Inside Tim Exile's Flow Machine

Inside Tim Exile’s Flow Machine

Tim Exile has been bending and twisting technology to fit his musical needs for years now.

Exile says that he’s always wanted a device that lets him really “get [his] hands into the tracks”, and that’s exactly what he’s achieved with his unique instrument, the Flow Machine. Combining controls for loops, effects, samplers, grooveboxes and synths into one big box, Exile has built a catch-all instrument where “everything happens in the moment.”

FACT TV headed to his London studio to see how the machine works, where Exile gave us one-part demonstration, two parts jam session.


A classically trained violinist, he began experimenting with electronic music aged 12, and gained his first drum and bass release in 1999.[1] In the following years he released mostly for the legendary Moving Shadow imprint, and John B‘s Beta Recordings, having met John B at Durham University.[2] After the completion of his philosophy degree, he went on to study an MA in electroacoustic composition at Durham. Perhaps unsurprisingly, his drum and bass grew increasingly experimental, and his debut LP (Pro Agonist, 2005) was released by Mike ParadinasPlanet Mu label, more commonly associated with the IDM scene.

Unsatisfied with the possibilities of conventional DJing, Exile programmed his own performance tools (at first using Pure Data and running into difficulties, he then switched to Reaktor) to allow improvisational live sets, which led to official work for Native Instruments.[3]

In 2009 he contributed a cover of a Jamie Lidell song to the Warp20 (Recreated) compilation. He also toured the US in late 2009 supporting and collaborating live with Imogen Heap.[4]

In 2012, at Sonar Festival in Barcelona, he teamed up with Jamie Lidell, DJ Shiftee, Mr. Jimmy and Jeremy Ellis to form Mostly Robot, a new collaborative project