All posts by APS476110

Studio blog, 2019-10-06

I’ve missed a few weeks of studio blogging, but they haven’t been in productive. The last few weeks, I took care of a few long standing items while also making significant musical progress.

First off, I have made significant strides in getting to know (and love) the Akai Force. It seems do definitely be taking over the spot I’d had the MPC Live in as the MIDI/Audio centerpiece. It is by no means, as I’ve said, perfect, but it is very close! It lacks only a way, really, to cue up one song after another with minimal button pushing to be that perfect piece of live gear for the musician that doesn’t want to carry a laptop.

The second development, is that I took advantage of a pretty significant deal that Arturia was running and added a MiniBrute 2S to my rig along with a RackBrute 6u (it also came with a gig bag and cables for all of the above). With this purchase, I sold off the other Monorocket travel case that I was only half using anyway and transferred the modules to this one.

I have the idea now for a 3 or 4 track set. The first would be a modular improvisation on the MiniBrute + RackBrute, the second would be on MPC LIve, the third would then be on the Akai Force, with the final track going back to the MPC Live + Brutes. The idea is that I would be able to load it all up at the start of the initial set and then just play through to the end giving me round about an hours worth of material. The rig would be light enough to carry, so I could consider gigging.

And, yes, I am really starting to feel the itch to perform in some way again. What form that takes, internet streaming or actually finding venues is another discussion to be had.

As I am working on the pieces, I need to consider how to fill out that 6u. I want to make it its own rig, independent of the MiniBrute 2S if I can, but that’s not completely necessary. I already have spare utilities for it. I’ll post separately about that discussion.

Space..the final limitation.

For the last few days, I’ve been nursing a more than minor gear-boner for an Arturia MiniBrute 2S + RackBrute. I like the idea of setting that up next to the main modular and getting rid of my current overflow case, which would go a pretty good way to paying for it. I also like that there is a nice bundle available on that bundles the 2S, RackBrute and a case for the two. I have the idea in my head that I could take this simple rig with, perhaps, just the Akai Force to some undisclosed secret location and make music it on undisturbed by others for a weekend jam / retreat.

And that’s great. But honestly, I have no idea where I’d actually put it in the studio, particularly the case. I don’t have any large flat surfaces left, with the devices I have. There is the large space in front of the big modular where I could lay the case on its back, I suppose…but I’ve never really liked horizontal cases like that.

So I probably won’t get it because it just damned well won’t fit.


Post-Coldwaves Malaise

My throat is sore, my body sore and my asthma a tic more a problem than usual.   Coldwaves is over.

There isn’t much to really say about it.   It is what it is always is for me.   I see all the people I know or knew in that scene and I am reminded of how I never really belonged there.   That, for whatever reason, I am and will always  the outsider.  At this age, I’m 99% ok with that.  Damned if the demon inside my head won’t twist that over and over again though.

Anyway, it’s over.  On to next year.





Self Substantiation

Back when I was 15, I was hanging out with a crowed that was a few years older than me.  They introduced me to alternative music, bands like Depeche Mode, the Smiths, The Cure and many, many others.   

In  a stack of vinyl I was loaned to help me along, there were two albums, though, that were different:  Front 242’s Never Stop! e.p. and Nitzer Ebb’s ‘That Total Age’.  While my friend included them as examples, it was clear that he did not consider Industrial or EBM to be particularly great musical forms.  Despite owning some, he was quite dismissive of it. But I wasn’t.  I was hooked. 

And so I dug deeper on my own.  I started taking regular trips out to an import record shop in Schaumburg called The Turn Table (Long, long, looooong, gone) and digging through the binds of CDS and Records, and slowly building my collection.  Front 242 lead me to Wax Trax and, being the collector that I am, I went on to get almost every release they ever put out on CD (still have all of them).   

It wasn’t just rampant consumerism I was also instilled with.  The punk-borrowed “anyone can do this and do it well” ethos of Industrial Music and it’s bending of technology into art pulled me in and I started the path to becoming a musician in my own right.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but in that stack vinyl was my entire future.

The downside, unfortunately, was that I drifted from those friends that were dismissive of the art form in favor of my own direction.  I don’t regret this.   Finding my own path and having the courage to go against the prevailing group-think was an important step in my development as a human.  In a way, it was just my acceptance of the fact that I was never going to exactly fit in anywhere and that I’d always be an outsider.  Even after 30 years in the scene, I still feel that way. 

As I’m sitting here listening to Nitzer Ebb and prepping to see them in concert for the second time in my life, I am very grateful for everything that Industrial Music as given me.  There might not be a ‘me’ to be grateful without it.