All Live, Nonstop, for 24 Hours: How Krautok Berlin Ticks [Listening, Gallery]

Six-hour, eight-hour DJ sets? Okay. How about a 24-hour live set? How about not one artist, but six, or thirty-two, or more? Sometimes it’s techno; sometimes it goes ambient. There’s singing, there’s dancing – just no DJing. That’s the kind of too-much-is-not-enough attitude that has gripped Krautok, a wild 24-hour live jam held together only by a spaghetti mess of cables and a single clock source. (Previously: vintage MPC. This year, something a bit more scientific. More on that in the moment.) Over the years, the likes of Dasha Rush, Ed DMX, Housemeister, Eric D Clark, Electric Indigo, Khan of …

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Pattern and Design: A 2-Day Festival Turns Vintage Type into Musical Scores

It’s time to reinvent the graphical score. With musical practice more international, more broad and varied than ever, and electronics in the mix, conventional notational idioms just aren’t enough. For curator and prolific electronic producer Hanno Leichtmann, the starting point was a collection of vintage Letraset and Letratone type, as pictured above. Leichtmann, a graphic designer himself (and maker of beautiful record covers), is passionate about digital and ink-based design processes alike; even the posters for the event are exquisitely (and expensively) hand-produced. He then invited a who’s who of illustrators and graphic designers from Germany, Austria, France, Great Britain, …

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Krake, Killekill, and the Growing Appetite for Experimental Electronic Music [Listen, Pictures]

Summertime may conjure images of Ibiza and middle-of-the-road festivals in Europe and America, “summer jams” and the musical equivalent of the beach book. And there’s nothing wrong with that; anyone who would deny people the pleasure of listening and dancing to music they love is kind of a jerk. But this stereotype can also obscure a simple fact: music at the edges, music falling under the broad umbrella of “experimental” is actually becoming remarkably popular. What’s beautiful about “big tent” experimentalism is that it can encompass a broad range of music. Musicians playing clubs no longer fear angular sounds and …

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Weekend Listening: Sounds from the Mindpirates Silo, And DIY Music Scene’s Underground Nooks

Off the commercial radar, playing often for the joy of it, the bedroom producers and music DIYers are now making their noises live and in person. Secluded in “home studios” no more, production is real-time, in the basements and abandoned spaces at the corners of the music scene. And yes, Happy Record Store Day – but that’s even more reason to cap off an afternoon of record shopping with an evening of live music, wherever you are. And we can offer some sounds direct from artists to discover here. Our friends at Mindpirates can help. We visited the archaic concrete …

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Colored Cubes Light Up in Responsive DJ Stage for "The Paranormal Unicorn"

So, you probably think that you can bring out a massive array of colored LED boxes, have them pulse hypnotically to your music, and dazzle us, because we love color and light. You’re probably right. CDM reader Stefan Yazzie writes: A few friends and I created this audio-visual DJ stage to accompany our live shows. We are the visual collective ‘The Paranormal Unicorn’ and this is our new baby. It’s made of wood, plexiglass, some custom programming, a lot of electronics and even more love. DJ duo Skitzophonics plays the music atop the stage, which involved, say the creators, “hundreds …

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Colored Cubes Light Up in Responsive DJ Stage for “The Paranormal Unicorn”

So, you probably think that you can bring out a massive array of colored LED boxes, have them pulse hypnotically to your music, and dazzle us, because we love color and light. You’re probably right. CDM reader Stefan Yazzie writes: A few friends and I created this audio-visual DJ stage to accompany our live shows. We are the visual collective ‘The Paranormal Unicorn’ and this is our new baby. It’s made of wood, plexiglass, some custom programming, a lot of electronics and even more love. DJ duo Skitzophonics plays the music atop the stage, which involved, say the creators, “hundreds …

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Debut of MeeBlip micro Synth, Workshop, Handmade Music: Toronto on Friday

In Toronto this Friday, we’ll be connecting with InterAccess Gallery in a celebration of DIY, adventurous music making, and blipping synthesizers. It’ll also be the first public debut of the new MeeBlip micro, a pocket-sized version of our MeeBlip open source hardware synth. Part of why I’m excited to be hacking away with the fine folks of Toronto is that we’ll be able to document that new design and what you might make with it for everybody else. The MeeBlip micro and revised MeeBlip se will be coming very soon to everyone. What’s the MeeBlip micro? It’s the brains of …

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Snapshots of Artists, Ableton Live in Performance: Cosmo D on Cello, Erin Barra with Voice + Keys

Cosmo D, in for a demonstration of cello with Ableton. The computer as bandmate is nothing new. It’s just more stable, more powerful, and friendlier than it has been ever before — and that, coupled with growing familiarity, has been making it more commonplace with artists. So just how are artists working with computers onstage when they also play instruments and sing? Recent guests at New York’s Ableton Live user group have been demonstrating their own techniques for playing Live, live. They work with loops, recording, sampling, live effects, synths – all the things you’d expect – but find ways …

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Hack by Day, Afrotronic Future Funk By Night: Handmade Music NYC Sat 4/2, Listening and More Free Now

If you’re in the NYC area, we hope you’ll mark your calendar; if not, we have some free listening for you to explore below. Hacking and inventing, creative musicians are making and modifying the tools of their performance to express the music they imagine, with stunning variety of results. And so it is that once a month (erm, more or less), we get together in Manhattan to celebrate music makers at a little thing we call Handmade Music. This month, experimental sound systems and Afrotronic future funk with new electronic instruments inspired by west African tradition join the lineup. 1-6 …

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Wherein the Wii Waggle is Wanted: Two Other Game Music Control Mappings

Imagine a nightmarish, dark-world, alternative-reality version of Wii Music, one that sends Miyomato-san screaming. That’s what you get from tokoloten, in a very un-Nintendo noise performance, as found on comments. The Wii is just one of his tools: tokoloten uses a variety of objects such as magnet motors, infrared devices, game controllers… in order to hide his lack of conventional technic. Depending on the venue, the show might be ambient-like, experimental or electronica with weird cinematographic references. But it most often combines all of this. tokoloten is based in Lausanne, Switzerland. It’s proof that the controller – any controller – …

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