A short statement on the Sequential website says: “It is with heavy hearts that we share the news that Dave Smith has died.

“We’re heartbroken, but take some small solace in knowing he was on the road doing what he loved best in the company of family, friends, and artists.”

Sequential was due to exhibit at the 2022 NAMM Show, which runs from 3 to 5 June. The company says that it will now decline to participate out of respect for Dave Smith’s memory.

Smith founded Sequential Circuits in 1974, releasing the Prophet-5 - the world’s first fully-programmable polyphonic synth - in 1977. Many other influential synths and drum machines followed, and he was also a key player in the development of the original MIDI spec, announced in 1981. Indeed, it is said to be Smith who coined the MIDI acronym.

After Sequential Circuits folded in 1985, Smith had spells at Yamaha and Korg, where he worked on the classic Wavestation.

Smith returned to the hardware synth market with his own company in 2002, starting Dave Smith Instruments. Over the past two decades, his products have played a crucial part in the analogue revival.

Dave Smith Instruments was rebranded as Sequential in 2018, with Yamaha having returned the name to Smith in 2015. A rebooted Prophet-5 was released in 2020.

Sequential was acquired by British audio company Focusrite in 2021. Most recently, Smith was involved in the development of the OB-X8, the first new synth from the rebooted Oberheim, with Tom Oberheim back at the helm.

Paying tribute to Smith, Focusrite CEO Tim Carroll said: “Dave’s passing is a great loss to not only the music community and music technology, but to the world itself. To say that he changed music is no exaggeration. Dave’s legacy is one of creative passion and a deep and lifelong love for music, music technology, and the musicians that continue to enrich our world by using his instruments.

“At 72 he was still actively designing his next generation of synths. At the same time, he had the foresight to mentor and build Sequential into a team that will continue his work and legacy without pause. Dave will be greatly missed, but his contributions to music will never be forgotten.”

Sequential is inviting people to share their own memories of Smith by emailing


  • sequencial

"Tes yeux la plage" is the first extract of the upcoming album "il trionfo della morte" by Christophe Clébard  Upcoming release by les albums claus - 22 September 22.  The album was recorded during a residency at Les Ateliers Claus during the month of April 2021, mixed by Piccolo Bruno and Christophe Clebard, mastered by Elvin Vanzeebroeck at Rare Studio Photos and Cover projects by Jonas Meier<; Fidélité au Roi 

  • Dali Muri & the Polyphonic Size

Farida Amadou recalls the exact moment when she first held an electric bass in her hands. She was 20 years old and had been playing the guitar for a couple of years. But something about the feel of the strings, the way the bass vibrated in her hands and produced this great pulsating and humming sound, just stuck with her.

“I remember, from the first moment I was deeply fascinated by the sound and the way it felt to hold the bass. I always wonder if it might feel the same for cello players: that you feel the vibrations. It’s a very special way of connecting your body to what your hands are doing.“

In any case, that's when the Belgian musician discovered her passion for her instrument. The electric bass has been her main instrument for more than ten years now. And she keeps on reinventing the way she plays it. As a self-taught musician, Farida Amadou elicits the most exciting sounds imaginable from her Fender bass. She is an explorer. Her field of explorations: the known and unknown forms, sound worlds and contexts of her instrument. 
Farida Amadou works at the converging points of blues, jazz, hip-hop, ambient sounds, and noise. She is equally at home in all these genres, which makes her one of the most remarkable new European stars of free improvised music.

In the last two years, she has naturally undertaken most of her explorations from home. Since 2020, she is based in Brussels. A relocation with odd timing: just a few weeks before the first lockdown. “Obviously I moved to Brussels to meet new people and play more concerts. At the beginning it was a bit difficult. But honestly looking back now it was really a good time for me. I had a lot of time to work on my solo project. The only thing I really hated were live streaming concerts.”


  • Farida

Elle vide l’air de la pièce pour la remplir de sa guitare aux notes délicates et jamais inutiles, et de sa voix douce et grave, avec le ton de celle qui n’a plus de temps à perdre. 

Elle chante les yeux fermés, pour éviter les regards et plonger en elle. Quand elle a fini, il ne reste que le son des gorges qui se serrent et des cœurs qui se brisent. 

C’est quelque chose qui est difficile à décrire et impossible à oublier. Pourtant, l’artiste folk dit ne pas être une naturelle. « Je n’ai pas la scène dans le sang, avoue-t-elle. Je l’apprivoise encore, je commence seulement à m’y sentir bien. »

Dans le café de Villeray où elle nous a donné rendez-vous, elle sirote sa tisane en parlant à voix basse. Son regard est calme et oblique. L’attention portée à sa personne paraît la gêner un peu. 

Les autres clients ne semblent pas la reconnaître et cela lui convient.

Le plan fonctionne. Ses deux albums (Not so Deep as a Well et Ma délire – Songs of Love, Lost & Found) lui ont valu des critiques élogieuses de médias spécialisés aux États-Unis. « Une des meilleures parutions de la décennie », affirme Vinyl Factory. 

Au Québec aussi, la bonne rumeur se propage. Mais pas assez à mon humble avis, d’où cette interview.

Il faut un peu d’arrogance ou d’ignorance pour prétendre faire de l’art radicalement original. Ceux qui l’affirment taisent leurs influences. Ou pire, ils n’en sont pas conscients. 

Ce n’est pas le cas de Myriam Gendron. « Il ne faut pas se leurrer, réfléchit-elle. Même quand on croit créer quelque chose de neuf, on est traversé par toutes sortes d’influences. » 


  • Myriam Gendron

Sun Ra House, the three-story Philadelphia building that has been a cradle for Sun Ra’s evolving Arkestra outfit since the 1960s, has been listed as a historic landmark in the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places. The building at 5626 Morton Street, also known as the Arkestral Institute of Sun Ra, reportedly still houses a number of Arkestra members, including current bandleader Marshall Allen. Allen had lived in the house since 1968. In 2021, he reported that the building had partially collapsed. On May 13, the Philadelphia Historical Commission unanimously voted to grant the protected status, a representative for the register said.

As a result of the designation, the Historical Commission will ensure any adjustments to the building meet historic preservation standards, as well as advising on its restoration and maintenance. The designation came about with help from the Robert Bielecki Foundation, a philanthropist organization devoted to artists. Check out the Historical Commission’s proposal for the nomination.

Sun Ra returned to the astral plane in 1993, but his Arkestra continued to tour and record until the turn of the millennium, when it pared back to become a looser touring outfit. Sun Ra Arkestra regrouped in 2020 for Swirling—its first album in decades—which was nominated for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album award at the 2022 Grammys. After contributing to Swirling, the Arkestra’s longtime baritone sax player and manager Danny Ray Thompsondied in 2020 at age 72; bassist Juini Booth died the following year.


  • SUN RA Arkestra

©Gert Cps

  • sun ra

Most people don’t realize how crucial sound is to science fiction. TV shows and films about alternate dimensions or alien planets are only convincing when paired with sounds that also seem otherworldly. In 1958, the BBC launched its Radiophonic Workshop, a recording studio in West London stocked with music equipment that could generate the futuristic audio they needed. For most of the ’60s, the Workshop’s star engineer was a working-class girl with a Cambridge math degree who was obsessed with crafting sounds that had never been heard. Delia Derbyshire: The Myths and the Legendary Tapes, an experimental docudrama by first-time director Caroline Catz, offers a sensuous look at the inner life of this pioneering figure, whose mythology is fueled by the fact that she died of alcoholism, alone, and in relative obscurity.

Derbyshire, who is best known for realizing Ron Grainer’s score for the Doctor Who theme song, is revered by electronic music buffs for the bewitching melodies and soundscapes she coaxed out of her rudimentary machines. Her soundtracks and musical themes, ranging from satanic goblin chants to collage-based sound poetry and percussive proto-techno, have since been collected on a handful of highly coveted, out-of-print compilations. Until Catz’s film, however, she’s never received a treatment with such widespread appeal. 

The film is an ambitious, interdisciplinary undertaking. There are the archival footage and talking-head interviews, offering a sense of who Derbyshire was and what drove her to pursue such an esoteric path. There’s the dramatic reenactment in which Catz herself plays the protagonist, relating the ups and downs of Derbyshire’s personal and professional life in a style that blends biopic and black-box theater. And then there are the psychedelic vignettes that recreate her improvisational studio sessions, with cosmic ’60s set design driving home the vision of Derbyshire as sonic alchemist. These reenactments are sound-tracked by Cosey Fanni Tutti from the legendary industrial band Throbbing Gristle, who makes cameos in the film alongside Derbyshire’s character in a kind of intergenerational jam session. 

While the dramatic reenactment works as an accessory at first, the seams start to show toward the end of the film in the rushed storytelling and supporting characters who lack depth. Catz, meanwhile, delivers a charismatic performance in her role as Derbyshire, which creates some cognitive dissonance because, as we see in the archival footage, Derbyshire herself was not particularly charismatic.

The strength of the film is in its refreshing take on the old trope of the artist before her time. It’s remarkable, for instance, how often Derbyshire’s boundless imagination is hindered by the technical limitations of her clunky, primitive machines. These obstacles, when insurmountable, would send her into depressive benders that often ended with her destroying her tapes. But Derbyshire also hacked her machines to find clever workarounds that pushed the field forward.

Generally, the film is reflexive. It cheekily acknowledges the clichés that now comprise Derbyshire’s myth and legend. In the final scene, her disembodied voice reads out and fact-checks a posthumous profile in the Times, laughing at how tragic her life is made to seem. (“Hopeless alcoholic?” she jokes. “Actually, I was rather a successful alcoholic.”) In laying bare the process by which myths are made, the film asks us to consider why we find certain narratives so appealing, particularly those in which a woman’s vast accomplishments are shrouded by tragedy.

Max Pearl covers music, art and film, and splits his time between New York and Mexico.


from Bombmagazine

  • Still from Delia Derbyshire: The Myths and Legendary Tapes, 2020

Video G.Coppens