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herw

New compositions on the Reaktions site, all made with versions of the HERW Modular-Mini synth--a user-built instrument in the Reaktor library. While all Reaktor synths are "modular" and "patchable" in the sense that you can go behind the interface and move parts and wires around, this one has virtual patchcords (and a keyboard) on the front. The look and sound recalls the old modular synths from the '60s and '70s, so not surprisingly the compilation has its nods to Wendy Carlos, Keith Emerson, and the Forbidden Planet score, all updated into the clean, infinitely tweakable digital environment. My favorite .mp3s are by chietronix, r.domain, Joe Risch, and herw (Herwig Krass) himself. The Reaktions group is a bit insular--many restrictions are put on the entries for these compilations, the main one being "made in Reaktor only." I suppose it's a way to really learn the instrument, but it's like Iron Chef having a "soft shell crab battle" where the only ingredient the chefs could use was soft shelled crab. Yes, one is a foodstuff and the other is a totalizing instrument, but while all-Reaktor compositions can be stimulating they frequently need something else.

An earlier report, on the Oki Computer 2 compilation, is here.

- tom moody 8-10-2006 3:36 am [link]