A native of France living and working in Berlin, Hermione Frank, aka rRoxymore, began her musical career as a DJ mixing funk and house records in the clubs of Paris, before transitioning into production and her own stylistically assimilative branch of techno. Today, Hermione’s sound comprises an identifiable and idiosyncratic fusion of organic and electronic. And two albums – 2016’s Where Do We Go From Here? (Videogamemusic) and 2019’s Face To Phase (Don’t Be Afraid) – and numerous singles and EPs in, this self-proclaimed introvert has made a sizeable impression on ‘the scene’, despite an endearing and refreshing reluctance to engage with its social media and marketing rat race.
An ‘in-the-box producer’ in the most explorative sense of the term, Hermione’s compositional and engineering approach makes a natural fit for the more cerebral virtual contraptions to be found in the REAKTOR User Library. Here are five (well, six…) of her favourites, complete with her own audio demos of each one. And as usual, all of these are free downloads for owners of a full REAKTOR licence.
This colorful synthesizer is built on a powerful architecture that includes three morphing oscillators, 14 low-pass resonant filter types and plenty of modulation options, and brings a distinctive lo-fi sensibility to the party with its Tape Warp, Noise and Bitcrusher effects. “A great sounding subtractive synth.” says Hermione. “Perfect for lo-fi melodies and chords, or soundscapes.”
Driven by (Unfiltered Audio main man) Michael Hetrick’s Turing Machine Block, Superformula special 2.3 is a randomizing generative synth Blocks Ensemble capable of a diverse range of hyperkinetic ambiences, industrial soundbeds, terrifying sonic hellscapes and more. “If you’re looking for droney aquatic textures, Superformula will help you generate amazing sounds.”
“There are a few Euclidean sequencers in the User Library,” Hermione explains, “some way more complex than this one, which only has two sequencers. But this is instant fun because it’s connected to FM synth Steampipe, although you can trigger other instruments with it too.” Euclidean Melodies is a fantastic source of polyrhythmic MIDI patterns, generated by a pair of rotating step sequencers that distribute notes according to Euclid’s algorithm, and enable accenting and snapping of pitch to a number of scales and keys. As its maker says, “Instant Philip Glass”.
This edgy drum machine employs four FM oscillators modulating each other in a continuous arrangement, and a novel sequencing system to pump out decidedly electronic rhythms. Described, slightly troublingly, by creator Doron Sadja as “like Human Centipede but for FM modulations”, it’s very much at the experimental end of the percussive spectrum.
“I’m a big fan of this quadraphonic FM Drum machine,” Hermione says. “It sounds great. The sequencer is very easy to use to get polyrhythmic noisy beats, and the cherry on the pie is a randomize button that changes all the parameters at once. I usually jam with it and select some bits here and there.”
Another drone synth, The Void mixes up two wavetable oscillators, a noise generator and sample player, modulating each one with a variety of sources and transforming the results with a bank of effects, to output everything from understated sci-fi texture to glitchy transmissions and beyond. “A very original drone machine, with four LFOs, a sampler, an envelope sequencer and FX,” describes Hermione. “Perfect for textures and soundscapes, of course, but also rhythmical noise riffs.”
More from rRoxymore can be found on Tresor’s 30-year anniversary compilation here, as well as on Club Hexagon III, a compilation of tracks highlighting the French bass music scene. She also contributed a remix to Ache of Victory by Brooklyn-based artist Zsela.