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 PM, FREE: OPEN LAB (all ages)
Bring your project to work on, or just hang out and see what others are producing.

  • Bluetooth wireless MIDI music-making on hardware and Android phones
  • Open show-and-tell, including a couple of presentations of free Pd patching tools for making new instruments
  • At 5 PM, Todd Michael Bailey will show off his Where’s the Party At 2 open, DIY sampler, which takes inspiration from grungy digital samplers past.


Futuristic performances meet reimagined renditions of everything from Game Boys to m’biras this month. The full night is free, and you can remain quenched and fed with Culturefix’s superb beers, wines, and delicious food menu. (Where else in New York can you hear chip music and Afrotronic future funk while munching on The Grilled Cheese of Awesomeness?) The program:

Afrotronic future funk band! Electronic, handmade remixes of traditional African instruments like the “the Gongo~Tron,” based on the traditional “Gongoma,” a Guinean m’bira (thumb-piano), and “Nano-Shakerator,” based on the traditional “Shekere,” a percussion instrument found throughout western Africa. All in grooving, futuristic new combinations!

RUCYL MILLS (Saturn Never Sleeps) sci-fi singer

CONCRETE SOUND SYSTEM live sound set (David Primus Luta Dodson). I could try to put into words what David does, but it’s best to see in the video above, from Manhattan’s Harvestworks sound and music research center.

SAPHRYN PHOLLICLE (STEF EYE, Saturn Never Sleeps), multi-instrumentalist, singer, and sound experimentalist plays a left-field live set.

ACTIVE aka CHRIS GILROY live digital monome music played on grids (In/Out Festival)

KRIS KEYSER chip music +
BATSLY ADAMS NES + Genesis-powered vintage game visuals
Kris Keyser is already a favorite of spectacular 8-bit LSDJ music, here accompanied by live-generated visuals on vintage game consoles by this talented digital artist and inventor.

ALEX KIEFER (exilefaker) Forward-thinking chip music from a man also working toward a PhD in philosophy. The chip philosopher? Believe it.

Listen Now, Learn More

Stef Eye/Zaphryn Follicle, pictured above working away (via SNS), has a great profile by Saturn Never Sleeps’ Rucyl Mills on her production setup, here with Ableton Live, a Kaosillator, a kalimba, and an ancient guitar thing:
Living on the Rings | Stef Eye Artist Process Interview

And she has an experimental Zaturn Blend podcast.

Rucyl Mills, pictured above, has her music up on her endlessly-inspiring blog.

I can’t embed it, but I absolutely adore the sound of the Yesterday’s Machine preview; I promise to make sure Rucyl keeps us posted on its release. See also Rucyl’s rig, at bottom.


Lovely chip music by Kris Kesyer:

From our last edition, Chris Gilroy (on the docket this time, too) joins Philippe “Flippy Lesaux,” as documented in video by Thomas Piper.

And finally, in addition to one more video below, some SoundCloud-hosted tracks from Digital Diaspora, including Mikel Banks on vocals and “freakaphone” (“Looking Back”) and Janice Lowe on vocals (“Sing With Me”).

Looking Back by digital diaspora

Sing With Me by digital diaspora

Rucyl’s live rig. She and Stef Eye will both be representing label / live act Saturn Never Sleeps.

Where to Go

If you’re not in NY, I hope you’ll get to spend some time with the listening and videos above. But if you are in the area, here are details on our venue for Saturday:

Presented by Culturefix NY
9 Clinton Street
New York, New York 10002

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RSVP on Facebook:

Open lab, 1p Saturday 4/2

Live music party, 7p