That small grid screen you see in the screenshot above is from a prototype of a synthesizer module developed by the prolific British musician Scanner, aka Robin Rimbaud, who is working on the equipment in cahoots with James Carruthers and Adrien Harris. Scanner has been deep in modular synthesis of late, and it’s a natural development that he would go on to develop his own hardware. After all, Rimbaud takes his Scanner moniker from the police-band device that was central to his early recordings. This track is a test of the device, an 8-step sequencer now in prototype stage (hence its awkward physical dimensions). A sequencer is of limited use on its own, so here it is hear activating other modules, among them one that produces old-school percussion sounds, and the Music Thing, a module that allows access to banks of prerecorded samples. The result is a mash of blissfully chaotic layers of snippets. If the pulse and dynamics of a day on a busy urban street could be transformed into a musical score, it might sound like this.
For more on the device, there’s an interview with Carruthers, who runs through the device’s toolset on YouTube.