Archive for the ‘The Downward Spiral (1994) – Nine Inch Nails’ Category

04 ‘March Of The Pigs’ – The Downward Spiral (1994) – Nine Inch Nails

  • explosive industrial beginning
  • odd rhythm, 7/8?
  • bridge section switches to four on the floor pulsing kik
  • then unpredictable shift into gentle piano and voice modes ‘now doesn’t that make you feel better?’
  • followed by significant moment of silence
  • repeats this whole cycle only twice

KEY IDEAS to plunder

  1. switch from heavy to acoustic and clean ‘now, doesn’t that make you feel better?’
  2. significant moment of silence mid song

03 ‘Heresy’ – The Downward Spiral (1994) – Nine Inch Nails

  • pulsating synth line
  • drums enter, heavy crunching
  • hi hat, dancy, enters
  • vox enter, doubled, hard panned falsetto
  • chorus: very heavy, ‘god is dead’ – shouting, heavy distortion
  • riff kicks in pre verse 2
  • verse 2 vox build to become quadrupled (harmonies)
  • final chorus features mirrored vox performance, hard left
  • marching boots sfx used in beat, machine noises (noticeable in the outro)

KEY IDEAS to plunder

  1. vox layering
  2. sfx (marching boots, machines) become percussion

02 ‘Piggy’ – The Downward Spiral (1994) – Nine Inch Nails

  • minimal/sparse track, in complete contrast to previous track (and following track)
  • vox enters straight away, very dry
  • introduces recurring lyric ‘nothing can stop me now’ that reappears in several later tracks
  • drum loop seems a combination of different drum spaces/ ie one hi hat hit has big room space on it, the snr is dry and dead.
  • this expands to whole parts, different drum and synthesized parts spliced together to form typical drum patterns
  • use of backwards screams/cheers as texture
  • tremelo piano melody enters during track fade out, acoustic gtr becomes audible, drums drop out.
  • piano melody; acoustic instrument treated to still sound natural but doing something it can’t do in real life. ie. tremelo on piano notes. this is the downward spiral theme.

KEY IDEAS to plunder

  1. lyric recurring as theme/chant throughout several songs
  2. drum loops made from different spaced drum recordings; both at a micro hit-by-hit level and at a macro part-by-part level

01 ‘Mr Self Destruct’ – The Downward Spiral (1994) – Nine Inch Nails

  • sfx intro (albeit taken from a film)
  • sfx build to climax
  • machine noise percussion
  • call and response verses (‘and i control you’) – response heavily filtered
  • chorus features big power chords
  • chorus is really a gtr riff – title line leads into it
  • very loud(verses and chorus)/very quiet contrast (middle section)
  • gtr solo loop outro – very long, no fade out

KEY IDEAS to plunder

  1. extreme contrast – very loud to very quiet, very full to very sparse
  2. call and response verses (‘and i control you’) – response heavily filtered

The Downward Spiral (1994) – Nine Inch Nails

  • concept album
  • heavy, industrial sounds combined with melodic material
  • use of non-musical samples
  • process: generating raw material (eg. 20 minutes improvised gtr) then cutting out interesting bits to sample and loop
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