Hella Gems | Original Music Blog

To the Sea!

June 21st, 2012 by

rocky beach in Cadaques

Catalan indie group Manel tends to feature middle-class characters in everyday settings, aggrandized by heroic or mock-heroic balladry. This song is no exception–it’s just about going to the beach with a friend or loved one.

See Manel’s live version with choir at the Palau.

Our version is a little downtempo and slightly maudlin, hope it doesn’t dampen too much your summer festivities.

Tu i jo hem sopat en bons restaurants,
tu i jo hem ballat a la llum d’un fanal,
tu i jo volavem en un Ford Fiesta groc,
tu i jo hem cantat a la vora del foc,
tu i jo hem buscat coses similars,
tu i jo hem tingut el cap ple de pardals,
tu i jo dalt de la nòria,
tu i jo i la nostra història,
però tu i jo no ens hem banyat mai al mar, al mar, al mar.

Plantem les tovalloles, convido a un gelat,
juguem amb alegria, esquivem passejants.
A l’horitzó es divisen les veles
d’uns nens que fan optimist a la cala del costat.
Dormo una estona, a la que bufa la mar,
així estirada se’t veu espectacular
llarga i blanqueta a la sorra llegint
intrigues de final inesperat.
Es abusiva tanta calor.
T’incorpores i et poses bé el banyador,
amb el peu calcules com està l’aigua
i tot esta llest per tal que entrem al mar.

Així doncs si un dia vens i passes per aquí,
i sí malgrat la feina trobem un matí,
no em perdonaria mai, no podria assumir,
no agafar-te amb la moto i que no fessim camí,
molt lluny d’aquí, a l’altra banda del món,
hi ha un xiringuito amb quatre pins al fons,
tu i jo asseguts a la barra d’un bar,
sona bona música i som davant del mar.

You and I have dined in good restaurants,
You and I have danced by a hurricane lamp,
You and I have flown in a yellow Ford Fiesta,
You and I have sung at the edge of the fire,
You and I have searched for similar things,
You and I have flipped our lids,
You and I above the quarry,
You and I and our story,
But you and I haven’t ever bathed in the sea, the sea, the sea.

We put down the towels, I buy an ice cream,
We dodge passers-by, we play and scheme
Towards colored sails dividing the sky,
from kids sailing Optimists in the cove nearby,
I sleep a while, the sea breaks,
stretched out like that you give me the shakes
long and pale and in the sand reading
intrigued by an unexpected ending.
So much heat is quite an abuse.
You sit up and adjust your bathing suit
toes in the water you test the degree
and everything is just ready for us to enter the sea.

So if one summer day you pass by,
and if despite work we set aside,
a free morning, I couldn’t resist
grabbing the scooter and giving you a ride,
to the other side of the world, quite far
in front of four pines, there’s a beach bar,
you and I seated under a tree,
good music playing and we are in front of the sea.

To the Sea!

Graham: vocals, bass, keyboards, translation, sea samples
Kelly: vocals, pirate vocals, guitars
Xana: vocals
recorded in August 2011 in Barcelona

Testing… Testing…

January 24th, 2012 by

Just made a quick beat to test out uploading. I heard it was broken.

Quick Beat.wav


January 24th, 2012 by

Many years back I was writing a bunch of Final Fantasy style midi tracks in Noteworthy Composer. I had this dream of making a cheap knock-off of Final Fantasy 3 (or 6 if you’re nerdy) in raw windows/DirectX 5. I lost my code in a hard drive crash, but I still have the midi.


Lately I remembered one of these old pieces that I wrote and thought it would work good in the latest game I’m working on (recycling!), which is that medieval-themed Gradius-style shooter I was talking about a post pr two back.


The piece was originally the typical country fair dance song you have in every cliche RPG at some point. Instead of looking for that old midi files I decided to write a fresh arrangement from memory. There’s two guitars playing sort-of a round, a lead on flute, and percussion. I these parts out in Tracktion’s midi editor and assigned them realistic instrument patches from Sample Tank SE. Two different Nylon string guitars, Ocarina, subtle bass and wood-block percussion. I call that the “clean” version.


Then I thought it could use some kick. I want my game to have a little bit of that 80s Psygnosis vibe to it also. I imported the track into FL Studio and put on some rock&drums and bass.





I’ll post a link to the corresponding video game level if I ever finish it.

I Feel The Same

September 12th, 2011 by

I Feel The Same

Apparently I recorded this last September sometime. Not sure why I didn’t post it. Sounds pretty lush to me, for one guitar part…..

Killing ’em Straight

September 11th, 2011 by

So the other day I watched a movie innit? And I was inspired to write a song that emulated the soundtrack of that movie innit?
Bollocks. I’ve gone chav instead of Souf London. I hope you enjoy this. Believe it.

MW – Killing ’em Straight

Yours in Anglophilia,

High Flyer (feat deValmont)

September 4th, 2011 by

Today an individual this site knows as deValmont came over and our conversational thread went like this:

I started talking about aircraft which convert into cars that can be driven on standard roads. I was thinking specifically about this one:


We then talked about the tolerances of aircraft, and how a mechanical failure in one is generally catastrophic. We imagined such a car with only one parachute, and the father of a family taking it, with his reasoning being “you can always have more kids”.

We then followed this thread to its logical conclusion in song. Morally, it was not our proudest moment, but if you enjoy dark humor, bon appetit.



August 29th, 2011 by

Mike: erf came to visit. We recorded this. There’s something much “better” in the pipe.
erf: I wouldn’t say that it is necessarily “better”. I mean, this is a subjective measure, isn’t it?
erf: Fine. We did this very quickly, wanting to record a second thing before the conclusion of our first in-person collaboration, which spanned the course of two days. Do you remember how we stumbled upon this song in the first place?
Mike: You were playing the organ patch on my Roland EP-5 and you happened to do a chromatic walk down just like in this song. Then we found a midi version of the song here.
erf: Yes! The Angelfire site. That really takes me back. I decided we should download this midi and record an “interesting” vocal cover. I think everyone should do this with a midi file from this site. Somewhere along the way the straight cover was abandoned in favor of…


Robot World

July 25th, 2011 by

Like a world of robots or something. I thought it would be neat if there was a game like, say, Chrono Trigger, but everybody’s a robot. If I ever make a game like that it would sound like this.

Fl studio has a few project templates. There’s one called “Rock” that has a nice drumkit included, so I went with that. I also used Tweakbench’s Peach for lo-fi sounds. I was lazy and let the built-in compressor/limiter mix the track for me.


Either Katy Perry or Twista could murk this…


Amen, Brother Wilhelm

July 1st, 2011 by

A friend of mine said they were going to make a song incorporating the Amen Break and the Wilhelm scream, but I thought they were just joking. I decided to up the ante.

Amen, Brother Wilhelm

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