Making Music In The Twenties Of The 21st Century

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Episode #11

Sunday, November 22, 2020

This Sunday I have a new video for you. The song MAY THE DEVIL TAKE THE REST from last year’s album THE CARE & FEEDING OF THE MONKEY. At the time I wrote this song I heard a lot of Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds. I think you can hear that in the song. MAY THE DEVIL TAKE THE REST already has it’s lyric video but it is in portrait format and the footage is only a damn dark background. So, I wanted a real video for that song. And here it is!



And finally a few more news:
IN YOUR DNA stormed the Monkey Charts and is now at number 1.



The Top 5 Cities of listeners are:

1. London
2. Los Angeles
3. New York City
4. Dallas
5. Toronto

Thanks to everyone who listens!

So, that’s it for this time. And don’t forget:
Only 8 days left until the release of DON’T FEEL SO WELL.
Please pre-safe the song on Spotify to make the premiere a success.
I know you can do it! Winking-Smiley



If you have any nice comments, questions or suggestions, just drop me a line.



Don’t miss out to be on again next Sunday for another far out episode of
THE MONKEY TELEGRAM
When it says again: Making Music In The Twenties Of The 21st Century.

Ev’rybody, have a good time and stay safe!
Bye bye
PAul

Previous Articles

Episode #10

Sunday, November 15, 2020

IN YOUR DNA is doing well. It has bravely moved up at number 3 of the MONKEY CHARTS.
In two weeks the song already has more listeners than most of my other songs in ten years. Of course I’m very happy about that, especially because this is my first real hip-hop song.
You can find the current MONKEY CHARTS at the THIS IS MASTER’S MONKEYS Playlist. It’s constantly updated with the Top 25 songs and I’m planning to add audio commentaries in the future, so you’ll get little background stories to every song.



Speaking of Playlists, I’d like to mention my carefully curated new Playlist, called MASTER’S MONKEYS’ Hip-Hop Favorites. I update it regularly with great songs I listen to at the moment and this makes it a very intimate look behind the scenes you can easily follow.



You might be wondering why I do most of the stuff on Spotify? Well, this is quickly told. It’s because Spotify offers lots of tools for artists. At least for me it is the best streaming service, so far.
If you say ‘Damn! I don’t have Spotify.”, you should consider to sign up for the free account to check it out. Maybe they also offer a premium trial for free - don’t know.

Now let’s take a look at the upcoming release DON’T FEEL SO WELL.
Oh (wo)man, it’s a very dark & sinister song that sadly fits into our present times. A kind of apocalyptic vision which I already wrote three years ago.
The song was deeply inspired by the Leonard Cohen song NEVER MIND. I fell in love with Leonard’s song as I watched the 2nd season of the HBO series TRUE DETECTIVE. The song was the title song.
By the way, the complete TRUE DETECTIVE series is heavily driven by its brilliant soundtrack, put together by T Bone Burnett. In case you’ve missed it so far: WATCH!!!!
(Of course, only if you like really dark and atmospheric crime dramas.)



The premiere of DON’T FEEL SO WELL will probably be on December 1.
Now I need your help to make sure it’ll be a success. It’s pretty depressing and disheartening to release a new song and no one gives a god damn sh… (You know what I mean.)
So, there’s a possibility to Pre-Safe The Song On Spotify. The more people do so, the more successful the release is going to be. This is a really good opportunity to support me. C’mon!
A big thank you in advance to all supporters!



Don’t miss out to be on again next Sunday for another far out episode of:

THE MONKEY TELEGRAM
Making Music In The Twenties Of The 21st Century

Ev’rybody, have a good time and stay safe
PAul

Episode #9

Sunday, November 8, 2020

A lot has happened in the past week. First of all, the release of IN YOUR DNA is doing well. The song is already on several curated Spotify Playlists and it was featured on Boom Bap Nation, a reliable source for Hip Hop worldwide. I was very happy about that.



Furthermore there was the premiere of a new video. The MASTER’S MONKEYS’ classic ROLL ON THROUGH SATURDAY NIGHT got it’s own Lyric Video. It's a Spoken-Word-Thriller about a fatal Saturday night. The lyrics have a poetic tendency and the driving Riff pulls you into an intoxicated nightmare. Who would not want that?



But that’s not all! I also have a nice and disturbing teaser of the upcoming release of a new song, called DON’T FEEL SO WELL. It is a dark, apocalyptic song. I printed the lyrics in the October 25 issue.



I will make sure that next time you get a chance to hear the whole song before the planned premiere on December 1st.
So, don’t miss out to be on again next Sunday for another far out episode of:

THE MONKEY TELEGRAM
Making Music In The Twenties Of The 21st Century

Ev’rybody, have a good time and stay safe
PAul

Episode #8

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Last Sunday I showed you the lyrics of a new song, called DON’T FEEL SO WELL. Well, I think it is fair to say that the theme of this song unfortunately fits into this time. Although, believe it or not, I wrote the lyrics already in 2017, long before the pandemic. The production of DON’T FEEL SO WELL is almost finished and of course, my dear reader, you’ll get more secret insights and pre-listening options in the course of the next weeks.

So, that's it for today, ehh …. or was there something else?
Let me see ...
Oh, yes!

I’ll probably drop a new video of a classic MASTER’S MONKEYS tune this week. The song is called ROLL ON THROUGH SATURDAY NIGHT. It’s kind of a very dark and scary spoken word thing, first released on my longplayer album debut UNDER THE SHADE OF A PINE in 2010 (Track 4).



But the sound on the video will be the 2019 Remix from the album THE CARE & FEEDING OF THE MONKEY (Track 8), which I think, sounds much better.



If you’d like to watch the video by the time it goes online, I suggest you simply subscribe to my newsletter to stay up to date beyond this blog.

So, that's it for today, ehh …. or was there something else?
Oh, yes!
IT’S RELEASE DAY!!!!
Yep, IN YOUR DNA was officially released today.
And here are the most important places you should visit:





Now that was really it.

So, don’t miss out to be on again next Sunday for another far out episode of
THE MONKEY TELEGRAM
When it says again:
Making Music In The Twenties Of The 21st Century.

Ev’rybody, have a good time and stay healthy
PAul

Episode #7

Sunday, October 25, 2020

What to do with the rest of this crazy year?
Well, I guess in my case the answer is: Making Music, for I am a musician.
So, I continue to tell you inside stories about Making Music In The Twenties Of The 21st Century.
Here are some of the things that have kept me busy since last week.
First, I’ve curated a really nice Playlist on Spotify. It’s called MASTER’S MONKEYS‘ Hip-Hop Favorites.



By the way, if you happen to use Spotify, you would do me a great favor to follow me there. It’s pretty important for a musician nowadays that every friend clicks the Follow-Button. It is the only chance to get some attention and to get on some playlists. Thank you!



Furthermore I’m working on a new song. I’ve just started the recordings, so I can’t play it to you right now, but I can show you the lyrics this time. Usually I’m starting with the lyrics.

Don't Feel so Well
Words & Music by Paul 'Aka' Kessler

Verse 1

Don't mean to scare you
It's getting worse
Don't wanna lie
I know it hurts

You are the last
Of a dying breed
A true hostage
Of your silly greed

The weather's changing
Growing concerns
Soldiers march
And cities burn

You feel the dark
Like going blind
Nowhere to turn
You don't have time

Hook

And I'm not feeling well myself
Don't feel so well myself
Well, I'm not feeling well myself
Don't feel so well myself
What the hell? Who can tell? Wish you well
Well, the hell will take care of itself
And I can tell I don't feel well
Don't feel so well myself

Verse 2

Don't wait for help
To come to you
So be prepared
In solitude

There's no one left
To give a cheer
Just dig your grave
Where ghosts appear

You shall not care
Why not let go?
A simple yes
To the steady flow

You sold your soul
Well, it's no crime
You gotta go
You don't have time

Hook

And I'm not feeling well myself
Don't feel so well myself
Well, I'm not feeling well myself
Don't feel so well myself
What the hell? Who can tell? Wish you well
Well, the hell will take care of itself
And I can tell I don't feel well
Don't feel so well myself

Breakdown

Don't mean to scare you
It's getting worse
Don't wanna lie
I know it hurts

We feel the dark
Go with the flow
We don't have time
Why not let go?

Hook

And I'm not feeling well myself
Don't feel so well myself
Well, I'm not feeling well myself
Don't feel so well myself
What the hell? Who can tell? Wish you well
Well, the hell will take care of itself
And I can tell I don't feel well
Don't feel so well myself

There's no one left
To give a cheer
Just dig your grave
Where ghosts appear

We feel the dark
Go with the flow
We don't have time
Why not let go?

FINE

That’s it for now! I hope you’ll be on again next Sunday for another episode of THE MONKEY TELEGRAM when it says again: Making Music In The Twenties Of The 21st Century.

Everybody, stay healthy!

Take care
PAul

Episode #6

Sunday, October 18, 2020

So, I wanted to make a real Hip-Hop Song. Not an Instrumental. I already did that for production music. Not a Rock Song where I just put a Hip-Hop beat underneath. I did that before, like on MAY THE DEVIL TAKE THE REST (from the album THE CARE & FEEDING OF THE MONKEY, © 2019 MCDP International):



This time I want the real thing, a song with vocals and lyrics.
I want the whole package: rhymes, flow, wordplay and vocal Rap delivery.
And I knew, it takes a lil bit more than to just start and end every line with “Yo!”.
And it takes more than using lots of curse words just to get the “Parental Advisory - Explicit Lyrics” warning.
I’m not so bad with language and I’ve been writing lyrics for some time now, but when I listen to some of my Hip-Hop Heroes like Chuck D or Kendrick Lamar and so many others, I can only kneel down in humility.
But this is how it is with new challenges, you work as hard and good as you can.
It’s all about learning and doing! That’s the only way it works - Write Fearlessly!
When you are used to sing the lyrics, it’s quite a thing to change to spoken word, so I got a little help from a couple of die-hard New York City Rappers.
It was a lot of fun! And that’s true for the song, too. Out came a funny, cute & quirky Hip-Hop Song, named IN YOUR DNA.
The song is gonna be distributed by Universal Music’s Spinnup and the release is scheduled for the 1st of November and will be available in all major shops and on all major streaming services.
But in the meantime: You, my dear reader and/or subscriber, get to enjoy the preview. Until the 1st of November you can exclusively get IN YOUR DNA at Bandcamp. It’s a “Pay what you want!” campaign, you could even type in “0,00”.



Everybody, have a good time!
PAul

Next Sunday on THE MONKEY TELEGRAM:
What to do with the rest of this crazy year?

Episode #5

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Hip-Hop? Really?
Well, so far Hip-Hop is obviously not the first thing that comes to mind when you look at the music of MASTER’S MONKEYS. But Hip-Hop played a major role in my musical socialization. 1986 the BEASTIE BOYS from New York City released their debut album LICENSED TO ILL and blew away an eleven year old boy from Germany.



Hip-Hop had started to make its way from the american underground to a large audience around the world. I was immediately infected.
PUBLIC ENEMY, ICE-T, RUN DMC and others followed and became a great influence for me.
This was the first time in my life I seriously wanted to start a band with my 2 best friends. My older brother told me that you don’t have to learn to play an instrument to make Hip-Hop. “What? That’s great! I can do that!”, I thought and started to scratch a children’s audio play record on my cheap record player.
It turned out that it was not so easy after all.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, I still love it to this day. I even produced an instrumental Hip-Hop album for television two years ago.

Southside Slow Rap Album Cover
SOUTHSIDE - Production Music for Television


SOUTHSIDE by Paul A. Kessler; ©2018 RipCue Music

Again, as always, the question is “What comes next?”
And now I know the answer:
A hard-hitting Hip-Hop Song.

To be continued …

Next Sunday on THE MONKEY TELEGRAM.

PAul

Episode #4

Sunday, October 4, 2020

My wife said:“No, that's not it.“
Sh*t! A bad low blow.
But she would not be my wife if that was all she said.
She added:”Can you play me that FEEL IT STILL song again?”
And I wondered. What has this to do with my problem child ESCAPE FROM THE MADHOUSE? But whatever! So, I played FEEL IT STILL.
After the first chorus she said:”Make it so!”
My first reaction was a definite:”Ehhh ….”
Then I thought:”So what? I’ll give it a try! What should happen in the worst case?”
So, I set to work on Madhouse again. The tempo had to be drastically increased and although the instrumental arrangement was working really well, I knew I could never sing that. Not at that tempo. Not in head voice. So we decided to look for the right singer.
We listened to several singers and finally found Connor, an incredibly talented Los Angeles based singer. He really nailed it! Yes!

Picture of Paul Kessler
Paul ‘Aka’ Kessler with the original Jack Nicholson cap from “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest”

The first time after 13 long years I was happy with the song.
Here is an excerpt of the final version:


ESCAPE FROM THE MADHOUSE, Words & Music by Paul A. Kessler, ©2020 Monkey Music


You may wonder where you can listen to the whole song?
Well, the thing is: ESCAPE FROM THE MADHOUSE is not officially released yet. That means no record label, no publisher, no Spotify, Apple Music or YouTube etc.
But in the meantime I want to take care of all readers and friends of Master's Monkeys.
I decided to make the song available for every newsletter subscriber at no costs.
A special link for you to listen and/or download the song is prepared and ready to be sent to your email address. So, make sure to get it right in the Mailchimp subscription form below.

But I digress … The question was: What comes next?
That brings me to my next question:
Is there actually a relationship between MASTER’S MONKEYS and Hip-Hop?

Next Sunday on THE MONKEY TELEGRAM.

PAul

Episode #3

Sunday, September 27, 2020

ESCAPE FROM THE MADHOUSE was a problem child.
What had to be done?
I tried additional female backing vocals and a lot more but nothing worked. So I had to put the song aside.
Now we do a leap in time: 5 years and 2 Kids later: 2018.
A company was looking for an instrumental piece that’s in the same ballpark like the song FEEL IT STILL by Portugal.The Man. I didn’t know the reference track but when I heard it, I liked it right away.



Great!
So I set to work. And that’s what I did:

FUNNY STRANGERS ©2019 RipCue GmbH


You are probably wondering what this has to do with it?
Well, I will come to it. We must do a leap in time again: 2 years later: The beginning of the Twenties before the pandemic struck.
ESCAPE FROM THE MADHOUSE was still there. Somewhere in my head. You carry it with you. That’s what you do, whether you like it or not. And then, it reappears unexpectedly. That is exactly what happened in early 2020.
Now I had that collage-idea. From all the different versions since 2007, I surely had enough material to do a totally weird collage. After all, it’s Madhouse-Time, right?
So I set to work on Madhouse again. I finished the first draft and played it to my wife to get the first feedback.
And that’s what she said:

Next Sunday on THE MONKEY TELEGRAM.

PAul

Episode #2

Sunday, September 20, 2020

The question was: What comes next? My last two productions are ESCAPE FROM THE MADHOUSE and IN THE AIR TONIGHT. The latter was a spontaneous work, out of the blue, literally. ESCAPE FROM THE MADHOUSE was a very different story. It took me, believe it or not, thirteen long years to finish that song. Again in numbers: 13!!!!
So, what the hell happened?
We have to go all the way back to the year 2007, when I was working in my little home studio and recorded this demo:

Demo 2007


As you can hear, it has this funky bass-line in the verses but also a latin “Smooth Operator” (Sade) groove in the chorus. Hmm … somehow a strange mixture.
I didn’t know how to produce it. My first approach was to incorporate a lot of electronic stuff because of Beck, who did his 9th album “Guero” 2 years earlier and encouraged me to experiment fearlessly. So, with that in mind, I grabbed my demo recordings and went to a bigger studio. The audio engineer Markus Kaiser at his s.p. audiolab helped me with the sound and and my brother played the bass. But it didn’t work out. Unfortunately the recording disappeared without a trace.

Four years later in 2011 Tom (Waits) & Kathleen (Brennan) released the album “Bad As Me” and the opening song “Chicago” inspired me to try another version of ESCAPE FROM THE MADHOUSE.



Tom’s “Chicago” is a static wall of sound with an evil train-beat - Fantastic!
So, let’s hear what it did to my song:

ESCAPE FROM THE MADHOUSE 2011-2013


I was not happy. Still I didn't want to let it go, because I love the lyrics.
What had to be done?
And again, what next?
It brings us back to The Twenties Of The 21st Century.

Next Sunday on THE MONKEY TELEGRAM.

PAul

Episode #1

Sunday, September 13, 2020

And again the question: What comes next? Damn it!
I just finished two productions, one was ESCAPE FROM THE MADHOUSE and the other one was the cover song IN THE AIR TONIGHT. I’ve never done lots of covers. Well, I played some Tom Waits songs live but never recorded them. I played them just for the moment. Indeed IN THE AIR TONIGHT was the 3rd cover I produced in my Life. The others are I WANT TO BE THE BOY TO WARM YOUR MOTHER’S HEART by The White Stripes and SEVEN by David Bowie.
The White Stripes song is doing well, once in while someone in Puebla City (Mexico) or Noorderwijk (Belgium) is listening. That makes me happy every single time. But the Bowie song remains unnoticed somehow. You never know why.

IN THE AIR TONIGHT is only released on YouTube so far and is not doing good. The recording was pretty painful, too, for I had to play the bottleneck guitar with a discus injury at my left wrist that still needs surgical intervention.
I know the song is sooooo long for nowadays and I played it even slower than the original Phil Collins version from 1980.
And the video! You must watch this goddamn zeppelin all the time. But I tell you what: I did the song just because of the zeppelin. I first shot the video, randomly, during a family outing. And then came the idea. I don’t know why. I captured the idea and like David (Lynch) said, I should stay true to my idea. Yes, I did, David. And now IN THE AIR TONIGHT is a Blues with Gospel & Soul influences, I really love.
But I digress … The question was: What comes next?

Next week on THE MONKEY TELEGRAM.

PAul