Thursday, 17 May 2018

Tomita-Benge


LOOK! When John Grant and Paul Alexander were down here a few weeks ago, John had a copy of the reissue of Tomita's Daphnis Et Chloe album on CD. And inside is a picture of him in his studio in the 1970s. Its just like my studio is now!!

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Modcanned




So heres more Modcan explorations - a bunch of sketches on my new (old) Modcan A modular system. I damn well love this thing! Its such a beautifully designed system - offering utter uniqueness and flexibility

It seems to fall between West-coast and East-coast design philosophies - combining all the good things about modular synthesis in one giant bundle of fun. The system here is made up of original Modcan A modules and also Cyndustries (Cynthia) A-format ones. These were made a bit later once the A-series format had become established around the mid 2000's

What is cool is that Cyndustries used to commission / licence designs from well known figures in the synth design world - and put the names of the designers on the front of the modules. It reads like a who's who of the geeky electronic scene, with names like Nyle Steiner, Chris Huggett, Jurgen Haible, Don Buchla, Ken Stone, Bernie Hutchins, Peter Granader, Serge Tcherepnin

It all adds up to an amazing modular experience, like playing with a giant synth museum in a box. Sadly it seems that both Modcan and Cyndustries are now lying dormant, which is a shame, but from my point of view it makes these systems now seem more 'vintage' and precious somehow, and that fits in with most of the stuff I end up buying. In fact I have been looking for a Modcan A system for a few years without any joy, but like London busses, they all seem to turn up at once

Here is the current system I have put together, and there are quite a lot of modules I still have in another cabinet that I haven't decided what to do with yet. Watch this space!

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Revamp


I recently met up with Leo Abrahams here at Memetune and we were able to catch up on stuff. Leo is the person who invited me to participate in the amazing Discrete Music birthday gig at the Barbican in London in 2015. He is also the person who inhabits my old studio in Hoxton, sharing it with Hannah Peel and Erland Cooper. Here is a recent picture of the control room and its looking DAMN GOOD - well done and hurray for keeping the flame burning!!

Yes We Jan




I did a raved-up remix for Sefa recently - and its NOW OUT digitally. Please go and listen to all the marvellous remixes HERE

More info about the remix album HERE via Sefa's recorded label, Lost Map Records

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Akai, Akaii Or Akais?


Here is a short video of me playing two Akai synths. What is the plural of Akai? Is it possible that the word is a MASS NOUN, such as RICE or AIR? Who cares! This film shows me hooking up the S612 sampler to the AX60 using the special SAMPLER IN socket on the AX60, which routes the sampled voice through the AX60's voice architecture polyphonically. Its pretty cool and really opens up the potential for both units. Also theres a nice quirk on the AX60 that is a result of one of its limitations. It seems that any panel adjustments with the sliders only take effect AFTER a note has been triggered, and this means that moving the envelope amount fader while, for example, running the arpeggiator results in the notes having a full envelope retrigger on each note. I'm not sure I have explained that very well, but do you see what I mean? Anyway, I like exploring quirks

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Mod Can Do


I have finally put together my dream Modcan A system. Yes We Modcan!

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Odd Thing


A strange composition on the Arp Od(d)yssey and the matching Arp 1601 sequencer, alongside an Akai S612 sampler. I'm using the 1601 to trigger and pitch the Odyssey as well as the Akai (via a CV to MIDI converter). Its the same idea as this video. I love this patch! I shall call it THE REANIMATOR patch

Monday, 2 April 2018

Word of the Week #75


Cling Film




I have made a video to go with my latest Benge release (which I am sure you have already downloaded). The video was partially shot on my iPhone which I wrapped in clingfilm so I could submerge it in a tank of water which I then poured ink into. The clingfilm didn't work. And now my iPhone doesn't work. Never mind I needed an upgrade anyway