After six hour trip from Ouarzazate, we arrived at Taghazout by midday. From the hostel, I could hear the welcoming sound of the sea waves brushing the sand. After signing the check in, I dropped my backpack on the floor of our room and immediately jumped into the beach.
With the excitement of the moment, I totally forgot about my handy recorder without which it was impossible to catch any sound at all.
Despite the setback caused by the distraction I quickly got interested in a group of fishermen that were assembling a little stand in where they would sell their catch of the day. Astonished by the beauty, freshness and diversity of fishes and mollusks they were displaying, I started feeling very hungry and decided to buy two nice looking octopuses in order to make a delicious feast with them. With the idea of a seafood pasta in my mind, I headed off to the closest shop and got hold of the extra ingredients for the meal.
Once I had returned to the hostel with a bag full of spices, olive oil, coriander, tomatoes, spaghettis, garlic and oranges I was ready to start cooking a simple but delicious recipe: Spaghetti with octopus on its ink and stir-fried vegetables.
Before cooking, I made an orange juice for me and Ana, who, at that moment, was reading peacefully in hostels terrace. The sound of the old electric squeezer resulted very interestingly for me so I decided to record it straight away.
On the morning of the third day we left Marrakesh and headed to Ouarzazate. We took a shared taxi from the Grand Routier, next to Bab Taghzout. Both Ana and I, were so excited about the trip, that we did not care about having to share the copilot’s seat! Or at least, we didn’t at the beginning…
Ouarzazate is a city in the south of Morocco, it is known for its outstanding Kasbahs (ancient fortress made out of clay and straw) and, ultimately, for the many shows, films and series that have been recorded in its film studios and surroundings. It took us about two hours to cross the impressive Atlas and one hour more to arrive to the ‘doors of the desert’, as the city is also known.
In our first morning in Marrakesh, we woke up at 10 am, had a delicious breakfast and jumped out the street, hoping to find the way to Jemaa El-Fna… yes, again.
We tried hard to find the correct way to the square, but in Marrakesh, if you get distracted for only a second, you have a high probability of missing that one street you had to turn onto. Somehow, and with some good luck, we got lost into a maze of squeezed streets and old tall buildings, where sunbeams appeared to stain thin lines on the ashen walls. All of a sudden a set of laughs and yelps reached my ears from a group of children playing and enjoying some street games.
We’re utterly excited to finally share this beautiful project in collaboration with Dudu Bongo, which will take us around the world captured through his ears. Musician, instrument craftsman, ethnologist, sound recorder and curious mind are one of the few faces of his polifacetic personality. His boundless sensitivity and strive for knowledge about the history of cultures through sounds and music, will make this journey worth reading, seeing, listening and feeling.
We invite you to take 15 minutes of your time to be able to fully experience this first stop on our first travel together, to the lands of Morocco. This first post will take us through their first day in Marrakesh. Stay tuned for Day 2 in Marrakesh, and also the cities of Ouarzazate, Agadir & Tagazout and finally arriving to Essaouira to conclude this beautiful trip.
Today I have the pleasure of reviewing Befaco’s Sampling Modulator eurorack synth module. Befaco is a spanish synth manufacturer whose output is focused mainly on Eurorack modulars.
They started as a small DIY project community, hosting workshops at Barcelona’s “Hangar” art production center. I used to be one of those attending these workshops, and with their help and knowledge built a few of their modules -aswell as my “x0xb0x” tb-303 clone and my “Elkorus” solina rack chorus unit-. Not only they’re great synth designers, they’re also very nice chaps and will do whatever it takes to help you finish your DIY project.
Befaco’s modules were build to a custom format at first. They used eurorack 3u size panels, +/-15v power -much like 5u modulars- and banana connectors -like Buchla and Serge systems-. Today they have adapted their designs to the eurorack “standard” with +/-12v rails and minijack connectors, but you can still build their modules with your choice of connector -current PCBs are designed to fit both options- and even power -some modules work equally well at both voltages-. The modules also look much better now in my opinion, since they have abandoned their self drilled white DIY panels in favour of a professionally silkscreened black design -that reminds me of big “macho” modulars-, with much better interface layouts aswell.
So, what does the “Sampling Modulator” do?
Like most of Befaco’s lineup the Sampling Modulator follows the west coast synth design philosophy of “one module: many functions”. It can be used as a gate sequencer, clocked sample and hold, oscillator, clock generator, sampling shaper and even as a bit-crusher of sorts. All in all, this makes it an extremely versatile module, and considering that is only 8hp in size -like most “regular” Doepfer modules-, the bang for buck/hp is quite high!