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Thursday, June 10, 2004
The thing I'm really loving about Miss Kittin's "Meet Sue Bee She" right now is how well the tremelo works on the verse vocals. For me, I have a hard time getting this to work right, as everything ends up seeming either too indistinct rhythmically or not really trem'ed that much. Presumably it's synched to the beat here, but at any rate, it works really well.

What I particularly like is what happens with her breathing: instead of making it sort of white noise that fits into the background of the track, it breaks it up and makes it another rhythmic (rather than merely textual) element in the vocals, a kind of grace note into and out of each line. What's maybe more interesting is the fact that they're the same every time, and while I'd hate to disparage Miss Kittin's vocal ability, a) I don't think anyone could do that, which b) probably means that it's sampled and dropped in. Further evidence can be found at the end of the second verse, where it makes sense going into the line "Here is the number" but it appears to be the same drawing-up H sound going into "She is my manager," and that ain't right. (Incidentally, what is the "H" sound called? I know S is a sibilant, and T is a plosive, but H?) But at any rate, it works really well.

It also provides a nice demonstration of the way complex, modulated and semi-random human noises can really fill out a track and make the whole thing sound human even when it's not. The same thing goes for live guitar: all those little noises of the pick hitting the strings, your palm brushing the body or the pickups on the return stroke, the buzz of the amp, the little bits of feedback or different tone that sneak into any performance, these are often really good to have with drum machine stuff to make the sound more varied.