SK Orchestra – at Flux Factory/on the A train (sicsic009, C40)


[audio:,|titles=at Flux Factory,on the A train]
A – at Flux Factory (20:34)
B – on the A train (17:14)

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The SK Orchestra creates experimental soundscapes and performs other ambient compositions using mostly vintage Casio SK series keyboards. These keyboards are simple, yet versatile. They continue to be widely used in the experimental music community. We will not merely use the keyboards for their tones, which are desirable in their own right, but rather to utilize the full capabilities of the SK series keyboards. Such capabilities include: Real-time sampling, 4-note polyphony, a looping function, and more. Additionally, the hardware from some of the SK keyboards has been modified and rewired to allow the player to add distortion and other equalization effects. The project is about transcending limitations and recycling old technology. By exploiting the simple functions available on the Sk keyboards, we breathe new life into old equipment. Newer does not necessarily mean better.

Driven by Michael Durek and Brandstifter, the Sk Orchestra creates instrumental music using Casio Sk series keyboards. The music can be ambient and flowing or upbeat and pulsitile and relies heavily on improvisation and group dynamics.


SKOrchestral manoeuvres in NY

The SKO (Sampling Keyboard Orchestra) was birthed in 2009. Their first gig at the Flux Factory Fund Rager was booked under false pretenses, since the group didn’t exist yet except in Mike Durek’s brain. Brandstifter met Mike on the Waterpod and very enthusiastically agreed to join the SKO for the show on the Legendary boat. They gathered four other members (Sarah Granett, Tsubasa Berg, Dave Tamura, and Brian Bolanowski), and rehearsed at the Flux Factory. The results were magical. Soon after, they performed at Brandstifter’s Social Plastic space, sporting inflatable plastic robes, made by Sarah Granett. Members were added – until a 14 member SK Orchestra played at the Tank in Manhattan later that year, where Robert L. Pepper smashed a cookie against Brandstifter’s forehead in the middle of the set. 14 people could at times sound like a herd of wild peacocks, so the group now plays with five to seven people. Regulars include Robert L. Pepper, Amber Brien, Jesse Fairbairn, Dave Tamura, Jon Vomit Worthley, Jim Tuite, Brian Bolanowski, and Brian McCorkle. The music is like ambient soundscapes with hints of noise and melodiousness. They tend towards conceptual performances and theatrics, and in general – love plastic.

Additional Info & Credits

This tape is released as a handnumbered edition of 65.

„at Flux Factory“ (Mike Durek, Brandstifter, Robert L. Pepper, Amber Brien, Damien Olsen, Jesse Fairbairn and Tsubasa Berg) was captured from the „antibodies“ show 27th November 2009 in Queens by Robert and Damien

„on the A train“ (several SKO members and friends) in the subway after having played the Tank in Manhattan on their way to the aftershow party in Dumboon the 4th of December 2009

cover art by Paula de Castro

silk screen prints by Brandstifter + Lichtblau at gold factory Frankfurt

thanks to Elektrischer Walfisch for mastering