This promo video surfaced a while back, giving a short glimpse into the life of legendary synth pioneer Don Buchla:
Now that the film is finally in the crowdsourcing phase, I think it’s high time to get the word out.
Don is the inventor of the Buchla Modular Electronic Music System, the first modular synth of its kind. Buchla’s creation signaled a move away from the traditional keyboard instrument, and opened up a brave new world of bleeps and bloops. It’s amazing that there has never been a documentary on the man before. With the recent resurgence of modular synths, it seems like the perfect moment.
Don was definitely part of the avant-garde. He has been called a mad scientist, a genius, an innovator, a recluse, an iconoclast, and has gathered a horde of fiercely loyal admirers by following his own visionary path, and dancing to his own muse. His name and instruments are known from Indonesia to France.
We have begun to film because there have been performances and interviews to capture that we simply couldn’t pass up, such as Morton Subotnick and Ramon Sender from the San Francisco Tape Music Center, who commissioned Don to build the first Buchla; French composers Jean-Baptiste Barrière and Marc Battier; and performances by Subotnick and Marimba Lumina player Joel Davel, who has assisted in Buchla’s workshop for over a decade.
But now we need to raise production funding to complete the rest of our filming. Among the other people we will be including in the film are early Buchla composer/performer Suzanne Ciani, analog synth performer/music journalist Gino Robair, Lightning virtuoso Forrest Tobey, synth maestro Alessandro Cortini (of Nine Inch Nails and Sonoio), Marimba Lumina co-designer Mark Goldstein, and, of course, Don himself. Ideally, we’re hoping you can support us beyond what we’re asking for here so we can also edit and do post-production for the film.
With your help, we will be able to do the legacy of Don Buchla justice.
I Dream Of Wires, a forthcoming documentary about modular synthesizers, featuring interviews with luminaries such as Chris Carter and Trent Reznor, has released an official trailer for its extended cut, ‘Hardcore Edition.’
This juicy 12-minute hardcore synth porn clip is but a sliver of the full 4-hour version of the film, which is available for pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD at idreamofwires.org.
Also for sale on their site is the exclusive IDOW edition batteryACID, a voltage controlled analog distortion module by hexinverter.net.
batteryACID is “loosely based” on the classic MXR Distortion Plus guitar pedal circuit. What makes this unit special for modular enthusiasts is that it comes in eurorack format, so it can be integrated right into a modular rig, and distortion can be modulated using a control voltage from another module. It also has a built-in compressor to keep those clipped peaks in check, which can be disabled if desired, or used on its own with distortion bypassed.
And now without further ado, here comes the trailer. Keep your pants on y’all.
“I Dream Of Wires (Hardcore Edition)” – 2013 official trailer.
“I Dream of Wires” (IDOW) is an upcoming, independent documentary film about the phenomenal resurgence of the modular synthesizer – exploring the passions, obsessions and dreams of people who have dedicated part of their lives to this esoteric electronic music machine. Written and directed by Robert Fantinatto, with Jason Amm (Ghostly International recording artist Solvent) serving as producer and co-writer, IDOW is set to receive it’s festival premiere, May 2013.
Preceding IDOW’s official theatrical release, we will be releasing this special, extended cut: “I Dream Of Wires (Hardcore Edition)” (IDOW-HE) will be released independently on BluRay / 2xDVD, and shipped to all IndieGoGo and pre-order customers, June 2013. IDOW-HE is for the hardcore modular synthesizer and electronic music fanatics, and will run approximately 4 hours long (!).
IDOW-HE is a strictly limited-edition item, available to order exclusively through idreamofwires.org from 2/11 – 5/31, 2013. It’s bound to sell out in pre-orders, so don’t sleep…
IDOW-HE BluRay / 2xDVD is available to pre-order now: idreamofwires.org/order
“Themogene (I Dream Of Wires theme)”, from the forthcoming IDOW original soundtrack album by Solvent, is available to listen/download in its entirety via Ghostly International on Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/ghostly/solvent-themogene
Additional music/sounds featured in this trailer: Container, Jack Dangers (Meat Beat Manifesto), Richard Devine, John Elliott (Spectrum Spools/ex-Emeralds), Gert Jalass (Moon Modular), Richard Lainhart, Solvent, Jon Sonnenberg (Travelogue), Keith Fullerton Whitman.
“Who said that?” (in order of appearance): Brad Garton, Dean Batute, Maggie Payne, Bernie Krause, William Maginnis, Terry Pender, Jack Dangers (Meat Beat Manifesto), Benge (John Foxx and the Maths), Vince Clarke (Erasure), Daniel Miller (Mute Records), David Kronemeyer, Jon Sonnenberg (Travelogue), Carl Craig, James Holden, Richard Devine, Luke Abbott, Tony Rolando (Make Noise), Flood, Trent Reznor (NiN/How To Destroy Angels), Dieter Doepfer, Dominic Butler (Factory Floor), Paul Schreiber (Synthesis Technology/MOTM), David Kronemeyer, Eric Barbour (Metasonix), George Mattson, William Mathewson (WMD), Tony Rolando, Eric Barbour, Daniel Miller, Drew Neumann, John Elliott (Spectrum Spools/ex-Emeralds), Andreas Schneider (SchneidersBuero), Eric Barbour, Scott Jaeger (The Harvestman), Andreas Schneider, Dieter Doepfer, Chris Carter (X-TG/Chris & Cosey), Charlie Clouser, Danjel Van Tijn (Intellijel), John Tejada, Drumcell, Legowelt, Alessandro Cortini (SONOIO/ex-NiN), John Foxx, Deadmau5, James Husted (Synthwerks), Paul Barker (Malekko/ex-Ministry), Container, Cevin Key (Skinny Puppy), Robert A.A. Lowe, Trent Reznor, Gur Milstein (TipTop Audio), Gary Numan.
Ladies and gents, please welcome Sam Fogarino, as he steps out from behind the drums with his new band. Empty Mansions features Fogarino on lead vocals, guitar, keys, and, well, *cough* drums… The sonic stew is spiced up by Duane Denison (one of my all time fave, guitarist extraordinaire of The Jesus Lizard & Tomahawk) and Brandon Curtis (Secret Machines) on bass and keyboards.
Empty Mansions was conceived on the road during an Interpol tour. Brandon was playing live keys for the band, while Sam was writing his own songs on the sly. After a show one night, the two ended up getting to talking, one thing led to another, yada yada, and nine months or so later, a record popped out!
Polished by Denison’s wiry licks and coddled by Curtis’ production chops, Empty Mansions is certainly a wild child. The man behind the mic is usually the one held accountable for such things, and Sam was gracious enough to answer some questions. Listen to ‘Lyra’ off snakes/vultures/sulfate while you read his musings:
Maybe an obvious question but: How does it feel to go from behind the drums to being a frontman?
Well, I don’t really feel all that much of a difference. For me, there’s no line of separation between the instruments I play when I’m chasing down an idea–be it of a melodic or rhythmic nature. With EmptyMansions (Interpol as well) some songs start from behind the drum kit. Not always with a defined beat, but rather a feel. That said, with the drum kit not being my sole priority, oddly, I feel a sense of freedom not having to anchor the band. I now get to steer the shipinto stormy seas, with someone else in charge of the life line!
Your drumming in Interpol was probably the most exciting and creative element of the band to me. How does your rhythmic sensibility inform the way you write songs for Empty Mansions?
Thank you. The biggest difference is that, the songs from one band to the other are worlds apart, stylistically. The drum patterns will change, but the sensibilities remain. In other words: same approach to coming up with totally different parts/beats/fills/et al.
What was it like to work with Duane Denison on guitar? Did it change the way you thought about playing or songwriting?
Getting to work with and befriend Duane, has been a highlight of the past few years. Only topped by the birth of my Daughter during the summer of ’09. An important thing that Duane gave me was a true boost of confidence in my songwriting– Simply by contributing his time and massive, unique talent to the record. He’s not one to blow smoke and waste his time. Plus, when on a few of the songs, he refused to re-record my original guitar parts, saying they were right on, and sounded great, I was blown away. Can’t argue with Duane about anything relating to the six-string.
What was the process like working with Brandon Curtis?
I don’t think there would be a record to release without him. The fact that we’ve played and spent a lot of time together on the most recent Interpol tour, I believe really aided in the process of making an album together. But, also, he understood, without question, just what I was aiming to do via EmptyMansions. After a short time tracking, we didn’t even need to speak to each other before trying out random ideas. Overall, it was a seamless process–Brandon’s abilities stretch far and wide as a songwriter, musician, engineer, producer. I’m lucky and better, having worked with him on-stage, and in the studio, and to have him as a friend.
Are you a gearhead? Does any specific gear inspire you? What piece of gear is absolutely essential to your music?
I’m a big gearhead (I ride a 1976 Honda MR175 Elsinore, which I tweak constantly. I’m a freak on both sides of the term!) Compression. I love compressors. In my rack I have about 16 channels of compression. Tube and transistor, from a Valley People Dynamite, to the recent re-issue of the Compex, the “Levee” compressor, famous for the drum sound on Zeppelin’s “When The Levee Breaks”…. There’s just something special about the way you can shape an envelope with them. Even when used conservatively; either as sonic glue, or to keep the peaks at bay, they’re the things that make good sounding records sound good.
The Empty Mansions bio lists some of your lyrical and musical influences [“Lyrically, the songs are the result of, Sam, reading much postmodern fiction by writers such as Hubert Selby Jr (‘Sulfate’); discovering an appreciation for aerial dance and a fascination with outer-space (‘Lyra’); the TV-drama Justified (‘Up In The Holler’), and Black Francis of Pixies fame (‘That Man’). Musically, Sam drew upon classic heavyweights; Neil Young (The closing track on snakes is a cover of ‘Down By The River’), The Stones, Zeppelin—filtered through his affinity with the likes of Sonic Youth and Pixies.”] Are there any other less obvious influences you’d like to share (experiences or music that maybe doesn’t immediately come through in these songs)?
Along with the points of reference I site, there’s quite a big auto-biographical component to the record. Life lived has a lot to say.
What are you listening to these days?
I haven’t been listening to much lately. I’m in the studio just about everyday. If it’s not for creative purposes, it’s maintenance, or wiring, re-wiring, etc… When I’m not in the studio, I’m either riding, or working on my dirt bike. Then there’s Fatherhood. I’m not left with much mental room (or time) to just sit and listen to music….
I’ve been on a music video binge for a while here, but I somehow missed not one but TWO new videos from Trent Reznor’s band How to destroy angels. I’ve written about them a bunch on this blog, and everything they do continues to be artistically stunning.
This video is for the song ‘How Long?’ from their forthcoming LP Welcome Oblivion, due March 5th. Directed by Shynola, the visuals are an extremely dark, cinematic, post-apocalyptic meditation on life and death, while the music features bitcrushed beats cut with pretty poppy vocals.
The second video is for ‘The Loop Closes,’ from last year’s An Omen EP. Here, hardcore lo-fi glitchy video sputters out into spectrum shards of color. Rob Sheridan and HTDA have truly outdone themselves with this clip!
HTDA will be making their live debut this year at Coachella.
Download How to destroy angels_: An Omen – EP
Download How to destroy angels_: How Long? – Single
Depeche Mode have a video for the first single off their upcoming album Delta Machine. It’s set to be released March 26th, 2013. For a glimpse into the studio, which means some serious gear porn, go here.
The video for “Heaven” features classic DM interplay between darkness and light, masked shrouded females, and cosmic melancholia unfolding in the milieu of an abandoned gothic mansion.
Go to Heaven Buy Depeche Mode: Heaven – Single Buy Depeche Mode: Heaven – EP Pre-order Depeche Mode: Delta Machine
Lots of great videos coming down the pipe this week… Gotta be grateful for that! This one’s ‘By Crooked Steps’ from the latest Soundgarden album, King Animal. And it was directed by none other than…[drumroll!] Daaaaaaave Grooooooohl!
This isn’t the first time Dave has stepped into the directors chair. As we told you last year, he has a full length film premiering in theaters TODAY (special one night only screening across the US). Sound City opens in major cities tomorrow February 1st, and is available for download right now at http://buy.soundcitymovie.com. Dave is also planning to promote his film by hitting the road with a supergroup called The Sound City Players, which includes Stevie Nicks, John Fogerty, Lee Ving, Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick and Rick Springfield.
ANYWAY, back to the SOUNDGARDEN video (way to share the spotlight Dave)! Mr. Grohl is known for his tongue in cheek humor on early Foo Fighter’s videos, and he brings it back for this clip. Let’s just say it’s Sons of Anarchy with a twist:
I first encountered this English psych rock trio a year or so ago. Depressed, hating everything, cooped up in bed reading about the occult, I googled the words ‘thought forms’ just to see if there was already a band with that name, because I wanted to use it!
Of course there was such a band, and to my surprise I didn’t hate it. In fact, it was exactly what I wanted to hear.
I loved the unpolished, laid back quality to their songs. Here was a band with two guitarists, no bass, and for the first time I wasn’t thinking “why the hell?” Their music is just effortless, enveloping, ethereal, and real.
Thought Forms is now preparing to release their sophomore album on Geoff Barrow’s Invada Records next month.
If you haven’t noticed by now, I love psychedelic music/art/videos. The Flaming Lips are true masters of this art-form. They are also the very first band I ever saw live. And I think I love them more and more as time goes by…
The Flaming Lips released this eye-gasming animated lyric video for “Sun Blows Up Today,” which is the non-album, digital ONLY bonus track off their next record, The Terror, due in April and available for pre-order starting TODAY. Pre-ordering the album on iTunes gets you this song immediately.”Sun Blows Up Today,” along with the band themselves, will also appear in a Hyundai commercial during the Superbowl on Feb.3rd.
Check. It. Out.
I really can’t say this any better so read the press release…
The Flaming Lips will release their thirteenth studio album titled, The Terror, on April 2nd in the US and April 1st in Europe.
It is comprised of nine original compositions that reflect a darker-hued spectrum than previous works, along with a more inward-looking lyrical perspective than one might expect — but then again, maybe not. It’s up to you, the listener, to decide what it means to you.
Wayne Coyne explains, “Why would we make this music that is The Terror — this bleak, disturbing record? I don’t really want to know the answer that I think is coming. Maybe this is the beginning of the answer.”
The Terror is a bold and expressive journey that has evolved over The Lips’ nearly 30-year tended garden of sonic delights that ebbs and flows with extraordinary splashes of darkness and light, pleasure and pain, chaos and order. As we’ve come to know The Flaming Lips, the real beauty lies with the knowledge that to expect the unexpected is all part of the manic fun.
“If we have love, give love and know love,” Coyne says, “we are truly alive and if there is no love, there would be no life. The Terror, we know now, that even without love, life goes on…we just go on…There is no mercy killing.”
The digital pre-order of The Terror will begin [TODAY] Jan 29th, through the iTunes Store and other participating digital retailers. All pre-orders on iTunes will include an Instant gratification, Non-Album, Bonus Track titled, “Sun Blows Up Today.”
“Sun Blows Up Today” is also the music bed for a very cool Hyundai TV commercial by INNOCEAN USA which also stars The Flaming Lips and will air during the Super Bowl on Feb 3rd.
Track listing for The Terror:
Look…The Sun Is Rising
Be Free, A Way
Try To Explain
You Are Alone
Butterfly, How Long It Takes To Die
Always There…In Our Hearts
Non-Album, Bonus Track – digital ONLY:
Sun Blows Up Today
Mike Patton pet project Tomahawk has returned from a 5 year hiatus to bludgeon your ears with a new hard rock record called Oddfellows. This from Ipecac Records:
Tomahawk took a break to discover the many truths of the universe. They also uncovered several non truths. They were primarily holed up in a special place similar to the many caves in the mountains of Appalachia. They found time to create the new tunes that make up their new record “Oddfellows” that will be released worldwide in January 2013 on Ipecac Recordings.
This is not a reunion….unless that means they will make more money.
Tomahawk is Duane Denison (the Jesus Lizard, Unsemble, etc), Mike Patton (Faith No More, Fantômas, etc) & John Stanier (Helmet, Battles, etc) and this time around joined by Trevor “field mouse” Dunn ( Mr. Bungle, Fantômas, etc).
They released the first single “Stone Letter” on Black Friday Record Store Day last week. Here is the accompanying video, comprised of live footage from their recent short jaunt. More tour dates have been announced for 2013.