Isn’t it weird how oddly superficial and fashion oriented talking about music can get? Let’s remember what we’re doing: we’re moving sound particles in air and then seeing what happens to our physical body and mood when they disrupt tiny bits inside our ear.

To quote Keanu Reaves: whoa.

So it’s refreshing that a recent video Moog shot with The Haxan Cloak isn’t really about Moog synthesizers and isn’t really about The Haxan Cloak. It’s about what happens when you hear really low frequencies. It’s about the feeling of motion you get when you arrange melodies into repeating patterns. It’s about getting goosebumps.

The camerawork sometimes fetishizes old tape machines and, like, the artist’s arms (hey, they’re nice arms), but listen to the message, and I think it speaks to everyone.

The Haxan Cloak is Bobby Krlic, based in Los Angeles. He’s something of an underground legend, but his face to the world – and presumably what’s giving him some budget to lavish on that gear love we all feel – is work like co-producing Goldfrapp’s Silver Eye. But here, we instead get a pure, unadulterated love of synths, and beyond that, sound itself.

Bobby writes:

My thoughts were that a lot of people tend to use modular synthesizers in more of a textural and sound-design oriented way. Of course I’m generalizing, and I also want to point out that I don’t think this approach is negative. In light of this, though, and my own experience of modular music, I wanted to make a piece of music that was more melodic.

I set up the Mothers as such so one was Bass and then the other two were playing counterpoint melody lines. One sequence was 7 notes, one was 8 and the Bass was a repeating 7-note pattern changing every 4 bars – I think this gave the piece comforting fluidity that was at the same time unpredictable.

Here’s the full piece:

And here’s that Goldfrapp single; the release is out on Mute:

It’s pretty terrific stuff – imagine taking Alison Goldfrapp’s own writing and producing talent, adding in The Haxan Cloak (working in London), plus John Congleton (working in Dallas, Texas), for a kind of production superband.


Thanks to Moog for bringing this our way. And of course, this leads up to yet more events at Moogfest.

  • loyal reader

    > sometimes fetishes

    [whispers] sometimes fetishizes?

    • this is why you shouldn’t adjust mixdowns and edit copy at the same time, even if it seems like a good idea at the time 😀 thanks!

    • Gatsby’sPool

      Fetishise is the preferred spelling in England. As with many -ize words for which we would use a Z, they use an S (organise, realise, etc.)

      More importantly, the Haxan Cloak is a geniuz.

  • Polite Society

    I’m glad they released that track from the video. It’s a really nice piece.

  • Stephen Childs

    “Its personal” – so true. Wonderful music too.

  • Dopamine Addict

    Peter, I absolutely love these kinds of articles, and wouldn’t mind seeing far more in the future. Thank you for making my day.

  • Lindon Parker

    Nice feel about the whole thing, he seems an intelligent and considered guy. Sadly it made me feel a bit old, as the (an)other side of his Soft Cell anecdote is: Marc and I were chatting at Heaven & Hell ( a club night he ran in Leeds) and he said “hey we’re covering Tainted Love, who do you think we should get to produce it?” and I immediately said “Mike Thorne” ( I was a massive Wire fanboy), So that means I might even know his mum, but I was there at the time, so me = old old man….