Song Notes

This piece uses samples of machinery, cars and other sounds of Detroit as well as sampling the Motown song Bad Mouthin'

Lyrics (Scroll)

Lyrics (Scroll)

Song Notes

‘Detroit’ is a track that I wrote to represent and pay homage to the city and its incredible music history. I wanted to achieve a soulful kind of tone and vibe like classic 70s Soul Train in light of Motown Records, while also using gritty industrial sounds and motor engine samples to make a cityscape experience. This piece has some repeating sections but it is not broken down into verses and choruses like a traditional pop song. I also sampled and slowed down ‘Bad Mouthin 1978’ by Motown Sounds.

Intro Bars 1-19 0:00-0:44

Bars 1-5 0:00-0:10 Before the drums come in and the beat gets going, I set the scene with a few industrial samples and one mallet instrument playing G, E, and C (Cmajor). I chopped up factory working sounds to largely follow the beat.

Bars 5-19 0:10-0:44
I sampled Eminem and some yelling in the background and introduced the synth sound that will be featured in the next section. On bar 18, I transition by using a sample of Barry White as well as spliced, filtered, and pitched hits from ‘Bad Mouthin 1978.’

A1 Bars 19-25 0:45-1:00
The synth fully comes in now. I sample ‘Bad Mouthin 1978,’ which is slowed down, with my drums that accompany it. Then the tempo gradually slows down during bars 22-25 from 98 bpm to 80 bpm.

B1 Bars 25-35 1:00-1:30
The sample stops, and now it is just drums and synth. I slowed down the tempo to show a darker side of the city and make it feel more like you are walking through an industrial area. Then from 1:20-1:30 I introduce a movie projector sound which comes in along with some chopped and screwed vocals to transition, making it very city-like to lead to the next section, which is a big part of the history of Detroit.

B2 Bars 35-45 1:30-2:00
In the second part, since Detroit is known as Motor City, I decided to use sounds coming from engines, which are roaring/raging on. More experimental industrial sounds come in. There is also an affected piano on top as the bass line comes in.

I then pause on bar 35 for a second, which is a part of the same overall section, but there is a slight difference from before. By bar 35, the Moog synth is playing fewer notes and it now becomes a slow transitional phase. By the end the cycle, the synth line repeats with motors that line up with the beat adding on to the percussion section. The tempo slowly rises during bars 41-48 from 80 bpm to 94 bpm to bring the energy back up.

A2 Bars 46-54 2:00-2:20
Then everything from the last A section comes back in, this time with motor sounds and more synth chords that are nicely incorporated into the melody. Once the tempo reaches 94 bpm on bar 48, it stays there until bar 53. The tempo then goes back down to 80 bpm at bar 53.

B3 Bars 54-65 2:20-2:55
Once again, the main tune comes in and the cycle continues. It then starts to slow down towards the very end. The outro has its own thing going on within bar 62-65. By the last two bars of that section, the drums and everything else fades out to just a motor and the Moog synth, which fades out on its own with a pitch bend.