Named after the mythological hybrid of the chimaera, Forces’ first collection for mappa was put together in a similar fashion. The sounds all stem from a fruitful residency at Stockholm’s EMS Elektronmusikstudion in May & June 2022, leading to a bounty of source material with which to build. The sounds and concept are equally chimeric, stringing together disparate and unintuitive jams, the music mimicking the multi-limbed, sewn together beasts of both creative open source coding and destructive multinational concerns who hide their cores amid endless appendages. Like Doctor Moreau, Forces – aka Finnish artist Joonas Siren – weaves wildly varying attributes into something new, from short-circuiting 8-bit dream ambience to fractured digital groans, drones, and noisy freakouts.
Though EMS is best known for its Buchla and Serge modular systems, Forces went ‘digital’ and largely navigated a lesser-known synth rack one can wheel between studios, affectionately known as the ‘90s Wagon’. “It housed different digital rack synth modules,” explains Siren, “ like the super unknown EVS-1 by Evolution Synthesis, a UK company who only produced this one rack synth only and then vanished.” Some truly alien sounds emerge from Forces’ creative misuse of forgotten 90s boxes and sampled modular jams. The result is an erratic trip through mismatched circuitry and digital codes, slipping between emotional artifice and harshly logical music.
The track titles stem from both famous mythological chimaeras and multinational arms dealing conglomerates. “Different quite sinister firms can operate in broad daylight, easily hiding their true nature. Many of these mega-corporations have different branches (like chimeric limbs) that are producing quite normal mundane every-day items, as well as mass-producing weapons.” A dedicated SuperCollider user too however, Siren states how open source coding snippets are also ‘chimeric beings’. “You end up always using some part of some old code and then building completely new work on some old idea,” Siren explains. Despite its misuses, there’s also something hopeful in the malleability of ideas, and the ability to creatively collage the world as it is into something wholly new, even better.
Complete gear list:
Evolution Synthesis EVS-1
Nord G2 Modular
Waldorf Microwave XT
Buchla 200 System
Buchla 100 clone
released August 10, 2023
Recorded at EMS Stockholm, June 2022, with the digital synths of the “90’s wagon” synth rack, and the SuperCollider programming language
Mastered by Adam Badí Donoval
Words by Tristan Bath
Photography by Zoltan Czakó
Released by mappa as MAP039 in 2023