From the beating heart of Europe, audiovisual electronic instrumentalism continues to thrive. We’re fortunate to bring a slice of that scene to you.
CDM is in Belgrade, Serbia this week, where we’re pleased to host an event celebrating real-time visual expression. And we get to do it in one of the best underground venues in the city, Drugstore. Event details, for any of you here in the neighborhood:
We’ll start out with a workshop on making architectural space dynamic with interactive/generative sound and imagery, hosted by myself and Abduct. (More on that topic here and on CDMotion soon.)
And from that stage, we can share to you a gathering of experimental and underground DJs, producers, and audiovisualists. With roots in the IDM scene of yore, they’re not only pushing electronic music sounds spanning ambient and dance, but immersing audiences in tightly-choreographed visualizations of that work. Think “techno” in the broad sense, rather than genre-specific — techno as “jazz.” And think performance that emphasizes the live, that combines optical immersion with the sonic experience, rather than only letting a t-shirt clad person hop up and down in the dark behind mysterious equipment.
Abduct (Rodrigo Guzman, Mexico) has co-curated the night with us and put together a lot of this scene. Hailing from Mexico, he has in the past year re-centered on Europe, where he’s drawing new connections between audiovisual artists pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in club environments. He’s also a vvvv virtuoso, able to sketch visualizations of music in rapid-fire patches using this powerful Windows graphical programming tool. With more granular machinations in the modular Usine environment, plus powerful sequencers ticking away in Reaktor (hosted inside Ableton Live sets), he stretches and crunches sonorities live as he plays.
NOITU (Macedonia) has developed Raw_Geometry, a glitchy, rhythmically-intense audiovisual etude with exploding, undulating meshes of geometry behind. Noitu’s sounds can also trend to thick ambient textures, but here he explores brainy AV micro-precision in a club setting. (I can dance to this kind of material, and thoroughly enjoy doing so. You?)
Noitu looks to science, nature, and digital tech for inspiration as well as other sources. Here’s how he describes Raw_Geometry:
“RAW_GEOMETRY” is a realtime audiovisual performance, developed with a clear focus on live stage appearance. Atmospheric, mechanical and precise, this work represents a blend of finely crafted electronica with clean glitchy aesthetics and extremely tight rhythmic arrangements, all synchronized with intense geometric visuals.
The concept itself is dealing with perception, perspectives, forms, precision, distortion and much more. An absolute test of the human senses, and can be positioned somewhere between conceptual art, experimental music and club culture, equally suitable in a club environment and concert halls as well as theatrical stages or places like museums, galleries and cinemas.
The visual artwork is achieved using a combination of generative tools in various programming environments with a main role of Quartz Composer, the output is generated using a various audio-reactive and light-reactive patches and then all mapped into Ableton Live for perfect A/V synchronization.
The audio part is sequentially developed over a period of more than a 2 years and represents a tight selection of artist’s best sound production till date.
You can find out more about this work on the official webpage: noitu.mk/raw-geometry
More Noitu sounds:
Leaving the Planet (Germany) (David Gann) delivers classic ambient sounds, thick-as-fog pads with calculated beats peeled over the top. As with Rodrigo, the Konstanz-based artist explores a series of audiovisual etudes, fusing visualization and sonic structure into single, unified performance interfaces. Above, one such exploration – it’ll be great to see what he does this evening.
Teaser of what i’m spending my nights on. Sound is part of the leaving the planet live performance and was played live. Visual was then rendered in realtime on a heavy rendering machine. The different parts can be controlled via ableton live which communicates to vvvv. So if i’m hitting a specific clip a specific camera motion is selected and the audio reactivity changes.
And a wide range of experimental dance and ambient sounds is on offer on SoundCloud, of course:
Lots more on his site, including some fascinating interactive work:
From the dance-ier end of the spectrum, we return to Belgrade producer/DJs.
with “sleazy, minimal electro and acid beats,” MKDSL (‘Mom Says I’m Pretty’ in Serbian) is Marko Carko (Serbia). Marko has been a major staple of the club scene here for the past decade, a versatile producer and DJ able to tread across a wide variety of eclectic sounds.
We’ll finish off your weekend with a playlist from George Michael Jackson. He is a founder of Belgrade’s renowned Dis-patch, which for over a decade has been a hub for unique and independent culture. GMJ can go about anywhere, but to get us rolling, he turned in a terrific mix for BTURN, a site that celebrates the “new Balkans.”
Nicholas Desamory – Move Your Assets
Jonsoon/Alter – Acapellan
Luke Hess – Evidence Everywhere
Daphni – Jiao
Four Tet – Angel Echoes (Caribou Remix)
Virgo – It’s A Crime (Caribou Remix)
Moodyman – It’s 2 Late 4 You And Me (Youandme Edit)
Four Tet – Sing (Mosca Remix)
George Fitzgerald – Hindsight
Daphni – Yes I Know
45edits – Aytwo
And yes, I will also be back, performing live ambient/experimental techno. Can’t wait.
We’ll get to know more about what these artists and others in the scene are doing, and how they make these connections between sound and image, so let us know areas of interest.