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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » 2018 » May » 04

Red Bull Music to bring down French synthstress Stellar OM Source for three-city tour in May – RadioandMusic.com

Delivered... "Indian Electronic Music" - Google News | Scene | Fri 4 May 2018 5:16 pm


Red Bull Music to bring down French synthstress Stellar OM Source for three-city tour in May
She is also one of the few musicians to have played alongside Indian producer and proclaimed father of acid house, Charanjit Singh in Antwerp in 2012, and is keen to interact with Indian electronic music fans and artists on her first trip to India as a ...

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Sampling Story Vol. 18: DJ Raph

Delivered... Hannes Liechti (Norient) | Scene | Fri 4 May 2018 4:23 pm

After being invited by the Iwalewahaus Bayreuth, Nairobi-based electronic musician and producer DJ Raph did an artist residency in Germany, rummaging through the institution’s extensive music archive of ethnographic field recordings from Africa. The result can be heard on his debut album, Sacred Groves (Noland 2018). Here I discuss how the sampling process pays tribute to its sources and how the producer has dealt with the meaning of the used samples in their original contexts. It is the first of two commentaries on the procession of traditional African samples in current electronic music (to be published soon).

DJ Raph (Photo © by the artist)

A drawn-out tone, sung by a voice, obviously sampled; sharply looped after one bar that makes it hard to attach any specific character to it. The attack of the voice builds the leading rhythmical element, defines the pulse. A humming bass drum underneath and slightly in the back is not caring about its familiar function of offering rhythmical orientation. Where is that sample coming from?

The Past Cult of Ryangombe

Looking for the sample sources doesn’t take much time. An information sheet updates the querist about the origins and makes the sampling process highly transparent. For the track in question we can read that the sample comes from the «sacred music of the cult of Ryangombe». (A short Internet search tells me that the cult was geographically located in the area of today’s Rwanda and is not in practice anymore.) It further reads that the song sampled here «was never performed outside of its ritual context so as not to risk the wrath of the spirits».

How does it happen that DJ Raph has sampled this particular tradition, which obviously seems to be distant from his own position in present-day Kenya, and which was never intended to be heard outside of its ritual context? He justifies his choice with both aesthetics and the contextual meaning. First, he has chosen all samples for aesthetic reasons out of the vast corpus of the archive: «I chose sounds that struck me for their beauty, vibe, or sound.» Having said that, the project seems to be a deeply personal one: «My interest in the music was part of a larger search for the lore of different original African societies that would help me in the construction of my own worldview», he explains.

Disappearing Traditions

Sampling archival footage has become fashionable in recent years (see for example the Dutch initiative RE:VIVE) and has not always been successful in being more than a great institution-funded opportunity of music-making and a playful (often nevertheless artistically convincing) experiment with unknown sound material. With his careful procession of traditional sounds, DJ Raph definitely goes one step further. In «Chant of the Umuhara» the different layers of the sampling material and rhythmic elements are composed carefully, always leaving much space to the sample to unfold, but not without adding his own substantial note to it. Towards the end the track suddenly stops, and the rhythm part is resumed for a full 16-bar loop, without the heaviness of the bass drum.

This is maybe the most magical moment of the track. Although the sample is physically absent it still resonates. It is this particular moment that also illustrates that the meaning of the original source is not only important for the producer in his personal search of identity, but also insofar as it makes sonically obvious that all these traditions featured on Sacred Groves have disappeared. In the end, it needed the (colonial) archive material of a German archive, remixed by a Kenyan artist, financed by German funding, to keep them at least partially alive.

This article has been written on the basis of an email interview between 16.3. and 26.4.2018. It has been published in the context of the PhD research on sampling in experimental electronic music by Hannes Liechti. For more info click here.

French synth musician to tour India – Daily Pioneer

Delivered... "Indian Electronic Music" - Google News | Scene | Fri 4 May 2018 1:49 pm


French synth musician to tour India
Daily Pioneer
She is keen to interact with Indian electronic music fans and artistes on her first trip to India as a performing artiste. "Most of what I do is to reach people, coming in a state of exchange. This trip to India is such an incredible chance to bring my ...
Red Bull Music to bring down French synthstress Stellar OM Source for three-city tour in MayRadioandMusic.com

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French synth musician to tour India – Business Standard

Delivered... "Indian Electronic Music" - Google News | Scene | Fri 4 May 2018 1:37 pm


French synth musician to tour India
Business Standard
Stellar OM Source, who is known as Christelle Gualdi when not making music, will also interact with Indian synth artistes on the International Synth Day on May 23 at a day-long programme organised at the True School of Music, Mumbai. Gualdi is no ...
Red Bull Music to bring down French synthstress Stellar OM Source for three-city tour in MayRadioandMusic.com

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French synth musician to tour India – The Quint – The Quint

Delivered... "Indian Electronic Music" - Google News | Scene | Fri 4 May 2018 1:28 pm


French synth musician to tour India - The Quint
The Quint
Mumbai, May 4 (IANS) French synth musician Stellar OM Source will tour India for three shows this month starting from Mumbai. Red Bull Music have a treat for the synthesizer community, and dance music fans in May as they are bringing the artiste to ...
French synth musician to tour India | Business Standard NewsBusiness Standard
Red Bull Music to bring down French synthstress Stellar OM Source for three-city tour in MayRadioandMusic.com
French synth musician to tour IndiaCanIndia News

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Erica Synths made a modular techno system called Techno System

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Fri 4 May 2018 12:52 pm

What if you had all the modules you need to make techno and industrial in one rack? Meet Erica’s line of drum and synth modules. They seem to know their market.

Now, it’s meaningful this is coming from Erica. The Latvian-based company with some ex-Soviet Polivoks lineage has a knack for making simply mental boxes that bring that grimy, dirty industrial sound straight out of the actual post-Communist industrial landscape of Riga. If I had to sum up that user experience, it’d run something like this: turn knob, machine screams.

But that’s saying something. Making wild sounds intuitive is a feat. And Erica have earned their reputation by putting those sounds into boxes that are reliable, easy to understand, and deliver a punch without hitting the high end of the cost spectrum.

Running down these modules, you just have to keep nodding – yes, that’s what I want out of this module, and yes, that’s the sensible way to lay out these controls. I can’t really judge sound quality at a trade show, but the sound was good enough that it actually blew me away over the din of Superbooth, out of some small monitors – and that’s saying a lot. We’ll get to check out Erica’s crew at a club tonight here in Berlin, and this is one I think we’ll need to give a full review.

(Bonus: they’re also coming with the effects collaboration they built with Ninja Tune. I’m keen to see that, as well.)

I also think it’s totally reasonable to build systems around musical applications like techno. Plenty of modular instruments have morphed into particular configurations to make them musically accessible. And then since this is still patchable, you don’t have to make this sound like techno you’ve heard before – you can push that flexible sequencer and patch things together to bend something into your own genre and voice. Or, this being modular, you also have now a big line of components that could fill gaps in whatever setup you choose.

Here’s a look at those modules.


Sample slicing and triggering, WAV file (even imports CUE points), with assignable CV inputs. Actually, there’s nothing to say this has to be a drum module – it’s also a general-purpose sample slicer/module.

microSD for loading sounds.

Dual drive

Well, here’s your distortion. Three dedicated modes for each side, cascaded in series for extreme distortion. This is really the heart and soul of the Erica Techno System sound, and even if you didn’t get the rest of the line here, this one could be a must.

Dual FX

Built on the Spin FV-1 chip – a custom reverb platform – the dual FX has a set of custom mono and stereo effects from Erica’s in-house musician-madman KODEK.


It’s all about the bass – and here, those basslines will be more than a little acidic. Erica’s Acidbox proved how crazy their filters can be. It apparently inspired the filter here – so expect really aggressive, terror-inducing acid.


Full analogue circuit
BBD-based VCO detune emulation
Built in VCF and VCA decay envelope
External VCO FM and VCF cutoff CV inputs

Of course, what keeps this compact is, the sequencing all falls to the dedicated sequencer unit (or a sequencer module of your choice – Superbooth has had a lot of them).


Toms can easily be a throwaway, but here there was a lot of attention to detail. Toms has dedicated controls for low, mid, and high, and promises 909-inspired tom sounds. Erica says they built this in collaboration with e-licktronic – that’s the boutique/DIY maker who’s perhaps best known for their Roland clones and custom kits.


Erica are actually introducing three different hat/cymbal models. There’s an analog module (“A”) with accent and individual CV controls of everything, also made with e-licktronic. There’s a digital sample-based “D.” And there are sample-based cymbals (“Cymbals”).


It’s easy to overlook this one. But when you’re actually in the heat of the moment playing live, you need that ability to just reach over, twist a knob, and add in a particular part.

And the Drum Mixer looks just about perfect. It boasts vactrol-based compression to keep everything properly loud and intense without losing clarity, plus a stupidly easy setup for controlling compression and the various parts, with seven inputs and both main and aux outs.

Erica also plan a more compact 6-input “Lite” version of the same, and a 4-channel Stereo Mixer.

Oh yeah, and if you’re not into the black craze, they plan to release everything again in white.

Lastly, the sequencing here comes from the Erica Drum Sequencer. Announced in January, it debuted in March – but now it has some modules to sequence:

Features of that are numerous:
12x Accent outputs

1x CV/GATE track
2xLFO with independent or synced to the BPM frequency
Time signature per track
Pattern length per track
Shuffle per track
Probability per step
Retrigger per step
Instant pattern switching
Solo/Mute tracks
Step/Tap record modes
16 Banks of 16 Patterns
Instant pattern switching
Pattern linking
Midi sync in with start/stop
Track mode
Firmware upgrade via MIDI SySex


The post Erica Synths made a modular techno system called Techno System appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

MFB have a killer live drum machine + synth in the hybrid Tanzbär-2

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Fri 4 May 2018 12:07 pm

It’s an analog drum machine plus bassline synth. It’s a digital drum machine with sample loading. It’s packed with live features and modulation. The coming MFB box could be … The One.

While big brands have focused on digital machines (or even software/hardware combos), MFB out of Berlin are the little boutique brand who have come out with a steady stream of analog boxes that are nonetheless compact and accessibly priced. And it’s not so much the fact that they have analog circuitry inside them as the fact that they’re different. Those drum timbres will hammer through your music when called upon, just like the Roland classics and whatnot, but they also sound distinctive. And with so much music already made on the well-known machines, different is good.

That said, for all the lovely sounds packed into any of these boxes, they all fell a little short of “must-have” – great-sounding but a bit fiddly and more focused on sound than performance features and sequencing. Then there was the confusing availability of two similar compact boxes, the Tanzmaus and Tanzbär Lite, alongside the Tanzbär flagship which was also … a bit similar to the other two.

Well, forget all that: because even in prototype form, the Tanzbär-2 is a whole new beast. If Roland’s TR-8S and Elektron Digitakt look poised to be the live drum machines for the mainstream, then the MFB might be the best boutique rival.

Or to put it another way – plug this thing in, and you can jam like a crazy person, with bassline and drums all ready to go.

Highlights (there’s no press release so … I’m doing this from memory):

A built-in bass synth that sounds totally brilliant, with internal melodic programming
Analog drum parts, plus digital drum parts (hey, it worked for the 909)
Sample loading, via MIDI dump or over USB, so you can load your own samples
Tons of front panel parameters for hands-on control of both the analog and digital sections’ parts
Dedicated faders for all the parts’ volumes
Two additional parameters for each part (accessed by the screen)
An LFO you can route to absolutely anything
Step sequencer, with per-step parameter automation
Separate outs for each part

And it’s really compact, too – not exactly lightweight (though that’s okay when you’re jamming hard on it), but easily slipped into a bag with a small footprint.

Really the only missing feature is, there aren’t internal effects … but that would complicate the design, and it does have separate outs.

The TB2 is really three instruments in one. There’s a simple analog bassline synth. The analog percussion section houses kicks, toms, congas, and snares. And then a digital section handles hats and additional percussion – or load your own digital samples for more choices. Sounds about perfect.

Faders! Dedicated outs! And it’s all really compact. Those knobs feel great, too, if you had a more fiddly experience with older MFB gear.

There are already a lot of parameters on the front panel, but parts also have additional parameters accessed by the two data knobs, with feedback on this display. (You’ll see some hints as to those features on the silkscreen, too.)

I’m sold. I think the fact that it includes a bassline synth internally is already great. I’ve got lots of questions, but they’re working on finishing this up this summer, so it’ll be better to make a separate trip to MFB after Superbooth. Then we can get some real sound samples without a convention going on behind us, and learn more about the details.

Cost isn’t confirmed, but they’re planning for under a grand (USD/EUR). Given you could pretty much do all your live dance sets on this box alone, that sounds good.

But wait — there’s more! MFB also new modules coming, too. Here’s a sneak peak of that:

More on this soon.


The post MFB have a killer live drum machine + synth in the hybrid Tanzbär-2 appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Jon Hopkins: Singularity review – well-crafted techno is oh so shallow

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas | Scene | Fri 4 May 2018 10:30 am


Written amid calculated mind expansion, via transcendental meditation and naturally occurring psychedelics, Jon Hopkins, the Mercury-nominated producer who has credits with Brian Eno and Coldplay, hones his exploratory take on HD electronics on this smoothly sequenced trip. The level of craft is extremely high. The way the beats on the two big techno numbers, Everything Connected and Emerald Rush, crunch and splinter to blur the quantization requires expert sound design, and the latter swings with an almost reggaeton groove – it is exceptionally good. But what use is craft if you have nothing to say? Just as what seems universe-sharpeningly significant on drugs is revealed to be laughably obvious the morning after, the tracks in the album’s more ambient second half appear deep while being nothing of the sort. Luminous Beings pulses prettily for 12 minutes like a light-up mobile you let your baby stare at while you neck some wine, and C O S M nicks the reversed-strings effect Four Tet came up with 15 years ago – compare its blinkered emotional range with the brilliant peak of Emerald Rush, where anxiety and dread muscle in to push the chords downwards. The title track works as an overture but not in isolation, and Neon Pattern Drum’s mood doesn’t deviate from mild peril (though it may bang in his live set). The nadir is the three tracks – inevitable among him and his posh-trance peers – of maddeningly basic and unimaginative piano minimalism, like Ryuichi Sakamoto robbed of his spatial awareness. Too much of this album is the sort of thing people stick on to make their drug comedowns feel meaningful.

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Trans producer Elysia Crampton: ‘In Bolivia, my body was a beacon, a good omen’

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas | Scene | Fri 4 May 2018 9:00 am

The experimental Bolivian American on finding strength and creative inspiration in her Aymaran heritage – a culture that has been a champion of trans identity for centuries

In Elysia Crampton’s Bristol hotel room, we stare at the furniture on offer: a neat armchair and a chaise longue. “I’ll be the analyst,” she decides. It’s no wonder: the experimental Californian producer has had a tougher life than most. Her music often feels like a lifetime of violence and confusion being worked through in Afro-Latin rhythms and frictious digital overload.

Crampton identifies as Aymara, a native American tribe from Bolivia who were suppressed by the Inca and then the Spanish in the middle of the last millennium, but who survived to the present day. Her parents moved from La Paz, the Bolivian capital, to Barstow, California, in the 1960s, where she was later born into relative poverty; her education ended, she said, because of “disability” (she won’t elaborate on this or her age) and a lack of funds.

Related: Elysia Crampton: Elysia Crampton review – Aymara polymath invents dancefloor mythology

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Eleanor Friedberger: Rebound review – deliciously droll electro pop

Delivered... Dave Simpson | Scene | Fri 4 May 2018 9:00 am


In 2016, Eleanor Friedberger spent a month in Athens, Greece, ending up in what the half-Greek American describes as an “80s goth disco” – called Rebound – where everyone did a solitary dance routine called the chicken dance. “I copied the slouchy strut,” she remembers, “swinging my arms in time to music that sounded like Joy Division but was probably a knock-off by an unknown Baltic band. It was alienating and exhilarating.”

Two years later, this same sense of giddy disconnection fires her fourth and best solo album, but although Rebound resurfaces as the location for It’s Hard (“where time stands still”), it’s otherwise a long way from crimped hair and eyeliner. Instead, vaguely gothic themes of loneliness, miscommunication and isolation are channeled into warm, quirky electronic pop that’s more gently uplifting than melancholy. It’s a radically different musical landscape to that which Friedberger occupied in her indie rock Fiery Furnaces days (with brother Matthew), or on previous solo albums. Guitars are used sparingly but effectively. Mostly, synthesisers and drum machines produce beatific electronic pop with traces of Laurie Anderson or Yellow Magic Orchestra, while Friedberger’s soaring singing recalls Russell Mael of Sparks.

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