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In the Studio: Barker “Like an Animal” EP, Sam Barker + nd_baumecker [Stream + Gallery]

Surrounded by a whirlwind of gear, Sam Barker has been collecting musical tools – vintage and otherwise – since his first track, produced at age 13. Believe it or not, this is his old studio – the new one, with nd_baumecker, we profile below. Photo courtesy Leisure System Records. Being futuristic – really looking forward to music – has perhaps become less fashionable in some circles. Don’t tell that to people like UK-born Sam Barker, artist and co-founder of collective/label/party Leisure System. Sam is curating music tools and artists with the same electic passion, the same exploration of new sounds …

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When Detroit Met Holland: Sterac “Secret Life of Machines” Documentary, Re-release Coming [Video]

Musical history seems to happen when things collide, when things get mixed up – certainly in the twentieth, and now the twenty-first century. And so it is that one of the most important “Detroit techno” records ever released came out of Amsterdam. If this were a new artist, the long string of endorsements from a who’s who of electronic music in the video here might seem like publicity fluff. But because Dutch artist Steve Jerome Rachmad, aka Sterac, has had such a deep influence on electronic music since his 1995 debut release, instead you can listen to a network of …

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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 …

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Church-Inspired Electronic Music, in Album and Interactive, Gothic App, from Forss [Listen]

Delicate and dense, melodies and sounds from church contexts, found sounds of bells and voices, are set against crisp, sharply-solid, forward-driving electronic beats. And then, there are the visuals: an archaic architecture of mystical symbols and three-dimensional, evolving forms interpret the music in visual form. Swedish-born artist and technologist Eric Wahlforss, in other words, has been busy. As the artist Forss, his album is an app, appropriately for someone who is the co-founder and CTO of SoundCloud. Eric showed me an early build over cheeseburgers. It’s reactive, perhaps, more than interactive, but there’s still a chance to use your hands …

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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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CREATED: Digital Dub for 2012, Pt. 2 – Digging Deep into Qunabu, Founders Speak

Photo by Rafal Wojczal of Qunabu. A small note based on Part 1: this is no history of dub – no need to create a list of dub forefathers in the comments! But if you’re interested in such things, definitely watch Bruno Natal’s Dub Echos, he talks to everyone under the sun, and it’s fascinating!) A Quiet Bump [as seen in part 1] has their feet firmly planted in the heavy Rhythm and Sound aesthetic of half-time, head-nodding feel. The second modern dub label I’ve been impressed with over the years, Qunabu, is rooted a little more strongly in two …

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CREATED: Digital Dub for 2012, Part 1 – A Quiet Bump, A Conversation with Peak

Photo by Phillip Stearns. The link between dub music and technology is as old as the genre itself – you could even argue that dub is THE purest example of a technology expressed through music. At its best, it’s like magic – when I first saw Scientist run the board for Mikey Dread live, it truly was like watching a magician at work. He had a way of flicking faders so fast but so subtly that they seemed to move with a will of their own. Although there are some core sonic elements of Dub that have been with it …

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CREATED: Call it VHSwave — Jacob 2-2, Stephen Farris and Music That Looks Back Through Time

Futuristic technologies, now found … in the past. Maybe that explains the sound of a lot of new music, says CDM contributor Matt Earp. Photo (CC-BY-NC-SA) ReallyBoring. What happens as music peers through the gauze of memory? Our contributor Matt Earp asks that question with the second installment of the new series, CREATED, a column that examines new and undiscovered music and feeds our headphones through the week. There’s a production technique in a lot of today’s post-FlyLo, beat-driven instrumental hip-hop that’s pretty darn pervasive when you start listening out for it. It’s that woozy, wobbling 80s synth sound – …

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Listening: A Punky, Darkwave, Ice Level Game Austrian Christmas Album from Ireland; Laila Dub Christmas

Christmas in Cork, at – where else – McDonald’s. Photo (CC-BY-SA) jf1234. If you can find a spot in the rotation with your Mannheim Steamroller collection for something a bit different, CDM reader Leigh Walsh of Cork, Ireland sends in her work. She describes it as “punky gothy electronic … for Christmas,” with any proceeds benefiting Autism research. The single sounds crazy, but for me, things get good with the game world-like, shimmering “Secret Inside the Ice Level” and “Melody for the Sewn Princess” tracks. I can find myself mentally wandering an 8-bit ice cave level right now… Austrian Christmas …

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Tetrafol, Sound Object by monome + machineproject + Fol Chen, in Videos, Sounds, and Interview

LA-based bang Fol Chen (Asthmatic Kitty records) wanted to go beyond the computer as the playback and manipulation device for their music. So they worked with collaborators to invent a solution. In a new video, sounds, and an interview, we can share some of how this came into being. Built with the monome creators (Brian Crabtree and Kelli Cain) and LA research and experimentation center Machine Project, the Tetrafol is a custom, pyramidal sound device. The object warps Fol Chen’s music using gestural manipulation of playback, but can also use your own samples. And with open-source circuit and firmware, the …

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