Well, I have to admit I was NOT expecting this. Novation have been shifting their portfolio from synthesisers and drum machines over to controllers and audio interfaces over the last few years so, they’ve wrong-footed a lot of folk by dropping this bomb to mark their 21st anniversary (they’re even older than dear old RAD it would seem) and what a very incredible bomb it is. The original Bass Station holds a very dear place in my heart: it was the first analogue synth I ever bought and it contributed to my now unhealthy obsession with synthesis for which I am very glad. It also sounded absolutely amazing. Raspy, gnarly and practically untameable at points, it was made to tear strips out of speakers and packed a stupid amount of punch for it’s price and size. I’m sure it’s ancestor will do just the same (it is, after all, a fully analogue signal path just like the original) and I’ll be seriously tempted to get one just for old time’s sake if nothing else.
Those of you who aren’t as dewy eyed and sentimental about this particular launch as me are probably asking “what distinguishes this from the current batch of sub £500 analogue mono-synths on the market?”. Well, the Novation Bass Station II has two fully analogue oscillators both with selectable waveforms (sine/sawtooth/triangle/square with PW) and a third sub oscillator for full-on bottom-end phasing bass mentalism. It has a switchable filter, which is pretty interesting because it will allow you to select between ‘classic’ and ‘acid’; the second of which is a diode ladder filter design much like the beloved TB303 as the name would suggest. It also has an analogue effects section, which is admittedly pretty much just distortion but I still think this is going to add a useful bit of grit to the sound and I can’t wait to hear it in action. It has the usual array of LFO and envelope section and, as most of have come to expect, the addition of USB for quick storage of patches and convenient MIDI interfacing to your DAW without a secondary box. It also has an arpeggiator and SH101-style step-sequencer. Yep, this machine is under £400 and it has a step-sequencer! That is bang for your buck right there!
Having said all that, you needn’t take my word for it. Go check out the competition: namely the Arturia Minibrute, the forthcoming Korg MS20 reissue, DSI Mopho and the Moog Minitaur and judge the winner yourself.
I for one can’t wait to see it in the flesh. Hopefully we can rekindle some of that old magic together. Ladies and gentlemen… The Novation Bass Station II.
The 500 series format (or lunchbox) has been around for some time (to be precise: 1978 with the launch of Datatronics first 10 slot powered rack) but it’s only relatively recently come to prominence. Maybe it’s because budgets are getting tighter or maybe it’s because studios are getting smaller but the lunchbox seems to be de-rigeur in a lot of setups these days.
It’s probably because the 500 series is a modular format (and anyone who knows us knows we love modular!) meaning it’s affordable, customisable, compact and portable. What you start with is the rack, which is a powered case with audio I/O on the back. These are available in various sizes from various companies ranging from whopping 10 slot, 19” rack-mountable monsters to compact, wee ultra-portable 3 slot boxes. Once you’ve got your desired rack, then you can start having fun buying modules…
It’s good news then that there are tons of manufacturers around making interesting, high quality audio processors for you to slot into your lunchbox. These range from conventional compressors to weird and wonderful sonic manglers like the Moog analogue delay and ladder filter. Check it’s capabilities in this vid!
We’ve also been impressed by the folk at Golden Age Projects. They’re making faithful recreations of some classic bits of analogue hardware in the 500 series format including this rather impressive microphone preamplifier. Kudos to the first person who can name what it’s been modelled on…
The dons at Radial, who have been making high-end problem solvers and other audio accessories since 1991 have also been pretty instrumental in the lunchbox game and they have a collection of compatible equipment including the incredible Komit compressor.
It’s also worth checking out new kid on the block Lindell Audio who are making a stunning range of 500 series modules and racks at seriously competitive prices. Oh, and when we say they are a new kid, that’s not strictly true because the man behind Lindell Audio is one Tobias Lindell, a music producer who has been around the block and knows a thing or too about high quality audio engineering. Watch this space for some arriving at RAD…
Warm Audio are deserving of your attention too. The WA12 microphone preamplifier sounds lush and, as you would expect, errrr, warm so, it’s perfect for adding a full, rich tone to your vocal processing.
And, of course, we couldn’t talk about 500 series without a tip of the hat to the godfathers of the format: API. They were building modular consoles way back in the 1970s and they implemented the VPR alliance, which is our way of saying that these boys know their onions. Anyway, you should all be checking the API gear out. It’s the nuts.
All that and we haven’t even mentioned the plethora of DIY projects and other nerdy stuff out there for the lunchbox….
It’s been that Long I’ve forgot what number I’m at. But in that time I’ve been learning to put pictures up. It’s the full audio visual experience. Well for me anyway. I’ve been inspired to get back into the blogesphere of recent, as I’ve heard about a couple of people that have actually bought records they have read about in this here blog. Mental ! But what’s more mental is that they actually seem to have liked them.
I was going to try and get a wee MBRBE wax in about the hot current dancing anthems that are making me strip down to the under crackers, don the headphones, close my eyes and go Paisley mental, before we hit the wedding season.. of which there are few this year. I’ve got 3 in 8 days. 2 in 1 weekend, and most are requiring some tunes.. so that will be the ploughed musical furrow for a few months. Watch this space. We’ll see if your so keen to buy the tunes then eh. That will be the Back room test ! Quite looking forward to sharing some of the wedding secret weapons actually.. some of my favourite records.
Back to the task in hand. Listening to records. The wife is away on a hen doo for one of the aforementioned weddings. Fiona’s managed to wangle the girls away to Amsterdam. The guys are going to Tom’s in Loch Lomond. Well not actually in Loch Lomond, well maybe a few, but it will just be a musical lockdown. Perfect. Right looking forward to that. 2 days of good records. Apart from mine of course.
So with the wife away, I have been doing all the things I’m not allowed to do. Like working on my scooter in the hall.
She’ll never know. She doesn’t read this blog.
Oh aye records. Well I canny seem to get off the love and wedding vibe, and started to record some tunes to send over to the girls in the Dam. If you’re interested, some of them were, Gallifre and Mondee’s Don’t walk out on Love on Gherkin, Blake Baxter’s Your All I ever Wanted, Karen Young I’m Hot for You, Shalamar Right in the Pocket, a bit of Church action with Moodymann’s Ya Blessin, and Fiona’s fave Oh Romeo These Mammery’s, sorry Memories from Bobby O. I’m Blessin You’s.. except I better hurry up and get it to them. Which probably won’t happen tbh. Another one strictly for my own enjoyment no doubt.
So aye tomorrows music today. New 3 Chairs promo sounding good. Available soon in way too small quantity. New Dixon Ave Basement Jams, Marquis Hawkes. DABJ-1204. That Higher Forces is pretty killer. Been rocking my back room jams (sounds a bit dodgy) for quite a while now. The privilege’s of the white label. Now released..
Another RAD associated label, well not associated really, as it is ours, is a wee series of releases we are pressing, usual white sketch with a stamp, and by hot talent that make good records, and we want to release. How’s that for a concept for a label ! Thinking outside your box. No artwork or names. But you may get a clue in the catalogue numbers. Or just by listening to the music even. RAD-AN1 being the first. Maybe I’ll give you a bit of inside info, to say thanks for reading this far. Without giving too much away.. if you’re in a club and you think you see Justin Timberlake’s wee brother dropping some quality House jams, then it may be this man.
While we are on tip of self promotion.. not really our style, but I’m going to roll with it for now. Like buses. The other night I had a tune in my head, and was doing the preverbal nut in as knew it so well. The more I sang it to myself, the better it was getting. I knew it was a big record for us, that could have been from anytime in the 15 to 2 years. Then I got it. Turns out it was on our own Dalriada label, which is from not a kick in the arse off about 15 years ago. Stands the test of time, at least in my heid, which I suppose was the main pre requisite of the labels concepts.
It’s about time we got a bit more active on that front.
Watch this space as they say..
That’s it for the licking your own arse show for this evening. I better go and get the wife sent over yon recording for the hen party, before they come home, and I’m still standing here listening to music. Hopefully not in my Y fronts, and headphones on. I’m sure there’s an urban myth in there somewhere.
Oh before I go.. and while on a promotion tip, here’s an avenue of PR we were exploring a few years back. Didn’t catch on though.
Respect to that man. I think I took the tattoo’d promotion a bit far, when I got a flyer for a gig at 69 tattoo’d on my chest. Orland Voorn special guest, 19.11.97. Timeless I thought. Until the day after the gig. It wasny that though.. he never turned up !
Might be about time to stop typing shite.
We’ve been fans of Ableton since day one. It’s no exaggeration to say they totally revolutionised the way the people use computers for making music when it was launched back in 1999. It would also be fair to say we’ve been waiting a little while for this latest update and Ableton have got a lot riding on it. Expectation is pretty high and on first tests we’re pleased to report we’re pretty chuffed with it.
The browser is waaaayyy better than it was previously (with extremely slick link through to MAX/MSP), the time stretch/pitch shift is audibly improved, there are more effects and they all sound gallus, the user interface has the same streamlined, slick look we’re used to and, perhaps most importantly, the new audio to MIDI function is absolutely incredible.
Basically, it’s what we’ve come to expect from Ableton: simple, effective and incredibly usable software with absolutely unparalleled workflow. You can order your copy of Live 9 here or order you copy of Live Suite here.
….and we haven’t even mentioned Push yet….
Wireless technology is pretty slick and also pretty useful and Pioneer have been pretty ahead of the curve on this front: what with the release of their XDJ-Aero last year, which was quickly followed up by the announcement of similar wireless technology being used in their Nexus series of CDJs and mixers. It’s a new frontier and we’ll be exploring the territory with them down at our favourite local haunt, Max’s bar on the 13th March. There’s more information here and a direct link to sign up here.
Oh, and did we mention there will be a free pair of Pioneer HDJ-1500 headphones being given away to one lucky entrant?
For the record, it certainly wouldn’t be bombastic to say that Creme Organization is one of the most influential labels of the past 10 years. Coming straight outta The Hague and having strong links with Bunker, It’s formidable early catalogue featured the emerging talents of none other than Legowelt, Orgue Electronique, Rude 66 and Bangkok Impact to name but a few, and in more recent years the label has released cuts from John Heckle, Myrriad, J.T.C, Willie Burns, Traxx, Basic Soul Unit and D’Marc Cantu. Creme also boasts one of the most arresting visual aesthetics around, with a majority of the artwork bearing the stamp of supremely gifted draftsman Mehdi. All this makes for a meaty stew of raw and nourishing realness. Or in some cases, unrealness. Oor Merk caught up with label founder and owner TLR to talk past, present and future shit. Not only are TLR’s curatorial talents evidenced by the strong roster and release schedule of Creme, but he also happens to be a seriousely fine DJ, which many of you will be aware of. Luckily for us, he canned some of that heat. The result is a beast of a mix which can be found below, chock full of exclusives no less!
Mark: So, you’re at work? You share an office with Mr. Tavares of Bunker fame and the stupidly talented Mr. Mehdi, right?
TLR: I have an office with Mehdi.. here’s some corporate info:
Mehdi + Me = IQ82 Media = Godspill Mailorder (with one other guy working for it)
Mehdi = Godspill
Me = Global Darkness = Creme
Bunker is stuck in a basement somewhere
Ah, so Guy is still operating from dank premises somewhere in The Hague. For the young ‘uns out there, tell us what Global Darkness is…
Its the umbrella company for Creme, some internet crap etc. It’s just the thing I chose when regestering at the chamber of commerce. “Are you sure about that name sir”? “Yup.. quite.” Haha.
In terms of web presence, I dare say that Global Darkness was pretty influential though….
Yeah I guess it was. It was one of the first things out there, before discogs, wikipedia etc. that made an attempt to organise info about this thing of ours: artist bios etc. And the forum was a big thing back then. I think the only other thing that was about the same was Electro Empire and Phinnweb. Internet 1.0 was a very different place as you will remember, being over 30.
Yeah, the children don’t know how hardcore and real it all was.
Nope. And I can take you back before the internet even with letters and faxes and shit. That sounds ancient even to me now. I dunno how the hell we managed.
Tell us more ancient one!
No cellphones. Goddam gramps, you tell em. Anyway, back to the now.
Indeed. I’m guessing that beards is a mandatory look over at Creme/Godspill HQ? Like a work uniform. You have to have a shaved head and a face tattoo to work at Rubadub. Are we simply perpetuating a stereotypical view of underground techno/house blokes by looking like baldy, beardy moody cunts?
I think it might be like women in an office who sync their periods… some subconscious thing were you align to a tribe. We’re working on some gang sign too.
And Creme’s been ploughing the field of unrestrained talent for what, ten years now? At what point did you realise that their might be something in this whole releasing records thing?
Yeah, well over 10 years now. I realised there was something in this whole releasing thing straight away. It caught on very quickly for us, and I was sort of riding a high for the first few years. Then minimal came, and the crisis and web 2.0 reshuffled all the cards in the record bizz. We sort of survived that slump and now we seem to be on the right side of hip again, so that’s cool.
In regards to being on the right side of hip, why do you think that is? There’s certainly a bunch of like-minded labels flourishing at the moment too, some who may even have been inspired by Creme…
I dont know exactly, but it seems like the pendulum of taste swings back and forth, even if it’s becoming more and more diffuse these days with so many things existing simultaneously. There is obviously some Zeitgeist involved. But I like to think its also because I have dedicated myself to releasing music I like without being to conscious of what is going on around me, or what is hip or not. Somehow this personal approach is a bit more timeless than a more businesslike one. I notice a lot of people around us are there for years and years, and a lot of the likeminded labels & artists (which I feel close to) have also been around for ages, toiling in obscurity mostly. All of a sudden its cool to be an outsider or something. If they only knew what it’s really like, haha.
Of course. I guess those who are in it for the money are a bit deluded anyway, aren’t they? I mean, you might as well put all that time into studying law. Because Creme has already passed through myriad trends, are you better prepared for when the shit hits the fan?
Well, I think the cowboys days of the music bizz are over, right? The times in the 90’s when you could still shift 20,000 Unit Moebius records (like KK did) and make a quick buck are behind us, so it attracts a different kind of “entrepreneur”. As for me, I have no special preparation. Just a crazy low overhead and no way out, so its either swim or drown like a pwopah shark.
Well, without wanting to sound terribly fucking cliched, there’s more than a bit of punk in that attitude.Your love of Punk and Hardcore is pretty well documented actually. I think that ethos can be seen and heard in Creme, in it’s own special way, would you agree?
Yeah, it all boils down to DIY I guess. In my formative years I have spent way too much time listening to Crass “Big A, Little A” and reading dodgy fanzines and going to low level gigs in squats and stuff. “External control are you gonna let them get you? Do you wanna be a prisoner in the boundaries they set you?” Somehow it all seemed very natural to me, like the only way to approach anything is with a DIY attitude. All the great art is made that way, wether its by choice or out of necessity. Nothing good has ever come from the corporate world. They might incorporate something good, but usually they just end up sucking the life out of it. Which doesnt mean I am “anti system” or anything, but I do think the important stuff should be left to the individual. I will still call the cops if my bike is stolen though.
Ha! Is your dedication to said DIY approach and the running of Creme the reason why there isn’t more records with your name on them? There was Mr. Clavio with Legowelt that we know of, but maybe there’s some gems out there that we didn’t know you were responsible for?
It’s not so much a dedication, more second nature. I really don’t think about how to approach stuff. I wouldn’t know how to do it any other way. I am a dilettante. Music wise I get up to some things, but under the radar for now. I might throw some stuff in DJ sets or whatever, but I have no plans to really release anything at the moment, and I wouldn’t really wanna use Creme as a platform for some shit I made, because it’s just too easy. If I do anything I will give it to other people first to kind of legitimize it to myself, and others whose opinion I value. But as with anything I say, this may swing wildly within the next 24 hours and I might have a release out all of a sudden.
Next up in the Creme release schedule are “Commanchee’s Revenge” and Str8 Jakkin Kru, right? Two completely different, yet amazing records that may or may not come from the past. All rather clandestine. Can you shed shed some light on the origins of these records?
Lets just say “Commanchee’s Revenge” is pretty easy to find out if you know how to use google. Str8 Jakkin Kru I don’t know if we can release with all the samples and stuff, although I would like to. I have to figure out how to do that one because I think its great (and legit for once as well). I mean there’s no smoke screen around it, it’s really was done by a bunch of guys in the early 90’s that had no pull whatsoever, and were just ignored. If only they had known the DIY spirit, then discogs might have another $400 entry. Next up is Orgue Electronique’s remix of Henry Saiz’s “Our Discovery” too. Lovely tune. That and Commanchee are first up.
OK, so Comanchee’s Revenge is Legowelt? Now that I think about it, google wouldn’t even have been necessary. A closer listen might have been adequate!
Yeah, its that dude again.
Last, but most certainly not least, tell us a bit about this blinding mix you’ve graced us with. If there’s anything to tell that is….
There’s a ton of upcoming stuff in it. I get sent a lot of music (most of it garbage), but I am also tapped into some cool channels. I kinda forgot about this one because I end up doing a few a week, just so I have something to listen to in the car, but let me see.. yeah.. this one has some upcoming stuff from Awanto, Yor, Jared Wilson, Myriadd, Bleak and some things I am not sure whether they’re out or not. Also some new stuff I dig: MCDE, Theo Parrish, DJ Muscle from WT and some Neville Watson things. Thats about it I think, all thrown through a variety of appliances to make it pump like a beast in heat, cause I like a thick, crunchy, bass heavy rolling sound in the mix.
Find out more at…
One of our favourite manufacturers hits Rubadub for a party and a demonstration of some of their fantastic hardware on Saturday the 23rd February. Elektron have consistently produced some of the most exciting, intuitive and heavy-sounding bits of kit out there since they dropped the SidStation on us way back in 1998. It’s fair to say that we’ve been fans since then and what better way to celebrate our long-standing relationship than with a proper knees-up in the shop. They’re bringing two of their finest over from Sweden and we’ll also be joined by long-time Elektron user and friend of RAD, Neil Landstrumm. The guys will be on hand to answer questions about the gear, demonstrate all the lovely toys that they make and then we’ll round off with some live performances. Sorted. Spaces are limited so, be sure to register on the Eventbrite page here and be quick about it!
In the meantime, why not whet your appetite by having a look at all the lovely Elektron stock on our website here.
Well it’s Rubadub’s 20th Anniversary Birthday bash this Sat, 24th Nov. There may be a few tickets left, if you phone the shop.. but I doubt it.
I’ve been trying to find some of those classic records that have made their mark with us in the last 20 years. Far too difficult a task, if you’ve got your records filed in the order I have.
The first record I need to find is Wladimir M’s Goin’ South. (Eevolute002). Got a few copies. I have one here that sounds terrible, as if DJ Hedgehog has been spinning it when I’ve been out. It’s been an anthem from the very first nights of 69.
I’m going to digress a bit here into Techno-storydom..
While our shop was in Virginia Galleries, there was a chap looking through the records. I said, ‘Can I help you big man’. He said, “Oh I see you have Eevolute Records here.. I have recorded for Eevolute. My name is Wladimir’. ..I nearly fell on my arse.. what like Vladimir the Impaler with a ‘W’ ? ..Then told him how much we loved his records. He didn’t have any clue as too how much though. He’d really need to have been to 69 I suppose for that.
Anyway.. no more Techno stories this blog. Just records, that may, or may not get played.
I’ve been a bit demented trying to find EFF’s 420 Low.. which I can’t, amongst others.
I also need to Find EPY, MMM, EOG, DSR, (and some other capital lettered artists) Erik Travis, Lory D, G2G, which I’ve just found, well half of it.. and Journey to the Dragons has got to be played. Jazz Is the Teacher.. and maybe a few other Detroit Classics.
Octave One Foundation is in the bag, and Optic Nerve - Trilogy Wave 3, Sonar 123, H-Men Scream.. which is from Chicago.. but hang on I feel another Detroit Techno story coming on..
Tank - Bite before you bark (Ignitor003) .. is a bit of a favourite of mine. I never tire of listening to it, and when played is often asked by appreciators in the crowd ‘What the fuck is that’. None more so than when we had UR playing at the club, and I was spinning post the live set, and couple of the band members came up and asked.. ‘Who the fuck is that’. ‘His Dug’ I said, pointing to Mike. Tank. Mad Mikes dog. Wee Bull terrier. Forever immortalised in music. Via Orlando Voorn.
Anyway, I was going to wax about records, and list some, and there’s loads of brilliant labels, that I’ve just pulled out there… that really deserve a mention here, because they have played a major part in our musical history.. but fuck that, I need to put some records in my bag for tomorrow. It’s a wonder anyone gets anything done with this internet shit.
I’m actually listening to some new records right now. As I said to a guy in the shop today.. we’ll be rocking the old school, and I wouldn’t be playing any new cutting edge promo white label, sorta shit. But I may make an couple of exceptions. Dan’s new DABJ-1204, is a 69 belter, and a certain NY label that I’m not allowed to tell anyone about, until it’s released in about a week or two, but I just can’t help myself. And no one really reads my blogs anyway. If you’ve read this far, then you deserve to know. NS-07. New Novel Sound. Levon Vincent. Rockin in there with some of the best records in the last 20 years. It would be a shame if it was just a week too late.
So I’ve got about 4 records in my bag, and got a wedding and a birthday party to go to tomorrow, so that’s about it for this BRBE… I better go and hone my skills.
Keep it Unreal.
How time flies, eh? It’s been 20 years since Rubadub first opened it’s doors to start supplying all you good people with the very best in underground, electronic music (and latterly, equipment) and I think it would be fair to say that it’s not been without it’s ups and downs but, on the whole, it’s been an incredible 20 years.
As most of you will no doubt expect, we are having a little party to celebrate our 20 years. In true Rubadub style, we’ve decided to sling the superstar guests and fancy-shmancy venues and do it the way we did back in the beginning. We’re going back to where it began, the best little basement this side of Paisley…. 69.
It’s going to be an intimate night, filled with the finest music of Rubadub’s history supplied by the guys who’ve been buying and selling you the best cuts available since 1992 and beyond!
We will also be partying all-day-long at the shop on Howard Street and we will have special deals on equipment and records plus special guests in-store DJing and playing live… more on that to follow very soon!
We would love it if as many of you as possible could come and join us to help us with the celebrations. All are welcome as always!
Check out the FB event page right here.