synnack is the artistic moniker of Clint Michael Sand. Defying an easy description, synnack is perhaps best described as experimental electronic music fused with new media performance mediums.
Blurring the lines between art installations, music concerts, and audio releases, synnack combines dark ambient/IDM/Glitch-styled sound generation using custom software environments, with analog modular synthesis to manipulate audio and video into sensory experiences ranging from visceral to cerebral. On stage, synnack leverages live sequencing, dynamic video processing, and dub-inspired mixing techniques such that no two synnack performances are the same. In addition to his own work, synnack collaborates with Jennifer McClain on video based performances and art installations, and hosts the worlds largest user community for Max for Live on www.maxforlive.com; his creation of which earned him official sponsorship from Ableton, Inc.
synnack is the artistic output of Clint Michael Sand, formerly of cut.rate.box and Mono Chrome) and features additional contributions by other artists such as Jeff Ito, Tony Young of Autoclav1.1, Brad Perkins (as "synnack vs. torrent vaccine"), Jennifer McClain (of 0xf8 Studios) and Dave Jones of AttackSustain.
Mr. Sand has been a musician almost all his life. He began studying music in a formal sense at 8 years old with the study of melodic percussion, guitar, and bassoon. Feeling limited by traditional musical study, he focused his college study on abstract painting and mixed media work at the University of New Orleans where he obtained a Bachelors of Arts. Having access to a computer at a very early age (his parents owned their own business) encouraged an early fascination with the computer as a creative tool.
Clint is most known in the industrial music scene for his work as cut.rate.box from 1999 to 2003. cut.rate.box was an odd mix of dancefloor electronica inspired by bands like Front 242 and Nitzer Ebb with more experimental influences like Coil. Outside of their own releases, cut.rate.box became a sought after remixer for well-known artists such as Assemblage 23, Clan of Xymox, Beborn Beton, Haujobb, Terrorfakt, Claire Voyant, SITD, Stromkern, Seabound and many more. After several successful CD releases on GASHED!, WTii Records, Accession Records and multiple US & European tours, he left cut.rate.box to form Mono Chrome with Victoria Lloyd of the band Claire Voyant. Victoria's amazing vocal ability provided the perfect backdrop to explore melodic, pop-structured songwriting. Mono Chrome released "Collapse & Sever" on Cryonica Records (in Europe) and Metropolis Records (everywhere else) in 2005.
Originally, synnack (then syn-nack.org) was launched in 2001 as a web site for online music collaboration community with the goal of applying open source software development processes to music creation; a place for people to exchange music that they compose; download and remix each other's music, and 'release' them at no charge. A dynamic exchange of creativity and expression. Anyone would be allowed to post their music, with the only requirement, that they also post the source material used in its creation. (samples, sequences, etc...). Abandoning the sharing platform idea due to time restraints, Clint formalized the musical ideas as "synnack".
In 2007, Sand teamed up with Jennifer McClain to collaborate on the creation of the synnack live video backdrop, where McClain uses custom VJ software written in MaxMSP/Jitter to remix and manipulate custom, narrative footage in real-time along with the synnack show; creating more of an 'environmental happening' which covers the audience in sensory love splunk. (Live Review*** - Infest 2007)
In addition to his own work, Clint blogs about his artistic endeavors and experiences, runs the Force of Nature music label, and hosts the worlds largest user community for one of his favorite Audio/Video tools on www.maxforlive.com.
In a review of the v2 release, Side-Line magazine writes:
Defining the sound of Synnack as experimental would be just a bit too easy. The experimental side of Synnack is for sure one of their main parts, but they're definitely digging deeper in the electronic sound universe. Adding industrial elements and other drum-n-bass elements they also enter ambient fields. The result is quite complex, but exciting. (full review)
synnack performances can take many forms, depending on the setting these include:
synnack uses a very distinct nomenclature to organize and represent their releases. Releases are titled numerically starting with v1. Phonetically this would be "version 1". Each new incremental release is numbered according to the style and intent.
A full discography and release download section is available on our audio page.
synnack uses a combination of field recordings, hardware synths, and software effects and samplers. Primary software includes custom patches created in NI Reaktor/Max/MSP and live sequenceing/mixing techniques using Ableton Live. This of course just scratches the surface but represents what we spend the majority of our time with.
With the help of Dave Jones, we've also been using quite a bit of custom hardware as well. Primary hardware includes a Zoom H4, Nord Modular,nd Rack 2x, various custom circuit bent noise boxes, many rack spaces of Doepfer modules, Vostok modular, and various guitars and basses.
Originally the name was inspired by computer networking terms for initiating connections (syn) and acknowledgment (ack) and chosen as a metaphor of the goals of the syn-nack.org collaborative project. It just stuck.
*IDM, short for intelligent dance music or intellectual dance music, is an electronic music genre which began as a style of techno in the early 1990s and moved on to include the textures and sound manipulation methods of Musique concrete and early,"true" industrial bands such as Coil (band) and Nurse With Wound, albeit with software replacing tape loops and vacuum tubes. As compared to the driving, pounding sound of techno aimed at the dancefloor, IDM aims for the head, usually being quite a bit slower, more melodic, less aggressive, and more artistic, quirky and improvisational.
**new media | All emerging communications media that combine text, graphics, sound, and video, using computer technology. Cable and satellite TV, fax, e-mail, and the Internet --- the consequences of the technological advances of the past few decades. All electronic communications that have appeared or will appear since the original text-and-static picture forms of online communication..
From a composite of multiple sources. Contact synnack for references.
***In review of the Infest 2007 performance: ... Created by former cut.rate.box main man Clint Sand, Synnack lived up to the promising and accurate description in the programme ("A live experimental electronic band... blending IDM, ambient, industrial and noise") whose noise was liberal but not oppressive just for the sake of it. Punishing but not fatal. Sand was joined on stage by Autoclav1.1's Tony Young and between them they produced a one-time-only VJ display of audiovisual material completely remixed live on stage using Ableton Live. The resultant dance-like techno rhythms and beats suffused with an alternative outlook developed into a well-constructed dark soundtrack. At its best this had an epic quality that would work wonders in a huge open-air location where the visuals could be given prominence over the performance - with Synnack simply providing the score. If they can come up with (or find) a suitable narrative film idea this could be realised without any major reworking and could be seriously rewarding. Penultimate track Underneath Outside residing mainly in the dark ambient soundtrack territory was an unforced high point..
From Rob Dyer, DSO.co.uk