Not amazing or anything, but gives a decent idea of what can be done with the thing. We were also discussing (to belatedly cite the quotes in my last post) whether or not some of the tracks had been 8-bit compressed afterwards, which was inconclusive. You can grab the comp and the mix of the tracks on the comp here.
Replies from me:
Is it something that you could use to make releasable tracks? Releasable in the regular sense I mean, as opposed to on some release called something like “DS10 Trax” where people would allow it to sound a bit duff because it’s a concepty thing.
I’ve not put it through monitors to say, but I reckon it would be passable. Thing is, you’re just always going to be working with a quite limited number of sounds, and that would reduce the types of music you could properly make on it.
One other thing I’ve come to realise today is that the song mode is a bit disappointing, as you can’t actually modify things with the KAOSS pad, synth settings or effects in real time. You can still record distinct KAOSS pad movements in each pattern, but when the patterns are only 4 bars that’s a bit poo. This ultimately means you can do very little fading/effecting manipulation or you have to do everything on the fly in pattern mode (probably not the end of the world).
And how do you get your tracks off it? Does it render tracks to a .wav file or somat like that, and you then save the .wav to a memory card which you can then stick in another computer in order to pull it off?
Record the headphone jack output.
I like the idea of someone sat on the tube playing with something like this and spotting someone else opposite them doing the same. You’d then hit a “Jam!” button and choose whether you want to be the bassist, drummer etc. and then start making sweet sweet wireless jam music together.
Yeah, the “multi-player” mode could make things a bit more interesting. One person is master and the rest are slaves, as I understand it. Not totally clear on how that works in practice.
Incidentally, the patterns are only 1 bar in length, not 4- unless there’s something I’m missing?
No, you’re right. That’s my error. Up to 16 steps.
Just started listening to this interview/Q&A with Moritz Von Oswald from the Red Bull Music Academy. It sounds as though it will be wicked. For those who don’t know, he’s one of the most influential electronic music producers… ever. Half of Basic Channel, Maurizio, Main Street and Rhythm & Sound – basically without whom, dubby techno is unliely to exist, at least as it does today. Pretty essential stuff I reckon. Big up to  for the tip.
A few comments that I’ve posted up elsewhere:
Just had my first proper go on this. It’s pretty cool! Navigation is really friendly and intuitive. The kaos stuff is a nice plus. It’s a shame it’s only got the two synths and four drum patches, but you can use drum patch slots for synth sounds – they just have to be played monophonic. With a bit of luck this thing might teach me to work within constraints. Either that or we’ll have to form that band.
Spent a bit more time with this tonight. There’s a few things I misunderstood. All four of the drum sounds have the full chromatic range but they have a separate effects section and there’s no KAOSS pad on those patches, just on the two synths.
The sequencer is a very basic up-to-4-bar old school 16th note step sequencer. Arrangement is just a string of up to 100 patterns chained. There are 16 patterns and each uses the same sound, effect and mixer settings.
The KAOSS pad is quite configurable and movements can be recorded and/or edited in the step sequencer. This is definitely one of the better features.
The effects are very basic but serviceable.
The synth sounds good. Basically does what it says on the tin.
I’m not seeing any way to back it up other than to transmit to another DS. Might need to look in to that in more detail.
Ultimately, with constraints like these, you’re unlikely to put together your next great opus on this thing, but with such a stripped-down set of features there’s very little to distract from the business of making music. I’m pretty sure I know it almost inside-out after just a couple of hours. All that said, it really is very fun to use and worth every penny of £125 (or £25 if you already own a DS).
Went to the ICA today to see the Arthur Russell documentary, Wild Combination. Really liked it. I got really emotional towards the end. Had to put up a heroic effort to fight back the tears. All of the video of him was quite affecting as well. It would be hard to do this as well as they did without getting soppy, but they pulled it off really well. It definitely was a bit short on the disco side of things, but I didn’t mind so much. The footage of The Loft was pretty cool. Had no idea there’s still literally thousands of hours of his recordings that have never been released. Would love to hear more of that. Anyway… Iowan boy done good. Out on DVD on November 3.
Here’s some fine blurb for you. I’m filling in for Nick, who’s not able to make it this time around.
Süd Electronic’s 8th Birthday (+ Lerato’s Birthday ) – 4th October 2008
Powered By A Funktion 1 Soundsytem
Scott Ferguson – Dj Set – Detroit ( Ferrispark , Deep Vibes , Kinda Soul Recordings)
Prosumer – Dj Set – Berlin ( Berghain /Panorama Bar , Osgut ton , Running Back , Playhouse )
Lakuti (Süd Electronic , Uzuri recordings )
Nick Craddock (Süd Electronic ) me
Visuals By Valero Doval
Date : 4th October 2008
Venue : Somewhere in The heart Of Dalston . Full details to be revealed nearer the date
Times : 10 pm – Very late
Ticket Info : Advance Tickets £10 + BF From :
Otherwise £12 on the door and subject to availability
For more info email : [email protected]
Or call : 07853371939
Lots coming up in the next few months . hope you will be joining us .
Kicking of our Party schedule on the 4th of October , then another one on the 7th Of November and then finishing of the year With our Yuletide knees up – now in it’s 4th year , on the 13th of December .
October the 4th will see us in celebratory mode :
Please come help me celebrate my birthday as well as Süd´s 8th year birthday on the 4th of October 2008
A great venue has been sourced out for the 4th, right in the heart of Dalston .
This venue used to be an art deco cinema back in the day and is now being used as a snooker halll . it still maintains some of it´s original features though and we will be putting some magic into it with our own deco including some great visuals by Valero Doval .
I’m currently very excited by Valero’s work . His work encompasses art , design and illustration with a portfolio wich includes work for various art magazines and publications including illustrations for the New York Times , artwork for various bands e.t.c.
For More on Valero :
We have slightly increased capacity for this one as result of the last 2 parties being to packed .
We’ve enlisted the help of two of our favourite producers / dj´s to come provide some top draw music on the night .
Scott Ferguson and Prosumer .
More on them :
Scott Ferguson ( Detroit – Ferris Park , Deep Vibes , International Dj Gigolos, Kinda Soul Recordings )
With 17 releases under his belt as well as various remixes and appearance on mixes and compilations , a forthcoming album on K Soul’s , ” Kinda Of Soul ” imprint ( The album is out in October ) ; is fair to say that Scott is a veteran in what he does .
A unique synthesis of Blues, Soul, Disco, House, and Techno music are echoed in both Scott Ferguson’s productions and DJ sets. His jazzy and soulful compositions, energetic club tracks and druggy slow-burners incorporate a blend of engaging rhythms with conscious themes. A perfect blend of awareness and unique style makes Ferguson stand on his own and is embraced by music lovers around the globe.
In 1994/95 Hungry and seeking knowledge, Scott Ferguson connected with local DJs at Zoots, The Sardine Bar, and warehouse parties at the Packard Plant and Bankle Building where Detroit’s electronic music sub-culture thrived. Attending raves and clubs on a weekly basis, Scott became immersed in the scene as well as starting his own collection of House and Techno records. He never looked back since .
2002 saw the launch of Ferrispark with the hit ep , „Dump Days . this ep went on to receive accolades from the press across europe and many parts of the world and won him fans left right and centre . those fans included some of the biggest names in electronic music – Louie Vega, Terry Hunter, Frankie Knuckles , Stacey pullen , Dj Hell , Terence Parker e.t.c. to name but a few .
Scott continues to dazzle audiences all over with a packed european tour in october , stopping over here @ Süd , Berlin , Holland , Belgium and many more cities .
For more on Scott Ferguson:
Prosumer ( Berghain /Panorama Bar , Ostgut , Running Back , Playhouse )
Achim Brandenburg aka Prosumer has been a fervent collector of music for years . Resident at world renowned Berghain/Panorama Bar & has had a stint behind the counter at another Berlin institute ; HardWax .
Here is what Prosumer has to say about his sets and music in general :
” My heart is beating for early Chicago -Detroit techno records and for music thats similar and transports this feeling today . Generally i like producers who follow their feeling and who work on a personal style which caters for longevity , rather than a momentary kick . ”
Prosumer is not only a dj but he is also a producer . he released his debut ep on Swayzak’s 240 volts label in 2004 then followed the smash hit ” The Craze ” in 2005 on Playhouse . Soon he was in demand for remix work . he released another hit ep on Gerd janson’s , Running Back imprint .
2008 saw an album by Prosumer and studio partner Murat Tepeli and he has since been ultra busy with dj & live stints in revered clubs such as the Rex , Robert Johnson , Fabric , Piping Club , Weekend , Watergate , Paradiso e.t.c.
Our residents Nick Craddock me & Lakuti will be joining in the celebrations too .
Hope you can make it !!!
Went to see Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s Rosas run and jump around to Steve Reich, performed by Ictus at Sadler’s Wells tonight.
Here’s the blurb:
Rosas presents an evening of dance devoted to Steve Reich’s music, featuring two existing pieces of dance and two new works. The first of two new works is Four Organs, set to Steve Reich’s controversial composition created in 1970 for four Hammond organs. The second, Eight Lines, is danced to Steve Reich’s piece of the same name for two pianos plus wood and strings.
Completing the programme is the classic Piano Phase, which sees Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s choreography stripped down to its bare bones, as the dancers’ deft movements mirror the tight phrases of Steve Reich’s music.
Drumming – Part 1 is another celebrated work in which Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s powerful, energetic choreography is once again partnered perfectly with Steve Reich’s definitive style as 13 dancers move to the beat of four live percussionists.
Steve Reich’s score will be brought bursting to life on stage by the acclaimed music group Ictus.
It started with Pendulum Music, which does what it says on the tin. Two swinging microphones fly across stage, feeding back as they pass over two speakers. They fall out of sync and you get Reich business. Set the tone nicely.
The highlight of the night was the first full piece, Marimba Phase, performed by two drummers, with two dancers behind them with their shadows projected on a large screen. There was also another set of lights at opposite angles that projected their shadows on the same location on the screen, and this joint image would pulsate strangely to their dancing to the phases as they fell out of sync. This was really beautiful, and the only part of the evening I’d struggle to criticize. There was none of that twee dancey, running and jumping around bollocks, just good fluid dancing to the music.
This was followed by Piano Phase, which is a brilliant piece of music, but the dancing was much more interpretive rubbish modern dance crap.
Eight Lines was probably the most disappointing part of the evening, as it is one of my favourite Reich compositions (it’s like a digest version of Music for 18 Musicians, for those who don’t know it), but it was just played from a recording, and it sounded like it. In fact, it sounded like there was an unusual recording of it or as though the sound engineer was purposefully accentuating the volume of the most newly introduced part, which felt like training wheels for Reich’s music. The dancing was well up its own ass as well.
Four Organs was performed live after this, but the all-male dancing to it was completely inappropriate for the piece. In fact, I’d struggle to understand how anyone could dance to it. This was pretty irritating.
After that we found out what the 100 funny looking triangular objects were at the front of the stage. It was György Ligeti’s Poème Symphonique for 100 metronomes. One guess what happened.
They concluded with Drumming Pt. 1, which was the grandest of the dances, and probably the best other than what they did to Marimba Phase. I actually quite enjoyed it despite the odd karate kick thrown in, etc. I was a bit disappointed they only played Pt. 1 though.
After a roaring ovation (I reckon these dance people don’t get out much, or that they’ve never heard Reich before) the musicians came back on and did a short piece for five woodblocks. Most enjoyable, despite the dancers fucking about all around them during it.
In sum… I tried out modern dance. I reckon it’s shit. Steve Reich is wicked though, and it was great to see so much of his music performed live in one night. That Marimba Phase dance was pretty wicked too though, so maybe there’s some hope for this art form.
Oh, and the other thing that struck me is that Reich is a very strange choice for this. While his music is undoubtedly rhythmically compelling and challenging, watching the live performance of it has always seemed balletic enough for me.