At GearFest ’15, synthesizer pioneer Roger Linn sat down with Mitch Gallagher to talk music and electronic instruments. Technical Grammy award-winner Roger Linn invented the LM-1 Drum Computer (the first sample-based drum machine) in 1979. He later designed the Akai MPC60, which combined a sampling drum machine with a real-time MIDI sequencer. His guitar effects unit, AdrenaLinn, has been used on hit recordings by John Mayer and Red Hot Chili Peppers. In 2014 he released the LinnStrument, an expressive MIDI performance controller.
Mitch Gallagher sits down with synthesizer legend Tom Oberheim for a special interview at Sweetwater’s GearFest 2015. A pioneer of the synth and MIDI world, Tom Oberheim co-designed the Synthesizer Expansion Module (SEM), a device that allowed musicians to simultaneously combine live playing and sequenced playback – a concept that pre-dated the MIDI revolution. In 1981, he, along with Roland’s Ikutaro Kakehashi and Sequential’s Dave Smith, developed the MIDI spec, which changed the course of modern music. Tom recently re-released his famed Two Voice synth.
MG is the new Martin Gore album – out now on Mute. Martin Gore reveals his inspirations behind this singular and beautiful album in this exclusive interview.
On the official Bandcamp blog you will find a fresh interview with Uwe Schmidt, the man with many alias in electronica.
As we move into 2015, Uwe Schmidt celebrates his 25th anniversary of putting out records. In that time, the German electronic musician has released music under a staggering number of aliases and in a jaw-dropping array of styles. He’s best known for the arch electronica of his Atom™ and Atom Heart projects, and even non-electronic listeners may well be acquainted with his Señor Coconut project, which reimagined Kraftwerk’s catalog as electrified salsa and cha-cha standards. (Schmidt, 46, was born in Frankfurt, but has lived in Santiago, Chile since 1997.) Those names barely scratch the surface; consider also Brown, Superficial Depth, 21 Brothers, i, Erik Satin, Replicant Rumba Rockers, and Weird Shit—in all, more than 60 aliases span everything from neck-snapping EBM (Lassigue Bendthaus’ Matter) to starry-eyed ambient and ambient trance (Atom Heart’s Orange [Monochrome Stills] and B2/Atom Heart Live) to bit-crushed Latin experiments (Los Sampler’s Descargas) to the mind-bending rhythmic and timbral fluctuations of Atom™’s 2009 album Muster.
Edd Butterworth talks with U-He’s Urs Heckmann about the origin of the company, their awesome synth collection and more.
Here is short sample from the interview:
In 1967 Nonesuch Records, a record company specialized in releasing inexpensive classical music records, became interested in having electronic music in their catalogue. First, they released Morton Subotnick’s ‘Silver Apples of the Moon,’ Kenneth Gaburo’s ‘Music For Voices, Instruments & Electronic Sounds,’ and Beaver & Krause’s ‘The Nonesuch Guide to Electronic Music,’ and then, via a recommendation from Robert Moog, Nonesuch became aware of Andrew Rudin’s electronic works and commissioned a full-LP composition. In 1968 ‘Tragoedia – A Composition in Four Movements for Electronic Music Synthesizer,’ a piece composed between October 1967 and April 1968 was released, using instruments designed by Robert Moog. Some excerpts from ‘Tragoedia’ were used by Italian director Frederico Fellini in his 1969 film ‘Satyricon.’ Andrew Rudin realized a second work for film and synthesized sounds, ‘Paideia,’ and continued to compose for ensembles and dance companies.
The online magazine Noyzelab has posted a lengthy interview with Aphext Twin, below is the initial sections:
note: this interview was conducted over the course of a couple of months, the process began around the time the blimp went up before the release ofSyro and was completed on 25.10.2014, after the albums release. some questions were inserted afterwards, answered amended etc, so the whole thing isn’t sequential. all music tracks, photo’s & images have been supplied by richard + photo’s that were taken by other people have been noted. this is part one of two parts.
thanks: Grant Bussinger at Warp Records for web assistance
dave: hi rich, first up, thanks heaps for agreeing to an interview for noyzelab! there’s a MASSIVE buzz going around about your upcoming release syro[now released as this interview took so long!], the first aphex twin album since drukqs in 2001. lets start off with the album title and artwork. you’ve said that it was a word conjured up by one of your lads, can you elaborate on this? How did it come about & does it have a meaning?
rich: Hi man, funny being interviewed by one of yer mates
although actually I reckon its quite a good ting for all friends to do to each other, ill have to return the interview about you at some point.
thinkin bout it, quite a few mates id like to pin down on a few things!
My eldest son[8yrs] just looked at me one morning and said syrobonkus, I asked him what it meant he said he didnt know.
Artwork, this time I didnt want to just stick a ‘picture’ on it you know, its pretty acidmicrodot inspired in a way [cold as fuck] as was icbyd cover which happened after my girlfriend morphed into me while she was lying on top of me [scariest thing I ever saw, looked much better than the pic i painted for that, , no emotion, which is how I’ve felt on acid before, just experiencing so much more than normal, heightened senses, telepathy, huge increase of smell, I think I can smell my own brain now…it smells clean and grey, it’s a strange smell, being aware of so much more but not feeling ANY emotion.
completely culturally deprogrammed, one very good reason why it’s illegal, like the beautiful scene in John Carpenters ‘they live’ ‘money is your god etc’ but even more extreme to the point of how you behave.
I think doing acid is a bit of a brute force way of getting outside yourself, there are other easier ways but no less difficult to deal with and more intense but without the brutal chemicals in your body.
I had an astral projection the first time I did acid [after about 5/6 hours] right outside myself on the ceiling, looked down on my body making a sandwich, such a terrifying experience,
Well I don’t think terrifying is the right word, I don’t think there is a word, I think getting a 2nd one is harder as you have to overcome the fear.
I had a trip on a microdot once around 94ish , it went very weird, long story short, I couldn’t find anything that was good or worthwhile about music, I put on some of my fave records by other people [i get into this state tripping sometimes, .. what am i supposed to do now?[deprogrammed] its pretty scary..and thought oh maybe i would play… like music.. to enjoy?]
I was in quite a desperate/seeking state and they all sounded so bad, the brutal truth, pointless and totally boring, i saw how i kind of invented/made up a fantasy about things i liked, kind of tricking and lying to myself that it was good so i could feel nice&comfy, anyway I thought there must be something good to fucking listen to… and I found it , it was turning my amp and eq up on maximum and I mean maximum and spinning the radio dial backwards and forwards, [it was a nice weighted one] , I was totally emotionless when I was doing it [ ] and I thought…hmmm yeah thats …kind of alright, then my speakers blew up.
But in the back of my mind now, many years l8r I can choose to remember the feeling of everything anyone ever does creatively is actually terrible, the only comforting thought I can get like that is , well rocks can’t make beats or something, ha , so that’s kind of good, i don’t knw wtf I’m going on about…jeez.
awhile after my girlfriend tried to comfort me, as i musta looked in a bit of a state, she stroked my arm and all I could think was, why is there a skeleton with a blood circulatory system moving up n down on my skeleton with another blood circulatory system! [absolute deprogrammed to fuk]
it was confusing I knew I was supposed to feel something but didn’t and when I saw my girlfriend get upset, 4 a split second I ‘felt bad’ and said I was sorry I dunno what I’m supposed to do..like a kind of remnant of emotion just flicked back for half a second.
what a tangent..yeah its cold microdot vibe basically, ha
dave: how does it feel to have a new aphex twin album coming out after so many years? its quite incredible to have such a large gap in releases and yet maintain such a loyal following. aside from the music of course, do u think your live performance work has been integral to this ? Also been checking some of your interviews that have started coming out, really cracked me up, all your lies about having kids and wives !
rich: Well you know you gotta play with the conventions ain’t ya, also though, I always kinda fantasised about what it would be like to have kids and get married etc, I know I probably will never do that, so I guess it’s nice to pretend that you’ve done it, my russian girlfriend was flattered when I started pretending we were married, a lot of people now think we are married which is funny and we just play a long with it most of the time, we had an imaginary wedding and have imaginary kids.
I’ve surprised myself quite how far I can take it, inventing personas etc.
ok music career, ha, i hate the words career & successful btw.
dunno but i used to have this game on the spectrum 48k which was rock star manager or summink, it was pretty boring but kept me entertained 4 a bit and was different from the usual games and i remember you used to do better when your band toured regularly, so that was my first in depth music managerial education on’t speccy, great music education, ha
It feels good because although tracks get finished thyre still kind of unfinished in yer ed, they occupy space up there as you know they not pressed up/backed up and mastered.
Backing stuff up on releases and getting it mastered whether I do it or someone else, they are the biggest reasons for me releasing stuff
id lose track of it else.
Then its like your free of them and you can concentrate so much more on other things your doing and hopefully it earns you a living int process.
dave: theres been a lot of speculation in the media & reports of you playing out unreleased stuff from the album live. so have u been testing this stuff & future releases out during your live gigs to see peoples reactions?
rich: yeah i spose.. but firstly its always lush 2 ear what your tunes sound like on a massive p.a
Also was fully aware that usually with my releases, they are quite impenetrable for a lot of folk for a while until they work out whats going on, so having some people partly familiar with some of the tracks b4 release makes a nice way in for dem.
Im addicted [a bit too much] to listenin to my tracks on as many different kinds of speakers and headphones when making them, its like listening with a slightly different personality/set of ears, you hear different things and learn how it translates.
I gotta stop doing it so much actually as it kind of doesn’t matter, ur better off just makin sumink else but these things happen4 a reason u have to go with them sometimes.
Daniel Miller showing Minimoog, Pro One, TR 808 / 909 and even the Anyware Tinysizer – shown on the last modular synth meeting – as well as polivoks, System 100m and SE1X along with Microwave and Matrix 1000 by Oberheim and Arp Sequencer.
Assemblage 23 played a well visted concert in Sweden on August 30th and we took the opportunity to meet up with the band back stage a couple of hours before they were due on stage. And without us asking it is clear that A23 enjoys playing in Sweden – “One of our favorite places and the girls are nice”…
Assemblage 23, aka Tom Shear, has always walked his own way on the electronic music scene, avoiding falling into the monotone EBM trap that characterize many of the bands of the same era. Being experiemental is perhaps a too strong a word, but Tom is definately more into brining in alternative sounds into his music paired with a stronger focus on the melodies. This does not mean at all that A23 does not flirt heavily with the EBM scene, one strong evidence of this is A23’s side project Surveillance, you can listen to the recently released remix album on Bandcamp.
According to Tom he always keep a hefty sized “ideas folder” on his computer, both containing material for upcoming A23 albums, but also a lot that does not fit. The ideas that had more of a Nitzer Ebb and Front 242 flavor actually ended up being the foundation for Surveillance Oceania album. An album and project that actually started out as a crowd funding project and did so nicely. We asked A23 on the interest of making more collaborations with other artists, but Tom made it clear to us that it would not be fun to collaborate with Tom: “I have very strong ideas and quite stubborn”.
Gothenburg, Sweden, is hosting the Electronic Summer festival featuring acts like Covenant, Aesthetic Perfection, as well as the popular UK act Client, that has been part of the electro/synth pop scene since 2002. We remember watching their very first live performance back then, although at the time there were three client’s on stage now they are apparently two (at least in this line up). Since the days when they were signed up with Andy Fletcher’s label there has been several clients passing by in the line up, with one remaining anchor client. Stereoklang caught up with Client for a quick chat right before they were due on stage.
Client put a lot of attention to their outfits on stage, like vintage female army outfits, and we discussed the importance of this.
“Client is and always have been future pop art band”, and they let us know that the music always come first, but that their style is of course a key ingredient and that they have now chosen a new look called black widows to provide a bit of a Sopranos and mystique on stage, and a spice of New York. “We dress as what feels relevant at the time, and we want to show authority”.