Mixer Jaëxx - Department of Corrections
MIDI Controlled Addiction
Mixer Jaëxx, U.S. Copyright Office, 2014
I wanted to create Department of Corrections to sorta’… uplift people if that makes any sense. I wanted to create a song that if you happened to be listening to a playlist while driving and you were kinda’ in a bad mood… traffic, heat, bumpy road, whatever and Department of Corrections came on, your mood changes, even if slightly. You start to appreciate what you have in your life and how, if things were worst, you’d be so grateful to have things the way they are now.
This was my goal when crafting the feel for the song. It first felt that way with the “Icecream Man” groove, which is the piano (Rhodes) sounding tune. It’s almost as if its singing “things could be worst”.
Creation of Department of Corrections wasn’t hard because I was creating Rebirth of Radiance at the same time. The grunt work was done for Rebirth. I had to create a certain feel for Rebirth, going with the whole “rebirth of radiance” idea, which was very particular. If something didn’t fit the soul of Rebirth, I would put those pieces aside for Department of Corrections.
When thinking about life and trying to be thankful for all I have in it, I sometimes think back to people incarcerated. All the little simple shit that I take for granted everyday, like being able to cook my own food, visit loved ones or just taking solace at home, I’d imagine means the world to them. So I wanted to create sections that expressed the feeling a person incarcerated would have being able to experience life again.
So I created three emotions for the song. The first one you hear is about being able to drive your own car. Driving with the windows and sunroof open, A/C blowing, great music blaring, possibly your lover riding shotgun. Yeah… that’s exactly how I’d imagine the soundtrack to that experience sounding. I call that the “cruisin’ section”.
The next emotion can first be heard at around the 00:48 mark. This one is about being able to be intimate with your lover after god knows how long you’ve been deprived of it. I call that section the “groovin’ section”.
The last emotion can be first heard at around the 02:05 mark. This one’s about being able to sleep in your own bed and being able to sleep in. You know that sensation of waking up, realizing you don’t need to get up and going back to sleep, feeling the world drift away? That’s what I call the “dreamstate section” (a nod to Been So Lonely).
I decided to call the song Department of Corrections for two reasons. One, because I wanted a song that might be inspiring to those who are incarcerated and also as a reminder that… whatever shit we’re goin’ through on the outside as free men and women, it could be worse. Each time I look at the name of this song, knowing its meaning, I can’t help but be grateful to be livin’ the life I have.
[Page background is of the actual device rack for this song.]