Roland Drum and Bass Machines as Abstract Art, Suspended in Space

Art from archetypes — so much of what we make is built from the pieces of something that came before. It’s doubly true both in electronic dance music and the machines built to make it. From techno to drum machine technology, a great deal of the future depends on whether we can reimagine the past. The legacy of the Roland TR and TB series hangs heavy over those fields. Heck, they cast their shadow over even what I’m reading this week. I’ve unboxed a set of new Roland AIRAs for review that explode each component, modeling it all over again …

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Get Amazing Max for Live Devices – And Sound Advice – from Max Ninja Christian Kleine

It’s called Max for Cats. But you don’t play it with a laser pointer and your feline friend. (Note to self: project idea.) The latest from sonic mastermind Christian Kleine, Ensemble and DiGiTAL are in fact terrifically-rich string and digital synthesizers, respectively, for Ableton Live and Max for Live. Getting to know their creator is just important as getting to know those tools, though. Christian Kleine is a uniquely fusion of musician and engineer. Hailing from Lindau but making a name for himself in mid-90s Berlin, his musical career itself is already newsworthy, as a soloist and as half of …

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Folk Dub: Listen to Greg Gives Peter Space, Imagine Futures Past [CDM Presents]

Greg Gives Peter Space – A Clear View (Video Teaser) from Erased Tapes on Vimeo. Left with the artifacts of the analog age, the digital revolution now fully commonplace, artists are treating vintage techniques and musical materials as creative colors. Freed from the iron grip of nostalgia or historical accuracy, a record can be simply an ode to the things you love. That feeling is especially alive and well at Erased Tapes, the London-based record label, an imprint experimental in tastes but sharing a focused philosophy of music making. Certainly, their roster includes plenty of things with “post-” as prefix. …

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All Live, Nonstop, for 24 Hours: How Krautok Berlin Ticks [Listening, Gallery]

Six-hour, eight-hour DJ sets? Okay. How about a 24-hour live set? How about not one artist, but six, or thirty-two, or more? Sometimes it’s techno; sometimes it goes ambient. There’s singing, there’s dancing – just no DJing. That’s the kind of too-much-is-not-enough attitude that has gripped Krautok, a wild 24-hour live jam held together only by a spaghetti mess of cables and a single clock source. (Previously: vintage MPC. This year, something a bit more scientific. More on that in the moment.) Over the years, the likes of Dasha Rush, Ed DMX, Housemeister, Eric D Clark, Electric Indigo, Khan of …

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Band Sings Song Asking Why They Aren’t Playing Moogfest

What if you wanted to play Moogfest really bad, but Moogfest didn’t call? No, I mean really bad – like you started a band with this very dream in mind, outfitted your studio with nearly everything Moog makes, and put on a shameless amount of Moog-logo gear, just in the hopes of getting the booking. If you still couldn’t make it onto the bill at that point, well, I guess you’d have to actually write a song explaining your plight, upload it to YouTube, and hope it went viral. This is the Internet age, after all. That’s what the band …

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Join an Hour-Long Tour of Legowelt’s Ridiculous Synth Collection, Then Hear the New Album

“Don’t forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he always wanted …” Yes, welcome to the wild studio of Legowelt, the eclectic Dutch musician. Future Music Magazine didn’t just do a video tour. They did an hour-long video tour, where the artist waxes poetic on every detail with loving attention. It’s a beautiful nerdfest. I know we’re theoretically not supposed to be fetishizing gear, but there’s some real care for these tools. And… there’s a Commodore 64 studio and some real rarities. For signs Legowelt is One of Us, here’s his bio: Born: a long time ago …

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Build a Classic Synth, Reissued: Hands-on with KORG’s MS-20 Kit [Gallery]

Call it the MS-20 “Biggie.” A year after remaking their classic 1978 MS-20 synthesizer in a hugely-popular “mini” version, KORG surprised everyone by unveiling a second reissue this year, the limited-edition MS-20 Kit. Its innards are entirely identical to the MS-20 mini; component-by-component, the sound circuitry is the same. And since the MS-20 was a fairly convincing replica of the original, inaccurate mostly in that it can’t reproduce the aged components we’re now used to, that’s a good start. Now I’ve had the experience of assembling and playing the kit, following up our debut with the mini last year, and …

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Video Tour – What’s New in Analog and Boutique Instruments, with Andreas Schneider

“O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done –“ Yes, Andreas Schneider is an ideal gentleman to lead you through a trade show, to show you what is genuinely interesting in new musical inventions. The famed (notorious?) synth guru from Berlin behind Schneidersladen and now distributor ALEX4, he is a fierce and fearless champion of the unique, the boutique, and the odd in electronic musical instruments. And if you ask him for a video tour of his booth, you will not get the “used car salesman” effect of a typical product rep. Instead, he gives us a rapid-fire look …

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Wild, Techie, Wonderful: NAMM’s Gear Delights [Gallery II]

Hardware and software continue to thrive (above). Pro audio lives on. People still make strange, wonderful products for tiny niches of people passionate about every element of sound. Marsha Vdovin is a veteran of the NAMM trade show like few people we know, so seeing the show through the eyes of her camera reveals some weirdness and wonderfulness we always appreciate. And Wonder Woman, too. Magic Kingdom, indeed. Gallery II, go! -Ed.

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So Many Wires and Knobs: Enjoy Synth pr0n Goodness in Our NAMM Gallery I

Now, we get to transport you to the toy store of sound-making gadgets that is the NAMM show in Anaheim, California. James Grahame, the engineer behind MeeBlip, gets to show off his love of synthesizers in his photolog. And we see some of the big winners at the show for electronic instrument lovers: Boutique makers are doing more wonderful stuff than ever. It starts with modular, yes, but look for products in other areas, as well. We were thrilled to get to insert MeeBlip anode at Pittsburgh Modular and Studio Electronics, as they already had some of my favorite stuff …

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