For the last few weeks / months I was trying everything to get the juices flowing. Music, it seems, wants to come through but for some reason all my efforts were becoming fruitless. So I began to to do what I usually do when this happens… I I changed direction. In fact, this happened three times since last summer. I must say, it wasn’t pretty…

First I bought the MOFO, which was pretty cool, but once I got down and dirty with the synth, it became pretty obvious that it wasn’t  going to do the job. I had all these sounds, in fact, they were so familiar that it was simply boring for me. So I returned it, thinking I would opt for a more powerful synthesizer. This came in the form of the Synth II from MFB. Again, I was so sure… And then it just dawned on me…

Why was I getting synths? I have all of that in my computer, and no matter how die-hard I am towards analog, the convenience and the power was right in my laptop. But something was wrong. Somehow, I had twisted myself into a corner with the computer. Too many tools, too many options. So the MFB and everything else went out the window. I simply took a break and sat down to think about it.

What did I want? Well, for one thing, to have fun with some new toys, write some songs, and play these things live. That was my goal. So I went and I did a little soul searching…

The first little gem was this drum machine from Akai, the XR20. For being nothing more than a little drum machine, it seemed like quite a piece of gear. So I took a chance on it. This is it right there:

  

I have to say, I love this little thing. Thanks to it, I have a sense of direction with the new material… I have been cutting loops for the last two days. I even used it in Chicago, this last show. It performed really well, and the bonus is that its pads send MIDI data allowing me to trigger sounds and videos… I think we have a keeper…

My next little guy was this seemingly simple device:

 

The Korg Kaosillator. This was so much fun, that I may need to have it with me at all times. This took the idea of a portable music device to the next level. Yes, I am aware that the iPhone has apps, and that my Nintendo DS has music games. But one is still a phone, and the other is mostly for kids. They both sound like it as well. This thing can be for kids, but it has a sound that will scare many of them! I quite like it. It’s small, it’s loud. Its… Yellow? Oh well, can’t have everything.

I am enjoying these new toys, but it would mean nothing if they weren’t inspiring new music. And they are, so I am grateful.

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