Dark Shadows: Listen to Stroboscopic Artefacts’ Lucy Mix and Reflect on Music and Society

Here, in the season so many associate with sun and sand, the gothic factories of dark techno continue to clang away. So, yes, the results may not be cheery. But the music defining this new generation of adventurous techno is uniquely focused on timbre. It is a soundscape set against the groove, not only about tweaking just the right high hat, but forging some terrain of sonic design, taking the listener on a journey to actually find something new. It makes landfall on undiscovered countries, rather than simply assembling an expected framework for the dancefloor. It also carries with it …

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Live from the Moog Factory, Watch Erika, Teengirl Fantasy, and Survive

CDM here in the Moog Factory, downtown Asheville, North Carolina. I don’t care whether you’re a Boiler Room fan or hater – this one is special. Erika is here from Detroit with her circular sequencer and loads of gear. The wild and wooly Survive are new to me but they’re doing lovely stuff and have a synth museum worth of keyboard racks – fantastic. And in town from New York, hailing from Oberlin, Ohio, are Teengirl Fantasy. It’s already a great lineup, but novel for a second reason – Moog will keep assembling stuff in the factory as they play. …

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Moogfest in the Mix: As CDM Heads to North Carolina, Music, Futurism to Fill Your Week

Moogfest has been many things over the years, from a small get-together of Moog fans to a New York event with a few headliners to a festival that at times veered toward being just another big rock fest. But this year, it’s evolved into something special and new. Amidst a wildly-varied nighttime mix of big-name musical acts, it’s become a hub of futurism and music technology. It suggests a Moogfest that isn’t just about some artists and the Moog of the past. It could be a place to learn about the inventions of the future. And that’s a zeitgeist I’d …

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Erika: Musical Restraint, Space, Future, BBSes, Detroit [Interview]

From being a long-time mainstay of the Detroit scene to, at last, debuting a proper solo LP with Hexagon Cloud, the one word that can sum up Erika for me is, simply, “inspiring.” And if Hexagon Cloud’s perfectly-calibrated analog sounds and imaginative musical frequencies indulge our futuristic sonic fantasies, here we get the chance to talk to Erika a bit about what lies beyond musical parameters, too. That ranges from Detroit (past the fetishization of ruined buildings, please) to the liberation of early-90s BBSing to the appeal of outer space. You can listen to Erika’s work and revisit some reflections …

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We Travel The Space Ways: Hear Erika’s Stellar, Synth-y, Space-y Solo Debut [Listen, Video]

What if you would strip away the latest fashions, the murky layers of effects and gimmicks, and just get out to the otherworldly pleasure of listening to machines transport you into outer-space grooves? The solo debut of Detroit-based artist Erika, Hexagon, could give you just that liberating feeling. It’s arrestingly minimal in its materials, not only because it’s been sequenced entirely on hardware with a single vintage sequencer, but because the tracks themselves are so beautifully economical and direct. And that makes them no less imaginative. Retro without succumbing to nostalgia, always with an alien-chic groove, Hexagon feels like an …

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Germany to Detroit: Good Listening from DJ Koze, Juan Atkins [Mixes, Release, Reading]

Switch off that negative talk: vibrations between musical scenes continue to resonate and grow. Here we have two artists, each somehow evergreen and still blossoming, making the link from past to future feel secure. And speaking of good vibrations, I can think of no better way to get the summer vibes going this weekend than warming up with this warm up and mix. So, we turn to Detroit’s Juan Atkins and Hamburg’s DJ Koze to set us straight. They demonstrate that channels between Germany and Detroit remain open and live, that maybe the best days of cross-pollination are ahead, not …

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Finger-Drumming Video EP: Three Tracks, Played Live on MPD24, Zynewave Podium

We live in an age of finger drumming virtuosos, where drum pads are instruments. And so, while much of production is anything but real-time, here it makes perfect sense for three tracks to have accompanying live videos. The songs are each performances, something to be seen as well as heard. Peppered with samples from Bollywood, the EP Sacred Sounds is due out December 23 from Detroit-based producer/rapper JUST Muziq aka Lion. The artist says it’s a “controllerism-inspired” EP release, with music videos for each track showing off the connection of fingers to composition. Lion’s work is notable here, too, in …

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Music from Patch Cords, in the Studio with Jimmy Edgar and KOMA Elektronik [Create Analog Music]

Modular music may be associated with densely-layered, sometimes-indecipherable ambiences, but Jimmy Edgar weaves funk and synthesized electro-dance into songs fed by his Detroit roots. (Jimmy’s now on Hotflush, formerly Warp Records, !K7, Poker Flat) In a studio tour with boutique analog maker KOMA Elektronik, he shows off their FT-201 sequenced filter and gestural control on the recently-introduced Kommander X/Y CV controller. I hope Jimmy’s natural musicianship also comes across; having watched him make some quick connections in the studio, this really is a rack he plays like an instrument, not just a fascinating spaceship control panel for sound design. (Not …

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When Detroit Met Holland: Sterac “Secret Life of Machines” Documentary, Re-release Coming [Video]

Musical history seems to happen when things collide, when things get mixed up – certainly in the twentieth, and now the twenty-first century. And so it is that one of the most important “Detroit techno” records ever released came out of Amsterdam. If this were a new artist, the long string of endorsements from a who’s who of electronic music in the video here might seem like publicity fluff. But because Dutch artist Steve Jerome Rachmad, aka Sterac, has had such a deep influence on electronic music since his 1995 debut release, instead you can listen to a network of …

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Good Listening, Good Taste: Selection of Ghostly Sonic Output, Inspiration for Getting Things Made

More than just a label, Ghostly is establishing itself as a hub of design, as in the new poster series by Swiss artist Sonnenzimmer, available from their online store. With artists likewise drawing heavily from visual inspiration, the connection between sight, sound, and taste is an evocative one. Photo courtesy Ghostly International. You can expect to see ongoing appearances by Ghostly International, the 12-year-old label with roots in Detroit that has since established firm outposts in California and New York, in these pages. (Pixels?) The reason is simple: Ghostly is a grand experiment in how to retain relevance as a …

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