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Re: Introduction (long)
Hi...just read your (lengthy) bio post on Looper's Delight. Sounds very
interesting from a number of fronts. I am a bassist/looper, and I use
treatments of the bass as my principle texture (in a very eno-esque sort
way). As of late I have been concerning myself with the acoustic bass, and
treatments thereof, but had previously "dabbled" into the techno/dance/DnB
styles using processed bass/bass loops and multiple drum loops. Your
experience, creative and computer, sounds fascinating.
I am writing you because I live in Tehachapi (in the mountains SE of
Bakersfield) and come to SLO often (in fact will be there this weekend),
as an electronica/looping performer composer am always on the prowl for
venues to play....and for possible collaborators.
I have performed at several of the Northern California Festivals of
Electronica, and the recent Solo Bass Looping Festival.
I am very interested in what you are doing over there as far as the
electronica/dance culture goes. Sounds as tho you might be creating a meld
of the intellectual and viscereal....
I would like to open communications with you concerning A) possible
collaborations between your computer-based electronica and my own
bass-derived sonic manipulations. As a composer (several film
scores/commercials) I am always eager for true collaborations...it seems
bring out my best. B) the possibility of performing in SLO soon and
re-indulging my interest in loop-based dance music.
C) My colleague Rick Walker (Loop.pooL) ...a freq. contributor to Looper's
Delight and promoter of many NorCal Looping events, as well as a world
percussionist and outstanding electronica artist and producer...a planning
small (california) LoopFest Tour and would like to put SLO in that
itinerary. Perhaps you can help us out there. Previous Looping Festivals
have been quite succesful (and fun).
Please e-mail me if you are open to any of these ideas.
Thanks for your time and consideration...Max Valentino
>From: Catharsis <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Subject: Introduction (long)
>Date: Fri, 02 Mar 2001 00:11:24 -0800
> >There were so many people in their early to mid-'20s at the gig who were
>COMPLETELY into the show, and I can't imagine that many of them had a
>serious history of "out" >listening (though I could be wrong, certainly).
>Any thoughts on this?
>This turned out longer than I thought it would. I will probably rewrite
>this for a bio on my web page! Sorry if this is off topic; I am just
>to find some context in an irrational world. You guys got the first
>Well, I just joined the list a week ago in time to catch the "out" thread
>which surprised me! I usually don't post quickly, but this list is on
>target to where I want to be going and how could I not with the "out"
>thread. I will give a detailed description of my background (only because
>think I might find context on this list; I am an alien to my peers). I
>explain my situation as being one of a new generation that grew up with a
>computer since day one. IE My family purchased a Tandy Model I in 1980 and
>since then I had access to computers.
>I am 22 and have been a guitarist for 16 years. I mainly had a collection
>of instrumental artists (Satriani, Johnson, Vai, etc.) until I started
>seriously programming in C in '92 and got online around the same time
>(spent $400 of summer money on a used 14.4 USR Robotics HST; 2-3 years
>before v.32bis became cheap and affordable). By '94 I came in contact with
>electronic oriented genres and actually my first "out" purchase was the
>Swans -- Greed.. This was a shock for sure at 16 coming from a fundamental
>family/world view; I'm a fine and "well adjusted" now; sort of! ;) Joy
>Division, Coil, Death In June, Dead Can Dance. 80's/ early 90's EBM;
>Sound of London; IDM; all sorts of dance music whether it was trance or
>goa. I really had an industrial kick for a while; Skinny Puppy, 242, etc.
>later on all imported electro industrial. Electro industrial has really
>gone downhill in the last couple of years (IE most of it is like bad
>with a singer! Ack!). Funny thing is that although I was a closet guitar
>player; I never could afford a lot of equipment and had no means/knowledge
>to do any quality multitrack recording, so I was held up in that aspect.
>Lost many songs years ago! Mostly I created one continuos jamming
>experience. I guess I could explain.
>Oh, yeah moved from the San Francisco area to San Luis Obispo to attend
>Poly for computer science in '96 (what a joke! Being that I was self
>for 4 years prior I hammered my first year here and completed my senior
>project the summer after my freshman year;
>http://www.egregious.net/~catharsis/spasm/; the rest has been formality
>it is dragging on too long! IE I can barely stand any of the classes! I
>hate Cal Poly due to the lack of interdisciplinary opportunities; the fun
>stuff really occurs when you combine say computers and music!).
>I ran a monthly industrial club night from April '98 to April '99. Around
>mid 1998 I picked up turntables and put down the guitar (no resources to
>record!). No one DJ/mixed in this area at the time although there was a
>small rave scene that lasted for nine months in 1996/97 (one of the DJs;
>Morgan; is getting big in the SF area now; though he is all cheese and
>certainly not the "pioneer" that he claims to be). Amazingly SLOs record
>stores have remained untouched and not rummaged through like SF in the
>80's early 90's. I was absolutely shocked one day when I went up to the
>loft in one of the stores and where I uncovered approximately 300-400
>pristine copies (and double copies) of now obscure 80's EBM. Not only
>that.. stuff like Klaus Schulze, Jean Michel Jarr (all his records in
>pristine condition), I still need to go rummage around some more and see
>I can find anything crazy like Stockhausen, etc. I was never into Nine
>Nails, but for example the Pretty Hate Machine 12" and the single Sin were
>just sitting there factory sealed for $7 and $5 respectively (I would like
>to see what Ebay would fetch for those two!).
>At this time the monthly club I was running was coming to a halt as my
>group of friends (the _other_ 3 or 4 old school goth/industrial folks in
>the area graduated and moved back to SF or LA). I met another
>programmer/student early in '99 that was into electronic music (the rave
>side of things). He was from Sacramento. We met at the college radio
>station and trained in the same quarter. So, I started DJing a lot of
>trance, tried out drum and bass, a little goa, tried to mix industrial
>gave up on it at the time), picked up on London acid techno (couldn't
>really get a grasp on DJing it). I always had a little techno (the real
>genre) on CD (mainly prototype 909/Jammin' Unit. I never got into mixing
>techno as I did not understand it. Sure I could mix trance like no other
>(song to song; clean mixes; a little overlap and melodic counterpoint),
>techno was so repetitive and confusing. We scored an electronic mix show
>over the summer and that continued for a year until the station cancelled
>it because they are blind conformist indie rockers (90% of Cal Poly is
>frat/sorority material; 72% of the county voted for Bush; need I say
>more?). We actually pulled off a rave with lasers and a 5000 watt sound
>system at Cal Poly fall of '99. That went marginally well; we lost $500 on
>it. A couple new faces showed up in SLO that liked electronic music so we
>formed a little group around the radio show. Also during the fall of '99 a
>record store in SLO liquidated their vinyl stock and I stumbled on the
>techno section... 200 techno records from '94 to '98; for $2 each; I
>them down to $1.50 and could afford 50 of them wished I could buy them
>all.. Man... Some cool stuff.. Still did not know how to DJ it.
>I took some time off of college to work and between the both of us we were
>able to buy a Cerwin Vega Intense sound system. We both already owned
>tables and I had a good DJ mixer (Pioneer DJM 500); he has a DJM 600 now;
>has a small sampler which is fun for looping (yeah I'm on topic now!) ;) I
>bought a Mackie 1642 and Mackie SRM 450 monitors along with splitting the
>rest of the system with him. This was my first experience at actually
>having some studio equipment. Unfortunately, the SRM 450s are great for
>live gigs, but not great for studio work at lower volumes! I also have to
>tear out my mixer and destroy my studio weekly and whenever else we use
>sound system due to needing the 1642 for the live rig. Grrr... This is
>frustrating! Once we pay off the system though the collective will buy the
>1642 and I will be able to upgrade to an Allen & Heath 14:4:2.
>Anyway, we decided to take a risk (one of the biggest I have taken) and
>this sound system without even knowing if we could start a dance music
>scene (rave; or whatever you want to call it; I am involved with dance
>music because I can pay for equipment; and it is fun!). We started a
>club called Bad Monkey January 2000 and it was an astounding success as no
>one else (collective or otherwise) on the central coast was doing a weekly
>electronic event. Unlike the metropolitan area dance music scenes which
>turned into over blown for profit ventures around '95 we kept it more to
>the foundation of that movement. Bad Monkey is a non-profit community club
>where we charge $3 and $5 regardless of the size of the guest DJ (we had
>break this once with when hosting a really big DJ that would not work with
>our budget). We are the only club night in town that will pay local DJs a
>decent wage ($50/hour; anywhere else it is $10/hour); out of towners more
>of course depending on ability. We still are paying off the sound system
>after 70 events, but it should be paid off by May through artistic means
>alone; this feels good; though my back is broken from moving it around
>weekly! We do not promote drugs and we certainly do not look towards SF or
>LA to define our electronic music culture as it is blown out and
>commercial. SLO is weird...
>Although things were great for the first 6 months average attendance has
>dropped to 150 (peak nights still get to 300, but that is rare as we are
>all students; except for me currently; and don't have time to constantly
>promote) and that does not give us a lot to work with after we cover
>operating/maintenance expenses. The club has been the best thing in my
>and the hardest since it is thrown together by a rag tag group of young
>adults (kids if you must) who come from all sorts of musical backgrounds
>(actually, mainly a lack thereof). We don't get along, but are forced to
>due to the area. My perspective on how to deal with people has grown
>tremendously with this experience. I am also the oldest along with my
>partner Greg who is 23 in this areas electronic music scene.
>Musically it has been awesome and very rewarding. I have had the gear and
>venue to learn how to perform live (develop the ear). We got in contact
>(random email) with a Canadian booking agent/promoter on the third week of
>running the club and secured our first big performance from the
>international DJ/producer Chris Liberator (London acid techno) on the
>week (just happens he was in LA and needed a Wednesday night gig). We had
>300 people "off their tits" as they would say in the UK that night. Not on
>drugs, but the music. Liberator decimated all of us
>). He performed a set that technically blew us away. He did things that I
>just was beginning to conceive of yet had no guts or ability to try in
>regard to mixing. He was a techno DJ.. I studied the DAT religiously for
>the next month; now techno is my preferred genre and style to DJ actually
>there is no going back... IE there are no rules; the music is minimal; the
>DJ must make it interesting via mixing and abusing the mixer (looping
>anyone?). Liberator told all of his friends about the place and we hosted
>total of 5 UK producers in the first 6 months of last year.
>Another UK producer we hosted was DDR. He performed a live PA with a 909,
>303, sampler (S3000), and Mackie 1604 mixing board. It astounded and
>fascinated me. He came back up the next month (was in LA for a while) for
>another UK performers date (Gizelle; first US appearance) and I was able
>question him on his live PA. I figured out that he was using the 909 as a
>sequencer and for a couple of its drum sounds. When I mentioned this a
>smile came over his face and we started to talk tech. Wow.. The UK guys
>really helped me get a foothold on electronic production as I can ask them
>questions and they will get back to me. They also helped me to gain a more
>global view of music and life in general (politics/society).
>So, I basically have taken the whole last year off of college to run the
>club night (attending school minimally to not have to file for a leave of
>absence; I pulled some strings that is for sure; that is another story
>though)! I did some computer contracting last spring that allowed me to
>an Akai S6000 around April. I was able to borrow a Novation Supernova
>(don't have this guy anymore) and also an Alpha Juno 2 w/ pg300. I had
>enough money to not work all summer (took a couple of classes during the
>fall; heh heh). I also bought Curtis Roads Computer Music Tutorial along
>with a couple of other academic books last April; this was my first
>introduction to computer music/producing/recording. I quickly got up to
>speed on some of the latest electronic music once I figured out the
>of microsound (www.microsound.org). I'm just pissed that I can't afford a
>Mac to have access to Max/MSP (Make the damn port Kit!) and Supercollider.
>All of this combined with the Internet (been culture jamming for years)
>allowed me to "drop out"... I have been able to contract off an on for
>short periods of time and spend the rest of my time working with my studio
>and DJing. I am spending a large part of my time with the up front logical
>side of building a studio and learning the ropes/tools before digging too
>deep into the creative aspect (my process has drastically changed in the
>last month let alone the next month!). Recent acquisitions are a Pod Pro,
>RNC 1773, Nuendo w/Waves plugins, ADAT board for my sampler, RME
>Hammerfall, Emagic Logic. I hope to get a Fernandez Sustainer (guitar),
>the new Sherman filter, Aardvark Q10, Mackie 824s in the next month. I am
>picking back up the guitar as I now have the means to record myself!
>Recently I have become aware of the very small microtonal community via
>book Harmonic Experience by WA Mathieu and the alternate tuning list. I
>have not formally studied any music theory and I am having a rough time,
>but I am approaching it from a unique angle (for me); just intonation. So
>much of it is over my head by miles not feet.. :( IE non 12 TET.
>I am currently having a good time reading African Rhythm and African
>Sensibility by John Miller Chernoff.
>I also subscribe to Computer Music Journal and I received the latest issue
>last week. It came with a sample CD and when I flipped it over I was
>at the content I saw. There were tracks from Coil, Taylor Deupree (ex
>Prototype 909), Thomas Brinkmann, Kim Cascone; among many other familiar
>commercial microsound artists. The forward from Joel Chadabe is great and
>first article from Kim Cascone amazed me as well.
>Kim Cascone, 'The Aesthetics of Failure: 'Post-Digital' Tendencies in
>Contemporary Computer Music', Computer Music Journal, 24:4 (2000), pp.
>I contacted MIT Press to reprint it, but instead they put it online as a
>It closely matches and complements what I will call my aesthetic of
>imperfection. techno DJing and live performance is wacky after all.. Of
>course none of my ideas are new; just recycled due to isolation. I'm sure
>lot of the looping community thrives on an aesthetic of imperfection.
>Anyway, this article sums up why I started with electronic music; it is
>common knowledge to me, but maybe not to most. I am amazed that the
>academic community is recognizing the commercial sector (actually it is
>about time)! Who knows maybe the commercial sector will pull ahead of
>academic circles for computer music. It has happened in practically every
>other computer related industry. One just has to look at CSound and
>that it will be quite an arduous task to modernize it with a majority of
>that communities consent.
>Oh yeah, I'm going to finish my undergrad in this upcoming year and get on
>with it. Actually I just enrolled in one of the only music courses I am
>interested in at Poly -- synthesis (there used to be a class called
>acoustic communication which covered non 12 tet tunings among other
>but it was cancelled because the students could grasp it; duh! I guess). I
>probably have already covered the ground that this class will focus on,
>I'll keep an open mind. I'm just taking it to get as much time as possible
>on the fully loaded Kyma system Poly has in order to do some massive sound
>design. Heh heh... ;)
>All this has really given me an interesting perspective on life in America
>My eyes are wide open.... Regardless of what I know I realize how little I
>really do truly understand. I bet I could learn some amazing things from
>participants of this list.
>So, I am crazy, right? ;) My peer group thinks so... When I open my mouth
>their eyes glaze over.. It sucks; really!
>I won't keep yabbering though. This list is about looping; can't wait for
>the repeater group buy!
>Glad to meet all of you!
>PS: my web site has some DJ sets up online; I hope to finish some music
>soon, but I am taking my time as the exploration is just beginning!
>"Spiritual renewal through music for those outside the heard."
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