See Me

from by Ty Showers

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If I were the kind of guy who could pull off a real pimp outfit—the suit, the hat, the cane, the attitude—I might hire a personal assistant to walk behind me with a big boombox, broadcasting “See Me” as I strolled down the street, slapping hands and faces as need be. Or I’d put it on for a slow roll in my pimpmobile, cranking up the bass to a chest-caving thump, yelling out the window over it: “Where my money at?”

The pure funk of this tune is irrepressible. A bouncy bass figure over a steady whipcrack of a beat opens it up, putting the floor under some warm and cool keyboards, like something Sly might lay down while waiting for the Family Stone to finish toking up and amble over to their instruments. He’d catch them by surprise, as Ty Showers catches us, throwing in a couple of bright, rapid-fire synth breaks like waving arms and dancing legs at the top and bottom of the tune, with sections of strings and brass and a melodic Native American inflection forming the body in between.

Did I say body? Yes. One thing I’ve come to appreciate about the music of Ty Showers is its physicality. We know it’s all contained in the MIDI machinery, but we have the sense of an ensemble. Because his method is cumulative, with layers of sound growing organically from his initial inspiration, a picture emerges of a group in the studio, listening to itself, foot-tapping, nodding, responding to the music as it happens. That Ty can create that sense, and mood, and excitement, all in the space of a 3:00 track, is remarkable.

Originally produced on an Ensoniq SD-1 in the early nineties, “See Me” was transferred into Logic Studio from a floppy disk (for you kids out there, that’s a digital storage device that looks like a square 45-rpm vinyl record…wait, that doesn’t really explain it for you, does it…). Suffice it to say, this is about as old school as digital recording gets. The album is Just One Last…, a December 2010 release. But it goes way back.

Jim Howard


from 0​.​4, track released September 6, 2014


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