Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Diddly

Playing with Tim's Digitakt kinda confirms my feeling that life is too short to try and learn another piece  of  Elektron kit. Powerful though it surely is, everything takes so long to accomplish. Even the new Electribes are fast and slick in comparison - and you know how much I moaned about them!

Re-reading Hitch Hiker's, I'm forced to conclude that the efforts to weave a plot around the original episodic nonsense actually weakens it. This isn't just a 'first is best' type observation either.

Similarly, it seems the only misgiving I now have about the Grandmother technically (I'll never forgive the stupid name, sorry) is that they used Voyager VCOs, not even actual Minimoog ones. IMHO the Voyager (another stupid name synth) is an episode in Moog's history best forgotten. Makes me think of Edgar Froese in a way, who you could only really assess as an artistic force once he was dead and therefore unable to produce any more of the turgid music he'd been spewing out in his dotage. Does not damage his legacy at all BTW, just shows you that people get old. I'm still in awe of what he achieved, as I am Bob Moog, but let's not pretend the later stuff is anything special.

Now if I were reviewing the Grandmother (which happily I'm not), I'd want to try it with AJH Minimoog VCOs going through that filter/VCA. I'd be able to moan about the stupid name, suggest that a Doepfer ribbon might fit across the panel which has the name on it, perhaps I'd admit to liking the colour scheme and the form factor before doing my inevitable 'this is Moog's Music Easel' comparison. Anyway, maybe I'll write about it here when it comes, who knows?

I've been enjoying the sunshine, taking pix and not doing a whole lot except potter in the garden. Oh, the new Klaus Schulze album is like death that's been warmed up then left to grow furry fungus that can hopefully pass off as life. I may well be producing shit and forgettable music these days. But I'm not the only one.






Right, just a bit more sitting down to do then I'll do something...



Wednesday, 30 May 2018

30th Anniversary Blog

No, I'm not going all mushy on you - but I have been married to Pat for 30 years now. Kinda nice someone would stick with me that long as I know I'm not always a perfect human being. Here's to another 30!

Recording yesterday went really well - the whole 'just play' idea working out splendidly. Gained some HS stuff and a track of mine got some guitar, just needs its two halves splicing together and a small amount of arrangement. Next cloudy day I'm on it!

Now then, it's Wednesday, almost the end of May and the weather continues to be fab. Continuing to work in the garden, actually enjoying myself just pottering about, thinking about novel plots, basking in the sunshine. Have started work editing P & T - not doing major rewrites or mass tweaks this time, just going for the important stuff.

More fuzzy phone photos. I know they're lo-fi but I sorta like the fuzziness and I'm playing more and more with the quick draw effect, which confuses the light meter.





I have Tim's Digitakt here to play with. If I like it, could be a good replacement for both my Analog Four and the Electribe Sampler. Although it lacks quite a few features of the Electribe, it has enough appeal of its own. All depends how much fun it is to use, how easy to get samples in, how it handles sequencing/processing external gear. I will report my findings here, mostly to try and make this blog in some way worthwhile and relevant.





Saturday, 26 May 2018

It's Friday, it's raining and it's OK

It really is. Not raining enough to fill the ponds but will sure help. Garden is looking well lush anyway and so am I.
Yesterday, after a wee smoke, I inquired about purchasing a grandmother. Today, practically sober, I sealed the deal. Why is a bit of a mystery, even to me, and I can only hope I paid for a Moog synthesizer rather than some unfortunate crone. This proves, beyond all doubt, that I need to fit some kind of smoke detector capable of automatically switching off my wireless router and locking me out of the big shop called the internet. In my defence, the demos were good and answered most of the questions I had about sound quality.

Now I'm going to power up the Model D and do the obvious shit with it.

Yes, Redshift's TTU is far superior to Last. Klaus Schulze has a new one too and it's pretty low key stuff from what I can tell so far.

Saturday
Well, Pat hasn't had the best start at the new/old stables - she lost the keys this morning. Yesterday's piece is kinda mellow, might benefit from some guitar. Oh and here are one or two more phone camera shots, still messing with overexposure and kinda liking it. Dunno what the day holds. Well, it holds beer I expect. And warming up last night's thai. 








Thursday, 24 May 2018

Ongoing sunshine

The second week of sun begins, council workers out on the grass-cutters, erasing as many wild flowers as possible in between checking their Facebook page, or whatever it is that demands their full attention in their palms.

I realised over the weekend, as 2 new Roedelius CDs arrived, that I've been buying albums from this great man since the late 70s. And not one has lived up to the promise of the first. Or even come close. I am forced to conclude that Peter Baumann was far more important than was previously suspected. And further to this conclusion, Conrad Schnitzler's Con remains his greatest work. Shame Baumann didn't produce more albums really. I must also add Cluster's Grosses Wasser to this list.

This week I have no work lined up, unless I wanted to do that Plaits review. Think I'll see how it goes. Got an early morning (5:15) accidental call from my mum, something that's happening more often although thankfully not at that time. Given Pat's awful cough kept me awake until around 02:00, I'm shagged today. Starting the morning with a quick flush of Morton Subotnick, which it a perfect illustration of how to make electronic music appealing to those with leather elbow patches or lab coats. It's fun though and pretty freaky, keep finding myself grooving along to parts of it.

Now then, it's Thursday, the JCBs have moved into the wild end, destroying a fresh batch of trees. How fucking depressing. Birds still raising their young - indeed I just caught a magpie in the garden that was hopping around after some of the baby sparrows we have in abundance. Magpie had got injured so I was able to corner it - it pecked me but didn't hurt much. Of course I just took it out of the garden and let it go, soft git that I am. Didn't neck it.

Bought another Redshift album (on recommendation, although so far it's another of the generic releases) and also the cool I, Monster album with the stories and groovy music. Can't just put that on while reading though, have to concentrate. Someone recommended a Redshift that sounds instantly much better. Called Turning Towards Us, coulda saved my money on the other which is kinda predictable/obvious. My next pair chase.

Yeah been one of those Thursdays. Pat made excellent tea and we're gonna finish off Lost in Space, hopefully not being quite so wound up by the stupidity than so far.






I had the cover review this month and it featured lots of balls.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

That moment when...

... you open the grinder and find your good old pal left you a generous donation to the weekend's creative writing fund. Different to the other stuff too, got a purply tinge to it.

Too hot for the studio this aft. Should reorganise the novel, delete all the parts I fancy starting over on. Having written it once, I think I can do a better version starting from a clean slate rather than editing and making do. Still got my start and end. It'd be like having, if not a plot then surely a map.


I don't often take pix with my phone but those are Sequentix HQ and last Sunday's walk with my mum, respectively.

It's Saturday now, no idea when I started this entry. Have sat around drinking mostly today and have tweaked some of the 'Hell' parts. No rewrite, still carving out useful bits from what exists and trying to make them more modular.




I have done very little today so far. Feel totally zapped and mongated. Indeed, I might just go back to the whole sitting around looking vacant thing.


Wednesday, 16 May 2018

The Exploding Horse Penis

A very traumatic day yesterday, as the title of this blog suggests. The phrase 'I've never seen anything like it' came up a lot. Me, I avoid any TV programs with surgery and gory bodily internals - so even a couple of photos of said penis were enough to make me pretty ill. I will not reproduce them here.

Nobody knows the cause but some kind of trauma appears to be behind it. Poor Caspian had a pee and loads of bodily tissue, gunk and vileness came pouring out. His bell end turned into a dark, bloody melon thing leaking the kind of fluids more usually associated with terrible burn victims.
The main thing is he survived the night at the horse hospital and although it seems they may chop off the end of his knob, we're now hopeful he will survive. Pat was ill already after her visit to look after the baby, so it hit her hard. And all this a few days before Caspian was meant to move to his old haunts, now gonna be delayed but we're hopeful it will still happen.
Phew! Caspian scheduled to be back within walking distance on Friday, yay!

So that kinda changed the flavour of my week. I'd intended to go up to the Lakes today and take some pix. Actually my DLD is finally coming back repaired so I'd probably have had to wait in anyway. So it's gardening, enjoying the sunshine, comforting Pat and that kind of thing.

Where are we? Wednesday, that's where. My CD of 'Silver Apples of the Moon' just arrived, part of a kickstarter thing I think. Anyway, it's delightful old school bubble & squeak music and I'm really digging it so far. I expect I'd have run a mile if I heard this in my teens (as I did from Stravinsky's 'Rite of Spring', amazing though that now feels to admit). DLD arrived but I've yet to test it out. Resisting another case move around, although I think it's inevitable a few modules will be shuffled about to be nearer the wondrous Natural Gate.

Moog have a new synth. Freaky looks, stupid name, meant to be based on the Moog modular, although sadly the oscillators aren't. Still, it's semi-modular, almost Moog's Easel in terms of its features (simple architecture, sequencer, arpeggiator, spring reverb, patchable to make it more fun) and sensibly priced. Reckon it'll do well. I might even be tempted since it it's small and neat, has MIDI and CV/Gate etc. - all depends if it has the 904a magic, snappy EG and all the things you'd want from a Moog modular.

Went to the gym for the second time this week. This means I have worked off the weekend's beer and smokes in advance. Or something.

No progress on novel or the minimal album but no hurry. Looked at camper vans today.



Saturday, 12 May 2018

Sample Harvesting

Now and again, when I'm in a catching-up mood, ready to do something new, I remember that I probably haven't harvested any samples lately. By this I mean check what I captured in the Olympus  LS-10 and the TE OP-1. Friday, off to Dreadzone later and some Future Sound in Preston over the w/e. Anyway, that was today. Made a short, simple track using loops gathered from the Morphagene, This is now the third repository for samples now, of a certain type. I'm getting very definite role splits with the Microgranny doing long atmosey, weird phrases and rambling dialogue (current taste), the Octatrack doing all kinds of key stuff but also weird loops, noises, clicks and anything really that isn't really long. Morphagene is getting background atmos, voice stuff too just slightly different stuff although with overlaps. Here quality is important and some are nice stereo and thoughtful shit I don't want to bit-crush.
A good Friday.
You'll laugh. I totally failed to re-insert the micro-SD card into the fucking Microgranny.

Well, Dreadzone were good even though they were a 4-piece. Not too many folks there and we didn't go to any of the future sound events. Ditto for Saturday as Pat not feeling great after her time away and we fancy sitting and chilling to Eurovision. Mind you I thought Russia had a good song but they were kicked out in the semis.

Today I starting pushing the samples around just to see where they might go:
https://soundcloud.com/smokyfrog/bamboozle