MarkoBoko ()

Reviewed by Andy Stokes on (Sunday, November 30, 2008) Rated 8.1 / 10
Category Rating
Track Structure 8
Interest 8
Melody 7
Performance 7
Lyrics 10
Enjoyment 8
Recording Quality 9
Commercial Appeal 8
Overall 8.1

I would like to start this review by providing you all with my apologies for not reviewing for so long. Yeah, I had a bad bout with my health but that doesn't matter anymore because I'm better now! So I can finally sit down in a comfortable position long enough to do one of these things. Which I loooooove to do. This week up we have a guy that I've given some advice to with his kick work and has improved DRAMATICALLY within the time he's joined this site. My reason for reviewing this individual is because it's been the most improvement in the least amount of time that "I" have seen here. Others may have their artists that have done this too, but this is my opinion. His name is Mark AKA Makoboko. His song "Underground" has been chosen. I chose it because I think it shows off all his talents. He has a knack for music and this song will definitely display that. So... lets get this show on the road shall we? Alllrighhhhhht!!!

The song starts with a real organic sounding drum line. Very original sounding. The FX used on them give them a sense of atmosphere as well. The vocal sample comes in shortly afterwards with a nice reverb. It is a bit much for a vocal sample but this in intended! It works for the song's very trippy atmosphere. When I say atmosphere I am also talking about the overall vibe of the song. The emotion. The feeeeel. And it feels great. I want to just lay back and zone out.

If you notice after the vocals come in... There is a wonderful bass line that slowly and cautiously comes into the background. It alternates in notes and tones and works so goood at blending everything together. The kick can be heard with not too much force and the snare sneers like a swift nose blower having themselves a sneeze. That snot doesn't go on the snare, though. It's clean. Very clear sounding. I do get edgy with my snares. I don't ever admit it but I can definitely dig a good snare. I'm drawn to those things somehow. So many ways to edit them. So many things you can use them for. The snare is a beautiful piece of drummery!

The beat is very breakbeat. With seldom frequency you can hear some leather drums in the background with the hands pitter pattering the sounds out of them. It sounds very tribal to me. And this works really good with the song for more then one reason. If you think about leather drums you can think of tribal people's drums. When some tribes trip... They bang their drums to the beat of their visions and since this song is so trippy, the drums definitely add to that atmosphere. Wonderful job with that. They sound wonderful!

The high pitch synth in the background has a very gated or seemingly arpy feel to the melody. Very unexpected notes and with a wonderful clarity. Not too high pitch as to cause the tweeters to twist the frequencies around obnoxiously. It sounds like a computer singing to me. With great cause! The programming is very well organized. Definitely my favorite from Mark. When it ends, I feel so tripped out that it seem like the song didn't even end. Like I can still hear it in my head. That's an amazing feet in sound production. To make it seem like I never heard it end. Strange huh?

Ratings, ratings, ratings. Well? If you ask me. I think this song will do just fine for my scores. I'd like to start with the lyrics. I'm going with a 10. Yes. You heard me right. I'm giving them a 10. I'll tell you why. It's with good reason. Think about it. Where did this awesome sound start? Some say it was at a Chicago club with Derrik May handing a DJ his Strings of Life. Well... Who knows. But I do know where a LOT of people from the electronic "scene" would like things to stay. It's the Underground. The lyrics of the dude speaking the words sound just like Green Velvet. You know? That weird guy who makes techno music. But the speaker explains it so well. A place where you can listen to music outside of the public eye. The true place people want their music to be heard. Sure you can produce and make as much money on a record that you want. But allllllllll the money in the world isn't going to make one of those Underground DJ's play your valued record. Some might... If they LIKE it. See... They play what "they" think sounds good. They play stuff that people wouldn't normally hear. Stuff you can't get anywhere else. The words in this song get away from all the drama of people complaining about the noisy silence of the Underground being displayed on the radio. It lets the person know what it's like! How good it is. Not some news station saying how jacked up a kid got on X. Or how it dilutes the youth's education status. NO WAY! It says, "Come to the underground. We welcome you with open arms." That is why I give the vocals a 10. Not to mention they sound GREAT with the trippy reverb.

As far as the structure goes. It's done very nicely. The computer voice synth is mapped out to match the bassline. The drums flow like wind twirling a windmill. The entire ensemble flows with the lyrics so smoothly its almost like the ocean came out of your speakers and made them wave back and forth with nature. Well that's going a little far lol! But you get the point. Nothing is out of place and the mix is strong along with it! Very clear. I can hear everything. Structure gets an 8. Sure stuff could have been added but why? It's a good song. The fills aren't needed and the song fluctuates with the breaks. Everything wins in the end. Good score!

Performance goes along with structure in this type of music as far as programming goes. There isn't too much to the performance. It's a steady breaky beat with a bass line, a high pitch synth, some drums and a freaky dude talking about how great the Underground is. Even though it doesn't seem like much. You also have to think about the atmosphere. How did it come about? Well. FX have a lot to do with that. If you just put that vocal sample in there without doing anything to it... Well... The song would sound like that stuff in the toilet after eating 20 jalapenos. The effort would go into the endless times you would have to listen to the lyrics going through those filters. Whether it be reverb, distortion or even compressors that stuff takes time. And if it takes time it takes effort. I think a lot of effort went into the FX of the lyrics getting along with all the beat and melody friends. I'm scoring a well 7. Even though the song is very cool. Awesome, actually. It's very simple. Maybe too simple for me, I don't know what it is. Maybe more then just what it has could be more. I just think an 8 is too high. Yes. The effort was probably tough but when it all comes down to it, if you know what you're doing, it can be easy to put something together when you're programming. It just takes time. 7 isn't bad. I think it's actually very good! Performance is great!

Ah, enjoyment. I enjoyed this song a lot! I have to admit I do consume legal narcotics for my extreme pain of sitting in my powerchair allllll daaaaayyyy in one spot minus the hour I get 3 times a week in the ol' swimming pool at the Y with my therapist. THAT can be painful. Pull on a tendon that isn't supposed to go as far as it IS going. YYYYOOOWWWCH! I was indeed high during this review and I think it's fair and safe to say so. It effects the rating! It doesn't effect my truthfulness. But I can be honest and tell you that if I wasn't high, and I just wanted to listen to music and this song came about... I would still enjoy it. I would! Because it's very laid back. High or sober, you can sit back and relax to this. You really can. That is, if you like this sort of music. Not to mention it educates you about the Underground. Learning can be fun and enjoyable too! So I give enjoyment an easy 8.

What caught my interest in this song was the title, of coarse. I grew up in the Underground during my teen years. My uncle owned a Moog when I was young and I remember sitting there playing around with it and my uncle saying he couldn't believe I figured out how to use the knobs and blah blah. I didn't really like a lot of music when I was a kid say up to 5 years old. I had a few songs here and there but they all had synthesizers in them. Like Sticks. Ohhhh my looooorrrrd did I love Sticks. And Pink Floyde. I loved them! Still do! So enough about me sheesh. I was interested in this song because of the title. The song displays the genre I like and the melodies and beats and bass lines and the FX and lyrics just fit. Everything sounds like an Underground wonderland and that sounds very cool. That type of atmosphere caught my interest big time. I'll score a strong 8.

The high pitch synth melody is very well thought out. It's pretty simple but it's also very complicated sounding. It has a computerish and calculated aura about it. It doesn't really change all that much and there isn't a lot of diversity but it does sound good throughout the song. It goes really good with the bass line melody which is also well thought out. All the melodies are simple and carry through the whole song, pretty much if you minus the breaks. They could have used a little more diversity in the song but that doesn't take away from the enjoyment by all means. All I'm saying is that more could have been added. Not sure what. The funny thing about it is that it doesn't sound like anything is missing either. It's just a good melody structure on all instruments. I'd rate it a 7. Great work!

The quality and clarity of the song is very clear. I would explain it as what it would sound like if you were to look through a drinking glass. With the water in it, of coarse. And the water is smooth tasting. No metallic tastes to it or anything. Real quenching and very satisfying with a lot of refreshment. It sounds great. The mix is strong. Like I said before. You can hear everything. Even down to the background drums. I'm impressed. Nothing sounds cluttered and there is quite a bit of space left over. Which may have been why I thought more could have been added to the song. Probably because it sounded so good! Mark has definitely found the sweet spot on all of his settings in the EQ area on this track. Everything sounds great. I'll give quality in sound a 9. Only reason it's not a 10 is because I've heard clearer. But that is by all means not an insult. It's hard for me to give out 9's.

Now comes my least favorite rating here in the reviews. The "dun dun dunnnnnn" Commercial Appeal. You'd be an idiot if you didn't know how to spell it because the words are found everywhere in the public. When I say public, I'll explain. Public is like at the mall or driving down the strip (if you still do that sort of thing) with the bass freaks driving by or a radio at the park or... heh... Prepare yourself... I'm going to say it... MTV. Please don't start melting everybody. I only mentioned it once. It's really not that bad of a station if you become brain washed. I'm sorry. I'm being negative. I apologize. But really. The public. Now when you go mosey on down to the Underground. Almost everybody you meet (not everybody) who is what they call "true to the scene" will tell you nothing should belong to a label. But they start labels! I know it's odd but that's how it is. The Underground likes their music to be hidden. Maybe not from ears but from the people who they think want to take their music away. I'm not going to assume this song belongs in the Underground because I've seen songs about the Underground become produced. You remember Frankie Bones, right? Legend has it, he was the one who made up the name, Raver. Believe what you want folks. It doesn't change the fact that he took the bait from the label companies. It still doesn't matter because he has managed to stay in the Underground despite his label company. People who mix the wax still buy his music and still play it in the Underground. It doesn't make loads of money but it could make enough to support the particular community of his choice. So does production ruin the Underground? Well IMO yes and no. Chump change would help it out! So no, not really. The Underground will be the Underground no matter what people do with their music because the people who mix the wax pretty much decide what goes down there and if they chose to play something I think this song would go great with their record collection. So I give commercial appeal-in the sense of it being in the Underground community-an 8. I could see people from that community buying this on some wax. Have a wonderful day, people. Stay true to the scene

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