Inspired by the field of thermodynamics, philosopher of technology Gilbert Simondon uses the term ‘metastability’ to refer to a system state that transcend the classical opposition between stability and instability, and is charged with potentials for a ‘becoming’.
What can a drum machine become? ‘ER-1’ by MVK (Matthijs Kouw) provides an answer to this question in the form of 10 de- and reconstructions of the ER-1, a versatile drum machine and percussion synthesizer first released by Korg in 1999. All tracks on ‘ER-1’ were created by manipulating recordings of the ER-1 using granular synthesis, feedback, and various plugins.
To some extent, the choice of source material in electronic music is arbitrary. The voice of electronic musicians has tremendous reach due to the multitude of discrete and radical transformations enabled by a growing arsenal of tools.