When I look back I always loved strange music – music that does not want to obey to any typical restrictions. But still I did not like cacophony or sound without structures. What deeply drives me is creating sound sculptures that evoke emotions on a level where it is useless trying to describe them.
Each of my works follow specific rules. To me it is very important to set limitations to each work before I start creating sounds. This helps me to focus on the most important statement. The modular system is an extremely versatile tool helping me to express myself. It is not only a tool but an equal partner in sonic expression.
Nature is repetition of cyclic events. Each event has specific boundaries that it cannot exceed immeditately, but over time. That was the starting point of my consideration to make this project.
I wanted to create a musical setup in order to play with the idea of being forced to think within inherent boundaries. Therefore I have built a modular system that is some kind of an esoteric technoid creation machine, or in other words a workstation. Being inspired from the idea of natural laws I wanted to limit the number of voices, or instruments, to a certain value as well as the number of mixing channels. Also the creation process itself was limited to boundaries I could not exceed. The modular setup was configured in a way that all parameters interact with each other and react to each current setting. With this in mind the sound creation process functions as an organic and arbitrary entity. So with this setup I was able to play live and improvise pieces very quickly. Every recording was made only once leaving all quirks as they are to keep each track stand out from today’s conformist and accurate music production industry. The goal was to achieve a method of creating spontaneous musical events right from a specific mood of a moment, which I think is how nature itself works.
Enjoy the journey and leave a message where it brought you.
Trying to survive the daily madness you find yourself struggling to smile. Looking at the mass feels so strange. Sometimes you just want to break free from all these rules, these rituals. But you never will. The only thing you can do is accepting what is going on. If you’re lucky you might even find reasons to laugh.
All pieces were performed as one-takes with a unique modular system. They all have in common that they were created during one year that was essentially devastating for many reasons. They needed to be recorded to prevent myself from being silenced.
Kontinuum is about creation and decay. It consists of specific moments in randomly selected cutouts of large improvised modular arrangements.
It is a steadily proceeding journey of sound and word. It is a collection of modern techniques of sound experimentation combined with poems in German language.
All poems are written by myself and are recited by Bernhard Hench.
Also available: The limited edition CD-Set (contact me for availability)
Off the Map is an exciting album that deals with live performed modular compositions and on-location recordings. The result is an incomparable sound that is deep, organic and highly creative. Put on your hiking boots and enjoy a trip into the unknown.
At first there was the idea to simply distribute a sound through different rooms and then mix the recorded tracks to achieve a wide and interesting stereo image. But after thinking about it, I thought it would be even better to create the whole music that way.
I found an empty office where luckily the floor was pulled out during renovation. Because of that the rooms offered some very nice reverbs. I chose the center room as the control room and arranged my modular setup, my field recorder, a small desk and a chair in the middle of it. Then I placed a stereo-pair of cables to each of the two main rooms I chose for the reverberation recordings. In each of these rooms there was a pair of speakers and microphones. In one room the speakers pointed to a microphone in XY configuration. In the other room the speakers pointed away from the microphones in ORTF configuration. The third room consisted of one speaker and one cardioid microphone.
I created a setup where I could make a quadrophonic submix and distributed it to the two different sounding main reverberation rooms. The signal was constantly moving through all four speakers inside these rooms. The third room was used to play and record only the bassdrum. So in the end I could record three rooms, the bassdrum (dry) and the submix (dry) individually in order to mix them later in studio. As you hopefully know I love to record one-takes so I performed each track live. I wanted to create patches that are hypnotic and have periodic figures. So basically I think this is some kind of advanced three-dimensional techno music.
In the end I am very happy with the results. The futuristic athmosphere that was achieved is electrifying and relaxing at the same time. You can listen to each of the tracks over and over and I’m pretty sure you’ll find new aspects each time you haven’t heard previously.
Here are some impressions of how it was done.
Sendeton is a journey through noises of any kind. It consists of two long pieces packed with radio interference, electro magnetic noise from a variety of home devices as well as patches from an analog modular system. I came up with the idea because I’m quite irritated by the daily noise we’re surrounded by. Therefore I wanted to create noise that is consumable in a more healthy way and that tells a story.
Analog Computation contains six compositions that were made exclusively with the pictured modular system. Each piece was recorded as a stereo track in one take. The setup contains many of my favorite modules and works self-sufficiently. The Vermona Retroverb was used to give these patches an environment that interacts with the whole sound, providing analog warmth and saturation.
Krach (i.e. German for „noise“) is a collection of so called self-generating patches. There is no arrangement in general and therefore each piece is following the only rule of being started, recorded and stopped. What is so special about this album is that these patches are driven by matrices that are switching audio as well as contol voltages in quite the musical way. Each patch defines it’s own set of rules for what signal is routed to which destination leading to stunning extremely complex and beautiful sonic expressions. Since there is no arrangement the overall structure of a piece is defined by events that the modular system creates on its own, but is also restricted by the patch itself. The whole album therefore is an adventurous step into a musical form of controlled chaos caused by man and machine.
All Shapes And Sines is all about modular Techno. The compositions are driven by complex self modulating patches. Each sound in this work started as a sine waveform and then evolved into something very unique. The three pieces are crafted with analog gear from the very first patch to the whole mastering process to provide a first class modular experience.
„Mikrodynamik“ is a term you’ll find in the field of audio but also in science. In this case it stands for a hypothetical connection between audio signals and botany. Current findings in the field of botany indicate that plants actually have a nervous system allowing them to grow as they want, communicate and most likely feel.
“Mikrodynamik” consists of four tracks that have a deep focus on the behavior of plants. Therefore every sound, every tone, noise and rhythmical structure is moving and evolving within organic patterns. Personally I believe that working with a modular system is like finding your own roots and lets yourself grow according to your personality. There is some kind of deep understanding for what nature is that we all have in common – humans, animals and plants.
Raumklang Eins is a totally new sound concept. Every piece was entirely made inside specific rooms and recorded directly on location using a pair of Microphones in ORTF configuration. All sounds were generated and performed with an analog modular system and there was a quadrophonic sound exposure.
Also available as limited edition CD (contact me for availability)
Raumklang Eins is a vanguard project. The main idea derives from the consideration how electronic music would sound when it would behave like acoustic instruments do in recording sessions. In other words: When you’re recording an instrument you need a microphone that picks up the sound of the instrument that is playing in a room. So the sound is being transported by air to the microphone, which also picks up the room’s unique characteristics in connection with the instrument’s sound. You don’t have this sound characteristics when working with electronic instruments, because where is cables there is no “room”. So this is where the focus of this project lies: To record electronic music in specific rooms in order to capture each room’s unique characteristics. So there are actually two interesting questions why I wanted to do such a project: “What happens to electronic music when it loses it’s concrete, precise, non-spatial characteristics?” and “How does the unique characteristics of a room influence the sound of the recording itself?”.
In order to capture the true sound of each room I didn’t want to use many different microphones that were placed at different spots, because that would cause an unprecise image of the acoustic situation. Therefore I used a pair of Lewitt LCT 340 in ORTF configuration and placed them at a position of each room where the “audience” was sitting. And that’s why all tracks do not contain any mix, because they are all just 1:1 images of how the music sounded at a certain spot inside each room. And to really have impressive results I did not perform the music in stereo, but quadrophonic! So I placed four speakers around the microphones. The sound was literally moving from one speaker to another creating incredible sound images of the room. For instance in some recordings the sound was moving from the back of the audience’ position to the front. You might say: “But you have recorded everything in stereo. Why should there be any effect when the sound comes from behind?”. But there WAS a huge effect, because the reflections of the sound from behind had a longer way to travel to the microphones! You can really feel each room’s dimensions.
I haven’t made any preparations for each recording regarding the musical performance. I just went in and deeply listened to what could sound right. Then I just improvised with the modular system and made sounds I thought would fit to each situation. Still each patch was quite complex in order to give the audience no flat performance just because the idea with the rooms was good enough. Sometimes there were additional sound sources like the canary birds or the swimmers at the indoor swimming pool. I also wanted to achieve different feelings with each recording. The ice pavillion for instance is a recording with cold and harsh sounds that make you feel a bit anxious while the defiled church gives warm and cozy impressions.
I am very proud of how Raumklang Eins evolved. It took about one year to travel to all locations, made the recordings, selected the takes and mastered the sound.
In times where information is more valuable than gold it is the word ‘security’ that is used more often than any other key word in modern society. Security sounds good to citizens and so they might feel safer when the word is used as much as possible. But safety and security do not mean the same thing. In order to sell security there must be a specific amount of insecurity and there is nothing more insecure than a human mind.
‘Supervision’ describes the permanent surveillance of human beings by taking advantage of today’s technologies. It aims to convey the feeling of every step being recorded and analyzed by unknown individuals and analytical programs. Straight rhythmical structures combined with modulated noises, radio voices and cold endless reverbs create an irresistible hypnotic and paranoid sound. It is the simplicity of elements that make ‘Supervision’ a spectacular and incomparable album.
Also available as limited edition CD (contact me for availability)
*** A glurpolphiliac modular blorchfest. ***
*** Clever and engaging, Oktant is an epic showcase of modern modular synthesis and a genuine mastery of the craft. ***
Andrew Morelli, Steady State Fate
∗∗∗ I have never experienced such a unique piece of work performed and recorded in several one-takes on a modular synthesizer. The vast variety of patches shows the depth of its composer/producer/musician. This, as a whole is a source of inspiration that doesn’t end after the first ten or twenty times of listening to it. Every single part of this album is a complex structure itself. Warning: This is not easy-listening – take your time to enjoy this exceptional sound voyage with all your senses. ∗∗∗
Moritz Scharf, Endorphin.es
∗∗∗ A wide range of material from hypnotic to disturbing to quirky to bleeps&bloops makes this a worthwhile listening experience. ∗∗∗
Brother Theo, Circuit Abbey
∗∗∗ OKTANT promises to be a treasure trove of sonic delights. 64 works. You could think of it as modular track for each square of the chessboard or one for each hexagram of the I Ching! ∗∗∗
Oktant is a collection of 64 handmade modular pieces, which were performed 2013 – 2014. It’s an vanguard work using the nature of empiricism to form and deform sound from simple waveforms to indescribable noise. It’s complexity is a result of organic, evolving rhythm structures combined with true analog modular sound designs.
Including all 8 sub-albums:
Plus Plus Plus
Minus Plus Plus
Minus Minus Plus
Plus Minus Plus
Plus Plus Minus
Minus Plus Minus
Minus Minus Minus
Plus Minus Minus
The anniversary release [LL010] “Pattern Language” is a technoid modular EP with hypnotic beats and warm structures. Pattern Language has a linguistic usage in the field of architecture. I wanted to use this context for building up sequences, which have strong and solid grounds, but can be interpreted widely different.
**** Fuzzy and organic sounding experimental Techno that screams analog! Reminiscent of work by Cristian Vogel or maybe even Mouse on Mars but with much more of a focus on the analog modular tools it was made with. ***
Danjel van Tijn (Intellijel Designs Inc.)
*** We are always happy to hear how our products are used, especially when used to make adventurous music like LIN/LOG. Excellent Noise! ***
Paul Barker (MALEKKO HEAVY INDUSTRY CORPORATION)
*** … has one foot in the catacombs of electronic music and the other on the dance floor. ***
Tony Rolando (Make Noise Co.)
*** Great! A master of sonic sculpture. LIN/LOG’s approach to modular synthesis shines on Output. ***
Richard Nicol (Pittsburgh Modular)
*** I think it’s great. It’s full of sounds and moving, and most importantly it’s not just a bunch of noises like many modular users do but actual music. I love it! ***
Gur Milstein (TipTop Audio)
*** Very nice! There should be more music like this… ***
*** Complex and fascinating soundscapes that is a dream for a modular nerd to listen to. ***
Escape from Noise
live @ Strom Wandlung Schall (2022).
Check out the full #liveperformance at #SoundCloud.
Many thanks to @ZeM_eV, Thomas Breuer and all other #modular heads.
#eurorack #liveset #techno