Oliver Chesler’s Recording Studio 1995

Oliver Chesler Recording Studio 1995

I was looking through some old photos last night and I came across a photo of myself in my studio in 1995. It was in this room I wrote the first Things to Come Releases including One Night in NYC and many of the early Industrial Strength Records I recorded. This studio was in my mother’s basement. Her bedroom was just above it. Looking back I realize how funny it is that I was screaming my head off down there. I do remember I was going to a wedding and thought, “OK I look cool lets take a photo in the studio.”. So hah please look past my uncool look and let’s see what gear I had!

– Atari 1040ST & SM124 High Resolution Monochrome Monitor running Cubase and Dr. T’s KCS.
– Yamaha NS10M Studio Monitor Speakers driven by a Crown Microtech 500 AMP.
– Roland TR-909 Drum Machine
– Roland TR-707 (not pictured… sat to the right of the 909)
– Roland TB-303 Bassline Synthesizer
– Roland SH-101 Synthesizer
– Roland Juno-106 Synthesizer
– Roland SH3 Synthesizer
– Electrocomp-101 Synthesizer
– Roland S-50 Sampler with external monochrome CRT
– Akai S950 Sampler
– Korg SDD-2000 Digital Delay
– Mackie 1604 Mixer
– Another large old mixer (in the photo with the record, CD and DATs on it)
– Tascam 1/4″ Patch Bay
– Tascam Dual Cassette Deck
– Tascam DA-30 DAT Machine
– Turntable for Sampling Records
– Ultimate Support Systems Desk with extra “wings”
– Ultimate Support Systems A-Frame Keyboard Stand with extra “wings”
– Ultimate Support Systems 3 Tier Keyboard Stand
– 2 SKB Rackmount Cases
– Slanted 19″ Rackmount Stand with Wheels

Today kids own a ton of gear. Back then my studio was considered “a lot of stuff”. In making this list you can see how Roland owned the techno world or at least you can see how much I love their stuff. This photo was right before Apple Macs became powerful enough to run Cubase VST with audio recording. So all the vocals I did back then had to be recorded live in one pass to DAT (digital audio tape). One night in NYC, Dark Germany, Mission Ecstacy, etc… all recorded live to DAT in one pass. Of course I would make mistakes and had to start the tape again. So what things in this photo do I still own today? I moved to Brooklyn and the TB-303 and Juno-106 were stolen. I sold the Akai S950, Dat Machines, Mackie Mixer, SH-101 and TR-909. I never regretted selling the 909 actually and until I saw this photo I forgot I even once owned a SH-101! I sold the Korg SDD-2000 digital delay and I do regret that. I will buy one again on eBay someday. I still own the Electrocomp-101. You can’t really see it in this photo (it sat above the SH-101). My father gave it to me and I’ll never part from it. It’s number 521 of 2000 ever created. I still own, love and use the Roland SH3. This is a SH3 not SH3a. The 3 has the original filter in it which was a clone of a Moog design. Moog threatened to sue Roland to they created the weaker 3A revision. While it’s fun to fetishize gear it’s very important to remember it’s not the equipment it’s the artist. Just make music, have fun and tell YOUR story.

For more info: thehorrorist.com

New York Techno in the Early 90s

I was recently contacted by Michaelangelo Matos for Red Bull Music Academy. He wanted to interview me about the start of the NY techno scene in the early 90s. Sometimes in life you are at the right place at the right time and you get to take part in something new. Be sure to click the link below to read the full article.

“That was the mindset Chesler played to under his alias the Horrorist. “Somewhere around ’96, I started to really get an itch to return to new wave and industrial,” he says. “There are really good techno producers with a lot of skill. The only way for me to stand out was to use my own voice and tell my own story. I did my first drugs around that time, so I [wrote] stories about drugs.” Tales such as “Mission Ecstasy” – with its unforgettably blunt tag line, “Because I like fucking drugs” – and “One Night In NYC,” about an NYU student’s trip to the Limelight to pick up a guy who “fucks her all night” in her dorm room, were unsettling. Chesler shopped them to a number of labels. “Nobody wanted them,” he says with a laugh, “so I started my own label.” He called it, hopefully, Things To Come.” – redbullmusicacademy.com

Read the full article: redbullmusicacademy.com/new-york-techno

MoMA Music 3.0

A friend of mine asked if I would check out the Looking at Music 3.0 exhibit at MoMA (The Yoshiko and Akio Morita Media Gallery, second floor). As a New Yorker who lived and breathed music in the 80s and 90s I’m definitely going to get my nostalgia on.

“Looking at Music 3.0, the third in a series of exhibitions exploring the influence of music on contemporary art practices, focuses on New York in the 1980s and 1990s. In this dynamic period, imaginative forms of street art spread across the five boroughs, articulating the counter-culture tenor of the times. As the city transitioned from bankruptcy to solvency, graffiti, media, and performance artists took advantage of low rents and collaborated on ad hoc works shown in alternative spaces and underground clubs.” – moma.org

For more info: moma.org/visit/calendar/exhibitions/1147

Sunday Sounds: Early Rave

Today’s edition of Sunday Sounds is a playlist of early Rave tracks. I was deeply involved with this era so this playlist could be really long but for my own sanity I just picked 10 tracks. So go take some E, crack a few glo-sticks, find your most retarded clothes and press play.

“There’s a rainbow inside your mind!” – Praga Kahn

You want to make music like this? For gear I suggest an Akai S950, discs of breakbeat samples, Roland Juno-2, Roland TR-909, Roland TB-303.

I created this playlist over at Playlist.com. My profile there: thingstocome