Willie Burns: Be Gentle With The Outsiders



William Burnett has been making records since 2005. Recent converts to his sound will know him best as Willie Burns, with E.Ps on L.I.E.S, Crème Organization, Sequencias and The Trilogy Tapes. Those who caught on earlier will know him for the Disco-tainted weirdness of Grackle, his work with Legowelt as Smackulator and his collaboration with Elliot Lipp, Galaxy Toobin’ Gang, not to mention teaming up with the mighty Professor Genius as PG&S. Recently he has been known under the names Daywalker and Black Deer, the latter producing a blinding E.P cut by Rush Hour that dropped last month. Whichever name Burnett adopts, one thing is certain: the results are always going to inimitable. Aside from being a prolific producer, Burnett is also a curator supreme in his role as head honcho of W.T Records, putting to wax the likes of Alex Israel, Hunee, Sir Stephen, Ex Vivian and Shawn O’Sullivan to name a few. Mark caught up with Will to ask him a few questions about his status, working at the legendary The Thing, running a label, the mighty Woz and some other highly interesting subjects. In addition he gave us a killer mix for ya’ll to tuck into, consisting of burning psych, cosmic house, recondite bleepcore and beyond, into realms that not even the most adjective-happy journalist could describe…..      Continue reading

The NEW Novation Bass Station

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.