Reconnect with Electronic Music’s Revolutionary Roots, in Stunning Images [Gallery, Videos]

“On a western device, you push a button and get a result. On a Soviet instrument, you push a button and get something.” -Benzo When music was first electrified, it was nothing short of a revolution – literally. And as today’s technologies again attempt to fuse human and machine, there’s no better time to connect with past visions again. “Discontinuity” is the theme of the this year’s CTM Festival in Berlin. But it sets the stage for an unprecedented movement to put today’s machines back in context, across the barriers of time, and – increasingly, in a closer European/west Asian …

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Your Belgrade Underground Connection: See and Hear Experimental Dance Music

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: Drugstore, 17 January 23h 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 …

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Happy New Year; Nominees for Stories Everyone Missed?

Happy New Year, everyone. We’re taking the day off, but while we’re putting together a year-end review of musical technology and invention, any nominees for stories that fell under the radar, that people might have missed? DIY projects, unique tools, or anything of the sort welcome; we do appreciate your ideas, as always. Let us know in comments, and we’ll pick out some of our favorites. Have a lovely evening – Happy rockin’ New Year’s, and to Germany, Guten Rutsch!

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Music and Performance, Made On The Spot: Hacklab, Open Call in Berlin

Inventing technological hacks in short time is one thing. At CTM Festival in Berlin, we want to push collaborative participants to go further. First, invent the technology for performance. Then, invent the performance – and be ready to perform publicly – and it do it all in just one week. It’s time again to join a MusicMakers Hacklab. Last year was the first week-long event hosted with CDM, and the first at CTM Festival. CTM makes a perfect venue, a brilliant and packed showcase for adventurous sound (and in parallel with another digital media fest, Transmediale, in the same city …

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We Want to Know How You Read; Days Left Until Google Reader Shutdown

Reading matters for musicians. It’s a source of essential information about tools and artists, inspiration and knowledge. It’s how a lot of us find music and the ways we make music. Your feedback in eight and a half years of CDM has told us that. So, with Google Reader shutting down, maybe it’s a good time to reflect on how you read. Google Reader shuts down forever on the first of July. If you read CDM (and other sites) through Google Reader, or any application that relies on syncing with its feeds, you need to find a new way of …

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In Berlin, Mixing Learning with Hacking and Jamming, All With Free DIY Tools

CDM and yours truly team up with Berlin arts collective Mindpirates next week for a learning event we hope will be a little different than most. The idea behind the gathering is to combine learning in some new ways. The evenings begin with more traditional instruction, as I cover, step-by-step, how you’d assemble beat machines, instruments, effects, and video mixers using free software (Pure Data and Processing). But, we’ll go a little further, opening up sessions to hacking and jamming, finally using the event space at Mindpirates to try out ideas on the PA and projectors. By the last night, …

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MusicMakers Hacklab Report: Blinking Lightbulbs with MIDI, Why Working Together Matters

It’s a wonderful time to be experimenting with technology and music. You can create something that looks like the stuff most people imagine as “the future” – elaborate dances of light, power over sound just by waving your hand, software that seems directly out of Star Trek. But you can do it with technology that is now reaching maturity – decades of experience of artists, engineers, and designers is at your back. “That’s not new,” someone might say. Exactly. Instead of technology being a disposable commodity, forgotten in a couple of years, it’s actually something you can get good at. …

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In Berlin, musicians and creators gather to work collaboratively on new means of creation and performance. Imogen Heap and her team are among the participants, presenting an interactive workshop on wearable tech. Photo from TEDGlobal 2012 in Edinburgh, by James Duncan Davidson.

Hack Into MusicMakers’ Future in Berlin [CTM Open Call]

Happy New Year, from the future. It’s too late for sci-fi movies with a dateline of 2013. If you want something futuristic, you’ll just have to get to work. That’s what we’re doing in Berlin at CTM Festival later this month, with some of our favorite artists and engineers and designers and artist-engineer-designers. And we’d love to have you join us. We’ll have live music to enjoy. That includes high-tech original creations — Sonic Robots’ real-life 808 drum machine and band, and Tarik Barri and Lea Fabrikant with their three-dimensional audiovisual space trip. Tim Exile will treat us to his …

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MeeBlip SE's new limited edition features retro color scheme and knobs, plus 30 patch memores - and now ships fully-assembled worldwide.

An Open Synth for Anyone: MeeBlip SE, €/$150, Making Music and Shipping – Fall Limited Edition

“Open source hardware” has generally come to mean something for hobbyists, something involving soldering irons and code. MeeBlip is about something different: it’s about making a musical instrument anyone can play, right away – with or without soldering. It’s about making music. And that’s why I’ve been glad to have CDM involved in this project: we get to build something that embodies what we believe in. Now, you can get a Limited Edition, retro-styled MeeBlip SE for US$149.95 / €149.95 (incl VAT) / £119.95 (incl VAT), shipped just about anywhere worldwide, fully-assembled. Order page | International info | SE Limited …

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Get involved in the development of the open source WretchUp app for mobiles. With iOS funded, the next goal is extra features - and Android support.

Last Chance to Support Mouse on Mars’ WretchUp App, Help Make Extra iOS Features, Android Support

We’re in the final hours of the crowd funding campaign for Mouse on Mars’ handheld effects instrument, WretchUp. We’ve been really amazed at the level of support – we quickly reached our funding goal for the iOS app’s budget. But now we’re pushing in the final hours for just a bit more funding. It’ll allow us to do a dedicated port to the Android platform, if we can reach $7000 or more. And we’ll have additional budget for adding extra functionality beyond our current plans (something we’ll be discussing with backers as we work). indiegogo.com/appwow We’re really excited about the …

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