Jewish Music Blog

April 6, 2006

AKA-Pella Exclusive

Filed under: Uncategorized — jewishmusic @ 8:21 pm

I spoke to CD Eichler, the arranger and brainchild of AKA-pella, and I’ve got the ‘inside scoop’ on the album.

There are 8 original new vocalists of which I know almost all of them personally, and they each have unique, dynamic voices. CD arranged 8 out of 10 classic songs, including Yi’baneh, and the other 2 were arranged by Mike Boxer, who among other things, arranged 613 Acapella. Larry Gates covered the mixing. The guys in the group wanted to get away from the standard yeshivish sound, and they also tried to incorporate vignettes of non-Jewish music a la Lev Tahor.

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33 Comments »

  1. Wow, CD Eichler… I can’t believe he’s putting out an album… I know he was always into this stuff… Looking forward

    Comment by Daniel Goldman — April 6, 2006 @ 11:38 pm

  2. cd eichler i cant believe this is relly happening i think im gonna cry just remember even though all the fame is coming now where ure career really got started

    BARBERSHOP QUARTET 02′

    Comment by Anonymous — April 11, 2006 @ 1:03 am

  3. This is going to be an interesting release indeed. Most of the album is possuks set to the tune of non-Jewish music like Gilligan’s Island and Michael Jackson. I don’t get it, really, but it is a cute little novelty. Eichler definitely deserves the term “brainchild”, but he didn’t do any arranging, he hired a company for 8 of them in addition to Boxer’s two. The backgrounds were sung entirely by the recording engineers and arrangers (and one I understand used some of the existing back vocals from a college group’s recording of one of Boxer’s arrangements) — CD and his friends did the leads. Gates was only the mastering engineer; it was the skills of a cappella super-producer John Clark whose editing and mixing really made this CD what it is. By definition, the production is top notch. If you’ve heard Clark’s name before, he also did some work on the Six13 CD including L’cha Dodi.

    Comment by Anonymous — April 11, 2006 @ 12:18 pm

  4. Great to hear some more inside info.

    I had a strong feeling that Eichler enlisted extreme help with the arrangements simply because he’s not a musician.

    Do you know where I can find more info on John Clark? Thanks.

    Comment by keyboardguy — April 11, 2006 @ 9:18 pm

  5. I’d like to address the comment made by anonymous… I work with the recording engineer who recorded Premium Blend and perhaps Mr. Anonymous should check his facts (and his passuks)… as it turns out CD Eichler concepted 8 out of the 10 songs on the CD and worked in tandum with an arranger for production purposes. While John Clark did a fantastic job mixing the CD it was the recording studio (Studio 48v)that did 95% of the editing work and is primarily responsible for the uniqueness of the project. While Six13 is a decent album it does not come close to what CD Eichler has done with Premium Blend… you really have to hear it… I couldnt believe that there were no instruments involved…

    Comment by musicmaven — April 11, 2006 @ 11:20 pm

  6. musicmaven-

    I listened to the demos at jewishjukebox.com (I’ll be receiving the album shortly), and since you’re close to the project, I have a couple of questions I hope you can answer.

    How much of the background vocals were actually sung as opposed to sampled and played back, especially the arpeggiated chords?

    I recognize the exact version of Track 9’s ‘Right Now’ arrangement (it was licensed and played at the wedding of one of the guys on the album), and although they added some overdubs to make it less the obvious, they clearly used this track. Is this mentioned at all on the album jacket?

    Thanks for whatever insight you can provide.

    Comment by keyboardguy — April 11, 2006 @ 11:28 pm

  7. Dear Anonymous,

    I’m not sure where you got your information, but unfortunately, most of it is incorrect. It is true that Eichler elisted the help of a number of professionals in putting out this album. However, almost all of the backup vocals were sung by the lead vocalists as well, occasionally using the help of the professionals.
    The statement you made that one song had backups taken from one of Boxer’s songs is incorrect as well. The arrangements for that song are identical to Boxers, however, they were resung for this album.
    I’m not sure where you would have gotten all this information as the album is hardly even out yet.
    In the future, just make sure you have your claims correct.
    – Tony

    Comment by Tony — April 11, 2006 @ 11:29 pm

  8. Hi Guys! I would like to respond to the comments of “Anonymous said…”
    3 comments up.

    I was personally involved in this project, Recording, Singing, etc….

    1)CD Eichler rightly earns his arranging credits.

    Each and every idea and motif of this album was conceived by CD. Yes, various talented people helped him along with his ideas, but that doesn’t take away from CD’s credit.

    2)Background harmonies were sung by almost everybody involved in this project, as rightfully credited on the album. Nobody is claiming that only the Featured Lead Vocalists did all the singing. It would be ludicrous to attack an album just because many people contributed richly to it, and it shouldn’t take anything away from it.

    Anonymous said… “it was the skills of a cappella super-producer John Clark whose editing and mixing really made this CD what it is”.

    3) What a crazy statement! This project was amazing way before it ever got to John C. I have all mixes pre John to prove this.

    CD & I personally overlooked every single move with the mix, even driving to Boston to oversee progress.

    This CD is what it is because of what everybody involved put into it… all because of CD Eichler’s vision.

    I think we can all guess as to who “anonymous” is….

    Comment by MoKiss — April 11, 2006 @ 11:30 pm

  9. Ditto – Mo Kiss hit it on the head… without getting into details… I believe that there are some individuals who are jealous of this album’s potential and are looking for ways to detract from the project. I had very little direct involvement with the production of Premium Blend… but I had the opportunity to work on various aspects of the Album recording – this project is truly the “brainchild” of CD Eichler – in collaboration with several gifted individuals – so eat your heart anonymous!! and props to Mo Kiss who is leagues ahead of the comptetition.- hence forth he shall be reffered to as
    K-diddy.. Stay tuned…

    Comment by musicmaven — April 12, 2006 @ 12:06 am

  10. Sorry people, my info absolutely IS correct. Perhaps there is confusion somewhere along the line. I know there is animosity on both sides and we all know there’s three sides to every story, which is why it’s probably best I just keep my mouth shut from here on out. Sorry for trying to shed light and give credit where it was due. And Mo, I’d love to know what you’re insinuating.

    Comment by Anonymous — April 12, 2006 @ 5:38 am

  11. Ok Anonymous,

    There is absolutely no way that you are some unbiased outsider here, just relaying information that you’ve “picked up.” I’m not sure what you are hoping to accomplish my making false accusations but it sure seems that you have something to gain by doing so. The details of this album were kept extremely discreet, even from some of the contributers to the album. The only way you could have such “inside information” is if you are somehow connected to the inside. And then you have the gall to claim that you are just trying to give credit to those who deserve it? Do you have any idea who is given credit on the album? Have you read through the CD sleeve? You seem to be rather bitter about something which either doesnt concern you, and if indeed it does, you are quite petty to try to deride the hard work of many, on a blog. Very boorish of you. Step out from behind your anonymity and take your issues up with CD and Mo Kiss. Cmon, be a man!

    Comment by Tony — April 12, 2006 @ 10:16 am

  12. Guys-

    Could someone please explain to me what this bad blood is about?

    mokiss said “I believe that there are some individuals who are jealous of this album’s potential and are looking for ways to detract from the project”.

    Who would that be (in genenal terms, of course)?

    Comment by keyboardguy — April 12, 2006 @ 10:32 am

  13. I never said that

    Comment by MoKiss — April 12, 2006 @ 2:58 pm

  14. Sorry – that was musicmaven’s quote.

    Comment by keyboardguy — April 12, 2006 @ 3:01 pm

  15. Whatever you say tony. Like I said — my lips are sealed πŸ˜‰

    Comment by Anonymous — April 12, 2006 @ 3:34 pm

  16. It’s very convenient of you “anonymous” that you make a whole statement trying to discredit this album and now when a few questions are asked of you, you’re suddenly so noble, as you claim “your lips are sealed”. So suddenly you care about not causing any harm? Kind of hypocritical of you, don’t you think? The guy who brings up an issue is not the one who is allowed to suddenly plead the fifth when he is asked to back up his accusations.
    And what is this animosity on both sides that you speak of? Is this like an East side/West side thing? What are these two sides you speak of? Are you on one of the sides? (that’s reaally cool of you!) Are you trying to create a controversy where there is none? This whole thing is pretty petty of you.

    Comment by Tony — April 12, 2006 @ 5:20 pm

  17. Blast, you’ve figured me out! The truth is that CD Eichler once spilled Manischevitz all over my good suit, and I’ve never forgiven him for it. So I just made up all of this random, specific information surrounding his “brainchild” to make him look bad as part of my unending quest for vengeance. Drat, now I’ve been exposed and it’s all out in the open. Ah, Tony, I should have known not to match wits with you and your infallible knowledge!

    By the way, K-diddy — who can we all guess I am??

    Comment by Anonymous — April 16, 2006 @ 4:20 am

  18. I find it interesting that anonymous who claims to just want “to give credit where it’s due” continues to check back at this blog constantly. Seems like he’s got a bit of an agenda. Hmmmmm….

    Comment by Shlomo L. — April 16, 2006 @ 8:26 pm

  19. I hear what Shloime L. is saying. He’s tynaying a good point. If anonimous, or whoever he is, really wants to make sure that the real contributers getting the right props, he would have made his point and been done with it. From the fact that he keeps posting here, its pashut that hes just trying to attack the CD. (I also thought it was funny the way he called it passuks instead of pessukim. Wonder where he went to yeshiva?)

    On the other tzad, the defenders of the CD seem to be a bit too defensive to this guy. Why do they keep answering him? Maybe they just want to prove that they are right?! Maybe, I don’t know. I wonder if there is this much controversy with other jewish albums. i also, don’t know.
    Whatever it is, it sure seems that this is bordering on loshan horah. If there really is a pirud going on over here, why aren’t they taking it out among themselves instead of on this public website? Doesn’t seem like the yiddishe way to me. I don’t know.

    Comment by Avigdor — April 17, 2006 @ 11:52 am

  20. Avigdor –

    I tend to agree that this does seem to be bordering on loshon hora. I’ll cover this topic in a non-confrontational unambiguous way when I write my review.

    Comment by keyboardguy — April 17, 2006 @ 11:57 am

  21. Hi all,

    I’m a regular reader of this blog and an unbiased observer of this discussion. Regarding the blog, I enjoy reading Reb Steiner’s perspectives on the Jewish Music world. I often find his reviews to be inciteful, intelligent and daring. Good Job, Aryeh!
    To contribute to this discussion, I’d like to pose a question to what seems like a pretty heated discourse. How did this anonymous fellow come about with his “inside” information? I myself am undecided as to whether he is indeed speaking the truth or not. If he is however, why doesn’t he just come out and say how he has come by this info? If he claims a legitimate source, I’m pretty sure that we would side with him. If he is unable to provide any backing for his statements, we will have to assume he is a sabotager. Easy as that.
    As for me, it doesn’t really matter how the album was arranged or produced. If it sounds good I’ll buy it, if not I won’t, end of story. I’m pretty sure most of the music listening population feels the same way

    Comment by josh — April 17, 2006 @ 4:07 pm

  22. I’m close with one of the people who was integral in creating this album from start to finish and I am sure he does not wish to be associated with this spat, seeing as how everyone jumped on the defensive, refuted my facts and personally attacked me as soon as words that were even perceivable as negative escaped my mouth (fingers?). I had info, I gave it and I meant no harm. You wanna call me a fraud or a sabotager, go ahead. It’s clear that each person will believe and/or claim whatever is easiest for them to cope with, and I have learned a hard lesson about that. Chag freakin’ sameach, people…

    Comment by Anonymous — April 17, 2006 @ 5:33 pm

  23. Hey anonymous,

    Maybe this was your first time posting on a blog and that is why your last comment came out the way it did. When people responded to your posting I don’t think they meant to attack you with titles of “sabotager” and the likes. They just want to make sure that your information is correct.
    The nature of blogs is to bring up issues and discuss them.
    If you bring up “facts” in a public setting such as this and when questioned, you don’t validate them, people start to wonder what is going on.
    There are enough people out there with real legitimate information who contribute to blogs. Thank G-d for them. There are probably twice if not three times the amount of people who contribute gossip/rumors/slander/garbage etc. to blogs. These people feel free to say whatever they would never say to someones face by hiding behind the anonymity of a computer.
    There was a time when I took what I read on blogs at face value and assumed the information was generally true.
    I unfortunately learned the hard way, when I began repeating what I had read and ended up spreading information about people that wasn’t quite true.
    Thus is the danger of the internet. A person’s entire reputation can be destroyed by some anonymous shnook sitting at home on a computer. (I’m obviously referring to things a lot more incriminating than false music producing, but the same issue would apply here.)
    What you have claimed on this blog is not just an opinion on the album. If you had said that you hated the sound, didn’t enjoy the songs,etc. that would be understandable. You are entitled to your opinion.
    However, when you state that the people who claimed to have sung on the album really did not, you are undermining the entire production. You are bordering on calling the group a Milli Vanilli. That is a pretty huge accusation.
    When you make an accusation like that, I believe it is the responsibility of the readers of this blog to question you. Like I said before, if you are really correct and can bring proof, then kol hakavod, you have uncovered a fraud. If you can’t bring proof, then us, the readers of the blog, have to believe that you have an agenda. What it is, I can’t even begin to wonder.
    Just wanted to take a chance to explain that to you. Wouldn’t want you to feel slighted.
    And Aryeh, I know this is your blog and you truly are free to do whatever it is you want with it. But as the blog author, I would hope you would question the information you receive as well. I know you wouldn’t want your blog to be the source of unfounded rumours.
    To end off, once again Aryeh, great blog.
    To Anonymous,
    Have a chag sameach and see if you could leave the freakin’ out of it : )

    Comment by josh — April 18, 2006 @ 1:12 am

  24. Welcome back everybody!

    Here are (hopefully) my last comments to everybody regarding this project.

    The album is called a.k.a.pela,
    Premium Blend.
    Its a wonderful album with A Capella arrangements of popular music. That’s the concept.

    Many people sing on this album.
    The lead vocalists are featured prominently and proudly next to the titles of each song as written inside the album cover. As I previously stated, the background harmonies were sung by almost everybody involved in this project, including the lead singers, myself, and other arrangers.

    I still don’t understand why “anonymous” takes an issue with this, being that he himself got paid for arrangements and singing. Unless of course, he has a personal agenda being that he himself has an A Capella CD out in stores….. Hmmmmmm

    The bottom line is:
    We hope you pick up a copy of this awesome album and enjoy it. This will enable us to produce many more albums for you guys.

    Lastly, anybody that wants to claim that these people didn’t sing on this album, can personally call me and take up the matter with me.

    Looking forward to your review Keyboardguy!

    Mo Kiss
    Studio 48V
    845-304-6342

    Comment by MoKiss — April 21, 2006 @ 4:39 pm

  25. I hate to add fuel to the fire… but I have some “inside” information regarding CD Eichler’s “brainchild” that will corroborate anonymous’s statements…I cannot disclose much of the details but a source close to Mo Kiss has revealed to me some information of interest… as it turns out some of the harmonies in tracks 03, 05 and 07 of the album were actually done by chimpanzies… to make matters worse CD Eichler has NOT credited any of the chimps on the album cover nor were they given an opportunity to thank anyone… there is also some speculation as to whether CD Eichler even had anything to do with the arrangements… there is speculation as to whether this indivdual “CD Eichler” even exists, a source at sameach music (the distributor) leaked some info indicating that this CD was actually concieved by Eli Gerstner who used a pen name in order to avoid a backlash from the more “yeshivish” community… so there you have it anonymous was not mistaken after all… let the rumbling begin…

    Comment by MoMula — April 21, 2006 @ 5:16 pm

  26. I’d like to thank momula for backing me up and telling like it is. Finally, after so many of you have tried tirelessly to hide the truth- the cat is out of the bag. I had no intention of hurting CD Eichler or his project in anyway – but I felt that it was only fair that those who went unmentioned and uncredited behind the scenes be noted. Give credit where credit is due. While I cannot speak to the truth of allegations that Eichler used Chimps in the making of this album I am aware that he has used animals in various stages of recordings. As far as i am aware, there was at least one goat involved in the project, but that is not my point of contention. Whether or not CD Eichler credits the animals or other talented individuals who facilitated this album is his buisness. I just wanted the world to know the truth. Thanks again momula for your support. Perhaps now, at long last, everyone will let this rest. The truth is out there, make of it what you will.

    Comment by Anonymous — April 21, 2006 @ 7:11 pm

  27. Hi Anonymous,

    I just wanted to commend you on performing such a noble act. Informing the world of what really went on with the production of AKA Pella, is a truly noteworthy accomplishment.
    I imagine that when you first had reason to believe that CD Eichler wasn’t going to give credit to all those involved with the production, you contacted him to inform him of his wrongdoings.
    I’m assuming that he responded by telling you that he didn’t care what you said and that he was going to steal everyone’s thunder anyway by taking credit for things he hadn’t done.
    At that point, you had no choice but to go on the web and inform everyone of CD’s wrongdoings. That is what a mature adult does when faced with a difficult dilemma such as the one you claim to have confronted.
    I’m sure that’s how it went anonymous. Or did you decide to go a different route?

    I seriously can’t believe that you are acting so childish. I was a bit hesitant to use insults but I can’t think of a better way to describe your behavior.
    For you to come on this blog, attack the work of everyone on it, and then when questioned about your statements, complain like you are a victim? Seriously, how old are you? If you really feel that this album going to be competition for you, I guess you’ll just have to make a better album next time.

    You will find that spreading lies and gossip about others will come back at you later.
    And a tip about the future; deal with your problems like a man. Seriously.

    Comment by tony — April 23, 2006 @ 12:55 am

  28. Wow! I Google CD Eichler and this is the first hit!

    John Clark here. I was looking for information on AKA-pella since I have not yet received my copy of it. Has it been made available?

    So the album sounds amazing and you should all own a copy. I am not posting this to field questions about statements made by “anonymous”, but I WILL say that the blurb at the top of this blog stating that Larry Gates mixed the album is false. I’m pretty sure, no, I KNOW, that I edited and mixed this album. I even have the ProTools session files to prove it. Anyway, I’m sure it’s just an oversight and that the CD sleeve credits me. πŸ™‚

    Seriously, the album has some truly stunning moments and is well worth having in your collection. Hats off to all who were involved in making this CD.

    Comment by John Clark — April 23, 2006 @ 7:12 am

  29. Guys-

    I hate to moderate, but this post has turned into bickering and there is more mis-informration there than information.

    To risk offending anyone else and to curb the escalation of this argument, I’m requesting that anyone who wants to discuss this further please e-mail me at keyboardguy@yahoo.com.

    Also, I will have to remove all further posts related to this argument.

    Thanks for understanding.

    Comment by keyboardguy — April 23, 2006 @ 1:59 pm

  30. Last two comments deleted.

    Really no point in arguing any further.

    If you want to vent, I’d suggest you e-mail me your opinion, and I’ll try to incorporate it unbiasedly into my review of this album.

    Comment by keyboardguy — April 23, 2006 @ 10:47 pm

  31. The bottom line is we should all put this feud to rest… and while we’re resting why not listen to some quality chasidishe a capella instead of all this nareshe punky a capella… in stores now nation wide!! Once you go black you never go back. B’seder – now back to your regularly scheduled machloikes.

    shkoiach,

    -The Great One

    Comment by E. Gerstner — April 23, 2006 @ 11:14 pm

  32. I retract the following statements made previously;

    “I still don’t understand why ‘anonymous’ takes an issue with this, being that
    he himself got paid for arrangements and singing. Unless of course, he has a
    personal agenda being that he himself has an A Capella CD out in stores…..
    Hmmmmmm”

    Comment by MoKiss — May 11, 2006 @ 6:26 pm

  33. In the spirit of Mo Kiss’ retraction – I too would like to retract a previous statement as some new information has recently come to light.

    A couple of weeks ago i boldly stated:

    “While I cannot speak to the truth of allegations that Eichler used Chimps in the making of this album I am aware that he has used animals in various stages of recordings. As far as i am aware, there was at least one goat involved in the project.”

    At this juncture, I would like to state for the record that no goats were used in the making of the album. The goat I was reffering to in the previpous post, who for obvious reasons wishes to remain anonymous, has recently come forward and fessed up. As it turns out it was all a lie, he had no part in either the arrangemnt or production of this album – he just wanted to jumpstart his musical career and figured the controversy would put his name on the map… boy was he mistaken. While I am extremely disapointed in him -i am embarreded that i allowed myself to be duped by a goat – he seemed so sincere at the time. This should be a lesson to us all – never listen to a goat! I apologize for misleading all of you- i hope my credibility has not been tarnishd by this unfortunate mishap. If you are reading this Mr. Goat – You’re dead to me – dead.

    Comment by Anonymous — May 14, 2006 @ 3:23 am


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