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

Disintegrator Live 1996

Every now and then I will grab a stack of old photo from storage, scan them and get them onto flickr. I came across this set from a Disintegrator (my first band with John Selway) show in 1996. It took place in Monticello NY. I decided it would be interesting to record a call with John and let him see these photos at the same time. Deadmau5 eat your heart out because we play live. Listen to the audio interview as we discuss everything on stage and more. Be sure to follow the link at the bottom of this post to see all the photos on flickr.

“The planetary journey continues on Saturday October 12, 1996 at the illustrious Concord Resort Hotel nestled within the Catskill Mountains just 1 hour north of New York City. For URANUS, the fifth in a series of planetary parties we have selected an unparalleled lineup of the best DJ’s and producers in the galaxy. The world renowned Concord Resort is one of New York State’s Largest exhibition centers featuring over 170,000 square feet of raw space. We will be converting this space into two MASSIVE dancing arenas complete with CLAY PACKY GOLDEN SCAN HPE series fixtures, J WOLF SOUND, and a huge ARGON laser sweeping overhead. For those wishing to continue your journey, the excitement continues. After the party rooms are available. The Concord resorts features indoor and outdoor swimming pools, saunas, steam rooms, and a plethora of recreational facilities to suit your every need. For reservations please contact the Concord after September 1, 1996 at 1-800-CONCORD and ask for the planetary group rate.”

To see the full set of photos: flickr.com/thingstocomerecords/721…

Lock on Target – Disintegrator

Someone posted one of my first releases on my Facebook wall so I thought I’d share it here and tell you how it was created. Amazingly this was produced in 1992 (18 years ago!). Back then you could have actually owned all the techno releases available. Disintegrator was a partnership between myself and John Selway. We both owned Roland TB-303s and you hear them both on this track. You also hear my Roland TR-909 being distorted through a small 10 channel boss mixer. The mixer was brown and plastic. I wish I could remember the model number. It looked like the mixer you found on Tascam 4 Tracks of the time albeit without the cassette. The sample “Lock on Target” was from a large silver toy guy I purchased at Toys R Us and hacked and line-out into it. We used to bring the gun live (and all the 303’s etc…!). The only other sound you hear is a little bass pattern from a Roland Juno-106. I think what makes this song still work today is the arrangement. We played live as much as we could and to this day that’s a large part of what it takes to make good music.

The video below is the B-Side called “Dark Black Ominous Clouds”. It also uses two TB-303s and Roland Juno-106. However, the rest of the sounds are samples coming out of an Akai S-950. The vocals are from a black and white movie about schizophrenia. Everything was mixed on a Mackie 1604 with some added delay from a Korg SDD-2000. There are some great photos and an article on the SDD-200 here: dancetech.com/sdd2000. Both songs were recorded at SUNY Purchase where I lived down the hall from Selway.

“The SDD-2000 Sampling Delay was one of those great early digital fx processors all the Japanese music corps churned out in the 80’s using the newly arived affordable chips the 80’s ushered in. The SDD-2000 is most famous for being used extensively by The Edge from U2 on every album from The Unforgettable Fire onward. It is still in his rack today, 20+ years later.” – dancetech.com

For more info visit Lenny Dee’s: industrialstrengthrecords.com

How we use to do it! Energy Flash tribute.

In the early 90s I was in several techno acts. To toot my own horn a little I have over 75 12″ singles out there. This video reminds me how John Selway and I as Disintegrator used to make music. The guy in this (awesome) video is covering the classic track Energy Flash by Joey Beltram. I really loved watching this. Seeing the Akai discs and Mackie mixer being muted/unmuted again was cool. Thanks for the flashback attack!