Chaos can be a great foundation.

If you step into a messy old barn, with centuries of old tools and discarded junk, but where each square foot has a story to tell and the atmosphere has a certain personality and mystique. It probably doesn’t take a lot to make it into a cool place for a party, or a summertime café. Just sweep the floors, get rid of the crappiest crap and hang up some lights.

To arrive in a neat and tidy hotel room and think I’m going to make this more homely by throwing your stuff around, tearing up the made bed and rehanging the art. Well, it doesn’t really work.

To turn chaos into something more orderly is the right way to go.

I’m writing about this to present an analogy for music production. I spend quite a lot of time thinking about workflows and how songs get produced.

It seems to me that it’s a lot more interesting to throw together some loops and chopped up grooves into something funky and uncontrollable – and to see what it inspires. You can always turn down the chaos, add some structure. If I instead start recording a perfectly written song with a few clean backing tracks, it’s a lot harder to add chaos and charm afterwards. It just feels as if I’m messing it up. Which I am, but the result is not what I intended. The charm needs to be built in, otherwise it just feels fake and impersonal. Like a hotel room.

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