New Leafcutter John Album – Video and Audio exclusives.

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015 | Music! | No Comments

It’s been a long time coming but at last I can announce the release of my new record Resurrection. It’s out May 4th but you can watch the video teaser and listen to the title track over at FACT magazine.

I’m incredibly happy about this record, it fuses electronic, acoustic, and vocal elements into five long-form tracks and is pressed on delicious transparent blue vinyl (digital copies also available.) You can pre-order from Desire Path Recordings now.

Take care of yourselves!

J x. 

Playing with a beta Music Thing Modular Mikrophonie

Thursday, June 19th, 2014 | Modular Synth, Music!, video | No Comments

A simple contact microphone and amp in a modular format. Simple but inspiring! Not sure when it will be released yet but keep an eye on


One self patched Doepfer A-143-4 LFO makes beautiful sounds.

Thursday, June 19th, 2014 | Electronics, Modular Synth, Music!, video | No Comments

Sometimes the simple things are the best.

New Leafcutter John Mix for Kit Records/NTS radio.

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014 | Music!, Radio | No Comments

I’m really proud to have completed a mix for Kit Records who have a show on NTS radio. A very diverse playlist including: Harold Faltermeyer, Ivor Cutler, Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty,0.00-2.16 Axel F, Harold Faltermeyer, Bernard Parmegiani, The Cannonball Adderley Quintet, Palace Music, & Autechre + lots of weird morphing of sounds and finally a new track from me.

You can stream the mix HERE and read the mix notes.

J x.

Hack your MiniBrute into a Modular MEGABRUTE!

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014 | Building Things, Electronics, Modular Synth, Music! | No Comments


The MiniBrute (MB) is an affordable analogue mono-synth which offers several Control Voltages (CVs) for use with modular synth systems. As standard you get:

Pitch out

Gate out

Gate in

Amp in

Filter in

Pitch in

Main audio out

Headphone out

Audio in

Midi in

Midi out

This is amazing for a synth of this price but inside the MB lurk many more useful CVs! Opening up the synth you will see there are many test points, these are all numbered and will make the task of modifying your MB a piece of cake.

I spent the last week poking around with a osciloscope and discovered lots of useful CV signals and waveforms just waiting to zip in to a modular system. Here is what i found:

Power (small board middle, ground main board lower left)

PT742 +12v

PT743 -12v

PT720 / PT 605 3.3v

PT175 Ground – there are loads of ground points to choose from, try and stick with one though.

Envelopes (large board upper left)

PT105 Filter Envelope

PT112 Volume Envelope

LFOs (large board lower middle – these all respond to tempo and are MIDI beatclockable!)

PT59 Random Steps

PT58 Smooth Steps

PT35 Sine

PT32 Triangle

PT34 Saw

PT33 Square

Oscillators (large board mid right – respond to pitch)

PT13 Square

PT158 Sub (square or sine as selected on MB panel)

PT22 Triangle (+metaliser if activated)

PT19 Triangle (clean)

PT20 Saw (the modulating wave for this is PT65)

PT57 Noise

PT151 some kind of folded triangle ( |\/|/\| )

Clocks (large board bottom left)

PT136 Clock out

PT145 Clock in (see special tap emulation circuit)

Modulation (small board bottom right)

PT656 After Touch

PT655 Mod Wheel

PT654 Pitch Bend

there is a thread about the mods on Muffwiggler

And I’ve uploaded fairly comprehensive mod instructions here MegaBrute Leafcutter Mods 03.pdf

Have Fun!


Chaotic modular techno.

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014 | Building Things, Electronics, Modular Synth, Music! | No Comments

Playing with a chaotic patch built around the doepfer ‘chaos patch’ found here


The SOUND of MONEY Algorithmic Max/MSP experiment based on the Price Of Gold 1957-2013

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013 | Building Things, Max/MSP, Music!, Software News | No Comments

This is a work in progress but I thought it might be interesting to some of you. The Max/MSP patch below tracks the price of gold between 1957-2013 and uses the data to control parameters of an algorithmic composition.

It’s a mess but it works!

Here is the price of gold between 1957-2013 expressed as an audio wave

You can clearly see it’s general upward trajectory, it’s a bit like a upwards ramp but with lots of extra harmonic content. This waveform is used for much of the percussion in the piece which you can hear below….

Light Controlled Music Interview at Operation Ton, Hamburg.

Operation Ton #7 Licht & Ton: Leafcutter John & Nikolai Ockel von Sallwitz “The Light Controlled Interface” from RockCity Hamburg e.V. on Vimeo.

Vietnam Day 3 Field recording with Richard Eigner and Workshop with Vietnamese Musicians

Richard Eigner getting into the many sounds at a busy intersection in Hanoi

I’m starting to get into the swing of things, body clock is still very confused but the vibe of the city is such that it carries you along on it’s noisy, smoky, hyper-alive wake.  I spent several hours walking around recording and taking photographs with Richard today. And when stepping off the street and into the calm of my hotel I keep noticing that my body is actually vibrating such is the excitement of the city.



Afterwards I headed to the Goethe Institut to give a workshop on my Light controlled music hard/software which was really good fun especially when the audience started getting involved with playing the interface. I learned a lot.

Hanoi Score workshop and Scooter ride including Vietnam’s most controversial Fruit! (Day 2)

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013 | Graphic Scores, images, Music!, video | No Comments

This morning I worked with a group of players and composers from Hanoi’s ‘Rhapsody Philharmonic’ we performed my animated graphic score piece.  at the British Council building which was a lot of fun.


As you can see there is no fear of experimentation here. The players made fine use of a steel bin, instrument cases for percussion and tubes to sing down. Their timing was impeccably good and they also laughed a lot too which is no bad thing.


Later on after a little afternoon nap I was picked up by the excellent Cuong on his moped for a tour of Hanoi by night. Cuong is rightly obsessed by fruit and we went on culinary tour which left my tastebuds in a state of complete ecstasy! In the video he points out Vietnam’s most CONTROVERSIAL fruit while skilfully whizzing along the streets of the old town.

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