When my synthesizer recordings started becoming good enough to share without apologising for their amateurishness - a result of my increasing competence & confidence - I decided that rather than continue to release them under my own name I could create a 'band' to do so. One of the attractions was in breaking the direct link between myself and the resulting works, I have a fair idea of what I like but who knows what this new entity would pursue & produce? It's a common failing (or fear) of mine to be too close to my creations to objectively assess them so crediting them to a third party, even a fairly abstract one, will (hopefully) give me a bit more critical distance.
Renmei is a transliteration of the Japanese word 連盟 which translates as Federation, alliance or union. I first came across it in the anime Haibane Renmei ('Confederation of the charcoal feathers') where it refers to a strict, formalised & paternalistic organisation who turn out to be highly caring & supportive towards their charges and dedicated to seeing them fulfil their potential. As my own creative process often feels like a turbulent interaction between different aspects of my personality this felt like a nice simile - multiple 'players' with the invocation of a higher (but not controlling) overview. And it's a great sounding word.
At some point I'd like to use a more literal interpretation and collaborate with other musicians - I've always enjoyed providing accompaniment or backing - but that remains a future plan for now.
My current setup consists of three primary synthesizers - a Modal Argon 8, Waldorf Blofeld, and Arturia Microfreak - and four Korg Volca units - Keys, FM, Bass & Sample. I have an Arturia KeyStep Pro sequencer/controller and a Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 audio interface to connect everything to my MacBook Pro laptop where I use GarageBand for recording and mixing.
Since starting the Renmei project in the summer of 2017 I've produced a series of albums, you can listen to (or buy!) them on Bandcamp.
Curly Flat studio in all its glory