Name: Thomas Burkhardt
Born: 1984, East-Germany
Profession: Video Post Production, Filming, Editing
Music: Contemporary Electronic Music
The word LIN/LOG derives from the words linear/logarithmic, which you will find quite often when working with a modular system. I use LIN/LOG as a pseudonym and the label’s name in order to publish experimental music. As Thomas Burkhardt I focus on more progressive works.
LIN/LOG was founded in 2010 with experimental electronic music in mind. Since then I have been focussing on working with analog modular systems. The nature of these tools is that you are not tied to any instrument’s limitations. Instead you are forced to work empirically to reach your goals.
Personally I refuse any restrictions about music. Today there is so much music but there are as many rules of how it has to be as there are music genres. It seems that you can only survive being an artist when literally playing a certain role. Thinking like that means remaining at a point of your personal progression. But that’s not what I want. So I won’t claim to be this or that artist making this or that kind of music. LIN/LOG is constantly evolving. You can feel it by browsing through all of my works.
With every release there was a certain idea. All albums or EPs have a basic concept to all related pieces. Sometimes it is some kind of arrangement, a special patch or just a simple thing like duration. It connects these pieces in a way that listeners can concentrate on the mechanisms of how it was done. That is very important to me. Making music that is inspiring to people. Making music that makes you think.
Let’s talk about the sound. I always loved the sound of analog machines, espacially old machines you couldn’t afford back then nor today. With that in mind my attitude is to create analog sound, because you cannot compare handmade, hand-selected and adjusted components to computer programs. But on the other hand I also love to experiment with timed events and pretty complex patterns. So you can say my goal is to connect the invulnarable brilliance of analog sound to the flexibility of modern arrangements.
The core of my studio is my modular system, which I have built up for years. All components where carefully selected by distinct interests. There are different cases for different duties building logical blocks. Epikur is a subsystem for the classic analog workflow for making progressive stepped events and pseudo-random bleeps. It was designed to be also transportable for quick and dirty live events. Kopernikus is a high-end synthesizer block that offers extremely versatile sounds with an impressive modern analog sound. It took me years to implement all ideas for this system. Winston is a a support system containg two voices. But the focus of this one is to offer multiple patch extensions like waveshaping, sampling effects, cross-modulations and so on. Hagbard functions as an input/output solution. Here I can convert many incoming MIDI-signals from the Octopus sequencer and prepare all voices for the output to the DAW. Then there is Oswald, an incredible drum machine. There are two modular setups built around a Vermona DRM1 mk3, which was heavily modified to receive CV for pitch and filter controls. Each drum sound can be processed individually by a lot of modules while all trigger patterns control and modify patches of the whole system. Finally there is Eleonore, my quadrophonic live setup. It has two custom made cases with enough power for all the current hungry modules inhabitated. This is a stand-alone system for versatile projects I do in connection with field-recordings.
I compose all pieces with the Genoqs Octopus sequencer, which in my opinion is the most flexible hardware sequencer (even if it’s not offering CV). To be honest since I am used to this machine I cannot go back to computer arrangements anymore. Since I know I can use my hands in a setup that offers direct response of what you are doing it is just impossible for me to sit in front of a screen clicking fancy patterns. I only use the computer for mixing and re-arranging recordings and for mastering purposes. One thing I have to point out is that many of my compositions are recorded as one-takes. The reason is that to me such a piece sounds more natural. It has more little quirks than pieces where you do overdubbing again and again. It feels more real and gets some sort of originality. Especially complex patches sometimes do unpredictable and really stunning things. I just want to preserve these situations.
And finally I do all masterings myself. This is very important to me because I can give my works the final touch they need. Many pieces are very unique and have special characteristics that I want to preserve. Furthermore I can point out that the music you are listening to was really done by one person and was not altered by any third party.