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


Check out some loving synth images and inspiration from Moscow

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Events,Scene | Fri 6 Oct 2017 4:13 pm

Even as rave culture faces new hurdles in Russia, nerd culture thrives. That was the feeling at August’s Synthposium in Moscow; here’s another look.

For an impressionistic feeling of the space station adoration of electronic sound production, here’s a montage shot inside the Expo, which somehow captures the milieu of the event and passion of its attendees.

Apart from space exploration, Russia has its roots in rigor both engineering and compositional, as nicely embodied by Synthposium artist Alex Pleninger. An interview (English subtitled) takes you inside his world, and an adeptness for machines then led him to the classic Buchla modular from … a Nintendo Game Boy. (Love that lofi camera.)

Lest you think Russia is all synth noodling, freestyling (seriously) was a lot of what I heard. Hip hop seems to be resurgent in the Russian capital. (Fight the powers that be?)

We also get fresh views of the gear.

Builder Vyacheslav Grigoriev was there representing VG-Line; here’s a look inside his workshop:

Vyacheslav Grigoriev, the founder of the VG-Line workshop and production, is Moscow’s chief man when it comes to repairing and modifying synthesizers. An expert in Soviet electronics, Vyacheslav is known for his modified and upgraded version of the cult RITM-2 synthesizer, as well as the TR-909-inspired desktop bass drum module, that goes far beyond the original. His workshop is a unique enterprise with a DIY attitude, that denies any corporate classification, where he repairs and manufactures synthesizers of different designs and basically lives. Grigoriev will join the Expo section and present his newly-engineered products at the Vintage Hall on August 26 and 27.

As we were wandering the expo floor, manufacturers were queued up to demo their gear in a convenient light box a series called Things had set up. Here’s a look at the (mostly) Russian entries – starting with VG-Line:

https://thngs.co/things/10267

The VG Line bass drum BD 9Q9. Totally analogue clone of legendary Roland TR-909 kick with wide range of settings, which original TR 909 doesn’t have — a switcher to extend decay and the pitch.

https://thngs.co/things/10257

https://thngs.co/things/10256

35 years after the release of the first model, the creator of Polivoks, Vladimir Kuzmin, decided to release an updated version, which already fell into the hands of many lucky people and, judging by the existing reviews, the legend has already returned. In the work on a modern embodiment, engineers Alex Pleninger and Alexey Taber took part. At the moment there are only 100 copies of the new Polivox and each of them is collected manually.

https://thngs.co/things/10279

You’ve seen Roland’s kit a lot lately, but for one international input, let’s add a Czech input – especially as Bastl’s Thyme just became available for preoder:

The Thyme is an effects processor that is best described as a sequenceable robot operated digital tape machine. With a lot of parameters at hand it enables the exploration of all the time based effects and the vast space in between their classical multi-effects categories (delay, phaser, reverb, chorus, pitch shifter, multi-tap delay, tape delay, tremolo, vibrato, compressor) and in stereo! Each of the 9 different parameters (Tape Speed, Delay Coarse & Fine, Feedback, Filter, extra heads Spacing and Levels, Dry Wet Mix and Volume) has a dedicated, very flexible modulation source – called the Robot – which can be phased out differently for left and right channel to create psychedelic new sound effects.

https://thngs.co/things/10260

and SoftPop, for that matter:

SoftPop is a playfully organic, semi-modular light and sound synthesizer with wide variety of sounds: from random dripping water pops to heavy subtractive basslines. Its fully analog core consisting of a heavily feedbacked system of dual triangle-core oscillators, state variable filter and sample and hold is played through an intuitive interface of 6 faders that provide countless combinations which can be explored by anyone.

https://thngs.co/things/10262

The Pribore MDP101 Baby connects to a computer or a phone via bluetooth, defined as a MIDI device. It has 2 assignable control knobs (Rotary Knob CC), 2 assignable keys (Button CC), 5 transport keys (Rewind, Stop, Play, Record, Loop), 1 angular acceleration sensor (accelerometer), for capturing emotions and expression (Motion Sensor), 1 battery for stand-alone operation, and a USB port for charging and connecting as a usb-midi device.

https://thngs.co/things/10263

From Playtronica came some of the more experimental, DIY / physical computing-tilted entries:

https://thngs.co/things/10205

Touch Me is a HCI device that turns human touch into music.
When the surface area or intensity of skin contact between two or more people changes Touch Me modifies sound output according to selected scale and tone parameters.

https://thngs.co/things/9879

And yes, for when you win the lottery / sell your startup / swap bodies with Trent Reznor or deadmau5 or Hans Zimmer (Freaky Friday!), it’s the Deckard’s Dream! That beats Blade Runner tickets:

The post Check out some loving synth images and inspiration from Moscow appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

The Future Sound of Pop Music

Delivered... norient | Events,Scene | Wed 27 Sep 2017 3:41 pm

The significance of individual sounds – their origins, their development, and their future – has until now rarely been an object of research in popular music. This symposium will discuss how the sound aesthetic of popular music has changed over the past decades. It will debate how sounds have been created, how they are employed, and how they are constantly being renewed and replaced by new sounds. The symposium will take place in Bern, Switzerland from November 30 to December 2, 2017. See conference homepage for more details here.

Symposium «The Future Sounds of Pop» 2017 – Poster Photo

The symposium will discuss the future of sounds in pop music by addressing the following questions:
– How are sounds modified, manipulated and transformed today?
– How will this be done in the future?
– What role do new interfaces and controllers play in the development of new sounds?
– What do current sound generators offer?
– What new sound generators might we expect in the future?
– How will pop music sound, 10 or 20 years from now?

Keynote Speakers

John Chowning (San Francisco)
Lippold Haken (Illinois)
Edmund Eagan (Ottawa)
Wayne Marshall (Boston)
Bruno Spoerri (Zurich)
Annie Goh (London)
Marie Thompson (Lincoln)
Katia Isakoff (London)

See abstracts and bios here.

Subject

Further papers have been chosen from call for abstracts in the following subject fields:

1. Technological Aspects
The development of new synthesis procedures, editors, controllers and management software for auditory events seems to have reached a point at which the possible fields of application in music have been optimised and are both highly developed and user-friendly. Music technologies are future-oriented, but also process and transform past accomplishments. We wish to determine what virtual settings can offer, both within DAW systems and outside them. More and more developers and users are turning to physical systems (especially modular systems) that offer a great degree of openness and haptic characteristics. We aim to discuss this field of development.

2. Socio-cultural Aspects
Innovations in music technology and the renewal and expansion of sounds have often taken place in experimental settings or through unconventional approaches adopted by those involved. We can often observe that new sounds develop in subcultures and are later adopted by the mainstream. What is the approach of those who develop, use and consume these sounds? What networks exist and emerge around the idea of a new sound? Do small teams of developers determine what happens? In what environments do sonic innovations occur? And what are the impact and significance of specific sounds in different social and cultural contexts?

3. Sound aesthetic Aspects
Innovative sounds that are used excessively in the mainstream for aesthetic or commercial reasons can divide the production and listening communities. Current preferences such as auto-tune, filtering, sidechain compression, stutter effects and bandstop effects are omnipresent but are not necessarily new, nor even genuine pop sounds. How are «new» sounds perceived and evaluated? How do individual sounds change the overall aesthetic of pop songs?

Programme

Thursday, November 30, 2017

12.00 Registration
13.00 Welcome

Panel 1 – Sounds I (Chair: Immanuel Brockhaus/Thomas Burkhalter)
13.15 Bruno Spoerri (Zurich)
Keynote: The Promised Land of New Sounds – Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
14.00 Peter Kraut (Bern)
Sounds und Standards – ein schwieriges Verhältnis
14.30 Michael Harenberg/Daniel Weissberg (Bern)
Are sounds just sounds or are they Beethoven?

Panel 2 – Sounds II (Chair: Immanuel Brockhaus/Thomas Burkhalter)
15.30 Katia Isakoff (London)
Keynote: Creating a Musical Use for Electricity (A Romance Novel)
16.30 Robert Michler (Bern)
Erweiterte Soundästhetik der rhythmischen Elemente im Groove der Popmusik
17.00 Benoît Piccand/Jürgen Strauss/Gaël Martinet (Bern)
3D audio. Pop und Raum – vom Tonstudio bis in die Hosentasche

Friday, December 1, 2017

Panel 3 – Aesthetics (Chair: Anja Brunner)
9.30 John Chowning (San Francisco)
Keynote: FM Synthesis – Fifty Years
10.30 Heiko Wandler (Karlsruhe)
Der Einfluss der Synthesizer auf die Ästhetik der elektronischen Klubmusik
11.30 Christofer Jost (Freiburg/Basel)
Weite, Fülle, Präzision. Über die Klangästhetik des Gitarren-Delays und dessen Bedeutung in gegenwärtiger Popmusik
12.00 Christina M. Heinen (Oldenburg)
«Music of Black Holes and Sounds from Space». LIGO sonification and their Creative Side-Effects
12.30 Christophe Fellay (Sion/London)
Rhythm and Noise

Panel 4 – Technology (Chair: Immanuel Brockhaus/Thomas Burkhalter)
14:30 Jan Herbst (Bielefeld)
Old sounds with new technologies? Examining the creative potential of guitar «profiling» technology from a production perspective
15.00 Jack Davenport (Lancashire)
Playful Musical Interfaces. Introducing the «Sound of Colour»
15.30 Werner Jauk (Graz)
Forward Back … Sound-Gesture-Technologies. The Im-Mediate Bodily Shaping of Immaterial Sound & Sonic Pop-Culture
16.30 Fereydoun Pelarek (Sydney)
Sound Design Techniques of the Live Looping Performance Artist
17.00 Lippold Haken (Illinois) / Edmund Eagan (Ottawa)
Keynote: Finger Control of Timbre throughout Each Note. Challenges for New Controllers and New Sound Generators

20.00 Haken Continuum – Workshop Lippold Haken/Edmund Eagan
A New Paradigm for Timbre Control. Finger-Influenced Patching in the EaganMatrix

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Panel 5 – Philosophy & Sociology (Chair: Britta Sweers)
9.30 Wayne Marshall (Boston)
Keynote: From Breakbeats to Fruity Loops. Small Sounds and Scenes in the Age of the DAW
10.30 Robin James (Charlotte)
Novelty, Speculation, Wake. How Pop Music Conceives of «the Future» (1983–2017)
11.30 Georgi Georgiev (Berlin)
The Future of Techno
12.00 Marie Thompson (Lincoln)
Keynote: The (Feminized) Noise of Pop

Panel 6 – Reception & Sociology (Chair: Britta Sweers)
14.30 Hannes Liechti (Bern)
Rattling Chains and Cackling Chickens. Non-Musical Sampling in Experimental Electronic Pop
15.00 Holger Lund (Ravensburg)
The Master’s Master? Neue Soundästhetiken durch post-produktives Mastering und Vinylcut

Panel 7 – Virtuality (Chair: Immanuel Brockhaus/Thomas Burkhalter)
16.00 Annie Goh (London)
Keynote: Sounding Cyber*feminist Futures. Speculations on Sonic Unknowns
17.00 Ruben Brockhaus/Studygroup HTW Berlin (Berlin)
V-Age, Alterungsprozesse bei virtuellen Instrumenten
17.30 Marie-Kristin Meier (Berlin)
Immersion als ästhetische Strategie in Virtual Reality Experiences und elektronischer Musik

Organisation

Immanuel Brockhaus and Thomas Burkhalter, HKB (lead)
Assistants: Sabine Jud and Daniel Allenbach

This symposium is part of the HKB research project Cult Sounds (see Norient dossier here) of Immanuel Brockhaus and Thomas Burkhalter (Norient), which is supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation.

Partner

Chicago’s Knobcon is where gear makers converge to show their wares

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Events,Scene | Tue 22 Aug 2017 12:54 am

We’ve come full circle: the informal meetup seems to be eclipsing big trade shows. And for modular and boutique makers, KnobCon is now an American mainstay.

We saw Russia’s upcoming Synthposium. Moscow is as much music festival as it is gear conference. KnobCon in Chicago is mostly just gear – mentions of performances double as demos, and even the Friday party promises “gear-centric performances.”

With the ever-growing cadre of small modular makers in the USA, though, Chicago’s KnobCon is looking like the one place everyone will come together. A handful of bigger manufacturers (Roland, Yamaha, Elektron) join a mostly-boutique lineup – and Doepfer from Germany, who started the whole Eurorack thing.

Tom Oberheim, who’s gone from being historical legend to modern-day gear rockstar, will “headline” the event with a keynote. Maybe the most interesting feature is the Demo Derby. Sign up for dedicated time slots on a system, with the venue open to people bringing their own studio setups. (It’s a bit like a model train meetup – you can create any modular setup you like, in a defined area.)

Here’s the full lineup of gear makers:

1010music LLC
4ms Company
Amplified Parts
Art For The Ears
Arturia
Audioutlaw
Audulus LLC
Blue Lantern Modules
Catalyst Audio
Chase Bliss Audio
Conductive Labs
Copper Traces
Couture Voltage
Dave Smith Instruments
Delptronics
Detachment 3
Division 6
Doctor Synth’s World of ROMplers
DOEPFER Musikelektronik
Dwarfcraft Devices
Elektron
Elite Modular
Erogenous Tones
Etherealsun
Family Room Recordings
Five12 Inc
Future Retro
Great Lakes Modular
Grove Audio
Hammond
Industrial Music Electronics
Isla Instruments
JMLS – Logan Soloman Synth Research
Korg
KVgear
Landscape
Make Noise
Metalphoto of Cincinnati
Michigan Synth Works
Modular Addict
Mystic Circuits
Nerd Audio
Noise Engineering
Novation
omiindustriies
Rabid Elephant
Roland
Schlappi Engineering
SDIY Chicago
STG Soundlabs
Syinsi
Synth City
synthCube
Synthesis Technology
Synthrotek
SysEx Dumpster
Tascam
TipTop Audio
Universal Audio
VCV
Yamaha
Zetaohm
ZORX

More:
https://knobcon.com/

The post Chicago’s Knobcon is where gear makers converge to show their wares appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

In Moscow, a major convergence of synth makers and lovers

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Events,Scene | Tue 15 Aug 2017 3:20 pm

One of the year’s biggest events on the synthesizer calendar isn’t in the US or Germany or the UK. It’s an event called Synthposium, in Moscow next week.

And where better? The city is dotted with monuments to cosmonauts; the country gave birth to Theremin and Polivoks, to ANS and optical synthesis, and spun fantastic science fiction tales that inspired the invention of the laser and dreamed of futuristic utopias.

Now, a younger, post-Communist generation is taking up the task of generating new futuristic musical energies. They’re mixing an enthusiasm for the avant-garde of the past and its heroes with a the latest technologies, patching connections between their countries and the world.

Well, the world seems to be taking notice. Synthposium, a packed art festival cum expo/conference next week, balances Russia’s own industrious community of artists and builders with counterparts from around the world. Alongside Berlin’s SuperBooth and Anaheim’s NAMM show, it might just be one of the big events on this year’s calendar in adventurous music technology.

The annual event hits next week, 24-27 August, at WINZAVOD Contemporary Art Center and Moscow Film School.

East coast and west coast synthesis? Try Eastern Bloc. On the hardware side, you get makers like the reborn Polivoks, the former brand reborn as a coveted 21st century brand, one that retains its original character but can be breathed in the same sentence with Moog and Buchla. But you also get an introduction to other makes, like Sputnik Modular, SSSR Labs, or Latvia’s Erica Synths (which inherits some of Polivoks’ former Riga legacy). There’s America’s TipTop Audio, too, plus MDR.modular, VG-Line, L-1 Synthesizer, Pribore Electronics, DNGR:TECH, Svarog Audio, and Uoki-Toki. Experimentalists and educators Playtronica join in, too.

Engineer Roman Filippov of Sputnik Modular will premiere his “Deckard’s Dream,” a Blade Runner-esque 8-voice polyphonic analog synth. Talks and workshops from the likes of BBC’s Matthew Sweet and Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe (Lichens) and former KORG analog maven Tatsuya Takahashi will add to the discussion.

There are also a whole lot of artists, mixing local and international personalities. The lineup looks like headliners from a major electronic festival, if that electronic festival were, well, sort of hyper-nerdy. Ulrich Schnauss and Thomas P. Heckmann join Max Cooper and Richard Devine and many others. (Yes, that also includes me – and of course expect plenty of CDM coverage of the event.)

See the full list below, plus some images of what’s coming.

Music — Expo — Conference — Interactive — Art — Festival
Tickets — https://goo.gl/0aLc9M

Line-up:

101 — LT
Alden Tyrell — NL
Ave Eva aka Ghostape — CH
Barker — DE
Baseck — US
Biodread — FIN
Conforce — NL
Denis Kaznacheev & Fake Electronics — RU/DE
Denny Kay — UK
Ekke Västrik — EST
Frank Muller aka Beroshima — DE
Felix K — DE
Interval — US
Jacek Sienkiewicz — PL
Kadaver — CZ
Karsten Pflum — DK
Konakov — UA
London Modular — UK
Max Cooper — UK
Mehmet Aslan — CH
Morgan Fisher — JP/UK
Morphology — FIN
Mustelide — BLR
Opuswerk — CH
OGJ — CZ
Peter Kirn — DE
Plast — CZ
PRCDRL aka Procedural — DE
Richard Devine — US
Richard Fearless of Death in Vegas — UK
Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe — US
Solar X — UK
Synxron — UA
Taeji Sawai — JP
Thomas P Heckmann — DE
Throwing Shade — UK
Todd Sines — US
Ulrich Schnauss — DE
Vertical Silence — US

Abjective
ADIL
Alex Pleninger
Alexander Ivanov
Alexey Yepishev
Algo
Ambidextrous
Amnfx
Analog Sound
Andrei Orlov
Anton Lanski
Art Crime
Artemiy
Bad Zu
Black Lenin
BMB Spacekid
Boorane aka Boora & Krane
Boris Belenki aka C-Rob
Caprithy
Celebrine
Chizh
Compass-Vrubell
Corell
Dasha Redkina
DBaldokhin
Defaultman
Dessin & Peterkan
dHET
Dmitri Mazurov
Dyad and the Sleepers Club
DZA
Egor Sukharev aka Khz
Eldar
Eye Que
Estafet
Fedor Vetkalov
Fizzarum
Fung Bui Lao
Gamayun
Gestalt
Grisha Nelyubin
HMOT
Hombao
Honealome
Id303 & FMSAO
Igor Starshinov
Iiilljj
Indeepend
Interchain
Jekka
Karina Ratiani
Karolina Bnv
Kovyazin D
Kubrakov
Kurvenschreiber
Laiva
Lapti
Lazyfish
Leafage
Linja
Lubish
Magnetic Poetry
Maria Teriaeva
Maksim Panfilov
Meow Moon
Midimode aka MDMD
Misha Alexeev
Mr. Pepper
Nairi Simonian
Nevospitanii
Nord City
Normality Restored
Odopt
OID
OL
OTRO
Operator Uno
Perfect Human
Phayah
Pinkshinyultrablast
Places and Stuff
Playtronica
Prisheletz
PTU
Rewired
Redeuce
Rhizome aka Nikita Zabelin
Roma Zuckerman
Roman Filippov aka Filq
Rozet
Saburov
Sasha Prana
SCSI-9
Secrets of the Third Planet
Sestrica
Shadowax aka Ishome
Sickdisco aka Cross
Sil
Sirius C
Slow Life Program
Sofist
Suokas
Symphocat
Timur Omar
Tripmastaz
Unbalance
Unbroken Dub
Valya Kan
Vanya Limb
Vlad Dobrovolski
Vladislav Interesniy
Vtgnike
Wolfstream
Yu

Expo — music tech interactive exhibition and showcase:

ПРИБОР
Alex Nadzharov
Alexey Taber
AllforDJ
ASD — Analog Sound Devices
Bastl Instruments — CZ
Compositor Software
Deckard’s Dream
DNGR:TECH
Erica Synths — LV
Eternal Engine EMI
Eugene Yakshin
Evgeny Yakshin
ezhi&aka
Gieskes — NL
Igor Varshavets
Keen Association Moscow
L-1 Synthesizer — BLR
Leonid Vasilyev
Logich Synth Service
MDR.modular
Motovilo Audio Lab
Peter Kirn
Pioneer DJ
Playtronica
Polivoks
Popobawa Sound
Pribore Electronics
Roland
SOMA Laboratory
Sputnik Modular
SSSR Labs
Steampunk WSG synth
Stone Voices
Sur Modular
Svarog Audio
Synthfox
Synthman
SYNTHMECHANIC
Synthstrom Audible — NZ
Uoki-Toki
VG Line
Zll Modular
Zvukofor Sound Labs

On Air — lectures, workshops, public talks, various educational events:

Alex Pleninger
Alexander Grigoriev (Pribore Electronics)
Alexander Serechenko (Solo Operator)
Andrey Orlov
Andrey Smirnov
Baseck
Beroshima (Frank Muller)
Biodred
Danila Plee
Dmitry Churikov
Dmitry Morozov (::vtol::)
Ekke Västrik
Gijs Gieskes
Gleb Glonti
Ildar Yakubov
London Modular
Matthew Sweet
Maxim Zaharchenko (Svarog Audio)
Misha Alekseev
Morphology
Nick Zavriev (Ambidextrous)
Oleg Makarov
Opuswerk
Peter Kirn
Philipp Alexandrov (Bad Zu)
Richard Devine
Richard Fearless
Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe
Roman Filippov
Sergey Kasich
SILA SVETA
Stain
Stanislav Charifoulline (HMOT)
Taeji Sawai
Tatsuya Takahashi
Thomas P Heckmann
Ulrich Schnauss
Vadim Epstein
Valentin Zvukofor Victorovich (Zvukofor Sound Labs)
Vladimir Kuzmin

Art — installations, a/v performances & experiments, objects:

√1
Abram Rebrov
Alexey Rudenko aka arhew0
Anastasya Alekhina
Andrey Guryanov
Ekaterina Danilova
Formic Acid
Ildar Yakubov
Galina Leonova
Grigoriev Misha
Misak Samokatyan
Noa Ivanova
Pasha Seldemirov
Stain
Vahram Akimyan — ARM
XYZ

Venues:

Winzavod Contemporary Art Center
Moscow Film School
— more TBA

Initiative – Main In Main

https://synthposium.ru/ [in Russian]

Facebook event

The post In Moscow, a major convergence of synth makers and lovers appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Radical electronics on a grand scale: Berlin Atonal in its fifth reboot year

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Events,Scene | Thu 10 Aug 2017 2:22 pm

Berlin’s idea of a summer holiday is a bit different: shroud yourself in black, retreat into a giant concrete bunker, and prepare for an onslaught of experimental sound and light.

But that’s Berlin Atonal Festival in a nutshell. It’s what Tresor entrepreneur Dimitri Hegemann calls “a platform for radical ways in electronic music … in an industrial cathedral,” a packed-solid schedule of music and media art in the hulking abandoned shell of the power plant above the techno club.

This film affords probably the best insight into that

And now, Atonal is at an interesting inflection point. While the festival had its roots in the former West Berlin, 1982-90, it got a fairly significant reboot after a 13-year hiatus. So, sure, Hegemann himself carried over from the festival he first started. But a new curatorial team, a new context, this whole, uh, computer thing that happened, the reunification of Germany, the transformation of Berlin into international capital, the explosion of techno – these are non-trivial changes. That’s to say nothing of the move from a fairly conventional club (SO36) to a DDR-constructed behemoth that is literally used to record reverb impulse responses.

And the festival that once hosted the likes of Einstürzende Neubauten now treats listeners to a brand of experimental music that, while still adventurous, is starting to become commonplace in the festival circuit.

But maybe that’s the state of “radical” electronic music in general, certainly in Europe and the islands of media art chic around the globe. A fifth year festival isn’t going to be a shock that the first-year one is. But more than that, there’s a brand of violently sensory, retina- and eardrum-blasting but intelligent and high-concept experimental festival fare. And it’s grown popular. That popularity also transforms at least a circle of people making it. Their sound may be distorted and aggressive, but now it’s out of the tiny basements and blown-out crap PAs, and onto expensive speaker arrays, surround sound. There are sound technicians, even.

I’m of the opinion this doesn’t make experimental sound less experimental – on the contrary, it ups the acoustic and optical firepower and precision available to artists, which gives them a wider spectrum to exploit. It inarguably makes it less underground, but it also need not destroy underground aesthetics – and I think artists being able to eat is a good thing.

Of course, the future is already here, it’s just not very evenly distributed yet. So I’ve watched curators cherry-pick their favorite acts from past Atonal, then import them to their own festival the following year. But that’s in something of a bubble, centering around Berlin (and London, and Amsterdam, and other capitals) in Europe, and festivals like MUTEK in the Americas (now a kind of pan-American festival franchise, in fact). It’s to the point where I can’t recall which festival discovered whom.

That consistency is easy to criticize, particularly for anyone jealous of Atonal’s grand spectacle (as a curator), cool crowds (as an audience member), or artist opportunities (for music and media art makers). But on the other hand, for this circle, it can begin to allow refinement. Audiovisual works in particular benefit from repetition and iteration, as you rely on multiple media to mature in parallel, collaborations to deepen. And a certain oneupmanship among lineups can drive artists to hone their craft.

This leaves us the question, what makes Atonal special?

Well, the obvious edge is its space. The artists interviewed aren’t kidding: you can’t imagine how big Kraftwerk is until you enter. It’s bigger than cameras can capture, vaster than words can convey. The Atonal organizers have found a way to tune the experience for listeners center stage, amazingly stopping it from turning into mud. And artists are adjusting their sets, too. But I agree with Sam Kerridge – it’s a unique pleasure to wander the space. Festivals are so often a pre-packaged, linear experience, a proscenium blasting a pre-determined significance to a packed crowd. In Kraftwerk, you can explore a set the way you would an art museum after closing. You can stand under the stage. You can find a sweet spot by a wall where reflections transform your perspective. You can find yourself gazing in complete stillness at some installation. And Atonal combines this with Ohm (the former battery room of the power plant, an intimate tile-walled affair) and Tresor (the basement, with its famous metal-bar booth).

That says something about Berlin as it is now, citywide, year-round. It’s too much music, and it’s dark and industrial and sometimes monotonous. But you’re free in that overabundance to chart your own way, to come and go in a music culture that seems to have no beginning, middle, or end.

Photo: Helge Mundt.

And this year, Atonal seems poised to build on what the festival has constructed after four editions. In short:

Back to experimental music’s roots. I always have a historical bias, so this is what I’m excited about. For both Atonal and The Long Now (two Kraftwerk-based festivals sharing some of the same curators), attendees are treated to a mix of historical concert music / new music / historical works and new commissions. In this year’s Atonal, it’s Stockhausen‘s turn. His 8-channel spatial OKTOPHONIE is inspired by the sounds of warfare (a tradition itself with threads back to Italian futurists). Stockhausen collaborator and director of the Stockhausen Foundation for Music, Kathinka Pasveer, leads that recreation, and younger composers will try out the system, too.

Rashad Becker + Ena on those eight channels should be especially good. But it’s nice to be treated to Karlheinz, too – having heard Cage and Reich recalled in this space, I can’t wait.

New stuff. There’s too much here to mention, but it’s fair to say this year’s Atonal promises more emerging artists and premieres, and might be one of the breakthrough festivals in 2017 generally. I’m curious about the “composed live act” of Chinese performance artist and composer Pan Daijing, the collaboration of Renick Bell (live coder) and Fis (sound designer). Sophie Schnell (PYUR) I’ve followed since her first AV show, and she has a unique and sensitive approach to her solo audiovisual work – this seems one to watch. Turkish-born Nene Hatun has a Rumi-inspired work.

I’m keen to see LCC (Ana Quiroga and Uge Pañeda) plus Pedro Maia; these Editions Mego-recorded artists are at the top of their synth game, and it’ll be spectacular to see them on this grander scale.

One sure-to-be-poingnant moment is Argentine-born installation artist, instrument builder and clarinetist Lucio Capace, who will have a trio doing a remembrance of the late experimental legend Mika Vainio.

There are also just a lot of new live shows. There’s a reason curators scout out Atonal for talent; there are few chances to see this many new AV works anywhere. (Another chance this fall will be Prague’s Lunch Meat; I’ll be there, too.)

Another easy bet: go see anyone Japanese. Thanks to collaborating with the New Assembly festival in Tokyo, Atonal is fresh with a bunch of legendary Japanese talent not normally seen in Europe. (I’d like CDM in general to get a little closer to the Japanese scene, and since I can’t always jet over to Japan, this will be a nice shortcut.)

All stars. Okay, and there’s more Puce Mary, more Roly Porter, more Shackleton, more Emptyset, etc. etc.. But with new premieres and such from these artists, there’s a reason to bring the all-star quasi-residents back. Some possible highlights – the combination of Shackleton’s music, Anika‘s voice over, Berlin artist Strawalde, and live visualist Pedro Maia is on my must-see list – partly because that combination sounds like it’ll either be transcendent or a cluttered mess, and that uncertainty ought to be why we go see stuff. Emptyset is doing something with architecture – and architecture is what Kraftwerk is about.

We’re Northern Electronics fans around these parts, so a program by the label’s Jonas Rönnberg aka Varg is a must on Sunday.

I’m skipping the DJ lineup, but it’s also really robust.

Photo: Helge Mundt.

Some free sounds

Can’t fly to Berlin? (or, uh, walk across the river as you don’t work for Ableton or Native Instruments?) Fret not.

The Wire has a special, free download of a number of wonderful live recordings from 2014, 2015, and 2016.

And, okay, basically these are all favorites here – note Peder Mannerfelt, PYUR, Ena, and so on returning in 2017.

It’s their Below The Radar Special Edition

Alessandro Cortini “Perdonare” 0:04:56
A Vision Of Love “Rose Transept” 0:06:49
Marshstepper “When Misfortune Confounds Us” 0:10:23
Felix K + Ena “Live At Berlin Atonal 2016” 0:03:55
Pan Daijing + JASSS “April” 0:05:23
Abdulla Rashim “Live At Berlin Atonal 2014” 0:04:49
SUMS “Budapest” 0:04:52
Peder Mannerfelt “The Theory” 0:04:41
Orphx + JK Flesh “Light Bringer” 0:04:42
Caterina Barbieri “Human Developers” 0:12:41
PYUR + Fis “The Pact”


Below The Radar Special Edition: Berlin Atonal: Force Majeure

https://berlin-atonal.com/

The post Radical electronics on a grand scale: Berlin Atonal in its fifth reboot year appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Norient im Appenzeller Moor

Delivered... norient | Events,Scene | Wed 26 Jul 2017 9:51 pm

Am Festival Klang – Moor – Schopfe (1. bis 10. September 2017) bespielen nationale und internationale Kunstschaffende, Soundtüftler und Tonkünstlerinnen alte Scheunen in der Moor-Landschaft um Gais im Appenzell. Norient ist mit Workshops, Paneldiskussionen, einem Konzert und einer Soundinstallation in einem alten Schiesstand zu Gast.

Installation: «Theatre of War»
01. bis 10. September, Schiesstand Gais. Vernissage: 31. August, 18:00 h

Als Kontrastierung zur idyllischen Natur bespielt Norient den Schiessstand gleich neben dem Schützenhaus mit Podcasts und Soundart, in der Musiker und Klangkünstlerinnen Krieg und Gewehrschüsse thematisieren oder musikalisch verarbeiten.

Präsentation aller Installationen: www.klangmoorschopfe.ch

Hinweisschild im Haus des Sportschützenvereins Gais

Konzert: Alpine Dub trifft auf Outernational Jamaican Legend
02. September, 19.00 h, Piccolo Arsenale Gais

Dubokaj / Daniel Jakob spielt Eigenkompositionen als präparierte Stücke in Einzelspuren, die live dekonstruiert, geremixt, verformt und neu interpretiert werden. Für den Auftritt im Hochmoor arbeitet
 er mit Aufnahmen aus einer vor- gängig eigens dafür aufgezeichneten Session mit Lee Scratch Perry, dem Inventor of Dub Music und bezieht Live-Aufnahmen aus dem Hochmoor mit ein.

Norient-Artikel über Dubokaj: Sampling Stories Vol. 8: Dubokaj
Artikel über Lee Scratch Perry im Tagesanzeiger: Der verrückteste Schwyzer

Das ganze Rahmenprogramm von Klang – Moor – Schopfe: hier.

Debatte: Swissness in der Musik: Muss das wirklich sein?
02. September, 17.30 h, Piccolo Arsenale Gais

In der «Weltmusik» geben oft Musikstile den Ton an, die wir geografisch verorten können – Musik aus Indien zum Beispiel wollen wir anhand des Sitar-Klanges zu erkennen wissen. Drehen wir den Spiess mal um und schauen auf das «Eigene»: Gibt es überhaupt so etwas wie einen «Schweizer Klang»? Wann ist der künstlerisch interessant, wann wird er touristisch? Und was haben wir davon?

Gäste:

Noldi Alder, Musiker

Barbara Canepa, ProHelvetia Abteilung Jazz
Johannes Rühl, Künstlerischer Leiter Festival «Alpentöne» und Musikethnologe

Moderation:

Theresa Beyer, Norient

Workshop: Armoniapolis
03. September, 11.00 h und Mo 04. September, 14.00 h, Piccolo Arsenale Gais

In unserem Alltag sind wir von einer Vielzahl von Klängen umgeben. Um vom passiven zum aktiven Hörer zu werden, brauchen wir aber keine technischen Mittel, sondern nur den richtigen Fokus. Armoniapolis ist eine Kompositionstechnik, mit der so ein Fokus geschaffen werden kann. Auf der interaktiven Weltkarte www.armoniapolis.com sind Höranregungen für Orte wie Dubai, Belgrad, Kopenhagen und Mexiko City verzeichnet, die zum bewussten Hören und kreativen Umgang mit Klängen einladen – nicht indem man sie aufnimmt, sampelt oder bearbeitet, sondern allein indem man imaginär mit ihnen spielt oder komponiert. Im Workshop kreieren die Teilnehmenden eine eigene Höranregung für das Hochmoor Gais.

Leiterin:

Svetlana Maraš (Belgrad)

Sprache:
Englisch mit Übersetzung

Artikel über 
Svetlana Maraš auf Norient:
Norient Release: «Matter of Fact» by Svetlana Maraš
Glichty Sounds Under the Microscope

Workshop: Musikethnologie des Alltags: Stadt Land Klang
03. September, 14.00 bis 18.00 h, Piccolo Arsenale Gais

Teil 1
: 14.00 bis 15.30 h

Menschen und ihre Musik verstehen
In der Musikethnologie ist die so genannte «Feldforschung» unabdingbar: Musik aufspüren, Gespräche führen und natürlich viel Hören. Die Musikethnologin Christine Dettmann macht mit den Workshopteilnehmenden einen kleinen Selbstversuch und fragt anhand von Videobeispielen ihrer Forschung in Angola: Wieviel kann man über ein Interview überhaupt erfahren? Wie geht man mit kulturbedingten Bedeutungen und mit Missverständnissen um? Und was bringen uns diese Erkenntnisse für den alltäglichen Umgang mit Musik?

Teil 2
: 16.00 bis 18.00 h
Soundscape-Spaziergang durch das Hochmoor Gais
Die Forschung hat längst erkannt, dass uns die Welt nicht nur in Farben erscheint, sondern sich auch klingend offenbart. Ein interaktiver Hörspaziergang im Hochmoor Gais mit dem Klangforscher Andrin Uetz und der Künstlerin Winnie Lau aus Hong Kong schärft die Sinne der Workshopteilnehmenden und fragt: Hören Menschen aus Grossstädten anders? Wie stark ist unsere Wahrnehmung kulturell (vor) geprägt? Und wie können wir über die Geräusche, die uns umgeben, die Welt deuten?

Leitende:
Prof. Dr. Christine Dettmann (München)
Andrin Uetz (Basel)

Winnie Lau (Hong Kong)

Debatte: Musikforschung: Raus aus dem Elfenbeinturm
09. September, 17.30 h, Piccolo Arsenale Gais

Forschung passiert oft hinter verschlossenen Institutstüren, bedient sich einer komplizierten Sprache und publiziert für wenige ExpertInnen, so das Klischee. Stimmt das? Und können journalistische Ansätze und digitale Blogkultur helfen, die Erkenntnisse der Musikforschung einem breiteren Publikum zugänglich zu machen? Oder geht gute Forschung gar nicht ohne Rückzugsort?

Gäste:
Wolfgang Böhler, Musikjournalist und Gründer des Blogs codexflores.ch
Dr. Helena Simonett, Musikethnologin, Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin Hochschule Luzern

Hanna Wick, Wissenschaftsjournalistin Schweizer Fernsehen SRF1, Sendung «Einstein»

Moderation:

Theresa Beyer, Norient

Die Workshops und Debatten sind gratis.

Ort:
Piccolo Arsenale (in der Schiessanlage Brunnenau 430, Gais)
2 Gehminuten vom Bahnhof Schaken

Der Flyer zum Panel- und Workshopprogramm als PDF.

Die Workshops und Debatten finden im Rahmen des vom Schweizer Nationalfonds geförderten Agora-Projekts «Communicating Music Research» (Norient / Seminar für Kulturwissenschaft und Europäische Ethnologie Universität Basel) statt.

Norient im Appenzeller Moor

Delivered... norient | Events,Scene | Wed 26 Jul 2017 9:51 pm

Am Festival Klang – Moor – Schopfe (1. bis 10. September 2017) bespielen nationale und internationale Kunstschaffende, Soundtüftler und Tonkünstlerinnen alte Scheunen in der Moor-Landschaft um Gais im Appenzell. Norient ist mit Workshops, Paneldiskussionen, einem Konzert und einer Soundinstallation in einem alten Schiesstand zu Gast.

Installation: «Theatre of War»
01. bis 10. September, Schiesstand Gais. Vernissage: 31. August, 18:00 h

Als Kontrastierung zur idyllischen Natur bespielt Norient den Schiessstand gleich neben dem Schützenhaus mit Podcasts und Soundart, in der Musiker und Klangkünstlerinnen Krieg und Gewehrschüsse thematisieren oder musikalisch verarbeiten.

Präsentation aller Installationen: www.klangmoorschopfe.ch

Hinweisschild im Haus des Sportschützenvereins Gais

Konzert: Alpine Dub trifft auf Outernational Jamaican Legend
02. September, 19.00 h, Piccolo Arsenale Gais

Dubokaj / Daniel Jakob spielt Eigenkompositionen als präparierte Stücke in Einzelspuren, die live dekonstruiert, geremixt, verformt und neu interpretiert werden. Für den Auftritt im Hochmoor arbeitet
 er mit Aufnahmen aus einer vor- gängig eigens dafür aufgezeichneten Session mit Lee Scratch Perry, dem Inventor of Dub Music und bezieht Live-Aufnahmen aus dem Hochmoor mit ein.

Norient-Artikel über Dubokaj: Sampling Stories Vol. 8: Dubokaj
Artikel über Lee Scratch Perry im Tagesanzeiger: Der verrückteste Schwyzer

Das ganze Rahmenprogramm von Klang – Moor – Schopfe: hier.

Debatte: Swissness in der Musik: Muss das wirklich sein?
02. September, 17.30 h, Piccolo Arsenale Gais

In der «Weltmusik» geben oft Musikstile den Ton an, die wir geografisch verorten können – Musik aus Indien zum Beispiel wollen wir anhand des Sitar-Klanges zu erkennen wissen. Drehen wir den Spiess mal um und schauen auf das «Eigene»: Gibt es überhaupt so etwas wie einen «Schweizer Klang»? Wann ist der künstlerisch interessant, wann wird er touristisch? Und was haben wir davon?

Gäste:

Noldi Alder, Musiker

Barbara Canepa, ProHelvetia Abteilung Jazz
Johannes Rühl, Künstlerischer Leiter Festival «Alpentöne» und Musikethnologe

Moderation:

Theresa Beyer, Norient

Workshop: Armoniapolis
03. September, 11.00 h und Mo 04. September, 14.00 h, Piccolo Arsenale Gais

In unserem Alltag sind wir von einer Vielzahl von Klängen umgeben. Um vom passiven zum aktiven Hörer zu werden, brauchen wir aber keine technischen Mittel, sondern nur den richtigen Fokus. Armoniapolis ist eine Kompositionstechnik, mit der so ein Fokus geschaffen werden kann. Auf der interaktiven Weltkarte www.armoniapolis.com sind Höranregungen für Orte wie Dubai, Belgrad, Kopenhagen und Mexiko City verzeichnet, die zum bewussten Hören und kreativen Umgang mit Klängen einladen – nicht indem man sie aufnimmt, sampelt oder bearbeitet, sondern allein indem man imaginär mit ihnen spielt oder komponiert. Im Workshop kreieren die Teilnehmenden eine eigene Höranregung für das Hochmoor Gais.

Leiterin:

Svetlana Maraš (Belgrad)

Sprache:
Englisch mit Übersetzung

Artikel über 
Svetlana Maraš auf Norient:
Norient Release: «Matter of Fact» by Svetlana Maraš
Glichty Sounds Under the Microscope

Workshop: Musikethnologie des Alltags: Stadt Land Klang
03. September, 14.00 bis 18.00 h, Piccolo Arsenale Gais

Teil 1
: 14.00 bis 15.30 h

Menschen und ihre Musik verstehen
In der Musikethnologie ist die so genannte «Feldforschung» unabdingbar: Musik aufspüren, Gespräche führen und natürlich viel Hören. Die Musikethnologin Christine Dettmann macht mit den Workshopteilnehmenden einen kleinen Selbstversuch und fragt anhand von Videobeispielen ihrer Forschung in Angola: Wieviel kann man über ein Interview überhaupt erfahren? Wie geht man mit kulturbedingten Bedeutungen und mit Missverständnissen um? Und was bringen uns diese Erkenntnisse für den alltäglichen Umgang mit Musik?

Teil 2
: 16.00 bis 18.00 h
Soundscape-Spaziergang durch das Hochmoor Gais
Die Forschung hat längst erkannt, dass uns die Welt nicht nur in Farben erscheint, sondern sich auch klingend offenbart. Ein interaktiver Hörspaziergang im Hochmoor Gais mit dem Klangforscher Andrin Uetz und der Künstlerin Winnie Lau aus Hong Kong schärft die Sinne der Workshopteilnehmenden und fragt: Hören Menschen aus Grossstädten anders? Wie stark ist unsere Wahrnehmung kulturell (vor) geprägt? Und wie können wir über die Geräusche, die uns umgeben, die Welt deuten?

Leitende:
Prof. Dr. Christine Dettmann (München)
Andrin Uetz (Basel)

Winnie Lau (Hong Kong)

Debatte: Musikforschung: Raus aus dem Elfenbeinturm
09. September, 17.30 h, Piccolo Arsenale Gais

Forschung passiert oft hinter verschlossenen Institutstüren, bedient sich einer komplizierten Sprache und publiziert für wenige ExpertInnen, so das Klischee. Stimmt das? Und können journalistische Ansätze und digitale Blogkultur helfen, die Erkenntnisse der Musikforschung einem breiteren Publikum zugänglich zu machen? Oder geht gute Forschung gar nicht ohne Rückzugsort?

Gäste:
Wolfgang Böhler, Musikjournalist und Gründer des Blogs codexflores.ch
Dr. Helena Simonett, Musikethnologin, Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin Hochschule Luzern

Hanna Wick, Wissenschaftsjournalistin Schweizer Fernsehen SRF1, Sendung «Einstein»

Moderation:

Theresa Beyer, Norient

Die Workshops und Debatten sind gratis.

Ort:
Piccolo Arsenale (in der Schiessanlage Brunnenau 430, Gais)
2 Gehminuten vom Bahnhof Schaken

Der Flyer zum Panel- und Workshopprogramm als PDF.

Die Workshops und Debatten finden im Rahmen des vom Schweizer Nationalfonds geförderten Agora-Projekts «Communicating Music Research» (Norient / Seminar für Kulturwissenschaft und Europäische Ethnologie Universität Basel) statt.

Go gear crazy with the best synth gear unveiled at Superbooth

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Events,Scene | Mon 24 Apr 2017 9:09 pm

In just its second edition, Schneidersladen has turned the Superbooth into the world’s coolest synth gathering and most focused electronic music gear get-together. The Berlin-based event attracted a who’s who of international music gear makers, from modular to desktop, tiny to huge.

So that led to the inevitable question: “what have you seen? What’s cool?” Sometimes you got to that topic before, like, “hello, how are you?”

Well, while there was a litany of great new stuff, particularly (unsurprisingly) in the modular sphere, here are the prototypes and gear launches that I think represent the best of the best.

We’ll have follow-ups in the coming days, including some interviews and high-quality gear audio samples. But these stood out – both for me and for other folks I talked to. (Oh, and if I missed you, just get in touch or leave a comment! And, uh, next time, put a Soyuz capsule next to your booth and I probably will get attracted to it like a bee to honey.)

monostation

That's how to do advance press - Sound on Sound reprints were available alongside the Peak. Then again, most people focused on ... playing with Peak, and doing their own review.

That’s how to do advance press – Sound on Sound reprints were available alongside the Peak. Then again, most people focused on … playing with Peak, and doing their own review.

Novation. Superbooth is still about boutique makers and tiny shops, but credit is due to some of the bigger players. Novation’s entire engineering teams were on hand to show off their latest two synths, the Circuit Mono Station and Peak. And these instruments were terrific hits, appreciated by fellow engineers and musicians alike. The big test: people couldn’t get enough of playing Peak. That’s a good reminder that the synth market will never become just a commodity: these are instruments. You have to fall in love with them.

bastldemo

They're just prototypes, but these handy widgets Bastl had scattered over their booth look really promising, too.

They’re just prototypes, but these handy widgets Bastl had scattered over their booth look really promising, too.

Bastl coffee, your editor's single favorite product of the show. (Junkie.)

Bastl coffee, your editor’s single favorite product of the show. (Junkie.)

Bastl Instruments. Novation might have “won” Superbooth, were it not that they were right next to the plucky Czech wizards of Bastl. And this booth had everything. Not only were two of the biggest products of the show there (the softPop synth and Thyme effects processor), but Bastl’s corner was bestrewn with other great ideas. There were tiny mono mixers (Dude). There was a project to work with a friend to roast sustainable coffee, partnering directly with farmers in Colombia. (The roaster is set to travel to Latin America to work side by side with said farmers. Thanks, Bastl, for keeping me awake by brewing this.) There was a lovely glossy zine full of essays and crisp black and white photos and, in Bastl’s words, “Eastern European broken English.” There were cassette tapes. There were performances with drum triggers hooked up to a modular. And there were even literally ideas sprinkled over the booth, in the form of LEGO-like widgets for combining signals and adding patch points. Bastl just seem to be endlessly overflowing with ideas, and they keep shipping them.

I’ll cover softPop separately, in that I think it’s so great. Here’s a video of it in action, triggering a light.

Crazy new stuff from @bastlinstruments and @casperelectronics at #superbooth

A post shared by CDM (@cdmblogs) on

digitakt

Elektron Digitakt. Elektron made a strong showing in 2017, both hosting a massive blowout concert/party at the Funkhaus Friday night, and showing the one bit of kit absolutely everyone wanted to get their hands on. Their new Digitakt sampler/drum machine was probably the single hardest bit of gear to demo, out of sheer force of popularity.

But the hardware looks and feels and sounds terrific – and crucially, it looks like they’ve totally nailed workflow. The key here is, no more menu diving – everything is quick and accessible. Can’t wait to review this one. It seems poised to become the dominant drum machine hardware out there.

Also, the other good news on Digitakt is that external sequencing features look significant. That could make this not only a great standalone machine, but a live performance hub / computer replacement.

Jomox have their own new drum machine. Okay, so the Digitakt is great, and a beautiful mainstream device. But does it have any more eccentric competition? Yes. Yes, it does.

JoMoX may not be a known name outside of enthusiast circles, but this Berlin-based drum machine maker has been the secret sauce of techno specialists for years. And finally, there’s a new hybrid analog drum machine. Is it going to appeal to everyone? No. Is it decidedly old-fashioned in some of its design decisions? Yes. But JoMoX has a sound and performance features that other drum machines can only dream of. It’s like buying an Italian sports car – it may not be as purely practical as something else, but that doesn’t matter once you’ve fallen in love with this. Creator Jürgen Michaelis is a genius, as far as I’m concerned, so we’ll have to take a look at this. It’s too soon to judge just yet, but it could finally be a worthy successor to the legendary XBase 09. (“Legendary what?” Trust me on this. Or just watch the video above.)

dominionclub

MFB have made a compact Dominion. This might just be the sleeper hit of the show for synth lovers. While Behringer was crowing about making synths on a budget, Berlin boutique shop MFB actually promised to pack loads of synth functionality on the lavish, powerful Dominion into a tiny case – and project a price for around $500. Whoa. It’s as idiosyncratic as MFB normally are, with tiny controls and lots of hidden features. But that’s part of why we love them, and at this price, with insane amounts of modulation, they may have a hit.

Also quietly announced at Superbooth, MFB’s little-known Nanozwerk synth is now in Eurorack form. Its simple, clear architecture is actually perfectly suited to that market – I could see it forming the bread-and-butter basis of someone’s modular rig.

eloquencer

eloquencer_closeup2

Eloquencer. I think this is my favorite module of the whole show. Coming from designers in Barcelona, it’s termed a “controlled chance sequencer.” What that basically means is, you have granular per-step control over randomized variations of all parameters. You can use that for subtle variety and humanization, or crank it up for more randomization. Now, there are lot of sequencers around, but this one deserves mention just for its attention to detail. Moving sequences around is easy. Separating a part of a sequence from the master clock is easy, allowing you to run freely or clock off an LFO. (Why doesn’t computer software let you do this, actually?) You can punch in sequences, generate them randomly, play them live. And the small screen gives you just enough feedback to keep track of where you are.

It’s honestly about the cleverest hardware step sequencer I’ve seen, bar none. Some people may wind up getting it even to use outside of a modular context, though having the patch points is interesting. (With that in mind, they did show a prototype external housing.) This one is definitely on my review list, and I hope to make a visit to all the great hardware vendors in Barcelona, as well (hello to Endorphin, for instance).

4ms

4ms Spherical Wavetable Generator. “Who needs another oscillator?” is a charge I routinely hear levied at the modular market. (“Who needs another synth?” is another reasonable question we all manage to avoid!) Well, here’s one answer: make a really great wavetable oscillator. That’s what 4ms have done, cleverly repurposing the (equally genius) Spectral Multiband Resonator‘s design. Here, it works perfectly, giving you easy additive access to bands and dial-in access to wavetables. Also, by toggling the buttons above the bands, you can apply parameter changes to just one band at a time for subtler sound design. (They hadn’t quite resolved this in firmware yet, but it was already promising.) You can also route signals in.

I can’t think of an oscillator module that delivers this much sound. You could almost throw this alone in a suitcase and call it a day. And the patch points and control layout all make sense in this form factor and modular environment.

tungsten2

tungsten

Tungsten. Game hardware was doing handheld music making before handheld music making was a thing – see the Game Boy scene, for instance. Now, there’s a chance to rekindle that spirit, but with a new, Linux-based core. Tungsten is a project out of Canada’s Kilpatrick Audio, who apparently decided to take a break from making very lovely, sensible modules to do something a bit more leftfield. It’s a rigorous throwback – there’s no touch screen, just arcade-style buttons – but an open approach and lots of connectivity, plus a simply adorable form factor, suggest this idea might finally have some legs. (We’ve seen abortive attempts to do the same, but they came with more proprietary approaches to software, overly clunky form factors, and a lot of money blown on Musikmesse booths. Superbooth and open and design that learns from the appeal of the Game Boy seem a better recipe.)

presonusquantum

PreSonus have a modular-friendly Thunderbolt interface. So, the interface connection wars are over, and Thunderbolt has (mercifully) won, both on Mac and now finally Windows. PreSonus have a promising interface that both promises sub-1ms latency via their drivers, and offers DC coupling for connection to modular if you so desire. And they have some strong opinions in the video about running natively rather than via DSP. Plus they’re projecting street price of US$999. More on this when they do their formal announcement.

musicthing2

musicthing1

Music thing’s Magnetophone. Okay, this one was already shown at last year’s Superbooth, but it’s easily one of the best modules of the show – and now it’s just about ready to ship. Coming from our friend Tom Whitwell, who made the jump from music tech writer to modular maker, it’s a stroke of sheer genius. Connect a magnetic tape head to a modular, and then perform by running it over tape. Finally, you can live out your Nam June Paik / Laurie Anderson fantasy, in about as complete a sound nerd convergence as one can imagine.

seq

Polyend SEQ. This product deserves special mention I think partly for feeling like one of the best-crafted industrial designs at the show. The encoders, the custom pads, and the aluminum and oak body feel like pure luxury. And having 32 steps and 8 tracks physically laid out without any menu switching is uniquely accessible. I’m not totally convinced yet by the actual sequence editing, which wasn’t yet complete in firmware. But between SEQ and the high-end PERC PRO robotic percussion system, this company out of Poland are proving that it’s possible to create new innovations for deep-pocketed electronic musicians. And it’s nice to see someone pick up on the craftsmanship statement the original monome made, and not just its grid design.

http://polyend.com/seq-sequencer/

rossum

Sound Semiconductor and Rossum. I think the quietest news at Superbooth may have been the best – prepare to get a little geeky for a second. Ron Dow and Solid State Music, founded in 1975, are an unsung hero of the electronic music revolution. So you know Dave Smith and MIDI – but Solid State also helped propel the industry with cheap chips that formed the building blocks of a lot of the gear that would come. Now, the original engineers (including Dave Rossum) are making new VCA and VCF chips, improving on their original designs. The upside here is, you get engineer-driven, musician-friendly chips from the original creators, instead of reverse-engineered clones. Part of the mark of Superbooth as opposed to other shows, and how many engineers were gathered in Berlin, was evidenced by all the engineers crowding around Dave and Ron and checking out the specs.

On the consumer side, I got my first play on Rossum’s Morpheus “Z-plane” filter, seen above. Now, what I want to say is, this runs the dangerous road of putting effectively a high-end software plug-in a modular. But I can’t say that – because using this module is simply a delight. It sounds absolutely delicious, and that color screen and luxe knobs are a joy to use. It feels like one of those few modules you’d really want to splurge on and treasure. And it’s an example of the high-quality, serious gear now available in modular, stuff that feels like real tools.

The new Assimil8or also looks cool:

Polivoks gets a proper clone. Interest in Soviet-era synthesis just keeps rising, but now that the secondhand market has worked out that we want this post-Communist stuff, it’s expensive (not to mention typically unreliable). And clones have been scattered. Now, finally, the peculiar Polivoks synth gets a real all-in-one reissue. It’s authorized by the original designer, and modernized. Unfortunately they’re doing only 100 units.

I can tell you my Moscow-based Russian friends were excited by it.

I’m curious how the Polivoks legacy and growing Russian synth scene will evolve in the near term. I should be visiting the Russian capital (again) for Synthposium later this summer, so it’ll be a good chance to check in on them.

Erica Synth’s Dual Filter. While Polivoks gets its own reissue, Erica in Riga, Latvia are also operating with some of the humans and manufacturing capacity of the former Soviet synth production. (Riga was an industrial center of the USSR.) And in a crowded modular market, I think Erica deserve credit for putting together complete systems of gear. The dual filter is an elegant, intelligent design to add to that portfolio.

yamaharobot

Amazing robotic #reface from @yamahasynths_official

A post shared by CDM (@cdmblogs) on

Yamaha’s beautifully unnecessary Reface robot. Here’s how you show up to Superbooth. You show up with a damned robotic keyboard connected to a massive number of knobs. This crazy project was produced in collaboration with Fukuoka’s Anno Lab.

But I list it here for another reason. Japan’s big makers are finally returning to their nerdy roots. KORG gets it, with products like volca and analog remakes. Roland gets it, with a splashy booth inside a space station mockup and experiments in modular and AIRA and boutique. Yamaha gets it, with products like Reface and a renewed commitment to synthesis. Casio … hey, where’s Casio? I want a new CZ. (Answer: at Musikmesse, showing a bunch of digital pianos. And that’s fine. But I hold out hope for them to get religion and remember they were once a great synth brand. Because I want a new CZ.)

soyuz

superbooth_in_space

All that and cool space stuff. FEZ Berlin somehow tops the Funkhaus for cool ex-DDR venues that work perfectly for synth fairs. The Communist-era space props everywhere just added to the fun.

That’s it for now – we’ll keep bringing you in-depth Superbooth coverage all week, in our usual slow news fashion.

For still more, keep an eye on our Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/cdmblogs/

The post Go gear crazy with the best synth gear unveiled at Superbooth appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

The nerdiest synth meet in the world, plus Tangerine Dream on a boat

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Events,Scene | Fri 14 Apr 2017 5:25 pm

Even in the age of the Internet, there’s no substitute for seeing people face to face. It just seems now we want a more concentrated dose – one or two really big international gatherings where we go all-in. And apart from California’s mighty NAMM show, it seems there’s nothing quite like Superbooth.

Here’s a preview, some highlights from last year – and don’t worry, if you can’t make it to Berlin, there will be a continuous livestream to the world and coverage we’ll deliver from the various partners covering the event.

With just one past edition under its belt, Superbooth has become the nerd singularity on the year’s calendar. And perhaps that because the team behind it, led by Berlin synth boutique legend Andreas Schneider, understand that the nature of such things is cultural before it is industrial. That’s not only about the culture of the people using the instruments, but those making them, and how the elites of the two have always worked hand in hand. (You can’t imagine Bob Moog without Keith Emerson and Wendy Carlos, Don Buchla without Suzanne Ciani and Mort Subotnick, Roger Linn without Hank Shocklee, the Synclavier without Jon Appleton, Tadao Kikumoto without Afrika Bambaataa, and … I could go on all day like this.)

So, yet again, Superbooth is a cultural statement. The weird is center stage, and the mainstream is at the periphery. Tiny vendors are superstars; big vendors sit on the sidelines. Analog and modular are first-class citizens; computers are the interloper. If you give a talk, you’re often also asked to give a performance, with equal time to each.

superbooth - 19

And bound through all of this is a statement about history – both of the synthesizer in general, and its unique character in Germany. Maybe that’s also Berlin’s edge over LA – whereas LA is a beacon to all that’s shiny and new, Berlin is the capital of a country that’s uniquely in touch with the history of electronic sound. (And of course, in turn, what makes that so interesting is that it’s often this history that most fires up the youngest generation – the kids who unapologetically embraced vintage instruments. The digital natives also had no idea that “digital” was originally assumed to replace something else.)

Oh, screw it – enough lofty words, let’s put it another way:

Superbooth is a place you can see Tangerine Dream on your ferry boat ride. You don’t get that on those Anaheim Disney hotel shuttles.

(If the excellent #INSTABONER are more your speed, they’ve that, too, via separate ticket.)

Superbooth is really multiple events in one:

  • A “Messe” with nearly 200 exhibitors, from a who’s who of Eurorack modules to mobile apps to big names in audio gear
  • A marathon music festival of concerts, both at the venue and at partner events around the city (even beyond what you get from a typical Berlin weekend, which for electronic music lovers is already insane)
  • Workshops and DIY, from beginning to more advanced
  • Lecture programming, generally combining talks with performance demos – so not just talking heads (and this is what’s getting streamed, too)

And then beyond that, this is now apart from NAMM one of the only times that the international scene comes together live and in person. It brings together a lot of Europe who can’t make the trip to the USA – and a lot more of the USA, Japan, and rest of the world are making the haul to Europe.

superbooth - 45

I spoke to Herr Schneider himself and the organizers about what to expect from this year.

The big thing is — more. There’s both more quantity and more range in the offerings. This is by no means a modular-only or analog-only show, either, as every major digital vendor has rushed to be part, too. (It seems, like the music scene itself, they’ve also fled Frankfurt am Main for Berlin’s fresher, more international music climate – leaving Musikmesse’s halls almost completely stripped bare. I did have some nice, uninterrupted meetings there, though.)

Superbooth I expect to be as wonderfully chaotic as ever, as full of ear-deafening din that the machines themselves.

As before, boats (and now better transit connections) will lead showgoers from Berlin’s center out to the former east. This time, the event takes place in Köpenick, the cosy suburb on the Spree that once apparently housed the families of the DDR elite. (The ex-radio facility Funkhaus will still hold Ableton Loop, but Superbooth swapped venues.)

Andreas has shared some other picks.

In the history area, you get the likes of Krautrock specialist Wolfgang Seidel.

There’s lots of new fare for kids, too. Schoolchidren will arrive in the morning, get schooled in modular, then present their own compositions by noon.

Adults can make things, as well, with a big DIY area with free soldering iron access. There’s the famous rotating modular carousel camped out at C-Base, the geek haven that occupants claim is the wreck of a spaceship. And there are even workshops and events available without a ticket, encouraging new people to get involved.

In stark contrast to the usual consumer-oriented artist offerings at most trade shows, Superbooth instead delivers events like Kasia Justka making cooking sounds with bacon and eggs.

Last year’s participants were more gender balanced than the manufacturers and presentations, so this year there’s a particular focus on women, led by Superbooth’s own Jessica Kurt – rounding out presentations and getting more female-identified artists access to knowledge.

To get a feel for what this is all like, here’s SonicState’s epic tour through the sprawling complex from last year:

I was lucky enough to be part of some meeting of minds, demonstrating that generations of analog and digital, software and desktop hardware and modular, can all come together in some new fusion at these sorts of events. (Our best conversations were backstage, though!) The guests: Stephan Schmitt (Native Instruments/Nonlinear Labs), Roger Linn, Robert Henke (Monolake), Tony Rolando (Make Noise), Julian Parker (Native Instruments).

I already have a huge agenda, and I’m glad to add more to it. So if you’re planning to be there, give a shout!

The post The nerdiest synth meet in the world, plus Tangerine Dream on a boat appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Open Atelier: New Tracks and Songs

Delivered... norient | Events,Scene | Fri 10 Mar 2017 1:02 pm

Einmal im Monat laden Norient und unser werter Atelierkollege vom Popblog Tonspuren ein zum gemeinsamen Musikhören: Welche Platten und Sounds haben wir neu entdeckt? Was hat uns bewegt und interessiert? Für Getränke und kleine Snacks ist gesorgt, wir freuen uns sehr, euch in unserem Atelier 361 im Berner Progr ab 18 Uhr zu sehen. Auf dieser Seite findet ihr nach den Events jeweils die Tracks als Playlists.

Daten

23. März (Facebook Event)
12. April
24. Mai
22. Juni

Ort

PROGR, Zentrum für Kulturproduktion
Atelier 361, Waisenhausplatz 30
3001 Bern, Switzerland

Norient Release: «Matter of Fact» by Svetlana Maraš

Delivered... Guido Naschert | Events,Scene | Fri 3 Feb 2017 8:33 am

For her audio-visual cut-up composition Matter of Fact, Serbian composer Svetlana Maraš has sampled, remixed and developed the interview material used in the Norient exhibition Seismographic Sounds - Visions of a New World. Matter of Fact has premiered as an interactive installation at CTM Festival Berlin 2016. Now the work startes a new life as a DVD, co-produced by Norient. It will be released on Saturday, February 4th, 16:00 h in the exhibition space at Kornhausforum Bern.

[Poetryfilmkanal]: How did you develop the idea to Matter of Fact?
[Svetlana Maraš]: Matter of Fact was created after invitation from Norient to make an installation for their exhibition Seismographic Sounds at CTM festival 2016. I like working with existing materials and actually cut-up method became inherent to much of my work. I got plenty of materials from Norient and the idea was that I make a new piece using these materials in any way that I want.

[PFK]: The Beat Generation made great use of the of cut-up method. Can you tell us how you came across this working method?
[SM]: My first composition made with cut-up technique was «Poetica micromix». So far it is my most performed piece. The composition was produced for radio broadcast. At the time I was composing electro-acoustic music and started playing live electronic music, but at the same time I felt a great urge for the sound of the human voice. I was never a singer myself and I had the idea of a great diversity of colors and sounds produced by the human voice, that one singer alone couldn’t provide. Instead, I took around 20 recordings of vocal music that I knew, had and liked and chopped them to the smallest possible pieces – fragments sometimes shorter than a second. I got a very rich and diverse pallete of sounds that I used to put together for a new piece of music.

When I discovered vocal music genres that were far from the conventional use of the voice, I instantly felt connected. This is why I have a strong relationship to sound poetry for example even though I never had any wish to perform that kind of music myself. To summarize, I think that using the cut-ups of human voice comes from the need of this «ideal» singer who could provide me (the composer) with a wide range of vocal materials that I can use in a composition. This singer (voice) is obviously very fragmented and complex, fruitful and contrasting, both male and female.

[PFK]: In which way did you apply the cut-up method to your interactive installation you premiered at CTM in 2016?
[SM]: The recordings I took are mainly interviews with participating artists. They talked about several topics such as their position in society as musicians, their view of current situation in music industry and similar. I selected cut-ups based on both meaning and their musical value: good sound, nicely spoken words, interesting voices etc. By taking very small bits and pieces from their talks, mostly a word or two, these extracts became de-contextualized and ready to be used with a completely new meaning. I had cut-ups with very general meaning that I was able to use in any of my topics – for example someone saying: «happy things» or «beginning state of something» or «problem». On the other hand, I created new meanings by combining the words such as «classical» and «stereotype» for example that I used in the Society piece. «Classical» may have originated from «classical music» or something, can’t remember! «Stereotype» could have referred to stereotypes in pop music in general. The word «mother», which brings intense dramatisation in the «Myself» piece originates from an artist introducing herself and saying: «I’m a sound artist, mother, activist …».

[PFK]: Are you interested in semiotics?
[SM]: Obviously, semiotics is something that interests me, and this always reflects directly on my works which brings text and music into relation. By moving in this field, I am able to play with the position of myself within the work. Regarding Matter of Fact, the lyrics are not really opinions of artists who gave the interviews, but they aren’t mine either. Maybe at some points I agree to some of them. Actually there is a lot of humor in the work – at points I can reflect on some general topics concerning most of us, but I can also reflect on myself. When the lyrics go: «my instagram page – classical stereotype, your music, your music – classical stereotype». It’s about young people in general, but it is also about me. As I said, sometimes it’s like a horoscope: so general that you can relate to it but it can also be so wrong and completely miss the point.

[PFK]: The five videos are difficult to put into a genre. At points they almost appear like music videos. How would you relate these videos to music clips?
[SM]: My compositions are made so to approximate pop music in many aspects. However, they are made with totally different strategies than those of pop music. Although it might seem like that, there are no real repetitions, there is a lot of diversity in treatment of the material. Even the pieces that apply beats could not be used in a DJ set, as they are not really accurate and even. There is always some kind of glitch or irregularity. This was a very interesting playground for me. Adding the lyrics in animation to this approximation of pop immediately brings up the association with karaoke but if you look and listen more closely, you will notice much more complexity that makes a distinction between this work and what you can see and hear on TV. There is also this «brainwashing» effect that you might relate to commercial videos such as «Turn the focus« and «Change the world» but these are just borrowed strategies, used with a great dosage of irony.

[PFK]: Matter of Fact has a very distinct aesthetic. How did Deana Petrović develop the visual style and the animation?
[SM]: The starting point for the visuals was that they should evoke associations about the text as little as possible. I realized that we have to narrow down visual elements literally to basics in order to achieve that. The visuals had to be as neutral as possible in regard to the interpretation of text and music, so it became clear that we were aiming towards something more like motion graphics design. As a consequence, we were basically left with colors, shapes and movement. The first two were provided by a graphic designer who did an excellent job in creating the distinctive «mood« of each video and she also created a kind of storyboard, envisioning what happens to these elements throughout the piece. Deana used her skills in animation to bring these to life, and the interpretation of the storyboards was not exact and contained a lot of improvisation. The text itself was dictating much as it needed to appear in precise moments in order to be readable, so this was the main thing. There are many ways of the text appearing and at times you might notice the direct influence of karaoke. All graphics can be devided into backgrounds, main elements, text and glitches. Of course the last ones correspond to those in music although they don’t appear necessarily at the same time as music glitches but they should indicate this «imperfection» in both domains. To animate these videos was a huge work, days and hours. At times, Deana had more than 500 layers of text and graphics for certain videos. If in the future we would work (without a tight deadline) on improving the animations, we could certainly achieve even more versitallity and smoothness.

[PFK]: In howfar does your sound art become something different through adding a visual layer of moving imagery?
[SM]: In essence, my works are always purely musical works. Main content is the sonic one – the quality of the material, its transformations, form, durations … However, it comes very natural for me to bring more layers into my works, and not only of a musical kind. These are just extensions that the nature of the work implies ­– not artificially added elements. I don’t think there is an objective way of listening – through stereo loudspeakers or headphones? In high-quality? Whilst sitting or whilst moving or walking? Why this particular size of speakers …? I guess I am always searching for the most adequate way to represent my music and this sometimes requires means being borrowed from other domains.

[PFK]: Would you define your sound collages as poetry? And the five films as poetry films?
[SM]: I do think that my work is in a way related to the field of sound poetry, and I think it is an interesting fusion of digital music and sound poetry – a meeting of two opposing things such as electronic sound and digital means of sound manipulation and the human voice. I often think about this dichotomy and it inspires much of my work. There were many musical reasons to compose the texts in such way so I would rather say it is sound poetry, than poetry alone. Rhythm, contrasts, gesture, structure, form – these are the essence of both music and the visuals. Animations are not interpreting the music but working on the same principles, all being inherent to text too.

Voice snippets used in Matter of Fact come from the following contributors of Seismographic Sounds: Ali Gul Pir, Bishi, Bojan Djordjevic, C-drík Fermont, Chameleone, David Oppenheim, Effy B, Garo Gdanian, Graeme Miller, Kamilya Jubran, Keko, Leila McCalla, Mazen Kerbaj, Meira Asher, Minuit De Lacroix, O-Marz, Christoph Oggierman, Patrick Kessler, Salome MC, Silvana Imam, singing in People (but I reversed it), Temi Dollface, Umlilo, Wayne Marshall, Yemi Alade.

This interview has been first published on Poetryfilmkanal.

Live

Svetlana Maraš will perform at Ear We Are Festival Biel, February 3 at 20:30. Come and listen!

The exhibition «Seismographic Sounds» @Kornhausforum Bern starts it’s last week

Opening hours
Tuessday, Wednesday, Friday 12 – 17 h
Thursday 12 – 20 h
Weekend 11 – 17 h

Events

February 4th
15.00 h guided exhibition tour
16.00 h release DVD Matter of Fact

February 11th
15:00 h guided exhibition tour
16:00 h Finissage

Read More on Norient

> Theresa Beyer: «Glitchy Sounds under the Microscope»

Wo bleibt der Culture Clash?

Delivered... Kerstin Klenke | Events,Scene | Tue 10 Jan 2017 1:59 pm

Im Dokumentarfilm Bonfire and Stars trifft ein Moskauer Electronica-Musiker auf tscherkessische Volksmusiker, um mit ihnen zu musizieren. Statt des erwarteteten «Culture Clash» entsteht eine Kollaboration auf Augenhöhe, die jedoch nicht konfliktlos ist. Der Film Bonfire and Stars wird auf dem 8. Norient Musikfilm Festival 2017 in Bern gezeigt.

Still aus Bonfire and Stars (Sasha Voronov, Russland 2016)

Culture Clash: So übertitelt Carmen Gray ihre Rezension von Bonfire and Stars von Sasha Voronov im Calvert Journal. Das lässt Ungutes vermuten – so auch die Grundkonstellation des Films. Der junge Moskauer Electronica-Künstler Fyodor Pereverzev aka Moa Pillar wird vom ebenfalls in Moskau ansässigen Filmkollektiv «Stereotactic» in die Föderationsrepublik Kabardino-Balkarien im Nordkaukasus geschickt. Seine Mission: vor Ort musikalische Kollaborationen mit tscherkessischen Volksmusikern eingehen, begleitet von einem Filmteam.

Mittelsmann dieses Experiments ist Bulat Khalilov aus Nal’chik, Kabardino-Balkariens Hauptstadt, der sich als Radiomacher und Mitbegründer des Labels Ored Recordings kaukasischer Volksmusik verschrieben hat. Pavel Karykhalin, Mitbegründer und Produzent bei «Stereotactic», fasst das so zusammen: «Wir haben uns gefragt, was passieren würde, wenn wir einen Typen aus dem modernen Moskau in einen tiefverwurzelten traditionellen Kontext verfrachten und schauen, wie er sich einbringt».

Bonfires & Stars | Trailer from STEREOTACTIC on Vimeo.

Arroganz meets Unbedarftheit?

Das klingt nach Technologie meets Tradition, Metropole meets Natur, Arroganz meets Unbedarftheit, Kosmopolit meets Hinterwäldler, Zentrum meets Peripherie – nach Hierarchien und schließlich nach culture clash, aber vor allem nach Geschichtsklitterung: «Ein tiefverwurzelter traditioneller Kontext»? Immerhin gehörte Kabardino-Balkarien knapp sieben Jahrzehnte zur Sowjetunion und war Teil ihrer umfassenden kulturrevolutionistischen Modernisierung und Musikpolitik. Das kommt nicht vor, weil es wohl nicht ins Bild passt.

Der Film könnte lächerlich werden, es könnte einem aber auch das Lachen vergehen. Und am Ende wird einer der Loser sein. Ich tippe auf Fyodor. Und Bulat? Dem netten und freundlichen Bulat wird vermutlich die undankbare Rolle des verzweifelten und unfreiwillig komischen interkulturellen Mediators zukommen. Er eröffnet dann auch den Film, mit einer Sequenz aus einer Art Filmtagebuch, in der er retrospektiv daran zweifelt, dass das Experiment gelungen sei. Das passt zu meinen Erwartungen, auch die weiteren Minuten: Fyodor in seinem urbanen Habitat mit viel Technologie und auf dem Weg nach Nal’chik. Dann Natur, Berge – der Kaukasus. Alles klar. Und dann?

Wird alles anders als erwartet. Nachdem Bulat Fyodor am Flughafen abgeholt hat, treffen die beiden auf verschiedene Musiker. Aber von kosmopolitischer Arroganz ist bei Fyodor nichts zu sehen. Er ist interessiert, zurückhaltend, respektvoll und reflektiert – ein Mensch, der sich weder in amüsierter Distanziertheit noch in going native übt.

Still aus Bonfire and Stars (Sasha Voronov, Russland 2016)

Keine Einigkeit

Auch die Musiker, mit denen er zu tun hat, entsprechen nicht dem Bild der unbedarften Hinterwäldler, denen es im Angesicht von Elektronik die Sprache verschlägt. Sie sind keine austauschbaren Repräsentanten einer idyllischen, gefrorenen archaischen Kultur. Im Gegenteil vertreten sie wohl artikuliert, überlegt und teils sehr scharfsinnig ganz unterschiedliche Positionen zum Thema: Was kann, darf, soll oder bringt eine Fusion von Volksmusik mit Elektronik, genauer gesagt: mit der Art von Elektronik, für die Fyodor steht?

Denn, auch wenn das nur kurz anklingt, andere Arten dieser Fusion sind natürlich längst Teil der nordkaukasischen Musik – als so genannte Popsa, Estrada, Restaurant- oder Hochzeitsmusik. In der Ablehnung dieser Musik dürften sich alle Protagonisten des Films einig sein. Ansonsten gibt es wenig Einigkeit unter ihnen, inklusive Bulat, der zweifelt, aber nicht verzweifelt. Es gibt aber auch wenig, was den Begriff «culture clash» rechtfertigen würde. Eher zeigt Bonfire and Stars ein Zusammentreffen von Musikern verschiedener Genres aus verschiedenen Teilen der ehemaligen Sowjetunion, die die Kompatibilität ihrer Genres, wie auch die Notwendigkeit und die Grenzen von Fusion verhandeln – und zwar auf Augenhöhe.

Das ist spannend, anregend und bewegt sich jenseits aller Klischees von musikalischer Urtümlichkeit vs. Avanciertheit. Filmisch ist Stereotactic dabei eine intime, aber nicht intrusive Dokumentation dieser Begegnungen gelungen. Nur zwei Dinge irritieren am Ende des Films: Warum haben die tscherkessischen Musiker keine Namen – weder in den Untertiteln noch im Abspann? Und warum waren keine Musikerinnen zu sehen?

Der Dokumentarfilm Bonfire and Stars wird am 13. Januar 2017 in Bern auf dem 8. Norient Musikfilm Festival 2017 gezeigt.

Die Wüste bebt

Delivered... Philipp Rhensius from Norient | Events,Scene | Sun 8 Jan 2017 6:25 pm

Weil in der Wüste nichts ist, kann dort alles sein. Im Coachella Valley in der kalifornischen Wüste entstand in den 1990er-Jahren Desertrock aka Stoner Rock. Mit seinem eigenwilligen Sound, den epischen Jams mitten im Nirgendwo und Aushängeschildern wie Kyuss oder Queens Of The Stone Age wurde der Stil international bekannt, blieb dabei aber stets im Underground verhaftet. Der Dokumentarfilm Lo Sound Desert wird auf dem 8. Norient Musikfilm Festival 2017 in Bern gezeigt.

 

Still aus Lo Sound Desert (Jörg Steineck, USA 2015)

Die Sterne in der Nacht sind nur sichtbar, weil das Universum eine gigantische Leere ist. Ähnlich ist es mit der Wüste: Die wenigen Dinge, die aus den endlosen Sandschichten ragenden Grashalme, die einsamen Kakteen, die sich in stiller Übereinkunft anschweigen, die radikal reduzierte Extremität der Natur, ist nur sichtbar, weil es sonst nichts gibt: keine Häuser, eine Straßen, keine Autos, keine Menschen.

Und weil letztere, wenn sie die Wüste betreten, radikal auf sich selbst zurückgeworfen sind, ist sie der perfekte Ort für Kreativität. Im «Coachella Valley», einem 72 Kilometer langen Tal in der Colorado-Wüste Kaliforniens, bekannt für seine surreal anmutenden Felsformationen, entstand in den 1990er-Jahren rund um die Kleinstadt Palm Springs der Musikstil Desertrock.

Pionier-Bands wie Yawning Man, Unsound, Dali’s Llama oder Throw Rag hatten einen eigenartig neu klingenden Stil entwickelt, irgendwo zwischen Heavy Metal, Punk, Blues und vor allem Psychedelic Rock: Rifflastige Melodien, radikal herunter gestimmte Gitarren, die von fast funkigen Bassläufen konterkariert werden, kehliger Gesang, plötzliche Rhythmuswechsel und lange instrumentale Parts, die live oft in epischen Jams münden und ziemlich dumpf klingen, als seien sie mehrmals durch die wenigen schattenspendenden Felsen und die heiße, schwere Luft gefiltert.

Von Peyote bis Marihuana

Populär wurde der Stil mit der Band Kyuss, die 1991 mit «Wretch» ihr Debütalbum veröffentlichte. Nur wenige Jahre später tourte sie bereits in Europa, während ihre KollegInnen bis heute weitgehend unbekannt blieben. Auch deshalb ist der neue Dokumentarfilm Lo Sound Desert des Berliner Filmemachers Jörg Steineck ein wichtiger Beitrag der Musikgeschichtsschreibung.

Beim Desertrock oder, wegen der bevorzugten Drogen, vom halluzinogenen Peyote-Kaktus bis zu Marihuana auch «Stoner Rock» genannt, spielt der Herkunftsort im Gegensatz zu Punk oder Metal auch rein musikalische eine Rolle. Die Gitarren etwa waren deshalb so tief, um sie draußen in der Wüste, wo die Musik zunächte vorwiegend performt wurde, besser hörbar zu machen.

Das jedenfalls erzählt Josh Homme, der neben Brant Bjork als Sänger von Queens Of The Stone Age wohl der bekannteste Stil-Vertreter ist. Neben diesen beiden kommen im, an der «Oral History» geschulten Film viele andere Protagonisten zu Wort, vom exzentrischen Nick Oliveri über die mitteilsame «living legend» und Throw Rag-Sänger Sean Wheeler bis zum Ex-Punk Ian Taylor, der bis 1994 bei der Desert-Punkrockband Unsound gesungen hat und inzwischen ein wohlgeordnetes Bettenhaus in Palm Springs betreibt.

Still aus Lo Sound Desert (Jörg Steineck, USA 2015)

Zu heiß für Schminke

Dass Desertrock im Gegensatz zu Punk oder Glam Rock ohnehin nie Wert auf Äußerlichkeiten oder Codes legte, wird im Film ebenfalls mit dem Ort selbst begründet. Nick Nava von Solarfeast erinnert sich, wie er als Jugendlicher eines Tages auf den Bus gewartet hat. Nach etwa zehn Minuten merkte er, dass die Sohle seiner «Chuck Taylor»-Schuhe geschmolzen war – und auf dem Asphalt kleben blieb.

Ein passendes Symbol für diese zähflüssige, psychedelische Musik, die eigentlich weit hinaus möchte, aber dann doch zu sehr mit ihrer Herkunft verankert ist. Ohne die im Film von vielen Musikern als legendär beschriebenen Konzerte in der Wüste, wäre sie wohl nicht möglich gewesen. Die Sessions glichen oft mehr tribalistischen Ritualen als Rockkonzerten. Und statt einer wie auf Metal- oder Punkkonzerten üblichen «Wall of Death», bei der sich das Publikum in zwei Hälften teilt, um auf ein Signal aufeinander zu zurennen, pflegte man in der Wüste den «Taifun of Dust», ein durch den Moshpit aufgewirbelten Orkan aus Staub.

Trotz der vielen «Talking Heads» gelingt es dem Regisseur, eine stringente Erzählung zu schaffen. Weil sie gelegentlich von surrealen Animationen unterbrochen wird, aber auch, weil sie neben den aktuellen Bildern viel Archivmaterial enthält. Das erlaubt einen seltenen Direktvergleich von Vergangenheit und Gegenwart. Besonders unterhaltsam ist die Aufnahme des ersten Konzerts von Solarfeast 1993 auf einem Parkplatz, zu dem hunderte Jugendliche pilgerten, aber bereits nach wenigen Minuten von der Polizei abgebrochen wurde.

So linear und geschlossen der Film ist, so wenig war es die Szene selbst, wie gegen Schluss deutlich wird. Dass Kyuss so schnell populär wurden und dann in den Nullerjahren von Queens of the Stone Age als international gefeiertes Epigonen abgelöst wurden, wurde in Palm Springs auch argwöhnisch betrachtet, ging es vielen doch darum, «underground» zu bleiben.

Still aus Lo Sound Desert (Jörg Steineck, USA 2015)

Das, was verbindet, trennt zugleich

Damit offenbart Lo Sound Desert als Beitrag einer Subkultur-Narration abermals, dass das Sprechen über Gruppen stets mehr Identität produziert, als eigentlich da ist, weil sie nach innen oft heterogen sind. Und dass es in den Genealogien musikalischer Subkulturen so etwas wie generationenübergreifende kulturelle Konstanten gibt. Dass im Film etwa nur eine Frau zu Wort kommt – die Freundin eines Club-Betreibers – liegt wohl kaum an der Musik selbst als an einer männerdominierten Gesellschaft, die sich – mit einigen Ausnahmen – bis heute auch in der Musik widerspiegelt.

Als zentraler kreativer Antrieb wird neben Vorbildern, – Josh Homme nennt Chuck Berry und GG Allen – immer wieder die Langeweile der Vorstadt genannt. Besonders letzteres lässt daran zweifeln, ob eine solche Szene heute, in Zeiten der verführerischen, aber sedierenden medialen Dauerablenkung noch entstehen könnte. Die Überwindung der Langweile war eine der zentralen Triebfedern für die meiste subkulturelle Musik des 20. Jahrhunderts.

Nachdem sie in den Nullerjahren zur «politischen und metaphysischen Herausforderung» (Mark Fisher) wurde, wurde die Langeweile mithilfe der Hyperstimulation und neoliberaler Beschäftigungsethik quasi unmöglich. Auch und vor allem diese Erkenntnis macht den Film sehenswert. Er erinnert an eine Zeit, in der Musik nicht nur für Ausbruch, sondern auch Aufbruch stand.

Der Dokumentarfilm Inside The Mind Of The Favela Funk wird am 15. Januar 2017 in Bern auf dem 8. Norient Musikfilm Festival 2017 gezeigt.

Frau will Buçeta, Mann will Pau

Delivered... Daniel Haaksman | Events,Scene | Fri 6 Jan 2017 10:30 am

Baile Funk ist eine brasilianische Hip Hop-Variante mit hypersexualisierten Lyrics und energetischen Tänzen. Er stammt aus den ärmsten Vierteln einer der schönsten, aber auch gefährlichsten Städte der Welt: Rio De Janeiro. Der Dokumentarfilm Inside The Mind Of Favela Funk wird auf dem 8. Norient Musikfilm Festival 2017 in Bern gezeigt.

Still aus Inside The Mind Of Favela Funk (Elise Roodenburg & Fleur Beemster, Niederlande 2016)

Die brasilianische Tropen-Metropole Rio De Janeiro mag einer der schönsten Städte der Welt sein, doch in ihrer Mitte wuchern die Favelas – die Armensiedlungen. Dort existiert eine eigene Welt, in der die Gesetze des Staates nicht zählen, und der Alltag geprägt ist von Polizeiwillkür und dem brutalen, mittelalterlichen Rechtsverständnis der Drogen-Gangs. Dennoch ist in den Favelas Musik entstanden, zu der die gesamte Stadt und mittlerweile ganz Brasilien tanzt.

Der Baile Funk, auch «Funk Carioca» und «Favela Funk» genannt. Für Uneingeweihte klingt diese Musik – ganz im Gegenteil zum sanften Bossa Nova – unmittelbar und rauh, Songs bestehen oft nur aus einem perkussiven Rythmus-Loop und dem hypnotischen Sprech-Gesang eines MCs. Inzwischen sind verschiedene Subgenres entstanden, von den Massen wird besonders der sogenannte «Putaria»-Funk geliebt, in der Frauen zumeist als Sex-Objekte porträtiert werden.

Frau will Schwanz

In Inside The Mind Of Favela Funk taucht die niederländische Regisseurin Elise Roodenburg zusammen mit der Filmemacherin Fleur Beemster ein in die auf den ersten Blick misogyn erscheinende Musik-Kultur der Favela. Im «Putaria»-Funk hat sich die poetisch kaschierende Umschreibung sexueller Handlungen nie etabliert, klare Ansagen werden gemacht: «Frau will Schwanz» singt der gerade mal fünfzehnjährige MC Pikachu – und das Publikum auf der Baile Funk-Party singt begeistert mit.

Die Objektifizierung geschieht im Baile Funk jedoch wechselseitig: Gegen jede «Buçeta» («Muschi») muss immer auch ein «Pau» („Schwanz») antreten. Das zeigt im Film der Auftritt der weiblichen Funk-Gruppe Apetitosas, die für folgende Songzeile bekannt ist: „wir wollen nur Jungs mit einem großen Schwanz, der so tief in unsere Muschis eindringt, dass er aus unserem Arsch wieder herauskommt». Die Texte von anderen, weiblichen Star-MCs wie MC Carol, Valeska Popozuda oder Tati Quebra Barraco (leider nicht im Film porträtiert) stehen in ihrer lyrischen Deftigkeit den männlichen Äquivalenten in nichts nach.

Teenager-Doppelmoral

Neben den Funk-Akteuren kommen in der 2015 entstandenen Dokumentation auch diverse Favela-Teenager zur Sprache. Schnell zeigt sich dabei Doppelmoral: Männer in festen Bindungen lassen sich auf Baile Funk-Parties verführen durch laszive Tänzerinnen, gehen reihenweise fremd, und verleugnen vor laufender Kamera ihre Frauen. Ihren Freunden schicken sie via Whatsapp Nacktfotos der letzten Eroberungen, beklagen sich aber dann, daß die immer jünger werdenden Mädchen «Nutten» wären, weil sie sich mit mehren Männern einließen.

Im Gegenschnitt erzählen die weiblichen Protagonistinnen vom zielgerichteten Fremdgehen, um «den besseren Mann zu bekommen», und davon, sich von ihren Männern reich beschenken zu lassen, wenn sie am Tag zuvor von ihnen verdroschen wurden. Das Obszöne an Inside The Mind Of The Favela Funk sind weniger die sexuellen Inhalte der «Putaria»-Funk-Texte, sondern dass Selbstachtung und Moral in den Favelas völlig zu fehlen scheint.

Dass dieser Mangel aber vor allem das Produkt des allgegenwärtigen, erbamungslosen Rechts des Stärkeren ist, erzählt der Film nur bruchstückhaft. Dennoch ist Inside The Mind Of The Favela Funk sehr sehenswert – einen unmittelbareren Einblick in die Welt des Baile Funk gibt es aktuell nicht.

Der Dokumentarfilm Inside The Mind Of The Favela Funk wird am 14. Januar in Bern auf dem 2017 gezeigt.

How a meetup space for female music makers is making a difference

Delivered... Zuzana Friday Prikrylova | Artists,Events,Scene | Mon 26 Dec 2016 8:13 pm

Ed.: If we’re going to see more women or other underrepresented groups in music, one place to start is by creating new spaces. CDM contributor Zuzana Friday is involved in an effort in Berlin that does just that. The idea is an informal one: just have exclusively female-identified artists meet for a couple of hours, to give them an environment all their own, then open up to anyone interested thereafter – covering musicians but also quite a lot of visualists, too. Even the name is simple: “Meetup.” That approach has proven fertile enough that it’s fired up the music network citywide. But just how does something so simple and direct work in practice? Zuzana takes us into a meeting to give us a picture.

We’re sitting outside in front of a wooden house with a bar and two dancefloors inside, where our Meetup takes place this evening. The June sun is setting as today’s attendees slowly gather, some coming directly from work, some refreshing themselves with a lemonade or a beer. When me and the other three Meetup co-organizers, Aiko, Bianca, and Yulka, decide that there’s enough of us (usually about half an hour after the official start), we get started with our discussion part, which is female-identified and LGBTQ-only.

meetup_lenka

First, we introduce each other one by one. Of course, if someone would want to stay anonymous, that’s fine, too. We say our name, specify if we go by she, they, or another pronoun if necessary, and explain what brought us to the Meetup. You’d be surprised: the reasons vary a lot, along with attendees’ occupations, interests, and a level of professional experience. This time, we have a rapper and singer/songwriter who are doing degrees in electronic music production, a scientist who likes making instruments in her spare time, a DJ who works in a museum, a young girl who just started thinking about VJing, a woman who realized she’s David Bowie and needs to follow her destiny… the mix is always unique and wonderful.

After the introduction round, we all go inside to start the discussion. This time, our topic is upcoming music festivals and gender issues connected to them. Our guest Anna from the Berlin edition of Mira Festival introduces the event, then we dive into the fact that the lineup of musicians is all male, and try to figure out why is this so often the case and whether all-female festivals help the issue. Ed.: Side note on Mira specifically – female artists contributed to visuals, but weren’t listed as headliners. Also, a separately-curated set of panel discussions on which I was one of the moderators was mixed, but the performance program was criticize over this issue. It’s great to see Mira taking interest in improving. -PK)

Isa Wolff, from the July meetup.

Isa Wolff, from the July meetup.

meetup_lenka_2

Some attendees make interesting points, some share their personal experience or opinion, and the discussion eventually branches to other topics related to event-organisation, festival and party policies and other things that have been occupying people’s minds. When we feel like we’ve said it all, and we see that people would prefer chatting in smaller groups or just enjoying some music, the party / musical part starts, around 9pm. From this time on, everyone is welcome and encouraged to join and party as an audience, as long as they keep it friendly and respectful – we do have male audience enjoying the music performances.

This time, Sissip, a musician, singer, songwriter, and recently also a producer, starts her solo show. She joined us in May for the Ableton edition of the Meetup, where we talked about creative processes and some shared their music productions. Sissip herself didn’t bring any music then, but she sang on the spot and mentioned she’d just started working with Ableton. And tonight, only one month later, she’s singing and performing her live set here!

The next act is multi-genre talent Juliane Wolf, who performs a captivating acid live set. And then we have DJs Kat Tat Tat and MS Elbe, who spin their groovy and deep house records, making it almost impossible not to dance (well in my case, at least). At the end of the Meetup, I feel thankful for having the possibility of co-organizing this event, as I see new possible friendships or partnerships, people being inspired by what has been said today and some new fans of this evening’s artists.

Meetup is a team organizational effort. There’s Aiko Okamoto, alias Mo Chan — a VJ, DJ, and artist. Bianca Ludewig is a cultural studies scholar doing her Ph.D in transmedia festivals and teaching about electronic music and pop culture, as well as a hosting a radio show as Jukebox Utopia. Jessie is a graffiti writer and a DJ. I eventually joined in because of Bianca, after she persistently encouraged me to. And so did Yulka Plekhanova, a VJ (Optic Veil [doing some of my favorite analog optic visuals, I might add, gorgeous work! -Ed.]) and an event organizer for many years in the US and now in Berlin. Since May, the organizing team was pretty much the four of us (Bianca, Aiko, Yulka, me), with help of Anja Weber aka Mila Chiral, a dancer, choreographer, musician, and a member of Minutektiv, who is in charge of the Ableton editions of the Meetup. We also get support from friends like Akkamiau, DJ Isa Wolff, Sissip, Donna Maya (a musician and a certified Ableton teacher) and many more, who join regularly, perform, DJ, take photos, and show us support. In December, we welcomed Anja, Isa and Elie Gregory (Strip Down) to the organisation team of the Meetup, because the more minds, hands and hearts, the better. ?

A video posted by @opticveil on

The initial idea of the Meetup was for female-identified and LGBTQ people to meet, talk, have a beer, and maybe start a project together or at least see who else has similar music / art interests in Berlin. I joined Meetup in April, after attending the event in March. At that time, Meetup was taking place in a Bar dubbed “ohne namen,” (literally, “no name”). The atmosphere was pretty laid back, with ladies sitting around and talking, but the bar setting meant we had to keep the volume down, and couldn’t add live acts or VJs.

So we moved over to an unlicensed/illegal club. (That’s why we can’t share its name and address.) We’ve met a wonderful and supportive group of people there, who provide us space and all the equipment and generally just let us do our thing and party until 1 in the morning. Anyone who has ever been there is blown away by its charm, as only a true DIY place can provide. And so we settled in a little house of this club complex, among shiny meteorites and iridescent decorations, dusty furniture and a fluid, ever-changing environment. Finally, we had not only working decks, but also beamers and a proper sound system and a dance floor!

Red Pig Flower.

Red Pig Flower.

Optic Veil, framed by her analog visuals.

a participant looks on, framed by Optic Veil’s analog visuals.

We had our first Meetup in the new spot in April, for our first Ableton-themed edition. And with the new location, the impact of the Meetup started to grow. People started to contact us before hand; we started to ask our friends who produce, VJ, DJ, make movies, or do live painting, whether they’d like to participate. And so we started adding formal line-ups for each event. But in case someone wants to spontaneously come and DJ, we make sure that there’s space left for open decks! The discussions evolved, too – suddenly, it wasn’t just chats among ourselves anymore, but included guests, people who are interested in similar topics, individuals, collectives, festival organizers, social media managers, sound artists, DJs.

Among our wonderful guests were Konstmusiksystrar, a Swedish collective focusing on female-identified and LGBTQ artists in the realms of contemporary classical music and sound art, Michelle Manetti, a DJ and founder of the Lipstick Disco blog, organizers of festivals like Mira and [East Europe-centered] Easterndaze x Berlin, Ellie Gregory of EQ, an initiative for all genders underrepresented in electronic music, and even more interesting attendees working for magazines or music software companies joined us in the past months.

But don’t think that we are only limited to professionals – all kinds of people come and join. These are especially welcome because it always warms my heart when somebody comes to check out our event and then returns with a live set ready, or performs a song that they created after our Meetup, pumped with inspiration, or plays their first production experiments on the Ableton editions. As this has happened, it’s proven to us that organizing these events makes sense and really can inspire people or give them the push they need to move one step further.

Some time ago, I also started a blog, where I gradually post profiles of some of our attendees who are artistically active or are somehow involved, as well as profiles of our guests who presented their projects or work, and of course everyone who performed live or as a DJ or VJ. There you can find info about upcoming Meetups, as well as on our Facebook. We’re also thinking about expanding Meetup further, not only online, but also in the ether, or making some bigger events. But as we’re all busy, we’ll see how far can we stretch Meetup’s potential.

What I’d like to emphasize is that we open the door to all genders after 9pm to join us for a party, see some female or queer musicians, artists, DJs or VJs, and experience these unique intimate events with us. We still keep the safe-space for female-identified and LGBTQ from 7 to 9pm, in order to create the most supportive, open, and unintimidating atmosphere, and so far everybody who I asked felt comfortable. But even now, we think about letting male feminists and supporters of diversity in electronic music and digital arts to talk with us from the beginning, to be more inclusive and let more people from various backgrounds to participate and support each other.

meetup_september

Meetup is an ongoing process and we discuss all of this within our team. When I think about it, a big part of what we do is exchange a lot of emails! We share ideas regarding organization, topics, guests, and how to grow and to do things better. Now we’re even discussing changing the name. So anyone who would like to be informed about what we’re up to can follow our Facebook page or our blog. We did a screening of the documentary about last year’s Heroines of Sound festival, and had the organizers introduce their event.

If you want to join us in Berlin, you can perform, DJ, suggests topics or other ideas, or just drop by, please get in touch. And if you’d like to organize something similar in your part of the world, and want some ideas and support, I’m happy to encourage you and talk to you!

Meetup Berlin [Blog]

Meetup Berlin group on Facebook

Ed.: I hope this opens up discussion not only about Berlin, or even exclusively about female-identified artists, but about spreading music outside its usual contexts and crowds. So of course, we welcome similar stories and discussion of how event organization is going elsewhere in the world.

Photos courtesy Meetup Berlin / Akkamiau Kočičí..

The post How a meetup space for female music makers is making a difference appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

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