The new re-issue is available HERE
‘A brilliant contribution to the archaeology of electronic music’ – Brian Eno
20 tracks made on 20 synthesisers spanning 20 years, accompanied by 60 page colour book with a foreword by Robin “Scanner” Rimbaud, Twenty Systems is Benge’s acclaimed concept album, first released in 2008.
His tenth solo album, this ambitious project combines an audio CD of new music with a hardbound full colour book containing photos and diagrams of the electronic instruments used, along with a detailed history documenting the development of synthesisers between 1968 and 1988. Each track is the pure sound of an individual instrument, with no additional processing, sequencing or effects applied to any of the recordings. If a system was equipped with an in-built sequencer, it was used, and there are several examples of sound-on-sound processes, where a track is made up of multiple layers of the same synthesiser recorded in parallel. To put it simply, Benge lets the instruments speak for themselves and influence the way each piece is composed.
‘Indicates what a deliriously desirable thing the synthesis of sound has historically been’ – The Wire
‘Absolutely cast iron irrefutable proof that synthesisers are better than guitars’ – Vice Magazine
Benge from The Maths has just released a new solo album, Abstraxa:
Abstraxa – exploring the outer reaches, using the Buchla Electronic Music Box
The six compositions featured on Abstraxa were realised on a Buchla modular synthesiser. Donald Buchla began makng electronic musical instruments in 1963, developing the first Buchla 100 series systems in conjunction with the San Francisco Tape Music Center. These first inventions coincided with the development of Robert Moog’s 900 Series modular systems over on the west coast of america, and as such belong to the very first generation of commercially available synthesisers. One intersting aspect is that Don Buchla is still developing and manufacturing his modular systems, using the same module format (now 200e series) that he introduced 50 years ago. The current 200e modules utilise a combination of analogue and digital components
The Buchla has a very unique way of producing sound, using electronic voltages to control the sound sources (oscillators and noise generators), sound modifiers (gates, filters, phase shifters, modulators, etc) and event timing generators (sequencers, random sources, pulse generators, etc). Systems can be built up from the available modules to suit the needs of the composer. The power of the system lies in the inter-modulation capabilities. This means that extremely deep patches can be set up with a myriad of connections interacting together in complex ways to produce evolving and self-generating soundscapes. It is anagolous to working with a living organism as opposed to a static machine, a brain rather than a computer.
LISTEN TO ABSTRAXA HERE