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 …


Holding Geometry in Your Hand: Matthew Shlian, 3D in Paper, for Ghostly International

Ghostly International presents Matthew Shlian from Ghostly International on Vimeo. Computers, those devices Steve Jobs once described as “bicycles for the mind,” have transformed our minds and imaginations. Many of us now embrace geometry and three dimensions and generative form thanks to our wonderful machines. But, sometimes, it’s worth stepping away from the screen. It lets us understand with our hands working away at a problem using something more than a mouse, to “see” with our fingers and not just our mind and eyes. Matthew Shlian, in a new collaboration with US label Ghostly International, potently describes that feeling. He …


Led by Deru, a Wonderful Band of Artists to Head to Iceland to Make a Soundtrack, Film

A merry band of complementary filmmakers, photographers, and musicians, a curated ensemble perfectly fitted to the landscape, are heading to remote Iceland to make images and a musical soundtrack inspired by the landscape and its people. Photographers Tim Navis + Kim Høltermand and film collective Scenic are heading up the visual component, while composer and electronic producer Deru has assembled the musicians. Improvisation is intended to be a guiding force, say the creators. With the assistance of a community organized on Kickstarter, it’ll also be crowd-funded. In addition to the obligatory, pretty photo book and prints and boxed set of …


A Gorgeous Compilation Benefits Cancer Research; Co-Creator Explains

“Gem Drops” is a rich, varied compilation covering “experimental electronic hip-hop inspired” music, with artists such as Anenon, yuk., Juj, Devonwho, Shigeto, and Sumsun. The 21 tracks were selected by curator Aaron Meola. It’s the sixth release from the collective Dropping Gems, and 100% of revenue will go to the American Cancer Society. Pay what you want for the download; a “very limited” run of handmade CDs with artwork will go to people who donate US $15 or more. I spoke with Kris Geffen, aka citymouth [SoundCloud page], about the release they put together to find out more.


Visuals for Shigeto Full Circle, and Reflections on Drawing by Hand

Shigeto – “Escape from the Incubator” from Ghostly International on Vimeo. As I noted in the opening for my recent Processing for Android tutorial, there’s no substitute for the immediacy of drawing with pen and paper. Even as digital artists, it can be a necessary first step to wiring up the visual parts of our brain. Sure, tablets and touch sensors are improving. But they’re a long, long way from catching up with gestures so natural, you could believe the ink pen evolved right along with the human arm. I recall spending countless hours in my childhood drawing on paper, …


New Music Listening, Free and Pay-What-You-Will: Shigeto to Squarepusher to Ambienteer

Squarepusher plays Rome in April of last year. Photo (CC-BY-ND) funkoolow. To take us into the weekend, here are some favorite online music releases this week to download, stream, and enjoy. Be sure to click over to the site if you’re on RSS for the included players if they’re not appearing.