Poka Bjorn – Postcards (teaser)


#1

Two years ago I started to aimlessly make tunes on an iPhone app called Nanoloop. It was mainly an activity for the moments in life when you need a distraction, and a more creative alternative to just checking facebook or playing games. A lot of the material that resulted was hence more on the silly side, plus Nanoloop tends to channel you into making more 4/4 beat-oriented stuff. I think I also used this as a way to counterbalance my more noise/impro related musical projects (this and my interest for chiptune, was why I started the whole Poka Bjorn project in the first place).
Later I started to record these little sketches to the DAW and rearranged them a bit.
I did release a first small EP with the more dancy/pop ones, and am now in the process of releasing the slightly more experimental ones, where I tried to actively go against what the app was trying to make me do.
There is a couple of ideas behind this album that converge in one way or the other: one was to create some drone-like tracks with Nanoloop, seeing how far I could go with that, the other was to build simple chords (by using multiple channels) and then arrange those in a kind of progressions. Later when I arranged the tracks in the DAW I tried to find field recordings (among the ones I had made in different locations in the world, mostly Japan, Greece and Italy) that would fit with the mood of the tracks.
I made this in a time where I didn’t have any space for hardware, so it was just me and the laptop. For this reason no Mutable gear has been used (in case you’re wondering).

The amazing Akirasrebirth made the cool oscillographics video that you see above, for one of the tracks (actually it’s an oscilloscope and a vectrex, both controlled via Axoloti and modular synth). It’s a little teaser to the EP that will hopefully come soon.


#2

Nice! Sounds really good. I haven’t used nanoloop, but it’s impressive that this came out of an iphone app. I mean, I know there was postprocessing in a DAW, but still, sounds good.


#3

Thanks a lot!
There’s certainly a lot of great potential in iOS-based apps, with things like Samplr, or Borderlands and the likes (or the recently released Beatmaker3). I’ve grown quite wary of the whole iOS app thing though. On the practical side it’s just too cumbersome to do basic things like moving files around, and I also don’t like this idea of having to depend on one vendor who controls everything. I knew Nanoloop from the Gameboy, so I kind of naturally gravitated to the iOS app when the company I worked for bought me an iPhone. It’s a very limited app, but I find its limitations very carefully curated. You can feel that a lot of work went into balancing out exactly what should be there and what not. It’s also got a sound of its own. Maybe it’s a bit hard to get a certain movement into the sound… which is why I did some processing in the DAW, due to the lack of modulations, some things just were too static to me. Also, it lacks basic FX, and I really like to have a bit of delay/reverb on certain sounds.
I can’t remember if I did replace some of the material coming from Nanoloop with new sounds (I’d need to check)… but in this track I think most has been left unchanged and my work focused more on editing the recording, cutting up the beat parts and adding FX.


#4

I love how the glitchy drums breathe through the reverb. Very nice!


#5

thanks! Though I have to admit that I am not really sure how I did it :thinking: :smile:


#6

It’s out now!

It’s probably a bad time to release anything (summer, people are hopefully enjoying their vacations and some fresh air/sun/nature), but it’s also an album which was mostly inspired by the feeling of a hot summer’s day, so it seemed fitting.