You may already be aware of the self indulgent 1980s influenced electronic boogie that is my alter-ego ‘DATAStream’ – it’s pretty much what I get up to when I’m not working on freelance projects and something I’ve been enjoying for a few years now. I’m currently working towards an LP release in the summer and ‘Night Walk’ is taken from said release. Enjoy!
As some of you may know I also write and record music under my synthetic alter-ego ‘DATAStream’, mostly for self indulgent experiments with MIDI, synthesis and using lots of 1980s production techniques. But on the rare occasion, just every so often, a song emerges. This is the tale of one such song….
A little while back I started working on a short composition using mostly hardware synths and drum machines in my studio in Chesterfield, sequencing MIDI parts in Reason and sending them out to various bits of kit. Recording was done using a Soundcraft Ghost LE desk with a little EQ here and there. I could go on about the fun geeky audio stuff for a long time but this post is more about the fact that I was lucky enough to work with JJ Mist to record the topline in the last couple of months and have been very excited about sharing it with everyone!
You’ll be able to hear / download ‘The Spark’ on December 16th via the DATAStream Bandcamp page and the release also includes the extended mix (in true 1980’s 7inch fashion!) so keep an eye out!
For fellow audio-geeks here is the equipment list for the single…
Drums – Roland JV-80 / Boss DR550
Bass – Yamaha DX7s
Synths – Yamaha DX27 / Roland D5 / Yamaha YS200
GTR – Hondo H76 Strat
Desk (Tracking) – Soundcraft Ghost LE and Tascam 38 multitrack 1/2 inch recorder
Desk (Mixing) – Neve VR Legend with AMS 16 Reverb
Recently I’ve been using 3D animation and modelling as a mental respite from audio work, and happily the two work well together. Often I’ll find that my 3D modelling and animation projects offer great inspiration to my writing and production work, which is a nice bonus and helps to immerse myself in an idea.
This is a simple animation based around a concept I’ve been developing to work alongside my DATAStream persona, a synthetic alter-ego for creating sentimental 80s inspired sounds.
I’ve got no real idea what this is but it was my first attempt at animating multiple objects in Cinema 4D using some nice lighting as well. I’m guessing it’s some kind of grinding machine.. but you can make you’re own mind up!
For anyone who follows my self-indulgent synthetic alter-ego ‘DATAStream’ you may already be aware of the Stored Energies Technology series of releases via my Bandcamp, Soundcloud or on Spotify. It’s certainly been a journey over the past 18 months working on these songs, and whilst there is a particular aesthetic I’ve focussed on during their production I’m keen to maintain that they are not just for ‘synthwave’ fans and offer many sonic delights for those willing to listen. I use a variety of hardware digital synthesisers to create these songs (including the formidable DX7s, Roland JV series and Korg MS-2000), along with some excellent VSTs from the likes of Klanghelm, TALaudio, Native Instruments and UVI. It’s quite amazing at how true to their hardware counterparts they sound.
As you may or may not be aware there is a rather large backstory behind DATAStream, set circa 1986 (and what a great year that was) where myself and fellow audio technicians struggle to maintain our audio manipulation and streaming experiments (with mixed results!). If you purchased the EP on cassette or MiniDisc (yes they still work) then you will have also heard the archive audio logs which bookend sides a & b, offering a little insight into this strange world.
Vol. 3 is due at the end of the month, and will be the last in the series, however I am planning a ‘collected’ version which will feature all the songs and more archive material in the future which I’m very excited about. In the meantime you can listen to track 1 from the new EP below, which features the wise words of Dean Friedman and his introduction to synthesis in video form as well! A big thank you to Dean for giving me permission to use these audio samples in ‘The Synthesiser’