Playlist: The Best Music Mixes, Jams, and Releases to Queue Up Now

Our cup runneth over. And just as we’re adding our favorite stories to read to the new Reading List feature, we bring you some of our favorite listening. This is what’s playing through my cans as I’m working and meditating. Releases Ras G – Back On The Planet is, simply, out of this world. Forget what you know about Brainfeeder and LA; this is earning Afrofuturism comparisons to Sun Ra and George Clinton with good reason. Dense, jazzy, and splendidly improvisatory, it’s some of the most dynamic hip hop/electronic music to come out this summer. Gregory Shorter, Jr. is doing …


Unsuspected Sounds: Great Listening, Great Cause, in Analog Industries Community Compilation

Out of the noise of the Internet, don’t be surprised if some of the music being made is – unexpectedly – wonderful. So it is with a compilation curated by Chris Randall from the Analog Industries community. Unsuspected Sounds is unexpected. It’s proof that those people writing all those comments really do have time to make music. It’s nice seeing this come from Chris and the community he’s assembled. For his part, Chris doesn’t fit the stereotype of a blogger; he’s got industry experience as an engineer as an artist, is known to many as a veteran of Sister Machine …


Inside Phaedra, the Analog-Style MIDI Sequencer for iPad

I’m not sure how everyone who owns an iPad uses it for music, but I find myself strangely drawn, more than anything else, to analog step sequencers. With MIDI connections – via a special interface or a standard USB MIDI interface connected via adapter to the tablet – you can even drive hardware. For me, the app of choice has been Little MIDI Machine. Developer Chris Randall has a new application in the analog-style sequencing category, though, called Phaedra. If you haven’t grabbed it already, you have until the New Year to get it for US$4.99 before the price jumps …


Electronic Sounds and Satisfying Limits: Chris Randall Talks About Making Capacitor, Resistor EPs

The Roland CMU-800-R, a rare computer music production accessory for the Apple II, in near-mint condition in Chris’ collection. Photos (CC-BY-NC) Chris Randall; used by permission. By day, Chris Randall makes great music software and blogs, but as his not-so-secret Micronaut alter-ego, he’s building a triptych of EPs on the theme of electronics. These aren’t studies for those with gear lust; on the contrary, Chris explains, they are as much compositional exercises in limitation. The devices are a means to greater focus. In the crisp, thumping, rhythms and patterns calculated into Capacitor, that includes devices like the Roland CMU-800R – …


Listen: Personal Sounds of Circuits, from Micronaut, Phil Archer, Caribou

Summertime is bringing a host of great new music to my inbox and mailbox. Here are just a few selections for this Tuesday morning. What binds them all together is a desire for truly personal expression and satisfaction, which often manifests itself as an individualized sound. Chris Randall is best known as the voice behind cult favorite plug-in developer Audio Damage, and the opinionated, sometimes loud-mouthed pundit of his blog Analog Industries. But he’s a musician first. As better-known figures debate the merits of copyright and Creative Commons without ever having recorded a note, Chris has quietly released a lot …