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


Glastonbury’s Shangri-La goes virtual with Fatboy Slim and more

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas | Scene | Mon 8 Jun 2020 6:49 pm

Chaotic rave zone of cancelled festival will be rendered in 3D online for two-day event in July

Glastonbury may be cancelled for 2020, but one of its most eye-catching areas will party on regardless: Shangri-La is to be recreated in a 3D digital form for a free two-day online festival in July featuring Fatboy Slim, Carl Cox, Peggy Gou and more.

The area, an outdoor art gallery situated in the notoriously hedonistic south-east corner of the festival site, will be rendered in a videogame-like 3D landscape for the online Lost Horizon festival. It will be accessible on PC or via a mobile app, plus a virtual reality option via the Sansar platform, and feature “computer-generated avatars and green screen hologram performances”, according to organisers.

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Cancellation and reschedule updates: Musikmesse, SuperBooth, Loop, Synthplex

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Events,Scene | Fri 13 Mar 2020 7:15 pm

Obviously, most near-term public events are canceled, as efforts to reduce transmission of COVID-19 ramp up. Some events already have new dates in 2020, however. Here’s the latest:

(photo at top – Hanna Parrott, for Synthplex in LA USA / gallery)

SuperBooth, Berlin – no 2020 event.

Statement: “Due to the current health situation and the worldwide development of the Coronavirus there will be no SuperBooth event in 2020.
All ticketholder can give their already purchased tickets back for a full refund.”

Synthplex, Los Angeles – rescheduled to fall.

Statement: “Due to international travel restrictions and concerns for the health and safety of attendees, vendors, artists, presenters and Synthplex Staff, Synthplex 2020 has been moved. New dates are October 29th – November 1, 2020.”

Ableton Loop, Berlin – rescheduled to 2021.

Ableton have a full FAQ.

While the other events here are simply canceling 2020 and carrying on with 2021, Ableton says Loop in 2021 will be as close as possible to what they planned for 2020, so they’re in a different boat.

Musikmesse, Frankfurt – no 2020 event.

Musikmesse proper was already canceled, but now the local Musikmesse Plaza 2020 and Musikmesse Festival events are also off. See you in 2021 here as with the others.

Did I miss any major events for electronic music and music tech with information you want to share? Sound off in comments or contact us.

And please, to everyone – take precautions, and stay tuned here as I absolutely hope we all keep each other entertained in isolation.

The post Cancellation and reschedule updates: Musikmesse, SuperBooth, Loop, Synthplex appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Inversia: the Arctic music festival lighting up perpetual night

Delivered... Andrew Dickson | Scene | Tue 11 Feb 2020 5:24 pm

In Russia’s frozen far north, Murmansk’s Inversia festival draws artists reflecting on the edges of the earth – including Brits, despite ever chillier diplomatic relations

In the Arctic Circle during the dim days of February, reality becomes a little attenuated. At 10am, it’s still dark, the streetlights colouring the pavements pale orange and making sallow shadows of the trees. When the forecast announces that today it’ll only be -11C, there’s a palpable sense of relief: someone gruffly makes a joke about global warming. By early afternoon, you’re into dusk, a meditative dwindling and diminishing that makes you wonder if it ever really got light. For what seems an eternity, the sky is rimmed with whitish-pink; the snow goes through every shade of blue, from azure and ultramarine through to deep indigo. The sense is that winter has frozen not only the ground, but time itself.

Given the sensory intensity, it’s little wonder that the wintry far north has proved so seductive to musicians and artists – or festival organisers. The Dark Music Days gathering in Iceland has been a mainstay of the experimental scene for 40 years, encouraging Europe’s most innovative composers and performers to flock to Reykjavik during late January. More recently, it’s been joined by Svalbard’s Polarjazz festival, Tromso’s Insomnia and at least two separate events, in Canada and Norway, named after the northern lights.

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Coachella 2020 announced with headliners Rage Against the Machine, Travis Scott and Frank Ocean

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas | Scene | Fri 3 Jan 2020 11:06 am

Lana Del Rey, Calvin Harris and 21 Savage to also appear at California event that kicks off festival season

Coachella, the most high-profile music festival in the US, has announced its full lineup for 2020.

Political rap-rock band Rage Against the Machine headline the Friday of the two-weekend festival in April (each weekend featuring the same lineup), as part of their first tour since 2011. The band, which formed in 1991, released four albums before splitting in 2000. They re-formed in 2007, with their first concert at Coachella that year. Two years later, following a fan campaign, they scored an unlikely UK Christmas No 1 with their expletive-filled track Killing in the Name.

Weekend 1 is sold out Register for Weekend 2 presale at https://t.co/x8PRTb12Eh. Presale starts Monday 1/6 at 12pm PT pic.twitter.com/QPRYnJVe9P

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Sŵn festival review – weirdness and wonder in Cardiff’s alt-pop paradise

Delivered... Huw Baines | Scene | Tue 22 Oct 2019 9:30 am

Various venues, Cardiff
Based everywhere from an Irish chain pub to an antiques centre, this slickly organised festival shows how varied and vibrant today’s indie scene is

Prowling the stage at Clwb Ifor Bach, the Murder Capital’s James McGovern sums up the mood at Cardiff’s Sŵn festival: “There’s only one thing we want: more.” The crowd responds, stoking the Dublin post-punks’ fires as they charge from coiled menace towards frenzied collapse.

Smouldering among the dying embers of the weekend their set is the ideal capper to the event, which sprawls across a number of venues in the Welsh capital. Foregrounding new music and a sense of adventure, the bill must satisfy both planners and gamblers, and does so adeptly. Twelve years on from its first staging, Sŵn is a slick machine defined by rapid turnarounds and minimal clashes.

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No Bounds festival review – from bassline to ambient at Sheffield weekender

Delivered... Jemima Skala | Scene | Mon 14 Oct 2019 2:45 pm

Various venues, Sheffield
With spectacular AV sets in a steelworks museum and immersive ambient in a swimming pool, local talent, international DJs and the city share equal billing

The dance music festival calendar is largely defined by two elements: the summer months and European outfits such as Dekmantel and Dimensions. But No Bounds in Sheffield is putting in the work to maintain a thriving electronic music festival scene in the UK even as the seasons turn and the skies get gloomier.

It’s heartening to see that the organisers have invested care to make sure that its lineup isn’t just a copycat of its European cousins, nor concentrated on big names for maximum commercial success. There’s a particular focus on acts from close to home: Sheffield DJs including Tino, Stevie Cox and 96 Back are booked alongside bigger names to ensure the local scene is nourished by the festival.

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Making a stage powered by AI: inside GAMMA_LAB

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Wed 21 Aug 2019 7:53 pm

What happens when you apply machine learning research to experimental sound – and then play live in front of a festival crowd? Recently, in St. Petersburg, RU, we got to find out.

Our team for Gamma_LAB AI gathered a diverse international team of artists, musicians, musicologists, coders, and researchers, including people who are deep in the field of data science work outside of the arts. (One of our co-hosts was juggling her work in path finding for drones – so not the usual media art approach to AI!) Organizing team (of which I was the only non-Russian member this time):

  • Natalia Fuchs, Curator
  • Julia Reushenova, Curatorial assistant
  • Helena Nikonole, Conceptual artist
  • Peter Kirn, Facilitator
  • Natalia Soboleva, Facilitator
  • Dr. Konstantin Yakovlev, Scientific advisor

… plus our partners, including tech partner Mail.ru Cloud Solutions.

Step one: come together for a 12-day laboratory, bringing us to St. Petersburg in May. That was our chance to learn from one another, take in some lectures, and get started with experiments – everything from digging through how to reconstruct baroque music to generating new sounds for techno and experimental improvisational performance. Participants came from everywhere from Kenya to just around the corner:

Ksenia Guznova (RU), Ilya Selikhov (DE), Anastasia Tolchneva (RU), Michal Mitro (SK), Mar Canet (ESP), Ilia Symphocat (RU), Thomas Disley (USA), Nikita Prudnikov (RU), Tatiana Zobnina (RU), Joseph Kamaru (KE), Egor Zvezdin (RU), Alexander Kiryanko (RU), Katarina Melik-Ovsepian (RU)

Step two – the big leap – come back to St. Petersburg in July, and in a raw industrial space, make the whole thing work for an audience of festival goers. That led to a full program:

A packed audience, ending in techno sounds and industrial installation (by Stanislav Glazov). Photo: Alexander Sharoff.
  • A live media art performance by co-host Helena Nikonole (hacking into Internet of Things devices in real-time from the stage)
  • An instrumental group of baroque musicians mixing together historical scores and freshly-generated AI libretto and melodies (led by harpsichordist Katarina Melik-Ovsepyan)
  • A mixed acoustic-electronic improv group working with machine learning-produced sounds trained on various experimental sound sources (Ilya Selikhov, Michal Mitro, Symphocat, and KMRU)
  • Live-coding duo with an original AI-powered encoder/decoder, built on the artists’ own recordings (Monekeer + Lovozero)
  • Yours truly making live techno from generative text, AI-generated loops, and style transfer

And all of this took place in a peak-time, Saturday night festival program, set in an apocalyptic looking ex brewery just before its demolition, complete with immersive, responsive lasers and light by Stanislav Glazov (Licht Pfad studio, Berlin).

Here’s the improv group, working live with their materials:

Some audio examples:

Live coded, custom AI from the duo Monekeer + Lovozero.

I spoke with curator Natalia Fuchs (ARTYPICAL), who put together the program with us. Natalia is right now presenting the project to MUTEK Festival in Montreal, and has worked not only as a curator and co-producer of GAMMA, but as an advisor to the current AI show at the Barbican Centre.

CDM: First, let’s put the lab in context – there’s Surgeon on one stage, pounding out techno, but then there’s the results of this laboratory, too. What’s the place of GAMMA_LAB inside Gamma Festival?

Natalia: Gamma_LAB is the heart of experimentation at the festival. We launched the LAB in May 2019 – that was a [big reponsibility] for us, because the LAB was self-funded, without any institutional or technological support. Only after the international open-call was announced, we started to get attention from the different partners that [have now] joined the project. By “responsibility” here I mean our relationship with the artists and the audience – we knew that experimental lab is just the first chapter, and the main message will be the conceptual AI stage at the festival.

What does it mean to have a lab inside a festival, to have a place that is making new stuff?

When programming the festival, we always feel like we want to represent local artists and quality local production. And Gamma_LAB is the cultural production unit for us. We focus the project on new artistic and curatorial solutions, on international collaborations – and that means we keep on track, stay connected, and help the community develop.

Baroque musicians – mixing historical scores with AI-constructed libretto and melodies – joined electronic artists. Photo: Alexander Sharoff.

What has been your relationship to AI as a curator – how would you relate your experience in GAMMA_LAB to your involvement with the Barbican show? CTM Festival? Other projects?

My connection to AI is coming from my general research interests: I am a media art historian and I am deeply concerned by the new media research in relation with AI nowadays. I find it extremely stimulating and exciting – this enormous philosophical quest towards finding the big “other.” So as soon as I started to work closely with Helena Nikonole, conceptual artist of Gamma_LAB, being a peer for her “deus x mchn” project at Rodchenko School in Moscow and advising this artwork to the “Open Codes” exhibition at ZKM Centre for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, I was developing my curatorial approaches to art and AI. Then there were AI-related projects for the Barbican and CTM, but Gamma_LAB for me conceptually throwing my practice back to the Polytech.Science.Art program that I [previously was] curating at the Polytechnic Museum in Moscow. The way we build the processes here including theory, applied studies, performative aspects, it brings same strategy to the next level. In terms of the scale, Gamma_LAB with its connection to the Gamma Festival ([with its] 12000 visitors) has definitely jumped much higher.

Obviously, we know AI is buzzing. But do you feel there’s something unique about this particular set of collaborations – was there a sense that something different happened? In the process itself? In the results?

The engagement of the technical team was very different at the LAB. I think that we found the way to collaborate between disciplines in a way that is interesting for both – technology professionals and media artists. It makes the project very strong, I believe.

Live improv group. Photo: Alexander Sharoff.

There’s lots of curiosity as always about doing projects in Russia. What would you say the relationship of the Russian scene to the international scene is like? I’m certainly grateful for the unique expertise we had; maybe people aren’t so aware of how much technical skill and talent is in our Russian network?

We have had the long period of time when Russian science and technology was subject to control by the government. So internationalization of science is still happening very slowly in Russia. So I don’t think it’s a question of belief, but a question of historical memory. International interest in the technical skill and talent in the Russian network is definitely very strong , but people outside the country know that it was rather impossible to have successful collaboration due to political restrictions. So at the moment, we all have to go through these borders. And Gamma-LAB also supports open communication in the field of science, technology and arts.

The AI workshop began life with the exhibition and the workshop in Berlin – and now you’ve continued on to MUTEK. What’s the longer narrative there? And anything you can talk about as far as where this will go next, or what you hope will happen next with these projects?

The longer narrative is conducting proper artistic research on AI – but with curatorial supervision. Every international festival is interested in the development of cultural production, to expand contemporary culture strategies and be constantly engaged with audience feedback. The more serious collaborative experiences we have, the more profound cultural production is, the more meaningful art experiences can be delivered to the audience. We’re bringing this to the level of collaboration of the festival not only with artistic communities or applied technology makers, but with academic and scientific circles.

My hope is not related to any “next level,” though. I hope it will be the chance to develop a critical approach to AI and the arts. I think there’s no space where people can freely discover and form their own opinions on the AI matters [that compares with] the media art world and festival environments.

Helena, you got to approach joining our team from a different perspective, also haveing worked as a solo media artist. What was your experience?

Helena: The AI Stage… became, from my perspective, one of the most experimental and multi-genre stages at the festival. I showed my piece deus X mchn in the form of performance, which was presented before in a museum in an extremely different environment. Therefore, I thought it was interesting that showing this piece at the festival, I wasn’t planning to serve the expectations of some part of the audience, but then I realized that actually it was the feature of the stage.

Helena’s project has seen exhibition presentations before – but now it also got to share a festival stage, live in front of an audience, with uncertain and near-realtime results.

All performances, from baroque to noisy improvisation, from digital art to live coding performance could be shown in a museum, as well, and for me, the AI Stage was the best example of how a music festival can become a space for new media art and sophisticated experiments in sound and music. And yes, the audience was just awesome! Of course, some part of it were more used to going to raves than centers for contemporary art, but even these people were genuinely interested in what was happening at the stage, so finally, I was really surprised that sometimes a rave can also educate the audience.

https://gammafestival.ru/ [EN/RU]

http://artypical.com/

Photo: Nikita Grushevsky.
Photo: Nikita Grushevsky.

The post Making a stage powered by AI: inside GAMMA_LAB appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

‘So flawed and problematic’: why the term ‘world music’ is dead

Delivered... Ammar Kalia | Scene | Wed 24 Jul 2019 10:00 am

Artists, record labels and even this month’s Womad festival agree that the term is outdated. Is there a better way to market music from across the globe?

Ask most musicians what genre they play and you’ll likely get a prickly response. As one well-known, and slightly tipsy, jazz musician once told me: “If you all stopped obsessing about me playing ‘jazz’, maybe I would be playing festival stages rather than tiny clubs by now.” But while there have been meandering debates about jazz during its long history, another genre has become far more contentious in recent years: world music.

Dreamed up in a London pub in 1987 by DJs, record producers and music writers, it was conceived as a marketing term for the greater visibility of newly popularised African bands, following the success of Paul Simon’s Johannesburg-recorded Graceland the year before. “It was all geared to record shops. That was the only thing we were thinking about,” DJ Charlie Gillett, one of the pub-goers, told the Guardian in 2004. The group raised £3,500 from 11 independent labels to begin marketing “world music”to record stores. “It was the most cost-effective thing you could imagine,” said record producer Joe Boyd. “£3,500 and you get a whole genre – and a whole section of record stores today.”

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Supersonic review – giant monsters and ghoul-sponge at UK’s best small festival

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas | Scene | Tue 23 Jul 2019 2:00 pm

Various venues, Birmingham
By embracing the heaviness in Birmingham’s heritage, and adding a strong dose of eccentricity, Supersonic is world-class

A city built on guns, iron and chemicals, often under drizzly skies and with no horizon, Birmingham has always been heavy. As the summer’s Home of Metal arts programme across the city suggests – including a Black Sabbath retrospective at the Museum and Art Gallery – that mood influenced its music, but Supersonic festival shows that while Brummies still adore heaviness, it comes in all kinds of pressures and weights. Celebrating its 15th year and set across three modestly sized stages, the world-beating lineup massages, prods and kicks at music’s edges.

Opening the weekend, Neurosis induce the weekend’s most soulful headbanging, and it’s evident why: with their slow guitar lines, bending like the Doppler effect of a passing 18-wheeler, the Californians are a bright blast of spiritual sludge-metal. Supporting them are local veterans Godflesh, whose tinny drum machine acts like a wretched treadmill, locking them into industrial nightmares of ratcheting intensity.

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‘Michael Eavis didn’t know what dance music is’: a history of rave at Glastonbury

Delivered... Joe Muggs | Scene | Sat 29 Jun 2019 9:00 am

At some point in the late 80s – though no one remembers exactly when – Glastonbury festival became a nexus of the traveller, free party and acid-house scenes, and the festival was never the same again

Giant rubber duckies; tunnels of flowers; bassbins disguised with gingham tablecloths; sitting in upturned burning cars as entertainment. As if it weren’t enough of a struggle trying to get people to untangle their first Glastonbury raving memories from three decades ago, the things they do remember feel pretty hallucinatory on their own.

Nobody can be quite sure when raving first started in Glastonbury. Obviously all-night dancing predates acid house, but through the 80s that meant dub reggae: Youth of Killing Joke and the Orb remembers Saxon and Jah Shaka soundsystems as “the only music you could go dance to all night long that wasn’t acoustic around a bonfire”. The Mutoid Waste Company’s dystopian wreckage sculptures hosted pagan-industrial metal-banging dances throughout the night. Dance music as such wasn’t unknown, though. Mark Darby of Exeter’s Mighty Force collective says: “The first traveller soundsystem playing dance music I personally heard was Crazy Dave’s Record Bus – an old green coach with huge speakers – going through a disco phase, one afternoon at Stonehenge 83!”

Glastonbury is banning single use plastics. The world’s largest greenfield festival wants to avoid scenes of the area in front of its legendary stages being strewn with plastic after the shows have ended. In 2017, visitors to the festival got through 1.3m plastic bottles. 

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Hidden gems on the 2019 Glastonbury lineup

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas and Laura Snapes | Scene | Wed 26 Jun 2019 2:47 pm

Bewildered by the hundreds of acts at Glastonbury? The Guardian’s music editors pick the best names from lower down the bill

The must-see musical experience of the weekend is this brand-new stage from the Block9 crew, whose club spaces routinely provide the festival’s best after-hours moments. IICON will have artists playing from a giant sculpture of a head, and they’re a who’s who of cutting-edge electronics: galaxy-cartographer Larry Heard, dub geniuses Raime, thunderously angry poet Moor Mother, junglist poet Lee Gamble, South African pairing Okzharp and Manthe Ribane, and tons of forward-thinking techno: Bruce, Zenker Brothers, Karenn and more. Sleep all day, bring a carrier bag of falafels, and you could happily spend your entire weekend here.

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Euphoria here we come! Fatboy Slim on his ‘silent’ Ibiza film with Julien Temple

Delivered... Sam Wollaston | Scene | Tue 25 Jun 2019 12:53 pm

Norman Cook has spent three decades blowing the Ibiza party crowd away. The DJ reveals why he teamed up with the director to capture 2,000 years of the island’s wild, strange history

Superstar DJ Fatboy Slim was recently thinking about – and questioning – what it is he does. “I’m just a middle-aged man playing a lot of loud squelching noises to young people, waving his arms around in the air. What really is that?” he asked himself.

But then it does make them dance and smile, and he, Norman Cook, still enjoys doing it. “It’s not what I would have chosen to be doing at this age” – 55 – “but I’m loving it so much. It’s the best job in the world because I love music, and my love of music involves sharing it with people.”

Ibiza: The Silent Movie is out 5 July and screens at Glastonbury on 26 June.

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Sounds like summer: the ten best niche music festivals

Delivered... Kate Hutchinson, Ammar Kalia, Tara Joshi, Jude Rogers | Scene | Sat 15 Jun 2019 3:00 pm

Festival Fomo? Fear not. The big ones are sold out, but here’s our pick of the smaller gatherings that still have tickets

Eridge Park, Kent, 21-23 June

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Mary Anne Hobbs: ‘I’ve been given licence to dream’

Delivered... John Still | Scene | Sat 15 Jun 2019 6:00 am

Queens of the Electronic Underground finds the DJ curating a line-up featuring Holly Herndon, Jlin and Aïsha Devi

Curating a cohesive line-up with international artists can be a challenge. Sometimes, things fall into place so quickly it seems that serendipity had a hidden hand in proceedings. “These things are often very complex and require a lot of dialogue, because of the way the world works. It’s a remarkable moment when something like this coalesces so quickly,” says Mary Anne Hobbs of her Queens of the Electronic Underground show at the 02 Ritz. “All of the artists involved immediately wanted to do it. It was beautiful for me, with everyone so excited to play alongside the others. We all wondered: ‘Why hasn’t this happened before?’”

Related: On my radar: Mary Anne Hobbs’s cultural highlights

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Get on one, comrade! The story of Russia’s post-Soviet rave scene

Delivered... Seth Jacobson | Scene | Fri 7 Jun 2019 4:36 pm

For a brief period in the early 90s, anything seemed possible for the pioneers of a new youth culture. But as a new film reveals, things didn’t turn out quite as hoped

In 1991, the Soviet Union finally crumbled under the weight of its own contradictions. As the walls came tumbling down, it looked as though a space was finally opening up for young people to express themselves after the crushing conformity of the communist years.

“For us it was awesome when the Soviet Union fell, because we could fool around,” says artist Illya Chichkan. “And that’s exactly what we did. We experimented with psychedelics and psychotropics. We tried everything.”

Related: Pop, glamour and gangsters: Boris Yeltsin's new rave Russia

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