Zenotron

Mike Walters makes some crazy unique synth toys under the name Mystery Circuits. The Zenotron is his newest and my opinion his greatest creation.

“The case was made from an old modem, the monitor was a small filmstrip viewer I cut in half. Behind the translucent screen is a cut down pipette box. I installed 88 LEDs where the pipettes normally go (perfect fit). The miniature keyboard comes off of an old toy, and I rebuilt the key contacts from little surface mount tactile switches. The sounds on the Zenotron come from a modified BleepLabs Nebulophone kit. A 2-Axis Parallax joystick controls the waveform and arpeggio rate of the Nebulophone. There are only 10 notes on the Nebulophone circuit, so the A# and B of the keyboard are wired parallel to the C and C#. Audio from the Nebulophone is fed to the clock input of a 4017 decade counter, which varies the sequence speed according to the Nebulophone’s audio. Each step turns on two transistors that light an array of 4 to 5 green LEDs. All of the LEDs are wired randomly, though I tried to make sure the spread around the pipette box was even. The LEDs are wired to a DB25 connector inside the Zenotron. For the volume pot, I just replaced the feedback resistor in the last opamp stage of the Nebulophone’s output. The LFO pot is wired the same as on the Nebulophone, but it has an off switch when turned all the way down. If the switch is off, the LFO seems to change according to the joystick. The LFO controls the Nebulophone’s filter, which uses an optocoupler. The color scheme was very much subconsciously inspired by the Kaypro II and the Commodore SX-64.” – mysterycircuits.com

For more info: mysterycircuits.com/projects/zenotron

Kraftwerk Rockpalast

Next week I will go to see Kraftwerk 3-D at the United Palace Theatre in NYC. It’s amazing to think how far in the future we are now. I saw them about 10 years ago and it’s was one of the best concerts I’ve ever seen.

“From the Rockpalast Archive Mixed Media Show Soest, Germany. Winter 1970 0. Intro 1. Stratovarius 2. Ruckzuck 3. Heavy Metal Kids 4. Improvisation 1″ – Henry Owings

For more info: kraftwerk.com

The Horrorist EBM DJ Set – Defcon NYC

The Horrorist DJ Set – March 8, 2014 – NYC, USA at Defcon by Thingstocome on Mixcloud

Last weekend I did a DJ Set at Defcon. Defcon is run by D.J. Stalagmike. There are three things that make Defcon special. First, it’s a true old school EBM event. You won’t hear cybergoth here. Mike has very good taste playing New Beat, Scarecrow and things like that. Second, Defcon takes place in one of the oldest running classic venues: The Pyramid. The Pyramid has been around since the 1979 and was host to some of the best drag/gay parties throughout the 80s. Finally, Mike has managed to make this an every Saturday event for a long time. To create a long running classic EBM event in North America is something to be noted. I was very pleased to be asked to play there. I posted my mix below for you to hear in full! As I played music I was screaming and sweating quite a bit. A tradition at Defcon is apparently drinking something called Black Haus. I did my best not to vomit with each shot. This stuff really tastes like paint thinner. Dj Andi did two amazing sets. She runs the Synthicide night and for someone in her 20s blows my mind with her obscure 80s music knowledge. Mike DJed for the rest of the night. Several times I had to run to the DJ booth to find out what he was playing. I couldn’t stop dancing to either of their sets. I had a chance to meet Jean Lorenzo (who was sporting a nice Petra Flurr T-Shirt) who records some nice hardware only synth/gothpop under the name Silent Em. I also met with old friends Reade Truth and Kreestof. In the late 80s and early 90s there was no place greater for music than NYC. Lately it’s cool and fun factor has really been on the rise. Heimat!

“The Pyramid Club is a nightclub in the East Village of Manhattan, New York City. After opening in 1979, the Pyramid helped define the East Village drag and gay scenes of the 1980s. The club is located at 101 Avenue A in Manhattan.” – Wikipedia

For more info: facebook.com/pages/Defcon-NYC-Industrial

Modular Synth Basics

There is a new Youtube video series showing modular synth basics. So far there are 8 videos and I already have learned a few new things. These are simply and extremely helpful for anyone especially people new to modular synthesis. Thanks for Tuesday Night Machines for posting these!

“I started a new video series a couple of days ago, focusing on basic concepts of (Eurorack) Modular Synthesizers. My goal is to produce short videos, around 3 minutes in length, that quickly give the viewer a fundamental understanding of the topics covered. After that, the viewer can look for more specific knowledge at the other great resources online, for example the in-depth module demos of Raul’s World of Synths and of course this very community.” – The Tuesday Night Machines

For more info: The Tuesday Night Machines

The Horrorist Live in Naples Italy

Last weekend I performed in Bologna and Naples, Italy. You can find my Bologna photos and report on a post right before this one. Needless to say I arrived in Naples with very little sleep. I’ve performed often in Northern Italy around Milan and on the coast in Rimini. I also performed in Malta but never southern Italy so I was really looking forward to see what “Napoli” was like. Naples is near Rome on the Tyrrhenian Sea. On the drive from the airport I quickly realized this was an amazing place. It has that Mediterranean look with crowded one or two story white or pink brick buildings. It’s surrounded by mountains and volcanos. It is a very very crowded city. Car roundabouts are an amazing thing to see here. This is a place like NYC where you have to have driven there years to know how to force your way through traffic. Packs of school kids run all over the place. Stray dogs run around. I got to my hotel room and crashed for five hours. There was a DJ named Milo from Florence and he had his crew with him. They were also staying in my hotel and took me to get some pizza. Naples is famous for pizza and it stood up to it’s reputation. Rested and fed I did a soundcheck at the Barcode nightclub. After performing at the pool the night before I was happy to see a proper stage and a killer sound system. The event was called Hardfactory. This isn’t normally a “goth” event but that night the dress code was all black (yeah!!). I performed a few new songs that no one has heard yet. I was very pleased to hear them loudly and the reaction lets me know your going to like these too. After the show there was an official afterparty. I dropped my equipment at the hotel, changed out of my now two show smelling outfit and off I went. As the sun came up we drove along the coast heading to the event. My work was done and it felt great just to be there. When I arrived I got that “never going to happen in the USA” feeling. Everyone was dancing and well here’s where the credits roll because if you weren’t there you just not going to know what happened. I can’t wait to return.

“HARDFACTORY is proud to announce From NY (USA) – Unica data del Tour Europeo! First Time in Naples THE HORRORIST (Live!).” – Hardfactoty

For more info: facebook.com/pages/HARDFACTORY

S&M Pool Party

Last weekend I performed in Bologna, Italy with my good friend Gabri Negro (aka Richter). It was for a guy named Carlos who runs the de facto S&M/goth event in all of Italy called Decadence. I performed there a few years ago. At that show I was surprised and excited to meet Eric Van Wonterghem of The Klinik and Absolute Body Control. I unfortunately also saw one of the most bizarre “sex” acts of my life. I saw a girl shave off a guys eyebrow and then eat it. Sadly I still remember that. So when Carlos said hey it’s time for another show I said ok knowing I may see some new things. I was right. For this years Decadence they moved the event to an indoor swimming pool. There was a long line to get in and I had to make my way through a dungeon/maze of small sex rooms before I got to the pool and stage area. The pool was really large with a bridge crossing the center to a jacuzzi. It was as hot an humid as you can imagine. Everyone was either head to toe patent leather or completely naked. The room was packed and there were quite a few people swimming and having sex. My friend Luca was DJing some cybergoth type of stuff (Combichrist) and I set up next to another band. It didn’t get past me that I was setting up about two feet from the edge of the water. The band who played before me was called Wormz and they were really good. They had two vocalists and a guy behind some machines. They two vocalists moved forward and back together in proper EBM style with heavy distortion on their voices. Carlos came into the room and DJed for about 30 minutes and then it was showtime. I really enjoyed playing there. I ran all over the room with my light screaming, sweating and dancing. My favorite part was going on the bridge over the pool and dancing with some serious freaks. The second to last song my 220V extension cord attached to my 500W light dropped into the pool and there was a huge zap and then lights out. Keep in mind this was a large room full of people in and out of a swimming pool. With great luck I didn’t kill anyone. I suspect some of the people in the pool won’t be able to have children. The lights came back on and I did a quick encore and had to run out of there. My flight to Naples was just a couple of hours away so I raced off to shower and repack the equipment. I saw a few photographers in the room so I really hope to get a few more photos. When I do I will add them here. Thanks for Gabri for his help and Carlos for being so daring to do something like this. Unforgettable again! To see the full set of photos: click here

“Oliver Chesler è un dj, produttore e film maker americano. Conosciuto con vari pseudonimi, tra le sue collaborazioni spiccano Chris Liebing, Depeche Mode e the Cure.” – Decadence

For more info: decadence.cc

Soft Cell Disk Drive

A person named SammyIAm created Moppy which is a “Musical controller for an Arduino-floppy drive set up.”. He then posted a video of Moppy performing Soft Cell’s Tainted Love. Marc Almond found the video and decided to repost it this time with his own vocals on top!

“Several people showed me the brilliant floppy drive rendition of Tainted Love by Gigawipf here on YouTube so I thought it might be fun to add the vocal! :-)” – Marc Almond

For more info: github.com/SammyIAm/Moppy

Schadenfreude – Spectra

On this Valentine’s Day I am very happy to release a new single to the world! This is a special release for me as this time the music is centered around someone else’s vocals. Andi is a DJ in the EBM, synthpop, coldwave world. She runs the night Synthicide in New York City. She also has a wonderful 80s post punk book coming out later this year called Some Wear Leather Some Wear Lace. We co-wrote about 6 songs. Our band name is Schadenfreude and this EP is called Spectra. We picked the best two and then I redid the music in my home studio. I fell in love with these songs over the past few months and I am really pleased to let you hear them. From a technical standpoint you are hearing some nice equipment including a lot of my Eurorack modular and Ensoniq ESQ-1.

“The blood it drips through my hand. I watch it pool I take the command. I don’t think only what I feel. I’m not sure if this can be real.” – Schadenfreude

Buy now: iTunes, Amazon and Bandcamp.

Radio Shack Catalogs

A few posts ago I posted a video that Radio Shack ran during the SuperBowl. It showed how their stores are being updated so they were no longer like the old 80s stores. Well the 80s Radio Shack stores were incredible. I had a TRS-80 CoCo. I loved looking through all the small electronics parts they sold. I even had an Armatron. There is a great website that lets you look through old Radio Shack catalogs called radioshackcatalogs.com. While most everything they sold now simple is part of your cell phone it’s an amazing trip down memory lane for nerd like me.

“At this website you will be able to view these old 1939-2011 Radio Shack and Tandy Electronics’ catalogs, sale flyers, brochures, and more…year by year…page by page.” – radioshackcatalogs.com

For more info: radioshackcatalogs.com