Are you beginning to feel like you don’t do enough with your phone? I sure am. I mean, I haven’t created an entire font (minus W) out of apps, broken a world record nor recorded a music album using nothing more than my trusty handset. What an underachiever.
Not like Tom Freeman, a sound engineer, iPhone owner and part-time musician who goes by the name Freematic. For several months he’d whip out his iPhone whenever he was at a loose end (waiting for a table at a restaurant, hanging out at the beach etc.) and work on creating an entire album of ambient electronica – which he named, appropriately, iMatik.
We’ve dabbled in the guitar-hero side of the iPhone before, but iMatic is a little different – Tom describes it as ‘a fresh DJ mixtape full of phat beats, DJ scratching and live synths’. It was the apps that made it – he used Beatmaker to create drum-based samples and sequences as well as for mixing tracks, percussion app iDrum for more percussive sounds, synth app Jastou and Flare for creating a scratching effect.
He did add sample sounds from his computer and, because the iPhone can’t multitask, he had to do the overdubbing on a workstation too. But he loved the iPhone as a production tool. “The app[s] open immediately and in 10 seconds you’re ready to get to work. And the sound, it’s pretty close if not equal to anything in a big studio.”
The result is “an awesome psychedelic hip hop and electronic music experience” according to his website, where you can stream the tracks for free. We’ve had a listen – it’s not the perfect album but we didn’t mind it. The tracks amble from dreamy, swoony ambient music to more upbeat sociable tunes. It’s a little bit Arrested Development with a sprinkling of Sigur Ros, a soupcon of Nathan Fake, and a dollop of, er, ’90s garage – but for just one guy and his iPhone you can colour us impressed.
Stream iMatic here for free here or buy a download for just $5.