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Thursday, October 07, 2004

Listening to Dre and Tupac's "California Love," I'm struck by how much the vocoder parts, done by two voices but melding a good bit because of the processing, mirror, especially in the little chorus/break from like 1:25-2:20, the heavily-processed ad lib backing vocals Beck had in a lot of his early stuff, especially the pitch-shifted ones--compare, say, the bit in "California Love" around 1:35 with "Yes they do" with whatever that song is on Mellow Gold where the high-pitched Beck goes "Oh my goodness." The difference is that Beck's processing was intentionally primative and showing its seams, whereas the "California Love" stuff starts from this place of smoothness, especially given that it's a vocoder, something pretty much invented to smooth vocals out. But they sneak in (it's subtle, this is the only time I've ever noticed it really) this more impromptu stuff while still seeming smooth. It's very nice.