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Surachai – Form Thirty-Two

This patch has been left on for a few days and I’ve slowly been picking at it until I decided to archive it. This is a small portion of the recording process. By the way, nothing is screwed into the Tip Top Audio case.

Alessandro Cortini – Forse 2

200 copies on blue vinyl.

Deluxe gatefold printed on heavy duty stock with matte finish. Expanded package view

Alessandro Cortini’s second release in his Forse trilogy is full of thick analog brightness and deep analog warmpth. Despite also being fully composed on a Buchla Music Easel, the feeling of Forse 2 is quite different from Forse 1 and this deluxe double vinyl release is the ultimate way to experience this engaging work.

Alessandro Cortini (Nine Inch Nails, How To Destroy Angels) recorded Forse using a Buchla Music Easel; of which only 13 are known to exist. Forse, meaning “maybe” In Itilian, is a series of 3 double LP releases.

“All pieces were written and performed live on a Buchla Music Easel, in the span of one month. I found that the limited array of modules that the instrument offers sparked my creativity.
Most pieces consist of a repeating chord progression, where the real change happens at a spectral/dynamic level, as opposed to the harmonic/chordal one. I believe that the former are just as effective as the latter, in the sense that the sonic presentation (distortion , filtering, wave shaping, etc) are just as expressive as a chord change or chord type, and often reinforce said chord progressions.

Of all the years with Nine Inch Nails the period spent writing and recording the instrumental record Ghosts I-IV is probably the one which changed my approach to music making the most. After that record I started getting more into instrumental composition, although I tried to approach it in a different way. While we had a vast array of tools and instruments at our disposal then, I decided to approach my pieces limiting myself to one instrument only, as I found myself being more decisive when faced with a limited creative environment. ”

Alessandro Cortini – Forse 2 (Important Records)

TRASH_AUDIO Synth Meet 13 Roundup

Heartfelt thanks goes out to Jessica Tomasin of Mountain Oasis festival and Kelly Kelbel of Make Noise for helping facilitate this past weekend. Without these two wonderful women, this would not have been possible.

After several years, this might be the only picture with the entire TRASH_AUDIO crew together – and it includes Asian Steve.

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Alessandro’s Set

Carl Oliver’s Set

Timelapse of Synth Meet 13

Workspace and Environment: Grischa Lichtenberger

Grischa took it upon himself to interpret the Workspace and Environment series and approach it in his own way. I encourage this type of behavior.

Grischa1

I would have to tell you, who else? (In english?/ Auf englisch, dieser vermittelnden sprache, wo sich die woerter zu einander verhalten, wie idiosynchratische uebersetzungen von gegenstaenden) Portray gravitational lines, draw (in reverse) the traction of things here: emigrated, emmisive, haunting – where your traces (in me) earthed the appearance of a machine. a strategy, a fetish – tied together by a history of words I raised my habits in. A family, not a pattern.

Grischa2

You would never ask for the determination, as I would never question your strength. You’ve been there, always before me, constantly, prevenient, anterior. I’m building pairs of three, a bundle of scattered references. The deranged double. Irritated look-alikes. ‘you’, you split apart – there is this text and there are the words we have drowned. I have to tell you, tell, recount, report. Is there a single instrument I could use to sing to, still?

You know the pine trees, the lime and all the other plants, where I was hiding away from no matter what. La demeure/demeurer lettre morte – il y a pÈril en la demeure. How could I possibly tell someone else, not you? Just talk sense into the demolished glazed tiles of the corridor and the rudiments we saw of the timbered toilet haven where he was unraveling mysteries we didn’t/don’t know about?

 

They asked me (I don’t really know why) to tell them about the AK141 philips (tuned bassport) speakers, about the Spirit Folio mixing desk, about Sony’s Sonic Soundforge and all the other things I got used to. Tell them how I would have screamed Soundgarden lyrics towards the speaker’s membrane? Do you remember that they had been on the top of the shelf and I needed to climb up there, standing on a board case, clutch something to not fall off? The tinned voices – a face I stared at, always through the black hole sun of the conical diaphragm. How could I describe it to them?

Grischa4

The potentiometer’s crackled accusation – regardless I am still sitting there in your old studio-den, where you trusted me to live-mix your new impro-band. I messed up every tape. All these things weigh heavier every day, the dust constantly accumulating the lapses, re-recorded sough in signal paths. No, I won’t encourage anyone to prance such disposition, I promise. But I have to tell you.

You taught me to slide the caret over the Soundwave in Soundforge (4.5), you trusted a compression beyond +16db in Sony Acid, you cared about the lines and verses, believed in the absorptional potential of e-minor on a children’s guitar, sprayed blue with stolen can’s. I will have to apologize to print, to show, to tell.

What contamination spread from this unnamed demarcation of subtracting him from this planet? Could you trust these words (oder jene) any longer? No, I have to say, even if it is so unbearable pretentious elaborating this few signs in this foreign language to release them into an inappropriate, indecent, but open space of many eyes, I have to tell you…

Photos by Sarah Ambrosi

Grischa Lichtenberger

Modular Grid Introduces True Grid

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This is incredible!

ModularGrid is a community driven database for modular synthesizers with an intuitive drag and drop rack planner. The database supports all common modular formats like Eurorack, Buchla, Dotcom, 5U, Frac and Serge.

To celebrate the first anniversary of modulargrid.net I introduce the beta of TrueGrid. TrueGrid is a fully functional true modular web synthesizer which let’s you create, listen and share modular synth patches.

True Grid
Modular Grid

Sonicstate: Day in the Life of Richard Devine

Follow the updates on the link below…

Richard Devine is one of the sound design superstars of the current age. His experimental music uses the both the cutting edge of modular technology (Intelijel, MakeNoise, AudioDamage,TipTop Audio, 4ms and others) as well as a vast array of plug-ins and software instruments. Indeed, he is an official Native Instruments artist with a penchant for Reaktor and Absynth.
He records and releases for Miami based Schematic Records with many of his recent works exploring algorithmic and modular generative music. In addition his sounds can be found in many current instruments, both hardware and software.
Recently he has released sound packs for AAS Chromaphone and the just released Ultra Analogue, presets for Eventide’s Black Hole spatial processor, AirMusicTech’s additive synth Loom and many others.
Some would consider his the dream job. He has kindly agreed to blog for us during a typical day in the studio – enjoy…

Sonicstate: Day in the Life of Richard Devine

AAS – Ultra Analog VA-2

In a world filled with reproductions and ever increasing complexity, Ultra Analog imposes itself as a unique and powerful synth that is fast, easy, and remarkably versatile. Richard Devine signature sounds: Renown sound designer Richard Devine delved into the new Ultra Analog VA-2 to forge a state-of-the-art collection of 110 presets that are simply essential.

AAS – Ultra Analog VA-2

Harvestman – Piston Honda MK ][ Statement

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“When updating the firmware on the Piston Honda mk. II, the 3-digit display will usually show a set of randomly illuminated segments as the operation proceeds. This is due to some processor pins being shared between the programming port and the home-grown display driver circuit I used. However, at the end of a successful firmware upload, the same thing always happens: the display briefly shows the number “666” before going black. I had absolutely nothing to do with this, it’s just the way the hardware behaves.

The third digit is driven from a completely different data line that isn’t anywhere near the programmer pins.” – Scott Jaeger of The Harvestman

Version Industries Blog: surachai_090313

Caspar of Version Industries wrote up on the process of creating the artwork to Embraced. He’s created some of my favorite artwork for Big Black Delta, Sonoio, and the recent Activator. His clients include Louis C.K., Daft Punk, and of course, Jennifer Lopez. I’ve always loved his artwork, as if you could touch them, or already have had a physical encounter with them before – instant nostalgia. I was curious what he’d do when given the direction of “extreme” and fuck me was I blown away.

“i met surachai sutthisasanakul through alessandro cortini. alessandro would always be laughing about something surachai sent him via email or ichat – usually something grotesque pulled from the murkier depths of the internet. sharing a penchant for the disgusting to the point of having a secret online forum where my friends and i post the most vile things we can find, i knew one day i had to meet this surachai.

the first thing that struck me about surachai’s music was that it didn’t immediately fall into any categorization other than the one he chose to put it in himself. it was spawned from black metal for sure, but really it was a melange of things both experimental and cinematic. moreover it marked a departure from the slightly ridiculous “second wave” of black metal that i’d read about in the pages of UK rock rag kerrang! during my teenage years.

surachai put out two LPs before he and i had a chance to work together. both of these releases in terms of their accompanying artwork revealed once more a taste for a more refined, original and considered presentation than you’d expect from the genre. surachai himself even quipped that his sound was more ‘plagued’ metal than ‘black’. either way all my friends were impressed with the sounds he was making and whilst it still wasn’t entirely my scene, he had me convinced it was worth some serious attention.

it must have been late last year that surachai told me he wanted me to work on the artwork for his next record. given he’d already employed the likes of bridget driessen and sarah sitkin to handle such duties on his last two records, it came as a great compliment. he said the record wasn’t anywhere near done yet, and in typical fashion i told him i’m not really much use until i hear something closer to the final music. it’s always the sense that something’s close to done that allows me the chance to fully immerse myself and see what images come.

finally in march of this year i holed myself up in my studio for the weekend, put the record on loop for the umpteenth time and let loose. i remember clearly that i’d wanted to create something close to how it felt to read the end of DM thomas’s novel the white hotel. this was a book i’d recently finished that had an ending so fiercely out of left-field that i’d found myself in tears on the train i was riding at the time. the feeling of despair i’d been left with was quite unmanageable and combined with a photograph surachai had shown me a few weeks before of fingernail scratch marks on the wall of a concentration camp gas chamber, i felt compelled to make him something that would tear the world down. something that at the very least was as harrowing and sad.

however, as i’ve learnt over the years if you go into these things trying to force a thing like that or even start with a visual idea so incongruent from what you were actually hearing in the music and lyrics of the songs, it’s not going to work. i hold the belief that the artwork for a record must in some prevalent capacity be a visual response to the sound. it can speak to outside influences without question – doubtless you and the band will have discussed the many ideas that went into making the songs – but hopefully you’ve not been hired to simply imitate another artist or illustrate someone else’s description. hopefully your job here is to interpret what you hear visually, and in so doing create something that gives people a unique and unconscious taste of what they’re about to hear.

the lyrics to embraced of course painted a dark, bleak and hopeless image, but one of a resoundingly science-fiction nature. in fact once i started to really listen to them in the context of the music, all the imagery and ideas i’d had up tp that point about how the record should look and feel just fell away. i was all of a sudden very clear on what i wanted to make and soon i was looking at a dark field of stars with some kind of nightmare seeping slowly and bloodily out of its shadows, ruptured amniotic sacs and all.

not wanting to make the visuals too alien and dissociative for people, the album’s inside spread was a way for me to humanize the overall story i was trying to tell. i wanted to show some kind of ‘down to earth’ response to the horrors out there in space – some kind of worship perhaps. it was then that i remembered i’d taken photographs of my friend lena marquise performing a macabre burlesque piece in the early hours of the morning at a club i used to work at. flipping through them again it wasn’t long before i was adapting them to this new world i’d created.

surachai didn’t hesitate for a moment when i sent him the final layouts. in fact i think it was just minutes after emailing him that i got a message from him on ichat saying, ‘i fucking LOVE you.’ still i can’t say i wasn’t terrified as to what he’d think. interpreting someone else’s music with a picture takes a lot of trust, and you just have to hope they really understand what they’re asking when they hire you for the job. in this case i think it’s fair to say we made a good match and i’m still incredibly honoured to this day to have been responsible for producing the artwork for such a fantastic record.”

Version Industries Surachai Blog
Surachai – Embraced

Nine Inch Nails 2013 Festival Tour Behind The Scenes

An interesting look into what everyone in NIN has been occupied with the past few several months.

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