David Purser joins Classitronic

January 17th, 2012

Apologies for the lateness of this post which should have gone out before Xmas but as they say better late than never.

David Purser AKA Alpine Sprite from North Cambridgeshire Fens is another person I have come across on Soundcloud. He uses British analogue synths where possible and writes his own music as well as doing classical interpretations, though he admits that they have been taken over his production. He is currently working on Jupiter from Holsts the Planets suite

The piece which is highlighted here is by Ralph Vaughan Williams and called the Wasps, this is a piece that have not heard before but this is what Wikipedia says about it :

“The Wasps is incidental music composed by the British composer Ralph Vaughan Williams in 1909. It was written for a production of Aristophanes’ The Wasps at Trinity College, Cambridge, and was Vaughan Williams’ first of only two forays into incidental music. A later performance of the work was one of only a small number of performances conducted by Williams that was committed to a recording”

David certainly puts his analogue gearthrough their paces with this work.
The Wasps by Alpine Sprite


In addition to the Wasps, David has also produced a version of the Danse Macabre by Saint Saens, a piece which I’m very familar with and got about half way through myself before before shelving it due to lack of time.

He gives a spirited performance (excuse the pun) on his analogue gear, in what he calls  “A fairly straight rendition”, sounds good to me. Have a listen below and enjoy.

Danse Macabre by Alpine Sprite

Planets Suite – Jupiter and Venus By Mike Leghorn

January 17th, 2012

After been rather busy with other stuff I was about to up load a post about Mikes new version of Jupiter but now he has been busier himself and finished Venus as well. Both are well produced and Venus in-particular has a wonderfully light a spacious feel to it. All the pieces of the Planet Suite that Mike has produced so far have have that most valuable of qualities in that the more you hear them the more you like them, which bode well for the future.

Mike was also recently interviewed by Nick Batt at SonicState.com in a 30 minute video piece for the Xmas holidays which can be seen here http://www.sonicstate.com/news/2011/12/28/podcast-sonic-talk-249-synthesizing-the-planets-/. In a very interesting interview Mike explains his background and how he creates his music, the synths he uses and techniques he employs.

Mike says that he now hopes to complete the whole Planets Suite by May 2012 and release it for sale.

But like they say a picture is worth a 1000 words and in music the audio is worth more , so on with the music below :-)
Venus by Mike Leghorn

Jupiter by Mike Leghorn

Steve Kay / Music Inc Joins Classitronic

November 29th, 2011

I would like to welcome Steve Kay, our latest member to the Classitronic artists.

Steve Kay AKA Music Inc is another electronic artist that I have come across through Soundcloud. Steve has been doing classical interpretation for some while starting with an Atari and a Casio CZ101, then Korg Poly800 and gradually upgrading equipment and techniques over the years and now using Soft Synths along with Kawai K1M and a Yamaha VL70m synths.

Steve is a big fan of electronic music and has had an extensive library of records over the years, all of which has helped him create his sound

Below is an excellent example of Steves work, Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor. More of his works can be heard on his Soundcloud page http://soundcloud.com/music-inc

Toccata and Fugue in D minor – Bach/Music Inc. by Music Inc.

William Simkin joins Classitronic

November 20th, 2011

A warm welcome to William Simkin (AKA Nikmis) who joins Classitronic with his own brand of classically inspired electronica.

William, who is based in Japan says that he creates all of his music by composing it and planning it out on a piano before getting near a computer or synth

He goes on to say “Its not based on any composers’ styles specifically, but I would claim Beethoven as a main inspiration, Dvorak too. I have listened to, studied almost, a lot of classical/baroque/romantic era music over the years, though. However, I don’t think it compares to them and I am not trying to emulate them directly. I just like the idea of making melodically and harmonically beautiful music with the tonal capabilities of synthesizer.  I use analog synths to record Nikmis. Right now I am using a Roland Sh-101 and an MFB kraftzwerg, which is a small semi-modular analog. A couple of years ago I was using a collection of DIY synthesizer modules in frac-rack format. I moved to Japan a year ago and couldn’t take them with me, because although the electronics were well made, the cases were of poor quality. My DAW for mixing, effects, mastering and some sequencing is Jeskola buzz, freeware tracker.”

Below are a couple of Williams tracks, more of which are on his soundcloud page http://soundcloud.com/nikmis
have a listen and enjoy :-)
Nishi by nikmis

Chyup by nikmis

New Classitronic Forum

November 2nd, 2011

We have started a new forum here and on the links down the right side menu

It has sections for new music and the musicians that create it in the Classictronic section, a Section for Iaso Tomita, Wendy Carlos, Other Past Masters and a buy and sell section if your buying or selling old (or new) records, CD’s etc.

So pop on over and start a topic and lets get more interest in our music style built up :-)

Mars – Mike Leghorn

October 21st, 2011

Mike has been busy again and this time has produced a really rather good version of Mars from Holsts The Planets suite, adding to his version of Mecury which we featured a few weeks ago.

Mike has said that he is hoping to complete the whole suite by April 2012, which I for one will be looking forward to.

Have a listen to it below.


Mars by Mike Leghorn

Tomita’s Planets Ulitmate Edition SACD/CD

October 20th, 2011

EDITED on 19-Oct-2011

Tomita’s Planets has been re-released on SACD/CD for the 100th Nippon anniversary but rather than just remastering the original, he has remade substantial sections of it. He has taken the best of the original and remade the rest with new instruments, mostly Roland synths including JUPITER-80 / GAIA SH-01,  VP-7, VP-770, SD-50 and his Moog 55.

So whats it like, well after having the album for a while now, at first some of the new sounds did seem a little out of place in parts, this probably becuase I’m so used to listening to the original any changes will stand out. There is a single solo vocal in Venus which is without much reverb compared to Tomita’s original and thus stands out quite a bit but after hearing it now a few times I find that it does work with the rest. Some of the orginal brass has been replaced with what sounds like Roland’s virtually modelled brass from the new Jupiter 80. There is also a bit more of effect processing of some of what sound the original classic Tomita “Boo Baa” Moog vocal sounds as well as others added in Mars which you can hear below. As well as quite a few completely new sounds, Tomita has added an old one but you would only notice it if you have heard the Sound Creature version of the excerpt from the Engulfed Cathedral, where right at the beginning there is a distinctive arpeggio , this has reappeared in the beginning of Mars at 25 seconds in, small detail but I recognised it straight away.

There is a new track called Itokawa and Hayabusa which I have included below which many might consider as an extended filler at 3:25 long and which runs into Saturn but after few listens I find again that it does work with the rest.

All of the tracks on the album have been tweaked with new sounds here and there and cleaned up or are effected original sounds, it sounds is as if it has more bite in areas where the original was a little muted. You still recognise it as Tomita’s Planets as many of the original is still there, it hasn’t been so completely reworked as to be a new version of the old one in same way like Kraftwerk’s “The Mix” was of their original pieces, it’s more of a Planets 2011.

Either way I would still recommend any fan of Tomita’s to get hold of the album as I’m sure they will grow to enjoy it in the same way as the original.

Mars from The Ultimate Planets.

Itokawa and Hayabusa, New track from the The Ultimate Planets.

The original was released in 1976, though it was banned from sale in the UK for a while because of objections by Imogene Holst. Gustav Holst wrote the music around 1910 but his estate represented by his daughter has been successful in blocking Tomita’s release because they objected to the added material by Tomita and the shorting of the Uranus and Neptune tracks. When interviewed  by Nick Kent about this Tomita replied that he thought the full length versions did not lend themselves well to long synthesizer versions.

Denon originally released a DVD-A 5.1 version of the Planets album in 2003 but it was  region 2 NTSC only and was not released outside of Japan.

What’s also new about this is that it an SACD/CD hybrid, so you can get the full 4 channel surround with the right SACD player and equipment as Tomita originally created it as well as a normal 2 channel stereo CD.

Looking at the Google translation (not brilliant but understandable)  of the Japanese text, it says that this is a culmination of Tomita’s life’s work and  the new track is “Asteroid explorer Hayabusa and Itokawa”.

If you were wondering just what the cover is meant to be, according to the translation it is a “multi-spacecraft structure fish” and was created by Mr. Yoichiro Kawaguchi (Professor, University of Tokyo) .

I got my copy from Far Side Music http://www.farsidemusic.com/acatalog/TOMITA.html as this has the best price I have seen and the service from Paul the owner was excellent.

P.S. It appears that Tomita is planning to release updated versions of Claire De Lune, Pictures at an Exhibition and others so I will be keeping my ears open about that for sure.

Kraft and Alexander : 1812 Overture – Nutcracker suite

September 22nd, 2011

This an album from a couple of guys I have never heard before, which is all the more strange considering how good it is. It was our newly joined member Jeff Knapp whom first told me of the album and after a bit of searching around I found a copy for sale online in Belgium, this is quite a rare record so it was a good find.

Produced 1977 it is two major works by Tchaikovsky, the 1812 overture and the nutcracker suite. The pair behind it were called Jack Kraft and Larry Alexander, Jack was the keyboard player and Larry the sound engineer, both of them programmed the sounds on the ARP synths. Riding on the backs of the good sales of both Wendy Carlos and Tomita it was the only album they recorded together in this style and was marketed though Decca. After seeing the popularity of Tomita and Carlos, it seemed that every record label wanted their own versions, the demand for this style dried up in the 80′s, which is a shame because Kraft and Alexander created a very good recording, it would have been nice to hear more work from them.

It was created on all an all ARP setup comprising of and ARP 2600, Odyssey and Prosoloist and were one of the few people to create a sound which equalled or even in parts exceeded sound that Tomita did in it depth and detail. On the back cover they state that up 200 tracks where used to create the dense yet detailed sound scape.

Below are some examples from the album.

Expect from 1812 overture.

Excerpt from Nutcracker Suite.

Fossils – Paul Shillito

September 12th, 2011

It seems I have been bitten by the Carnival of the Animals :-) .

After doing Aquarium I have been toying with several of the other pieces from the suite and to that effect I did a version of Fossils, again this is very well known piece which is more commonly seen accompanying videos/films of bones and skeletons. Its also very short at just over 1:17.

This was made again primarily with the Arturia Origin digital hardware modular synth but also with help from Reaktor, u-he ACE and Arturia ARP 2600V again. Effects provided by the EHX Cathedral, Line 6 M13, Eventide Pitchfactor and Digitech Timebender.

Fossils : Tomita Classitronic version by paulshillito

Die Planeten – Albin Meskes

September 9th, 2011

I came across this album which is Holst’s the Planets suite (if you didn’t get it from the German title) by Robot City AKA Albin Meskes a while ago and must admit that it has become one of my favourite interpritations along side Tomita’s Planets.

The Planets is one of the most popular works that is reworked electronically, there is a version by Patrick Gleeson called Beyond the Sun – An Electronic Portrait of Holst’s “The Planets.” and our own Richard deCosta has done a version too.

Not only did Albin do the original pieces, he also did little fillers of his own which link each track.

Die Platenen is available as a FREE download complete with some great artworks (also done by Ablin as he is a graphic designer)  in a 12 page PDF  booklet from here http://www.robotcity.de/downloadrequest.html all you need to do is fill in your email on the download request.

Get get a flavour of Albins Die Planeten there are a couple of tracks from the album,have a listen then get the complete album from Albin’s www.Robotcity.de website, I think you’ll be well pleased with the results.


Expedition 2 (one of the link track between Venus and Mercury)