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


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.

Raindrops inspire mesmerizing video by Max Cooper, Maxime Causeret

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Scene | Mon 9 Jan 2017 11:18 pm

It’s good to be Max Cooper. The artist’s richly crafted sound designs are paired now with a series of music videos commissioned by motion designers. And the most mesmerizing of these is the stunning creation by Maxime Causeret.

Driven by the organic sounds of recorded rain, spun into percussion, Causeret’s animations follow emergent systems of colored particles as they merge and swim across the screen.

I could say more, but … Max sort of says it all. Here:

I’m really excited about this video project, after the first live show it was the part that everyone was asking about – It is a beautiful humanised exploration of life and emergence, by Maxime Causeret. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
The idea for this part of the story started on a day when there was really heavy rain hitting the roof window at my old flat. I got out my binaural mics and put my head right up by the window with the big raindrops hitting all around. They made nice individual percussive noises, with great spatial positioning, so I decided to use them to seed a piece of music.
This track is the most explicit representation of the idea of emergence in the album, because the rhythm of the track is created by the raindrops in an emergent manner – I took the audio samples, mapped the transients for the raindrop hits, and then forced the mapped points towards the nearest drumming grid positions. This meant that the random raindrops were pushed into a quantised grid, and the result was that a percussive rhythm emerged, one that I hadn’t created myself, but was the closest rhythm to that particular section of rain.
I then played the sansula over this rain rhythm, and added lots of pads and saturation layers, finally with some vocal snippets from Kathrin deBoer to complete the track. Maxime Causeret selected this track to work with, under the brief to map the emergent rhythm to an exploration of emergence in living form.
His video shows the raindrops initially, then going into simple cellular forms and then showing the important idea of cooperation between simple cells to form more robust colonies of life. This develops into a visualisation of the idea of endosymbiosis, where simpler smaller organisms can live inside larger cells, each providing a benefit to the other, and eventually forming parts of the same organism as they evolve to be entirely dependent on each other. The video also shows competition between organisms for resources, which spurs on their evolutionary development, as each species tries to keep up with the innovations of the others. He also visualises the emergent ideas of flocking behaviour, where groups of individuals form beautiful dancing-like patterns.
Maxime also shows us a section of animated reaction-diffusion patterns, where simple chemical feedback mechanisms can yield complex flowing bands of colour – these forms of system were originally thought up by Alan Turing, and were part of the early seeds of the field of systems biology, which seeks to simulate life with computers, in order to better understand the systems producing the complexity we see in the living world. They were also the starting point of my main research area many years ago before I got lost in music! (where I began with the question of what patterns could be produced via reaction-diffusion forms of system as opposed to gene-regulatory network controlled patterning).
So it’s a rich visual treat from Maxime on many levels, I can see why so many people were asking about it after the first live show. Lots more amazing video content to come over the next few weeks.
Some words from Maxime about his process (translated from French):
Max wrote a brief text on each song to let us know his own feeling and we were free to make our own creation. I firstly made a lot of small experiments with dynamic systems around my main idea of living micro organism. It was now time to experiment with editing. I also ask for opinions, ideas and tests of few friends, specially Leslie Murard.
I firstly made a lot of small experiments with dynamic systems around my main idea of living micro organism. It was hard to then put everything together. It was now time to experiment with editing. I also ask for opinions, ideas and tests of few friends, specially Leslie Murard. Then i just have to do the real shots from my experiments.
In terms of tools, I work with Houdini. It’s a software which gives you a lot of freedom. You can easily customize tools or build your own tools. It’s famous for vfx but you have the same freedom with modelling or animation tools for cheap when you’re a freelance.
I always start with few sketches on paper for ideas. I also search for références drawings/photos/painting. In Houdini i try to setup something fast to Cook or at least fast to preview in order to animate the shots in good conditions.
The major challenge was to put everything together. There’s nothing very hard but it’s never easy to get something who “works” so it needed time to adjust things. This production was made this summer on 4 months but not at full time. I also had few other projects.
You can listen to the full album here: MaxCooper.lnk.to/Emergence
Subscribe for more here: MaxCooper.lnk.to/Subscribe
And more stuff at:
maxcooper.net
facebook.com/maxcoopermax
twitter.com/maxcoopermax
soundcloud.com/max-cooper
Maxime’s pages:
teresuac.fr/
vimeo.com/user5429327

I think it’s one of the most compelling soundscapes we’ve heard from Max yet — and those links will send you down lovely trails of more inspiring visuals and sound. Enjoy!

The post Raindrops inspire mesmerizing video by Max Cooper, Maxime Causeret appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Dhaka’s Electronic Music Scene (part 3/3)

Delivered... Faisal M Khan | Scene | Fri 15 Jul 2016 1:32 pm

Dhaka is the Detroit of Bangladesh. Well, somehow. The third part of the essay tells how Dhakas ever growing electronic music scenes are looking for unique sound identities in a globalized world.

Border Movement

Border Movement

This is the third chapter of a three part essay. You can read the first part here .

The Second Wave – 2010s

«The Explorations compilation brims with confidence. Though the history of electronic music is referenced, the Dhak-ites are unintimidated by it and searching for their own sounds». (Aniruddha Das aka Dr. Das of Asian Dub Foundation)

With a bullish economy growing at more than 6% a year, Bangladeshis are connecting through the world wide web in an increasing number. The number of internet users at the end of 2010 was 6.6% and grew to 9.6% in 2015. These fractional percentages are quite a big number in a country of 160 million people. The effect of globalization has allowed young people to consume the global electronic music scene at the click of a mouse. While there was always access to international music in Dhaka through cassette and CD shops, it only gave the listeners a selected choice and the audience had no clue about alternative music scenes.

Young kids in Dhaka who had access to computers and internet discovered the DAW softwares online and began experimenting with it. Unlike the developments of electronic music scenes in the 80s and 90s in cities like Chicago, Detroit and Berlin which was more collaborative from the very beginning, the exploration of electronic music by Dhaka’s youth has been a largely solitary experience in both listening and production techniques, creating a diversity but at the same time making it difficult for Dhaka to come up with an electronic music sound that it can call it’s own so far. These ‘bedroom producers’ had a variety of international influences and because of that the new wave of producers can also be roughly divided into the EDM and electronica, techno. There are also a good number of experimental/noise acts.

There is a fundamental approach for each of these camps/cliques – the global EDM scene is a solid example of globalization. From Miami to Kuala Lumpur, the sound is similar in style and production, making the market huge as electronica enthusiasts also have a regional mentality, with a focus on a city. House music came from Chicago, techno from Detroit. Berlin took techno and developed their own style in such a way that Berlin techno is one of the most globally recognized electronic music genre.

The development of Dhaka Electronica Scene (DES) as an online cross media DIY community since 2012 created a reasonable momentum for all these bedroom producers by first allowing them to discover each other through the social media platform, Facebook and then their work. It gradually pivoted from an online network to a non profit startup and was featured as one of the best startups by SDAsia in 2013. Currently the DES maintains database of about 200 local artists. In 2013, DES released their first music compilation «Explorations» and to everyone’s surprise got the most attention from the international electronic music community. The German edition of the Vice, featured it with the title, «Bangladeshi Techno is different than you think». British sound artist Gawain Hewitt remarked about the scene to a popular Bangladeshi band he met during his Dhaka trip, «DES, by comparison, are far more interested in listening to what is around them, and building from there». Hence, it was the beginning of new things.

DES with the DIY approach of doing things was a reflection of the internet generation. In about five years since its inception it has grown to include designers, writers, cinematographers, promoters allowing creativity to flourish. The online community gradually became a physical entity with affordable small scale events, host free and inexpensive workshops for new music producers and enthusiasts and promote local work in the growing network. Their first step to mainstream media has to be their radio show «Planet Electronica» which promotes the best local work since 2015.

The Promise of Electronic Music in Bangladesh

«For the past ten to fifteen years the Asian/Indian electronica music dominated by producers in UK and USA. In that time India, Pakistan and Bangladesh music and musicians have had a profound influence on the London Electronica scene. As this wave of new underground music emerges from India and takes the limelight, it’s easy to forget what the neighboring countries have to in store for us. It’s fascinating to see the surfacing of unique sounds resonating from the heart of Bangladesh, Dhaka». (Sanjay Kundalia)

Once again, it’s evident that electronic music is a global phenomenon and not simply western, because the form allows experimentation to an extent that older forms can be broken and new ones created. Innovation, both technological and artistic, are well regarded in electronic music scenes all over the world. There is no single place which can be attributed as the Mecca for electronic music but many. Electronic music will define the music of the future for the world as it brings down language barriers and reflects on the ethos of science. While the general perception of the Bangladeshi population towards electronic music is through the western lens, it only is a matter of time when they will discover local artists redefining the sounds and owning it to showcase it to the world.

Abridged and adapted from the original term paper written for MSS Media and Journalism program of Independent University, Bangladesh.

Quick listen – love the new Jimmy Edgar ULTRAMAJIC sound

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Labels,Scene | Tue 10 May 2016 2:39 pm

In the dark, damp swamp that is the stream of dance music that press get in their inbox, Jimmy Edgar has consistently been a rainbow-colored lighthouse. Apart from the tropically-hued surrealist work of Pilar Zeta literally making that true, Jimmy has been an aesthetic compass at the helm of his ULTRAMAJIC label. Basically, stuff this label puts out is worth listening.

(Ditto their label showcases… there’s a Friday morning I found myself at Panorama Bar when they were turning the lights on. Thursday is the new… oh never mind.)

What I like about the latest direction is, you get pared-down dancehall rhythms, uncluttered raunchy sexy rhythms, and what amounts to basically a love letter to filters.

Seriously. Do you like filters? Do you like dancing?

This is filter porn.

So, we get the new single, iPHONE:

I have nothing really more intelligent to say about it. And anyway, us music press can’t really compete with the performance art that is SoundCloud comments. Behold:

screenshot_397

For screen readers:

WAY LESS EFFORT says at 2:06:
why are you making edm
Posted 46 minutes ago46 minutes Le Pérave says at 2:06:
@waylesseffort: go jizz on your stupid Ben Klock kid

I don’t know what that means, but I hope Jimmy’s friends planted it, and if not, thank you Internetz.

Jimmy has also been doing a beautiful project pairing producers in a call and response production lineup dubbed Cause & Effect. Output recently came from Detroit’s Crystal Bandito (whose irresistible creation is below) plus Chicago’s Traxman, alongside Phil Kieran.

And you know what that means. XXX filter pornography streaming to you free. (HOT FILTERZ ARE LONELY AND READY TO CHAT WITH YOU NOW!!!! 24/7!!)

Also, turning feedback delay knobs. (Never. Gets. Old. Seriously, I’m addicted to this and beyond hope of ever stopping.)

Video for the project:

Here’s Phil’s great, restrained but tasty contribution:

https://www.ultramajic.com/

And on the visual side, Pilar Zeta is on Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/pilar_zeta/

Pilar is a good example of what this is all about. She’s a designer working between Buenos Aires and LA, bringing together the aesthetic sensibilities of those cities. After some time in Berlin, Jimmy is back in LA, too, and also connecting artists between cities.

And you hear those collision of place and influence in the rhythms, too. (Good things from normalized trade – Jimmy got to play Cuba.)

Keep this coming.

Side note – if this post has made you really want to play with rising filters (it’s zeitgeist, kids, I swear), then I refer you to my current total obsession, iZotope’s Mobius Filter. I wish I could not tell you about it, because I want to keep it for myself, but that would sort of be the opposite of my job.

https://www.izotope.com/en/solutions/create-and-design/mobius-filter.html

Appearances:
Dekmantel Festival – Amsterdam – Aug 4 – 7
Manana Festival – Cuba – May 4 – 6
Weather Festival – Paris – June 3 – 5
Outline Festival – Moscow – July 2 – 3
Farr Festival – Hertfordshire – July 14 – 16

and “Dreamz Come True” is out on Ultramajic on the 24th of June. Features Rochelle Jordan on vocals. Tracklist:
1. 4Fourth Dimension
2. Dreamz Come True
3. iPhone
4. Hydrant

The post Quick listen – love the new Jimmy Edgar ULTRAMAJIC sound appeared first on cdm createdigitalmusic.

Meet Holotone, the out-there new label from Daniele Antezza

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Labels,Scene | Fri 29 Jan 2016 1:06 pm

With galaxies of new sounds out there, we return to certain hubs to point us in stimulating new directions. And Daniele has done it again. We’ve heard some of the upcoming noises from Holotone, a label whose name (no kidding) draws from particle physics, and we have reason to be excited. CDM’s Zuzana Friday goes all in for an in-depth interview with plenty of music to go with the words.

Apart from his work as a half of Dadub and his mastering output with Artefacts Mastering studio, Daniele Antezza produces personal and spiritual musical experiments under his Inner8 moniker. Recently, the producer has founded his own imprint called Holotone, which refers to nothing less than the holographic principle from string theory.

Antezza isn’t just pulling in some already established artists or limiting himself narrowly to genre. Instead, with Holotone, he has created a space for musical ideas outside current club trends, embracing experimentation, innovation, and outstanding sound design skills. For a closer look at Holotone’s musical direction, you can have a listen to Inner8’s new EP Tetramorph, the first record of Holotone, which will be released on March 21st and which features a collaboration with Japanese-born, Thailand-based artist Koichi Shimizu.

If you’re in Berlin on January 30th, you can attend the Holotone showcase at Kantine am Berghain. Apart from Inner8 himself, the event will present live sets of GRÜN and Ina Ynoki from Dromoscope, Sofus Forsberg and Alexander Stone, and DJ sets by Linus Gabrielsson and S13 alias Secret Thirteen’s founder Justinas Mikulskis. In our interview, Antezza is delving into the metaphysics of theoretical astrophysics, explains why art should bypass the cognitive traps of our hyper-mediated era, and describes the label’s foundation and possible future directions.

Exclusive to CDM, we’ve convinced Alexander Stone to produce a new Holotone mix for us. Queue this up if you need some inspirational listening whilst you read.

CDM: Where exactly does come Holotone from?

Holotone is the association of 2 words: “holo”, which comes from my fascination with the Holographic Universe Principle (which briefly assumes that we can conceive our universe, at macroscopic level, as a 4D video display made of subatomic pixels of information), and the English word “tone”. The Holographic Universe Principle was announced about 40 years ago. Recently, a team of researchers at Fermilab (America’s particle physics and accelerator laboratory), is studying the holographic theory using a machine called “Holometer”, which is:

“…a new kind of instrument designed to study the quantum character of space itself. It measures the quantum coherence of location with unprecedented precision. Laser light passing through an arrangement of mirrors will show whether space stands still, or whether it always jitters by a tiny amount, carrying all matter with it, due to quantum-geometrical fluctuations. We call this new property of space time ‘holographic noise’.” (https://holometer.fnal.gov)

The primary aim of the experiment is that if holographic noise will be proven, we’ll be in front of an element that should help the accuracy of the holographic conception of our universe. It is exactly the “holographic noise theory” that gave me the intuition to name my label “Holotone.” From my point of view, the sound can be metaphorically compared to something which can show to our consciousness that reality is often not what it seems to be, exactly as the holographic noise could hypothetically reveal the holographic nature of our universe.

When I looked at the name “Holotone” for the first time, I thought it meant “holistic tone.” Is a holistic approach, that “the whole is more than the sum of its parts,” something you adopted?

This is a really interesting point of view, I must say. I like to refer to the holistic approach as something that interprets the whole as “other” than the sum of its parts, rather than “more.” So, according to this specification – yes, the holistic approach has played an important conceptual role in leading my imagination to conceive Holotone, especially from an aesthetic point of view.

Holotone Showcase Teaser:

You have a new EP, released on your new label with new vision. Did you have in mind what you want the EP to be about and how the four tracks should relate to each other before you started working on it?

Even if the concept behind Tetramorph EP is something I was thinking about for at least one year, while the four tracks have just recently produced — I haven’t worked on the sound composition following any conceptual frame. When I produce my music, I usually let my instinct be free to explore the realm of creativity. So, when I feel that I created something that I consider artistically meaningful, I look for a conceptual framework to boost and enrich the narrative I want to express.

I feel that the sound of Tetramorph EP is very different from my solo debut album, where I basically collected sketches conceived during past few years. This time, I rather wanted to achieve more homogeneous, fresh and mature level in my sound design, so I used a hardware setup controlled by Ableton Live and I worked following a “live rec” approach. I guess it’s because of this reason that I haven’t linked any specific theoretical concept to the creation of my recent sound experiments.

In ‘Self Determination’, the first track from Tetramorph, you use a field recording of a marketplace from the Middle East. It reminded me of your first LP, where you also use field recordings from East, particularly India. Where do the samples in ‘Self Determination’ come from and why do you like using the authentic Eastern influence in your music?

The direct link with my debut album is absolutely true, because “Self Determination” is the first track I produced after that. It represents my first attempt to experiment with new production techniques, trying to keep my aesthetic coherent with what I have done so far.

The sample is taken from field recordings made in Africa during the 70’s by the musicologist David Fanshawe, and the one I used is supposed to be recorded in Egypt. Regarding my Eastern music influences, I really do not know where they come from, because it’s an element that comes out naturally when I compose my sounds. I just know that when I’ve listened to that music for the first time, I felt such a deep emotion. I was literally enchanted and blown away by the percussion grooves and by the hypnotic power of it.

Inner8 – Secret Thirteen Mix 175 by Secret Thirteen on Mixcloud

The fourth track of the EP called ‘Aufhebung’ is made in collaboration with Japanese sound artist and producer Koichi Shimizu. How did you two meet and how was working together? Will he be releasing some music of his own on Holotone as well?

I got in touch with Koichi Shimizu a few months ago because of a mutual friendship. He sent me his album “Otolary” released for his own label Revirth, which I found really beautiful because of its ability to express a complex sound design using a meaningful and elegant artistic language in an impeccable way. In that period of time, I was working on the Holotone launch and on my Tetramorph EP, so I proposed Koichi to make a track together: he accepted and we were sharing our sounds via Internet until Aufhebung took form, fusing our aesthetics.

It has been a fruitful collaboration, because I really like his approach. He will be the author of the second Holotone EP and we’ll share the stage in Bangkok and Tokyo for the Holotone Asia Showcase in February. I hope to jam live with him when I’ll be in Thailand.

Koichi Shimizu Youtube:

What about Undogmatisch? It’s your former label and a platform through which you organized event in Berlin. Is it still alive, or did you make “Aufhebung” with it to create new space for a new project?

I decided to leave the project Undogmatisch a few months ago, because at one point it became incompatible with my job organization and I really don’t know how and if the project is evolving at the moment. Holotone is not an evolution or transformation of Undogmatisch, because I wanted to create something totally new and easier to manage, so I did not make any kind of “Aufhebung”.

What I want to do now, apart from my usual work for Artefacts Mastering, Dadub and Inner8, is to stay focused on my activity as a label manager. After the Tetramorph EP, I will release Koichi Shimizu and other artists, and I’m honestly really looking forward to it. Holotone is basically a record label, and I will sometimes organize label showcases in Berlin and hopefully all around the world.

According to you, Holotone’s mission is to communicate “using an unmediated language (art) to express the complexity of our hyper-mediated world”. Would you elaborate on this? And are there some specific patterns or ways you use in your music production for expressing such a complicated topic, such as self-generating sounds or repeating beat structures?

I think that art has an intrinsic power to bypass our usual cognitive frameworks, due to its timeless dimension, an aspect that risks to disappear if we conceive art as a form of business or to celebrate the artists’ ego. If you think about music, for example, it just “recently” in the human history became a matter of mere entertainment, because earlier, it used to be used as something close to rather mystic-cathartic dimension than related to coolness, hype and career.

Even though the conception and the creation of a piece of art often implies a certain degree of complexity; the magic of art lies, in my opinion, in its ability to communicate something to a human being using a non-mediated language, triggering feelings, emotions, thoughts and actions useful for what I call an existential liberation path.

We’re all living in the era of media and globalization, so the information, the knowledge and also our view of the world is mediated in each aspect, for many reasons actually. In my opinion, the main one is related to the dynamics of power and domination of our society. To translate all this into an aesthetic domain, I have quite the same vision as you do, because when the use of certain techniques like generative sounds and algorithmic composition is able to create a meaningful piece of art, it means that we might be able to talk a direct language, bypassing all the cognitive traps of our era.

In the “>interview from the last year, you mentioned you’d like to get rid of Ableton in your production as Inner8. Have you managed to do that, and has your setup for recording and playing live changed since 2015?

After that interview, I continued to work on giving my production techniques a new dimension, and I can now correct my sentence saying that for my live performances, I’d like to get rid of the laptop in general, not just Ableton Live. My recent set up is much more hardware-oriented, even though I will never abandon certain techniques achievable only by the use of computers, like spectral synthesis for example. Ableton still plays a fundamental role in terms of control source, e.g. what you can get with a few clicks. A good Max4Live patch and a MIDI controller is simply priceless in terms of creativity.

At the moment, the main difference from my 2015 set up is that instead of devolving just effects management over to hardware machines, this year I also included beats and synth, so Ableton triggers just few loops and manages all the MIDI routing and the real time MIDI controls. My approach does not follow the vexata quaestio about digital/analog, because my aim is to create music using the best characteristics of both domains, often hybridizing them. The reason why I like to perform Inner8 live sets avoiding a prominent role of the computer is because it helps me to carefully choose the alternatives I need. The theoretical infinity of possibilities of a computer has too often risked to block my creative flow, at least from a psychological point of view.

On your Holotone showcase and label launch night in Berlin, you will play next to with Sofus Forsberg from Mindwaves Music, Grün and Ina Ynoki from Dromoscope, S13 and few fresh names who have Holotone as their label in brackets: Alexander Stone from Italy and Linus Gabrielsson from Sweden. It seems like you were choosing the artists for Holotone very carefully. What were the most important things about each artist that made you decide whether they’re suitable for Holotone?

Yes it’s true, I’ve carefully chosen the artists I invited to play for the 1st Holotone Showcase in Berlin, and I’m actually very excited to share the stage with all of them, because of the high quality level of their acts and because of the friendship and respect we have for each other. They all have represented specific and precise meanings in my artistic path during the last years in Berlin: I’ve always admired Sofus for his ability to express deep and true emotions with his complex systems of music production, Grün and Ina Ynoki for their revolutionary approach to sound and live performance, and S13 because of his impeccable and unique taste and for his integrity as an artist and a curator.

Alexander Stone and Linus Gabrielsson, even though they’re unknown names, have both a deep background in music production, audio engineering and sound design. I’ve shared so many ideas and visions about music, world, universe and existence with them, plus endless talks about sound design. So when I got the idea to organize this Holotone Showcase, I thought about involving them immediately. I’d like also to mention Cubert (Martina Scala), a very talented visual artist who’s supporting Holotone with all her skills, and sYn (Federico Nitti) who’s working in Australia at the moment, but he’ll join the project as he’ll be back to Berlin.

The first thing which I really look for when selecting artists for Holotone is the ability to use an artistic language free from any trends and hype, because I want authentic visions. Another element I admire is the ability to express the beauty of art through an intelligent sound design. In general, I like anarchist approach.

Linus Gabrielsson Soundcloud:

And last but not least – what are your plans with Holotone and the artists mentioned above?

My plans are to release quality music and to organize showcases to share the visions behind Holotone with people. Regarding the artists I invited to the label launch event, I really hope to release their music in the near future.

Zuzana Friday is editorial assistant to CDM and always has her ear out for adventurous new sounds.

The post Meet Holotone, the out-there new label from Daniele Antezza appeared first on cdm createdigitalmusic.

Watch a full-length electronic documentary from the 90s, and more free videos

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Scene | Fri 21 Aug 2015 5:31 pm

modulations

America’s on-again, off-again love affair with electronic music – often, with idioms it helped create – is endlessly full of unexpected twists and turns. But all this bears examining. For some, it’s a journey back to the music that first inspired them. For others, it’s a chance to learn, perhaps, how where music has been might help lead to where it’s going. It’s a chance not just to repeat electronic music past, but go beyond it.

And if you’re looking for something to entertain you this weekend, you could do worse than Modulations, a documentary from 1998.

Back then, it was “electronica,” not “EDM.” But then, as now, high culture met festival culture – Karlheinz Stockhausen and Danny Tenaglia get equal screen time. Robert Moog weighs in. Some figures – Carl Cox, Derrick May, Giorgio Moroder – are just at home on today’s lineups. Others are not. As in the 808 film, Arthur Baker gets a starring role, too.

The film is mainly a document about the dance scene, but as such, offers a reminder to what 90s culture was, and how it does and doesn’t mirror the situation today.

And now you can watch the full thing for free on Vimeo or YouTube. Ah, back when electronic music was real electronic music, parties were real parties, and all the women were purple. (Erm, see the cover image.) Um… right. The 90s. Here’s Vimeo:

Modulations – Full Feature Film from Cultures of Resistance Films on Vimeo.

But wait — there’s more.

David Abravanel, friend of the site, has done an extensive electronica nostalgia trip for Network Awesome, full of still more videos to occupy your brain. He writes:

“I vividly remember the first time I became aware of Electronica. I was 11 and a budding music obsessive, I watched MTV religiously. Sitting in the living room, my parents paying attention to other things, the video for The Prodigy’s “Breathe” came on. I still remember Maxim’s tattooed and painted body gliding towards me. It felt like some kind of disneyland horror ride, but with better music. Keith Flint sealed the deal – these were guys to freak out your parents, the popular kids, you name it.

For this article, assume “Electronica” by its American definition – a catch-all for all electronic music that hit mainstream between 1995 – 2000. It did this by positioning certain figures as rock stars (tellingly, The Prodigy’s breakthrough happened after Keith Flint and Maxim emerged as punky frontmen), and playing up its role as the “future of music”. While Electronica encompassed a number of genres – Daft Punk’s French Touch, Sneaker Pimps’ Trip Hop – Big Beat was clearly the leader.

Electronica also coincided with the most lucrative historical period for the recording industry – as such, artists who had just a few months ago been living check-to-check suddenly had high-budget videos commissioned. This is a celebration of those videos – narrowed down to one song per act, because people got things to do.”

- David Abravanel
http://dhla.me/

Actually, I’ll say, part of why I miss the word “electronica” was that it could sometimes serve as catch-all for electronic music – a genre-blurring vagueness that’s perhaps needed even more in 2015 nomenclature than it was in the 90s. (Contrast EDM, which apart from the ‘d’ meaning ‘dance,’ should be completely general but means something sort of painfully specific.)

Don’t miss David’s full post on the topic:

Get Busy Child: Electronica Videos that Broke the US

And then head to Network Awesome to watch all the goodness, and never leave your house the rest of this weekend:

Network Awesome: Live Music Show – ‘Electronica’ (curated by David Abravanel)

Even me, a classical kid completely out of touch with dance music in the 90s — even I get a bit nostalgic for “Trip Like I Do.” (Also, I love that it samples The Dark Crystal in an all-too-rare crossover of dance music and the Muppets.) Oh yeah, that and The Matrix.

In other film news…

Electronic Beats today posted a trailer for this 2008 documentary on techno, which I wish were as easy to come by as the film above:

Oh yeah, and did we mention I Dream of Wires is now on Netflix? (plus digital services far and wide)

Have a great weekend, everyone. Hope you have a good time out listening to music – or at home making music and, of course, curling up in bed with The Internet and its video entertainment.

Another world…

Another time…

In the age of wonder…

Another world…

Another time…

This land was green and good.

The 90s.

Okay, I need to someday be somewhere where someone drops that track at exactly a completely inappropriate moment.

The post Watch a full-length electronic documentary from the 90s, and more free videos appeared first on Create Digital Music.

Pop, glam, death, and definitely not techno: Pop-Kultur Round-up

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Scene | Fri 7 Aug 2015 5:41 pm
C.A.R., by Jazamin Sinclair.

C.A.R., by Jazamin Sinclair. Win her tape from us, because Create Cassette Music.

The problem with festivals isn’t that we’re lacking for choice. But in the fast food court of summer festivities, the offerings tend to be arrayed in hard-edged silos.

Here’s the dance music one, and it’ll be a rave.

Here’s the rock one, and it’s just going to be about guitars.

Here’s the experimental one, and everything is likely to be a big long drone in some cavernous distorted reverb.

This one is only for J.S. Bach. And so on…

Pop-Kultur’s name alone implies a different frame around music. It’s experimental, but it’s also pop. It’s death metal, glam rock, pogo. It’s electronic media and technology interwoven with punk rather than an uncomfortable rival. And most appropriately, it comes in the venue and the city that have been of late hopelessly typecast: Berlin. Berghain.

So, be glad for once, you don’t have to hear about 808 bass drums, or dark rooms, or the wall, or the 90s. This is a different Berlin, maybe the next European capital. It’s a festival program that acknowledges the cross-genre magnet the city has become, people playing against genre and type and even specific media.

What you do get is something that could (should?) become a template for the scene. With backing from the local government, there’s actual discourse happening at this event – you know, like talking and thinking and stuff, those activities often forgotten in the summer music season.

And it’s a mad mix. Mute founder Daniel Miller talks to composer Owen Pallett talks to New Order’s Gillian Gilbert and Stephen Morris. Underground heroes like Bernard Sumner, Sven Regener, and Andreas Dorau talk about their books and their stories. Elijah Wood is DJing (really).

Those offerings join a full discourse program, backed by local government funding.

And in the lineup, we see a bit of the kind of personalities that can dress music across Europe and internationally in some new garments, ones less restrictively tailored-tight.

herbert

Matthew Herbert is surely the perfect poster child for work that stretches the song format to its limit – pop, layered with electronic technique and brewed thick with concept. He’ll premiere his new record “The Shakes,” which following the darkly operatic “One Pig” brings a brighter, pop-ier sound to Berghain, one sometimes even reminiscent of the likes of Talking Heads (smart lyrics, snappy not-so-Western percussion).

Hyperactive rhythms meet musical theater hooks meet engineers-on-speed production meet surreal everyday imagery. This is arguably what is missing from the grade-level-dropping corporate pop of today.

And there’s a colorful set of videos to help you through that new record. Here are a few (more at his site). If ‘One Pig’ was terrifyingly heart-aching (like hosting a breakfast buffet with Wilbur), ‘The Shakes’ is frighteningly, ADHS-and-anti-depression meds on overdrive cheery and active. But it’s never dumb. One track is even appropriately called ‘Smart’:

And yes, Mr. Herbert can still do pop opera melancholy, here in a sweet dreamy reverie:

Bianca Casady; by Biño Sauitzvy.

Bianca Casady; by Biño Sauitzvy.

There’s American Bianca Casady (also known as CosoRosie when workign with sister Sierra), and her new project Bianca Casady & the C.i.A. Before I say anything, here’s the grimy punk-ish video that combines a band practice with photography by JM Ruellan.

(more...)

Romance Again: Intimate, Personal Music for the First Warmth of Spring

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Scene | Thu 5 Mar 2015 5:19 pm

Who’s ready for some springtime romance? Show of hands? Thought so.

Here in northern Europe, at least, we’re at that inflection point as spring first crawls its way out of winter, tiny buds on the trees and ice/rain mixes giving way to faintly warm sunbeams. This is music that matches that mood. And it’s music that finds a voice, that can sing – not just in beautiful vocals (and the likes of Brolin certainly suffices in his latest work), but in music that is crafted from some intimate place. These are productions that are immediate and intensely personal in the same way as singing.

And there’s another reason to look at these artists. Sometimes artists blow up because they met the right people, they played the right parties, they hit the mainstream at the right time. This is something different. These artists have all taken some turn in their own musical identities. That seasonal metaphor works: they are bursting, creatively, in the best possible way.

Full disclosure: I get to be impossibly lazy as a journalist here, or certainly very lucky, in that I’m the warmup DJ for this lineup tomorrow in Berlin. But it’s one of those rare situations where you get called to play, and wind up losing yourself listening to the promo materials they sent over. I wish that happened all the time; we know it doesn’t, so I won’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

Brolin (video, top) is an artist on the verge of really blowing up to a wider audience – if he can break the Google curse; no relation (that I know of) to the American actors of the same last name.

brolin

I would say there’s something in the water in England, but I know exactly what’s in the water – a superior music education for singers. The result is nailing spot-on technique without sounding overly controlled, that ability to make tone that purrs but retains a lightly rough edge.

Brolin, if you know him from earlier releases like his track “Portland,” has traded that cuter, more twee sound for something with more depth. (The videos have gotten better, too. It turns out that the Internet is so savagely competitive that cute dogs and cute models in jean shorts actually aren’t enough to attract an audience.)

Pairing that sound with electronics works perfectly. With the German duo Kruse & Nuernberg, he produced the hypnotic video at top, an ideal foil to the deep house-inflected, pop-worthy track. (Kruse & Nuernberg have also graduated from more conventional house tracks to a grown-up, laidback take of their own.)

Kruse & Nuernberg Get Kaleidoscopic on “Lost N Free”

Their collaborative EP I think will be a huge hit:

The duo check in with the blog Sloth Boogie – 5 Questions with Kruse & Nuernberg + Brolin – he talks to ,a href=”http://www.electricmusicmagazine.com/#!brolin-interview/c1ykg”>Electric Music Magazine.

Brolin has jumped into the deep end of chilled-out, smart electronics, adding his whisper-close vocals. For further evidence, check out this free mixtape with more of his work:

His single “Swim Deep” is more pop-y than the waters I normally tread, but you can hear that vocal technique as it’s developed. I’m curious to see the live act tomorrow.

luka2

luka

So, that’s the UK. Meanwhile, in Hamburg, there’s Luka Seifert. His own personal breakthrough came from lightening up on the edits, he tells The Fader: sampling recordings raw, returning to his roots on the guitar, leaving an organic feel rather than over-producing, to get something that’s “honest.” It has the same immediacy as his Tumblr feed of photos – rough, but effortlessly drenched in aesthetic sense. (Somehow the ghosts of the Bauhaus in Germany seem to do that to people here.)

I think the result is spectacular, swells of sound, hiss that becomes its own color and air.

LUKA’s “Fault Line” Is The Soundtrack To Your Low-Key Spring Romance

Luka’s “Lowdown,” released for XLR8R, is in a similar space, floating atop a cloud of sampled noise and echoing with lullaby-like tune and percussion:

Glenn Jackson, usually at no loss for words, actually stumbles a bit on how to categorize it in the article for the free download – which I think is a good sign:
Luka “Lowdown” [XLR8R Downloads]

Luka’s Hamburg sometimes-neighbor, the globe-trotting, gypsy nomad Sofia Kourtesis, is a kindred spirit in this new style – something made partly in technological chops and partly in dreams.

Sofia is one of the people behind this lineup in Berlin. We covered her previously, but it’s worth visiting her yet again – because she has found a way to get still more personal with her tracks, closer to the core of their being. With singles she released on XLR8R and The Fader to accompany her new EP, she’s built tracks that are melodic, dreamily evocative atop their rhythmic framework.

And she has likewise found her way to some of these same corners. Amidst the aggressive gothic clanging of tribal rituals that has become the mainstay of electronic music, this is music that can be genuinely, comfortably vulnerable. I can think of nowhere better to conclude.

And speaking of getting personal and vulnerable, “Zaza” reminds us why we do that in music. It’s a musical reflection on the loss of her grandmother, finding life again by using sound as a window to memory.

I’m fortunate to get to warm up the room for these folks and the rest of the lineup. If you care to join us and you’re around Berlin tomorrow Friday, we’d love to see you. The fact that we’re playing the former cultural embassy of Czechoslovakia, remade as a club, is another reminder that seasons’ change can rejuvenate:

BROLIN (UK) Live + Sofia Kourtesis / BlackBlackGold / Local Suicide / LUKA / Les Filles Noires / P Kirn / Soen / [Facebook]

6 March from 22h / 8€ / Konzulát – Leipzigerstrasse 60, 10117 Berlin, Germany

And if you can’t, I do hope you enjoy listening from afar.

The post Romance Again: Intimate, Personal Music for the First Warmth of Spring appeared first on Create Digital Music.

Romance Again: Intimate, Personal Music for the First Warmth of Spring

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Scene | Thu 5 Mar 2015 5:19 pm

Who’s ready for some springtime romance? Show of hands? Thought so.

Here in northern Europe, at least, we’re at that inflection point as spring first crawls its way out of winter, tiny buds on the trees and ice/rain mixes giving way to faintly warm sunbeams. This is music that matches that mood. And it’s music that finds a voice, that can sing – not just in beautiful vocals (and the likes of Brolin certainly suffices in his latest work), but in music that is crafted from some intimate place. These are productions that are immediate and intensely personal in the same way as singing.

And there’s another reason to look at these artists. Sometimes artists blow up because they met the right people, they played the right parties, they hit the mainstream at the right time. This is something different. These artists have all taken some turn in their own musical identities. That seasonal metaphor works: they are bursting, creatively, in the best possible way.

Full disclosure: I get to be impossibly lazy as a journalist here, or certainly very lucky, in that I’m the warmup DJ for this lineup tomorrow in Berlin. But it’s one of those rare situations where you get called to play, and wind up losing yourself listening to the promo materials they sent over. I wish that happened all the time; we know it doesn’t, so I won’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

Brolin (video, top) is an artist on the verge of really blowing up to a wider audience – if he can break the Google curse; no relation (that I know of) to the American actors of the same last name.

brolin

I would say there’s something in the water in England, but I know exactly what’s in the water – a superior music education for singers. The result is nailing spot-on technique without sounding overly controlled, that ability to make tone that purrs but retains a lightly rough edge.

Brolin, if you know him from earlier releases like his track “Portland,” has traded that cuter, more twee sound for something with more depth. (The videos have gotten better, too. It turns out that the Internet is so savagely competitive that cute dogs and cute models in jean shorts actually aren’t enough to attract an audience.)

Pairing that sound with electronics works perfectly. With the German duo Kruse & Nuernberg, he produced the hypnotic video at top, an ideal foil to the deep house-inflected, pop-worthy track. (Kruse & Nuernberg have also graduated from more conventional house tracks to a grown-up, laidback take of their own.)

Kruse & Nuernberg Get Kaleidoscopic on “Lost N Free”

Their collaborative EP I think will be a huge hit:

The duo check in with the blog Sloth Boogie – 5 Questions with Kruse & Nuernberg + Brolin – he talks to ,a href=”http://www.electricmusicmagazine.com/#!brolin-interview/c1ykg”>Electric Music Magazine.

Brolin has jumped into the deep end of chilled-out, smart electronics, adding his whisper-close vocals. For further evidence, check out this free mixtape with more of his work:

His single “Swim Deep” is more pop-y than the waters I normally tread, but you can hear that vocal technique as it’s developed. I’m curious to see the live act tomorrow.

luka2

luka

So, that’s the UK. Meanwhile, in Hamburg, there’s Luka Seifert. His own personal breakthrough came from lightening up on the edits, he tells The Fader: sampling recordings raw, returning to his roots on the guitar, leaving an organic feel rather than over-producing, to get something that’s “honest.” It has the same immediacy as his Tumblr feed of photos – rough, but effortlessly drenched in aesthetic sense. (Somehow the ghosts of the Bauhaus in Germany seem to do that to people here.)

I think the result is spectacular, swells of sound, hiss that becomes its own color and air.

LUKA’s “Fault Line” Is The Soundtrack To Your Low-Key Spring Romance

Luka’s “Lowdown,” released for XLR8R, is in a similar space, floating atop a cloud of sampled noise and echoing with lullaby-like tune and percussion:

Glenn Jackson, usually at no loss for words, actually stumbles a bit on how to categorize it in the article for the free download – which I think is a good sign:
Luka “Lowdown” [XLR8R Downloads]

Luka’s Hamburg sometimes-neighbor, the globe-trotting, gypsy nomad Sofia Kourtesis, is a kindred spirit in this new style – something made partly in technological chops and partly in dreams.

Sofia is one of the people behind this lineup in Berlin. We covered her previously, but it’s worth visiting her yet again – because she has found a way to get still more personal with her tracks, closer to the core of their being. With singles she released on XLR8R and The Fader to accompany her new EP, she’s built tracks that are melodic, dreamily evocative atop their rhythmic framework.

And she has likewise found her way to some of these same corners. Amidst the aggressive gothic clanging of tribal rituals that has become the mainstay of electronic music, this is music that can be genuinely, comfortably vulnerable. I can think of nowhere better to conclude.

And speaking of getting personal and vulnerable, “Zaza” reminds us why we do that in music. It’s a musical reflection on the loss of her grandmother, finding life again by using sound as a window to memory.

I’m fortunate to get to warm up the room for these folks and the rest of the lineup. If you care to join us and you’re around Berlin tomorrow Friday, we’d love to see you. The fact that we’re playing the former cultural embassy of Czechoslovakia, remade as a club, is another reminder that seasons’ change can rejuvenate:

BROLIN (UK) Live + Sofia Kourtesis / BlackBlackGold / Local Suicide / LUKA / Les Filles Noires / P Kirn / Soen / [Facebook]

6 March from 22h / 8€ / Konzulát – Leipzigerstrasse 60, 10117 Berlin, Germany

And if you can’t, I do hope you enjoy listening from afar.

The post Romance Again: Intimate, Personal Music for the First Warmth of Spring appeared first on Create Digital Music.

Slices Celebrates 21 Years of Mouse On Mars

Delivered... EB Team | Scene | Tue 3 Feb 2015 4:00 pm

This week, EB.TV catches up with Mouse On Mars at the Monkeytown Festival.

Andi Toma and Jan St.Werner (a.k.a. Mouse on Mars, the Tech Talk alums) have been doing it their way since day one of their 21-year-long career. After releasing numerous albums and remixes, Mouse on Mars celebrated their anniversary last year with special 2-CD compilation of collaborations, and Electronic Beats was lucky enough to tag along for the ride. Tune into this week’s video to see some of their ripping live show at Modeselektor’s Monkeytown Festival and watch as our cameras get hijacked for a special interview.

 

Alone Together With 18+

Delivered... EB Team | Scene | Tue 3 Feb 2015 12:06 pm

18+, a formerly anonymous futuristic R&B duo that released its debut LP Trust via Rob Booth’s bountiful Houndstooth label last fall, has stirred interest with a series of uncanny videos and steamy tunes. Ahead of their performance at the CTM Festival last weekend, EB Contributor Russell Dean Stone contacted them online to glean a better understanding of how the pair’s distinctly millennial visual art, music, and creative process reflect the ways virtual communication has transformed contemporary socialization.

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An interview with the electronic R&B visual art/music duo 18+ involves a faceless Skype call. Its constituents won’t abide by a webcam, so it’s just their familiar voices travelling through the lonely Information Highway.

The solipsistic experience of chatting with them over the Internet fits for a band that deals in the currency of expressing secrets remotely via freaky cybersexual electronic R&B. 18+ is a platform its members use to navigate the ambiguous grey areas and paradoxes between public and private spheres of technologically-mediated socialization.

“18+ gives us room to express ourselves in an intimate way without the feeling of embarrassment or the immediate social ramifications of our thoughts,” offers Justin Swinburne, who works in conjunction with Samia Mirza under the 18+ moniker.

His remarks indicate the changes digital media have wrought on the relationship between personal identity and social interaction. Everyone who’s created a Twitter account or Facebook page is confronted with the task of representing their “real life” personality online and the possibility to do and say whatever they please if they operate under an anonymous pseudonym, as did Swinburne and Mirza when they launched the 18+ project in 2011. The pair’s early recordings, a trilogy of mixtapes titled M1xtape, Mixta2e, and Mixtap3, appeared under the nondescript and incestuous monikers “Bro” and “Sis.”

“The Internet allows you this moment where you can be by yourself but still communicate private moments,” Swinburne explained.

The paradox that 18+ tells its secrets in public informs the duo’s creative process of making music, videos, live performances, and artist personas. It also plagues the lonely hour when you’re sitting in front of the cold halation of a computer screen, sharing your secret thoughts, feelings, fantasies, and nude photos. It’s a public—or at least semi-private—disclosure that still feels like a personal moment, and that can cause some cognitive dissonance between the feeling of isolation and the reality that your laptop is connected to billions of others.

Likewise, listening to an 18+ song feels like intruding on a clandestine moment even though they’re widely distributed via labels like Houndstooth, which recently released the duo’s debut LP, Trust. The tracks feel illicit because they’re steamy bedroom jams function as explicit confessions. On “Midnight Lucy,” an XXX cut from Trust, Mirza murmurs the lines “Licking on her clit saying, ‘Come here, kitty kitty cat.’”

Aside from the racy lyrics and textural production, 18+ tunes are also quite literally bedroom jams. After all, they were recorded in the solitary confines of Swinburne and Mirza’s bedrooms, which were located on opposite sides of the country while they were recording much of the material for Trust. The long distance collaboration began after the pair graduated from the School of Art Institute of Chicago; Swinburne moved to New York while Mirza ended up in Los Angeles. Although both of them now live in LA, they still prefer to work on music in secluded environments and pass their projects back and forth.

“Even when we’ve stayed together for a period of time, we couldn’t do it if the other person was around,” Mirza explains. “Our parts in 18+ happen very privately.”

Their creative collaborations are thus intimate artistic conjugations mediated by fiber optic cables, remote romps during which they expose denuded fantasies and unload into each other’s inboxes. Their method of collaborating on sultry songs from separate rooms mirrors the transformation of physical intimacy with the rise of cybersexual technologies like remote-controlled vibrators and teledildos, which allow long-distance couples to get each other off from afar using futuristic, gender-adapted sex toys that match one user’s strokes on a silicone dick with pumps on a partner’s faraway fleshlight in real time.

18+ music videos represent another mixed ground between private and public life. The video for “All The Time” splices images of gyrating, big-titted computer-generated avatars into home footage, which has the uncanny effect of alienating the familiar as it familiarizes the strange. The duo’s aesthetic often mixes CGI humanoids with images of real-live people and recalls the unsettling visuals that the revered “post-Internet” artist Jon Rafman made for Oneohtrix Point Never’s track “Still Life.” The creepy clip depicted the secluded millennial settings from which we privately participate in public discourses, like a bedroom broadcasted via webcam or a keyboard and desktop computer covered in crumbs and detritus.

“That scene [of visual artists] is very much like the people we went to school with, that sort of stuff has always been around us in the atmosphere,” Justin says.

Avatar artists like 18+’s Bro and Sis have become staple figures in the fabric of contemporary pop culture, from the Gorillaz to the 3D hologram pop star Hatsune Miku and Arca’s uncannily sexual representations of the online alter-ego Xen. Perhaps we’re headed for a future in which we feel the need to adopt virtual disguises in order to feel safe when we bare our souls. The merging of bodily organic humanity with synthetics and rapidly accelerating technological cerebral experiences seems like an inevitable future, and one that 18+ are prepared for. When Mirza tells me that “We don’t speak that much, unless it’s necessary,” I can’t help thinking they know what’s coming.

Just before we disconnect, Justin drops me one more quote for the piece. It’s been clear all along that they are both slightly uncomfortable going through the motions of doing press, and they sound like they’re a second away from sighing at any given moment. Maybe they think interviews are an unnecessary distraction, or maybe it’s part of the persona.

“I feel like we’ve said too much,” he laughs. It’s a flippant comment, but I think he means it.

This article was written by Russell Dean Stone.

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