Mechanical Techno with Graham Dunning
Hack old records into a physical sequencer and create an inimitable techno track with artist Graham Dunning
Graham Dunning’s unique approach to music-making, which he describes as, ‘Mechanical Techno’ involves hacking old records, building a physical sequencer triggering modular synths.
Following a demonstration of the workings of the mechanical techno setup, participants will make three different types of modified record, each making rhythmical sounds in a different way. Live samples from second-hand vinyl; patterned disks that optically trigger a bass-synth; and pegged-out records for sequenced drum beats.
Finally, each set of three disks will be combined in the tower to create a playable machine-composition.
Participants take away a digital recording of their track and keep any records they’ve made (or ruined).
“If the trend in recent dance music has been to artfully engineer a certain wonkiness into an otherwise strict digital framework, Dunning has found the appeal of the precise reverse: struggling to maintain grid-like rigidity in a system inherently antagonistic to it.” – Wire Magazine, August 2015
Graham Dunning is self-taught as an artist and musician having studied neither discipline academically. His live work explores sound as texture, timbre and something tactile, drawing on bedroom production, tinkering and recycling found objects.
You’ll need to bring three old records. Keep your eyes peeled and peek into charity shop windows where you can often find cheap ones. Any style of music/sound content on the record will work; classical, dance, spoken word etc. all produce interesting results. They must be 12-inch records though, so no singles or 45’s! Also, please don’t bring your prized first pressing Beatles cuts! The records themselves will get ruined!
We will however also have a selection of records at the Lab too so if you struggle to find any yourself we will have some going spare. The hacked records will be used as part of the system you’re going to build, but will also be visually pleasing souvenirs .