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Exploring the Jam, Supernatural, with Mindpirates Collective [Event Report, Videos]

Jam. Far out. The artwork of Lionel Williams served as backdrop for a set of live jam sessions. It’s a question so elemental in music, you might forget to ask it: what can you get out of a (music) jam? Electronic music worldwide is dominated by the DJ, the dance party. That, in turn, often tends to the safe playback and mixing of produced records. So, what happens when you let all of that go, invite your audience to get up and make strange noises with you and not only dance at a safe distance? What happens when you just …

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Circle, Triangle, Square Celebrate Dublab, Future Roots Radio in Brilliant Shorts

In splashes of groovy texture, three shorts by director Elliott Sellers from late last year celebrate Dublab, the Los Angeles non-profit Web radio collective. They’re doubly worth mentioning – both for the geometric, swinging video goodness of the video, and as a window into the energy behind LA’s Dublab radio. For his part, Elliott Sellers is an LA-based filmmaker with a particularly rich sensitivity for music and rhythm – see his full portfolio, and the (very long, not very tall) single promo for Sergio Flores at bottom. He’s part of collective

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Accepting Grammy Awards, Skrillex Acknowledges Dance Roots, EDM Community

The Grammy Awards faced controversy long before this year’s ceremony; more than 30 categories faced the axe. With music outside Billboard lists already facing marginalization, the changes angered many artists by combining genders and averaging together genres. More fundamentally, artists can easily argue that the awards lack direct relevance to music they value, and look instead to validation from other sources. But watching the acceptance speeches by Skrillex, you see an impression not so much of how the Grammy Awards view Electronic Dance Music as how Skrillex views the EDM community. Winning three awards – Best Dance Recording, Best Electronic/Dance …

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Listen: LA’s Brainfeeder Label Shares Free Sampler; More Gilles Peterson Winners in London

Brainfeeder at work. Photo (CC-BY-NC-SA) Theo Jemison Photography. Writing about music may indeed be like dancing about architecture, so why not give music a listen? If you’re not already familiar with the terrific Los Angeles label Brainfeeder, founded by Flying Lotus, now’s the time to discover its artists. If you are familiar with them, you barely need read this blurb before skipping ahead to a lovely compilation. Onboard: Thundercat, Martyn, Samiyam, Tokimonsta, The Gaslamp Killer, Jeremiah Jae, Taylor McFerrin, Teebs, Austin Peralta, Matthewdavid, Mono/Poly (the artist, not the synth, but we can love both), plus (exclusive) Lapalux. BRAINFEEDER SAMPLER [Download, …

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In Dreamy, Electrified Landscapes, Nalepa 'Daytime' Music Video Meets Rutt-Etra

The Rutt-Etra modular video synthesizer may be an early-1970s relic. But it’s an expressive visual instrument that seems even more contemporary and timeless today than when it first appeared. So it’s fitting that a new music video makes its intricate generated analog eye candy the star. Set to Nalepa’s track “Daytime,” the work – by noted visualists Benton-C Bainbridge and V Owen Bush – is an abstract visual poem. Clouds and planets drift out of the lacy, electronic tendrils. It’s a quick ticket to another world. (Watch it above; definitely watch it in “HD.”) LA-based artist Steve Nalepa tells us: …

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In Dreamy, Electrified Landscapes, Nalepa ‘Daytime’ Music Video Meets Rutt-Etra

The Rutt-Etra modular video synthesizer may be an early-1970s relic. But it’s an expressive visual instrument that seems even more contemporary and timeless today than when it first appeared. So it’s fitting that a new music video makes its intricate generated analog eye candy the star. Set to Nalepa’s track “Daytime,” the work – by noted visualists Benton-C Bainbridge and V Owen Bush – is an abstract visual poem. Clouds and planets drift out of the lacy, electronic tendrils. It’s a quick ticket to another world. (Watch it above; definitely watch it in “HD.”) LA-based artist Steve Nalepa tells us: …

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Geometric Reactive Audio Visualizations, Now Live in the Browser; How it was Done

Now, tripping out to visuals while you listen to music doesn’t require a separate app. You can do it right in the browser. And this pretty proof of concept not only creates dancing 3D visuals: it also demonstrates just how much is possible with 3D browser capabilities, and how they could interact with music, suggesting much more to come. Los Angeles-based developer Felix Turner of Airtight Interactive shares The Loop Waveform Visualizer. Tested for use in Google’s Chrome, it’s powered by two cross-platform, cross-browser, HTML5-associated technologies, WebGL and the Web Audio API. Give it any MP3 (you can even drag …

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Interface4FINAL

Pushing the Live Performance Envelope in LA: Mike Slott, Artists on Video; Party Friday

Music has always moved forward when people get together to play. Groups of artists in Los Angeles’ Interface LA collective – and other California groups, like LoveTech and controllerism.com – are challenging each other to keep expanding their technique in playing electronics live. I’m pleased with CDM and some of our friends to support a party Friday night in downtown LA celebrating playing live. Interface LA is a group centered on live electronic music performance and interactions. We’ll be bringing you video coverage after the event here, thanks to talented videographer Charlie Visnic. But we can kick things off now …

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Tetrafol, Sound Object by monome + machineproject + Fol Chen, in Videos, Sounds, and Interview

LA-based bang Fol Chen (Asthmatic Kitty records) wanted to go beyond the computer as the playback and manipulation device for their music. So they worked with collaborators to invent a solution. In a new video, sounds, and an interview, we can share some of how this came into being. Built with the monome creators (Brian Crabtree and Kelli Cain) and LA research and experimentation center Machine Project, the Tetrafol is a custom, pyramidal sound device. The object warps Fol Chen’s music using gestural manipulation of playback, but can also use your own samples. And with open-source circuit and firmware, the …

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Good Listening, Good Taste: Selection of Ghostly Sonic Output, Inspiration for Getting Things Made

More than just a label, Ghostly is establishing itself as a hub of design, as in the new poster series by Swiss artist Sonnenzimmer, available from their online store. With artists likewise drawing heavily from visual inspiration, the connection between sight, sound, and taste is an evocative one. Photo courtesy Ghostly International. You can expect to see ongoing appearances by Ghostly International, the 12-year-old label with roots in Detroit that has since established firm outposts in California and New York, in these pages. (Pixels?) The reason is simple: Ghostly is a grand experiment in how to retain relevance as a …

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