This was kind of accidental VCV patch in combination with a twelve string guitar piece on archive.org.
I’d been experimenting with variations on the Quad Drum Destroyer, combined with the Confusing Simpler from NYSTHI, and this just hit a nerve. There is something about filtered delays that is addictive. That and the original sample just seems to give you so much opportunity for basically endless variations that changes enough, but not too much.
Where you can go from here
Replace or mix the Confusing Sampler with live input, and jam along with the mangled sample into the same effect chain.
Of course, try with different sound samples to see how it turns out on other material.
Modulate the octave (see below for the sample using the Ethiopian song loop that does just that).
The following piece illustrates what it can do with other samples. I replaced the 12 string guitar with an extended sample from an Ethiopian song . This version of the patch also modulates the Octave on Confusing sampler. This works best with whole numbers (-2, -1, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) which coinicidentally is what a VCV Scalar module outputs if you set the Octave mode to ‘Shared’ (i.e. all octaves quantized the same), and turn off every note but the first.
I got the chance to play the regular Mixology night at Gabe’s in Iowa City, and for the past few weeks I’ve been collecting tracks I wanted to play and fiddling around with a DJ setup for them in Live. I had two impulses — play current and current-ish music that I like, and to collect some of my all-time favorite tracks. I was also mercilessly stealing ideas from other DJs. I grabbed the “The It” tracks (actually Larry Heard) on Thomas Cox of Pittsburgh Track Authority’s recommendation, and the Boards of Canada remix I heard in a mix by Aidan O’Doherty.
But tracks like those by Moodymann, DBX, Basic Channel, and DJ Pierre are ones that everyone played fifteen or twenty years ago, and among the first that I got to recognize when other DJs played them. The DJ I opened for, RAfrika wasn’t even born when some of those tracks came out. But I figure if they worked in 1996, they’ll work now and the kids dancing will never have heard them.
One track that always gets me: Patrice Rushen “Haven’t You Heard?” Larry Levan did the edit, but a lot of people first heard its musical DNA in the Daddy’s Favorite track “I Feel Good Things For You.” Always like playing the original of something sampled on a big track.
The idea of I Hear IC is to gather people from Iowa City to present brief performances in a local coffee house. Peformances were in the range of 10-20 minutes. Other performers on this night included Jazz singers, an improvisation from two Iranian musicians and a small ensemble improvising a new soundtrack for old cartoons.
In that context I knew that it wasn’t like playing an hour-long techno set; no one would be dancing so the kick drum didn’t need to be in the mix the whole time. As it happened I finally brought it in at around 6 minutes; this goes back to early 90s origins of ambient techno, when producers would do long beatless intros to tracks. The rise of ‘popular’ ambient — with the KLF and the Orb being the most famous proponents — grew out of never actually bringing in the beat. Sonically I think this piece has a bit of the Orb about it.
It’s also an instance of not holding anything back. I went back over projects on my studio machine and plundered them for interesting sounds and loaded them all together in one set where I could mix and match stuff that originally went with much different music. I recorded a lot of sounds from my outboard synthesizers, playing loop clips and tweaking knobs to get some movement. The main repeated pad changes chords but it was accidental — I discovered that the JP6 would change the pitch of sounds when I jacked up cross mod. Which is fun because I was playing a slider; the chords were not exactly in tune.
The basic framework was dictated by a tonal center of C Minor. The bassline is straight 16th notes playing C C Eb Eb. That kind of simplistic sequencing reminds me a bit of early Tangerine Dream.
Sometimes you try something and it’s accidentally kinda compelling. The setup was
Eventide UltraVerb on one send
Audiodamage Dubstation16 on the second send.
This is straight up tracky. It’s live mixing/tweaking. I actually added effects and the anode while recording. There’s minimal EQ-ing on the Volca Keys and Volca Beats. I did some limiting and EQ on the mix-down and edited out the 16 or so measures where the anode was doing this unpitched farting noise.
Syncing the Volcas to Ableton Live is kind of wonky. It seems to work marginally better if you set the sync mode to pattern. The only way I found to get it tight was to hit the ‘play’ button a few times quickly. If you just hit play once, it always starts out of sync. Somehow resetting the counter to 1:1:0 a few times while Live is playing gets things lined up properly.
This is the last Noise Radio show of the Spring 2014 Semester. After a break, Vince Woolums will be back for the summer, and we aren’t sure what’s up for the fall. As Vince & Mike & I get busy, we’re having trouble finding other guests to help cover Saturday nights. It’s a tough time to have a radio show if you go out Saturday nights.
But anyhow, this show is a bunch of different tracks I’ve found over the past few months, though it’s almost all in the straight-up Techno and House vein, moreso than my other mixes. Enjoy!
[audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/2014-05-03-Chaircrusher-KRUINoiseRadio.mp3|titles=Noise Radio 2014-05-03,artists=chaircrusher]
This week’s mix focuses mostly on 3 new releases: Autechre’s L-system, Estroe’s Comfort And Closure, and FourTet’s Beautiful Rewind. Autechre is perhaps the most resolutely inacessible group to ever acquire a dedicated fan base; their music challenges listeners to find a new way to hear music. My thought while I was playing on the radio was that there were drunk people riding around Iowa City last night after the football game wondering what had gone wrong with their radio. I love that, but obviously it is an acquired taste. Estroe (aka Esther Roozendaal) is a Dutch producer and DJ who has a long association with Eevolute/Eevonext Recordings, Stefan Robbers’ seminal Dutch techno label. This new album is a triumph; she has always been a gifted producer, but Confort and Closure manages to be both a great dance floor and a great listening record. FourTet’s Beautiful Rewind is yet another of his releases that finds him exploring his own sonic world; it’s tangent to popular dance music — a DJ can play his tracks out, some of them to devastating effect — but not contained or limited by it. I also include his remix of Justin Timberlake’s “Suit & Tie”. NAW (Neil Wernick)’s new SUB BUS is a remarkable piece of music. Dub techno has an awful lot of tracks that sound the same. Neil finds something new and dramatic with this release — it’s spiky, chaotic and still funky. Kid606 has been messing with the bounadaries of popular electronic music for over a decade now, and every album has at least something unexpected about it. The new album Happiness does something really strange in taking House Music and slowing it way down (to below 90 BPM from its customary 120 BPM), and employing sunny, naive major chord melodic material. There’s a feeling that each track is a jam, though I’m not sure how exactly he’s jamming; the same sounds or notes collide and bounce off copies of each other.
For some reason, Ableton Live did not record the cross fader for this set, which is really odd; either that or I don’t understand the new-fangled way it manages automation. So the track sequencing was live, but I had to go back and re-draw all the cross fades as best I could. So this is a ‘live’ DJ mix only approximately.
[audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/Chaircrusher-2013-10-26-NoiseRadio.mp3|titles=Noise Radio 2013-10-26|artists=Chaircrusher]
Another semester, another Noise Radio Show. Comprising mostly tracks I’ve been sent, either by the producer themselves or label promos. Plus several of my own productions. Hope it hangs together for y’all.
[audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/Chaircrusher-2013-10-12-KRUI-Noise-Radio.mp3|artists=Chaircrusher|titles=KRUI Noise Radio 2013/10/12]
The 2 month gap since my last radio show means that a lot of new music has come out so this set has some ‘new’ stuff that’s a bit older than usual, and advance promos played after their release. No matter.
The two releases that are of particular note to the summer’s mood are http://www.bordercommunity.com/?p=5240 and Boards of Canada’s Tomorrow’s Harvest. This is a new BOC album after a long silence, and I think that it is a brilliant album, though the critical and fan reaction has been muted. This is, I think a result of BOC no longer being a musical surprise. But it stands on it’s own merits, and by the way did anyone say to Mozart “Another bloody symphony, when are you going to come up with something new?” It took me longer to come around to James Holden’s record — on first listen it seems pretty discursive and aimless. But on repeated listen there’s something that gets under my skin. “Blackpool Late Eighties” is a perfect standing wave of dream logic romanticism, using Kraut Rock loopiness to build a mood that takes flight. The musical equivalent of being hypnotized by clouds out a jetliner window.
Estroe’s collaboration with Nuno Dos Santos on Eevonext is interesting for breaking out of the techno mold, “Second Thoughts” is nearly beatless, moody, and uses bass to create a forboding mood. The always excellent FourTet shows up repeatedly, in three radically different tracks, including the trip-hop reimagining of Tori Amos’ “Unspoken.”
Detroit Electro veterans Aux 88 sent me a promo of their new EP, from which I chose the Detroit House track “Blue Love.” My revelatory discovery this summer is the Japanese techno producer Takuya Yamashita, whose track “Daybreak” is an instant classic of the emotive Detroit deep techno style.
Closing out, with a blast of low-fi techno from the last century, Joel Brindfalk’s “Great Dose Of Monotonous Techno”. Released under the name ‘Ü’ (try googling that), it is a time capsule from 1992, both in terms of production technique — Roland TR909, a synth or 2, and effects — but it has a deep connection to the new wave of lo-fi techno revivalists.
[audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/Chaircrusher-2013-07-13-KRUISet.mp3|titles=Noise Radio KRUI 2013-07-13|artists=Chaircrusher]
The only thing the end of a college term means to me now is that the grad students in my office are scarce for a week or two, and we get a break on Noise Radio. But I tried to end the term on a high note, or at least a loud one.
I’ve noticed my tastes, at least for DJing, changing, in that more and more I crave things that are simpler and more straight ahead. I prevailed on my friend Tom Butcher to pull out some of the hard techno tracks he recorded in the 90s, that he’d sent me on a casette tape. I wore that tape out listening to it in my car, and luckily he’d rescued those tracks from DAT at some point. He also provided me with pre-release copies of his new record on Roam Recordings. so I used some of his oldest and newest music.
The irrepressible Shawn Rudiman has been releasing a backlog of his tracks digitally on Detroit Techno Militia. I took several tracks from the 4th volume. I’ve always been a fan of his live shows, and I’m frankly in awe with his ability to go into the studio and crank out so many high quality tracks. I don’t know when he sleeps.
Kataconda (Barry Ryan) is another guy who’s been going nuts putting out killer techno for a long time — he came to Iowa City and played at my ‘Off Seamus’ event concurrent with the 2002 SEAMUS conference for Electro-Acoustic music.
Bleupulp (aka Maxim Tanguay) is another prolific composer and the guy behind Pertin-nce net label, which has a huge catalog of mostly free, high quality music.
Andy Vaz produces his own intricately layered deep house from his base in Cologne, and Yore has graciously put me on their promo list. Two upcoming releases — a remix EP for his ‘Straight Vacationing’ album, and ‘My Love is 4Ever’ by Librah — are also featured here.
Along with those things, I’ve been trying to keep with my promo e-mails, and what Facebook friends are tipping, which accounts for the vocal pop I include in the mix. So maybe not 100% a techno purist, but hey, good music is good music, and I try to shoehorn in whatever’s making me happy at the moment…
[audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/Chaircrusher-NoiseRadio-2013-05-11.mp3|titles=Noise Radio KRUI 2013-05-11|artists=Chaircrusher]
It was cold and snowy and there wasn’t much in the way of an audience, but I got to try out some new stuff. Starting about 14:00 I have a section that samples (well, granulates) Milk & Eggs aka Jordan Sellergren. It ultimately bears only the most tenuous relationship to the original music which is wonderful in my opinion.
I don’t get to play out that much — I’d like to do it more often — but the general framework of what I’m doing goes back a couple of years, so it’s time to tear it down and build up something new. Expect more chances for live mistakes and chaos.
… which takes things several different directions: John Tejada’s melodic Techno (which echoes/gives homage to The Black Dog’s late-90s sound), Dub techno sounds from DeepChord and Dom DuMoulin, the post-everything bass music of Deadbeat, and the incredible Dubstep/Cuban mashup from Mala.
I showed up and KRUI was dark, and there was nothing coming out of the studio to go out on the air. So I started up early, which accounts for the 140+ minutes of this mix. During my set I got onto Facebook to announce it, and the last DJ had left themselves logged in. I left a snarky message on his wall (isn’t that required?) and a few minutes later, he called the studio to tell me that he was going to come down to the station every Saturday night at eight to punch me in the face. So I have that to look forward to!
[audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/2010-10-20-Chaircrusher-KRUI-Show.mp3|titles=KRUI DJ Set 2012-10-20|artists=Chaircrusher]
I had a fine time, though it would have been great if more people showed up — I mean I’m used to playing to mostly empty rooms, but we had guys in from out of town who hit a deer trying to get there. But hey, Thursday night at Gabe’s — hard to draw a lot of people. Anyway Moldover sounded great. I particularly liked the a cappela song he opened with, and his guitar playing, which always drove the songs and sounded great. Exaltron has evolved a unique approach to live performance, combining voice, trumpet and guitar, live looping, expertly programmed sampled drumming and crazy electronic messing about.
I was mostly happy about my set, which may have come from working myself into a tizzy for weeks getting read to play. Mostly new stuff done in the past couple months, some of it bespoke for the live set.
[audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/2012-10-11-Chaircrusher-Live.mp3|titles=Chaircrusher Live @ Gabe’s 2012-10-11|artist=Chaircrusher]
Haven’t done a radio show since the spring, and had rather a backlog of interesting stuff that has been filtering in. Mr. DE from Detroit Ad– the man from ElectroFunk — Has a new album Sol+Mind which has an eclectic variety of tracks ranging from Prince-esque electro pop (Uh Oh) to R&B (Tonight) to Detroit House (All for Granted). Cooly G put out her album a few months ago on Hyperdub, and she’s a genre of her own. I got the entire Absoloop discography from Kevin Kennedy (aka FBK), Art Bleek is newish on the incomparable Eevolute label. Adam Jay did a IndieGogo campaign to release an EP and raise funds for exorbinant medical bills. I’ve included two tracks from the Mediastinum EP. The Orb just released an album of collaboration with Dub Reggae legend Lee Perry. And of course, I’ve induldged myself by including some of my own tracks from this spring and summer.
At KRUI, Joe couldn’t make his show, and apparently the guy that was supposed to play after me didn’t come, so this is a longish set — over 2 hours. Once again, I find it hard to gauge how much material to have available — I had 41 tracks cued up and actually got through 30-something.
[audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/Chaircrusher-KRUI-DJ-Set-20120922.mp3|artists=chaircrusher|tracks=KRUI DJ Set 2012-09-22]
My friend David Talento was trying to organize his studio and found some cassettes I’d sent him in the 1990s. The real find was what may be the last remaining copy of tracks by Jason Welch, local rave promoter and sometime musician. But I’ll deal with that stuff later.
One of the other things is a recording of a live set I did in 1996 (I believe) at the Great Midwestern Ice Cream Company (what is now Moonrakers restaurant). In those days I pretty much dragged my whole studio out to play live — a Roland Jupiter 6, Casio CZ-1, Roland TR707, a home-made plywood rack of gear, a desktop computer and CRT.
I don’t even remember most of the stuff I played, or even how I played it — I suspect I was using Opcode Vision and a Turtle Beach Pinnacle card as a sampler. Vision had a facility something like Ableton Live’s clips — you could trigger chunks of midi sequences live. The beginning of the set sounds a bit like Drexciya. Anyway it isn’t bad, and interesting to hear it as a time capsule from 16 years ago.
[audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/Chaircrusher-Live-1996.mp3|titles=Live @ Great Midwestern|artists=Chaircrusher]
I didn’t buy any new music in the past couple weeks, but Liz McClean Knight (aka Quantazelle) sent me e-mail about the new free compilation she’s releasing on her label SubVariant, Frequencity, and the day before David Powers sent me the promo for the new EP on Klectik, Back To The Islands by Synox. So I just figured out how to jigsaw that collection together, more or less. It ranges from 95 to 170 BPM, so some serious tempo creeping happens throughout. Not to mention the genre U Turns.
Full disclosure, Liz chose a track of mine for the last Subvariant comp Robohustlin, and I’ve had an artist crush on her ever since she played a show in Iowa City years ago. She does a lot of very interesting work in various capacities, from her music, to her electronic component jewelry, to the brilliant Electronic Musician’s Emergency Pack. Women are still relatively rare in Electronic Music, which truth be told is mostly a sausage fest, but the women who do get involved have something unique to offer.
[audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/Chaircrusher-2011-11-05-DJSet.mp3|titles=2011-11-05 KRUI DJ Set|artists=Chaircrusher]
I put out a call for unreleased/promo/advance music to include in this radio show back in September. The response wasn’t overwhelming but I got a few nice tracks from friends and acquaintances, and a rare opportunity to pick and choose among the unreleased music of my friends from Pittsburgh – Shawn Rudiman and Pittsburgh Track Authority. They both are represented liberally in this mix. Also featured prominently is the output of the Sublime Porte label from Istanbul Turkey. Sublime Porte has a load of music that I didn’t do, and it’s free to download so fire up your Googler and check them out.
My obligitory left-field choices are ‘Virus’ from Björk, which is lovely, and Enya’s ‘Boadicea.’ The latter has been going through my head for weeks, after I was reminded of it by an oddball mixtape on Soundcloud. My own track “Anguish Riddim” isn’t particularly anguished musically but a several unpleasant changes were happening at the time I was working on it. We’re all OK, but you know, life has plenty of ugly surprises…
[audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/Chaircrusher-2011-10-08-DJMix.mp3|artists=Chaircrusher|titles=2011-10-08 KRUI DJ Mix]