putting some money where my ears are

I decided to get a bit of a head start on my “support other musicians through Bandcamp” goal for 2020 by paying for some of the albums that I’ve streamed many times, thoroughly enjoyed, but which probably earned about 37 cents for the artists up until now.

An industrial techno-ish duo using hardware modular, Reaktor and Maschine, they have just this one 2017 album and a remix EP… and I want more. Somewhat similar artists include Pact Infernal, Ancient Methods and (sometimes) Shifted, but they’re not quite on the same plane.

This is the kind of music I thought was going to emerge as the direction for Starthief in 2018. I went somewhere else instead.

Hands down my favorite minimal modular album. Just an ER-101 sequencer and a Verbos Harmonic Oscillator, with some delay and reverb. “Patterns” is definitely the right word, and comparisons to Bach are entirely fair.

While my music also tends to employ a minimal number of voices, this album is the opposite in many ways. It’s precise, mathematical, and tidy where mine is improvised, messy and tends to complicate itself.

There are a few artists who merge chiptune with rock guitar — elements of prog rock, metal and jazz fusion sort of colliding with 8-bit nostalgia. Danimal Cannon is among the best of those. The chippy solos and explosions of shift register noise are as intense as the guitar licks.

Dark and broody and a bit gothy synth pop with minimal, vintage analog synths. I just like it.

Where it comes to ambient music, I prefer the more shadowy and textured zones, perhaps not quite “dark ambient” most of the time but not just bright shiny stringlike pads and pretty plucking noises. This has got that texture and murk and mood to it and is firmly in the “what I like” zone.

There are a few artists who… wait, I already said that. Stemage is my other favorite in this category, improving on a couple of 80s soundtracks that were already excellent electronic compositions in their original form. Also he co-composed stuff and played guitar for Steven Universe (the best cartoon ever) and a lot of other stuff.

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