Jack Dangers has been making music for over twenty years. His pioneering work with Meat Beat Manifesto continues to inspire and fascinate. With the new album Answers Come In Dreams released in October 2010, Mr. Dangers shows no signs of slowing down. The album is a dark excursion into dubstep, electro, and ambience. I caught up with Jack Dangers to ask him about his work and his enthusiasm for electronic music history.
interview by Mike Parker
There has been a transformation in the sound of Jack Dangers and Meat Beat Manifesto. This process can be traced over the years. Recently, you acquired a Synthi 100, which is a rare and vintage synthesizer from the early 1970s. Can you share with us your thoughts on the role of the Synthi 100 Synthesizer in this transformation?
JD : I’m looking at it now! Well, something this big coming into the studio is going to make its presence known and demand attention. [writer’s note : The Synthi 100 is a massive instrument. You can see a picture of one HERE] It can be so many different things. A synthesizer with 7200 control points available at your disposal makes it difficult for me to know where to start, really. I’m still learning how to use it. I think I always will be. It’s so vast, what you can do with it. Even if someone came up with a digital version of it, a software version, you wouldn’t be able to fathom what to do with it without being able to stand in front of the thing and start throwing pins in the patchbay grids to route the signals. The people who designed it bordered on the eccentric. It’s quite unlike anything I’ve ever used. I’ve got a bunch of different modular synthesizers and they’re all pretty easy to grasp, but this one I am still learning.
When did you become comfortable with the Synthi 100?
JD : Probably after about three months of just playing with it.
When did your first recordings with it appear?
JD : I purchased it back in the late 90’s from the University of Adelaide in Australia. I think there were only about 27 of them ever made. Afterwards, I sent it away for almost a year for repairs and modifications. My first recordings with it appeared in 2002 [on the album RUOK?].