Name: Elizabeth Maniscalco aka BRUX
Recent release: "BADBOI", a collaboration between BRUX and Pat Lok is out now. Also available is "FOLLY OF THE BEAST", click here for streaming options.
Tool of Creation: Moog DFAM (Drummer From Another Mother)
Type of Tool: Semi-modular analogue percussion synthesizer
Designed by: Moog
Country of origin: USA
Became available in: 2018
BRUX uses the Moog DFAM on: Her two most recent releses “BADBOI” and “FOLLY OF THE BEAST”. As BRUX remembers: "Both tracks were kicked off from recording grooves into Ableton from the DFAM. In “BADBOI” it’s quite an atonal percussive texture whereas for “FOLLY OF THE BEAST” it serves as the synth melodic lead.”
If you enjoyed this interview with BRUX about the Moog DFAM and would like to explore her work in more depth, visit her on Facebook, and Soundcloud.
What was your first encounter with the Moog DFAM?
It was in June 2020.
I had moved up to the blue mountains in New South Wales for the Winter and I came across a synth shop up there that had the DFAM setup for playing. I had a play on it and 24 hours later I had it home in the studio with me!! I was instantly excited by this one.
Just like any other piece of equipment, the Moog DFAM has a rich history. Are you interested in it? And if so, what are some of the key points from this history for you personally?
I’m a big fan of Moog in general - this is the first synth I own by Moog that’s semi-modular and felt like a smooth introduction into the world of modular synths … it’s parallel to what Bob Moog first released as the company’s hardware back in 1964.
Modular synths are a whole other level of awesome - I’m drawn to them because of pioneer of electronic music Suzanne Ciani and the innovative recordings and work she did using them back in the 70s … and still does to this day!
[Read our Suzanne Ciani interview]
What, to you, are some of the most interesting recordings made with the Moog DFAM?
I love the accidents - I’m by no means a master of this instrument and I actually prefer it that way … the percussive / melodic groove that is featured in “FOLLY OF THE BEAST” came about by accident from about 20 minutes of knob twisting and experimentation.
What interests you about the Moog DFAM in terms of it contributing to your creative ideals?
It brings a whole new sound palette to my tool kit and it keeps me on my toes! I’m still as obsessed with the sounds I can get out of it as I was when I purchased it 2 years ago.
What are some of the stand-out features from your point of view?
The CV control is my favourite feature - I can link it to my micro brute or drum brute and play them at the same time which yields such dynamic results.
Prior to using it for the first time, how did you acquaint yourself with the Moog DFAM? Will you usually consult a manual before starting to work with a new device – and what was that like for the Moog DFAM?
I referenced the manual yes. Not too closely though, as I was so excited to dive in! I could get a groove going quite quickly.
The manual for the DFAM goes into solid detail about the modules and voltage control knobs / signal flow, what that means and how it all works etc … it’s so interesting!
Tell me a bit about the interface of the Moog DFAM – what does playing it feel like, what do you enjoy about it, compared to some of your other instruments?
It’s quite a sturdy interface, as with all the Moog pieces, beautifully crafted with wooden detailing and compact too! It looks and feels like it can pack a punch … oh and it definitely can. There’s a real sense of quality with the DFAM.
How would you describe the sonic potential of the Moog DFAM?
Vivid, colourful, dynamic, gritty & expressive!
In which way does the Moog DFAM influence musical results and what kind of compositions does it encourage / foster?
You can expect to get raw, lively results in tone & character! It’s great for making house & techno
More generally, how do you see the relationship between your instruments and the music you make?
I see my instruments as the direct medium through which my moods are expressed … I feel sometimes that I can express myself better through sound than conversation.
Some see instruments and equipment as far less important than actual creativity, others feel they go hand in hand. What's your take on that?
The two go hand in hand for me, definitely. I’m gear-focused so when I find a synth or drum machine that just speaks to me, I’ll write a song with it right away - it’s how most of my releases have ever started.
In the light of picking your tools, how would you describe your views on topics like originality and innovation versus perfection and timelessness in music? Are you interested in a “music of the future” or “continuing a tradition”?
I always strive for originality and authenticity in my writing and as a listener too, I think that’s what makes any piece of music timeless.
With gear, it really comes down to how you approach the instrument - that’s where the timeless originality lies … not the gear.
How does the Moog DFAM interact with some of the other tools in your studio?
I love to connect it to my Arturia Drum Brute and play them both at the same time … see this Tik Tok I recorded of that very setup.
Are there other artists working with the Moog DFAM whose work you find inspiring? What do you appreciate about their take on it?
I know James Blake used it a lot on his most recent record “Friends That Break Your Heart” - he’s created kick drums from it in particular for the track “show me”.
It’s super interesting hearing the DFAM in a more restrained fashion …! Proves that it’s such a versatile bit of gear.