electronica Archive

Rad Lab: Doug McKechnie and the Moog Model III (Part Three)

Continued from Part Two … You’ve said – only half joking, I’d guess — that the main goal of the San Francisco Radical Lab was attracting women. Well, it wasn’t much more than that. And I came up with the name “San Francisco Radical Laboratories.” At the time, one of the things that I was

Rad Lab: Doug McKechnie and the Moog Model III (Part Two)

Continued from Part One … The Moog Model III didn’t come with a manual. How much was it hit-or-miss to develop the sounds that you wanted? Well, I pretty much grasped immediately what a high/low pass filter was. Because, in my lecture demonstration, with the microphone and my mouth, I would do exactly the same

Rad Lab: Doug McKechnie and the Moog Model III (Part One)

In the late 1960s, Doug McKechnie and his roommate launched the San Francisco Radical Lab, an experimental endeavor launched (in part, as you’ll read) to explore the capabilities of the then new and novel Moog Model III modular synthesizer. The Lab had one of the earliest of that instrument, with the serial number 004. Now

Doug McKechnie’s ‘San Francisco Moog: 1968-1972’

In the late ’60s, the Moog modular synthesizer was still very much an experimental tool. While there had been some ambitious attempts to use the Moog as the centerpiece of recordings — Mort Garson’s 1967 LP The Zodiac: Cosmic Sounds was likely the first album to feature the synthesizer prominently — “serious” use of the

Album Review: Halou – Albatross (Deluxe Edition)

For a time in the 1990s, trip hop was a musical sensation. In some ways an outgrowth of the brief lounge/exotica craze, trip hop (also known as chillwave) owed at least as much to the Neue Deutsche Welle (New German Wave) movement of the ‘80s. But as its name suggests, trip-hop folded in a hip-hop

For Orgatroid, The ‘Future’ is Now

Electronic music is sometimes unfairly characterized as cold, sterile and lacking in emotion. But the music of Orgatroid – an Asheville duo of Jason Daniello and Jeffrey Richards – is none of those things. Created almost completely from electronic elements, the music benefits from the very non-electronic backgrounds of the pair of musicians who make

Dan Lacksman: The Electronic System Man

This feature appeared previously in Synth and Software. — bk This pioneering synthesist has worked with Bowie, Dolby, Deep Forest, and Kraftwerk’s Florian Schneider on what could be his final project. Daniel Lacksman was one of the first musicians in Belgium to own a synthesizer; he bought an EMS VCS3 in 1970. As a studio

Album Review: Martin Denny — Exotic Moog

Introduced in the middle 1960s, Dr. Robert A. Moog’s invention – the Moog Modular synthesizer – changed the musical landscape. Groundbreaking releases like Switched on Bach made it plain that the formidable instrument was more than a cold mass of technology, more than a gimmick. But that didn’t stop a rush of artists charging into

Album Review: Stereospread — Beautiful Noise

Jumping ahead of critics who might apply their own subjective labels to the band’s music, Asheville-based Stereospread has taken on the task itself, calling the sounds it makes “indietronica.” Launched in 2012 by James Hopkins and Sara Snyder Hopkins, Stereospread is a pop-leaning duo. The pair’s debut recording was a 2015 EP, Come Back Home.

Album Review: VIA — Vessels of Sound, Vol. 2: Morse

Originally based in Lubbock, Texas but now settled in Asheville, VIA is a shoegaze/electronic, sort-of-but-not-quite-instrumental band. At its core, VIA is instrumentalist Steven Gaona and vocalist/songwriter Karen Austin. At least in a live context, the duo includes drummer Dylan Jenkins, but no mention is made in any of the group’s press materials or social media