Brandon Vare

Episode 5 – Brandon Vare:

About Brandon Vare 

My name is Brandon Vare, I produce Music and Video. I started making electronic music specifically when I was 15 since then I have made over a 1000 pieces of music, 36 of which have been released into the world (Music for Film, Powerline and Moonlighting.) I have been recently producing music videos for Extrapolation, Temporize and Jelly Roll Soul. I find what I do quite hard to describe, I move between projects a lot, perhaps a curse of the internet age – short attention span. I use both in the box technology alongside tape machines, analogue and digital synths / drum machines and have started moving back into traditional instrumentation, I’d consider myself somewhat of a post-modernist in my approach, taking advantage of the infinite catalogue of Music, Movies, Games and Books that I can plunder for references I consciously and unconsciously intersperse throughout my work. I’m fascinated with the recent past in the creative industries, but have the same fascination in more futurist approaches such as generative music and extreme DSP processing. The idea of putting oneself in a box is terribly boring for me, we as creative people can essentially do anything now, so why ape what has already gone. The past is there to be plundered not copied.

Could you describe your aims and intentions at the beginning of this project?
I jumped at the opportunity to join the GSM so I could get a better understanding of cultural practises within music, I focus heavily on Technology in my own work and being able to learn about the development of these instruments that sometimes are on the verge of extinction is fascinating, preservation of which seems to be all but non existent. I feel it is important work, the idea of also integrating these cultures into modern ‘western’ music is also an amazing thing, never before joining the GSM could I take an instrument like the Akindinda or the Santori and mutate it with Autechre style self composition and processing techniques creating something that I’ve never heard before. The fact that all profits from the packs return to the origin of the packs is also something that makes it a selfless and very important project that I am very proud to be part of.

How would you describe your working processes?
I like employ techniques from different era’s and genres to create something familiar yet new, I’ve been interested in Jacques Derrida’s Idea of Hauntology for a long time, the Idea of people being filled with nostalgia for time they may not have existed in is fascinating and permeates through our society a lot more than people care to realise, I take this approach into the work I do for GSM aiming to create highly adaptive instruments that can go from Source sounds, to ‘Vintage’ saturation to Extreme futurist DSP.

What daw(s) do you use?
I primarily use Ableton Live, there is something for me in it’s immediacy and lack of compartmentalisation that I tend to find within pro tools and logic (not to say they are great DAW’s) For me I look at Ableton and see a blank canvas as oppose to Logic which feels like sitting in a recording studio, if that makes sense? Ableton’s further integration with Cycling 74’s Max for Live in Ver. 10 has also been a real lights on moment with Ableton, I had a brief speight with modular synthesis, selling up due to a burgeoning GAS (gear acquisition syndrome…) But in that short time my eyes where opened to the possibilities of patching, Ableton now gives me that same feeling without the financial hardship that comes with a Eurorack system.

How did you find using the GSM samplers?
I think the Kontakt instruments are absolutely mind blowing in their realism and attention to detail, it’s been really inspiring to see and has pushed me further into the development of the Ableton instruments, I would recommend them to anyone.

How did you integrate the gsm instruments into your music?
I tend to use a lot of the Ableton instruments for more realistic ‘Tribal’ percussion especially the China and Cyprus kits, there is a lot of opportunity to be had in textural sounds also, the Hani Horn although being a short sample has become everything from a organic mono synth to swirling pads, they’re all highly usable and fit with most any sound. I have even experimented with recording into hardware samplers and they sound fantastic with the crunch that comes from something like an old Akai S1000 or a Roland SP.

Is there any particular instrument or sampler that you favoured over the others?
As I mentioned before I think the Hani Horn from china is a really adaptable instrument, something really resonates with me when it comes to wind instruments, I see them as great Oscillators that can be stacked for huge and timbrally unique sound sources, much more organic and evolving especially when there is no timing correction within the samplers so that lower notes become stretched and groan along in their own accord. Realistically though I like them all, there are some very interesting instruments there such as the self playing Santori, The ‘Stalagarp’ (Stalagmites and Stalagtites) and everything else, they’re all my favourite!

What are your plans for the future?
I’m currently working towards releasing a collection of 3 albums as ‘The World Crime League’ which is a project where I set myself a day to record an album to ape the practises of low budget VHS Movie production where-in composers would have been given a limited window of time to produce entire scores for films that had only been produced to sell in an exploding market. I also am completing another couple of EP’s for Extrapolation and Crash Reserve and hope to have a third finalised soon. I have also long been a budding film maker. I am completing one short and undertaking Post Production on another which I aim to shoot very soon. I never stop working.

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