A Bandcamp-Only Label of the Future? Australia’s Enig’matik Records and the Art of Detail

Artists and labels alike search for a sound and a business model that can flourish in this brave, new age in music. Against that struggle, Oz’s Enig’matik is something special. We’ve got more coming with this crew, but first, CDM’s Matt Earp takes an look inside what makes this record label work with its founder, in a way I think may resonate with other independent outlets and creators. And, oh yeah: true to form, Matt goes a bit deeper to chart the larger trends here, and a post-Tipper musical landscape. What’s that mean? I’ll let him explain. -PK It’s been …


Unsuspected Sounds: Great Listening, Great Cause, in Analog Industries Community Compilation

Out of the noise of the Internet, don’t be surprised if some of the music being made is – unexpectedly – wonderful. So it is with a compilation curated by Chris Randall from the Analog Industries community. Unsuspected Sounds is unexpected. It’s proof that those people writing all those comments really do have time to make music. It’s nice seeing this come from Chris and the community he’s assembled. For his part, Chris doesn’t fit the stereotype of a blogger; he’s got industry experience as an engineer as an artist, is known to many as a veteran of Sister Machine …


Good Listening: Sample Unsound Festival’s Brilliant Lineup, Coming to NYC This Month [Stream]

This might look like Tatooine, but it’s in fact the deserts of New Mexico, where artists Biosphere and Lustmord visited this year in a musical exploration of some of America’s – and nuclear power’s – darker past. The project promises to be a highlight of Unsound in the world premiere of a new, commissioned work. Photo courtesy Unsound Festival. There are festivals, and then there’s Unsound. While so much in electronic music programming walks the line between club accessibility and more adventurous experimentation, some time falling over one side or the other of that divide, Unsound consistently hits the center …


Network Awesome Electronic Music Week: Way More Electronic Music Videos Than You Can Handle

Quit your job, leave your loved ones, stock up on food, and get ready to destroy your life with videos from YouTube. Network Awesome, a kind of curatorial “TV” network full of free online videos, has been assembling the best documentaries dealing with electronic music online, with hours and hours and hours of things that could basically keep you from, ironically, reading this site for the rest of the week if you like. This isn’t just some random assortment, either. There are thoughtful assortments and surprise discoveries, including a celebrity-chosen set of some pretty far-out live shows pulled by Jan …


Deeper with DS-10: Using a Nintendo DS Cartridge from Korg, Surprising Live Electronic Music

Music making, child’s play. Photo (CC-BY-SA) Attila Malarik. You might not expect a handheld game console, the gadget kids use to play Pokemon, to prove much worth as a musical instrument. But even in the age of readily-available computer plug-ins and iPhone apps, the DS holds its own. In the hands of two sets of artists, we find music that stands alone, independent of the gimmick of the device on which it was made. For these artists, the limitations of a fold-up touchscreen – entirely independent of doubling as a phone, or a computer, or a Facebook-browsing engine, or a …


Some Number on the Floor: Uncanny Sequencer for Ableton Live

Labeled as ready for IDM or “Braindance” music, The Uncanny Sequencer could be something tasty for those tired of regular rhythms. The creation of Julien Bayle, The Uncanny Sequencer is a graphical, generative, multi-part sequencing Max for Live device built for Ableton Live. At its core, it creates polyrhythms and irregular rhythms by making the appearance of each beat probabilistic rather than determinate. Thanks to Julien for sending this our way. (Matrixsynth and Synthtopia deserve credit for being faster.) Features, as described by its creator:


An Eclectic Mix of Sounds for Joplin, MO Recovery, as Charity Compilations Gain Momentum

CDM regular Zaxx Davros sends word of a new, sprawling compilation to benefit Joplin, Missouri in the aftermath of that town’s devastating tornado. Charity compilations seem to be growing in number, but perhaps that in itself is worth mentioning. As social networks and (ahem) blogs spread, increasingly crowd-stimulated micro-donations drive charity. One-click giving is no substitute for getting involved in communities as a volunteer and getting out on the ground, but as a way of keeping charitable organizations funded and engaged, it shows promise. Some readers have pointed to criticism of some of those organizations, like the various entities of …


A Free Mac Modular Sound Suite, and Sound Worlds of the Designers Behind the Tool

NOISEPLUG from smider on Vimeo. The art of making sound software and the art of making electronic music can be closely bound with one another. That means tools that embody a certain compositional idea. You can choose to use them or abuse them – or simply gain some insight into the sonic imaginations of the people who created them. Italy-based musician and software designer Guido Smider writes to share his free (as-in-beer), Max/MSP-built sound tools for Intel Macs. Most impressive is the new 1.8 upgrade to his Noiseplug, a collaboration with Tobor Experiment / Giorgio Sancristoforo, known also under the …


Free, Creative Commons-Licensed Album of IDM: Subvaritrax Compilation

To kick off your weekend listening with a full album of delicious IDM, our friend Quantazelle / Liz McLean Knight offers up a compilation from her label subVariant. While big-name artists have gotten lots of publicity for doing free or pay-what-you-will albums, oddly a smaller group of them have chosen a Creative Commons license. subVariant does do that with a noncommercial / no derivative license – a bit restrictive, in that it doesn’t allow remixes, but perhaps a decent start. And licensing aside, this is a lovely, clever compilation of tracks. Interestingly, the physical object did sell out on eBay. …


XLR8R vs. Daedelus Video: On Musical Influence, Monome pr0n, Obama

XLR8R TV Episode 71: Daedelus from XLR8RTV on Vimeo. XLR8RTV has a fantastic video interview with one of my favorite artists, Daedelus. The man is, as always, like pure musical joy. He talks about his musical influences, the early connections he made (including at USC, alma mater of a number of the CDM community), his approach to live performance, the virally-popular open source monome controller, and, yes, that pro-Obama song. (The original lyrics were catchier.) The monome connection is an interesting case in music technology. Daedelus was the first artist to gig regularly with the device, possibly helping both him …