Spoken Word with Electronics is an audio series of unusual stories and commentary, paired with modular electronic sounds and noises
Welcome back to the show. This week, the discussion is on alcoholism. Not a fun discussion, but a drinking habit is like any thing else, you only get there through effort! I'm celebrating five years sober this month, and the positive effects are finally really appearing. One thing I like about recovery concepts is the idea of a Higher Power. Many people misinterpret this to mean sobriety requires religious conversion. It doesn't at all. It simply means to accept help from something unseen (or seen), and to ask for it. And for me, my higher power is vacuum-tube based electronics. Noise has kept me alive.
I think the psychology of a higher power is pretty clear: Most people suppress emotions while drinking (it's sort of the point) and asking for a Higher Power opens up the idea of forming those pathways neurologically. It's a nice exercise.
You can find a higher power in a TV show, in a poem, in a bag of garbage, it doesn't matter! And in the five years going sober, I've realized my higher power is electronics. Specifically, I find assistance and mental peace through the most purposefully offensive electronics maker in the world: Metasonix. Metasonix is a small operation based out of Lakeport, California. They make vacuum tube based electronics. The sounds out of their tube-based drum machines, filters, and synth voices are beguiling, extremely difficult to work with, aggressive – and, when you get it right – unbelievably beautiful. I don't especially like other people, so AA has never been an option. But the concepts are sound. My community has been electronic devices.
Pictured: Five Metasonix RK7 VCOs. Each voice is erratic and unpredictable. They sound like Tesla coils. The drum machine is not to be unexperienced, too.
I'm glad to say in five years, I've never f-cked up. On days when I've really needed a drink, Metasonix has been there. It is a primitive sound. A carnival noise that snake-charms into your head (I'm not kidding) and there is something completely unique to how lost one becomes interacting with their devices. You sort out your problems unconsciously while a hot thyratron pulse zips through your skull. In short, it calms like a drink calms, soars you to emotional euphoria just as similarly, and is as unpredictable, too. Despite the company's best efforts to offend, future generations will recognize Metasonix as being as significant as Moog and Buchla. (I can only think of SOMA Labs in Russia as being as creatively significant as the work Metasonix makes)
So this week we have a tribute to Metasonix. There are numerous examples in the playlist, including Pink Clovers (a Metasonix instrumental). Drink up!
TLDR: Ask for help and help happens.
SWWE #69: "Five Year Sobriety Report" (Metasonix as a Higher Power)