During the day, numerous short performances will keep things lively and interesting. This will include the Steve Davis All-Stars Modular Patch-Off, which you can find out about here.
The evening has a different vibe. It will be given over to a couple of amazing artists who will thrill us with their modular and synthesizer performances. The hall will be cleared; this is a proper gig and is available separately from the daytime event.
Nik Colk Void
Our headliner is previously known for her work as half of Factory Floor, as one-third of Carter Tutti Void and with the late Peter Rehberg as NPVR. In April 2022 Nik released her first solo album “Bucked Up Space”. It has a driven, layered and improvised vibe that pulls you into the complexity and keeps you on your toes. The rhythms pour out while the structures deceive you and give way to organic tensions. It fearlessly demands your attention.
Check it out on Bandcamp. I am loving Demna and FlatTime in particular at the moment, and they refuse to let me do anything other than listen. I am really looking forward to seeing Nik perform.
- Nik Colk Void website.
Those of us into modular synths know Finlay as the force of nature behind modular makers Future Sound Systems. In performance, he morphs into something else entirely. It’s like he’s possessed by voltages that just need to explode out of his very soul.
I first saw him perform at a ModularMeets event a few years ago, and it’s still the only time I’ve seen someone sing as they interacted with modular. It was like some kind of twisted synth-pop that throbbed and lurched from melody to banging beats of noise and glitch.
Check out his album Soleminites on Editions Mego records via Bandcamp.
- Finlay Shakespeare website.
Robin “Molten Modular” Vincent and Steve Davis
And finally, introducing the warm-up act.
I got together with Steve for a bit of jam a little while ago, and it was so much fun we thought that we should really do it on stage sometime. Steve is a great believer in both performance and collaboration when it comes to modular synthesis. There’s something in that interaction between people and systems that you don’t get when fiddling about by yourself. And putting yourself out in front of an audience just sharpens and focuses that experience.
Steve first got in touch with me during lockdown. He found that my YouTube videos were a great way of using up all that spare time. I invited him onto a live stream, and we’ve struck up a bit of a friendship since. I find his approach to modular and the music he makes very inspiring. His band, The Utopia Strong, with Mike York and Kavus Torabi, is a fascinating combination of electronic and organic sounds, landscapes, clangs and emotional journeys.
The latest album International Treasure can be found on Bandcamp, and it’s superb.
SonicState did an interview and rig tour with the band recently, which is fascinating. And I’d like to draw your attention to the fact that Steve is wearing one of my Molten Modular t-shirts!
As for me, well, I continue to strive to perform at Electronic Music Open Mic nights in Norwich whenever I get the chance, and you can often find me improvising on live streams and in my video content. I am both thrilled and terrified to be presenting some kind of purposeful music-making with Steve at Synth East and I hope you enjoy it.
Here’s an example of one patch I performed at an EMOM.
- Molten website.