The Rat Life Records boss talks all things machines.
Leipzig based Uncanny Valley artist and head honcho of Rat Life Records Credit 00’s relationship with electronics date back to his early video game adventures on classics like Tetris, where he quickly became obsessed with the mind-boggling soundtracks of the 8-bit era. A fascination with machine music naturally led him to explore the worlds of electro, dancehall and ghettotech, until he was able to get right to the source, and form his own line of communication with the synthesisers and drum machines he’d been hearing all his life.
Now a staple of Dresden’s ever progressive Uncanny Valley label, you can find most of his twisted club experiments sat firmly in their back catalogue. His latest outing on the imprint, Deep In The Jungle, came after a change in studio setup, as Credit 00 found a flat with a winter garden in the midst of the city’s concrete vastness. Reinterpreting the contrasting environment on either side of the record, it’s as always an unpredictable adventure through sound.
To celebrate the record and learn more on the man behind the machines, Credit 00 invited us to take a look at his set up, detailing the processes stories behind his most beloved pieces of gear.
1. Roland TR-808
The most expensive piece of gear I ever got. I spent 1000 euros on it back in 2010, a good deal though if u look at the prices at the moment. I was working for a month in demolition to get the money together. Still no regrets! It is the backbone of my studio. Whether I make a complete beat with it or just use its mighty low end boom as foundation for a track. It also triggers some of my other synthesizers. I sync it with the future retro swynx, a midi to din sync converter, that allows you to add swing to your 808 beats, which can sound real nice!
2. Ensoniq Esq 1
I always had an eye on these but a few years ago I spend a day with DJ Overdose preaching to me about how great this synth is, so I had to buy one straight away back then. And he was right! This thing can do it all: sweet pads, hardcore bass, crazy drum sounds, it can even sound like a 303! It has 3 oscillators, 3 LFO s and 4 envelops, so there are tons of modulation routing options like on a modular synth.
3. Zoom fire 7010
When Mr. Incognito sent me the tracks for his ep on Rat Life, my first question was: thru what did you run that 808? And he sent me a pitcture of this thing. I was laughing like you probably do when u see it the first time. It looks like a battery loading station for an electric screwdriver and has a build in speaker for whatever reason. You can chain 5 effect types. All of them sound super gritty and make your 808 sound like instant Memphis Rap. The best 50 euros I ever spent!
4. Korg SQ 1
I was looking for a analog sequenzer for a while but everything on the market was too expensive for my budget .Then Korg came up with the SQ 1 a few years ago and I was super happy with it. Recently i bought a 2nd one and build them into my rack, which looks super cool I think. Now I have two times 16 steps or four times 8. What I like about this way of sequencing is that you make melodies, bass lines or something you wouldn’t come up with if you sit in front of a keyboard. It can also turn your synthesizers into drum machines.
5. Yamaha RS 7000
Good old RS7K! This was the first machine I ever bought. I always loved Workstations that let you program a whole track in one box. It was the main sequencer brain of my studio for many years then it got lost after a live gig in Rotterdam and I had to learn how sequence with my PC before buying a second one. Luckily I got it back a year later so I have two of them now. Great source for all kinds of sounds from drums to weird ethno instruments, great sequencer and nice effects!
6. Roland TR 606
This one also got lost in rotterdam and I am so happy that I got it back, not just because I only spent €150 on it years ago before the prices went up crazy, but i would have definiltely missed its funky Hi Hats! The buttons on this barely work anymore, gotta hit it real hard.
7. Shark Computer
I also have to give props to this thing. Hasn’t let me down (well almost) since 2006 or something. Cracked Windows XP (I can admit that in the year
2019 right?) still works great!
Deep In The Jungle is out now on Uncanny Valley.
Buy it here.
Featured Image: Robert Arnold