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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » Artists


Watch My Panda Shall Fly play KORG volcas with bits of metal

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Scene | Mon 11 Mar 2019 6:08 pm

“Play your KORG volcas with bits of metal instead of your fingers” isn’t one of the Oblique Strategies, but maybe it ought to be.

Sometimes all you need for some musical inspiration is a different approach. So My Panda Shall Fly took a different angle for a session for music video series Homework. Since the volca series use conductive touch for input, a set of metal objects (like coins) will trigger the inputs. Result: some unstable sounds.

I mean, maybe it’s just all part of an influencer campaign for Big Coin, but you never know.

My Panda Shall Fly is a London based producer covering a wide range of bases:

And he’s done some modular loops. We’ve seen him in these here parts before, too:

Artists share Novation Circuit tips, with Shawn Rudiman and My Panda Shall Fly

The post Watch My Panda Shall Fly play KORG volcas with bits of metal appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Design, meet music: gorgeous graphic scores from LETRA / TONE fest

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Events,Scene | Thu 7 Mar 2019 7:11 pm

Nine designers created graphics scores. Next, nine musicians will interpret them. LETRA / TONE festival is one of the more compelling experiments in festival programming – an adventure in crossing media. Here’s what it looks like.

Now, in these here parts, we’ve been fans of visual-musical synesthesia, from live visuals and VJing to graphics. LETRA / TONE makes that connection in the score. Curator (and composer/musician) Hanno Leichtmann had the idea. Five years ago, I covered one of the earlier editions:

Pattern and Design: A 2-Day Festival Turns Vintage Type into Musical Scores

The gathering has since blossomed to include a wide arrange of international designers and big-name (and fringe) musical artists across various instruments. There’s a complete exhibition and loads of concerts this weekend.

And you never know quite what you’ll get, because it’s up to these artists to determine how to translate the visual ideas they’re given into performances. This being Berlin, there are some major electronic artists – modular electro duo Blotter Trax (Magda and T.B. Arthur), turntablist Dieb 13, JASSS, Nefertyti, and DEMDIKE STARE are all involved. But you also get pianist Magda Mayas, and Schneider TM takes to experimental guitar, composer and avant garde rocker Jimi Tenor. Hanno has not only paired artists with musicians, but produced some arranged musical marriages, too – commissioning Blotter Trax, pairing Nefertyti with Jimi Tenor.

Graphic scores come from Katja Gretzinger, Anke Fesel, Scott Massey, Daniela Burger, Stefan Gandl, Joe Gilmore, Sulki & Min, Julie Gayard, and T.S.Wendelstein.

To bring a bit of this festival to you, here’s a selection of images from past editions (and current sketches) to show the visual range. You can imagine yourself how you might make music from these.

And snippets of 2019:

To give you a feel of the music, some selected artists:

JASSS:

Demdike Stare:

Blotter Trax:

Nefertyti (bad video but… I’m enjoying this punk aesthetic here):

Facebook event if you’re in Berlin this weekend:

https://www.facebook.com/events/2212145495720491/?active_tab=about

The post Design, meet music: gorgeous graphic scores from LETRA / TONE fest appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

A year overflowing with electronic sound: 2018 music we loved

Delivered... David Abravanel | Artists,Labels,Scene | Tue 1 Jan 2019 1:11 am

Happy weird rockin’ New Year’s Eve. In a continuing tradition, CDM invites back resident music curator David Abravanel to single out some beloved music of 2018. We live in fortunate times; that job is deliciously hard. But it’s a chance to discover and rediscover some great sounds.

Without exaggeration, I cannot remember the last time I’ve had such difficulty paring down a year-end list. It’s not that I necessarily heard more music in 2018 – rather, it really did seem like everything was just that much better musically. Most likely it’s the product of turbulent times – and certainly, many of these albums are neither fun nor relaxing.

Getting this down to 35 has taken me far longer than any task should take any person. I’ve removed albums which, on any random day, I might decide is the best thing I’ve heard in a decade. But here’s what’s hit me the hardest in 2018 – all lists alphabetical:

Albums

Actress x London Contemporary Orchestra – LAGEOS (Ninja Tune)

Aisha Devi – DNA Feelings (Houndstooth) Pictured, top

Aleksi Perälä – Moonshine (AP Musik)

Alva Noto – Uniqav (Noton)

Autechre – NTS Sessions 1 – 4 (Warp)

Beans – Someday This Will All Be Ash (Hello L.A.)

Brian Jonestown Massacre – Something Else (‘a’)

Concubine – 2018 (self-released)

Derek Carr – Contact (Subwax Excursions)

DJ Healer – Nothing 2 Lose (All Possible Worlds)

France Jobin – Intrication (No.)

GAS – Rausch (Kompakt)

GusGus – Lies are More Flexible (Oroom)

Inigo Kennedy – Strata (Token)

Jason Forrest – Fear City (Cock Rock Disco)

Low – Double Negative (Sub-Pop)

Meat Beat Manifesto – Impossible Star (MBM)

Mika Vainio + Ryoji Ikeda + Alva Noto – Live 2002 (Noton)

Morphology – Traveller (Firescope)

Noah Pred – Homeworld (Modular)

Positive Centre – Forever Optimum (Horo)

Pulsewidthmod – Serpentine Servitude (Detroit Underground)

Robert Lippok – Applied Autonomy (Raster Media)

Shinichi Atobe – Heat (DDS)

Sinjin Hawke & Zora Jones – Vicious Circles (Planet Mu)

Skee Mask – Compro (Ilian Tape)

Stefan Goldmann – An Ardent Heart (Macro)

Steven Julien – Bloodline (Apron / LuckyMe)

The Black Dog – Black Daisy Wheel (Dust Science)

The Breeders – All Nerve (4AD)

The Field – Infinite Moment (Kompakt)

Thomas Fehlmann – Los Lagos (Kompakt)

Tom Mudd – Gutter Synthesis (Entr’acte)

V/A – Air Texture Vol. VI (Air Texture)

Wanderwelle – Gathering of the Ancient Spirits (Silent Season)

EPs / Singles

Alis – Begin (Complete) (self-released)

Aphex Twin– Collapse (Warp)

Barker – Debiasing (Ostgut Ton)

Fanu– Black Label EP (Metalheadz)

LA-4A – Slackline (Central Processing Unit)

Róisín Murphy – “Jacuzzi Rollercoaster” / “Can’t Hang On” (Vinyl Factory)

Rothko String Quarter & Kaan Bulak – “Hain I” / “Hain II” (Feral Note)

Steven Rutter & John Shima– Step Into the Light (Firescope)

umru – Search Result (PC Music)

Underworld & Iggy Pop– Teatime Dub Encounters (Caroline)

Reissues & Retrospectives

B12 – Time Tourist (Warp)

Higher Intelligence Agency & Biosphere – Polar Sequences (Biophon)

Pixies – Come On Pilgrim…It’s Surfer Rosa (4AD)

Max Richter – The Blue Notebooks (Deutsche Grammophon)

Susumu Yokota – Acid Mt. Fuji (Midgar)

This Heat – Repeat / Metal (Modern Classics)

Tin Man – Acid Acid Acid (Acid Test)

The 7th Plain – Chronicles (A-Ton)

VA – Scopex 98/00 (Tresor)

V/A – 3AM Spares (Efficient Space)

Zeitgeist

There were a number of common trends and feelings with some of the best music of 2018. Some stray observations:

  • Outrage fatigue was on full display with Low’s magnificent Double Negative and Beans’ personal Someday This Will All Be Ash.
  • Exciting new explorations of Electro came courtesy of LA-4A and Morphology, coupled with reminders of classics from the Scopex label.
  • Taken together, Róisín Murphy’s four incredible single releases (in collaboration with left-field house/ambient stalwart Maurice Fulton) could make an AOTY candidate. Eight tracks of solid gold that should be on every dance floor.
  • Fantastic year for reissues of classic ambient techno – B12, The 7th Plain, Higher Intelligence Agency, Biosphere, and Susumu Yokota all still sound vital.
  • The 3AM Spares compilation was a fun discovery – picking gems from the after-hours house and breakbeat sounds of early-mid 90s Australia.
  • At the risk of understatement, it’s difficult to keep up with Aleksi Perälä’s overwhelming output. That said, Moonshine was a real winner, combining his spiritual Colundi Sequence with classic jungle rhythms.
  • Speaking of spiritual, it took a while to come around to it past the hype, but that DJ Healer album was something special. A real mood and atmosphere from start to finish – listen with your eyes closed.
  • Some real sleeper gems from Inigo Kennedy, GusGus, The Field, and Derek Carr – RIYL techno with feels.

So dig it. And here’s to some hope in 2019! Love to you and yours.

Listen now

Want more of a sampling? David has put together a Spotify list, too:

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4KmdnTetEPFrt9fiqqcDbG

Of course, buy stuff you love from the labels.

Bonus: editor’s picks

As an addendum, I will re-gift the lineup I’ve sent to BTS / Behind the Stage, the Poland-based collective. It’s worth following their whole series, in fact:

https://www.facebook.com/btscollective/

We actually had to cut that list a little, so here’s my lucky number (13) worth / directors’ cut:

ИНФХ – Fences of Metal (ГОСТ ЗВУК Records)
BC: https://bit.ly/2QeqZ9n

Richard Devine – Opaque Ke (Timesig)
BC: https://bit.ly/2SxhGTW

Wiktor MilczarekUntitled (Brutaż)
BC: https://bit.ly/2CHiZdj

Robert LippokApplied Autonomy (Raster)
BC: https://bit.ly/2Tk5shs

Barker – Debiasing (Ostgut Ton)
BC: https://bit.ly/2LD8bzT

KATE NV – для FOR (Rvng International)
BC: https://bit.ly/2Rph4Ch

The AllegoristHybrid Dimension I (DETROIT UNDERGROUND)
BC: https://bit.ly/2BQmOLF

Christina VantzouNo. 4 (Kranky)
BC: https://bit.ly/2AlWOrk

Gabber Modus Operandi – Puxxximaxxx (YES NO WAVE MUSIC)
BC: https://bit.ly/2CGEXgr

Debashis Sinha MusicThe White Dog (Establishment)
BC: https://bit.ly/2LKiz92

Senyawa – Sujud [Sublime Frequencies]
Bandcamp

Lara Sarkissian – Disruption [Club Chai]
Bandcamp
Nadia StruiwighWHRRu [Denovali Records]
Bandcamp

The post A year overflowing with electronic sound: 2018 music we loved appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Mix up a year in music, with a guide to weird, under-the-radar Poland

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Labels,Scene | Mon 31 Dec 2018 9:06 pm

Oramics, the DIY collective run by and focusing on women and queer artists, have put together an all-hands mix and a guide to everything wild and wonderful from Poland and beyond. You can’t pick a better way to end 2018 than with strange, new, and different sounds.

We met Oramics in October:

In Poland, a collective for women and queer artists becomes an agency

In many ways, it’s a strange moment for electronic music across Europe and the global scene. True, it’s now in fashion to look beyond centers like London, to make lineups with more women or more queer artists. But while that’s a welcome development – not just politically, but musically – that still doesn’t mean it’s easy for anyone to break through. The very fact that some artists have become commercial commodities can mean an even steeper road for artists who don’t fit in, whatever their identity. Media outlets have ceased print publication. Blogs have shuttered, and music journalists struggle to make ends meet – while having to chase links and followers. And too often, the demands of commercial DJ booking even in this more left field-friendly age are at odds with what makes unique producers and live performances tick.

It’s tough. It’s frustrating. It’s okay to need some friends – even just someone to listen to your music.

I like what Oramics are doing precisely because they’re giving that support to one another outside of the usual system of PR and booking – totally DIY. And even if you’re not a Polish queer woman (that’ll be a small percentage of our readership in that exact intersection), I think you’ll dig these sounds and discover some new things – and perhaps a model for taking your own weird stuff that fits in, and finding some other people to share with.

Oramics this time team up with another Polish DIY effort, Behind the Stage and their superb podcast series. They turn over the helm of the BTS series to Oramics for a team effort – roughly 20 minutes per person – and give you a total 105 minutes of music:

Running order: Monster, ISNT, FOQL, Mala Herba, dogheadsurigeri.

They’ve also selected their own favorite under-the-radar resources for unique Polish music for CDM. It’s your guide to the Polish underground:

Monster Poly chain sanatory of sound festival photo – Paulina Adaszek.

Monster

https://musicofstoriestold.bandcamp.com/ – great lively releases by Seltron 400, some of my favorite Polish producers
http://www.kholetrax.com/ – people behind Olivia’s fantastic debut EP
https://flauta.bandcamp.com/ – a club night focused on helping refugees, they released a really impressive VA compilation
https://soundcloud.com/pilpl – a vinyl label from Poznan, focused mostly on underground house

FOQL & Copy Corpo @ Cafe Oto. FOQL is the alias of Polish artist Justyna Banaszczyk.

dogheadsurigeri

Zaumne, nadziej, julek ploski — young wolves of polish electronic scene 😉

https://czaszka.bandcamp.com/album/emo-dub

https://enjoylife.bandcamp.com/album/nie-lubi-my-le-o-niemi-ych-sprawach-gdy-nie-jestem-w-staniehttps://julekploski.bandcamp.com/

Mala Herba

https://www.facebook.com/3szostki/ – tape label from Poland investing a lot of love and effort into supporting pure weirdness

Girls to the Front
https://www.facebook.com/allgirlstothefront/ Warsaw-based pro femme and queer initiative organizing concerts and putting up beautiful zines

FOQL

Debut album by our very own ISNT:
https://vanitypilltapes.bandcamp.com/album/world-is-full-of-electric-chairs

I would like to recommend Pointless Geometry label and especially this one exceptional VA tape.

It is a very special charity compilation and you will find everything what is interesting in polish underground right now inside. Whole label is one of the best in Poland!

https://pointless-geometry.bandcamp.com/album/va-ardea-cinerea-benefit-compilation-for-adam

I am also exploring eastern and central european underground in my Noods Radio residency show

http://noodsradio.com/residents/interferencje-w-foql

ISNT on tape!

ISNT photo by Magda Szafrańska (Instytut)

ISNT

We Will Fail – amazing polish producer and very successful artists running her own label!

https://wewillfail.bandcamp.com/album/we-will-fail-dancing

DYM – label and collective from smaller Polish town (my home town!) Gorzów Wielkopolski. We need more initiatives likes this one. They also do their own festival two times a year. It’s like 2 hours from Berlin – you should visit!

https://dymrecords.bandcamp.com/

The post Mix up a year in music, with a guide to weird, under-the-radar Poland appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Download a free two-hour Panorama Bar mix from nd_baumecker

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Scene | Fri 21 Dec 2018 3:43 pm

Nothing brightens midwinter like music. So the warm glow of nd_baumecker’s mixing is something special. The delayed download is out now from Ostgut Ton, the label associated with Berghain and Panorama Bar.

The musical climate in which we live can too easily be afflicted with conformity, with genres and trends regimented by algorithms and anxious aspirations of bookers, media, artists … the lot. And with Berghain as the elephant in the middle of Berlin’s scene, that conformity can often be associated with the club, with Berlin, with Germany and Europe, even.

So maybe the first important thing to say about Andi’s mix is that it’s a mix. Run down the track listing, and you get all kinds of corners of Andi’s taste. I know he sweated putting this together, but as it is with experienced DJs, that stress comes off as effortless.

nd_baumecker has statistically played more times in the various floors of the Berghain environs than any other human. I know this, partly because we get informed that the fascinating numbers scraped from Berghain’s website weren’t right. Oops. Andi so dominates the list, that you almost don’t need other statistics. (Panorama Bar is the lighter, generally house-ier upstairs floor, but it’s actually not that important to know that; Andi has been found at various points more or less everywhere in the building and garden outside.)

Despite all those times on the lineup, in the old party mode, Andi’s not really a star. There’s just that feeling of being at home when you walk into a room (or garden) with him playing. And he can mix in and out of anything. So while a lot of beginning DJs try to show off with obscure tracks but paint obsessively within the lines, like they’re afraid of each transition, you can count on Andi to take you different places.

He’s a DJ’s DJ, but he’s also a great producer – his ongoing collaboration with fellower Berghain resident Sam Barker has been imaginative and exceptional.

Anyway, I think for any of us involved in production – let alone those of us pouring over music tech – getting to actually listen again and set a mood is vital. And Andi’s latest mix puts me at least in a fantastically nice mood. I’m hugely biased myself not just about Andi but about music in general; I think whether it’s a track or a mix, you can’t separate people from music. I still stubbornly cling to the idea that music says something about who you are. Hell, I think it’s why it matters who’s in the DJ booth. And it’s certainly why I think that mood should come from people and not algorithms. I not only like humans; I think you can hear when humans touch the music.

You can stream the mix, or be as obsessive as Andi is about quality and grab that 24-bit lossless download – all two GB worth. As with all in this series, the mix is free. (Last minute publishing clearance issues had delayed the download since the planned release date this fall.)

Track IDs? Yes:

1 Mystical Institute Sea Believer [00:00]
2 Keith Worthy Guilty Pleasures ($ Of N.C. Mix) [04:10]
3 Greenspan and Taraval Follow The Moonlight [07:01]
4 Duplex Isolator [10:08]
5 Cabaret Voltaire Easy Life (Jive Turkey Mix) [14:51]
6 Dolo Percussion Dolo 9 [18:45]
7 Anthony Naples The Vision (Mix NY) [20:15]
8 QY American [24:13]
9 Jinjé Big Skies [28:02]
10 Saint Etienne Stoned To Say The Least (Beta) [33:05]
11 Barker & Baumecker Nie Wieder [37:18]
12 FaltyDL Paradox Garage Part 1 (With Your Love) [39:40]
13 Röyksopp Sombre Detune [42:29]
14 Œil Cube Lost Flute [46:06]
15 Ajukaja Stranger [50:40]
16 Pulsinger & Irl State 606 [56:12]
17 Duke Slammer Coastal Decay (Pan Solo Remix) [1:00:33]
18 Route 8 From The Valley [1:04:25]
19 Dave Aju Wayahed [1:09:33]
20 Chaos In The CBD Educate The Heart [1:13:09]
21 Ross From Friends High Energy [1:18:55]
22 D. Tiffany Something About You [1:21:04]
23 Zombie Zombie Hyperespace (I:Cube Vampire Tango 87 Remix) [1:26:11]
24 Peverelist Under Clearing Skies [1:28:47]
25 Barker & Baumecker Strung [1:31:33]
26 School Of Seven Bells Low Times (Lafaye’s Brain Mix) [1:38:55]
27 Gen Ludd Bloods Avalanche [1:44:30]
28 Pépe Motorforce [1:49:11]
29 E Myers Hate [1:54:17]

This isn’t just about the DJ. Again, Ostgut is using this series to premiere new works. And this coupling – two EPs (Part I, Part II) – is especially fresh, with immaculate, densely rhythmic productions from . FaltyDL, Jinjé, Big Skies, Ross From Friends, Dave Aju, and Duplex. They’ve got some of that same magical mood of the mix, naturally. It’s house-flavored stuff, aware of its roots, but thoroughly futuristic and optimistic, too. Listen:

That Duplex track is especially timeless, somehow, and Dave Aju is always like a burst of sunlight.

Enjoy!

Photo: Lee Wagstaff, courtesy Ostgut Ton.

http://ostgut.de/label/record/227

Previously:

Boiling-Hot Summer: nd_baumecker in 3 Hours of Boiler Room Music

In the Studio: Barker “Like an Animal” EP, Sam Barker + nd_baumecker [Stream + Gallery]

The post Download a free two-hour Panorama Bar mix from nd_baumecker appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

TidalCycles, free live coding environment for music, turns 1.0

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Scene | Tue 18 Dec 2018 6:52 pm

Live coding environments are free, run on the cheapest hardware as well as the latest laptops, and offer new ways of thinking about music and sound that are leading a global movement. And one of the leading tools of that movement just hit a big milestone.

This isn’t just about a nerdy way of making music. TidalCycles is free, and tribes of people form around using it. Just as important as how impressive the tool may be, the results are spectacular and varied.

There are some people who take on live coding as their primary instrument – some who haven’t had experiencing using even computers or electronic music production tools before, let alone whole coding environments. But I think they’re worth a look even if you don’t envision yourself projecting code onstage as you type live. TidalCycles in particular had its origins not in computer science, but in creator Alex McLean’s research into rhythm and cycle. It’s a way of experiencing a musical idea as much as it is a particular tool.

TidalCycles has been one of the more popular tools, because it’s really easy to learn and musical. The one downside is a slightly convoluted install process, since it’s built on SuperCollider, as opposed to tools that now run in a Web browser. On the other hand, the payoff for that added work is you’ll never outgrow TidalCycles itself – because you can move to SuperCollider’s wider arrange of tools if you choose.

New in version 1.0 is a whole bunch of architectural improvement that really makes the environment feel mature. And there’s one major addition: controller input means you can play TidalCycles like an instrument, even without coding as your perform:
New functions
Updated innards
New ways of combining patterns
Input from live controllers
The ability to set tempo with patterns

Maybe just as important as the plumbing improvements, you also get expanded documentation and an all-new website.

Check out the full list of changes:

https://tidalcycles.org/index.php/Changes_in_Tidal_1.0.0

You’ll need to update some of your code as there’s been some renaming and so on.

But the ability to input OSC and MIDI is especially cool, not least because you can now “play” all the musical, rhythmic stuff TidalCycles does with patterns.

There’s enough musicality and sonic power in TidalCycles that it’s easy to imagine some people will take advantage of the live coding feedback as they create a patch, but play more in a conventional sense with controllers. I’ll be honest; I couldn’t quite wrap my head around typing code as the performance element in front of an audience. And that makes some sense; some people who aren’t comfortable playing actually find themselves more comfortable coding – and those people aren’t always programmers. Sometimes they’re non-programmers who find this an easier way to express themselves musically. Now, you can choose, or even combine the two approaches.

Also worth saying – TidalCycles has happened partly because of community contributions, but it’s also the work primarily of Alex himself. You can keep him doing this by “sending a coffee” – TidalCycles works on the old donationware model, even as the code itself is licensed free and open source. Do that here:

http://ko-fi.com/yaxulive#

While we’ve got your attention, let’s look at what you can actually do with TidalCycles. Here’s our friend Miri Kat with her new single out this week, the sounds developed in that environment. It’s an ethereal, organic trip (the single is also on Bandcamp):

We put out Miri’s album Pursuit last year, not really having anything to do with it being made in a livecoding environment so much as I was in love with the music – and a lot of listeners responded the same way:

For an extended live set, here’s Alex himself playing in November in Tokyo:

And Alexandra Cardenas, one of the more active members of the TidalCycles scene, played what looked like a mind-blowing set in Bogota recently. On visuals is Olivia Jack, who created vibrant, eye-searing goodness in the live coding visual environment of her own invention, Hydra. (Hydra works in the browser, so you can try it right now.)

Unfortunately there are only clips – you had to be there – but here’s a taste of what we’re all missing out on:

See also the longer history of Tidal

It’ll be great to see where people go next. If you haven’t tried it yet, you can dive in now:

https://tidalcycles.org/

Image at top: Alex, performing as part of our workshop/party Encoded in Berlin in June.

The post TidalCycles, free live coding environment for music, turns 1.0 appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Jlin, Holly Herndon, and ‘Spawn’ find beauty in AI’s flaws

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Scene | Mon 10 Dec 2018 6:03 pm

Musicians don’t just endure technology when it breaks. They embrace the broken. So it’s fitting that Holly Herndon’s team have produced a demonic spawn of machine learning algorithms – and that the results are wonderful.

The new music video for the Holly Herndon + Jlin collaboration have been making the rounds online, so you may have seen it already:


n
But let’s talk about what’s going on here. Holly is continuing a long-running collaboration with producer Jlin, here joined by technologist Mat Dryhurst and coder Jules LaPlace. (The music video itself is directed by Daniel Costa Neves with software developer Leif Ryge, employing still more machine learning technique to merge the two artists’ faces.)

Machine learning processes are being explored in different media in parallel – characters and text, images, and sound, voice, and music. But the results can be all over the place. And ultimately, there are humans as the last stage. We judge the results of the algorithms, project our own desires and fears on what they produce, and imagine anthropomorphic intents and characteristics.

Sometimes errors like over-fitting then take on a personality all their own – even as mathematically sophisticated results fail to inspire.

But that’s not to say these reactions aren’t just as real. An part of may make the video “Godmother” compelling is not just the buzzword of AI, but the fact that it genuinely sounds different.

The software ‘Spawn,’ developed by Ryge working with the team, is a machine learning-powered encoder. Herndon and company have anthropomorphized that code in their description, but that itself is also fair – not least because the track is composed in such a way to suggest a distinct vocalist.

I love Holly’s poetic description below, but I think it’s also important to be precise about what we’re hearing. That is, we can talk about the evocative qualities of an oboe, but we should definitely still call an oboe an oboe.

So in this case, I confirmed with Dryhurst that what I was hearing. The analysis stage employs neural network style transfers – some links on that below, though LaPlace and the artists here did make their own special code brew. And then they merged that with a unique vocoder – the high-quality WORLD vocoder. That is, they feed a bunch of sounds into the encoder, and get some really wild results.

And all of that in turn makes heavy use of the unique qualities of Jlin’s voice, Holly’s own particular compositional approach and the arresting percussive take on these fragmented sounds, Matt’s technological sensibilities, LaPlace’s code, a whole lot of time spent on parameters and training and adaptation…

Forget automation in this instance. All of this involves more human input and more combined human effort that any conventionally produced track would.

Is it worth it? Well, aesthetically, you could make comparisons to artists like Autechre, but then you could do that with anything with mangled sample content in it. And on a literal level, the result is the equivalent of a mangled sample. The results retain recognizable spectral components of the original samples, and they add a whole bunch of sonic artifacts which sound (correctly, really) ‘digital’ and computer-based to our ears.

But it’s also worth noting that what you hear is particular to this vocoder technique and especially to audio texture synthesis and neutral network-based style transfer of sound. It’s a commentary on 2018 machine learning not just conceptually, but because what you hear sounds the way it does because of the state of that tech.

And that’s always been the spirit of music. The peculiar sound and behavior of a Theremin says a lot about how radios and circuits respond to a human presence. Vocoders have ultimately proven culturally significant for their aesthetic peculiarities even if their original intention was encoding speech. We respond to broken circuits and broken code on an emotional and cultural level, just as we do acoustic instruments.

In a blog post that’s now a couple of years old – ancient history in machine learning terms, perhaps – Dmitry Ulyanov and Vadim Lebedev acknowledged that some of the techniques they used for “audio texture synthesis and style transfer” used a technique intended for something else. And they implied that the results didn’t work – that they had “stylistic” interest more than functional ones.

Dmitry even calls this a partial failure: “I see a slow but consistent interest increase in music/audio by the community, for sure amazing things are just yet to come. I bet in 2017 already we will find a way to make WaveNet practical but my attempts failed so far :)”

Spoiler – that hasn’t really happened in 2017 or 2018. But “failure” to be practical isn’t necessarily a failure. The rising interest has been partly in producing strange results – again, recalling that the vocoder, Theremin, FM synthesis, and many other techniques evolved largely because musicians thought the sounds were cool.

But this also suggests that musicians may uniquely be able to cut through the hype around so-called AI techniques. And that’s important, because these techniques are assigned mystical powers, Wizard of Oz-style.

Big corporations can only hype machine learning when it seems to be magical. But musicians can hype up machine learning even when it breaks – and knowing how and when it breaks is more important than ever. Here’s Holly’s official statement on the release:

For the past two years, we have been building an ensemble in Berlin.

One member is a nascent machine intelligence we have named Spawn. She is being raised by listening to and learning from her parents, and those people close to us who come through our home or participate at our performances.

Spawn can already do quite a few wonderful things. ‘Godmother’ was generated from her listening to the artworks of her godmother Jlin, and attempting to reimagine them in her mother’s voice.

This piece of music was generated from silence with no samples, edits, or overdubs, and trained with the guidance of Spawn’s godfather Jules LaPlace.

In nurturing collaboration with the enhanced capacities of Spawn, I am able to create music with my voice that far surpass the physical limitations of my body.

Going through this process has brought about interesting questions about the future of music. The advent of sampling raised many concerns about the ethical use of material created by others, but the era of machine legible culture accelerates and abstracts that conversation. Simply through witnessing music, Spawn is already pretty good at learning to recreate signature composition styles or vocal characters, and will only get better, sufficient that anyone collaborating with her might be able to mimic the work of, or communicate through the voice of, another.

Are we to recoil from these developments, and place limitations on the ability for non-human entities like Spawn to witness things that we want to protect? Is permission-less mimicry the logical end point of a data-driven new musical ecosystem surgically tailored to give people more of what they like, with less and less emphasis on the provenance, or identity, of an idea? Or is there a more beautiful, symbiotic, path of machine/human collaboration, owing to the legacies of pioneers like George Lewis, that view these developments as an opportunity to reconsider who we are, and dream up new ways of creating and organizing accordingly.

I find something hopeful about the roughness of this piece of music. Amidst a lot of misleading AI hype, it communicates something honest about the state of this technology; it is still a baby. It is important to be cautious that we are not raising a monster.

– Holly Herndon

Some interesting code:
https://github.com/DmitryUlyanov/neural-style-audio-tf

https://github.com/JeremyCCHsu/Python-Wrapper-for-World-Vocoder

Go hear the music:

http://smarturl.it/Godmother

Previously, from the hacklab program I direct, talks and a performance lab with CTM Festival:

What culture, ritual will be like in the age of AI, as imagined by a Hacklab

A look at AI’s strange and dystopian future for art, music, and society

I also wrote about machine learning:

Minds, machines, and centralization: AI and music

The post Jlin, Holly Herndon, and ‘Spawn’ find beauty in AI’s flaws appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

A haunting ambient sci-fi album about a message from Neptune

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Scene | Fri 30 Nov 2018 10:54 pm

Latlaus Sky’s Pythian Drift is a gorgeous ambient concept album, the kind that’s easy to get lost in. The set-up: a probe discovered on Neptune in the 26th Century will communicate with just one woman back on Earth.

The Portland, Oregon-based artists write CDM to share the project, which is accompanied by this ghostly video (still at top). It’s the work of Ukrainian-born filmmaker Viktoria Haiboniuk (now also based in Portland), who composed it from three years’ worth of 120mm film images.

Taking in the album even before checking the artists’ perspective, I was struck by the sense of post-rocket age music about the cosmos. In this week when images of Mars’ surface spread as soon as they were received, a generation that grew up as the first native space-faring humans, space is no longer alien and unreachable, but present.

In slow-motion harmonies and long, aching textures, this seems to be cosmic music that sings of longing. It calls out past the Earth in hope of some answer.

The music is the work of duo Brett and Abby Larson. Brett explains his thinking behind this album:

This album has roots in my early years of visiting the observatory in Sunriver, Oregon with my Dad. Seeing the moons of Jupiter with my own eyes had a profound effect on my understanding of who and where I was. It slowly came to me that it would actually be possible to stand on those moons. The ice is real, it would hold you up. And looking out your black sky would be filled with the swirling storms of Jupiter’s upper clouds. From the ice of Europa, the red planet would be 24 times the size of the full moon.

Though these thoughts inspire awe, they begin to chill your bones as you move farther away from the sun. Temperatures plunge. There is no air to breathe. Radiation is immense. Standing upon Neptune’s moon Triton, the sun would begin to resemble the rest of the stars as you faded into the nothing.

Voyager two took one of the only clear images we have of Neptune. I don’t believe we were meant to see that kind of image. Unaided our eyes are only prepared to see the sun, the moon, and the stars. Looking into the blue clouds of the last planet you cannot help but think of the black halo of space that surrounds the planet and extends forever.

I cannot un-see those images. They have become a part of human consciousness. They are the dawn of an unnamed religion. They are more powerful and more fearsome than the old God. In a sense, they are the very face of God. And perhaps we were not meant to see such things.

This album was my feeble attempt to make peace with the blackness. The immense cold that surrounds and beckons us all. Our past and our future.

The album closes with an image of standing amidst Pluto’s Norgay mountains. Peaks of 20,000 feet of solid ice. Evening comes early in the mountains. On this final planet we face the decision of looking back toward Earth or moving onward into the darkness.

Abby with pedals. BOSS RC-50 LoopStation (predecessor to today’s RC-300), Strymon BlueSky, Electro Harmonix Soul Food stand out.

Plus more on the story:

Pythia was the actual name of the Oracle at Delphi in ancient Greece. She was a real person who, reportedly, could see the future. This album, “Pythian Drift” is only the first of three parts. In this part, the craft is discovered and Dr. Amala Chandra begins a dialogue with the craft. Dr Chandra then begins publishing papers that rock the scientific world and reformulate our understanding of mathematics and physics. There is also a phenomenon called Pythian Drift that begins to spread from the craft. People begin to see images and hear voices, prophecies. Some prepare for an interstellar pilgrimage to the craft’s home galaxy in Andromeda.

Part two will be called Black Sea. Part three will be Andromeda.

And some personal images connected to that back story:

Brett as a kid, with ski.

Abby aside a faux fire.

More on the duo and their music at the Látlaus Ský site:

http://www.latlaussky.com/

Check out Viktoria’s work, too:

https://www.jmiid.com/

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Ecco the Dolphin playthrough with Drexciya music is today’s perfect trip

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Scene | Tue 6 Nov 2018 5:39 pm

I don’t know about you, but the next time I need to cool down, trip out, and feel good about the universe, I will turn to this epic playthrough of Ecco the Dolphin with soundtrack by Detroit’s Drexciya. Humans made this. We can follow those humans, or dolphins, or some combination to the future.

Ecco the Dolphin is the 90s Sega Genesis hit developed by Ed Annunziata and Novotrade International. Drexciya is the Detroit futuristic electro duo who imagined an underwater future. Together, they make more sense than peanut butter and jelly, or Dark Side of the Moon and The Wizard of Oz.

Though, to be fair, after I was tweeted at that I should really transcribe the interviews with James Stinson (I should), it is now dangerously possible that I wind up getting sucked into Ecco and some Drexciya records. Uh… whoops.

But let us heed these words, anyway:

I know a lot of people going through a rough time right now – personally, globally. Sing to the shelled ones and they will heal your wounds.

Thanks, David Abravanel, CDM at-large Nerd of All Things Good.

Previously:

Underwater electronic futurism, in the words of James Stinson (Drexciya)

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Remembering The Residents’ Hardy Fox, enigmatic vaudeville futurist

Delivered... David Abravanel | Artists,Scene | Wed 31 Oct 2018 4:24 am

Today saw the loss (for real this time) of Hardy Fox, the pioneering artist from The Residents. We look back on the irreverent, surrealist work the band produced and Fox as enigmatic anonymous multimedia ringleader, projecting mystery to the very end.

CDM music writer-at-large David Abravanel offers this obituary.

To borrow a phrase from Mark Twain, the rumors of Hardy Fox’s death have been greatly self-exaggerated. Early this year, Fox posted a “1945-2018” epitaph on his website when revealing the diagnosis of an undefined terminal illness. The epitaph was later taken down. Now, the band and loved ones confirmed Fox passed away earlier today.

“As a child I would always describe my nightmares to my mother by banging on the piano and talking in strange voices.”
Charles Bobuck (aka Hardy Fox), This is for Readers (2016)

For five decades, The Residents chose to remain anonymous. Sure, you could figure things out easily enough – there was The Cryptic Corporation, “representatives” who spoke for the group and whose main mouthpiece, Homer Flynn, sounded an awful lot like the singing/reciting voice on The Residents’ albums (late publicly named as “Randy” and still a recording and touring member). But from mid-1960s inception to the present day, the band officially remains The Residents.

There was freedom in that anonymity – free from the expectation that comes with celebrity and hero worship, The Residents followed their own path. 1979 saw the release of the darkly ambient and creeping Eskimo, while the following year’s Commercial Album consisted of 40 short and digestible songs. In 1976, Third Reich ‘N’ Roll presented an often atonal and satirically repellent take on rock n’ roll classics, while later-career masterpieces like Wormwood (1998) and Voice of Midnight (2007) found a renewed focus on theatrical storytelling.

Anonymity also granted freedom to explore technology. The Residents weren’t stars nor were meant to be – so who was going to stop them from making the next project a film (ill-fated 70s project Vileness Fats), or a point-and-click adventure game (Bad Day on the Midway with artist/designer Jim Ludtke, published in 1995 by Inscape), or, hell, a book based on that video game (2012’s Bad Day on the Midway Reconsidered).

Bad Day on the Midway.

Bad Day on the Midway.

While Randy might have spent the most time in the spotlight (and remains the sole original member in the current incarnation), until 2016 he was joined by co-founder Chuck aka Charles Bobuck aka Hardy Fox. Responsible for the majority of the compositions and musical direction of the Residents, Fox’s music was equal parts Vaudeville, nightmare, future and ancient past. Filled with uncomfortable dissonances and unsettling sounds, but almost always darkly humorous, it seems more than fitting to celebrate Fox (and the perpetually-masked Residents) on the eve of Halloween.

After retiring from The Residents in 2016, Fox published a book, This is for Readers, which details his life story. Certainly, it’s a creative interpretation of the truth, filled with legend but revealing some personal details from Fox’s life: his homosexuality, a strong link between orgasm and music composition, the cast of characters that entered his life as he and his husband settled on a rural chicken farm, stories of going on wild adventures with Randy. It’s ultimately a tender and very human read of an extremely avant garde life, complemented by an original soundtrack of solo material, and available for free on iBooks or via Fox’s website.

“My set-up was computer based. I had programmed what I imaginatively called my “space machine.” I had prerecorded hundreds of two-minute loops and had instantaneous access to them by punching buttons and twiddling knobs. I ran a local area network from an Apple Airport hidden under my table that gave me wireless access to a shitload of noise.”
(about the tour for the Talking Light album)

“The idea of working on music without being bothered by people was utopian. Even close friends and neighbors didn’t know what I did for a living. The brief explanation, that I scored gay porn films, usually kept people from wanting to know more.”

And this one is a good commentary on 21st century cities and the Bay Area in particular:

“I had decided some time ago that cities were no place to grow old and I could have orgasms anywhere. I did the civil thing. I bought a farm and became a chicken lord.
Beware of chickens.”


Fox’s 2016 release

There’s no easy way to wrap up an article about Hardy Fox. Between what is known about him (little), what can be inferred (a little more), and what may be creative stretching of the truth (likely lots), he wasn’t exactly transparent. But in the masks, and the animation, and the creative fictions, Fox probed some very unsettling, challenging, and ultimately very human aesthetic worlds.

The sheer overwhelming volume of Residents and Charles Bobuck releases makes it difficult to point to where to start in looking at Fox’s legacy, not to mention Fox’s work is far more often geared toward album rather than cherry-picked “best of” format. That said, I’ve taken a (duck) stab at compiling a friendly introduction to this mad, inspiring world:

http://www.hardyfox.com/home/

The post Remembering The Residents’ Hardy Fox, enigmatic vaudeville futurist appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Detroit techno, the 90s comic book – and epic new DJ T-1000 techno

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Scene | Mon 29 Oct 2018 10:05 pm

In 1992, Alan Oldham aka DJ T-1000 imagined the epic saga of techno and Detroit as a trippy futuristic comic – and it’s prescient today. Plus, Alan’s got a banging new EP that you shouldn’t miss.

I’ve been meaning to share this since I first spotted it in a German-language article, so there’s no time like the present.

Alan was “Minister of Information” for Underground Resistance, as well as making his name as one of the all-time album cover greats with sexy, futuristic work for the likes of legendary imprint Transmat, Derrick May’s imprint. Now, everything in Detroit is in vogue again, but this push and pull between Europe (aka, where the actual techno market is) and Detroit (where it started) is so clear in 1992 that this comic could almost have been posted now.

The setting was a release by pre-minimal Richie Hawtin as F.U.S.E., on Richie’s own Plus 8 Records. Bonus: that demo came with a FlexiDisc and a comic. The comic stands out either way, not least for the presence of a futuristic supercomputer sequencer, a bit of a cross between a mass step sequencer, Deep Thought, and the Borg. Plus it’s great fun imagining UR’s LFO, Daniel Bell (aka DBX of “I’m losing control” fame), and Jochem Paap (Speedy J) as comic superheroes. Yeah, I’d see that Marvel movie.

At the very least, someone needs to make this sequencer.

Nerdcore did the honors and scanned the whole thing, if you need some techno comic reading:

https://nerdcore.de/2017/01/10/f-u-s-e-overdrive-flexidisc-comic/

But Alan deserves credit for his music as well as his graphic art, running those careers as he does in parallel. And his latest, “Message Discipline” EP as DJ T-1000 is a welcome shot of adrenaline in the electronic releases of the fall. It’s clear, focused, aggressive but perpetually bouncy – a blast of fresh sound at a time when so many releases are overthought, over-effected, and muddled in an attempt to shroud the dancing in layers of gloom.

Direct and concise, this is the sound of someone with real confidence in the genre. It’s four perfect cuts.

That’s interesting to me in that we did get a chance to get some insight into Alan’s process, and it was very much about getting straight to that groove. So I’m not just here to shower words on this release, but partly because I imagine it might assist people trying to get to their own voice in dance music.

Grab it on Bandcamp:

https://djt1000.bandcamp.com/album/message-discipline-ep

Previously:

Cues: Detroit innovator Alan Oldham talks to us about techno, creation

More on his site:

http://www.alanoldham.com/

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Jam to this: the 90s Sundanese house anthem “Maju Maju Maju”

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Scene | Wed 24 Oct 2018 3:45 pm

Behold, the alternative 90s house history you don’t know – unless you’re connected to Indonesia. “Maju Maju Maju” is an impossibly catchy “xta-C” indo tech banger from Java’s Barakatak. And the music video is an easy, all-natural YouTube high:

I bring it up now as this was the jam that helped me shake my jetlag on arrival for the first time in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, in central Java, meeting with our team from Nusasonic Festival and working together with Berlin’s CTM Festival on the MusicMakers Hacklab and festival performances. That’s central Java; Barakatak are Sundanese, from the west side of Java.

Our world (at least for English-language sites like this one) is so tilted hard to the West that we often don’t know what we’re missing. This week, of course, you can marvel as ABC breathlessly shares the story of how David Guetta “helped bring house music to the US.” (See a terrific takedown by Terry Matthew of 5 magazine in – significantly – Chicago, Illinois.) But while they work out the fact that house music “is a feeling” but also “a genre from Chicago,” you should also take in how American dance styles got remixed elsewhere on planet Earth.

That story is more memorialized in cassette tapes and oral history than it is written down. But “Maju Maju Maju” is one poppy example. This was evidently the lead cut on Barakatak’s not-terribly-creatively-titled tape “HOUSE MUSIC VOL. 2.” The “ecstasy” reference may be literal; I heard a band – I think Barakatak – once got paid in an enormous stash of pills and doubled as dealers.

It’s all in Indonesian, but one blogger has at least taken the time to catalog the band’s tape releases:

http://aerbening.blogspot.com/2013/02/barakatak-group.html

Here’s the very special cover for this one:

And with only minor changes in personnel, the band over the years looked more or less like this:

And this cover pretty much sums up the, uh, genre concept:

What’s to say, really? I can only share the fabulousness, complete with creative use of low budget video production and … enough jump cuts to induce a seizure.

And hey, now CDM readers from outside southeast Asia can be infected with the same earworm.

“Maju” my Indonesian colleagues tell me translates roughly to “forward,” so the song’s hook is “forward forward forward.” (“Let’s go?” Maybe hard to translate colloquially. Just, like, maju. See, now we’re all doing it. Word – learned!)

Okay, one point: here’s some relative thinking for you. A major pop hit from Western Java, even while well known by one of the world’s most populous countries, barely registers in even a quick Internet search. They’re practically invisible. It’d be like if you’d never heard of C&C Music Factory – what would that mean for really underground stuff? Interpolate that down Indonesia’s long tail, and you get some clue to how privileged culture from specific places has become – even London versus rural England, let alone New York versus remote parts of the global South.

This should also blow holes in the idea that there’s “too much music.” There’s too much of the same music, over and over again, leaving little room for most of the people who live on the planet.

To deal with that will take perseverance. Relentless perseverance by all involved.

You know —

Maju maju maju.

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Discover the surrealist charm of Kate NV’s music and films

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Scene | Thu 13 Sep 2018 3:38 pm

It’s Moscow’s quirkier, playful side that’s probably easiest for us foreigners to miss. But Kate Shilonosova (Kate NV) is earning an international audience for her introspective, surrealist whimsy, and one that’s well-deserved.

Kate NV’s music is beautifully minimal and reflective. The Japan tour makes perfect sense – there’s a distinctively Japanese-compatible electronic aesthetic here. (The poppier nods to minimalism and extensive use of percussion remind me a bit of Cornelius, as do the hand-drawn graphics everywhere.) But her approach to found sound and sampling is equally enjoyable when taken in live. Kate was another highlight for me of Synthposium, and emblematic of Moscow’s experimental, open-minded, live performance-oriented electronic scene. Her own background is in punk and guitars, and she brings that musicianship and improvisational spirit even to this very different sonic idiom.

Live, she works with mics and small percussion and sampling (on various Novation gear and Ableton Live), pulling in elements in a way that’s accessible and fluid. And yeah, she’s the kind of producer who keeps a glockenspiel by her computer in her home studio.

She’s been picked up by RVNG Intl, the Brooklyn-based label with a particularly sharp nose for musical inventiveness. And her LP is terrifically charming. It’s also accompanied by cheery, trippy films from Moscow director Sasha Kulak. Watch “дуб OAK” (each is titled in a combination of the Russian and English equivalent of a word):

— or the extended film “для FOR”:

These films are also available in a generative form, which you can watch on her website – click, and you get different variations:

This project is based on works of Moscow conceptualist Victor Pivovarov,
more specifically on his series called “project for the lonely man”, 1975.
This movie is telling a story about one lonely man’s day.
Every time the button is pressed, the new, slightly different day is generated from the common routine actions.
Thus, creating the sense that all regular days are the same, but in its own way very different.

http://katenv.com/

To get a sense of the live set, here’s a representative set from last year: (Though I wish we had the video of this month at Synthposium! Will share if we get that….)

Her songwriting and singing are also exceptional, though; check, for instance:

Why is this woman smiling? She’s hanging out in Red Bull’s massive Cologne studios.

To get a sense of her tastes and DJ skills, here’s a mix created for DJ Mag – featuring Prokofiev, no less. (You know, I charted the guy and it’s like he almost didn’t notice.)

Lastly, of course, everything is better with a Japanese documentary:

I also love her series of illustrations on manuscript paper and glimpses she makes of her studio, which you can find on her Facebook and VK pages:

Postlude:

Mean YouTube trolls are mean. From the video I posted above, there are some angry comments blah blah guys mansplaining minimalist composers. What gives?

Oh, cool, you know who Steve Reich is. Some kind of expert then.

I think you can do better, trolls. You don’t look like you know what you’re talking about. You need to up your game. Let me help:

“I just talked to your mom and she wants your ‘Minimalist Classics for Babies Naptime Compilation’ album back.”

“You know so little about the early roots of minimalism you probably think La Monte Young is a cheap French perfume store!”

“What’s the sound of one hand trying to perform ‘Clapping Music’?”

See? Amateurs.

Anyway, I think she’s great, and I have, like, a really serious music education or whatever. If someone wants to argue with me they’ll have to get past these fightin’ mallets and my marimba.

The post Discover the surrealist charm of Kate NV’s music and films appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Watch futuristic techno made by robots – then learn how it was made

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Labels,Scene | Wed 12 Sep 2018 5:48 pm

Roboticist, composer, and futurist Moritz Simon Geist has made an entire album using robotic machines. It’s stunning to behold – and he tells you all about how it developed. Let’s watch:

This is more than a gimmick: there’s a real difference in approach and process here. Moritz’s work is truly mechanical-acoustical and electro-acoustic, using mechanical, kinetic machines to produce sounds.

And Moritz has been working on this background for some time, including making an entire oversized TR-808 drum machine that replicates sounds not with analog circuitry or digital code, but by actually hitting percussion. (The claps even required a cluster of stuff to clap together.)

An extended making-of video walks through the behind-the-scenes process of how this came about and evolved.

It’s as much an exercise in kinetic sculpture as music, but then the album organizes those raw materials in an eminently listenable, musical manner. It’s quirky grooves, true to its mechanical-robotic nature – that is, even if you didn’t know what this was, you might quickly imagine dancing bots. The materiality comes through, in subtly off rhythms and precisely-placed organic sounds.

Moritz’ ongoing collaborators Mouse on Mars co-produced both an EP (“The Material Turn”, out October 12) and LP (“Robotic Electronic Music”, on November 16). And Moritz extends the musical role here, by being both inventor/builder/maker and musician – not to mention label head.

It’s great to see Moritz starting a new label devoted to this medium – Sonic Robots Records – but also getting the help not only of Mouse on Mars but legendary German label Kompakt to handle global distribution.

You can preorder the EP already, in both digital and vinyl forms:

… with the LP to follow soon.

Here’s our look at how Moritz is working with Mouse on Mars:

Here’s how Mouse on Mars are using robots to expand their band

And here’s how we first got to meet Moritz, through his robotic TR-808:

A Robotic, Physical 808 Machine Advances Weird Science of Music, Tech Alike

Want to try making your own robotic music? Dadamachines is an easy way to start, and you can explore sound and musical arrangement without having to know about the building side right away:

dadamachines is an open toolkit for making robotic musical instruments

Don’t miss Moritz’ talk, too, for our MusicMakers Hacklab this year, discussing speculative futures for machine learning:

https://moritzsimongeist.bandcamp.com/album/the-material-turn

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Cues: Detroit innovator Alan Oldham talks to us about techno, creation

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Labels,Scene | Fri 24 Aug 2018 5:14 pm

It’s easy to forget if we get too deep into hero worship and seriousness, but real creativity is fun and boundless. So nothing energizes like talking to people like Alan Oldham, the multidisciplinary Detroit techno artist.

Oldham, sometimes DJing as DJ T-1000, had a multifaceted series of roles in techno. So he’s served in Underground Resistance – including as “Minister of Information.” He did artwork for Derrik May’s legendary Transmat label. He’s a comic artist as well as a producer, savvy enough to interact with the art market and not only the music industry. A lot of us in the USA got our first introduction to techno and the full story behind it through his story “Fast Forward” on National Public Radio. But then, in this age of overabundant production, we need those kind of voices now more than ever – people who can narrate what’s happening in music, DJs in the club sense and DJs in the radio sense.

Meanwhile, as CDM finds its evolved voice this year, I got to invite Alan (now a Berlin transplant) to talk about his process, to jam a little, and to chat about music, aesthetics, and futurism.

Alan is a big Native Instruments Maschine fan, and it’s nice to see how the MPC and other hardware workflows have made the transition to the computer age. I think immediacy is important to tapping into that creativity.

Have a look:

Off camera, it was also great that Alan got to hang out with our other guests, HRTL and Oliver Torr and their live project Windowlickerz. Growing up in Detroit, meet growing up in Czech Republic.

Alan Oldham in the studio.

Making beats (MASCHINE MIKRO), making comics (paper and pen).

Since January, Alan has been busy, in the studio and in the club (as well as continuing his visual art work). Message Discipline is the EP dropping in October on Pure Sonik Records.. The timbres, the tech are decidedly future-looking, not nostalgic. But as a lot of techno gets cold and clinical, overthought, or overly … well, dreary (not that there’s anything necessarily wrong with that) — this is none of those things. It’s “up,” as Alan says. Maybe it’s hard to find words for that funky, groovy feeling because it’s better to describe it me moving my body around than it is just wiggling my fingers over the computer keyboard.

You know you’re in for something special when you’re dancing around to the damned excerpts on SoundCloud. Tell me I’m wrong:

Even that last cut swings, like a nice makeout slow dance. And the title track sounds ready to blast into orbit to some, uh, really sexy space lounge, I would imagine.

Message Discipline is all bangers, but for a more tripped-out experience, DetroitRocketScience is the ticket:

Alan and Ellen Allien can often be caught side by side, so expect more on Ellen’s BPitch Control, like this excellent remix:

He’s also got a great remix of Sky Deep’s “In This,” but looks like I can’t share that – take my word for it.

Now who wants to don an Andy Warhol wig and dance around a bit? Yeah? Have a great weekend, y’all.

Related – in summer 2011, Wax Poetics provided us with this article they ran exploring early Detroit techno history, and even talked to Alan. of course, now you meet the Detroit artists in Berlin.

Future Shock: The Emergence of Detroit Techno, Told by Wax Poetics

Photos courtesy Native Instruments.

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