Audiobus: Use your music apps together.

What is Audiobus?Audiobus is an award-winning music app for iPhone and iPad which lets you use your other music apps together. Chain effects on your favourite synth, run the output of apps or Audio Units into an app like GarageBand or Loopy, or select a different audio interface output for each app. Route MIDI between apps — drive a synth from a MIDI sequencer, or add an arpeggiator to your MIDI keyboard — or sync with your external MIDI gear. And control your entire setup from a MIDI controller.

Download on the App Store

Audiobus is the app that makes the rest of your setup better.

OT - Zappa's electronic music

Frank Zappa's name comes up from time to time on this forum, and since I can directly trace my interest in electronic music to one of his albums—Jazz From Hell—I thought it might be fun/educational to hear from other fans of that side of his output. By his own reckoning, the synclavier gave him the tools to compose freely in a way he couldn't for 'real' music.
I'm a huge fan, and had been listening to his stuff for about eight years when, in 1995, I had a gig in a Bangkok hotel for three months. Every day started with some laps of the pool (tough gig, right?), then listening to pirated tapes (Pink Floy, anyone?). I decided to listen to Jazz From Hell every day, because it was the first FZ album I didn't like. Long story short, I fell in love, and I still listen to it in a state of awed disbelief.
This is the first track - not my favourite at first (that was G-spot Tornado), but I now consider it the standout track on a spectacular album.
What are your fave electronic/sequenced FZ tracks? And can you recommend other music that comes anywhere close to this kind of composing and producing? I'd love to listen to it.
https://youtube.com/watch?v=8GAWk5fxZqY

Comments

  • trying to embed a video - I don't do this often, sorry...

  • edited January 9

    @iansainsbury said:
    trying to embed a video - I don't do this often, sorry...

    Night School was my favorite piece of this album since I listened to it in Zappas Universe. Amazing piece, If you want to hear his experiments on the Synclavier, listen to Civilization Phaze III. Frank Zappa and Miles Davis are my favorite musicians. They were unique

  • Yeah his synclavier stuff is amazing and sounds so different than his bands. I wonder if he might have made more electronic music if he’d lived longer.

  • Always loved the “Jazz From Hell” album, “While You Where Art II” in particular.

    Amnerika is another beautiful composition.

  • Yes, Civilisation Phase III is a bitter-sweet listen. Some amazing stuff, but this was the album he was working on when he died. And there's no one I've heard yet who can carry the torch. @ecamburn, I also wonder what might have come next. I think it's because FZ composed at a level beyond my ability to quickly comprehend. I love Steely Dan, The Beatles, Randy Newman, but I can work out what's going on with their songs, play through the chord sequences. I'd have to sit down for days with any of the tracks on Jazz From Hell to get anywhere near an understanding of everything that he's doing.
    It tickles part of my brain that nothing else ever has.

  • @iansainsbury said:
    Yes, Civilisation Phase III is a bitter-sweet listen. Some amazing stuff, but this was the album he was working on when he died. And there's no one I've heard yet who can carry the torch. @ecamburn, I also wonder what might have come next. I think it's because FZ composed at a level beyond my ability to quickly comprehend. I love Steely Dan, The Beatles, Randy Newman, but I can work out what's going on with their songs, play through the chord sequences. I'd have to sit down for days with any of the tracks on Jazz From Hell to get anywhere near an understanding of everything that he's doing.
    It tickles part of my brain that nothing else ever has.

    If you are starting with Zappa's music I will recommend you to start with Joes Garage, Apostrophe, Overnite Sensation, and Sheik Yerbouti, also Zappas Universe. I think that from Zappa's musicians the only one who carried the torch for a while is Mike Keneally, also Steve Vai's first album Flex able is worth checking out. Dweezil Zappa is playing his music. Look for Ed Palermo Big Band and Ensemble Ambrosius to listen to some interpretations of Zappa's music that are outstanding

  • @Prog1967 said:

    @iansainsbury said:
    Yes, Civilisation Phase III is a bitter-sweet listen. Some amazing stuff, but this was the album he was working on when he died. And there's no one I've heard yet who can carry the torch. @ecamburn, I also wonder what might have come next. I think it's because FZ composed at a level beyond my ability to quickly comprehend. I love Steely Dan, The Beatles, Randy Newman, but I can work out what's going on with their songs, play through the chord sequences. I'd have to sit down for days with any of the tracks on Jazz From Hell to get anywhere near an understanding of everything that he's doing.
    It tickles part of my brain that nothing else ever has.

    If you are starting with Zappa's music I will recommend you to start with Joes Garage, Apostrophe, Overnite Sensation, and Sheik Yerbouti, also Zappas Universe. I think that from Zappa's musicians the only one who carried the torch for a while is Mike Keneally, also Steve Vai's first album Flex able is worth checking out. Dweezil Zappa is playing his music. Look for Ed Palermo Big Band and Ensemble Ambrosius to listen to some interpretations of Zappa's music that are outstanding

    I've been listening since a drummer friend introduced me to FZ in 1987. I agree with your starting points - great albums. I'd add Tinseltown Rebellion to the list, as that was what sealed the deal for me. I like some of the interpretations you mention - will have a listen to the last two as they are new to me.
    What I'd be very interested in is any composer/musician/producer since who's come up with anything comparable, composition-wise, rather than new arrangements of FZ's existing body of work.

  • edited January 9

    @iansainsbury said:

    @Prog1967 said:

    @iansainsbury said:
    Yes, Civilisation Phase III is a bitter-sweet listen. Some amazing stuff, but this was the album he was working on when he died. And there's no one I've heard yet who can carry the torch. @ecamburn, I also wonder what might have come next. I think it's because FZ composed at a level beyond my ability to quickly comprehend. I love Steely Dan, The Beatles, Randy Newman, but I can work out what's going on with their songs, play through the chord sequences. I'd have to sit down for days with any of the tracks on Jazz From Hell to get anywhere near an understanding of everything that he's doing.
    It tickles part of my brain that nothing else ever has.

    If you are starting with Zappa's music I will recommend you to start with Joes Garage, Apostrophe, Overnite Sensation, and Sheik Yerbouti, also Zappas Universe. I think that from Zappa's musicians the only one who carried the torch for a while is Mike Keneally, also Steve Vai's first album Flex able is worth checking out. Dweezil Zappa is playing his music. Look for Ed Palermo Big Band and Ensemble Ambrosius to listen to some interpretations of Zappa's music that are outstanding

    I've been listening since a drummer friend introduced me to FZ in 1987. I agree with your starting points - great albums. I'd add Tinseltown Rebellion to the list, as that was what sealed the deal for me. I like some of the interpretations you mention - will have a listen to the last two as they are new to me.
    What I'd be very interested in is any composer/musician/producer since who's come up with anything comparable, composition-wise, rather than new arrangements of FZ's existing body of work.

    Check MIke Keneally second solo album then. I think he came with really interesting ideas and Steve Vai's Flexable

    Mike Keneally - Boil that dust speck

    Magma - Ëmëhntëhtt-Ré II

    Univers Zero

    The whole Rock in opposition movement has some Zappas influences

    Henry Cow (England)
    Univers Zero (Belgium)
    Etron Fou Leloublan (France)
    Samla Mammas Manna (Sweden)
    Stormy Six (Italy)
    Art Zoyd (France)
    Art Bears (England)
    Aksak Maboul (Belgium)

  • @iansainsbury said:

    @Prog1967 said:

    @iansainsbury said:
    Yes, Civilisation Phase III is a bitter-sweet listen. Some amazing stuff, but this was the album he was working on when he died. And there's no one I've heard yet who can carry the torch. @ecamburn, I also wonder what might have come next. I think it's because FZ composed at a level beyond my ability to quickly comprehend. I love Steely Dan, The Beatles, Randy Newman, but I can work out what's going on with their songs, play through the chord sequences. I'd have to sit down for days with any of the tracks on Jazz From Hell to get anywhere near an understanding of everything that he's doing.
    It tickles part of my brain that nothing else ever has.

    If you are starting with Zappa's music I will recommend you to start with Joes Garage, Apostrophe, Overnite Sensation, and Sheik Yerbouti, also Zappas Universe. I think that from Zappa's musicians the only one who carried the torch for a while is Mike Keneally, also Steve Vai's first album Flex able is worth checking out. Dweezil Zappa is playing his music. Look for Ed Palermo Big Band and Ensemble Ambrosius to listen to some interpretations of Zappa's music that are outstanding

    I've been listening since a drummer friend introduced me to FZ in 1987. I agree with your starting points - great albums. I'd add Tinseltown Rebellion to the list, as that was what sealed the deal for me. I like some of the interpretations you mention - will have a listen to the last two as they are new to me.
    What I'd be very interested in is any composer/musician/producer since who's come up with anything comparable, composition-wise, rather than new arrangements of FZ's existing body of work.

    The only other composer that has ever reminded me of what FZ did is Steve Vai. Somewhat.

  • edited January 10

    @rs2000 said:

    @iansainsbury said:

    @Prog1967 said:

    @iansainsbury said:
    Yes, Civilisation Phase III is a bitter-sweet listen. Some amazing stuff, but this was the album he was working on when he died. And there's no one I've heard yet who can carry the torch. @ecamburn, I also wonder what might have come next. I think it's because FZ composed at a level beyond my ability to quickly comprehend. I love Steely Dan, The Beatles, Randy Newman, but I can work out what's going on with their songs, play through the chord sequences. I'd have to sit down for days with any of the tracks on Jazz From Hell to get anywhere near an understanding of everything that he's doing.
    It tickles part of my brain that nothing else ever has.

    If you are starting with Zappa's music I will recommend you to start with Joes Garage, Apostrophe, Overnite Sensation, and Sheik Yerbouti, also Zappas Universe. I think that from Zappa's musicians the only one who carried the torch for a while is Mike Keneally, also Steve Vai's first album Flex able is worth checking out. Dweezil Zappa is playing his music. Look for Ed Palermo Big Band and Ensemble Ambrosius to listen to some interpretations of Zappa's music that are outstanding

    I've been listening since a drummer friend introduced me to FZ in 1987. I agree with your starting points - great albums. I'd add Tinseltown Rebellion to the list, as that was what sealed the deal for me. I like some of the interpretations you mention - will have a listen to the last two as they are new to me.
    What I'd be very interested in is any composer/musician/producer since who's come up with anything comparable, composition-wise, rather than new arrangements of FZ's existing body of work.

    The only other composer that has ever reminded me of what FZ did is Steve Vai. Somewhat.

    Mike Keneally to me. Check Wadada Leo Smith album that includes Henry Kaiser and Keneally amazing stuff

  • @Prog1967 said:

    @rs2000 said:

    @iansainsbury said:

    @Prog1967 said:

    @iansainsbury said:
    Yes, Civilisation Phase III is a bitter-sweet listen. Some amazing stuff, but this was the album he was working on when he died. And there's no one I've heard yet who can carry the torch. @ecamburn, I also wonder what might have come next. I think it's because FZ composed at a level beyond my ability to quickly comprehend. I love Steely Dan, The Beatles, Randy Newman, but I can work out what's going on with their songs, play through the chord sequences. I'd have to sit down for days with any of the tracks on Jazz From Hell to get anywhere near an understanding of everything that he's doing.
    It tickles part of my brain that nothing else ever has.

    If you are starting with Zappa's music I will recommend you to start with Joes Garage, Apostrophe, Overnite Sensation, and Sheik Yerbouti, also Zappas Universe. I think that from Zappa's musicians the only one who carried the torch for a while is Mike Keneally, also Steve Vai's first album Flex able is worth checking out. Dweezil Zappa is playing his music. Look for Ed Palermo Big Band and Ensemble Ambrosius to listen to some interpretations of Zappa's music that are outstanding

    I've been listening since a drummer friend introduced me to FZ in 1987. I agree with your starting points - great albums. I'd add Tinseltown Rebellion to the list, as that was what sealed the deal for me. I like some of the interpretations you mention - will have a listen to the last two as they are new to me.
    What I'd be very interested in is any composer/musician/producer since who's come up with anything comparable, composition-wise, rather than new arrangements of FZ's existing body of work.

    The only other composer that has ever reminded me of what FZ did is Steve Vai. Somewhat.

    Mike Keneally to me. Check Wadada Leo Smith album that includes Fred Frith and Keneally amazing stuff

    Another great one indeed.

    BTW, I'd recommend to start with Vai's first (and not really popular) album "Flex-Able".

  • Just added a few new (to me) albums on Apple Music to try, thanks @Prog1967 @rs2000. I’m going to work through that Rock in Opposition list too.
    I’d recommend Thom Yorke's Anima, if you haven’t listened. Nothing like FZ per se, but experimental and intriguing arrangement-wise

  • @iansainsbury There are lots of great composers today, I just don't know anyone like FZ.
    Have you ever listened to old Johnny Guitar Watson albums? They're fun! And FZ definitely took some influences.

  • @iansainsbury said:
    Just added a few new (to me) albums on Apple Music to try, thanks @Prog1967 @rs2000. I’m going to work through that Rock in Opposition list too.
    I’d recommend Thom Yorke's Anima, if you haven’t listened. Nothing like FZ per se, but experimental and intriguing arrangement-wise

    Thom Yorke and Radiohead a favorite of mine too.

  • edited January 9

    @iansainsbury said:
    trying to embed a video - I don't do this often, sorry...

    I’d never heard this before. It put me in mind of some aspects of what Phil Mercy was doing in the late 90s just before we met and formed Theives’ Kitchen. His compositions kept me on my toes, I can tell you...

    https://mellowlabelproductions.bandcamp.com/track/khaa-bhut

    Once you get past the rocky opening section it gets to what I had in mind.

  • @Prog1967 said:

    @iansainsbury said:

    @Prog1967 said:

    @iansainsbury said:
    Yes, Civilisation Phase III is a bitter-sweet listen. Some amazing stuff, but this was the album he was working on when he died. And there's no one I've heard yet who can carry the torch. @ecamburn, I also wonder what might have come next. I think it's because FZ composed at a level beyond my ability to quickly comprehend. I love Steely Dan, The Beatles, Randy Newman, but I can work out what's going on with their songs, play through the chord sequences. I'd have to sit down for days with any of the tracks on Jazz From Hell to get anywhere near an understanding of everything that he's doing.
    It tickles part of my brain that nothing else ever has.

    If you are starting with Zappa's music I will recommend you to start with Joes Garage, Apostrophe, Overnite Sensation, and Sheik Yerbouti, also Zappas Universe. I think that from Zappa's musicians the only one who carried the torch for a while is Mike Keneally, also Steve Vai's first album Flex able is worth checking out. Dweezil Zappa is playing his music. Look for Ed Palermo Big Band and Ensemble Ambrosius to listen to some interpretations of Zappa's music that are outstanding

    I've been listening since a drummer friend introduced me to FZ in 1987. I agree with your starting points - great albums. I'd add Tinseltown Rebellion to the list, as that was what sealed the deal for me. I like some of the interpretations you mention - will have a listen to the last two as they are new to me.
    What I'd be very interested in is any composer/musician/producer since who's come up with anything comparable, composition-wise, rather than new arrangements of FZ's existing body of work.

    Check MIke Keneally second solo album then. I think he came with really interesting ideas and Steve Vai's Flexable

    Mike Keneally - Boil that dust speck

    Magma - Ëmëhntëhtt-Ré II

    Univers Zero

    The whole Rock in opposition movement has some Zappas influences

    Henry Cow (England)
    Univers Zero (Belgium)
    Etron Fou Leloublan (France)
    Samla Mammas Manna (Sweden)
    Stormy Six (Italy)
    Art Zoyd (France)
    Art Bears (England)
    Aksak Maboul (Belgium)

    Also Thinking Plague

    https://cuneiformrecords.bandcamp.com/track/maelstrom

    And Miriador

    https://cuneiformrecords.bandcamp.com/track/mme-x-mrs-x

  • edited January 9

    As usual, a surfeit of musical knowledge here. No one creates in a vacuum, but there are artists who take bold steps which subsequent artists embroider upon and flesh out. Zappa is one such bold creator, but he did not come out of nowhere.

    And then there’s Andy...

  • still my fave rave control freak auteur
    still regularly astounds & amazes after decades of listening

  • @rs2000 said:

    @Prog1967 said:

    @rs2000 said:

    @iansainsbury said:

    @Prog1967 said:

    @iansainsbury said:
    Yes, Civilisation Phase III is a bitter-sweet listen. Some amazing stuff, but this was the album he was working on when he died. And there's no one I've heard yet who can carry the torch. @ecamburn, I also wonder what might have come next. I think it's because FZ composed at a level beyond my ability to quickly comprehend. I love Steely Dan, The Beatles, Randy Newman, but I can work out what's going on with their songs, play through the chord sequences. I'd have to sit down for days with any of the tracks on Jazz From Hell to get anywhere near an understanding of everything that he's doing.
    It tickles part of my brain that nothing else ever has.

    If you are starting with Zappa's music I will recommend you to start with Joes Garage, Apostrophe, Overnite Sensation, and Sheik Yerbouti, also Zappas Universe. I think that from Zappa's musicians the only one who carried the torch for a while is Mike Keneally, also Steve Vai's first album Flex able is worth checking out. Dweezil Zappa is playing his music. Look for Ed Palermo Big Band and Ensemble Ambrosius to listen to some interpretations of Zappa's music that are outstanding

    I've been listening since a drummer friend introduced me to FZ in 1987. I agree with your starting points - great albums. I'd add Tinseltown Rebellion to the list, as that was what sealed the deal for me. I like some of the interpretations you mention - will have a listen to the last two as they are new to me.
    What I'd be very interested in is any composer/musician/producer since who's come up with anything comparable, composition-wise, rather than new arrangements of FZ's existing body of work.

    The only other composer that has ever reminded me of what FZ did is Steve Vai. Somewhat.

    Mike Keneally to me. Check Wadada Leo Smith album that includes Fred Frith and Keneally amazing stuff

    Another great one indeed.

    BTW, I'd recommend to start with Vai's first (and not really popular) album "Flex-Able".

    Sorry my bad it was Henry Kaiser and not Fred Frith

  • @Prog1967 said:

    @rs2000 said:

    @Prog1967 said:

    @rs2000 said:

    @iansainsbury said:

    @Prog1967 said:

    @iansainsbury said:
    Yes, Civilisation Phase III is a bitter-sweet listen. Some amazing stuff, but this was the album he was working on when he died. And there's no one I've heard yet who can carry the torch. @ecamburn, I also wonder what might have come next. I think it's because FZ composed at a level beyond my ability to quickly comprehend. I love Steely Dan, The Beatles, Randy Newman, but I can work out what's going on with their songs, play through the chord sequences. I'd have to sit down for days with any of the tracks on Jazz From Hell to get anywhere near an understanding of everything that he's doing.
    It tickles part of my brain that nothing else ever has.

    If you are starting with Zappa's music I will recommend you to start with Joes Garage, Apostrophe, Overnite Sensation, and Sheik Yerbouti, also Zappas Universe. I think that from Zappa's musicians the only one who carried the torch for a while is Mike Keneally, also Steve Vai's first album Flex able is worth checking out. Dweezil Zappa is playing his music. Look for Ed Palermo Big Band and Ensemble Ambrosius to listen to some interpretations of Zappa's music that are outstanding

    I've been listening since a drummer friend introduced me to FZ in 1987. I agree with your starting points - great albums. I'd add Tinseltown Rebellion to the list, as that was what sealed the deal for me. I like some of the interpretations you mention - will have a listen to the last two as they are new to me.
    What I'd be very interested in is any composer/musician/producer since who's come up with anything comparable, composition-wise, rather than new arrangements of FZ's existing body of work.

    The only other composer that has ever reminded me of what FZ did is Steve Vai. Somewhat.

    Mike Keneally to me. Check Wadada Leo Smith album that includes Fred Frith and Keneally amazing stuff

    Another great one indeed.

    BTW, I'd recommend to start with Vai's first (and not really popular) album "Flex-Able".

    Sorry my bad it was Henry Kaiser and not Fred Frith

    Ah thanks, I've enjoyed Keneally but I did wonder about Frith 😄

  • @Paul16 said:
    still my fave rave control freak auteur
    still regularly astounds & amazes after decades of listening

    Well. I’d missed this album completely. Just added it and am now listening. I think I’d stupidly assumed that the posthumous stuff wouldn’t be up to FZ's rigorous standards, but this is bloody great. Thank you!

  • @TheOriginalPaulB said:

    @iansainsbury said:
    trying to embed a video - I don't do this often, sorry...

    I’d never heard this before. It put me in mind of some aspects of what Phil Mercy was doing in the late 90s just before we met and formed Theives’ Kitchen. His compositions kept me on my toes, I can tell you...

    https://mellowlabelproductions.bandcamp.com/track/khaa-bhut

    Once you get past the rocky opening section it gets to what I had in mind.

    Just watched The Clockwork Universe trailer on YouTube, and will be streaming the albums that are available on Apple Music. Is that you on drums or keys? Either way, nice work, some complex stuff going on, and Amy has a terrific voice.

  • I played bass on the first CD (Head) and guested on oboe and soprano sax on the 2nd and 4th CDs as I’d left the band by then. They went through a number of lineup changes, probably the most significant being before The Winter Road, which is when Amy and Thomas joined. It was quite a different animal to start with from The Clockwork Universe, so try before you buy, to be on the safe side.

  • @iansainsbury said:

    @Paul16 said:
    still my fave rave control freak auteur
    still regularly astounds & amazes after decades of listening

    Well. I’d missed this album completely. Just added it and am now listening. I think I’d stupidly assumed that the posthumous stuff wouldn’t be up to FZ's rigorous standards, but this is bloody great. Thank you!

    Welcome !

    i believe that track contains the last bit of guitar that he put down before shuffling off this mortal coil.

    ‘Everything Is Healing Nicely’ & ‘Feeding The Monkies At Ma Maison‘ would likely be worth your time if you haven’t previously checked them out, & there are some little snippets on ‘Congress Shall Make No Law ... ‘

Sign In or Register to comment.