12 hour assault from the world of circuit bending via Los Angeles
by Chris Wild
It started around 1pm on a sunny Sat. afternoon in Echo Park. Some eager first timers wanting to try their hand at bending, amateurs with some of their own toys looking to get some tips from some of the pro benders at the workshop, along with some folks just checking out all of the excitement. The room was buzzing with sounds from toys and instruments as folks poked & prodded around on circuit boards looking for interesting bends & sounds.The excitement was in the air as kids and adults were finding out about contact points, adding touch contacts, switches, knobs, pitch bending, etc. and constructing their devices. It’s not too bad when you can get helpful tips from the likes of Xdugef, Andy Ben & Jeff Boynton…who are working on things at the same table.
Meanwhile, Igor Amokian, Potar & Jmm were busy with the Merch table full of bent goodies, non bent items-for bending along with CDs/CDRs & vinyl of circuit bent music. Selling stuff to some people who had never seen or heard a circuit bent toy as well as some other benders who stopped by to check the scene, who can’t pass up interesting bent devices at a good price…(shout outs to Ogogo & Vince of Push Play). All the while the noises of people bending, the chatter of excited folks talking about bending and bent instruments filled the air…
The workshop ended with a few people walking out with completed projects, like Jon who bent his 1st toy and walked out with a completed project (he was very excited about it) to Mr. Boynton who finished a project for his performance later that night. The market place team was excited because it was a good day of sales.
There was a slight break after the workshop/market place so we could change the setting and get ready for the onslaught of circuit bent performances that started around 9pm and went pass midnight.
Starting off the night was VOLT who delivered an Electro punk pop blast of bent sequences, followed by musician, composer, arranger, circuit bender Mr. Jeff Boyton who always amazes the crowd with his array of tones, glitches, noises, sounds from his magical mystical devices that look as amazing as they sound. Next up was Andy Ben & Associates, also feat: Mr.Boynton on cello, lead the audience into blended sounds of bent devices, live drums & horns, playing over glitched sequences from one of Andy’s awesome keyboards.
Caveat Emptor took the stage next with 2 suitcases full of….oscillators, Synth boxes, and effects devices for an audio BLAST of synced up sounds bouncing off each other, with noises and tones blending in & out of each other building and disassembling. Just as the amplification started to rise XDUGEF took the stage with…well, you might have to see it to believe it…A huge rack of things, like you may have seen before, if you have ever been to one of his shows. This time he was in a full bug costume complete with glow in the dark veins on his arms and back, flashing bug eyes and 5 or 6 huge black lights to enhance the glow, then *&#)*@()!*&#@)@!#*&*^&%@#$&*&& zzzzpppprrrRRRRRppppi *& *(&#@@)&#(#_&&$#*($$*&$))@_#)#& ($7noise92074340*#(@*). But wait there is more, following Xdugef was Potar who took the stage and delivered his array of oscillating frequencies, noise, crunch beats & static glitches a nice controlled mix from his table of goodies bent by him and his friend Jmm.
The night ended with a Halloween themed set from Igor Amokian layering weird scary tones & FX from records with his NOISY beats, screeches and screams from glitching keyboards, bent up drum machines and busted up beat box toys.
You can see and hear snippets from the event at
BEND THIS FORE was the 4th installation of the annual circuit bending workshop and performance show curated by XDUGEF