raxil4 + his Namelessness Is Legion – invisibly present at Sounding Cities

Today the collaborative album I recorded together with Andrew Page raxil4 back in March 14 is presented in the context of a paper entitled Landscapes {Soundscapes: Dronestrikes on Saturn by Laura Plana Gracia at the Invisible Places. Sounding Cities – Sound, Urbanism and Sense of Place  conference talking place from 18–20 July 2014 in Viseu, Portugal.

A revised version of the Paper has since also been published online with Hz Magazine.

Unfortunately neither Andrew nor I were able to accept the invitation to perform live in Viseu due to prior commitments (and absence of travel-funding)

Culled from the recordings of an afternoon session, the album, which consists of hours worth of improvised drones was actually created with much less of a theoretical concept in mind, than the discussion in the paper – which focuses mainly on the Saturn samples used as textures  and on the other hand completely fails to mention the use of guitar and the Hamlet 2000 Skulldronesynth – may suggest. But, like a wise man on post-modernism once said, once an artists releases a piece of music to the public it is no longer theirs, one relinquishes control over how a listener or reader of liner-notes weighs the references…

Thus, dear reader, feel invited to make this untitled album your own (aka, go download!)

Two further outtakes, “Saturn’s Bunker” and  Three: A Beginning” (still my personal favorite) were released on the Lo-Fi B-Movie Soundtrack 2 and TheDarkTapes’ Every Day in Further Decay compilation, respectively.

Preliminary Results – and another ado about The Science

P1030549I’ve finally gotten around to properly reading A. Hugill’s ‘Pataphysics A Useless Guide (MIT Press 2012) which I had waiting on my shelf for a couple of months. A current non-functioning of my very beloved, because ultimately practical E-reader “forcing” me to enjoy the equally pleasurable experience of “traditional” books for a change.  Dabbling in conscious ‘Pataphysics for a while now and taking a lot of inspiration from both, conscious- and unconscious Pataphysics as well as the literary work of the Science’s founder, Alfred Jarry, I was quite  surprised elated to find my 2009 album “And Music became its own Grandma…” (DVR 42, Digital Vomit Records)  mentioned in such an eminent publication. I’ve, as you may or may not be aware, written on ‘Pataphysics and Jarry’s probably best know creation/creature, King Ubu, before and, well, who knows… about the future, that is. Ethernité maybe just around the corner.

P1030550…in the meantime, by embarking on a side-strain which, by swerve of shore or bend of bay, shall lead us back to Ubu’s Castle and environs, and which connects this post with the one immediately preceding it, without involvement of Sir Tristram, we change the topic to musick:
What is involved there, are the trustworthy Les Paul mostly feedbacking happily along, humming a  humbuck or two (in which case it should be: humbuckers) -  we can’t rule out that it does so for the greater good of humbug – and an unspecified amount of delay, reverb and distortion effects. Layer upon layer later, I brought my Solar experiments into play: At first 4 squarewave layers were generated with the “simple” 40106 model, a fifth – the “solo voice” was then overdubbed using a circuit consisting of a 4046PLL “demodulating” the output of a diode synced 40106 oscillator, all the oscs involved being controlled via LDRs. If this sounds like jargon to you, it probably is… But there’s videos of the basic’s in the last post as well as on my youtube channel, so you can achieve getting an idea easily…  anyway, did I digress just there and then? In that case – let’s waste no more time (while we still have our brains) and take the leap of fate to the Drone Du Décervelage

inspired, of course, by that old favorite, Ubu’s “Chanson du Décervelage“…

Results being preliminary, I’ll provide more insight into the “solar oscillations”, like schematics, pictures and sounds of the work in progress and, at some point, hopefully, the work in finish when the time has come. You can entertain yourself by getting stuck in a loop by scrolling back up and start reading from the start of the second paragraph

 

 

Solar Powered Noise – latest Bunkerlab experiments

Blue PhaseI found a Solar Battery Charger Panel the other day for a fraction of nothing at a charity shop. This brought on the idea of a – not only solar powered but also – light controlled little noisebox.

The Panel can be switched between 3/6/9/12V which always set the maximum (minimum dependent on light). Current ranges from 200A at 3v to 50mA at 9 & 12v.  This is enough for a small 555 circuit and/or at least one or two 40xx series cmos chips.

At the very first I tried it on the cv intput of a 555, mostly because that was already sitting on my breadboard, to not too interesting results. So, having seen some interesting circuits that use the power supply of a 40106 (Schmidt-Trigger Gate) to abuse the chip as a VCO, I decided to start experimenting with the concept.

I tried a 40106 based circuit (2 oscs w/diode heterodyne mixing) powered from the panel and it sounded quite interesting, but then I started wondering “how I could get the most” out of it.

So, well, I did some further experimenting here. After the above mentioned 40106 chip I tried a circuit built around a 4093.  (one where I used two nandgates for oscs and then the same diode mixing as above, one where I “mixed” the outputs through a third 4093 gate… `) interestingly the 4093 tends to go higher in frequency when the voltage goes down…

So I went back to the 40106


I’m especially interested in “instability”. for example use the remaining gates as “no-output” oscillators (at, say, different fixed frequencies) like I’ve seen on, I think, the cacophonator, to make the chip unstable/generate crosstalk… So I wasn’t sure if I should include a reservoir cap from V+ to ground.
Reservoir capacitors can actually be fun… I tried both a 4,7µf and a 100µf on both circuits… I think the effect can best be seen in the short vid of the 40106 version. But without them the circuit – and especially, where it matters, the frequencies are much better “controllable” with light, when omitting the cap. Also the “famous ” voltage starve” effect often occurs…

 

After the version seen on the video I tried the same circuit but with LDRs rather than pots, and this is where things got really interesting. I don’t have a video of that experiment now, but on the next experiment the LDR is back in action controlling (this time) only 1 gate of the 40106. The output from this goes into a 4046PLL chip.

I tried the 4046, at first, because of its built in VCO, thinking that running the chip of the same varying supply that also provides the control voltage could be fun. It was. But only once I combined it with the 40106 and take the comparator output as my audio signal things started to “rock”… So here’s a short video clip of that.

 

I’ve posted some mp3 files of the experiment in THIS thread over at the fantastic Electronic Music Forum. I’ll post a further report once the project has reasonably progressed… meanwhile, here’s a few pics:

 

 

P1030571P1030568 P1030559 P1030558 P1030557 P1030553 4046+40106

 

“fortytwo” – A lateral grotesque of sorts

I have a new release out on his Namelessness Is Legion‘s ur-label Mahorka records.

42coverMixing field recordings, computer processed found sounds and drones with self-built oscillators and circuit bent sound generators and effects into a continuous oneiric stream, “fortytwo” is a 42 minute trip through the pataconscious.

Started at the Ivory Bunker West (w14) in 2013 and finished earlier this year at the Ivory Bunker North (N17), it is now available from Mahorka Records as a free (pay as you like) digital download in compressed as well as loss-less formats via archive.org and Bandcamp.

The cover artwork was, once again, done by wonderful leska.

As is, of course, the tradition, I’ve once again created a little “poetic blurb” to provide some additional reading for those inclined to dance about architecture read about music:

 

his Namelessness Is Legion

fortytwo

A ghost train on London’s District Line colliding with Mrs. Higgs’ bosom while, on advertisements, the standard models (i.e. Kate Moss and Cara Delevingne) provide strange attractions at the Entropy Derby. A lateral grotesque singing the relativist’s credo, a small step for a man, but many, even smaller, steps for white mice…

Have a listen via the embedded player below or head over to the release page on mahorka.org and download your personal copy.

I hope you enjoy this release and invite you to stay tuned for the next planned his Namelessness Is Legion release, Astable Systems! Details TBA soon.

We say Dizztroy – with 48 Tomoroh Hidari presets and more

Great news are in from Z3 Audiolabs

Dizztroy1Their Multi-Distortion plugin, which also features a Filter and a Bitcrusher/Sample rate reduction, Dizztroy, has just been updated to version 1.5.

The plugin allows for some flexibility in the routing of effects by simply drag&dropping the modules to the desired place in the chain beneath the big Envelope follower/Waveshaper window.

The Filter lets you choose between HP/LP/BP/Notch & Peak and the Mix fader let’s you blend between filtered and unfiltered signal.

The Crusher works either as pure bitcrusher or as bitcrush/sample rate reduction tool, the dry fader lets you blend in a chosen amount of dry signal – the same with the two distortion units. These are

Drive – which comes with plenty of different algorithms from Drive to Fuzz to Exponential Distortion. Like distort it now comes also with a feedback option which, believe me, you wanna be rather careful with. Unless total destruction is your thing.

And, while we’re at it – total destruction, that is – if you haven’t managed to get there yet, the Distort unit should be able to take care of that once and for all. Giving you symmetric or asymmetric waveshaping distortion, it can, of course, also be used very subtle. It depends mostly on the waveshape you draw in Dist.Shaper window. You can store 4 different waveshapes, so one preset can give you “everything” between soft fuzz and screeching chaos with just a mouse-click.

While version 1 already had an envelope follower for the Drive and Waveshape Distortion Effects my feedback to make the envelope follower also available to modulate Filter & Crusher has been taken up, but, what is more, the whole envelope section has been overhauled giving you (or us) a great many more options to shape that perfect Dizztruction.

DizztroySession1I had the pleasant task of creating some presets for this release and while a great many of them were done with the previous version, once Z3 Audiolabs sent me the update I couldn’t hold back and just had to do a couple more.  Which gives the lucky buyer of Dizztroy 1.5 a decent 48 presets that should come handy for different tasks – from exploding your sounds (hopefully not your speakers or ears) to subtle enhancements and almost everything in between.

The “loop” in the screenshot from last Saturday’s “final preset programming session” has by now evolved in what should soon be a nice d’n’b track… with Dizztroy fattening up the main drums as well helping to give some basses the extra bit of bite…

Here’s the official release notes: but believe me, just head over there and buy it (try it):

Dizztroy version 1.5 is avaliable now!

changes:
- completely overworked envelope followers:
– graphical representation of whats happening
– added a delay parameter
– added an amount parameter
– performance optimized code
- several smaller performance optimizations
- overworked GUI
- presets are shown in groups now for better overview

new:
- added exponential distortion to overdrive selections
- added feedback parameter for Drive
- added feedback parameter for waveshape distortion
- added bandpass filter
- envelope following signals can be routet to filter cutoff, filter resonance and crusher
- overworked presets + 48 new presets by Tomoroh Hidari

hope you will enjoy this new update!

http://www.z3-audiolabs.com/dizztroy/

 

for my post on Z3 Audiolab’s Repeat X click here.