Music Videos

Eurythmics – Sweet Dreams (Cover)

Reader Miguel Fernandes shared his cover of the Eurythmics synth pop classic, ‘Sweet Dreams’.… Read More Eurythmics – Sweet Dreams (Cover)

The Iconic Soundtrack Of ‘Stranger Things’

Netflix’s retro monster/scifi series ‘Stranger Things’ was a breakout hit for the network and its electronic soundtrack, by Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein, has become one of the most influential synth scores in years.… Read More The Iconic Soundtrack Of ‘Stranger Things’

Modular Synth Goa Trance

This video, via Gomag, captures a live modular synthesizer ‘Goa Classic’ set.… Read More Modular Synth Goa Trance

Modular Synthesizer + Video Synthesizer Jam Session

This video captures a modular synth + video synthesizer jam session.… Read More Modular Synthesizer + Video Synthesizer Jam Session

Music For 18 Musicians Gets Generative Music Video Made With Machine Learning

While the video is generative, low-res and unrealistic, it captures the essence of watching the evolving landscape out the window of a moving vehicle. … Read More Music For 18 Musicians Gets Generative Music Video Made With Machine Learning

Live ‘Synthphonic Orchestra’ Performance

Stotz performs an original composition, inspired by the work of Beethoven, on Korg Triton LE and Roland Juno Gi.… Read More Live ‘Synthphonic Orchestra’ Performance

Dave Echo Minimal Live Set

Sunday Synth Jam: German reader David Wacker (aka Dave Echo) shared this live set, filmed at Skatehall Osnabrück. Here’s what he has to say about the technical details: We taped one of my livesets, where I play two Vestax VCM 600 Live controllers and an iPad running Touchable 3. Those remote control Ableton and then I… Read More Dave Echo Minimal Live Set

Live Cover Of The Terminator Theme

This video captures a live cover of the main titles theme from The Terminator.… Read More Live Cover Of The Terminator Theme

With Autist and Rainbow Arabia, pop retro futurism meets the club

Electronic music’s popular future is unquestionably tied up with techno nightclubs – for better and for worse. And that’s perhaps no more true than in Berlin, birthplace of Traktor and Ableton Live, in this nation that birthed major DAWs and modular revivals, then became a beacon for the use of said tools to make dance music.

So the question is, where do we go from here? Are clubs about producing effective repetition (literally), or are they also some kind of laboratory for new hybrids of styles?

I’m involved in a second time in a Thursday night experiment of sorts at Berghain, mixing video/visual art with live acts who represent a divergence from the usual form there.

“Berghain” has become a byword for a particular brand of techno, but living next to it means seeing its regular conversion for other purposes, from the Pop-Kultur festival to all manner of live experimentation, sometimes from the bookings from the club and sometimes – as tomorrow night – from guest bookings. And if this is in fact an incubator for some of electronic music’s styles, particularly around Europe, then we get to play with some alternate futures – at least for an evening.

Listen closely to some of these sounds at the edges, and I think you can hear a unique Millennial obsession with making nostalgia and futurism indistinguishable. Those 80s synth tropes and electro and punk flavors become the basis of a musical sci-fi reboot.

And you know, you might buy it, or you might not. It might sound fresh, or it might sound like a throwback. But it is certainly representative of splashes of color, unapologetic pop, and lavish love of synthesizers in the electro context. As some electronic music embraces the darkest side of punk, here’s its poppy, less-goth, electro-not-just-punk alternative.

And for the second time, it’ll play to a Berghain crowd who wouldn’t normally see it inside the aesthetic confines of that space.

Austist is the duo Gariel Santini and Julie Bourgeois. You can almost hear the Paris-to-Berlin transplant process here. It’s French electro and pop, given a transfusion of that unique Berlin vampire blood — heavy synthesizer sounds and bass. And that can be viewed even in technical terms. I once sat in New York listening to David Byrne talk about the impact CBGB’s had on the punk sound. What happens to punk when you do listen regularly to sound systems like Berghain’s Funktion-One, and similar? Of course production and aesthetics will change – even just going out and hearing this, let alone playing on it.

The new record is Constance, and I think is well deserving of a listen.

It’s even telling how this is being released – the music is the project of Tata Christiane, the fashion label at the heart of Berlin’s staunchly anti-conservative, aggressively experimental alternative fashion scene.

It’s hard to describe the whole project, but here’s their sweeping description:

Their recordings aim to expand and connect musical horizons, mixing electronic and acoustic instrumentations, from noisy dance to experimental chanson and soundscapes, with english, french and german lyrics, from spoken words to screaming vocals. The band live performances are an intense physical and sensory experience, integrating heavy wall of electronic, drums, razors guitars, abyssal vocals on top of their own light and video show.

I love this remix, as well – with the latest video:

LA’s Rainbow Arabia (Danny Preston and Tiffany Preston) represent their own unique take on “electro-punk.” Pitchfork I think really hit it on the nose in terms of the ways this is a hybrid. Coming from a release on Kompakt, Rainbow Arabia have polished their sound into a pop synthesis in their fall release, sunnier songs with clear 80s heritage. The video for “Modern Contemporary” is pure Los Angeles Technicolor / Cindy Sherman fantasy:

The release’s standouts are unquestionably to me that track and “Plena”, though I enjoy the totality of this self-released gem:

I meanwhile got cheeky with my own remix of this (free download link included here), playing with speeding up and pitching down the vocals, for a slightly more House-y, androgynous version:

So, you get two sets of duos as headliners – one French, one American, one LA, one Berlin.

I’ll be at Berghain tomorrow, showing an AV installation with Czech light artist Gabriela Prochazka. (Happy to let you know about that, if you’re interested.) If you’re around, say hello. And for everyone else, we’ll keep an eye on these acts and these threads in music.


The post With Autist and Rainbow Arabia, pop retro futurism meets the club appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

This music video generates landscapes from a wild alien duo’s music

If you haven’t seen it already, Meier & Erdmann absolutely nailed it with their video for the tune “Howler Monkey.” First, it doesn’t hurt that this is a crisp, funky, uncluttered earworm gem. Second, the video is dazzling.

Here’s the thing: there’s absolutely no reason why sound visualization needs to be so boring and familiar.

There’s a lot to learn here.

Even just change the colors goes a long way. Here, the familiar spectral view over time is carefully tuned to form fantastical landscapes, the camera panning around lazily. I keep re-watching the video partly because so much was carefully tuned (either intentionally or through happy accidents – I suspect some combination). Mapping surreal buildings or alien flower growths to particular frequencies highlights particular musical features. Persisting the landscape for a while after sounds occur more neatly mimics how we seem to hear music – the memory of what has just happened layering on top of our perception of what’s happening now.

And it’s all brought together into a compelling, coherent scene – a 290-second day-to-dusk-to-night cycle giving the track’s visualization a sense of real progression. Processing is a favorite tool.

The video side is the work of Víctor Doval, a prolific artist with a particular knack for generative work based in Valencia, Spain. See his generative work here – often made into Tumblr-friendly GIFs:

And his full project work here:

That includes some Processing.js stuff you can play in browser.

He writes about the process:

The whole sequence has been created in a procedural way where the definition of every part has been based on mathematical integrations.
To manage all this data flow I worked with Processing and Blender. The Blender add-on Sverchok has been the cornerstone in the creation and transformation of the geometry.
The initial idea came from the understanding of music as a temporal journey, a changing landscape that is perceived via the ears. The track Howler Monkey written and performed by Meier & Erdmann invites the listener to travel through the subjective/individual and the abstract.

Motion nerds: Sverchok is an amazing parametric tool, built in Python. Basically, it gives you the ability to bring in data easily, visualize that data, and otherwise modify geometry in some incredibly powerful ways. (It gets deeper than that from there.)

So, great music, dazzling video, getting lots of deserved attention, and the whole LP is brilli–

WAIT A MINUTE. Why did no one buy this LP? Please go buy this LP. (I don’t need vinyl, but I’m happy to cherish a download. Going to put my money where my mouth is.) The single sounds as such, but elsewhere there are eerie soundscapes that seem to have emerged from the vegetation in a Salvador Dalí landscape, perhaps as retold by a Japanese video game that fell through a wormhole from the future. Atop those are layered manic, weirdo synth lines.

The fact that the genius video and utterly original sound design and composition didn’t net album sales depresses me, but if you feel the same, you can help turn that around.

More music:

And here’s some extra news – the label will show you how to make delicious eggplant dishes, Pakistani-style.

The post This music video generates landscapes from a wild alien duo’s music appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.