Transcription: 0380 - Panic Girl (Martha Bahr)

Released: May 1, 2022

Darwin: Okay today, I have the great opportunity to have a chat with somebody we've actually been interacting for quite a while, but we finally were able to get our schedules in sync today. I'm talking to Panic Girl. Panic Girl, her actual name Martha Bahr. But if you run across her work online, it'll be under the name Panic Girl. She's just had a couple of really great releases and I've been listening to them all morning, getting ready for this discussion. So that's great. We'll talk a bit about that. But also she has a very interesting and active YouTube channel and she does some live performance, which we'll talk about as well. So with no further ado let's say hello to Panic Girl, Martha Bahr. Hey, how are you doing?

Martha: Hi. Thanks for having me. I'm fine. How are you?

Darwin: Thanks a lot for being here. I'm all right. I'm glad we were finally able to get our schedules together. We've been talking about doing this for a year and a half.

Martha: Yes. Quite a while.

Darwin: Yeah, indeed. Well, I think when we first started talking about, it was right before you were going to do a virtual SuperBooth performance or something. I was in the middle of that COVID hellhole, but you were still finding a way to get there and perform, which I just really appreciated. So for the listeners, why don't we start off by having you tell us, what you think of as your body of work?

Martha: My main work I would say is my work at the broadcast station here in Munich. That's my day job where I compose for radio features. For example, radio features for children or politics or anything. If anyone likes to book us in the radio they can do it, it doesn't matter what topic it is. And that's a very interesting work because it's way different than composing as Panic Girl, because I have to compose to this topic, for example, one of my first features was about death explained to children, very difficult for me to start off this kind of talk, but it was so interesting. And the first draft I had just to throw them in the bin because they were too much for this topic and I had to go way more light on that. So it wouldn't get too dark, for example.

But that's a very interesting line of work. And then I'm also having my music, my compositions as Panic Girl. They're quite different obviously. I'm doing ambient and electronica music and performing life whenever I have the chance. With COVID of course opportunities weren't too many out there. But as you mentioned, some online performances and stuff like that. And then I'm also a writer for a German print magazine, Sound and Recording, where I get to, for example, write reviews on modules, Eurorack modules. Depends on, for example, about a synthesizer plug-in that could do interesting surround sounds binaural sounds as well. That very much too, to just dig in into different modules and plugins I didn't know before. I'm also very active on social media, on YouTube, as you mentioned, Facebook, Instagram, and doing my little videos there where I show what gear I use at the moment to create my music. And that's very much fun too.

Darwin: All right. So it's fair to say that one of the things that's not part of your thing is sleeping. It doesn't sound you're giving yourself any opportunity to take a break whatsoever.

Martha: It sounds like it but I don't know why, but it was very clear for me from the beginning that I wanted to have a variety of jobs. I didn't want to have a 9:00 to 5:00 job where I had to do the same stuff over and over again. That is, I guess, very rewarding to other people. But I always like the challenges, adventures digging into new stuff, trying out new opportunities. I always also like very much when companies approach me with new projects, new ideas. It's quite busy, but I sleep. I do sleep.

Darwin: Okay. Well, the thing that I love hearing though too, is that just because you're getting some attention for your YouTube channel, for example, you're not trying to just make a living off of being an influencer or something like that. And in I was really engaged by your YouTube channel because it was a very personal thing, right? You're like, well, here's what I'm doing now. And I got this new thing and I just plugged it in and it sounded so cool. I just wanted to... It's-

Martha: To share it.

Darwin: Yeah, to share. It's interesting because there's never a sense that you're pushing it. In fact the last person that needs a salesperson is Peter Blasser. He doesn't have any problems selling the Cocoquantus - but it's cool that you're out there showing people how you use this stuff for yourself. That's cool.

Martha: Yeah. I think for me, the most important thing is to just stay myself because otherwise it doesn't make sense, not to me and not to the viewers or listeners. And just to show what I'm excited about. And there are many people who are love Eurorack modules, Eurorack synthesizers, or to learn by watching other people patching. I think you really can see it right away if someone wants to sell something or just shows you what you like.

Darwin: Now your most recent release, I think, is the Washed Ashore album, right?

Martha: Exactly.

Darwin: Can you tell me a little bit about that. It's interesting because I got certainly tastes of that when I was watching the videos. You were showing how some of those sounds were made, but this is a very interesting collection.

Martha: Yeah. It was a great opportunity actually, because Moog approached me last year for the SuperBooth Festival and Messe in Berlin, that I visit every year actually because I really love the vibe there. And then Moog approached me and asked me if I would like to do a live performance for them. And the nice thing or the challenging thing as well was, that they sent me a bunch of synthesizers for that performance. And I had about three or four weeks to learn those synthesizers and then play live with them. So there was pretty short notice, but they wanted exactly to see what I and the other performers could do with those synthesizers in such a short time. And was really great. I got the Moog Matriarch and the sound studio, so the Subharmonicon, the Mother-32 and the DFAM.

Darwin: Oh, okay.

Martha: Yeah. And then I composed, I think 45 minutes set for them. And I really loved playing those synthesizers. I didn't have a Moog actually be beforehand at my studio. Of course I know the sound and many friends of mine and colleagues have Moog synthesizers. And since I had them here in my studio, so don't want to give them ever away again. Especially the Mother-32 for bass sounds, wow. I just plug it in and it just works. And it doesn't depend on the song or genre, it always works somehow. It's just magic with Moog. And the Matriarch it's so smooth and creamy in its sound and the delay, it's just amazing. I love them.

Darwin: That's great. It's funny because a long time back I had some Moogs, but I never was able to afford a MiniMoog. So when the most recent kind of series of Moogs came up, I bought one too. It was my first like kind of premium Moog machine.

Martha: Which one did you get?

Darwin: I ended up getting the Subsequent 37.

Martha: Oh, nice.

Darwin: Just because I happened to like the look of it. I am really influenced by the look of a synthesizer drawing me into using a synthesizer.

Martha: Absolutely.

Darwin: And so it just happened to just really capture my attention from the look of it. And I have just really been enjoying it. But in a similar way, it seems you can kind of turn it on and no matter what you're trying to accomplish, it just is right under your fingers. It's amazing.

Martha: It's really amazing.

Darwin: So man, I already have a bunch of questions. But before we get there, what I want to do is I want to talk to you about your background. One of the things I like doing for the people that I talk to is learn a little bit about their background. Now you have revealed a bunch of stuff I didn't even know. I didn't realize that you were working with this radio composition work. I had no idea you were involved with Sound and Recording. Whenever I go to Germany, I'll stop at the first news stand and get it. I can't understand a word of it, but there's just something about the presentation that always captures my attention. But also all the other stuff. Where are you coming from? How do you get to become the artist that you are and this multifaceted person? And who were some of the people that influenced you to become what you are?

Martha: So I think I knew I wanted to be involved in music, actually very young, at four or five years. I was just so fascinated by music, by the medium, that I knew I want to spend my life with it. It was pretty much clear to me back then already. And then I made music my whole in one way or the other. I started playing the piano and played a bit of guitar. I was in the school choir for quite a while, for many years. That was very fun too. And then I started playing in a band where I played guitar and I sang. And there our bass player, he told me about the School of Audio Engineering, SAE, which is worldwide and there was also one in Munich. And he just told me that there is this program, this course, audio engineering course. And I knew right away, I just listened to him and I knew, okay, that's exactly what I want to do.

And back then, I was actually studying at the university, it was history in German. And I just ran to my parents and said I have to stop studying and start with the school of audio engineering. And my parents just saw my eyes just sparkling and my enthusiasm and they went with me with this decision and supported me because the school you had to pay for it monthly as well. And then I could start really this course, this audio engineering course. And then it just went from there, actually with all the connections I made there, the teachers, with some of them I'm still friends. I actually, after this course, started working there as well.

I think I was one of the first women there to work with all those guys. That was a funny time. That was the only school as well, which had an automat, I don't know the English word, only where you could get your coffee from this automat or some Coke or those drinks, soft drinks, but also beer. A whole bottle only for beer, that's Bavaria as well. But it was a very funny time. And I learned so much there because I started out as a tutor and then I also got to teach lessons for the students. And then I also became a course leader, for the electronic music producer course.

And just every day, getting all those questions asked all the time, how does that work? Why does that not work? How do I solve that problem? I had to solve problems always on my own. That was important for everyone who worked there, to just get the answers as fast as possible to the students. And it was such a good time for me to learn how to solve problems, where to get the answers from and just get some kn owledge and knowledge base for me. And then after that, I started working at a student radio station, which was also very fun time and very creative staff there. And working all those live sessions also with bands and learning all the equipment, which was of course, totally different than to a recording studio, having to broadcast.

And after that I got to the big broadcast, the public broadcast station, Bayerischer Rundfunk in Munich where I still work. And I always enjoy this challenges as mentioned and back in the school, I also read regularly the Sound and Recording magazine. And I just thought, I'll just write them and ask if they would like to try with me as a writer for them. And they just said, "Okay. Just send us a test article. And if we like it, we continue. And if not, we don't." And they liked it, fortunately.

Darwin: Had you done any writing before that, other than just school papers and stuff?

Martha: Never actually, no. But it was very different and very rewarding kind of work as well. I know I started out with this series, Sound Pioneers. My first article was on Vangelis where I'm a big fan of. And it was great researching all those sound pioneers which influenced the whole recording industry. And after that, I think I did a little bit of remix work too here and there. I tried also live mixing for several times, but that wasn't for me, so I stopped that. And then I started, of course during all the time my music as Panic Girl composing all the time also for myself actually. And that was always a big part of my life too.

Darwin: So now one of things I would say when I listen to your music, it is really quite composed. They're very melodic. And it actually kind of stands out because you are very up upfront about using modular systems and using the Octatrack and using a 2600 and a bunch of this stuff. But your music still remains very melodic. Now, nothing about your background other than, I guess, being like in a coral group really kind of points to that musical background. Did you take lessons and stuff like that? Did you study music in any formal way or was it just more self-learning and learning what it is that you liked?

Martha: I learned the piano for several years, so I got a little bit of background there, and one or two years of guitar lessons. But other than that I didn't study music. So the rest is self-taught, I guess, and listening of course to the music I love, my heroes. I was always a big fan, for example, of Pink Floyd, which influenced me a lot. I always tried to get the minimalism of Pink Floyd, which I really adore. But still getting so much feeling and atmosphere in their music, but with very minimalistic composition. That's one thing I always have some somewhere in my head while composing, or Massive Attack, which got me into electronic music in the beginning with their album Mezzanine. In the beginning, I always tried to get this bit of the dark vibe of it and try to copy them as much as I could actually.

Darwin: It's really interesting you say that. There are so many people I know that if you corner them and ask them for their three most influential albums, two of them will be just completely random and the third will always be that Massive Attack album. It was so influential to so many people.

Martha: Very iconic, I still love it. Also that's maybe, I guess a little bit unusual for electronic musician, the band Tool. What I loved about them very much, and still do, is how they play with rhythms, especially, and also their mixing style. Because back in the days when I was listening to them on a daily basis, actually I read that they, for example, mix the vocal like an instrument, not as in pop music where the vocal is way up front. But really like the guitar and the other instruments very equally. And I love that idea. And I always try that with my music too, when I'm singing, I'm not always singing on my tracks. And also those polyrhythmic stuff going on, it's crazy what they were doing and I will never get it the way they do, but I always have it somewhere in my head while composing.

Darwin: Yeah. Well you connect the door open there on a couple of things I wanted to talk about. But one of them specific is your use of voice. You're one of the few people who will have a microphone and a modular system in the same room. But your voice really in the context that you use it, sometimes you sing lyrics, but always it has this ethereal sense of being one of the instruments in the composition.

Martha: Exactly. That's the influence of Tool. Where I don't like to put myself way up front, but equally with the instruments. I think synthesizer and the voice, they all should get some the same attention.

Darwin: So what made you want to incorporate voice into your music? Again, it's not something a lot of synthesists do. Is there something particular about the timbre of the voice that really works for you? Do you like the sound of it in combination or is there a kind of communication that you get with your voice that you just can't get with a synthesizer?

Martha: All of those three points, I guess. I also think the voice is the most personal way to translate your feelings, to get your message across, I guess. Because you can shape all those tones and words exactly how you want it. And I think with my musical background or my musical idols, like Pink Floyd, they have a singer, Tool has a singer, Massive Attack they also use guest singers very often. So I think that was just those idols who influenced me. So I also wanted to incorporate my voice. And with the ambient music I'm doing without voice, I guess it's the influence of YouTube and Instagram and all this community online with the modular community where ambient is more present without voice. And so I got to love that too a lot. And I wanted to try that and it's fun too. It's just quite different, but it's very relaxing also not to use the voice, I guess.

Darwin: Well, one of the things that's interesting to me is actually the tones that you choose with your synthesizer are often very voice like. And so then when you bring your voice in the combination, it's a very conducive fit between the sounds. But the other thing I would say is that you are not shy about using effects. Everything you do is really heavily wrapped in effects to the point where I would say that effects probably make up more of your sound design than even synthesis.

Martha: Yeah. That could actually, as you say, be quite true. Yes, I love effects. I like very much also having multiple effects on one single voice. Just to get to experiment more what you could do. I also love pure synthetic voices, synthesizer voices. For example, the triangle or sign waves are my favorite ones, but I always love to see what you can do with experiments. Just a big bit crusher and then also a reverb or delay of course, and then maybe some different wave shaping devices and to see where it gets me. Sometimes it's quite heavy I guess, but it's very fun. It's just very fun to use.

Darwin: Yeah. Well when I kind of watched your videos, from oldest to newest, what was interesting is that there wasn't necessarily a lot of variety in the voices. The Verbos Harmonic Oscillator has been in your system the whole time. And similarly, the Mutable Instruments oscillator.

Martha: I have several, yes. The rings and plates.

Darwin: Yeah. But these are things that kind of live through. What I did see change a lot, was your use of the effects that you chose. A lot of times you'd have delays and stuff, but then later on I saw some Strymon stuff show up.

Martha: Yes.

Darwin: And then also using some external devices then. And you also use the Octatrack a lot, especially in live situations. And I assume that you're using the effects of that as well. And so you really have a lot of dimensions of effects that your system is working with. When you do voice, do you run the voice into the modular or do you have a separate effects setup for that specific for that?

Martha: Usually I have it separately from the modular.

Darwin: So that's interesting, but also one of the things that was really remarkable to me was you did a video of, hey, let's build a patch from scratch. And you have a two row modular and there was practically no synthesis stuff on there. There was a Mimeophon, there was a Morphagene.

Martha: Ah yes, that one.

Darwin: Yeah. There was a mixer and you're very active in doing real time mixing of stuff. But a lot of sound manipulators and it was one oscillator or two oscillators, very simple. And then the other thing that I noticed was that you actually have a lot of different ways to do sequencing. And it was one of the things when I first started listening to your music and again, I knew that you were using a modular system, but I was like, man, you are running a lot of different independent lines and you're bringing them in and out in a very organic fashion. But how do you do that with the system? And then I take a look at your machine, half of your system is sequencers of one sort or another. You have a René, you have a Hermod, you have a Yarns that you're using the internal sequencing on that, you have the Command Center, is that what it's called?

Martha: Ground Control.

Darwin: Ground Control. That's the one.

Martha: Many sequencers.

Darwin: Sequencers just falling from the sky. But I can see where that becomes a really important part of your thing, because that allows you all of these independent lines that you can develop.

Martha: Exactly. And also I'm always in the search for the perfect sequencer which will in the end replace all others.

Darwin: Good luck.

Martha: Exactly. It's really hard goal to go for. For example, the René, I love it for its experimental side where you can program in the notes that you want to have played, but you have no idea in which order the notes will be played. That was actually one of the first modules in my system that really blew me away because I didn't know that concept before. So I really can recommend that to anyone who would like to go in that direction. And then for example, the Dobos sequencer, that's a touch plate sequencer where I can play live a lot. Not just by programming it, but playing arpeggios or just in the moment, whatever melody comes to mind.

And it's very nice to play it with those touch plates. It's very fun. And then the Ground Control actually my favorite at the moment, because it has so many different features and this little keyboard on the module itself. And you can also have, arpeggios played and also your sequences programmed. And it's very versatile, so that's actually something I was looking for so long. And I so far I'm very happy. The Hermod, actually, I was very happy with it in the beginning, but for me, the programming is just...

Darwin: That display is very difficult to work with too. It's so small.

Martha: That for one thing and the menu. Maybe it's not for me. I know other people love it to death, and they only use it. But for me, I don't don't connect with it too much. But on the other hand, as you mentioned, the Yarns module, which is actually MIDI interface and has this extra feature of the sequencer, which I totally love and it's not intuitive at all, but I still love it. I have no idea why. And it also has internal oscillators. That's really one great module to have. And I use it very often, but I'm trying sequencers. But with Ground Control, as mentioned, I think maybe I found it. I hope so.

Darwin: Well, I'll tell you one of the nice things about it is having that keyboard. There's something about having whatever your interaction be actually embedded in the rack, somehow makes the whole thing seem more like an instrument.

Martha: Absolutely. Yes. I also have the Arturia keyboard, the external, which I sometimes take with me because it's very light and has the CV out and gate out on the back, which is very handy to have. But now with the keyboard on the Ground Control, maybe I can leave it at home. That's also always one goal, especially for life performances, to have it as small as possible.

Darwin: Have as few things to carry as possible.

Martha: Yes, exactly.

Darwin: Well, one of the things though that I think every time I saw a performance of you live, you always have the Octatrack. And what does the Octatrack mean for you? What are the things that you use it for in your live set?

Martha: So I think always using it actually as a playback device, because in my music I really love layering sounds. For example, having multiple instruments playing the same melody and also using field recordings very often and manipulating them as well. I also like having kind of classic instruments, strings, piano, cello sometimes accompany the synthesizer lines. And for that, I always have the Octatrack with me because it's very hard for me to just have less melodies or less tracks playing. And that's what I'm using the Octatrack for. Actually, you can do so much more with it, but it's doing its job great for me. I didn't want to take the laptop with me because my laptop is too old now and my studio computer, it can take it on stage with me. And I also like to have it without a screen actually on stage where I don't have to look in it. So that's why I chose the Octatrack.

Darwin: Got it. Well, it's interesting though, that you say that you don't use all the things. I have tried a couple of times to get into the Octatrack and it's never worked, but the reason is because I'm too influenced by people who use it for everything and do everything all the time. And to me, that busyness actually makes me not enjoy playing. And so I find it very frustrating. And a good friend of mine is just a wizard at it. He's doing trig locks all over the place and doing alternate firings and stuff. And it just makes my head spin. I don't find that kind of thing works in a live performance. I actually really like doing the kinds of things that you do, which is this idea of having multiple things going.

But a lot of what you're doing in real time, in addition to starting and stopping different things are happening, is very carefully mixing things in. I think so often people with modular systems, they buy 300 cables, they make sure they use all 300 of them and then make a tremendous noise. And that's what gets shipped out of the machine. And I always feel there is so much subtlety and so much beauty that just comes from having a mixer that you can manipulate in real time. That's a huge way of playing. And that's something that you do constantly. When I watch you play, you're always playing that mixer.

Martha: That's true. That's also one thing which I read so often in mixing books or articles on mixing, that the most important thing actually is getting the volumes right. You can avoid so much, so many plugins in your mix by having the volumes right in the beginning. And I noticed that still in my mixes, sometimes that I just want to use an equalizer right away, or a compressor or something. And then I say to myself: "Wait a second, just check the volumes first." And then it solved itself. It's so simple. It's also such a beginners' trick, but it's still true. And I really like also having all those sounds coming in and out a bit and changing the volume of one sound can change the dynamics of the whole piece also so very much.

And as you mentioned, the subtleties as well. Because especially with my ambient tracks and also with the Moog set that I played last year for SuperBooth, which I enjoy most in this kind of music at the moment, is having my tracks unsynced as much as possible. I like to think almost nothing if possible, and playing around with the volumes and then seeing how those different melodies flowed in and out. And by those combinations of those melodies, they always sound somehow different. Although they're always the same lines especially in this one piece. I don't know if you get what I mean, but it's still always changing because they're not synced actually.

Darwin: Yeah. Well, actually and the one thing that you showed, you even had a tape loop running that was just all part of the whole desynchronized melange. And again, the manipulation of the bringing different sounds in and out was really the compositional movement. And movement seems to be actually kind of a trait of your music, is that it's never jarring, but there's always change happening. And I think that's what makes it very enjoyable to listen to.

Martha: Thank you.

Darwin: Because I look at this Washed Ashore album and some of these tracks are 12 or 13 minutes long. It can be hard to hold a listener's attention for that, but you do a very masterful job. And again, I think it's largely because it has almost as much to do with mixing as it does with sound design.

Martha: Thank you so much.

Darwin: Yeah. So we talked about your live stuff. And life stuff really has a significant place in your body of work, but there's a couple of instruments that, from what I can tell, primarily only exist in your studio. And one is the Cocoquantus, and it looks like also you got a Sidrax organ recently. So with the Ciat Lonbarde stuff, what is it that draws you to that? And also again, you play those things very different than almost everyone else I've heard. Everybody else I heard tends to use them as chaotic noise machines. And instead you have a tendency to make them little playable surfaces that are very tuneful. How hard is it to do that, and what is it that draws you to those instruments?

Martha: I think what drew me to them, I have a friend of mine, Anatol Locker, with whom I play, Lucid Grain too. And he always comes to my studio. We are jamming a bit and then he has this new little wonderful instrument which he brings by, and then I'm totally teased by them. And that was, for example, the Cocoquantus. So he bought it first and I saw it already on the internet and on several YouTube channels and so on. And I love the look as well, very much of it, this wooden instrument. I really love the look and the feel of it, but I thought it's not really for me because I think the original intent of this instrument is to use it as a chaotic noise device, actually. And it wasn't for me as far as I could tell from the YouTube videos.

And then this friend of mine came by and he also tends to more melodic work, more melodic music. And then I got more interested. And then I asked him if I could maybe borrow it for one week or two. And then I was in love with it and had to buy one myself. I also like that every, every Cocoquantus or a Sidrax or all those wooden instrument by Ciat Lonbadre are different because they're using multiple wood types in their instruments and they don't place it on the same place, those different wood types. So they actually look different, every single instrument. That's also something that I love about them very much. As you mentioned, I use them more melodically. I think if you get a short introduction on the functionalities on the basic ones, how to record something into it, how to modulate the sound of it, then it is quite easy to use because you put your input source into the Cocoquantus, record it, and then you can play it back, the small, very short loop, and then you can modulate it. The forward backward function and also the starting that it jumps back to the starting point and that's just experimentation.

And it really fits well in my music at the moment, because it's not synced, how I use it as on my other instrument and melodies, which I also like to not sync to the rest if possible. And I think the most difficult part is to get the time right of the different melodies that it doesn't sound like, "Oops, she did forget to sync!" To, "Oh, wow. It's polyrhythm or something like that!" That's, I think, the most difficult part to get there right. But I use it so often that I know already. For example, sometimes I like to have a pulsing sound that is the main temple, the felt main temple of the track, and then maybe in our arpeggiated sound that is way faster. So the ear doesn't try to fit it into the more slow pulsing sound, for example.

That's always one thing I am doing to make it way faster. Some sounds and maybe some melodies, which are not present all the time, but more like long string sounds, for example, which don't have to be in time as well, but just float in and float out from time to time. And with the Cocoquantus, it's always a little bit of experimentation. What works? What doesn't work? What timing, especially? And all those cracking noise of that machine is just... I really love it. I have an engineer friend who was face palming when he heard, "Why are you doing that? You have all those digital, clean synthesizer sounds." And he's a mixer as well, and tries to get those mixes very clean and exact and so on. He just listened to my all those crackling noises which I love so much. And he couldn't understand it at all, but that's just, I guess, preference.

Darwin: Well it's yeah. In a way, when you have the ability to make everything crystal clear, all of a sudden those crackles become very much an organic sound that you start to crave. I'll never forget the first time I heard a Pole album. And it had that crackling and the noise from his misoperating filter. He had a filter that had gone bad and it made all these clicky crackling sounds. And I was just like, oh my God, that sounds so great.

Martha: I love that too.

Darwin: Maybe it throws us back to prehistoric days when we sat around a fire or something.

Martha: Maybe, yes. Yeah, that's true.

Darwin: So our time is almost up, but there is one other thing I wanted to learn about your music, because it's unclear to me. A lot of your music has a percussive background, but I'm curious what you use. Because I noticed that in some of your module pictures, you have some percussive modules, but you also show that sometimes you have a Jomox drum machine. And again, the Octatrack rears its capabilities of potentially being able to... Where are the rhythms produced in your music?

Martha: I often like to use for percussive sounds the plates module from Mutable Instruments. But more those very tonal percussive soft sounds like triangle-ish sounds, I guess. And then the Jomox, I'm using two, but more for my electronic tracks. But I really like the sound, especially. There was actually my first modular gig at SuperBooth, I think 2017 or something like that, and I had my modular and my Jomox on stage. I played with a friend. He also had some gear with him. And I remember exactly the first time in that gig where I played the first bass drum on this huge PA. And I thought, "Shit. Did something break?" Sorry. It almost sounded distorted a bit and it's so loud and heavy. It has such a beautiful subby sound to it and it just blew me away.

And in that moment, my inner child just came up and said, "Louder, louder!" When you're a little child you just want to have it as loud as possible and all the neighborhood people should hear. That was so cool. And that's why I love the Jomox. I can really recommend it for live performances, if you want to have that heavy bass sound. And then I also very much like to program my percussive sounds and drum sounds in my DAW first and maybe play it back by the Octatrack. And there I very much like to use also field recordings for those kind of sounds. Several years ago, I don't know how I came up with that idea. I think I read an article about it or something like that. For example, when you close a window, it makes this thumpy, I don't know how to describe it.

Very subby sound, like a kick drum, which I really liked. And I love using that as well for kick drums, for example. I also found this library, this sample library, online that was made out of wood sounds only, but used as percussive sounds. When you have a branch, for example, that you are breaking, that's beautiful. Percussive sounds or a little bit the rustling of leaves you can make like shaker-like sounds for example, there are many ways to use it creatively. And I'm just working with it differently even though it's field recordings, that's just way more fun to use than in my tracks instead of loading up the 50th sound of a high hats sample, which are beautiful too. But I like the variety there, I guess.

Darwin: I hear you. Yeah. Well, Martha, this has been a fabulous chat. I thank you so much for taking the time to do this. Before we leave for people who want to learn more about your work, where's the best place for them to look?

Martha: I'm most active on Instagram. My handle there is panic.girl.666, just because Panic Girl was taken. And then I'm also on YouTube as well, and Facebook and TikTok as well online. And Bandcamp there is my music for anyone who wants to listen to it.

Darwin: Yeah. On Bandcamp it's under the label IUWe.

Martha: Exactly. Yeah. That's my label.

Darwin: Yeah. I, the letter U, the word we and then is it IUWe music?

Martha: I think IUWe records.

Darwin: I, U, We records. Okay, great. Well, it's a great opportunity for people to just take a listen to what you do, but also be able to support you as well. So fabulous. Well, I want to thank you so much for taking the time and it was really great talking to you.

Martha: It was very much fun. Thanks for having me. All right.

Darwin: Bye.

Martha: Bye.

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