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

Arturia’s new easy, affordable modular cases also mount to MiniBrute 2

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Wed 17 Jan 2018 2:01 pm

The beauty of Eurorack is its modularity. The problem is, that means your first investment has to be a case. Arturia’s RackBrute might be your solution.

It’s portable. It’s not hugely expensive – this is at last a mass market offering. And it seems full of eminently practical features – including, if you want, the ability to attach this to Arturia’s new MiniBrute 2 and 2S.

For those of you just joining us, Arturia have been teasing out three related products over the course of as may days. So on Monday, the news was the MiniBrute 2, a reboot of their signature monosynth with modularity added via a dense patch bay wedged in the upper-right hand corner of the hardware. Day two: maybe you want that same MiniBrute 2 without the keyboard, but with pads and a more extensive sequencer.

In case you didn’t catch some leaked photos or spot some funny looking pixels on either side of the keyboard, now part three turns out to be a set of Eurorack cases. And yes, that mysterious mention of “Arturia Link” is in fact the ability to attach the RackBrute to the MiniBrute 2/2S, so you have a handy complement of modules right above your synth (and can connect cables easily between the rack and the instrument).

This being modular, you get a choice of two sizes. For those of you new to this, both are the width of the MiniBrute 2 – so roughly the width of a 2t-key keyboard – and one is one row, while one is two rows.

To get more specific (hey, I was never the best with, like, quantities and scale):

3U / 88HP / 20 modules – $/EUR 249
6U / 176HP / 32 modules – $/EUR 279

Shipping in March.

Yeah, anyone who’s priced these out probably doesn’t have to read far beyond those costs. Sure, if you’re splurging on some beautiful handcrafted wood, maybe you want to spend more. But if you just need a way to solve where do I put my modules, this is a godsend – and just as Arturia solved the step sequencer problem for loads of musicians with BeatStep, so too it may have just solved the case problem for people curious to dip their toes in modular.

More features:
+12V / -12V / +5V power onboard
(Power supply with 1600mA +12V output, 1600mA -12V output and 900mA +5V output. 5HP width)
Comes with a carry handle – a bit like rollaway luggage
Spacers to protect your gear from collision
Arturia Link gives you lockable attachments of all this range of gear
Anti slip strips
Screw holes for attaching gear – and note they did include rails on there

Arturia Link is this elegantly designed widget that attaches the new MiniBrute and RackBrute hardware in various combinations – and doubles as a stand, and a carry handle.

The onboard power unit has dedicated dual circuitry set up for covering a range of gear.

Speaking of luggage, there’s a soft RackBrute Travel Bag (for scratch / splash / dust protection they say – note this isn’t a hard flight case, though, so I’d be a little nervous about it in an overhead locker on an airplane)

This, a toothbrush, and a deodorant might be all you need.

More info:

The post Arturia’s new easy, affordable modular cases also mount to MiniBrute 2 appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Arturia’s MiniBrute 2S with step sequencer, not keys, might be your pick

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Wed 17 Jan 2018 1:56 pm

Now we know the whole story: Arturia’s new synths come with a choice of keys or pads+more step sequencing – and there’s are companion RackBrute cases.

So, if you like the ‘Brute synths, now you can choose.

Prefer a keyboard? The MiniBrute 2 (without the letter ‘s’) now has 25 full-sized keys. And it’s got the new patch bay for modular routing, plus a competent step sequencer and arpeggiator.

But prefer pads to a keyboard, or want deeper step sequencing? That’s the MiniBrute 2S.

To either, you can then add two cases for expanding with modular, making the MiniBrute the center of a patchable sound workstation. That’s what “Arturia Link” is – not some proprietary new sync format or something like that, but actually a physical connector attaching the accessories. (It’s a fancy name for some fancy holes, basically!)

Let’s talk about the 2S, because it’s already upstaging the MiniBrute 2 for some people. Little surprise: a lot of people aren’t keyboardists, people who are keyboardists generally already own keyboards, and most importantly, Arturia’s BeatStep line of sequencers were already beloved. Cross-breed that step sequencing goodness with the MiniBrute, and we may have a winner.

The pads on there reduce the overall footprint, and provide velocity and continuous pressure sensitivity.

The step sequencer is three parts – so, since this is a monosynth, that means in addition to making on layer for your melodies, you have two additional layers for automating parameters.

Here’s a breakdown of how it works:

1. Melody:
Sequence pitch, gate, and velocity – as per usual, and as on the BeatStep Pro – with ratcheting on gates if you so choose.

You can also set per-step glide.

2. Modulation:

There’s both a Mod 1 and Mod 2 tracks for adding layers of … other goodness.

So, Arturia tells CDM, you can use that track to generate envelopes and LFOs. Or you can make another Pitch track. Or a Gate track. Or an unquantized track of control voltages.

And naturally, this also is then patchable from the patch bay … or you can use this as a sequencer for external gear (including if you mount one of their new racks for your own modules).

The 2S combined with RackBrute, for a complete little modular setup.

It’s all very cool, indeed. Of course, you can still put a BeatStep Pro alongside a modular if you don’t care much for the MicroBrute synth. And indeed, I’ve noticed that Arturia piece glowing alongside modulars in many, many techno and experimental live acts lately – nice to see this inexpensive piece of gear next to racks of thousands of Euros/dollars worth of kit.

But this is also a powerful synthesizer meeting a powerful sequencer in one piece of gear, even without adding anything else. And if you do like the ‘Brute sound, then you get the usual edgy metallic timbres and filters, aggressive and wild knobs and modulation, and now the ability to expand your possibilities by patching. Having the sequencer built-in makes sequencing modulation and per-step settings easier, beyond just melodies – and you don’t have to pack an extra sequencer and cable.

So I suspect the MicroBrute 2S is going to find a lot of homes, whether it’s as a gateway to modular as Arturia are pushing, or as an equally strong choice for standing on its own or with other desktop gear.

Keyboardists will no doubt still like the arpeggiator and 101-style step sequencer of the MicroBrute 2, but the 2S stands out for programming patterns. Tough choice for those of us who do both – but Arturia’s done a nice job of focusing on what musicians want this round and gotten our gear year off to a rollicking start.

Pricing is $649 / EURO 649. Also shipping in February.


The post Arturia’s MiniBrute 2S with step sequencer, not keys, might be your pick appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

The Great Fantasies of Exotica

Delivered... Gerald Van Waes | Scene | Wed 17 Jan 2018 8:00 am

The history of «Exotica» is rich in amazing music, sounds, instruments, and stories. Gerald Van Waes collects these often rare and obscure sounds and writes about them on his blog psychevanhetfolk. For us he wrote a manifesto for exotica. From the Norient book Seismographic Sounds (see and order here).

Popular source of exoticism: Coconut Palm (Photo © Pixabay, 2016)

Censorship, Escapist Exotica & Big Orchestras

Around the birthmark of exotica lie rooted elements of escapism related with an increased censorship in post-war America. In the background, this censorship was forced upon by all post-war political and social world control activities. Exotica provided a safe way to explore newly adapted, faraway elements, which kept peoples focus away from any critical awareness or unrest. It also provided the impression that there still was available a creative accompaniment in progress. It was a form of fantasy and escapism. There was a general atmosphere of mistrust at the time and few risks were taken to reach beyond safe expressions in entertainment.

It was also the time when in fact one already could no longer afford the big orchestras, but in a last attempt to impress, the best ones incorporated or even replaced some musicians by exotic, mostly rhythmic elements. In general, one says that it was Martin Denny (and his orchestra) who used the term exotica for the first time publically on a record back in 1957. Yma Sumac at the perfect moment came to the public’s notice providing a new highlight of exotic compensation. The «new» foreign element in the context of exotica was still kept alien in nature. While soldiers at American army bases abroad discovered faraway musical forms and while they had locally musicians playing westernised or electrical forms of local folk music, those who came invited to the United States, still had to show themselves like circus acts. While Exotica remained a western-based form of music, belly dance music still fitted perfectly. The belly dancers on the covers alone were a stimulating safe form of daydream erotic fantasies. When in Lebanon, Omar Korshid introduced the electric guitar (and Moog-like elements) into the belly dance orchestra, this became their own contribution.

Belly Dance and Turkish Music

During these early years of exotica, I am able to distinguish a couple of different forms of inspirations that shows a few more relationships within the genre of Exotica. I have already mentioned the bigger or smaller orchestras with mostly extra percussive elements. Under influence of Yma Sumac, there were exotic voices being exploited as well. Many of these albums can be found on flee markets, but often it seems that they really are highly enjoyable, colourful and sonically uplifting.

Turkish music always fitted very well within the Exotica genre. They have a tradition of crafted arabesque orchestral arrangements, use contrasting instruments, and always have a well-developed percussive part (the element of percussion once incorporated into classical music and the west came originally from Turkish march music, and had been the new exotic element at that time). Turkey and mostly its Anatolian music showed a natural sensibility that is pretty reminiscent to what we feel as being exotic.

Theremin Exotica
Another direction of fantasies was provided via the early analogue synthesizers. It was especially the theremin, which became the exotic instrument. Its sound, like a mixture of a singing saw and a human voice, in a way had something from «out of space». Going with it to «where no one had gone before», which turned any further communist witch-hunt speculation into the new fantasy projection of the alien.

Monster Hop
Before teenage rock’n roll finally turned towards real life, a few more fantasy compensations existed under the genre of Monster Hop, like an Adams Family band. With such fantasies of the living dead and monsters, war traumas or casualties found a surreal compensating reflection, while their fears had found an outlet into Monster Balls.

Psych Exotica

A first transformation of the Exotic genre grew already after the release of the album from Eden Ahbez. Even though for the composer, this was for him about real-life, an idealistic vision, for the public this still seemed to be so far away again from daily life and it’s economic struggle for survival, this still felt like another form and branch of exotica. Once the public would decide to really go deeper into over-idealising forms, the mind expanding and altering desires of the hippies, opening up restricted behaviourisms and ways of life, -via psychedelia-, one must still realise that this wasn’t about real life either. Its commercial forms had relations to exotica as well. Sitar was THE exotic element that emerged from this scene. The commercial exotic form produced so-called psychploitation albums like modernised forms of exotica.
Exotic Fusions

The sitar was of course seriously introduced via Ravi Shankar via The Beatles («Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Heartclub Band»). While the schools of Ravi Shankar and Ali Akbar Khan gave Indian elements more serious associations, its first results still showed rather superficial fusions and adaptations. Only composers like Ravi’s nephew Ananda Shankar really knew how to fuse genres from different countries and how to re-emerge them together into a creative new form of music, making the birthmark of «new-exotica», a genre which could have existed and noticed but which in fact never was. New fusions appeared mostly within the jazz genre first, with influences from Indian (Joe Harriott), African (Tony Scott, Pharoah Sanders, Don Cherry), Middle Eastern, and Flamenco nature, while some other genres were embraced.

Nevertheless, from that new direction, like into jazz fusions, the genre of exotica for me still lived on, more seriously, into those artists who turned a mixture of elements into something far more serious, without letting it to be adopted into jazz. Instead, they will turn this into a totally new genre, which we could call for this occasion also call New Exotica. It is something that I previously called All-World or Whole-World Fusion, a potential new genre, which started with Ananda Shankar perhaps. A whole series of musicians and bands fit here, but often also, still fall off the grid completely. The most talented musicians having learned the best of genres succeeded in merging genres from all of the world, to create something new with it, something of their own, with an expression that is either belonging to world music, to jazz, to fusion, pop or rock.

Mostly such attempts are short-lived, but show the best of talents and visions. For organisers, bands or musicians who belong here are either not World Music enough, do not belong to Pop, Rock or Jazz and will not be invited. They remain unnoticed, and have to give up after a while. They were never fully exploited (Ancient Future, Mööndö, Esthema,..). Often they emphasised a little bit more upon Indian music (Lele Lele,..), or Middle eastern elements. Some people perfectly fused flamenco with Indian music, finding musical elements that were rooted into the same musical foundation (Indialucia, Sacha Silva, Gualberto, Shonghai,..). Amongst such serious examples of musicians who had a hard time to survive, were such musicians that were giving a new meaning to exotica, different to the elements that in reality defined it further for the public. The further exploitation of world music and its mixtures with western beats in reality in fact had mere often killed the last interest towards potential creative exotic genres. Let me explain what happened more noticeably.

World Music Puritism versus World Eat Exploitation

The West now had psychedelia and progressive rock. World music had been taken away from fusion and integration now. The interest in any world music associations now became purified, just like a monkey-watching business, trying to distil now only the absolutely pure and simple, dry and traditional forms of ethnic music. In contrast to the freeing forms of psychedelia, from foreign music one was not looking for any creative voices, but for folk purification, to the extent of the absurd. At the same time, Latin or African entertainment bands were still not so quickly invited.

From this area and new mentality of folk purism, a new exploitation genre arose, mixing modern beats with this purified world music, often to horrifying effect, leading to a genre of samples like a new post-colonial exploitation. The attempts by Peter Gabriel’s own label to adapt a modernity (still succesful at that point) from the original world music musicians themselves, was turned into an idea by others to exploit the superficial apects of this hybryd foreceably as the new norm, a further exploitation which quickly turned the new branch against itself, leaving us with allergic reactions towards anything that is related to world music and also its modern exploitation.

Far-Away Versions

We have so far seen especially the Western point of view, as to where exotica all led. In the rest of the world it had led to different interesting shifts and turns. I have followed what happened in the rest of the world, and I must say that it is interesting to notice. The feeling of Exotica means something else in the Middle East and East and the Far East. Their approaches meant being the birthplace of great creative movements. In many countries, it was especially the American marine bases that led to the stimulation of birth of local groups that mixed western and local folk music. The introduction of the electric guitar and the influence of groups like the Ventures and The Shadows were the starting point to make such new mixtures of genres that were felt locally as being highly exotic.

In Turkey, Anadolu Pop was a mixture of Anatolian folk with pop and rock music. In Cambodia and Thailand, electric folk-pop music was the new exotica. In Korea, mixtures of American folk with the Japanese occupation period tradition of Trot music were still mostly the new genre that had been tried out, and exploited further. In Hong Kong, they had their own exploitation bands of exotica, like the great to mention Oscar Young Band. In the east and far-east Go-Go styles were often like a mixture of pop music folk elements and also with psychedelia, as a form of a ‘new exotic sound’. Japan was much more seriously into their explorations, so that I can hardly call any of their new mixtures Exotica, except for the exotic rock’n roll of Takeshi Terauchi & Blue Jeans or Masari Hiraro showing a mixture of Japanese folk traditions with early rock’n roll, as truly original forms of exotic pop. From the all-world fusions, a person with a creative vision I need to mention here is the talent of Ayuo.

In the Arab world, they commercialised beats a lot, which are harsh and heavy beats mostly. They have created their own commercial form of exotica, which is unfortunately the least creative, a genre that does not seem to allow any further subtleties either. Exotica as a genre oddly enough can hardly be found outside the East, Far-East, West and Middle East. African and Afro-Caribbean music is much more direct than that.

Re-Exotic Bands

Luckily today we still have some Re-Exotica bands, re-engaging the positive entertaining effect of Exotica. As a last sub-genre, I should mention all the new groups who felt that there was something positive and positively entertaining from the genre of Exotica, they tried to re-establish an orchestra of their own that could relive all that. Such bands have a great warm, brilliant sound and are a mixture of entertainment and serious dedication. I will simply drop a few names: Modular, Russkie Wig-Out, Senor Coconut, Ixtahuelle, Besbo Best & The Super Lounge Orchestra,..). A band like Secret Chiefs 3 have one root in exotica, and another one in serious creative (sometimes heavy!) rock editions of traditional music, with inspirations ranging from the Middle east to Morricone, Ananda Shankar,.. They are perhaps the most serious creative band of its kind for the moment.


Exotica still is a bit underestimated and not thoroughly investigated well enough as a genre. The reason for this I explained here in this article. I guess that it was the commercial exploitation of music in general, and the mentality of separation (of us and them), rather than a well established trust for an integral creative fusion of different musical talents from anywhere in the world that had had most chances. This ruined its genre’s potential at the same time. We still lack a new naming for a potential genre that puts all creative, all-world music souls into one separate genre, put them onto one differentiated platform, a platform that should gain world consciousness and should receive therefore alone anyone’s full support. The musicians who succeed in going there show something of the common root of creativity that binds people together in this world. It is what makes us feel how much we all have in common, share as common potential, as a common musical language. Exotica give us the feeling that we are able to explore a new mixture like a fantasy first. At its best, with the New Exotica rock bands like Secret Chiefs 3, it even is able to become a common and even more direct experience.

The text was published first as a very short qote in the second Norient book Seismographic Sounds. Click on the image to know more.

Read More on Norient

> Martin Stokes and Thomas Burkhalter: «The Banalization of the Exotic»
> Percy Mabandu: «Exotica in South African House Music»
> Xander Ferreira & Thomas Burkhalter: «The Misunderstood Farmer Boy»

UAD for everybody: Arrow sound box is Thunderbolt, PC or Mac, $499

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Tue 16 Jan 2018 9:00 pm

Universal Audio just brought their DSP platform – and top-notch audio interface tech – to a box that’s Thunderbolt, bus-powered, and under US$500.

Here’s the thing: if someone asks you the age-old question “which audio interface should I buy,” it’s actually pretty hard not to mention Universal Audio. While the company may have gotten started selling pricey high-end DSP cards for their platform of vintage gear emulations and sound tools, starting with Apollo, they also happened to make one of the best audio interfaces. The Apollo line boasts high-end converters and audio circuitry and rock-solid performance. And it’s been steadily reaching more and more people, with the smaller Twin bringing the price down, and Windows support following Mac.

The Apollo Twin is good enough, in fact, that you can almost recommend it just for its audio interface capabilities – not only as a gateway into the catalog of UAD studio effects and sound processors and the like.

But the Apollo Twin still represents some outlay of cash. And it’s portable, but not quite throw-it-in-a-laptop portable – especially once you figure in that power brick.

So, the Arrow starts to look really smart as an entry level device. Its estimated street is just US$499. It’s still 2×4 like the Apollo Twin – so you can have a separate monitor mix. And there are two mic preamps.

But it’s sleeker, prettier, more portable, and it runs on bus powered Thunderbolt 3 on both Mac and Windows. (Gone are the days of interface companies catering just to Apple – the press kit even came with shots both of a MacBook Pro and a Razer Blade, my respective favorite high-end Mac and Windows choices.)

Now, if you were just spending $500 on an interface alone, this might still not make sense. So then you have the value-add of the UAD DSP platform. While native processing is powerful these days – running VST and AU plug-ins and the like – it still means contending with some latency. So, you have to listen to the dry signal of your instrument or voice while you’re recording, and then add compressors and reverb and pitch correction and whatever else afterwards.

UA’s ongoing argument is that they can deliver their signal processors with near-zero latency, thanks to their onboard DSP (the “UAD SOLO” is what they call it). The mic preamps feature Unison technology, which models gain structure on the hardware for more accurate emulation of studio tools. And you can take your vocals and guitars and synths and keyboards and everything else and add their library of effects as if you’ve got the actual gear there, without hearing a delay as you track.

Those plug-ins don’t all come cheap, once you buy a lot of them. But the Arrow has newcomers to UAD in mind, bundling a full 14 full-featured “Realtime Analog Classics” in the box.

Ah, remember the days of expensive hourly studio time? Meet the bundled analog gear – software UAD form.

The bundle’s not too shabby, either. You don’t get the latest models of everything, but you do get the full UA 610-B channel strip for taking advantage of that Unison technology, ideal for recording. And there’s a nice selection of EQ, compression, and the like (from the still very decent previous generation), plus excellent Marshall Plexi and Softube Bass Amp room additions (great on instruments). You’ll want to budget more if you’re really in this for the UA stuff, but it’s not a bad start. UA of course hopes this gets you hooked so you buy more, so – here’s their explanation of their various hardware/software bundles:
UAD-2 / Apollo Plug-In Bundles Explained [scroll down]

Really, the only catch is that the Arrow has just one UAD SOLO processor. That means you can’t layer on a whole lot of those UAD effects at once – you’re limited by available processing power. I like the form factor of the Arrow enough that I hope UA will offer a DUO version with two DSP cores – my experience has been that on the Apollo Duo that’s more than enough horsepower for solo musician/producer needs. The single core, though, I suspect will feel a bit cramped for UAD addicts. (Those Legacy models in turn will be lighter on the SOLO, so there’s a certain wisdom to their inclusion.) Oh, and one other niggle – that extra x2 out is only on the stereo headphone jack, though – it’s missing the Twin’s separate rear channel jacks, useful for spatialization or other external outputs.

As a live device, though, and as an entry point to UAD, this one looks like a winner. UA keep iterating on their accessibility, and this one is sure to be a big breakthrough. That real-time functionality and library of plug-ins also makes it more fun to buy than competing audio interfaces, which only act as, you know, audio interfaces.

Arrow is shipping now. I’ll try to get one in to review.


and about those plug-ins:

The post UAD for everybody: Arrow sound box is Thunderbolt, PC or Mac, $499 appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

KQ Dixie could be the closest you’ll get to a DX7 on your iOS device

Delivered... Ashley Elsdon | Scene | Tue 16 Jan 2018 12:52 am

Ryouta Kira, the developer behind KQ MiniSynth has now brought us his latest creation, KQ Dixie, probably the closest you’re going to get to having a DX7 in your iOS device. Early indications are that it’s pretty good.For a start it’s a universal app, which is always a big tick in my book, and, the app even acts as a controller for the real thing if you have one.

Here’s the app developer’s description:

KQ Dixie is a 6-Operator FM synthesizer that is modeled on the synthesizer which appeared on the 1980s. FM synthesizers make sounds with Frequency Modulation. FM brings rich and brilliant sounds which are impossible to create with analog one. It makes very complex waves with simple modulations. The same method is used for a radio. The synthesizer gained much popularity in the 1980s.

This app lets you make sounds freely with 156 voice parameters. Almost all parameters are compatible with DX7.

  • Audio Unit v3 compatible.
  • Audiobus compatible.
  • 32 algorithms included.
  • You can manage the hardware DX7 when it is connected with external MIDI cables.
  • Supports DX7 System Exclusive Messages (SysEx) and syx files.
  • Supports Zip files.
  • You may be able to find a lot of patches on the internet.

The developer also points out:

“Yamaha DX7 is a trademark of Yamaha Corporation. I have no business relations with Yamaha.”

Which is good to know.

KQ Dixie is on the app store now and costs $3.99:

The post KQ Dixie could be the closest you’ll get to a DX7 on your iOS device appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.


Delivered... Spacelab - Independent Music and Media | Scene | Mon 15 Jan 2018 7:30 pm
Danny Brown, Bjarki, Nadia Rose, Jlin, Lena Willikens and more!


Delivered... Spacelab - Independent Music and Media | Scene | Mon 15 Jan 2018 7:30 pm
Party in Mexico with Ariel Pink, Lee Burridge, Mount Kimbie and more!


Delivered... Spacelab - Independent Music and Media | Scene | Mon 15 Jan 2018 7:30 pm
Party in Mexico with Ariel Pink, Lee Burridge, Mount Kimbie and more!

Washington Legal Issues for TV Broadcasters – Where Things Stand in the New Year

Delivered... David Oxenford | Scene | Mon 15 Jan 2018 5:44 pm

It’s a new year, and a good time to reflect on where all the Washington issues for TV broadcasters stand at the moment, especially given the rapid pace of change since the new administration took over just about a year ago. While we try on this Blog to write about many of the DC issues for broadcasters, we can’t always address everything that is happening. Every few months, my partner David O’Connor and I update a list of the legal and regulatory issues facing TV broadcasters. That list of issues is published by TVNewsCheck and the latest version, published this week, is available on their website, here. It provides a summary of the status of legal and regulatory issues ranging from the adoption of the ATSC 3.0 standard at one end of the alphabet to White Spaces and Wireless Microphones on the other – with summaries of other issues including the Incentive Auction, Ownership Rule Changes, Media Regulation Modernization, EEO compliance, Political Advertising and Sponsorship Identification, along with dozens of other topics, many with links to our more detailed discussions here on the Blog. Of course, the status of these issues changes almost daily, so watch this Blog and other trade publications for the latest Washington news of interest to broadcasters.

Arturia’s MiniBrute gets a sequel, and now it’s mini modular

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Mon 15 Jan 2018 2:35 pm

Arturia reveals the follow-up to edgy, distinctive little MiniBrute monosynth keyboard. This time, they’ve fit a tiny patch bay to make it semi-modular.

The Arturia synths are portable, affordable, and … weird. And this continues that tradition, with the nicer MatrixBrute keys and a “use every millimeter” patch bay wedged on the side. So now you can use more cables to make things, like, more weird.

The MicroBrute, the MiniBrute’s baby brother, actually had very basic patching capabilities – the “mod matrix” let you route the LFO and envelope (or external signal) to control timbre, pitch, and filter. That made it an easy favorite of the Brute line.

The MiniBrute 2 on the other hand bests both Mini- and MicroBrute with a full blown architecture for patching stuff into other stuff. And let’s be clear that that’s what this is about. Technically, yes “semi-modular architectures” give you more ability to create original sounds blah blah blah …

Translated into simple terms, “plugging wires into jacks for making noises” is what we mean. And of course that can be true if you have just the MiniBrute 2 or if you want to combine it with other analog and modular gear.

So, now you get that, plus full-sized keys with aftertouch (as on the flagship, and completely insane, MatrixBrute). The result could be a real winner: semi-modular architecture plus monosynth plus full-sized keyboard, but still with a low-ish price tag and the usual unique character. So you get patching atop the love-it-or-leave-it wild sound of the original, including the Steiner-Parker filter and that, uh, “Brute” quality – think aggressive, metallic timbres that change wildly as you twist knobs.

And there’s a step sequencer/arpeggiator, building on the existing line, with easy SH-101-like sequencing and lots of performance features. (Actually I know a lot of people who bought these instruments even especially for that sequencer – good stuff.)

London’s trip-hop act The Salvador Darlings do the demo.

Part of me actually loves that Arturia keeps putting out mental stuff that looks like something someone mocked up on a forum, only real. It’s a safe bet what this sounds like given the heritage, but it’ll be fun to test how that patch bay is to use in practice. Stay tuned (and if you’re at the NAMM show, Arturia will show it there).


The post Arturia’s MiniBrute gets a sequel, and now it’s mini modular appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Where to party in 2018: a clubbing, nightlife and festival guide

Delivered... Will Coldwell | Scene | Mon 15 Jan 2018 7:00 am

Fill your ears and your year with the sweetest beats at the best music and clubbing events – from Berlin and Reykjavik to New Orleans and Cape Town

The start of the year sees the return of CTM Berlin (26 Jan-4 Feb), the “festival for adventurous music and art”. This year the event, across venues in the city – from Berghain to the Kraftwerk building – features artists from the sincere German techno producer Recondite to Peruvian electronic-pysch band Dengue Dengue Dengue - is on the theme of Turmoil – expect artistic responses to a growing sense of global instability. Berlin will be absolutely freezing this month, so those seeking a vitamin D-fuelled party (and can afford the short notice flights) should head to Goat (26-28 Jan), a boutique festival in Goa, India, with a lineup including Horse Meat Disco and Moxie. January also means the start of Laneway Festival (27 Jan-11 Feb), which starts in Singapore, before touring cities across Australia with a lineup including Bonobo, The Internet and Wolf Alice.

Continue reading...

Brit awards nominations 2018: Dua Lipa beats Ed Sheeran with five

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas | Scene | Sat 13 Jan 2018 7:45 pm

The New Rules singer caps her breakthrough year with the most nominations at British music’s biggest awards ceremony

Dua Lipa, the breakthrough pop star who scored a huge summer hit with New Rules, has earned the most nominations at the 2018 Brit awards – even beating Ed Sheeran, despite his spectacular year-long assault on the charts on both sides of the Atlantic.

She was nominated in the British female solo artist, breakthrough act, single and video categories, along with the night’s biggest award, British album of the year. Without being able to be nominated in the breakthrough category, Ed Sheeran is the runner-up with four nominations, for British male solo artist, video and single (each for Shape of You), and the album award for ÷, the biggest-selling album of 2017 in the UK. East London rapper J Hus and platinum-selling songwriter Rag’n’Bone Man each received three nominations.

Related: How Dua Lipa became the most streamed woman of 2017

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Können Musikfestivals Grenzen einreißen?

Delivered... Philipp Rhensius from Norient | Scene | Sat 13 Jan 2018 3:34 am

Musik aus dem Globalen Süden und die Thematisierung von Queerness oder Postkolonialismus sind en vogue in der Festivallandschaft. Doch wie lässt sich kulturelle Appropriation oder positive othering verhindern? Ein Gespräch mit Thomas Gläßer, Gründer vom Europäischen Zentrum für Jazz und Aktuelle Musik und Organisator des Digging the Global South Festivals in Köln über Musik als Ritual, Jutetasche tragende Studenten und das Ungenügen an der Zivilisation.

Faka live auf dem Digging the Global South Festival in Köln, Stadtgarten (Photo © Nora Wiedenhöft und Jan Kryszons, 2017)

Im Spätherbst 2017 fand das Festival Digging the Global South in Kooperation mit der Akademie der Künste der Welt in Köln und dem Europäischen Zentrum für Jazz und Aktuelle Musik im Stadtgarten in Köln statt. Neben Avantgarde-Komponisten wie Lukas Ligeti waren auch zeitgenössische experimentelle Clubmusik-Künstlerinnen wie Faka oder Klein eingeladen. Einige der Gäste wie Moor Mother, Lukas Ligeti oder Don’t DJ hielten Vorträge und diskutierten mit dem Publikum, um über ihre Praxis oder ihre Einstellung zu Themen wie Exotismus oder kulturellem Imperialismus zu sprechen.

[Philipp Rhensius]: Die Geschichte der kulturellen Globalisierung ist eine der kognitiven Dissonanz: Menschen wollen starke Grenzen, die sie vom Rest der Welt abschotten, aber die Künste sollen möglichst kosmopolitisch, durchlässig, grenzenlos sein. Jene Widersprüche, die Sehnsucht nach neuer Musik aus nicht-europäischen Ländern einerseits und der Verschärfung von Grenzregimen und homogener kultureller Identität andererseits, ist ja die Ausgangsidee des Festivals. Was steckt dahinter?
[Thomas Gläßer]: Es ist auffällig, wie willkommen der globale Süden, Blackness, Queerness usw., also emanzipatorisch aufgeladenene Themen in Teilen der Kunstsphäre sind. Das ist erfrischend, erscheint mir aber auch wie ein eigenartiges und wenig wirksames Gegengift zu einer Selbstunsichtbarkeit westlicher Gesellschaften. Und natürlich werden diese Faktoren wie die Herkunft aus einem vermeintlich «realeren», «wilderen» Raum ausserhalb der Überflussgesellschaften dann auch Teil der Kommodifizierung der Künstler. Zugleich haben wir auch in nominell postkolonialen Zeiten mit massiven Machtasymmetrien und neokolonialen Ausbeutungsstrukturen zu tun, und mit einer Angst vor Einwanderung und kulturellem Identitätsverlust. Ich wollte ein Festival machen, dass das Begehren nach dem Anderen affirmiert und zugleich kritisch reflektiert – und damit auch den eigenen Standort in den Blick nimmt. Steckt in der Lust auf die Auseinandersetzung mit Kunst und Musik aus dem globalen Süden, aus Armuts- und Krisengebieten, auch ein Begehren nach gesellschaftlicher oder politischer Veränderung? Können wir in der selben Sphäre koexistieren und dabei Differenz – und vor allem auch Gemeinsamkeit – akzeptieren? Sind wir wirklich bereit, einander auf Augenhöhe zu begegnen? Können wir Projektionen zurücknehmen, uns selbst erlauben, das zu sein, was wir in Anderen sehen wollen und Anderen erlauben, das sein zu wollen, was wir in uns selbst sehen?

[PR]: Wenn wir nicht nur in der kulturellen Sphäre global und entgrenzt sein wollen, müsste es auch eine radikale Mobilität von Menschen geben.
[TG]: Wenn Kapital und Waren beweglich sind, warum nicht auch Menschen? Das ist übrigens auch ein Thema für Musiker aus Afrika, die bei vielen Reisezielen nicht selbstverständlich auf funktionstüchtige Visa-Regelungen zählen können. Bei manchen deutschen Botschaften kann es passieren, dass sie darauf bestehen, dass der deutsche Veranstalter die Haftung für Abschiebekosten übernimmt, für den Fall, dass der ein Musiker nicht wie geplant in sein Heimatland zurückkehrt.

Lukas Ligeti live at Digging the Global South Festival in Köln, Stadtgarten (Photo © Nora Wiedenhöft und Jan Kryszons, 2017)

[PR]: Wie kann ein Festival mit Schwerpunkt auf Musik solche sehr konkreten politischen Probleme angehen?
[TG]: Man kann solche Fragen im Dialog mit den Künstlern thematisieren, Diskurse befördern, Projektionen unterlaufen, symbolische Grenzen überschreiten. Wir neigen als Gesellschaft dazu, unser Ungenügen an der Zivilisation vor allem mit der kulturellen Sphäre zu kompensieren. Viele wichtige Fragen werden im Symbolischen und Ästhetischen kritisch und fantasievoll verhandelt, aber die Auswirkungen auf politische Strukturen sind gering.

[PR]: Wenn es jene Kompensation nicht gäbe, würde vielleicht direkte Politik gemacht werden?
[TG]: Politisch aufgeladene Kunst kann politische Aktionen bestimmt nicht ersetzen und ein Festival mit elektronischer Musik aus Afrika kann spannend und in vielerlei Hinsicht sinnvoll und wünschenswert sein, aber es stellt niemanden vor echte politische Herausforderungen.

[PR]: Weil sich alle so schön einig sind im Club oder auf dem Konzert…
[TG]: Weil es wenig kostet und viel Vergnügen bereitet, Musik zu hören, die einen herausfordert oder interessante Überschreitungen bedeutet. Ein alter Freund von mir arbeitet im produzierenden Gewerbe und er betont oft, dass er und seine Kollegen die Welt ganz anders erleben als die, die in kulturellen Bereichen, als Musiker, Kulturmanager oder Politiker arbeiten, die ständig mit den darin verhandelten Ideen konfrontiert sind und auch die Zeit und Energie haben, sich auf dieser Ebene mit der Welt auseinanderzusetzen. Das ist ein anderer Empfindungshorizont.

[PR]: Inwiefern tragen Festivals wie Digging The Global South, das ja auch feste Identitäten wie nationale Zugehörigkeiten kritisch betrachtet, dennoch zur «Topophilie» bei, also der Lust, jede Musik immer zugleich auch geographisch zu verorten?
[TG]: Die digitale Sphäre scheint den Raum unendlich zu machen, während zugleich, vielleicht sogar als Reaktion darauf, die geografische Herkunft noch stärker als zuvor zu einem Teil der Aufwertung von Waren wird. Wie sich diese Spannung unter den Bedingungen der Digitalisierung verändert, hat mich auch bei Digging the Global South interessiert.

[PR]: Warum war es dennoch so wichtig, die Differenz über die Herkunft zu markieren?
[TG]: Um die Realität von Diaspora und Migration mit abzubilden. Ich glaube, dass Musik oft auch von ihrem Herkunftsort und sozialen Kontext geprägt ist. Die Popmusikgeschichte zeigt, dass bestimmte Stile oft an Orten entstehen, an denen sich Vorstellungen von Musik und Sound verdichten. Mit DJ Marfox aus der Batida-Szene von Lissabon und DJ Lag aus der Gqom-Szene von Durban hatten wir zwei Produzenten im Programm, deren Sound eindeutig interessante lokale Kontexte mitbringt.

[PR]: Ist es denn nicht bedenklich, die Herkunft so stark zu betonen? Ace Tee etwa, wurde im «Diaspora-Special» des The Fader-Magazins immer wieder als Frau mit ghanaischen Wurzeln erwähnt, obwohl sie in Berlin geboren und in Hamburg aufgewachsen ist.
[TG]: Es kann schnell zur Romantisierung führen, weil auf das Fremde viel projiziert wird. Das findet ja auch im Musikjournalismus statt. Aktuell etwa bei Texten über Gqom, wenn etwa die Gewalt und Armut in den Townships von Durban betont werden. Das sehe ich kritisch, weil es eine Projektionsmaschine in Gang setzt. Da entsteht schnell sowas wie ein romantisches «positive othering». Aber genau daher sind Kontexte und Zuordnungen wichtig. Dann lassen sich solche Projektionen differenzierter befragen. Dafür sind Orte und reale Begegnungen sehr wichtig. Mich interessiert, eine Form von Öffentlichkeit herzustellen, in der unselbstverständliche Verständigungen stattfinden.

[PR]: Welche Öffentlichkeit?
[TG]: Ich meine eine Öffentlichkeit, die aus gemeinsamen Erlebnissen und dem persönlichen Austausch über die Grenzen der eigenen «Filterblase» hinaus besteht. Der Stadtgarten ist ein subventioniertes Haus und damit geht einher, an die Öffentlichkeit zu denken. Das Publikum erhofft sich, Zugang zu etwas Neuem zu bekommen und dass eine Auseinandersetzung stattfinden kann. Die Heterogenität von Programmen erscheint mir immer noch ein Weg zu sein, ein diverses Publikum zu erreichen, wie bei Digging the Global South in der Mischung von Konzerten, Vorträgen, Diskussionen, Filmen und sehr unterschiedlichen musikalischen Registern.

Plenumsdiskussion beim Digging the Global South Festival in Köln, Stadtgarten (Photo © Nora Wiedenhöft und Jan Kryszons, 2017)

[PR]: Ist es nicht oft auch so, dass eine echte Auseinandersetzung mit der Musik und ihrem Kontext viel Energie fordert, die Viele nicht mehr aufbringen möchten, die nach erledigter Lohnarbeit vor allem unterhalten werden möchten?
[TG]: Teilweise stimmt das, aber gleichzeitig erlebe ich immer wieder ein grosses Interesse an Hintergründen, Lectures oder Gesprächen, auch im musikalischen Zusammenhang. Als eine Art magisches Ritual erzeugt Musik oft eine kollektive Resonanz, aber durch die Auseinandersetzung mit der Musik selbst oder durch ihre Einbettung in soziale Formationen mit und Ritualen, in klassischen Subkulturen zum Beispiel, eröffnen sich oft andere Sinnzusammenhänge und auch eine gewisse Tiefe, die mir wertvoll erscheint und die ein Soundfile nicht transportieren kann.

[PR]: Manchmal geht die Tiefe einfach mit dem falschen Kontext verloren. Du hattest vorhin mal die Wiener Festwochen erwähnt, wo es 2017 einen Fokus auf Performance, Queerness und Blackness gab.
[TG]: Das habe ich bei allen guten Absichten der Kuratoren im Grunde als eine Art modische Appropriation erlebt. Ich hatte beim Hyperreality-Clubmusik-Event das Gefühl, dass sich Clubs als soziales Sphäre und Clubmusik nicht einfach so in ein hochkulturelles, hoch subventioniertes Festival verpflanzen lassen. Es ist eigenartig, wenn Lotic und Juliana Huxtable in einem Saal spielen, wo vermutlich nächste Woche wieder Hochzeiten gefeiert werden, nur um den Ort mit einer transgressiven Realität einzufärben. Und dann kommen Jutetasche tragende Studenten hin und versuchen das hip zu finden. Ich finde, das hat nicht funktioniert und mich auch vieles an der Planung für Digging the Global South nochmal in Frage stellen lassen.

[PR]: Ein Gegensatz zwischen Anspruch und Wirklichkeit?
[TG]: Ja, als ich das Programm las, war ich begeistert. Aber vor Ort habe ich mich gefragt, was hier eigentlich passiert. Ist das jetzt eine nennenswerter kultureller Inklusion oder eine verfehlte Musealisierung einer lebendigen Subkultur, die eigentlich keinen kulturellen Mehrwert bringt?

Moor Mother live auf dem Digging the Global South Festival in Köln, Stadtgarten (Photo © Nora Wiedenhöft und Jan Kryszons, 2017)

[PR]: Der italienische Philosoph Antonio Gramsci war überzeugt, dass politischer Kampf auch der Kampf um die Hegemonien an Ideen ist und dass diese vor allem auch in kulturellen Bereichen entwickelt werden.
[TG]: Das Stichwort hier ist Gedankenwelt. Eine, die eine Rückkopplung hat, die lebensrelevant wird. Sodass es einen Zusammenhang gibt zwischen dem, was du lebst und was du denkst. Ich habe nicht oft das Gefühl, dass diese Rückkopplung wirksam zustande kommt.

[PR]: Wie könnte diese Rückkopplung dann geschaffen werden? Wie kann Musik diese Situationen herstellen?
[TG]: Musik erzeugt immer Resonanzen und ist in der Lage, bestimmte Bewusstseinszustände und -haltungen zu akzentuieren. Beim Hören entsteht eine Nähebeziehung und damit auch eine Art, die Welt auf eine bestimmte Weise erleben zu können. Rituelle Musiken machen sich das zum Beispiel zunutze, indem sie auf das kollektive Erlebnis setzen und es mit symbolischen Ordnungen verknüpfen. Andererseits sollen solche Veranstaltungen die sinnlich-emotionale Erfahrung um eine diskursive Ebene erweitern, die interessante Zugänge und ein tieferes Verständnis eröffnen kann.

When the President Uses a Profanity, What Can Broadcast News Do?

Delivered... David Oxenford | Scene | Fri 12 Jan 2018 6:53 pm

Yesterday, the President reportedly used the word “shithole” to describe certain countries whose immigrants were seemingly less favored than others. This predictably caused outrage in many quarters – and left the electronic media, especially broadcast TV in a quandary. Do they broadcast the purportedly used term, or do they use some euphemism so that “shit,” one of those words that the FCC has from time to time found inappropriate to be used on the air, does not reach tender ears? The New York Times ran a story describing how different media outlets handled the story here. What is a broadcaster to do?

The FCC has said repeatedly that there is no blanket rule exempting news programming from its indecency rules – so theoretically, a broadcaster could face an indecency action at the FCC for the use of a proscribed word on the air, even in a newscast. However, the FCC has recognized that decisions made about the language used in newscasts are subject to a different level of First Amendment protection than language that might be included in an entertainment program. So, for instance, when NPR aired excerpts from a tape of mobster John Gotti that had been introduced during his criminal trial, and that tape contained multiple words usually not allowed on broadcast stations, the FCC and the courts found that, in the circumstances of news coverage, the use of these words was not actionable. In another case, a CBS Morning News interview with the winner of the Survivor television program, there was a similar decision from the FCC. On the morning news program, the winning contestant labeled a competitor a “bullshitter.” The FCC took no action, deferring to the licensee’s decision given that it was made in the context of a news program. So, while there is no blanket exception for indecency in news programs (witness the huge fine issued to a TV station that had not properly edited a news segment on a former adult industry movie star turned first responder, about which we wrote here), certainly the FCC has provided stations more discretion to air otherwise prohibited words in their news if necessary to provide context to their news coverage. But with FCC Chairman Pai admonishing broadcasters to “keep it clean,” and with the FCC’s indecency rules still on the books, and any complaint likely to cost time and money to defend, broadcasters may want to be cautious in their approach to these situations, even in the context of news programs.

Beyond DIY: Meet The Polish Techno Artist Designing Her Own Electronics

Delivered... By Ewa Justka. Interview by Chloé Lula. | Scene | Fri 12 Jan 2018 4:08 pm

The post Beyond DIY: Meet The Polish Techno Artist Designing Her Own Electronics appeared first on Telekom Electronic Beats.

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