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

Someone made a bot for The Black Madonna, and it zeitgeist is

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Scene | Fri 7 Jul 2017 3:41 pm

Presumably, very smart people are working on Artificial Intelligence, and soon even my clumsy prose will be replaced by a bot. Until then, though, readily available bot code spits out random text like a combination of magnetic poetry, William S. Burroughs, and a feline on catnip walking across a laptop.

Of course, sometimes the results are simply beautiful in their absurdity. (For more on this phenomenon, check Horse ebooks. Relevant: “Is the dance floor calling? No” … “unfortunately, as you probably already know, people”)

Such is the case for The Black Madonna – the being the acclaimed international DJ with outspoken attitudes on the role of marginalized groups in music and the army of pointless naysaying trolls to match.

Sorry, my own bot may have written the last line; I went out for a beer. Don’t worry, if you don’t know who The Black Madonna is, it’s worth finding out – and the tweets below will still be no less, in my view, profound.

Let us marvel:

Identity politics:


Speaks on so many levels, really:

Any article mentioning anything to do with techno needs the cliched references to Berlin’s coolest club:


On justice:

But don’t mess with The Black Madonna, either.


Understanding life’s meaning:

If you’re curious about her name:

Touring life:

The Internet:

And my favorite:

Bonus – this one needs to be turned into a house track:

Oh yeah, this is a music site, so do enjoy some mix to get you through the end of Friday from The Black Madonna:

We Still Believe

Now, all I want in the world is to learn silly Twitterbot programming. Who’s with me?

The post Someone made a bot for The Black Madonna, and it zeitgeist is appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

An underground resource brings house and techno back to its roots

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Scene | Fri 23 Jun 2017 12:53 pm

Let’s be clear: electronic music is what it is because of a spirit that emanated from people outside of what was popular, not inside. And underground isn’t just about what’s undiscovered. It’s also about people who are too often purposely sidelined: people of color, queer and trans and gay and bi- and lesbian people, people who don’t look like models, people who other people say are weird, people who don’t fit in for all sorts of reasons. Nerds, even. If you’re reading this site, honestly, you’re probably one of those people, if at least for the reason that you might love weird sounds. (It’s okay to love that out loud.)

So when we talk about affirmative action for those groups – yes, including advocating for the broad minority of “weirdos,” a group in which I am in full support – we’re not just doing it out of some kind of imagined political coolness. We’re doing it because the music we love isn’t just about fame and success or even just about skill – though those things can be well and good. They’re also about soul. Call it the soul of freakiness.

If anyone thinks that’s exclusive, you’ve totally missed the point.

Deep in the underground. Photo: Sequencer.club.

Deep in the underground. Photo: Sequencer.club.

Now, the real-world places for such oddness come and go. They have to be actively renewed each generation, and when it comes to music venues, they rely on fragile networks of people and unpredictable fortune with zoning rules and real estate and law enforcement. (Yeah, be thankful for every party that even starts, let alone finishes before being shut down by noise complaints or some such.)

The good news is, the geographical birthplace of a lot of what we think of in techno and house is making a comeback. The Midwest and Northeast in the USA are finally renewing themselves. People globally are more aware than ever of Detroit, in its history and presence. Cities like Pittsburgh are more vibrant than ever. Even titan New York City, while it still has those idiotic cabaret laws on the books, is far richer than it was seven years ago. (I should know – I moved out right at a relative low point.)

In fact, part of what America needs right now is blogs.

So long out of Facebook for a second, close those tabs for the mainstream electronic music media outlets, and get ready to pour through sequencer.club.

Its podcasts make a perfect work soundtrack, and its long-form reading is worth reading end-to-end. It’s published not from Berlin, Germany, but Buffalo, New York, bringing you the happenings of the club scene in places like Rochester. (I have a feeling Rochester is not going to get a Resident Advisor profile any time soon.)

Let’s review.

The site has features like an exhaustive survey of Detroit, one more complete and more insightful than you’ll get out of larger publications:

313: Return To The Source / The History

The latest release, and the reason I heard about the site at all, comes from Noncompliant, the Indianapolis-based veteran who’s finally getting some notice on the wider scene (former project name: DJ Shiva). Lisa’s mixes are required listening any time you hear someone say “I’m kind of bored with techno.” Seriously, force headphones onto them, Clockwork Orange style, and see if they can say the same after the mix is on.

Yes, there are queer and trans artists front and center – with good reason. There’s a story here, about how the search for musical expression was tied up with loving and looking in a way that didn’t fit with the society around them. This is a story worth following, though, because it’s about the music we all love – and it’s a story with a happy ending.

As Jarvi puts it:

“I love music because it saved my life. It can say everything I can’t put into words. The music itself doesn’t judge me, it guides me. Without music I would never know the rave scene. I would never have found my chosen family in the underground where you can be anyone you want to be, as freaky and weird and out there as you want. Like-minded individuals all there together because the world doesn’t see us as the creative and beautiful individuals we are. PLUR forever.”

Yeah, that’s obviously more than a cool wristband – I know when a lot of people say “music saved my life,” they mean it literally, and even if you do nothing more than write manuals for synthesizers, that’s something you should think about every morning when you get up to go to work.

Jarvi’s mixes are terrific, but I love these raw, powerful tracks, so let’s embed those:

On that same topic, I know that while so-called identity politics speak to certain sets of people, mental health is essentially a universal need, and one uniquely bound up with music making. So, just as Maya Bouldry-Morrison aka Octo Octa’s profile deals with being trans, it also touches ways in which music helped deal with anxiety. As she tells the site:

“If I’m just having a hard day for no apparent reason then my self-care is to clean my apartment, work on music, take a bath, and maybe go for a walk to clear my head. It may or may not work, but trying anything beyond just shaking and thinking about how screwed I am helps.”

Well, I imagine Maya’s mix might contribute to self care for all of us, too. I totally love this mix:

Also, for anyone who’s unclear about why it’s important to some people to have defined spaces, and to choose those environments, she speaks to that:

I’m especially happy right now being more involved in the queer community. I’ve identified as queer since I was a teenager, but since I never came out to my parents my queerness wasn’t something that I would publicly discuss. Therefore I also wasn’t seen as someone who was queer and I wouldn’t necessarily be invited to play queer parties even though I really wanted to. They were the spaces I felt the most comfortable in.

There’s a lot more as far as music and philosophy in that interview, so do give yourself time to read the whole thing:


The site also has profiles of amazing musical humans who happen to be “true Detroiters” like Bruce Bailey. Bruce’s mix I think could heal any damaged heart with grooves:

By the way, there is as always a deep dialog going on between cities in Europe and the heartland USA. So, sure, someone like Kamal Naeem may be in Berlin now, but he keeps in touch with his upstate New York roots, those hills where the Moog synthesizers were born (and where he started the superior label Blank Slate).

Check out his profile and mix, too:

Sequencer Spotlight: Kamal Naeem

Actually, just go read the whole damned site end to end, which is more or less what I’m doing now, but one last signal boost for this absolutely essential story:

Harm Reduction Efforts Make Dance Floors Safer

And some final inspiration, from Detroit’s wonderful Erika:


“Letting go and dancing is a fundamental human thing that we’ve been doing for thousands of years – seeking a trance state through which to let go. It’s not about being a man or woman, it’s about being an animal trying to have a transcendental experience.” – Erika

Like / subscribe / share / tell your friends / stop people on the street / please help support independent media:


The post An underground resource brings house and techno back to its roots appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Musical resolutions – hand-picked music to start 2017

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Scene | Wed 11 Jan 2017 7:19 pm

Just as mixes need transitions, humans need pauses. So while some of the divisions of time are arbitrary, we need moments to step back and recollect. So CDM asked a cross-selection of producers and DJs to choose music from 2016 to begin our year. Maybe now – as the vacation spirit is wearing off and task lists are looming – maybe now is the time we need those most.

This particular group of humans generally resisted the idea of making charts, as an empty exercise. But I suppose some of those individuals are the very people whose music selections I value most – because they actually reflect on this a bit and choose something meaningful. So, arm twisting where necessary, we got this. Several colleagues included moments of reflection spent over the new year’s holiday looking back across the whole year. Some even did their digging while preparing for New Year’s gigs.

Anyone who says they’ve got the “best” music of the year is probably out of touch with just how much music the planet is making. But here, we have an honest selection of music that moved people. And we get to meet some of the people making those picks. I hope you enjoy.


Alan Oldham

Alan Oldham to me is the embodiment of electronic music futurism as it has radiated from Detroit. Apart from being an exceptional DJ and producer (as DJ T-1000), he’s also a leading comic book artist and one of the most desirable people anywhere to design your record sleeve. This is someone who can illustrate electronic fantasies in sound or image. So his picks are a wonderful place to start.

From Silence – Delano Smith [Sushitech]

Vision (Marcel Dettmann Remix) – Radio Slave [Rekids]

Distorter (Housemeister Remix) – DJ T-1000 [AYCB]

The World Through My Eyes Dub Versions – Jason Fernandes [Subfigure]

Dying Planet/Container – Zzino & Guss Carver

Landing XX – Ellen Allien [BPitch Control]

Illuminati Child EP – Alan Oldham

Social Housing – Marquis Hawkes [Marquis Hawkes]

These Are The Voyages – Detroitrocketscience [Detroitrocketscience]

I Woke Up And The Storm Was Over – Tropic of Cancer [Blackest Ever Black]


Dasha Rush

Dasha needs little introduction – the Russian native, Berlin-based producer and DJ does a bit of everything, from experimental to techno. She helms the beautifully unique Fullpanda, is brilliant in live electronic performance across genre, and has made appearances on the likes of raster-noton.

And I think Dasha came up with my favorite response to these. She chose just one track – one favorite from the past two years. And she said she doesn’t like the forced exercise of selecting charts and numbering them, or DJs charting their own music – all of which I appreciate. (Though in this case I specifically said to DJs, I was happy to see their own tracks in there, too – because I chose producers I love.)

But here’s her one track – and this one selection says a lot, and is worth some time. (The label is a favorite round here at CDM, Nordanvind Records.)

Korridor – “Somnolence”



Noncompliant (also known as DJ Shiva or Lisa Ess) is a powerhouse of midwest techno and a talent whose moment has come. 2016 was a prelude to what is yet to come, I think, with a Berlin debut and devastating new techno cuts. So apart from a deep insight into politics and unending oasis of empathy, Lisa is your go-to cat when you want grimy, powerful techno.

It’s also worth highlighting some of the picks here. The lose of Cherushii aka Chelsea Faith was not only personally devastating to many, but heart breaking because her music represented some of the richest possibility in the scene now. How that continues will be a topic to come.

Bas Amro – Imposter Persona [Wolfskuil]

LA4A – Dialup [Delft]

Alex Falk – Blazeit [CGI]

Adam Jay – Corpora LP [DetUnd]

Cherushii – The Industrial City [Run The Length of Your Wildness]

Savile – Share Power [Argot]

Tin Man, Jozef K & Winter Son – Fates Unknown (Erika Remix) [Acid Test]

Jimmy Edgar & Truncate – Submission [Ultramajic]

Fango – Vena Cava [Degustibus]

Avalon Emerson – Narcissus in Retrograde EP [Ghostly]


Zeno van den Broek

I was fortunate to get to seek out Zeno for our new Establishment imprint, because I already knew and loved his music tastes. So drawing on his own rich experimental background and creative taste, here are some more experimental selections for our list. We’ll be talking more to Zeno this week about his own work, too. But of course, I’m especially fond of the Grischa Lichtenberger music here – see our recent interview.

Shifted – Flatlands [Hospital Productions]

Yannis Kyriakides – Gut Thoughts [Unsounds]

Lorenzo Senni – Rave Voyeur [Warp]

Grisha Lichtenberger – 003_0415_03_re_0112_re_0811_08_lv_1 [raster-noton]
Yves de Mey – Adamance [Spectrum Spools]

Codespira1 – Node #1 [Artefact]

Microseq – Fragments of Here

[Epilepsy warning – but otherwise, this video is amazing]

Esther Dune at Berlin's Gegen party.

Esther Dune at Berlin’s Gegen party.

Esther Dune

Bridging the Amsterdam and Berlin scenes and a regular ring-leader of some of the better appearances literally underground at Tresor, Esther is an unsung techno champion. And like the others here, she’s got a long battle history in labels, production, and DJing. I actually insisted that she select some of her own label and production efforts for that reason – you don’t want to miss them. And it starts with this beautiful, weird track by Jimmy Asquith, the man behind Lobster Theremin records.

You’re probably going to want a record player in order to acquire a lot of this, FYI. Esther’s meticulous personality also means she’s the only one who gave us catalog numbers.

Tom Hang – The New World EP (A1 The New World) [Where to Now? WTN49]

Plural / Hakim Murphy – Split EP (B2 Hakim Murphy – Tbanger) [Another Earth AE202]

Versalife – Selfreplication (A2 Scepsis) [Trust Trust027]

Heavenchord / Stan Soul / EA110 – Coba (A1 Heavenchord – Journey into the subconscious) [Tevol TEVOL001]

Worker Parasite – Druid (A2 Druid) [Electric Pressure ELP001V]

214 – North Cascades (A1 Miami Nights) [Frustrated Funk]

Various Artists – Real Wild Trax (B2 Vin Sol – Down for Mine) [Club Lonely CL003]

33.10.3402 – Untitled (B1 33.10.3402 – Ne Declina A (121 Roland MC 303)) [LIES LIES074]

Myles Serge / Duijn & Douglas – Split EP (A1 Myles Serge -The art of shadow thoughts) [Another Earth AE101]

John Heckle – Tribute to a Sun God (B1 Mesopotamia) [Bedouin Records BDN010]

Esther, as I lack a meticulous personality, I’m not totally certain this is the right L.I.E.S. cut, but … it’s also too nice to share if not.

Meanwhile, here’s one of hers – delicious:

And quite fond of this whole John Heckle record:


Phase Fatale

Hayden Payne, New York-to-Berlin transplant (a phrase associated with NYC now much like “world champion New York Yankees) is one of the brightest up and coming techno acts. His now-regular sets at Berghain are deliciously gothic and adventurous. And I think his taste are a beautiful hype-free window into what’s happening in the international electronic scene, what’s driving the queues at these clubs beyond just hype, and what is genuinely fresh and enjoyable and new. And sure enough, he delivered a lovely reminder of some favorites of mine, ones I’m sure will appeal here.

Sawf – “High Zone” [Kafta Kafta001]
Ascetic – “Atheism” [Manic Depression Records]
Orphx – “Zero Hour” [Sonic Groove / Hands – see our interview]
November Novelet – “Ursa Minor” [Galakthorrö]
Alvar – “Diffuse Tomorrow” [Alvaret Tape Recordings]
Sarin – “Control” [A+W IX]
Schwefelgelb – “So Heisser Es Wird” [Fleisch 001]
Pure Ground – “Before Us” [Avant! ‎– AV!043]
Unhuman – “Unterstüzung” [Amok Tapes AMOK008]
Source Direct – “The Crane (Function/Inland Remix)”



Apart from liking Grischa’s latest as much as apparently the rest of us do, Kyoka is a person whose live sets and music consistently come up when chatting with the others here. The second raster-noton inclusion on this list apart from Dasha, I added Kyoka because of her intelligence and enthusiasm. So, we’ll get some repetition, but I think well-deserved – these are tracks a lot of us couldn’t stop listening to last year, and may still look forward to savoring this year.

004_241 B – Grischa Lichtenberger

Bound State – Ueno Masaaki

Dark Barker – kangding ray

Twistet In the Wind – Frank Bretschneider

a1_entrance_m_v2 – Eomac

Cause to emit sound – DJ SODEYAMA

Just Face It – DJ Git Hyper


Anastasia Kristensen

From Moscow to Copenhagen, Anastasia has emerged as a brilliant connector – she’s someone who manages to seem to be everywhere, know everyone, but then apply that social intelligence to greater musical depth. And I asked her here because her sets and mixes are diverse and not just cookie-cutter creations.

yen towers – bid II, posh isolation
ctrls – the wave, token
air max’97 – thrall, decisions
dreams – headhunter, nous disques
rx 101 – 101 reasons, saction
jamaica suk – Depth Between Waves, L.A.G.
melly – skip fire, where to now?
rommek – solvent, blueprint records
ken ishii – extra (7th plain remix), a-ton
imaski – hyperloop, (Establishment)

Photo: Michael Breyer.

Photo: Michael Breyer.

Electric Indigo

Susanne Kirchmyer just played a brutal set at about blank his weekend. To those in the know, she’s simply a legend – a foundation of the European scene. She’s also been active in transforming the face of the scene to come, through her work with Female Pressure.

Now, like Dasha, Susanne straddles experimental and techno, AV performance and dancefloor in her own work. Unlike Dasha, Susanne’s rebellion to “name five to ten tracks” was to go with more instead of less. But that reflects her collections, too, so let’s have at all of it!

10 chosen most significant:
Born In Flamez x Modeselektor – TBF [XLR8]
Perc – Ma [Stroboscopic Artefacts 026]
Monolake – Error (VLSI Version) [Imbalance Computer Music ML-032]
B12 – Core Meltdown [FireScope 003]
Rrose – Emboli [Khemia 002]
Adriana Lopez – En Ningun Lugar [Modularz 25]
Headless Horseman – Under The Earth [the29nov 001]
Annie Hall – Hyssop [Subspec 035]
Sky Deep – Woman & The Gun feat. Hevî [female-pressure – Music- Awareness & Solidarity w- Rojava Revolution]
Annie Hall – Herschel [CPU 00011100]

Other tracks that I wanted to be in the top 10:
Orphx – Blood in the Streets [Sonic Groove LP02]
Alhek – The Voice Of Cement Buildings [Mechanical Thoughts LP01]
Antigone & Francois X – Ready To Escape [DEMENT3D 012]
Scalameriya – Ambidextrous [Genesa 006V]
Angelina Yershova – Immersion [Twin Paradox 003]
Silent Harbour – Dock Operations [Transcendent LP001]
Shlømo – The Ritual [Wolfskuil LTD 029]
Kero / Gotshell – Samaria District [Blueprint 047]

More tracks that I really like:
Simo Cell – Away From Keyboard [Livity Sound 021]
Shifted – Clairvoyance Part II [Drifting Over 001]
Dimi Angélis – Dwarf Planets [Construct Re-Form 012]
Insolate – Renew [Out of Place 002]
Trinity – Orchard [Coincidence 074]
DJ Red – Sweet Silence [Electric Deluxe 047]
Klaudia Gawlas – Obsession [Credo 038]
Etapp Kyle – Ahora [Ostgut Unterton 08]

Actually, 2016 was a very good year listening to the music I collected ?



Kevin McHugh, aka Ambivalent, but impressing lately as techno act LA4A, is our consummate tasteful last entry here. I appreciate that Kevin actually said he enjoyed picking these for this task. And he’s worth quoting here, because I feel some of his music was the most underrated of the year – even though it was also widely selected by our group of contributors as some of our favorite.

Morphology – Vector Plant – DUM
Physical Therapy – 909 Reasons Why – Delft
Amotik – Terah – Amotik
Avalon Emerson – Glider Gun – Valence
Emmanuel – Masa – Enemy
Vernon Felicity – Defender – Delft
TAFKAMP – I Laf You – Paling Trax
Ambivalent – Whyou (Michael Mayer Remix) – Kompakt
Camea – Signs (Andre Kronert) -Neverwhere
Truncate – Wave 1 – Truncate

Now, this is my kind of New Year’s Resolution. Because listening to all of this makes me want to go discover more and make more music. Unlike those forgotten new year’s gym memberships, this is fitness that is addictive.

And I hope we’ll visit these friends here more throughout the year. That’s a resolution to keep.

The post Musical resolutions – hand-picked music to start 2017 appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

How a meetup space for female music makers is making a difference

Delivered... Zuzana Friday Prikrylova | Artists,Events,Scene | Mon 26 Dec 2016 8:13 pm

Ed.: If we’re going to see more women or other underrepresented groups in music, one place to start is by creating new spaces. CDM contributor Zuzana Friday is involved in an effort in Berlin that does just that. The idea is an informal one: just have exclusively female-identified artists meet for a couple of hours, to give them an environment all their own, then open up to anyone interested thereafter – covering musicians but also quite a lot of visualists, too. Even the name is simple: “Meetup.” That approach has proven fertile enough that it’s fired up the music network citywide. But just how does something so simple and direct work in practice? Zuzana takes us into a meeting to give us a picture.

We’re sitting outside in front of a wooden house with a bar and two dancefloors inside, where our Meetup takes place this evening. The June sun is setting as today’s attendees slowly gather, some coming directly from work, some refreshing themselves with a lemonade or a beer. When me and the other three Meetup co-organizers, Aiko, Bianca, and Yulka, decide that there’s enough of us (usually about half an hour after the official start), we get started with our discussion part, which is female-identified and LGBTQ-only.


First, we introduce each other one by one. Of course, if someone would want to stay anonymous, that’s fine, too. We say our name, specify if we go by she, they, or another pronoun if necessary, and explain what brought us to the Meetup. You’d be surprised: the reasons vary a lot, along with attendees’ occupations, interests, and a level of professional experience. This time, we have a rapper and singer/songwriter who are doing degrees in electronic music production, a scientist who likes making instruments in her spare time, a DJ who works in a museum, a young girl who just started thinking about VJing, a woman who realized she’s David Bowie and needs to follow her destiny… the mix is always unique and wonderful.

After the introduction round, we all go inside to start the discussion. This time, our topic is upcoming music festivals and gender issues connected to them. Our guest Anna from the Berlin edition of Mira Festival introduces the event, then we dive into the fact that the lineup of musicians is all male, and try to figure out why is this so often the case and whether all-female festivals help the issue. Ed.: Side note on Mira specifically – female artists contributed to visuals, but weren’t listed as headliners. Also, a separately-curated set of panel discussions on which I was one of the moderators was mixed, but the performance program was criticize over this issue. It’s great to see Mira taking interest in improving. -PK)

Isa Wolff, from the July meetup.

Isa Wolff, from the July meetup.


Some attendees make interesting points, some share their personal experience or opinion, and the discussion eventually branches to other topics related to event-organisation, festival and party policies and other things that have been occupying people’s minds. When we feel like we’ve said it all, and we see that people would prefer chatting in smaller groups or just enjoying some music, the party / musical part starts, around 9pm. From this time on, everyone is welcome and encouraged to join and party as an audience, as long as they keep it friendly and respectful – we do have male audience enjoying the music performances.

This time, Sissip, a musician, singer, songwriter, and recently also a producer, starts her solo show. She joined us in May for the Ableton edition of the Meetup, where we talked about creative processes and some shared their music productions. Sissip herself didn’t bring any music then, but she sang on the spot and mentioned she’d just started working with Ableton. And tonight, only one month later, she’s singing and performing her live set here!

The next act is multi-genre talent Juliane Wolf, who performs a captivating acid live set. And then we have DJs Kat Tat Tat and MS Elbe, who spin their groovy and deep house records, making it almost impossible not to dance (well in my case, at least). At the end of the Meetup, I feel thankful for having the possibility of co-organizing this event, as I see new possible friendships or partnerships, people being inspired by what has been said today and some new fans of this evening’s artists.

Meetup is a team organizational effort. There’s Aiko Okamoto, alias Mo Chan — a VJ, DJ, and artist. Bianca Ludewig is a cultural studies scholar doing her Ph.D in transmedia festivals and teaching about electronic music and pop culture, as well as a hosting a radio show as Jukebox Utopia. Jessie is a graffiti writer and a DJ. I eventually joined in because of Bianca, after she persistently encouraged me to. And so did Yulka Plekhanova, a VJ (Optic Veil [doing some of my favorite analog optic visuals, I might add, gorgeous work! -Ed.]) and an event organizer for many years in the US and now in Berlin. Since May, the organizing team was pretty much the four of us (Bianca, Aiko, Yulka, me), with help of Anja Weber aka Mila Chiral, a dancer, choreographer, musician, and a member of Minutektiv, who is in charge of the Ableton editions of the Meetup. We also get support from friends like Akkamiau, DJ Isa Wolff, Sissip, Donna Maya (a musician and a certified Ableton teacher) and many more, who join regularly, perform, DJ, take photos, and show us support. In December, we welcomed Anja, Isa and Elie Gregory (Strip Down) to the organisation team of the Meetup, because the more minds, hands and hearts, the better. ?

A video posted by @opticveil on

The initial idea of the Meetup was for female-identified and LGBTQ people to meet, talk, have a beer, and maybe start a project together or at least see who else has similar music / art interests in Berlin. I joined Meetup in April, after attending the event in March. At that time, Meetup was taking place in a Bar dubbed “ohne namen,” (literally, “no name”). The atmosphere was pretty laid back, with ladies sitting around and talking, but the bar setting meant we had to keep the volume down, and couldn’t add live acts or VJs.

So we moved over to an unlicensed/illegal club. (That’s why we can’t share its name and address.) We’ve met a wonderful and supportive group of people there, who provide us space and all the equipment and generally just let us do our thing and party until 1 in the morning. Anyone who has ever been there is blown away by its charm, as only a true DIY place can provide. And so we settled in a little house of this club complex, among shiny meteorites and iridescent decorations, dusty furniture and a fluid, ever-changing environment. Finally, we had not only working decks, but also beamers and a proper sound system and a dance floor!

Red Pig Flower.

Red Pig Flower.

Optic Veil, framed by her analog visuals.

a participant looks on, framed by Optic Veil’s analog visuals.

We had our first Meetup in the new spot in April, for our first Ableton-themed edition. And with the new location, the impact of the Meetup started to grow. People started to contact us before hand; we started to ask our friends who produce, VJ, DJ, make movies, or do live painting, whether they’d like to participate. And so we started adding formal line-ups for each event. But in case someone wants to spontaneously come and DJ, we make sure that there’s space left for open decks! The discussions evolved, too – suddenly, it wasn’t just chats among ourselves anymore, but included guests, people who are interested in similar topics, individuals, collectives, festival organizers, social media managers, sound artists, DJs.

Among our wonderful guests were Konstmusiksystrar, a Swedish collective focusing on female-identified and LGBTQ artists in the realms of contemporary classical music and sound art, Michelle Manetti, a DJ and founder of the Lipstick Disco blog, organizers of festivals like Mira and [East Europe-centered] Easterndaze x Berlin, Ellie Gregory of EQ, an initiative for all genders underrepresented in electronic music, and even more interesting attendees working for magazines or music software companies joined us in the past months.

But don’t think that we are only limited to professionals – all kinds of people come and join. These are especially welcome because it always warms my heart when somebody comes to check out our event and then returns with a live set ready, or performs a song that they created after our Meetup, pumped with inspiration, or plays their first production experiments on the Ableton editions. As this has happened, it’s proven to us that organizing these events makes sense and really can inspire people or give them the push they need to move one step further.

Some time ago, I also started a blog, where I gradually post profiles of some of our attendees who are artistically active or are somehow involved, as well as profiles of our guests who presented their projects or work, and of course everyone who performed live or as a DJ or VJ. There you can find info about upcoming Meetups, as well as on our Facebook. We’re also thinking about expanding Meetup further, not only online, but also in the ether, or making some bigger events. But as we’re all busy, we’ll see how far can we stretch Meetup’s potential.

What I’d like to emphasize is that we open the door to all genders after 9pm to join us for a party, see some female or queer musicians, artists, DJs or VJs, and experience these unique intimate events with us. We still keep the safe-space for female-identified and LGBTQ from 7 to 9pm, in order to create the most supportive, open, and unintimidating atmosphere, and so far everybody who I asked felt comfortable. But even now, we think about letting male feminists and supporters of diversity in electronic music and digital arts to talk with us from the beginning, to be more inclusive and let more people from various backgrounds to participate and support each other.


Meetup is an ongoing process and we discuss all of this within our team. When I think about it, a big part of what we do is exchange a lot of emails! We share ideas regarding organization, topics, guests, and how to grow and to do things better. Now we’re even discussing changing the name. So anyone who would like to be informed about what we’re up to can follow our Facebook page or our blog. We did a screening of the documentary about last year’s Heroines of Sound festival, and had the organizers introduce their event.

If you want to join us in Berlin, you can perform, DJ, suggests topics or other ideas, or just drop by, please get in touch. And if you’d like to organize something similar in your part of the world, and want some ideas and support, I’m happy to encourage you and talk to you!

Meetup Berlin [Blog]

Meetup Berlin group on Facebook

Ed.: I hope this opens up discussion not only about Berlin, or even exclusively about female-identified artists, but about spreading music outside its usual contexts and crowds. So of course, we welcome similar stories and discussion of how event organization is going elsewhere in the world.

Photos courtesy Meetup Berlin / Akkamiau Kočičí..

The post How a meetup space for female music makers is making a difference appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Mixes of the moment: dark techno, diverse records

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Scene | Wed 16 Nov 2016 10:06 pm

News and information is important, but it won’t focus you on what matters. Checking Facebook might distract you, but it won’t calm you. Only music is wired directly into our mood when we’re alone. And leave the algorithms; there’s nothing like a human mix. So it is that we bring you regular mixes as windows into the work of music we love.

To start, no one puts the banging in banging techno quite like Paula Temple. Her sets, like her productions, can reach a level of cathartic violence without ever losing a feeling of groove. Hers is a ritual of endlessly satisfying, pounding darkness. And if this doesn’t somehow relieve you of frustrated emotions and dread and put you in a good mood, probably nothing will.

GROOVE.de hosts the podcast, with a complete track listing (name check folks like the wonderful Phase Fatale) and a terrific interview (plus links to more on collaborators and also-great-folks SØS Gunver Ryberg, Aïsha Devi, and Rrose):

It’s worth reading Paula’s lovely manifesto for her Noise Manifesto label of the same name, composed for “Noise Makers” and “cyborg artists.”

Particularly, this bit – which goes nicely with the rules of planet CDM:

We declare that we don’t give a shit whether artists choose to use a synth salvaged from the 80s or a pattern generator of the future. Combinations of creativity are defined according to our imaginations. Technology used as an extension of ego is prohibited.

– and this bit. Violent-sounding noise, non-violent people:

We killjoy the following: Violence, violations and hatred of any kind (racism, sexism, transphobia, queerphobia, etc) – no matter how commercially viable they are.


Rabih Beaini/Morphosis

Lebanon-born Rabih Beaini aka Morphosis does wonderful things with musical diversity – digging deep to the artists from every corner of the world others would miss, weaving them into sets that for me put me in some sort of mystical ecstasy.

Rabih has also breathed new life into Berlin’s CTM Festival, joining its curatorial team. And he’s a consummate musician, too, working in a range of improvisational and production contexts.

This mix is special, though, in that the mix for Dutch store Rush Hour had him spinning tracks grab-bag style with the crew from the shop selecting. That leads to unexpected combinations – and dealing with curve balls and the unexpected seems appropriate for our times. Descriptions:

Output is partly dictated by approach. After requesting Lebanese born producer, DJ and Morphine label owner Rabih Beaini for a store mix, he asks us to make the record selection for him. “It would be fun to work with tracks that are unfamiliar to me”, he explains. The RH crew dug the bins and Beaini starts from scratch with approximately a hundred tracks to select from, creating cinematic, dissonant harmonies with his mixes.

Rabih Beaini is a lone voice in electronic music. As Morphosis, Beaini has been crafting away in the nether-regions of the techno underworld since the 90s. Few people thread as challenging and intriguing live shows as him, where dark wave, krautrock, post everything and techno all sit together in haunted hardware harmony. With his store mix, despite his adventurous approach, Beaini proves to be no different as a DJ.

This is the fourteenth in a series of Rush Hour Store mixes, where we invite our favorite artists and DJs to dig the bins and record us a mix on the spot.

Andrea Belfi – Cera Persa 1
Meta Meta – Obatala
Mark Ernestus – Xale Rhythm
Kompjotr Eplektrika – Apaque
Eye – Sabine
DJ Stingray – Hypoalgesia
Africa Head Charge – Off the Beaten Track
Synth Sisters – A.U.B.E.
Lolina – Time in EU
Tribo Massahi – Walk By Jungle
Paki Visnadi – In A Dark Run
Wukir – Tenun
Super Mama Djombo – Marietu Djembe
Sun Ra – The living Myth
Robert Bergman – Beat Track
Maki Asakawa – Govinda
Babyfather – Stealth Intro
John Cage – Empty Words (silent solo)

Full links on the SoundCloud description

Rabih writes: “Today i want to dedicate this to David Mancuso, it’s not a Disco selection but it’s in the same spirit he approached DJing and I can’t not thinking of him and his legacy when listening to this.”

Yeah, I definitely feel the spirit in this one.

Oh yeah, also, this Honey Soundsystem mix that’s playing automatically for me afterward is also pretty excellent.


Esther Duijn

Dutch-born Esther Duijn is one of my favorite underrated bedrocks of the techno scene in Berlin, a Tresor resident, a talented producer, and now running her own label and podcast Another Earth. It’s great to see her highlighted by Resident Advisor.

Here, she takes techno and draws lines to other genres, with a mix that feels entirely fluid but without being stuck in a genre as so many DJs these days seem to get.

And what makes Esther so great to me is that she DJs like a collector. It’s not show-off obscurity – it’s about that depth and breadth of catalog, of mindful selection.

And, she appreciates value beyond fame. As she tells RA: “There are so many talented guys and girls out there who work their asses off in the studio, who are not really good with promoting themselves but are amazingly talented producers and DJs whose music is worth showing to the world. ”

Check out the interview for RA to accompany the podcast:
Dusky club sounds from the Tresor resident.

Connecting to the others – Morphosis gets dropped in there near the end.

James Ruskin – Excerpt 1
Dax J – Orloks’s Symphony
Alessio Pili – Last Procession
Vohkinne – Be Like The Sun
Orion 70 – Book 01
Crystal Maze – Dissolve (Dungeon Dub)
MB – The Miracle Sign
ERP – Vox Automaton
Jimmy Edgar & Truncate – Submission
DJ Deeon – Pimp On 2K2
Kraftwerk – Numbers
Bleaker – Hype Funk
Dj Deeon – Barcodez (Rob Threezy Remix)
Unspecified Enemies – Liquid Floor
Kevin McPhee – TW
Differ-Ent – M.O.M.
Myler – Geetus
White label #1
Hakim Murphy – TBanger
Morphosis – Dirty Matter
DJ Shadow – Dark Days (Main Theme)

Give her a like here:


Got a mix we should here? My door’s open; give a shout.

The post Mixes of the moment: dark techno, diverse records appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Soundtrack of the Townships: Gqom from Durban

Delivered... Philipp Weichenrieder | Scene | Thu 7 Jul 2016 10:30 am

Some call it a hybrid of breakbeat and house, some call it «apocalyptic riot music». But for the producers from the townships of Durban, South Africa, Gqom is more than a clubmusic style.


Rudeboyz. Credit: Rudeboyz

It feels like being dragged into a black hole. A single low-pitched string sound is steadily, ominously and threatening hovering in the background. It is creating an eerie atmosphere, a thick and somewhat physical perceptible veil that is set swinging by stumbling kick drums and develops a strangely light and floating movement which at the same time is raw and fiercely pushing. This contradictory dynamic is characteristic and special about a yet young genre of electronic dance music evolving out of the townships of Durban which is also causing a stir in Europe: Gqom.

The Zulu word «Gqom», the combination of g and q articulated with a click made with the tongue (can be heard here), means either «drum», «noise», “bucket» or «music». Sometimes the term is also explained as an onomatopoeic equivalence to the noise of a stone falling on a floor tile. This stands for the raw sound with its repetitive and hypnotizing drum rhythm in its centre. Gqom music is not about feel-good harmonies, it is about trance. Pioneering producers like 21-years-old DJ Lag or 26-years-old Sbucardo also describe Gqom as «3-Step». Though giving a four-to-the-floor-feeling, Gqom tracks don’t have bass drums on each of the beats. Instead, three kicks are pulsating in the straight construction. Hopping and shuffling at the same time, polyrhythms are creeping out of the speakers backed by shouts and other vocal samples as well as a wide range of percussion and eerie synthesizer sounds.

“Townships are party nations»

Around 2012 the sound of Gqom had arisen in the coastal town Durban in the eastern part of South Africa. It took about two years until it got wider attention in Europe, especially in Great Britain. With its rhythmic structure between house music and breakbeat it goes well with the archive of UK Rave history from Techno to Jungle to Grime and UK Funky. So it’s little wonder that it was London-based label Goon Club All Stars which released an EP by Rudeboyz from Durban last year. The trio, Andile-T, Menchess and Masive Q, later proudly presented the first ever vinyl containing Gqom music on photos they shared via social media. It seems kind of ironic that in that way the music has been quasi-reimported from England to South Africa and shows one thing amongst others: Gqom is still not as recognized at the place where it is created as abroad.

Gqom is referred to as music from townships, the ghetto areas created by the Apartheid regime in South Africa in order to cement racist segregation. Most of the producers who are making Gqom today are male, how the words «boy» or «boyz», used in a lot of pseudonyms, show. A lot of them are living in townships around Durban, where the genre is thriving. According to Rudeboyz, who I contacted via e-mail as well as the other protagonists cited in this feature, this is due to the social atmosphere in those areas. They are writing that a lot of different people are coming together while music is always present and nobody is complaining about noise. «Townships come alive on weekends in party spirit. Having people’s houses turned into night clubs and taverns bars, which have been booming since the 2000s, make people stay in townships and not travel to the city. Townships are party nations.»

Running to music to change lives

Still, also today the consequences of the racist politics take effect. «There are a lot of challenges as black youth», writes DJ Lag. «We all know that we have been through apartheid and it has been 21 years since the democracy of South Africa has been established and to be honest, a lot has not changed. The issues of poverty, unemployment and lack of funds to go to attend college or university are a problem in this country. And that influences me to run to music and Gqom.»

DJ Lag’s path to music seems exemplary considering a statement by Keorapetse Mefane alias Khura. He established the booking agency Boldpage Entertainment to create local infrastructures and help producers, alongside like-minded activists like DJ Lag or Cherish LaLa Mankai, a self-employed public relations consultant, events curator and artist personal manager. «Most of these guys come from very unfortunate backgrounds that are embroiled by crime, poverty and lack of proper education and when I say proper education, I mean going to college or university and study a proper course that will change their lives», Mefane writes.

«These boys run to music and these ones who managed to get laptops and start experimenting with music software are the lucky ones. These boys need to know that this craft has a potential to change their lives positively. And I believe through music we can make our communities better. If these boys can be guided and taken care of, they will be the role models of tomorrow and those who are coming after them, they will have a better paved path.” It is also about enabling to make a living doing music in the present.

Many Gqom tracks are spread via Whatsapp and uploaded to platforms like Data File Host or Kasimp3 where they are freely available. Officially Kasimp3 gives uploaders a share of its advertising revenues. But, according to Mefane, these payments often fail and with them the opportunity for the producers to get something in return for their music. Their tracks might get spread and perhaps even popular, but in the end it does not change much in the lives of the DJs and producers at the moment.

From South Africa to Europe: Gqom Oh!

However, platforms like Kasimp3 played a big role in broadening the interest in Gqom and provided first access for diggers like Francesco Cucchi alias Nan Kolè, who started the label Gqom Oh! together with Lerato Phiri and runs it with label manager Craig Pugnetti in London. Earlier this year, the label has released «Gqom Oh! The Sound of Durban», the first extensive compilation of Gqom on a European label. The rough and raw sound, which is also a side-effect of the simplicity of the production methods, together with the powerful and gloomy atmosphere is what fascinates the DJ and label owner about Gqom. It is «apocalyptic riot music», music, which expresses the longings of the kids and young people from the townships for change. «It’s not a political movement or political music per se but it’s really just these teenagers trying to describe what they’re living through, which is quite hard for us to imagine», writes Cucchi. «But I feel that their music perfectly describes it.»

With help from Lerato Phiri, who lives in South Africa, Cucchi got in touch with the producers who contributed to the compilation «Gqom Oh! The Sound of Durban». Mid-July will see the next release of their Gqom Oh! label, which is a collaboration with Crudo Volta, a Rome-based collective which runs a community radio station and also produces videos about music and DJ culture. When Cucchi travelled to South Africa back in April to personally meet the producers who contributed to the compilation for the first time, they filmed some impressions and produced a short film called «Woza Taxi», which means «Come Taxi».

It makes sense to refer to a Taxi in the title of something that documents the Gqom scene of Durban, if you think of the important role of the cars and drivers for the musical life in the city. «If a track is being played in a taxi, you should know that your track is a hit», explains DJ Lag. “Because taxis are a symbol of dancing mood, especially taxis that work in the heart of Durban. And taxis actually are the heart of Durban especially in promoting Gqom music.» The documentary “Woza Taxi» comes with the compilation «Gqom Oh! X Crudo Volta Mixtape – Gqom special stash out of the locations». Like the previous release it assembles music from various producers like Dominowe, Julz Da Deejay or Mafia Boyz and their takes on Gqom but also on related styles like Core Tribe and Sghubu which share the minimalistic approach and eerie atmosphere as well as the omnipresent floating and vibrating string sound.

This second release on Gqom Oh! as well as a forthcoming release by DJ Lag for Goon Club All Stars have the potential to raise even more interest for Gqom especially in Europe. But also if the music will get played at more parties, for the producers and their supporters in Durban it is about more. It should not be a fast-moving genre that disappears from the screens again after a short-lived hype. They want to establish Gqom as a culture that does not only create a stir in Europe but also gets recognized at home in South Africa. Also with regard to finances so that they can make a living producing music and are able to change some things in their lives – if they wish.

Various Artists: «Gqom Oh! The Sound Of Durban» (Gqom Oh!)
Various Artists: «Gqom Oh! X Crudo Volta Mixtape – Gqom special stash out of the locations» (Gqom Oh!) will be released with the film «Woza Taxi» on July 18.
DJ Lag: «DJ Lag EP» (Goon Club Allstars), forthcoming

A slightly different version of this text was published first in german in the newspaper taz and can be found here.

Anti-Dub – Perus music pirates

Delivered... Philipp Rhensius from Norient | Scene | Thu 30 Jun 2016 6:51 pm

The label Terror Negro from Lima is a home for south american bassmusic hybrids. The founder Deltatron talks about subverting the eurocentric mainstream and the micropolitics of Perus club culture.

Terror Negro Crew. Photo: Promo.

Terror Negro Crew. Photo: Promo.

Philipp Rhensius: When I stumbled upon your label it was especially the name that struck me first: Terror Negro has a pretty political connotation. What´s the idea behind the name and the label itself?

Deltatron: Negro is referring to the black and brown latin beat culture that was always put down by the so called “club” or “eurocentric” scenes. It´s about being rebellious with the sounds and the culture we portray since 2009. We don’t really dig all that Ambient and Cumbia styles because that´s more like world music. And it´s often used to get gigs at european festivals. But we prefer straight Hardcore Cumbia or Reggaeton or to work with ghetto beats because we grew up with it. Everyone from the label has his own style and his own way to work with these rhythms that are all over the cities in South America but are sometimes caged. The label is giving them a new mindset.

PR: What does the word terror mean in this context?

D: In Peru, the word Terror is pretty hard because we have some real terrorists. Nevertheless, for many of us the real terrorists have always been the government and their friends, as well as the colonial countries that are always – even nowadays – trying to put down what we do culturally. So we called it like that because we feel like cultural vandals as we are sampling and bootlegging to subvert the mainstream culture. We strongly believe in creative commons and the real value of sharing information freely. As djs and producers, we are always grabbing, stealing and manipulating information no matter of their origin.

P R: Bootlegging is quite common these days in Peru, isn´t it?

D: Yes, we have a huge piracy culture in our country. Thousands of families are making their living from working in the bootlegging industry, mostly in the fields of clothing, music, software and video. The bootlegging stuff is sometimes the only chance to get cultural access.

P R: You mentioned Cumbia and Reggaeton before. Which other styles does your label stand for?

D: When we started the label, we wanted to create a sound for our city. We were tired of always listening to people around us trying to copy american and european sounds. We wanted to include influences from the styles we listened to growing up: Cumbia, Reggaeton and some Eurodance – stuff that was all over the radio in the 1990s and 2000s during Fujimoris presidency. Then a lot of people started working on more complex rhythms like afroperuvian (Festejo, Lando) and andean (Huayno, Huaylash), but also with ghetto sounds like Favela Funk, Kuduro, Juke, Tribal and all that. We have a lot of fun playing with all these styles.

Deltatron. Photo: Promo.

Deltatron. Photo: Promo.

P R: What´s the scene in Peru like?

D: It´s pretty diverse, even if there are small audiences. But there is a little space for everyone. The radio and the TV is dominated by Cumbia and Reggaeton. Like big band romantic-love Cumbia and Colombian melodic teenager Reggaeton – stuff that you hear in the mainstream clubs too. But there are a lot of other people that are more based in the bass and sound system culture, like Dub, Jungle, Juke, Grime. I prefer the second one because that´s where our movement really started. I don t like that 4 to the floor european stuff that some guys are playing, especially when they are saying that latin america is the next berlin but playing the same shit they play in berlin. That´s stupid and colonial to me. I´m playing every friday in a tropical club for 1500 people and they all love our style because we mix it with mainstream acapellas and shit. That´s good even if we are still an underground movement.

P R: What about your own parties? They seem to be an alternative space to these events?

D: My own parties happen in small venues for 300 people and they are pretty diverse, sexually and musically. They are called Ver$us and I bring bring djs from different crews that play more ghetto rhythms from all over the world. I think Lima is always struggling between being something important and just feeling important. But there´s also a lot of racism and classism in the parties but it is so low-key that nobody bothers.

P R: Speaking of this. I guess every club culture has its issues with sexism and classim nowadays, from Berlin to Rio to Cape Town, especially on a more subtle level, which I would call the micropolitics of club culture. Could you describe the situation in Lima?

D: Lima is a pretty racist and classist and machist city. There is always some violence going on against women or blacks. And yes, this is sometimes pretty low key, like in the politics of behaving.

P R: The music itself can also contain „battlefields“ of political or ideological ideas. With regards to the things you talked about at the beginning, could you comment on this?

D: Musically, there is a colonial mindset that´s always around, that people think, that local things are cheesy or not worthing nothing, and that going to other countries to work and live is better than staying here. For me, it´s some fucked up thinking. People tend to think that techno and house is more “aspiratonal” and the local urban music like cumbia and reggaeton are more hood or poor people music. I would compare it to the disco/hip hop dichotomy you had in New York in the early 80s.

But is has been changing over the years. Especially because of things like the chicha art movement (an art initiative aimed at creating street art workshops for underprivileged young people in Lima) and the local food explosion in the international media, people got more friendly towards our roots again.

P R: Could you name some of your most interesting artists?

D: I think they’re all interesting. What I can do is show you my favourite tune of each of them.


Tribilin Sound

Loko Bono

Sonidos Profundos

Virginia’s Fierce For The Night brings the heart house needs

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Scene | Thu 26 May 2016 11:48 pm

Caught in the shadow of lost idols and shaken faith, pop is wanting some new soul. Now, Ostgut Ton might be the last place you’d expect to look for one of 2016’s great songwriting fixes. (“Singing along” and “Berghain” tend not to be uttered together.) And yet, here we are. Virginia, the Panorama Bar resident, as a new record. And it’s an utter triumph.

Virginia, here with a superband of great producers as backers, has put together something with real heart.

Great songwriting is not very often part of the discourse in electronic music, partly because often there’s not a whole lot to talk about. Dance music tracks might have the ghost of song structure hanging over them, loosely, but they’re some other animal.

Fierce For The Night, by contrast, is an almost dizzying parade of hooks – verse to chorus. Virginia, it seems, had a string of hits inside her waiting to get out. She talks in the press release about improvising in gibberish. And that’s where this comes from – tuneful immediacy. It all has the element of what to me makes pop writing work, that feeling, “wait, I know this already, haven’t I heard this somewhere before?” (I remember hearing Paul McCartney talk about having that experience writing “Yesterday,” waking from a dream and being sure the song in his head someone else had written. Whatever part of our brain’s gray goo gurgles up the best melodies, reconstituted from the collected consciousness of everything else, it produces that sensation.)

There are bits so unabashedly catchy you smile in spite of yourself. Before writing this, I had to keep thumbing through the tracks – like, surely, there was some weaker track in there, right? Uh… no?

A lot of this is retro, to be sure, but in a way that feels honest and intimate, like proudly wearing out your favorite high-school t-shirt to the club, unironic in all the right ways.


“Bally Linny” roars out its groove to start the record, with “1977” showing Virginia oozing effortless funk. “Subdued Colors” is one of the fresher productions, setting slightly more obtuse construction against a spacious, forward-looking mix. “Funkert” is genius house, maybe the most at home in Panorama Bar’s world. The titular “Fierce For the Night” works perfectly as anthem, as does “Follow Me.” “Raverd” has fantastic forward-moving mechanical energy. When it hits a slower pace, as on “Believe In Time,” Virginia can find some soulful melancholy, too.

For me, “Bally Linny” and “Funkert” stand out as obvious hits – but there’s never a drop in consistency on this record, or anything that feels out of place.

Led by Virginia’s newly-expressed pop chops, the album is a nice group effort – Dexter, Martyn, and Steffi joining in. And their production values shine through, of course. It takes technique to nail this sort of well-trod ground, and the breadth of those producers’ musical experience is part of what makes this pop breed so convincing. It wouldn’t work without some history.

Actually, I have to take real issue with the press release on this one, as it seems to dance around that – at one point claiming the record “playfully defies the schematic formulas of Pop.” (The one predictable thing about music is generally that press releases always claim music is influenced by everything and nothing and that it “defies” something or other, whether it does or not. You can try that drinking game with my inbox.)

Anyway, no, I think it’s exactly the opposite. Virginia and company execute those formulas adeptly. When we complain pop music is “formulaic,” what we really mean is, someone tried to make convincing pop and fell short. Music that we dub derivative is usually music that just isn’t good enough at its formulas.

And yes, this does work on dance floors. I caught Virginia at her release party, with Dexter and Steffi (Steffi also known for her regular Berghain/Panorama stints). That was before I’d given the LP much listen, and I found myself dancing and singing along instantly. No, it wasn’t upstairs in Panorama, but downstairs on Berghain – a litmus test for how this is mixed. Fortunately, that live act is touring, so you may get a chance to enjoy. Do not stand still.

Mixing and mastering is crystal clear, everything perfectly defined in space, whether listening on studio monitors or headphones or the Berghain Funktion-One. (I was earshot from Tim Xavier who did the mastering, and now having repeated listening on vastly different systems, I’m humbled.)

This is what happens when all the right knowledge and heart comes together on a record, when someone who can master the role of DJ and vocalist, producer and bandleader is fully in charge with all the right people involved. And that needs to happen far, far more often. Because at this point, the night demands nothing less than fierce.


The post Virginia’s Fierce For The Night brings the heart house needs appeared first on cdm createdigitalmusic.

Legowelt turned Amiga floppy samples into a free drum kit

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Scene | Mon 29 Feb 2016 4:43 pm

Enough with pristine, immaculate in-the-box digital production. Let’s get back to grime and dirt.

Gorgeous distortion is on offer any time Legowelt is on a sound system live. So it’s great to see the same approach in a free sample pack. This is not a “Top Deep House Production Kit.” It’s samples Legowelt dragged off of old Amiga discs, cranked to be even more evil.


I had a quick play, so here’s a little sample of what this thing sounds like.

I love the marketing copy, too:

Introducing brand new technologies such as FLOCCULENCE, AMIGAnizer
and SKOOLY SPACE to give u a fresh spectaculair 909 experience u never had before!!!


Grab the Smackos AMIGA 909 as an Ableton Live pack (requires 9.5 or later) on the fancy, 1998-style Legowelt website:

via Synthtopia

Not a Live user? Unfortunately, it’s an .alp file, so while the sound samples are just WAV format, you’ll need someone with a copy of Live to open it. (You could also download the demo and get at the contents that way.)

So thank you, Mr. Legowelt. Let’s all enjoy some more Legoweltism in videos:

Half an hour live from Dimensions Festival:

How to make a Legowelt track:

In his studio, Den Haag:

Here’s a 2013 Dekmental interview with FACT, in which he reflects “techno’s not just a beat”:

The post Legowelt turned Amiga floppy samples into a free drum kit appeared first on cdm createdigitalmusic.

Exotica in South African House Music

Delivered... Percy Mabandu | Scene | Tue 6 Oct 2015 5:45 am

South Africa is awash with house music hits. Writer Percy Mabandu takes us through a maze of hit music videos to study the genre’s fascination with performed exotica. He asks whether these clips aim to please international audiences with African clichés, or represent a re-connection with tradition and the past by nostalgic modern taste-makers. From the Norient book «Seismographic Sounds» (order here).

Still from G’Sparks feat Mustache & 3XTshi (Music), Art Mustache (Video): «Shonta Mu Mbingu» (South Africa 2014)

Still from G’Sparks feat Mustache & 3XTshi (Music), Art Mustache (Video): «Shonta Mu Mbingu» (South Africa 2014)

There’s still something new out of Africa. These days, the continent’s metropolis beams house music videos with heroic DJs in animal skins, dancing to groove party lovers the world over. Hyper-sexualized bare feet maidens with dark complexions still walk village gravel roads to thrill; they wear tongue-rings and leopard print vests, all the while chanting verses about exciting BlackBerry messages, Jameson whiskey and happening party nights. The visuals unfold over the beat of the mythologized African drum – a kind of sonic code for notions of an authentic tribal sound in the electronic genre’s approach to rhythm. This code is evidence of a thriving appetite for exotic African things often co-created by natives for both local and international audiences. It’s as if the victims of old stereotypes about the supposedly dark continent have learned to profit from selling savage trinkets once used to malign them. This carnival of performed exotica is especially curious in a South Africa that just declared twenty-one years of liberation.

House music is king in South Africa – unlike in other parts of the world where it is a niche genre. In the land of Kruger Rand gold coins, the song of the year is more often than not awarded to a house music tune. Here, television screens beam more house music videos than any other genre. There are videos underpinned by displays of opulence and bling-bling with flashy cars, scantily clad girls, and flowing champagne; they are like the city settings of «Happy Song» by DJ Fisherman, or other videos driven by a linear story and some CGI effects like that of «Fairytale» by Liquideep. This bling-bling appeal is not unique. It’s a dominant theme everywhere in pop culture, from reality TV shows to hip hop videos.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Throwbacks to 19th Century Human Zoos?

We are interested in music videos that seem to rely on tribal stereotypes to stand out. They are especially of interest because the lyrical content of these songs often has no connection to the exotic images made to illustrate them. Think here of Johannesburg-based producer DJ Cleo’s «Aaaiiiyyy.» The song is about nothing in particular, except a lyric that excitedly invites the listener to dance. The video, however, is set in a Zulu village where young men compete to win favor with some docile maiden’s father.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Another spectacular hit which relied on tribal imagery is «Xigubu» by DJ Ganyani featuring FB. It raked up over 2.3 million views on YouTube. The song is built on the iconic drum sound and a monologue of a girl whose night is brought to thrilling life thanks to a BlackBerry message from DJ Ganyani and his friends. They go to a party where she sees a hot brother on whom she makes a move. She tells of her wet nether area. The story is punctuated by declarations of how «xigubu», which in Shangaan translates to the drum or the beat, is amazing and thumping. Again, the men in animal skins and the village setting (let alone the bare foot maiden) have nothing to do with the content of the song they illustrate. The comment thread on DJ Ganyani’s «Xigubu» YouTube video foregrounds the problematic way in which black women’s bodies are consumed as curious sexual objects in these videos and in popular media in general. References to something sexy about the singer FB, who is described as otherwise ugly in part because of her dark skin, are debated with passion by commenters. It’s like a throwback to the 19th century scandal surrounding the parading of Saartjie Baartman’s large posterior in Europe.

The music video to «Shonta Mu Mbingu» by Congo-born and Johannesburg-educated producer G’Sparks featuring Mustache and 3XTshi also relies on similar exotic stereotypes. However, the choreography by French-born dancer Lucie Bdt-Mikimi and her Congolese husband Tony Mikimi is obviously theatrical. The make-up, printed cloths, and smoke machines are more reminiscent of the theatre than village tribal life. However, its use of dark exotic figures is telling, too, especially the projection of a sensual European woman dancing wildly with verily muscular African savages. The contrast of her innocent white skin set against the corrupting, wild, and sex-crazed savages is a motif with a long history. Think of King-Kong and Caliban and Miranda.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Then there’s Big Nuz’s «Ntombenhle», which is Zulu for «beautiful girl». The video plays with tribal representations. However, it is done in a meaningful and believable way. The depicted rural scenes are not unlike how life is today. The video shows regular boys playing by the river with little girls coming to fetch water. The boys are taken by the beauty of the young girls. The story cuts to twenty years later and the boys are grown up enough to marry. Here we are given a parody of the dowry negotiation process with banks cards, eager elders and electronic pay points normally used at shops. The reference to village life here is not unusual. There is little embellishment in set and wardrobe. It is not unlike the way urban Africans maintain strong connections with life in their rural areas where many still have close relatives. Remember, for example, recent images of president Jacob Zuma celebrating the traditional wedding of his nephew.

Click here to view the embedded video.

The White Manager and the Black Creative Genius?

Without undermining the agency exercised by the chart topping DJs and music producers in the making of their music videos, it may also help to ask how much control they have over the designing of these images. DJ Ganyani’s «Xigubu» was, for instance, produced by Pilot Films, which is owned by Bruce Patterson who boasts of studying at the New York Film Academy. Could it be that the video represents more of Patterson’s «internationalist» white male ideas of what will help his client to stand out as «something new from Africa» in a global kaleidoscope of unceasing visuals? It’s a question worth considering. African art history has ample examples of these sort of power relations between the African creative genius and the all-knowing white manager. For instance, at the height of apartheid repression, as Sue Williamson observes in her book, Resistance Art (1989): «Dependent on sales through art galleries to a white market, black artists tended to produce carefully non-confrontational work—scenes of jostling township life or traditional rural vistas.»

Film still from DJ Ganyani feat. FB (Music), Pilot Films (Video): «Xigubu» (South Africa 2013)

Still from DJ Ganyani feat. FB (Music), Pilot Films (Video): «Xigubu» (South Africa 2013)

A Celebration of Identity and Heritage?

However, it must be noted that house music videos are also spectacles of celebration. In fact, the depicted songs are often created with the aim of capturing the mood of celebrations across both the urban and rural African experience and the world at large. These celebrations, especially weddings, often among people who live thoroughly modern lives in big cities, reflect a fascination with traditional iconography in ways not unlike the house music videos. The wedding celebrations across Africa of today include both tradition and what is called a «white wedding», which reflects the modern lives of people involved. The marrying couple and their entourage will dress in their latest designer suits and wedding gown, then later arrive to the parade dressed in their respective traditional regalia. A Zulu man will wear his leopard skins and cow hide shield to receive his new wife. The bride may arrive in an equally colourful feminine equivalent in keeping with her particular ethnicity. Guests too often arrive at celebrations clad in a colourful array of traditional wear to join in on the celebrations. There’ll be tribal ululations alongside the latest international hit songs played by the local DJ.

In this way, the images of these weddings as they appear on the society pages of newspapers or on television shows – like the hit reality show Our Perfect Wedding – register a similar note as that of the house music videos. Hence, the perceptions of what is exotic in popular media sit at a place of tension within a post-modern African spectacle that borrows from its antique history; it also projects its modernity into the same picture frame. Hence, these videos emerge at the intersection of a living history of (post-)colonial power politics, its related visual culture, and a popular media economy built of parody, pastiche, and some lingering notions of African authenticity.

This text was published first in the second Norient book «Seismographic Sounds».

Watch a 1986 TV story on house music, plus too many documentaries

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Scene | Fri 28 Aug 2015 7:54 pm

In our last episode of “watching things on the Internet instead of doing real work,” we were enjoying a full-length 90s electronic music documentary and a bunch of music videos.

Well, here we are at yet another weekend. And hopefully we can give you some video watching pleasure yet again, in those moments when you aren’t, well, hopefully, making music.

Leading the pack is a 1986 story from Chicago TV news back when house music was in its early days, as spotted by Dancing Astronauts. And it’s an astounding document, featuring Danny “Sweet-D” Wilson, Farley “Jackmaster” Funk, Steve “Silk” Hurley, and Keith Nunnally. Two big takeaways. One, it’s interesting to note that London was already catching onto house even when these artists were relatively obscure in sweet home Chicago. Europe and the UK, always ahead of American audiences when it comes to American music – note the British announced proudly wearing an enormous American flag shirt.

Two, it’s fantastic to see this stuff being made live. Why that shouldn’t be more commonplace in 2015, I have no idea. Steve Hurly and Jackmaster Funk constructing a track is inspiring and fresh nearly two decades later.

But there’s more, of course. With no particular theme, here’s a bunch of documentary stuff to queue up.

If you’d rather go to pioneering electronic composition in place of 80s dance music, here are two documentaries on the incomparable Delia Derbyshire of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, via OpenCulture (which just happened to pop into my inbox today):

The Delian Mode (Kara Blake, 2009) von anaimiaktion

And the classic:

Better Living Through Circuitry is a 1999 documentary, available for full-length viewing (and spotted in comments).

Generation of Sound also covers the 90s dance scene:

And it seems every genre has its own YouTube documentary:

As does Berlin club Tresor:

And Richie Hawtin:

Returning to pioneering electronic music, it’s fascinating to get the 1983 perspective on electronic process (and perhaps it’s a sign of the maturity of the field now that a lot of this is today readily accessible):

And this seminal UK electronic doc:

And here’s a playlist with some of those, plus many more.

Tell your friends and family I’m really sorry.

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808 Site Found: Five Drum Machines Now Live In Your Browser

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Mon 23 Mar 2015 6:58 pm


It’s finally happened.

The 808 is now a tab in your browser.

And it’s brought friends. Sure, they’re called “hip hop, house, electro, techno, and acoustic” but – you’re not fooling anyone. (Least of all because some of those genres use the other machines.) That’s an acoustic kit, plus the Roland TR-808 and TR-909, Elektron Machinedrum, and Roger Linn’s Linndrum.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen drum machines emulated in a browser. But coding for the rich Web, and browsers in general, have each gotten a lot better, so the experience has improved. And, crucially, this isn’t just a time waster. You can export loops as WAV files.

Or, edit — this is a time waster for your employer, if you have a day job. It’s just an investment for your life as a producer. I do hope people make actual music with this.

Apparently, this is just the first of more things to come. There’s absolutely no information from the creators – like who they are, for instance, so do chime in. But he/she/them/it/the Collective/some entity want us know that more fun stuff is coming soon if you like their page. So there you have it, Like them or the terrorists win.

Clap your drum machines, say yeah.



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On the Eve of New 808 Film, Techno’s Roots Matter More Than Ever [Videos]

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Wed 11 Mar 2015 4:09 pm

If rock music had the Gibson Les Paul and Fender Stratocaster, hip hop and dance music have the TR-808. And if its sound seems sometimes overly familiar, even that is in some sense a hat-tip (pardon the pun) to its enduring ubiquity.

Now, the Roland TR-808 gets its own full-length documentary, told primarily through the eyes of the people who repurposed its idiosyncratic sound to spin new musical genres and start a revolution. The film features extensive input from Arthur Baker, who acts as a centerpiece for the movie. Baker was the producer behind Afrika Bambaataa’s ‘Planet Rock,’ a record that would arguably guide the long-term influence of the 808 and the course of dance music. Apart from an executive producer credit to Baker, the film is centered enough on his story that it originally even included Planet Rock in the title.

We knew a large-scale 808 documentary was coming, but now, at last, you can see it – if you’re in Texas this month, that is. Multiple screenings around Austin during South by Southwest will mean residents and visiting hipsters will get some chances to pack theaters. No word yet on when it will tour, but early press indications and demand suggest this could see a wide release. (CDM isn’t at SxSW this year, so let us know if you see it; we’d love to hear your review!)

The film is the work of newcomer director Alexander Dunn and a small UK house called You Know Films.

There are some notable points on the way the film has gone.


For design nerds, the graphic identity and poster come from designer Rob Ricketts. His iconic, beautiful graphics are interwoven with the movie; you’ll remember his beautiful 808 programming posters. See his take on “Planet Rock” here.

You do get the story of the TR-808′s original design and engineering. Roland founder Ikutaro “Mr. K” Kakehashi, recently seen accepting a technical grammy for MIDI alongside Dave Smith, talks about the machine’s origins.

But most significantly, the 808 film’s big draw and marketing focus are on a lineup of music stars. That includes early pioneers behind its sound, but also EDM headliners – and yes, Phil Collins, as a kind of foil, an actual drummer who becomes fascinated with this machine. That has led to some early complaints about the appearance of highly-paid but widely-despised French superstar DJ David Guetta.

Rather than join in on the hate there, let’s step back for a second. Modern techno, house, EDM, or whatever dance genre you’d like to choose is heavily indebted to these earlier musical creations. The success of someone like Guetta, complete with global revenue that might make a medium-sized fast food franchise jealous, is revealing of just how far that influence would eventually spread. There’s no reason, then, not to speak to people like that in this kind of documentary, alongside the pioneers.

And it should all be a reminder of why these early pioneers were so significant – because there was absolutely no guarantee that history would work out this way. By the 80s, those aforementioned Fender and Gibson instruments were already well-established, and had a history all their own. But something like the TR-808 seemed destined to be forgotten. It’s incredibly easy to imagine an alternate history where the 808 joins the many other failed groove boxes that litter music technology history.

In fact, the 808 wasn’t discontinued coincidentally: the box was in fact something of a failure. And anyone who finds the sound of an 808 grating now must surely be slightly gratified by the early Keyboard review that famously compared it to “marching anteaters” (a phrase more appealing than anything dreamt up by Roland marketing).

It was these artists who gave those sounds their permanence. Lately, European dance music has gotten tangled again in the tired debate over who originated techno. It’s a tired argument to me, because it seems blatantly obvious that both German industrial music and African-American music deserve tremendous amounts of credit, each a radical departure from what might have been. You might as well ask whether cheese or ground beef deserve credit for the cheeseburger. And as America’s race and income inequalities become still more pronounced, now seems an ideal time to pour as much energy into talking about all those historical origins.

These early producers and their records are the reason any of us are around having these conversations today. Consider that hip-hop artists can be easily credited with the historical impact of both the 808 and Roger Linn’s MPC (the LM-1 having been mostly doomed to the dustbin).

Arthur Baker is a perfect example, and that history is all immediate and audible on the record itself. You can’t have this sound without the work of Japanese engineers. You can’t have the groove without Germany’s Kraftwerk. But you also can’t have it without George Clinton, without Philly soul, and the Afro-American music Baker grew up with. The fact that electronic music has feet in the dynamic recent evolution of both Germany and America (and the UK, and so on) is part of why its history is so relevant.

Here’s Arthur Baker on the 808 and his musical quest, from while this documentary was still in process.

And this is why history as told through music is such a beautiful thing. One record can lie at the intersection of the Great Migration of African-Americans north, of the legacy of slavery and the impact of the Second World War and Cold War on Germany, Japan, and beyond. It’s machinery and technology as mixed up with parties and culture. Asking who invented what is often missing the point, because what happens after invention is essential.

I don’t think we can ever have too much of this history, particularly because that history is alive and continues to unfold and melt.

Evidently not included in the 808 film, for instance, is Amos Larkins and Miami Bass. There’s always more to tell.

But that makes me look forward to this movie.

Executive producer Alex Noyer talked to Billboard about the movie – and the fact that the actual physical machine had less impact than the samples:

The physical machine appeared and disappeared quickly, but its sound stuck. It’s been used repeatedly, religiously, for decades. The misconception comes from the fact that a lot of producers have never actually used an 808, they’ve used samples. And really, the disappearance of the 808 is still an open topic in people’s minds: Why was it pulled from the market so quickly? What other factors were involved? We get into that in the film.

SXSW Preview: New Film Looks at the 808 Drum Machine — ‘The Rock Guitar of Hip-Hop’

For more:

Here are Roland engineers on the 808 in advance of the AIRA TR-8 announcement – and why the original was intended as a backing track generator, not a “lead instrument”:

BBC Radio 1 on three Roland machines (303, 808, 909):

A short documentary on the 303 (because what are drums without bass, after all?):

Press release on the film [lots more details there]

Documentary mini-site with mailing list (to keep up on screenings):


And – the track. This to me is the sound of growing up in the 80s, the sound of hip hop, the sound of techno, as made by these artists with this machine. It’s … still kind of amazing:


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Sophisticated Rhythms: 2 Mixes, 2 Approaches, For Your Listening Pleasure

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Labels,Scene | Sat 7 Mar 2015 2:09 pm


Mixes have become another essential reflex of this age of overabundance, a way of navigating in material form the rhythms that come our way.

I turn this weekend to mixes by two close friends. Matt Earp, aka Kid Kameleon (top), has been a CDM contributor in the past; his background spans music and technology and a wide breadth and depth of knowledge in those areas. Noah Pred is simply one of the finest DJs and producers I know, the ever-tasteful mind behind the massively underrated but prescient label Thoughtless Music.

Each mix is singular in purpose, full of the sort of musical energy that can elevate your listening brain. But they’re very different in approach.

Over some Korean dumplings, recently, Matt and I got to talking about tempo. Matt’s mixes are painstakingly and obsessively assembled in Ableton Live. And I mean obsessing – this one is eight months in the making, though he does promise more for 2015. This is a composed score more than the found moment Nina Kraviz described in the interview we saw earlier this week. He also freely mixes tempo and style, weaving things together but keeping a flow that ebbs and rises off the grid.

But Matt is also vigorously eclectic, in a way that he can merge into a clearer larger picture. And I think Matt has something to say about the resonances between bass and beats from styles on far corners of the world. As he puts it, “This one we’ve dubbed a “FutureWave Sound” – not quite beats and not quite bass – but a rolling ride that takes in both – alongside digital cumbia, slowgrind love songs, hip-hop and more.”

“Get lost” in it, he advises, which is easy – big songs and big spaces.

27 tracks of FutureWave beats for a psychedelic summer drive – starting somewhere in the forests of Northern Cali, weaving and bumping through the turbulent beats and traffic snarls of LA, and ending up in the deserts of Texas – probably close to Bat Country. If your city is cold and rainy like Berlin is right now, at least in your minds eye you can be a superstar out on the open road. This mix is for the travelers and tricksters – always keep your #BoomDefence close!

@deft- Thought You’d Fancy It [@wotnotmusic]
@shigeto – Huron River Drive (@evenings Remix) [@ghostly]
@proflogik – Man of Logik (@deflon Remix) [Self Release]
@lost_twin – Snake Snake [@squaringthecircle]
@alphabetsheaven – Adorn [Self Release]
@sunnygraves – Bayou [@disboot]
Kool G Rap feat. Nas – Fast Life (@the-bear-and-the-sea remix) [@nueva-forma]
@omunit & @sam_binga – Small Victories [@exitrecords]
@flightfacilities – Stand Still (@com-truise Remix) [@futureclassic]
@tobiaspedersen (Beastie Respond) – Lonely Ride [@surfase-records]
@danny-scrilla – The Rift [Self Release]
@cracklewizard – Camph [@hidden-hawaii]
Bahamadia – Uknowhowwedu (@adam-kay-music Remix) [Self Release]
@ikickedacloudonce – Deep Inside [Self Release]
@jongpadawan – Closer (@shatter-hands Remix) [@greased-up-records]
@elestialdaisy (Afta-1) – Trust [Self Release]
Moment – Beautiful [@mad-hop]
@shatter-hands – Knifin’ Around [CDR Dimensions]
@summer-of-haze – Sea Sea Sea [@hyperboloid]
@chanchaviacircuito – Sabiamantis ft. @barriolindo & @sidirum [@wonderwheel-recordings]
@umojaworldwide – La Piragua (@alecassis Remix) [@inimovement]
@nicolacruz – Jocotoco Antpitta [@rhythm-roots]
El Nuevo Sonido De La Kumbia – El Llanto Del Acordeon (@bigote_caballito Remix) [Self Release]
@copyfokking – Knippelsuppe (@frikstailers Remix) [ZZK]
@cumbiacosmonauts – Cumbia Sampuesana (@yelramselectah Remix) [Self Release]
@fulgeance – Step Thru [@rxtx]
@julien-mier – Out of the Cloud [@cascaderecords Records]

I know why Matt has road trips and America on the mind – after being here in Berlin, he’s headed to South by Southwest. Do say hi if you’re in tech or music and going.


Noah’s Thurmcast episode is essentially the opposite pole. This is a straight groove, an arrow drawn directly through danceable tracks. In the wrong hands, such a thing might be disposable. But Noah is mixologist as much as DJ – the right dosages.

And Noah’s own productions, DJing, mixing, and labels tend to be the ones I point to when people have grown to (perhaps fairly) loathe a genre. It’s especially true with those words that, when appended in front of a beloved genre, have a tendency to signal something you won’t like. Tech House. Dub House. Deep House. This is commercial, it’s club-ready, to be sure – and you know my tastes will sometimes go very experimental – but it’s always on target.

Whether these are the waters you inhabit or not – just as with Matt’s mix – they illustrate how you can approach a mix. There are no fancy tricks or acrobatics here; Noah is selecting tracks, mixing them together, mostly via compatible bpms and genres, and letting the tracks do the work. But that can be a good thing. With so much competition, I think some mixes try to do too much – take too much on and then show off their DJ software configuration skills. Noah reminds us we don’t have to do that. Relax. Sit back and listen. And then your listeners might do the same.

Thrumcast 019 – Noah Pred by Thrum Room on Mixcloud

Thrumcast 019 by Noah Pred is probably our most energetic house/tech/dub offering to date, delivered to us in what can only be described as a class of it’s own, much like every release on his label, Thoughtless Music.

Producing and performing live for over ten years, Noah emerged from the Canadian underground as a sought-after techno DJ with a sophisticated sound and unique style.

Making the leap to Europe after five years exploring the extensive musical underground of Canada’s multicultural metropolis, he comes deeply impacted by the unique influence of Toronto. Launching his Thoughtless imprint there over seven years ago, the label is now on its hundredth release.

Along with a rather enviable list of record labels he has released on, Noah’s latest full-length, Third Culture, continues to earn critical praise, further establishing his reputation as an artist with as much vision as skill.

Download : http://goo.gl/7J2QQN

I’m rambling; the other point is that Noah has put a nice context around his own work, and in particular the brilliant Concubine collaboration with Rick Bull. Noah, originating from North America, has returned there for a time early this year, but continues to work with ex-pat Berlin stalwart Rick. I hope to talk to them soon, so have a listen and let us know what you might like us to talk about.

That’s not even’s only significant collab – the prolific artist also joins Tom Clark on Get Physical. I’m mystified why some of these producers aren’t common names – they’re crafting the sounds that make up all the DJing business you’re hearing. Ahem. So, let’s say their names and spread the word.

And for some crazy reason, while you can (possibly should, if it’s your thing) buy the Second Horizon EP, Noah is giving away the Concubine full-length. Have at it:


And I hope you have a great weekend – and whatever you choose, that you get some time to turn everything else off and properly listen.

After 100 Releases, A Label You May Not Know, But Should [Thoughtless Interview]

Get Your Fix of Quality Electronic Music, with a Summer Mix for a Hot Drive by Kid Kameleon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Kruse & Nuernberg Get Kaleidoscopic on “Lost N Free”

Their collaborative EP I think will be a huge hit:

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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