Aphex Twin uses an obscure British synth to sell new EP

If you’re looking for the nerdiest way possible to market a music album, you’re going to have a tough time one-upping Aphex Twin. The Warp Records artist has used a rare British synth as the cornerstone of the record – one with a reputation for being impossible to use – alongside a speech synth for the ZX Spectrum computer. He and his label have been teasing the resulting EP with marketing that looks like a vintage synth flyer. But that’s not even the biggest measure of how serious he is about this. Aphex Twin went so far as to rent …


Here’s How To Get Yourself on Apple Music – Even Unsigned

Okay, so you’re not Trent Reznor or Drake, but you do make music. Will you be able to get your music on Apple’s streaming service? And what about these artist pages for connecting with fans? Answer: yes to both, if you like. Apple today gave a lot of lip service to independent producers and “bedroom” music makers – even going as far as showing the latter in their video. (He had a vintage M-Audio Trigger Finger Pro and a new IK Multimedia iRig Pads, no less.) It seems there are specific plans, too, posted for the moment on a page …


Can QRATES Make Vinyl Pressing More Accessible?

Talk all you like about the “feeling” of something physical, something tangible, about having a real object, about ownership. There’s a cold reality behind selling physical goods: it’s hard. Before you can sell something, you need money to buy the physical stuff you want to sell. Digital “solves” that by making the good intangible, but in the material world, you need materials. Before “capitalism” came to mean some complex international system of speculative markets, this, of course, was what we meant: you got some capital to start a business selling stuff. Then, once you have that stuff, you better hope …


Tell Us About Yourself For a Chance at $2500 in Free Brainworx Plug-ins

CDM quietly turned ten years old last year. And that means it’s time to get a fresh picture of who you are. We need to know who’s reading, what you do, what you want to see on the site, and what devices we need to target. So, we’ll ask a couple of short questions – it’ll just take you about two minutes to fill out. And you can sign up for something new called CDM List, to stay informed via email and get free stuff and deals: We also want to give you a chance to get a big reward …


This Movie Clip Sums Up the SFX-Beatport Vision of the Future of Dance Music

Synergy. That’s the direction you can expect from Beatport and SFX Entertainment. And the speech above from the film In Good Company more or less fits. (The plot of that 2004 movie even includes an acquisition by a conglomerate.) Basically, SFX may have solved the problem of how to make money in the streaming business – by making its money elsewhere. Or, it seems that’s the plan. Here’s the problem: music streaming has razor-thin margins versus sales. The artists and labels eek out fairly small bits of change, generally. They can blame the streaming services, but with those services having …


Playable 8-bit Game as Promo, and Okkervil River’s Nostalgia-Drenched Wonderlands

The standards for advance promotion of an album may be getting a little … intense. Photos? Track listing? Advance music video? Streaming preview? How about a complete, playable adventure video game in your Web browser, free, with charming graphics and an original chip music soundtrack adapting the songs from the record in 8-bit form? Due out Tuesday, September 3, Okkervil River’s LP “The Silver Gymnasium” isn’t shy about its nostalgia factor. The whole record is a re-imagining of frontman Will Sheff’s 80s childhood. That might be a bit much were the browser game not so beautifully executed. Sheff created the …


Mobile Recording with SoundCloud: More Powerful, Less Buggy, Android + iOS, FourSquare Locations

Photo (CC-BY) John Fischer/stickergiant. Sometimes things look interesting even before you can fully grasp just what they mean. Such is the case, I think, with what’s happening with SoundCloud’s on-the-go tools. Now, back in the beginning of this service, I predicted it’d become the Flickr of audio, and I wasn’t alone. But it’s becoming something else, something that really involves mobility. The SoundCloud crew are out at South by Southwest, as good a gathering as any for the intersection of Web nerd culture with music and film. And they have something to show for it, too: they’re unveiling new Android …


$10 a Month, Open Access? Topspin Web Artist Stores Could Get Huge Quick; Artist Examples

Strap in – this may be one heck of a ride. Photo (CC-BY) François Rejeté, of Coney Island’s Topspin (perhaps part inspiration)? Like the aspiring artists themselves, there’s an abundance of Web services with big dreams of stardom. Most will fall into obscurity, and wading through them is a big chore. And then, love them or hate them, there are the huge pop hits, raking in cash and making kids swoon. So, here’s a bet. Topspin, already one of a handful of genuinely-promising services for artists and managers to make the music business work, is about to get bigger. Think …


Apple’s Ping Launch is a Dud, But The Web is Alive with the Sound of Music

“ping” came before Ping – and it might just outlast it. Photo (CC-BY) Noah Sussman. And yes, when I asked readers about Ping, a number of people referred me to this one. Before diving into the litany of gripes from artists regarding Apple’s Ping social service, it’s worth saying: some critics say they expected better. Many artists want a smarter, more social iTunes. That’s the only reason anyone is spending time talking about the service’s perceived flaws. Cellist and laptop musician Zoë Keating, an independent artist with collaborations from Imogen Heap to DJ Shadow, reminded me of that via Twitter. …


AV Inspiration + Interview: CSTNG-SHDWS & Nonagon Live Promo

A beautifully assembled live promo for visualists CSTNG-SHDWS collaborating with Nonagon. CSTNG-SHDWS x Nonagon Live Video/Audio from Colin Sebestyen on Vimeo. I found this totally spellbinding, so I asked Colin Sebestyen of CSTNG-SHDWS for some more detail about the project, and he replied with some great information on preparing visuals, performing live with sound-makers, cutting a promo with Digital SLR footage and much more: CDM: Hi Colin. Lovely looking stuff. Can you give me some more details on what’s going on there? Preproduction? Live performance tools? CSTNG-SHDWS: This performance was for LoveTechSF in San Francisco. It’s a collection of artists …