The latest on Dirtybird comes from sound engineering wiz Vangelis Kostoxenakis. The Greek producer has honed his skills as a studio perfectionist immersed in the dance sounds of Athens. Building a discography on labels like Dirtybird, Moon Harbour, Snatch! and Toolroom, it’s safe to say VK’s records are in the crates of Europe’s top talent. His latest comes in the form of a tree-track EP on west coast house icons Dirtybird. Punchy bass lines and tight percussion make it immediately evident why big man Claude picked this one for the label.
Cosmic leads like that found in title-track ‘Take Your Shirt Off’ don’t come pre-packaged. Vangelis’ attention while molding each pulse results in a clear drum punch elegantly layered with synth love. Packed with diverse dancefloor sounds, the EP is made for club sweat. Three tunes with variety, you can put this one on the decks in consecutive play with no problem.
After giving this once a rinse, we touched base with VK to hear more about what’s fueling his studio. It’s no surprise that Vangelis’ studio lineup features some strong hardware. Scroll through this quick peek at gear in heavy rotation, hear what the man himself has to say about these beauts.
The dominion is one of my favorite pieces. There’s not one track that this beast of analog mono synth haven’t been used since I bought it. It’s 3 oscillators are really raw combined with a filter that reminds a bit the old oscars. It’s endless modulation possibilities and 2 separate lfos make it my standard to use when I need some really quirky sounds.
This is a reissue of the classic arp odyssey. Korg followed faithfully the original design and included for us geeks all 3 filter revisions just with a flip of a switch. It definitely has endless character and can achieve some really dope basses but I think is mostly strong when u start messing with the lfo combined with sample & hold or messing with the pulse width modulation.
Moog Subsequent 57
Not much too say about the subsequent 37 because it’s simply terrible……. maybe in the planet Deaf a review like this could exist. On planet Moog though it’s a completely different story. I don’t think even Moog thought that they would make such a huge hit. It’s literally a beast and managed to be a studio standard. There are endless reviews out there about this synth and to me is my go-to machine for basses what else. However, it can achieve some amazing lead sounds as well as quirky ones. Simply great.
Dave Smith Instruments Prophet Rev2
Dave Smith is one of my favorite engineers. He really knows his stuff and is not called randomly The Godfather of midi. The prophet rev2 is a prophet8 on steroids. Endless modulation routings, fast envelopes and a mediocre filter that if u find its sweet spot you can create some analog poly heaven. I don’t use it that much lately as I’m tending to write monophonic music, however whenever I need some warmth or record some ravey chord stabs this synth never failed me.
Last but no least the center of all. The new Apollo mk2 is terrific. They did a great job upgrading the word clock but their plugins? All I can say is that I can’t work without them. Everything else sounds sterile and characterless. I have invested on a series of compressors and eqs ranging from neve to teletronix and more and seriously they do almost the same job like the real thing.