The “Lost” Fennesz Reaktor Interview

I came across an old interview on cdm with Christian Fennesz about some of the setup he uses, both live and in the studio. It has a link to a piece of the interview left out, specifically on his use of Reaktor.

Being a fan of both Fennesz and Reaktor, I was pleasantly surprised (I thought he only used Max/MSP) and then, shortly afterward, disappointed. Not only is the link dead, but Google didn’t show a replacement and even the Internet Archive hasn’t stored it.

Well, a bit of digging later I managed to find a copy (in the Internet Archive, under a different link), so I’m re-posting it here so hopefully it’ll be easier to find in future.

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Paul Simonon’s Bass

This image popped up in my feed this morning:

It’s the kind of image that immediately makes you want to know the back story.

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Andy Gill : Gang of Four, Chili Peppers, Killing Joke, more… : TapeOp Interview

Archived from Tape Op interview here


Sometimes you get to meet people who were your heroes back when you were a teen. The first time a 16-year-old me heard Gang of Four, a “post punk” band from Leeds, England, the directness of the vocals, the taut rhythm section and slashing, stuttering guitars of Andy Gill made a huge and lasting impression. To be sitting in Andy Gill’s personal recording studio (in the Beauchamp Building, London) nearly 30 years later and finding him to be an engaging and interesting person was a treat. Not only is Andy an inspiring guitarist, but along the way he became a producer — not only with Gang of Four, but also on albums with The Jesus Lizard, The Futureheads, Michael Hutchence, Killing Joke, Red Hot Chili Peppers, We Are Standard, Asyl, Detlef Zoo, The Stranglers and The Young Knives.

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RIP Andy Gill

Over the last few days I’ve been down a rabbit hole of reading interviews with various post-punk guitarists. A Keith Levine interview would lead me to one on Rowland S. Howard, which in turn would take me to Gang of Four, and on and on…

Then this morning I woke to the news that Andy Gill had passed away. I didn’t find Gang of Four until years after Entertainment! had been released, but his choppy, brittle, chaos-bubbling-beneath-the-surface guitar playing and his resolute vision of what the band was, and just as importantly, what they were not going to be, had a big impact on me. (more…)

Disable Fireworks Screensaver in Launchpad Mini

The Launchpad Mini has a “feature” where if it is receiving power over the USB connection, but the computer is off, it will display a kaleidoscopic light pattern on the pads. I’ve seen this variously referred to as Fireworks mode, Vegas mode, or most ironically, Sleep mode.

According to Novation tech support, the solution to this is either to unplug the Mini, or edit your machine’s BIOS to stop it providing power to the USB devices when turned off, neither of which seemed very satisfactory to me, but in the absence of any other solution, I’ve been unplugging it after each shutdown.

Eventually I got jack of this, so I did a bit of digging around and found a partial solution. (more…)

Crackling and Popping when using ReaTune in Reaper

TL;DR – If you’re experiencing crackling and popping in Reaper when you have ReaTune on a track, check that you don’t still have the track Record Armed. .

I was recording vocals into a project in Reaper recently, and even while I was singing I knew I missed a couple of notes. These were just scratch vocals that would be replaced later by someone who can actually achieve those notes, so after a couple of takes I decided to drop in ReaTune to tighten them up so I could get on with the rest of the track.

Just running the audio through ReaTune, even before adjusting anything, I could hear all sorts of crackling and popping in the audio. WTF?

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1966 Fender Mustang Restoration: Restoring the Pickguard

As I detailed last time, I discovered the pickguard had at least two layers of paint. The thick green layer on top and what appeared to be red spraypaint underneath. I hoped that under all of that was the original white tortoiseshell pickguard, but I wasn’t sure what state it was in. I feared that whoever decided it was a good idea to paint it had also decided to rough it up to help make the paint stick.

After a few hours researching online, I had no clear winner on the best way to proceed. The most common suggestion was to lightly sand my way down through the layers and then buff out any scratches afterward. This made me very nervous, so wanted to explore some other avenues first. (more…)

1966 Fender Mustang Restoration: Taking Stock

First things first, I need to see what I’ve got myself into here.

The good news is it seems reasonably complete. It’s missing one pickup cover, one tuning peg, and the tremelo arm, but otherwise everything else is there. Too early to declare how much of it is original, but we’ll uncover that as we go.

The fretboard seems in reasonable condition with only a little wear. Still very playable. I can’t see any signs of a refret, but if it has been, it was a very good job. I suspect maybe the paint job is an old one and it hasn’t been played much since…can’t imagine why 🙂 (more…)

1966 Fender Mustang Restoration

It might be hard to believe, but this is a 1966 Fender Mustang.

What’s that? You don’t think Fender were doing black bodies and surf green scratch plates in 1966? I think you’re right.

At some stage in the years between leaving Fender and being rescued by me, someone has taken to it with a paintbrush and “updated” it.  I came across it a couple of years ago, almost overlooking it given the dodgy colours. Pretty much on the spot I decided it needed to be put back to its original state. (more…)

Stone Roses, Fools Gold and John Squire in the Cupboard

Great SOS article on The Stone Roses in the studio with John Leckie recording Fool’s Gold. I thought this quote explained a lot about both the quality of the guitar work on the first album and also the time taken to release the second album:

“John Squire always had his Fostex 16-track recorder in the tape cupboard at the back of the studio, and after we’d gone home he would sit there with headphones and work out all his parts,” says John Leckie. “He always did that, right through ‘Fool’s Gold’, up until the second album.

In fact, part of the reason for the breakdown of that second album was that John would sit in his bedroom with the Fostex while the rest of us waited in the studio for his guitar parts. He wouldn’t improvise or make something up in the studio, but he got to the stage where he was really good. For instance, on ‘Bye Bye Badman’ there’s a guitar that plays all the way through — a kind of counter-lead line, going through a Leslie — and I remember him playing that in about half an hour. However, we had to wait four days for that before he came out of the cupboard.”

Full article here.

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