New FedByMachines EP is Haunting – As Cut Recs Label is Going Subscription

Big players have gone subscription. But what about a boutique label? That’s the different distribution DFRNT has chosen. And whatever the model, his latest EP is simply gorgeous. Matt Earp unearthed this one and reports back. The interplay between free vs pay-for music in the digital world takes new twists and turns every year. Everyone from the majors to first-time producers eventually have to make decisions about whether to “sell” their music or give it away, and then decide what exactly the concept of “selling music” even looks like in 2014. As a group, subscription models have been a fertile …

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In Living Rooms, Homes, Beautiful Music as a Ritual: Olafur Arnalds; Matthew Flook; Free

For centuries, music was something made in a living room, made at home. It was a brief fluke of the 20th Century that music came out of a heroic process in a hidden-away studio. But if the gold-plated, magical record is threatened, some artists are trying to bring the daily ritual of home music making back. Ólafur Arnalds and Matthew Flook are each making gorgeous, cinematic-ambient tracks, and each have made projects that involve doing so on a regular basis in their homes. Let’s listen. Arnalds has been making some of the finest scores anywhere, and now has earned the …

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A Digital Label and Online Radio With True Depth – Talking Shop With Dewtone

Turn your radio on. In an age saturated with a tyrannical quantity of choice, tuning into something consistently inspiring matters more than ever. Our resident sound seeker Matt Earp looks into one channel that’s providing just that. Dewtone is a fantastic place to go for a range of music, so much so that it’s worth investigating the person behind it. Matt talks to Dewtone’s Dustin Morris about how he’s making this work. -Ed. Dewtone has been a complete joy to my ears ever since I found it – and the more I explore it the more I love it. I …

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Holly Herndon, Ethereal and Heavy-Hitting, Creates Video World as Deliciously Surreal as Auditory One

Holly Herndon – Chorus [Official Video] from RVNG Intl. on Vimeo. Electronic music has, since the beginning, been at the razor’s edge of science and artistry, somewhere between radical noise and classically-derived engineering. But few artists have managed to meld the dark thump of techno with the intricate constructions of post-minimalist new music quite like Holly Herndon. Her rapid-punctuated, ethereal vocals are float above complex, dance music-inspired machinery, producing an effect that is arrestingly gorgeous and frightening all at once. In short, it’s damned good stuff. Indeed, Herndon was for me and many others one of the highlights of CTM …

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Playlist: modernluv – Ghostly’s Moderna + LA’s Jeniluv Share a Must-Listen Mix

Mixes these days have become almost too common, many of them somewhat random selections of crowd-pleasing tracks, in no particular order. And they tend to be solo endeavors. modernluv, apart from being a duo of two significant stastemakers, is significant in that they’ve put together a real sound. It actually is “sultry” and “dark” and “psychedelic.” (I hate it when artists choose the right adjectives in their description, thus robbing me of the pleasure.) In fact, knowing I have a few (cough) love-lorn friends struggling with modern romance, I suggest this mix. Have a listen (track list below): Mixes are …

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Mexico Meets the World, in Superbly-Diverse Mixtapes from Static Discos [Free Downloads]

If you wondered where your musical inspiration would come from in the waning hours of 2013, or the early hours of 2014, we’ve got some ideas. In lieu of top-this-and-that lists, we have a motherload of musical listening and discussions for a series we’re calling Music into 2014. Eclectic and electronic, Mexico’s label Static Discos has become a nexus for artists from around the globe. Now, you can tap into that network as a listener, free. The new Dimension Series – a massive collection of free mixtapes from some extraordinary international artists – joins a year-end mix from the label …

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From Leisure System Crew, Meticulously-Crafted Techno Rhythms [Listening]

From Berlin and Britain, virtuoso producers imagine a futuristic take on techno that elevates technical craft. Among many fine labels that have somehow flown under the radar this year, the surging productivity of Leisure System is surely one that merits some attention. It’s a producer’s label, in a sense, dodging trends to find music that is both danceable and listenable, ready for brain and booty and ear. Berghain in Berlin celebrates its ninth anniversary Saturday, but let’s not overlook the Leisure System party on Friday – and the artists the label has brought together. For starters, there’s the evergreen genius …

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Belgian Gabber Music, Rehabilitated by Playing it at Half Speed

Yes, in addition to the revolutionary step of playing audio in reverse, you can radically alter music by playing it at half speed. And so it is that Belgian gabber tunes many would fine unlistenable suddenly sound fresh, grimy, contemporary, and irresistible. Who knows what other life experiences could be transformed by simply altering the speed? (Maybe we need to be half speed.) Not embeddable, so listen here: This Is Belgium: Conceptuele Post-Hipster Neo-Gabber By Radio Soulwax [Light Sound Dimension] The “remixers” explain: Even though these Belgian records sound very “now”, they are actually 20 years old and were meant …

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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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Krake, Killekill, and the Growing Appetite for Experimental Electronic Music [Listen, Pictures]

Summertime may conjure images of Ibiza and middle-of-the-road festivals in Europe and America, “summer jams” and the musical equivalent of the beach book. And there’s nothing wrong with that; anyone who would deny people the pleasure of listening and dancing to music they love is kind of a jerk. But this stereotype can also obscure a simple fact: music at the edges, music falling under the broad umbrella of “experimental” is actually becoming remarkably popular. What’s beautiful about “big tent” experimentalism is that it can encompass a broad range of music. Musicians playing clubs no longer fear angular sounds and …

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