2 min read

Pattern Club

Flyer for live show at Pattern Club
Pattern Club Live Show 21st June 2024, Sheffield

Quick one this week.

I got chatting to Alex McLean after last week's idle thoughts about TidalCycles and trying to remember how to live-code and all of that, which ended up in me getting added to this excellent-looking line-up for June's Algorave x Pattern Club show at Sidney & Matilda in Sheffield.

At first I had no idea what I was going to do. Then, inspired by the NVLL modular-synth-only show I saw on Friday, I ambitiously decided that I would try to do a set without using a laptop. Not modular synths, because I have never been able to get my head around that world, but something sampler/tracker based. I have an Octatrack (a sampler/sequencer thing) and a M8 (a tracker-based handheld thing that looks a bit like a gameboy but isn't) and I wondered if I potentially had the nerve to just use these two things to pull off 30 minutes of basic techno bangers.

Yesterday, having retrieved my Octatrack from 65HQ, I switched it on and it promptly crashed and then tried to set fire to itself. (I wish I were exaggerating for effect.) I suspect this is the fate of anything that spends too long at 65HQ.

So now I am back to not yet having any idea what I'm going to do. I don't have a current show built. I have released Telex and Panamax since I last played live, and with The Matte Flex video I have a fun A/V environment that I could, in theory, turn into some kind of live pattern visualiser. Or even live-generative-audio tool. What I don't have is enough free time to do any of that to a very good quality between now and 21st June.

Furthermore, even though I have lots of material ready to go and plenty of Telex/Panamax loops and MIDI patterns to throw something together in Ableton Live, as far as I understand the nature of these Pattern Club shows, they are friendly, enthusiastic spaces that encourage a bit more experimentation. Something a bit more alive and scruffy rather than slick playback of previously-written tracks.

Then again, a lot of these previously-written tracks would be a lot of fun to dance to...

So we shall see. Perhaps it'll be an Ableton special with some kind of glitchy live remixing of recent Polinski tracks. Or perhaps I'll see if I can relearn TidalCycles. Or maybe it'll be a bunch of esoteric Max patches doing weird semi-generative polymeters and stuff. I could even try switching the Octatrack back on and hope it doesn't explode. Whatever I decide, expect these dispatches between now and the show to be filled with increasingly confused audio flailing. If you're in or close to Sheffield - why not grab tickets? If nothing else, I will promise you kick drums and overly-complicated beats.