Behold, Massospora! The Insect Pandemic That Turns Cicadas Into Uncontrollable Sex Addicts

By Ethan Persoff

Spoken Word with Electronics is an audio series delivering to you a two side recording of unusual stories paired with vintage modular electronic sounds

Hi, everyone, welcome back to the show. This week, being in the human world is getting too painful, so we're taking a trip into the wonderful world of insects. Our civic responsibility to comment on the craziness of the world isn't ignored, however, so if insects aren't your bag, jump to the final track, advocating for a Police Reform Act to be enacted by Congress.

Cicadas are the focus this week. If you're in a part of the world that doesn't have these incredible creatures, they are insects that emit a warm droning tone. The drone itself is a kind of clicking chirp, with hollers and other singing, and they fill trees happily during the summer. All cicadas in a tree syncopate with one another into doing this harmonic noise, and talk to other trees filled with cicadas, often pausing their drone while the other tree is talking. I love cicadas. Learn about red wasps truly terrible behavior turning cicadas into brain food, and you might be interested in some Cicada Facts, including the Cicada disease that causes them to copulate until their bodies are molden humping zombies. True sex addict affliction!

Featured music for this week are electronic insect noises. Side A, "Fill Your Room with Electronic Moths!" is from my album, "This is the TRUTH!", which is available as a looping track to fill your room with a cascade of moth going back and forth for however you'd like. For this week's broadcast, a one minute loop of moths is provided. Side B enters you into the eye of a bug storm at night, appropriately titled "Bug Night". It's a noisy one.

Also discussed is Erin Osmon's terrific biography of Jason Molina. We ruminate on James Madison's original concept of America as a two-lizard system, and provide a meditation tutorial with a review of the Mindspace Kasina with Deepvision Frames, which is an incredible device that can cause hallucinations on a click of a button.

Featured Electronics Maker for this episode: Michael Rucci, of RUCCI, Handmade Electronic Instruments in Oakland, CA. Just look at this beautiful metal box:

Shown above is a Rucci 4×4 Matrix Mixer. I picked one up this month and it's the nicest matrix mixer I've ever encountered. Incredible build quality, really. It's especially useful for thinning hot modular signals down to line level. It is a passive mixer that requires no power to operate, which you can learn about, in excellent detail, from Mickey Delp of Delptronics.

You'll hear the Rucci matrix mixer in the insect tracks. Rucci also makes some wild electronics, including a transformation of a vintage Marsona sound machine. Here is an unmodified 1970s factory version of the Marsona:

Compare to the Rucci modified version. This is its own box capable of wild electronic insects!

And this light strip which operates off of control voltage is really a marvel to behold, as well:

Here's individual tracks for the show:

SPOKEN WORD WITH ELECTRONICS #13: Cicada Sex Pandemic! …and THE SCOURGE OF THE BRAIN-EATING RED WASPS

Connect with SWWE via cicada tymbal on Bandcamp, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and Google Play.

Happy noise making. Talk with you next week, Ethan