Apply This Weekend to Hack Music Creation in Stockholm for 24 Hours, Free

MIDI: it’s not just a protocol. It’s a state of mind. It’s the interconnectedness of all things musical. Or, at least, it is at MIDI HACK next month in Stockholm. A 24-hour hackathon will delve deep into musical creation. It’s not just mucking about with code, either: there will be performances and talks, artists and makers, all to feed your ideas. And whereas past hack days have often focused on Web programmers and music consumption (music what?), this is different. If you’re a singer, or you want to rip a MIDI controller into shreds, or wire up a banana, this …

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Pattern and Design: A 2-Day Festival Turns Vintage Type into Musical Scores

It’s time to reinvent the graphical score. With musical practice more international, more broad and varied than ever, and electronics in the mix, conventional notational idioms just aren’t enough. For curator and prolific electronic producer Hanno Leichtmann, the starting point was a collection of vintage Letraset and Letratone type, as pictured above. Leichtmann, a graphic designer himself (and maker of beautiful record covers), is passionate about digital and ink-based design processes alike; even the posters for the event are exquisitely (and expensively) hand-produced. He then invited a who’s who of illustrators and graphic designers from Germany, Austria, France, Great Britain, …

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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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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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Elektron Introduces Analog Keys Synth: Joystick, Step Sequencer, Keyboard [Photos]

I’m here in Berlin where Elektron is introducing the new Analog Keys synth keyboard as part of their Night of the Machines event. (Later tonight, we get the likes of The Field and TM404 playing live.) We also have images and video by my friend Benjamin Weiss of De:bug Magazine — see their report with more pics. It’s worth watching that video, because of one thing: polyphony. An OS update should bring that polyphonic capability to both Analog Four and Analog Keys soon. Elektron are quick to say that the Analog Keys is not just an Analog Four with a …

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Moogfest, By Day, Will Feature Historic Gathering of Futurists, Music’s Top Inventive Minds

New York? Berlin? London? San Francisco? Lately, it’s looking like Asheville, North Carolina is the place to be. In case you missed the aptly-named Mountain Oasis and its gathering of big-name electronic artists and inventors, you don’t have to wait even until next fall. Asheville will next host Moogfest, April 23-27. Nighttime programming falls to Paxahau, the team behind Detroit’s Movement, already one of the biggest electronic tickets of the year worldwide. (AC Entertainment, the Bonnaroo-producing Knoxville team, have taken over Mountain Oasis. Rather than splitting the energy, the results seem to have more than doubled it.) We should learn …

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Synth Geeks in the Hills: Legends and Legendary Machines at Asheville’s Mountain Oasis [Gallery, Videos]

Mountain Oasis, indeed. Asheville, North Carolina, that land of impassioned musicians and Moog manufacture, is unusually blessed in musical riches, especially of the electrified variety. And where once Moog gathered informal performances from synth fans, a recent split in festivals has spawned not one but two blockbuster events, turning this southeastern US hamlet into a kind of mecca for musicians of all stripes. These multiply rather than dividing the events. So, now there’s Moogfest, which this year will happen in spring. And then there’s Mountain Oasis, which took place last month. Both are overflowing with spectacular headliners, in the form …

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Playlist: 21 Hours of Music, on the Eve of a Female-Organized Fest in Berlin; Sarah Farina Mixes

There’s talking, there’s showing, and there’s doing. And there’s listening, too – but we’ll get to that in a moment. When female:pressure put some numbers behind the relative absence of women in festivals, the long-running discussion about the role of females in the scene was accelerated. Suddenly, the entire music press seemed to be talking about the issue again. There is plenty to debate in terms of female:pressure’s statement and its take on cause, significance, and remedy. Anecdotally, I’ve found that female artists and friends I’ve talked to are strongly divided around those questions and how they wish to be …

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Humans and Machines: Kompakt’s 20th Birthday Links Techno, Artists, Tech

Techno is no longer new, no longer radical, no longer industrial, no longer trendy, no longer shocking. But it just might be something else: lasting. Famed Köln label Kompakt, as sure a bellweather for techno as anything, turns twenty this year. And in celebrating its birthday, humans and machines meet again. Electronic dance music has long had a conversation with minimalist currents and ostinati in Classical music, with Indonesian gamelan ensembles, and yes, infamously, even with the oom-pah repetition of marching bands. In the video above, we see what happens when the label’s music makes those conversations explicit. And it’s …

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Cristian Vogel, Still Dazzling Ears, Two Decades On [Listen]

There are few artists as thoroughly credentialed across dance music and Classical new music as Cristian Vogel. But what’s astounding about Vogel is, having ventured out on the precipice of those bleeding edges of both worlds, he still stands on tiptoe there now. Chilean-born, UK-raised and academically-trained in the 80s, and now a leading voice in Berlin’s scene for the past 20 years, he’s no less prolific today than in the past. But let’s not just wax poetic – let’s have a listen to the latest. We can love the fact that Jamie Lidell, Vogel’s former mate in Super Collider …

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