Volca archives
February 2016

Rise is another exercise in layering & mood, helped along by an unusual scale and a driving 10/8 rhythm. With more time I would have extended it, making it drop down and build up again, probably with some sort of melody over the top, and added more & more varied percussion. But overall I'm quite pleased with the 'rise of the machines' vibe. All three Volcas.

Kilotanzland was a cheeky cover of Land of 1,000 Dances but was also an experiment in pushing the limits of my real-time sequencing skills - switching between settings on the units while they're playing. Very fiddly with the Volcas - some 'switches' are buttons that require a solid push, others are capacitive and will activate on the slightest touch. This took quite a few goes to get all the way through and any mistake meant starting again from scratch. Another example of my low-tech sound. Volca Sample & Bass for the drums, bass and main sequencer line, Keys for the overdubs.

Kingston treadmill started off as a trance groove (you can still hear the heartbeat in the drumming) but somehow it turned into a reggae track. Very unexpected. All three Volcas.

Monotone was a short experiment in using just one voice (tone) for all the parts - although I did tweak it a little for the very high & very low ones. All done on the Keys.

Restless was created fairly late at night so I settled for something simpler than usual. The mix sounds funny - not much top end - but I was too tired to redo anything. All three Volcas.

Droplets is based around a nice, bleepy little sequence and became an exercise in layering. All done on the Volca Keys.

Back in the delta quadrant is a quick try at a 12-bar blues. Somehow it drifted off in quite a different direction. All three Volcas.

Halfstep is another gentle little chug, a quick exercise at the end of an evening. Features all three Volcas.

Flux ended up as an odd result - part of the track wanted to become a 'space ship in hyperdrive' piece, another part wanted to be a mass of clashing noise. Decided to leave it neither one thing or another after a couple of hours. All done on the Volca Keys.

Fanfare of the lost started off from the initial 'fanfare' that I found while noodling around on the keyboard, the arrangement then came simply & easily. Nice to have come up with something a bit darker after all my poppy tunes. Bass for the one-note bassline, Keys for everything else.

Trampledown turned into a pleasant little ditty - not what I was going for when I originally sat down. Lots of recording glitches (sorry about all the crackles) so it's particularly unpolished - if I got through a take with only one two extraneous noises I kept it, regardless of the dodgy playing. Sample & Bass for the sequencer lines, everything else on the Keys.

Comfort zone is another syncopated rhythm 'train song' - not what I was setting out to play but it just came so easily. It's a bit bland, hence the title. All three Volcas were equally guilty.