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the smart electronic noise zine
issue 3 July 2002



Words from Audiobot Central

Creative Demons : A discussion with Kaden
Don't let it control you : Mastering addiction
Cybotron : A discussion with Rik Davis
Review : Fruity Loops 3.55
Texture Mapping : Chatting with Richard Di Santo

How to Subscribe


< Words from Audiobot Central >

  Changes, changes, changes! Yes, Sonic Noodle Soup is
undergoing some administrative changes for the better, which
means that I have an easier job every month and I can chase up
those obscure (and hopefully) interesting articles and
interviews for y'all. We now have a swanky new website, , kindly provided
by Mr Eel and the Metem Krew.  There you can read about what we
do, subscribe to the zine and even take a gander at previous
issues! If you dig new independent electronic music, go visit
the Metem Krew at

Audiobot Steve

< RetroTeChnoFunkAnoOdleHoUseMusiC >

Created to clear dance floors at the end of the night, Digeridoo
by Richard 'Aphex Twin' James was a structured descent into
noise and BPM madness. The single was backed by the lovely
'Analogue Bubblebath' - a world away from the mad fluttery beats
and flanged synthetic swirls of tweakbox digitaldigeridoo,
typical of his penchant for the hardcore/softcore approach to
music making. Like eating wet concrete and blunt steel tacks for


/Creative Demons : A discussion with Kaden

  I have long been a fan of the music of Kaden and I have even
had the pleasure of re interpreting one of his many pieces. He
produces dark tribal ambience and soundscapes that bathe the
brain in polychromatic fluids. An established and life long
musician, Kaden fills every piece with intelligent musicality
and fine detail. What follows is a discussion I had with him
and, I think you'll agree, contains some fascinating insights
into the creative process.

SNS: How would you best describe the musical entity that is

KADEN: I approach music rather like I approach life; pay
attention and you'll find something to learn, and something to
say. The key point is to understand both what you're doing, and
*why* you're doing it. It's an approach that works on a lot of
levels, and fosters a kind of 'awareness of purpose' that (for
me, anyway) makes it easier to find a focal point. I've been a
working musician for 25 years, playing an insane variety of
music and instruments, from bass in C&W bands  to drumming in
ridiculously complex prog-rock ensembles. Every situation has
left me with *some* indelibly imprinted musical truth that
becomes part of my core creative vocabulary. When you apply some
of these lessons out of context there's a result that's
totally unexpected, but ultimately understandable, which gives
you both a new creative tool, and a somewhat deeper (or wider)
insight into 'how creativity works'. Musically, as with life,
I'm also a fairly ardent advocate of 'first principle
knowledge'; learn and understand the *very* basics of a subject,
then teach yourself the rest. I learn useful things every
day of my life, and I teach myself useful things every day of my
life, musically and otherwise. The more you know, and the
more you understand *about* what you know, the easier it is to
get what you hear out of your head and into the real world.
Yup, I think too much; whenever that gets to be a problem, I'll
figure out a way to insert some form of randomness into the
process, then see where that goes.

I'll use whatever's available as equipment; I've been a
*complete* gearhead at some points in my life, and been forced to
make instruments out of things I haul out of dumpsters at other
times. Both circumstances are perfectly ok with me. I've
never, however, been a gear *snob*...those guys make me laugh
hysterically. There's small but vocal contingents of them on a
lot of message boards sneering at anything not done on
absolutely current and needlessly expensive gear, which leads me
to ask 'how on earth do they *ever* tolerate listening to
material recorded last month, or even worse, last year?'.
Interestingly, most of 'em would happily relinquish possession
of several internal organs to own things like minimoogs (won't
stay in tune for love or money, no midi, monophonic, no memory,
no presets) and 303's (see previous, and NOISY), but if
someone else uses them it's 'That's sooo '80s, man...I'm on the
cutting edge, myself...', then they slot a sample CD of Clyde
Stubblefield drum loops and use their state-of-the-art-gear to
piece together other people's performances from the '60's into
their 'cutting edge' material. The mind boggles. I used to love
going on stage when I was in D.V.O.A. with Mark Spybey from
Download...his instruments are a bunch of Fisher-Price Toys, a
microphone, a cheap Roland multi-effects box and a mackie
mixer. He records all the material on a cassette 4 track, and
it's immaculately produced, stunningly innovative material,
because he's taken the time to learn every quirky detail of his
equipment. Timeless music from timeless gear, kinda.

SNS: People are often so keen on categorising music that some
stuff gets lost in the shuffle. When I listen to your material I
feel that it is rooted in something other than the typical
Kraftwerk proto techno base. It seems to me that you owe a
larger debt to pioneers like Roedelius and Eno.

KADEN: My affection for Roedelius is pretty well documented, but
truth be known, my influences (from a noise/dark ambient
standpoint) actually go back to Pierre Schaeffer and the entire
Musique Concrete movement, which was the first serious
application of heavily manipulated audio samples and electronic
sound sources as a form of musical expression. Digital
waveform manipulation and editting is a natural technological
evolution from the early days of splicing blocks, found sound
sources and insanely misused tube technology. Back then the
composers/performers seemed more like middle aged high school
physics teachers with horn rimmed glasses, cardigans and
sensible ties as they hunched over tables crammed with heavily
modified Ham Radio equipment coaxing (at the time) revolutionary
noises out of seemingly thin air. Take that attitude and
collide it head on with Harry Partch's approach to home-made
instruments/home made music theory and you have a pretty
irresistable set of influences for a technically inclined young
lad in the early '70's... Then I tripped over free jazz on
the way to a rehearsal in a King Crimson cover band and realized
I didn't actually want ANY restrictions on what music was to
me. 30 years later I've been fortunate enough to accumulate what
seems like several lifetimes worth of ensemble experience in
wildly diverse situations from country to prog to just plain
weird. Every situation was educational, and ultimately
inspirational. Except for playing bass in a country band, which
pretty much has nothing to recommend it other than
unbelievable amounts of free drinks. That isolated instance
aside, when you start with *basic* musical knowledge apply that
knowledge in non-mainstream contexts as a matter of course, then
any *other* musical experience you gain takes on unexpected
meaning when viewed through that skewed context. I'm awestruck
by the beauty and passion that people like Schaeffer,
Roedelius, and Michael Rother (to name a few) can evoke, but I
have no desire to emulate them slavishly. I'm just a small
explorer assembling little pathways towards creativity from
whatever fragments present themselves. Technique wise, I'll study
whatever I can lay my hands on, just to understand various
processes...the 'why', rather than the 'how', but inspiration and
creativity...muse, I suppose, just *happen*, based on the sum of
my experiences, and the context I place them in.

SNS: There is a lot of tension and release in your work, very
finely structured. When I create soundscapes I find that the
hardest thing to achieve is to place each sound or layer into a
reasonable context so that the listener does not experience
jarring anachronism. When you compose, how do you stay on top of
the mix and place the sounds in context?

KADEN: There's always a story, and usually, a minds-eye visual.
There's plots, a cast of characters, a beginning, and an end.
Once you have that, it's actually pretty simple; be mindful of
the relative pitches of non-traditional sound sources, keep a
spectrum analyzer open as much as possible so you know how your
over-all frequency balance is accumulating, and try to
audition each new voice in context of every other voice 1 on 1,
as well as capo de tutti. If you're paying attention you'll
find where each voice and section is most effective, and why.
Method acting for audio samples, kinda. Think about your cast,
and don't be afraid to audition a thousand hopefuls for even a
bit part. If all your voices are *effective* and technically
sound by themselves, you're half way there. Don't toss in a
compromise sound source and tell yourself 'I'll fix it in the
mix'; there's a *real* old studio term for that...'polishing
turds'. Having spent far too much time during my callow youth
trying to do just that I can state with absolute authority that
polishing turds only results in glossy shit. You've been
warned. At one time I'm a pretty fervent advocate of T-Racks
mastering software, but I gotta confess, the Izotope plugin
mastering module has been sounding better and better every time
I try it. Yup, mastering is an art, and a true artiste in the
field can work wonders, but *anyone* can get a perfectly
reasonable sounding master through the K.I.S.S. principal, with
just a bit of low end compression and some EQ tweezing until
there's hint of a smile on the frquency graph, provided they paid
attention throughout the production process, and had quality
source material in the first place. It ain't rocket science,
kids, no matter how hard folks try to convince you otherwise.

SNS: Thanks Kaden!

IF you would like to listen to the work of Kaden, please visit:
If you are at all interested in Dark Tribal Ambient soundscapes
and detailed music, I strongly suggest that you check him out.
You can also find his homepage here:
Dark Music for Dark Times


/Don't let it control you : Mastering addiction

  There was a time when I had no idea about mastering at all. To
me, it was a fantastical final process that only experts and
engineers knew about. Then came the time when I started to
experiment with programs like T racks and a whole new world
opened up to me. For a long time it was a world that imprisoned
me. But no more! Today I stand up and get back to actually
making music!
  You see, I was an ardent admirer of that early nineties bleep
and bass Sheffield scene. My walls would shake with the cthonic
pulse of sub sub bass, low frequency monsters pioneered by the
likes of LFO and Baby Ford. I never knew that a growling 10hz
wallshaker could kill an amp until one day I sent a sample to a
friend and it browned out his system. That was when I learned
that bass could kill.
  After that traumatic event, mastering became a growing
obsession. I'd sometimes spend hours slaving over a piece,
dropping squirly bits of treble, cutting bass and tiring my
ears. My music production decreased and I went back over old
tracks constantly, searching for the perfect final mix: the one
that would stand out and gleam. Of course, that finality never
came. I was never entirely happy with the end results and this
formed my prison. That's when the instinct to attain perfection
takes control and, as a result, raw creativity degrades.
  I think independent music producers often have the hardest
job. After all, we need to be writers, composers and engineers
all at once. We don't have the money, the time or the flashy
team of producers behind us to generate that pristine mix.
That's not to suggest it's impossible of course. Some bedroom
mavens are very skilled indeed.
  I've now decided that it's healthier to explore my music
rather than to spend hours sweating over the details. We are
supposed to be making music right? My sage advice is to step
back from the process once in a while and relinquish some
control, otherwise the details will control you.


/Cybotron : A discussion with Rik Davis

  When Cybotron released the LP 'Enter' on the Fantasy record
label in 1983, the music world could never have imagined what
impact it would have on contemporary electronic music. Splicing
tech noir, paranoia, apocalyptic vision and electro, Cybotron
managed to capture the essence of a city in flux and an
uncertain future.
  Of course, now it all seems so obvious, looking back: Rik
Davis and Juan Atkins, Cybotron collaborators, carved out their
own highly specific niche. After this album, Juan Atkins went
solo as Model 500 and developed his own sound, Rik Davis
continuing as Cybotron. I had the good fortune to get in touch
with Rik and our highly individual discussion follows...

SNS: Hi Rik, Thank you for your time. Anyone who has studied the
early history of Techno and Electro would be aware of the
formation and music of Cybotron. At that time you had partnered
with Juan Atkins and had been signed to Fantasy records, at
which time you created and released the seminal 'Enter' album.
Clearly, the philosphy behind it was very futurist and seemed
like the US answer to Kraftwerk. What creative steps led you to
this point and were you aware at the time that the sound you
were carving out was quite unique and would have such an impact?

CYBOTRON: Futurist? Futurism without spiritual sight is artistic
and intellectual suicide, Picasso, and Dali were both futurists,
but abandoned the dead end of mindless futurism for the warm God
inspired depths of surrealism and neo cubism, where they could
paint with social and religious iconography and
thus effect change in society. They could resist anarchy and
fascism, two things which go hand in hand! No great musical
personality has failed to produce his solemnity, or songs of
praise and wonder, or to take his portion of victory over the
Beast... Therefore the essence of "Enter" is "APOCALYPTIC" not
Futurist. Kraftwerk bores me! With its mindless and
soulless repetitive beats! With its lack of lyrical content. I
found Ultra Vox, with their "Rage in Eden" approach far more
stimulating, and closer to the goal of "CELESTIAL MUSE". As far
as sound goes, this is irrelevant. If you approach music on that
basis you will end up as out of style as "black face
minstrelism". The King of the Judeo-Christian musical matrix is
David, or Da'ood as he is called by the Koranists. He left
behind NO SOUND! Only lyrics! This is the soul of all musics!
Whoever departs from celestial order into chaos, shall perish in
his own juices and gall. Impact means nothing! Everything on the
radio has impact in the loony bin of popularity. Where
everything has impact, nothing has real impact! But in short
time becomes irrelevant as it degenerates into fading mass
memory and becomes white noise... This is the first century of
recorded media!

SNS: What was it like working with Juan?

CYBOTRON: Juan is talented, but adverse to the guitar. And
ensnared in the contradiction of "Step time" and the quick fix
of "The turntable". Which I have no interest in at all. I must
have the Keyboard synth and the lyrical device! The vast sci fi
synth texture, soaring legato, syrup thick, mocking the pimp
inspired lies of the gangsta mind!

SNS: Obviously, since that time there have been countless
evolutions of electronic and Techno music. How have you viewed
that evolution.

CYBOTRON: Electronic Music is Subotnik!, Tomita, Larry Fast,
Carlos etc. The acoustic maestros trapped the proto electronic
musicians at the slaughter of the "Ars Electronica"... They had
to deny the synth a place in the classical halls, so as to
ensure the continuation of the slavery of the orthodox
symphonia! And to prevent "New Masters."
Techno Died with "Rage in Eden"... When the mindless pimps who
controlled the lie of radio pop and the suicide by drugs and
aids "night clubs", decided they would have no mention of God
interupting their orgies. They died by the tens of thousands
horribly! More kids died of anal copulation and pop drugs than
died in Viet Nam. I am "TEKNO" this is my religion. I am
"CYBER" this is my Art!

SNS: So, the message of Cybotron is essentially apocalyptic in
nature? That is, it represents a message of divinity, opposed to
the workings of the music industry at large?

CYBOTRON: The "music industry" has as it's goal the exploitation
of the creative, and the public. I cannot be concerned with
that. It shall die and the men in it shall die but the artistic
remains. It is corrupt but the artist, it's victim remains pure.
The divine? Look here...

"As I slice through your TOWERS of glass and adamantine steel...

To which of your Las Vegas Gods will you appeal?...

Traces of cosmic lies on your blood stained path..

And I'm not the kind to sell out cuz I understand the new

Rik Davis "Final Fantasy" from the album "Cyber Ghetto" circa

Futurism was a delusion of the pre world war 2 Bolsheviks.
Apocalypse means revelation of truth. Futurism died under the
heel of Stalinism and fascism. The world of Reaganic neofuturism
died with the collapse of the twin towers of Babel dude. In
Afghanistan, all music was banned by the Taliban, all tek was
suppressed, the only book allowed in school was the Koran. TV was
banned! This is the fate that the Marxist trained Anti-Tek
worldwide Muslim conspiracy, would have us go to! We are in the
Jihad right now. Toffler never foresaw this, but the
Apocalyptians did! The same people have now slain and
seek to slay all those who do not follow their divine view. But
the cleansing of the hives will overtake them as well as the
agents of chaos! As it always does.

SNS: I have often thought that the dark side of electronic
music, especially the sensation obsessed club side of it, has
the potential to unlock the robot inside of us and diminish our
capacity for critical thought. The beat box has been turned into
a money making device. But I also believe that independent music
and Internet distribution represents a revolutionary
element that might catalyse new change. What are your thoughts
on these possibilities?

CYBOTRON: The beat box is an instrument as any other, but where
everyone is an artist, there is no art! The club scene is a
mindless orgy of disposable music and hedonistic delusion! There
is not a single club that shall not utterly perish and become a
ruin. Anyone who bases his life and energy in the clubs shall
likewise be destroyed. No one can hold on to style in the
clubs! There is no thought in the clubs, only "the Fuck", and
the club owner is getting all the action, not you!

SNS: I just have to ask you out of curiosity, what is your
studio setup like? Do you have any preference for software based

CYBOTRON: I prefer Korg and ensonique, and roland synths, a PC
with MOTU 24bit modules, Cubase... Trinity, no turntables... I
think you deceive yourself when you call yourself performing at
a fake soiree like "the Detroit Electronic Music festival" and
you bring turntables, what is the diff between Detroit Techno
and hip hop?

SNS: What is the next step for Cybotron?

CYBOTRON: Desk top "Cyber Videos", Internet movies, Neo art
forms. Hip hop and mindless techno beats have killed the record
thing.. Michael Jackson's "Invincible" cost 30 million dollars
to make! People are downloading the music for free because the
music is disposable, it's all so meaningless. We must evolve
into a form that will be believed in, collectable, and also non

SNS: Thank you for your time.

To find out more about Cybotron, visit the website:
Free movies, metamystics, Cybotron vids
or to hear some tunes, visit


/Review : Fruity Loops 3.55

  Fruity Loops remains a very popular program. Its beatbox
styled interface and snappy tools have been a hit with PC music
makers since version 1 and the programmers of FL always seem to
pack in a bunch of new stuff everytime they release a new
version. I received my registration info a few days ago and
eagerly downloaded the fruit flavoured beast...
  So what's new in Fruity land? OK, as you'd expect, the
interface is the same, with minor tweaks to the beat matrix
resulting in a smoother look. Of course, most of the tweaks are
under the hood, so let's take a peek...
  Fruity now supports the DXi let's see, that
means that it now supports VST, DX, VSTi and DXi...excuse me
while I add in a few exclamation marks here !!! This makes for
one big package. Most of the VST instruments I tried out seemed
to work just fine. I don't have too many DX instruments, but the
Pro 52 seemed to work OK.
  Have you ever wanted to make Fruity talk? Well, the creative
bods at Fruit land have now added a text to speech engine. It's
a feature you need to drag and drop from the left hand explorer
column, which is a bit awkward I think. However, once you open
up the speech box, you can type in whatever you want, make it
sound breathy and robotically sexy or just plain monotone and
then you can save it as a preset. Very nice indeed, although I
fear that we will now be assaulted with waves of Fruity
sequenced trance stompers sporting speech juvenilia like 'Get
your ass on tha dancefloor'...
  For all you analog drum machine fans, now included is the
'Fruit Kick' - a sweet little plugin with parameters like
'click' and 'dist' that is tweakable and can output some solid
sounding bass kicks. There is also the 'Drumsynth Live', a demo
only, but it does look cool.
  One plug I just have to mention is the 'Fruity Granulizer'...a
kind of grain based, stuttering, morphing audio troll...just
chuck in a wave sample and start using the knobs provided and in
no time you'll have a shaky, sputtering instrument. Most
  So far I have not encountered any bugs, but I have installed
it alongside version 3.4 just in case. The 'What's New' docs do
mention that there could be some compatibility problems with
older version files, so I stepped on the side of caution and so
far have had no troubles.
  The biggest gripe I have with Fruity Loops is the fact that
it's difficult to compose in. Those old step sequencers were a
pain to program anyway, so why base a whole software program on
the concept in the first place? Software should be about ease of
use. Still, they aint gonna change this for me. This is what
Fruity Loops is all about...a beatbox with cool bells and
whistles. Definitely worth the upgrade for fans though!


/Texture Mapping : Chatting with Richard Di Santo

  Richard Di Santo is the digital curator of - a
website dedicated to uncovering experimental forms of art. I
recently had the pleasure of chatting with him...

SNS: The first thing that strikes me about the Incursion site is
the close relationship between the visual artspace and the
musicspace. The implication seems to be that there is a definite
link between visual texture and audio texture. How do you see
this relationship?

RDS: Essentially, the music review and the gallery exist
independent of each other, and seem to run on parallel lines,
never meeting on the same ground.
For me, this implication of a link between visual and sound art
is not an integral element of the site in its present form. Of
course I don't mean that this link isn't there - far from it -
rather that it is not necessarily a dialogue being initiated in
these pages at the moment.
When I started Incursion just over two years ago I had never
really imagined that there would be a visual artspace. At that
time the emphasis was first and foremost on the music review,
and the next phase was going to be a forum for literary theory
and experiments in narrative form. It was the connection
between text and sound, between narrative and musical
structures, between the author-composer and reader-listener
which interested me, and is still something I am exploring in
other arenas. The gallery came almost by accident (a happy
accident nonetheless), on our first anniversary. The forum
for literary experiments is still imminent.

SNS: What does Incursion seek to do?

RDS: At Incursion, the emphasis has always been on experimenting
with known forms. The first and most prominent feature of the
site is the Incursion Music Review, published every two weeks,
with a focus on experimental music and sound art. We know that a
music review will never replace the experience of listening, so
when writing we don't presume to be able to anticipate each
listener's response. We simply try to capture something of the
essence of each work, inspire the reader's interest, draw out
some points and keep still other qualities hidden in order to be
discovered by others. On our first anniversary we developed the
Incursion Gallery, an online artspace showcasing a selection of
works by a small group of visual artists. There are no
academics, commentaries or theories in the gallery; it is simply
a series of 'rooms' with images on the walls. The future will
see a wider trajectory of interests and pursuits being explored
on the site, but these plans are still under wraps for the

SNS: Would it be fair to say that the music review is not
strictly focussed on one particular form of music? I get the
feeling that you are more interested in new and experimental
forms of sound and structure. There is almost a real sense of
'futurism' here.

RDS: It is true that I am most interested in experimental forms,
in projects that don't always fit into a specific genre,
tradition or school of thought, but not exclusively. It's all
about breaking the moulds we know all too well, about trying new
things, about having original ideas about sound and composition
and expressing them in compelling forms.

SNS: In reading discussions with I8U, Taylor Deupree and others,
there is a real exploration of the granular detail and timbre of
sound; analysis at the subatomic level of noise. Do you think
that the increasing use of electronics has enabled this
intellectualisation of music?

RDS: The use of electronics in music has certainly changed our
vocabulary when it comes to taking about music, but I don't
think it has changed critical approaches all too much. We still
have a pair of ears and a brain with which to receive these
sounds and at the most basic level we respond to electronic
sound in the same way that we might respond to acoustic sound.

SNS: Thank you for your time Richard.

RDS: Thanks very much Steve!

If you would like to check out the Incursion art gallery and
music review, please plug this into your browser:



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Edits by Steve the noise munching Audiobot
ASCII art and web design by the incomparable Mr Eel
Thanx to Kaden Harris, Rik Davis and Richard Di Santo
Kindly sponsored by the Metem Krew
Produced using Ziney

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