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Modular Music

Music made with modulars. Because that’s what we got the thing for in the first place, didn’t we?

Billy Gomberg, Carving Towards Coherency

My first contact with Billy Gomberg’s work happened almost by coincidence. In the early days of Mutable Instruments’ inception, we were among the few people to get hold of a Shruti-1 kit. The community was still small back then and, obviously, we all knew each other. His minimalistic approach to making electronic music, the [...]

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Modular Spaces Pt.1: Wardrobes and Closets

In a time so close to Superbooth18 this article might surprise you. Right now everybody seems to be holding their breath waiting for all the new gear to be announced (or at least teased), and that’s great and exciting! I am certainly not immune to that myself! But with all the talk about gear (new and old) we sometimes forget about [...]

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Chosen Wave 015: Topographer

After being an emerging name in Romania’s Drone/Doom Metal scene under the name Tauusk and releasing several albums, Răzvan Lazea-Postelnicu turned to the modular for further inspiration, attracted by its extended sonic palette. His new project Topographer inherits some of the traits found in his previous musical journey, keeping [...]

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Chosen Waves 014: R Beny

Austin Cairns, who lives in the San Francisco Bay area, has been making music under the moniker R Beny for some time now. You probably have seen his videos around, as he is also an active youtuber. His name gets mentioned surprisingly often when talking about modulars and ambient music and been inspiring many people to follow a similar [...]

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Scanning Through The Waves

Cover photo by Ian Wallman If you’ve never heard about Scanner then you’ve probably been spending the last 20 years on the un-illuminated side of a far away planet listening to … well … basically nothing. Calling him prolific and multi-talented is almost an understatement. Since the beginning of his career he’s released [...]

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#INSTANTBONER are Joe Steyer and Matthias Millhoff, two musicians and producers from Berlin, Kreuzberg. They believe that modular systems and improvised electronic music are a perfect fit for the dance floor. The duo works with a combination of modular synth (for melody, basslines, drones and vocals; this is Matthias’ part) and a computer-based drum machine (Joe’s part) and prefers to create their music live on stage than in the protected context of the studio.

On the 1st of May 2015 we had our first official show in Berlin. In the following year we worked a lot on our setup and tried to make it as flexible as possible but also establish a significant sound within this flexibility. We were never trying to work on tracks in the studio, we decided from the beginning that we want to be a real live act, create everything on stage, with the pressure to deliver something to the people. We tried to play as much as possible, mainly around Germany. This year we played again on the 1st of May at the same spot and this time it was streamed by Be-At TV [ed. link is below]. It’s really fun for us to play a set, the vibe and the venue influences us from set to set and we try to create something special every time.

Their video Instantmotion was born as a way to explain what they do in their live shows.

[…] we got many questions about what we actually do with all these knobs, lights and cables. To give some answers we put together a short video which we believe speaks for itself.

For those who are interested in knowing the technical specifics behind this video:

[…] The sound you experience is actually the simple patch you see in the video. Only the Hexinverter Mutant Bassdrum is not visible but is triggered by the very first cable plugged into Pamelas Workout. The hihat is a noise from the FMVDO with MakeNoise Maths envelope 2, the bassline is played by the Doepfer Dark Time into Verbos Complex Oscillator and Manhattan Analog SVVCF with the TipTop Z4000 Envelope. The Pad is the mighty OP-1 shaped by Maths envelope 1. Modulation of bassline and hihat are coming from the QuadLFO. The Reverb is Z-DSP with the Valhalla-Card and is also modulated by the QuadLFO. And finally the Mixer/VCA is the ADDAC Quintet Mixing Console.

The Be-At TV live stream (well the archived version of course) can be found on the Be-At TV website here: www.be-at.tv/artists/instantboner

Chosen Waves 011: #Instantboner – Instantmotion

#INSTANTBONER are Joe Steyer and Matthias Millhoff, two musicians and producers from Berlin, Kreuzberg. They believe that modular systems and improvised electronic music are a perfect fit for the dance floor. The duo works with a combination of modular synth (for melody, basslines, drones and vocals; this is Matthias’ part) and a [...]

HannesHannes