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Arts + CultureMusicUnder the Stars: Synth wiz Franck Martin brings the...

Under the Stars: Synth wiz Franck Martin brings the Modular California Vibes

Plus: Is BORED GOAT the Bay's hottest B2B? And a nerdy-cool San Jose posse brings the ska.

Under the Stars is a quasi-weekly column that presents new music releases, upcoming shows, opinions, and a number of other adjacent items. We keep moving with the changes, thinking outside the margins. In this edition, we’re still amazed by how much cool shit happens in The Bay. It’s a revelation, one we should never forget!

Let’s get to it!


Last year, we wrote about Franck Martin, a local modular synthesizer wizard who hosts a monthly electronic music showcase at Noisebridge in the Mission every fourth Thursday. He’ll be at Gray Area on January 14 with his Modular California Vibes project, which includes Joachim Garraud (a famous French Touch DJ and producer for David Guetta and Jean Michel Jarre), Trovarsi (co-founder of Socal Synth Society), and Hugo Paris (Creator of the 4ms SWM module.)

Martin told us the main theme of the evening will be the environment, and specifically solar energy, the great outdoors, and the communion between ourselves and the public.

Musician Jean Michel Jarre offers powerful inspiration for this Bay Area creative, according to Martin. “In electronic music, there are no boundaries, rules,” he told 48hills via email. “You can make the rules you want, and there is also all this aspect of sound design, which is interesting. I got the first album of Jarre, Oxygène, and this was a new sound with the theme already about earth and the environment, this relation with nature.”

The idea behind Modular California Vibes was to arrange commutable synthesizer music with a link to nature. “Joachim has a mobile studio powered by the sun called LAGoodVibe,” continued Martin. “We took it to the desert to be amongst ourselves and nature. We tried to be carbon neutral as much as possible, respect the environment and put all this vibe into the music that we created from just being there with friends in four different locations. We recorded our adventures as a documentary to share it with people.”

Purchase tickets to the live January 14 Grey Area event here. Reserve your spot for its January 12 livestream here.


Listen, I only know about bastiengoat because of their association with Bored Lord. I can’t pretend like I’m familiar with all the work this Oakland artist has been doing since 2013—that’s what we call a “my bad” situation in the music journalism business.

What I do know is that between all of the chunky vocal samples (E-40 and on) sped up over—choose your poison —Jersey club, juke, B-more, and even some stuff that doesn’t really have a classification but makes you want to turn on the damn TikTok camera … you have a producer dishing out flex after flex. WTF do I mean? Smell me, mang.

SIDESHOW (a title I can only assume is a righteous shout-out to The Town) is bastiengoat’s seven-track self-released album that dropped in mid-December. It contains a pocket reservoir, in tracks three and four, in which our producer says, “I’ll tie one hand behind my back.” Some of the most soulful hard house is subsequently unleashed, breakcore music you are not expecting in the midst of all this burn-down-the-club madness.

Track “Wiggle Closer” wraps that constant bang-bang pressure around some warm keys and toned-down vibes that, sure, will get you “bouncing,” but also put you in a calm state. Gliding on the strength, for sure. Next, “Sunday Pick Up” brings quiet storm vocals mingling with 50 Cent chants on a half-time breakbeat cloud of expansive joy. These two stand-out tracks allow us to catch our breath and smell some flowers, just for a sec.

Enjoy the hard-in-the-paint-frenzied house moments, they dope no doubt. But keep in mind that bastiengoat is far from a one-trick pony, Jack. If anyone tries to tell you differently, pour them a glass of settle-down juice.

Pick up SIDESHOW here. Buy your tickets here for the artist’s B2B set alongside Bored Lord as BORED GOAT for No Bias at Underground SF on January 13.


Kayla Renelle, the lead vocalist of the San Jose-formed band extraordinaire Voluntary Hazing, contacted us a few years ago. Her 12-piece ska and pop-punk band with a penchant for psychedelic, disco, and acoustic sounds describes itself as a group of marching band geeks who grew up with classical training, but began experimenting and decided to play rock music with their horns. Skating, emo music, and memes are among their interests.

Freaking amazing! We here at the ole site became fans overnight.

Fast-forward three years, the outfit has been woodshedding, working on their live show, and writing and recording an album in their drummers’ garage.

Dag gummit, I buried the lede.

Voluntary Hazing will play their first-ever gig in San Francisco on Sat/14 at Bottom of the Hill, opening for The Inciters and The Capsouls with a quick 30-minute, six-member set.

We write about a lot of music here, and this is one band that seems to embrace this cool, nerdy, cerebral vibe. They are who they say they are. And we luv ’em. Listen, in a city ruled by self-driving cars, Zennials armed to the teeth with Twitter-finger, and a slew of posers with boundless little dick energy, it’s refreshing to hear the good ones crank out a ska tune on a Saturday night.

Get yer tickets here.

48 Hills welcomes comments in the form of letters to the editor, which you can submit here. We also invite you to join the conversation on our FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

John-Paul Shiver
John-Paul Shiverhttps://www.clippings.me/channelsubtext
John-Paul Shiver has been contributing to 48 Hills since 2019. His work as an experienced music journalist and pop culture commentator has appeared in the Wire, Resident Advisor, SF Weekly, Bandcamp Daily, PulpLab, AFROPUNK, and Drowned In Sound.

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