In 2015 I was reminded that 35yrs had passed since the Neural Circus E.P. had been released..
As with many aspects from my past, I’m reluctant to revisit as that was then and this is now..
I arranged to meet up with Zulu Dalek, the other half of N.C., and have a reunion and all that sort of nonsense..
Problem being I didn’t actually own a synthesiser..
I’ve a vast range of formidable virtual synthesisers, but somehow it always feels like trying to manipulate a picture of an instrument in a fish tank.. Even the wide range of physical controllers available can’t compensate for the feeling of an inauthentic experience..
I employ the same principle of purchasing a suitable instrument I did when I bought my first synth, an E.D.P. Wasp, best bang for least buck.. This led me to the LittleBits product range’s Synth Kit. A series of small circuits that connect to what amounts to very nearly a Korg MS 1..
N.C. did a reunion gig on a bar top in Harrogate, which was well received by those attending, but came to an abrupt halt when the bar man said enough was enough.. It was just like old times..
Time has passed, I now have a formidable collection of IRL synthesisers...
I’ve a small - but perfectly formed for my purposes - Modular Synth System. I’ve gigged with it, most significantly at the Brighton Modular Festival, and Brighton Modular Sessions.. Although I enjoyed these events it’s difficult to really get into performing at my best when I’m having to patch on the fly with people watching..
I did one disaster gig in Littlehampton.. Take my advice and don’t attempt to use temperature sensitive instruments in an outdoor environment on a cold September evening. I’ll say no more..
I bought various small electronic instruments at the same time as building my own and the collection grew, but non of them were really what I’d describe as “performance” instruments. So another rethink was in order..
I’ve now added clones of two instruments I owned back in the pre-MIDI 1980’s, Behringer’s TD-3 & RD8 which are the Roland TB303 Bassline and TR808 Rhythm Composer respectively, and one I’d lusted after back then a Cyclone Analogic TT 78 clone of Roland’s CR78 Drum Machine.. Combined with the Moog Mother 32 I’ve at last assembled a rig I wouldn’t have any worries about taking out live..
This video is the system in full effect.. it bangs..