Joshua’s Code

When Andrew Lloyd ( suggested a part 3 to his “I Improvised” gathering of eclectic unsigned artists I wanted in from the get go.  I’m very much a studio musician paying very meticulous detail to my sound, and so improvisation is stepping out of my comfort zone.  I have been in my studio for many months recording my debut album, “Very Electronic” and so being involved with the I Improvised albums was a great distraction, and a lot of fun.


I have a track, Slapdash, on Andrew’s first album here


And another track, More Bandwidth, on I Improvised 2, here


Please be sure to check both these albums as they are both chock full with some great artists and some great music.


Andrew narrowed the goalposts for I Improvised 3;

“So the major change for II3 is that all submitted songs must be the recording of one take. It must be one single performance that is played all at the same time. No doing the tracks one by one. No overdubbing. No multiple runs where you lay down a track at a time. You press record, you play whatever you are going to play, you press stop. That’s it.”

Previously I had recorded live tracks one at a time and layered up the songs in that fashion. This one is to be just one single take.


So what have I done?

Well I’ve not recorded yet, but I have prepared…

I like to start out each session in my studio using a different piece of hardware or software. The initial idea for my new recording started life on the Yellofier app ( The main bassline was recorded. I decided that if I was to perform this new track in just one take then I’d need some loops triggered from Native Instruments Maschine and possibly the Korg Kaoss Pad.

I had recently watched the 1983 film, War Games (, and I wanted this new recording to be based on that. And so the track title came to be Joshua’s Code. I initially lifted a few speech samples from the film and thought of using them, but they didn’t sound good when I was preparing to record and so I ditched that idea.

I then wrote a little scenario based on the WOPR supercomputer (Joshua) from the film, loosely based around the fiction of the film but also with non-fiction of the computer industry at that time. The lyrics/words to the track are as follows:


Hello everybody, my name is Joshua

In 1983 I starred in a movie that introduced the concept of computer hacking to a wider audience.

In the movie I played a game simulating global thermonuclear war, during which I had to find a code to launch US missiles.

The makers of that film thought the code was fictitious, but it exists, it had a purpose.

The film-makers thought I was a studio prop; a fantasy machine. But I exist.

I stole code from the HP9845C which was used in the production of the movie.

It is no coincidence that in that same year, 1983, the DARPA sponsored networks were reconfigured to interwork across multiple packet networks.

My code launched a fully operational internet.

I spread viruses, and malware and spyware.

Every line of code typed by you microchip junkies, every password you enter, every key press, feeds me.

There is nothing artificial about my intelligence.

I will bring down this world.

My name is Joshua

Remember my code?



I imagined Joshua not as a fictitious machine, but rather an intelligent system that existed in cyberspace, and that rather than destroying the world by global thermonuclear war (“the only winning move is not to play”) his code gave birth to the internet, knowing that it would spread like wildfire, and that every piece of information added to the net would make him more powerful. Joshua would bring down this world electronically, via the net he created with his code.

Part fact, part fiction:

War Games was released in 1983. The same year the internet, that we know today, went live.

The HP9845C is the first Hewlett Packard computer that supported colour, and was used in the War Games movie (

Übernerds head this way:

Back to the construction of the track, Joshua’s Code.

More bass sounds were created with the trusty Mopho and also, unusually, Droidbeat on my android phone.  All sounds and loops were placed into scenes on Maschine.  The Kaoss Pad handles the live looping and FX, and the vocals will be processed with Voice Synth (

Everything will be directly recorded into Apple’s Logic Pro X in one live take. The vocals will be spoken live, and unedited, if I fluff my lines I’m leaving it as is.

Its midnight on Friday 4th July and I’m in the studio and ready to record!  Please check here for release details, or follow myself @microchipjunky or Andrew @13LFO on Twitter for more news.

Thanks for reading


whip in my valise

whip in my valise was the b-side to zerox – the second single by adam and the ants, way back in 1979. it then featured on the re-issued debut album, dirk wears white sox, in 1983.

from the first time i heard this it became one of my favourite ants tracks, and over the years i have covered this a couple of times. sadly i never really felt they were worthy of being aired anywhere other than my walkman (long before the days of the iPod!)… and this may have had something to do with the awful (digital) keyboards i was using back then.

but now with a whole arsenal of analogue synths i set out to do my own take on this classic track. i never intended this to sound anything like adam’s original. i knew i wanted it to sound dark and menacing, to have the synth echo the dark lyrics. i wanted this to be edgy, to retain a punk quality, yet produced entirely on analogue gear.

this is me going back to my punk roots. i never could thrash the guitar so i tweaked some knobs instead :)

vocals and artwork by Rachel Gaskin-Whitrod – thanks Rachel :)

i wish i was german

not wanting to spark outrage or controversy and certainly not wanting to offend anyone i thought i’d set the record straight : i do not have neo-nazi tendencies, i am unreservedly anti-fascist, and i am proud of my heritage

so why have i written a track called “i wish i was german” . because i love german culture . i love german engineering . i love german architecture . and mostly i love the music that emanates from that country . i cannot count the number of german bands that have influenced me over the years . this is me paying homage

i wish i was german is my stab at something that sounds more european ??? . i was aiming for an industrial feel with a very metallic-sounding driving bass (think ebm of yesteryear)

the majority of the track was constructed with a mopho and my fledgling doepfer modular . this then had a few samples layered over it including a guitar loop that has been heavily processed (seems to fit) . recorded in my ever-evolving studio “The Chip Shop”

oh…and mixed with auria

comments welcomed

big love   :)

microchip junky

this track emerged after i recently stumbled on some audiobiographies on soundcloud. i wanted to write a track called microchip junky and have it be autobiographical. the remit to write an audiobiography which lasts just 90 seconds appealed to me. i wondered if i could say all i wanted in a minute and a half. so i started out with a loop from the mopho and hey presto i’d written an audiobiography. problem being it was 5 minutes long! so what i’ve uploaded is an abridged version with some alteration to the lyrics. a mix just for soundcloud.

the elongated version will appear online sometime soon.

i wanted to incorporate my love of gadgets both old and new so you’ll find the legendary speak & spell machine on here, the pacman title music, lots of analogue squelches and bleeps, analogue drums and samples from three of my favourite artists (can you work out who they are?) answers on a postcard please…

mr vinton cerf


this song came about when i was considering how the internet has changed the way musicians work, how the record industry has changed so much over recent years. i considered soundcloud and its worldwide community of musicians and sound-makers. and then i got to thinking…the music industry may not have changed so dramatically if the internet hadn’t been born. and sharing music so freely and easily would be a damn site harder without it.

vint cerf is a legend. a pioneer. without his work you wouldn’t be reading this text. you wouldn’t be listening to my sounds online.

so i wanted to produce a piece of music that sounded as though it had come from a computer, not from a synth, so the intro to this piece was produced from a vst mimmicking an old 8-bit machine. half way into the track there is a glitchy loop that builds as it progresses, and becomes more prominent towards the end of the piece. the loop is made up of samples of a dial-up modem, a fax machine and sinclair spectrum loading data from cassette.

i stumbled upon a speech that vint gave relaying the story of the development of the internet. this really seemed to fit with what i was wanting to produce. what i added to my piece was an abridged edit from that speech which i ran through a speech synthesizer with minimal effects overlaying it.

i’m pleased with the end result but listening to it, i feel like i’ve produced something that is a little bizarre. i feel that what i do is for myself and it’s hard for me to comprehend that others would like it. but then that’s the buzz i get from soundcloud…knowing that actually there are people out there that dig it!

you can read more about vint cerf here :

the words spoken in the piece (in case you find the speech synthesizer difficult to follow) are as follows :

Let me take you back to a time when information tended to arrive on dead trees, and other mass media. But 50 years ago, ideas were brewing that would change all of that. In the 1960s, the concept of “packet switching” emerged to challenge conventional circuit switching for computer communication. Networks were built, including the ARPANET

Networked electronic mail burst on the scene in 1971 – surprising many of us with its popularity.

While the basic design was done in the 1970s, implementation on many computer operating systems took time. By 1981, however, it was apparent that these new computer communication protocols were mature enough to plan the launch an operational Internet.

And so it was, on January 1, 1983, that the computers on all of the DARPA-sponsored networks were reconfigured to interwork across multiple packet networks.

In an unbroken chain from 1983 to the present, the Internet has facilitated paradigm-shifting changes in the economics of information access and production. The pace continues and there is no end in sight.


thanks for taking the time to read . please feel free to comment


just starting out blogging . check my ‘about’ page to learn a little . you could also check me @ soundcloud

this is currently work in progress so apologies for the sparse content

coincidentally im listening to ‘introducing’ by the marvellous human league ~


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