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


Enter the freaky trippy acid 90s German synth world of Air Liquide

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Labels,Scene | Wed 22 May 2019 12:02 pm

If you need a break from buttoned-up techno, dance music as business and fashion statement and morose wallpaper – take a holiday with some “trippy mindfkk-muzzikkk.” Here, we’ve got 170 tracks from 1991 Cologne to today to get utterly weird.

In 1990s Cologne, if the techno scene was spread too thin, you could just manufacture a few dozen aliases and DIY the whole thing. At least that seems to be the approach taken by our friends Air Liquide, aka Cem Oral and Ingmar Koch, and a half dozen or so core artists – a band of buddies making weirdo sounds. See the full alias list at bottom, but DJ DB (aka DB Burkeman) traced the history of the duo for the now-defunct THUMP from VICE:

DB’s No School Like the Old Skool: Air LiquideMeet the German analogue techno duo that rocked the 90s underground with a hundred different pseudonyms.

Now, just when you thought it was safe to go back to Germany, Air Liquide have returned to make European electronics mindfkked again.

We’ve got over 16 hours – 170 tracks – on streaming services like Spotify, chronicling the evolution (or whatever it was) of Air Liquide from 1991 through today. The sounds are futuristic, spacey, hyperactive, bizarre – everything in turns. You know you need some broken ultra-fast acid piping through Spotify on your next workout, of course:

via Spotify playlist

Details:


“AIR LIQUIDE – almost complete” – spotify playlist with over 16 hours of trippy mindfkk-muzzikkk

It includes, for instance, tracks inspired by the TV show Robot Wars:

Or here’s a track compiled by Loveparade founder Dr. Motte:

If you like what you hear, you can download those releases now, on iTunes:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/air-liquide/5352330#see-all/full-albums

and on Beatport:
https://www.beatport.com/artist/air-liquide/7230/releases

But in addition to that history, their label Blue is back.

Maybe this comes at an ideal time. With so many records sounding like generational loss – copies of copies of 90s records, watered down and sanitized and fed through Instagram – the new Air Liquide project is both real media archaeology and real invention. You get remasters and rereleases of the actual original records, and – this is important – they’re making new stuff.

Air Liquide are back.

So albums like Liquid Air and Mercury EP are returning on colored vinyl and cheap-for-everybody digital. But you can also expect new creations, like a mini-album called “ALTR” which they’ve let CDM know they’re finishing now with German rave legend t.raumschmiere. And there’s upcoming collaboration with American poet Mary S. Applegate – yes, the cousin of Christina Applegate – later this year, along with other releases.

There’s even some unreleased 1992-93 era stuff in store, they tell us.

They’re also acting as our guides through other freaky sounds, as on this new Spotify playlist “Der lärm der stille“.

Included is “some crazy tripmusic we love – paired with some of our own brain fkk trax” – up to 94 tracks and over 8 hours so far, from around the world and the years:

Their favorite machines

One thread through all this music is a real, profound love for sound and electronics – and synths and noisemakers and effects, like, everywhere.

CDM asked for some of the duo’s favorite stuff, and here’s what they’ve come up with:

dr walker:
drummachines:
erica synths technosystem
akai mpc3000 (modded)
akai mpc60 mk 1 (modded)
ensoniq asr x (modded)
superpocketoperator build by doc analog with 2x teenage engineering po32, ipad with patterning2 and erica synths fusion valve filters. all in an old army flightcase
roland tr8s
endorphin.es black noir with twisted electrons crazy8beats

synths
acd666
polyend medusa
erica synths liquid sky dada noise system
acl system 1
native instruments thrill
erica synths bassline
twisted electrons therapkid
gamechanger audio motorsynth
izotope iris 2

effects:
ninja tune zendelay
erica synths & gamechanger audio plasmadrive
bastl instruments dark matter
crazy tube circuits stereo splash mk III
snazzy fx wownflutter
catalinbread csidman

on the wishlist:
sequential rev2
korg prologue 16
emu e II+ (modded)
roland 750 (modded)
superlatives sb1 spacebee

Postlude: namedrop this, m************:

Yeah, okay, starting a sentence with “maybe you’ve heard of” with Air Liquide could take a while if you want to check on all their aliases. From the VICE report – amazingly, possibly even incomplete:

Madonna 303, Black One, Digital Dirt Inc, Ingy-Babe, John Amok, Unit 700, Acid All Stars, Der Tote, DR. Echo, Free Radicals, Flüssige Luft, G 104, Message, Oral Experience, Alpha Unit, Basstards, The, Bionic Skank, Cipher Code, Cube 40, Denpasar, Electronic Dub, Ethik II, Even Brooklyn Grooves, Fridge Pro 1, Future Shock Project, Futuristic Dub Foundation, G.L. Posse, German Electronic Foundation, M.F.A., Mental Bazar, Multicore L.T.D., Non Toxique Lost, Outernational Steppers, Restgeraeusch, Rub-A-Slide, Set Fatale, Slime Slurps, , Time Tunnel, Titanium Steel Screws, Tone Manipulators, Trancemagma, Dzeta Walker, Ultrahigh, UMO, Vene, View Point Odyssey, Zulutronic, Black One, Digital Dirt Inc, Dr. Walker, Ingy-Babe, John Amok, 370°, Acid Force, Air Liquide, Alternate States, Atlantic Trance, Bleep, The, Brotherz In Armz, Cipher Code, Commando, The Creature, Denpasar, Dr. Walker & Electro Atomu, Dr. Walker & M. Flux, Electrochic, Electronic Dub, Elevator 101, Ermionis Phunk Crew, Ethik II, Fridge Pro 1, Future Shock Project, German Electronic Foundation, Gizz TV & Walker, Global Electronic Network, Helden Der Revolution, House Hallucinates, GEF, Khan & Walker, Lovecore, Mental Bazar, Mono-Tone, Multicore L.T.D., Pierrot Premier, Planet Love Ink, Planet Lovecore, Psychedelic Kitchen, Radiowaves, Recall IV, Red Light District, Rei$$dorf Force, Resist 101, South 2nd, Stardate 1973, Structure, Tantra-M, Technoline, Time Tunnel, Trancemagma, Trip 2001, Unbelievable, Unlimited Pleasure, Vermona, View Point Odyssey, Dr. W and X-911.

They have shared this new short bio/history with us, to give you the full story:

AIR LIQUIDE

Born out of innovation & originality, Air Liquide are for many people one of contemporary electronic music cultures most pioneering, important and inspiring projects.

Cem Oral aka Jammin Unit and Ingmar Koch (Dr.Walker) first met in 1989 in a Studio in Frankfurt Main, in Germany. As it often is when like attracts like, it wasn’t long before they recognized their mutual love, not only for experimental, abstract and lo-fi musics but also for Alien, Bigfoot, Telepathy stories of Parallel Universes and Fairytales with a somewhat darker side. So it was just a matter of time before the two were getting together in the studio at the end of their respective dayshifts, to commence their own nightshift recording sessions of abstract noise, cut-ups and experimental soundscapes.

As well as Techno itself, likewise Acid, Industrial Noise, Ernste Musik, Ambient, Kraut Rock, Space-rock, 70s Psychedelia Underground Hip Hop and Musique Concrete were all somehow present and in the mix of the evolving Air Liquide sound, sitting comfortably and perfectly at home with elements of Turkish and Arabian traditional Music’s. The production process took on board a similar innovative and pioneering approach in its fusion of Modern Dub paired with the intensity of the all important groundbreaking Roland 909, 808, 303 and 101 must have technology of the day.

In 1991, they formed Air Liquide.

The fusion that was created boldly incorporated a past it was proud of, free of revivalism or plagiarism, clearly created in and reflecting undeniably a soundscape for the here and now that proclaimed uncompromisingly and assuredly, welcome to the future!

In keeping with every other aspect of their venture, Cem and Ingmar followed their intuition and instincts rather than established tradition, and immersed themselves in freestyle jam sessions, recording the entire one or two hours that they lasted. Upon later listening it would be decided if any parts of the jam session were up to the pairs criteria to be edited out and tweeked into tracks for release.
This is the paradigm within which the Air Liquide creative process birthed “Neue Frankfurter Elektronik Schule”, their first record, released in 1991 on their own label ”Blue”. The first pressing of 1000 copies, released on coloured vinyl, sold out in the first hour after its release!

This was a remarkable achievement, for an unknown band without any direct link to the House Music Scene. Via experimentation Air Liquide reintroduced a living breathing life affirming energy into contemporary music culture, much the same as techno and house did via rave and most importantly dancing. No surprise then that in a very short space of time, accolades like ‘The true heirs to Can’, ‘The Greatful Dead of Techno’ & ‘The spearhead of German Techno’ were incoming thick and fast from the International Music press. Their mixture of Hip Hop, Psyche & Krautrock, Acid & Techno endeared them to a rapidly established and increasing fan base around the Cologne area.

Their eclecticism, originality and self respect, as apparent in a seemingly “no respect for any rules” approach endeared them to that international music press, fans and professionals alike, especially as those professionals were born of the same spirit, as it had been in their own break through years. Like attracts like, the true fans of such musics, such fusions and the spaces that are created for and by these musics, of course could and can feel that, and step up to support it without question.

Then you have guests at your live jams like Michael Rother, Holger Czukay, Luke Vibert, Helmut Zerlett, Craig Anderton, Arno Steffen, Caspar Pound, Fm Einheit. Then your 100% improvised live shows successfully bring surprise, ecstasy, the unexpected and exactly all that people are wanting from you, as well in ways they are not expecting, all in a guaranteed we deliver way, regardless however it may be presented. Then you will be invited to join the roster of USA sm:)e records, the cult sub-label of Profile, that being the label of Run DMC. Likewise in UK, being asked to release on Casper Pounds all important Rising High Records.

And when your fusion of the experimental soul of contemporary electronica and krautrock creates such a superb and flawless fusion that fans from both sound spectrums love you for it, well then one of the all time forward thinking labels ever, Harvest records, will come out of retirement and re activate solely for the purpose of releasing your recordings.

Which is exactly what happened in 1993. That happens if you mean what your doing and if what you are doing is truly valid and unquestionably relevant.

Air Liquide were inspired, moulded by and arose from within that timeless borderless creative Freezone that births truly great Sound & Vision in every respect. It is where they still reside, and it is from there that they now re-emerge to mark 3 decades of living on the frontiers of International ground breaking contemporary ahead of the curve Music, Art, and attendant Technology subcultures.

Air Liquide represent the ultimate fusion of ideals, not believing the hype, not being swayed by past or present dogmas and staying true to their innermost aims and feelings, without question. The real thing if you will. Air Liquide were since their inception in 1991, always have been and still are very much the real thing, through and through!

Modern photos by George Nebieridze; all pictures courtesy Air Liquide.

The post Enter the freaky trippy acid 90s German synth world of Air Liquide appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

From Ukraine, a compilation to resist normality and go braindance

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Labels,Scene | Thu 4 Apr 2019 5:02 pm

The letters titling the release spell out, in Cyrllic, “sh**s.” And more than just another dull compilation, this collection of tracks is a statement – in opposition to commercialism and homogeny, in favor of “braindance” weirdness.

The earnest voices of the ШЩЦ creators intone their explanation in an ‘intro’ track you get with the download. “We have power to … make it not commercial, to make it true, to make it native,” they explain – “emotional music, true music from true people.” 23 artists were picked out of hundreds, and the result is a pay-what-you-will Bandcamp release plus a DVD physical copy. (Just got a confirmation – the DVD I impulse-bought is coming in the mail. This should complete my antiquated release format bingo, alongside floppies and game cartridges and VHS tapes and so on….)

ШЩЦ is a party in Kyiv as well as this first music release, and so in addition to lots of new names, you’ll see the likes of Stanislav Tolkachev. The collective itself is based in the capital city, but connects a group from around the country.

You’ll find some magical and surprising arrangements here. And in an age that so often trends between molasses-thick irony and nostalgia on one hand, or dark dystopia on the other, this is music that that’s free, experimental, and optimistic. Just to name a few favorites, and I like this top to bottom – Xtal’s “A-Body” shimmers with cascades of glistening tunes across a frosty-rich percussion bed. Sztvo’s “Heaton” is equally gorgeous, sunlit-warm stuff. “Famergame” is total insanity, by Potreba – please, please DJ with this and invite me. Jubex “Pass In The Dust” feels almost like the Detroit-Kyiv electro connection, with some dry digital newness thrown in. “Hibernation” by S+ is frenetic and urgent. And yeah, Tolkachev’s contribution sounds like there was a transporter accident on the disco floor. Everywhere there are rhythms that range from frantic digital streams to dorky awkward irregularity.

We’ve heard these timbres and rhythms before, but to me ШЩЦ is a sign that what was once high-falutin’ computer craft has become downright punk – and just as easy and spontaneous, rather than sounding overworked or off-putting.

Ukraine now post-revolution is like UK 90s, they argue. But hey, UK or not, why not go oldschool by making connections just by putting together some tracks and being decidedly weird. More of that, please.

“Listen on Bandcamp … and also, wherever in Internet.”

Word.

http://ssshitsss.bandcamp.com/album/various-artists-01

I also dig that their description reads like a manifesto:

ШЩЦ (SHITS) is a new Ukrainian label that started as a club night in December 2016. It was founded by A-Body, Bodya Konakov and their friends and promotes ‘Braindance’ — a much loved and misunderstood genre of electronic music, forgotten by some and indeed new to others, especially in Ukraine. Label founders want to show a kind of ‘family’ of ukrainian artists (by no means a monopoly) who introducing more freedom and versatility to music. These artists feel that there is a void in the country’s dance music that few were attempting to fill so ШЩЦ (SHITS) aims to demonstrate to the rest of the world that Ukrainian braindance music can be entirely original. Also, it disregards the all-to-common commercial genres and wants to show alternative side of dance music.

They tries to demonstrate this in VARIOUS ARTISTS ШЩЦ01, a DVD compilation.

The compilation features 23 musicians from Ukraine, which makes innovative, but at the same time emotional music. This is the friends of the label who have repeatedly performed at concerts and parties of the ШЩЦ (SHITS), including such names as Stanislav Tolkachev, A-Body, Wulffius, Potreba, Sommer, Tofudj, Sasha Very, Acid Jordan, etc.

Also label places equal importance on the evolution of fresh artists on the scene and aims to offer a fair contract for everyone.

The post From Ukraine, a compilation to resist normality and go braindance appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And snippets of 2019:

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

JASSS:

Demdike Stare:

Blotter Trax:

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

Facebook event if you’re in Berlin this weekend:

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

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

Inside the esoteric moon music of Doc Sleep, underground connector

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Labels,Scene | Mon 4 Mar 2019 6:57 pm

Leftfield grooves, cycles inspired by the cinematic qualities of lunar and natural world – welcome to Doc Sleep’s “Your Ruling Planet.” I talked to the Room 4 Resistance resident and Jacktone Records co-owner about her work.

Doc Sleep is a San Francisco-to-Berlin transplant, and apart from her prolific production career and packed DJ schedule, she’s someone who makes connections and creates space for others in an underground scene so often overlooked for solitary solo artists. So that has meant broadcasting on the legendary Intergalactic FM, collaborating and remixing across labels from Twirl to Discwoman, and more recently being a resident and curator of Room 4 Resistance, the activist, queer collective.

And her music productions mirror the thoughtful, eclectic materials of her label Jacktone. “Your Ruling Planet” is comfortably odd, relaxing into organic rhythms that dance hypnotically through the stereo field, gentle ambiences and field loops feathering into one another. She tells us a bit about how this came about and where she’s headed.

Take a listen:

Cover image: album art by Sonja of Lisbon’s LABAREDA label.

Lunar eclipses and whatnot – can you share a bit with us the cosmic narrative for you in this music? What brought it on; how does that translate to the music?

I have a lot of memories from childhood connected to seasons and nature. I’m from a rural area, so it’s all tied up with a bit of colloquial wisdom, farmers almanac kind of context. Something like the harvest moon or spring equinox – these were all part of the vernacular, but in a practical, matter-of-fact way. These memories were on my mind when I was working on the music in January because of the eclipses (partial solar, total lunar). As I was recalling memories and stories, the natural and ‘otherworldly’ elements were always so strong in beautiful cinematic ways – the look of the sky and moon, colors at dusk, constellations, northern lights glimpsed through the trees, and so on. I started to record and structure the release as a narration and soundtrack for these fragments and how to bring them into the present. Sonja (the amazing artist who designed the cover), sent along artwork and referred to it as ‘celestial’ – and it was solidified.

What’s your toolset like for this album? There’s a really organic sound to these elements; how are you working?

I was feeling stuck last year with the DAW tools I had, and a pal made some specific suggestions to spice it up in Ableton – Reaktor, Max for Live, etc. You know, things most people have been using for ages, ha! Since moving to Berlin, I’ve been producing ‘in the box’, so between using a Push, experimenting with Reaktor and just generally getting more comfortable in Ableton – I’m finally able to be more spontaneous. Lots of accidents are happening all that good stuff. Being able to record and manipulate audio out of Reaktor added an imperfect, unwieldy element I was missing from my setup and I use it heavily these days. I also mangle samples and sample packs, use field recordings, analog synth plug-ins, piano and guitar plug-ins – lots of warmer-sounding instruments. I add plenty of effects (reverb, space echo, tape distortion) to give the sounds a bit of depth and character. I am still learning and experimenting with every session, so we’ll see where I end up with the next EPs later this year.

Doc Sleep. Photo: Lydia Daniller.

I’m particularly interested in the element of time – there’s a sense of cycle, but without being too fixed to a grid. How many layers are we hearing at once / how much is real time versus worked out after the fact? There’s a particularly hypnotic sense for me on the last cut (“Emerado Falls”).

I love that you mentioned a sense of cycle. This all fits nicely with the themes and I’m glad this came out in the music.

In general, I like to layer melodic elements and play with the phasing/fading in and out with the different layers… actually, maybe cramming is a better word. I will manipulate a sample or record audio out of Reaktor over percussion and then record several versions of what I want, but all slightly different with effects and then layer it and work on the arrangement from there.

In these tracks, for some of the more ‘ethereal’ parts, I was layering vocals and having them interplay with synths that mirrored the melody line. There are probably four or five mid- to higher-register melodic elements at one time in “Emerado Falls.” I wanted them to be indistinguishable at times, or sometimes the different sounds coming in and out of focus – my friend at Grippers’ Tips referred to it as ‘smudged ambience’, which I really like. As far as the pianos that come in and sort of collide at the end, this was difficult to get them timed in a way that didn’t sound ‘off’ or distracting. I’m not seeking perfection with the music, but I also don’t want it be so off-grid that it pulls the listener out of the moment.

I hear various field recordings. Does that figure into the story of this music for you?

I was very interested in bringing these elements into the music, yes. In the mid 2000s I made music with a friend who had gone to school for sound art, so this is when I started to learn what was possible mixing field recordings into music. Before that, I didn’t really understand how producers were doing it – magic, I guess. For this release, I was very particular about the sounds I used as I was trying to recreate and reconstruct situations / memories that represent something meaningful for me personally. For the listener, I wanted to share these personal experiences, draw them in and see if it would also resonate.

That said, maybe saying “ambient” is really the wrong term – there is some real groove here, too, on “Nim” or even “Your Ruling Planet.” Usually when we start talking DJs and production, we slip into the realm of tools and whatnot – are you feeding your life into a DJ into this, even when it is less obvious dancefloor material?

My first two releases, I wanted to make dancefloor material and hoped some pals would play it out in sets. This time around, since it was at home on Jacktone and I hadn’t released in awhile, I was more focused on realizing and executing ideas. There are dance tempos present, but I didn’t write with the dancefloor in mind, which feels like real progress for me. I’m glad a groove comes through, though – I would be sad if it didn’t!

You’re now in my impression really active DJing. What has the move to Berlin, and to Room 4 Resistance meant for that side of your career – and how do you fit in time for the label and production?

Being part of R4R, I’m surrounded by fantastic, experimental, bold artists that I’m lucky to play with and learn from. Being part of the collective has pushed me to try new things in sets and I’m a better and more confident DJ because of it. Because we now have the experimental/ambient room at Trauma Bar, the events will push even further out of the box of what a club night can look like in 2019. It’s an exciting time and I’m fortunate to be part of it.

As far as time management and prioritizing projects, it’s definitely difficult. I have about 3 hours before work (if I don’t hit snooze) and 3 hours after work to make headway on the various things I’m involved with and working on, so I have to be focused, disciplined and…very boring these days.

For those new to your label, any tips as far as where to begin?

If you poke around the Jacktone Bandcamp store, you’ll find everything from kosmische and dark ambient to pummeling acid and dub techno, psychedelic house to rhythmic noise, concept albums, soundtracks, IDM, lo-fi, breaks, electro… and so on. We’ve collaborated with such a beautiful variety of folks producing in different genres the past 5 years, it’s difficult to single out any one release. I will say, our next release, from a prolific artist named Le Scrambled Debutante from Tennessee, is offering what is probably our most experimental release thus far. I think he best described it: sonic Dada. After that, we’re back in the Bay for another psychedelic house release, and then our first vinyl collaboration of the year with Beacon Sound in Portland (artist TBA). 🙂

https://jacktonerecords.bandcamp.com/

Oh, lastly, I love this artwork – can you tell us about Sonja and how the visual came about?

I’m so glad you like it! Sonja is a fabulously-talented designer, DJ, and label owner from Portugal. I’ve loved her aesthetic for so long and the music she puts out on Labareda is bold and imaginative and I thought she would be a great person to collaborate with for an image. Because it’s a digital-only release, we wanted it to be eye-catching and I think it works beautifully and captures the narrative perfectly. We liked it so much we also made it into a t-shirt.

Thanks! Yes, we’ll be watching for more from you and your label…

https://www.facebook.com/djdocsleep

The post Inside the esoteric moon music of Doc Sleep, underground connector appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Like a studio onstage: Orbital tells us their live rig synth secrets

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Fri 4 Jan 2019 7:57 pm

It’s a dazzling audiovisual show, with eye-popping visuals, plus an overflowing connection of synths. Orbital share their secrets for live performance and jamming with CDM’s David Abravanel.

The timing is perfect: Monsters Exist was a 2018 production highlight. Now we get to hear how all that studio complexity translates to live jamming: -Ed.

Photos: Matthew Bergman for CDM.

Orbital live in New York. Photo: Matthew Bergman

As soon as the two men wearing glasses with headlights on the side come on stage, there’s no question that you’re at an Orbital concert. Even before brothers Paul and Phil Hartnoll take the stage, however, they’re preceded by another tell-tale sign: a live set up featuring copious hard- and software at their fingertips.

For decades, the Hartnolls have made a name for themselves defying expectations for live electronic performance – bringing a sizable chunk of their studio on tour and deftly weaving through live sets that allow them the flexibility to jam. It’s only fitting that Orbital have started releasing regular recordings of their live shows since their 2017 reunion.

Orbital’s live US rig:

Arturia Matrixbrute
Roland Jupiter-6
Sequential Prophet-6
Access Virus TI
Novation Bass Station II
Novation Peak
Roland TB-303
iPad x 3 (two for Lemur, one for timekeeping)
Novation Launch Control x 3
Ableton Live 10

Ed.: Got to watch a similar – even slightly larger – rig for Amsterdam Dance Event. This is a truly epic stage show from the kind of veterans with the chops to pull it off. -PK

I caught up with Orbital’s Paul Hartnoll for a walkthrough of their stage setup before a recent show at Brooklyn Steel. It was the group’s first set of American dates in six years (accounting for a lengthy hiatus during which the brothers weren’t in communication), and, despite jetlag, spirits were high.

CDM: Between the Wonky tour and this one, you’ve switched from using Liine Griid on your iPads (now discontinued) and using the original [JazzMutant] Lemur hardware. What are you using now?

Paul: The original replacement for the Alesis MMT-8 [sequencer] was the old-fashioned Lemurs, which – this is better. The touch screens were a bit iffy on those, it was early technology. Then we went on to Griid on the iPad, and now we’re back to Lemur, but on the iPad.

Each track is a Lemur template along the top. The buttons trigger Live – the big buttons are scene changes, and the little buttons are clips.

Paul with Ableton Live.

One of the Lemur templates for “Halcyon”, featuring the infamous Belinda Carlisle/Bon Jovi sample triggers.

And a little more dynamic than the MMT-8s?

Oh yeah. When you look at the Lemur, the big buttons that do the scene changes – that’s like changing a pattern on the MMT-8, but we can also turn things on and off within.

Also, you’ll notice that this [points to three Novation Launch Control XL controllers] pretty much looks like an MMT-8 as well. These are our virtual mixing channels, and each song gets threaded through to these channels. It’s a combination of bringing things in and out on the iPads and the Launch Controls.

What I can do – depending on different parts of the set and how I’m feeling – is go through and mute [the Launch Controls] and do it old-school MMT-8-style as well. You trigger things on the Lemur and obviously they start where you want them to, whereas on the Launch Controls, if you’ve got something muted, you might lose count and bring it in halfway through a riff.

I’ve got the drums broken down here [gestures to Launch Control], to punch them all in and out if I want to, and the “stop all” button which is great.

So you’re mixing on stage with the Launch Controls and the Ableton Live set?

It’s all coming out of here [points to interface] and going to the front of house. We’ve got control of volume of all the channels, so we can ride things – if we know that something’s coming in, we might want to pump that up a bit. And then that happens over the PA, but if it’s too much, [our front of house mixer] can bring it down. Or he can EQ each channel to suit the room. Obviously, front of house is the best place for the overall EQ for each channel because he’s hearing it through the PA and we’re not. We’ve got control of the mix of the balance of things, but then it’s also a safety thing. If I push the drums too much, and it’s too much in the room, [the mixer] can tweak it.

How do you decide which synths come on the road with you internationally? I know you’ve performed with the MacBeth M5, but it’s not in the rig this time around.

I still like the MacBeth – I’d love to bring it! But I’d need to do something do it, because we can’t fly with it. Most of the MacBeth box is empty, it’s just part of Ken [MacBeth]’s thing of, “it’s a performance synth, it needs to stand up and be proud!” So what I want to do is take the case off and put it in a different box, a really thin box. Maybe put a gilt-edged picture frame around it? [Laughs]

This tends to replace the MacBeth – the [Arturia] MatrixBrute. It’s kind of angry, like the MacBeth. It’s got more drive stages and things like that than the MacBeth – it’s probably angrier but kind of thinner, but that’s good because it cuts through in the mix live. Whereas the MacBeth is just – it’s fun, bringing something like that, because it hasn’t got any presets so you’ve got to work on the fly, and I love that. The MacBeth kind of forces you to make each sound tailor-made for each gig. But [the MatrixBrute] is good fun live! And of course, so much control – so much fun to be had.

[Starts playing the beginning of “Tiny Foldable Cities”] Most of the sounds in this track come from the MatrixBrute.

And is that how you did it on the studio version as well?

Yeah. [Cycles through sounds]. Obviously I have to sample some of them live.

Do you have audio backups of all of your hardware synths in case one of them goes before or during a show?

We say we’re gonna do it, but we never do it. [Laughs]

We’ve got a backup computer if that one goes down – but that’s, y’know, “hello everybody, sorry we’ve had a computer failure, we’re just going to be five minutes while we change computers. Talk amongst yourselves, and have a drink at the bar.”

Paul points to the essential crossmod section on Orbital’s Roland Jupiter-6.

So are these the more robust synths that you tour with then – like the Jupiter-6?

This is actually a new one to us. My old one I bought in ‘92, and it’s kind of died now – it still works but it’s a bit flaky. We bought this [new synth] to replace it, because it’s been live with us since ‘92. Is the Jupiter-6 the best synth in the world? No, but it’s got a lot of character, and a lot of our old songs rely on it. I’ve tried to replace with things, but it doesn’t quite work.

Orbital – “Lush 3-1” and “Lush 3-2”, featuring Jupiter-6 on the airy lead sound.

What are some of the Jupiter-6 sounds?

[Starts playing lead sound from “Lush 3”] That! I can never get that out of anything else. Not like that.

Orbital – “Impact” live, with the Jupiter-6 sync/crossmod sound.

The other one that I cannot do without is in “Impact” [Starts playing] when you sync it and then crossmod it stays in tune – it would be a terrible noise if you had it synced the other way. I just had my Jupiter-8 modified to sync the right way; Jupiter-8’s sync in the other direction. In this bit it’s kind of like a wavefolder, you know? Crazy sounds that you can’t get anywhere else – very techno-y, kind of clangy.

Orbital – “Belfast”, featuring ascending bubbly arpeggios from the Jupiter-6.

The last thing is in “Belfast” [starts playing], I always need a Roland synth to get that. That’s three of my big sounds.

Phil Hartnoll’s notes for tweaks to the Novation Peak.

What’s the division of labor like between you and Phil when you’re performing live – do you have defined roles, or are you often reaching over each other?

We do have roles – I arrange. I’m in charge of a lot of the synth manipulation around this end [points to left side of the stand]. We keep this and this [points to Novation Peak and Roland TB-303] exclusively for Phil, he plays with them.

Orbital’s TB-303 – yes, this is the original one from “Chime”.

Is that your original 303?

Yeah [laughs] can you tell? It’s not even silver any more, it’s brown, it’s like a lot of our gear. Our 909 is held together with love and tape.

So Phil does those. I leave him in charge of the drums at this end [points to Launch Control on the right], but I kind of use these here [points to left Launch Control iPads, and synths]. You know this [points to middle Launch Control] is our crossover point.

If I’m busy arranging then Phil might lean over and do some more mixing – [the Launch Controls and middle synths] are the grey area between the two of us.

Orbital live, main table, front-facing view – Paul stands to the left, Phil to the right.

I would like to start bringing the 909, but it’s just a box too far at the minute. I will do it, it’s the only thing I miss live – we use it a lot in the studio.

Instead of using generic 909 samples, I’ve meticulously sampled my own 909. I think they all sound different, 909s – I can spot mine.

They say the same thing about 303s – that’s why no one emulator gets it totally right.

That’s interesting, because I haven’t noticed that with 303s. We’ve got two and I can’t tell them apart – but maybe they’re from the same batch?

With 909s, there’s definitely different batches of them that sound different. I think it’s more like, there’s three different sounds to 909s, and I’ve had two of them in the past. When I sample my 909 – I don’t round robin it, I keep it very simple – but it sounds right, because it’s my 909.

I do notice the difference if I plug a real 909 in. They drop out as well – they do weird shit! They just lose a kick every now and then, and you kind of turn around and it goes “no no, I’m still here!” [laughs]

So you’re playing the Prophet-6 and the Virus TI a fair amount.

It’s weird – it’s a strange old synth, I like it. It tends to thin woolly pads and sharp things quite nicely. I use it in some tracks quite distorted, as well – I really use the distortion on it. It cuts through like a guitar.

The horn sounds on “Hoo Hoo Ha Ha” from Monsters Exist, is that a wavetable from the Virus?

That’s actually samples from a session we did for the 2squared album with Vince Clarke. I just cut tiny bits of it, and made a new riff with it.

[Starts playing “Hoo Hoo Ha Ha”, mixing in parts and effects]. One of the things that I really like is this side chain kind of effect. One of the send effects is a big delay, another is a big reverb. But this [points to knob on Launch Control channels] is a sidechain from the kick, but it isn’t sidechaining any of the instruments, it’s just sidechaining the effects return.

What’s playing the “Hoo Hoo Ha Ha” chords?

That’s a lot of people, actually, that I recorded coming out of the pub. I got them all to go “uh”, “hah”, “huh”, and then I made a round robin kind of thing and processed it in Kontakt to make it sort of a robotic constant-pitch thing. And then played chords on it.

As a musician, you’ve got Orbital, you’ve got your solo albums, you’ve got 8:58, you’ve got soundtracks, and a couple years ago you had the album 2squared with Vince Clarke. Is there a difference in the compositional mindset when you’re working on material for different projects?

I’d like to pretend there was but there isn’t. I just go and do my thing, wherever I’m doing it.

Clarke:Hartnoll – “Do A Bong”

There’s a kind of Paul Hartnoll sound signature – like on “Do A Bong” with Vince Clarke, I thought “oh, it’s got Orbital chords”

[Laughs] Yeah! That’s what I said to Vince when we were doing that. He played with these kind of…for want of a genre, “nu disco” kind of things, and he said “what can you do?” I said “I wanna bring some live, sort of wild synth passes” – what I call “stadium house” – to it. You know, that kind of big rave, big chords – with a lead line that’s kind of simple over the top.

Paul next to the Ableton Live set (visual trigger clips to the right), Arturia Matrixbrute, and Jupiter-6.

How does the live set work visually?

[Points to Ableton Live set] There’s some video triggers here. When I hit certain scene changes, it triggers off a run of a certain visual. So we can set up things perfectly in time, and [our VJ] doesn’t have to worry about when we’re going to do drop downs.

A show like no other

Ultimately, I’m left with the same thought I had when I saw them in 2012 in Berlin, or when watching the DVD of highlights from their 90s/00s Glastonbury sets: Orbital put on an incredible show. The technology might change – and the visuals are certainly more engaging and impressive than ever – but at the core, it’s the same gorgeous stadium-sized emotional melodies that have kept audiences enthralled for nearly three decades.

With the release of the excellent Monsters Exist, Orbital are exiting 2018 on a high note – and 2019 sees 30 years since the release of “Chime”. We’ll certainly be keen to see what happens next!

https://orbitalofficial.com/

The post Like a studio onstage: Orbital tells us their live rig synth secrets appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

A flood of user-submitted faces make a poignant new Max Cooper video

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Fri 21 Sep 2018 5:43 pm

It’s a kind of love letter to humanity – and strikingly personal, both in the music and imagery, finding some hopeful part of the current zeitgeist. Don’t miss the new “Lovesong” video, made by music producer Max Cooper in collaboration with artist Kevin McGloughlin.

There’s a lot of bombast both in mainstage electronic music and in music videos – shouting being one way of attempting to get above the din of media in our world. But what’s engaging about “Lovesong” is that it does feel so intimate. There’s the unaffected, simple chord line, wandering around thirds like a curious child, slow fuzzy beats ambling in and out with just enough bits of sonic icing and flourish. And the video, composed of a stream of user-submitted faces, manages to make those faces seem to gaze back through the screen. It’s where we’ve come at last: the visual effects aren’t so gimmicky any more, but seem more natural first language. (Compare the fanfare with which Michael Jackson’s “Black or White” arrived – see below.)

That is, while this video is surely fodder for design blogs and … well, this one … I suspect it’ll spread passed by one person to another, more on the human level suggested by the video.

The visual work, by the way, comes from fellow Irishman and animator/filmmaker Kevin McGloughlin, a self-taught artist and director. Here’s what Max and Kevin have to say for themselves:

From the album ‘One Hundred Billion Sparks’ [Mesh]
Stream / buy: MaxCooper.lnk.to/OHBS
For more information visit onehundredbillionsparks.net and sign up for first news exclusive content at maxcooper.net/#join

“My new album, one hundred billion sparks, is out today, so it seemed a good day to also launch the music video which you created. The whole thing is built from photos which were submitted by those of you who listen to my work, so many thanks for that, and I hope you can spot your face in there!

The topic itself was a difficult one to approach, as so much popular music is written about love that it seems to have become more of an exercise in sales than anything authentic. So it’s a topic I’ve always avoided, but one that came naturally during the process of creating this album about the mind and what creates us, especially with the arrival of a new tiny person at the end of the writing period.

I chatted to Kevin McGloughlin about how we could visualise the idea in a general sense, and we decided that imagery of the human face would be the way to do it. Kevin had the great idea of setting up a platform for the viewers of the video project to submit their own photos to build it from, so as to make the video a personalised, and more meaningful rendering of the love song. Then Kevin worked his magic with the photos creating a beautiful complex blending and processing of stills. Many thanks again to all of you who submitted your photos, and I recommend scanning through to find yourself in there and getting screenshot. It’s amazing how much is going on when you slow down the video to look at the individual frames too, hats off to the awesome Kevin McGloughlin once again!”

– Max Cooper

– – –

“I am completely honoured to have worked directly with so many people for this global portrait.
It was a great experience of collaboration and though some of the images are less prominent than others, each and every image was as instrumental and important as the next in creating the final piece.

When Max told me about his vision for ‘Love Song’, “love of the species”
I immediately had the idea to include real people and real moments in the video.
We asked for submissions and images flooded in from people all over the world, and work got under way.

This video is like a postcard for me. Something for all the people involved.

Big thanks to all the collaborators and to Memfies who aided us in the compilation of all the initial images.”

– Kevin McGloughlin

That idea of “love of the species” recalls for me one of my favorite texts, associated with a street corner in my hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. It comes from Catholic mystic Thomas Merton, but it’s universal enough that the Dalai Lama took it as a title when visiting the city. (And it’s partly about getting away from superficial religiosity.)

“In Louisville, at the corner of Fourth and Walnut, in the center of the shopping district, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I loved all those people, that they were mine and I theirs, that we could not be alien to one another even though we were total strangers. It was like waking from a dream of separateness, of spurious self-isolation in a special world, the world of renunciation and supposed holiness… This sense of liberation from an illusory difference was such a relief and such a joy to me that I almost laughed out loud… I have the immense joy of being man, a member of a race in which God Himself became incarnate. As if the sorrows and stupidities of the human condition could overwhelm me, now I realize what we all are. And if only everybody could realize this! But it cannot be explained. There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun.”

“Spurious self-isolation” is certainly an idea that music producers will find familiar, not only monks. But even though it’s not always easy, it’s great when we can find our way to wake from the dream of separateness and find love again – and we’re lucky to have music for those love songs.

maxcooper.net
kevinmcgloughlin.com/

By way of history, this piece on “Black or White” and early morphing is a must-read for lovers of animation and computer graphics:

An Oral History of Morphing in Michael Jackson’s ‘Black or White’ [Cartoon Brew]

I had forgotten about the Plymouth Voyager, but I suppose you could argue the minivan is also a love letter to humanity. (The “pooling kids to soccer practice” one, maybe?)

The post A flood of user-submitted faces make a poignant new Max Cooper video appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Watch five hours of one of SONAR’s best stages in video

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Scene | Mon 18 Jun 2018 5:13 pm

Got some festival envy? Relax, sit back – one of the best stages from SONAR Festival in Barcelona last week is now online.

Of course, there’s no substitute for checking out live music. On the other hand, there’s also no substitute for partying at home, with no queues when you get thirsty and no one around but you. It’s all balance.

CDM will be bringing you a bit of SONAR Festival, but having scoped out the place myself, the Resident Advisor-sponsored night stage – and specifically this particular night of programming from said state – was one of the best programmed. And it seems that’s what our friends at RA chose to put online. So whether you know these artists or not or are getting a first introduction, full endorsement.

Octo Octa’s hair swinging back and forth while she killed that set is actually one of my enduring visual memories of this festival. I think things are currently truncated from the live stream but I’ll ask. Certainly this Saturday night on the RA stage was ideal – like a dream lineup.

The artists – DJ sets from Octo Octa on, but the rest live – with more links to more music and resources:

JASSS

Lanark Artefax

Errorsmith (interview with him coming soon to CDM, finally!)

Ben Klock B2B [back to back] with DJ Nobu

DJ Nobu official Facebook page

Motor City Drum Ensemble B2B Jeremy Underground

http://motorcitydrumensemble.com

The post Watch five hours of one of SONAR’s best stages in video appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Premiere: Spell Drops music video is flowing, organic electronic poetry

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Wed 28 Feb 2018 4:02 pm

Paris-based artist Morgan Friedrich is a choreographer as well as a producer – and his video and music are both infused with that sense of music and body.

Morgan Friedrich aka Morgan Belenguer is the kind of old-school renaissance romantic you’d expect from Paris in another century – mixing dance and poetry and music. But the sound and look are beautifully rooted in this moment. There’s fluid, bass heavy sounds with organic percussion, free angular jazz-like melodies, in asymmetrical flowing cascades. It all makes for a mystical pathway through some post-futuristic spirit world.

“Spell Drops,” the opening single, is already available for download from XLR8R and gets its video premiere here. And it looks like this – the choreography I think perfectly embodying the music. (And better than my words do – what was that about writing about music / dancing about architecture, again, whoever actually said that?)

Credits:

Music by MORGAN FRIEDRICH
Directed by Morgan Belenguer
Edited by Joji Koyama
Styling by Mattia Akkermans

Morgan also tells CDM a bit more.

Peter: How did the music video come about?

Morgan: In general, my videos emerge as part of musical compositions. After having collected various elements related to my theme (including notes, photos, quotes from books, descriptions of particular situations which appeal to me…) I assemble these “construction materials” and use them to shape my video.

In particular, Jay Hawkins’ “I put the spell on you” is the source of the song Spell Drops. I changed the “you” to “it” to bring the gaze downward, towards the ground, the earth, the real: “I put the spell on it because it’s mine.”

There is something blues, something Muddy in this piece of music, the feeling of being possessed, of possessing. That’s why Friedrich wanders like a solitary walker through the agricultural fields and wastelands. He carries on his back a sign usually used for advertisements. I re-appropriated this nomadic structure and imprinted on it his questions, his own thoughts as a reminder: “where can I land… on which ground?”

One of the elements of the sign, the shell, was created following a radio interview of Michel Serres, one in which he says that the shell was the first protective habitat of the living. A few days later, on the terrace of a bar, a cigarette crushed in a Saint Jacques shell caught my attention. I took a photograph of it with my phone (to appropriate is perhaps to pollute, to pollute it is perhaps to appropriate …).

Who are your collaborators here; how did you end up working together?

On Halloween night, I met Mattia Akkermans by chance in a bar hidden under a veil. A fashion designer by training, she became the stylist of my tragedy. She helps me to aesthetically construct my visuals as well as Friedrich’s appearance. Joji Koyama, who edits my videos, was introduced to me by a mutual friend. In general, I send him my raw material and explain to him my theme and what I think it might become. Each time he transcribes the theme perfectly in a surprising and sometimes touching way, which delights me … How lucky for me!

There’s such a distinctive feel to the music. How do you work; how do you compose this sort of flow?

The composition is an attempt to transcribe into music a physical or bodily sensation, a feeling, an experience. For example, for Spell Drops I was looking to express a kind of irregularity, an unleashing, an overflow, a panic that mixes violence and softness… “The feeling of being swept away by a river against one’s will.”

Technically, I was going to record atmospheres, soundscapes, which I would transpose with the MIDI choosing the instruments and then rework by altering the tempos in a way that gives the impression of always being a bit out of kilter…

What was the inspiration for this text? Did it serve as a map to the music? To the video? (I see it’s associated with the video; did it act as a kind of storyboard?)

The text is written at the end. It is the poetic description of the various symbolic elements that compose the video.

The poem accompanying the video / single:

Spell, Drops.
A handful of earth, because it’s mine, Drops.
A banner on his back, he wanders through the field, Drops.
A cigarette crushed in an empty holy shell, a habitat, Drops.
A Home equipment barcode, labeled on a pebble stone, Drops.
A shoe sole left in the sand, photographed by someone’s shadow, Drops.
An aftertaste, a background, a reverse then a reversal, Drops.
An empty look, on nothing, in particular, he leans, Drops.

What’s your tool set in the studio? How will you adapt it live?

I use mostly software, amps, pedal effects, nothing too extraordinary …

For the live performance, on the technical side, I will have a reduced set, a computer, a controller, a filter. I want to be able to detach myself from the control tower so that I can express myself physically. Ideally, I would like to adapt certain melodies by two experienced singers who would improvise during the live set and respond to each other face-to-face to give more body and more life to the music.

Can you tell us a bit about your background in music?

I’m a dancer out of the conservatory. I became a professional and then a choreographer. The music is for me at the same time a space and a partner. Now I try to make my music in a way that it can become a staged or choreographed body. My musical formation is fundamentally about such inversions and learning in strange ways.

Thanks, Morgan. For still more work from him:

The past film from the same collaborative team above:

http://morganfriedrich.com/about/

https://www.facebook.com/morganfriedrich/

https://www.instagram.com/morganfriedrich_/

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Get lost in the mesmerizing music video, improvs of this duo

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Mon 26 Feb 2018 8:12 pm

Sometimes, you just need to imagine yourself as being made of boulders, on a mental trip that has you wandering a surreal landscape.

I am a rock, I am an island. Or… I am a bunch of rocks.

So, we’re pleased to premiere “Flake,” the gorgeous single and music video. With sweetly melancholy violin and modal synth pads drifting atop a gentle groove, it perfectly fits its ambling main character through a hyperreal rendered world, in a film directed and animated by Benjamin Muzzin. (Thanks to creative director Lukasz Polowczyk for sending this our way.)

Silky-smooth as this production is, what’s wonderful about Egopusher is, they’re equally tight live. That relaxed vibe in the music comes from a duo whose playing meshes easily in spontaneous, effortless improvisation.

Egopusher is a Swiss instrumental electronica duo, with two musicians who started out doing sessions with Dieter Meier (half of YELLO). That’s Tobias Preisig (violin, synths) and Alessandro Giannelli (drums, synths).

Photo Nuel Schoch

Here’s the basic gear used for instrumentation:

Tobias:
Violin, through EQ and reverb [think that’s a Strymon Big Sky]
Moog Minitaur (little cousin of the mighty Taurus), triggered by MIDI organ foot pedal controller

Alessandro:
Acoustic drum kit
Arturia MiniBrute synthesizer (yep, one hand on kit, one on synth!)

plus for additional electronic instrumentation:
Computer running Ableton Live, triggering effects and additional MIDI
MFB Tanzbär Lite drum machine

They’ve got some terrific live performances for you to take in:

Check out the full album on Bandcamp – beautiful, hypnotic stuff:

https://egopusher.bandcamp.com/album/blood-red

It’s wonderful sometimes how much fine quality music is out there, some of it very much without lots of press hype. And nice when it shows up in the inbox, so keep it coming (even if I can’t respond to it all).

The post Get lost in the mesmerizing music video, improvs of this duo appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Try AI remixing in Regroover with these tips and exclusive sounds

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Wed 29 Nov 2017 5:11 pm

Regroover opens up new ways of transforming sounds and remixing materials, as powered by machine learning. Here’s how you can try that out, for free.

CDM got the chance to partner with developer Accusonus to help introduce this way of working. And it is a somewhat new approach: you’re separating audio components from rhythmic material, starting with a stereo file. It’s new enough that you might not immediately know where to begin.

So, to get you started, we’ve collaborated on a tutorial and a sound pack.

You don’t need to buy anything here. There’s a 14-day unlimited trial version for download:
https://accusonus.com/products/regroover#downloads

Then, the trick is really understanding the different creative possibilities of Regroover’s toolset. I put together a video – the challenge to myself being really to take a generic sound and do something new with it. I usually ignore all those loops that come with music software, but here it wound up being useful. Sure, I could have programmed my own loop here from scratch, but by working with Regroover, I got to chop up the groove/rhythmic feel and sounds themselves, independent of one another.

Here’s a fast step-by-step walkthrough of the interface:

First, to load the sound pack we’re giving you, choose “load project.” Then navigate to your download, which is grouped by different kits and loops (yeah, there’s a lot of stuff in there).

Second, check tempo settings. Sometimes it’s necessary to halve or double the detected bpm, just as in other time stretching tools. Also, you need to manually sync to the host tempo any time it changes – that’s because it takes a moment for those machine learning-powered algorithms to analyze the file.

You may want to transform the default analysis. The “split” tool allows for some creative manipulation of the number of layers, and how dense different layers are.

Not all Regroover manipulations have to be radical. You can start out just by emphasizing or de-mphasizing portions of the loop – adjusting its relative amplitude and mid/side and left/right panning. I suspect some of you will be happy just making subtle modifications to loops and otherwise leaving them as-is; if you don’t change the tempo, those will sound fairly close to the original. But this is still really different than the usual EQ and compression tools available to you.

As I demonstrate in the video, you can create polyrhythms inside an existing loop by adjusting in and out point on each layer. Again, that’s normally impossible with a stereo audio mix.

You can pull out individual portions of a sound by double-clicking, then dragging a selection. From there, you can drag and drop either into Regroover’s own sampler facility, or back into a host/DAW like Ableton Live.

You may want to check out Regroover’s built-in sampler tools. You’ll find all the usual facilities for amplitude envelope and so on, and you can create a playable pad of sounds you’ve extracted from a loop.

Exclusive CDM sound pack

Just for you, we’ve got a sound pack entitled “Hyper Abstract Electronica.” It’s the work of London/Surrey artist Aneek Thapar, who has an extensive resume in mixing, mastering, and teaching, and has also worked with Novation and Ninja Tune’s iOS/Android remix app Ninja Jamm.

Aneek created something that’s really special, I think, in that it seems perfectly suited to creative abuse inside Regroover. Putting the two together makes this feel almost like a unique instrument.

Aneek clearly thinks of it that way. Watch what happens when he controls it with gestures and the Leap Motion (plus Ableton Push):

The pack is free; we’ll add you to our respective newsletters (which have opt-out options, of course).

Download Hyper Abstract Electronic – CDM Exclusive

I am actually really, really interested if people make any music with this, so please don’t be shy and do send us tracks if you come up with something. (If you aren’t ready to invest, of course, you’ve got a nice 14-day deadline to keep you productive!) I’ll share any really good ones with readers.

For more background on the research behind this:
Accusonus explain how they’re using AI to make tools for musicians

Diclosure: Accusonus sponsored the creation of this content with CDM.

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Soak up this grimy, catchy Russian earworm from Tripmastaz

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Sat 26 Aug 2017 5:22 pm

From Russia, we get a free track and video that’s as dirty as it is hard to get out of your head.

If you hadn’t heard the name Tripmastaz, a listen should give you an inkling why this artist has become a big deal both at home in Russia and abroad. There’s just something about it – funky, catchy, but hard and insistent in some kind of Moscow/St. Petersburg way.

In a slightly psychotic pop turn, the latest from Tripmastaz heads out on those gray, rainy streets, courtesy a video by up and coming Moscow photographer/film director Viera Linn (Vera Linnik). Her vision seems to have a knack for finding transcendent moments in that infamously lively party scene and underground, here in demented repetitions of night vision green grain.

For Krokodeal, you get a Tel Aviv connection, via co-producer Amor Entrave aka Andrey Orenstein, a unique voice in remixing, pop, and craft.

Want more? Here’s more, from 2015:

And definitely catch the Boiler Room edition he did, where this track saw its debut:

Data Transmission has this track out. Yes, you’re welcome to use this in your set tonight and drive some dance floor wild.

Tripmastaz gives away ‘Krokodeal’

Direct download link

Tripmastaz is here at Synthposium in Moscow, and just one artist to talk about … but now I’ve got to go play, so more on all that talent when I recover!

The post Soak up this grimy, catchy Russian earworm from Tripmastaz appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Barker & Baumecker remixing Blondes is gorgeous and powerful

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Scene | Wed 12 Jul 2017 3:55 pm

When you take the New York duo Blondes, and then remix them with Berlin duo Barker & Baumecker, that’s a lot of synth love in the single “KDM.”

It’s just gorgeous stuff – the striking dry percussion giving way to some romantic, beautiful synths.

We don’t do so many full-track plays on their own on CDM, but this one is so simple and strong, I think it’s worth just stopping and listening to the end:

It’s two duos who stand for live performance, up for club sound systems and tours, but with real, intimate craft and musicianship to how they play. Blondes is New York’s Sam Haar and Zach Steinman, out previously on RVNG and now on R&S (so, that makes two esteemed labels beginning with the letter ‘R,’ for anyone counting). The Berlin duo is Sam Barker and nd_baumecker (aka Andi), stalwarts of Berghain / Panorama Bar and its related Ostgut label. (Their own outing last year was exceptional.) Both are also DJs of deep tastes – maybe across a wider variety than you might associate with Berghain – and I’ve had the pleasure this summer both of catching extended sets by Andi out in the garden and Sam in the big room, so I can attest to their stamina.

Here, you get a sense of the ability to use minimal means to greatest effect, with a particular focus on percussive forward elements and timbre.

We know the formula – hit remix first, full stream to the press, release in so many weeks, blah blah … but yeah, it’s nice when the remix actually immediately leaps out of your headphones and sounds like one you’ll want to hear repeatedly.

Tuned in.

https://randsrecords.lnk.to/warmth

Blondes.

That time we went to the Barker Baumecker studio. [CDM]

The post Barker & Baumecker remixing Blondes is gorgeous and powerful appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

This free B-side from Machinedrum is the perfect thing for the solstice

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Scene | Wed 21 Jun 2017 4:22 pm

Ready to raise your energy level and channel your higher self on the longest day of the year? (Or the shortest day of the year, if you’re in the southern hemisphere?)

Machinedrum (the artist, not the Elektron box) has quietly released the track that has the perfect vibe for that – even if you didn’t spot the track name. And it’s now a free download. It’s short, but otherwise sounds as much hit single as b-side, warm, friendly, and uncomplicated – genius.

You might put it on repeat as instant anti-depressant. Enjoy!

THE
HIGHER SELF
OF A PERSON
IS SEEN AS
THE
DIVINE SPARK
WITHIN WE ARE
1 W/ GOD

B-Side from the album “Human Energy”

Vocals : Daisy

And oh yeah, catch that whole album:

https://open.spotify.com/embed/user/machine-drum/playlist/2WlTPLCSOi3XoRVeHyVUeV

Want to see Travis in person? He’s got a busy tour schedule for the USA and Europe, from Slovakia to North Carolina:

http://machinedrum.net/

The post This free B-side from Machinedrum is the perfect thing for the solstice appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

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/

The post This music video generates landscapes from a wild alien duo’s music appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Wo bleibt der Culture Clash?

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

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

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

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

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

Bonfires & Stars | Trailer from STEREOTACTIC on Vimeo.

Arroganz meets Unbedarftheit?

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

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

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

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

Keine Einigkeit

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

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

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

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

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