Hi fellows! Been wanting to let you in on this for a while, but I keep forgetting.
For the past 18 months or so, I have been involved with a project called Desterronics. It’s not a band, more of an event - a weekly open jam for electronic musicians - which is held in Lisbon and open to the public as well.
Each week, the participants change, sometimes there are as few as three people jamming, but we’ve managed to squeeze in more than 20 once. You never know until it’s time to set up. On average, we get 8-12 people each session, and that’s Wednesdays, 11PM-4AM The sessions have become so popular, that we now hold an extra session per month on a weekend. It’s a ride.
You see all sorts of instruments, from big (!) soviet analogues, to the volca family and everywhere in between. Synths, samplers, grooveboxes, iPads, an occasional (but admissible) laptop, tons of pedals, sequencers, you get it - every week it’s synthfest. Sometimes, people come and play other instruments, too, anything goes, as long as it goes in a cable. In total, between regulars and one-offs, we must have had more than 70 musicians involved, we’ve had singers, violin players, electric bass, tablas, electric guitar, flute… I usually bring my Nord Modular G2 and some FX, it sounds good and very playable, and I can use the G2’s modular nature to do a lot of stuff with just one box. I did bring a Prodissey Klangbox once, using Lemur as a control surface- and it worked.
We’ve had about 90 sessions so far, each completely different from the other. Most have been recorded, and most of those have had their best parts selected and uploaded to http://www.radionomy.com/en/radio/desterronics. This is an online radio service, which now features over 300 tracks, played in random order, 24/7.
I think that some of the music that’s in there is quite amazing, especially if you think about how it came about in the first place. There is no editing, each track is a true slice of the session. Also, there’s no post processing or mastering, only loudness normalizing (LUFS), and encoding to radio specifications. Still, there’s a lot of variety, and always growing, so check it out every once in a while.
For me, it’s been great to know other electronic musicians, and to play live, I think most of us weren’t really used to being out of the studio with the gear and have fun actually playing with it. But also to get familiar with a lot of equipment I wouldn’t normally have the chance to know. It also made me rethink my “studio” environment and again make good use of the XITE (session recordings, live audio processing, studio routing, done a lot with it lately).
I hope you enjoy this, and, if you’re ever in Lisbon, feel free to come check us out or participate!
A most happy of seasons to you all!
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