The internet is fantastic for content discovery. Especially when it comes to music. Although record sales are a thing of the past, the plethora of quality audio entertainment available on every online media platform is mind boggling. Of course there are chart-topping releases—Billie Eilish or Rumi Shishido—that can be streamed endlessly without charge. Yet, the newfound empowerment of independent artists to generate an audience is equally worth celebrating. And that’s not even to mention the recent craze around NFTs.

Nevertheless, an artist's ability to thrive is predicated on them supporting themselves with their work. Prior to the pandemic, a musician's ability to earn income from live performances was at least theoretically possible. However, as lockdowns rolled out worldwide, it quickly became apparent that live concert performances were impossible and independent artists were facing a doomsday scenario.

discoyogisya’s modular synth madness

Modular synthesizers are experiencing a revival in recent years. While most musicians grow up practicing piano or strumming chord progressions, Japan-based performer discoyogisya serendipitously stumbled across the modular synths as he began exploring music.

While that sounds innocent enough, a fully-functional synth can easily set performers back several thousand dollars. Modular synthesizers are synthesizer instruments composed of individual modules in a DIY-type manner. Musicians research and select the capabilities they want for their setup and implement unique—and often costly—designs by mixing and matching parts.

In the case of discoyogisya, the artist has incorporated numerous modules but relies heavily on the 1010Music Bitbox module. The digital sampler imprints a head-whirling effect on samples resulting in a punctuated glitch sound evident throughout the artist's performances. Just check out this short track:

Not your typically top 40 hit. Yet, listeners interested in sound design or the frontiers of music will find the soundscape interesting. This one is a bit more structured:

Streaming performances during the pandemic

It is hard to hit the off switch on a creative impulse. However, discoyogisya is quick to admit that the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictive conditions have made live performances challenging. Like many creatives, the artist has turned to live streaming concerts while eschewing in-person audiences.

Most notably, discoyogisya recently performed with VJs and other musicians at gallery G in Hiroshima. The equal cinema Live streaming “re;Build” event featured an elaborate visual light show performance by VJ Misato and VJ equal cinema and a modular-glitch and music show by Singū “Siki” and discoyogisya. Check it out for yourself:

The 90-minute show features a hodgepodge amalgamation of sound and glitch sewn together by more structured ambient moments. Admittedly scatter-brained, the interspersing of unique sounds creates a flavorful soundscape that the listener can get lost in over time. The techno light show inspired by digital design only adds to the appeal.

Naturally, the artist plans to continue streaming until normalcy returns. Interested readers should check out the regular "denki burger" streamed jam sessions available on Twitch. The next is scheduled to occur April 3rd, at 6 PM:

Be sure to also check discoyogisya’s Instagram page and website for more information.

By - Luke Mahoney.