We love track deconstructions, especially when they are about some of our most-loved songs. During the latest Ableton Loop in Berlin, Point Blank’s instructor Ski Oakenfull went to town on perhaps the best single of the 90’s: Massive Attack’s ‘Unfinished Sympathy’.
‘Unfinished Sympathy’ was a revelation on release in 1991 and continues to be so today, a triple-threat of the band’s vision, Will Malone’s iconic string arrangement, and Shara Nelson’s gorgeous lyrics and delivery. Interestingly, as we learn in the video, the track features no bassline.
Getting into the deconstruction, Ski samples the break from JJ Johnson’s ‘Parade Strut’, and the vocal snippet that appears throughout from the rather obscure ‘Planetary Citizen’ by John McLaughlin and the Mahavishnu Orchestra.
The string parts he composes from Ableton’s own in-built String Ensemble pack, and the bell riff he grabs from an old hotel bell. For those incredible vocals, he enlists the help of Valerie Etienne of Galiano and, lately, Jamiroquoi, who recorded some acapellas.
Finally, with a few extra elements thrown in, we hear Ski’s completed version, and the results are, frankly, bang on.
These deconstructions are used to teach students about production techniques, arrangement and composition, and there’s plenty more where this came from in PB’s course materials.
If you’d like to learn how to use all of the techniques shown here and more, enroll in one of their Music Production courses.
Get loads more instructional tools like these over at Point Blank’s Youtube Channel.
You Might Also Like...
About The Author
a little quiet, a little strange, a little sumpin'...*mew*
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.