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


Modular for dancing: Florian Meindl and Leonard de Leonard

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Tue 17 Jul 2018 9:15 pm

Yes, nests of patch cords and racks of modules will make noodle-y noise for chin scratching. It can also make pounding techno – and we’re going inside some of the sonic brains who’ve mastered that.

Our mission: let’s learn how people are actually using modular synthesis to express their musical ideas, and demystify some of the basic concepts in sound creation behind all those cool flashing lights and tangles of wire.

To do that, we need musicians like Florian and Leonard.

Join the Facebook event to tune into the live stream
Roland + CDM + Florian Meindl + Leonard de Leonard, talking modular synths
Wednesday July 18
7 PM Berlin / 1 PM New York / 10 AM San Francisco / 2 AM Thursday Tokyo

Florian Meindl and Leonard de Leonard will join us tomorrow in Berlin thanks to Roland organizing a visit in the artist center they’ve set up in Kreuzberg. These are two producers with a deep knowledge of music history and production skills as well as technical knowledge. They’re proof that musicianship is a combination of engineering and intuition. So whether you’re interests tend to beats or beatless, the main takeaway is that they can master creative sound design as an instrument.

Florian in the studio.

Florian has been a guest with CDM (and Roland) once before. He’s a real workhorse of Berlin’s techno scene, having produced music for about a decade and a half, various high-profile remixes (Hot Chip & Royksopp), and helmed a label (FLASH) that has released a who’s who of quality techno from around the world – with a stunning 130 releases, ranging from Sigha to Noncompliant, and not a dud in the bunch. I have to say from trying to juggle multiple threads like this, this stuff isn’t easy. He’s also some kind of ninja of social media.

Plus, for synth lovers, his Riemann Kollektion and Riemann Modular build businesses around boutique sounds and DJ tools and Eurorack modular, respectively.

Florian’s hybrid DJ sets effortlessly mix from club bangers to fluid modular improvisations – I saw particularly heavy, concrete-shaking sets at both Berlin’s Arena and Griessmuehle recently. I think the key was, the modular stuff never sounded like filler – it was just as dead-on.

Here’s a beautiful example of his music, which goes full-on dark and industrial without ever losing site of groove.

And because the future of DJing is also playing live, here’s his round-up of mixes and live sets:

https://soundcloud.com/florian-meindl/sets/mixes-dj-live

Leonard’s stunning Sound Provider studio, otherwise known as “okay, that’s a good motivation to try to go to heaven when I die instead of Hell, maybe?”

Leonard de Leonard is a kind of sonic polyglot, a deep expert in modules and synths (well beyond my own modular knowledge – let me be totally clear about that), and with a resume across various genres, in composition, arrangement, and production. He’s also worked in sound design. You can tell a really clever producer/sound creator when it’s musically satisfying to listen to samples of their loops – like, his loop libraries sound better than a lot of producer’s tracks.

We’ll also get to look at Roland’s entry into Eurorack modular, a collaboration with Portland, Oregon boutique maker Malekko. What I appreciate about Roland’s work in modular, and why I would chose to work with them, is that they’re helping give back to the odd and wonderful underground collection of people now making modules. So apart from bringing back some of the vintage Roland System 100 designs that helped shape what modular looks like today, they’re also making a point of showing how their modules fit with other smaller makers, in a larger ecosystem.

To tune in, you can join the Facebook event from Roland:
https://www.facebook.com/events/199047457455896/

The post Modular for dancing: Florian Meindl and Leonard de Leonard appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Pulsating colors and geometries animate Barker’s latest: interview

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Thu 28 Jun 2018 3:24 pm

Break out of the drab and the grime and the grind: the latest from Berghain resident Barker is about colors and freedom, with a hypnotic, playful video to match. We talk to the artists.

Presumably, Berlin techno club Berghain and its label Ostgut Ton are associated with bright colors much in the way that the capital of Germany is associated with ocean beaches or country and western music.

But Sam Barker’s new EP – which we’ll go into in a separate CDM story – actually fits perfectly, if you open your mind. As usual, the DJ/producer and co-founder of the Leisure System label and party boldly dreams up new directions for techno. That is, this music is still about forging machine rhythms from the latest sonic technologies, still about techno’s duple groove, but here does so in ways that forgo four-on-the-floor kick cliches or the current trends in gloomy timbres. In their place, you’re treated to brightly vibrating pads and shimmering rhythmic textures.

Or, anyway, those are the clumsy words I can think of to describe it. But Singapore-born motion artist Reza Hasni’s video captures exactly what you’d imagine Barker’s new music should look like. Watch:

CDM checked in with Sam and Reza for more.

Barker: I love Reza’s animation and illustration work, and asked him if he’d make a video for “Filter Bubbles.” I only explained, the shape of the track is supposed to represent bubbles being created and eventually bursting. Reza then built a narrative around this abstract bubble making machinery that ultimately breaks down, opening the door to a new dimension. Hugely grateful to have his imagination on this issue.

Reza Hasni: I have been following Sam’s music and was really excited to do a video for his latest track. The video is about a story of the abstract bubble that represents us. It’s supposed to fit into a situation or organization that loops itself everyday … and eventually it gets bored and escapes into another, until the part where it breaks away from the bubble machinery and evolves to be something unique and less repetitive.

CDM: I’m curious how you approached the music — how do you hear it, or how does that hearing impact how you arrange the animation?

Reza: When Sam told me that the shape of the track is supposed to represent bubbles being created, when I hear the track it reminded me of metal pipes, a smokey industrial factory, the feeling of early morning daily routine when you get up and head to work, doing something in the middle and straight back to sleep — that sort of cycle for the bubble. The track was lighter so I created something happier – then I thought of a happy, colorful, fun industrial factory with strobing lights.

Do you tend to see these sorts of visuals when you hear music, or do you have color associations with the music?

Not all music is the same, so it changes for me. But I often see color associations with music.

CDM: How are you producing your visuals?

I sketch a lot, transferring all elements into [Adobe] After Effects and animating it from there. If you see my other works, there’s a lot of collage influence in my visuals.

It’s a technicolor explosion of colors – I try to incorporate the colors used for sand mandalas into my videos.

This whole process is sort of meditative for me.

Thanks, Reza and Sam! I had an extended conversation in Sam’s home studio yesterday about the album, how it was made, and music in general, so watch for that interview soon. In the meantime, don’t miss the new EP. It’s on repeat for me at least – in the happy bubble way, naturally.

http://ostgut.de/booking/artist/barker

BARKER: O-TON 112 Debiasing [Ostgut]

http://vimeo.com/rezahasni

https://www.facebook.com/rezahasne/

The post Pulsating colors and geometries animate Barker’s latest: interview appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

JASSS

Lanark Artefax

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

Ben Klock B2B [back to back] with DJ Nobu

DJ Nobu official Facebook page

Motor City Drum Ensemble B2B Jeremy Underground

http://motorcitydrumensemble.com

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

Maracaibo to Berlin, Hyperaktivist on MESS, love, and music community

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Fri 25 May 2018 4:36 pm

From Venezuela to Europe, DJ/producer Hyperaktivist’s passion for music has been about connecting people as it has about connecting music. She talks to us about that process of community building, even in the face of resistance – and shares hours of music mixed with Mohajer at her side.

MESS is “Mindful Electronic Sonic Selections.” It’s advertised as techno, as house, as “adventurous sounds.” The party itself is once every third month at Ohm, the intimate club built in the former battery room of the power plant that now houses Tresor and Atonal Festival. But follow the connections of this party, and you get a decent map to a range of inspiring DIY, collective efforts of artists around Europe and Latin America. For any of us struggling to put together our own musical lives, our own parties, our own collectives and communities, it’s a terrific instructive effort – not least because of the personality and will of Hyperaktivist, aka Maracaibo, Venezuela-born, Berlin-based Ana Laura Rincon.

I’m personally indebted to Ana Laura in the time I’ve known her, in that in a sometimes mercurial, transient Berlin scene, she has consistently been someone whose vision and friendship I’ve known I could always trust. Of course, maybe it’s better though to first listen to how she communicates musically. She shares with us a mix she made B2B with Mohajer (aka Melinda Mohajer), her Iranian-born partner.

The magical thing about music and perhaps specifically techno is, when someone makes a confident sonic statement, it makes that feeling of strength infectious:

Hyperaktivist went B2B with Mohajer for MESS in February – a perfect Valentine’s Day pairing. Listen to their full mix. Photo courtesy Ana Laura Rincon.

The Hyperaktivist B2B Mohajer set comes to us from the last edition, in February. MESS is never advertised as female-only lineups; it’s a completely mixed crowd, and it never uses artists’ gender as a selling point. For her part, Ana Laura just refers to “chemistry and style.” But the fact remains: some of the most significant forces on the musical scene are female, transgender, and non-binary. And a lot of those figures are still often very underground. So let’s let Ana Laura guide us.

For the edition coming up on Berlin Saturday May 26, we get to meet two special artists:

Nastya Muravyova (Celestial, Kyiv)

“She’s a rising, yet brightly shining star of Kyiv’s underground scene,” Ana Laura says. “She’s balancing on the edge of pumpy 4×4 techno and sharp breakbeat, slightly aggressive — and all the way sexy.”

facebook.com/vsehzhdetsmert

Jessie Granqvist (Esperanto, Stockholm)

Ana Laura: “She’s a product of the vibrant underground-scene that’s currently growing rapidly in Stockholm. With roots grounded in illegal raves and open airs, she has gained notoriety for her style of dark and meditative sounds merged together into a very danceable mix. With both technicality and an eclectic selection of records, she has the talent to truly build and build a long lasting vibe on every floor that she appears on.”

facebook.com/jessie.granqvist/

PK: I find it interesting that you’re pulling people connected to collectives, parties, scenes in other cities. What’s important to you about doing that?

Hyperaktivist: For me, at the moment, I’m really not finding my inspiration so much from the scene in Berlin. So I always try to invite and collaborate with people from other places – so we can experience something fresh and different for us here in Berlin. With bookings, I take my time to know that everyone is going to have a chemistry that will work through the night and that it will add something new.

I mean, it seems like that’s been a big part of what defined the scene in Berlin – bringing in influence from elsewhere, whether it’s Detroit or Latin America or another part of Germany. So that’s a problem if it becomes just an export culture, if it’s all the same, right?

Hype has taken over Berlin; that’s a fact. People come here to live that “Berlin experience.” What scares me is the effect this might have on some of the artists that reside in Berlin. I worry some DJs feel pressured to play what’s expected from them more than what they feel at the time. And I worry about the consequences of that for the people who actually live in Berlin – whether they’re feeling that they’re going to the same party over and over, or that there are actually new things happening.

At this point I’m trying to go back to the roots a bit, thinking about why I started DJing and organizing parties in the first place. For me it all started in Venezuela, a country with few electronic music affiliations.

I discovered the electronic music scene when I was about 16 or 17. That happened to be around the first time I saw a DJ playing – there were maybe three or four people in my whole city who owned turntables.

It might sound funny, but for me it was a revelation. I knew right there, this is something I wanted to do. I was collecting music already; my mom had a great music collection and she was among other things a radio host. I was already completely fascinated about music and how we needed it to express ourselves and how we naturally feel like sharing it with others. So for me, seeing a DJ – “the master of ceremony” – was a turning point.

I started to get into it, but the scene was small and many people wouldn’t really have access to it. I first started organizing parties and eventually I even opened the first club in my city dedicated to electronic music only. I did it with my three best friends; we ran it for four years. During this time, we would also throw free parties in the streets. We had the intention of making electronic music more accessible to anyone and somehow contributing to the development of this scene that had already become a very important, determinant part of my life

That’s why I try to work with collectives that I feel are working to develop the scene in their own countries. When you start to do this in a place that’s not like Berlin, that’s not well developed, where the industry is not like here, you know that people are doing this because they love it. And they love it so much that they need it and if it doesn’t exist, then they do it. They need it to be part of their lives, so they make it happen.

So I like to work with people I feel are involved in music for these reasons, and doing something with heart and that is honest. Not only because of hype or because they want to be famous. It’s more because we fucking love it.

How do you describe what MESS is about? I know you aren’t explicitly talking about this being female + non-binary only, as far as lineups – so how would you express that dimension?

First of all, I feel the concept of MESS is ever-evolving. We need to pay attention to the necessities of the electronic music scene, what needs work and what’s overlooked.

Berlin is such a masculine city in many ways, music scene included. I’ve met some of the most amazing women and the most strong personalities in Berlin. So I have a hard time accepting why women still need to fight very hard and prove themselves over and over in order to be accepted and sometimes even welcomed.

I think about MESS as a space where I don’t want to make a political statement. I have come to understand the best points are made when you don’t have to explain too much but instead you let things speak by themselves. Actions speak louder than words, right?

So I put together bookings based on chemistry and style. I invite super talented artists and I let them do their thing. And slowly but surely, people are realizing that there’s something different. And I get feedback on it – sometimes at the party, people come to me and say, like, ‘this is really cool, what you’re doing, there’s something different about the party.’ So it’s great to let people see by themselves.

I also always try to put together bookings where people are from diverse cultural backgrounds, so you see different approaches.

In my utopian world, we shouldn’t even be having these discussions between each other. At the end of the day, more than anything else, it should be about the music, about friendship, acceptance, respect — about the feeling you are part of something special.

And this is what MESS is at the moment.

Ana Laura aka Hyperaktivist. Photo by Melinda Mohajer.

So when you go to find these artists, these collectives and other scenes – how are you connecting with them?

Research. [laughs] I spend time – a lot of time, listening to the music. Not only once. You know how it is with music – this day you hear this and you think, oh wow, I love this … next day you hear the same and it’s like, this is actually fatal. I give myself time to hear it, in different moods, see how I feel about it. I hear it with friends. There are different things that catch me. Usually, the things that catch me are related to attitude — when I see that this person wants to say something, there’s something there.

It takes time. That’s why I do MESS every three months, because I need time to prepare and I also want to have a good reason to make the party. For example, the last edition happened on February 17th, the weekend after Valentine’s Day. We decided to make a “Club Affair” and have only couples playing, as in back to back. So we invited Isabella from Colombia B2B Bella Sarris from Australia, Johanna Schneider with Philippa Pacho from Sweden with their B2B project Sthlm Murder Girls, and I played with Melinda Mohajer from Iran. I saved our recording specially for you at CDM.

Схема. Via Facebook.

Hyperaktivist vs. Maricas Maricas, Barcelona.

I’ve been collaborating with various collectives / parties. For a few examples:

Maricas, a queer party collective from Barcelona, run by Isabella, a Colombian DJ who played at our last edition, along with Uruguayan friends

www.facebook.com/pg/maricasmaricasmaricas
www.instagram.com/maricasmaricas/

Fast Forward from Copenhagen — these guys are making exciting new techno and crazy illegal parties, and you feel their collective really has these family vibe, which I love.

www.facebook.com/fastforwardcopenhagen/

Esperanto music from Sweden – they’re pushing up-and-coming Swedish artists.

https://www.facebook.com/EsperantoMusic/

esperantomusic.net

Cxema from Ukraine, where they are taking abandoned locations and throwing badass raves and putting the Ukraine scene on the international radar.

www.facebook.com/cxemapage/
http://www.c-x-e-m-a.com/

How does that experience compare to when you were running a club in Venezuela?

It was the same – collaborating with the development of the scene and the culture of electronic music. It’s what I’ve been working for, always.

I had this friend, and he had this house downtown in my city Maracaibo, the second largest city in Venezuela. And he was like, ”I want to do something here, what should I do?” I didn’t even think for one second — I turned around and told him, we’re gonna do a club.

And then we started the club, and it was amazing. It became a meeting point for all the scene in the city and across the country. So we started to do the same – invited collectives from Caracas and all the other cities from Venezuela to come to play, and then we would go to play their parties in their cities. And then it grew, and it started to happen between Colombia, Brazil, Argentina. Then we started to bring artists from Europe, but at this point the political situation of the country started to critically worsen. We had an exchange control that started to happen and wouldn’t allow us to access any foreign currency anymore, so buying records, equipment, or making international bookings became impossible. The whole country started to go down down and boom – it was gone. And that’s when we stopped.

But now one of the best clubs in Bogota, Video Club, is run by a good friend of mine Enrique Leon with I used to have the club with in Venezuela. And he’s putting together great bookings, making showcases with everyone. Dekmental Sound System, Aurora Halal, etc….

If you’re in Berlin, don’t miss MESS tomorrow at Ohm, Saturday 26 May. Or see you in the scene in your neck of the woods.

MESS at OHM
Facebook event
Resident Advisor

More from Hyperaktivist / Mess

www.facebook.com/Hyperaktivist/
www.soundcloud.com/hyperaktivist
www.soundcloud.com/messberlin
www.facebook.com/messberlin

At top: Hyperaktivist – Pic by Honza Kolář.

The post Maracaibo to Berlin, Hyperaktivist on MESS, love, and music community appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Erica Synths made a modular techno system called Techno System

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Fri 4 May 2018 12:52 pm

What if you had all the modules you need to make techno and industrial in one rack? Meet Erica’s line of drum and synth modules. They seem to know their market.

Now, it’s meaningful this is coming from Erica. The Latvian-based company with some ex-Soviet Polivoks lineage has a knack for making simply mental boxes that bring that grimy, dirty industrial sound straight out of the actual post-Communist industrial landscape of Riga. If I had to sum up that user experience, it’d run something like this: turn knob, machine screams.

But that’s saying something. Making wild sounds intuitive is a feat. And Erica have earned their reputation by putting those sounds into boxes that are reliable, easy to understand, and deliver a punch without hitting the high end of the cost spectrum.

Running down these modules, you just have to keep nodding – yes, that’s what I want out of this module, and yes, that’s the sensible way to lay out these controls. I can’t really judge sound quality at a trade show, but the sound was good enough that it actually blew me away over the din of Superbooth, out of some small monitors – and that’s saying a lot. We’ll get to check out Erica’s crew at a club tonight here in Berlin, and this is one I think we’ll need to give a full review.

(Bonus: they’re also coming with the effects collaboration they built with Ninja Tune. I’m keen to see that, as well.)

I also think it’s totally reasonable to build systems around musical applications like techno. Plenty of modular instruments have morphed into particular configurations to make them musically accessible. And then since this is still patchable, you don’t have to make this sound like techno you’ve heard before – you can push that flexible sequencer and patch things together to bend something into your own genre and voice. Or, this being modular, you also have now a big line of components that could fill gaps in whatever setup you choose.

Here’s a look at those modules.

Drum

Sample slicing and triggering, WAV file (even imports CUE points), with assignable CV inputs. Actually, there’s nothing to say this has to be a drum module – it’s also a general-purpose sample slicer/module.

microSD for loading sounds.

Dual drive

Well, here’s your distortion. Three dedicated modes for each side, cascaded in series for extreme distortion. This is really the heart and soul of the Erica Techno System sound, and even if you didn’t get the rest of the line here, this one could be a must.

Dual FX

Built on the Spin FV-1 chip – a custom reverb platform – the dual FX has a set of custom mono and stereo effects from Erica’s in-house musician-madman KODEK.

Bassline

It’s all about the bass – and here, those basslines will be more than a little acidic. Erica’s Acidbox proved how crazy their filters can be. It apparently inspired the filter here – so expect really aggressive, terror-inducing acid.

Specs:

Full analogue circuit
Accent
Suboscillator
BBD-based VCO detune emulation
Built in VCF and VCA decay envelope
LP/BP VCF
External VCO FM and VCF cutoff CV inputs

Of course, what keeps this compact is, the sequencing all falls to the dedicated sequencer unit (or a sequencer module of your choice – Superbooth has had a lot of them).

Toms

Toms can easily be a throwaway, but here there was a lot of attention to detail. Toms has dedicated controls for low, mid, and high, and promises 909-inspired tom sounds. Erica says they built this in collaboration with e-licktronic – that’s the boutique/DIY maker who’s perhaps best known for their Roland clones and custom kits.

Hats

Erica are actually introducing three different hat/cymbal models. There’s an analog module (“A”) with accent and individual CV controls of everything, also made with e-licktronic. There’s a digital sample-based “D.” And there are sample-based cymbals (“Cymbals”).

Mixers

It’s easy to overlook this one. But when you’re actually in the heat of the moment playing live, you need that ability to just reach over, twist a knob, and add in a particular part.

And the Drum Mixer looks just about perfect. It boasts vactrol-based compression to keep everything properly loud and intense without losing clarity, plus a stupidly easy setup for controlling compression and the various parts, with seven inputs and both main and aux outs.

Erica also plan a more compact 6-input “Lite” version of the same, and a 4-channel Stereo Mixer.

Oh yeah, and if you’re not into the black craze, they plan to release everything again in white.

Lastly, the sequencing here comes from the Erica Drum Sequencer. Announced in January, it debuted in March – but now it has some modules to sequence:

Features of that are numerous:
12x Accent outputs

1x CV/GATE track
2xLFO with independent or synced to the BPM frequency
Time signature per track
Pattern length per track
Shuffle per track
Probability per step
Retrigger per step
Instant pattern switching
Solo/Mute tracks
Step/Tap record modes
16 Banks of 16 Patterns
Instant pattern switching
Pattern linking
Midi sync in with start/stop
Track mode
Firmware upgrade via MIDI SySex

More:
http://www.ericasynths.lv/en/home/

The post Erica Synths made a modular techno system called Techno System appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Sound Creates Reality: Sonic Fiction

Delivered... Adam Harper | Scene | Sat 7 Apr 2018 6:00 am

Music is not escapism. It is a machine that creates reality. This was the core of Kodwo Eshun's masterful book More Brilliant than the Sun: Adventures in Sonic Fiction. For musicologist Adam Harper, the concept of Sonic Fiction challenges the oppressive prison called reality.

Landscape of Science Fiction (Moon and clouds) (Photo © by Luc Viatour / https://Lucnix.be, 2008)

Sound is fact, music is fiction. Or rather, sound as it exists as an acoustic phenomenon or an electric signal has an empirical reality; sound recordings have a documentary quality akin to photography. Music, conversely, involves manipulation in the generation and arrangement of sounds for the purposes of contrivance, performance, fantasy, fictions — alternative realities. These alternative realities may in turn become new empirical realities. As such, music is (to paraphrase Picasso) the lie that tells the truth.
 
Music’s role as a reality engineering machine is at the core of Kodwo Eshun’s masterful 1998 book on futurist popular musics such as funk, dub, hip hop and techno, More Brilliant than the Sun: Adventures in Sonic Fiction, which will be republished this year by Verso Books with a new introduction by dubstep pioneer Steve Goodman aka Kode9. Note the subtitle. In fact, the introduction is entitled «Operating system for the redesign of sonic reality». Eshun treats music as a form of science fiction, one that we experience in uniquely embodied ways, but one directly comparable with the aims and effects of the genre in literature.
 
Indeed, music has been discussed and presented in fictionalised narrative contexts since at least the Ancient Greeks, as part of the dialogue form of philosophising, practiced until the early Baroque era by music critics such as Artusi. Storytelling and song were for centuries much less separated forms than they are today. But since Romanticism’s fascination with fantastical worlds, music and the modern understanding of fiction have been closely intertwined, even in purely instrumental music. Symphonic music became illustrative and took on narratives. Music frequently played a special role in early fantasy, gothic and science fiction stories. E. T. A. Hoffman’s fictional composer Johannes Kreisler and his compositions appeared in many of his texts. In 1921 H. P. Lovecraft wrote «The Music of Erich Zann», about a viol-player who keeps interdimensional horrors at bay with surreal melodies. Music frequently appears in science fiction as an emblem of wider social and technological changes, such as in the 1996 film Gattaca, about a future of genetically engineered, exclusive elites, which featured a performance of a piece playable only by pianists with twelve fingers.

«The Music of Erich Zann» Illustration by Andrew Brosnatch, drawn for the reprint of the story in the May 1925 issue of Weird Tales (Photo © by Robert Weinberg’s online collection of fantasy and science-fiction art)


 
Musicians have long fictionalised themselves (Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Ziggy Stardust are two of the most famous examples), but usually the line between fiction and reality is somewhat blurred. But this is one of music’s functions as a form of engineering of the self and the world and the relation between the two. Elysia Crampton once told me in an interview that her music engages with the «monstrosity of the embodied dream of an erased family, a lost history that I re-build, scraping utopias, a minimal place of freedom. Crampton does this inventively, to beguiling degrees of consciousness, but it is something that all music does, whether made or listened to.
 

Eshun understands such a process in his reflections upon Cybotron’s early techno track «Techno City» in «More Brilliant Than the Sun»’s reflections upon Cybotron’s early techno track «Techno City»:

«Techno City»… is Sonic Fiction: electronic fiction, with frequencies fictionalized, synthesized and organized into escape routes. Sonic Fiction replaces lyrics with possibility spaces, with a plan for getting out of jail free. Escapism is organized until it seizes the means of perception and multiplies the modes of sensory reality.
 
«Which is why you should always laugh in the face of those producers, DJs and journalists who sneer at escapism for its unreality, for its fakeness; all those who strain to keep it real. These assumptions wish to clip your wings, to tie your forked tail to a tree, to handcuff you to the rotting remnants of tradition, the inherited stupidities of habit, the dead weight of yourself. Common sense wants to see you behind the bars it calls Real Life».

As Eshun provocatively puts it, «reality» and all its attendant authenticities is an oppressive prison compared with music’s flight of the imagination. When the mind, body and perspective become reordered, a new reality begins to take shape.

Norient is proud to present a new series of cutting-edge concerts and audiovisual performances. In collaboration with the Rewire festival (Den Haag, the Netherlands) and Schauspielhaus Zürich Norient presents exciting acts of today’s pop music on the theater stage in Zurich, Switzerland. In the first edition on April 21, 2018, the experimental sound worlds of Ben Frost will collide with the dark avant-garde pop of Jenny Hval. Events will also be held on May 12 and June 9. More acts to be announced soon.

Read More on the Web

> The Wire: «Kodwo Eshun’s More Brilliant Than The Sun to be republished 20 years after its first release»

Read More on Norient

> Norient: «A New Series Is Born: Sonic Fiction»
> Thomas Burkhalter: «Remixing References»

Get lost in a Dasha Rush ambience, with hypnotic visuals to match

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Thu 22 Mar 2018 7:23 pm

With all that sound out there, you’d better make your musical statement a strong one. And why not add the kinds of visuals we see when we shut our eyes and listen?

This winter, visualist future error went into the archives of Resident Advisor and pulled out an evocative, dreamy ambient mix by Dasha Rush. Known best for her pounding techno, Dasha is also a producer and purveyor of more experimental music, too. And the combination of trippy monochromatic geometries and textures with this mix is reason enough to kick back on the couch with your iPad or TV or projector or whatever and … chill. (You deserve it!)

RA source, with an interview and track listing:
RA.469 Dasha Rush – An ambient odyssey

Alongside the expected Donato Dozzy, Biosphere, Alva Noto, Monolake, Brian Eno (and Dino Sabatini, with whom Dasha often plays) … there are a couple of rare cuts in there, too.

Moscow’s Mendeleev, for one, you might want to check out:
https://www.facebook.com/mendeleevmusic/

And don’t miss Grzegorz Bojanek, whose music I got to know through Dasha – he’s an electroacoustic musician, a Polish netlabel hero, and a staple of how the ambient/experimental scene is evolving in that country (including producing the Warsaw Electronic Festival – yes, it’s not just Unsound Festival in Poland, folks):

Grzegorz Bojanek at Bandcamp

Grzegorz is worth visiting elsewhere on this site, too, so stay tuned.

While we’re digging into the archives, here’s Dasha playing ambient music live (since the RA mix is a DJ set):

Or, for another AV experience, here’s the music video from her collaboration with Lars Hemmerling, “LOSTBAHNHOF,” which hums and taps along into a nicely weird groove:

And, hey, if you’re going to use Facebook, here’s one pleasant way to do it:

https://www.facebook.com/pg/dasha.rush.music/

If this sort of thing is your taste, you’ll like Dasha’s label, as well:

https://fullpandarecords.bandcamp.com/

Thanks as always, Dasha!

And yeah, we have done this once before:

Voyage into Dasha Rush’s inspiring ambient sonic worlds

The post Get lost in a Dasha Rush ambience, with hypnotic visuals to match appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

In a documentary film, a return to Detroit and speaker f***ing

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Thu 1 Mar 2018 8:23 pm

It’s still winter, but some crazy techno heads are dreaming of Detroit. Interdimensional Transmissions documents the soul of the midwest techno scene.

Maybe this film is just what techno needs at this moment. It tells the story of how dirty raves mixed with an obsession with hardware and design, imported from Europe. Or maybe it’s what Detroit needs – as despite its iconic status in the imaginations of electronic music lovers around the world, as well as its real place in history, the city’s parties are also relatively empty most of the year round, in a city that has seen its population dwindle as fortunes went elsewhere to America’s fractions of 1%.

Or maybe it’s just what you need, because – well, if you know the people in this, there’s a good chance you’ve already seen this. If you don’t know them, and you share this kind of manic passion for making parties with machines, then their story might be both new and inspiring.

Anyway, it certainly won me over with this opening:

This is our generation returning to the source,
felling a freedom and a heat within the music that results in speaker fucking.

Then they get talking chakras and lighting colors. (And you thought that kind of talk only happened on the West Coast. Shout out to Amber Gillen!)

And you get the likes of BMG and Erika and Derek Plasaiko and Patrick Russell and Carlos Souffront and Mike Servito, some of our favorite artists, chatting as you’d be chatting to them for … let’s be honest, for weirdos like us, probably longer than 20 minutes if given the chance.

“Insane heads from all over the world” sounds a good template for any event.

We’ve had a whole lot of slick documentaries of scenes, but it’s rare to just get people nicely rambling about the story of their party, in something they produced themselves. And with so much DIY around, I think you really need some inspiration and perspective from people who have made things work.

If the story of the music scene is increasingly told by big brands and big press outlets – even if those can make some beautiful productions – you might lose some of the details of how that works. And that’d be a tragedy, because a generation of producers might think the aim is to break into a scene, rather than create a scene around themselves.

Do that, and ecosystems of any music die – whatever the form or genre of music makes you want to make sweet love to the music.

So thanks to Interdimension Transmissions. Love what you’re doing – and more like this, please.

To bring the experience to your headphones, look no further than this Bunker Podcast from Erika:

This late night set from @Erikadotnet was recorded live at The Bunker on November 4, 2017 during the Brooklyn edition of No Way Back’s 10 Year Anniversary.

And… uh, obligatory. Because if there’s one thing electronic music shouldn’t do at this point, it’s trying to go backwards…

No Way Back come to Tresor maddeningly the night before I play there… uh, guess we all just have to work on our endurance. And Erika has a new live set coming to Finland.

And if you want the full experience, head to Detroit for their 10th anniversary party:

313: Return to the Source

Cover photo: Amy Hubbarth Photography / Interdimensional Transmissions.

The post In a documentary film, a return to Detroit and speaker f***ing appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Bougaïeff & Narciss talk craft, and composing 60-second techno loops

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Mon 19 Feb 2018 8:05 pm

Talk about minimal techno: Nicolas Bougaïeff and Narciss made a selection of 60-second locked grooves. Here’s more on that project and their practice.

If you’re hungry for electronic music that still pushes boundaries and technique, Dr. Nicolas Bougaïeff is a good place to start. (Yes, he’s a real doctor – the Ph.D. is in music composition). And lately, he’s been on a tear. Apart from a fanciful EP for our own Establishment, his recent output has focused on aggressively distorted, dystopian timbres, expertly constructed machines that pound forward like giant robots. He’s gotten deserved attention for that, as well, including the 12″ release of Cognitive Resonance, which relaunched Daniel Miller’s seminal NovaMute label.

There’s no paint-by-number techno here: each rhythm, each sound is considered. (It’s little wonder that Nick is working in offering composition lessons on the side – in a field that has been largely short of expert training.)

Now, you can get a view to that in Principles of Newspeak, his Denkfabrik LP, and take a cinematic journey through these realms.

But I thought we’d take the occasion to explore a unique set of etudes that came at the beginning of this year. It’s called Vocabulary C, and it takes the meticulous construction of techno to an extreme. The whole album is a set of locked grooves, each just one minute in length.

It’s not just a simple DJ “tools” release, though – think of it as tools that are also effective etudes. You can actually listen to each of these as a one-minute, standalone composition. There’s audio material drawn from Principles of Newspeak, but you almost don’t need to know that: these stand on their own. (Miniatures are a topic Nicolas has taken up before, not surprisingly – he’s got a release called 24 Miniatures coming out now, too.)

Nicolas teamed up with Berlin-born artist Narciss for this one – an artist who has literally grown up in the middle of Berlin techno, and has a DJ resume (and more releases upcoming on DRVMS LTD. and Seelen Records) to match.

With the fusion of composition and technology here, of course, we had plenty to talk about with these two.

There are two video documentaries as a starting point. First, there’s a short feature of Principles of Newspeak, visiting Nick in his studio:

From there, there’s a second video in which Nicolas and Narciss talk about the project and their collaboration:

CDM: Nick, from the release for Daniel Miller to your own follow-up on your label to this reusing materials … it feels like you’re making connective tissue now between releases. Is that about your own continuity? Is it about a narrative?

NB: Making a large scale musical work inspired by 1984 has been on my mind for over 20 years. If you dig very, very Once I got started, I owed it to myself to explore every aspect of the topic. I’m happy I found an angle to the novel that hadn’t really been covered by other musicians, so I just kept on going. Vocabulary C gave me a feeling of closure.

And you’ve worked with miniatures before, too, yes?

I’ve done this sort of project before. Back in 2011, I recorded a new sketch every day for nearly the whole year, 20 minutes every day first thing in the morning no thinking allowed. That yielded hundreds of musical fragments. From those I eventually compiled an album by selecting the very best moments, no further whatsoever besides touching the mixdown and trimming the shortest edit possible. It kind of sat on my hard drive for seven years now, which is a nice contrast to how spontaneous the original process was. I feel it really aged well so I’m finally about to release the 24 Miniatures album via Denkfabrik.

All of these projects draw from the well of dystopia and dystopian imagination – what was that inspiration here? (What’s the Orwell connection?)

NB: Vocabulary C is the last release in a thematic series of three records, all of them inspired by the appendix to George Orwell’s 1984. The lead single “Cognitive Resonance” came out as a 12″ on NovaMute; the album Principles of Newspeak came out on my own label Denkfabrik, and finally, Vocabulary C as a collection of locked grooves inspired by the sounds from the album.

The 1984 appendix is focused on the particular way language is distorted in that fictional universe, a mashup of political slogans and the Whorf-Sapir linguistics theory. The idea is that if you destroy words, you destroy the ability to think of that concept. Fortunately, that’s not the way language works in reality. In the book, vocabulary C is a facet of the language that is used strictly to describe technical processes. In parallel, it seemed to me very fitting that a locked groove, historically, is a very technical musical tool.

6. Also to repeat the video a little bit, maybe you can elaborate on those vocabularies? How did you apply them to managing the material here?

NB: Best to directly quote Orwell here.

“The A vocabulary consisted of the words needed for the business of everyday life — for such things as eating, drinking, working, putting on one’s clothes, going up and down stairs, riding in vehicles, gardening, cooking, and the like”

“The B vocabulary consisted of words which had been deliberately constructed for political purposes: words, that is to say, which not only had in every case a political implication, but were intended to impose a desirable mental attitude upon the person using them.”

See, both of those are interesting, but way too literal to be used for instrumental music. But when you get to Vocabulary C, it’s abstract and detached in a way that seemed to really fit with techno.

“The C vocabulary was supplementary to the others and consisted entirely of scientific and technical terms.”

Can you explain what a locked groove is?

NB: A vinyl groove is normally cut in a spiral. A locked groove is a circle, so the needle loops around over and over. You literally have to pick up the needle to choose another loop, you can have lots of different loops on a record. Pioneering techno artists — Jeff Mills, for example — produced and performed with locked groove records, sometimes making it a central part of their process.

Narciss: To me, it’s kind of the most stripped down techno tool in existence. It really is just an endless loop that can, for example, be used to mix two tracks that don’t perfectly mesh together, or to add some spice to your transitions. Instrumentation is pretty interesting, because using the sounds we had, meant, we mainly patched things through different effects.

There’s something a bit cheeky about embracing minimalism in this way, right? This isn’t phases like Steve Reich; it isn’t messing with time like Morton Feldman. You’re into full-on repetition – right into the heart of what many people claim to dislike about techno. What made you go that route? Is there a personal story to this embrace of rigid structure and repetition, intellectual curiosity aside?

NB: There’s a holy grail in techno: that magical moment when the groove is so good that you bliss out and don’t touch the machines anymore. We experience this all the time as music producers working in the studio, and also on the dance floor when everything is just spot. You get the same thing in many improvised musics – searching until you lock in. That’s what I wanted to focus on with this project; I wanted to focus on finding self-standing moments where time stands still.

Timbre is significant here, too, I feel. There’s a real brutality to this, maybe something missing in a lot of drenched-out, effect-pedal, too-much-reverb music trending now. What was the source of those sounds; how did you arrive at them?

Narciss: This can mainly be accredited to the extremely raw-sounding base material that we were working with. Both of the albums that Nicolas made have a very violent, heavy structure to them, so naturally working with sounds from them, you would get something like that out too, although even on the loops where we didn’t use any of that material, it was a pretty natural adaption to what we made before, I guess.

NB: The sound palette was more of a consequence of where I had been with my other projects rather than a conscious conceptual choice. We used a a bunch of Narciss’ favorite drum loops as well as a big chunk of my personal sound library from the past couple years, that was all industrial and electroacoustic sounds derived from electric cello, modular synth and loads of distortion pedals. Looking back, I can now better appreciate the tension between the timeless locked groove format and the sounds that grab your attention.

I want to ask about the element of setting the timer. In order to be that immediate, did you find that there was practice necessary first – on your own, as a duo?

Narciss: I didn’t really see it as practice, we pretty much sat down and recorded everything from the first loop to the last. Obviously, quality improved – generally towards the end of the process, we hit it home more times than in the beginning. But I think a little less than half of the record was made during our first day.

NB: I’ve been an improvising musician for over 15 years – working fast feels very comfortable. Also, quantity was a very important part of this project. Our goal was to make 100 locked grooves, and then we would select the best 20 or 30. Many of them were really bad, silly or just boring, but that didn’t matter, because five minutes later, we had an opportunity to begin again.

Actually, I’m kind of interested now that this has been out in the world for a while … uh, not just to rationalize turning in these questions late. What’s happened in the interim; what has the response been?

NB: I’ve been notified from Bandcamp about who downloads the records. I’ve had some interesting surprises there!

Functionally speaking, how do you expect these tracks to live? Are people DJing with them – are you? How do they work as tools – are they intended as tools? Would these encourage people perhaps even to DJ in a different way

Narciss: I’m certainly playing them out live, yes. Not all of them, of course — “Loop C-02” is a particular favorite. Some are definitely meant more as an exploration of the medium than as an actual “locked groove” in its regular function. I think it does force people who only blend two tracks at a time to play differently, though, yeah – because in that environment, a locked groove doesn’t make much sense. But if you play with three decks or more, then I think the more dancefloor-oriented grooves won’t challenge you that much.

NB: Of course they’re tools! They’re radically minimal not only in their form, but also in their sparseness. I’m always trying to figure out what is the least amount of instruments necessary to get a really banging sound. Now whether they’re played on their own or deep in the mix, that really depends on the musical context.

Does that change the meaning, if they are blended with other tracks?

NB: No, they don’t need to be played as stark naked loops on their own, unprocessed. As a central element, my challenge to DJs would be to try to figure out how long you can keep them going on with the least amount of transformation and mixing.

Narciss: It’s an interesting thought, to be sure. But since this project was more of an exploration of this “Locked Groove” concept, I think that if people play them out, it doesn’t as much change the meaning,as hammer home the functionality of it, even if you get analytical and deconstructive with it.

I know you’ve worked together before. This got you working more closely, though, yes?

Narciss: For sure, for me personally this project has furthered this “Sensei student mentality” with Nicolas just so much more, although I think he hates it when I say that, ha!

NB: Yeah, Narciss contributed a remix for my release on Establishement, and I just did a remix for his new record on DRVMS Ltd. We’ve been friends for a couple years, and with this project it was a really intense five or six sessions actually. The five minute non-stop sprints was pretty exhausting. And we’re still friends now!

Narciss, you’re obviously out there in the trenches, too, in the DJ scene. What was the connection like between this slightly experimental format and that clubland experience?

Narciss: There most definitely was a connection between the two. I mean originally, locked grooves themselves are something that only make sense in the context of a DJ-set. So it actually took me personally quite a while to get away from the “four-to-the-floor-mentality” of the medium.

Also, being born in this city, where do you look for inspiration – are you attracted to new things that are flowing into the city’s cultural life? Is the familiarity of growing up here something significant, or is it that turnover that drives you, or some combination? (I do notice different perspectives of natives and transplant.)

Narciss: I love this question – but there are so many aspects to this subject.

It definitely is a combination. Growing up here, the extremely hedonistic way in which Berlin is perceived from the outside was always very perplexing to me, because this was simply not the way that I saw it. Even when I started DJing, I didn’t actually go out that much because the way I got into it was actually just by discovering the genre in my record store, not by going to the parties. The problem with this is that Techno is, of course, a genre that is inspired by parties and clubs, from the way it sounds to just the overall existence of it. I only really understood this, though, when two British friends of mine moved here, because they had so much unbridled passion for techno, that only through them did I fully understand that these two things cannot exist without each other.

So for me, personally, I do actually like to get my inspiration from the memories that I have of Berlin before it got “un-dangerous” or the corners that people just do not explore enough (like Marzahn, for example). Ed.: Take note of Marzahn, architecture fans. Oh dear; I probably just sent someone down a linkhole. But to be honest, without the turnover of Berlin, and just absolute heaps of people moving here from all over the world, I probably would not be making the music I am making today. That being said, if someone who is thinking about renting an overpriced apartment just to go to Panorama Bar loads, is reading this : please don’t you’re making my rent go up. [laughs]

Will we see these animations live outside of the digital release? Audiovisual show?

NB: Itaru Yasuda — itaru.org — made the Vocabulary C animations, that was the beginning of a new live AV collaboration. Itaru and I just released a new video and that live AV project is moving forward fast.

And lastly, what’s next? I know you both have a bunch of upcoming projects and maybe at least one of you big bookings… will this particular project or collaboration also carry on somehow?

NB: I have a couple big bookings coming up, and I already have 3 solo EPs confirmed for release this year. Narciss and I took one of the locked grooves from Vocabulary C and fleshed it out into a full track, that should be coming out later this year as well.

Narciss: Well, there’s a track of ours on the next Seelen Records Release that was still part of the same sessions in which we made “Vocabulary C”. Other than that time will tell I think, I’d definitely be down to make more stuff together, but the magic about this project was that the process was so different to how we individually usually make our music, so I’m not sure how we would go about just making “normal techno” together.

Thanks! We’ll be listening!

https://bougaieffnarciss.bandcamp.com/album/vocabulary-c

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CDM Mixes: Voyage into sound like a mystic space cat, with akkamiau

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Events,Scene | Mon 8 Jan 2018 3:09 pm

Start your week right with some underground technoes. akkamiau is the multi-faceted Prague-born Akkamiau Kočičí, and she kicks off a special January for us.

Here in Berlin on Saturday, we’re hosting a special night of live performances with akkamiau joining us for a DJ set rounding out the night:
https://www.residentadvisor.net/events/1053318

They’re all released on or forthcoming on our label Establishment, and all of them have robust projects of their own, from live coding work in the Algorave scene with Miri Kat, to their own up-and-coming label projects (Gradient from Jamaica Suk, Denkfabrik from Nicolas Bougaïeff, and a new project emerging from Stanislav Glazov aka Procedural). They’re also teaching – Stas is a modular and Touch Designer guru traveling the world with those projects; both Nick and Jamaica teach privately, and Nick teaches modulars and coaches composition as Dr. Techno – because he’s a real doctor. Oliver Torr on behalf of Prague’s XYZ project is preparing an interactive light installation that will evolve over the course of the night, as well.

Stratofyzika, intermedia group.

I wanted to invite Lenka to send some vibrations to our readers all over the world. Lenka’s own projects are myriad: she’s a founding member of female:pressure, the network and advocacy organization that has worked for years to break apart the gendering of electronic music, she releases and performs and DJs as akkamiau and hiT͟Hərˈto͞o, and adds live sound and music to the choreography- and audiovisual-driven intermedia project Stratofyzika.

She’s also recently hosted quadraphonic sound workshops, working in Ableton Live, plus the wildly popular jam room at Ableton Loop.

And while the trend these days seems to be on narrowly-defined DJs, I believe all those broad influences come across in her DJ mixes as well as her music. Lenka has shared an exclusive mix with us, recorded straight from the mixer in the grimy confines of Berlin’s club Suicide Circus aka Suicide Club. It was the opening of the respected RITUALS series, which takes commanding, dark techno into Berlin’s Thursday night / Friday morning (well, because this is Berlin, and Thursdays are a big night).

Just don’t expect monotonous pounding. Lenka’s mixing is effortlessly fluid and organic, unfolding across the duration, putting beautiful, strange otherworldly textures atop heavy, dirty pulse. And that seems to have as always Lenka’s quirky cosmic feline character there. That doesn’t mean it’s soft in any way: these space cats have big rockets.

Dark but not drab … industrial with groove … powerful but dreamy … sounds like good new years’ resolutions for techno to me.

Track listing (yep that Ancient Methods and Perc are each two favorites of mine, for starters):

Moerbeck & Subjected – 006SB1
Mamiffer – Enantiodromia
Adam X – It’s All Relative
Alexey Volkov – Corner
H880 – weird signs
Drasko V & Kero – Exponent (Drumcell Remix)
Tensal – Levia
Regis – Keep Planning (Original Mix)
Discord – Backyard Trapp
MTd – Basement (Moerbeck Remix)
P.E.A.R.L. – Station1
Tsorn – Strange Theory
FJAAK – The Tube
Ancient Methods – Knights & Bishops
Perc – Look What Your Love Has Done To Me
H880 – KEPLER
Niki Istrefi – Red Armor

Join us in Berlin if you can, and regardless, stay tuned for more of akkamiau, these other artists, and Establishment. Frohes Neues!

Follow akkamiau on SoundCloud, MixCloud, and Facebook

For more listening, check out akkamiau’s work on Colaboradio 88.4FM Berlin. There’s a special episode devoted to the voice:

— and one highlighting those Ableton Link-ed jam sessions at the company’s Loop conference from November:

Saturday’s event, featuring akkamiau:

Establishment: XL & live [Discount advance tickets exclusively on Resident Advisor]
RSVP on Facebook

The post CDM Mixes: Voyage into sound like a mystic space cat, with akkamiau appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

CDM Mixes: Sofia Kourtesis takes us dreaming in wintry skies

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Wed 20 Dec 2017 5:18 pm

Year-end lists, while valuable, can blur into vague hype, dizzying lists of artists and tracks. Let’s start by spending some time listening.

Long-time friend of the site Sofia Kourtesis, the producer/DJ with German-Peruvian-Greek connections now based in Berlin, fired over a new mix and her latest production this week. I make no claim of weighing what’s important in grander schemes, but I was moved by the fact that it touched so much of the music I resonated with personally this year, in headphones and in clubs both. There’s Octo Octa and Benjamin Damage – each mastering live performance – and Avalon Emerson and Etapp Kyle and DVS1, who dazzled me as DJs and with productions. And then onward from there.

Sofia calls this “pieces of winter sky”:

1 Olof Dreijer-Echoes from Mamori
2 Adam Marshall – Hose Shipping, Jammed Mix
3 Avalon Emerson – One More Fluorescent Rush
4 Etapp Kyle – Essay [KW20]
5 DVS1 – In The Middle [KW20]
6 Octo Octa – Adrift (Official Video)
7 Benjamin Damage – Montreal
8 Helena Hauff- Do you really think like that, als MP3 im Anhang
9 Sofia Kourtesis Iquitos
10 Aphex Twin – Alberto Balsam

Sofia is busy. In addition to handling bookings at Chalet (the former tollhouse right next to the Berlin headquarters of Native Instruments), she’s playing a festival in Peru organizing around the issue of child trafficking on May 17, has a full schedule of some of the most respected venues in Germany, NYC, and Latin America (see below), and will be curating a concert series at Berlin’s storied Funkhaus (ex-DDR radio facility and host recently to Ableton Loop). She also has a new EP in the works for spring.

Here’s what she says about this mix:

This mix is somehow playful, but also really dynamic, with sounds of mellow, Amazonian, and moody techno and electronica.

I took Olaf Dreijer to begin with, because it always makes me go out of myself on a dreamy journey, thinking about home, or about what home is. I really like his Amazonian elements — and this bass kills me, it’s just beautiful. It keeps me motivated throughout the day.

I also selected some of my favorite female artists at the moment, not just for them being women, but mainly because they’re talented producers using a lot of analog gear. Helena Hauff always brings it to the point, and without needing to try, she simply sounds really organic. I really love her new EP on Ninja Tune. I also like Avalon’s new track that she released on Whities, one of my favorite labels at the moment, alongside Studio Barnus.

The production, the video and her artwork are always really special. I wonder why she didn’t write music for computer games. She could totally do it – what a dream; I would be the first one to buy it. Ed.: We may have to round up some video game music at some point, on that note – see for instance SØS Gunver Ryberg’s wonderful work.

I just found out about Octo Octa this year. She’s a wonderful artist; I really like playing “Adrift” in the middle of a set; it takes me on a journey. Also really good for dancing is Benjamin Damage’s “Montreal” — what a tune… wish I had made it!

I also dared myself to include one of my own new tracks called “Guerrero.” It’s about a close friend of mind who is fighting against FIFA’s corruption.

All the best things at the end — I will never forget to include Aphex Twin in anything I do; he’s always been my hero.

By the way, from Sofia or anyone else, I will rabidly defend left-turn mixing and surprises; I think mixing and DJing could use more risks, not less. Seems a good resolution for 2018.

We’ll have more audio content from CDM coming on 2018, so consider this one end-of-year teaser as we squeeze in some holidays. If you have ideas for how you’d like that to go, I’d love to hear from you. But I believe there should always be more room for listening.

In person is even better, so here are Sofia’s coming dates:

19.01.2018 Chalet Club Berlin
16.2.2018 Institut für Zukunft Leipzig
22.02.2018 Bossa Nova Civic New York
24.02.2018 New York [TBC]
17.05.2018 Proyecto Play Me Lima-Peru
25.05.2018 Mexico City [TBC]

https://www.facebook.com/sofia.kourtesis/

https://soundcloud.com/sofia-kourtesis

The post CDM Mixes: Sofia Kourtesis takes us dreaming in wintry skies appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

What you can learn from Belief Defect’s modular-PC live rig

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Wed 22 Nov 2017 5:42 pm

Belief Defect’s dark, grungy, distorted sounds come from hardware modulars in tandem with Reaktor and Maschine. Here’s how the Raster artists make it work.

Belief Defect is a duo from two known techno artists, minus their usual identities, with a full-length out on Raster (the label formerly known as Raster-Noton). It digresses from techno into aggressively crunchy left-field sonic tableau and gothic song constructions. There are some video excerpts from their stunning live debut at Berlin’s Atonal Festival, featuring visuals by OKTAform:

See also: STREAM BELIEF DEFECT’S DECADENT YET DEPRAVED ALBUM AND READ THE STORIES BEHIND THEIR CREEPY SAMPLES

They’ve got analog modulars in the studio and onstage, but a whole lot of the live set’s sounds emanate from computers – and the computer pulls the live show together. That’s no less expressive or performative – on the contrary, the combination with Maschine hardware means easy access to playing percussion live and controlling parameters.

Native Instruments asked me to do an in-depth interview for the new NI Blog, to get to talk about their music. The full interview:

Belief Defect on their Maschine and Reaktor modular rig [blog.native-instruments.com]

They’ve got a diverse setup: modular gear across two studios, Bitwig Studio running some stems (and useful in the studio for interfacing with modulars), a Nord Drum connected via MIDI, and then one laptop running Maschine and Reaktor that ties it all together.

Here are some tips picked up from that interview and reviewing the Reaktor patch at the heart of their album and live rig:

1. Embrace your Dr. Frankenstein.

Patching together something from existing stuff to get what you want can give you a tool that gets used and reused. In this case, Belief Defect used some familiar Reaktor ensemble bits to produce their versatile drum kit and effects combo.

2. Saturator love.

Don’t overlook the simple. A lot of the sound of Belief Defect is clever, economical use of the distinctive sound of delay, reverb, filter, and distortion. The distortion, for instance, is the sound of Reaktor’s built-in Saturator 2 module, which is routed after the filter. I suspect that’s not accidental – by not overcomplicating layers of effects, it frees up the artists to use their ears, focus on their source material, and dial in just the sound they want.

And remember if you’re playing with the excellent Reaktor Blocks, you can always modify a module using these tried-and-true bits and pieces from the Reaktor library.

For more saturation, check out the free download they recommend, which you can drop into your Blocks modular rig, too:

ThatOneKnob Compressor [Reaktor User Library]

3. Check out Molekular for vocals.

Also included with Reaktor 6, Molekular is its own modular multi-effects environment. Belief Defect used it on vocals via the harmonic quantizer. And it’s “free” once you have Reaktor – waiting to be used, or even picked apart.

“Using the harmonic quantizer, and then going crazy and have everything not drift into gibberish was just amazing.”

Maschine clips in the upper left trigger snapshots in Reaktor – simple, effective,

4. Maschine can act as a controller and snapshot recall for Reaktor.

One challenge I suspect for some Reaktor users is, whereas your patching and sound design process is initially all about the mouse and computer, when you play you want to get tangible. Here, Belief Defect have used Reaktor inside Maschine. Then the Maschine pads trigger drum sounds, and the encoders control parameters.

Group A on Maschine houses the Reaktor ensemble. Macro controls are mapped consistently, so that turning the third encoder always has the same result. Then Reaktor snapshots are triggered from clips, so that each track can have presets ready to go.

This is so significant, in fact, that I’ll be looking at this in some future tutorials. (Reaktor also pairs nicely with Ableton Push in the same way; I’ve done that live with Reaktor Blocks rigs. Since what you lose going virtual is hands-on control, this gets it back – and handles that preset recall that analog modulars, cough, don’t exactly do.)

5. Maschine can also act as a bridge to hardware.

On a separate group, Belief Defect control their Nord Drum – this time using MIDI CC messages mapped to encoders. That group is color-coded Nord red (cute).

Belief Defect, the duo, in disguise. (You… might recognize them in the video, if you know them.)

6. Build a committed relationship.

Well, with an instrument, that is. By practicing with that one Reaktor ensemble, they built a coherent sound, tied the album together, and then had room to play – live and in the studio – by really making it an instrument and an extension of themselves. The drum sounds they point out lasted ten years. On the hardware side, there’s a parallel – like talking about taking their Buchla Music Easel out to work on.

Check out the full interview:

Belief Defect on their Maschine and Reaktor modular rig [blog.native-instruments.com]

Whoa.

Follow Belief Defect on Twitter:
https://twitter.com/Belief_Defect

and Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/belief_defect/

Reaktor 6

Reaktor User Library

Photo credits: Giovanni Dominice.

The post What you can learn from Belief Defect’s modular-PC live rig appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Real underground: watch a live set in the Copenhagen metro

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Tue 14 Nov 2017 2:11 am

You’ve seen buskers in your subway, maybe, but odds are a full-on rave is a rarity. That’s what Strøm Festival and Anastasia Kristensen gave Copenhagen’s metro.

The basic notion: step onto your metro, get a live party. Watch:

Strøm, for their part, have established themselves as a cornerstone of the Danish electronic scene. And Russian-born, Copenhagen-based Anastasia Kristensen is maybe just the person you’d expect for this gig, in that lately it seems like she’s been everywhere.

I was curious, so asked her about the experience. She tells CDM:

“I compiled a live set with elements of Detroit techno, UK jungle, and all kinds of obscura that I could map to a MIDI controller and launch whenever. There was even an airhorn. 🙂

The experience was massive. As soon as people danced and jumped, the entire train was shaking. It felt like it could derail. I think it was a great way to rethink the way we can imagine a party and get around the city. Big up to Strøm for this!”

It’s also nice to hear some different vibes, beyond just what you’d catch in Tresor or Berghain from her.

I, uh, guess I can say I was following Anastasia before she blew up? (Resident Advisor says that was apparently earlier this year?) On the other hand, I think being everywhere, playing everything has long been her strong suit – someone with the resolve and raw discipline to relentlessly pursue music. I have to point that out just because I think it’s easy from the outside to assume this business is just luck – and that Kristensen, like many other of the most prolific and reliable members of the scene, has accomplished all of this atop a full-time day job.

And yes, follow those people, and you tend to catch those “rising stars” as RA puts it! (It’s a relief to know that’s the case!)

Best to let her and her music speak for themselves, though. Check out both her latest RA mix and her detailed follow-up on what’s driving her currently:

RA.598 Anastasia Kristensen

Her tool of choice, incidentally, is the now-discontinued Pioneer XDJ Aero. What’s nifty about this is, it’s small and it’s cheaper than buying new CDJs and components separately, but it still lets you practice CDJs somewhere other than sound check at a club or in front of a crowd. And it maintains rekordbox compatibility, so you can plug in those USB sticks, and works standalone if you choose. It could be something to look for used and … hey, Pioneer, maybe think about following up in this direction?

I’ve gotten to a few of her recent gigs, but Boiler Room was the one with cameras rolling, for some straight-ahead techno:

Just don’t miss her dark, evocative productions, which remain among my favorites:

The post Real underground: watch a live set in the Copenhagen metro appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Let’s talk craft and vision in live audiovisual performance, media art

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Labels,Scene | Wed 18 Oct 2017 2:23 pm

We’re gathering with top digital media artists this week – and you can tune in. Here’s a preview of their work, on the eve of Lunchmeat Festival, Prague.

Transmedia work and live visual performance exist at sometimes awkward intersections, caught between economies of the art world and music industry, between academia and festivals. They mix techniques and histories that aren’t always entirely compatible – or at least that can be demanding in combination. But the fields of media art and live visuals also represent areas of tremendous potential for innovation – where artists can explore immersive media, saturate senses, and apply buzzword-friendly technologies from AI to VR in experimental, surprising ways.

Our goal: bring together some artists for some deep discussion. And we have a great venue in which to do it. Prague’s Lunchmeat Festival has exploded on the international scene. Even sandwiched against Unsound Festival in Krakow and ADE in Amsterdam, it’s started to earn attention and big lineups, thanks to the intrepid work of an underground Czech collective. (The rest of the year, the Lunchmeat crew can usually be found doing installations and live visual club work of their own.)

Heck, even the fact that I’m stumbling over how to word this says something about the hybrid forms we’re describing, from live cinema to machine learning-infused art.

Since most of you won’t be in Prague this week, we’ll livestream and archive those conversations for the whole world.

Follow the event on Facebook for the schedule and add CDM to your Facebook likes to get a notification when our video starts, and stay tuned to CDM for the latest updates.

To whet your appetite (hopefully), here’s a look at the cast of characters involved:

Katerina Blahutova [DVDJ NNS]

Let’s start for a change with the home Prague team. Katerina is a great example of a new generation of artists coming from outside conventional pathways as far as discipline. She graduated in architecture and urbanism, then shifted that interest (consciously or otherwise) to transforming whole club and performance environments. She’s been a VJ and curator with Lunchmeat, designed releases and videos for Genot Centre (as well as graphic design for bands), then went on to co-found LOLLAB collective and tour with MIDI LIDI.

Don’t miss her poppy, saturated, post-Internet surrealism – hyperreality with concoctions of slime and object, opaque luminosities and lushly-colored, fragmented textures. (I can rip off this bit of the program; I wrote it originally!)

Oh yeah, and she made this nice teaser loop for this week’s festivities:

teaser loop from upcoming vj set for @malumzkole at @lunchmeat_cz #dvdjnns #wip

A post shared by Katla / DVDJ NNS (@katlanns) on

Ignazio Mortellaro [Stroboscopic Artefacts, Roots in Heaven]

Turn that saturation knob all the way down again, and step into the world of Stroboscopic Artefacts. Ignazio is the visual imagination behind all of that label’s distinctive look, from album design (as beautifully exhibited) to videos. He’ll be talking to us about that ongoing collaboration.

In addition, Ignazio is doing live visuals for a fresh project. Allow me to quote myself:

Roots in Heaven, a label owner and accomplished solo artist hidden behind a mesh mask and feathers, joins visualist Ignazio Mortellaro to present a new live audiovisual work. This comes on the heals of this year’s Roots in Heaven debut record “Petites Madeleines” (a Proust reference), out on K7! offshoot Zehnin. The result is a journey into “concentrated sensory impression” in sound, light, and sensation.

Gregory Eden [Clark]

One of the goals Lunchmeat’s curators and I discussed was elevating the visibility of people working on visual materials. But unlike the ‘front man’/’front woman’ role of a lot of the music artists, the position some of these people fill goes beyond just sole artist to broader management and production. Maybe that’s even more reason to pay attention to who they are and how they work.

Greg Eden, who’s at Lunchmeat with Clark, is a great example. With a university physics degree, he went on to Warp, where he developed Clark and Boards of Canada. He’s now full-time managing Clark, and in addition to that … uh, full time job … manages Nathan Fake (with visuals by Flat-e) and Gajek and Finn McNicholas.

Visuals are often synonymous with just “something on a projector,” live cinema-style. But Clark’s show is full-on stage show. For the stage adaptation of Death Peak, the artist works with choreographer Melanie Lane, dancers Kiani Del Valle and Sophia Ndaba, and lights from London’s Flat-E. Think of it as rave theater. That makes Greg’s role doubly interesting, as someone has to pull all of this together:

Novi_sad [with Ryoichi Kurokawa, SIRENS]

The collaboration between Novi_sad and Ryoichi Kurokawa is one of the more important ones of the moment, its nervous, quivering economic data visualization a fitting expression of our anxious zeitgeist. Here’s a glimpse of that work:

Ryoichi Kurokawa and Novi_sad have worked together to produce an audiovisual show in five etudes that produces a dramaturgy of data, weaving the numbers of the economic downturn into poignant, emotional narrative. Data and sound quiver and dematerialize in eerie, mournful tableaus, re-imagining the sound works of Richard Chartier, CM von Hausswolff, Jacob Kirkegaard, Helge Sten, and Rebecca Foon. Novi_sad is self-taught composer Thanasis Kaproulias, himself coming not only from the nation that has borne the brunt of Europe’s crisis, but holding a degree in economics. As a perfect foil to his sonic landscapes, Japan’s Ryoichi Kurokawa has made a name in expressive, exposed digital minimalism.

Marcel Weber (MFO) [Ben Frost] / Theresa Baumgartner [Jlin]

Ben Frost is already interesting from a collaborative standpoint, having worked with media like dance (Chunky Move, Wayne McGregor). The collaboration with MFO brings him together with one of Europe’s leading visual practitioners; Marcel will join us to talk about that but hopefully about his work for the likes of Berlin Atonal Festival, as well.

MFO has also designed the visuals for the sensational Jlin, but Theresa Baumgartner is touring with it – as well as working on production for Boiler Room. So, we have Theresa joining us from something of the in-the-trenches production perspective, as well.

Gene Kogan

VJing and live cinema are rooted in conventional compositing and processing. Even when they’re digital, we’re talking techniques mostly developed decades ago.

For something further afield, Gene Kogan will take us on a journey into deep generative work, machine learning and the new aesthetics that become possible with it. As AI begins to infuse itself with digital media, artists are indeed grappling with its potential. Gene is offering talks and workshops both here at Lunchmeat and at Ableton Loop next month, so now is a great time to check in with him. A bit about him:

Gene Kogan is an artist and a programmer who is interested in generative systems, artificial intelligence, and software for creativity and self-expression. He is a collaborator within numerous open-source software projects, and leads workshops and demonstrations on topics at the intersection of code and art. Gene initiated and contributes to ml4a, a free book about machine learning for artists, activists, and citizen scientists. He regularly publishes video lectures, writings, and tutorials to facilitate a greater public understanding of the topic.

I’ll be reviewing the resources he has for artists soon, too, so do stay tuned.

Gabriela Prochazka

Also coming from Prague, Gabriela has been guiding the INPUT program for Lunchmeat this fall, as well as being one of my collaborators (our installation is part of the exhibition this week). Its contents are mysterious so far, but a live AV work with Gabriela and Dné is also on tap.

See you in Prague or on the Internet, everyone!

Follow the event on Facebook for the schedule and add CDM to your Facebook likes to get a notification when our video starts, and stay tuned to CDM for the latest updates.

http://lunchmeatfestival.cz/2017/

The post Let’s talk craft and vision in live audiovisual performance, media art appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

This Uber driver techno producer on Instagram is our zeitgeist

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Scene | Mon 7 Aug 2017 9:23 pm

If Millennial electronic music had a poster child, tchntx would be it. Self-released techno meets Uber meets social media and … oh God we’re all doomed.

“Techno Taxi” (once you add those vowels back) is the personal diary of “akaysha” (as per her Snapchat ID, anyway). If the accent didn’t clue you in, one map puts her rides outside Melbourne, somewhere around Geelong, Victoria. I have no idea how I even found this account*, but I was suddenly mesmerized. Instagramming the saga of techno “bangers” melded with failed Tinder drama, all behind the wheel of an Uber between calls, the account would probably be repulsive if it were a gimmick. But it’s not. It’s totally honest and unedited, which somehow makes the results appealing.

It’s the social media apocalypse, and it’s everything you thought it was. And it’s somehow … funny? Like if Sex in the City were documentary, not fantasy, and if it were written twenty years later, like … now.

You can just needle drop and get pure gold. This is the latest post as I write it, which features the polyamorous doctor ex nicknamed “Scrubs.” (Like I said, eat your heart out, Carrie Bradshaw.)

Back in the stu…by unpopular demand #techno #taxi #uber

A post shared by Tales Of Techno Taxi (@tchntx) on

It goes on like this, in a Tinder soap opera that takes place offscreen, trapped cinéma vérité-style behind the wheel of an Uber car, in the moments of life stolen by algorithms and the disruptive power of Silicon Valley’s taxi replacement.

I've said too much…. #techno #taxi #uber

A post shared by Tales Of Techno Taxi (@tchntx) on

That is, I find this poetic because I can relate. Anyone making music at this point may find themselves vying for the social media spotlight just to avoid invisibility – and from those Uber calls to SoundCloud plays, the Algorithm has us. Behind the gloss of social media success, I talk to an alarming number of techno producers who find themselves spending way too much time maintaining accounts as they pretend their careers are going better than they actually are. (I’m not being dramatic here, either – I’m super totally cereal.)

Techno Taxi just makes this self-referential and self-aware. But adding to the self-referential tragedy, then the result is kind of … an empty diversion. It’s a gimmick, but it isn’t working. (And so it tells this story even better in the process.)

On Instagram, you get the usual response and … the odd stalker response.

On SoundCloud, there are a few dozen followers. Somehow, she got into a collective, but… it seems the gig is still Uber. (Sound familiar?)

The tracks are fun, though – quirky and raw a bit like the videos. Perfect track names, oddly compelling production. “Beware” – awesome. (The mixes are dark, IDM-ish, relaxed apocalyptic lullabies, music to drive algorithmically-summoned cars to.)

I might ruin this and have it blow up, but for the record, as I’m writing this, no other press seem to have noticed.

I already had a food delivery guy give me a SoundCloud link. I’ve certainly randomly given out my own music. Maybe that’s enough. This thank-you note is nice, and I’d be happy to hitch a ride with a producer.

I can’t decide if this is a harbinger of our future, or if someday we’ll look back at Instagram, Uber, SoundCloud, and this entire piece in the way we look back on AOL, MySpace, and Napster – ancient history from the Bronze Age, less enlightened times.

Jeez, now I’m a little scared of winding up in an Instagram post. (Sorry, don’t take this meandering editorial too seriously! Hey, CDM bump, maybe?)

But kudos to the Techno Taxi for actually just saying what’s going on. If we’re going to survive social media at all, a little honesty might be necessary – or at least might let us entertain one another when we’re bored.

And the band played on.

Mood about working the long weekend #techno #taxi #uber #technotaxi #mood

A post shared by Tales Of Techno Taxi (@tchntx) on

*Update: answer to this is, well, Melbourne circles / social circles / friends in common. Facebook uses your social graph on Instagram, so because I know people who know her, she showed up on Instagram somehow. See also her “ok sure whatever” project, which does have more likes behind it:

http://oksurewhatever.com/

And in fact she’s got a load of accolades to her name, as a DJ and remix producer. Plus a team of people did “SEO” for that site. And… yeah, okay, well, now techno taxi it is.

More unintentional poetry from that site: “Add Ok Sure to your Spotify Playlist now pitched by PlayList Pump on behalf of Upside Music.”

The post This Uber driver techno producer on Instagram is our zeitgeist appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

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