Darwin: Okay. So today I'm getting a chance to do an in person interview, and I'm going be speaking with Andrew Baschyn, who works under the name Baschyn Musik, or just Baschyn and you'll find his stuff online - but I think a bunch more is about to come out. He's working on doing some release work as well, so he's very excited about that. But without any further ado, let me just say hello to Andrew. Hey man. How's it going? Thanks a lot for opening your studio to me to come in here. It's really an amazing opportunity to just kind of sit here. I have actually seen a lot of people who've been working in [this studio] and so it's kind of a special moment for me. Why don't we start off by having you talk, and tell the listeners a little bit about your work.
Andrew Baschyn: Well, I've started producing or dabbling in electronic music as a late teenager. I started in 1990 and back then it was, you know, there weren't a whole lot of schools for it, so you're kind of on your own how to figure it out. And I was lucky enough to be in the Chicago area where there were plenty of studios and I had just moved back to Iowa after high school and worked two jobs - and then end up going to the city and going into the studio maybe once every two or three months when I could afford it.
Darwin: And what kind of music were you doing then?
Andrew: Pretty much the same as I'm doing now. It's electronic music, but it's always been sampler- and sequencer-based. I love drum machines, but it's just the sampler and the sequencer and a mixing board that kind of got me started. And I obviously had an engineer the first couple of years, so I kind of learned from him. But I was pretty much just using the sequencer and sampler (the Emulator III) right at that point and very early digital mixers and processors.
Darwin: Now you have worked in a couple of different working groups. Probably the most well known as Autonomous, right?
Darwin: What is that work about? So you worked with Bobbi [Miller] on that? Uh, it actually spanned a fairly long time if I'm checking my history right.
Andrew: Yeah. Basically at the end of 1996 we did what everyone else does in Minneapolis. You put an ad in the City Pages, and I was specifically looking for a guitar player along the "Slowdive", "My Bloody Valentine" curve. And I met Shane Kramer, so he came in and October of '96 and then we kind of monkeyed around. I think you had mentioned a long song that you enjoyed that we had done. That was probably done in November of '96 and in January we took ad out for a vocalist - we were literally running female vocalists out every 15 minutes from the duplex I lived behind, Orfolk, on 26th and Lyndale. So we were literally running girls out every 15 minutes and somehow Bobbi just had it and it was like, it's chemistry. People always forget it's chemistry. And she particularly had a voice that we couldn't bury. Cause for a lot of those shoe-gaze band the vocals are kind of in the background a little bit more than normal pop voices. So that kind of changed the sound because we couldn't bury her voice.
Darwin: Right. Yeah. It's a very unique voice. I was listening to the double album - I actually had it playing in the car on the way over here. It's amazing because it is almost a classical sort of House-y female voice, but you actually laid a lot of different kinds of musical play behind it. And it was amazing because regardless of what you were slotting in behind it, it always seemed to just fit nicely. And I think that's gotta be hard when you're pulling a collaborator in to do that.
Andrew: Yeah. A lot of the songs started with me and Shane and you know, obviously he's the guitar and bass samples were done actually on that Emulator there. And it was just, we didn't have a lot of gear, so it was basically the Emulator III sampling and parts and arranging them and that. Then we'd pass them off to Bobbi and then maybe use a Minidisc player so we can keep shoving ideas across the table. And a lot of those songs were just ideas that she had the intuition to make songs out of them because some of those songs aren't that complicated and it just kinda takes a good storyteller to pull the actual structure of the song together when sometimes it wasn't a whole lot of structure.
Darwin: So for that work, most of it was really coming out of the Emulator III with her voice over the top?
Andrew: Almost everything, all the albums you've probably heard and up until probably 2005... I tell people it's the Emulator III and then it would just be out through to eight other synthesizers. And when would go into the studio, it would just be, you know, sometimes it'd be leaned up against a wall, MIDI-chained, right? And it would just all go in at one time. And then we'd stack the vocals and the guitars and the harp or violin. But for the most part, the second album that you heard, that was all done on a four track. So it's Emulator III, the Tascam 644 four track (which I still have in the other room). It's an eight channel mixer, four track cassette. But you'd fill up the mixer, take left, right, put the guitar on it, bounce it to DAT, and then bring the DAT back carefully. And then you'd free up two more tracks for voice and harmony. So, sometimes I look back, I'm like, I don't even know who that person was that did that. Cause there weres just so many limitations. But we actually pulled it off.
Darwin: Well, the one thing that that kind of worked did though, that it really forced you to think about the structure of the song while you were working on it rather than waiting to sort of like rearrange it after the fact. You ended up having to do all your breaks and all your your song structure had to all be predefined ahead of time.
Andrew: Yeah. And she had come from a project that was a recording project. So she knew how the studio worked. But in all honesty, I think it was a lack of experience and knowledge that I didn't want to overdub. I kind of made the joke that, you know, if you can't sing it all the way through now, I mean, how do we take it to the stage? And it was purely just me being lazy and I don't want to punch-in and punch-out because I barely know how to use the thing as it is. But, you know, she was a star in that sense that there was no auto-correct either. It was just a [Shure] SM-58, no compression, no nothing, and I still have the same effects processor we used back then and I still enjoy it.
Darwin: That's amazing. And it's interesting that everything went into a 644 because, well, first of all I had a 644 back in the day and I actually loved it because I had had Portastudios before that. But I always thought that the mixers were real problems in those early machines and I felt like that mixer of the 644 was pretty adept for being what it was and it recorded pretty well. Now what's interesting is we've see a lotvof people kind of going back to tape as if that's kind of a Holy grail and something's missing. Do you ever pull it out and try using it anymore or are those days gone?
Andrew: No, absolutely. That's why it's literally there's another studio in the other room, but that kinda has the older gear in it. And the 644 is still there. And obviously the tapes are long in storage, you know, safety, climate. But we'll probably end up pulling some of that just just to get it digitized because I'm now surrounded by people who know way more about the history and how things are gonna pan out with that kind of media that they start wanting, they want to start pulling all that stuff from the DAT's, the MiniDiscs, the four tracks. The, you know, know you're talking. The first album of the double was the black ADAT, it's just two of them. And he had the little standalone locator thing. I think it was an O1R, the first Yamaha, I believe. So that first album was done there, but then, you know, over time, it's interesting that some of the songs that I kind of favor were actually done on the four tracks. And for some reason I don't know why.
Darwin: Well, I would say that one of the things that was really true of that tape timeframe, it kind of had its own heavy hand. It actually did a nice job of blending things for you. And so blended mixes tended to be, I don't know, it seesm more sonically glued together in some way.
Andrew: Simple fact that you know, you can roll off the effect with the return or, you know, crank the pre on the channel itself and just flood the mix slowly. And like at the end of the song, like you want that big gated reverb sound. I mean you can... It's kind of funny that sometimes you can't do it on newer boards and the more you find out from other people, it's like that really was an interesting mix there for that period.
Darwin: Right? So true. So true. Now, one of the things I like doing in my podcast is finding out how people got to be the artists that they are. You know, how did you get into music? How did you decide on electronic music? And who are the people that were influential early on to get you into it? Can you tell me a little bit about that?
Andrew: I guess even going back to even grade school, and early junior high days when rock was kind of rock, I kinda liked the songs that had synthesizers in it - like Journey and Styx, or Asia. I didn't really know what that sound was, but I kinda knew I liked it. And you're talking, I was like in Iowa at this point. So there wasn't MTV yet...
Darwin: You weren't going down the street to see someone use a sampler either.
Andrew: So, and then obviously we moved to the Northern part of Illinois, North Chicago area, probably about the middle of '84 and to this day I joke to my parents, we moved on July 27th of 1984 and that was a day that I had tickets to Van Halen, which, you know, in 1984 that was serious. But we moved to Illinois that day. But as a consolation, my mom took me and my sister to the Thompson Twins and Berlin opened at Poplar Creek - and that was kind of the period where synthesizer music was kind of becoming more and more accessible on stations. And luckily we were on the Lake way up on the North Shore - if you get close enough to the Lake you can get WNUR out of Chicago, the college station. Cause it didn't carry very far and that kind of helped shape what you listened to.
But you know, like you said, what inspired you and got into it, that it's like you go to the newstand and get Number One magazine from Britain, you know, publication. And then you go to the record store that was called Strawberry Fields and you order those records - you didn't really know what you're getting into, right? But then that kind of opened the floodgates and then of course you get your driver's license, you pile your friends in, and then you start going to Wax Trax. And that's where it all starts.
Darwin: But at that time, a lot of what would have been happening in Chicago would have also been pretty industrial-oriented. Right?
Andrew: Yeah. I mean, I was in the drum section in junior high, so that would have been 1984 you know, and we had just moved there and after school one of the drummers lived across the street and we'd go over and he'd play like the UTFO battle records and Roxanne and those records. And I didn't really know what that was, but it was just interesting that that is when I was introduced to hip hop and what kind of became that little sector of urban music - because we were exposed to everything. I tell people like, you know, in Chicago-land there was a Medusa's and there was McGreevy's, they're called juice bars. Back in the day you'd go to McGreevy's on Friday, Medusa's on Saturday. If you're under 21 you've got until like 11:30 then they kick you out. But it was never the alcohol or the drugs, it was just the pure love of music and that's where you got exposed to everything. You'd have the hip hop room with electro and the Spanish HI-NRG, they called it back in the day, which is now called Freestyle. And then in the other room you'd have more Wax Trax, New Order, those types of sounds. And everyone just kind of blended together.
Darwin: You just threw me back there mentioning the HI-NRG stuff. I haven't even really like thought of that as a phrase for a long time. But I remember you'd go into a room where that was blaring and it was just like, "Holy crap, this is like alien and so fricking exciting." That's what must've been really interesting being in that area, because Chicago was one of those places where it really was a musical melting pot. You had a lot of different things going on simultaneously. And it wasn't necessarily always on purely like racial barriers either. It was sort of like a free-for-all, and so much cross- pollination between genres that ended up developing brand new genres out other things.
Andrew: Yeah. Cause I probably had the weird hair and all that other stuff, you know, and the makeup, so people were always kind of like, "You must listen to cool music..." And then I then became friends with some of the people just, you know, what kind of music you like and - "Hey, I DJ." So then the couple of Puerto Rican boys are like, "We want you to come over and bring your records." We didn't know each other, but I went over there and that's when I started to DJ because, I don't know, you'd probably remember I ... I can't tell you one song, but Noel was really big. I had the HI-NRG artists, but just like you said, they just kind of worked.
They played their electro records, freestyle records, and then, you know, I had "Dig It" by Skinny Puppy and they love the beginning of that drumbeat. So I bought a second copy so they could go back and forth between that. But that's the beauty of it. You know, we're all this such a weird ethnic melting pot, like you said. It was just so much more freedom and less ego or something. Teenagers are very formative. But it was like music would always make people get those friendships or those connections.
Darwin: You kind of talked about like getting started with stuff, but there's obviously some place between starting to DJ a little bit and then ending up at an Emulator III. What's the, through connection there that occurred for you?
Andrew: Well, I was lucky enough that my parents, you know, we had piano lessons and then violin lessons briefly and then drum lessons. But of course with drum lessons you have to start on the practice pad and this and that. And then eventually the more electronic music I listened to, it was like, you know, Twitch had come out and I remember Music Center - I think it's still there in Kenosha - that's the music store I took Twitch into, and I'm like with my dad and I'm like "I want to make music like this". And they said, "That's called a sampler son."
And that directed me towards the Prophet 2000 keyboard. And my dad's like, "We're not spending that kind of money... you have a Pearl Export Series you're not even playing anymore!" But that was when I decided that, eventually, I'm going to get to that point. And then a couple of years later I figured out the hard way. You've got to work two jobs and spend $400 a day in a studio and then hope you get something out of it.
Darwin: So you literally bootstrapped yourself by just working to get studio money and then banging it all.
Andrew: Yeah. Cause like after high school I told my parents, "Don't waste your money on college cause that's just not for me." But at that point when you're back in the middle of Iowa, I didn't really know what I wanted to do. So I'd like maybe pick up a second job and start figuring this out. And they have The Reader - like we have the City Pages - and one of the studios, Chicago Rehearsal Complex on South Prairie by McCormack place, listed that they had an Emulator III in the whatever ad they were running. I think the reason why that gravitated towards me is because I didn't know anything about EMU, but I just knew I'd been seeing Depeche Mode since '86 - since the Black Celebration Tour.
And this is now 1990, so I think that branding of them with EMU - well if it's good enough for Depeche Mode is good enough for me. And just go into the local stores back then, the Emulator II's were still in the store. But probably the connection where I decided where that was. And then, obviously, it's like, "Why am I spending X amount of money? You know, maybe I can get my own, right?" And then in '91 right before I moved to Minnesota, it was this cute little girl, "Hey, can you help me fill out this credit application for Gant Music." And they were dumb enough to get financing, for five years, on an Emulator III. And I remember I was so cheap, I'm like, well I'm staying in Kenosha. So let's just ship it over the border so I'm don't have to pay tax. I guess that's when I kind of figured out that I don't have an engineer to show me how to use this. I have to figure this out.
Darwin: Wow. So prior to that you were kind of depending on other people to do the technology part and were just focusing on the music?
Andrew: No, this is just me by myself in the studio in Chicago. And I had an engineer, but I'd always like, I think the South Side song you might've listened to that was just little snippets of sounds in the emulator. And I had to tell him what little teeny, tiny part I wanted, so he had to go in and edit that stuff and then I'd arrange it and ... do that, do that. Then there was like a weird distortion that happens on "two" in that song; the highway wraps around Lake Shore Drive at that point, and we were getting a lot of CB noise. So then all of a sudden the song you heard, there's like a 45 minute version of that where you pick up these weird frequencies, right? And I'm like, "No, don't retake it I want that excellent stuff!"
Darwin: Oh, that's hilarious. You know, you're just reminding me how crude some of the things were that we had to do in order to get stuff out of our heads. I mean, early sampling stuff. The Emulator, through, is cool. But I remember cutting tape, you know, I certainly remember doing bounces on ADAR and stuff to try and pull things together. It's some of the crudeness of that - I don't think I could put up with that. I don't think I would have the patience to deal with that in order to make a song.
Andrew: You know, maybe it's my age, but I tell people like, you know, with somebody who has distractions or so much information in your hand or your pocket, you know... Back in those days you went to work, you found the time to make music. You found time to hang out with a girl and it was a lot less distraction. So you had a lot more free time and boredom sets in. And so I'm like, "I might as well figure this out." And that first Emulator III: the one I got was only four megs, there was a format version of eight Meg version. So the first one, I only had four megs or sample memory. So you really had to be particular on what you wanted and that's why I bounced in the MIDI quickly after that. I've told people like, yeah, it was probably the world's most expensive drum machine for me because I'd just take individual drum hits and write and use synths and other things to fill out the song. Because after a while you just ran out of sample memory.
Darwin: So what would you be using for sequencing then?
Andrew: Oh, the Emulator - That's a 16 track sequencer.
Darwin: Wow, that's amazing. But I guess I can't imagine it, you know, I've known people who have started off that way. And there's something about when you're, when you 'do' that first thing that you learn in depth, you start thinking in those ways then. That's how you imagine building up a track. Is that kind of how it felt for you?
Andrew: Yeah. And I guess, you know, you just kind of have that weird feeling of like, "Oh, is this gonna work or is it not gonna work?" And after a while you kind of know it is gonna work. But you know, with the 16 track sequence... I mean, literally up until 2005 I used that thing and it was temperamental and it's obviously healthy now. But you know, at that point I went to the MPC 2000 XL, which is the same thing. It's still a sampler and a sequencer. And I still to this day, I've never used computers for much of anything.
Darwin: And so I'm here in your studio and it is refreshingly computer free. What is the point at which you actually move to digitize stuff? Or do you let somebody else deal with it?
Andrew: No, at this point, we've obviously got the Toft [mixer] within the last year, so what we do now is we kind of fill up the 24 tracks, and my phenomenal tech goes, "Hey you got that Tascam 38, so let's get that up and running!" And then of course he explained - 'cuz I'm by far not a great engineer - but he goes, "Let's just start busing the eight out of the Toft, into the Tascam and then those eight tracks we'll dump down into the Apogee, because that has eight in and then it will go into Logic. But for the most part Logic is a glorified tape recorder.
Darwin: Okay. Got it. So you don't... yeah, that's interesting. Well again, it implies that you have carried forward this idea of how you do sequencing and how you do song structure and stuff. It's kind of the same has been the same all along.
Darwin: Now you talk about - and I noticed the MPC is in a fairly prominent part of your studio here. Is that kind of your Work Central? Is that where you're sequencing out of now?
Andrew: Yeah, I mean it's two in, two out, so it's kinda like, one mono bass and one polysynth to kind of get the ideas going. And then you can keep going in and out through if you want. When you get to that point, obviously Logic and the MPC locks and then they can go in and then you can start... my work with Faith [Eskola]...
You can get stuff into the box that way and then she can go ahead and play freehand keys over it. She's a phenomenal player - violin or whatever else she wants to put in it. But it's like I always tell her, I'm like, "We just always have to be locked." But even when I go play live, you know, it's like the MPC, mute mode, that kind of makes you a little bit more experimental, and that will never be the same show twice because you've got X amount of pads to work with. You've got X amount of drums in there. Just kind of wing it.
Darwin: Yeah. It's funny because I know for myself I tried really hard to embrace things like the Octatrack and some of these other things that represented a new version of that kind of sequencing. But I would, I would always find myself being like, "Where's the equivalent of the mute mode on the MPC?" Because once you get used to realtime playing of your sequence like that, it's a very unique and very powerful way to work.
Andrew: Yeah. And you know, when we were really hitting it hard live, it's like we would link all our sequences together and our segments, you mean I tell them, you know, we're starting at sequence 88, we've got to go to 99 and you just sit there - you khow terrifying it is, you just started rolling, you know. And you really have to be, you have to be on top of it.
Darwin: So true. Now, one of the things that's interesting to me is that all of our discussion about about song development and about recording and stuff has all been about sampling and sequencing. But here in this room I see a tremendous amount of analog gear. At what point did the analog stuff start speaking to you and how does this relate? When I listened to some of your older music, there seems to be a time period where you were really drawn into the Techno of the time. And I would say even kind of Midwest-style Techno. And to me that had a sound, a very analog sound. And then and then you kind of embrace the electro and the more sample-oriented forms at at some point; it seems like you go back and forth. What does the analog stuff mean to you? How do you use that in conjunction with these sampling tools, and then how do you take something like that and play live with it?
Andrew: Well I guess what we're talking in sampling... you know, the drum machines are always sampled into the MPC or Emulator because I've never sampled from anyone else. You probably remember the days where there were sample CDs and, you know, we didn't ever go down that rabbit hole. So everything for me has always been the drum machines are individually hit into the sampler. And then after that, it's pretty much that the analogs have always been there. When I had the money - in my early twenties - it was like a [Roland Juno] 106, okay. And then after that a [Roland] JX8P and then after that I bought the first [Access] Virus and for some reason I didn't particularly care for it.
But Guitar Center's like, "Well you only get store credit." So back in the day in Future Music [magazine] you just read reviews and read what's coming out and the [Waldorf] Pulse was being released. And that Pulse is still obviously my main go-to for Bass. But it's like I told people: it took me probably decades to figure out that I was always kind of analog. I didn't even realize it. Aside from the [Roland] JD-990, which is the digital stuff you probably hear in the earliest stuff. The only digital I ever really used was that 990.
Darwin: Oh really? That's interesting. I had a [Roland] JD-800, which is just a keyboard version. Same thing. I thought that that was a phenomenal piece. You still see serious players have them in their rigs because it had a very unique sound.
Andrew: Yeah. And you had to do your math because with the parts and the polyphony, right? But you didn't really realize that was right before the analog simulations and virtual analog came out. I mean, it was like when the [Roland] JP-8000 came out, that kind of pretty much changed the game. Cause the Nord Lead 1 was obviously technically the first one I believe. But I've never really been into digital synths for some reason. There're some laying around here, but I don't know what it is. It's always been analog for some reason.
Darwin: And so do you ever like do sound design on the analog gear and sample that?
Andrew: Oh yeah - even to the point where there's analog effects pretty much on the console. So when you start experimenting with that, using the dual-spring reverb, when you got the [Roland] SBF chorus-flanger from Roland, you just tell people that's the beauty of MIDI. You can just walk around and change MIDI channels and just keep going. And then that's where you kind of find that as long as it's playing the same thing, you can go find different layers and different ways of using effects - where you kind of like commit, go on, commit, go on. Where I'm more of a, slow, you know, play around...
Darwin: So you say you're mostly analog, although I will say the one thing that I see, probably quantity-wise, most in this room is Waldorf care. And Waldorf is kind of a funny thing because for most of their life they at the very least, no matter how digital they were, they kind of always had analog filters. Or the filters were close attempts to be analog-ish. Is that what allows them to be part of your mix or is there something historically important to you about the Waldorf stuff? What's the Waldorf dance?
Andrew: People like a certain brand, they kind of give it a shot and you know, I tell people, nine times out of 10 the stuff that's in this room really wasn't by design. It just kind of fell into my lap. But you know, the Pulse wasn't by design. Cause I think at one point someone said you can link four of them together and make up a big poly synth. So of course you had to have four of them.
Have I ever done it? No.
But I mean, there's something warm and dirty about them for some reason. I think that's why they have that distinct sound.
Darwin: Well, it's interesting you just mentioning the Pulse... I was working at Nova Musik in Milwaukee back in the day, and I remember when the Pulse came out... We had a pretty good deal with their distributors, so we got them fairly early. I normally don't like those matrix programming [interfaces], but I'm going to give it a shot. I plugged it in and I had some Genelecs at the time and I hit that first baseline.
I was like - Holy Hell. That had such a unique sound for the time. And the store had sold a lot of virtual analog stuff. But it was clearly different. It was a very clear, clear winning move on Waldorf's part.
Andrew: Yeah. And like I said, when I got it I didn't really know what I was getting into. But like I said, with limited information, you read Future Music or you heard from your friends. I was surprised the Guitar Center even had it, honestly. But then I got the Pulse Plus (luckily) so you can filter it, probably almost like most things that have been done in the last almost 30 years... The pulse had been around, what, since maybe '96, '95? Because even when low end wasn't really the norm, I always had that sub-by low end that I'd always get from the pulse. So that kind of became part of the brand was. That's your go-to.
Darwin: One of the things that the Midwest at that timeframe was kind of known for was it's rave party scene. Were you ever involved in that much?
Andrew: I wish I could say I was that cool, but I wasn't.
Darwin: Cause you been involved in the further steps recently, right?
Andrew: I think when they rebooted Further, yeah. But I just never really got into that scene. I bought Drop Bass records. But I think it was just because we were just in Chicago. We were into clubs, you know, and it was just going at that point, I remember reading, you know, fantasizing about going to Europe, because you would get DJ magazine and MixMag. You used to see all these things and then everyone's worried about people you know, dehydrating and dying of - the E-scare. But I think I went to one rave here, I'll never forget that they had the 1200's on cinderblocks and I think Woody [McBride] was at that one. It was over near Central and Broadway. But I think that was the only one I ever went to outside of the very first show we ever did. We were like "They ain't gonna dig this..."
Darwin: Right. When I listen to the broad range of your music, there's some of it that would really fit into that world at that timeframe I think, you know?
Andrew: Yeah. But I think at that point I didn't really have a whole lot of friends that were into that. So, you know, we were more into indie rock and that type of stuff. Because even when Autonomous has started playing in Minneapolis, and me and Radke were talking about it, you know, when they were doing their thing, we were kind of by ourselves - because there weren't really any electronic projects to play with. In the mid-nineties here, you know, there was a big DJ scene obviously and stuff, but there weren't really a whole lot electronic projects. And then if you think about it, I think we had Red Red Groovy and some other things, but there weren't really any bands playing.
But then there was like when Korg released those, those first three Electtribes, and the [Roland] MC-303 came out. I remember someone came up to me, "Oh I want to make electronic music. What should I start with?" I'm like: "Get an MC-303!" because they had just come out. They're pretty cheap compared to other things. And I think that's when you started seeing more and more electronic projects come out - it was when the MC-303 came out, and the three Electribes came out. It was like BAM! And it was great 'cuz' it's like you had to buy it.
Darwin: But I remember the MC-303 especially, it was one of those things where you could get it and, even if you were a neophyte, you could get credible sounds out of it and it would do that thing that's so hard with learning instruments: you would actually get credible results before you got sick of it and quit. And I think that that's kind of a key with a lot of instruments, it's making it so that it's approachable so that you can really have fun and do something that you think is cool before you get so frustrated that you just walk away. You know?
Andrew: Right. Cause I think after the Pulse, the next big purchase was the 309, the Rave-o-lution. And I think that predated the MC-303 to be the first groove box, but the bass was interesting in it, but I think it's because I was used to the Pulse. It just never had the pump on the low end.
Darwin: It had kind of a squeaky filter on it too, which is a little bit odd. But also that was also a time when when people really started getting focused on trainspotting gear. And so since Quasimidi wasn't something that appealed, I think the name killed it for them. Rave-o-lution. Maybe that didn't help.
But that was when the vintage thing and the collecting started happening. Now I'm curious because you have an extraordinary collection of instruments. I think people can occasionally see [posts] where people come and work in your studio they see the racks and stuff. It's amazing. This looks like it could be a museum and it looks like it probably would cost the museums worth to get it. How did you build a collection of gear at this point? Are you just sort of like a guy who never sells anything?
Darwin: Okay. You're that guy.
Andrew: I mean, you know, the last couple of years it's like I don't really buy new things. I think the newest thing I bought was the Model B when it got MIDI'd right. And before that I think it was 2015 they sent me one of the first Prophet 6's. And I remember where I had to headline in the Fine Line and I was used to the 106 and the MPC, I, that's all I go out with because that was just kind of easy. And then I remember, I'm like, well the MIDI data's the same... I had a quick scramble for two days to get the Prophet 6 six to where I wanted it.
Cause obviously I never use stock sounds - you have to make your own. But it just spoke to me and like I tell people - that hasn't left the desk since it got here. But most of the stuff... it's either, "Hey you want to trade?" or nothing, really. And most of the stuff, I'd never really went out and had to say I wanted that. Like, I walked into a Music Go Round in Chicago and they had the Prophet 5 and I think it's only $1,700 and this was, well, maybe 2006-2007, so they still were climbing up [in price]. I remember it came with the Prophet Remote. So then I went home and I'm like "Well, I don't know where this remote is supposed to connect to...""
And then I went onto Vintage Synths and I'm like, "Oh I have a Rev 2." And I didn't realize that the Rev 2 was the one you wanted anyway. And it's interesting cause it [it was from] a little music store, a rental in Chicago on Lincoln, and it probably spend its total life in Chicago. But it was just one of those things that, you know, your lady - "Hey is your credit card clear? I got you. No, I'm mad at you."
But yeah, I mean it was like, when people always talk about the Prophet 5 and the OB-8, they are very good compliments to each other. And it's like my buddy that worked at Guitar Center, in the corporate side - and they're blowing the Poly Evlovers out. So I'm like, "Give me all the boxed ones you got!", 'cuz I get them at cost. So then I had three Poly Evolvers that were boxed and then my buddy is like, "Hey, I want a Poly Evolver." I'm like, "Okay..." So you know, you put the OB-8 on the table and then put the Poly Evlovers on it. I think some DX-7's or something. But that's how you trade and have fun.
Darwin: That's interesting because because you're coming to it without a lot of desire, it actually gives you the ability to be a lot more flexible about trying things and taking advantage of opportunities when they come.
Andrew: Yeah. Like, I remember I walked into Guitar Center and they just got a [Access Virus] Ti used and the guy's like, "I'll give it a really good deal on it." I'm like, "Well, you know, I didn't like the first one, but at this price, why not?" And then a couple of years later my buddy's like, you know, I kind of want a Ti - I'll trade you the Prophet VS." So then that's how I got the Prophet VS, but it was just like, what do you got?
Darwin: That's a neat way to go. But that also does put you in a great position. And also, I mean there is sort of the reputation of when something comes into this studio, it never is going to leave again. Which is kind of a great opportunity, because the other thing that that gives you is the ability to really honor the history of the work that you've done. To a certain extent by still having all these instruments, if you want it to recreate or even extend something that you did a while ago, you probably have the instrumentation to do it right?
Andrew: Yeah. My way of thinking is if it's documented and on a track, it's not going anywhere; either a guitar pedal or a rack effects unit or a synth or a drum machine. I mean, it's one of those things - maybe it's a pack rat and me, but it's just one of those things that if I have to go back, it's always going to be there.
Darwin: So, unfortunately, our time is almost done and I had a bunch of this stuff... I want to ask though, given that we're in the Studio Of Plenty: when you come in, you just want to have fun, you want to make music for yourself, maybe you've had a hard day or maybe something pissed you off and you just want to make yourself happy. What do you turn on?
Andrew: The Emulator III.
Darwin: Really? Still to this day? That's awesome. Well, it certainly does have a prime place in your studio: front and center.
Andrew: It's only 'cuz it just gotten the power supply replaced. So now it's back up and rolling again.
Darwin: So what have you got coming up in the future? I know we've been talking and you're actually kind of working on pulling together some of your older material for re-release right?
Andrew: Yeah. I think next year will be the 30 year anniversary. We'll be doing this, which makes me feel old, but most of the Autonomous stuff will be coming out, and then the me and Faith's project will probably be coming out, and of course the Baschyn stuff will be coming out, you know, individually with guest remixers on vinyl. So then that'll be like the old days, it'd be like one original track and three remixers from all over the world just to bring that model back.
Darwin: That's great. But you had some remixing done on some of your tracks. I just thought it was really, I think it might've been an Autonomous truck that you had a really nice remix done.
Andrew: Alexander East did one.
You know, he's a dear friend and I'm sure we're going to run out of time. But even how he made that remix, he got a MiniDisc of just Bobbi's voice and he didn't really know how the song went, but then he just blurted in his ears, he said, and he figured out the hook was "Wash it away", because his daughter was younger at the time and she was bopping around the house singing "Wash it away..."! So then he used the Moog Realistic, and an ASR-10 and he played all the bass guitar. Such a talented guy - Alexander East. He played everything into a four track MiniDisc. That's where that remix came from. And I was like, well, even if you go on YouTube, that song hits so hard on YouTube. I don't know why. I don't know if it's because maybe this compresses it a certain way, or it's the vinyl version of it... But it's just weird that that was one of the last things Autonomous did, you know? But it was one of those things that everything was in the right place at the right time.
Darwin: I'll put some information on the show notes for people who want to want to check out your work. But for people who want to know more about, about Baschyn Musik or Autonomous or whatever, what's the best place for them to go? Because a lot of the work that you did was in that weird spot where it was kind of like post-magazine but pre-internet. And so there's not a lot of documentation to be had.
Andrew: Probably the Baschyn Instagram for now. And then that will probably lead into - you how it is, there are so many moving parts - to get the next chapter going. I ask people because you know how it is, you've got a mixer, you got to master, you got this guy, that guy. You have to have a village and I'm fortunate to have a village, but now what's the next chapter? So that's why just Instagram seems to be where everyone's at these days.
Darwin: All right, great. Well, we'll make sure that we send people over there. I want to thank you so much for taking the time to have a chat, and for talking through all this stuff. It was a really interesting view inside your head, into your process. I love that stuff. So that was really cool, man.
Copyright 2019 by Darwin Grosse. All right reserved.