Squeezebox of the Future: Playing the Striso [Video]

It’s a beautiful, sunny day in London. A velveteen grassy green field calls out under pure blue skies and lazy clouds. And… you can’t see your laptop in the glare, you’re out of battery, and your music studio is underground. Not only will you be miserable, you’ll be playing alone. So, kudos to Striso, the Italian-dubbed (but Dutch-built) squeezebox, evolved digitally. And it’s an electronic instrument that you can still don to serenade your friends in a picnic. Looking a lot like a free-reed instrument such as the bandoneon or concertina (or, yes, accordion), it’s in fact a purely digital …

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A New Lab Opens Music Making to People with Learning Disabilities

Let’s face it: the initial audience for the first version of music tech is often the developers. That impulse to build something for yourself is a perfectly reasonable one. But music technology is constantly producing new ways of creating music, and that means it has to learn quickly. Unlike, say, a guitar, it can’t build on centuries of experience. And if the industry and music technology community are to consider how to reach more people, why not go beyond just average markets? Why not open up music making to people who have been left out? If music making is an …

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Roland’s SH-101 Plug-out for AIRA SYSTEM-1, Premiering Thursday in UK?

If you’ve seen a review of Roland’s AIRA SYSTEM-1 synth – the keyboard and final member of the original AIRA quartet introduced earlier this year – it’s probably premature. Word from Roland is that the SYSTEM-1 is still not quite finished. We’ve played it in an earlier form at Musikmesse. But at that point, firmware was still not done, and the synth model was the onboard default for the SYSTEM-1. You can hear Roland’s AIRA component modeling applied to a synth, and indeed, the SYSTEM-1 itself is straight out of the box a new, if fairly conventional, synthesizer. Part of …

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Sonic Imaginings, Assembled Live: Max Cooper’s Sound World, in Mixes and Images

Entering Max Cooper’s sonic world is always a delight. And in a new mix, we hear it pieced together as he imagines his own sonic connections, constructed live. In turns, the Belfast-born, London-based artist can be cinematic and moody, chilled-out and groovy, or angular and glitchy. But everything remains in definition, each sound there for a reason and in sharp relief, able to corner and take you anywhere, on-road or off. It makes sense, then, that when we last caught up with Dr. Cooper – yes, he has a PhD in computational biology, too – he was adding extra dimensions …

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Folk Dub: Listen to Greg Gives Peter Space, Imagine Futures Past [CDM Presents]

Greg Gives Peter Space – A Clear View (Video Teaser) from Erased Tapes on Vimeo. Left with the artifacts of the analog age, the digital revolution now fully commonplace, artists are treating vintage techniques and musical materials as creative colors. Freed from the iron grip of nostalgia or historical accuracy, a record can be simply an ode to the things you love. That feeling is especially alive and well at Erased Tapes, the London-based record label, an imprint experimental in tastes but sharing a focused philosophy of music making. Certainly, their roster includes plenty of things with “post-” as prefix. …

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Staying Mobile, Imperfect; Music and Talk from Robert Lippok, To Rococo Rot

It’s festival season, a time for pre-packaged artists, album-perfect live sets, pristine digital worlds that sometimes literally come from the folks at Google. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But maybe now is a good time to look to the other avenue – to keeping things rough and loud, flawed, live in the sense that has mistakes. Robert Lippok, the always-busy, long-working Berlin-based artist, can celebrate both that messiness and obsessive control. As a soloist, he’s been a staple on Raster Noton; he’s also known for being one third of To Rococo Rot. 2014 is bringing new things from both …

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Learn How Pantha Du Prince Combines Acoustic Instruments with Ableton Live, In C

Before triggering clips and samples on the computer, Pantha du Prince and The Bell Laboratory “trigger” the musicians. Yes, before there were machine clips, there were human patterns, and in performing Terry Riley’s legendary classical new music composition “In C,” the ensemble has to do just that. In a beautiful chorus of chiming tones, that orchestra is augmented with digital embellishment. The result makes for a live performance that expands the role of the computer into a large-scale instrumental ensemble, venturing into territory perhaps not as often associated with Ableton Live as genres like dance music are. But Ableton has …

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Valentine’s Mix: Inverted Audio Make a V-Day “Sex Tape,” We Like

Provocatively entitling a mix, released on Valentine’s Day, “Sex Tape”? Full of love-y songs? Well played. (So to speak.) Fortunately, the mix delivers, with some of our favorite songs that are – dare we say – if not better than sex, at least as good as good sex. Lest you forget, this is CDM, notorious home to love of machines as much as humans – no, we’re not checking our email, we’re staring into our laptop screen because it enchants us. So anyone who winds up a Valentine’s Day mix with Atom™’s aweomse Ich Bin Meine Maschine is okay in …

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Architectural Drum Machine: Beatcam Makes Rhythm in Space, Sight

hre We are making the first tiptoe-steps from the world of the last centuries – proscenium theater, rectangular cinema, fixed perspective – into one that’s fluid in the way digital technology can be. The techniques are simple, but you can see how our vision can be transformed in the latest work by talented West London-based visualist and effect designer Oscar González Diez. “Beatcam” fuses the camera’s point of view with the musical rhythms it accompanies, punctuating each bar with shifts in environment and architecture. Those architectural volumes, too, are transformed by layers of projection mapping, making impossible spaces. Diez supplies …

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BearAndSea

New Leaves: A Mix of 2013 Artists and Music to Inspire Your 2014

Ed.: If you, like those of us at CDM, find yourself again at the precipice of new musical possibilities, now is a wonderful time to get you bearings. It means as producers and music lovers that we try to find sounds not just to imitate or accept passively, but that can push us further. In German, there’s a wonderful New Year’s greeting that has no direct translation – “Guten Rutsch!” means literally a good “slide” into the new year. Matt Earp aka Kid Kameleon helps us navigate that slide, from the old to the new, that’s at the heart of …

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