Kevin Paul Cahay – EuroGuitaRacker

1. Favourite knob/fader/switch on a piece of gear and why?

Teisco Rack Delay

My favorite knob is the volume knob on my old Teisco delay rack, you can be really precise with a knob of that size.

2. Do you have an ‘almost’ perfect bit of kit? What would you change?

Fender Jaguar

With years spent playing music I never felt the feeling of perfection, I always change and so does my instruments/gear. Yesterday was my lovely Fender Jaguar, today is my modular synthesizer, tomorrow… I don’t know yet. It’s difficult for me to focus on one genre/project, I want to know and to do everything. And my modular synthesizer is the proof, at the beginning I wanted a sort of a west coast synthesizer, after focusing on textures and now a little bit of everything. But now I’m more confident, so I’ll say my modular synthesizer, because I can change a little thing to do utterly beautiful things.

Suitcase Eurorack Modular

3. What setup do you bring on holiday/tour/commute etc. ?

ID700 Buchla iOS app

Either I go on holiday or for a walk (even at work, but don’t tell anyone) I always bring a tape recorder with me.

Also my iPad, with some granular devices, Quanta or the new emulation of the Buchla 700.

4 track and walkman

I like compact gear, recording sounds in the daytime and processing them at night time.

Night time processing

4. What software do you wish was hardware and vice versa?

I’d really like the Music Mouse from Laurie Spiegel in a hardware form for sure, it’s easy enough to program something lovely and yet complex enough to explore a lot of different paths. 

Music Mouse from Laurie Spiegel

5. Is there anything you regret selling… or regret buying?

« Regrets, I’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention » 

All gear eventually fades to bokeh

I don’t regret any purchase or sale, it was the right time for every separation or acquisition. But who knows ?

Kalimba and Big Muff

There is an adaptation time for everything, especially electronic devices, you see a video or test it for fifteen minutes, and then at home it’s not the same. So you have to delve into it and learn it better to find out if you really like it. Not taking enough time is a common mistake that I made several times…

But don’t feel ashamed or guilty, it’s the right path. Once you know, what you don’t like, it gets easier.

A glutton of gear from above

6. What gear has inspired you to produce the most music?

I think it’s my newly acquired Akai tape recorder, I’ve been messing around with cassettes for quite a long time, but to have a bigger tape to work with, cutting, editing, staring at, is absolutely marvelous.

Akai Reel to Reel tape recorder

7. If you had to start over, what would you get first?

Korg Kaossilator

I think a kaossilator and a cassette tape recorder. You can do plenty of things with the kaossilator. Also if you fool your tape recorder to do it, it’s possible to overdub without erasing anything. So yes, with these two you have a lot of different sounds in your pocket.

Cassette tape recorders

8. What’s the most annoying piece of gear you have, that you just can’t live without?

I think it’s my MicroKorg, it was my second synth (the first one was a Yamaha CS15 that broke). It has a peculiar sound, not the best keys, but I love it anyway.

Korg MicroKorg

9. Most surprising tip/trick/technique that you’ve discovered about a bit of kit?

A very long tape loop, I saw someone doing those kind of things on Instagram (hello, @robotmammal) and I tried for several days. After a lot of effort and moaning, I finally managed to do it ! And… it broke.

Cassette Tape Loops

Artist or Band name?

Kevin Paul Cahay.

Genre?

Free jazz ? I always wanted to say free jazz.

Selfie?

The many faces of Kevin Paul Cahay

Where are you from?

I’m from Paris/France.

How did you get into music?

Since I was born, my parents were listening to music loudly, and I remember dancing and jumping everywhere to Rage Against The Machine and Weezer.

But at the age of ten I told myself that rather than listening to music I could play it ! So I asked for an electric guitar on my birthday and began to compose some songs and record them with my phone or on Audacity (via the computer microphone…) After that I created my artist name « tomorrow massacre » (tomorrow because one of my favorite song is called tomorrow by The Human Instinct, and massacre because of the Brian Jonestown Massacre) and had a band for a couple of years going on tour, recording albums.

After we broke up, I was alone and wanted to do something else, so I began to have an urge to play modular synthesizer, explore new sounds and embrace experimentation without the intro/verse/chorus thing.

I did my first EP at the beginning of 2021 and I’m planning to have another one out this year as well.

What still drives you to make music?

Everything.

Grundig EN3 Dictaphone… shaving the sky

How do you most often start a new track?

Nothing is really planned, I always want to try a lot of things (like a video I did with 5 delay pedals) and then something that I like appears (and sometimes not).

How do you know when a track is finished?

Nothing left to add

When I want to add something, but it doesn’t sound good at all.

Show us your current studio

Analog goodies
…and eurorack buddies

Best creative advice that you’ve ever heard?

My French teacher in high school always told me « when there are three words there are two too many » , and I apply this to my music.

Promote your latest thing… Go ahead, throw us a link.

For the moment it’s my EP called « Ruina Sequenti » : https://music-is-kevinpaulcahay.bandcamp.com/album/ruina-sequenti

… but check my personal Bandcamp soon enough:

https://kevinpaulcahay.bandcamp.com


[Hey YOU my dear Reader, it’s Martin the Editor here: I gotta ask, coz it’s been bothering me for a while… how would you suggest that I could encourage more commenting on the this blog? There’s like zilch happening and it’s kinda bumming me, as well as the google search algorithm, out 😉 ]


The Galaxy Electric – Synth & Tape Duo

1. Favourite knob/fader/switch on a piece of gear and why?

Big fan of the Rogan Alpha knobs used on some of the vintage Buchla stuff, namely the original Music Easel. I actually bought some to use on a DIY Video synth I am working on. They look great on those modules as well.

Rogan Alpha knobs

2. Do you have an ‘almost’ perfect bit of kit? What would you change?

Perfection is not something we typically strive for with our gear. We actually appreciate the imperfections. So, the most perfectly imperfect bit of kit that we own is our Tascam M-308 8 channel 4 Bus mixing desk. It’s from the mid 80’s I believe. It’s a bit dark as compared to say, a brand new set of high end A/D converters. But it has character, warmth, and a thickness that we haven’t been able to achieve with a DI or vanilla Audio Interface. We typically use it as a front end for our tape machines.

Tascam M-308 8 channel 4 Bus mixing desk

3. What setup do you bring on holiday/tour/commute etc.?

For any musical getaway we would bring a portable Buchla rig, our vocal FX chain (space echo pedals!), some tape loops and our Tascam 4-track. This gives us all the textures and effects we need to have fun and get spacey. It also works for a live improvised drone, which is something we do pretty regularly on our livestreams.

4. What software do you wish was hardware and vice versa?

I have the software versions of the Buchla 296e and 259e for Modular. Sometimes I wish I had the hardware versions. It would be fun to patch them with the rest of my system. I also wish Softube would port more of the Buchla stuff over. It would be great if I could completely duplicate my rig in software.

Buchla 296e and 259e for Modular

5. Is there anything you regret selling… or regret buying?

The way I see it, gear is an endless journey you shouldn’t be afraid to go on. I take a lot of risks when it comes to buying and selling. Sometimes I sell something to try something else and then sell that to get the other thing back again! Then I realize I’ve just gone in a circle. I don’t really have any regrets that can’t be corrected. Most things turn up eventually. Patience is key. If you are in love, don’t let it get away!

6. What gear has inspired you to produce the most music?

By far, the tape machines we’ve collected, mostly TEAC and Tascam reel to reel and cassette 4 tracks and the Buchla style synthesizer. Also really love different flavors of spring reverb! I have an old point-to-point wired Shure Reverberation Mixer I am quite fond of.

Shure Reverberation Mixer

7. If you had to start over, what would you get first?

I would probably build or obtain well built Buchla clone modules. It’s hard to say whether I would choose a 258 or 259 dual oscillator. Really depends on the day and mood.

8. What’s the most annoying piece of gear you have, that you just can’t live without?

Tascam Porta 02mkII

Tape Machines can be a real hassle to keep up. I have belts fail, heads get worn, channels stop working or act inconsistently. They cause me a lot of anxiety, but at the moment the two that we use the most, TEAC A-3440 and Tascam Porta 02mkII are acting reliably. Knock on wood!

Teac A-3440

9. Most surprising tip/trick/technique that you’ve discovered about a bit of kit?

I’d say the one that is the most fresh on my mind is that you can turn a multi-channel function generator (if it is the kind that outputs a trigger when the function completes its cycle) into a basic sequencer by cascading the stage pulse outs to the next channel’s input and the last stage’s pulse back to the first. Your decay rates control the timing of each channel and the cv output of each stage. You could connect other modules to make it a bit more interesting, but it’s a fun way to generate a sort of drunken pulse pattern as the basis for a patch. I made a video featuring this sort of thing called Patch and Tell – E1- Buchla Clones 280 266 – Pseudo Sequence – Source of Uncertainty -1979 DAO.


Artist or Band name?

The Galaxy Electric

Genre?

Cosmic Tape Music

Selfie?

The Galaxy Electric

Where are you from?

LA originally, now, the Midwest.

How did you get into music?

Both of us grew up feeling called to music and participated in school and church music programs. Eventually we decided a band was the only way to fulfill the artistic lifestyle we craved and stay true to our unique musical voices within.

What still drives you to make music?

Over the years we have honed our skills and have been able to narrow what we do down to something we call Cosmic Tape Music. Getting extremely specific about the type of music we make has made us even more passionate about our creative pursuits.

How do you most often start a new track?

It really depends on the type of piece but usually either a riff, a vocal, or a pre-recorded groove. Our latest album, however, is all improvisations that were made using synchronized loopers with the outcome going straight to tape.

How do you know when a track is finished?

The ideas stop flowing even after several listens, sessions. It’s kind of like a water soffit that is eventually dry. You have to trust that it is done when the ideas either slow to a stop or start to feel forced. Sometimes, we listen years later and hear more. That can be frustrating, but it’s rare. I think it comes with experience to learn to get good closure with a track.

Show us your current studio

Best creative advice that you’ve ever heard?

Be uniquely you, and do what only you can.

Promote your latest thing… Go ahead, throw us a link.

Our new album Pre-Orders run from Aug 12 – Sept 8:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1511715045/the-galaxy-electric-is-releasing-new-music-on-reel-to-reel

And our main website and shop links:

https://thegalaxyelectricshop.com/

https://www.thegalaxyelectric.com/


[Editor: Do you have a favorite tip, trick or way of working with any of the gear from this interview?
Then throw a comment below…
]


Todd Barton – The Don Of Buchla

1. Favourite knob/fader/switch on a piece of gear andwhy?

Large blue, skirted Rogan knobs like on my Buchla 259 Complex Waveform Generator. They fit my hand nicely, feel good and I can see the index on the skirt. For sliders, all the sliders on my Easel. I prefer sliders to knobs, because I can more easily see where they are. Clearly I use the sliders a lot, since the printing is wearing off!

2. Do you have an ‘almost’ perfect bit of kit? What would you change?

When I travel my favorite setup of my Buchla Music Easel plus a lunchbox of eurorack modules, ususally a Makenoise Morphagene or Epoch Hordijk Benjolin to bring into the Easel’s Aux In for manipulation and processing and the Intellijel Planar 2 for spatialization.

3. What setup do you bring on holiday/tour/commuteetc.?

see above

4. What software do you wish was hardware and viceversa?

I wish Tom Erbe’s Soundhack plugins were hardware. Ooops, wait! They are 🙂 All of his modules with Makenoise: Morphagene, Mimeophon, Echophon,Erbeverb are the ones I have.

Eurorack case

5. Is there anything you regret selling… or regret buying?

My Buchla 100 and Synthi AKS. Couldn’t be helped at the time.

6. What gear has inspired you to produce the most music?

Buchla 200e

Clearly my Buchla instruments, but I have also created a lot of music I love with my Hordijk and Serge systems.

Hordijk and Buchla 200

7. If you had to start over, what would you get first?

Though I learned about analog synthesis from a friends’ Easel back in the 1970’s, the first modular I owned was a Serge Modular Music System in 1979. It was a great entreand, I’d do it again.

Serge

8. What’s the most annoying piece of gear you have,that you just can’t live without?

I’m going to interpret “annoying” as “tempermental” in which case my Easel. It’s tempermental, but I love it.

[Editor: It’s a little nice to know that even a synthesis master, who clearly has a superb grasp of the Music Easel, thinks that his instruments can be ‘tempermental’]

Easel Eurorack setup

9. Most surprising tip/trick/technique that you’vediscovered about a bit of kit?

Feedback. I try to get every module I encounter to feedback and learn what that has to teach me, what I can discover from it.


Artist or Band name?

Todd Barton

Genre?

All

Selfie?

Sure. Well a photo of me taken by my artist daughter, Ursula Barton

Todd Barton

Where are you from?

Originally the San Francisco Bay Area in California. Moved permanently to Ashland, Oregon in my late teens. I’m now 70.

How did you get into music?

Though my parents weren’t musical they played musicin the house (radio and phonograph) and there was a piano in the house that I began exploring at age 5. From then on I was obsessed with sound . . .

What still drives you to make music?

Sonic curiosity.

How do you most often start a new track?

By following the sound, listening to where it might takeme. It feels like sonic T’ai Chi, or more specifically a T’aiChi form called Push Hands which is done with a partner and it is an exploration and exercise of moving energy. I feel like my partner is sound.

How do you know when a track is finished?

Completely intuitive . . . the sonic sculpture looks and feels complete, nothing more to add and along the way I have stripped away unnecessary gestures and layers.

Show us your current studio— Too messy to show, but here are a few isolated shots ofsome gear.

Best creative advice that you’ve ever heard?

Listen, deeply.

Promote your latest thing… Go ahead, throw us a link.

Buchla Now album. In 2020 the cassette tape label Ultraviolet Light will release Buchla Now. This album will feature a compilation of new tracks recorded by some of the most exciting electronic musicians working today, and focus solely on instruments designed by Don Buchla, the legendary instrument builder, physicist, circuit designer and inventor of West Coast Synthesis. Buchla Now was curated by Todd Barton with contributions from Marcia Bassett, Suzanne Ciani, Dan Deacon, Jonathan Fitoussi, Steve Horelick, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, and Hans Tammen.

Suzanne Ciani once said of Don Buchla that his “ unique mindset allowed him to be outside the popular notion of what electronic music was”. Each of these artists, in their own way, carries on this tradition of boundary-pushing music, expanding the very notion of what music can be.

https://www.ultravioletlight.blue/


[Editor: Do you have a favorite tip, trick or way of working with any of the gear from this interview?
Then throw a comment below…
]