An Interview with: Brandon Fragassi (Modulated Musik)


Brandon Fragassi

What artist name do you play under?

Modulated Musik

Where are you from?

Houston, TX, USA

How did you get involved with the Synthstrom world tour at SXSW?

I’ve been a huge fan of the Deluge for a few years and have used it live with my modular system several times. When they announced they were looking for feature performers I reached out to them and applied to perform. I think they were interested in having me perform as I mainly use the Deluge as an out board sequencer with Eurorack and they wanted to showcase the different use scenarios for the product. 

How long have you been building your impressive modular setup?

Close to three years. I wanted to get into modular for some of the effects initially, but it’s a deep, dark rabbit hole. Once I realized I wanted to build a system for Improvisational dance music, that’s where my focus has stayed and I’ve been building towards a live performance dance music system.

What is your current hardware setup and what couldn’t you live without?

It’s mostly composed of eurorack modular  at this point but I also have several desktop synths; Sonicware ELZ-1, Make Noise 0-Coast, Doepfer Dark Energy, Novation Circuit Mono Station, Korg EMX, Korg MicroKORG, Korg Volca Drum, Elektron Model:Samples with Cycles on order. I also am a fan of Teenage Engineering and have an OP-1, OP-Z, several Pocket Operators. I think the one box I couldn’t live without, if I had to get rid of everything else is probably the Synthstrom Audible Deluge. It’s just so versatile and it can be used all by itself.

What is your musical background and how did you end up here?

I originally came from a classical piano background. Was originally a music major in college but ended up graduating with a technical degree to work on electronics and computers. I was in a couple of small live bands as a keyboard/piano player such as jazz and worship throughout high school and college. I stopped doing anything with music for almost a decade when I started my career but decided to get back into it as a hobby doing small synth setup stuff. I was enamoured with the stuff on YouTube, so, as I felt more comfortable I started posting videos on there and eventually on Instagram.

What are your main goals for 2020?

My goals for this year are to post more videos and grow my YouTube channel and I also have a heavy focus on performing live in my current city(Houston) as well as in Austin, TX because the live music scene is much bigger there. 

What is your main platform for promotion and why?

I guess YouTube, that’s what really got me into this hobby, the living room studio guys posting videos on there. I’ve also been branching out and posting stuff on Instagram and Facebook. Our local synth group ‘Modular Houston’ has a decent size following on FB and we organize a lot of our meet-ups and performances on there and Instagram. We also have a Facebook page for the group.

How often do you post and how do you know when a piece of music is ready to share?

I try to post a couple times a month. I’d like to post more(at least once a week), but it’s difficult sometimes with all the other stuff I have going on. When I’m making a track and I spend a long time jamming/dancing to it by myself, that’s when I know I need to get it recorded and posted. With the modular stuff it’s important since it’s really never the same twice. I’ve learned that if I don’t get it recorded in the moment, then it’s lost once I power off and unpatch. 

What gear is on your wish list right now?

The Model:Cycles(which I do have ordered), the Elektron Analog Four(which I’m hoping to remedy very shortly), and then a few eurorack modules to finish out some tweaks to my live techno system. I’m specifically wanting some new effects such as the Make Noise Mimeophone.

Who are you listening to at the moment?

My go to for commuting right now is ‘Minimal Techno’, and ‘Acid House & Techno Breaks’ music playlists on Spotify. I specifically am really digging Le Matos and Squarepusher currently.

See the links below for more from Modulated Musik