Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Bend Your Ear Radio Show No 8

I've put up a new mix of lovely vintage electro-pop! Its all really obscure stuff from the 80s, mostly ripped from 7 inch records by vanilla face over on his blog, but not all of it! Hope you have fun dancing round your bedroom to this lot

Bend Your Ear Radio Programme, Programme Eight: Pop Plastique by Zagoba on Mixcloud

Sunday, 27 October 2013

University Challenge

Last week I went to Norfolk for the day and I popped in to the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts to have a look round. Its a very impressive art/artefact collection which used to be in Mr Sainsbury's bedroom (according to one of the museum's staff I spoke to). He liked Frances Bacon a lot. The building is an early Norman Foster, and it is in the grounds of the University of East Anglia. It really is an amazing campus and well worth a visit if you want to see a fantastic 1960s example of British futuristic utopia. The halls of residence are the crowning glory - crazy ziggurats designed by Denys Lasdun who also designed the National Theatre in London. What a beautiful place to spend as a student, sleeping all day long (thanks to Lyn for that joke)

I vaguely recalled that the UEA had a very important electronic music studio in the 1970s and wondered if it was still going. To my great horror I discovered that it has just closed down and the current students are the last ones to attend! It was set up in the early 1970s by Tristram Carey who purchased one of the first EMS Synthi 100s for the students to use. That machine eventually ended up in the collection of Mute records founder Daniel Miller, here he is being interviewed about it by Tara Busch:

On doing some google research on the history of the UEA studio I came across this very interesting thesis by Nicola Candlish on UK electronic music studios and the pioneering people behind them:

Nicola Candlish PhD 2012.pdf by Zack Dagoba

Tuesday, 22 October 2013


Hannah had a video shoot in the studio last week and Hiro took some pics whilst setting up. Nice aren't they?

Pictures: Hiro Hirata @ hirohiratahair.com

Monday, 21 October 2013

Candelight Serenade

Patching on a little rig because I can't sleep - a Roland 100m and Doepfer piece by candlelight. Its 4 in the morning! This is polyphonic modular synthesis - 6 vcos, 6 envelopes, and some of the notes are being switched with the ALM Beasts Chalkboard to give the pattern some variation

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Bombay Moog Club



Decaying Modular Moogs, Le Corbusier houses and Experimental Music - I found this story over on the Moog Music Forum and no wonder it caught my eye. However, I am feeling poorly today and slightly disorientated with a fever, and therefore I am struggling to get it straight in my head. But it goes something like this: Rich family live in a Le Corbusier house in India sponsor very cool arts projects in the 1960s, one of them befriends John Cage and David Tudor in New York, invites them back to their Art Institute, David Tudor brings over a brand new Moog Modular 3P, David Tudor doesn't like Moogs, Art Institute gets flooded, David Tudor is more into eating than music, Moog Modular gets left in a wet basement

Here are some pictures of the amazing house and interiors designed by LeC-B

Saturday, 19 October 2013


Tara and Maff this looks / sounds amazing - wish I could be there to see the premiere! Damn!

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Polysynthi Viddi

Here I bring you a couple of videos featuring the EMS Polysynthi. Its one of the rarest synths and some people bash it as being awful, but I really love it and all its quirks. Here are some of the reasons its mental: 1] all the knobs are backwards; 2] to implement the aftertouch you press the whole keyboard down about an inch; 3] its got a built in digital delay; 4] look at it?

Its quirks make it a very unique thing and thats why I think it is so cool. In the first video I am using the aftertouch to control the filter frequency. Its very responsive and touchy-feely! In the second vid I am using the VCS3 alongside it - going into the Polysynthi input and using its filter and envelopes and also the delay. I am going to do more of these so viddi well little brother, viddi well!

So 70s

Do you like my new sofa? Its very me

I got it from a midcentury sale that was on at the weekend in the amazing Goldfinger-designed Haggerston School

See more about our day out on Lyns blog: zeitgeist

Ebay Of The Day

Check this out, Martin Hannett's actual very own International 4600 Synthesiser. It sold pretty quickly...

"Martin Hannett's ( Joy Division producer and many Manchester and Factory bands producer, he played synths on many Factory records) actual International 4600 analog patchable synth . Not much needed to restore as cosmetically it is all there and the keyboard was triggering synth sounds recently, but sold as complete restoration project. comes with Martin Hannett's build and instruction manual from 1977/78/79/80 and copy of his patch notes. A much tattier one of these recently sold non working for around £1000 without it having any Martin Hannett ownership.so its a snip at £1400 with all the Hannett related historyThis one has metal protective edging. If you are in the UK would still ship in foam and a crate or you can collect. Will ship anywhere in the word but would crate it up to ship"
Via Matrixsynth

UPDATE: And now they have listed Hannett's Transcendant synth and Revox tape machine! at £6K its not cheap though

"Working Transcendent analog synth 1978/79(with documentation) used and owned by Martin Hannett ( he owned two of these) Transcendents were actually used on Joy Division, Durutti Column and lots of Factory and Manchester band recordings and Hannett often had one in the control room as well as the band having one in the studio area. This includes his instruction manual and handwritten mods he did to the synth. We know the Transcendent was used as a straight synth sound and also used to feed triggers from sound sources into it on many Hannett recordings. There are several photos of Hannett using Transcendents around 78/79. Also included is one of four of Hannett's Revox mastering machines that he would take one to studios to make copies of his mixes each day and he had them at home too to listen to his studio work on his home hi fi system. This Hannett RevoxB77 powers up but needs attention. these are important Hannett and Joy Division related artefacts and will climb in value as fascination with Martin Hannett continues to grow"

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Head To Toe

Going to the studio with headfonez on, and Nikez:

Monday, 14 October 2013

White Room

At home with a selection of toys..

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Serge Vs Buchla

Heres a little vid of the Serge Modular and Buchla 100 playing together. Its a pretty basic and similar patch that I made on each system using VCOs, VCFs and sequencers, both triggered from one master clock. The pic below is called Modular Cubism by Pixelasso

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

FORMS Series Two - Earthmoves

Here is my new album in the Forms series. This time the whole record was made on the Ensoniq EPS. Its a digital workstation made in 1987. This particular synth was GIVEN to me by a Foxxy fan and friend called Steve Lamb - THANKS STEVE!!!! I love this synth - actually when I first started out making music properly in my bedroom my first sampler was an Ensoniq Mirage, and the samples and sounds on this album are all based on the legendary Mirage sound library. The EPS goes a bit beyond the Mirage in terms of layering and creating complex sounds. Its a really fun synth to play on! Once I got in the mood for 80s home-recording I decided to buy an old computer off eBay and make a video for the release - so I present my Sinclair ZX Spectrum+ rubbish video, which I programmed in BASIC

And some screenshots: