Got Goosebumps? In ‘Limbic’ Music Video, A Close-up View of Your Body on Music

limbic from Institut Fuer Musik Und Medien on Vimeo. Music isn’t just syntax; it isn’t just a binary message in our brain. It somehow connects with our body in an intimate way. The music video “limbic” explores this visceral connection right at the level of the skin, at sweat and goosebumps and facial reaction. “limbic” is both an aesthetic exploration and a statement about some of the science behind the experience. It comes at a good time, too – earlier this month, we were considering the relationship of body to musical interface, in the context of a bio-interfacing show at …

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mssurface

Microsoft Unveils Two Surface Tablets, But Questions Abound: Will They Hold a Tune?

The iPad has proven a tablet can be a powerful tool for music. It’s also been mostly alone. Android-powered tablets have suffered from lackluster audio performance. Compound that with low popularity in the marketplace and fragmented OS updates, and the platform has largely scared music developers away. Android devices also lack the richness of the iPad’s hardware accessory support, with multi-pin ports that lie dormant, giving accessory makers insufficient capabilities. Windows-powered tablets thus far show some promise, but absent high-quality multi-touch input or thinner form factors, they’ve also been a non-starter. It’s unclear whether it’ll change the situation, but at …

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kelp

A Remix Crosses the Globe, 64 Bars at a Time [Ninja Tune forum Release]

Come on in; the water’s fine. A chain of remixers cross oceans as they remix “Oceandrift,” by Kelp. Photo (CC-BY-SA) Derek Keats. The opening track is aptly-named, a diving bell launched into aquatic depths of ambient sound. But on this release, it’s just the beginning of the journey. From Kelp’s track “Oceandrift,” a set of remixers chart very different musical worlds. They connect across geography via the NinjaTune forum. It’s the latest proof that electronic production need not sound like cut-and-paste templates and presets – and the most recent example of the phenomenon known as the remix chain. What’s a …

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bayati

Sound With a Dose of Mysticism: Upcoming Sufi Plugs Explore Tonality, Call to Prayer, Drones

Could a piece of software make you think differently about sound? Could it reflect ideas, the culture of listening? The developers of the SUFI series of plug-ins seem to think so. In place of screencasts showing which knob to turn which way, they head with a video crew to Morocco. The “instruction” might be about the value of reflection or call to prayer, about living as much as how to use a tool. You can see the first two examples: a meditation on the idea of daily interruptions in the soundscape coming from God, and a collection of electronic drones …

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instagramphotos

Music Making, Shared: Communal Ambient Tracks Explore Instagram Photos, Lisbon, and More

This collection of Instagram photos inspired an ambient compilation at the end of last year – one well worth adding to your listening queue now. Since then, challenges opened to a community on SoundCloud have produced hundreds of terrific tracks – and the latest weekly challenge is on now, with a deadline midnight Monday. Where do you get your ideas? Sometimes, it can be a challenge just to start a track, or can simply feel a bit, well, lonely. Finding fellow music makers can solve that. Artists gathering around SoundCloud and online ambient music chronicle Disquiet work together, with inspiration …

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worldsoundmix

A Small World, After All: Freesound.org Sounds on Earth, and an Ambient Musical Laboratory

Through the eyes of satellites, roving Google trucks, aerial imagery, and more, we have plenty of eyes on our planet. But what does it sound like here on Earth? In a Web application and accompanying art installation, the world turns as it echoes sounds recorded around the world on Creative Commons-licensed site Freesound.org. It’s stunning to hear our world’s acoustic diversity – in some strange way, even more than seeing it, in that sounds can instantly give you a sense of place and time. You can load a version on your browser or on the iPad; then, from the world’s …

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Mouse on Mars: In the Studio, and Reflecting on Performance, Listening, and Melody

Mouse on Mars’ Parastrophics for Monkeytown has been an early highlight of the year, a record packed with musical ideas in densely-configured arrays of sound. The duo is now taking that music on the road, in ambitious, improvisatory live performances. Perhaps all of this can be summed up in one word: energy. Their studio and its arrangements of objects has an energy, an energy that’s present in the craft in the record. And talking to the artists, you get a sense of energy, of enthusiasm, crackling away like an amped-up oscillator. It was therefore a pleasure to get to hear …

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Created: Berlin’s Project Mooncircle is a Label to Watch; Releases Past and Future

If, in my opinion, you want to see how to run a label in 2012, look no further than Project Mooncircle (PMC). It’s based out of Berlin and was originally an offshoot of HipHopVinyl Records – a store I wandered into one summer day in 2004 and left, several hours later, minus a quarter of my summer tour earnings. The label bills itself as “specializing in the conjunction between electronic and organic music.” I could expand on that a little by saying that PMC’s music falls somewhere in the gray intersection between instrumental hip-hop, soul, and jazz, with a particular …

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kameleon

The Music of 2011: Kid Kameleon Picks, Om Unit Mix, Techno Mix

We welcome new CDM contributor Matt Earp (Kid Kameleon) with a look back at tracks of 2011 you can queue up now, in 2012. Photo (CC-BY-SA) – and shot at – The Global Lives Project. Make a New Year’s Resolution you can keep: listen to great music every day. After all, providing creative input to yourself is a big part of your role as an artist. We’re joined by San Francisco’s Kid Kameleon, who’s both one of our favorite artists and one of our favorite music journalists, for a look back at music from 2011 with not one but two …

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Rediscovering 2011’s Music: Ganucheau’s 2011 CDM Mix, SoundCloud-able, from the California Coast

As the sun sets over CDM contributor Matt Ganucheau’s Bay Area home, we gaze back into 2011, with a mix of music you can enjoy through another year. Photo courtesy Mr. Ganucheau. You’re back from (for many) holidays, back online, back at work, facing or embracing a new year. What better time to energize your ears and soul with music from 2011? Finding a “best music of…” anything can be difficult or skewed. So, instead, I’ve invited two CDM contributors to share selections, music to which they’d like to introduce you, rather than to commit to what is or is …

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