Playing with routers, vinyl and music concrete

When Danish musicians Vinyl Terror and Horror visited [Daniel] and his CNC router at EMS in Sweden, things were sure to get interesting. The band uses heavily modified record players and modified vinyl records to produce strange soundscapes. During their time at EMS, Vinyl Terror and Horror were able to produce some strange vinyl that shouldn’t play on a record, but do.

Most of VTaH and [Daniel]‘s work is centered on a CNC router. This soundscape took two records to produce. The spare rectangles were cut from a second record and designed to be press-fit into the host. When the newly assembled record is played, truly bizarre ‘skipping-but-still-playing’ sounds are made. The same process was used on the puzzle piece record the guys made.

The experiments continued by cutting a circle out of a record and gluing it back into place with a different orientation. This idea was taken to its logical conclusion that serves as the exemplar of music concrete.

[Daniel] and Vinyl Terror and Horror came up with a pretty neat spin (HA!) on century-old way of making electronic music, so we’ll give all of them some props. Check out all the videos from VTaH’s time at EMS after the break.





40 thoughts on “Playing with routers, vinyl and music concrete

  1. I was waiting for the “number nine, number nine, number nine…”

    this is what happens when music becomes a thought experiment… interesting for 30 seconds then nothing else to get out of it.

  2. There’s a reason why many things haven’t been done before, some things just don’t need investigating.

    My best guess is that it’s been a slow year for stanton.

    I can think of a better way to get the same kind of effect, just chuck the turntable down the longest flight of steps you can find.

  3. So much negativity… Everyone decries the folly of art experiments until one pays off one day, then suddenly everyone’s all “omg this is genius.”

    1. Yeah, about that, there is no genius in what they’re trying to achieve. If they were taking parts of records and putting them into another record and actually making something coherent then I would say it’s genius, if they managed to stop the pops and clicks, I might be more inclined to think there had been some kind of thought gone into it. All this does is kill the stylus. Where’s the experiment?

  4. I showed this to my one friend who has an entire room converted to keep records at the optimal temperature/humidity and all that jazz…

    He cried. He literally teared up, and I heard it go plink on my desk before he turned and said,

    “Never show me this again.”

    Before walking away.

  5. Agreed, this is an atrocity, it’s like cutting up the original Mona Lisa to make a jigsaw puzzle for your kids to play with, but invariably gets pissed on by the dog.

    now i would suggest cutting a new record with music that YOU yourself created, do that to one of those and then try that to it and maybe clean it up a bit, that might be cool

    1. I always tear off my own head and then shit in my own mouth in frustration when people post grandiose hyperbole to lament the destruction of mass produced consumer items totally independent of whether that item is rare, valuable, or of any interest to anyone ever, and especially when the mass produced thing is being compared to something that is literally one of a kind.

  6. I’m more interested in the Turntable setup they have going. Looks like the styli (styluses?) off a couple other turntables stacked on top of one complete turntable.

  7. Well, it looks really neat and clever, but as others have said… It’s just clicks and pops. I was really expecting something more.

  8. I think this is great. It’s nice to see a new sequencing idea. It makes sense to some, not to others. Not a dumb idea at all. Snap in place analog sequencing. What fun!

    1. It’s not analog sequencing so much as just a way to screw up your stylus. Sequencing kinda suggests that things were set up with a design in mind, most of the examples shown do more random skipping and throwing of the playing arm than anything else, one of them even required constant attention to keep it from coming off. I am not usually one to be this negative, but I am not impressed. There’s got to be better things to be done with the resources at hand.

  9. Hi,
    lots of interesting comments!
    The records used were either pressed by VTH themselves or donated from a friend of them that has a record store and deemed them unsellable due to the utterly crappy music on them or the genreal state of the record so no Motown 1st presses lost, I promise! :)
    And yes, we have goverment grants.

    1. I wasn’t bothered about the music itself, I think all music is valid but I just failed to see what the experiment was, I have used samplers and beat munging, I have no issues with random noises to make new sounds, but this isn’t any of those.

      Please tell me the grant isn’t from the UK government ;)

      If VTH are pressing their own stuff then they perhaps have an opportunity to experiment with the cutting and actually try and get some grooves to match, not entirely sure what the pressing prodcess is, as it was I found nothing musically or aesthetically pleasing about any of the videos.

  10. “…were able to produce some strange vinyl that shouldn’t play on a record, but do.”

    should have read:

    “…were able to produce some strange vinyl that should have sounded cool, but didn’t.”

  11. There are a lot of interesting ideas being played around here but they failed in the implementation.
    All this does is create a bunch of pops and screws up the stylus.

  12. Wow! That was really rubbish. I thought it might be interesting if they got the precision right and the 2 sets of grooves to line up – and they didn’t even get close. It really doesn’t work.

  13. The puzzle record holds promise! I’d love to have seen all 4 slots filled.

    If this was the late 60′s early 70′s you’d be meeting the Beatles.

  14. You all seem too lazy to go and click the link to their Vimeo page and listen to one of the full length ones…
    Here’s the link to one of their longer ones… and tell me that’s not neat….

    1. You see that would have been a much better video to embed in this post since it does actually make sense to listen to.

      When writing posts on here, show the finished thing first and then show the itty bitty test videos later.

    2. Nope, I wasn’t too lazy – that still sounds horrible. It looks and sounds like something I might have done in the basement when I was 8 years old. I am embarrassed that this is on HAD.

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