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Sail to Samos with vintage BBC to find Pythagorean tunings

Speaking of tuning, before there was Cosmos and Carl Sagan, there was BBC’s Ascent of Man. (Make that “humankind” now, of course.) And there’s something charming about its breathless reminder of the mystical magic of Pythagorean tuning, and its mythical discovery in folklore. Fact check – as the film sort of suggests, we don’t really know how this discovery took place since our knowledge is fragmentary. It may not have involved any individual named Pythagoras, or indeed taken place on Samos. But the power associated with the harmony of mathematics, sound, and perception does have historical basis – in the …

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Mix your weekend with these songs that inspire Sofia Kourtesis

Sometimes the narrow apertures of musical genre can be a dead-end for inspiration. You often just can’t find a way to kick-start your creative process by listening only to songs that sound like you want. So, mixes really ought to be mixes. They ought to be personal. And even for producers and DJs, listening ought to be a pleasure. This weekend, we invite back Sofia Kourtesis, the globe-trotting German-Greek-Peruvian producer and DJ, to share some of her sonic touchstones. (She was part of a big mix-up of mixes posted in March, and has also shared her techniques for mining flea …

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Experimental Electronics Listening: Biosphere, Samuel Kerridge, Bill Kouligas + PAN

Humming and hypnotic, moving from dripping-wet ambient surface textures to pulsing thumps like an alien rave in the next room of your spaceship, the sounds of these three artists and their taste in tracks can pleasantly absorb an evening. We have not one but three four separate mixes, enough experimental electronic sonic diversity that you should feel absolutely free to skip my textual ramblings and queue up some music to hear. In fact, I actually hope that you don’t know many of the artists featured, as simply encountering sound is a great pleasure – us journalists with our waterfalls of …

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From the iPad’s Screen, the Music of Human Boot Project [Tabletop]

Speaking of the iPad and music making, Japan’s Human Boot Project draw a music video release for their latest track directly from screen as they play, working in the app Tabletop. I really love the personality of the resulting sounds. There’s a rawness to their music, the dense downtempo jazz-inspired electronics, which you can enjoy on their new EP “Picture Over Picture.” It’s a Beatport exclusive from Greece’s V.I.M. Records: http://www.beatport.com/release/picture-over-picture-ep/887326 The artists say it’s “Downtempo beauty to Jazz Electronica futurism !!” (Exclamation points theirs, but … I agree.) Human Boot Project are a Japanese underground music unit. This is …

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The Erasers: Live Cinema, Made Really Live, in Live Performance Theater Visuals

VJing or live visuals can quickly become simply re-purposed mixes of found video clips, a visual equivalent to a DJ mixing records. Generative and abstract visuals have been one response to that. But in the work of The Erasers, “live cinema” comes to mean really just that. Roving cameras wander the action, as players manipulate objects, smash toys, or themselves become characters. It’s a kind of experimental theater with cameras, but the images constructed have a life of their own, too, playing with scale and vantage point and perspective. It’s often violent: both in the images produced but also in …

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