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about the circuitous vibes


circuitous vibes

ambient/dub/techno

live pa based in tucson Az

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about the circuitous vibes


circuitous vibes

ambient/dub/techno

live pa based in tucson Az

about the circuitous vibes

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simply put, the music I make will tend to get lost in that little gray area between ambient and dub techno. indeed, ambient dub techno is considered a genre by some, but for me there is a sweet spot that straddles between ambient and techno, and can be a tad elusive to nail. typically, a set or track will mostly be ambient, or squarely techno, maybe with hints of ambient.

with that in mind, my music will wander about, never getting to a point directly. this circuitous structure of the set will take the listener on a journey in dub, sometimes with detours of acid house, sometimes stopping for a breath of drones. that these live sets circuitously create the vibe of the room, the listener then will hopefully come to enjoy the journey, forgetting all about the destination.

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how the music is made


how the music is made


how the music is made

 
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the synthesizer

it can be fairly said that the synth, the analog four by elektron, is the originator and the soul for much of the music. by creating and sequencing much of the harmonic, pitched sound and noise, the synth sculpts the focal points for the mind.  the synth creates aural interest for the journey of the mind and spirit. perhaps the most exciting recent development is the addition of a modular voltage controlled oscillator. a small module kit will be assembled so that the analog four can create sequences and low frequency oscillators to control the voltage of the fantastic plaits module by mutable instruments. it is very likely that the rings module by mutable instruments will soon follow. sounds from the modular synth will be fed back into the analog four for processing, before being sent to effects pedals.

the strymon pedals

the synthesizer sends sound to two strymon pedals before being sent to the octatrack. the strymon el capistan digitally replicates tape machine delays, while the blue sky pedal creates atmospheric, etheral reverberations and shimmers. both pedals are indispensable in the music making process. 

the drum machine

the elektron rytm is capable of so much more than many drum machines out there, and may never reach its full potential if assigned to ambient and dub electronic music. even so, the sounds from this machine are more than appropriate to help explore atmospheric and ethereal music. it has only recently been updated to include some oscillators that allow this machine to be turned into a droning monosynth. combined with exploratory ways of using other percussion, the rytm can become a fascinating and wily series of voices to back up the a4 and modular synths.

 
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the sequencer

for me, the octatrack sequencer by elektron is a kind of mixer. it becomes the heart of my rig, responsible for the clock, channeling, recording, sampling, looping, warping, and mangling sounds from the synth and drum machine. the octatrack is a powerful machine, capable of also adding effects, as well as layering many sounds all at once. the latest explorations of this machine involves playing drones from the rytm through the octatrack, which enables the addition of several additional effects and lfos.

 

the workflow

these three machines, elektron's analog four, rytm, and octatrack, along with a growing modular synth kit and two strymon effects pedals, comprise my entire rig. many artists opt to add keyboards or multiple synthesizers and modules. i hope to keep my rig as compact as possible to allow for a practical solo live act. that said, the circuitous vibes project has been heavily focused on the recording process, mostly longform ambient "sets". it remains to be seen how often parts of the kit make it out for live performances, but either way, the general workflow is the same: sequenced sounds and drones are effected and processed through the octatrack. 

 
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about the artist


about the artist


About the artist

circuitous vibes is a live act by Dave Balderrama, residing in Tucson AZ. 

From training in classical piano and music theory and composition, to performance as pianist and keyboardist in a couple of college bands, I have a wide variety of musical experiences over the years. I even experimented with electronica and improvisation in a noise band. Additionally, I have a wide interest in music, from classical and jazz, to bossa nova and traditional bluegrass. But it was my introduction to techno and house in the mid-1990’s that really captured my imagination and attention. Techno redefined the meaning of sound for me, and that made all the difference.

After being introduced to electronic music at the Family Affair in Ohio back in 1995, I attended numerous parties in Detroit until the late 1990’s. I was completely swept away with the techno, acid, dub, minimal, drum and bass, jungle, and deep house that I heard during the “Second Wave” of Detroit musicians and DJs. The venues were mysterious and questionably legal, the lighting was poor (one strobe, plus too much fog), and the sound was so immense as to rattle the bones and nearly alter the heart rate. And I loved it all.

It is from these experiences in Detroit during the 1990’s that I attempted, as DJ Moores Park, to curate the sound and overall experience of what was being played at the time.

After taking a break from musical performance for a number of years, and eventually settling in Tucson AZ, I re-discovered electronic music, and rekindled a love for Detroit techno and house. After collecting music and some equipment, in 2009 I began working on DJing, honing technique and a style. After nearly 5 years of this work, I began to step out into the Tucson community with several performances in 2015/6. As DJ Moores Park, I focused on building a contemporary soundtrack that resembles the backdrop for the Detroit electronic dance scene in the 1990s.

And now comes the time for a different approach. As circuitous vibes, I will create a sound entirely my own, or so I hope. I am not so naive to think that anything is original (search: John Cage 4'33"), especially when you layer pads on a 4/4 kick drum. But the sound that I create in a live set will be less indicative of Detroit, less similar to a European house party, and not so much in fitting with the "Tucson sound", although I hope to draw much inspiration from the land that I live in.

As circuitous vibes, this is my return to playing instruments, composing and improvising live. Without using others' music, and without the assistance of other musicians. In this setting, I return to a true creative process, marrying classical background in composition and performance with electronica and dance music. 

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