Wednesday 31 October 2007

At the Meiji Shrine

There is an area where you can write your prayer or wish on a piece of wood, and hang it on the special prayer hanger thing...
Some prayers are more poignant than others:

"May you and your family find peace"

"Wish my wife recover from cancer fully"

"Red Sox to win 2007 World Championship"

New Track on MySpace

...if you want it. The song is made up of R-09 samples layered up into a simple loop. The kick drum was recorded at the Meiji Shinto temple in Harajuku, Tokyo. I was taken there by Rusher, one of my Japanese tour fixers, after we visited Five G (don't visit that place unless you have lots of money, otherwise you WILL feel like crying...) Shortly after our arrival, a ceremony took place and one of the temple crew was beating an enormous drum, so I took advantage of the opportunity and whipped out my recorder to capture the sound. Back home I beefed it up with some sub-bass. The claps are a composite from walking around my local area and clapping under various bridge arches, so they have stacks of natural ambience. Added to the basic beat are recordings of me banging my collection of gongs, cowbells and woodblocks in the kitchen, the door closing noise from the Japanese train journey recording below, and some river sounds. After a little while, some Gendy strings join in.

Sunday 28 October 2007


I got myself an Edirol R-09 in Kyoto. It cost about 100 quid less than in the UK! It was used to record the sets posted below. I wanted one for ages just to be able to collect sounds, as I used to do when I first got a portable DAT recorder in 1992. I think it's a pretty cool gadget. The internal mic quality is excellent, although it would be good to have an external one to point at things, and the operating system is easy to navigate, which is unusual for Roland. Here are a couple of recordings what I did: some bells from a Kensington church, and a local train journey on the Osaka to Kyoto line.

Friday 26 October 2007

Style Free

I love Japanese "fake beer." I didn't know it existed until my recent visit. It is brewed (or otherwise created) in such a way that it isn't actually "beer", so is taxed at a slightly less rate - you might pay 50 yen less for a can. It's as if the taste and texture of real beer have been seperated and then recombined, ending with something a bit like flat heineken. I really like the taste. One of the brands is called Asahi "Style Free." I want to start calling the music I make "Style Free" since it's just a plasticy approximation of real music.

Update: it's called Happoshu (thanks for the info Masayuki!)

Crunky Popjoy

lives up to its name:

Cylob Live in Osaka and Tokyo MP3

Live in Osaka:

(2nd pic (c) relaxmax)

Live in Tokyo:

(2nd image (c) MIKI)

Streets of Osaka

Lamp person

Kitty detail

Life size Gundam, only 175,000 ¥


Unbelievably offensive record store name

Tokyo Trail

Friday 19 October 2007

Monday 15 October 2007

Acid Lovin'

"hi everyone

next friday (26 October) is i love acid


live room
10pm - Ghost Explorer
11pm - Richard Wigglesworth
12am - B12
1am - Luke Vibert
3am - Doubtful Guest
4am - Mully
5am - Josh

dj room
10pm - Kone-R
11pm - Felson
12am - Shinra
1am - Hack The Tab
2am - John Power
3am - Cylob
5am - Sun Ov


its fancy dress. i've got loads of masks and stuff to give away on the
night, so feel free to dress up. this is a great opportunity to reveal
your hidden transexuality without anyone suspecting that you're
serious...go on, make the effort :-)

tickets are available online here -

website here -"

Glasgow a Go Go

Wednesday 10 October 2007

Osaka Happy Clapper




VD (kyoto)

KUNIO ASAI(Brilliant)
...and more

W/F ¥2,500-(W/1D)
ADV ¥2,500-(W/2D!!)

Tuesday 9 October 2007

Tokyo Precision


OPEN 23:00〜7:00
DOOR 3500yen/1D
W/F  3000yen/1D

 KID606 [TigerBeat6,ROMZ,]  CYLOB [Rephlex,Breakin'Records,Cylob Industries]

 RR [RebusTape&Rusher]



23:00〜23:45 BIG-J
23:45〜24:15 VD
24:15〜01:00 RYOTARO
01:00〜01:30 group_inou
01:30〜02:30 P.O.L STYLE
02:30〜03:30 CYLOB
03:30〜05:00 KID 606
05:00〜05:45 COM.A
05:45〜06:15 RR
06:15〜07:00 FURUMI

Sunday 7 October 2007


Acid friends reunited!
Equipment: 3 x 101, 808, 909, 727, Roland SBX-80 sync box, Pearl Syncussion, Soundcraft mixer, the 303 was placed on stage later, along with an Apple laptop, for what specific purpose it was unclear, at least to me.

TG 55 Guitar Synthesizer! I don't know either!



By and large, the music itself didn't rock. We were all there for the history, and their mere presence on stage generated many cheers. I was as thrilled as anyone, but my ears don't lie, and they weren't impressed! It perked up at about 2.50 and 3.35, with some mildly frantic 101 riffs, but then didn't really go anywhere. There was very little 303 action, which surprised me. Do you think it's bad that I criticise? It's just my opinion. I wake up and think about music, spend all day either thinking about music or making music, then go to sleep and dream about music. So if I say it didn't move me, it's not the same as saying I think they are bad people. I have met many folk, including well regarded musicians, who don't make that distinction. I went to the gig with Ed DMX and we met Gerald beforehand, and it was good as ever to say hi to him.
We also met Tom J there, and Sean B was reputed to be in attendance too. It was a bit like a techno version of "an audience with..."
But yeah, if you want to experience what a 303 / 909 gig can really be, try Ceephax.

edit: I emailed MatrixSynth about the TG55, I knew he would take the bait! I didn't feel cheeky enough to actually leap on stage and have a proper look. I can't know for certain, but right at the beginning of the set there was a 303 riff with the resonance and cutoff turned down, so it was just a low muffle, and then it sounded like they put it through "something" and the timbre gained loads of harmonics and a sort of "tearing" quality, in a really nice analogue sounding way, so i presume that was it. Also they were doing some live vocals that sounded a bit mashed up in a weird way, perhaps it was responsible for that sound too.
I should mention I left the gig at 3.40, because I wanted to get home before my travelcard ran out, so my review is based on the first hour and a half, I don't know what happened after that! Also, I wouldn't want Electro Elvis to read this and think I didn't have a good time - I did, and was most honoured to have been on the list.

Friday 5 October 2007

20th Century Voynich book

In about 1995 or 1996, I was in a bookshop in central London, I'm sure it was the one that used to be called "Dillons Arts" but that later turned into a Waterstones. There was a pile of mysterious booklets next to the main display near the entrance, and a note next to them indicated they were free. I asked one of the assistants what it was all about, and she said they didn't know, simply that some mysterious person was leaving them. I wonder if the symbols mean anything, or if it was just an elaborate and pointless joke.

Ryde Pier, Isle Of Wight

Thursday 4 October 2007

Bogdan's Alright!

His forthcoming album can be listened to in full at a crunching 16 kbps via the download link on his site. I would describe much of it as kiddie gabba! There is a definite flexing of Bogdan's melodic mastery. One of the tracks sounds eerily similar to "With or Without You" by U2, and the whole thing strays dangerously close to happy hardcore at times. Is it forward thinking genius or cheeseball tomfoolery grafted onto the usual mentastic beats? While my internal jury may be out trying to decide, in the meantime it puts a smile on my face.

edit: I'm enjoying it more the more I listen, it's very infectious and I've found the tunes going round and round in my head - for instance, when I'm trying to sleep! I'm a bit of a sucker for plinky-plonky melodies. I wouldn't mind hearing the treble at some point.

Wednesday 3 October 2007


My live set at Bangface last year consisted of stepping through pre-programmed loops and mixing the individual elements. The other week at the Hague, I added knob tweaking of the sounds themselves. For the forthcoming Japan gigs, I have just finished coding some new functions that change the material in more radical ways during playback. Those under joypad control: Glitch (repeating a small part of the sequence until released), Repeat / speed change (can make live beats sound a bit like timestretching, or turn pitched sequences into space invaders), Nudge (moves the beat forwards or backwards a bit), Reverse (handy for getting the most out of a drum pattern), Freeze, and Fold (for the MIDI-style sequencer, takes the last material played live and folds it back into the sequence.) The keyboard can be used to transpose any or all of the sequencers currently playing, either all at once, cycling through each one with each key press, or picked at random. Parts can be programmed live, such as drum beats or step sequencer pitches. These additions will hopefully introduce a bit more spontaneity into the set.
I still never actually used my cyber-glove for anything, despite spending a week programming the interface / receiving code 2 years ago, maybe now is the time.

edit: Now with added jumbling of drum patterns. How to randomly shuffle a pattern without it resulting in total entropy (and therefore loss of the groove)? 2 ways I found, one: pin every 4th quarter note (keeps the kicks and snares in place, if you make vaguely "electro" music - which I do) and shuffle everything else. Two, shuffle the beats around but make them keep their place, in groups of 8. So the beat on step 2 might end up at 10, 18 or 26. The groove will change, but still retain something of its original meaning.

Monday 1 October 2007

Rebuilding the future of days long passed

I was on the way to my local park in order to go for a little run when who should I bump into but Electro Elvis - it's been a few years so it was a bit of a wild coincidence. I was duly informed about the forthcoming Wang party, featuring the unexpected reunion of A Guy Called Gerald and Graham Massey, almost replicating the original 808 State lineup (i.e. Newbuild / Prebuild.) They will be jamming together on the old machines, which I take to mean all the Rolands from 101 to 909 and most stops inbetween. Apparently it's the first time since 88, and word is there won't be another time ever. I suppose whether this makes you even remotely excited or not depends if you're an old bastard, say, in your mid-thirties or so.

Taking the FLAC

This is the news, Formant Potaton is now available in lossless format. The end.