Aphex Twin – Collapse EP Unveiled

So THAT’S what the strange Aphex logos were about!

Warp have just announced Aphex’s Twin’s new Collapse EP.  Collapse indeed.  Once the pre-orders were announced, the internet collapsed.  Bleep Store went down, Warp went down, and Twitter and Facebook went into a frenzied meltdown.

After a two hour wait, refreshing, cursing, pacing, refreshing, cursing (repeat to fade), FINALLY got confirmation that my order for a cassette had been successful.

Screen Shot 2018-08-07 at 5.21.03 pm

The EP is available on a limited “Procede Heliophore Silver Foil Sleeve with download card insert – only one per customer.  There’s also a standard vinyl EP, CD in a 4-panel wallet and the cassette.  FLAC and 24-bit WAV downloads are also available.

  1. T69 Collapse
  2. 1st 44
  3. MT1 t29r2
  4. abundance10edit[2 R8’s, FZ20m & a 909]
  5. pthex

Released on 14 September 2018.

Advertisements

Aphex Twin mystery Poster at London’s Elephant & Castle Underground Station

I took a quick jaunt on the Tube to Elephant & Castle to have a look at the Aphex Twin poster that popped up sometime over the weekend and was driving social media nuts with speculation.

I wanted to get a long-shot of the tunnel with both posters in the same picture, but there was someone sleeping in the corner and didn’t want to ruin it!

No idea what it’s meant to depict, but rumours persist of new material in the form of an album, or maybe live dates etc.

Watch this space.

JOHN FOXX – METAMATIC 2018 DELUXE 3CD BOX SET, SIGNED, WITH PRINTS

Well, it’s here.  After what seemed like an eternity, my Metamatic Box Set arrived!

IMG_8229

I’ll get some scans once the initial excitement has worn off a little.  The details, though:

  • 3 Remastered CDs, containing the original studio album plus two discs of extra tracks, alternate versions and unreleased material.
  • 6 square ‘art cards’ featuring album artwork and ARP Odyssey patches, one of which is boldly signed by the man himself.
  • Booklet containing lyrics, unreleased images, more ARP Odyssey patches from samples used on the Metamatic tracks.
  • Limited Signed Edition of 750.  These sold out pretty damn fast.  Only the non-signed editions are available now.  Scalpers on eBay are selling them for three times what I paid (£12.49 can you believe).

Tracklisting

CD1

  1. Plaza
  2. He’s A Liquid
  3. Underpass
  4. Metal Beat
  5. No-One Driving
  6. A New Kind of Man
  7. Blurred Girl
  8. 030
  9. Tidal Wave
  10. Touch And Go

CD2

  1. Film One
  2. This City
  3. To Be With You
  4. Cinemascope
  5. Burning Car
  6. Glimmer
  7. Mr No
  8. Young Love
  9. 20th Century
  10. My Face
  11. Underpass (Radio Edit)
  12. No-One Driving (Single Version)
  13. Like A Miracle (Alternative Version)
  14. A New Kind of Man (Alternative Version)
  15. He’s A Liquid (Alternative Version)
  16. Plaza (Extended Version)
  17. Underpass (Extended Version)
  18. Blurred Girl (Longer Fade Version)

CD3

  1. A Frozen Moment
  2. He’s A Liquid (Instrumental Dub)
  3. Mr No (Alternative Version)
  4. The Uranium Committee
  5. A Man Alone
  6. Over Tokyo
  7. Terminal Zone
  8. Urban Code
  9. A Version of You
  10. Glimmer (Alternative Version)
  11. Fragmentary City
  12. Metamorphosis
  13. Approaching The Monument
  14. Critical Mass
  15. Alamogordo Logic
  16. Touch And Go (Early Version)
  17. Miss Machinery
  18. No-One Driving (Early Version)
  19. Burning Car (Early Version)
  20. Like A Miracle (Early Version)
  21. No-One Driving (Alternative Version)

Like I said earlier, more pics of this lovely, lovely item to come.

Boot Fair Find: Yamaha DD-10 Digital MIDI Drum Machine

Released in 1988, the Yamaha DD-10 was aimed at those who wished to annoy the hell out of their neighbours at 2am.  The machine featured 8-bit sounds, with some sounds reused at a different pitch, two-level velocity sensing pads and 26 drum, percussion and sound effect samples.  MIDI In also features, so you can trigger drum sounds with an external device.

Found this recently at a local boot fair.  Fiver.  Contained my excitement so the seller didn’t put the price up.  Boxed with polys and foamy wrapper.  No manual, strap or foot pedals sadly, but hey – what do you want for a fiver?

Another dream item for circuit-bending, as digital delay, resonant filters and other such larky modifications can be added if you know what you’re doing.  Inputs and outputs include External Power Source, Aux Out (L&R/L), Aux Out R, Headphones, Foot Pedal Jack and MIDI In.

98 Auto Rhythms, Power Switch, Volume, Tempo, MIDI Mode, Metronome, Roll, Restart, Stop, Intro/Fill, Manual Tempo.  A small keypad is used to enter numerical data for drum patterns, which is displayed on a 2-digit large LED display.

Roland Founder Ikutaro Kakehashi Has Died. RIP.

Ikutaro Kakehashi, the founder of the Japanese electronic instruments company Roland, has reportedly died at the age of 87.

The legendary instrument engineer founded the Roland Corporation in 1972, and went on to develop some of the most game-changing instruments in history. He was the mind behind the System 700 modular synthesizer, the TB-303 bassline synthesizer, the TR-909, and, of course, the TR-808 drum machine. Though the latter was rolled out in 1980, it has had a profound and lasting influence on contemporary music—specifically in hip-hop.

Ikutaro_Kakehashi

Pet Shop Boys Annually 2017 with Undertow Promo CD

The latest incarnation of Pet Shop Boys’ ‘Annually’ was released (and arrived!) today.  Hardback annual (which I haven’t opened yet), together with a 3-track Promo CD EP of ‘Undertow’.  Tracklisting is:

  1. Undertow (Tuff City Kids remix)
  2. Left To My Own Devices (Super version)
  3. Burn (Baba Stiltz remix)

Some of these are already fetching over a hundred pounds on eBay.  Nuts.

BeatsX Black-ZML by Dre Unboxing

BeatsX by Dre, Model A1763.  Black/ZML.  Manufactured February 2017.

Wireless earphones with soft carry case, USB-Lightning Charging Cable, Rubber earcaps.  Wireless Bluetooth; Up to 8 hours’ wireless play; Removeable wingtips; 5 minute charge gives 2 hours’ play; Flex-form cable to control music and manage calls.

Boot Fair Find: Yamaha SHS-10R MIDI Keytar

In November 2010 I wrote about my love for my old Yamaha SHS-10 MIDI Keytar.  A couple of days ago, I dragged the missus kicking and screaming from our warm bed into the cold West London air to a bus which took us to the first boot fair of the year.  Within a couple of minutes I was pretty glad I did.  I saw the familiar box standing end-on next to a wallpaper table covered in the usual boot fair tat (Wade Whimsies, VHS videos of ‘Friends’, fake Russell Athletic grey joggers … you know the sort of stuff).  The first thing I noticed about the SHS-10 box was that it was the red model, generally sold by Dixons back in 1987.  This was confirmed upon closer inspection by the ‘centenary sticker’ that adorned the box (Yamaha was founded in 1887, if you hadn’t already guessed).  Box was a little tatty and at first I wasn’t sure there was anything inside.  The stall holder was hovering over the box, devouring a bacon roll which I silently prayed wasn’t dripping everywhere.  It wasn’t.  I picked the box up and peered inside the slightly tatty box flap.  There it was, red and shiny.  No polys sadly, and no batteries or power adaptor rolling around.  No manual either.  I found the strap already outside the box which was a nice addition.  First thing I did, as I do with all battery-powered items is a) to check whether the battery door was in place and b) whether there was any battery corrosion inside.  Happy to report the door was present and correct, and there wasn’t even a speck of dust inside the battery compartment.  On closer inspection, the SHS-10R looked like it had hardly been used.  There were no scratches to the red part of the upper plastic body, the LED display wasn’t scratched, all slider caps were intact, as were all the rubber buttons, mod wheel and the two guitar strap lugs.

“Worked last time I tried it”, the owner told me.  “When was that?” I asked, “1988?”  (Curse my stupid mouth sometimes.  I do say inappropriate things).  He said it had been working reasonably recently, and went on to explain how his kid had outgrown it, and had lived in a box most of its life.  The manual and charger had been lost in the mists of time, and batteries had never been stored in it.  He had no batteries to hand to test it, but promised me it was working.  I wanted it.  Price, I wondered.  What the hell was this gonna cost me?  Another stall had a boxed Casio keyboard which the woman wanted £20 for.  I guessed the Yamaha would be a similar price.  “Five pounds” the man and his wife chorused when asked.  I deftly paid the woman in twenty pence pieces (we always take loads of change to boot fairs – stall holders love it).  The man thoughtfully offered a free black bin bag for transport and for rain protection.

Click the images for a bigger version

If you’ve not read my original review of the SHS-10, or have no intention of doing so, you can stop reading here because I’m going to bore you with some of the main details of it.  Most of the UK models were grey.  If you lived in Japan you’d probably get a black one.  The red one, as I explained earlier, were retailed by Dixons and a few other select outlets.

The SHS-10 has 32 mini keys and a pitch bend wheel at the end of the grip.  It was six-note poly with 25 built-in sounds.  A built-in speaker allowed you to annoy the family with the arse-clenching demo of Wham!’s ‘Last Christmas’.  The biggest boon of the Yamaha was the inclusion of a MIDI Out port.  It meant you could connect another MIDI device to the SHS-10 and control it with the keytar.  There was a 1/4″ output too.

Drums could be transmitted on separate MIDI channels, which was quite a powerful feature.  An external drum machine, for example, could then play a backing.  MIDI Start and Stop, plus Tempo Sync could also be transmitted and picked up by an external sequencer.  Other features included: intro, fill-in and ending buttons for the rhythms and auto-chords, vibrato, portamento and sustain buttons, tempo, tuning and transpose buttons, chord sequencer with battery-back-up, but no editing.

Sounds ranged from ‘synthesizer’ through to ‘music box’ with offerings such as ‘piano’, ‘steel drum’ and ‘saxophone’ thrown in for good measure.  There were 25 preset rhythms too, from ‘Rhythm & Blues’ to ‘Fusion’, ‘Samba’ and ‘Fanfare’.  A large red 2-digit LED showed preset and program numbers, as well as tempo for rhythms.  The sounds were quite impressive for this FM device.

The SHS-10 (and its bigger and rarer brother, the SHS-200) was a circuit-benders’ dream.  More complex sounds could be produced by hard-wiring an 8-pole DIP switch to the YM2420 chip.

I’ve loved playing with the SHS-10 again.  Manuals for it can be found aplenty online in PDF format, or can be bought for about a tenner on eBay.

*UPDATE*

I managed to sell the SHS-10 for thirty times what I paid for it!