With thanks to Ben-san!
by Dave Skipper
The Young Person’s Guide to Modular Synthesis
In recent years the modular synth community here in Tokyo has grown rapidly. There are many unique modular artists, among whom I have had the privilege of making some wonderful friends. Along the way, one of these – Isei Ben – has been releasing an occasional series of compilation CDs featuring various local modular musicians. The series is titled “The Young Persons’ Guide to Modular Synthesis”, and so far there have been four volumes. Ben-san himself is one of the most original and distinctive artists within the scene, with a peculiar brand of atonal noisy drones (you can check out his track on Volume 01 here: https://vactrolrecord.bandcamp.com/track/futurum).
Ben-san kindly asked me to contribute a track to Volume 02, and you can listen to my piece below.
I really enjoy naming my tracks. I spend time listening back to the sounds and imagining what scenario it evokes. I have a particular penchant for space travel themes. As I edited this piece, “Low-Orbit Debris” seemed to describe perfectly the sounds and action of smashing into rocks – and perhaps other satellitic shrapnel discarded from alien craft explosions – suspended over some distant planet. Drifting through dust and fragments, then careening through dense rock clouds, all the while gaining momentum and losing ever more control. It’s a rocky ride like none you can experience here on earth!
I can’t remember much about how I made this track, except that the reverb was the Verbtronic module from Pittsburgh Modular Synthesizers. Oh, and the Livewire Dual Cyclotron and Make Noise Teleplexer modules definitely feature heavily too. It’s a track that I love listening back to, and it reminds me of my secret dream to someday create some soundtrack music for a gritty space film. I’d love to hear some full-on noise through a big cinema’s surround sound system! For now, let your headphones suffice…
(I have copies of this CD available, drop me a line if you want me to send it to you!)