CatSynth Pic: Jazz in the Studio

Meet Jazz the cat, who presides over a studio with Roland AIRA, Elektron, and modular synthesizers. From Border One on Instagram.

In the #studio with #jazzthecat

CatSynth Video: Micha meets the Elektron Analog Keys

Micha quietly enjoys a private performance on the Elektron Analog Keys synthesizer.  By Moustafa Ismail via our Facebook page.

CatSynth Pic: Demons of the Studio

The title says it all.  Two laser-eye cats with modular and tabletop synthesizers by Elektron and Arturia.  From blush_response via Instagram.

CatSynth Pic: Elektron Octarack and Modular

Cure cat with an Elektron Octrack synthesizer and sundry synth modules, including Make Noise, TipTop and more.  From catsofmodular on Instagram.

Helping dad get unpatched for his gig tomorrow. 🎛😻 #catsynth #synthcat#modularsynth

CatSynth Video: Sophie’s Cameo (Arturia Matrixbrute, Studiologic Sledge, Alesis Samplepad, more)

Submitted by Chrissie Caulfied via Twitter and YouTube.

Another garden-based synth jam to celebrate Stuart’s purchase of an Arturia Matrixbrute and Studiologic Sledge 2.0 Me: Elektron Digitone, Novation Circuit, Alesis Samplepad pro (rather badly at the start!)

Wait for Sophie to appear at 2:46 😸

Outsound New Music Summit: SO AR and X A M B U C A

The Outsound New Music Summit continued on Wednesday with a night featuring explorations of electroacoustics and noise.  Once again, the two acts were quite contrasting in their interpretations of the night’s theme.

SO AR (formerly Ze Bib) is the collaboration of electronic musician and cellist Shanna Sordahl and percussionist Robert Lopez.  We had the chance to meet with them ahead of the summit and shared our encounter in this video:

The set unfolded as a series of conversations between Sordahl – first on cello alone and then with electronics – and Lopez.  The ups and downs in the pitches, rhythms, and intensities seemed to imply spoken language at times.  This was especially true during the more staccato and percussive sections at the beginning and end of the set.

Shanna Sordahl
[Shanna Sordahl]

The long tone sections brought in more of the electronics – Sordahl’s rig featured a Korg MS-20 and iPad.  The percussion once again seemed to match the longer tones, with extended rolls, long drum tones, and additional percussion.  But there were also moments where the texture diverged, between long electronic tones and rhythmic percussion runs.

Robert Lopez
[Robert Lopez]

Even at its most intense, there was a quiet quality to the music that seemed fit with the starkness of their stage presence and the darkened hall.  Even at low volume, the moments of silence stood out, with a bit of tension in the air.  Space and breath are an important part of how the duo approaches their music, and this comes out strongest in the quietest sections.

X A M B U C A is a solo electronic project by Chandra Shukla.  We had the opportunity to first see him perform last year with Hans-Joachim Roedellius at The Chapel in San Francisco; we were glad to see him join the lineup for this year’s Summit.

X A M B U C A
[X A M B U C A]

On a completely darkened stage, X A M B U C A delivered a set that was simultaneously rich and minimalist.  There were segments of long drones cut with high-pitched sweeps, and sections of fast drum-machine runs.  The styles of various sections (which segued from one to the next continuously) included fragmented dance-music patterns, elements of rock, and noise.  It is, of course, hard for me not to consider electronic music without also considering the instruments used.

Shukla’s rig was anchored by an Elektron Analog Keys, along with a Korg Electribe, a Stylophone, and sundry pedals.  Looking at these instruments, I can better understand how he was able to move so freely from drum patterns and hits to long tones and dense pads to distortion and noise.  It was quite a dynamic performance, showing the more “experimental side” of X A M B U C A compared to what we had experienced previously.

It was a solid night, and perhaps the most “out” of the Outsound Summit shows this year, as subsequent nights embraced more idiomatic forms of musical expression.  We hope to bring you those reviews over the next few days.

 

CatSynth Pic: Lucy, Elektron, and Modular Synth

It seems to be the week of the Elektron Octatrack, as we have two or three of them in today’s pic.  Also featured are the adorable cat Lucy, and a large modular synthesizer system.  I recognize a Make Noise Tempi and Rene on the bottom row – we have that pair here at CatSynth, too.

Today’s photo comes to us from Lucy’s Instagram @dropzone_lucy

If you are on Instagram, please follow us at @catsynth, and you can tag your own pics #catsynth to be featured in a future post.

CatSynth Video: couch cat (octatrack)

From sascha schwartz on YouTube.

some lofi jazz sampling mangling with the octatrack featuring Sima the best couch cat ever!

https://www.facebook.com/saschaschwartzmusic/

You can also check out a bit more of sascha schartz music on SoundCloud.

 

CatSynth Pic: Elektron Digitone and Digitakt

Shelum the cat jams with both a Digitone and Digitakt from elektron.  Photo via harpum1 on Instagram.

These two boxes from elektron have become quite popular, and they do make a nice self-contained system for beat-based music.  I did have the opportunity to play them both at NAMM this year 😺

 

CatSynth Pic: Black Cat and Elektron Analog Keys

Black Cat and Elektron Analog Keys

Black cat with Elektron Analog Keys.  Instagram by anika_or from St. Petersburg, Russia.

The Elektron Analog Keys is a four-voice analog synthesizer that can also be used as both a MIDI and CV keyboard controller.  You can read more about it on Elektron’s website.

You can find more Elektron photos and our NAMM reviews via this link.