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Sequential Artist Spotlight: Analog Tara

Dr. Tara Rodgers (Analog Tara) is a multi-instrumentalist composer and historian of electronic music. She is the author of Pink Noises: Women on Electronic Music and Sound (2010) and several essays on the history of sound and synthesizers. Her music includes recent techno EPs on 1432 R (DC), several self-released albums, remixes for Beauty Pill and Le Tigre, and a compilation release on Move D’s Source Records. She has presented music and public lectures at MUTEK, Ableton Loop, and many other forums.

We chatted with Analog Tara about how she uses Sequential instruments in her music:

What made you choose Sequential?

I work with a few instruments now in the DSI/Sequential family. My first was a DSI Mopho desktop, which I picked up around 2010 not long after it came out. At that time I was drawn to its size and power. I was putting together a compact analog techno setup for live performance and used an Akai MPC500 to sequence the Mopho and an MFB-522 drum machine. For minimal techno, electro, and acid house it was a big-sounding, fun, and very portable all-hardware combination.

In 2013, I bought a used Oberheim Matrix-1000. I was looking for an affordable way into the Oberheim sound world of Prince’s music and other synth music of that era, and this was it. These vintage synths have actually doubled or tripled in price since then, so I’m glad I acted when I did!

Both of these instruments became central to my studio – irreplaceable, really. And so when I learned about the Sequential OB-6 combining Dave Smith’s and Tom Oberheim’s design expertise, of course I was curious to work with it and in recent months have loved exploring what the OB-6 desktop can do.

How are you using it?

I produce a range of techno, ambient, and experimental music. For the beat-driven music, the Mopho and Matrix-1000 have held down most of the bass, lead and pad duties, respectively, for some years now. I’ve also used the Matrix-1000 extensively, sometimes exclusively, in ambient compositions. The OB-6 is a great addition because it has the vintage sounds and filters that I already love, but also the polyphony and the knob-per-function editability.

My typical process in the studio is to work up ideas with hardware first, sketching out ideas using the MPC500 to sequence synths and drum machines. I then track those loops into my laptop. The tracking stage can be labor intensive as I’ll often make certain creative choices in terms of sculpting the sound, or maybe doing some live filtering that becomes part of the recorded sound. Following that I’ll do extensive arranging and production inside Ableton Live in a way that elevates those analog sounds so that they shine and evolve even more.

What are some of your favorite things about them?

Mopho is spectacular as a bass unit. It remains my go-to for square or sawtooth bass. I don’t use many presets or have a need to create many – all I need is access to those pure wave shapes, maybe some sub boost, and the Curtis filter of course. Mopho bass really cuts through a mix without much EQ or processing and scales up well to a club sound system too. I’ve had people come up to me at shows and ask what’s kicking out that massive bass and it often comes a surprise when I point to this 5×7″ yellow box.

Read more on Sequential.com.

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Soso Tharpa: Upcycled Sonics

Soso Tharpa’s ingenuity spills out of his tracks – they bristle with energy and land with such a punch you imagine banks of sought-after synthesizers and premium signal chains, meters tickling the reds but smoothed out by a high-end console. But the Washington DC-based producer doesn’t believe that more tools bring about better music. Since he began his music production journey almost by accident after purchasing a MIDI keyboard and discovering the bundled copy of Live, he’s focused on pursuing sound through the immediate means at his disposal and avoided the creative cul-de-sac of over-abundance. 

“I didn’t have the hardest of upbringings but I had to do with what I had many times in my life,” explains Tharpa, real name Michael Aniekwe, as we chat on a video call, “and I feel like you hear that with my music. I’ll use the same sample in three different tracks, but people will never know just because of the way I processed it.” 

Aniekwe could be considered early in his career due to his concise discography, but behind the veil of publicly available music are many years spent developing his sound. Since arriving at a point where he was ready to release something out into the world, he’s chosen to keep focused on why he wanted to make music and not subscribe to the demands of the modern age, where productivity and visibility are supposed to equal success. His music has reached respected labels and DJs without the industry-approved pathways of PR and networking, serving as a heartening reminder that genuine talent shines through no matter what.

Read more on Ableton.com.

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EF47 Elastic by Soso Tharpa

Soso Tharpa’s bass heavy expression somehow still conveys a gorgeous and infectious lightness of being.

EF47 Elastic By Soso Tharpa

Ruxpin – Routine Retirement of a Replicant
Foodman – Percussion
Syclops – Spin Cycle
Bep Koroti – Pororonga
Toma Kami – Dali Bear
Linkwood – Nae Drama
Scratcha DVA – Step 2 Funky
Leikeli47 – Girl Blunt (Garneau Bootleg)
Leonce – Penetration Testing
TC80 – Virtual Cascades
Cop Envy – Leisure
Laksa – It Feels Like I’ve Been Here Before
soso tharpa – The Easy Wy Out
Batu & Lurka – Curved
Maxmillion Dunbar – Cassette Arabic
Kowton – Doing Nothing
Ovid – Pressure Plate
Akito – Sneak Diss edit
soso tharpa – drive slow thru (Georgia Avenue)
Flørist – Horn

Check out Soso Tharpa’s Truancy volume here.

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Soso Tharpa – Evolution EP – Boomkat Product Review

Evolution EP Cover Art

Deep but tuff, offbeat house and rolling techno mutations from 1432 R’s secret weapon, Soso Tharpa, fresh from his ace slot on BenUFO’s Rinse FM show.

Marking the Washington D.C. label’s first move since 2020, the ‘Evolution’ EP balances classic and contemporary modes in aN expressive suite of club styles rooted in African rhythms. As with Tharpa’s tracks on Future Times’ ‘FIGS’ comp and Bon Appetit’s ‘A Slice of The Pie’ set, it’s all strong tackle for DJs and dancers, summoning a lather of stuttering Jersey kicks and hypnotic vocal motifs in ‘Action’, before hewing to a ruggedly electroid jakbeat template in the title tune, and spacing out with swirling drums and lush, meditative tension of ‘Hajj’ like some A Guy Called Gerald groover, and giving it up for classic NYC technohouse in the beautifully buoyant flex of ‘Ruminating on Blue’.

Read more on Boomkat.

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soso tharpa announces “Evolution” EP

Soso Tharpa Press Shot

The project is scheduled for a February 24 release.

soso tharpa has announced his first release of the year. Evolution EP will drop February 24 via 1432 R.

“The cats out of the bag, the record I made for 1432r three years ago is being released,” the Washington D.C. artist said on his social media.

According to the write up on Boomkat, the record is said to balance “classic and contemporary modes in an expressive suite of club styles rooted in African rhythms,” imbued with “stuttering Jersey kicks” and “classic NYC technohouse.”

Read more on Slim Filter Mag.

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Max D debuts on 1432 R with fourth album, Many Any LP

Listen to a new track, ‘Fly Around The Room’, now.

Max D, AKA Andrew Field-Pickering, has returned with a new album, Many Any.

The Future Times co-founder’s fourth full-length as Max D will arrive via Washington label 1432 R and is his first since his 2016 album Boost. Listen to a new track, ‘Fly Around The Room’, below.

Read more on Fact.

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Janus Firecrackers, Düsseldorf Diggers And DC’s Hidden Talent: The Week’s Best Free Mixes

Down The Holy Well mix for Extended Family

Washington DC’s Sami Yenigun seems like one of the good guys. As well as co-running the city’s house and techno party destination Roam, writing for the Washington Post, producing radio for NPR and winning awards for his contribution to the fight against Ebola (seriously), he’s behind the 1432 R label, a platform for the emergent Ethiopian electronic music known as Ethiopiyawi. On his Down The Holy Well mix for Extended Family, Yenigun interweaves a bundle of (sadly untitled) 1432 R cuts with hazy house from Future Times, PPU and PAN (in a thread of tracks where the common element is the wonderful Max D). So fresh.

Read more on Fact.