Obscure Machines is a 100% live improvisational modular techno performer. Using a blend of analog and digital modular synthesizers and drums he pushes the boundaries of sound and groove. He teeters on the penumbra between noise and music with heavy driving bass drums and percussion to anchor the crowd’s ears while taking them on a sonic journey.
Techno, Minimal, Acid, Ambient
30 min-4 hours
-Master of Music in Music Technology – Studio & Game Audio Technology. Southern Utah University, Anticipated Graduation Spring 2022.
-Certificate in Information Assurance, Calhoun Community College, 2016.
-Logic Pro Producer Course with The Rogue Element and Danny J Lewis. Point Blank, 2010.
-Bachelor of Science in Music, Percussion principal, Minor in Graphic Design – Troy University, 2009.
Tom Jones aka Obscure Machines has been performing music since he was a kid. He played drums winning talent shows, state competitions, was a Guitar Center Drum-Off district finalist, and took drumming with him through college and beyond. His intense study of music and percussion from an early age served as the foundation on which his ventures in electronic music were built.
In 1998 his journey into electronic music production began when a brother’s friend who “made beats” gave him a bootleg copy of Fruity Loops 1.2 on a burned CD-R disk. Little did he know that music production would become a life-long passion and journey. Some of Tom’s first projects were techno beats drawing inspiration from groups like 2 Unlimited, Reel 2 Real, Techtronic, and more (pretty much anything on Jock Jams CDs!).
Out of pure boredom in college and seeing the rhythmic relationships between drumming and scratching he got a set of Numark TTXs and a Mackie d.2 and started learning how to scratch from DJ Q-Bert’s DVDs. He started playing music at charity events like the Relay For Life and got into mixing tracks playing college fraternity parties. Wrapping up college he later interned in Nashville at Dark Horse Recording with one other electronic producer Grey People. In Nashville, he met Canadian DJ and producer Dean G and further advanced his mixing skills and ear for good electronic music from the likes of Carl Cox, Mr. Oizo, and more while going to every electronic music event that came into town such as Tiesto, and Deadmau5.
His love for the sound of synthesizers never abated and he started to buy, repair, and sell synthesizers on Craigslist. This led him down the path of finding great synthesizers and helped fund his studio for a few years. Electronic music for Tom has been largely a solo journey as he’s never lived in a hotspot for techno or house. This may have been a blessing as it encouraged him to get into obscure sub-genres of electronic music such as chiptunes in which he modded GameBoys and made tracks with LSDJ and Nanoloop. Sprinkled throughout his life there are elements of electronic music that looking back on influenced his sound and performances. One of which was Kodek on multiple GameBoy Advances performing techno.
He moved to Maui in 2016 and tried to sidestep music altogether focusing on IT and going to school for cybersecurity. For a year or so it worked. However, the pull that music has on creators is strong and he picked it back up playing events again with The Maui House Collective and later starting Maui Beat Sessions which is a monthly get-together for Hip-Hop music producers to share music at the local record store. This led to working with Ableton and establishing the Maui Ableton User Group. During this time he was trying to find his sound in electronic music using gear such as Elektron boxes and DAWs and was only able to generate a few tracks here and there which were uploaded to his YouTube channel.
In 2021 Tom and his family left Maui to return to Alabama because of increasing costs coupled with the shutdown of the tourist industry, a source of many corporate gigs and income. Before they left though, a friend Awktopus, got him into modular and thus the journey started down a path that leads to where he is now with the merging of techno and eurorack.
70+ live stream performances later his system has grown from a humble few modules to 3 cases worth of eurorack with no signs of slowing down. Longtime favorites of hardware like the Octatrack, Analog Heat, SP1200, and more have all given way to refining the modular setup in the name of banging hard techno. He has found his sound and is able to generate an almost infinite amount of music.
In 2021 he looks forward to performing whenever and wherever possible. He has live-streamed on Twitch, YouTube, and in virtual reality. He continues to refine his rack and would ultimately like to perform in Berlin. Until then he is pursuing a Master’s degree in music technology and looks to teach at the college level in the near future.