47 posts

Something happening with the Ethernet Orchestra

Bloody ages ago, I used to write reviews on an experimental webzine called Those writings exist somewhere on this very site actually.
Anyway, Roger Mills was the editor and he ran off to Australia for some reason, and started The Ethernet Orchestra. This was a art/music/phd thesis, about music that is played across networks. And for one performance I was a member, performing in my pyjamas from my bedroom, at an ungodly hour, while the rest of the group were on stage in the land down under. Well he seems to have written a book, made a film, or something, at least there’s a very nice poster… Although not mentioned, I’m pretty certain Im Oslo.

Letter printed in The Wire

I’ve been getting the music magazine The Wire for about 25 years, and I still have most of them!
Never have I felt the need to write to them, but after the editor Derek Walmsley told a little story about slightly wishing he had bothered to learn an instrument properly, I was driven I tell ya, to write.
I have always been into more experimental ways of playing the guitar, with loads of fx, guitar synths and not to mention, looping. But never really got to be an expert guitar player, which I regret. And probably too late now.
However, Hilde bought me a lapsteel guitar for christmas (and I bought another one a few weeks later- you kind of need a few to investigate different tunings)… And Im determined to learn. Anyway, cut a long story short.. my letter was printed, god-dammit!
And here it is!

Andre la Fosse rocks…

My second favorite looping guitarist, the amazing EDP expert, Andre la Fosse, has quite un-necessarily cited me at coining the term “unstacking” when referring to an obscure echoplex technique.

It’s not even a technique I use much, more of a side effect of Loop Windowing.

Loop Windowing is where you record a short loop, multiply it longer and add an overdub onto that, now longer loop. You then divide that loop back down to the original (not ness) and hit undo. Instead of peeling off that second layer, as you would expect, it actually starts scanning through the loop in chunks.

So Unstacking is the reverse.

First you record a short loop, then overdub multiple times into it, it gets noisy and full.

THEN you multiply out to multiple lengths of the original loop, then undo.

This has the effect of laying out one after another (as you played them?) all the short overdubs into one quieter loop with only one layer.

Andre produces a bunch of tutorial videos for the EDP.
Here’s the latest about the aforementioned un-stacking (where he also over does his mentions of me.. no need Andre, no need!)


A Modular synth album

This album is recorded over a few years, many modular improvisations, probably intended as bits of a future Electricity album, but never becoming thus.
I have edited and mixed them altogether to make one long playing track. I haven’t deleted errors or bits where things don’t always work, plus you can also hear places where Im tuning up synth modules, or tweaking the sounds before I use it. This is part of using a modular, and are normally not heard on an album, I like those bits, it shows process and give humanity to otherwise electronic sounds.
What about the title? Well it suggests self illumination, the fact that a thing itself can itself reveal some truth about itself, or give light and visibility to other things. I am referring to the above working process, but also my wish to illuminate what Im doing (my self) to the world. A very current need we have, self publishing. Normally these recordings would be private, and be edited out of all recognition, micro-edited, like most (all?) music done on Ableton Live, just sounding perfect, over produced and lacking dynamics.

Anyway, buy it for whatever at bandcamp!

Or you can cheat and just play this… but no, go and buy from bandcamp, than you can put it on your phone and go jogging…

What musicians are paid now!

I few years back I posted a horrific graphic by the wonderful site, hat showed clearly why you shouldn’t use Spotify.
There was a “discussion” in the car now about why we cant have this service in my family.
not saying all the info here is true, but was pleased to find an updated graphic. Here it is!
So conclusion— buy CDs at gigs from the artists themselve (or Bandcamp)

The Cranes Philadelphia,Pa 3.10.97

Well here’s a gig Id totally forgotten! I was obviously enjoying this one alot, judging by the playing Lilies from the audience and pretty much trashing my guitar during Adrift! It always happened that if I loved a show, you can be sure that Jim hated it, as can be proven when Ali says “this is the last song”, Jim can be clearly heard muttering “…ever!”

And heres the “trashing bit” from Adrift… what a fucking guitar hero!

God I miss it…

Vectr Solstice

Here I am demonstrating the time quantising on the Vectr. Recorded live on the night of the Summer Solstice. Not that I care two hoots about that.

Patch Info
Roland D2 (drums) sending midi to Futurelabs Mobius, which is sending clock to Mutable Instruments Grids. 2 channels are sending triggers to a Frequency Central SystemX ADSR and a Frac rack Paia ADSR. A Doepfer A110 VCO and a Blacet F350 Morphing terranium have their pitch affected by the X and Y outs from Vectr, which is synched via its REC in socket to a Deopfer Clock Divider, which is receiving clock from Mobius.
The out from the A110 is going thru a Frequency Central Raging Bull Filter/VCA, which is modulated by the aforementioned SysX ADSR. That out is sent to desk. The F350 out is going through the PAIA ADSR and sent to desk. One more thing, the Morph X input of the F350 is receiving stepped voltages from the very wonderful Blacet Binary Zone, that is also clocked from Mobius.
Pretty simple really…

Vectr firmware version 2.0 soon…

vectrIve been working with Matt from HackMe electronics… OK “working with is a bit arrogant”… bugging him is more like it, about neat features I wanted in the Vektr firmware, and I got a beta copy last night, and it seems totally fantastic!
The version 1.0 software which was a bit more than a tri-ophonic theremin thingy, or synth controller and frankly a bit tricky to use in a real world situation (but still lots of fun). But now with 2.0 the sequencer is tightly locked to the incoming clock, and I suggested other ways for it to synch up, such as auto punchout of record, so you can specify how long your recording with be, 16 bars 8 bars etc. You can also “round up” you recording, so when you punch out manually, it will wait for a multiple of 2,4,8,16 etc whatever you have specified, before closing the loop. All this was inspired by the EDP looper.
In addition, although theres aways been pitch quantise, so the note will not slide all over the place, now you can link the pitch to the clock, so will force changes in pitch on beats.
And more… I got him to change the major scale to minor… and scale the octaves from C to C (rather than C to B as it was before).

The combinations of these new features with some of the old are quite interesting too. For example, the old “twirl you hand to speed up a sequence” gesture, is now linked, very tightly I might add, to multiples of the clock timebase, so you can record, and then your hand twirl left will speed up your sequence to double speed (right will halve the speed) further hand twirling will quadruple the speed and so on… I think the clock out reflects the altered clock so in affect you can use it as a gesture controlled divider (although I haven’t checked this yet, just thought of it… Im sure it works like that).

I think Im going to have to make some videos of this, get some sales for poor Matt, who has been working his arse off for a month now, I think hes getting pretty jaded now, might stop development to become a monk.. who knows?

Simon Heartfield uses Electricity in mix

My old mate Simon is still making mixes, I remember when he was my lodger, and was just starting out on the DJing… oh yes I remember that…