Paul Birken

Arguably the most prolific music machine manipulator around for over 20 years, Paul Birken has been developing and exploring his love for the limitless potential that exists when chaining together synths, sequencers, samplers and drum machines to make tracks that go *THUMP* in the night. This unmistakable Birken sound delivers a serious dose of kick ass every time.

As a kid his parents had a large organ in the basement which he learned to read and play music on, often turning the volume all the way up and jumping around on the bass pedals to make the walls shake.

This musical menace listened to synth-pop like Human League and Erasure but his enthusiasm for skateboarding guided him towards something with a little more bite like punk and hip-hop. Then, aged 13, he begged his dad to take him to a Roland convention which had all the new synths and samplers on display. Being a product of 80’s synth-pop, the fascinating lure of this electronic bounty was too great to miss.

The concept of creating and sculpting abnormal audio forms engulfed him after the attended his first rave in 1993, where the diversity within the tracks he’d heard blew him away. He’d found his musical direction which rapidly progressed into programming mainly mechanical, rigid, industrial sounding material, a far cry from playing saxophone in his school band or some basic sequencing of tracks on his Commodore 64 wonder-computer.

For years he stockpiled tracks, honing his skills, finding his sound, eventually sending material to people like Minneapolis rave patriarch Woody McBride who released one of these sleeping monsters and eventually more onto labels in his Communiqué stable.

Because he never learned to DJ, playing machines is the only outlet Paul has to share his music. However, rather than it being a serious full time occupation, Paul’s approach to producing in his constantly evolving studio is more of a hobby, creating for fun, having a blast with the gear, constantly trying to progress his ideas and abilities.

He revels in conducting 100% live Pa’s, relentlessly programming before each one, never saving these unique events or any of the tracks in his sequencer, once he lays something down he erases everything and starts on the next project with one sole intention …………….. to make people funk.