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Pauline Oliveros, who transformed how we listen and think

This year continues a stunning series of losses of some of the most important pioneers in electronic music. But of all those, Pauline Oliveros is without peer – an innovator in the art of listening itself. And we’ve learned she’s died at the age of 84. No one else in music has a resume like hers. She was capable of turning the accordion into an avant garde electronic instrument. She had a black belt in karate. She was one of the original members of the San Francisco Tape Center, a defining figure in the entire west coast electronic scene. She …

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Photo, Lucas Genaro Rucci. Via SHAPE Network.

EQUALITY NOW, a raucous Peder Mannerfelt anthem at the right time

Good timing. Sweden’s Peder Mannerfelt delivers a triumphant single, “EQUALITY NOW” as the opening salvo of a 3-track vinyl/digital coming beginning of December. And it’s splendidly forceful. But wait, there’s more. Mannerfelt is a prolific producer and artist, solo under his own name, as The Subliminal Kid, or working alongside Van Rivers on production. That’s included collabs with the likes of Fever Ray, plus output on Digitalis, Avian, and his Peder Mannerfelt Produktion label, when he isn’t recapturing the sounds of central Congo (really). Okay, blah, blah. Here’s what I’ll tell you about seeing Peter Mannerfelt in person: every single …

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Dasha Rush at Futurum.

Voyage into Dasha Rush’s inspiring ambient sonic worlds

Assemble, cosmonauts: Dasha Rush is an artist whose musical worlds merit repeat visits. She represents the best of what an artist straddling techno and ambient can be – with ambient sets that pulse and live, with timbral and structural freedom rather than resorting to dreary droning grays. So let’s take a break from her better-known techno side and get to experience some of her ambient personality. Now, just in the past months, I’ve watched her hold down the cavernous abandoned Kraftwerk power plant for Tresor’s birthday with a techno set, but also explore imaginative techno on Boiler Room alongside Dino …

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Here’s the easy thing you can do to support artists you love on Facebook

“The Algorithm.” It sounds like something ominous out of scifi – an AI character from The Matrix, maybe. It’s the name for the proprietary system by which Facebook shows you content. And this element of social media has been under fire lately, even on the global political scale. Computer rules are invisibly determining what you see. And they don’t necessarily work for you. Like a drug dealer, they’re there to keep you hooked. And since they can be bought, they’re also there to ensure publishers buy advertising to be noticed. Okay, that sounds scary. On the other hand, you’re sitting …

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Mixes of the moment: dark techno, diverse records

News and information is important, but it won’t focus you on what matters. Checking Facebook might distract you, but it won’t calm you. Only music is wired directly into our mood when we’re alone. And leave the algorithms; there’s nothing like a human mix. So it is that we bring you regular mixes as windows into the work of music we love. To start, no one puts the banging in banging techno quite like Paula Temple. Her sets, like her productions, can reach a level of cathartic violence without ever losing a feeling of groove. Hers is a ritual of …

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Find tranquility in this film with Alva Noto, Ryuichi Sakamoto

Meditative sonic architecture meets a great work of modern architecture, as Alva Noto and Ryuchi Sakamoto invade Philip Johnson’s iconic Glass House.

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The making of a fanciful album imagining a post-apocalyptic future

What would your future clone think of you now, looking back across an apocalyptic reshaping of humanity? That’s the question posed by the 2005 novel The Possibility of an Island, and it resonates in Franz Kirmann’s new album Elysian Park. This might sound bleak, but it isn’t. Kirmann’s new record paints a science fiction sound portrait in dense textures and hyperreal washes of color. There are stuttering and spectacular rhythms making bold shuffles across the music. It’s headphone stuff for sonic dreaming, relentlessly futuristic and endlessly engaging. It’s a world you’ll want to enter and reenter, an addictive time warp. …

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We’ve started a record label – here’s the first release

I’m lucky to be part of a community of people who both make things and share things, who learn by doing but also learn by teaching. CDM is of course about creating music as it is about creating tools for music. So, this year I’m extending what we do to sharing music. We live in an age of growing populations of music producers and expanding access to more music than ever before. Running something like a record label thus becomes even more insane — if also more essential. So just as I understand how a DAW or DJ app works …

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Watch Kate Simko mix Classical and club music with her ensemble

A friend of mine joked recently that someone having “classically trained” in their bio probably mean they’d had three months of piano lessons once. I’m sure that’s true for some people, but the fact is, there’s a growing population that mixes experience in electronic music and the club. And Kate Simko is one of the people pushing that boundary – just as she exemplifies some of the best technique in production generally.

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The view from Tresor.

Come on an entrancing ambient techno journey with Milena Kriegs

Somewhere in the shadowy forest between ambient and techno sounds, you’ll find the inventive world of Warsaw’s Milena Kriegs. It’s the sort of music you can get lost in, but it manages to be teeming with life rather than bleakly gloomy. And I think there’s a strong analog between Milena’s live PA sets and her recorded music – somehow, she’s working out a sense of free flow in each, a feeling that you can float along with the music.

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