Dam-Funk gets his own drum machine + sequencer. Photo courtesy Bleep Labs.

Artist Gear: Dam-Drum 2.0 is a Handheld Drum Machine from Bleep Labs, Stones Throw Records [Listen]

You know those science fiction episodes where someone’s personality gets transferred to the computer? Imagine if an artist could do that with a drum machine, and you get the idea behind Dam-Drum. Bleep Labs’ John-Mike Reed of Austin, Texas has a unique talent for engineering fun music electronics. His work is sonically adventurous – always with enough rough edges to keep things interesting – and simultaneously demonstrates an ability to compact designs to their most basic elements, while wrapping everything in a veneer of quirky personality. Yes, of course, his googly-eyed robots the Thingamagoops are immediately cute and anthropomorphic. But …

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Flying Lotus’ Effects-Laden Latest, and the Equally-Entertaining Process Montage

Flying Lotus – Tiny Tortures from dlew on Vimeo. Flying Lotus has been as sensitive to visual expression as to the leadership behind his label and musical circle, but it’s this fall that the rest of the world might know that, as the artist pulls out some music video grand slams. This week, it’s “Tiny Tortures” by director David Lewandowski. If FlyLo’s last album dealt with America’s domestic violence, this one – again, more poetic than preachy – plumbs the USA’s psyche, suggesting baseball dreams to amputation and war injuries. As before, that is channeled into something that feels like …

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Flying Lotus' Effects-Laden Latest, and the Equally-Entertaining Process Montage

Flying Lotus – Tiny Tortures from dlew on Vimeo. Flying Lotus has been as sensitive to visual expression as to the leadership behind his label and musical circle, but it’s this fall that the rest of the world might know that, as the artist pulls out some music video grand slams. This week, it’s “Tiny Tortures” by director David Lewandowski. If FlyLo’s last album dealt with America’s domestic violence, this one – again, more poetic than preachy – plumbs the USA’s psyche, suggesting baseball dreams to amputation and war injuries. As before, that is channeled into something that feels like …

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Three Layers of Live Visuals: Flying Lotus + Strangeloop + Timeboy, In Immersive Scrims

Flying Lotus ‘Layer 3’ – A Red Bull Music Academy Film from Red Bull Music Academy on Vimeo. Immersion isn’t necessarily about big stage pieces, or hiding the performer, or scale, or brightness. It seems it should be about finding a creative connection between visuals and music, between visualists and musicians, and creating some dimension that suggests you’re seeing more than only what you’re seeing. Flying Lotus has long collaborated with Strangeloop and other Southern California visualists. True to his Los Angeles home, his label Brainfeeder routinely sets up cinema-style, laptop artists dwarfed by the big silver screen of the …

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Phoebe in the studio. Photos for CDM courtesy the artist.

Listening, Behind the Scenes: Phoebe Kiddo, Traveling Through Earth and Space

The enchanting, carefully-handcrafted music of Phoebe Kiddo is yet another example of the wonders coming from under-the-radar digital artists in the production Renaissance now underway. We got to host Phoebe on our MusicMakers party last month in Berlin – full coverage of that show, with video, coming soon. Now, Phoebe tells CDM a bit about making music as a globe-trotting nomad, and how she works with monome live and in the studio. Phoebe’s music mixes taut beats and delicate, low-fidelity timbres with dense arrangements and spacey dubs. Her voice cuts dreamy melodic lines across introspective grooves that can then accelerate …

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Control in Mid-Air: Oblong Industries and G-Speak, Gone Gestural [Cinder]

Oblong g-speak from Oblong Industries on Vimeo. Los Angeles-based Oblong are doing some wonderful work with gestural interface design and their own homebrewed tech. I review a bit of what this means for the challenging area of building an entire music app today on Create Digital Music. (I feel if stories aren’t regularly overlapping on the two sites, I’m probably not doing my job.) But it’s worth watching the full videos for graphical evidence of the potential here. The team is working with free creative coding environment Cinder and IR sensing. Oblong Labs from Oblong Industries on Vimeo.

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Frag’mnts – An Enig’matik Records CDM Sampler, Ethno-step Diversity to Hear [Free Listening]

Forget the adage about “dancing about architecture” – talking about music is important. But talking about music is made more meaningful by listening, the real reason we do what we do. And so, we’re pleased to follow our profile of Australia’s Enig’matik Records with a collaborative sampler. It’s a diverse selection of tracks that lets you really hear these musical characters we think are making something worth exploring. Label founder Jake Rose aka Sun In Aquarius came to CDM with the idea, eventually leading to a full compilation to tell a more complete musical story. I’ll let contributor Matt Earp …

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untilthequiet

Flying Lotus Reveals New Release, Erykah Badu Track, Collaborations, Tour [+ 2010 Video Interview]

Announced by tuneful toms and then a flurry of dense percussion recalling his jazz lineage, Flying Lotus is back with new music, accompanied by the soaring soulful vocals of Neo-Soul and R&B grand diva Erykah Badu. It’s likely to be a major landmark of this year’s record releases when it arrives at the beginning of October, but you can hear the first track of “Until The Quiet Comes” now via YouTube, below, or on Warp. Onto the release, you can preorder now and get a digital download of the single, with full-color vinyl and collectors’ vinyl or an 8-panel digipack …

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Can make the biggest acts' live shows tick - but can also rock a live performance like she's just landed from a flying saucer. Check. Laura Escudé, achieving superhuman levels of music-technological knowhow, can still share what she's learned with us Earthlings.

Live Music Tools at the Bleeding Edge: Laura Escudé, From Herbie Hancock Collabs to Solo (Live Berlin, Sat)

It’s one thing to talk about tools. It’s quite another to put them into action, to make them withstand the rigors of creative process and idiosyncracy, let alone the torture test of touring. Laura Escudé is as deep in the trenches, on a day-to-day basis, as just about anyone on the planet. The music tech guru has worked with some of the world’s best-known artists, bending technology to their imaginative desires and world-trotting live shows. (Think Herbie Hancock, Bon Iver, and Cirque du Soleil, among others.) But she’s still found time to develop her own, unique sonic voice and live …

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tejada

John Tejada Interview: Asking a Techno Ambassador the Big Questions

Photos courtesy John Tejada. From his home in LA to the global scene, John Tejada is a planet-navigating techno ambassador and one of our favorite electronic musicians. He’s one of a handful of artists successful today who has managed to cross eras, whose experience isn’t just of this moment but who has touched the evolution of that scene. We turn to guest writer Alex Brandmeyer, who interviews Mr. Tejada about his own work as well as where the music scene is headed. What I like about Alex’s interview is that he asks some really fundamental questions about the evolution of …

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