Formerly active as guitarist for Baltimore math rock band OXES, Nat Fowler has recently branched out onto a solo path under the Novo Line moniker. His interest in pursuing a more electronic-oriented project started while Fowler lived in a small town in Italy, where he found discarded obsolete personal computers that sparked new interest and experimentation.
Now a Berlin resident and inspired by the city’s ubiquitous digital slot machines (that appear under the Novoline or Novomatic brand), Fowler misuses a 23 year-old software program running on one megabyte of RAM on an Atari ST personal computer as a live instrument in order to generate random MIDI signals based on a set of changing parameters that trigger hardware synthesizers from the same era. Fowler adds a layer of live performance to his explorations of junkyard process music; using live mixing, he intensifies each new piece as it develops and rises from the silicone ether, and channels the music’s innumerable possible pathways in real time so that it sails until it resolves, never again to be recreated… unless caught on tape!
As alluded to by his artist name, or by several of the track titles on his upcoming, yet untitled debut EP on Baltimore’s Friends Records label, his music takes you through a maze of options, a choose your own adventure that gambles with probability and the statistical phenomena of antique, flea market hardware and software. The thrill of the uncertainty of the luck of the draw, where one can win or lose at each sonic variation, is conjured by the algorithmic calculations that spawn rhythms and melodies both densely complex and hollowly simple.
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