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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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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Monolake Explains Great Mastering Technique in 44 Seconds

At last, you, too, can achieve great mastering. Mastering – a step by step guide to good sound by monolake Sadly, as Robert Henke concedes: i still think it needs to be louder and it lacks dynamics and punch. I STILL THINK IT NEEDS TO BE LOUDER AND IT LACKS DYNAMICS AND PUNCH! It’s like banging your head against a brick wall. No further comment at this time.

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A New Partnership, a New Series on Digital Sound and Art in Berlin; First Look at the Artists

Exploring the connection of the mechanical to sound, UK-based artists Stephen Cornford and Paul Whitty make reclaimed tape machines into instruments. All images courtesy LEAP. In performance and art, sound and music constantly pull against the formless abstraction of the computer, to find physical expression and realization. In physical control, in tangible production, and in exploration of space, artists explore techniques new and old to refine the still-youthful medium of electronic and digital sound. That adventure is at the heart of a new series at a gallery space in the heart of Berlin, LEAP – the Lab for Electronic Arts …

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Music Patchwork: Ableton Makes Max for Live Cheaper, Showcases Creations by Henke, Hawtin, More

As Max for Live matures, Ableton is working to convince more people to try this open-ended tool – and creations built for it – as a way of extending the experience of using Live for performance and production. For years, music software has focused on trying to do everything you need, to be a solution to problems you haven’t even considered yet. But recently, we’ve seen a move to software that considers customization and extension a core feature – not just the province of the hard-core hacker or DIYer, but something basic to the tool. FL Studio, Renoise, Reaper, Kontakt, …

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