On Saturday night I went to the second annual Control Voltage Fair at the South Street Seaport in Manhattan. It was at last year’s event where I first got the modular bug. Since that show I learned all I could about the Eurorack modular format and have purchased 31 modules and 4 racks to hold them. The modular “scene” is small and everyone I’ve met online, at Control or at these events has been friendly, helpful and really into it. It was extremely hot and humid on Saturday evening and this year the booths and live shows were outdoors. After a quick walkthrough I first stopped at the Tiptop Audio booth to play with the Trigger Riot and see the new Mix Z prototype. The TR lives up to it’s name as within a 30 seconds you can have a mass of drums making noise. The Mix Z is a mixer with a bus on it’s backside so you don’t have to patch the audio in from Tiptop drum modules. I met Richard Devine at the Make Noise booth. We discussed how he soundproofed his new studio. We also talked about how it’s important for children to hear a lot of music as they develop and how his own kid may end up a little different because of the modular sounds she’s hearing vs Row Row Row Your Boat. Ben Casey from Bangbang was there. He’s the de-facto Elektron dealer in NYC. Musician Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe and Knas the maker of the Polygamist synth were seen hanging out. Before the actual performances startetd Jeremiah Johnson had a small crowd gather around him while he improvised on the massive Control setup. They had the new Mutable Instruments modules in their giant Goikes racks and Jeremiah was making good noise with them. I talked to him after his was done about European gigs. I enjoyed Keith Fullerton Whitman’s performance. Modular sounds good live and outdoors. I like my music more structured and evil but it had moments where I wondered how he was doing it. Richard Devine’s performance had a certain sound to it. Plucky, vactrolish and for most of it happily quite dark. Due to the Tequila icey drinks they were serving right outside the festival I tired out and missed Lori Napoleon. Be sure to see my entire set of photos on flickr: click here
“People walking by outside audibly confused by the noise pouring out on to the street from RichardDevine ‘s set.” – Anthony Saunders
I’m back from Rotterdam and as you can see from the photos I had a great time. I met Juan Atkins, re-connected with Mathis (Panacea) and screamed into the open air. Mathis was a bit late setting up his gear so I ended up performing one of my longest sets ever. As more an more time when on and Panacea wasn’t quite ready the only material I had left to play live was really songy slow stuff. To my amazement the crowd really loved it. It goes to show you sometimes you have no idea what’s going to work. The stage was built in sections and the section leading to the audience was about seven feet up. As I do in smaller club I really love going out and getting to the crowd. I had to jump up and down off the stage many times. My legs are totally black and blue. This happens so often I’m considering some sort of shin guard sports equipment the next time I perform. Be sure to look at the full set of photos (link) to see some of the art and mobile performance pieces that were on display. It’s fairly certain that Containerfest will now be a regular annual event. I am please to be noted in history as performing the first one. Toward the end of my set the sun went down and I have to say I felt pretty lucky to be standing up there.
“ContainerFest 0.1. On the 21st of July 2012 from 12:00h till 23:00h the first edition of ContainerFest…Schiehaven of Rotterdam. ContainerFest0.1 is a new, multidisciplinary festival with different styles of progressive electronic music styles, industrial designs, cool performance art, visuals and art and light installations. This year you will be spoiled with two big area’s filled with big (inter)national headliners.” – Containerfest.nl
I’ve been a fairly consistent poster on Wire to the Ear. I almost always post something each day. When I fly off to Europe it’s a bit more difficult but more and more hotels have good net access. The past few days playing two shows was a bit different. Besides not having internet access (or handing myself a huge AT&T data bill) I was busy having major fun. The first night in at Row14 in Barcelona was great and the 40k event in Fraga on the Desert called Monegros was something I won’t ever forget. I landed at JKF (NYC) late last night, got home slept a rock solid 8 hours and I’m sitting here attempting to wash enough of everything I just experienced to the back of my mind so I can start with spreadsheets and the energy business. Life is full so there’s my excuse for a few days of silence here. I’ll follow up with some photos from the weekend shortly.