January 25, 2014

A Wise Man or Dwarf Probably Once Said...

I don't know where this came from, I just found it on my computer. I thought I should share it with all of you. 

January 17, 2014

And Speaking of the 808 - 808 Sound

This is one of the ____ Sounds that Armen (http://www.armensmusic.com/) made, who knows when.

Now, this post isn't actually about the 808 sound, which I know nothing about other than I imagine very few were made and this one sold on Ebay a few months back. I will say a few words about it's creator though. Let me preface all this by saying that I'm not trying to negative here, just informative. 

I think I reported a while back that Armen's repair shop was quite good. And it was for a while, I'd taken quite a few things there for repair and was always pretty happy with the results. But a while back I took my mini Roland System 100m there and there it sat.... for about six months. Armen told me he was looking for a box of System 100m parts he had but hadn't seen for a couple decades. So I took it back (Amren kept my $60 deposit). I then took it to Control (http://www.ctrl-mod.com/). They fixed it up good as new in about a week. Wonderful! Matt is the repair guy there and he is amazing. Keeps really good contact and makes sure you're aware of every repair he's doing and it's price. Mild Slopes now declares officially that Control is the best synthesizer repair shop in town (NYC). And since then I've taken about four other things to them and they've all come back perfect.

January 16, 2014

A New TR-808 and TB-303?

While I do appreciate the TR-808, I'm not one of it's worshipers. I don't hold it in a higher esteem than the CSQ-600, RS-09 or SH-09. It's interesting that Roland is revisiting an old idea, but it will probably be another misguided attempt like the SH-01 or Jupiter-80. The leaked photo on the Attack Magazine website is pretty terrible. 

Another pessimistic post brought to by Mild Slopes!

Oh, and here's the official website:

Thanks to Sam for that link!

January 10, 2014

Virginia Astley & Friends at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith 8th October 1985

This live recording of Mindless Days is wonderful! I love all the ambient sounds at the beginning and Virginia talking! She sounds so young and bashful - which, I suppose is in character, but I always thought she must be secretly very confident since she went out there and played the sort of music she did. But now I just don't know. She's such a mystery! I've also never seen this picture of her before. It's a pretty great picture and goes well with the song. 

Also, this video was just posted three days ago. I've noticed that new Virginia stuff keeps appearing online, slowly by surely.  Some small hope... 

January 6, 2014

Roland S-770 Sampler + Projector

I've talked a little in the past of my interest in the Roland S series of samplers. Well, my friend David (of last post fame), sent me his Roland S-770 sampler a few weeks back -- he was trying to clear out some gear he wasn't using so much anymore. Anyway! You can connect the sampler to either a certain type of computer monitor or a television with a certain type of hook up and have a nice big display to work with. Well, I didn't have either of those things but I just realized today that my projector has just the sort of hook up I need! So here are a couple of pictures from my studio project today:

I still don't really know what I'm doing with this thing, I'll need to read the manual a bit. But I love the set up! And I love the vibe of having an old sampling computer program projected on the wall. Thanks David!

January 5, 2014

Roland MC-8

Congratulations to my dear friend David, who is now the proud owner of a Roland MC-8! It is quite a beautiful and historically important machine. I used to think I'd like to own one -- well, I used to think I wanted to own every Roland product! But, I know now that this type of sequencing isn't really for me, I'm perfectly suited for my CSQ's, and I hope (and suspect!) that David is perfectly suited to the numeric, keypad programming style of the MC-8. Check out his blog, The Compleat Synthesizer, for a wonderful post about making an new cable for the MC-8.

January 3, 2014

Music Out of the Moon

Before I get into it, I'll briefly acknowledge that this is my first post of 2014 and the fourth year Mild Slopes has been alive. Thanks so much for reading and sharing! Welcome to another year of electronic music, fantastic literature and spiritual searching. 

Music Out of the Moon: Music Unusual Featuring the Theremin - Themes by Harry Revel is a six song album from 1947. I really love this song in particular, Celestial Nocturne. It's interesting because within this one song the Theremin is played (by Dr. Samuel Hoffman) both Clara Rockmore Style - sounding more like a violin and then at other times it's played more Armen Ra style - like a human voice but in an almost impossibly high register, singing right along with the other voices. 

I should also say a few words about the album cover. It was one of the first albums to feature a full color cover and at the time the photo of actress Virginia Clark was considered pretty risqué. I've always hated the idea of throwing a scantily clad woman on an album cover to boost sales. But this photo doesn't really seem terribly sexual to me. Virginia actually looks sort of androgynous in my opinion. Perhaps the lack of sexuality was merely them testing the waters and being a little cautious. Who knows! The cover certainly doesn't offend me, but maybe it would have in 1947.

Another little interesting tidbit is that Neil Armstrong listened to a tape of Music Out of the Moon on the Apollo 11 Moon flight in 1969.