Techno talent BEC has just dropped her ‘Psilocybin Therapy’ EP on Monika Kruse’s Terminal M, including an Egbert remix. We asked her to show us around her studio.
I’m lucky enough to be a resident at Riverside Studios Berlin, an underground complex of music studios on the river Spree. There’s an incredibly diverse mix of other residents, creating lots of different kinds of music. From hip-hop, pop, music for video games & VR right through to all kinds of electronic music, including heavy techno. I’m always so inspired by the community there, so many great pairs of ears. If something is not quite sitting right in the mix, or I just need a general motivational chat, there’s always someone there to share that with. I was making beats in my bedroom at home until I got a serious noise complaint from my neighbour (understandably) so I moved to Riverside and haven’t looked back since.
I love to use my Elektron Digitone for big FM one-shot sounds, but I don’t usually sequence with this as I’m not a fan of how fiddley Elektron gear can be. It’s still amazing to sculpt modulated frequencies though. If I don’t feel like using my external gear for these types of sounds, I’ll turn inside the box and use something like Native Instruments Reaktor. There are so many options for really great synthesizers, sequencers, modular units and textures. I used the Elektron in many of my tracks including my ‘No Regrets‘. It’s the bass hit you can hear at 0.18 seconds and also in my new track ‘Energy‘ from my ‘Psilocybin Therapy’ EP on Monika Kruse’s label. You can hear the sound I created with the Digitone at 0.46 seconds.
I’ve recently got my hands on the MatrixBrute which has blown my mind – such a giant, powerful synth and so easy to get used to. But now I know they’ve just released the PolyBrute, so naturally part of me is wishing to give that a try too. The 64 step sequencer on the Matrixbrute makes it really easy to adapt the notes, glide or add little effects in-between. There is a knob called ‘Brute Factor’ which I’m regularly pumping up to add body, grit and depth to my sounds, which I love! I haven’t used this in any music that’s been released yet but watch out for my upcoming releases as you’ll definitely hear it in those!
Vermona PerFourmer MK2
Not going to lie, this was and still is a headache to learn. But I’m slowly and surely getting there. Bit of a love-hate relationship with it going on. But when it’s doing what I want, it’s super powerful. I particularly like the sound of the phased LFO, which applies to all four voices. The sound coming from this machine is incredible, very rich, warm and overall it just sounds fantastic. There’s so many ways to use it, whether as a full four-voice polyphonic synth, four mono parts via midi or a mono stack.
I love using this little beast. It’s so small that I can easily take it when I’m abroad and work on the go. I have the mini keyboard that goes with it so it’s extra easy to play some notes, as I do find the sequencer a little bit fiddly. I used this to produce some sounds in my ‘All We Have Is Now‘ track, you can hear it in the filtered long saw notes.
I didn’t pick one last instrument in particular, because it was too difficult! Instead, I thought I’d show you the top shelf on my Jaspers stand. Here I have lots of small pieces of gear, mostly made up of FX pedals and units, and some nice shakers (one in the shape of a Banana even)! The shelf features gear like the Korg Volca Bass, which is tiny but mighty, especially when affected with the Eventide pedal. The tape echo on that sounds huge. On this shelf, I also have the digital Roland TB3. I had the choice to get the classic analog version, but surprisingly to many I still went for this touch screen digital piece of gear. That’s because I simply love the randomiser function. When I’m stuck for ideas, notes and sequences, I love a good random function. It’s like free food. Food for creativity!
Incense & Palo Santo
My morning ritual includes lighting some incense and/or Palo Santo in my studio before I get started on any music-making. I like to have a super relaxed, nice ambience to create to. It’s also pretty dimly lit in the studio, that combined with a nice aroma makes it perfect to relax into making some pounding techno beats haha. Burning incense is also a way for me to purify the energy in my room. My spiritual practice is very important to me and it’s a big part of why and how I make the music I do. Therefore it’s essential that there’s good, clear energy in the room before I create.
BEC’s ‘Psilocybin Therapy‘ EP is available now.