You’re under stress. Trapped in a fluorescent-lit prison of your own making, chained to your desk behind the cold glow of your computer. You dream of being a futuristic cosmonaut-tourist, truly getting away from it all.

French-born photographer/filmmaker Diane Drubay has what you need. Her hyperreal, dreamy videos use real seaside footage, warped into acidic colors. To gaze into her sunsets and rippling surfaces is to give yourself the holiday in the Alpha Centuari system you’ll never have. (Okay, it really is all Earth – maybe Earth is space-ier than you thought.) Continue reading »

It’s the future – this time, for real. Yes, today, the 21st of October 2015, is the destination “future” in the Back to the Future movies. (Photoshopping created some false alarms on other dates.)

And that’s time to look back. Ha, remember 1985? An arcane format called “MIDI” was king. (Kids, ask your parents.) The big synthesizers came from Roland, KORG, Moog, and Yamaha. The most sought-after computer was from a company called Apple. People made electro and dance music hits using mono, analog synthesizers and and digital pads and samples and deep basslines, sought after the creations of the likes of Roger Linn and Dave Smith. You could buy a drum machine like the 808, or a bass synth like the 303, and dance in colorful Nike and Adidas outfits, and … Continue reading »


Fans of northern sounds and nordic mythology, cock your ear for another label discovery. Nordanvind is the vinyl imprint of Swedish artist Fjäder. We profile the artist, the label, and then talk to Fjäder herself. Let’s first let her put us in an evocatively occult mood:

In the eye of the storm
Mithya spears Logos
Shattering with a smile
I see all my faces
I have seen the end of all things
I slept a dreamless slumber…
I have seen the end of all things
I have seen the world reborn and crumble
I have seen the end of all things
Take me home before the storm


Continue reading »


Eventide’s effects over the past four decades have had an enormous reputation – the marketing folks aren’t exaggerating with words like “mainstays” and “classics.” Now, imagine getting basically everything – past, present, and some new stuff – in a bundle of 17 plug-ins for an intro price of US$699. (That price drops to as little as $399 or $199 if you own some Eventide software.)

Eventide have done just that with today’s Anthology X. It’s just huge, it covers a lot, and just a fraction of it could make it worth the cost of admission. Continue reading »


It was five years ago today. Back then, apart from a handful of Lemur users, no one would have thought of sliding their fingers along glass to work with live music.

How times have changed. Today, touchAble has turned five years old. And it’s still the deepest, most complete touch controller for Ableton Live (or any other desktop software, for that matter). And you see it everywhere, accordingly. It’s a staple of studios, and also frequently spotted in high-profile gigs.

To celebrate, the developers are releasing a small but significant 3.1 release, and a really big sale. Continue reading »


This is, very probably, the sign of things to come.

With ARM boards becoming ever-more cheap, accessible, powerful, and efficient, the same technology that is transforming phones, laptops, tablets, and other categories can just as easily be the foundation of a musical instrument. And one “computer” in your life might not look like a conventional desktop or laptop.

So, we were both unsurprised and delighted to see a box emerge over the weekend looking like a quirky Pocket Piano, but providing lots of stuff useful to people interested in taking the world of synths and effects from Pd out of a computer and putting it on hardware geared for music making:

Critter & Guitari’s new music box turns into anything, with Pd

Now, if you are a Pd user or Linux lover, you probably have a hunger for more details. We’ve got some answers from the folks at Critter & Guitari (Owen & Chris) to satisfy some of those burning questions: Continue reading »


What makes something a “computer”? In practical terms, the definition is getting steadily blurrier when it comes to music.

With computation sipping power, generating less heat, and costing far less than before, that “computer” may find itself in places other than a big folding metal typewriter with a spendy display and a picture of a bitten fruit on the back.

But the power of the computer – the ability to turn a magic box into the instrument or effect of your desiring – that stays. And that’s something that’s beginning to remake musical objects. Continue reading »