Beat Making Like You’ve Never Seen Before: ‘Mechanical Techno’

What you see in this video is a demonstration Mechanical Techno by Graham Dunning. What it is is a totally DIY way of making music, and in the most organic way possible: through an intricate setup of records on a record player, each triggering various sounds that add up to a more than decent techno track.

Originally a studio project for making recordings, Graham Dunning now also perform live using the Mechanical Techno method. Several looping records spin on the same axle, ensuring they stay approximately in time with each other. He layers up locked groove records, audio triggers to analogue synths, mechanically played percussion such as a cowbell or a cymbal, and mechanically triggered drum machines. All these inputs are gathered and performed to a live dub.

Each set-up Dunning uses is unique. The technique is inherently clumsy and delicate, leading to frequent and multiple mistakes and accidents: “The chance elements and unpredictable aspects lead to compositions I would never think to deliberately make”, Dunning says.

The video below is of a live session using Mechanical Techno.