In perspective: “Chill as F—“

Note: This is the first in a series of weekly posts in which John and I will each publish one of our creative works along with a brief commentary on the story behind the piece and how technology played a role in its creation, production or inspiration. We will then discuss the posts more in depth during a segment on the next webcast. For now, I’m using an old podcast segment name—In Perspective. But that will likely change.

“Chill as F—” by Brian Kelley

Brian, with prop glasses and terrible hair, at his keyboard rig circa 1990.

The opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games featured the electronic music works of Underworld, High Contrast and others. It reawakened an interest I had in the genre many years ago. In fact, at one point during my junior and senior years of high school in the late 1980s, a friend and I—we each owned a number of synthesizers, samplers and drum machines—began writing “new age” songs together before we hooked up with an Asbury Park, N.J.-based rapper that led to a whole other thing.

Anyway, after listening to the soundtrack to the Olympics opening ceremony for nearly two weeks straight, I really felt an urge to write and record some new electronic music via GarageBand on my MacBook. However, I have a newborn son who needs looking after and it was difficult to get to my keyboard rig in the basement. So I bought an Alesis 25-key MIDI controller that I could bring with me throughout the house and get in some songwriting time in between diaper changes and feedings.

During the discussion I had with John in the first episode of Technology and the Arts 2.0, we started talking about dubstep. John is obviously a huge fan…I am not. I am a fan of so-called chillwave music, though, and that’s what primarily drove the direction of this track. However, when it came time to write a bridge, I thought back to that conversation and decided to give a little nod to dubstep with a build-up followed by a sudden drop.

After posting the song to my Soundcloud account as “Untitled 8-28-2012”, someone left this comment: “This is chill as f**k man, I like it.”

Hence, the title.