808movie

On the Eve of New 808 Film, Techno’s Roots Matter More Than Ever [Videos]

If rock music had the Gibson Les Paul and Fender Stratocaster, hip hop and dance music have the TR-808. And if its sound seems sometimes overly familiar, even that is in some sense a hat-tip (pardon the pun) to its enduring ubiquity. Now, the Roland TR-808 gets its own full-length documentary, told primarily through the eyes of the people who repurposed its idiosyncratic sound to spin new musical genres and start a revolution. The film features extensive input from Arthur Baker, who acts as a centerpiece for the movie. Baker was the producer behind Afrika Bambaataa’s ‘Planet Rock,’ a record …

READ MORE →
kraftwerktext

Kraftwerk Live Rig Exposed – But Are They Really Checking Email?

(Short answer: no, they aren’t.) So, the thing about Amsterdam’s Paradiso is, there are balconies. And the thing about being in a balcony above Kraftwerk is, their once-secret live rig for their 3D show is now fully exposed. The next question: what’s happening? I have been squinting at this live video for some time, and I’m not sure. Some things are obvious: definitely MK I Maschine drum machine controllers from Native Instruments, definitely a MIDI keyboard for the odd solo, fairly certain I also spot a Novation ReMOTE ZeRO SL controller (encoders and faders and red lights) and the display …

READ MORE →
Displacing sound is one of the illusions that figures into their work. Here, a field recording from another environment will later find its way into the Kraftwerk interior.

Exploring Sound in the Vertical, as Three Brothers Make New Sonic Architectures

Korinsky – Atelier für vertikale Flächen /// documentary from Korinsky on Vimeo. We imagine we see where we are. We even describe our eyes as being open as awareness. But perhaps that’s because we are so deeply connected to sound as to take that connection for granted. Perceptive research has revealed in profound relief that we hear where we are, too. And artists are beginning to take that knowledge and fuse it with art making. To quote The Outer Limits, “We will control the vertical. We can roll the image, make it flutter. We can change the focus to a …

READ MORE →

Crazy Awesome volca keys Kraftwerk Cover, The Robots

We’re not worthy. Japanese site Digiland has published a review of KORG volca keys. And when they do sound demos for their review, they go a little crazy. This video is the result: it’s a cover of Die Roboter (“The Robots”) by Kraftwerk that’s spookily-good. (Actually, it almost improves upon the original.) The synth sounds all come from volca keys, apart from a vocal line using the Togu Audio Line TAL-Vocoder, and some beats from – what else? – volca beats. Significantly, they’ve also posted a MIDI implementation chart. We’re really not giving volca bass much love this week, now …

READ MORE →

The Newest Analog Goodness: Highlights from Berlin’s ALEX4, at Musikmesse [Synth pr0n]

Andreas Schneider, famed owner of Berlin synth boutique Schneidersladen, has a unique talent for finding the best idiosyncratic electronic sound creations. Now leading European distributor ALEX4, he’s bringing more of those goodies to the rest of us. There’s something a bit odd about going to Frankfurt when ALEX4, Schneidersladen, and Andreas himself all live in my neighborhood. But amassed at Musikmesse, you get a sense of the current state of the ALEX4 stable of gear – and we’ve got the synth pr0n to prove it. And you know Musikmesse is off to an interesting start when you head behind the …

READ MORE →

Good Watching: Synth Interviews, British Synth Artists, Musical Pioneers from Detroit to Berlin

Pour some port, find a comfy spot on the couch, and fire up the YouTubes. A surprisingly-rich raft of terrific documentary video for synth and electronic music enthusiasts has been making the rounds. In our queue: Analog Suicide interviews a legendary vintage synth spot in Berlin, an hourlong documentary features not only Richie Hawtin but a range of techno pioneers, as well as other shorts from T-Mobile (yes, the phone company), and the BBC scores more history of the British side of the synth revolution in music. Sit down and get ready, because here we go. From Detroit to Berlin …

READ MORE →

Stylophone Coming; iPhone “Pocket Calculator” Covers Expected

It’s beginning to look a lot like Kraftwerk. December 1, you should be able to look forward to a simulated Stylophone app for iPhone and iPod touch. The Stylophone, for those of you unfamiliar with this classic, was a wonderful late-60s invention and a high-water mark for electronic instrument simplicity. Run a stylus across a simple metal keyboard, get sound. It’s a no-brainer to bring this to Apple mobiles, with their touch and sonic capabilities. And while the Stylophone was used on many, many songs, I anticipate quite a few “Pocket Calculator” covers showing up on YouTube in the days …

READ MORE →

Video: Kraftwerk Computer World Gets Scandinavified, Modernised

What if Kraftwerk’s classic “Computer World” were made today? And, erm, what if Kraftwerk were actually Swedish? For all of you who dare to dream, our friend Audio Objekt has created a re-created version. (Warning: video contains occasional scandalous nude images as social critique, so it could be very briefly not safe for work.) Sing along: BLOGG. INTERNET. GLOBALISERING. PIRATKOPIA. Wow. I suddenly feel really depressed. I think. Actually, maybe I’d better watch that again with my Swedish-English dictionary handy this time. The YouTube community in general seems to be all about Kraftwerk. Where else would you find people sharing …

READ MORE →

Free Anti-Radiation Music Downloads from Kraftwerk, Ryuichi Sakamoto Friends

Musical activists are opposing a Japanese nuclear reprocessing plant. What’s in it for you: free musical downloads opposing contamination by nuclear radiation. (Any pro-radiation readers will have to look elsewhere.) Nuclear reprocessing is a way of reclaiming spent nuclear fuels. Sounds great, right — recycling and whatnot? Unfortunately, there are serious risks involved. The plant, Rokkasho-mura reprocessing plant in Japan’s Aomori Prefecture, is under fire because: Just two weeks into testing, after the plant opened last year, radioactive water containing plutonium and uranium spilled inside the plant. According to a recent report, this particular plant has a design flaw that …

READ MORE →