Studio Essentials: Brendon Moeller
The dub-techno veteran showcases five of his studio essentials.
For anyone interested in dubby electronics, Brendon Moeller should be a name that rings quite familiar. In his long and storied career, Moeller has released well over 50 EPs, albums, and remixes via his given name and a range of monikers including Echologist, Beat Pharmacy, and Mono Blanco. Even though the names on the records may differ, Moeller’s dub-focused signature is ever present; and it’s his patient exploration of these sounds that has allowed him to release on some of the scene’s most revered labels, including Electric Deluxe, Mule Musiq, Ostgut Ton, Third Ear Recordings, Prologue, Echochord, and his own Steadfast Recordings.
Moeller’s latest EP as Echologist, The Flame—a deeply woven four-tracker on Kynant Records—entertains his darker side. His motives shift to harder-edged sounds, turning the comforting delays and floating atmospheres into tense layers that crawl their way into your subconscious. Just as on the recent Echologist records on Planete Rouge and Mord—not to mention 2013’s Storming Heaven LP—Moeller places galloping rhythms and trippy synth work at the forefront, resulting in a devastating mix of heady sonics.
With The Flame now on the shelves, we thought it time to invite Moeller to XLR8R‘s pages to indulge our readers with five of his most essential studio pieces.
Zoom H4N Portable Recorder
I not only use this for field recording but also to record final mixes of tracks directly from my multi-tracking audio interfaces (two x Echo Audiofire 12). The quality, flexibility, and portability make this very appealing to me. The current album I’m working on is all recorded directly to this unit, and I can count on this for the immediacy necessary to capture a jam. Its 24-bit and has onboard compressors. What’s not to like?
Harvestman Stillson Hammer mkII
This four-track control voltage sequencer is amazingly powerful. It’s the control center that drives everything in my Eurorack groovebox. It handles pitch and gate CV, so I’m using it on synths and drums. The immediacy of the interface and its ‘randomize’ function make it superb for getting ideas rolling fast, and the sliders help make it a killer hands-on sequencer.
Fostex Reverb Unit Model 3180
My motto: no spring reverb, no life! I have three spring verbs in my studio but this is my favorite. It’s old and hissy at times, but man does it liven up whatever it processes. It can be used as two mono reverbs or stereo. I have tried plenty of digital simulations but nothing comes close to real analog springs. If you’re after the warmth of vintage tones, look no further. From big cavernous echo chamber style vibes to perfect room reverbs for drums; if you can find one, grab it.
This is a beast of a delay/echo pedal. Its built-in amplifier and superb interface make it perfect for on the fly dubbing. It can go from calm precise slap backs to evolving Tubby-style echoes. It’s digital, but the analog simulations and features are supreme. Delay tails can be modulated to your heart’s content and you can save your own presets. Did I mention the sound?
Modulation heaven. Solidly built and very powerful. Four digital LFO’s and a clock generator that can all be synced to an external clock or not. Outputs for wave and gate CV mean it can be used on synths and drums. Amazing fun that can lead to great happy accidents!