I would like to make some more Smiderpan material over the next month - not necessarily a 100% original-content release, maybe a mash-up of existing Smiderpan tracks with some new vocal elements, lots of effects to tell some sort of story. More about squeezing as much intensity and expression out of old and - dare I say - nostalgic elements, rather than getting bogged down in creating tones from scratch (which honestly I'm still burnt out with!!). It's still early days, but I have quite a few ideas.
Naturally, this meant having to refamiliarise myself with the Smiderpan releases: many of which I hadn't listened to in years. Indeed, I actually forgot to include some of these EPs/albums/whatevers on the Library: don't worry, I'll get around to that later. Turns out there's over 3 hours of Smiderpan shite; that is just the solo works, completely ignoring the ocassional V.A. compilation appearance and the (enormous) Xmas split with Flyswatter. I am very proud of that split with Flyswatter, but it's too recent, no need to relisten to it now.
One 3+ hour marathon later, here are my thoughts on each Smiderpan. The ratings are pretty meaningless and got edited and re-scaled half way through writing. It doesn't make any sense at all to compare early fun-expressive stuff like 50 Shades of Smiderpan on a scale with recent technical/experimenting works like Modular Experiments. But I did it anyway. One last word about the rating system: bare in mind that these rate how good they are by Smiderpan standards. In reality, these are all very silly, so none of them are good by proper musical standards. When I give something an 8 or more out of 10, I'm not really blowing my own trumpet... I promise!!
8 Legged Xtratone(2017):
I've avoided re-listening to this one because it was deliberately terrible in ways that I tried to avoid in the later Smiderpans. That probably doesn't make much sense worded that way. The volume is a complete mess, theres long boring sections, etc. There would have been some inspiration from shittone like 'The Milkman - Fuck Off'. PLENTY of Peter Parker stuff in this one, which I feel has been sorely missing in the more recent ones! Enjoyed it a lot more than I anticipated. I didn't realise the Peter-Parker-Loves-Britney lore went all the way back to the debut! 7/10.
Really enjoyed Spider Senseless - yay it still has actual Spiderman clips in it! Human Spider was okay too. 4/10
50 Shades of Smiderpan(2017):
Not as good as Spider Senseless. Uncle Bens hyper-reverbed speech was pretty cool. Volumes levels all over the place!! Not a lot of BZVRRRRRRRing. 3/10
Extratone Failed My Exams(2017):
Some nice tones, not a particularly memorable or exciting one though. The Spidermanning is limited to "feels good". 3/10
Who Is The Smiderpan?(2018):
Best Smiderpan on the list so far. Who Is The Smiderpan does the ytp-style well, and all the other tracks sounded excellent. I suppose a lot of that is cos they sampled the good songs, but the tones fit quite nicely too. This is the go-to release for old-fashioned Smiderpan tracks. 8/10
The Milk was very hard, liked that. Spider Ritual was genuinely interesting to listen to in a very non-Extratoney way. The Phallic Symbol was fun, but that's not saying much cos the whole thing is a clip from a very fun film (The Wicker Man) with a little Extratoning and noise over the top. No explicit Spidermanning though! 😥 5/10
The Absolute State of Flextone(2019):
Oh no... it's the Nyannyancosplay one! English Girls Hate Extratone is a reference to Italian Girls Love Extratone by Mr Q8, but tbh I don't remember listening to IGLE - I think the inspiration actually came from Girls Love Extratone by Implant. Inspired by one thing to reference a different thing: confusing innit? No Spidermanning to be found, but the tones are good - especially considering not relying on sampling other songs 6/10.
Another one with Nyannyancosplay sampled! Yasss! Slayyyy QU33N!! Feels like an upgrade over TASoF - Miscommunication has some particularly sharp high-frequency tones. Has variation; some song-sampling tracks, some fully original tracks. Goodtone Extrabye works really well for creepy atmosphere and frantic but interesting tones! 7/10
Extratone Stole My Future(2019):
Dreading this one, I remembered this as the shite one of learning how VCV rack works, trying to make everything using the basic modules. Often had one VCO using square waves for the tempo, triggering an ADSR controlling another VCO for the drum, and then randomly plugging things into eachother to create flexes that ended up sabotaging the (already rather dire) "drum". I'm not sure if I'd quite figured out the FM-inputs at this point, was probably using V/Oct for the drum envelope LMAO. Everyone starts somewhere!! It is bad, but not nearly as bad as I was expecting. Gets a little better as it goes on. 1/10.
This is about the point where Smiderpan gets "good" (using the word very loosely). After Flotsam the tracks are all very rhythmic, a completely different style from the earlier EPs. I've said before that at times my low-effort Smiderpan material has been better than my EoS stuff, this is the EP that absolutely confirms it. The Pressterror mockery ("Presstrerror") was made with help from PilzKrieger (he wanted to stay anonymous at that time). 8/10 - not Smiderpanny enough!
The tracks themselves are as good as, probably better, than the ones in Methe. BUT... there's nothing funny. And nothing Spidermanny. Where's Peter Parker gone? 7/10
Like Methe and PH, but it also goes back to basics with sampling pop songs and having some more basic noisy-tone tracks. The inpiration was le epic "pinkpillers" on /r9k/ and Discord. That's funny, I suppose, but WHERE is Peter Parker?! 9/10
This would have been a much better name for "Extratone Stole My Future". No Smiderpan logo on the cover art?? REEEE!! The tones are better and are overall more exciting than the previous 3 releases, which tend to get a bit dry when listening to them back-to-back. Less "thump thump" and more "BZvvzzVVRRRMMNN", but still not completely without "thump thump". Samples some EoS tracks from New Food Chain. Good. Still no Peter though!
Btw I cannot stress enough how many tries I had at recording Zamorak 2007BPM. That one took a huge amount of effort to get right, which is not a very Smiderpannish attitude. 8/10
Relistening to it all was a lot of fun. Although I gave them lower ratings, I preferred listening to the earlier releases because MEMORIES, and they were a lot more fun back when they had shitposty Spiderman clips in them. Sampling real music (especially Britney + Aqua) helps too. Methe and Pastel Hierarchy are definitely better examples of my musical style, but listening to them all back-to-back felt very dry at that point. The changes in style were a lot sharper and more sudden than I expected! So the lesson I've learned is not to skimp-out on the silliness, to return to the roots of youtube-poop-like extratone elements for the next release. I think some of the more recent tracks will really benefit from being mashed-up with such segments. I suppose the new Spiderman film really brings the Tobey Spiderman back into relevence too!
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