I had the craziest dream. Super vivid, and it just kept going. Seriously, like it seemed to last a decade. Instead of playing electronic music live on gear that made sounds, so you could keep track of what you were doing with physical buttons and switches and things, all the boys and girls were using laptops. But that wasn’t the weird part: what was strange was, people were just putting whole tracks on those computers. I know what you’re thinking – so they were DJing, right? But no! They were just playing tracks one after another all the same tempo. Sometimes they used, like, the computer keyboard. You couldn’t even see two tracks playing at once — like, you just had to stare at the screen to see when they were nearly done and then make them play one at a time. And then people were adding loops over top that never stopped, so everything sounded like a trainwreck. It was kind of a nightmare.
Anyway, I woke up with night terrors, but then I saw Ceephax Acid Crew in a big cube of video game graphics and I knew everything was okay again. Ha – like, why would you buy an expensive computer that does all these cool things if you’re just going to play it like a single CDJ with no crossfader?! Too funny.
Now I see Ceephax Acid Crew and I’m awake and it’s not a dream.
URSS got a camera, and now you have Ceephax Acid Crew playing in your computer from the Internet, and that proves it’s real. “Live motherf***in’ acid,” says some man.
La Fabrica del Vapore, Milan, Italy
31 January 2015
Milan’s Intellighenzia is a brilliant host for independent electronic music culture; find more:
Ceephax Acid Crew is playing live on familiar gear, which you can read from his rider. Who’s who of live gear, really:
1 x TR-909
1 x SH-101
1 x TR-707
1 x KENTON PRO 2000
1 x YAMAHA RS-7000
14 x 6.35MM (1/4 INCH) JACK TO JACK CABLES (NOT SHORT PATCH CABLES)
3 x MIDI CABLES
Ceephax Acid Crew would like you to know that he doesn’t play Behringer mixers and that he needs LOTS AND LOTS OF TABLE SPACE. (Ha, Andy’s rider looks like my rider.)
Ceephax is warming my nerdy heart because he’s making Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart references on Twitter. Yes, he’s English. He’s Andy Jenkinson. Don’t mention his brother – I’m only talking about Andy.
Yes, he plays acid. The gear, the squelching bass lines, they come from the 90s. But they also get twisted through the neon-colored filters of Andy’s imagination.
Ceephax Acid Crew has a sense of humor. This works for live playing because he’s willing to do silly things. It’s not a mistake. It’s just a player who will actually laugh with you and let you laugh at him and let you laugh.
Ceephax Acid Crew makes pop. He plays songs that have the feeling you had when you played into your cassette Walkman when no one else was listening because they made you feel good, and you alone.
Ceephax Acid Crew is not a robot. He’s not a chiseled male model behind a pair of CDJs playing 15-minute techno tracks. He is actually f***ing up a bit with his drum machine because he’s using his hands and fingers to make stuff and they’ve got blood flowing through them, and they’re connected to a brain and that brain is happy to let you know that it’s making decisions and some of them probably aren’t, strictly speaking, “correct,” but that human being is playing for you now and it doesn’t know what will happen, either.
I’ve talked about Ceephax Acid Crew before and I’m sure I’ll do it again. But now seems like the time. Because now big manufacturers are remembering that they invented the gear on which acid was invented. (Hello, Roland AIRA.) And now companies make step sequencers again. And now everything doesn’t have an iPad dock in it, and everything doesn’t boast hardware/software integration, because the revolution will not be a big dongle.
And this revolution matters, because it means you can play live again, and it won’t sound like a record, and maybe people will smile when they dance.
Photos via Ceephax’s Facebook page… he’s coming to your town, hopefully.