Solvent (aka Jason Amm) Does the IDM Thing with a Combo Of Synthesizer Modules

I’ve always been a fan of Solvent aka Jason Amm.

I’m looking forward to the upcoming documentary entitled: Modular. This is a documentary of which he is heavily involved with. I know that project is taking on a life of its own and there are many of us looking forward to that. You can find out more about that documentary here.

His record label (Suction Records) is amongst the short list of labels I frequently follow and purchase from. I’ve always also liked the personal touch you receive when ordering records from the label too. That is probably one of the reasons why I keep going back to purchase records from Solvent, Lowfish and the others. The other reason is the music is always chock full of synthesizer goodness.

A few weeks ago I purchased his latest EP. The title of which is RDJCS5…short for Richard D. James aka Aphex Twin and the Yamaha CS5 monophonic synthesizer. In case you’re wondering, the EP was made using a CS5 synthesizer which once belonged to the Aphex Twin man himself and nothing more. For more on that check it out here.

I stumbled onto this while trying doing some trainspotting on my recent purchase of an Allen & Heath ZED R16 Firewire mixer. I thought about Autechre and sure enough Jason thought that too while making it.

I’ve been meaning to catch up with him for an interview. Stay tuned for that in the next couple of weeks. I’ve got some good questions to ask him.

For now enjoy this…

From Youtube

Hello my name is Solvent, and I just made this crunchy IDM Hip Hop beat on my Eurorack modular.

Everything is being sequenced by the MFB Seq-02, which is being clocked from a trigger coming out of Logic/Silent Way/ES-3. I locked it to Logic so that it’ll be easier to chop up into loops later, if I decide to develop this track further.

Outside of the modular, I’ve got the kick from my Jomox MBase-01, and the snare is from my modified Boss DR-55. The occasional analog delay is from my Boss DM-100. The white noise in the HH sound is coming from my MS-20 since I don’t have a noise source module yet.

More than half of the modules in my case are being used here, so I’ll just point out the ones that are contributing most prominently to the sound:

– the glitchy Autechre-ish part in the HH comes from the Flight of Harmony Sound of Shadows digital delay module, with it’s delay time being sequenced by the MFB

– VCO is Tip Top Audio Z3000

– VCO goes into the Bubblesound Sem20 VCF, before being destroyed by the WMD Geiger Counter Wave Table distortion / bit reduction module. The Sem20 actually plays a big part in the sound, as the WMD responds drastically to LP vs HP, and to Resonance amount.

– Geiger’s wavetable is changing via a VC input, sequenced by the MFB.

– Post Geiger filter is an EMS Synthi VCF clone, DIY’d by a guy named Cameron from Chicago, which is similar to the STG’s Sea Devil Filter module. Filter Cutoff is being modulated by the MFB.

– Synthwerks MG-1 module is being used to trigger the MFB’s reset in, which I’m using to create manual fills, which remain perfectly in time on account of the MFB being clocked externally.


3 thoughts on “Solvent (aka Jason Amm) Does the IDM Thing with a Combo Of Synthesizer Modules

  1. Just listened to the full EP on Rdio and it’s rather awesome. Tassels is by far the most RDJ’ish track. They’re all quite good though, especially being created on a single machine!

  2. Hey, I work for an upstart online video music magazine based in Toronto. We will be doing a video segment on Solvent and this great EP in January…is there any way I could get your permission to use that modular jamming footage from this article? It would be a great supplement to the video article.

    Please let me know, email me at

    Ideally if you could send me some cuts of the footage in high-best quality that would be awesome. Thanks!

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