Category Archives: Interviews

Circuitastrophe Symposium


Interview By: Rodney Clark

Mark 1/2 Mang is throwing one heck of a bash this September in Cincinnati. The event is one that will attract artists as worthy as Bent Fest has in the past. Plus it promises a chance to hear Reed Ghazala speak on the subject of the history of circuit-bending, personal stories, slides, dye migration, plus bent devices he’s made. This sounds like something I had to ask more about…so I did.

Q: What is Circuitastrophe Symposium? What could one expect if going to the festival?

Mark: Circuitastrophe is a forum for people to present their Bent, Modified, Hacked, Robotic, and Electronic contraptions. Secondly it is designed to educate and engage critical thinking behind the designs, theories, and history of Electroniqueness (?) using presentations, installations, lectures, workshops, performances, and a panel discussion.

Performance wise we have circuit-benders, a couple of 8 bit performers, and some musique concre..ters (not that circuit-bending isn’t musique concrete). Many performers have visual components to their performance. The list is at the end of the interview.

There are two primer events; one a circuit-bent performance on Mon, Sept 1st on W.A.I.F. 88.3 FM from 1PM-3PM, and the second is an in-store circuit-bent performance at Shake It Records Wednesday the 3rd of Sept. If anyone is interested in performing those shows please contact me. Their may be another radio slot available on W.A.I.F., as the Art Damage radio show has just been reinstated Tuesday mornings from 12:00 AM – 2:00 PM (details soon to follow in the comments section).

We are trying to do a performance on Fountain Square (Cincinnati’s town square) using the Jumbo-Tron.

The Contemporary Arts Center just contacted me about doing a lunch time performance on Mon, Sept 8th. So the festival may go one more day.


Q: Where’s the festival being held?

Mark: We have several locations; the idea is gathering people from differing disciplines to congregate and share ideas. Plus we hope more locations will translate to a larger more diverse turnout. Thursday and Friday we will be at The Art Damage Lodge (former SkuLLLab, and Art Damage radio people) from 7 PM – 2:00 AM. semantics (a local artist co-op that doesn’t capitalize their s) will host the installations and Saturday performances from 7 PM – 11:30 PM; however the performances may move to an indoor location across the street and go later than 11:30. The Saturday workshops are from 11:00 AM -5:00 PM, but we haven’t solidified the location, however there are several options in the Brighton area next to semantics. We just met with the Contemporary Arts Center, and they are housing the Panel Discussion on Sun morning, and a Circuit-Bending 101 Workshop from 2:00 PM-5:00 PM. The fore mentioned primers at W.A.I.F. 88.3 FM, and the in-store performance at Shake It Records round out the festivities.

Q: Who all is putting this festival together?

Mark: Since I was asked to curate this by an artist co-op; I guess I am the curator instead of the person putting on a show (it’s all semantics). Nebulagirl has provided a wealth of advice and assistance. Nebs also came up with the Circuitastrophe moniker and got Reed Ghazala interested. The Art Damage Lodge’s Jon Johns (Jon Lorenz and John Rich) have been doing all sorts of experimental music over the years, including circuit-bending, and have been incredibly helpful in planning this event. Some of the other entities involved in organizing this event are Scot Boberg from the Contemporary Arts Center, and David Dillon (semantics, CAC), Julia Ranz from W.A.I.F., Jim Blaze from Shake It Records. There are several people within the participating organizations helping organize the behind the scenes stuff.

Q: When did the idea of a festival come about?

Mark: Back in February David Dillon at semantics asked me to curate a show of my own choice. I had been taking “Integrative and Robotic Art” a course at Northern Kentucky University all the while dabbling in the circuit-bending scene. So I thought these components might make for an interesting semantics project. The Robotics course was a great environment for learning about electronics. Many students in this class had varied skill sets, like welding, casting, soldering, chemistry, etc. A bi-product of this course was sharing these skills with each other. I realized that when this class was over we would lose this communal workshop. Right around this time I went to the Bent Festival MN, and the communal aspect there was very similar to what was going on in the Robotics course. I went to the Bent Fest to look at how they organized their structure, with an eye on graphing part of what they did onto our event. What was to be a robotics and circuit-bent show started evolving into my want to improve, teach, and share electronic arts in the area, and most importantly to develop an electronics community.

To help develop an electronics community I am extending the concept of this festival into a bimonthly event called Solder Party. Solder Party will be a gathering of electronics people to show their projects, develop new ideas, and get help with projects gone array. The Solder Party would conclude with a jam session/demonstration, could involve visiting artists, and have themed workshops.

Q: Are you looking for any more sound artist to play?

Mark: Yes! We have apx. 20 performers (list changes everyday), and we have room for a few more. At the moment we have money from the door, and that’s not much considering gas prices. However, if you can work around that hurdle with merch, and other shows, we would love to hear from you.

I would like to round out the symposium with some people who are way out there! People that consider worms as potential resistors, make robots that bend, work on a quantum scale, convert solar energy to chemical energy to kinetic energy to magnetic energy and can talk about it. We want people who challenge the thought processes behind electricity and electronics. Maybe we could involve phenomena besides electricity in conjunction with our electronic doo-hickies. I would like to see the symposium include artists that delve into various phenomena like x-rays, radio waves, the infrared spectrum.

Or we could just get a few more people that bend and make interesting sounds.

Q: What kind of other things are still needed as far as lectures, workshops, installations, etc…?

Mark: I am looking at workshops, but I need to work out details. Dan Demchuk is doing a 101 workshop. Brad McCombs Northern Kentucky University professor of Art and Informatics is giving a lecture on technology, robotics, and ecology. I have approached Casper Electronics, Flower Electronics, Highly Liquid, Michael Una, Tim Kaiser, and Anode Records about workshops and or lectures. So we probably have what we can handle. But if someone has an amazing idea I can probably work it out!

I am looking for people that are interested in alternative power, as well. I think it would be practical to discuss the types of energy (kinetic, potential, thermal, gravitational, sound energy, light energy, elastic, electromagnetic, chemical, nuclear, and mass) and how they are converted from one type to another. Thinking about how these alternative energy sources could power our machines; change their sounds, and visuals are potential fodder for the symposium.

Q: How could one get a hold of someone, as far as being part of the festival?

Mark: You can befriend me on myspace:
or you can e-mail me:

Q: Who all do you have booked already, and what is their role for the festival?

Mark: Q Reed Ghazala (Cin): is planning to do a history of circuit-bending presentation, personal stories, slides, dye migration, and bent devices. Reed keeps changing the program, and making things bigger, so I guess we’ll find out what it is when it develops.

Brad McCombs my robotics professor and colleague at Northern Kentucky University. He developed Animation Station hardware and software with Transverse Technologies. He makes robotic sculptures that interact with the environment in a symbolic or scientific manner.

Mike Hancock (Heart of Palm, French Crips) is making a Barbie Karaoke multimedia installation and performance.

At the Bent Festival in MN Loud Objects gave me a few “Noise Toys” to install, but they may do a larger installation.

Mike Una said he will bring the updated Beat Bike, and do a solo performance with his new Drumbot.

Pelzwik should have a batch of weird things at his merch table. At Bent Fest he was slapping together glitched out devices inside a plastic VHS case. I am curious to see what he brings.

This is the list of performers with hyperlinks:

1. Fluxmonkey (Clevland)

2. Spunky Toofers (Kansas/Cin)

3. Uncle Dave Lewis (Detroit/Cin)

4. Nebulagirl (CAF Galahad) (Cin)

5. Jay Wilson (Cin)

6. Mike Hancock (Cin)

7. Talking Computron (Cedar Rapids)

8. DJ Demchuk (Chicago)

9. Mike Una (Chicago)

10. DJ Tendraw (UK)

11. Crème De Mentia (DeKalb)

12. Datura 1.0 (Minneapolis)

13. Loud Objects (installation maybe perform, NYC)

14. Pelzwik, (Nick Heimer), Minneapolis

15. Tentacle Boy (Minneapolis)

16. Peter Edwards, Casper Electronics (NYC)

17. Mistpouffers (Nebulagirl, and Mark ½ Mang) (Cin)

18. Mark ½ Man g (Cin)

19. Ben Allen

20. Roth Mobot (Chicago)

21. Albino Ghost Monkey (Rice Lake)

We are currently slotting the performers, which I will add to the comments section when completed.

Q: How many days will the festival run?

Mark: 4 days from Sept 4th- 7th (and maybe a fifth day on Mon the 8th)

Q: Is there a cost for the festival?

Mark: $7 at the door for performances and $3 for workshops

Q: Any thing else you would like to add?

Mark: I wanted to thank you for interviewing me about our symposium/festival, and for getting the word out!

New Instruments and a short Interview from Mike Ford

Mike Ford the creator of beautiful metal sound sculptures has recently setup a dedicated youTube account and uploaded some videos of the new devices hot off the workbench.

Atari Steampunk Console.


Atari Steampunk ConsoleAtari Steampunk ConsoleAtari Steampunk Console

Weird Sound Generator.






Warpfactor 9.



Captain Nemo Beatbox.



Mike was also kind enough to answer a few questions about his devices.

CM: How did you manage to make the APC do what appears to be fairly set note intervals? Did you mod the circuit at all?

Mike Ford: I had tried the 556 schematic to no avail and had to go with a dual 555 set up. The circuit has been modded to include two rotary switches with various caps, sorta a range setting, I suppose. The other mods are two photocells that act as Pitch and interval. I plan on adding the Vox repeat percussion circuit in the future.

CM:The Nemo beat box is fucking rad! Are you getting those extra sounds through some feedback circuitry?

MF: NEMO is a bent 1980s Realistic/Radioshack beatbox. I kinda love those old drum machine sounds and hope to get a National Panasonic or Univox to mangle (circuitbend) soon! There were some trimmer caps on the board I wired some pots to gain control over  the oscillators that were set from the factory.

CM: How are you managing to keep contact capacitance from influencing the circuits with all that metal?

MF: Oops. didn’t consider that!

CM: Lastly, have you ever built a really nice case only to realize that it was not worthy of the sound generator?

MF: Sure. I usually work out the ideas in parallel. Or, that is to say, sometimes things will develop simultaneously. Sometimes stuff sits around collecting dust till the inspiration comes or I am driven to finish something and get on with another project. I think I am about to turn a corner and start to  actually perform with the works. After all, my intent was to build stuff I would want to use in a performance setting.
CM: Thanks Mike, we’re looking forward to new and exciting performances as well as devices.

A Little Glimpse Into the Life of DR. REK

Derek Sajbel, better known in the circuit bending community as Dr. Rek, took some time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions I had. If you ever get a chance to see Dr. Rek perform or have a chance to speak with Derek, please seize the moment. All around the experience is a dance party not to be forgotten. The wealth of knowledge swelling inside his head is ridiculously insane. I’m always amazed too at how often he is there giving a hand with the circuit bending and his work on propelling the art.

Dr Rek posing in the classroom

Q: You have a lot of interesting things going on as far as circuit bending…Let’s start with the Documentary.
What all is going into the documentary and when did you start collecting footage?

Rek: I started to make the circuit bending documentary in 2002 after graduating college, at that point it was something I had known about since 1996, so I was surprised there was not a documentary already. I had just graduated from the USC school of cinema-television and decided that documentary, music video and video art would be my main video strengths, so I decided then to start The Circuit Bending Documentary.

In the winter of 2002 I contacted Q.R. Ghazala and told him about my plans. He was fully supportive and in the spring of 2003 I flew out to Cincinnati to spend a week interviewing the man himself. From there I created a set of questions and began interviewing and documenting all the circuit bending I could. In January 2004, Ghazala informed me of Bent Fest, and I edited together what I had shot in that first year or so into the now-infamous “What is Circuit Bending?” short (half a million views and counting on youtube). After attending Bent 2004 and having the time of my life, I thought I could have a finished documentary before the next year. That didn’t work out and in honor of the Tank, who at the time was losing there space in 2005, I made a DVD journal of Bent 2004. I was able to sell a couple hundred DVDs of 2004, and due to the response, I continued making DVD journals of each years Bent festival, while also shooting more interviews and footage on the west coast. Bent Festival DVD sales are next to nothing now though and no longer are able to serve their purpose of supporting my expenses to travel to Bent, so I am considering not making the DVDs anymore, in order to focus on the final product.

So, the final documentary would entail five or more years of Bent festival footage, footage from other bending performances and events, and interviews with over 100 people.

Q: When do you envision the final production of this on going documentary to come to an end?

Rek: I wish it was over already. At this point I have some 200 plus hours of footage, about half of which is from Bent Festivals, which I plan to edit into the “final” documentary. It has become such a mountain of footage though, that with my current job teaching English in japan, I have barely enough time to finish Bent DVDs and work on my own music. As Mike Rosenthal suggested, I really could use some editing interns to help with the final edit.

Q: Are you planning on releasing the documentary yourself?

Rek: Maybe, but I think it would benefit the awareness and appreciation of the art form more with a release through a known distribution system, than me peddling DVDs on my website. I applied for a PBS distribution in the past, but they weren’t interested due to fact that they saw making Bent Festival DVDs as a “competing production”.

Dr Rek and a furby friend
Q: Between gathering footage you seem like you’re well traveled. When we first hooked up, you were in California, now you’re living in Japan. How did this move happen, and what’s it like as far a circuit bending in Japan?

Rek: I got a job teaching English through the Jet program. I’ve long had an interest and ties to the country, so I took the job to return here and to escape from LA, as I was not able to support myself on the small amount of money I was making freelance teaching and video editing.

Circuit Bending in Japan is still very small, like most good scenes in Japan, and it tends to overlap with the noise and chip-tune scenes. I’ve met about 5 or 6 artists in Japan so far that use Circuit Bending in their music or as their music. I’ve been most impressed by Kaseo’s Pikaremin orchestra and Shotaro Nakano’s bent Pachinko machine installation, as well as a circuit bending installation I randomly found in Tokyo last year. There are also a few artists who use bent instruments with their Game Boys, like Maru and Chesterfield. One group I still want to see is the (e) – bombers, they have backpack amps made with PVC tubes for their bends that are very reminiscent of a ghostbusters proton pack. There is a “bending” festival in Tokyo called Bend++ held every year, but I have yet to attend.

Q: Many people reading this might not know, but you’re actually in a couple bent recording projects…

Rek: Well I started making music in 1994, with a couple friends, we made parody rock. Our band was called Nirvana 2: The Sequel. Once I started using bending in live performances around 2002, me and my friend Andy started a project called DnAbent, which was primarily bent keyboards and produced two albums. During that time, inspired by Bogdan Raczynski, Andy started writing beats in impulse tracker to play off an old Thinkpad Pentium he got for free for us to circuit bend over. Our friend Recipe, a super talented celloist, asked to play with us and thus began the group that would eventually settle on the name, Zef Renirhs. Zef Renirhs was more of a cult than a band as each performance was a different and separate happening unto itself. Besides me and Andy, the members tended to differ at each performance throughout 2002-06, as not everyone could make it to every show and we encouraged anyone to participate. It was Recipe, being the genius that he is, who through a play on words changed my name, Derek, to Dr. Rek. I began writing beats on my own in 2004, which resulted in my self-pressed release of “The Business of Absurdity” vinyl EP in summer 2005. I believe that Bent 2004 was my first solo performance, until then I had always performed in groups of at least two people. To this date I have been in nearly a dozen projects, Nirvana 2: The Sequel, Language Problem, Fuzakenna, DnAbent, Zef Renirhs, I think this place is haunted, Dr. Rek, The Circuit Bending Orchestra, Denki Poo and Poopie Kewpie. The majority of which contains or features circuit bending. I also DJ under the name Dr. Rek, having been a college radio DJ from 98-02, I moved onto DJing parties in 2003.

Q: Do you ever play any circuit bent shows as Dr. Rek in Japan?

Rek: I have been playing shows every few months with a crew of chiptune kids in Fukuoka that includes my favorite Japanese chip/bend artist, Maru, and have played a few times in Osaka and Tokyo. I have yet to play a show that is strictly bending, all so far have been noise, chiptune or breakcore focused so far. I do hope to play Bend++ in Tokyo someday.

Q: One of my favorite projects of yours is ABSURDITY.BIZ! I think one of the first you tube video’s I saw was Absurdity doing a circuit bent parade by a train stop. What all is, like when did it start what all do you do, how often do you play?

Rek: Absurdity.Biz is my website and production company name. The website features free downloadable mp3s of most of all of my music from 1997 to the present, as well as many of the videos I have created and merchandise. The parade you speak of is the “Highland Park Thursday Evening Circuit Bending Gentleman’s Society Marching Band and Ladies Auxillary” created by Zef Renirhs bandmate and great friend Jeff Boynton and his wife Mona Jean. They march every year in the Pasadena Doo-Dah Parade as well as a few others.

Q: You met a girl in Japan?

Rek: Yes, the first week I was here I met Akiko, we’ve been together for almost two years now. I got her interested in making her own music and helped her learn Ableton Live. She produces excellent music, you can find a link on my myspace page.

Q: Are you guys currently doing a project together as well, could you elaborate on that a bit?

Rek: Yes, we started a lover’s acid project about a year ago. At first we didn’t have a name, but one night I woke from a dream and said “Poopie Kewpie!”, “Poopie Kewpie?” Akiko asked, “Poopie Kewpie…” I responded and promptly fell asleep again. At the time, it meant something in my dream which I can’t remember, but it became our group name. So far we have made about 7 or 8 tracks together, all acid, though none have yet to incorporate circuit bending, we hope to do so soon.

Q: Your like an O.G. of bending to me, like one of the first people I heard of doing such a thing. When did you start bending, and how did you stumble upon such a thing?

Rek: I was introduced to circuit bending in 1996 by a compilation of experimental instrument music called “gravichords, whirlies and pyrophones” from ellipsis arts. My friend Tavys, aka Big Tex, bought the book/CD, and shared it with me and some friends. It featured a 2 page spread about each instrument/track and after reading Q.R. Ghazala’s section about circuit bending the speak n’ spell, we enthusiastically started searching thrift stores and began bending for our own personal amusement. However I didn’t actually engage in soldering till college, as I had severely burned my leg with a soldering iron in junior high school, fusing hair into my burnt skin, and was afraid to touch an iron again for some time.

Q: Have you released any material for any of your projects?

Rek: Mostly I have self-released, selling CDRs, self-pressed vinyl and putting mp3s on the web. You can find links to most of this thru my myspace page or website. I have released a few tracks on Infinite Complexity / Phthalo Records comps in 2003 and 2004. Also I have a track on each of the Tiger Claw Record comps. A new Dr. Rek track and a Poopie Kewpie track will be coming out on this summer I believe, and another Poopie Kewpie track will be released at very soon. Hoping to release a Dr. Rek EP/LP in the near future, as well as a Poopie Kewpie EP on some British acid label or another.

Q: What are some of your favorite bends you’ve done?

Rek: Definitely the Yamaha PSS-460/470. I made two albums with only recordings of bends of my 460 (DnAbent vol. 1 & 2), its produced the most elaborate sounds and melodies of all the bends I’ve done. Wuv Luv is also a good bend, crunky square wave melodies with a ridiculous visual appeal. Also I really like this DonDake Button I just bent, for its visual and novel appeal, as well as my Donald Trump and giggling Elmo dolls for similar novelty reasons. My favorite body contact piece is the Koolshades drum machine, they come in three or so varieties, but its basically 4 analog drums that make the sounds of crickets and moose calls when you body bend it.

Q: Anything else you want to add?

Rek: Pretty excited about my other Japanese group, Denki Poo. It’s a power acid punk duo with my friend/barber/father of two of my elementary students, Atsushi. We have been playing shows mostly with local experimental punk bands and been well received, you can also find some recordings of our live sets on my podcast,

Thanks for the interview!

by Rodney.

Coming to America, an Interview with EraSer


by Rodney.

I had a chance recently to get a hold of Matteo (a.k.a. EraSer) just before his departure for the Bent Festivals that are spanning three back, to back, to back weekends in the States. I’m always curious on the whole traveling with gear to a foreign lands thing and how smooth it goes…or how chaotic. I think this is the first time many artists not from the States will be descending upon 3 major cities within the U.S. to cause random glitches, noise bleeps, and pure electric excitment, all around the same time frame. EraSer is making the trip all the way from Italy!

Q: What is going through your mind as you get close to taking off for the U.S. to play 2 of the 3 Bent Festivals?

EraSer: I’m so excited by the idea of taking part in the bent festival. I have always dreamt to play my music there.

Q: Have you thought about getting your equipment inside the U.S.?

EraSer: Yes, I’ll bring with me most of my equipment :(……. which includes: Casio SK1, Casio sk5, Grillo Parlante, Talking Calculator, and a toy drum.

Q: What are you imagining the trip will be like?

EraSer: I’m sure it will be one of the best trips of my life. A unique experience.

Q: Do you have all of your travel arrangements made?

EraSer: It’s all quite ready. Just making sure everything is done.

Q: Is there anything anyone can do to help you out in any way?

EraSer: The staff of the festival is so great! They are so friendly and they’re supporting me in everything…in order to organize the trip in the best way.

Q: What are your plans for down time when your not at a festival?

EraSer: Of course I’ll visit the cities that will host me for the festival, and I’ll look for shops where to find stuff ready to be modified on my comeback in Italy. I also hope to have the chance to play with other circuit benders out of the festival.

Q: Are you looking forward to meeting anyone or seeing a certain person play?

EraSer: I’m looking forward to meeting all the bent fest staff and all the circuitbenders. It will be a great emotion seeing all the performers play.

Q: You also run an Italian circuit bending site…When did you start that?

EraSer: I created it 2 years ago when I realized that it was necessary to involve more and more persons in the circuit bending world. It is a site where people can learn how to get a start with this enchanting art through news, tutorials and bent stuff.

Q: Anything else you want to add?

EraSer: I want to thank you for this interview ; ) …. and I want to thank the organization to give me the chance to realize my dream of playing my circuit bent music at the Bent festival.


Circo Bazooko Explodes!

Interview By: Rodney Clark

GetLoFi readers might remember an article called “Make Some Noise Italy” published a few months back. It was about Circo Bazooko, and their views on the Italian circuit bending movement. A lot has happened since the last time we got to really speak about things. I’m interested in finding out how things have changed for Circo Bazooko and where has the exposure taken them.

Q: It’s been about 4-6 months since your last interview with us. Where has the exposure from the article taken you?

CB: We are living an enthusiastic period! Things seem to move, maybe it’s only enthusiasm, but from our last interview with you some things happened. We spoke to a friend about organizing a Circuit Bending Workshop this winter and together with guys of “Etoile Filante” we are thinking about sponsoring for electronic stuff… nothing sure yet! 🙂 I’m bending some interesting toys that my brother brought from China. It is no easy because the chip is hidden by a black blob 🙂 …but now I have funny 8bit voices saying, “tortoise, oval, watermelon, teacher” in Chinese! LOL. Some guys called us for live shows and so we played interesting shows outdoors in our little city. Organized a “rock-free” party in a quarry (a very interesting natural amphitheatre were every summer and/or autumn people throw parties) we played till the morning. We were in London last week and we are working on future live shows in Milan, Barcelona and Ljubljana and other places in Slovenia/Croatia. People seem to be very interested about our music but especially in Circuit Bent stuff that we play.

Q: Cool…Sounds like a lot of fun! Seems like you are pretty busy. You say you played a show in London, England? Awesome! How did that come about and how were you recieved by those who came out to watch you?

CB: It was sweet. A French girl was at our show in Trieste (here in Italy, were Nacho and I live) she liked our performance and she spoke about us to her friend, a very nice Italian girl, who has a cafe in London. By a strange coincidence I knew this girl in Barcelona (Spain) some years ago! It was really awesome and she decided to call us to play in her coffee-shop for an Anniversary Party. The party was great! A lot of new inputs! Good vibes! LOL, People in London seem way enthusiastic, they feel like dancing and listening live music (it is very unusual here in north Italy). We will come back to London soon!!! Yes!

Q: Was there a big crowd in London?

CB: Oh! Yeeeees! It was sold-out! A lot of guys and girls dancing, finally! Dancing to every song that we played! Awesome! Oh yeah! It was a private party and we started playing at the beginning of the party…about 9:30 PM. There were not a lot of people yet, but we started with a dance improvisation by mixing deep-techno with circuit bending to make it sound more punk. Then suddenly the place was full of people as we got into our set…dance and noises, acid sounds, and atmospheres. A lot of fun! We stopped at 11:30 PM, but the party went on till 7:00 AM with some DJ playing Swing…a very disorienting coupling! LOL

Q: How was the audience reaction to your “bent gear”?

CB: People seem to be very amazed and amused, they enjoyed even the most common bend gear ever, the S&S! Maybe it was a flashback to their childhood. But the most interested person was a policeman at the Italian check-in: they thought that a toy of mine was a weapon. It was not important if it was made of golden plastic with sparkling lights in Taiwan. The policeman threw it into the garbage, directly. ROTFL! A fantascientific ( science fiction ) gun I think! Beware of fantascientific circuit bended guns! No problem getting our bent gear out of the U.K.

Q: What are you looking forward the most, now that things are moving along?

CB: How we usually say: the future projects of Circo Bazooko are to make a lot of money, move out to the country where we will cultivate sheep, raise carnivorous plants, and over clock clockwork orange…
Thanks Guys! Awesome to see that you guys are having fun!-Rodney.

How to stay warm in Iceland.



…its easy, surround yourself with modified toys just like Mongoose from Icelandic band Mr. Silla and Mongoose. These videos were shot as part of an Interview for the Iceland Airwaves ’07 Festival. Some of the equipment appearing in the video includes: a modified Danelectro Fab-4 Delay pedal, which can be picked up for under $20 new and modified the help of TSP guide here. Also there are some ToneBank Casio keyboards spewing out random glitchy goodness. Interesting.
Ten Foot Bear – MP3

SLEEPER Interview

Boss Chorus

Q: Who all is SLEEPER?

S: Sleeper is just me, Carlos Ransom….one man wishing he had ten hands or a couple of clones.

Q: Have you been playing out a lot lately?

S: No, sadly I haven’t played out in some time. I took a break for a while to focus on a lot of recording and my day job but I’ll be performing again by next year. I need to get out there to promote my new album, and I really miss performing live.

Q: You seem to have a couple of albums already out. What are they like as far as sounds and variations between them? Is there one with more of a bent sound to it?

S: Yeah, the latest two albums definitely have more of a bent sound than the others but my music has always been lo-fi and somewhat dark. Most of my previous records were closer to experimental hip hop than anything, and my gear was just a turntable, Dr. Sample, SP-12 turbo, and my computer. I released a few albums under the name Mad Awkward from about 2000 to 2004 that were all very sample and turntablism based, and for the most part everything was instrumental. The majority of my music around that time was made using samples from odd 70’s, educational, and children’s records. It wasn’t until 2004 that I started incorporating bent instruments into my music. I also started using a lot more effects pedals, and more live recording rather than computer or hardware programming. That’s when I changed my name to Sleeper because I felt my music from then on would be very different than my previous work. I recorded two albums around that time. One was a dark and mostly instrumental album titled ‘The Crawlspace’ with my friend iD doing some vocals on a few tracks, and the other was a joint project with iD titled ‘Displacement’ that was released by Mush Records in 2005. The Crawlspace was the first record I made merging sampling and bent instruments and a bit of found sound. I released it in 2006 on my own label.

EDIT: Yeah iD has some M.C. Skillz! I really like his style. Be sure to check out his tracks with sleeper…TIGHT!

Sleep and iD

Q: You actually have a new album coming out soon, could you elaberate on that release a bit?

S: It’s called ‘Behind Every Mask’ and is due for release on Mush early next year. It is my first completely solo album with no guests or vocals, and was made using bent and diy gear as my main instruments along with my MPC. Other sampling sources were used but the majority of the album is bent.

Q: Why didn’t you decide to release your new album on your own label (Ransom Notes)?

S: If Mush wasn’t interested in it then I probably would have….or I would have shopped it to some other labels. Ransom Notes is just my tiny label for limited small run releases, and Mush is a great indie label with way better distro than I could do myself. Hopefully I can do something larger with Ransom Notes and start signing other artists, but I’m way too busy for that right now.

Q: How long have you been running the label?

S: Seven years.

Q: How many releases have you put out on Ransome Notes and what types of sounds come with those releases?

S: Seven, but three were limited show only ep’s.
The first was a split with my friends Freakflag, and then there was ‘Deconstructive Playthings’. They were both very turntablism based and I took a lot of samples from old children’s records, so the sound was kinda goofy and dark. I went from making beats on the MtV Music Generator and two mini disc recorders to Acid and a computer.

With the addition of an SP-12 sampler/sequencer and an SP-202 Dr Sample, I put out ‘The Arthur Lintgen Experiments’. My focus then was more on the production side than turntable compositions, and the new hardware gave my music a definite lo-fi sound. I was sampling a lot of religious and self help records around that time, along with odd 70’s rock and soundtrack stuff.
I put out ‘Rain Closet’ with my friend iD doing vocals around the same time. It was the first album we did together and was straight up lo-fi abstract hip hop.

After Mush put out our next album Displacement, I released The Crawlspace. That’s when I started using bent gear, an MPC 2000, and effects pedals. It’s by far the darkest and most abstract album I had made up to that point. There was less sampling from records and more focus on live multi-track recording. iD did vocals on about half of the album.

I may re-release The Arthur Lintgen Experiments when I do a follow up album along the same lines. I also have plans to put out a few ep’s that will focus totally on the art of circuit bending. I’m hoping to put those out sometime next year.

Q: Getting back to bending…How did you start up and when did it begin?

S: Around 2004 a friend of a friend gave me a copy of Waterhed’s cd ‘X-Amount of Wayne’. I think they were high school friends in Salina Kansas. Anyway, she tried to explain how he modified and made his own instruments but she was pretty lost about what he did exactly. After listening to the cd and checking out his website I knew I had to meet this guy. I’d never heard anything like it before and was instantly drawn to it. So we talked via email several times and he gave me a few pointers starting out. I think he lives in Wichita now but I still talk to him through email or on the phone every once in a while. We’ve still never met face to face though.

bent box

Q: What’s your favorite bentstument to date that you have bent? What all does it do?

S: I don’t know if I have one definite favorite. I’m pretty fond of the Yamaha PSS-130 even though it’s a very simple keyboard compared to something like an SK. It’s one of the first keyboards I’ve bent and is pretty common in thrift stores around here. I really like it’s sound and there is a lot of extra room inside, so I have played with adding various circuits like echo circuits, 20 second samplers, and voice changers. Drum machines are another big favorite of mine but harder to come by. Lately I’ve been playing with a lot of diy circuits. I don’t have any kind of electronics training other than research and trial and error so that can go slow sometimes. Reading schematics hurts my brain but I’m getting better at it. Video bending is a lot of fun too. Modified VTech Video Painters and various video enhancers or mixers can be very cool, but I have to be careful about the time I spend on them because I start seeing weird patterns in my sleep. I really like to bend and re-case things also. Vintage boxes from the 50’s to 70’s are my favorite.

Q: Okay so, you circuit bend, record music, and run a record label, there’s got to be a downside here somewhere…what’s your “day job”?

S: My day job is being a full time tattooist so the only downside is that there’s not enough time in a day. I tend to stay up way past my bedtime working on stuff. I’ve been tattooing for 13 years now and am booked for months in advance so I don’t have as much time for hobbies as I would like. Most of the time I have to work on drawings outside of work and it can be distracting when I have all these ideas going through my head for a song or some new toy waiting to be modified. Sometimes I think I put too much on my plate, but I can’t help it. It’s how I stay somewhat sane I guess. There’s not much down time.

art work

Q: Any good stories there? People getting crazy on you or anything?

S: I have ton’s of stories but nothing that exciting. The life of a tattoo artist isn’t so much what you see on those reality shows. We aren’t that interesting, only a little sadistic.

Q: Any up-coming things going on in the near future out in Larwence, Kansas?

S: Lawrence is pretty much the oasis of Kansas in my opinion. There has always been a really good music scene and a lot of bands come through regularly. I’m looking forward to Jesu coming to town soon but other than that, I don’t get out much these days.

Q: Anything else you want to add?

S: Other than my new album coming out soon, I have a project in the works with my wife that I’m excited about. We don’t have a name set in stone yet but it will be more up-beat than my previous stuff. I’m doing all the production and she’s doing vocals. I may do some vocals also. There is another iD and Sleeper album almost finished, and a few projects with other artists around the area. For more info you can check out and


Thanks Carlos! Seems like things are going pretty good! Maybe we’ll hook-up in Kansas for a show or two!! — Rodney


Q: Who all is Pan&tone?

Cristiano Rosa is Pan&tone. I live in Porto Alegre, southern Brazil. I’ve worked with experimental music since 1989, using wrinkled cassete tape collages, microphones and percussion with scrap iron.

Q: When did you first start Circuit Bending, and where did you learn how to Circuit Bend?

In 2005 I was invited to take part in a spectacle of audiovisual theater, where I had total freedom to try new forms of sonorous expression. In this show I played piano, trumpet and a toy accordion (I don’t know how to play any musical instrument and I have no idea of how to tune them), and I was little by little incorporating other elements, such as an old radio, that I open and touch the circuit with my fingers. In that same year I watched some clips from Derek Sajbel’s documentary “What is Circuit Bending?” – that was the impulse I needed to disassemble my Casio collection.
I ordered some books – Ghazala’s, Collins’ and basic electronics. I was always fascinated by synthesizers, especially modulars like Moog, ARP (I don’’t have any), so I tried to understand how to assemble one, learned a lot from the site, but I gave up . I developed a project for my SK1 and when Ghazala’s book arrived I implemented it, in the end was an interesting mixture. In 2006, after the spectacle season, I did my first show using circuit bending, samplers, and some synths. I have a collection of instruments as synths (Waldorf MicroQ, Dave Smith Evolver, Yamaha CS01), drum machines (Korg ER1, Roland TR707) samplers and effects (Korg Kaoss Pad, Roland SP404). I also have instruments of medical use: Bel Relax (electric pulse massage) and a Fetal Detector, that I try to integrate to my setup through CV or Gate.

Q: In your opinion how big is Circuit Bending in Brazil?

I believe that it’s only starting. I made some shows and workshops about Circuit Bending in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo and didn’t find any Circuit Bending scene, I found only few people that knew about it.

Q: You were on Brazilian MTV, were you not?

Not really, I’ve never been on MTV.
I was invited to give an interview to the MTV Magazine about Circuit Bending. To me it was really odd, because in Brazil the magazine is directed to Rock. Even the photographer that came here take the pictures was surprise and asked me how I ended up in the central pages.

Q: Have you gotten any other exposure in Brazil or any where else?

I released a CD on an independent label from São Paulo – I made shows and lectures there, and gave an interview to a national TV Show ( I take part of a Festival called Música Livre and made four shows with these guys. I had the pleasure of playing with Colorir, ABesta , Koll Witz, and Zbigniew Karkowski, a master of Noise. I also am part of a net label called Antena (though I didn’t release any work with them yet), we made two shows together.


Q: Are you making any money playing shows or selling bent toys in Brazil?

My first idea was to build and sell my bended toys (I sold two). I changed my mind and now I offer my bending skills. In Brazil is a little hard to find cool toys to bend. I make some money with shows and selling my CDs and DVDs.

Q: You’re planning on touring soon…Where are you planning on going?

I am closing shows in Latin America (Argentina, Uruguai, Chile, Peru e Venezuela), and I am part of the exhibition Bienal B, in Porto Alegre, that takes part at the same time of the 6th Bienal of Mercosul – there I will make shows, talks and expositions. The group Colorir, that organizes the Música Livre Festival, is going to Chine next November, and they are taking with them one of my projects (an acoustic drum box with a loudspeaker as microphone), and I plan to go there myself in 2008.

Q: How could someone get a hold of you to get you to come out there way?

Through e-mail:, or at Every call is welcome. I can offer Circuit Bending advanced workshops, installations and shows at the same event – I’m open to suggestions.

Q: Are you looking for benders to tour Brazil…are we welcome any time?

Yes, for sure. I think it would be a great idea a Circuit Bending Festival in Brazil, with artists from various countries. I believe that it would make Bending grow a lot here.

Q: What would someone expect as far as turn out at a Circuit Bending show in Brazil?

With the right contacts everything works in Brazil. Add to that a Circuit Bending show / event has a peculiarity – when it ends, people don’t come to talk to you – they come to see closely your toys, and some even ask to play a little – that’s really nice.

Q: Who are some other Benders in Brazil we might want to check out?

Well, there are groups that use toys made by me: DelTree, in Rio de Janeiro and Input Output from Porto Alegr. There’s also Dada Attack, from São Paulo that uses Speak & Spell bended toys and so.


Q: You have a lot of cool looking devices you have bent. What are a few of your favorite bends and what do they do?

I have a SK1 that I painted in white, with an external interface in wich I control making contact with steel ball bearings (not by switches), I also like the ones with joysticks, where I fit up simple oscillators with 40106. I have some kid lunchboxes where I put a sequencer with LED with the 4017 and a sine oscillator, just with BC548 transistors.

Q: Is there a holy Grail bend project you would like to find and bend?

I don’t have any particular project to bend for now, but I still want to assemble a Modular System to connect with my toys. I do have a special project for a tour – I will travel without any instruments, just with a few tools. In each city I’ll buy the toys and components to give a Circuit Bending workshop. At the end, with the instruments assembled or bent, all the participants will perform a collective show, and all instruments will stay at that site.

Q: Do you have a release out for people to check out?

Yes, I have 2 CDR and 1 DVDR, that are avaliable on my website, and at I have an older record.

Q: Where do you see Circuit Bending in Brazil two years from now?

I believe it will grow a lot, because it is easy and fun, I’ll do my best to help that. I created a group in portuguese, but it didn’t reach my expectations, it has only a few posts. A very nice person, Ricardo Costa is in it.


Q: Anything you want to add?

Well, I am discovering more and more things about Circuit Bending, that sometimes surpass the process itself and the finished devices, the way of think and act changes a lot. I mean that after some time working with bending you get the “bending way”. Here in Brazil is hard to find components, even basic ones, and is not viable to import them most of times due to the high taxes. Here we have Farnell that imports directly, but the time of delivery is long. About electronics I still don’t understand it well, learned more or less to read schematics, recognize the main components (resistors, capacitors, diodes, LDR, LED) and to solder – sometimes the projects catch fire – I have to deal with it. Some projects I discovered at, there are lot of interesting projects. Other site is, with lots of cool stuff. I made a project with a street artist, Tridente where I etched some copper plates with his drawings and made a touch pad with an oscilator – the 4093. I don’t have the patience necessary to make perfect finish projects as the Glitchmachines, but in spite of this people find my toys pretty.


* Special Thanks to Rodney for getting the Interview together. Don’t forget LoFi Fest is this weekend, Sept 15th, Iowa City. *


Interview By: Rodney Clark

Steven Roeder runs a web page known as where can find some pretty intense modules called Parasites and other mind boggeling inventions. The kind of things that just might make your next bending project easier or just add a new twist. I asked Steven a few questions, trying to make sense of what exactly his new Parasites are and how a bender might use them. To be honest…these things might humble you and your build skills! Take warning…

parade parade

Q: So it looks like you have a new module out called a PARASITE…What does it do, how does it work?

Steven: That’s hard to say, but on purpose the first intention was for them to be the equivalent of a software plug-in for benders that will fit inside of the device being bent, but then as they developed some of them started taking the direction of mini lo-fi synth modules as well. Its hard to just limit them to those areas though. Each one is designed to do as much as it can in as many different though basic ways as it can. Some are little audio effect devices like resonant filters, some are meant to take the place of a potentiometer and give you an easy self contained way to modulate the resistance, and still others generate sound / noise / control signals etc… I tried to cover as much ground as I could to give myself a good foundation to build upon. Also one of the main goals from the beginning was to make each one capable of running on a wide variety of power sources. They will, in nearly every case, “Parasite” off of the power supply built into the device you’re using it to control.

Q: So it sounds like there are more than one PARASITE? How many Parasites are there in total?

Steven: I have 12 to start with and there are a lot more to come. A passive and active ringmod, sample and hold, reducer, mixer, several amps, other vco’s and lfo’s, a vca or two, other filters, a vcf or two, a few distortions, an octave up and octave down, pwm, a little sequencer, eq, and i’m sure a lot more after that.

Q: How would I know which one I’d need or want for my build? It sounds like they vary a lot.

Steven: Well on each page you will find a description and a list of features and specs, as well as a pdf instruction manual and some basic samples. So if you take a sec and read through them they should help you pin point the capabilities of each device and it’s range of use. if you have any questions or thoughts i have a little message board up to help out with that or you can always just email me.

Q: What kind of builds would you say the parasites were intended for?

Steven: Again I tried to make them each as diverse as possible in the hope that the user can find a use I hadn’t even thought of. The main uses I had pictured in the beginning were your general toy / keyboard bending project, your diy lo-fi synth boxes, giving people an easy way to add modulation to their APC’s, homemade osc’s and effects pedals, and of course using them as building blocks to build yourself a custom modular synth / or HOST. I forgot to mention that they are built being able to power many from a single supply with no additional parts, just snip the battery leads and solder them all to a single 9vDC wallwart ( with enough amperage ) and they will all work. I know what its like trying to take your first few steps into real modular synthesis. Its expensive, confusing, and it seems that there are no simple answers, so I decided it was time to give people another lo-fi choice. With the parasites everything is as simple as I can make it, possibly to a point of disbelief or disinterest but I wouldn’t have spent all this time if I didn’t stand by them.


Q: What kind of builds have you applied it to, and what was the outcome?

Steven: Up until now they have been living on breadboards so most of the testing was done with other parasites making sure they liked each other. I also made sure any audio processors would handle external audio well, mostly line or toy level stuff, some may need a preamp to work with guitar level. If you don’t have one I have a booster and a pre on the way. I also kept a breadboarded 40106 osc around that I could plug into just because they are so simple and easy to work with. This is what most of the samples are made with so far. When i get time I’ll elaborate on those as well as post tutorials showing the steps involved for using them.

Q: How much does each unit cost if I were to buy one?

Steve: Deciding price has been a bit of struggle. I have to warrant all the time I’ve spent designing these, the boards, collecting all the odd parts, the time to build and testing every single one before its shipped. Right now they are all only $29 but the other 8 will be higher and lower. Hopefully with many more to come.

Q: Who or where should one go to get one of these PARASITES?

Steven: I have a little store on my site that I sell everything from. but with the upcoming SATO store I might just merge the two to make it easier on myself.

Q: Is there a guarantee on your work…are these things tested before you ship them out or something?

Steven: I have a one year warranty for parts and labor and then pretty much just parts cost after that if there is anything expensive involved. I test every single unit for full functionality before it goes up in the store

Q: What goes into inventing one of these type of modules, I mean how did you come up with the idea?

Steven: Need or want for the most part. just paying attention to those moments when you’re sitting there staring at a problem or possibility and saying, “I wish I had a…..” is what drove me to start developing these. That and a general frustration with limitations and the fact that there have not been very many new steps taken with bending lately. I know that might sound odd to some people and I guess I do live in a bubble of sorts but I haven’t truly seen any “new” bending achievements reached lately and certainly not from myself. So i thought I would give others some new tools to help move it forward a bit and see what happens.

As for the actual process, first I have to sort of justify the device and the time and cost that will go into it. Ideally it would need to serve at least a few different functions in various types installations. Like the clatter for example is a variable clock fed optical switch, meaning there is an adjustable timer controlling the actual switch which is done within the IC using light so the transition from “off” to “on” is smoothed out a little. It can be used as it is for simply making or breaking a connection between two bend points and adjusting the rate of the clock to get it to sync to a rhythm or create one itself, or you can run audio straight through it to use it as a vibrato / stutter, or run it at a really fast setting and use it as a pseudo ring mod and then there is also a crude voltage controlled input allowing you to send it an lfo for example and modulate the rate. But then there are some things that are just fun to make or things that are more of a utility like the mimeo which was something I have been dreaming of since I started bending. You know how you always find bends that will change the pitch when you replace it with a larger cap or add a parallel cap but no matter what when you try adding a pot into the layout it will just not make it adjustable. well i bumped into some general docs someone had written about a method of falsely increasing a capacitor’s size by a fixed amount with just a few parts and an opamp. So I threw it up on the breadboard and started messing with the basic idea and not too long after that I had come up with a fully adjustable capacitor with a smooth, enormous range and the pcb was small enough to hang off of a 16mm pot. No more needing to use a row of toggle switches dropping more capacitors in and out. Drill one hole, solder two wires, and you’re done


Q: How did you first get your start? Did you take courses at a school or was it more or less a self journey?

Steven: No i’m all self taught. Not that I’ve had or taken the chance, but I don’t think I could function in a structured learning environment very well. My real background has been in writing, recording and engineering spread over the last 15 years now, but I’ve never felt right about pursuing it as a proper career. So I’ve just taken shit jobs and fought for time to work on my own stuff on the side, which is tough. Moved around the country and ended up at one of those incredibly depressing, what have I done with my life, soul sucking, thankless jobs as a default at the new place and couldn’t take it any fucking more (go to school kids!). So for my 30th birthday I gave myself the best present I possibly could. I fucking quit! I had a few dollars saved up and a low cost of living so I started a little short lived label that I quickly ignored (but will return to soon) to work on the stuff which I started because I didn’t know how it worked and had always wanted to learn ( yes it will return very soon too), and then started building little oscillators and bending thrift store finds since I had more time. Sold some but kept most and then found Tom’s bugcrusher over on Colin’s board – I had been wanting and asking out loud for a hardware crusher forever and built the first dual 9v version (i think?). Loved every second of it and asked for permission to do the first 10 downgrades as clones and he was cool enough to let me, thank you so much Tom!. and that was it…. I was really happy with the way they turned out and it just hooked me. After that I literally stuck my face in my computer screens for months and months without moving, reading everything, following circuits until they made sense, bothering people with longwinded emails, making a fool of myself in all the forums asking the stupidest questions and destroying threads with my idiocy ( thank you all by the way !!!! the diy synth / noise community is filled with some of the nicest, most intelligent and patient people on the planet, not sure where I would be without you ) and when I wasn’t doing that I was face down in breadboards proving that everything in my head was either right or wrong. Trial and error is king. I’ve learned so much by failing they should teach a class on it.

Oh and my first real bend was the display of an alarm clock about 8 years ago maybe, I’m bad with dates


Q: Anything you want to add?

Steven: I would really like the idea of hardware plugins like this to take off. Maybe we will start to see some other designers join in with their own creations. We can all work out a couple minor guidelines to follow and give the format a name. Maybe even collaborate on new stuff. If anyone is interested you know where to find me.

Wow…thanks Steven!! If you want to check out his new devices they are available at I’m sure you’ll want to check back there every so often, just to see what’s new. I don’t think he’s giving up anytime soon!


Interview By: Rodney Clark

From learning how to bend to just straight frustration. Maybe you want a certain sound but can’t get it through self journey. Then you’ll want to contact Ivo Ivanov of Glitchmachines. What exactly is Glitchmachines? Let’s find out…


Q: What is Glitchmachines?

Glitchmachines is a privately owned and operated circuit bending brand that is dedicated to producing aesthetically unique, high quality instruments. Glitchmachines is focused on fusing modern art and design with circuit bent instruments in order to produce products that look as intriguing as they sound.

Q: Who all is involved with Glitchmachines and when did this venture start up?

Glitchmachines is run by myself, Ivo Ivanov, and was founded in 2005.

Q: How many bends a week would you say you do, or how often do you complete a bend?

On average, I work on 3-5 bends a week, time permitting. I often have multiple orders that are worked on simultaneously. If I can get everything synced up, I like to do my orders in stages; one day for prep and drilling, one day for painting, one day for soldering, one day for testing.

Q: Is this a full time job for you or do you make a living elsewhere?

I am 32 years old and a returning college student. My primary motivation for doing this is my interest in sound design, electronics, and art. I am currently enrolled at the Expression College for New Media in Emeryville, CA. I am working towards a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Science with an emphasis on sound design within the field of Interactive Entertainment (video games). I was the first ever recipient of the $10,000 Game Audio Network Guild Scholarship in 2006.

Q: How many units would you say you have bent in total?

I don’t have the exact number, but I am definitely well over 150 units since 2005.

Q: What’s the most requested bent item you sell?

My most frequently sold instrument is the Syntax Cataract. Thus far, I have sold over 70 units. I frequently run special edition versions of this instrument which feature one-of-a-kind paint jobs. The ‘standard’ unit sells for $200 and the special editions run between $225 – $250.


Q: If you had to have a favorite bend what would it be and what makes it number one in your book?

There are so many great bends out there that are all characteristically unique, but I’m particularly fond of Casio keyboards in general. The Casio MT-140 is a great unit with a wealth of possibilities for all kinds of interesting bends. The Casio MT-500 is a very interesting bend, but also one of the more difficult for me to build, as I incorporate industrial grade arcade joysticks which are very tedious to mount into the speaker ports.

Q: What was the biggest dollar amount you netted on one bend?

I have sold a variant of the Logic Bomb for $400. It‘s often difficult to price my units because of the crossover into the art world. If I were to price them in a different context, as artwork, they would likely be much more expensive. I believe that I have come up with a pricing structure that is reasonable, competitive, and relevant to the circuit bending scene and music community.

Q: Does the love for bending wear off, having to bend so much for so many other people?

I would never do this if I didn’t love it completely. More often than not, I am so eager to implement a new design idea that I can hardly wait to get back to my work bench. Of course, there are certainly moments where I get frustrated, but I always try to implement new ideas to keep things fresh. When you are going to school full time and coming home to 5 projects that all need to be finished and shipped as soon as possible, it can sometimes be a little much.

Q: Do you sell a lot of things on the net, or to people locally in San Francisco?

I use eBay quite a bit. It’s been such an excellent retail platform for me and has allowed for me to reach a worldwide audience. Myspace has been a really solid resource as well. I have been able to build a strong network of contacts and am now at a point where I receive multiple inquiries on a daily basis. The best thing about Myspace is that it has put me in touch with artists that I would otherwise have no connection with. People like Richard Devine and Otto Von Schirach have come to me on their own accord, requesting custom units. Occasionally I will be commissioned to do work from someone in person, on a local basis.

Q: What would you say to people that would tell people not to buy bent instruments, rather build them yourself for a lot less?

I’d say that I fully encourage anyone who is interested to get into bending their own stuff. It’s all relative though. It’s like saying that everyone should stop buying art and just start painting themselves. It takes a certain amount of savvy and patience to deal with electronics. I believe that with Glitchmachines, I offer a product that most people would not be able to easily replicate. I have definitely seen a lot of bent gear being put up for sale that is underdeveloped and of questionable quality. Hopefully, people are generally aware of what they are buying, but I know that this is not always the case.

Q: Do you ever make your secrets known…and lend advice on bends when contacted for help?

I do, but I treat situations like that on an individual basis. Sometimes if I answer a question with too much enthusiasm, it can lead to a full on tutorial, which is time consuming and often under appreciated. I try to guide people in the right direction without spelling things out completely. After all, circuit bending is all about exploration and I think it’s cheap to just use someone else’s methods without putting any effort into making your own discoveries.

Q: Do you have a private stash of bent toys just for you? Stuff you use for your own recreation? If so how are they used?

I do have a few units that I keep around for my own enjoyment. I typically incorporate them into my music project “acrodot”. I have been asked to perform live solely with my instruments, but it has thus far not come to fruition.

Q: Where would someone go to get a hold of one of your machines?

I can be reached at: I typically refer people to my Myspace page so that they can have an idea of my body of work. I then narrow it down according to a client’s particular interests and we decide on a unit. I like to take custom color combination requests, though I typically reserve complete creative control over the design of each instrument. Occasionally, I release special edition units that are posted on eBay. If you add “glitchmachines” as one of your favorite sellers, you will be prompted next time that such an instrument is made available.

Q: Anything you want to add?

I’d like to thank everyone at GetLoFi for taking an interest in my work. This site has been a great resource over the course of its existence, and has been an instrumental platform for illustrating happenings within the circuit bending community.


Cool…We thank you as well, for answering these questions. We wish only the best to you and the future of Glitchmachines.