There are two paths you can go by…

“Confucius once said that “when a finger points at the moon, the idiot looks at the finger,” an axiom which might be applied towards the ongoing obsession with technologically up-to-date sound “gear” and other ephemera of the modern sound stage. Though it may be harsh to assume “idiocy” on the part of audiences, the persistent problem of audiences’ displeasure with the retinally unstimulating “laptop concert” (and the desperate attempts by artists of “post-digital” live performers to offer some kind of a compromise in this area), have led to the answering of a question that – as [Francisco] López might suggest – never needed to be posed in the first place” from Microbionic by Thomas Bey William Bailey


It bugs me that people who don’t like the music I make will push the usual lame laptop critique forward despite the truth being that they only like music that involves skinny black jeans and amplifiers.  Surely they shouldn’t attend “experimental music” gigs if they don’t really like the music?  The reality is these same people have co-opted the live experience to such a degree that laptops have made way for DIY electronic gadgets that work much better with skinny black jeans and amplifiers. This is what it is.  I’m in two minds about this occurrence and both of them are old and cranky.

That being the case, for the last little while i’ve been looking at ways to move my primary music making away from the computer and it has nothing to do with the reasons listed above.
Continue reading “There are two paths you can go by…”



Monsoonal rain-storm preceded this Easter Sunday gig.  Easter Sunday in Brisbane’s West End also means a flood of youngsters with disposable incomes, out to get wasted in the many beckoning dives. By comparison the venue tonight was a warm snug little room and I think, despite the lack of foldback, this was a nice set.  Here is the signal flow of my setup.


  • Samson Graphite 49 MIDI Controller
  • Nord Micro Modular
  • Korg KP3 Kaoss Pad
  • Phonic 6 Channel Mixer
  • Boss GT3 Guitar Multi-FX Pedal
  • Roland SP404SX Sampler.

This was something of a bridging set.  Initially it was skewed towards “The Included Middle” style atmospheric beat-driven material but after checking the room out at a gig on the previous weekend I thought it best to go for mostly mellow / low key.  I also had my 16month old son there and didn’t want to deafen him with stonkin!   Apparently I was too quiet and everyone commented positively about the bouncy end bit saying it needed to be longer and more frequent.  I’ve made it a habit in live performances to drag out the euphoria moment for an excruciatingly long time only to truncate it before everyone gets too into it… wouldn’t want to break with tradition now.

i gots teh droop
Anyone know what this “Here’s the Drop[TM]” nonsense is? I mean I have a sense of humour and all but they totally missed the real “Drop”!

The SP404 was running some of the mellower predefined loops along with some new stuff I made with either the Nord Modular or the G2 Demo software.  Will continue to focus on making longish “here’s something I prepared earlier” sequences but perhaps less on using other synths plugins. There are some nice drones here from LinPlug Octopus and some string sounds from Boscomac/Reaktor all lovingly coated with PSP N20 filters.  Can’t get past how good this plug-in is.

Now that I have a Nord Micro Modular i’m keen to focus on it’s wonderful modular possibilities / learn how to use it really well – tonight I was using it more for colour and the occasional squelches.

SKON performing - photo by Andrew Thomson

Yusuke referred to me as a founding member of Audiopollen… I was the guy that did the radio show on 4ZZZ, well before Joel or Yusuke got involved.  But they created the Audiopollen Social Club, and they are both leaving Brisbane it seems so, cliche though it may be, this is the end of an era.  I can’t say I liked everything that Audiopollen spawned but it was certainly an amazing opportunity working with these people creatively and I hope something equally significant arises in another form soon.

I have a blog about live music computer building coming up over the next few weeks but thought i’d post a short blog along with the Soundcloud link and some info.