ETHNO TEKH | live at Enig’matik Vibrations [Melb,Aus] 2012 from Ethno Tekh on Vimeo.

You’ve seen impressive tech demos and promo videos with Kinect, perhaps. But here’s a real, live performance with a crowd. (Best moment: an audience member walking in front of the camera. Breaking the flow like that oddly makes the show feel more real.)

Ethno Tekh is a dubsteppy AV performance with a flow of beats and images. Now, we’ve heard all the criticisms of Kinect as musical controller – its fairly high latency and broad gestures mean it can’t quite compete with acoustic instruments or more sensitive physical controllers. But in this case, it seems the performance techniques evolved before the Kinect in a way that suits it perfectly. If you are going to make big, sweeping changes to filters, modulation, and overall musical gestures, why not do it like this? Somehow, the physical expression seems to match the music, better than exaggerating twisting a knob would.

Just be prepared to get physical and bare your arms. Oh — and bonus points if you can solo with a beer bottle, as this guy can.

Full details on how they’re working. It really feels like an engaging, human performance – and you know they’re confident in it when they post the whole video (and you can actually enjoy watching it without edits):

Ethno Tekh is a collaboration between Brad Hammond
and Chris Vik, in a motion-controlled, A/V act. Our performances are totally live, using the Kinect, Ableton Live and a number of custom tools built in Unity3D and Max/MSP/M4L.

The audio is built by using the Kinect to play and loops different synths. Along with the live instruments there are backing drum loops which are triggered the foot switches ([Behringer] FCB1010) to provide an extra layering to the tracks that can’t be controlled live with the Kinect alone. Scripted sounds are kept to an absolute minimum, with the flow of the pieces and the layering completely controlled by Chris.

The motion control data as well as audio analysis feed into the visual system, which brings to life real time rendered audio reactive abstract visuals. The visuals consist mostly of generative abstract geometry, glitchy shaders and procedural animation produced in Unity. The audio backing, looped and live content can be seen on screen which is representing FFT data analyzed on the audio-computer and sent via
OSC to the visual computer.

There is NO post on this video except editing between the cameras and between the audio captured by the cameras and direct feed. This is literally the performance from start to finish. Keep up to date with us on

The artists are based in Australia. And yes, they’re with Enig-matik Records – see our feature story on this label with an exclusive CDM mix:

Frag’mnts – An Enig’matik Records CDM Sampler, Ethno-step Diversity to Hear [Free Listening]

Keep up the work; we look forward to seeing more.