There's been a real Serge of interest (rimshot) in modular synthesizers in the Northwest and elsewhere over the last decade, and the appearance of Seattle-based retail outlet Patchwerks is but one major manifestation of that development. Another one is Podular Modcast, an excellently named new podcast that spotlights musicians, module designers/builders, synthesizer store owners, etc., and their paths to and approaches with modular synthesis. At the end of each weekly episode, hosts Tim Held and Ian Price—both outstanding electronic musicians themselves—prompt their guests "by a random adjective and noun to make a patch from scratch." You can check in on Podular Modcast at its YouTube channel and other places that host podcasts.

While Price has been into modular synthesis for 20 years, Held is a relative newcomer. The discrepancy in their experiences adds a nice friction to the episodes. Both admit that the high price of gear and difficulty of learning how to use it have been barriers to entry, but once you overcome those obstacles, the rewards are plentiful. On Podular Modcast, they find out what compels musicians to create the art that they do while hailing the instruments' ability to facilitate experimentation and to help musicians realize their idiosyncratic visions.

In the inaugural episode, Held says, "Modular add this very strange, new parameter to your songwriter's or producer's brain. And that's why I want to do this show." Price and Held have recorded 10 episodes so far, including those with Cindy Reichel (Patchwerks), Chris Davis (P L L), and Chad Allen (Switched on Austin). Tune in and Eurorack your mind.