jazzyjeff

Jazzy Jeff, Shiftee Show Us Turntable as a Musical Instrument

Serato and Native Instruments may have a fierce rivalry when it comes to tools. But at the end of the day, the leading DJ vendors exist for one reason: they’re there to support musicians. And I do mean musicians. Watching new routines from Jazzy Jeff and Shiftee, you really see the turntable emerge as a virtuoso musical instrument. They’re released as promotions for Serato (Jeff) and Native Instruments (Shiftee). And the tools are important: they’re there to allow these players to make use of their skills, to do more than just select tracks like a jukebox. But this really is …

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charles-cohen

The Bob Ross of the Music Easel: Watch Charles Cohen at the Buchla

Ctm Workshop: Charles Cohen @ Schneidersladen from Andreas Schneider on Vimeo. There’s an easel of sound, and American composer Charles Cohen is its gentle-voiced practitioner. What starts as primitive basic sounds magically becomes sophisticated, expressive, emotionally-charged musical painting. And Charles can show you how. He did just that earlier this year at CTM Festival, at a workshop hosted by Schneidersladen, the storied Berlin synth shop whose fearless captain, Andreas Schneider, was one of the early champions of today’s modular, analog, and boutique maker revivals. He walks through the process, with all the cool methodical pedagogy of Bob Ross himself. “You …

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King Britt pays his dues to Sun Ra. Photo : Keith Hodges.

100 Years of Sun Ra: Space is the Place, Now More Than Ever [King Britt Mix]

In a world of 24-hour news cycles, keynote speeches, new gadgets replacing those from six months ago … dire warnings of melting ice sheets, starving people, the end of energy and food and wildlife … it’s easy to lose site of optimism about the future. Yet there are those sounds that can be futuristic and radical in a way that doesn’t fade. Sun Ra’s records and performances sound as revolutionary today as ever, even though last week the artist would have been one hundred years old. This is a futurism unlimited and un-aging – like space itself. I imagine it …

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Watch a Tank Make Sound, as Nik Nowak Makes Weapons, Vehicles for Music

In a world of machine weapons, construction equipment waging destruction, mechanized warfare and economic mayhem, maybe giant sound machines are a friendlier alternative. Nik Novak certainly has a way of giving sound physical being. And ironically, if some of his creations might appear to assault the senses, his own sensibilities came from the frightening experience of sonic trauma. He recasts that assault in machines, but also finds ways of working with sound that get past the damage to his hearing. And far from places of fear, the club – and studio – are refuge. (Or, okay, if that description doesn’t …

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cubebatteries

This Could be the Perfect Busking, Mobile Amp and PA: Roland’s CUBE Street EX

Ever wished for something, but figured it was more or less impossible? At the end of a Roland briefing yesterday, a rep pulled out the CUBE Street EX amp almost unceremoniously. And then he showed me what it could do: It produces “50 watts” of power.* It runs on eight AA NiMH batteries – for five hours. It weighs just 7.4 kg (that’s just over 16 pounds). It connects whatever you want – two XLRs, four independent channels, for any combination of instrument, vocal, laptop. It’s angled, so you can use it as a stage monitor. It has a mounting …

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‘Edge of Nostalgia’ is a Calming Ambient iPhone Album Transformed by Mic

Edge of Nostalgia from Michael McDermott on Vimeo. Ambient, and — actually, literally ambient. Mikronesia’s “Edge of Nostalgia” is a chilled-out 7-track record of gentle grooves and crystalline melodies, delivered as an app. That’s nice enough. But with the aid of your iPhone’s microphone, you and the environment around you become part of the soundscape. Ambient sounds are fed through great washes of reverb and chattering chains of delays. Recently updated for iOS 7, the result is an album that is different each time you listen. As the creator notes, plenty of records include stock sounds of field recordings. Here, …

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Dancing Nomads and Afro Futurism: Fhloston Paradigm Chasing Rainbows Video, from King Britt

Chasing Rainbows (Festival Edit) – Fhloston Paradigm from King Britt on Vimeo. Fhloston Paradigm is King Britt’s project from last year on Kode9’s Hyperdub label, dripping with all-analog sound and sci-fi afro futurism. And now it has the music video to match. It could well inspire you to get up and dance, survivalist style. The project grows out of King’s drool-worthy studio – a compact balance of Roland DR110, Korg Mono/Poly, Korg MS20, Roland JX3P, Moog Sonic 6 and SQ10 sequencer. King’s touring now, with the live debut of Fhloston Paradigm slated for October 26th at the Mountain Oasis Festival …

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Gorgeous Beats from Philly’s NO SIR E, Ode to monome Love [Live Set, Sounds]

Faptronica? Trapmetal? Glitchfap? Fapdance? Genre labels make a fun muddle of things for Philadelphia’s NO SIR E. But his music is perfect for this time of the Northern Hemisphere’s summer, that feeling of diving out of a sweltering heat into the water. It’s refreshing, with the dirty, muddy bits in the bottom you’d want to stick your toes into. And then it glitches in satisfying distortion, a motorboat or jetski racing across the smoo… I’m sorry. It’s hard to write in the summer. (Or … well, you can Google what “fap” means, but that’s a bit less … musical in …

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Music Gear in Video Games: Mackie Guitar Hero III Product Placement

An increasing trend in video games is featuring brand product placement in the game design itself. Mackie is one of the first non-guitar brands familiar to readers of this site to show up in a game, with prominent Mackie PAs appearing in Guitar Hero III. (See comments: the Guitar Hero franchise apparently loves licensed brands.) Unfortunately, they’ve got some stiff competition: Guitar Hero’s original creators, Harmonix (now owned by MTV), have licensed the Fender Stratocaster design not only for in-game graphics but the guitar controller in their upcoming Rock Band. Weirdly-oversized Mackie graphics on the PAs just doesn’t match up …

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