Potar is not an easy artist to Pigeonhole. pulsating between crunchy rhythmic beats and harsh noise, Potar’s live improvisations often include modulated oscillations, harsh delay sweeps, and distorted step-seq synths. Known for modifying and building his own instruments, (a process known as circuit bending) Potar has been making improvised electronic music since the late 90’s.

So what is he using to make that racket?

For at least the past 12 years, Potar has been using a circuit bent Alesis HR-16 run into a rehoused and modified Barbie Karaoke Machine. The HR-16 has a 30 point banana jack patch bay that allows easy connection between ROM points inside the drum machine. Interconnecting the banana jacks leads to all sorts of distorted chaos hanging notes and random sounds. The barbie karaoke machine has been modified with extended delay times, body contacts connected to the pitch pots, and a spacey variable dub siren. Newer items added into the live setup include The Potar Design Eclectric Kalimba Spring Thing (a weirdo electro-acoustic device with springs) and a harsh delay fuzz based on the Noise Ensemble design that is floating around in DIY guitar pedal circles.

What is noise music?

Noise is an audio-based artform that you either get or you don’t. Kind of like free form jazz. noise musicians tend to work from an improvised theme if a theme is involved at all. Noise musicians sometimes utilize elements of other disciplines such as performance art, theatre, and dance.

You have a bunch of different camps when it comes to noise music. You have the harsh noise nihilists who are making “pure noise without thought or regard”, you have the ethereal drone scene (that I find quite relaxing) and you have the rhythmic noise artists.

From tables filled with guitar pedals to oil drums smashed with power tools, noise is truly an art form that anyone can participate in.

Selected Noise Video Primer