Sunday, December 27, 2009

Classic Electronic Albums - KLF - Chill Out

Where do I start with this classic album?
Released in 1990, this is the KLF's first ambient album and what and album it is! Chill Out is a sonic journey, a trip from here to now and then onto the future. But is it really an ambient album? Is it an Electro Acoustic album? You will hear everything from proto KLF "White Room" tracks 3AM Eternal, Last Train To Trancentral etc alongside crickets, sheep, cars, radio news reports right through to Elvis Presley "In the Ghetto" all under heavy usage of delay and a great sense of movement.

Do also check out SPACE by SPACE which is the KLF on a journey to outer space.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Ian Helliwell - Tone Generation series.

Episode 17 of The Tone Generation by Ian Helliwell.
An amazing set of early electronic music documentaries is up. This latest episode 17 is about the mighty EMS synth company :-)

click on image for link.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Classic Electronic Albums - Aphex Twin - Richard D James Album

Aphex Twin - Richard D James Album (WARP)

Here is yet another classic album and it could be argued that most Aphex Twin albums are classics, even Classics :-)
This was really his first beat related album since SAW1, that seemed focused, sure I Care Because You Do has some amazing tracks but it feels thrown together.
This release sees Richard improve on his proto jungle/drill n bass production first appearing on the Hangable Auto Bulb eps with tighter rhythmic structure, computer modem sounds and cheesy bells and virtual synth leads, there is almost a nod to Kraftwerk with his track Fingerbib.
The album does sound like it was recorded only on a computer, there is not much in the way or room reverb or micking up his studio space for real reverb as seems to be his fancy of the last few releases.
The track Girl/ Boy Song is pure Aphex magic covering all the recepies for a great Aphex track, manic beats being balanced out buy the most beautiful lush string arrangements. It is that heaven and hell thing all boxed up and ready to blow your mind!.
I could go on for hours about how amazing this album is. RDJ is the shortest album released by Richard, unless you get the US version with the Girl/Boy Song ep included. It is Richards most out there album but aren't they all?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Classic Electronic Albums - Autechre - LP 5 (Warp)


This was really the start of Autechre moving more into the abstract beats style that they are still creating today. The accompanying EP7 was released a short time before this and it is also a full length album. The Nord synths are in heavy use here in the form of skitter sequences combined with water tube crunch delay percussion sounds. Don't ask me to name tracks, Autechre were the very reason I lost interest in track titles, they don't really matter, its just a reference point. Autechre's music, more than anyone else I can think of ,create sonic paintings, really sonic masterpieces!
An absolute classic album and I believe they get better and better every release.

Classic Electronic Albums - Meat Beat Manifesto - 99%


This release really has it all, dirty electronic funk, dub, rave sounds, jazz samples, distortion, Janis Joplin interview samples ( Hello teenage America). What more could you want?
Jack Dangers is in fine form here covering producing classic tracks like Radio Babylon, Now, Psyche Out etc. Pure electronic dirty funk bliss!
If you can check out the Japanese version it has about 6 extra tracks.

Classic Electronic Albums - Nitzer Ebb - Belief


This was constantly on play at my place for years. Such a brilliant album full of ARP 2600 sounds and sequences. Classic stripped back electronics tracks like Shame, Hearts and Minds, Control I'm Here - strong thumping tracks and Flood production make this a must have!
I need to check out their new album

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Classic Electronic Albums - The Human League - Dare

The Human League - Dare (Virgin)
Whilst not being my favorite Human League album (Travelogue,Reproduction) this album is a classic electro pop album. With the then newly released Linn Drum through out the album and its shimmering sounding synths this is miles away from the previous two albums . This is really the album that got me into synths and I suppose many others will feel the same.

Sound Of The Crowd is such a cool slab of electropop, Get Carter with is Casio VL Tone synth line, electronic bongos, basslines and lush strings really do make this a must have release. I actually appreciate this album more now for its sound than its pop tunes, not being such a pop person anymore, but it is still a classic electronic release.

Classic Electronic Albums - 808 State- Ninety

808 STATE - 90 (ZTT/Tommy Boy)
808 STATE were the Weather Report of techno. 90 is such an amazing album that has stood the test of time.If you havent heard it do check it out.

When 90 was released in 1990 we had pretty much three years of amazing techno 12" releases on small obscure labels behind us.This release was a techno album, such a rare entity at the time, maybe the only other people releasing techno albums were Juan Atkins and Derek May.
90 was released in 2 versions, the UK version and the US version on Tommy Boy which featured different track order and extra tracks, its actually pretty much a completely different album to the U.K ZTT release.

I really feel there hasnt been anything like this album before or after its release. 10/10

Classic Electronic Albums - Art Of Noise - Who's Afraid of the

This has got to be one of my all time favorite albums. A true classic!
Released in 1984, wow that seems so horse 'n' cart now, this album was THE Fairlight CMI album with top notch writing, sampling and production. You will hear cars starting, tennis matches, aircraft flying, wooden rulers used for bass lines, orchestral stabs, , church bells, footsteps, thunderstorms and so much more!

Its a great combination of avant electronics fused with pop sensibility. Its abstract and it works.
Moments in Love was probably the most well known of the tracks but not the strongest track in my opinion. Close (To the Edit) with its car samples, orchestral stabs and reversed shouting female along side huge drum sounds made this an amazing release. 10/10

As a heads up: And what have you done to my body god is a 4 CD release with only tracks, remixes and demos form this classic album.

Taken from Wikipedia
Art of Noise (also The Art of Noise) were an avant-garde synthpop group formed in 1983 by producer Trevor Horn, music journalist Paul Morley, and session musicians/studio hands Anne Dudley, J.J. Jeczalik, and Gary Langan. The group's mostly instrumental compositions were novel melodic sound collages based on digital sampler technology, which was new at the time. Inspired by turn-of-the-century revolutions in music, the Art of Noise were initially packaged as a faceless anti- or non-group, blurring the distinction between the art and its creators. The band is noted for innovative use of electronics and computers in pop music and particularly for innovative use of sampling.

Monday, December 7, 2009


Puts on track LFO by LFO :-)

Just arrived the Bubble Sound uLFO. I havent had a chance to plug it in yet, but these two can keep a human busy for hours :-)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Quick non tech review of DSI TETRA

Quick non tech review of DSI TETRA by Ross Healy

Got the DSI Tetra yesterday. Its my first DSI product and I must say its a great size ( standard novel size), built like a tank and sounds great.

You will need to use the editor to get the most out of it and even buy the Pro editor as this allows morphing etc.

Only down side was there are 4 Banks and a hell of a lot of the sounds are similar but this is where the love of synthesis comes in. I have quickly created about 10 sounds and I am very happy with the result. I have managed to get Aphex SAW(Selectred ambient works 2) sounds, Autechre glitch synth sounds, Oval like screetch sounds, Richard H Kirk/ Jupiter 8 stab sounds etc

Its sound does remind me of Oberheim OBXA and I love the panning function like the Xpander.

All in all I give it a 9/10 would like to have heard a bit more preset variety.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Newish revamp Buchla 259e

Its a Twisted Waveform Generator!

After much pressure from Buchla fans, Don has finally caved in and re-released the 259e!

Slight changes in working with this gem with an A,B,C memory.

The best thing is as the 200e modules are all firmware based you can return your firmware key for the updated version!

image by Yotsuba&!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Second most amazing thing to happen to euro format this year!

The Second most amazing thing to happen to euro format this year!

by Ross Healy

Having just sold my Serge the main thing I miss is the freedom via the use of banana cables.
Euro users who have never used banana cables will soon be amazed at how cool they really are when the talented, outside the box thinking euro company TipTop Audio release 1/8" banana cables for the ever expanding euro format.
I do hope they release different colour versions.

Oh the first amazing thing was Motu Volta released earlier this year.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

EMS Synthi Group Vol 1

ca297 - Various - The Synthi Group Vol. 1

Artist: Various
Title: The Synthi Group Vol. 1
Date: 2009-08-16
Keywords: irritating; 50-60’s electroacoustic music; live electronics; psychedelic; experimental; avant electronics; electronic; space music; ambient drone; drone; glitch; improv; psychedelic rock; noise; electro; other


Track 1
Artist: Don Hassler
Title: No Subsequent Interaction Synthi Recording No. 1 - 2:04 (320 kbps)
Device: EMS Synthi A MK1
Genre: irritating
Location: USA

Track 2
Artist: The Vegan Surgeons
Title : VCS3ImprovC - 6:53 (320 kbps)
Device: EMS VCS3 Mark I, recorded and processed
digitally through Audiomulch
Genre: 50-60’s electroacoustic music
Location: Scotland

Track 3
Artist : Trap & Zoid
Title : Gnomes evasion - 5:26 (320 kbps)
Device : EMS Synthi A + Aria AD10 analog delay,
recorded live in one take with Edirol R-09HR, unprocessed.
Genre : live electronics / psychedelic / experimental
Contact :
Location : Brussels, Belgium

Track 4
Artist: Cray
Title: 29days laterrr - 6:15 (320 kbps)
Device: EMS Synthi AKS, Pencils,
live improvising into Audiomulch.
Genre: Avant Electronics
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Track 5
Artist: Sam Samshuijzen
Title: Simple - 2:55 (320 kbps)
Device: Modified EMS Synthi AKS
Randrum pulse generator/divider for the returned ES
triggering of the synthi 4 track analog tape recorder
Remixed with a digital system into a 4 channel composition (4C).
This is the stereo mix of those 4 (2C).
Done in Studio Denkraam, Ede NL, 1980.
It's called simple, because it makes basic use of a
sequence voltage for one oscillator, while playing
the realtime voltage to another oscillator simultaneously.
Genre: Electronic
Location: Netherlands

Track 6
Artist: Pin
Title: Can the sound change - 6:40 (320 kbps)
Device: EMS Synthi AKS, multilayering of sounds, recorded and processed
digitally through ProTools.
Genre: Experimental
Location: Germany

Track 7
Artist: Mono-Poly
Title: Do you observe? - 6:01 (320 kbps)
Device: EMS Synthi AKS cv-ed by Blippoo Box witch processes
audio + Delay and Reverb
Genre: Experimental
Location: Netherlands

Track 8
Artist: Werd
Title: Smirk - 1:44 (320 kbps)
Device: EMS Synthi A & Roland Space Echo 201
Genre: Exp.,broadcasted in 1979 by radio KRO Hilversum 4
"Collage van Alledaags en Zeldzaam"
Location: Netherlands

Track 9
Artist: Johan Schurer
Title: FrogWaltz - 2:05 (320 kbps)
Device: EMS Synthi AKS
Genre: Experimental
Location: The Netherlands

Track 10
Artist: Impulsantwort
Title: Ich kann den Strom in der Wand hören - 7:00 (320 kbps)
Device: EMS Synthi AKS 80 treated by EMS Soundbeam recorded via RME
processed digitally through ProTools.
Genre: Drone
Location: Germany

Track 11
Artist: THM
Title: Setting Sun - 6:45 (320 kbps)
Device: EMS Synthi AKS (London UK model from 1975), only some Roland
Chorus Echo and SRV-330 Reverb added; recorded and processed digitally
via Cubase 4
Genre: Space Music / Ambient Drone
Contact: thm[at]
Location: Belgium

Track 12
Artist: Delia (Leo Learchi - Luca Isabella - Daniele De Rossi)
Title: Trilogia per Delia (live excerpt) - 5:18 (320 kbps)
Device: EMS Synthi A, AKS, E, Digisound 80 modular synthesizer,
field recordings, PC.
Genre: Experimental
Location: Italy

Track 13
Artist: Alka
Title: Interrupt Structure - 3:57 (320 kbps)
Device: EMS Synthi Mk1 AKS partially processed through the Elektron
SPS1 UW Mk2. Further processing and recording through Apple Logic Pro.
Genre: Electronic / Glitch / Experimental
Location: USA

Track 14
Artist: Tunnel
Title: Descent - 6:08 (320 kbps)
Device: EMS VCS3 Mk II, Boss DD-3 Delay
Genre: Improv / Experimental
Location: Australia

Track 15
Artist: D. Skevington
Title: Block I - 5:10 (320 kbps)
Device: Layers of direct and amplified Synthi A.
Genre: Psychedelic/Rock
Location: UK

Track 16
Artist: Synthiaks
Title: Bump - 3:30 (320 kbps)
Device: EMS Synthi AKS, live recording.
Genre: Experimental
Contact: baby_tog[at]
Location: UK

Track 17
Artist: Maelem
Title: Dripping party - 6:59 (320 kbps)
Device: EMS Synthi A
Genre: Noise
Location: France

Track 18
Artist: Splitradix
Title: Harmony Suitcase - 4:37 (320 kbps)
Devices: EMS Synthi A, Roland TR808, Sequential Circuits Pro One,
Roland System 100 101, Roland SH101, Roland MKS80, Roland RE301
Genre: Electro
Location: Berlin, Germany

Track 19
Artist: Level-Repeat
Title: Syncophant - 5:32 (320 kbps)
Device: Live Performance using a modified EMS Synthi AKS.
Making heavy use of oscillator sync.
Genre: Experimental
Location: United Kingdom

cover front
cover back
disk label image
booklet (PDF)

Formed in 1969, Electronic Music Studios (EMS) quickly became innovators for the recording, production and advancement of electronic music. The ideas and designs that bubbled forth out of the ingenuitive minds of Peter Zinovieff, Tristram Cary, David Cockerell and others, led to the creation of some of the most wildly original musical / sound design equipment ever conceived. The VCS3, Synthi A + AKS, Synthi 100, Synthi E, Synthi Logik and the Soundbeam are among these, almost unworldly, devices.

It is often said EMS gear has attained cult status, reaching a fervor of near worship among its users. The Synthi Group is an example and collection of such users. United through the Synthi blog and forum ( and located throughout the world, the group's members have come together for a planned series of compilation volume releases where the individuality and approach of each member towards their EMS instrument is showcased and broadcasted for all to experience. The listener will hear wildly different examples of styles and sounds that this original, and oft times, vintage equipment can create.

EMS were true pioneers from the very beginning, always looking beyond the culture and times they were surrounded and seemingly trapped in. Still around today, thanks to Robin Wood and Ludwig Rehberg, they are one of the few companies involved with electronic instrument production that have had a continued run since their inception. The Synthi Group have honed the original pioneering spirit and DIY ethic of EMS with their Volume series, a collection of sounds encompassing beautiful dreamscapes, synaesthetic visions, dark ambience, aural abstractions, sonic absurdities, pulsating analog, glitch, ring modulators, and envelope shapers generating trapezoidal geometry. Beginning with Volume 1, the Synthi Group compilations aim to ensure the story of EMS continues well into the future of electronic music production.
(Synopsis by Alka)


Monday, August 17, 2009

VICMOD plays


VICMOD Ensemble will perform live improvise modular tweaking to a selection of silent films.
Also preforming on the night will be Cray, cleaninglady and Abre Ojos. SHould be a fun night. Starts 7pm.Glitch Bar.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Steven builds ASM2 WIZARD

One of our VICMOD members Mr Steven Hayes has built the ASM2 Wizard.
Pretty sweet job :-) Can't wait to hear it

Monday, August 10, 2009

Cray vs cleaninglady update

Cray has swine flu and has to cancel the 11th show but Stephen Richards(cleaninglady) will go it alone with feedback mixer and sax.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Cray vs cleaninglady 11 August

Due to popular demand Cray vs cleaninglady will perform at Make It Up Club
11 August 2009.

Expect another improv session of screeching saxophone and ear piercing live electronics

Make It Up Club
Bar Open
317 Brunswick Street

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Tone Generation

The Tone Generation radio documentaries.
Ian Helliwell has created 17 amazing radio documentaries on early electronic music.
The first 10 episodes cover individual countries, or close to it, then there is an hour long episode on the RCA computer and so on..
You will hear music by all the well known pioneers of electronic music, Xenakis, Cage, Henry, Nono etc as well as many you may have never heard of i.e Douglas Lilburn.(Do check out his triple CD!)

All of the incidental sounds are by Ian.

Really worth listening to. 10/10

Thursday, July 9, 2009

someone filmed last night


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

live tonight

This is what I am using tonight with Stephen Richards on Saxophone.
As this is not a VICMOD gig I wont use a modular.
instruments used: Ekdahl Moisturizer, Bugbrand Postcard weevil, 1x chopstick.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

cray vs cleaninglady

Cray vs cleaninglady will perform a live improv set .
8 July
stutter @horse Bazaar
397 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne

Cray (Ross Healy) will be performing on an assortment of strange analogue noise machines VS cleaninglady (Stephen Richards) play screetching saxophone and various wind instruments.

Should be a blast!!!!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ekdahl Moisturizer

Just picked up this amazing fun effect box, I would call it a musical instrument.

Its a playable Spring Reverb with lovely sounding filter and built in LFO.

It is a really great looking , great sounding unit.

I hope to interview Karl Ekdahl soon it see what makes him tick.

check out this great vid

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

VICMOD RECORDS got talent!

VICMOD Records is a new experimental electronic music label.

We are interested in recordings that push boundaries in sound synthesis and arrangement. Recordings can consist of digital computer music, analog synthesis etc.

The label will release limited editions* of each recording and once they have sold people can buy the digital version indefinitely. * limited edition versions will come with extra bonus tracks and art etc.

We are currently working on the website and will have the label up and running hopefully by August 2009 at the latest. We already have 3 albums ready for release.

If you are interested in sending finished recordings ( we prefer full albums) please send them to:
Ross Healy
3rd Floor
172 - 192 Flinders St
Melbourne 3000

Please submit your CD with music and data bio, photo and contact information.
We will need 320 mp3 recordings and also wav file recordings.
If we decide to release your stuff we will run the label professionally and will treat the artist with the respect they deserve.
If we do not decide to use your album, fear not we will not copy or distribute your recordings without your authority.
Please let all your friends know.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

vicmod play with pussy

This Thursday, 21 May at the Toff, Swanston St, Melbourne VICMOD ENSEMBLE will be performing an all modular set and then joining psych rock mind fuck artists Slocombe’s Pussy. Expect sonic madness and pussy galore!

Toff in Town, Thursday 21st May

Doors open 8:30pm, $10 grown ups / 7$ good excuses.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


I owe so much of my digital sound world to Curtis Roads.
He is up there with Subotnick, Cage, John Chowning, Don Buchla, Pierre Henry, Parmegiani, Xenakis, Hecker etc
Click on the photo to take you to a 3 part doco.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

5 may 2009 phone vid

Many thanks Graeme Trott


Many thanks for the new photos Stephen Richards

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Synth only night, Make It up Club , Bar Open 5 MAY 2009

For a short period of time last night you could have been excused not knowing what century we were living in, what with Public Image Limited blasting out the bar speakers downstairs and upstairs, before the performance, The Human League’s Reproduction album was happily playing away followed by tracks by Morton Subotnick and Alvin Lucier. Plus the fact I could see 2 Korg MS20s a Roland MC202, EMS VCS3 and a Roland System 100M.

What brought me back to now was seeing new modular synths consisting of a mish mash of euro modules (Livewire, Harvestman, Doepfer, DIY) a few laptop computers and a Buchla 200e. I wanted to look at this room forever!

The night started off with an amazing low end rumble courtesy of Stephen Richards on his Roland MC202. It was great to see the MC202 being used differently.

Next up was Mathew Brown and friend on 2 Korg MS20’s a Korg sequencer and a new NI Maschine, again an amazing use of the Korgs , great transient glitchy stabs of sound, thwaps and clicks.

Steve Williams (EMS VCS3) and Steven Hayes (Roland System 100M) played a pulsed set of off kilter minimal techno sounds with EMS frequency screeches.

Cray was next up using a combination of Buchla 200e and computer. Its best to describe Cray’s sound as Avant electronics, think not quite a wall of noise and not quite pure Music Concrete. What followed was panning transient sounds, and what I can only describe as futuristic engines starting up and slowing down, with creaking sounds and so much more.

Abre Ojos was next ( Euro modular)for an immersive drone set. Its great to sit down and phase out Abre’s Ojos. Sounds slowly build up with droning vocals to creep up and wash over you. Would be great to hear it in a cave!

VICMOD Ensemble were the last performance for the night. 4 Modular synths, what looked like a very early proto EMS VCS3 that Don Banks could have owned and assorted electronic boxes. This was a completely different sound to their last performance. Each member started 3 minutes apart giving the audience more indication as to who was playing what. It wasn’t the wall of sound I was expecting instead it sounded like a futuristic society of nanobots having a conference. A great performance.

All round the night was a huge success and any night where you only see synthesis is a great one in my books. There should be lots more of it!

Photos Simon Birds and Graeme Trott

Monday, April 27, 2009


(Doors open 8pm)

A night of modular analog synths, computers and little boxes or tricks.

Cray (Ross Healy) will be making a rare live appearance featuring a computer music live set, then Ross and his Buchla 200e will join VICMOD ENSEMBLE for an all analog modular performance.

Abre Ojos (Scott Baker) will also be performing a solo set on his diy modular then joining VICMOD ENSEMBLE.

Also on the night
Steve Wiliams
Mathew Brown
Stephen Richards

Should be another great night of synth sounds!