Considering the dripping saturation of the ambient music genre, it’s becoming increasingly rare to encounter something to get excited about. Vancouver’s Segue managed to cut through the noise with Gene Machines, freshly released on Tokyo-based label, ADSR Collective. Gene Machines is a magnificent coalescence of two distinct, nerdy worlds: “In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre, Segue was commissioned to create an original composition based on audio recordings from the GSC’s laboratory equipment, robots, and computers – to make ‘music’ from the noise they produce.
Machine noise is a challenging palette of musical ingredients – sharp, abrasive, and whirring sounds are typically unpleasant. For one night, these machines are repurposed as acoustical performers.
In the process of creating Gene Machines, recordings were analyzed for their specific frequency profiles and then used to generate melodic or percussive sounds. Together with bass from a Moog synthesizer, the sounds were stretched, manipulated, and sequenced into a series of compositions. Each composition is based on the recording from one specific laboratory machine, emphasizing its tone and timbre quality.”