I visited the Berlin Musical Instrument Museum at the beginning of December last year. I’d never been before, but I do love to visit museums of this kind. Whilst for the most part it was largely concerned with traditional instruments, it did have a little corner tucked away for electronic instruments, and that was nice. Not huge by any means, but nice.
Overall it was a fun place to visit, although, unlike some similar museums, I probably wouldn’t go again.
I backed this device on Kickstarter a long time ago, I mean a really long time ago. It was really late, and, to be honest, I’d wondered if it would ever arrive, but it did, and here it is.
But it’s here, and it works. It is actually better sounding than I expected it be. The keys are actually velocity sensitive and the touch screen is huge. I’m still getting to grips with it, and I think that’ll probably take me some time.
In some ways it reminds me of an updated Yamaha QY type device, which is, in my opinion quite a good thing. The other really interesting thing about the KDJ-One is that it has a whole bunch of apps that go with it. There’s a macOS app, an iOS app, and an Android app too. So far I haven’t found a way to get everything working together, but that’s on my personal roadmap.
It’s a great shame that Allihoopa has now gone dark. It was a great service. I made some good use of it, but not as much as I would’ve liked. I guess that’s a bit of a reminder for me. That is just the way it goes of course.
So I thought I’d grab all of my content from the site before it went down. I rendered all of my tracks to video, and then I added them to a 1 second video mash up. So here’s one minute and 20 seconds of tracks I uploaded to Allihoopa.
On Wednesday I had the rare privilege of playing live at Cafe Oto with the amazingly talented Robyn. She is a gifted trumpet player and had a whole night of acts at Cafe Oto. I’ve been there many times and seen some amazing artists, so to play there myself was incredible.
It was a really great night too. Robyn was, of course, amazing. My small part was to bring some improvised electronics in the form of a couple of Bastl Instruments Kastle synths. To be precise a 1.0 and a new 1.5 Kastle. These little synths are amazing and incredibly versatile. There’s so much you can do with them.
Hopefully I’ll be able to get some of the footage and sound from the gig. When I do, I’ll be sharing that.
Last year I skipped record store day as I’d been queuing at Sister Ray Records in Soho for about 3 hours and at the end of the process I’d got 1 7″. That was all. I wasn’t terribly happy about that at all, as you can imagine. So I said to myself that I wouldn’t do it any more. I’d give it up. And I did, I didn’t go in 2017. Then I saw the list for this year, and on it was a David Sylvian album that I really wanted to get, and that I knew I would be really annoyed not to own.
So I decided to do it again. However, as I was going to be out late in London the night before I thought that the most civilised way to accomplish the task was to get a hotel room nearby and stay in town. So I did. I stayed at a very nice hotel on Brick Lane which was very reasonably priced too. It meant I could get up really early and walk down to Rough Trade East before 6am.
And my forward thinking paid off. I was probably around the 100 mark in the queue and got inside at about 8:30am. Not bad. I also got everything that I wanted too.
The most important of course being “Dead Bees on a cake” by Sylvian.
So maybe I will go again next year, at least I’ll give it a chance anyway.
Another track from me that you can now find on Spotify, or Bandcamp, or SoundCloud, so take your pick as to where you listen to it.
The track was made entirely in an iOS app called Auxy, which is one of my favourite apps for writing whole tracks. It’s very intuitive and easy to use, whilst still giving you enough depth to get a lot done.
The track art is a photo I took on a flight home just after leaving Belfast airport. It seemed like the ideal image to go along with the sentiment of the track.