Moog Says Goodbye to Little Phatty with Lush Video, as Company, Synths Grow

What an extraordinary time of transformation it’s been in music instruments – one which has coincided unintentionally with the development of this site. When the Little Phatty first hit the market in 2006, it really was a very different era. While Moog Music had already shipped the Voyager and brought back Bob Moog’s name to their products, the market was dominated by digital instruments and in particular big workstations. Now, a whole lot of keyboards follow the path established by the Little Phatty: provide affordable instruments for musicians, use analog circuitry, embrace the monosynth, adopt one-to-one control of parameters. It’s …

READ MORE →

iTunes Radio, and Apple’s Solution to the Future of Music: Stream, then Buy

While they were busy not killing the Mac and the Mac Pro, it seems Apple also had some ideas about how to not kill music. Amidst hair pulling and gnashing of teeth over how streaming will impact the future of music business models, Apple’s answer is spelled out in their press release: “It’s the music you love most and the music you’re going to love, and you can easily buy it from the iTunes Store with just one click.” Whether iTunes Radio specifically works or not, this seems an obvious model. Music recordings as a business work so long as …

READ MORE →

With Beatguide, Listening Connects to Live Events: New Electronic Music Startup

If it’s music events, what your calendar really needs is a play button. A funny thing happened on the way to the online music world. Roughly a century after the music recording revolution, we’re all newly concerned with getting into venues with other human beings. The problem is – and there’s no nice way to say this – the tools out there just aren’t very good. Facebook’s popularity is unquestionable, to be sure, but it still doesn’t cater to music needs with its event listings. And beyond that, there’s a scattered landscape of different tools, none of which seems to …

READ MORE →

SoundCloud More Affordable for Creators, As Service Attempts Balancing Acts [Analysis]

We hear some pretty clear messages from CDM readers about SoundCloud. One, almost all of you seem to have some criticisms of it. Two, almost all of you appear to use it, complaints or none. Even as other services remain valuable, SoundCloud is practically its own category. (In fact, the level of detail about those complaints suggests to me that they come from ongoing, intensive usage.) Ubiquity is an understatement. “Do you have a SoundCloud?” is a question I hear about as much as I once heard “do you have a MySpace?” a few years ago. People ask it in …

READ MORE →

How Music Label Vlek Makes Ephemeral Sound Physical, While Giving Away Their Catalog [Gallery, Interview]

When music moved from live venues to radios and recordings, artists had to find a way to respond. Now, labels struggle to be heard in the era of Spotify and streaming, always-on, always-overabundant media. We could talk grander themes, but the possibilities of this conflict are most vivid in a microcosm. Call it post-digital or what you will, but being digital now means something different. For Belgian label, Vlek, that reality takes a number of forms, suggestive of the direction for independent electronic music. And so, in Ssaliva’s release for Vlek, executed by Dimitri Runkkari (part of Brussels’ design studio …

READ MORE →
The record lives. Drip.fm co-founders Sam and Miguel merge subscription ease and affordability with high-quality downloads you keep, and even closer connections to artists and labels. Think "fan club," not "utility company." Here, Sam tells CDM how it came about. Photo: Will Calcutt.

Saving Downloads, Fans? Sam Valenti IV Talks Ghostly’s Drip.FM As Label Roster Grows

PK: In the digital age, subscription services or “all-you-can-eat” music gives passionate listeners nothing if not flexibility and a wealth of music. But they can also distance music lovers from labels they care about – and the reliance on streaming threatens to sever the special relationship you have with albums that are really special. Drip.fm is different. Founded by Ghostly International, it has the affordable monthly subscription rate – but with actual high-quality downloads you keep. First launched with some of Ghostly’s boutique-quality electronic music, it has since expanded to some big names. Today could be a watershed moment for …

READ MORE →
Carrying her musical life on her back - in more ways than one. Zoe Keating, by Nadya Lev for Coilhouse. Photo courtesy the artist.

Zoe Keating, Cellist Who Exposed Her Musical Finances, Talks Music Making, Distribution [Interview]

She shocked the music business by revealing she wasn’t making money on Spotify – then shocked them again by revealing she was making money on our own. Now, CDM’s Matt Earp talks to cellist Zoe Keating about surviving as a creative musician, and keeping the music coming. Hint: “exposure” is not necessarily the key to survival. -Ed. Zoe Keating is an avant-garde cellist, a Canadian transplant to San Francisco who now lives on its far outskirts. Her sound slips back and forth between the classical and electronic worlds, conjuring sylvan images and dusty warehouses with equal clarity. Two self-released full-lengths, …

READ MORE →

‘The Nature of Code’ Book Illustrates Coding Design Secrets – And Power of Self-Publishing

In traditional visual arts, some knowledge of color theory and form is essential to being expressive. From there, you move on to tricks of shading and perspective. These shared understandings allow even radical experimentation: the likes of Picasso, Dalí, and even Pollock played with their classical inspirations and training. Creative programmers have a bag full of tricks that underly a lot of the flashier, cooler effects in their work. These can, in turn, be a window into understanding foundations of math and geometry. (I imagine how much better I would have been at progressing later in mathematics had I been …

READ MORE →

'The Nature of Code' Book Illustrates Coding Design Secrets – And Power of Self-Publishing

In traditional visual arts, some knowledge of color theory and form is essential to being expressive. From there, you move on to tricks of shading and perspective. These shared understandings allow even radical experimentation: the likes of Picasso, Dalí, and even Pollock played with their classical inspirations and training. Creative programmers have a bag full of tricks that underly a lot of the flashier, cooler effects in their work. These can, in turn, be a window into understanding foundations of math and geometry. (I imagine how much better I would have been at progressing later in mathematics had I been …

READ MORE →

Selling and Promoting Music: When You Come to a Fork in the Road, Take It?

I believe it’s possible to be a responsible business, and to be a responsible consumer. When you’re the business lecturing your consumers on what they should be doing, well, that can produce an awkward situation. Let’s leave it at saying that a certain blog post stating obvious things has resulted in what can best be described as a kerfuffle, and, since you’ve heard it all before, it’s probably not worth repeating. Better than lecturing music lovers, then, is finding out better ways to reach them. I know plenty of artists and even people whose day job is running a label …

READ MORE →