One Synthesizer, Multiple Voices

A work for modular synth by Fastus

Different musicians have different audiences. The thing that distinguishes SoundCloud from most music services is how people use it to post half-done pieces, sometimes with their “listener” audience in mind, often with their “peer” audience, the latter meaning other musicians, who are, of course, often listeners themselves. On video sites, “unboxing” and intro “tutorial” or “overview” clips let new owners share some of their consumerist energy, and occasionally even some tips. On SoundCloud, the closest comparison might be “first try” or “first take” audio, when musicians post a very early attempt to use a new piece of equipment. That subset of audio is followed by instrument-centric recordings, like this piece by Fastus, in which the equipment may not necessarily be new, but it still has the spotlight. “Isolation,” as it’s called, is a modular synthesizer piece that, per the very brief (eight-word) liner note, is based around a single item of equipment, the Telharmonic (from the company Make Noise), which came out a little under a year ago. It’s a remarkable recording, multiple voices moving throughout, cycling and echoing each other, built largely from organ-like tones and a rhythm that sounds like steam pipes opening and closing.

Track originally posted at Fastus is Ian O’Brien of Jersey City, New Jersey. More from him at

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