Two terrific Moogerfoogers have reached the end of their run. But that’s an excuse for more music, which sounds good to me.
2007’s FreqBox takes input signals and modulates an internal oscillator; the 2009 MIDI Murf is an animated filter sequencer. They’re both pretty great boxes, though now even before delving into modular, there are a lot more choices now than perhaps just those few short years ago. Koma Elektronik’s FT-201 runs further with the idea of sequencer-plus-filter. I can’t think of anything quite like the FreqBox, actually – I’d love to see Moog find a way to make a Minifooger around this idea. With either, there may be reason to go snap one up from a dealer before they’re gone.
But let’s get to the music – the end of these two units gives us an introduction to the inventive sound universe of Los Angeles-based artist M. Geddes Gengras. Mr. Gengras has composed a short EP to the Moogerfoogers. (He calls it a Eulogy, though that seems the wrong word unless Moog have some rather violent planned obsolescence strategy I don’t know about.)
His music is a calming flight of fancy, a wonderful and happily strange trip through sound, and these are no exception:
He explains the ideas here:
For more of his lovely music, check out his Bandcamp page, which is fully stocked with albums:
Last year he also had an excellent LP out on the mighty Stones Throw label / Leaving imprint:
M. Geddes Gengras / Ishi [Pitchfork review]
It occurs that it’s not so much the use of modular tools that defines music as it is people’s musical intentions may drive them to modular tools – or approach whatever tool is at hand with some sense of creative freedom. On one hand, I actually love the rigid grid of dance music, and the machines and software that obey such rules – these are boundaries against which you can push. On the other, in ambient and experimental genres, it may make sense to find other boundaries and free up other parameters.
In any case, an open-ended approach need not require a rack of gear – signal can flow between desktop units, as it does here. (Or, if you’ve not got a lot of hardware, you can make that happen in software, too.)
The rig here includes, from our friends at Moog, a Sub Phatty Analog Synthesizer, a MF-104Z Analog Delay (not discontinued), and the newly-honored MF-105M MIDI MuRF and a MF-107 Freq Box.
Thanks for the music. And given that classical compositions have honored instruments and performers, why not electronic, too?