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» Listings for May 2012

  1. With every song that I write and record, I like to try things I have never done before.

    With “Time Difference” I set out to try two things:

    • as a songwriter/producer: a fusion of rock and funk, loosely in the style of Maroon 5
    • as a singer: to push myself into a higher register in the style of Adam Levine or the Bee Gees.


    The song started with a lyric from Joel Rockman.  I thought the concept and title were very good: on the one hand, quite original, on the other hand quite fitting for the jet-set pop-star life (touring around the world, away from lover) or anyone who’s been in a long-distance/transcontinental relationship, or simply travelling long-distance and missing their partner back home.

    Music & Production

    The music is based on a simple guitar riff that repeats throughout (in yellow on the ProTools session below), answered by a bass riff (in dark blue).

    Ben Treeby came in to do the guitar parts – I pretty much knew exactly what I wanted, and he got it right away.  I did all the other parts, vocals and mixing.

    The chorus is lifted by a second, funky guitar (green) and simple keyboard chords (purple).  A third guitar (light blue) plays power chords over the bridge and final chorus.

    So this is very much a guitar-bass-drums track, with some added percussions to get a nice groove.  Sort of half-way between rock and funk.

    The bridge is the more “sentimental” section lyrically and I have tried to make it the more melodic and “sweet” section musically, with added synthesizer pad (in turquoise) to soften it up.

    My favorite part is the break at 1’44” – with just drums, percussions and bass, then the funky guitar and vocal ad-libs come in to build it back up into the final set of choruses.  I also like the (hopefully!) unexpected but satisfying chord changes in the second half of the second and final choruses.

    I had some fun with the vocals, double-tracked in the verse and six-tracked in the choruses. 

    I think it’s quite funky… and at 2’38” run-time straight to the point!  I hope you guys like it…



    Words by Joel Rockman / Music by A. Robin
    Produced by SuperCool-Guy
    © 2012 – All rights reserved 

    When I get up in the morning and start up my day
    You'll have finished work and you’ll be homeward on your way
    We'll think of one another by telepathy
    Wishing we were both together just you and me 

    There's a time difference, honey
    A time difference
    A time difference, honey
    A time difference
    A time difference, honey
    A time difference
    A time difference, honey
    A time difference 

    When I get inside my bed for another lonely night
    You'll be getting out of yours, no one to hold you tight
    Quickly wash and dress yourself and then rush out of the door
    However much you've missed me, girl I've missed you more 

    There's a time difference, honey
    A time difference… 

    When my journey's over and I get off that plane
    We'll synchronize our lives and loving once again
    I'll never go back away, it's true
    So I can spend all my life with you 

    [Instrumental break]

    There's a time difference, honey
    A time difference… 

    I'll never go back away, it's true
    So I can spend my life with you.

  2. 120523-KateRyan

    Kate Ryan is a Belgian europop-dance artist popular across continental Europe since the early 2000s. 

    I “discovered” her thanks to “Soundic Radio” (check them out in iTunes under Radio / International) then went on to buy the excellent albums “Free” and “Essential” (2008), which I highly recommend…

    French Connection

    Although Flemish-speaking, she has enjoyed a string of hits in French, particularly dance covers of eighties French classics originally released by the likes of Mylène Farmer (“Désanchantée”, “Libertine”), France Gall (“Ella, elle l’a”, “Babacar”) or Desireless (“Voyage Voyage”).

    A brilliant idea, brilliantly executed: these were great songs to begin with, made even better with a great dance-trance production for the new millennium (my personal favorite: “Ella, elle l’a” originally written by Michel Berger as a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald).


    While she’d always mixed covers and originals, Kate Ryan is now focused on original material.  After “LoveLife” and “Broken” in 2011, Kate released last week a new single and sexy video – “Robots” – with an album long-rumored to be in the works… 

  3. 120517-TheAttic-RememberTomorrowToday, I would like to pay tribute to The Attic and one of the greatest pop albums of the 00s: “Remember Tomorrow”

    The Attic I am talking about is those guys, not to be confused with those guys (iTunes and others seem to have them mixed up)!

    Hunky and Funky

    The Attic are (were?) Swedish DJs/songwriter-producers Michael Feiner and Eric Amarillo, two childhood friends who started in 2003 as “Stereopol”, subsequently re-branded themselves as “The Attic”, and now go by their stage names “Michael Feiner & Eric Amarillo”, both together and separately.

    Michael Feiner is the hunky one, also on lead vocals and saxophone.  Eric Amarillo is the funky one, also on guitar...