Clock Trippin, Poly Rhythm RENÉ from Richard Devine on Vimeo.

Analog both in the electrical sense and in the way it combines continuous, non-discrete steps, the René is a step sequencer with a difference. The hardware uses a two-dimensional array of knobs to produce non-linear, complex rhythmic patterns from some four clock and two CV inputs. I think the proof is in watching it above, in a video this week by Richard Devine, employing a fully modular, analog working method – no computers in sight. Because, really, people who use computers and drum machines are total posers. You’ll never find any of them ’round here. Why, their music is full of numbers and destroys your brain and you probably can’t stop using Facebook long enough to even finish a track.

Kidding. In all seriousness, I think musically, compositionally, this sequencer arrangement is fascinating. I’m still struggling for a way to describe it — the creators mysteriously say “cartesian sequencer,” “geometric sequencer,” “planular sequencer,” “axis sequencer,” “non-linear sequential tuned voltage map” — but producing non-linear, asymmetrical sequences of rhythms is something as fundamentally musical as it is fundamentally analog. It’s also fairly deeply influenced by the pioneering work of Don Buchla, years ago. There’s plenty here to inspire your weekend musically, whether you’re sitting down with a computer, an analog modular (you lucky bastard), or a pencil and manuscript paper (affordable in any economy).

And yes, the computer folks will be getting at least a little drool on their QWERTY keyboards and mice with this rig from Richard:

Analogue percussion performance patch experimenting with tripping the clock input to get different polyrhythms on the MakeNoise René. The MakeNoise Brains, K4815 Pattern Generator, Z8000, 4ms RCD, SCM and Pressure points are also being clocked with René from a single LFO.

Sound sources for the drums. One noise source from the Cwejman S1 mkII to make the long clap percussion sounds. Kickdrum made on the Cwejman BLD, and snare drum made from the Synthesis Technology E350. High hats courtesy of the Malekko NoiseRing.

The Cwejman is a truly beautiful piece of gear and design. too. And I love the design of all the MakeNoise modules; it’s some brilliant stuff (see below). Sweet dreams this weekend, folks – see you on the flipside.