Essential Pieces: The Cyclist Shares Five of His Favorite Studio Bits (Via XLR8R)

The release of last year’s ‘Bones in Motion’ LP immediately shot The Cyclist (a.k.a. Andrew Morrison) onto the electronic music world’s collective radar, and now, the young Irish producer (and former Bubblin’ Up subject) is back with another full-length effort. Entitled ‘Flourish,’ the album is being issued by the All-City label and finds Morrison piecing together a collection of slightly distorted house cuts with a distinctly handcrafted feel. Curious to find out more about what sort of equipment is involved in the creation of his decidedly unpolished tunes, we asked Morrison to select five of the most essential pieces from his studio set-up and tell us a bit about each one.

I will say first that Ableton Live does play a big part in how I process sounds and finish tracks and would be a vital part of this list if I wasn’t only restricting this to hardware.

Tascam MF-P01
This is a particularly important piece of gear to me. My brother bought it back around 2007 and I just started to mess with it constantly, making tape loops full of random sound effects by pressing my fingers against the reels and messing with the tape speed. I regularly record things to tape loops and then sample and re-process the sounds until they come out a whole new level of mangled. The track “Stove” from Bones in Motion is a good example of this technique, where I sampled and cut up a four-track tape loop of me singing in harmony and a bass drum sound made by banging a badminton racket against a microphone.

Akai S20
This is a lovely cheap ’90s sampler, which is capable of both top-quality sample rates as well as proper gritty lo-fi digital sampling. It uses floppy disks, which are goddamn slow though, so it’s not really a viable live option. Most of the time I use the worst samples I can find, like a bad vinyl rip of some organ sounds or some 808 drums from an old cassette mix on YouTube, and then sequence it with the MIDI from a drum machine till I’ve got something good going. Afterwards, I’ll process the crap out of it until I have the right level of grit and usability. “Tape Grunge Rave” was made nearly entirely with this.

Yongmei YM-3300
You might laugh, but this is an actual badass of a keyboard which I got when when I was like 15 (around 2007) for £20. It has shown up in most of the tracks I’ve released so far and even on most of the tracks on Flourish. It actually distorts whenever more than one note is being played, and a lot of its buttons actually don’t do what they say, so I have markings on it to remind me what they actually do. It even plays random extra notes when you play certain chords. But for some reason, I keep using its noisy, punky sounds, like its rave piano and heavy organ sounds. It also has a very rudimentary mono sequencer that wrongly records the rhythm played, which is very fun to experiment with when covered in echo.

Yamaha DX27S
My first proper synth and still an important one to me. It’s digital, but it’s got this warmth to it. When you record it to tape, it sounds like the synth equivalent of a toasty blanket. I used this extensively on Bones in Motion (e.g. the mad bass sequencer halfway through the title track) and on a fair few of the tracks on Flourish (e.g. the intro synth sound on “Break Through”).

Roland TR-8
I bought this more recently, but fell in love with it straight away. I’m always sampling 909 and 808 sounds and then messing with those, but it’s just great to be able to mess around with the original sounds. It’s also become an important and incredibly fun live tool for beefing up the drums. I feel it’s important to have something stable going along with all the mess to hold it together!

Original Link:


The Cyclist interview with russian mag Electrocircle

View the original link and listen to Ripples Through Ice at:
1) Hi Andrew! We’ve known each other since Bending Brass! I remember I wrote you straight away with compliments. That tape was absolutely amazing work. You issued it in 2011. Do you feel your style and music changed much since then?
Haha yeah, you’ve been a true fan from the beginning! I think it’s mainly that I’ve improved as a producer and songwriter and that I can realise my vision a lot quicker than before. However my initial ideas and aspirations for this project are as clear and defined for me as they were at the outset; to get to a warmer place in electronic music that makes you want to contemplate as much as it makes you want to dance.
2) Earlier this year you made a nice 12″ under a new name, Buz Ludzha. What stands behind that moniker? What was it that made you create another project?
Yeah I’ve finished and am planning a few more releases under that alias in 2015. That name actually comes from the abandoned soviet monument called Buzludza in Bulgaria which I visited when travelling with friends. It’s of course in no way associated with any of the politics, but rather the state that the place is in. In a way it’s a piece of unintended artwork itself. It’s so weather-beaten that it’s far more interesting to view than what it would have been originally. I think It would be a pretty amazing place to hold a rave too! I actually decided to make the new alias when one of the All City guys, Sonel, asked me to put something out as part of their alias series.
3) Is it true the name ” The Cyclist” came from the painting by a russian painter? Why do you think it inspired you?
Well hopefully this doesn’t disappoint any biking enthusiasts that are also fans, but yeah the name came from the Futurist painting by Natalia Goncharova. It was mainly the whole association with vivid colour, angular movement and energy of the futurist movement that I found very inspiring and I felt worked with my sound and what I’m trying to express with my music.
4) What has inspired you in terms of other composers’ influences?
Well I have to say I’ve always found more of my main influences are older and generally not in the same genre at all. I’d say my main inluences would be poeple like Can and Neu in the between 1970-73, the first Suicide album and their early demos, Cabaret Voltaire, Burial, Aphex Twin, Keith Hudson and Boards of Canada. Of course a lot of early house and techno like Larry Heard, Adonis, Phuture etc too.
5) Your degree was in Pharmacology, right? Do you find any correlations between you work as a scientist and your musical efforts?
Honestly not really. I feel they are very distinct parts of my life.
6) Let’s talk about your upcoming LP Flourish. First sounds we heard and the cover art seem to show some dark and rough inclination. Though the title of the album is more postive and light! Tell about the ideas behind this new work.
Well while it is definitely rough and there are some heavy/dark moments, I feel when you get a listen to the full album you’ll hear the moments were the brighter and more colourful vibes shine through. Like parts of Breathless and the title track. Overall, rather than aiming for a wholly euphoric or darker album I aimed for a messy, blurry middle ground full of psychedelic inebriation.
7) Do you buy lots of new music these days or you prefer to get back to the older musicians and inspirations? What did you enjoy lately?
Yeah I love a lot of both. I buy both as often as I can (ie when I can afford it). I hate it when people say there’s no good or really forward thinking music these days, or when people say this time or that was the golden age of art/music. Whilst I absolutely love listening to the early andseminal forms of a genre, I also think the more modern developments are just as important. On my more rock-y side I’ve been continuously listening to Morgan Delt and Tame Impala, a couple of really great psychedelic bands. On the dancier end of things, I’ve been really digging a lot of the L.I.E.S. and Hospital Productions releases and those The Trilogy Tapes greats, like Rezzett. I just love anything with the right level and style of grit.
We wish you luck with the new album and hope to see you in Moscow some day!