It’s an album that could only exist in PatchWorld. Martin plays the VR software like an instrument, starting with long fuzzy drones and oscillations that transform the patch into a VR-based experimental pedalboard. This isn’t VR for the sake of it; Martin proves you can make ambient electronics with PatchWorld just as you would a big rig of hardware.

“I got the Quest 3 headset earlier this year, and of course went on a search for music apps,” says Martin. “PatchWorld stood out for me. Before lockdown, I was working on more spacey or ambient material, and I’ve been looking for a way to restart that, adding my own visual material. I’ve used visuals alongside music one way or the other since the early 2000s.”

Each video becomes an etude in how PatchWorld can produce visuals - one mixed reality, one shot as a vertical selfie on a phone from the outside, and one fully immersive VR world.

“A Drone, A Bird, A Decision Is Made” has life as a music video out in the park, for full-color mixed reality - the synthetic and natural worlds blended. The track is full of vibrating, pulsating distortion - especially with that flangebox and dirtbox.

“Intrusion Exclusion” is shot from the outside, so we see what Martin is doing as far as actions (but not what he sees). It has eerie, dissonant drones humming away throughout like electromagnetic feedback, before finally giving way to a slow, abstract groove and propeller-like bass oscillations. The video is “explicitly about the immersion,” Martin says. “It’s something you can grant or deny the viewer, you’re not obliged to share anything, but when you do it should feel nice.

“Movement and Inaction,” apart from featuring a prominent, friendly floating cat head, goes fully into the visual realms of PatchWorld. Against another array of uneasy drones, we get spaced-out delays and a gentle, shuffling acid groove. It’s perhaps an ideal tune for cats. Martin explains: “The cat is our beloved Tina, who died earlier in the year, I miss her and like to keep her in the picture as much as possible.”

The live, improvisatory feeling is by design. “These were all recorded in one take, with audio and video, and that became part of the thing,” Martin says. “The viewer can more or less see what I saw while I was doing it. It was quite a trip to sit in a park, with birds and people around, and make that first recording.”

And he does fully embrace that immersion. “The word ‘immersive’ is overused, in my opinion,” he admits, “but I loved being able to move between mixed and virtual reality. And the Quest makes it relatively easy to record. Although there’s always that disconnect between what the VR user sees, and what they share.”

That mixture of video and audio is an ideal outcome of working in PatchWorld, since you naturally capture both at once. “I do think that by capturing both together, they are much better integrated, and spontaneous,” Martin says.

You can get the music on Bandcamp, but Martin even encourages you to get the “full effect” by taking in the videos.

More is coming, too - Martin says he plans more music, with the use of PatchWorld’s blocks and randomization. Oh, and if anyone wants to book him live, live shows are possible, too. Otherwise, see you in the park.

Aloof In The Blue by Martin Delaney Music on Bandcamp

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