cyberneticOhm is a technological performing arts + modular synth electronica collective.

cyberneticOhm is a technological performing arts + modular synth electronica collective.

The year 2021 welcomes a new album from modular synth collective cyberneticOhm > "the book of dEON" > a mystical journey through time + space that ebbs from ambient works - through downtempo + lofi - into techno and experimental works > listen to it HERE

Short interview and biography

Where did your journey in music and modular adventures start?

Growing up in the UK in the 70's mainstream music of the time was of no interest to me, I certainly back then knew I was more interested in the obscure. During that time my best friend's mother was a regular at the Twisted Wheel (Manchester) and the Wigan Casino, two legendary Northern Soul venues during the 60's and 70's. She had a record collection at home and we had access to it along with an old belt drive turntable. As young boys we would spend hours listening to Atlantic, Stax, Motown and obscure Northern Soul records. I fell deep into the Northern Soul scene and longed for the day I was old enough to actually attend a proper Northern Soul allnighter.

Later in the seventies the punk thing exploded and its anti-social ideology grabbed my attention as well as the music but alas the scene faded away as quickly as it arrived and was replaced by the Modern Romantic era. I can clearly remember listening to Gary Newman and Kraftwork 7" singles I would buy and was fascinated by the sound of the music. It wasn't being played on a contemporary instrument as I knew, it was being played on a synthesiser. That was the sound of the future and I wanted to be a part of it.

The 80's had arrived and I finally began attending Northern Soul all-nighters as I had longed for. I would be dancing from 11pm until 8am on the friday night, sleep and then repeat again on the saturday night. This really was my life for the next 20 years. 

Around 1986 two things happened that would change not only myself but the world as I knew it. At many of the Northern Soul gigs I would attend they would have two rooms known as the "oldies" room (soul from the 1960's) and the "newies" room (modern soul, funk and disco from the 1970's). I was always an attendee of the oldies room but would occasionally stick my head in the "newies" room. One weekend I was attending an all nighter at the Brandford Queens Hall and had gone downstairs to the "newies" room and blasting out of the speakers was a sound I knew but a musical genre I did not know, Chicago House had arrived! Perfectly timed that weekend a new drug had also arrived and we all had access to it. The Northern Soul scene was fuelled by amphetamines to keep you up and keep you dancing. This new drug was Ecstasy. I had found my nirvana.

The 1990's brought with it the UK Acid house scene, The Stonehenge festivals and its sad demise with "The Battle of Beanfield". I hi-jacked the traveller scene and became a part of the whole movement. Travelling the length and breadth of the UK attending illegal acid house parties being run by the likes of Spiral Tribe, DIY and Hecati. This would bring about new laws and police powers (The Criminal Justice Bill) after the legendary Castlemorton free festival that I attended. 

The new law basically put an end to illegal outdoor parties and pushed the scene indoors. Club culture was born and I was there. I began to DJ, run my own club nights, built a recording studio and began writing my own music specifically designed for the scene and for the drugs being used. It was of course electronic.

How do you find your inspiration?

A couple of strong coffees, light some Nag Shampa, shower, pour a large glass of single malt, turn on the modular system and wait for the oscillators to warm up while sipping whisky. A moment of contemplation before the noise begins.

Do you perform live and on stage? or would you rather keep it in the studio?

I have performed live with various bands I've been in (I used to be a Bass player). I also spent 20 years performing as a DJ although back in the day it wasn't really a performance as it sadly is today. I've not yet performed live as a modular synth artist and maybe one day I might.

Why Modular synthesis, and what draws you to it?

It never ceases to surprise me and it is quite strange when the circuits create their own existence and come alive. Sometimes I can feel it breathing, the machine has come alive. A lot of my music can sound LoFi or noisy which I like to exploit as it's the sound of the beast breathing. It's funny to think that when the digital music revolution happened we all would strive for a perfect, clean sound but quickly learned it was sterile. Now if it dont have crackle, noise and distortion it ain't music!

Which modular artist would you recommend to our readers?

It would have to be Caterina Barbieri. Minimal, Modular and very pure.

Can we get a little glimpse of see a picture of your rig?

More about cyberneticOhm






Some of the modules relating to this article are:

Joranalogue Add 2

Mutable Instruments Beads

Joranalogue Enhance 2

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