eyewitnessnews

Watch a 1986 TV story on house music, plus too many documentaries

In our last episode of “watching things on the Internet instead of doing real work,” we were enjoying a full-length 90s electronic music documentary and a bunch of music videos. Well, here we are at yet another weekend. And hopefully we can give you some video watching pleasure yet again, in those moments when you aren’t, well, hopefully, making music. Leading the pack is a 1986 story from Chicago TV news back when house music was in its early days, as spotted by Dancing Astronauts. And it’s an astounding document, featuring Danny “Sweet-D” Wilson, Farley “Jackmaster” Funk, Steve “Silk” Hurley, …

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Remember when?

Apple Music Deja Vu: The Same Stuff, But a Single Package

It’s not just deja vu. You’ve seen this stuff before. The basic ingredients of Apple Music are all repackaged, refined, or integrated from existing ideas. It’s Beats Music meets BBC Radio 1 meets Apple Ping, in an iOS and Android app. What you haven’t seen is all of those ingredients in one place, working together. And that’s not a trivial matter – it might change nothing, but it could change everything. So, one by one, here what’s feeling like a trip down memory lane:

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The Daft Punk Press Problem: Nostalgia for What?

Who’s afraid of laptop musicians? Music stories are more exciting when there are eight-foot-high walls of flames and hype to match. But what when it’s all just a special effect? And when does mystique trump the actual music in music journalism? The new Daft Punk record is perfectly likable. It is at times arguably polished to the point of being over-thought, the opposite of the original duo’s personality that was “punk” and not just “daft.” But their new, sparkly-shiny persona is guided by a sense of their musical taste, and the earworm-y hit single is a reminder that, with pop, …

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Do Not Adjust Your Radio: Surreal Sound Collage Interventions on BBC Radio 4

Before any explanation, perhaps you should listen. This is what some British listeners will hear as they tune into what they think will just be everyday national radio programming. Suffice to say, something will sound a bit off: Artist Christian Marclay is the person responsible for the work, the first of five such commissions in sound art for the widely-heard UK broadcaster BBC Radio 4. (He joins Ruth Ewan, Mark Wallinger, Susan Hiller, and Peter Strickland. More information on Radio 4’s blog.) This is the sort of commission that invites bold experimentation: working with London-based art platform Artangel, a GBP …

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Have you got Prince Albert in a can? Now, you've got Pete Tong in a phone. Photo (>CC-BY-ND) Messy Cupcakes Photography.

Music Recommendations, Man or Machine? In Pete Tong App, a Bit of Both

It probably doesn’t occupy the daily thoughts of normal people, this question of how music recommendations will work in the future. But go to trendy “future of music” conferences and panels and the like, and you’ll hear from countless prognosticators consumed by the dilemma. Many of the solutions amount to clever algorithms, machine solutions to working out what you’re hearing and what you might like. It’s no surprise in this era of data mining and search engines and endless connected choice, but it might make you wonder if there’s a place for the humans. Enter Pete Tong – the legendary …

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networkawesome

Network Awesome Electronic Music Week: Way More Electronic Music Videos Than You Can Handle

Quit your job, leave your loved ones, stock up on food, and get ready to destroy your life with videos from YouTube. Network Awesome, a kind of curatorial “TV” network full of free online videos, has been assembling the best documentaries dealing with electronic music online, with hours and hours and hours of things that could basically keep you from, ironically, reading this site for the rest of the week if you like. This isn’t just some random assortment, either. There are thoughtful assortments and surprise discoveries, including a celebrity-chosen set of some pretty far-out live shows pulled by Jan …

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juanatkins

Coming Home: America and the UK, Dance Resurgence, Insanely Great Flying Lotus and Stones Throw

Techno originator Juan Atkins. Now, dance music may finally be coming home properly to stay. Photo (CC-BY-SA) Adrien Mogenet. Any one of us, myself included, may break at any moment into armchair analysis of the music scene. But it’s worth asking an expert. Taste-setting, deeply influential DJs Pete Tong and Gilles Peterson of BBC Radio 1 recently stopped by National Public Radio’s thoughtful music program, All Songs Considered. Joining the American hosts, the BBC stars play favorite tracks and weigh in on the connections in electronica and club music in the US and the UK. The timing was appropriate: with …

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Good Watching: Synth Interviews, British Synth Artists, Musical Pioneers from Detroit to Berlin

Pour some port, find a comfy spot on the couch, and fire up the YouTubes. A surprisingly-rich raft of terrific documentary video for synth and electronic music enthusiasts has been making the rounds. In our queue: Analog Suicide interviews a legendary vintage synth spot in Berlin, an hourlong documentary features not only Richie Hawtin but a range of techno pioneers, as well as other shorts from T-Mobile (yes, the phone company), and the BBC scores more history of the British side of the synth revolution in music. Sit down and get ready, because here we go. From Detroit to Berlin …

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Let it All Out: Therapy for Radiohead Fans, Courtesy BBC

Readers have spoken, and it seems recent outings by Brian Eno can be a bit divisive. (Okay, I’ll admit – I wasn’t at all fond of Everything That Happens Will Happen Today, as a huge fan of Byrne and Eno.) But Eno isn’t the only English musical legend who … cough … might make fans long for the earlier stuff. See video explanation above. Music is, of course, taste – part of why we enjoy it is that it is emotional and not objective or (gasp) entirely quantitative. So, to me, there’s not a moment of the above BBC Web-only …

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The Artist on Your Playlist: James Blake’s Haunting Voice Owns the Internet

When I asked what albums readers were loving early in 2011, England-based James Blake’s full-length stood out in numerous reader comments. If you haven’t already seen him plugged on radio and online – and at least some of you haven’t yet – it’s a perfect time to check him out, with the full-length this week available for digital download even outside the UK. Blake made a name for himself in some astonishing EPs over 2010, with a haunting but fragile voice singing soulful melodies atop minimal percussion and warm, fuzzy keys in close-fingered voicings. Now, his full-length is here. If …

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