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

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…

Photos from the Control Voltage Faire

I had a great time at the Control Voltage Fair at the South Street Seaport yesterday. It was good to see that there are now 4 stores in the NYC area selling modular synthesizers! I spent the most time with Karl Ekdahl and his new Polygamist synth. I own his Moisterizer spring reverb unit and the new synth is wonderful. It’s also one of the coolest looking pieces of hardware I’ve ever seen. Mark Verbos had his car size vintage Buchla system there and did an hour live performance (eat that Deadmau5!). A good time and I hope these type of events keep happening because you really need hands on time with the modules to decide which ones you want in your own rack. You can see the full set of photos if you: click here

“The analog modular synthesizer is a type of synthesizer consisting of separate specialized modules connected by wires (patch cords) to create a so-called patch. There are three basic kinds of modules: source, processor and logic. The basic modular functions are as: signal, control, logic/timing. Outputs are an electric voltage.” – Wikipedia

For more info: wiretotheear.com/2012/06/27/control-voltage-faire

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