The “Hohner Multimonica” is a combined double-manual keyboard instrument consisting of a monophonic synthesizer (sawtooth oscillator, vacuum tube technology) and a polyphonic harmonium with fan-driven reeds. This electro-acoustic musical instrument comes from the German postwar era. It was produced in two main variants (“Multimonica I” later “Multimonica II”). The “Multimonica I” even had a built-in AM radio for local station reception. But there was also a version available without radio.
Sunday Synth Jam: Reader Felix Bernhardt, ‘from cold cold Germany’, captured this minimal techno jam, featuring Machinedrum & Electribe.
For the latest edition of the Real Scenes series of documentaries on electronic music and cities, RA and Bench go to one of the most special places for electronic music in the world: Berlin:
When the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, techno became the underground soundtrack to the reunion between East and West. In recent years, it’s become an international destination for ravers?a cheap place to party with clubs that are renowned throughout the world.
Techno has become a business in the meantime. Yet Berlin still maintains a credibility that other cities lack. To understand why, RA and Bench went to the German capital eager to find out about its unique history and the reasons behind its continued relevance.
Experimental electronic music artist Conrad Schnitzler – who was a member of the original incarnation of Tangerine Dream and had a 40 year solo career – died August 4th of pancreatic cancer.
Schnitzler completed his final work, 00/830, a few days before his death.
At right, a photograph of Schnitzler from July 23,2011.
In the last years of his life, Schnitzler worked on a project to ‘bury himself’ in beautiful locations around the world. See his Global Living memorial site for details.
Synth designer John Bowen discusses his Solaris synthesizer at the Munich 2010 Synth Meeting, Part 1 of 5.
The image is a little dark – but, if you’re interested in the John Bowen Solaris synth, these videos provide an in-depth look. Continue reading
Back in 1995, classical composer and electronic music pioneer Karlheinz Stockhausen (22 August 1928 ? 5 December 2007) took the time to give a listen to some then-current tracks by Aphex Twin, Plasticman, Scanner and Daniel Pemberton.
While his comments are a few years old, they’re worth reading for his perspective.
Stockhausen had these music tips for the artists:
I wish those musicians would not allow themselves any repetitions, and would go faster in developing their ideas or their findings, because I don’t appreciate at all this permanent repetitive language.
It is like someone who is stuttering all the time, and can’t get words out of his mouth. I think musicians should have very concise figures and not rely on this fashionable psychology. I don’t like psychology whatsoever: using music like a drug is stupid.
One shouldn’t do that: music is the product of the highest human intelligence, and of the best senses, the listening senses and of imagination and intuition.
And as soon as it becomes just a means for ambiance, as we say, environment, or for being used for certain purposes, then music becomes a whore, and one should not allow that really; one should not serve any existing demands or in particular not commercial values. That would be terrible: that is selling out the music.
In addition to Stockhausen’s general reactions to the state of art in edgier electronica, he had comments on the specific artists and their work.