We got to talk to anonymous project patten about the future

patten has gone from CD-R releases to Warp, remaining anonymous all the while. But these secretive artists told us about where they find inspiration.

Marek Biliński live in Warsaw, 2013. Photo (CC-BY-SA) Robert Drózd.

Discover Poland’s Electronic Music Pioneers, Modern Artists: Boiler Room and Beyond

The setting looks futuristic — like Stanley Kubrick teamed up with Syd Mead to make a theme park. But it’s actually Warsaw and environs. And the path the future is via the past, and a history largely unknown outside of the country. Boiler Room, best known for webcasting parties, shifts gears from what’s new-and-hip to where it all began, and the result is inspiring. The film was directed by Marcin Filipek for Boiler Room with the input of Gosia Herman of Boiler Room Poland, and is the result of half a year spent gathering artists. The stunning imagery is the …


Watch the Wonders of Grids, as monome Makers Defend Minimal Design

As electronic musical instruments have evolved, it’s been surprisingly easy to point to specific designs that lead others. Creators do often reach the same cluster of ideas at about the same time. But the specifics of how those ideas catch on have very often coalesced around one iconic instrument. Bill Hemsath’s layout, with Bob Moog, for the Minimoog became the standard for monosynth keyboards with knobs. Roger Linn’s design for velocity-sensitive pads, and eventually the MPC 4×4 grid, became the standard for drum machines. And Brian Crabtree and Kelli Cain I think deserve credit for making the 8×8 grid the …


littleBits Synth Kit Will Add USB Audio, CV, and MIDI; See Snap-Together Modular Live in NYC

littleBits has already won over some synth enthusiasts with snap-together modules you can combine via magnets, and a collaboration with KORG. But until now, the open source gizmos have been largely a world unto themselves. You could route audio in and out, but that’s it; any expansion was dependent on buying more littleBits modules. Over the course of this year, that will change. Already, there’s a US$36 Arduino module, opening up custom-coded functionality and computer connectivity. And by the end of the year, littleBits will add three modules that make the Synth Kit into more of a synth (or controller, …


A Naked Man Plays Robots and Finds Love; A Quadriplegic Finds a Voice in Music

Man & Machine: A Naked Robotic Love Story from Jesse Roesler on Vimeo. Making music with machines, we all become somehow more than human. We are people, augmented by technology. Those technologies strip us bare, expose us as naked emotionally … sometimes, literally. Through the eyes of one filmmaker, here are two parallel images that drive that point home. Last week at Berlin’s CTM Festival, we began a week-long hacklab by touring the Generation Z exhibition with curator Andrey Smirnov. One thing Andrey repeatedly emphasizes about the revolutionary Russian artists who came together in the 1920s is their belief in …


Good Listening: Sample Unsound Festival’s Brilliant Lineup, Coming to NYC This Month [Stream]

This might look like Tatooine, but it’s in fact the deserts of New Mexico, where artists Biosphere and Lustmord visited this year in a musical exploration of some of America’s – and nuclear power’s – darker past. The project promises to be a highlight of Unsound in the world premiere of a new, commissioned work. Photo courtesy Unsound Festival. There are festivals, and then there’s Unsound. While so much in electronic music programming walks the line between club accessibility and more adventurous experimentation, some time falling over one side or the other of that divide, Unsound consistently hits the center …


Playing Music with Light Pens, Flourescent Bulbs, Brought to You By … Sony?

The urgency of being way behind a single dominant player can make electronics makers do some odd stuff to promote their products. iPod, once an icon of digital cool, has achieved such ubiquity that it doesn’t even try to be hip any more. The thing is being promoted with American Idol, for crying out loud — not exactly indie cred. We saw Microsoft enlisting indie musicians and animators to sell Zune, of course. But here’s where things get surprisingly amazing: Sony is using weird and wonderful Japanese experimental music to promote Walkman. Now we’re talking. And whether or not Walkman …


The Art of Noise: Sonic Insanity with Hans and the Blippoo Box

Now, why would anyone imagine this wouldn’t have widespread commercial appeal? If you enjoy real analog insanity – crazy noises that challenge the ears – you’ll like these videos sent to us by Hans Tammen, the composer, “endangered guitar” artist, and director of NYC’s Harvestworks. He writes: you like analog stuff, as I know. Here are two excerpts of a concert with one of Rob Hordijk’s Blippoo Boxes. Just that tiny analog beast plus volume pedal… Of course, part of what I like about analog — and digital — sound sources is their range. Want to make something that sounds …


Call for Submissions: The Kinder, Gentler Bent Festival 2008

Photo source: Bent Festival LA. Ed.: Circuit bending too destructive for you? Don’t let that scare you away from this year’s Bent Festival, in NYC, LA, and Minneapolis. Key pioneering circuit benders like founding artist Reed Ghazala are quick to argue that bending is a creative, not a destructive act — though some more radical benders might disagree. You say creation, she says destruction — let’s call the whole thing off: this year, handmade instruments and art of all kinds are welcome, say conference organizers, who are… … continuing to open the Bent Festival to performers and artists that create …


Jumpgate Resolved: Van Halen Guitar Sorta Absolved, Keyboard Detuned

Ah, YouTubers. While the rest of us pontificate endlessly, the unfairly-maligned YouTube community painstakingly assembles evidence to prove their point. Lonely girls need outing? YouTube is there. Can’t tell what’s wildly out of tune in a botched Van Halen “Jump” performance? Let’s just listen, shall we? (Too bad, as I had just worked out a really great theory about sun spots, Greensboro’s atmospheric pressure and relative humidity, and a freak wormhole.) Thanks, Wilfred Fumbly. (video’s gone now … more in a moment) So, the original theory holds: most likely a sample rate issue. Well, unless Van Halen is really old …