mission.
Coded: Analog Transmission

Summary

A ship receives a mysterious transmission and investigates. They find a powerfully destructive device at the source of the signal. The explorer group triggers the bomb and escapes as the planet breaks up. This is a song inspired by the DSI MOPHO, I hope you enjoy it.

-Dynamics Plus

www.TheDynamicUniverse.com

Dynamics Plus new album- Battlestrux Year One: Captain of a Starship

THE LENZMEN DYNAMICS PLUS
PRESENTS:

Battlestrux Year One
Captain of a Starship

Battlestrux Year One album cover

The Lenzmen Dynamics Plus and the Battlestrux comic series merge into Dynamic Universe Volume 12 Battlestrux Year One: Captain of a Starship. The full length album chronicles the earliest adventures of the Mantis One starship crew.

The Album synopsis:
It’s a mission to investigate the mysterious disappearances of ships near the edge of a Gravity Well. You will follow the first voyage of the newly appointed captain. It’s Time for Action as you man your battle-stations and make ready for sci-fi hip hop. When you put a masterful lyricist over out-of-this-world beats, you get Battlestrux Year One.

Video Trailer for album:

Read and hear more about this album and the lyrics at http://www.TheDynamicUniverse.com