Boy Scout Audio released volumes 2 & 3 of Herv‘s Portable Music series a couple of weeks back and, just like the new Dublin Bus real time information system, we’re a little bit late updating you about it.
Written in early 2011, Portable Music Volumes 2 and 3 continue the theme of music composed on public transport which Ewan Hennelly (a.k.a. Herv) examined in Volume 1 of the series, released earlier that year.
With each release in the series restricted to only one program on any portable hand-held device, ‘Portable Music Vol. 2’ utilises the iMS-20 app for iPad. Modelled on the raw oscillations of Korg’s late ’70s semi-modular MS-20 synth, the application uses a touch-screen representation of Korg’s SQ-10 sequencer as its only sound triggering mechanism. Limited to a mere 16 steps per pattern and 16 patterns per song, Herv teases an impressively varied bounty of compositional treats from the program’s rudimentary environs.
Ranging from confrontational noise and pummelling dystopian dance floor rhythms to whimsical, dishevelled melodies; this release shoves spitting, fizzing polyrhythms into your face, obscuring each attack in dense sheet metal reverberation. See-sawing, carnivalesque melodic lines poke rudely through clouds of distortion, pointing the way to the bus stop as you root through your pockets for change.
With Portable 3, Ewan Herv returns for a second time to the Nintendo DS. The ROM in question this time is Korg’s M01, which emulates the nostalgic sound of the Korg M1 (a ’90s synthesizer workstation enthused over by pub rock bands and IDM luminaries alike). In the absence of any sound editing capacity in the M01, melody and rhythm are king.
Have a listen to both right now, or pay what you like & download for your next bus journey: