Timbaland: I Has a Bus

mariasci | March 12, 2008 3:30 am

No matter what you think of Timbo, if you want to get a good idea of what the new music industry model might look like, the following clip of Tim at work on his new bus is a good roadmap. It’s also pretty awesome.

If you’ve ever been interested in Sonic Youth’s collective songwriting technique, the improvisatory philosophy of jambands and jazz artists, or whether a verse got composed in a notebook or on the spur of the moment, you know that the mechanical process of making music can have an enormous effect on the end product. Artistic decions are made partially out of taste and inspiration, but in large part, songs are shaped by whatever’s close at hand. That’s why seeing the actual physical arrangement of Timbaland’s recording setup is so interesting. He makes it really easy to throw in keyboards, electronic drums, or his own vocal ad-libs, but not so much other stuff. You see him move around the space enough to get a sense of how he puts songs together.

This isn’t just for the edification of gearheads, though. The studio is on a bus sponsored by Verizon; Timbaland calls himself “the new mobile producer” (like a cell phone, geddit?). They show him recording with Keri Hilson, play the song they make, and then flash a link to buy the song. This is the Radiohead model gone pop: don’t just release an album right after it’s made, release individual songs as they come off the production line. In a way, it’s nothing new–think of dubplates, or Elvis running his new 45 down to the radio station in Memphis. But Elvis wasn’t sponsored by a cell phone company. For better or worse, this might be where things are heading.

Timbaland On The Verizon Bus [XXL]