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


Speaking in signal, across the divide between video and sound: SIGINT

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Labels,Scene | Wed 16 May 2018 5:58 pm

Performing voltages. The notion is now familiar in synthesis – improvising with signals – but what about the dance between noise and image? Artist Oliver Dodd has been exploring the audiovisual modular.

Integrated sound-image systems have been a fascination of the avant-garde through the history of electronic art. But if there’s a return to the raw signal, maybe that’s born of a desire to regain a sense of fusion of media that can be lost in overcomplicated newer work.

Underground label Detroit Underground has had one foot in technology, one in audiovisual output. DU have their own line of Eurorack modules and a deep interest in electronics and invention, matching a line of audiovisual works. And the label is even putting out AV releases on VHS tape. (Well, visuals need some answer to the vinyl phonograph. You were expecting maybe laserdiscs?)

And SIGINT, Oliver Dodd’s project, is one of the more compelling releases in that series. It debuted over the winter, but now feels a perfect time to delve into what it’s about – and some of Oliver’s other, evocative work.

First, the full description, which draws on images of scanning transmissions from space, but takes place in a very localized, Earthbound rig:

The concept of SIGINT is based on the idea of scanning, searching, and recording satellite transmissions in the pursuit of capturing what appear to be anomalies as intelligent signals hidden within the transmission spectrum.

SIGINT represents these raw recordings, captured in their live, original form. These audio-video recordings were performed and rendered to VHS in real-time in an attempt to experience, explore, decipher, study, and decode this deeply evocative, secret, and embedded form of communication whose origins appear both alien and unknown, like paranormal imprints or reflections of inter-dimensional beings reflected within the transmission stream.

The amazing thing about this project are the synchronicities formed between the audio and the video in real time. By connecting with the aural and the visual in this way, one generates and discovers strange, new, and interesting communications and compositions between these two spaces. The Modular Audio/Video system allows a direct connection between the video and the audio, and vice versa. A single patch cable can span between the two worlds and create new possibilities for each. The modular system used for SIGINT was one 6U case of only Industrial Music Electronics (Harvestman) modules for audio and one 3U case of LZX Industries modules for video.

Videos:

Album:

CDM: I’m going through all these lovely experiments on your YouTube channel. How do these experiments come about?

Oliver: My Instagram and YouTube content is mostly just a snapshot of a larger picture of what I am currently working on, either that day, or of a larger project or work generally, which could be either a live performance, for example, or a release, or a video project.

That’s one hell of an AV modular system. Can you walk us through the modules in there? What’s your workflow like working in an audiovisual system like this, as opposed to systems (software or hardware) that tend to focus on one medium or another?

It’s a two-part system. There is one part that is audio (Industrial Music Electronics, or “Harvestman”), and there is one part that is video (LZX Industries). They communicate with each other via control voltages and audio rate signals, and they can independently influence each other in both ways or directions. For example, the audio can control the video, and the control voltages generated in the video system can also control sources in the audio system.

Many of the triggers and control voltages are shared between the two systems, which creates a cohesive audio/video experience. However, not every audio signal that sounds good — or produces a nice sound — looks good visually, and therefore, further tweaking and conditioning of the voltages are required to develop a more cohesive and harmonious relationship between them.

The two systems: a 3U (smaller) audio system on the left handles the Harvestman audio modules, and 6U (taller) on the right includes video processing modules from LZX Industries. Cases designed by Elite Modular.

I’m curious about your notion of finding patterns or paranormal in the content. Why is that significant to you? Carl Sagan gets at this idea of listening to noise in his original novel Contact (using the main character listening to a washing machine at one point, if I recall). What drew you to this sort of idea – and does it only say something about the listener, or the data, too?

Data transmission surrounds us at all times. There are always invisible frequencies that are outside our ability to perceive them, flowing through the air and which are as unobstructed as the air itself. We can only perceive a small fraction of these phenomena. There are limitations placed on our ability to perceive as humans, and there are more frequencies than we can experience. There are some frequencies we can experience, and there are some that we cannot. Perhaps the latter can move or pass throughout the range of perception, leaving a trail or trace or impressions on the frequencies that we can perceive as it passes through, and which we can then decode.

What about the fact that this is an audiovisual creation? What does it mean to fuse those media for a project?

The amazing thing about this project are the synchronicities formed between the audio and the video in real time. By connecting with the aural and the visual in this way, one generates and discovers strange, new, and interesting communications and compositions between these two spaces. The modular audio/video system allows direct connection between the video and the audio, and vice versa. A single patch cable can span between the two worlds and create new possibilities for each.

And now, some loops…

Oliver’s “experiments” series is transcendent and mesmerizing:

If this were a less cruel world, the YouTube algorithm would only feed you this. But in the meantime, you can subscribe to his channel. And ignore the view counts, actually. One person watching this one video is already sublime.

Plus, from Oliver’s gorgeous Instagram account, some ambient AV sketches to round things out.

More at: https://www.instagram.com/_oliverdodd/

https://detund.bandcamp.com/

https://detund.bandcamp.com/album/sigint

The post Speaking in signal, across the divide between video and sound: SIGINT appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Ninja Tune are doing their own multi-delay, and it looks wild

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Labels,Scene | Tue 10 Apr 2018 12:39 pm

Hey, if running a label to release music seems a daft idea these days, there’s always selling hardware. And Ninja Tune’s new hardware effect looks like it’s got some serious potential.

Gear guru and underground weirdo music impresario Ingmar Koch and his Liquid Sky Berlin / gearporn.berlin blog get the scoop here. But already from the hardware we can tell a few things:

  • The hardware sure looks like Erica Synths’ stuff. (Casing and knobs are a dead ringer for the Acidbox. So whether or not they did the engineering, they may have done the manufacturing and enclosure.
  • It seems to have a big tube. (See also Erica’s love for Polivoks-era, ex-USSR tubes and recreations.)
  • There are multiple delay modes: Stereo Delay, Tape Delay, Ping Pong Delay, and BBD Delay (Bucket Brigade – think classic chip delays)
  • Feedback, delay time, and tap tempo
  • A multimode analog filter (lowpass, bandpass, highpass) with overdrive knob
  • MIDI IN, which suggests you also get MIDI sync (good!)
  • CV in for analog control (and one control I’m unsure of, maybe pulse in – who has better eyesight than I do?)

So, it’s apparently some retro-style chip delay with analog filter and … tube for overdrive? That could get nicely nasty.

Plus if Erica was working on this, having tried their Acidbox line, expect all the right kind of mayhem.

I’ll be eager to get hands on this. The involvement of Ninja Tune suggests our friend Matt Black of Coldcut had some input with this, and he does love his tech.

More – photos of the prototype:

pure gearporn: ninja tune zendelay – hardware news leak [gearporn.berlin]

The post Ninja Tune are doing their own multi-delay, and it looks wild appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

SoundCloud adds scheduled releases, in creator and podcaster focus

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Labels,Scene | Mon 2 Apr 2018 6:44 pm

SoundCloud last summer rescued its future financially and promised a renewed focus on creators. The first small steps of that creator focus are starting to appear – including one small but useful addition.

Last week, SoundCloud rolled out scheduled releases. From the ‘edit’ page on a track, you can choose a date and time to publish content publicly. They also have suggested some possible use cases – no doubt heard from their wealth of users:

  • Podcasts
  • Mixes that release at the end of a live set
  • Scheduling across time zones on tour

You need an Unlimited Pro account to use the feature (but this is probably only of use to heavy users, anyway).

For most producers and labels, I suspect the major uses here will be timing publication of full streams with the release of an album, and scheduling those around exclusive streams for the press. (I’ll definitely be using that functionality myself.)

Functionality like this really matters. Much of the (understandable) frustration with SoundCloud came from users who were closely tied to specific features in apps and the Web platform, then had those features suddenly taken away. That might cut it for general consumer Web services, but serious users of creative products build elaborate workflows over time, and they’re going to remain loyal to providers who are mindful of their needs. In their push to growth, it’s clear SoundCloud didn’t entirely maintain that relationship. Now we’ll see if some attention to functionality can rebuild it.

In the meantime, users and content are still widely on SoundCloud, whatever hysterical headlines you’ve read. That is, for all the complaining, a lot of us rely on SoundCloud in absence of any real competition. That’s not just because SoundCloud has a big user base of potential listeners – it’s also because for many users, SoundCloud’s feature set is more convenient. (Narrowly focused on just adding players, that may not be true, but if you want a player with a network behind it, it’s another story.)

In other words, whatever the service, features make a difference. I’d also like to see this kind of functionality on Bandcamp. Label management and navigation there to me is simply failing to improve, with some major oversights that can make operating it a pain. (In fact, you can’t schedule releases on Bandcamp. You can add a release date, but you have to manually publish. Maybe there’s a rationale for that particular instance, but… that’s just one example.)

SoundCloud first?

The other ploy from SoundCloud in March to win back serious creator users is the “#scfirst” campaign.

Users who tag their music with #SCFIRST have a shot at being included on a “First on SoundCloud” playlist, and SoundCloud Twitter, Facebook, and newsletter promotion. SoundCloud also says they’ll “fast track” consideration for opening up Premier monetization which shares revenue from streams.

They also launched the service with a marketing campaign built to showcase a selection of artists using the program. Those users also highlighted music acts using SoundCloud and interaction with fans there as part of how they built up their reputation. (Most were selected from the USA, with a couple from western Europe, which tells you something about SoundCloud’s present market focus – or who’s likely paying for their subscriptions.)

On this one, it seems a bit too early to judge. Spotify and iTunes each do editorial promotion of some music, and exclusives are often part of the deal – but as with many other aspects of those services, individual producers have a very low probability of being picked up. (Bigger labels and distributors tend to fight hard to get those spots for themselves.) So here, there seems a chance – however narrow – for the independent musician and label to even out the odds. Then there are stores like Beatport that will also likely tie exclusives to particular promotion.

Juggling exclusives is itself a bit frustrating, though. Synchronizing availability is generally what artists and labels would tend to want to do to maximize exposure; getting tied down to exclusives is essentially gambling away that control and wide audience in the hopes the exclusive partner will make up the difference. And in the case of “#scfirst,” it’s really a shot in the dark, since by definition you don’t know in advance whether you’ll be picked up.

Then again, “shot in the dark” pretty much sums up the process of releasing music in general.

As with the new feature focus, it’s really up to SoundCloud to demonstrate that this stuff will pay off for users. What I will say about SoundCloud the service is, they have the potential to be an ally of the people making the music and releasing it independently. That’s just not true of a lot of what’s in the online music space.

The post SoundCloud adds scheduled releases, in creator and podcaster focus appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Sending music to LANDR now gets your music up on Beatport

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Labels,Scene | Fri 16 Feb 2018 5:41 pm

LANDR, the platform that first appeared to do automated online mastering, is now distribution, too. And they’ve added online giant Beatport as a partner.

That news came quietly earlier this week, but it demonstrates LANDR are serious about making a turnkey solution for distribution as well as mastering. The deal is, if you aren’t a label big enough to work with Bandcamp directly, and/or if you don’t have your own distributor, you can’t just send music to online stores.

LANDR offers to entirely streamline the process. If you trust their algorithmic approach to mastering, all you have to do is upload and hit release. Your music is mastered (with some minor, simplified ability to tweak the results), and off to Beatport – plus Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, Google Music, and some others.

The pricing is certainly aggressive. Distribution is bundled in with the mastering fees at no additional cost. And in an unprecedented move, LANDR give you 100% of royalties and charge you nothing. The whole system is based on explosive growth. To master WAV files, you have to pony up for the 25EUR/month fee (for unlimited tracks, if you’re a heavy user). But it appears even the lowly 4EUR/mo track does WAV distribution.

There is a catch, of course. First, I’m not entirely convinced by LANDR’s algorithmic mastering. Mastering with a human actually isn’t all that expensive, depending on who you use – and tests I did with LANDR’s system were compelling, but only on the level of what you might get with a preset in a good mastering plug-in. I know – I’m going to get in some trouble with the LANDR folks for this. But my thought is this: some of what mastering engineers do is based on taste, not just on something that could be derived from a large sample set. I rely on a mastering engineer to catch little mistakes and ask questions. Now, maybe people don’t want to pay extra for that, but – then I’d ask if they really want to do a proper digital release, or if they might as well just stick stuff up on SoundCloud and not overthink it.

There’s a second factor to be aware of here: just dumping music on distribution often isn’t effective. Having a human to pitch music makes a difference.

That said, even given my reluctance there, this distribution offer seems terrifically competitive. If you’ve finished an EP, and you just want to make sure people find it whether they type something into Spotify or follow your artist name on Bandcamp, this looks cost-effective and easy. There are other entry-level distribution services that don’t require contracts, but they tend to either charge big fees or else they lack stores like Beatport.

LANDR have posted on the topic:
https://blog.landr.com/everything-musicians-need-know-digital-music-distribution/

It’s worth doing some homework; we can cover more on distribution soon. (While I work on that, let us know how you’re distributing, as it’d be great to get some notes!)

For more:
https://www.landr.com/en/digital-distribution

The post Sending music to LANDR now gets your music up on Beatport appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Here’s the music in 2017 that gave us strength

Delivered... David Abravanel | Artists,Labels,Scene | Tue 2 Jan 2018 8:46 pm

Music can make us stronger, helps us face challenges. So forget talking about which music was “best.” Here’s some music that made us better.

For guidance, CDM turns to its resident music contributor David Abravanel, whose background spans music writing and technology alike. He walks us through some selections for challenging times – some of which you’ve no doubt seen elsewhere on lists of stand-out music from the year, but some of which you probably haven’t.

And if this is electronic music in many cases, that’s not just because we’re nerds (though indeed we are), but because new times and new expressions call for new sounds, and we’re lucky that machines give us a pathway to find them.

Framed this way, of course, this is immensely personal – but that’s by design. These lists should always be filled with blank pages at the end for you to fill in and reflect, holes where we missed music, because music discovery should never become a competition for a limited number of slots. It should always be boundless. So sound out on comments.

Here’s David:

2017: A … ??? Odyssey?

It’s hard to think of a good person for whom 2017 didn’t feature a bevy of turmoil and stress; as such, music was more important than ever. As an agitator. As a uniting force. As a challenge. As comfort. As sense in a confusing world. As further confusion to prove that, yes, things could always be worse. As celebration to remind us of the good that still happens among the bad. As love, hate, and everything in between.

For me, 2017 was also the year when music technology finally caused me to retreat a bit and pause. Since my early teens, I’ve obsessively followed new music, seemingly devouring more each year. This year was the first time that I took a step back and tried to refine my focus. As such, there are pillar albums from this year that I perhaps just flat-out missed, or ones which I could appreciate but didn’t force myself to come back to. There’s a lot on this list that is personal – perhaps it’s a sign of 2017, turning to the voices of friends, or perhaps it’s also that so many acquaintances live in similar worlds.

While I listened to fewer albums this year, I formed stronger attachments to more of what I heard. As such, pairing this list down to 25 was an unforeseeably difficult endeavor. I’d love to just list all 116 albums that I heard this year, but that wouldn’t do for a list, would it?

B12 – reissued.

As per usual, I haven’t ranked the lists, but if I had to pick number ones, it’d probably be Alexi Perälä’s Paradox for album, B12’s Electro-Soma I & II Anthology for reissue, Patten’s Requiem for EP, and KiNK’s “Yom Thorke” for track.

A/T/O/S.

The award for “I do not understand how they aren’t huge” goes, much as it probably did in 2014, to A/T/O/S. Outboxed one-upped the debut as a leaner affair with a looser and more frantic feel, climaxing with the overwhelming vocal effects on “Blackout”. People, Mala has great taste. He signed this duo for a very good reason and we all owe it to ourselves to pay more attention to them.

Speaking of which, bass – didn’t it take some new shapes this year? Emptyset tweaked the formula to embrace new instruments and produced some intensely sandy rattles, while Jana Rush continued her slingshot back from a 20-year hiatus for an album that proves that anyone getting “tired” of footwork just has lazy ears. This makes a good segue to Jlin, whose own album just missed the list, and who appears alongside an ensemble cast including Scratcha Dva, Zora Jones, Sinjin Hawke, and more on Visceral Minds 2, a sequel to Fractal Fantasy’s 2016 compilation which managed to Empire Strikes Back the whole formula. And hey, let’s see Sophie’s “Ponyboy” sounds on cheap bass stacks.

Ed.: Shout out to say these artists – and Jlin, and Emptyset – were all just as thrilling live, and easily make my live highlights of the year, naturally. Assume that’s true of many of the others I didn’t see. Kudos to Atonal Festival and CTM Festival Berlin, Lunchmeat Festival Prague for some real highlights. -PK

Jana Rush.

Zora Jones.

Some of 2017’s best also reduced (or outright eliminated) percussion to focus on atmospheres. It was an especially daring move for King Britt’s Fhloston Paradigm project, and one that seriously paid off. Elsewhere, Dopplereffekt further the Calabi Yau Space mythos with arpeggiated science fiction, and GAS showed that Wolfgang Voigt still had plenty of ambient classical … gas in the tank (sorry for the pun).

Aleksi Perälä.

Aleksi Perälä is a fascinating fellow with an intriguing premise and insane release diarrhea. Even the two Colundi Sequence compilations couldn’t stop the feeling that we were hearing the arpeggiated bells experiments of a person who couldn’t quite separate the wheat from the chaff. Then came Paradox, where just a little more adherence to techno structure resulted in magic. Further, let’s have some hands up for [record label] трип this year. Kudos to [label boss] Nina Kraviz and her collaborators for bringing forth such a consistently enjoyable stream of experimental dance music (hey PTU!).

I’ve read a bit about the demise of indie rock, and while I don’t much have an opinion there, I heard plenty of brilliant songs this year – whether from the aforementioned A/T/O/S, the ever-reliable Goldfrapp, or returning champs Slowdive.

Lastly, for certain Gen-Xers and Millennials, 2017 was definitely “The Year We Started To Feel Old Because Of Anniversaries And Stuff™.” The bright side was that we got a steady stream of excellent reissues – from Roni Size to Underworld to Leftfield, it was a dynamite time to be a 90s “electronica” classic.

Oh, and listen to that COH Cohgs album too. There’s some real minimalist beauty, plus a wrenching collaboration with Jhonn Balance.

(all lists in alphabetical order)

Selections

Fhloston Paradigm, by John Kaufman.

Top 25 albums

Actress – AZD (Ninja Tune)
Artefakt – Kinship (Delsin)
A/T/O/S – Outboxed (Deep Medi)
Biosphere – The Petrified Forest (Biophon)
Björk – Utopia (One Little Indian)
Call Super – Arpo (Houndstooth)
COH – Cohgs (Editions Mego)
Dopplereffekt – Cellular Automata (Leisure System)
Duran Duran Duran – Duran (Power Vacuum)
Ekoplekz – Bioprodukt (Planet Mu)
Emptyset – Borders (Thrill Jockey)
Fhloston Paradigm – After… (KingBrittArchives)
GAS – Narkopop (Kompakt)
Goldfrapp – Silver Eye (Mute)
Robert Hood – Paradygm Shift (Dekmantel)
Aleksi Perälä – Paradox (трип)
Jana Rush – Pariah (Objects Limited)
Shed – The Final Experiment (Monkeytown)
Slowdive – Slowdive (Dead Oceans)
Special Request – Belief System (Houndstooth)
Steffi – World of the Waking State (Ostgut Ton)
Tobias – Eyes in the Center (Ostgut Ton)
Alan Vega – IT (Fader)
Various – Visceral Minds 2 (Fractal Fantasy)
Zomby – Mercury’s Rainbow (DDS)

10 Great Reissues

B12 – Electro-Soma I & II Anthology (Warp)
Thomas Brinkmann – Retrospective (Third Ear)
Leftfield – Leftism 22 (Columbia/Hard Hands/Sony)
Theo Parrish – Parallel Dimensions (Sound Signature)
Prince & The Revolution – Purple Rain (Warner Bros.)
Radiohead – OK Computer OKNOTOK 1997-2017 (XL)
Ron Trent – Word, Sound & Power (Rush Hour)
The Smiths – The Queen is Dead (Warner Bros.)
Roni Size/Reprazent – New Forms (UMC/Mercury/Talkin’ Loud)
Underworld – Beaucoup Fish (Warner Bros.)

Top 10 EPs

Burial – Rodent (Hyperdub)
Inner8 – Myths (In Silent Series)
Kuyawow – Dark Days (Kuyawow)
Lorenzo Senni – “XAllegroX” / “The Shape of Trance to Come” (Warp)
Lrusse – Part of the Plan (Nite Owl Diner)
Nu Era – Geometricks (Omniverse)
Objekt – Objekt #4 (Objekt)
Patten – Requiem (Warp)
PTU – A Broken Clock is Right Twice a Day (трип)
WK7 – Rhythm 1 (Power House)

Top 10 tracks/songs

Björk – “Sue Me” (One Little Indian)
The Brian Jonestown Massacre – “Resist Much Obey Little” (‘a’)
The Bug vs. Earth – “Snakes vs. Rats” (Ninja Tune)
Goldie – “Horizons (ft. Swindle)” (Metalheadz/Cooking Vinyl)
Robert Hood – “Nephesh” (Dekmantel)
Jack Peoples – “Song 05 Vocal” (Clone Aqualung)
KiNK – “Yom Thorke” (Runningback)
Peter Kirn – “This Circle in All” (The Establishment)
Shackleton & Vengeance Tenfold – “Dive into the Grave”
Sophie – “Ponyboy” (Transgressive)

Ed.: Ha, I really did NOT put David up to including me or expect that, so … here it is so you know what the heck he’s talking about!

Listen Now on Spotify

The post Here’s the music in 2017 that gave us strength appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Let’s talk craft and vision in live audiovisual performance, media art

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Labels,Scene | Wed 18 Oct 2017 2:23 pm

We’re gathering with top digital media artists this week – and you can tune in. Here’s a preview of their work, on the eve of Lunchmeat Festival, Prague.

Transmedia work and live visual performance exist at sometimes awkward intersections, caught between economies of the art world and music industry, between academia and festivals. They mix techniques and histories that aren’t always entirely compatible – or at least that can be demanding in combination. But the fields of media art and live visuals also represent areas of tremendous potential for innovation – where artists can explore immersive media, saturate senses, and apply buzzword-friendly technologies from AI to VR in experimental, surprising ways.

Our goal: bring together some artists for some deep discussion. And we have a great venue in which to do it. Prague’s Lunchmeat Festival has exploded on the international scene. Even sandwiched against Unsound Festival in Krakow and ADE in Amsterdam, it’s started to earn attention and big lineups, thanks to the intrepid work of an underground Czech collective. (The rest of the year, the Lunchmeat crew can usually be found doing installations and live visual club work of their own.)

Heck, even the fact that I’m stumbling over how to word this says something about the hybrid forms we’re describing, from live cinema to machine learning-infused art.

Since most of you won’t be in Prague this week, we’ll livestream and archive those conversations for the whole world.

Follow the event on Facebook for the schedule and add CDM to your Facebook likes to get a notification when our video starts, and stay tuned to CDM for the latest updates.

To whet your appetite (hopefully), here’s a look at the cast of characters involved:

Katerina Blahutova [DVDJ NNS]

Let’s start for a change with the home Prague team. Katerina is a great example of a new generation of artists coming from outside conventional pathways as far as discipline. She graduated in architecture and urbanism, then shifted that interest (consciously or otherwise) to transforming whole club and performance environments. She’s been a VJ and curator with Lunchmeat, designed releases and videos for Genot Centre (as well as graphic design for bands), then went on to co-found LOLLAB collective and tour with MIDI LIDI.

Don’t miss her poppy, saturated, post-Internet surrealism – hyperreality with concoctions of slime and object, opaque luminosities and lushly-colored, fragmented textures. (I can rip off this bit of the program; I wrote it originally!)

Oh yeah, and she made this nice teaser loop for this week’s festivities:

teaser loop from upcoming vj set for @malumzkole at @lunchmeat_cz #dvdjnns #wip

A post shared by Katla / DVDJ NNS (@katlanns) on

Ignazio Mortellaro [Stroboscopic Artefacts, Roots in Heaven]

Turn that saturation knob all the way down again, and step into the world of Stroboscopic Artefacts. Ignazio is the visual imagination behind all of that label’s distinctive look, from album design (as beautifully exhibited) to videos. He’ll be talking to us about that ongoing collaboration.

In addition, Ignazio is doing live visuals for a fresh project. Allow me to quote myself:

Roots in Heaven, a label owner and accomplished solo artist hidden behind a mesh mask and feathers, joins visualist Ignazio Mortellaro to present a new live audiovisual work. This comes on the heals of this year’s Roots in Heaven debut record “Petites Madeleines” (a Proust reference), out on K7! offshoot Zehnin. The result is a journey into “concentrated sensory impression” in sound, light, and sensation.

Gregory Eden [Clark]

One of the goals Lunchmeat’s curators and I discussed was elevating the visibility of people working on visual materials. But unlike the ‘front man’/’front woman’ role of a lot of the music artists, the position some of these people fill goes beyond just sole artist to broader management and production. Maybe that’s even more reason to pay attention to who they are and how they work.

Greg Eden, who’s at Lunchmeat with Clark, is a great example. With a university physics degree, he went on to Warp, where he developed Clark and Boards of Canada. He’s now full-time managing Clark, and in addition to that … uh, full time job … manages Nathan Fake (with visuals by Flat-e) and Gajek and Finn McNicholas.

Visuals are often synonymous with just “something on a projector,” live cinema-style. But Clark’s show is full-on stage show. For the stage adaptation of Death Peak, the artist works with choreographer Melanie Lane, dancers Kiani Del Valle and Sophia Ndaba, and lights from London’s Flat-E. Think of it as rave theater. That makes Greg’s role doubly interesting, as someone has to pull all of this together:

Novi_sad [with Ryoichi Kurokawa, SIRENS]

The collaboration between Novi_sad and Ryoichi Kurokawa is one of the more important ones of the moment, its nervous, quivering economic data visualization a fitting expression of our anxious zeitgeist. Here’s a glimpse of that work:

Ryoichi Kurokawa and Novi_sad have worked together to produce an audiovisual show in five etudes that produces a dramaturgy of data, weaving the numbers of the economic downturn into poignant, emotional narrative. Data and sound quiver and dematerialize in eerie, mournful tableaus, re-imagining the sound works of Richard Chartier, CM von Hausswolff, Jacob Kirkegaard, Helge Sten, and Rebecca Foon. Novi_sad is self-taught composer Thanasis Kaproulias, himself coming not only from the nation that has borne the brunt of Europe’s crisis, but holding a degree in economics. As a perfect foil to his sonic landscapes, Japan’s Ryoichi Kurokawa has made a name in expressive, exposed digital minimalism.

Marcel Weber (MFO) [Ben Frost] / Theresa Baumgartner [Jlin]

Ben Frost is already interesting from a collaborative standpoint, having worked with media like dance (Chunky Move, Wayne McGregor). The collaboration with MFO brings him together with one of Europe’s leading visual practitioners; Marcel will join us to talk about that but hopefully about his work for the likes of Berlin Atonal Festival, as well.

MFO has also designed the visuals for the sensational Jlin, but Theresa Baumgartner is touring with it – as well as working on production for Boiler Room. So, we have Theresa joining us from something of the in-the-trenches production perspective, as well.

Gene Kogan

VJing and live cinema are rooted in conventional compositing and processing. Even when they’re digital, we’re talking techniques mostly developed decades ago.

For something further afield, Gene Kogan will take us on a journey into deep generative work, machine learning and the new aesthetics that become possible with it. As AI begins to infuse itself with digital media, artists are indeed grappling with its potential. Gene is offering talks and workshops both here at Lunchmeat and at Ableton Loop next month, so now is a great time to check in with him. A bit about him:

Gene Kogan is an artist and a programmer who is interested in generative systems, artificial intelligence, and software for creativity and self-expression. He is a collaborator within numerous open-source software projects, and leads workshops and demonstrations on topics at the intersection of code and art. Gene initiated and contributes to ml4a, a free book about machine learning for artists, activists, and citizen scientists. He regularly publishes video lectures, writings, and tutorials to facilitate a greater public understanding of the topic.

I’ll be reviewing the resources he has for artists soon, too, so do stay tuned.

Gabriela Prochazka

Also coming from Prague, Gabriela has been guiding the INPUT program for Lunchmeat this fall, as well as being one of my collaborators (our installation is part of the exhibition this week). Its contents are mysterious so far, but a live AV work with Gabriela and Dné is also on tap.

See you in Prague or on the Internet, everyone!

Follow the event on Facebook for the schedule and add CDM to your Facebook likes to get a notification when our video starts, and stay tuned to CDM for the latest updates.

http://lunchmeatfestival.cz/2017/

The post Let’s talk craft and vision in live audiovisual performance, media art appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Jimmy Edgar’s Ultramajic label gets its own sound pack

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Labels,Scene | Tue 15 Aug 2017 10:57 pm

The California-fresh mystic futurism of Jimmy Edgar now finds itself in sound pack form, by way of Web subscription service Splice.

I’m normally loathe to write about soundware, but this one gets a particularly synth-y good flair. It’s interesting to hear a label identity that might work as a sound pack, but Ultramajic has enough of a sonic signature to work. (Actually, the weirdness of the labels – something is techno and minimal and tech house – kind of speaks to that.) And there’s some nice gear. It strikes me as the rare sound pack that might help jolt me out of a rut.

Their description covers the gear; you had me at Serge.

Ultramajic Sounds Vol. 1 is the first pack from Jimmy Edgar’s innovating electronic label, Ultramajic. The label brings its artists’ together with samples from 90s digital hardware, including a TR808, vocoder and the renowned Serge Modular. All sounds were recorded through top end equipment such as Neve preamps, vintage Lexicon reverb, and API eq/compression.

More:
https://splice.com/sounds/splice/ultramajic-sounds-vol-1

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Listen to some gorgeous ambient music coming out on tapes

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Labels,Scene | Wed 31 May 2017 12:07 am

Okay, let’s try to put aside any hipster jokes for a moment. Maybe it’s a sign of the times that cassette tapes are becoming a scene for beautiful ambient and experimental music. It’s gotten to the point that you might find yourself paying to have a tape shipped to you, even if only to thank an artist for a download code.

Here are a couple of mixes that might just hook you on the medium all over again.

First , there’s Hainbach, whose YouTube channel full of live experiments and mixes is one of my favorite video subscriptions at the moment.

This mix unapologetically employs the aesthetics of lo-fi tape, and then mangles a bit more – with loops, with a delay, and with Koma Elektronik’s Field Kit instrument.

And that says something about what tape is – it’s not just a physical delivery mechanism, but a statement of aesthetics. The truth is, when tapes were new we had the opposite, glass-is-half-full approach. We were constantly worrying about degradation of sound and stressing over dirt and wear. It’s not just nostalgia that motivates the lo-fi approach; it’s hindsight. Now we can hear those sounds as independent from the medium, because we’ve heard the content (in digital) independently, too. And we also have easy access to techniques via the Internet that used to be the domain of a few specialists.

Anyway, you can also ignore the previous paragraph’s rambling and just listen to this great music:

A grungy, half-speed lofi mix I made in one take with two cassette recorders, the Koma Electronics Fieldkit and a delay. Among tape loops from me I mangle tapes by these fantastic artists:

Bus Gas – Live on Leave Us
r beny – Full Blossom of the Evening
Interlaken – Versaux
Benjamin Flesser – Funktionen
Me, Claudius – Reasons for Balloons
Billy Gomberg – Transitions
Item Caligo – Rest in Oblivion
Hainbach – Cello Pattern
Hainbach – The Evening Hopefuls

Cassettes are becoming a magnet for dark aesthetics and underground sounds, a new experiment in rarity and a rebellion against music’s recent disposable tendencies.

The Abyssal podcast takes this on with a deep dive into Night Gaunt Recordings out of Los Angeles. The medium’s aesthetic matches the sounds.

It’s not just obscure sounds here, either, with the likes of Helena Hauff and Silent Servant.

We proudly present you L.A.’s finest Do It Yourself cassette label called Night Gaunt Recordings. Night Gaunt Recordings is run by Ori and Chloe, both based in L.A.
Together they try to push a specific sound which is focused on experimental electronics. They had several releases with artists such as, Lower Tar, Worker/Parasite, J. de Sosa and many more. Their latest winter batch release with Adios Mundo Cruel (Pablo Dodero Carrillo’s moniker) with the title “Sombra de Cadenas, Cadena de Sombras” and Luiso Ponce with the title “Ultimo” has more EBM influences compared with some other releases. Those two releases contains strong, low and distorted synths. The first track on the tape by Adios Mundo Cruel called “Amensalismo” brings a trippy vibe with it which will make u move, a strong ebm loop strictly for the dancefloors!

Please enjoy this perfect compilation with tracks from their own releases including the Amensalismo track from their latest winter batch. and of course their most favourite records.

Visit their Bandcamp and make sure you cop one of their tapes.
nightgauntrecordings.bandcamp.com/

Tracklist:
Scott Walker- See You Don’t Bump His Head (4AD)
Adios Mundo Cruel- Amensalismo (Night Gaunt Recordings)
Silent Servant- Speed and Violence (Cititrax)
Vapauteen- Weld (L.I.E.S.)
The Chicago Shags- Streetgang
Sean Pierce- Battery (Clan Destine Records)
Worker/Parasite- Vermin (Night Gaunt Recordings)
Helena Hauff- Rupture (Solar One Music)
Oil Thief – Acquiesce (Chondritic Sound)
ADMX-71 – Disentangle Me (L.I.E.S.)
J. De Sosa- Lined, Separated and Marked (Night Gaunt Recordings)
A Thunder Orchestra – Shall I Do It? [Mick Wills Reconstruction #2] (Bio Rhythm)
Speaking Parts – Uninvinted Guest (No-Tech)
TV.OUT – Untitled (Parallax)
Vainio / Väisänen / Vega – Incredible Criminals (Blast First)
Pod Blotz – Flesh and Knives (Nostilevo)

LA’s darkness often has to be imagined; Berlin has the weather for it much of the year. AMOK Tapes, the cassette imprint from aforementioned Koma Elektronik, fits in perfectly with that manufacturer’s new Field Kit hardware – and has some terrific releases, to boot. Their newest compilation is a who’s who of the Berlin-centered electronic underground at the moment, a reasonable field guide to that scene.

Out today physically and digitally: over one hour’s worth of mutant industrial and techno by friends, allies and strangers to AMOK Tapes. C71 cassettes are professionally duplicated and vacuum-sealed with download code included.
Preview: https://goo.gl/VEw6zm
Purchase: https://goo.gl/FDqTw3
Tracklist:
A1. Cryptic Mantra – Less Is For Losers
A2. Alexey Volkov – Sadist GmbH
A3. Drvg Cvltvre – Devils With Dead Eyes And Shark Smiles
A4. Vittorio Di Mango – Dream
A5. 3.14 – Stomach
A6. tot – Smile And Distrust
B1. Human Performance Lab – Realms
B2. BLUSH_RESPONSE vs. Bakunin Commando – Neon Blood Goddess
B3. Unhuman – Nezilla
B4. Ontal – Expanding Symmetry
B5. Verset Zero – Baal

There are many ways in which it matters that these are on tapes. There’s also some part of me that says it doesn’t matter. If we have to put tape on a Zip drive, then gaffer tape that Zip drive and a USB adapter to a brick, then write a set of riddles for finding the brick – for great music, at this point, it may be worth it.

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This music video generates landscapes from a wild alien duo’s music

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Labels,Scene | Tue 2 May 2017 6:32 pm

If you haven’t seen it already, Meier & Erdmann absolutely nailed it with their video for the tune “Howler Monkey.” First, it doesn’t hurt that this is a crisp, funky, uncluttered earworm gem. Second, the video is dazzling.

Here’s the thing: there’s absolutely no reason why sound visualization needs to be so boring and familiar.

There’s a lot to learn here.

Even just change the colors goes a long way. Here, the familiar spectral view over time is carefully tuned to form fantastical landscapes, the camera panning around lazily. I keep re-watching the video partly because so much was carefully tuned (either intentionally or through happy accidents – I suspect some combination). Mapping surreal buildings or alien flower growths to particular frequencies highlights particular musical features. Persisting the landscape for a while after sounds occur more neatly mimics how we seem to hear music – the memory of what has just happened layering on top of our perception of what’s happening now.

And it’s all brought together into a compelling, coherent scene – a 290-second day-to-dusk-to-night cycle giving the track’s visualization a sense of real progression. Processing is a favorite tool.

The video side is the work of Víctor Doval, a prolific artist with a particular knack for generative work based in Valencia, Spain. See his generative work here – often made into Tumblr-friendly GIFs:

http://blog.lightprocesses.com/show

And his full project work here:

http://www.produccionesluminosas.com/

That includes some Processing.js stuff you can play in browser.

He writes about the process:

The whole sequence has been created in a procedural way where the definition of every part has been based on mathematical integrations.
To manage all this data flow I worked with Processing and Blender. The Blender add-on Sverchok has been the cornerstone in the creation and transformation of the geometry.
The initial idea came from the understanding of music as a temporal journey, a changing landscape that is perceived via the ears. The track Howler Monkey written and performed by Meier & Erdmann invites the listener to travel through the subjective/individual and the abstract.

Motion nerds: Sverchok is an amazing parametric tool, built in Python. Basically, it gives you the ability to bring in data easily, visualize that data, and otherwise modify geometry in some incredibly powerful ways. (It gets deeper than that from there.)

So, great music, dazzling video, getting lots of deserved attention, and the whole LP is brilli–

WAIT A MINUTE. Why did no one buy this LP? Please go buy this LP. (I don’t need vinyl, but I’m happy to cherish a download. Going to put my money where my mouth is.) The single sounds as such, but elsewhere there are eerie soundscapes that seem to have emerged from the vegetation in a Salvador Dalí landscape, perhaps as retold by a Japanese video game that fell through a wormhole from the future. Atop those are layered manic, weirdo synth lines.

The fact that the genius video and utterly original sound design and composition didn’t net album sales depresses me, but if you feel the same, you can help turn that around.

More music:

And here’s some extra news – the label will show you how to make delicious eggplant dishes, Pakistani-style.

https://monikereggplant.wordpress.com/recipes/

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In Czech, instruments and music releases are all about extended family

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Labels,Scene | Sat 1 Apr 2017 1:05 am

It’s a wonderful thing to find kindred spirits. It doesn’t matter if they look like you, if you share a gender or an age, or if they come from down the street or around the globe.

And that’s the experience a lot of people have had when coming in contact with Bastl Instruments and the underground music and instrument enclave of Brno, Czech. Bastl are known for their cute compact desktop synth hardware and quirky modular line. And small builders are themselves tight-knit, but there’s more to it than just what Bastl Instruments as a maker provides. There’s a sense that this is a platform, a collective – a family. And that family can broaden and encompass all kinds of other makers and artists.

The prolific YouTuber Cuckoo took a trip in February to Brno in the Czech Republic to go behind-the-scenes with Bastl. It’s an expansive video, sprawling in the same way that Bastl itself does. There’s founder Václav Peloušek, artist HRTL, builder Pete Edwards, and many more:

I think it’s worth considering how much younger – and how much, you know, more Czech – this gang are, relative to what had bee norms in the synth creation business. Bastl are then a link, between a new generation and the old, between Czech Republic and the rest of the world, and in doing their own research into Czechoslovakia’s own music technology legacy, one that had previously been hidden behind the Iron Curtain and Cold War bias.

synthPop makes a sneak appearance: Pay particular attention to the appearance by Pete, because sneaked in at around the 34-minute mark is a revelation of his new synth prototype, dubbed synthPop. That’s the first real glimpse we’ve gotten of that new creation; I’m suspecting we’ll get the full picture when the crew visit Berlin’s Superbooth synth gathering later this month.

The Thyme effects processor also makes a cameo in advance of its public Superbooth appearance.

Cuckoo also played a live set, at the cozy, hip venue in town, Kabinet Muz. Less you think this is all about showing off a lot of gear, just one Elektron Octatrack makes up the whole rig – but the jam is great:

Looking beyond the picture of the boxes they make, Bastl are branching out into starting a record label, dubbed Nona. (For an example of builders doing music releases on the side, see also: Koma Elektronik’s AMOK Tapes.)

Vaclev has told CDM a bit about the releases to check out on their label, Nona Rec.

From the mission statement:

Nona records is a label founded by the people from Bastl with a main focus on releasing music of people from Bastl and beyond. It is about establishing communication between the crew and musicians worldwide with the goal of making awesome music! The main interest is to bring all sorts of open minded electronic music/experiments to open minded people.

Vaclev elaborates on what they’re doing and why – the project is a little like an electronic music startup rendition of Google’s 20% time. It’s about achieving some creative life / work balance. Vaclev tells CDM:

What we actually do is that we pay people from Bastl for making releases on Nona – so they can take time off and they can make music. It is a way of providing security for the people to focus more on the music they want to make. The people already built their instruments, they started to perform on the Bastl Jam [live event] series, and now, the last missing piece is making releases. It’s a funny attempt to build the music scene from ground up. 🙂

Once we have the releases we want to promote the people to play abroad.

That is the plan, sort of. It really comes from the Bastl Jam series when we really saw that performing monthly gives the people so much push that the music got super interesting lately.

There are two new releases, too. Family Matter is a compilation of Bastl’s own crew and friends.

The boys and girls featured include three people from Bastl (Outin, Tom DJambo, and Paseka ) and more friends and musicians from around the world, including Myako, “a great DJ and producer from Paris,” and hiT͟Hərˈto͞o, Czech-born and Berlin-based producer (and as it happens, friend and collaborator of mine).

Also new is a collaborative album by two Sardinian musicians, Stefano Marconi and Emanual Balia, “who explore the abstract side of techno,” Vaclev explains. “They’re active in the field of experimental music and they recorded their first album 607f/s during their artistic residency at Bastl for the Nona label.”

There’s also Czech up-and-comer Kadaver:

Check out, as well, the EP of Hanz Tisch, who Vaclev describes as a “local bedroom producer who is exploring the childish universe through the style inspired by Aphex Twin.”

Superbooth is the banner event from legendary Berlin synth shop Schneidersladen, but the Bastl kids have their own event series going, too. Noise Kitchen Synth Fest will return to their hometown Brno, Czech, but will Europe tour, as well, reaching Berlin, Prague, and Vienna.

https://www.facebook.com/events/608650832660994/

For more:

http://www.bastl-instruments.com/

http://www.nona-rec.com/

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When a record label gets into making cool, weird instruments

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Labels,Scene | Fri 24 Mar 2017 7:57 pm

Streaming revenue may be hit or miss, but record labels can always make their own boutique sound hardware.

Ghostly International have long pioneered new ideas in the category of “selling stuff that isn’t vinyl.” There was the Matthew Dear Totem, for instance – though that served zero practical function and didn’t make sound. Their store feels as much a trendy boutique for design fetishists as a record outlet.

But I think it’s their musical instrument collaborations that are most interesting. Yeah, okay, you could say this is getting a bit hipster-y. But remember that it’s really musical instruments that have since the dawn of civilization been the norm. Recorded music is the aberration.

kalimba_main_copy_1024x1024

The latest such offering is Ghostly Zoots – a custom-designed kalimba and looper rolled all in one. (I find this personally amusing, as just a couple weeks ago I did an impromptu live performance of a kalimba with the iPad app Samplr, before I saw this. Building the two into a single piece of hardware is a great idea!)

This being a Ghostly product, it features a dark ebony finish and Ghostly logo.

The design is the product of Brandnewnoise and designer/builder Richard Upchurch, who make their stuff in Brooklyn.

He’s made two other interesting creations for Ghostly. There’s a xylophone/looper:

xylophone_main_1024x1024

Phone-Home: Ghostly Edition

Also in the looped category, Looped Visions combines a simple looper with design work by Brandon Locher.

Check out the builder:

http://brandnewnoise.com/

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DU-VHS = what TV would be if it were glitchy, nerdy, and underground

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Labels,Scene | Thu 23 Feb 2017 7:51 pm

Our friends at the hypergeeky, futuristic Detroit Underground have built an app. And it’s full of videos, layered in a VHS-style retro video interface.

DU-VHS is available now for iOS (iPad and iPhone both), and as a Web app accessible through any browser, all for free.

Step inside, and you’re treated to an explosion of electronic sound and image – burbling, bleeping hyperactive musical textures, and degraded retro-videocorder lo-fi renditions of videos. There are music videos, loads of live performances, and even interviews and synthesizer odds and ends.

If you’re wondering why all of this is festooned with enormous VHS camcorder text from the 80s and glitched out to look like it was overdubbed from your 1980s video collection, that’s because DU are planning a VHS release series. Yes, because compact cassettes have gotten way too mainstream (sellouts!), DU will do some album releases on VHS tape from your favorite artists.

The interface is a little confusing, true to form, so let me explain. The iOS version I find a bit frustrating, actually, in that tapping anywhere advances to the next video. But other than that, you’ve actually got two fairly straightforward modes.

duiphone

If you want to queue up something specific – like from your favorite artist – click/tap the hamburger menu at the top right-hand corner. Then scroll down past the acknowledgements/credits, and you’ll see the videos. You can then swap between thumbnail and list views. This mode is best if you’re lying in bed and want to treat yourself to some DU video action on your iPad/iPhone – you know, for bedtime / as an aphrodisiac / whatever.

Or, you can just leave the whole thing running and it’ll randomly load stuff up, which makes for a nice Detroit Underground radio station playing away in a spare browser tab.

But there’s loads of stuff in there – Adam Jay, Alexandra Atnif, Annie Hall, Kero, Kyle Hall, Housemeister, Jay Haze, Jimmy Edgar, Modeselektor, Noncompliant (aka DJ Shiva), Oscar Mulero, Phoenecia, Richard Devine, and tehn (of monome fame) are just a few reminders of just how many wonderful artists have been on this label over the years, from beautiful gems from obscure artists to obscure gems from famous artists. Add to that the more recent DU series of fine Eurorack gear, and you have basically a nerd singularity.

Naturally, this app will continue to fill with news and videos as DU keeps on goin’.

So even a few minutes on the Web app should convince you to check out the label if you haven’t already listened to me prattle on about them.

The Web app:

http://detroitunderground.net/du-vhs/

The label’s Bandcamp:

https://detund.bandcamp.com/

The iOS app on the App Store:

DU-VHS

16930927_10158350420690046_1526874463_o

duvhs_richarddevine

duvhs

dubhs_noncompliant

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raster-noton’s elusive Grischa Lichtenberger on creative sound

Delivered... Zuzana Friday Prikrylova | Artists,Labels,Scene | Fri 30 Dec 2016 7:15 am

Grischa Lichtenberger is working with felt and stencils as well as sound. He’s speaking in hyperlinks, and misusing gear and feeding computers into other computers to form feedback loops. In short, he’s finding a unique and creative materialism in everything he does – and that means we really have to talk to him. So we sent Zuzana Friday to join in a delightfully esoteric conversation with the raster-noton artist. -Ed.

Grischa Lichtenberger is a German musician and sound and installation artist, known for his releases on raster-noton. His immersive live performances oscillate between abrasive, aggressive compositions and intricate structures of beat and melody. Recently, he has released a new triple-EP ‘Spielraum | Allgegenwart | Strahlung’ on raster-noton as a limited-edition vinyl with hand-printed sleeves. The three EPs question the connection between intimacy and the public sphere, but each of them has layers of their own meaning.

I find myself uniquely moved by Grischa Lichtenberger’s work. It’s not only the choice of sounds, their combinations and permutations, but the sense of emotion behind them that strikes me. There’s also playfulness, even cheekiness at moments. Other times, I find beauty, or anxiety, or drama, or a language we’re only learning to understand.

The music is often very physical, with the beats collapsing like detonated structures. Silence and space will swell up, stagger — carve their way to your ears. Melody in turn hastily gushes in percussive patterns, breaks down in waves, or becomes narrative. Grischa does all of this on his new triple-EP consisting of three chapters. We tried to tackle all of them in over a hour long interview.

Grischa speaks in complex, branching sentences, navigating topics and poetic descriptions in a way that mirrors his own process for bringing together his thoughts on a work, whether for a music or an installation. We talked to him about his own work and process, including the triple-EP, but also ranged to topics like Joseph Beuys.

Friday: In ‘Allgegenwart’, you write about the ubiquity of technology and feelings of guilt and a threatening sense of over-complexity. Where do you see humans and technology going?

Grischa: We like to see technology as this tool that fulfills our desires. But of course there’s more and more consciousness about us being overly immersed in the virtual world. Then we have a problem not only with communicating in real life, but also on all these social platforms. Our relationship with them has changed from the early 2000s to now. At the beginning, you had this romantic idea of being able to reach out to people you would never reach. Nowadays, the approach is more cynical and more and more people feel overwhelmed. It’s a trouble that wasn’t there before.

Plus, regarding social platforms, people are concerned about their personal data being misused.

I’d say that the totalitarian discussion of the 20s Century has shifted to the … anonymous or virtual. It’s like an invisible totality.

The first part of your trilogy is called ‘Spielraum’. In the accompanying text, you describe the Spielraum with words like hope and experiment. Do you have your Spielraum, is it your studio?

Sure, the studio is like a playground, where you have things gathered like toys. And more than that, every home is still connected to when I was little and I’d build little shelters from cushions. It’s also about intimacy and what your … private intimate space is like.

If I consider Spielraum as a space where one can be free to play around, at the same time, how do you deal with distractions? Do you turn off your phone when entering the studio?

Through desirable factors. Most of the times, I have my phone on vibration and I don’t push mail and Facebook. But there isn’t a specific preparation in the studio to shut the world out. When I started making music, I used to have internet on one PC and the music and all artworks on another PC. But then the internet became a bigger part of my daily process and it actually can even be a part of the flow. If you have a loop running and you want to let it run for a while and quickly check what’s next with Trump or whatever and go back to the music, there’s no clear boundary that needs to be there for having that flow.

The Spielraum … can address some stuff that is invisible or unspeakable. In doing art, you have a secret space to do whatever you feel like doing, a track without a snare or any silly idea. Even now, when talking about it, it seems almost impossible to defend that idea. But if you just sit there and do the track, you have the feeling that you can try things out and you don’t have to write it down and prove [it].

The sounds of the triptych are very diverse. Which devices and instruments have you used for this record? And is there a difference in terms of used instruments and processes between the three parts of the album?

Yes, there is. For ‘Spielraum’, I used a lot of “incestuous” recording methods, so to speak. I recorded from one computer to another. I recorded with a lot of feedback systems, where one program feeds into the other and also outputs to the other.

For ‘Strahlung’, I used synthesizers more excessively that I used to. I didn’t grow up with them and I don’t really know much about them. I still don’t have any hardware synthesizers, mainly because I don’t have much clue about them and I don’t have a good ear to appreciate the analog quality, even though there is a special materiality to it. But I think all synthesizers have a specific sound, and software synthesizers are still very appealing to me. Also, I once wanted to make a record that could play in the background, which always failed for me [laughs]. So with ‘Strahlung’, I wanted to make one record which I could imagine playing in the living room. And it also corresponds with the idea of the invisible force.

r-n168-2 Artwork. Courtesy the label.

r-n168-2 Artwork. Courtesy the label.

From all three EPs, ‘Strahlung’ is definitely the most friendly; it has these nice melodies, for instance. Actually, the strongest impact on me was the closing track (r-n173 – 8 – 004_1115_26_lv_1_brecs) from ‘Strahlung’, probably because of the contradictory nature of its emotional and melancholic melody and abrasive, mechanical sounds piercing through. Do you remember how you made this track? What was your intention there?

I don’t remember exactly. But this track was actually meant to reconnect the listening circle of the record, its end and the beginning. So I imagined that a listener would listen to it and then start playing the first track of Spielraum again.

Apart from the digital synthesizers, what else have you used for the album — which software, for example?

I used Reason, including its Subtractor synthesizer, which is a really nice one, plus Ableton for most parts of the sequencing. I used [Celemony] Melodyne, for its nice algorithm, where you can manually slide through a polyphonic source without boundaries and divide the material in voices. Although it’s quite complex and I can’t get my head around it, it’s really fascinating.

For ‘Allgegenwart’, I used a noise suppressor. If you raise the level of a noise suppressor… you can just feed it with the background noise and it will generate a very eerie, ghostly sound, because it tries to find a tonal signal in it. It’s like a synthesizer which isn’t meant to be a synthesizer.

What are other ways for you to generate sound, do you use field recordings or sound banks?

I have an always-extending archive of sounds I use. I don’t use sound banks so much, only sometimes when I want to make a joke about a clap or something, and for instance I just use an 808 clap to have it as a symbolic reference. But normally, I like to live with sounds. I have an old track and many sounds in there, so I just put the track in the sampler, pull a bit out of there and … rework it over and over again. It’s kind of like a collage out of my own productions. I also use field recordings and synthesized sounds. I like this process where you go back to yourself and involve yourself in what you did, not only try to have the best kick drum of all times, but try to find out what the kick drum from 5 years ago means to you. Sometimes, you see ‘Oh, this is much nicer than anything I could have made up!’ and sometimes, you go, ‘what was I thinking? It’s trash!’

Photo: Sebastian Moitrot.

Photo: Sebastian Moitrot.

How do you decide which sounds will be composed together, since they range in timbre, texture, and character? How do you choose which sounds fit together in your musical universe?

It’s not accidental; I think about it very much, but I can’t tell any general method. When I have something I want to go on with, like a melody from a synth, then I listen to it and I think about what’s missing until it’s finished. Maybe it’s a bass drum – then I add it so it complements the rest, then I move on to another sound, add it and try if it all fits together.

It’s like painting for me. When you paint something new, you do it regarding what’s already in the painting. For me, the music making process is linear. Most of the time, when I do a track, I go forward, I add EQs, dynamics, plug-ins in massive chains, and I add sounds, and only in moments when I think about it and stop for a while, I can go back, re-evaluate, and correct. But in the creative flow, I tend to add and add, so the context is building itself organically and everything is connected to each other.

Your website resembles a body of work of an inventor with its precise sketches, complex descriptions, photographs and installations. Where do your ideas for installations come from?

Often, there is a room or a context that’s already there. Because mostly, I am approached to contribute to an exhibition or an event. Like this year, I did an installation for a conference about genomes. So at first I try to conceptualize, which means looking into my archive and finding a drawing, painting, or a ready-made object, which fits to the general idea or a context. Then I deal with the room, like I would deal with paintings or levels in a track. Then there are strategies about materials I use – I look into the constructions I have done in the past and look for what could I use for recycling the sculptural elements. Then, if it’s a construction, I make a drawing of how it’s going to be built together. It also depends on my time and resources. The result can be an intense reaction to the room or something spontaneous.

grischa_installation

In all my installations, there’s also a very strong reaction to works by Joseph Beuys, because my parents were his students, so I knew his work since I was a kid – I saw his piece ‘I like America and America Likes Me’ – where he imprisoned himself with a coyote in a gallery – when I was five years old. And because Beuys reached me so early in my life, I see him differently than most of the critics. It’s like music, I really liked it and felt the emotional content in there. So since I was 5, I thought ‘Doing art is really nice, you can have this sort of communication’. And when you’re so young, you still have this very present thin line of how language is built and you try to get through to people very clearly. You aren’t sure whether you understand people or whether they understand you. And you can perceive art and music like some sort of solution of this communication problem.

genographies_1

http://www.grischa-lichtenberger.com/installations/2015%20Genographies/

But the way I work with installations is not only homage to Beuys — it’s also a joke. Especially regarding the materials I use. For example, I use a sort of felt, which for Beuys was a mythical and poverty-stricken material. But he used a really high-quality felt. I use a material that looks the same, but it’s actually moving blankets, so they’re more industrial and cheap. I connected with this material because it was permanently laying around in my father workshop, so it’s more natural for me than felt. that felt. And besides this joke, what I also like about the material, is that it looks grey, but when you look closely, it’s actually super colorful, because it’s made of recycled plastic bags. I cling on to it, I know how it behaves, and I often use it for covering up wood constructions or making bigger spatial interventions. These things work like favorite pens or plug-ins.

genographies_2

You printed, stamped and signed all the 500 copies of a special edition of this triple-EP by yourself. Is this personal approach of creating a unique piece of art something you cherish?

When [raster-noton’s] Olaf [Bender] suggested to do this triple-EP and a limited edition, I was super happy, because I like vinyl and because I like having physical objects and not only a digital, ghostly trace. And I liked working on silkscreen very much, as well. I made the designs for the prints by hand and had a very nice day helping printing them. And as we layered the stencils a bit differently for each of the copies; each one is unique. It would be actually interesting to buy two of the vinyls to recognize the differences [laughs].

How would you like to push your work further in the future?

My future plan since I started with raster-noton is to find a way to [better] connect all the different aspects of art. I see that this is still a big difficulty for me, because I have all these ideas and accompanying texts. But many people despise these texts for being too long and overly complex. Of course, I have to learn how to write better, how to make music better or how to paint better, but I would also love to learn how to write better in relation to music and how to make music in relation to painting and have this all connected with one another.

It’s also important that the disciplines aren’t connected too much, because I often find refuge in one discipline when I’m sick of the other for the moment. But just for the communication, I would want different parts of my work to seem to be all more clearly coming from one particular person.

http://grischa-lichtenberger.com

Releases, artist info via raster-noton

The post raster-noton’s elusive Grischa Lichtenberger on creative sound appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Celebrate Sludgemas with some free Detroit Underground groove

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Labels,Scene | Wed 28 Dec 2016 6:52 pm

There are things that make your butt wiggle. There are things that make your brain tickle. There are things that get glitched and grungy. Well, here’s something that does all those things at once – it’s a glitchy good time, and it’s free. Merry Sludgemas.

And for anyone bored with overly-shiny, overly-restrained, dark fashion-label sound-alike techno – meet “sludge,” which is totally none of that.

Our parade of year-end music queuing continues with some goodness from one of our favorite labels of the year, Detroit Underground. They’ve been experimental and glitchy and groovy and IDM and weirdo and excellent. They’ve done hardware. They’ve put out some of the best releases of the year (more on that general attitude soon).

And this brings a lot of those threads together.

You see, it starts with DetUnd’s excellent “Circuit-Bent Digital Waveguide™” DU-KRPLS module. (You know you’re nerdy when you see the character “KRPLS” and say “oh, yeah, of course, Karplus-Strong Waveguide hey where did everybody go?” If you didn’t think that, don’t worry, have your daily dose of CDM and you’ll soon be as incompatible with normal society as the rest of us.)

Then, you add Marshall Applewhite and The Friend.

What?

Didn’t follow any of that?

Download this, and you’ll be dancing to glitches anyway.

Their explanation:

While not much about the DU-KRPLS is very conventional, the pairing of Marshall Applewhite and The Friend have found a few ways to take it to another level of non-conventional soundscaping. The two songs included show a nice variation of using the module in a melodic sense and a more glitched out percussive sense. Building upon their brand of techno, known as sludge, the pair have kept it slow and heavy, yet funky and danceable.

Free. As in Beer. As in sludge, too.

https://detund.bandcamp.com/album/krpls-stuff

Stylish graphics by the singular eBoy – accept no substitutes.

Though, fair warning, if you’re into this stuff your credit card might go crazy here:

https://detund.bandcamp.com/

Enjoy.

If edm is drug music, Marshall Applewhite is the anti drug. He said that, not us, but - cool. :) I'll take a BIG dose of his stuff.

If edm is drug music, Marshall Applewhite is the anti drug. He said that, not us, but – cool. ? I’ll take a BIG dose of his stuff.

Glitchy video action:

DU™ MERRY SLUDGEMAS – FREE DOWNLOAD ???@marshall.applewhite X @__thefriend__ – KRPLS STUFF EP cat#dboy18 ?? While not much about the DU-KRPLS is very conventional, the pairing of Marshall Applewhite and The Friend have found a few ways to take it to another level of non-conventional soundscaping. The two songs included show a nice variation of using the module in a melodic sense and a more glitched out percussive sense. Building upon their brand of techno, known as sludge, the pair have kept it slow and heavy, yet funky and danceable. https://detund.bandcamp.com/album/krpls-stuff DESIGN BY @eboyarts – DU-KRPLS MODULE AVAILABLE HERE: detroitunderground.net/archives/modular/du-krpls ??? #detund #sludge #krpls #detroit #detroitunderground #313 #eboy #eurorack #glitche

A video posted by Detund™ デトロイト ? アンダーグラウンド (@detroitunderground) on

DU™ MERRY SLUDGEMAS – FREE DOWNLOAD ???@marshall.applewhite X @__thefriend__ – KRPLS STUFF EP cat#dboy18 ?? While not much about the DU-KRPLS is very conventional, the pairing of Marshall Applewhite and The Friend have found a few ways to take it to another level of non-conventional soundscaping. The two songs included show a nice variation of using the module in a melodic sense and a more glitched out percussive sense. Building upon their brand of techno, known as sludge, the pair have kept it slow and heavy, yet funky and danceable. https://detund.bandcamp.com/album/krpls-stuff DESIGN BY @eboyarts – DU-KRPLS MODULE AVAILABLE HERE: detroitunderground.net/archives/modular/du-krpls ??? #detund #sludge #krpls #detroit #detroitunderground #313 #eboy #eurorack #glitche

A video posted by Detund™ デトロイト ? アンダーグラウンド (@detroitunderground) on

Previously on CDM:
This Eurorack module was coded wrong – and you’ll like it

The post Celebrate Sludgemas with some free Detroit Underground groove appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Adult Swim has a free noise album you don’t want to miss

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Labels,Scene | Tue 27 Dec 2016 7:48 pm

It’s that time of the year again: weeks of hearing Christmas songs on repeat plus the untimely death of George Michael, and your ears are probably oozing peppermint goo while you cry yourself to sleep. This calls for some seriously aggressive noise album. You know – like a palette cleanser.

Well, here’s one, and it’s free – from Adult Swim.

“Noise” album? Cartoon Network? Okay, the combination sounds unlikely.

But if you were expecting some lame hipster compilation that sounds like “noise music” just means someone fell asleep on their guitar pedalboard, think again.

It’s actually damned good. And it’s nicely diverse, too – some post-punk, some electronic, some shouting — really every angry, loud, dirty, grungy, weirdo sound you might desire. It’s like a big, varied vindaloo that burns your mouth and gut and satisfies your hungry in just the right way.

There’s Perc and Prurient. But there’s also some folks called Melt-Banana. There’s great titles like “You’ve Got Rabies on Your Breath.”

And there’s actually a lot of timbre and musical invention – which is good, because if you do just fall asleep on a distortion pedal, you get this big “BOSS” logo backwards across your face, and who wants that?

Enjoy. Download or stream.

http://www.adultswim.com/music/noise/

Tracklist, which I’ve copied ever so carefully from their Web streaming interface:

Clipping: Body for the Pile (Ft. Sickness)
Melt-Banana: Case D in the Test Tube
Eye: Mega Equipment for Popsicle
Vessel: Prihatin
Sadaf: The Clinic
Arca: Bussy
Pharmakon: Squall
Tanya Tagaq: Erie Changys
Beast: You’ve Got Rabies on Your Breath
Dreamcrusher: Sick World
Perc: Porthia
Noveller: Processional
Merzbow: For Adult
Prurient: Everything You Know is Wrong
Hassan Khan: Casiotone Gigantja
Wolf Eyes: Subterranean Life

The post Adult Swim has a free noise album you don’t want to miss appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

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