New Music From Sheffield’s The Black Dog: Focused, Finely-Honed Objects [Stream, Video, Mix]

Out this week is a new full-length from The Black Dog. The Sheffield, England-based trio – Ken Downie, Martin Dust, Richard Dust – have been making smart, non-boring electronic music for ages. (Let’s not utter “IDM” – but “smart” fits.) From Warp to Ostgut Ton, they’ve been an indelible and irreplaceable part of the creative landscape. What strikes me about Tranklements is its effusive economy and clarity. In a time when music is regularly dripping with reverb or smothered in gauzy effects and nostalgia, this is a record that stands apart from any particular time, dry and direct and witty. …

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A Quick Jam in Arcade Music Gaming, Making Synchronized Beats

So, electronic musicians and dance music makers just push buttons, huh? Actually… why not? There are certain parallels between the synchronized, quantized grids of computer music and video games. Rhythms, aesthetics, and even interface have evolved in tandem. Early games even hard-coded synthesizers and scores into the same circuitry that made the music, and each has made its impact on the other. Game designers keep toying with this concept in game design. I gave a talk on interactive music in gaming last week at Berlin’s A MAZE Indie Connect. But here’s one person at that same festival who did one …

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Sound from Silos: Live Experimental Audiovisuals Rumble a Man-made Cave [Watch, Listen]

Electronic music, once the exclusive domain of secluded art laboratories, has now made the connection to clubs inseparable. The rhythms of dance music draw a line from popular to research; the software and gear marketed for dance musicians cross-pollinating with more experimental tools, as music styles, textures, and timbres mix, as well. But now, finding a way out of that club context and its restrictions may be as vital as the emergence from the lab years ago. Making connections between Argentina and Germany, across an international collective of audiovisual artists, FxLD’s latest project invades a disused grain silo in Berlin. …

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Kidsuke, the joint project of Kidkanevil And Daisuke Tanabe on PROJECT: Mooncircle, was one big highlight for us. Matt Earp walks us through other discoveries of 2012 that could be worth a permanent place in your early 2013 listening.

Under-the-Radar Music From 2012 Starts Your 2013 Right [Round-up, Listen]

The beginning of 2013 is as good a landmark as any to begin a return to music making and creativity. But the top-ten lists that crowded the Web in the last couple of weeks may not be your best guide. Instead of working out what’s “best,” we invited CDM’s music contributor Matt Earp, aka artist Kid Kameleon, to let us know what music found a permanent home in his music library – not just streaming, not just a one-time listen, but repeat performances. That seems an ideal way to give yourself some listening inspiration to fight the darkness (in some …

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Vienna in the snow, ca. 2008. Happy winter, Austria - this EP is a fitting soundtrack. Photo (CC-BY-SA) gego2605.

Cool Yule: Smart Austrian Ambient Electronica Album, Benefits Homeless

Call it experimental electro, ambient house… whatever the genre, Parque is smart, chilled-out music from Vienna. Full of cinematic cross-cuts and sharply-contrasted sound design, the EP “Amerika” is bathed in pleasantly-mellow melancholy. It’s only a debut, but an impressive one. The love and time put into production shines through. We’re pleased to introduce CDM reader Bene, aka Parque, to the site and listeners. And the Bavarian-born, Vienna-based Bene has a nice benefit in mind as he makes his holiday-timed release: All incoming proceeds until end of this year (minus Bandcamp and PayPal fees) will be forwarded to a Viennese homeless …

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hopecover

Hope: In Piano Gestures and Glitches, a Gorgeous Free Compilation from Japan

kaiwa; from mitsuru shimizu on Vimeo. Quietly melancholic piano gestures and reversed piano hammer strokes collide like waves against glitch-infused rhythms in hope3.0, the output of elementperspective. The “sound & design label” from Osaka weaves together a diverse group of promising Japanese artists, showing in many cases sonic maturity that belies their young average age. The balance between minimal, glittering piano prettiness and raw, digital rhythms is perfectly on evidence in the music video at top, for Mitsuru Shimizu’s triumphant “kaiwa;” – a real highlight of the set. The photographer and self-described “sound proposer” produces visuals and sounds alike here. …

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machinedrumdiablo

Diablo: New Machinedrum [Travis Stewart] Halloween Single [Free Listening]

Machinedrum, aka Travis Stewart, has a track that fulfills all the needs of a Halloween special one-time single download release: 1. Your butt will move around in a shaking fashion. 2. It will make you smile. 3. There’s some wolf-howling action. (Good for your inner canine, even after this holiday season passes.) 4. There’s a guy shouting about El Diablo. (Always good.) Get it. It’s free. You’ll probably be on a new mailing list. (boo!) http://thisisluckyme.com/diablo/ Hope we talk to Travis more about some of his new music; stay tuned. But – this track is now on repeat. PS – …

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poletrilogy

Pole’s waldgeschichten are Mossy, Leafy Electronic Grooves; How They Were Made

In this age of maximalist, aggressive productions, the leafy green imagery for Pole’s waldgeschichten (literally, “forest stories”) fits perfectly. The trilogy of releases, the latest arriving at the end of last week, is easy-going and reserved. Each sound is precisely placed, gently shuffling interlaced dub-like patterns set against calm swells, sometimes resembling the cry of imaginary electronic creatures. It’s the much-needed trip out into the outlying forests of sound to find a different pace. And with each track, you can imagine wondrous six-legged insect creatures climbing up a tree – mechanical machines (see the drum machine notes below) that are …

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Matmos in the sun - and this duo shines as brightly as ever. Photo Jamie Marsh.

Matmos: New Music, Parapsychological Experiments, Sensory Deprivation Goggles, Irish Covers

It’s a fitting way to honor computer music: Matmos produced an electronic reimagining of computer pioneer Alan Turing’s favorite tune, the Irish traditional song “Molly Malone.” The results are haunting, made more so by Mr. Turing’s untimely demise and unjust prosecution for his open homosexuality. (According to legend, he played it on violin to the police who came to arrest him. Whether true or not, it’s a touching anthem.) 2006’s “Molly Malone” is now available as a free download on Bandcamp. Fovea Hex’s Clodagh Simonds provides the heart-wrenching vocal line. The track by way of the FOR ALAN TURING EP, …

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Centuries of Electronic Music, Now At Last Making Facebook Timeline Useful: Bleep Compilation

In case you’ve missed it, the project opens like this: “Bleep’s Guide to Electronic Music starts on 25th March, 1857 – the day Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville receives French patent #17,897/31,470 for the phonautograph.” The Facebook Timeline may seem just a tool for naval-gazing or privacy violation. But then, suddenly, you’re dialing back to the mid-19th Century, and tracing the history of electronic music. Animating smoothly through the decades, you can trace electronic music’s great achievements, from the Martenot to King Tubby and Silver Apples, on through to Aphex Twin and labels like Hyperdub, each popping up each time you …

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