Austin isn’t generally associated with electronic music, but from bands to strictly electronic acts, you see lines blurring all over the place. And amidst the many, many things happening here in Texas in the coming days, we’re fortunate at CDM to help support two events.

Tonight is the Allies Electronic Lounge – 416 W Cesar Chavez, 9-2, no badge and free, with Two Fresh, DJ Vadim, Eskmo, and Mindelixer. I’m especially excited about Eskmo’s music, and wherever you are in the world, you can take a listen, free. (Topspin just launched their media platform for everyone if you want to do the same with your music, and they’re naturally partying it up here in Texas to celebrate.)

There’s some of the crackly clap sound that the kids love these days, to be sure, but Eskmo has some serious sound design chops, and a vocal style I love, very often reminiscent of Matthew Dear. I’m told Eskmo works with Native Instruments’ Maschine drum sampler instrument live. If you have any questions about how he works, let me know; I’ll be doing some research. Eskmo, aka San Francisco’s Brendan Angelides, has been on Warp and Ninja Tune, but he also has a mean mix of Brainfeeder music:

Friday night, it’s another free event on a rooftop in the heart of downtown Austin. I’m playing at 9pm on the spot to warm things up, so come say hello. Lots of free tech to win. No downloads yet, but again, if you’re not in Texas, let me know if you want any tips or information from these folks — I can sum it up by saying they’re all a bit insane with Ableton Live automation and sound design with Operator and NI’s Massive.

  • Charles

    Not a fan of the topspin thing. I want to listen to it before I download it or am forced to be added to anyone's mailing list.

  • I would love to hear about there approaches to live performance in general. What makes it live for them, and how they set up working with pre-recorded material in a performance (I am assuming that they are doing some of that in their sets). 

    Also, any interesting approaches/techniques for Operator. It is currently my go to synth for a lot of different things, from sound design to basslines. 

  • search Eskmo on YouTube to avoid being spammed just for finding out what this guy sounds like

  • Sasa Rasa

    No need to enter your email. Click on "Eskmo album" which should point you to
    where you will find the entire album in an embedded player

  • Peter Kirn

    Yeah, I tried to embed that player and it … broke the site. 😉

  • heinrichz thing to come out of the US in along time..

  • love the foley elements he uses in his tracks. 

  • Random Chance

    No big fan of the beat (isn't that what the so-called kids call RnB since a decade or so?) and sounds used in the beat (the infamous clap sound mentioned), but some of the other sounds are really nice and I like the processed vocals which is rare. Overall: Thumbs up.

    I second the idea of asking about working with Operator live. It's a wickedly powerful little FM/Additive synth, and as for others it's become my favorite soft-synth of late. I think Ableton should try and sell an AU/VST version for those people that don't need Live.

  • Kovadis

    Really disappointed that the plug was pulled on this event about 11pm due to some issue with the fire marshal. This didn't make much sense given that the venue was nowhere near full. In any case, we had dutifully RSVP'd (which turned out to be unnecessary because the door guy was only checking ID for drinking age), and turned up pretty early so that we could catch all but the first act. In the end, after fighting an insane parking situation and hiking for miles, we saw about 20 minutes of Vadim's new band before they kicked everyone out. I felt bad for Eskmo who had just finished setting up his gear and was on deck to play next when the announcement came. Also the sound system was embarassingly bad. It was really hard to make out the MC's lyrics and the samples Vadim was triggering from his Launchpad were essentially silent. Forget about bass.

    I've been to a lot of these corporate sponsored free events with online RSVP over the past few years because it's often the only way to see good visiting electronic music artists in Austin. Scion was doing a lot of them for a while. The common theme unfortunately is absolutely miserable sound. Everyone I know would happily shell out $5-10 bucks toward a better event as opposed to offering emails up to the marketing gods if the organizers would bother to sort out the most basic element of the night – the f&$#ing speakers. Free and crappy isn't really free.

  • dman

    Actually austin is really kickin for electronic music. in the past 2 years alone I've seen rusko, nero, caspa, zeds dead, noisia, excision, datsik, skrillex, downlink, moby, the others, and tons more. 

  • Peter Kirn

    I'm sorry, I should have said South by Southwest, specifically – and in general, I think the impression of Austin as a straight-up rock-only town probably isn't fair. You guys have an amazing music scene that's supporting all kinds of stuff.

    I share the disappointment with others here, of course, about how last night went. Let's hope we have better luck next time.


  • Kovadis

    Not sure if your comment is aimed at me or Peter's original remark that Austin isn't known for electronic music, but I agree with you dman that a lot of good artists do come through town. I saw Falty DL and Convextion here just last week. My complaint is more that the straight up marketing driven model of event promotion often seems to compromise the quality of the event.

    For instance, I went to see Kode 9, Scuba, Martyn, Plastician, and Mary Anne Hobbes at one of those Scion events a while back. This would be a heavy-hitting lineup of DJ's and electronic artists in any city/country, which made the lack of effort and care put into the sound system that much more unbelievable. I've seen all of the artists I just mentioned under the auspices of organizers in other cities/countries where the venues and sound were immaculate, and the fantastic feeling that the artists and audience come away with is palpable. Often, what this music has going for it is largely in the frequencies. Of course it's great to see artists shuffling their feet, pumping their fists or punching buttons behind a laptop, but if the sound quality is on par with a high school rock band practicing in the garage, the magic is much diminished in my opinion.

    I guess the other side of the coin is that some of these shows might not happen at all without the backing of some of these sponsoring companies in places without super robust demand or enough homegrown event organizing muscle. Quality does come at a price, after all.

  • Kovadis

    @ Peter – You weren't far off in your original assessment. Austin works overtime to distinguish itself as an indie rock Mecca where sounding too good seems to be something to avoid based on what I hear when I go out. It's more important to get the ironic band name just right and force oneself into the skinniest jeans possible than it is to have pristine or even passable sound. Unfortunately, many electronic music organizers try to apply that laissez faire approach to electronic events which are sonically more precarious and way more dependent of well-tuned subs.

  • chace

    I've been following him since ive lived in the bay years back, one of my fav's hands down. Go See Him Live, he is amazing, he does not use decks and que's all his sounds live. He has loads of field recorded sounds in his songs…his clap is layered with the sound of him jumping on twigs for a nice "crunch sound". Anyone who hasn't heard bass music live on a Funktion-one sound system has been deprived of life and the true sound of this music. My favorite song by him is "harmony" or "amphibian". look it up and listen with as sub on blast.

  • sorry. "shut down" referring to how the show last night was shut down while the poor guy was setting up. ultra lame. The BWOMP! showcase was all sorts of fun though.

  • Thanks Sasa Rasa!

  • You also forgot to mention AMODA, Austin Museum of Digital Art, putting on great digital music/motion events and hosting local creators like bleep labs .

  • Hey Eskmo/Welder will be at Euphoria Music Festival on April 7th, 2012.  Check out the teaser video here:&nbsp ;