Patrik FK, founder/composer/shapeshifter of the highly influential Amerikan Deathrock/Gothic Rock group Kommunity FK, is a multi-instrumentalist, electronic, avant art-rock solo artist and composer who is creating within a genre that he refers to as “Avant Synth Pop Minimalism.”
“I only apply synthesizers to my sonic creations. No guitars are allowed within the making of my music. I compose all of my songs instrumentally first, then reflect on how the result evokes my inner feelings and thoughts. I improvise and just follow my muse. I draw from the DaDaists, Surrealists, and German Expressionists, which have been and influence since my childhood together with my own inner visions.”
Mata performs with a Sequential Mopho x4, drum loops, and drum machines. Patrik performs all vocals as well. No MIDI is used in the design of his music. His synth comes from a blessed endorsement given to him by Dave Smith Instruments in the mid-2000s.
We chatted with Patrik about how he uses the Mopho x4 in his music:
What made you choose the Mopho x4?
Back in 1978, Sequential Circuits designed the legendary Prophet-5 and unleashed it unto this world. I was blessed to have one when founding my group Kommunity FK.
In 1978 we had a Dadaistic strategy to never read manuals. We would randomly choose presets until we landed on the one that seemed to fit our intentions. Then we would perform over that preset. This method is applied throughout our debut vinyl album, The Vision & The Voice, released in 1983 on Independent Project Records. Ever since that glorious experience. I have always been a disciple of Sequential. Any noise that fits.
When I became aware of the Mopho x4, I knew that I had to have one for my sonic explorations. Plus, it’s affordable! I was mesmerized with how flexible the Mopho x4 is in totality. It’s a very road-worthy synth in that it is very compact for taking on tour, rugged enough to take it, and most of all, the machine has vast amounts of possibilities when applied to live performance, especially when there is a moment for improvisation. And more importantly, it’s perfect for recording in the studio. Very accessible, especially inside a tour van or a hotel room for in-the-moment inspirational composing using headphones. I take it everywhere. Seriously.
How are you using it?
I have applied my Mopho x4 from the moment I received it during a Kommunity FK rehearsal. Once I grasped the gist of it, I could re-imagine the synth lines in reproducing my band’s original synth sounds to bring them live in performance. It is relatively easy to do. I also began composing with it and am using it as we speak for my new solo project which is synths only (with the addition of drum machines). No guitars. No MIDI. For my more improvisational side project, Le Serpents, my Mopho x4 is used throughout all of my projects generously. I look forward to releasing the solo album as soon as I can procure an appropriate record label.
What’s one of your favorite things about it?
The Mopho x4 is so simple to control. While planning live performances, I design my synth sounds for every song in sequence by simply using the Program knob. I usually improvise when composing going through almost every preset to see what moves me at that precise moment. Then I most certainly tweak it to what sounds more original to me within my scheme of things.
Again, any noise that fits.
What does it give you that other synths might not?
Flexibility on the go. It is truly a polyphonic analog synth. Therefore, one can mix its sonics to make the presets heavier, deeper, or even lighter. I adore the option of applying either its Arpeggiator or Sequencer for composing. The BPM knob makes it so easy to tweak beats and rhythms. So easy to do. Yet there is so much for me still to discover within my Mopho x4! I always look forward to playing around with it.
Any interesting tricks or techniques you’d like to share?
I am not one to display some of my mad methods to anyone but I will share the fact that sometimes I use duct tape to hold down certain synth keys to make it easier for me to tweak certain presets during improvisation. I used to use matchbooks to do this but found that it ruins the keys over time. Not a good thing. Plus, there is even a Noise knob for when a dirtier and grittier sonics are needed to bring edge to any of its presets. This synth is so hard not to play with. I am blessed with this machine.
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