Guest Blogger: Nik Hodges [Dec 2016]

Guest Blogger, Nik Hodges talks about his inspiration for creating the remix of Tenek‘s, “Imitation Of Life – Pre-Midi Mix.
“I’m a relative late-comer to Tenek’s music. It was only when my old friend and collaborator Steve Clark joined the band on drums that I really discovered them.
What struck me about Peter and Geoff was that they fully understood the soul of electronic music and approached it with great songs and production. I was blown away by their ‘Smoke And Mirrors’ album and ‘Imitation Of Life’ was an early favourite.
Tenek’s take on classic song-writing coupled with depth of sound reminded me of the early to mid-80s era of synthpop. And as I work mostly with “vintage” analogue synthesisers and drum machines from that period I was keen to take ‘Imitation Of Life’  and produce a version exclusively with those old machines – basically to see what the band would’ve sounded like if they’d entered a studio circa 1983/84.
So after receiving just the vocal take I began piecing together the rhythm track with some syncopated beats from a recently-acquired Oberheim DX (thank you Howard Reeves:-)), an MXR 185 drum computer, and a Roland TR606. My go-to synth in the studio is the Roland Juno 60 and I like to use its famous arpeggiator as much as possible – so that’s the first synth you hear on the intro.
For the main bass line I used a Moog Prodigy – a provider of many a bass line (and lead) on classic 80s synth pop tracks. From there it was a case of fleshing out the track with syncopated sequences from an ARP Odyssey, a Yamaha CS-10, an Octave Kitten II (rescued from a skip!), and some pads from a Roland Jupiter 8 layered with the Juno 60. The lead lines were from a Sequential Circuits Pro One (Vince Clarke’s go-to synth!), a Korg Poly 61, the Jupiter 8, and the Juno 60.
Musically I pushed it towards a slightly more melancholy feel which suited this instrumentation.  So there you go. You can only work with the quality of the subject matter – and in this case the subject matter was of a very high quality!   Very much a labour of love.
September 2016 ”
*To learn more about Nik’s music, click HERE.