Saturday, February 19, 2005

Analog Sequencing

After doing my track for the EM Forum Analog Sampler project I decided to invest in some more analog monosynths to augment my SH-101 when sequencing. To this end I have recently purchased a Novation Super Bass Station (SBS) and a Dave Smith Instruments Evolver. I've also re-arranged a few things in the studio and now have the SH-101, SBS and Evolver hooked up to my Doepfer Regelwerk, though when I get my Sequentix P3 this may take on main sequencing duties. Each of these have their own sound and I'm really enjoying sequencing with them.

Super Bass Station


Monday, February 14, 2005

Awakenings Leeds: 11.02.05 SkinMechanix + HyperEx Machina

The first Leeds Awakenings gig was held on Friday at the Brudenell Social Club. After a terrible journey up the M1, I finally arrived in Leeds around 6:30, followed John's directions to the venue and only managed to get slightly lost as I missed one turn-off and had to go round the block.

The venue was set a way back from the road and quite easy to miss, but I somehow managed to find it first time. From the outside it looked a bit rundown, but inside it was much nicer, though it was like going through a time warp back to the '70s, all a bit 'Phoenix Nights'.

Steve Munslow (HyperEx Machina) and John Sherwood were already there and had already set-up the PA and Steve's gear. Dave Hughes (SkinMechanix) arrived shortly after I did so I joined in and helped with unloading his gear.
Dave got his stuff set-up and soundchecked for about 7:30 with no technical difficulties. John's new PA was nice and loud and the venue's acoustics were excellent. His lights were quite nice too in a quite hypnotic way :¬)

HyperEx Machina went on stage about 8:15pm, wearing a particularly stylish shirt, and played for roughly an hour. Using only a Korg MicroKorg synth and a Roland MC-307 groovebox he produced a set combining ambient and rhythmic EM, as John said "He played an absolutely magical set, I've seen him live a few times, but this time he really went to town. Mysterious piano chords and swirling pads, intense beats sections, arpeggios and sequences flying all over the place. Brilliant." My friend Pete said it was like a "Berlin Wall of Sound" which I thought was quite appropriate. I quite quite enjoyed the set, particularly the last piece which ended with Steve walking off the stage with the sequences still playing.

A full mp3 download of his set is available from the Awakenings website

SkinMechanix had loads more gear, including a Roland JD800 and a Kurzweil K2000 for the keyboard parts and an Akai DR8 for the backing parts. Dave was apparently quite nervous but once he got on stage and started playing it certainly didn't show in the music, which was confident, melodic, powerful and totally absorbing. Their was plenty of his trademark keyboard soloing and a particularly nice new piece. The already legendary Zeit sequencer was also present on stage, though not actually used live it had been used to generate some sequences on the DR8 and was briefly demonstrated in the soundcheck. Overall, this was a great first gig for Dave's new project and was remarkably free of the technical difficulties that had plagued his previous outfit 'T-Bass UK'

More photos are available from the Awakenings website

The turnout was respectable but we could have done with a few more people, but this was the first Leeds gig, and it was cold and raining, though we did have some people down from Edinburgh. Hopefully a few more will make it to the next one, which features me, Modulator ESP in support of the legendary Mr Ron Boots from Holland.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Modulator ESP on Aiir Internet Radio

Some of my music is going to be featured on the All Electronic/Synth show with Gus between 2-4pm EST/7-9pm GMT on Thursday 3rd Feb 2005

Click on the banner below - Realplayer 10 required