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


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

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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).

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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!

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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]

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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/

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

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

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

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

There’s a lot to learn here.

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

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

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

http://blog.lightprocesses.com/show

And his full project work here:

http://www.produccionesluminosas.com/

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

He writes about the process:

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

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

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

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

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

More music:

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

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

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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.

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