Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Dilapidated Office

I often walk past this amazing office building which has been empty for as long as I have been here (7 years). It would make a really great studio complex! Why is it left empty right in the heart of Shoreditch? Whats wrong with the owner?

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

ARP Book

When I was visiting Rash and his Buchla, I spotted a synth-book on his bookshelf that I had never heard of before. He very kindly lent it to me which is great because it is a thorough workout on the ARP Odyssey, much in the same way as Roland's The Synthesizer is with the 100M. Its full of examples and patch ideas with diagrams of the Odyssey's panel settings. Should be fun! Click on the front cover for a larger version. I love the design, it matches the later Arp products

Monday, 29 August 2011

Electric Lasso

Me and Big Al set up another lissajous curve thing on the oscilloscope and the Moog Modular. I love doing these things, they are so beautiful. This was our most difficult one to date, involving two oscillators, one square tuned an octave below the other sine wave. Then the sine was sent to a VCA and the square was modulating it. Then that signal was sent to a delay module so it could be set 90 degrees out of phase. Or something. I got a bit lost to be honest but Al knew what he was doing...

Me At Work

Heres a picture that Natalie took the other day of me working the controls, and thats Phil in the background

Saturday, 27 August 2011


I had a great day today. I duetted with a parakeet and a Buchla (me on Buchla). I also got to meet Rash who graciously showed me round his Buchla 200e / Eardrill / Verbos / Cynthia synthesiser. By the way the parakeet has picked up some very cool phrases. He bleeps

This patch was: 258v into 292 LPG [using 2 channels in series, the vactrols being set off by the eardrill ratchet set to semi-random pulses] and a 281 function generator in LFO mode modulating the LPG cutoff. I had to use the 266 source of uncertainty to send pitch choices to the 258v oscillator as triggered by the same ratchet sending out the timing pulses to the LPG [envelope]. The interesting thing was how easy it was to set up this kind of patch. it just WANTS to make exciting sounds for you...

Cigar Disco

Mac Attack

I was quite sad to hear that Steve Jobs has had to step down due to ill health. I've had pretty much every apple they ever made and enjoyed each one. I hope they continue to bear fruit. Via matrix

Friday, 26 August 2011

Close But No Cigar

Earlier this year me and John Foxx spent weeks creating and meticulously honing our cover version of Pink Floyd's Have a Cigar, which is featured on the cover cd of this month's Mojo mag. You can read an interview with us about the process here

Well, guess what? Mojo didn't use the finished version we gave them on the CD. Nope, by mistake they used a very early demo we sent them. An mp3, very rough demo version. Considering the song is all about the total lack of respect between the corporate music machine and the musical artist, its quite a fitting tribute don't you think?

Anyway, theres an official apology here, and you can download the finished version if you like

Cowboy Decorators

Walking home from the studio this evening I saw some more bonkers graffiti. What's it all about?

Busch Moog

Tara has donated her new EP to the Bob Moog Foundation! Thats so cool of her. Use the link and enter the remix competition!

Thursday, 25 August 2011


Saw this over on Yimmy's

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Home Music

Natalie (Lone Taxidermist) came in today to try out a tune here. Phil is working with her on some new songs. I really like her work. We did a tune she wrote called Home. Below is a video tour of her studio and office complex

Monday, 22 August 2011

Buchla Mayhem Again

I was asking John Potter [ether^ra] what the difference is in tone between the new Buchla digital oscillators and the [new] vintage-designed analog oscillators currently being made by Mark Verbos. They are clones [approved by Don, natch] of the supremely rare and wonderful Buchla 258. He sent me this demo

Here are some pics of the 258. The last pic is the clone:

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Foxxy Juno

Me and John Foxx working on some new tunes. He's on the Juno 60, I'm on youtube...

Orams Razor

Here's someone even more obsessed with synths than me! Its the story of someone bringing Daphne Oram's long lost mega-synth back to life

Mal Mixing

Mal (Steven Mallinder) came round yesterday to work on an idea for a Wrangler remix of Shatterproof (by John Foxx and The Maths). Mal co-founded Caberet Voltaire in 1973, and they are one of my favorite electronic bands ever. We had a great day playing with the VP330 vocoder and the Linn

Here is an old picture of Mal

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Bend Your Ear Radio Programme No.1

I've decided to do a monthly radio show here on Its Full of Stars, it's called the Bend Your Ear Radio Programme. So here goes, the first episode is called The Synthesis of Man. Er, hope you like it

UPDATE: I have used mixcloud to host the show, and they make a really nice little player for iphones, ipods and ipads. Download it free here, then use the search function to find 'bend your ear'....

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Saturday, 13 August 2011

So Many Colours

I saw this post over on the patchpierre blog, which is all about Doepfer synths usually, but this post is about an album by Wendy Carlos called Secrets of Synthesis. I had never heard of it before which was a surprise because its an album of her talking about and demonstrating her take on synthesis. Wonk-tastic!

Taming The Paia

Here is a video of me trying to get to grips with the Paia. This thing was made in the mid 70s and has amazing sounding oscillators, filters and envelopes with tons of character. In fact the whole system is quirky and hard to work with and doesn't easily do what you want it to do, but thats its charm right? Like a frisky pony. Its the forgotten modular, get one cheap while you can! This patch uses just one VCO, VCF and ADSR, and another VCO and sequencer as modulation. The whole system has 6 VCOs, 4 VCFs, 4 ADSRs and other things. Big

Friday, 12 August 2011

Look In The Mirror

The Daily Mirror today....

Beam Me Up

Here is some film of the stunning Buchla 100 housed at the Brandeis Electro-Acoustic Music Studio (BEAMS) near Boston. Eric Chasalow takes us on a rudimentary tour of some of its functions

I also found a beguiling album recorded in 1968 on the same system by a 14 year old girl. Its true. More info and free download here. The 100 has such a distinctive sound

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Arp Attack

Me and Phil had a Wrangle yesterday, and came up with a sequence and drum pattern for a new song. So today I carried it on a bit on my own just for fun. The bass drum was made on the odyssey too, the clap from this session (made on the ARP 2500)

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Top Scores

I was looking at some posts over on muffwigglers in the section called Buchla, EMS and Serge and saw this one. The poster was calling for tracks made on Buchla systems with the extra rule that the music has to have some kind of score to be included. He put up some pictures of classic pictorial electronic music scores from people such as Stockhausen and Ligetti. Aren't they beautiful?

Word of the Week #20

More Gig News

It has been announced that Tara Busch will be giving her support at some of our upcoming shows in october. This is really great news. Also Xeno & Oaklander will be doing some which makes me tremendously happy and excited. I love it when a plan comes together. Below are two more vids that Tara and Maf took when they came to the studio, go check out her blog!

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Ebay of the Day

Saw this during a routine ebay synth-search: the original synth. Probably

Pawnshop Séance

Foxxy describes preparations for our upcoming tour in a great new interview over on the Electricity Club

Here is a photo of the current lineup (this picture was taken by Nitin Sawhney who happened to be passing the studio. We were all kind of lined up and ready and he kindly pressed the button)