Beauty in Chaos – my reasoning in this release

This is probably my first new material, in bulk, that I’ve released inside a year. The last was Union which was more dystopian and inspired by the politics of bullshit in 2016. I’ve put out several other bits of work on Bandcamp and Soundcloud quite regularly, most of that is experimentalism and less organised, but BIC was a deliberate approach.

Every now and again I get a little bored and change things around. The beauty of being a collector of trinkets and tools is the options you have to mix and match. I can record entirely within Ableton Live, programming sounds with software as I go; I can simply plug in a keyboard and jam out some improvised piano; I also have a small recording unit that allows me to jam along to myself and record as I would to tape.

One evening after my old computer broke down last year I took down the Microbrute from the shelf and began noodling. The Microbrute is not a grand and powerful synthesis engine. Its not even very well built. But it sounds glorious! Its one of those synths that people on forums always ask “should this be my first synthesizer?” (A typically open ended question!)

With a good spring reverb sound this synth can produce some lovely 60s sounds. Think Late 60s Beatles or some of the albums that featured early modular synths. Gritty, sometimes cello-like, with VCAs that can bounce and ping when needed to. I limited my effects to simple reverb, chorus and echoes at the recording stage. Often I used the internal sequencer to create a base to anchor everything else to, or to create a vibe or effect. I didn’t care so much if things went out of tune – in some cases I embraced my out of time playing and my out of pitch sounds.

This album is about 90% Arturia Microbrute, but I’ve also layered up some Novation Bass Station 2, Teenage Engineering drum machine and even some Monotron in places. I used Live to master the mix. I’m not a great keyboard player – I used to be much better many years ago, the same with guitar playing, but annoyingly I’ve broken several fingers over the years and the playing and the abilities have waned. I do hope this lack of proficiency adds an air of punk or blues ethos.

Once again I am rambling! I hope everyone enjoys the music, and that they share the links about. I have to mention how great these lovely people have been, so go and click on their name and hear what they’ve been up to musically and on social media!

Morocco DaveAde HodgesWild Silences

Mark WardIan HaygreenRichard Alfaro

Bitter LakeDevras Plexi

Apologies if I’ve missed anyone, so many great musicians worthy of listening to and that I’ve come to respect!! Maybe soon I can blog a little about cool music I’ve found and why I like it. Thanks for reading!

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