Electronic Music History: Photek ‘Modus Operandi’ – A Drum and Bass Masterpiece

English: 3.5" floppy disk

I shared this link already a few days ago, but I want to come back to this great article. If you’re a fan of drum’n’bass and/or Photek it may be interesting to read and I found something there that I want to point out.

First of all a good/short analysis of the sound, beats and the context of production methods used to create this great album.
@MNO in case you read this: I don’t remember being your grandfather, but I too remember 512K samplers and floppy disks and can tell a few stories. My first “sampler” was a EMU Prommer which stored its samples on 8K or 16K eproms. Maybe this makes me one of the ancients, too and yes, I still own this piece of hardware ( me = proud!)
Internal note: Grow white beard 😉

What follows are some very interesting suggestions about using limitations as an instrument to boost creativity:

It is now so easy to tweak, twist and distort any sound that we sometimes get lost in the technology and forget about the overall impact of the music. A great way to counteract this is to impose a set of limitations when composing. Pick five sounds and try to make your next set of tracks with them. Try to exhaust every possibility using the sounds as-is, and when you’ve done all you can, allow yourself to manipulate the sounds with a limited set of effects. By sticking to a set of reusable elements, you will define and focus your creative process and surprise yourself with a newfound sense of freedom.

I tried that a lot in the past years and … it’s so damn hard! Sometimes, it’s just too inviting to just buy another app, sampling cd, <tool of choice> instead of going deeper and deeper until you hit the gold mine.

Thanks for sharing this insight and for the reminder to keep it simple. Just loading Modus Operandi on my mp3-player to have it with me in the next weeks.

-mE

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