reliq at full tilt during a live set, bending time and space. Photo courtesy the band.

Playlist: Anika and Moderna Bring Sonic Caffeine, reliq and Erika Open the Airlock

Monday is a perfect time to try to shift moods with music, to change the mix. So here’s a melange of Monday mixes … mmmmmmm. (Good God, I’m glad we have music to start the week, as words are generally failing me.) Here’s a bit of what we’re cueing up here – from deep, perk-you-up sounds from Anika and Moderna to richly-diverse experimental sounds via reliq and Erika.

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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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Bleeding-Edge Musical Innovation, Live from CCRMA; Full Report, Monolake + Tarik Barri Live

Ivory tower, let down your hair. Make no mistake. The slightly-impossible-to-pronounce acronym CCRMA (“karma”), standing for the not-terribly-sexy “Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics,” is one of the world’s hotbeds for innovation in electronic music. From the lowest-level DSP code to the craziest live performances, this northern California research center nesting at Stanford is where a lot is going on. So, when they put on a concert, this isn’t just another dry exposition of “tape” pieces, academics scratching their chins and trying not to nod off. (Trust me: I’ve … on occasion darned nearly rubbed my chin raw …

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Free Granulator II from Robert Henke for Max for Live; Another M4L Grain Instrument On Its Way

We’re spoiled by modern software as a canvas for experimental sound. Significantly, once constructed and encapsulated, these digital sound devices can fall away, allowing you to explore new noise frontiers through play, not only through calculated sound design. (That very question has come up in very different conversations with developers I’ve had in the last 24 hours or so, so I think it’s worth mentioning – whether it’s something you’ve created or downloaded, you can get to the point where you use your ears and intuition to find sounds.) Let’s talk about that in regards to Ableton Live and Max. …

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A Delicate Web in White Lasers: Robert Henke’s ‘Fragile Territories’

Mastery of technology need not be an end in itself, a showcase for mechanical sophistication. It can mean finding the point at which you push a medium to be its most expressive. And I suppose that’s why so many can admire the ongoing work of musician and media artist Robert Henke. The lasers in ‘Fragile Territories’ are not the crude, awkward beams you probably know from kitschy planetarium shows. Instead, they form a spidery lace so exquisite, you could imagine them as being part of something crackling with organic life – or the workings of a fanciful undersea electro-luminescent metropolis. …

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A Delicate Web in White Lasers: Robert Henke's 'Fragile Territories'

Mastery of technology need not be an end in itself, a showcase for mechanical sophistication. It can mean finding the point at which you push a medium to be its most expressive. And I suppose that’s why so many can admire the ongoing work of musician and media artist Robert Henke. The lasers in ‘Fragile Territories’ are not the crude, awkward beams you probably know from kitschy planetarium shows. Instead, they form a spidery lace so exquisite, you could imagine them as being part of something crackling with organic life – or the workings of a fanciful undersea electro-luminescent metropolis. …

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Your Neurons Are Glitching: We’ll Be Watching (And Hearing) Tarik Barri + Monolake Tour

Robert Henke’s new album is out this month, and definitely counts among our anticipated albums of 2012. But what has not gotten wide coverage is the visual element of this upcoming performance, which will accompany the surround-sound tour of the show in audiovisual splendor from Slovenia to Portland. (We’ll be catching up with Robert, I expect, in Berlin at Berghain.) Dates below, along with the sound of the new record. Monolake is getting visual support from none other than Holland-based artist Tarik Barri. In the teaser test above, his work glitches and pulses in a percussive, retina-firing opus, like a …

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Your Neurons Are Glitching: We'll Be Watching (And Hearing) Tarik Barri + Monolake Tour

Robert Henke’s new album is out this month, and definitely counts among our anticipated albums of 2012. But what has not gotten wide coverage is the visual element of this upcoming performance, which will accompany the surround-sound tour of the show in audiovisual splendor from Slovenia to Portland. (We’ll be catching up with Robert, I expect, in Berlin at Berghain.) Dates below, along with the sound of the new record. Monolake is getting visual support from none other than Holland-based artist Tarik Barri. In the teaser test above, his work glitches and pulses in a percussive, retina-firing opus, like a …

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Orphion Makes the iPad More Instrumental, Expressive; Watch it Meet Moogerfoogers

Design, and investigation in general, thrive on a challenge. So Bastus Trump, working with none other than Monolake co-founder and Ableton imagineer Robert Henke, took on the call to make the blank glass of an iPad behave more as an instrument might. The results, filling that screen with overlapping circles, are impressive, exploiting continuous touch movements to make pitch gestures that are more difficult on a piano-style keyboard. But it’s even nicer to see digital fuse with analog and timbral transformation as the app, Orphion, meets the more traditional Moog Moogerfooger effects. Bastus writes CDM: [Orphion’s] interface was developed especially …

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Curating Sound: Exploring Performance and Embodiment, in Live Excerpts and Analysis from BodyControlled

Continuing our insight into this view into electronic music performance and art through the lens of BodyControlled in Berlin, we’re joined by guest writer Kristin Trethewey. Kristin, a Canadian-born video artist and curator, takes another look at LEAP and BodyControlled, on the eve of its second installment. She gets straight at the question of what “BodyControlled” means, and what it can mean for sonic performance and creation. And I wanted to make sure to subtract myself from this write-up, seeing as I was playing – but see the excellent timelapse of the evening, above. -Ed. LEAP is one of these …

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