Martin and me have made a new band, called Electricity. And it the first band I have ever been in where Im not playing guitar!
I have loved synths all my life, and have got a small but well functioning Modular system (Out of date info here) But Ive always been a bit afraid to play live with it. Now I will! With the slight (ever so slight, he’s a loose cannon) safety net of Martins mono-synth drones and tapes and theramin wibbles, Ill be able to do what I enjoy the most, analog sequencing, and subtle tweaking, for hours if ness! https://www.facebook.com/electricityelectricity
Who knows what it will sound like? Not me for starters… but the basic idea at the strat was early Cabaret Voltaire meets early Human League, but with a bit of up to date, noisey droney glitchy stuff. But that could mean anything really… so..
Just a quickie review of the wonderful Korg Monotribe that has been in my hands for a month now.
I LOVE IT!
I got rid of the heavyweight Korg Electribe ESX six months ago, and have been missing SOME kind of drum-machine. Where the Electribe was a STUFFED FULL of features, FX, loads of samples, sounds and lots of tweaking possibilities, I found it slow to use, annoying with menus and some serious irritating lack of functionality (having to stop to enter certain menus, sample start points being impossible to tweak..)the Monotribe is the opposite. Its fun iand intuative from the moment you turn it on.
Firstly the sounds, the drum section is just hi hat bass drum and snare, as it should be in an analog kit the snare is VERY SIMILAR to the hi hat, and the bass drum is punchy and cool.
The Synth is fantastic, with the ms20 filter and various LFO shapes (including the slightly hidden S+H that came in the version 2.0 update) Its sounds totally fantastic! The Q peaks as it should with no distortion as you go into oscillation, the square wave is my favorite, but with the saw you can really WANG it out with a dubsteppy wobble.
TANK.. Metal.. hear me? METAL!!!!
Cool hidden features:
The flux thing is interesting, turning the keyboard into a continuous slide, for theremin effects.
The fact that there are “in between notes” resulting in a double resolution effectively 16 steps.
Audio in to the filter.
A nifty shortcut to half speed the whole machine. (nice when you are sending clock to it from a looper and don’t know what speed the drums will come out)
And the killer… ALL sounds can have beats removed… not just muted, but SKIPPED, so you can start a track with totally poly rhythmic mayhem, making no sense.. but then add back in the beats you are skipping, till suddenly it all gels. fantastic. Plus being able to make really long sequences, by skipping ONE beat, on the synth, it effectively only comes BACK INTO sync with the drums once every 4 bars, which gives a really cool and lazy feel.
Rolls.. not VERY realistic, but can be cool, but tends to be good by accident, so an UNDO feature here would have been nice, as you have potential to fuck up your cool groove.
Gate time on the synth can be adjusted by a weird key combo and sliding on the keyboard.
Programming is real simple, just add in notes on the grid. plus they can be “played” on the keyboard.
Whereas the Electribe have MASSES of programs where you could save stuff (but almost never did) The Monotribe is NOT meant to be a “programming tool” its a live tool. BUT I would have liked a way to save (you can save ONE rhythm, that it wil start-up with) not many, maybe 16 or 32 spaces… but something.
No Midi, was fine for me, cos I have a midi to trigger box that I dug out. Plus there are some add-ons available that are highly recommended. I MAY get that later.
No separate outputs for the drums and synth. COME ON.. thsi ones basic.. HAVE to be able to process the drums and synth separately!!! Luckily there is a simple circuit bend I may attempt. Just to take outs from the volume pots of the two sections. YOu gotta have delay on the synth (maybe distortion too for the techno thing).
But my MAIN gripe is… THE 9VOLT ADAPTOR MUST BE A KORG ONE!!!! Doesnt come supplied, BUT even though it takes completely regular 9v DC. They have a socket on the back that is not the standard Boss style Center negative. So I ordered an adaptor from Diago, I thin Center Positive, but that didnt fit either. Nowhere in Norwat can I just BUY a korg PSU. There is absolutely NO NEED to have a special PSU, so why they do that I HAVE NO IDEA. On the upside, the thing goes to sleep after 15 mins on inactivity and I have only changed the batteries once, so they last quite well.
On Thursday Jens and I played at the Polyføkt festival in Torshov, and it went pretty well. Ill be posting video and sound of our “show” soon. There was many cameras all over the place, (Noise nerds like to document) so I may even be able to do a multi camera edit, we´ll see if the music/recording was really any good!
Heres the poster!
And here are the videos: PART ONE
Our performance was part of an Italian/Norwegian exchange. As such we played in an exhibition space about skiing and winter sports, through the ages. Trento is high in the Italian Austrian mountains, and is surrounded by wonderful mountains.
I had a absolutely fantastic time, and the gig was great! The original plan was that Massimo and I would be backed up by a trio of Trento musicians. Carlo La Manna, Corrado Bungaro and (insert name here). But after having some laptop/keyboard problems, we decided that we would all just play together. And what a great decision. It was a fantastic blend of their ethnic virtuosity and me and Massimos electronic noises.
Massimo played loops and manipulated my videos live, including one with Hilde singing (The Spykkeskjaenhytte film) Carlo La Manna
Fretless Bass Corrado Bungaro
Played Violin, Nyckelharpa, Steeldrum, percussion Giordano Angeli
Saxophones, percussion Mark Francombe
Baritone guitar, electronics
Love this pic
This instrument is called a Nyckelharpa, and originates from Sweden.
So we did the gig with Damo Suzuki, and it was totally fab!
We all somehow gelled and played for 1 hour 40 minutes nearly non-stop!
The band was great, all fantastic musicians and all coming from slightly different approaches, that somehow really worked well together!
Mark Francombe (ex Cranes, guitar/electronics)
I did my thang, was quite unusual for me to be “playing” the whole time, Im so used to looping, recording, listening, adding. It was quite an ordeal to play the whole time, but somehow very cathartic!
Ådne Meisford (120 days, electronics) www.facebook.com/120days
Had some great weird tones, that I tried to play off when I was also doing more noise stuff, some cool boxes, that I must investigate…
Daniel Meyer Grønvold (Moon Relay, Now We Got Members, guitar) soundcloud.com/moon-relay
Very cool guitarist, with a strong sense of rhythm and noise, got a nice crunchy distortion. A very different guitarist than me, very aggressive and tight to my cleaner sound, really played well with the drums.
Leon Muraglia (Radio 9, bass) www.facebook.com/radio9
Just like Ted, he held us together, with a deep slightly gritty dub sound, the king of kraut!
Christian Næss (Radio 9, drums) www.facebook.com/radio9
I have never heard 2 drummers play so tight together, it always tends towards an Adam Ant tribal thing, but Christians cool percussion and drumming was so tight with Teds, that it was impossible to hear that it wasn’t from one source, I love this guys drumming i Radio 9 too…
Juan Diaz (keyboards) soundcloud.com/mojomalo Juan is a real pro pianist, and had the 60´s electric blues piano down, groovy and melodic, he stopped us gpoing into too much weird noise drones, by always bringing it back to be a song.. a great musician!
Damo Suzuki vocals What can I say, no hanging about here, he got up on stage and within 20 seconds was singing. Its so obvious that this is his thing, no hesitancy, no shortcuts, alwasy gave his most… A real honour to play with my idol. Thanks so much Damo!
Just thought I’d better post something about this… gonna do a gig with the Ex Singer of CAN.. on Feb 7th..
DID YOU FUCKING HEAR ME? THE SINGER OF FUCKING CAN!!!!
For a few years now Damo Suzuki (How old can he be now? 65-70ish?) has been touring, with NO band, relying on the fact that pretty much ever city in the world has at least one band who like Can. Last time he played Oslo, Hilde an I went to see him, backed by Salvatore. It was good, if a little long. We lefts after and hour and a half when he said “Lets have a 15 minute break?”
Anyway Salvatore are no more, but now Leon, formaly of that band has put together a band to accompany Mr Suzuki when he comes…
AND THAT MEANS ME!!!
I just got the Missing Link from Jabrudian Industries. What a wonderful and incredible bit of brilliance!
It just worked, right out of the box.. (after following the destructions on the site). I had made a very cool interface for my Repeater using TouchOSC Editor within 20 minutes, uploaded it to my iPhone and it just worked!!! So heres the stuff..
First a pic… So It looks very cool!
First you have to get TouchOSC onto your iPhone: http://itunes.apple.com/app/touchosc/id288120394?mt=8
Then you get TouchOSC editor: http://hexler.net/software/touchosc
Then you get your manual and look up the CCs or PGM CHGs, or Midi Notes you need:
Then you open TouchOSC editor and make your design for elements you need:
Then you go to Bernards little program here: http://wifimidi.com/midi-message-generator/
Add the “string” to your design elements.
Press Sync on the editor
Open Touch OSC on the iPhone, go where you can choose layouts and click ADD, your iphone must be on the same wifi net as your data machine, and you will see it… click it and Voila! Its on your iphone…
So heres a demo, done on the Repeater, 4 rhythm tracks completely operated from across the room, all the fades, pans and all the pitching is done using Touch>>missing link, OK I do manipulate the Tempo knob in the middle, to get that nice Repeater artifact stuff happening, OH.. and I admit I got carried away and did some Kaos Padding on top… but the rest was totally TouchOSC… Oh and the aquaduct, and the roads… and peace!
Recent sales of neglected gear have resulted in two purchases. The Korg Electribe ESX and the much lauded Roland GR55 Guitar synth.
Lets take that one now, and the drum-machine later.
I have had the GR55 for about a month now, and due to work and family commitments, I cant really say that I’ve delved very deep with it, but here goes. Continue reading Roland GR-55 Review→
The Fate of Music in the Age of No Effort
Thursday June 2, 2011
I was talking to a music industry acquaintance on the phone not long ago and he was matter-of-factly moving on, leaving music behind for the world of social media marketing. Music has had its day, said Kevin (not his real name); now it’s over. “No one cares the way they used to,” he said, sounding more pissed off than sorry. “Music isn’t special to people any more.”
This is certainly one conclusion to draw 10-plus years into the download era. And withdrawal is one logical enough reaction, especially from a music industry veteran. Forget all this crap (and boy is there a lot of crap). Find something else to sink your teeth into, find another way to make a living, because there’s no living here, that seems clear.
Kevin is neither a romantic nor a nostalgist. For him it’s reality: music is no longer special to people, deal with it, move on.
But here’s the thing. If the world around us doesn’t think music is special, guess what? The world is wrong. Music is an ancient, mysterious, compelling means of expression. If we’ve arrived at a point in our cultural life cycle at which music is “not special,” this says much more about us than it does about music. Music didn’t become “not special”; we, collectively, have become unable or unwilling to appreciate its specialness.
Here are 3 videos of the show me and Jens did at Sound of Mu.
All was improvised, and made up as we went along. The sound is a bit crap, as the camera is below the speakers, but it was fun… if not partcularly groundbreaking or together…