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Dropping Acid (logicmag.io)
390 points by wglb 52 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 134 comments



For awhile when I was younger I played the game of listen to an album then look up who influenced it, rinse and repeat. Found real gems this way, but along these lines I never found the track in this article. It's really good and it reminds me of E2-E4 [1] [2] by Manuel Göttsching. Which I found because the guy from LCD Soundsystem is quoted in the wikipedia article that when he did 45:33 that he wanted to make something like "E2-E4". [3] [4]

Neither of which sound like A Love Supreme [5] [6] by John Coltrane but I always associated them in my mind as a kind of their own kinda thing in music's past.

Posting for no other reason than that maybe you'll like these too.

[1] https://youtu.be/ys0HyevZpQg

[2] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/E2-E4

[3] https://youtu.be/72-ebRSMJdE

[4] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/45%3A33

[5] https://youtu.be/ll3CMgiUPuU

[6] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Love_Supreme


Seems like you really know your house. Not sure if you're musically inclined but if so the OP-1 is a great tool[1][2]. If you ever make it to nyc hit me up, I know James well and I'm sure he'd enjoy your thoughts around E2-E4.

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDqThYqldBI [2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umatbZ0n4mE


Heh looks like this thread blew up. Really feels like community to just post a couple of my favorite tracks before bed and come back to all of this. Both the OP-1 links and the nyc offer are really great, thanks. Looks like a lot of fun.

Two of my other favs in this constellation of things are Walking on Thin Ice [1] [2] [3] by Yoko Ono which includes guitar and keyboard from John Lennon recorded as his last recorded creative act right before he was shot. Lots of people don't like Yoko but I don't care, this song is a great dancehall hit and that Lennon guitar solo at the end really gets me.

The other is Where You Go I Go Too [4] [5] by Lindstrøm which is more modern but unfolds as a singular kind of piece that was apparently toiling to make, listening to all thirty minutes each time he made a change. It's my favorite of his and has it's own unique sound but he's since said because it was such a grueling process that he won't make another like it.

I'm done and this can fade away. Glad y'all enjoyed these. Thanks for the notes to those who reached out to me.

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzV7FiuDYKo

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walking_on_Thin_Ice

[3] https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/john-lennon-th...

[3] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4I4rQRJI4l4

[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Where_You_Go_I_Go_Too


I ordered the op1 back in August and haven't received it yet. But I just picked up the opz last week and it's completely blown my mind, surpassed all my expectations by a considerable margin, and proven to be my go-to subway entertainment. I intend to listen to all these tracks at work tomorrow, If you have any more in an organized list somewhere I'd love to hear it. I've recently become completely obsessed with house and I can't get enough.


I don't have a more organized list, I just youtube around when I'm bored. Here is a cool thing though: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhFIUdICYSA


Would you call that house where you're from? I think most people in the UK would pretty quickly say the Göttsching and LCD Soundsystem tracks are techno, and the Phuture track in the article is straight up acid techno. House tends to be lighter, slightly slower and more euphoric, e.g. this I would call acid house: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFhxpMnfHB0

I'm intrigued because I knew an American at uni who insisted that almost all electronic music counted as "techno".


Göttsching is krautrock - a terrible but accepted name for the pre-techno synthesizer scene that formed in Berlin in the late 60s and became popular in most of Europe (not so much Germany) in the 70s.

The biggest names on the scene were Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream, Göttsching was in a peripheral band called Ashra Tempel but also played drums for Schulze. The less famous names on the scene - Roedelius, Cluster, Conny Schnitlzer - influenced Brian Eno's ambient music when he went over to Berlin to produce Low for Bowie.

As for techno vs house - the big difference is the rhythm pattern. Techno is square and on the grid, house feels like it has some swing and the beat is "skippier" with offbeats, anticipations, and sometimes triplets.


> Techno is square and on the grid, house feels like it has some swing and the beat is "skippier" with offbeats, anticipations, and sometimes triplets

E.g.

Marshall Jefferson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAR8cq5Bl94

Jeff Mills: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFlzl2IhFx4


> the big difference is the rhythm pattern. Techno is square and on the grid, house feels like it has some swing and the beat is "skippier" with offbeats, anticipations, and sometimes triplets.

I think I could easily find a dozen examples from both genres that don't match your description... :)

BPM is the best indicator. Most house is slower, most techno is faster.


> BPM is the best indicator. Most house is slower, most techno is faster.

I'd also add that techno can be traditionally "darker" and "heavier" whereas house is usually a little more "sensual" and "groovy". As always, counterpoints can be found, but these are general orientations :)


With tropical house being on the rise, I find it really blurry if it's techno or house with the more pop-y stuff these days, especially the funky/disco vibes coming out of the Paris scene right now.


I'd say either Berlin school or kosmische musik is a better name than krautrock, if only cause it's more specific. Though it's all under the krautrock umbrella anyway. At least I usually see Berlin school as the descriptor for that kind of synth music.


Just to add to the lineage conversation; Derrick May released a remix of Sueno Latino in 1992. It was based on E2 - E4. Derrick May also played Exit by Tangerine Dream on a BBC radio 6 set a few years ago which he said was a big influence on him.


House originally started out with a faster tempo around 130 BMP which then slowed to 120 BPM over time. The acid sound has more to do with the squelched bass sound produced by the synths being discussed here. So your sample is acid house, just at a slower tempo which wasn't as common with the earlier samples.


Most early house songs were ~120BPM. This includes:

Frankie Knuckles - Your Love, Jesse Saunders - On and On, Mr. Fingers - Can You Feel It, Marshal Jefferson - Move Your Body (The House Music Anthem)


>I think most people in the UK would pretty quickly say the Göttsching and LCD Soundsystem tracks are techno

Göttsching is indeed techno.

>and the Phuture track in the article is straight up acid techno.

In those days the term used for that style was "acid house". It then turned into various sub-genres (rave, trance, etc). Acid techno is a later name for later genre.


Does anyone else find the amount of sub-genres in electronic music excessive?


I've often said the same thing. I think when there are too many, it's not useful (though in some very real sense, every artist is its own genre), but of course one genre is useless too. Some people say "why have any genres at all", but as someone who's tried to explore musical connections where I haven't been able to find established genre names -- like between old folk music from some smaller countries, or the continuum of music featuring accordions, horns (especially trumpet and clarinet), acoustic guitars/lutes, and strings that goes from Russia down to Turkey and beyond -- it can be really painful to find related music and artists without good genres.

The trick is a good balance, and I personally find that electronic music and metal (as another poster mentioned) have genres that are often too small for my purposes.


As someone who used to listen to a lot of metal: no.


To some degree, but no more than, say, the number of lisp-based programming languages or flavours of linux =].

In my mind it's something to explore rather than balk at. If you find something amazing like you've never heard before, then looking at the genre can help you to discover more things like it.


I know that quite a few of them were invented as a joke among music journalists over a Friday pint.


Only those lame llama-steampunk-subjitter-dub-foxtrot fans...


After wanting an OP-1 for years I finally got ahold of an OP-1 used for a decent price.

It’s an absolutely amazing device but I probably wouldn’t suggest it so someone as a first synth purchase.

Prior to buying it I got a Novation Circuit and then a Digitakt.

The Circuit is a far less expensive device (can be had for 200-300) and is very flexible.

It fits into a similar realm as an OP-1 (jambox)


Only reason I suggested OP-1 was I googled and saw he studies physics at Princeton, for some reason I figured he'd be a good candidate for an OP, hehe. :D


I can vouch for the OP-1, it's a super fun synth, expensive, but totally worth it. No other device makes it as fun and easy to just sit down and jam out a track.


Great, jonesing for a thousand dollar device now. Is there an iOS app that does something akin to the OP-1?


for a little bit more "toyish" Figure is simple, intuitive and fun to push to the limits:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/figure-make-music-beats/id51...


> For awhile when I was younger I played the game of listen to an album then look up who influenced it, rinse and repeat. Found real gems this way, [..]

I liked to play a similar game: Digging up the original songs that were the source of samples. Found real gems this way too.


Thank you for introducing E2-E4 to my life. As a fellow crate-digger & influence trail-sniffer it feels like it's gonna jump right up there to the top of my electronic list with Selected Ambient Works.


E2-E4 was a breakthrough. It's descendent of the Berlin school of electronic music of the 70's. It's difficult to place that track in a genre, for me it's just electronic music. The long guitar solos of the B face is not something you will find in Acid/Dance music. It's one of the first releases of the "Inteam" record label that Klaus Schulze created after failing with his first "Innovative Communication" label. Schulze and Göttsching were exploring new musical directions there. They definitively were having fun!


The E2-E4 track was sampled in "Sueño Latino" which was an early Balearic House hit:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXhqDeTSEl4

It was remixed by Derrick May into a masterpiece:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBP6U77KnCE


Is this representative of what's on that play list? I really don't want to sign up for "yet another thing" to hear the original link.



No, none of that music sounds like acid house.


I love doing this too. Also with samples.


I really love how an obscure topic like Acid House can trend on HN and then a whole bunch of people who've been fans of that topic for years just emerge in the comments out of nowhere. It's really testament to the diversity and quality of the HN community.


And from the title I though this was about NoSQL...


I figured microdosing


Or even macro


Yeah, me too.


I've always loved that about HN, it doesn't matter how obscure the topic is, there will always be someone with first hand exposure to it, they will always add a plus to the article.


As a Midwestern raver in the 90s that was regularly in Detroit, Chicago, and Minneapolis, I love this little history and philosophy piece.

I can't quite explain the feeling of the midwestern rave scene in the 90s, but it was very racially diverse, utopian, punk, looking somehow back and forward in time at the same time enmeshed in psychedelics and psychedelia but somehow also part of both machines and cultures far older than machines. A super important part of my history.

Cyberia by Rushkoff comes closest to capturing parts of it from an anthropology perspective I think.


yah I agree those were definitely good times ;)


I was at some raves with YOU :)


Someday ill make it out to even furthur. Don't forget Intellephunk, future classic and system parties and everything in between :) The mpls scene is like the classier version of Detroit.


Even Furthur?


Yes, and it's back!


A lot of people, myself included, still love and create acid. The original 303 itself is pretty absurdly (prohibitively) expensive to acquire, and it's a tiny plastic toy and net anywhere from 2000-4000$. A case study in supply and demand - with a little bit of hype, I suppose.

There have been a bunch of pretty good software emulations, most notably: https://www.audiorealism.se/abl3.html and even some much cheaper physical emulations: https://www.cyclone-analogic.fr/en/34-bass-bot-tt-303-070198...


Roland recently reissued many of their classic synths including an updated 303. Now it’s called the TB-03 and it has a “friendly” step programming option in addition to the original crazy style:

https://www.roland.com/us/products/tb-03/


The only reason I didn't mention the tb-03 is that it is essentially a digital(software) option, whereas the TT-03 is still analog. I still think it sounds pretty good.


The TB-03 provides a fairly faithful and accurate reproduction of the TB-303's sound.

The TT-303, on the other hand, despite being "circuit identical", can sound downright weird at times (as can Roland's other "analog modeling" 303 reproduction, the TB-3)

Here is a 4 way comparison of the 4 synths I just mentioned complete with waveform visualizations:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8CAEUU_ics


Very true. The look and feel of the TB-03 is second to none though. Imho the build quality is much higher than the original 303.


Behringer are also bringing out a bunch of clones. I think they may have just released a 303 clone. Can't speak to the quality of it though. Always found Behringer kit to have a high noise floor but that was at least a decade ago so things may have changed.


Behringer is generally awful, but check out their Model D. Peter van Hoesen has an excellent review of it. It's almost a crime how good it is, considering how much cheaper it is than the Moog it's copying.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWhoakNEoKU


DinSync RE-303 is probably the most impressive. As they say "it's not a clone it's a replica". They painstakingly traced the PCB, used as much original parts as possible, and you can use the original TB-303 CPU to control it (or you can get the RE-303 CPU with their own firmware since the original is proprietary and long since out of production). Meaning you can use the project to revive a real 303 if you have to, or build your own legit 303.


Have you considered getting a x0xb0x kit? I built one of those a few years back, and the sound was pretty spot on to the original.


Xoxbox and the Cyclone ones feel very cheap. Knobs are shitty plastic. The TB-03 feels much better, lots of metal parts. As to the sound of the machines, that's a never ending discussion.


Sadly some of those parts are almost impossible to get.


Any recommendations for modern artists?


Ceephax Acid Crew - super fun(ny) bangin' acid dance beats

Aphex Twin (aka AFX, Polygon Window, Caustic Window, The Tuss and others) - insanely beautiful, engineered yet organic music, has tons of acid tracks (see 'Syro', 'Collapse', 'Analord' (afx) and Rushup Edge (The Tuss) for more recent acid stuff)


Posthuman - Mutant City Acid (https://bleep.com/release/111312-posthuman-mutant-city-acid), released a few days ago as it happens.


There's a series of EPs called Acid Test (available on Spotify) which are great. Donato Dozzy and Tin Man's collaboration is particularly good. Tin Man is another artist worth checking out.

For an alternative (more downtempo/ambient) take on how the 303 can be used (among a few other machines), check out TM404's self-titled album, and Risveglio by Alessandro Cortini


Along these lines, everything on The Bunker NY, Interdimensional Transmissions and sublabel Eye Teeth is great, these people are really pushing and evolving the sound. https://ithq.bandcamp.com/ https://eye-teeth.bandcamp.com/

I also like Luke Vibert's take on acid, more rooted in UK hardcore https://www.discogs.com/artist/253-Luke-Vibert


These are great. I love the minimalism of TM404. It sounds like something that you could come up with doodling at home and yet it's so much more too.




Artists : EOD / Shinra / Dmx Krew / Roy of the ravers / Automatic Tasty / Brainwaltzera / Rx 101

Labels : Analogical Force / CPU Record / Null+Void / mindcolormusic / WEME Record


No Plastikman mentions yet? Well here you go:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUl43l71rEM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIvM1Zgj0AI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDBcxEMHNMs

Paranoid London has been doing great stuff the last few years as well:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcgY7JNOMks

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUQjXUsgZ5E

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qd4O9cLvBgw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uh1GZifkT0

And this old Roy of the Ravers track is maybe the best acid track I've heard in a while (thanks Aphex Twin Field Day set):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqj_R4xCvN0


The mini/micro-brute by Arturia are the new cheap analog bass synths.

They combine a minimal amount of monophonic signal nodes while providing quite a lot of possibilities. The Voltage Control IOs are a bridge to Modular Acquisition Systemic Syndrome :)


Sorry I didn't mean equipment, I meant artist recommendations.


Donato Dozzy - Filo Loves The Acid

Apehx twin - Analord

Universal Indicator - Red


Another Dozzy fan on HN!

Also recommend checking his Acid Test releases. Especially Test 3, which is beautiful, but it's all amazing.


Recondite


Although weirdly preempted by an Indian record 'Ten Ragas To A Disco Beat' in 1982:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sB4RYBpwV0A

This is what "the TB-303 bass synthesizer uses [the artist] to reproduce itself" means - you really couldn't use these tools without producing this music.


Very cool. From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charanjit_Singh_(musician)

Synthesizing: Ten Ragas to a Disco Beat, an album of original electronic disco compositions Singh recorded in 1982, was a commercial failure at the time of its original release, but its re-discovery in 2002 and re-issue in early 2010 garnered attention due to its pioneering of a new style of dance music later known as the acid house genre of the late 1980s. Since then, certain commentators in the music press have recast Singh as an originator of acid house music. He also used the same drum machine and synthesizers for his experimental electronic calypso record, Experiments in Calypso.


>you really couldn't use these tools without producing this music

Well, you can use the TB-303 very consevatively, for it's original intended purpose, and it will just sound like a badly immitated regular bass guitar.


I did try that once, and found it quite a challenge. It feels like all the controls go well beyond '11' for the intended (bass line) use.


That's more or less how it was used in one of the first popular tracks to use the 303, Orange Juice - Rip it Up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESy-Z8vqMrE


It's amazing that the iconic dance/trance clap (the clap after 1:15 in Acid Tracks) was forged alongside the 303. This exact sample (or an unbelievably similar one) could be heard throughout the late 90's and still features in many tracks today. It's the Wilhelm Scream of EDM.

Acid eventually resulted in liquid trance, which eventually became psytrance. Liquid was a fantastic exploration of the nature of sound, with many types of dynamics for a single instrument. EDM receives as lot of criticism for its lack of humanity and skill (regarding playing an instrument), but the same could be said of Beethoven or Bach: they were merely creating scores for an orchestra to play. EDM can be the same type of approach, only we now have ways to explore sound that simply weren't available to the great composers.


We used sit around and joke about the type of music that Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, etc would do with studio equipment from today, but without letting them hear anything produced with them. Would they create similar compositions just with new voices? Seems logical as that's what they "knew". Or would the new eventually end up completely changing styles with the capabilities of the new instruments. Yes, we'd conveniently ignore the fact most of this gear benefits from computers/sequences, but just a synth and the different sound devices. Here's some keys, knobs, buttons and flashy lights. Go to it!


The Well-Tempered Clavier was a novelty in JS Bach's time. He did write new music just for it.


Speaking of Wilhelm Screams of music, the Amen break is nearly as ubiquitous as the 808 clap. It helped catalyze Hip-hop, while Rave, and then Jungle and dnb, were virtually born out of that loop as Athena was born from Zeus' skull.

https://youtu.be/5SaFTm2bcac


Yes I think would be the Roland 808 clap sound:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipMPb0MZr3w


My inner pedant compels me to point out that Beethoven and Bach were both virtuosos, though your point still stands.


I do not think you are being pedantic at all. I am trying to come up with kind words, but the line "they were merely creating scores" is absolutely ridiculous IMO.


>Acid eventually resulted in liquid trance, which eventually became psytrance.

No it didn't, psytrance came from goa trance for which the foundations were laid in the 80's before trance popper was a thing. And what is liquid trance? Never heard of it.

But not to make this post just about whining, here's possibly the first trance track ever made, since we're talking about it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MT9pH9C7Oew I'm not from the 90's so I can only imagine how shocking this music must have been 23 years ago.


It goes much further back than that.

Psytrance came out of early german trance from labels such as Sven Vaeth's Eye-Q.

Eye-Q 1991: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lApfaxi0QZw

Harthouse 1992: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d146LKl2ixU

This was Goa in 1991: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3fnBz6IOolk a very special period in time


"What time is love" seems related, by the KLF in 1988. It sounds to me like the 303 might feature there as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VT7lwdui4HY

The KLF became more theatrical and were the biggest singles selling act in the world in 1991, then retired in 92, ceremonially burnt a million pounds and deleted their entire back catalog.

This sort of techno-poetry track from Anne Clark in 1984, "Our Darkness" seems related to "What time is love". Although its surely not trance.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rK7oT1mnf8


> I'm not from the 90's so I can only imagine how shocking this music must have been 23 years ago.

I'm a kid of the late '80s and '90s and that wouldn't have been shocking for mainstream listeners back then. I'm especially thinking of Eurodance music which was pretty massive and popular in the early part of the '90s and which sounds very similar in some respects to the music in your YT link.

It's also true that times were different back then, and for the better, just look at the MTV Top 10 of 1994 [1] and you can see bands like GreenDay, Sound Garden, Nirvana or Smashing Pumpkins. These type of bands wouldn't make the top 10 of popularity charts in this day and age (with the exception of GreenDay, probably). I mean, just look at this "Black Hole Sun" video [2] from Sound Garden which 13-year old me was watching during prime-time on MTV while doing my homework, this was seen as totally normal back then. Nowadays I'm afraid these type of music-videos and art-creation in general are out of prime-time media. The '90s were a lot more daring than today.

[1] http://www.jjheath.com/MTV1994.html

[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mbBbFH9fAg


Also from the same year as Age of Love: We Came in Peace https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qc9391UXPO8


This is not correct. Psytrance evolved from Goa/psychedelic trance.


Some early Goa was very influenced by acid.. Take Cosmosis for example : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGxgZh0SkNE

But sadly and much to my dismay the 303 didn't last long in the scene. It's really hard to find any acid lines in goa/psy tracks after about 1998 or so..


There’s a tone of acid in the more main stream psy these days...I can’t really speak about goa however


Nice. Got any tracks you can mention? I'm a bit out of touch now..


Well its not as prevalent as I initially thought upon looking into my Spotify Psy-trance play list... I seems like I was thinking more about tech-trance. But never the less here is some examples I did find upon a quick look

Ellez Ria - Overdrive (Original Mix) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8MoltyYRaM Acid lines are used pretty heavily throughout the track

Liquid Soul & Vini Vici - Universe Inside Me https://youtu.be/yvBK1rSUzTc?t=226 A acid line slowly filters in at 3:44

Liquid Soul & Zyrus 7 aka Talla 2XLC - The Future (Liquid Soul Mix) https://youtu.be/9Wm4PJszzuo?t=313 Two Acid lines start to filter in at 5:13


Yeah, those are tunes!


Nice to see this topic up here! Check out Acid Defender, a super fun 303 web audio game I came across a few days ago:

http://cappel-nord.de/webaudio/acid-defender/


This is awesome. It's essentially reverse acid "guitar hero".


I moved to Chicago a few years ago. I'm a big fan of electronic music and it therefore really surprised me that people are not aware of the rich house music heritage the city has. I'm really happy to see initiatives such as the lunch-break DJ sets on Daley Plaza during summer or the House nights at the Shedd Aquarium.

One of my business ideas is to actually organize a "House Music Heritage" walking tour in Chicago.


Not just house - Wax Trax! Records was very much responsible for exposing quite a few people to industrial music in the 80s, also:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wax_Trax!_Records

Chicago often doesn't get the cultural recognition that it deserves. My wife and I love it there, and visit as often as possible.


Dance Mania FTW. My favourite label out of Chicago, so many great gems:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7U_BUIT1axg


For those just wanting to play a bit, a web based TB-303...

http://errozero.co.uk/acid-machine/


Also check out "Acid Defender", a simple web game that uses WebAudio to create acid house tunes as part of the game play.

http://cappel-nord.de/webaudio/acid-defender/


The acid sound is still immensely popular amongst my cohort even after 30 years. And still some great stuff being produced (relatively) recently:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHIEqdOic9w


There's also so-called acidcore, which often has similar basslines but a faster tempo and the kicks like in hardcore. Quite popular around here in the squatting/underground scene. And for me, when the dj or live is the eact thing I like to hear (tracks which basically minute-long buildups into even harder and way more out-of-this-earth soundscapes), it blows me away more than any 'normal' acid track ever did. That stuff gets me in trance in no time.


True. I recently stumbled across this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkwbCeVT5bA

ConSequence Vs The Auditor - South London Analogue Movement (Original Mix. )Released this year and very much acid.


For anyone that's interested in reading more about the history of acid house, Soul Jazz Records released a compilation titled "Acid: Can You Jack? (Chicago Acid And Experimental House 1985-95)" [1] which includes a booklet on the topic's history by Tim Lawrence.

The contents of the booklet are free to read on Lawrence's website [2].

[1] https://www.discogs.com/Various-Acid-Can-You-Jack-Chicago-Ac...

[2] http://www.timlawrence.info/articles2/2013/7/16/acid-and-exp...


So we was just sitting there for thirty, forty minutes, just turning knobs, going “I like that, I like that!

There is indeed something about turning an actual hardware knob (even if it's only to midi-control a software instrument) which can do that. Much less for dragging buttons with a mouse, it seems. The day I got my first synth I spent an entire evening and night like that. Get some sound going, play some notes until satisfied with the melody, then repeat endlessly while lossing yourself in truning each knob available.


Indeed, it hardly gets better then the feel of turning hardware knobs in machine interfaces. Some distant resemblance to [0] perhaps?

[0] http://www.greenend.org.uk/rjk/misc/nipple.html


Newcleus' "Jam On It" is one a the few pre-acid songs I can think of that tries to find a use for the 303. They also didn't bother attempting to emulate a bass with it.


Shannon - "Let The Music Play" also used it the year before

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-0sUuGufmw

& has more of a squelchy what-you'd-think-of-as-303 type bassline sound, but the sound isn't tweaked through the tune, just constantly resonant.


If you are interested in this, Synthmania YouTube channel has pretty detailed reconstruction/deconstruction of beats from those times, mostly using the original gear.


Synthmania is a treasure!

He has an amazing collection of synths/drum machines/other audio gear PLUS he can showcase them in styles from 70s funk, to 90s techno and everything in between(italo, house etc etc)..

Some house related videos of his:

TB-303: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6ZUIkaQ7Kw

House and Techno Patterns: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZ3Y0oVaXX4

The new Roland digital machines: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84ag_yvj9cw

Finally the infamous "I don't have an Aira" video which was meant in jest: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FirM3sy5YvY

My personal favorite of his is House done by multilayering a single Microbrute: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlmI-gvdZ6o


The guy's a genius with amazing passion. His kids are very lucky!


Ah acid ... the sound of the 303 has been with me ever since I got a copy of ReBirth https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ReBirth_RB-338 from Propellerhead Software back in the 90s. It's a software emulator of 2x TB303, a 909 and an 808 with distortion and delay effects. These instruments were basically the corner stone of dance music in the 80s and 90s and the software was just incredible at the time.

Before that I was using trackers on my dad's amiga but this was something different all together. I spent so many hours playing with this software and even got a Phatboy http://www.vintagesynth.com/misc/phatboy.php external midi controller with knobs. This was cutting edge stuff back then.

What's funny is that I discovered the software before I actually started listening to this kind of music, which wasn't easy to find during this time. When I started going out and then discovered acid house and psytrance, recognising the 303 sounds as what came out my little ReBirth program was amazing.

A little know fact is that an Indian artists may have actually "discovered" acid house before Pierre and all those guys did. "Charanjit Singh - Ten Ragas to a Disco Beat" is from 1982: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BN8M2irJVJA

The sound of a 303 is absolutely fascinating, timeless and unique and the "acid" genre is still a live as ever.

Some essential acid tracks

Bam Bam, where's your child https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDyxyRcZWBA, supposedly just 1x 303 is used here and the pattern is pretty intricate.

Jesus loves the acid https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhSB_6EQ0DM, apparently it's a 101 being used here, not a 303

Fuse, substance abuse https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JonuLqgoQI8

Hardfloor, Acperience (Live on MTV!)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgFGHz5dR7k

System 7 Alphawave, Richie Hawtin rmx https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWOtCXu6dCE

And here's a full length mix of classic acid tracks https://soundcloud.com/abbeloosolivier/classic-303-acid-patt...


Ah yes, ReBirth! Had a lot of fun with that. A friend of mine once threw a party where ReBirth was the only source of music. The whole night was basically one long communally made acid track. Guests would stroll up to the computer, fiddle with the knobs a bit and the music would slightly change. Good times.


This is like me! ReBirth was pivotal for shifting my computer use from purely gaming to more creative efforts including programming, back in middle school. I’m probably not wrong to say it is has had a huge influence on music software since. I still enjoy using it on the iPad.

Your list is also a good one, I would add this, https://youtu.be/rdfEWFYpYNM

It was amazing to hear Ten Ragas - especially as someone who grew up around Goa Trance. Considering that it’s roughly from the same time as Phuture (even predating it by some years) it is like the lost eastern counterpart to Acid. The music is the interface, the medium is the message, etc.


Ten Ragas was actually before all the acid house if I'm not mistaken. The guy did a European (or maybe even World) tour a few years ago and I saw him play in a small bar.

He appeared quite unenthusiastic, just replaying the kind of stuff he made way back then and probably had a hard time understanding why people found it so incredible. Apart from several 303s he also had a very expensive Jupiter that he was touring with.

Sadly he passed away shortly after the tour.


Yes he was, by about 3 years. The amazing thing is that nobody in the West or even in the Goa party scene of late 80s/early 90s seems to have heard this stuff until it was re-released a few years ago, at least to my knowledge. https://www.discogs.com/Charanjit-Singh-Synthesizing-Ten-Rag...

I did hear about the tour and that exact response, clearly this stuff was in the distant past for him.

It makes wonder who else got their hands on a 303 in the early 80s elsewhere in the world. We keep digging out great African and Middle-eastern records, there may be more to the Acid story.


Hardfloor are masters of the 303. In addition to Acperience, check out their semi-recent track the Art of Acid: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OvWMAzhdOQ


Indian track is fascinating, thanks!


Have you tried ReBirth for iPad? It’s a phenomenal and faithful recreation.


I have not, didn't they get removed from the app store due to a complaint from Roland?


If it did, that'd be a damn shame. It was an incredibly well-written and faithfully-ported version of the original.


Lets also not forget the unique choreography that its also produced :

warning : this video in particular is on the fringes of acid. enjoy

https://www.facebook.com/MixmagMagazine/videos/4703304068148...


I remember music like this being played at the [gay] circuit parties in NYC (and beyond) in the early 90's. Sure the DJ's played favorites, but at like 3AM, these type of tunes played. Trance, I think it was called. Been a while.


I still have my future retro 777 I acquired during college years. I expected to keep it as collector item but considering parting with it for the right person that would put it to good use in NYC! Hit me up if you’ve been looking for it.


That's one dope box. Goes way beyond what a 303 does. FM is crazy.


I got to see Juan Atkins a couple months ago at a warehouse show- found out the night of, I'm amazed that he's still out there doing his thing after 25 yrs or so. He played until 5am too!


If you like this style of writing and topic, you should enjoy Energy Flash by Simon Reynolds


Great article. Where’s the write up on the TR-808?!


808 got an entire movie!


Beautiful site! Great performance, too.


Investigating some Unique aspects of the TB-303's sound

[...]

Human listeners - and probably a few furry quadrupeds - interpret this output of increasingly high pitched audio signals as sounding like the cry of a living creature becoming increasingly distressed, apparently in response to quickly repeated bursts of stimulus.

from: http://www.firstpr.com.au/rwi/dfish/303-unique.html




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