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Berlin warms up for techno and visuals in a Portuguese castle

Techno lineups don’t have to be scraped off of the top of DJ charts and Google searches. And visuals don’t have to look like a screensaver that got drunk. Festival Forte, set for the end of August at the castle of Montemor-o-Velho, between Porto and Lisbon on the Portuguese coast, is a glimpse of something different. Already last year, it ran against the grain of dumbed down summer festivals with some of the bleeding edge of concert visuals, set to an exceptional lineup. And it appears to be set to do that again. So, let’s check in on what’s happening …

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Premiere: hot baile funk from Brazil, Enchufada’s 777

In the heart of Brazil, baile funk is charting a new direction for bass music – soaking up influences from across the ocean in UK, mixing and evolving. And so we’re keen on the latest cut from Lisbon’s Enchufada label – that’s the label behind the likes of Buraka Som Sistema and Branko – a new collaborative gem.

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The next prank call you get could come from this crazy synth

::vtol:: prankophone from ::vtol:: on Vimeo. If you pick up the phone and instead of a robocall or someone pocket dialing you, you get what sounds like a synthesizer that’s lost its mind, blame the Prankophone. Since we’re going to cover the latest from Ableton and Korg and so on in detail, we practically need a column for the quirky, prolific inventions of one vtol, aka Dmitry Morozov. Call it the Internet of Insane Things. (IoIT?)

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Control MIDI and Ableton from your iPhone, Android for handheld music

Put control over Ableton Live in the palm of your hand – and control MIDI gadgets even without the aid of a computer. That’s the vision of LK (the former Livkontrol), out today for both iOS and Android handhelds. This isn’t the first pocket controller. But it might be the first pocket controller to become truly invaluable. That’s because there’s robust support for more than just sliding some faders on your phone or working with wifi. Features, all borrowed from the tablet LK: Wireless connections, but also USB connection USB to MIDI interface support, so you can use this as …

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LK Gives Your iPad or Android Tablet Easy Control of Ableton Live [Gallery, Hands on]

Ableton Live is happily running on your laptop. It’s not yet running on your iPad or tablet, or optimized in any way for touch. And that’s left a window wide open for touch controllers. Now, the question is, is there room for yet another control app? touchAble retains the crown for all-around control of Ableton Live; there’s very little this app doesn’t do, from replicating Live devices to MIDI editing to custom templates. But the relaunched LK, released today, has a few reasons for consideration, as an alternative or complement to other solutions. First, if you’re an Android user, LK’s …

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More Immersive Environments: Panoramic Room 2.0

Panoramic Room 2.0 from Carlos Freitas on Vimeo. Last week, we traveled to Portugal to see an immersive mapped environment produced by Lisbon’s Dub Video Connection. Now, the artists share the sequel with CDM. Well worth watching for more context. It’s especially nice seeing the more abstract geometrical visual language combined with figurative work – no need to be overly restricted in this way. Previously: Lounge in a Projection-Mapped Living Room? Panoramic Room, Portugal

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Lounge in a Projection-Mapped Living Room? Panoramic Room, Portugal

PANORAMIC ROOM | OPTIMUS CLUBBING | CASA DA MÚSICA | 2012 from Dub Video Connection on Vimeo. So, you may be a casual fan of projection mapping. Or, you may be a superfan, who dreams of reclining in your Barcalounger, replacing all your lightbulbs with projectors, and moving into a projection-mapped living room. I imagine the latter when I watch this project from Dub Video Connection, the Portugese design agency, at Porto’s spaceship-like performance center, Casa da Musica. This is the sort of thing we’ve seen before – in fact, you’ll see stuff very like this at mapping workshops of …

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Bio-interfacing Meets Music: Journal, Berlin Opening, and Get Started with Open Hardware Right Now

To understand the relationship between computer and musician, you have to first understand the relationship between computer and human. For many years, that interaction has primarily involved some gesture – the click of a mouse, the swipe of a finger – and an accompanying interface abstraction. But now, from phones to desktops, computers are not only data acquisition gadgets for photos and text and various hand gestures. They’re increasingly looking inward at their human masters, connecting to the biological feedback systems our bodies themselves use. And music is a perfect window into that world. It’s a big moment for bio-interfacing …

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Music Making, Shared: Communal Ambient Tracks Explore Instagram Photos, Lisbon, and More

This collection of Instagram photos inspired an ambient compilation at the end of last year – one well worth adding to your listening queue now. Since then, challenges opened to a community on SoundCloud have produced hundreds of terrific tracks – and the latest weekly challenge is on now, with a deadline midnight Monday. Where do you get your ideas? Sometimes, it can be a challenge just to start a track, or can simply feel a bit, well, lonely. Finding fellow music makers can solve that. Artists gathering around SoundCloud and online ambient music chronicle Disquiet work together, with inspiration …

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Featured Live Reel: Dub Video Connection (Lisbon); a Look at What They Do

Lisbon, Portugal-based multimedia studio Dub Video Connection shares their 2011 showreel with CDM, as they play big-screen visuals with some of electronic music’s biggest acts. (Yes, it helps having this kind of showreel and documentation!) I love the high-energy abstraction and patterns amidst high-contrast ephemeral imagery, so I asked the artists to tell us a little about their inspiration and the rig that makes it happen. They tell CDM: We are a multimedia studio that explores video art as a tool of improvisation, speech, and ambient design. We are based on a premise of pure visual impact, where the influences …

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