Sequences, bleeps and The Wombles

I have finally set about getting the synth/MIDI side my studio back together after the change to Cubase from *years* as a Cakewalk user. The change being forced by simple financial practicalities and a some hardware issues with my Alesis IO|26.

So, what has that got to do with anything blog related? - bottom line, I've been listening to a lot of electronic music lately.

While trawling the net looking for information to get my studio back up and running and also partially inspired by seeing Sabres of Paradise', Haunted Dancehall on the list of 1001 albums to listen to before you die, I grabbed a couple of old electronic faves to get me in the mood and turned up the volume on my stereo.

I started with 3Phase (Sven Röhrig), Snafu Sessions. According to his label novamute, Snafu Sessions is a single. I hadn't realised that, having always assumed it was an EP, by the "sessions" in the name. Anyhoo... listen to Dolly Rock and Snafu Remix, burbly analogue style, driving tracks.

Next I moved on to Polygon Window, Surfing on Sine Waves and I'm sure I don't need to fill in most muso geeks that this is Richard D James, a.k.a Aphex Twin.

As it got to track 3 (Quoth), I was reminded of a situation several years ago, where a load of us had gone to a nightclub and I'd partied just a little too hard. The DJ put Quoth on and it pushed, thumped and pounded me over the edge; such that I spent a good chunk of the night trailing around with one of my friends, holding her hand 'cause I was in no condition to look after myself!! It's an enormous tune, just as powerful now as when I first heard it.

As the search for information to get my music hardware up and running continued, I got to the point of experimenting with some setups in Cubase, which meant flicking a switch, and silencing the CD player in favour of the output of my synths. They get piped through an ancient Fostex line mixer before being dumped back into the digital world through the Alesis IO|26 and while I was trying to get sound appearing through that source, MySpace kept me sorted with background music and I went on an electrosearchfest.

First up: Plaid - Fer - what a bloody brilliant track and so close to being "Ferg" :D hehe.. ahem.. as an aside, their cover of "All is Full of Love" is a really strange remix, I think it's a grower, I'm just not sure either what it's growing on, or into.

Scoliose - Nausicaa (I had wondered is that a reference to the anime movie "Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind" or the ancient Greek princess of the same name (meaning "burner of ships" but then I noticed the image on the MySpace player is of the latter), anyway, I want you to check out this track, it's atmospheric, with a cool tremelo strings thing going through it.

The stand out tune is VodkaPom - with a chunk of "In the Hall of the Mountain King" by Grieg in it and fronted by some freaky rap it's weird and really catchy but I might add, nowhere near as weird as The Wombles version of that classic piece, Hall of the Mountain Womble. How the hell do I know that?? .. I have it on vinyl. Really I do.

By now I was getting tired and really making no ground at all with my musical equipment, the first experiments had failed and I'd ended up just writing a little tiny bit of bleep called "Black Widow" using manual bank and program changes instead of names and ended the evening with a little more pillaging of MySpace for new music.

Of course it was at this point that I struck gold and found the wonderfully mellow Microcitron from Auvergne in France, he's got four tracks on his MySpace player and they're all lovely, start with "Bulle" if it's not the first in the playing order already. Quality music, well worth repeated listens. I really hope this guy gets some decent media attention soon instead of just a mention on this humble blog 'cause he's really very talented.

Next time, more driving tunes from DJ Kub with Tarmac Soul CD 1B, a further bleepathon with John Merrick, E3 and Alone Together and I'll dig up something guitary.

I never got back to listen to Haunted Dancehall... perhaps next time, although I suspect I'd look at Sabresonic II first. Here's Wilmot anyway..

(remember, those of you receiving the blog as an email, click through to the blog to hear the tunes online)


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