beat4eva

Beats for Eva: Production Goodies Help One Woman Fight Cancer

Facing a health crisis, whether your own or a loved one’s, can be a serious challenge. It can make music making seem a remote activity. But here’s a case in which music production talent, the power to put together loops and tools, can help fight for someone’s health. What’s unique about this is that just using these tools in your own music – or contributing your own loops and tools – can get you involved, too. CDM reader Stefan Weise, a musician from Dallas, Texas, writes: My friend Jason and I run a label together called “Evoked Recordings” and he …

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ca_cd1

Camp America Releases a CD Encased in LEGO Blocks [Album Pick]

A paper cover is one option if you’re looking for ways of making music releases physical and tangible. But Steven Cowley went to something a bit more unusual. A release of his one-man project Camp America comes with a bag containing 125 LEGO pieces, and instructions for building the case. Steven writes us as he sees that paper example to show us some next-level physical release magic. And, oh yeah, importantly, it’s really good music – finely-polished, top-notch, synth-laden pop songs. It’s just darned good music, so the best I can say is, go take a listen. I also think …

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barker_360

In the Studio: Barker “Like an Animal” EP, Sam Barker + nd_baumecker [Stream + Gallery]

Surrounded by a whirlwind of gear, Sam Barker has been collecting musical tools – vintage and otherwise – since his first track, produced at age 13. Believe it or not, this is his old studio – the new one, with nd_baumecker, we profile below. Photo courtesy Leisure System Records. Being futuristic – really looking forward to music – has perhaps become less fashionable in some circles. Don’t tell that to people like UK-born Sam Barker, artist and co-founder of collective/label/party Leisure System. Sam is curating music tools and artists with the same electic passion, the same exploration of new sounds …

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zeldaswords

Sword & Sworcery, Remixed By Japanese Game Music Legends [Preview]

This may sum up how I feel about this project. It almost certainly embodies how composer Jim Guthrie must have felt, as a who’s who of Japanese game music takes on his work. Photo (of the Tokyo Game Show, natch) (CC-BY) kanegen. Sword & Sworcery, the iPad album-as-game, has gotten plenty of love from this site before, and recognition for friend-of-the-site composer Jim Guthrie. (See Jim open up about what happened behind the scenes.) Now, it seems the Canadian songwriter and soundmaker will meet up with some of the biggest game composers from Japan in a unique remix album. In …

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dgphilly1

Music for Plants, Music by Plants, in Two Eco-Themed Album Releases [Listen, Galleries]

These green things, for once, are the stars, in Data Garden Quartet. From the installation version in Philadelphia. All Data Garden photos courtesy the artists. “On lead synthesizer, a philodendron …” (And the crowd goes wild…) Vegetation may not be the first association you have when thinking of electronic music. But two new albums, each released via Bandcamp, celebrate biological life of the green, leafy variety. One is a benefit compilation, with proceeds going to help trees and music inspired by that green goodness. The other uses plants as “performers,” generating its form from plant life in an installation and …

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From the iPad’s Screen, the Music of Human Boot Project [Tabletop]

Speaking of the iPad and music making, Japan’s Human Boot Project draw a music video release for their latest track directly from screen as they play, working in the app Tabletop. I really love the personality of the resulting sounds. There’s a rawness to their music, the dense downtempo jazz-inspired electronics, which you can enjoy on their new EP “Picture Over Picture.” It’s a Beatport exclusive from Greece’s V.I.M. Records: http://www.beatport.com/release/picture-over-picture-ep/887326 The artists say it’s “Downtempo beauty to Jazz Electronica futurism !!” (Exclamation points theirs, but … I agree.) Human Boot Project are a Japanese underground music unit. This is …

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Unsuspected Sounds: Great Listening, Great Cause, in Analog Industries Community Compilation

Out of the noise of the Internet, don’t be surprised if some of the music being made is – unexpectedly – wonderful. So it is with a compilation curated by Chris Randall from the Analog Industries community. Unsuspected Sounds is unexpected. It’s proof that those people writing all those comments really do have time to make music. It’s nice seeing this come from Chris and the community he’s assembled. For his part, Chris doesn’t fit the stereotype of a blogger; he’s got industry experience as an engineer as an artist, is known to many as a veteran of Sister Machine …

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Church-Inspired Electronic Music, in Album and Interactive, Gothic App, from Forss [Listen]

Delicate and dense, melodies and sounds from church contexts, found sounds of bells and voices, are set against crisp, sharply-solid, forward-driving electronic beats. And then, there are the visuals: an archaic architecture of mystical symbols and three-dimensional, evolving forms interpret the music in visual form. Swedish-born artist and technologist Eric Wahlforss, in other words, has been busy. As the artist Forss, his album is an app, appropriately for someone who is the co-founder and CTO of SoundCloud. Eric showed me an early build over cheeseburgers. It’s reactive, perhaps, more than interactive, but there’s still a chance to use your hands …

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worldsoundmix

A Small World, After All: Freesound.org Sounds on Earth, and an Ambient Musical Laboratory

Through the eyes of satellites, roving Google trucks, aerial imagery, and more, we have plenty of eyes on our planet. But what does it sound like here on Earth? In a Web application and accompanying art installation, the world turns as it echoes sounds recorded around the world on Creative Commons-licensed site Freesound.org. It’s stunning to hear our world’s acoustic diversity – in some strange way, even more than seeing it, in that sounds can instantly give you a sense of place and time. You can load a version on your browser or on the iPad; then, from the world’s …

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Created: Berlin’s Project Mooncircle is a Label to Watch; Releases Past and Future

If, in my opinion, you want to see how to run a label in 2012, look no further than Project Mooncircle (PMC). It’s based out of Berlin and was originally an offshoot of HipHopVinyl Records – a store I wandered into one summer day in 2004 and left, several hours later, minus a quarter of my summer tour earnings. The label bills itself as “specializing in the conjunction between electronic and organic music.” I could expand on that a little by saying that PMC’s music falls somewhere in the gray intersection between instrumental hip-hop, soul, and jazz, with a particular …

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