Discover the surrealist charm of Kate NV’s music and films

It’s Moscow’s quirkier, playful side that’s probably easiest for us foreigners to miss. But Kate Shilonosova (Kate NV) is earning an international audience for her introspective, surrealist whimsy, and one that’s well-deserved.

Kate NV’s music is beautifully minimal and reflective. The Japan tour makes perfect sense – there’s a distinctively Japanese-compatible electronic aesthetic here. (The poppier nods to minimalism and extensive use of percussion remind me a bit of Cornelius, as do the hand-drawn graphics everywhere.) But her approach to found sound and sampling is equally enjoyable when taken in live. Kate was another highlight for me of Synthposium, and emblematic of Moscow’s experimental, open-minded, live performance-oriented electronic scene. Her own background is in punk and guitars, and she brings that musicianship and improvisational spirit even to this very different sonic idiom.

Live, she works with mics and small percussion and sampling (on various Novation gear and Ableton Live), pulling in elements in a way that’s accessible and fluid. And yeah, she’s the kind of producer who keeps a glockenspiel by her computer in her home studio.

She’s been picked up by RVNG Intl, the Brooklyn-based label with a particularly sharp nose for musical inventiveness. And her LP is terrifically charming. It’s also accompanied by cheery, trippy films from Moscow director Sasha Kulak. Watch “дуб OAK” (each is titled in a combination of the Russian and English equivalent of a word):

— or the extended film “для FOR”:

These films are also available in a generative form, which you can watch on her website – click, and you get different variations:

This project is based on works of Moscow conceptualist Victor Pivovarov,
more specifically on his series called “project for the lonely man”, 1975.
This movie is telling a story about one lonely man’s day.
Every time the button is pressed, the new, slightly different day is generated from the common routine actions.
Thus, creating the sense that all regular days are the same, but in its own way very different.

http://katenv.com/

To get a sense of the live set, here’s a representative set from last year: (Though I wish we had the video of this month at Synthposium! Will share if we get that….)

Her songwriting and singing are also exceptional, though; check, for instance:

Why is this woman smiling? She’s hanging out in Red Bull’s massive Cologne studios.

To get a sense of her tastes and DJ skills, here’s a mix created for DJ Mag – featuring Prokofiev, no less. (You know, I charted the guy and it’s like he almost didn’t notice.)

Lastly, of course, everything is better with a Japanese documentary:

I also love her series of illustrations on manuscript paper and glimpses she makes of her studio, which you can find on her Facebook and VK pages:

Postlude:

Mean YouTube trolls are mean. From the video I posted above, there are some angry comments blah blah guys mansplaining minimalist composers. What gives?

Oh, cool, you know who Steve Reich is. Some kind of expert then.

I think you can do better, trolls. You don’t look like you know what you’re talking about. You need to up your game. Let me help:

“I just talked to your mom and she wants your ‘Minimalist Classics for Babies Naptime Compilation’ album back.”

“You know so little about the early roots of minimalism you probably think La Monte Young is a cheap French perfume store!”

“What’s the sound of one hand trying to perform ‘Clapping Music’?”

See? Amateurs.

Anyway, I think she’s great, and I have, like, a really serious music education or whatever. If someone wants to argue with me they’ll have to get past these fightin’ mallets and my marimba.

The post Discover the surrealist charm of Kate NV’s music and films appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Roland Juno-DS76 – groß, aber nicht ganz groß und leicht – Synthesizer/Sampler

Roland DS76

Die DS Serie ist ansich schon länger erhältlich, es gibt nun eine neue Tastatur für die Junos. Roland stellt den Juno-DS76 vor.

Die DS-Serie ist eigentlich eine klassische Serie von Romplern, die aber auch eigene Samples erlauben. Damit sind sie prinzipiell für nahezu jeden Musiker mit Wunsch nach Sampling auf der Bühne oder im Studio sinnvoll. Bisher gab es eine Version mit 88 Tasten und eine weitere mit 61 Tasten. Die schwerere Tastatur des 88er-Keyboards wird sehr gern und oft durch eine 76er-Tastatur ergänzt, da nicht jeder unbedingt gewichtete Tasten im Klavier-Stil benötig, aber durchaus den großen Umfang schätzt, um Splitsounds über die Tastatur zu verteilen und als Masterkeyboard zu benutzen.

Roland Juno-DS76

Das Instrument ist leicht und kompakt und daher gut für Bühnen und Proberäume. Auch Bands wie Front 242 bis hin zu Nite Jewel sind für simples Equipment bekannt und nutzen eben diese Synths auch gern. Die Maschinen werden gern etwas unterschätzt im Zeitalter der Emulation und des Analogen, denn man hat eigentlich den „Emulator“ quasi dabei. Denn die eigenen Sounds kann man unsparsam dort anlegen. Ein 8-Spur-Sequencer ist an Bord und mit den 128 Stimmen kommt man schon gut zuerecht. Die Klangerzeugung hat zudem 16-fache Multitimbralität und ist daher ein guter Partner als „Alles-Synthesizer“. Mit knapp unter 7 Kilo ist gegenüber dem kleineren DS61 mit 5.3 Kilo das Gewicht auf dem Niveau eines Blofeld-Keyboards.

Das einzige, was böse ist, ist das Fehlen von MIDI-Thru und das Fehlen von Aftertouch, was in der günstigen Liga der Workstations und Sample-Synths heute eine Art Quasistandard ist. Das sollte man bald wieder abschaffen, dass man da unbedingt sparen muss. Aber wegen kleinerer Displays und einfachem Design sind diese Art Synths auch günstig und erschwinglich. Es gibt USB für MIDI und Speicherstick (Sounds und Samples). Ja: Es gibt noch immer Sampler – dies ist indirekt einer!

Der DS ist tatsächlich neu und wird einigen ein „gääähn“ abringen, aber für die Zielgruppe ist das deutlich besser als 16,2 Kilo umherzuschleppen mit dem 88er, nicht wahr? Ist also doch sehr sinnvoll. Für mich übrigens noch immer eher sowas wie ein Geheimtipp für Bands – auch Synthpop und EBM klassischer Art, da diese sehr gerne und viel mit Sampling arbeiten. Ebenso Ethno und andere Stile mit viel Bedarf für „Naturklänge“ oder krasse Schrottplatzsamples für Industrial. Ja – nur das biedere Äußere mag nicht jeder. Isdochwahr™!

Infos

  • Mehr dazu gibt es hier

New Tool For Morphing Sound, Transformer

Transformer is a standalone app that’s designed to transform your audio samples into new sounds, using a microphone, pre-recorded audio files or a virtual instrument. … Read More New Tool For Morphing Sound, Transformer

Native Instruments Intros Kontakt 6

Native Instruments has introduced Kontakt 6, the latest version of its creative software sampler. … Read More Native Instruments Intros Kontakt 6

Deluge Groovebox bekommt 2 Updates – Multisamples und Waveform-Anzeige in Version 2.1

Synthstrom Deluge Firmware Update

Synthstrom Deluge ist eine Groovebox mit Sampling und unendlich langen Patterns. Eigentlich das, was man sich wünscht, denn wo andere ihre lächerlich wenigen 4 Takte preisen, macht Synthstrom direkt ein kostenloses Deluge Update 2.1.

Für Electribes, Elektrons und Co. gibt es keine solche Pflege, während in Neuseeland bereits 2 Videos zu den neuen Funktionen existiert. So ist für Ende des Jahres per Video bereits erklärt worden, was es Neues gibt. Da die Videos in einem gewissen Abstand veröffentlicht wurden, könnte es sogar noch weitere Updates geben. Die Versionsnummer wird dann 2.1 sein.

Deluge Update 2.1 – Multisampling

Grooveboxen können sowas eigentlich nicht, nämlich mehrere Samples verschiedener Frequenzen laden und auf die Tastatur verteilen. Der Klassiker dabei ist sicher das Piano, weshalb auch das vorgeführt wird. Dabei erkennt der Deluge die Samples und deren Tonhöhe und mappt die Samples automatisch richtig. Das ist mal eben Bestandteil der neuen Firmware.

Deluge Update 2.1 –Waveform-Anzeige

Vor einiger Zeit gab es bereits diese kleine Neuigkeit zu sehen, die rudimentäre Anzeige der Schwingung. Sicher sind das nur ein paar Quadrate, man kann aber den Verlauf dennoch erkennen. Ein Schlaginstrument wird wie ein kleiner Pfeil aussehen, eine Fläche jedoch wieder anders. So kann man den Einsatz des eigentlichen Klanges auch zur Bearbeitung und Beschneidung der Samples nutzen. Denn so hat man direkt eine optische Hilfe. Wenn das getan ist, lassen sich Loops setzen und ansehen mittels Abspielmarken, die innerhalb des Wellengemüses herumfahren. Außerdem kann man nur in einem relativ kurzen Display Namen anzeigen, weshalb man hier optisch arbeiten kann.

Das Update wird kostenlos bald auf der Site von Synthstrom zu finden sein, bis spätestens Ende diesen Jahres, mit etwas Glück sogar mit weiteren Funktionen, die ähnlich interessant sind.

Videos

Video zum Multisampling / Handling

Video zum Waveform Display

Sacha Baron Cohen’s EDM track reminds us of the joy of sampling

Sacha Baron Cohen’s Who Is America? continues its epic troll of US society. And since Spinal Tap predates laptop production, we instead get a Hudson Mohawke tribute to sampling.

Resident Advisor picks up the story.

Here’s the thing, though. Miami nightclub owner and manager Jake Inphamous – that’s his real name, not a parody – not only figured out the prank, but shares a story that makes it clear the reality is still odder than the parody.

Vulture has the story. Here’s my favorite bit, on the way Inphamous coddled the artist over his awful track:

It wasn’t necessary to be polite. You know, I manage an artist called Lil Toenail. He’s a gimmick rapper and a troll rapper. He dresses up like a big foot, and has millions and millions of views on the internet. So I figured, “Okay, I’ve dealt with Lil Toenail before, it’s something similar to that.” I figured that if I’m taking this guy under my wing, I got to get his confidence, because this guy’s freakin’ nuts. I gotta support him. Me calling his work a masterpiece? Although I did think it was clever that he was able to get production hardware in prison and capture the sounds of his sentence, I called the song a masterpiece the same way I tell my 2-year-old daughter, “Oh my God, you finished your lunch! You’re the best eater in the whole world!”

How Sacha Baron Cohen Wound Up DJing at a Florida Nightclub

Well, that pretty much sums up the whole music industry. Remember, if you’ve ever struggled for support in your music, there’s something good about obscurity: it aids in self reliance. Oh yeah – Germany helps; people tend to be … frank.

Synchronicity: as I’m writing this, there’s a small child outside my window making… basically the same track, screaming and banging on things. I’d record it for you, but… it’s Germany, there’s presumably a law against that, and you can easily imagine.

Not to let Mr. Sacha Baron Cohen down, but music produced in prison is actually really a thing – and not this joke. For instance:

Behind Bars: Meet The Georgian Techno Producer Making Music From Prison [Electronic Beats]

Photo: Showtime network.

Previously in EDM on CDM:

deadmau5 wants EDM DJS to actually play, produces Tumblr poetry in the process

The post Sacha Baron Cohen’s EDM track reminds us of the joy of sampling appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

The retro-futuristic Apparatum draws from Polish electronic music history

It’s equal parts Polish Radio Experimental Studio and starship control panel. The Apparatum by Warsaw’s panGenerator proves that not only can everything old is new again – maybe it’s even newer.

Take a look:

The Apparatum is a new installation that reboots Communist-era work from the space age, bringing visual and optical and magnetic concepts into a playful synthesizer concept. It’s the latest work from interactive/media shop panGenerator from Warsaw.

In the early adventurous work in electronic music, there was nothing to take for granted. So it makes sense that Polish pioneer Bogusław Schaeffer would imagine an entirely new visual language to accompany the new sounds humans were hearing from their circuits. His Symphony – electronic music cued the engineer with those hieroglyph-like visuals, and inspires the sounds and visual language here.

But maybe that’s what modernity is now: now that we’re no longer wowed by digital, we’re sophisticated enough to see new potential for magnetic and optical techniques that had been discarded in the march to the new. Artists/researchers like Andrey Smirnov, who delve into the world of Soviet optical synthesis and Theremin, have regularly wondered what an alternate future would be like if radical optical and electro-magnetic techniques had continued to develop. Now, in works like this (and work by artists like Derek Holzer) make that alternate reality our own.

The work also draws from the design aesthetics and the engineering of the original, legendary Polish studio:

The physical form is inspired by the general aesthetics of the Studio’s famous “Black Room” designed by Oskar Hansen. The electroacoustic generators and filters were arranged in a modular fashion inside two steel frames – the construction element that we’ve referred to in our design.

Magnetic tape was the primary medium used in the Polish Radio Experimental Studio. We’re also using two types of “tape samplers” – two 2-track loops and three one-shot linear tape samplers. To obtain noise and basic tones we’re utilising purely analog optical generators based on spinning discs with graphical patterns.

This may just look like digital tech aping the original, but they’ve genuinely made a hybrid. DC motors spin discs made of plexiglass, covered in opaque black foil on one side, with an LED and photoresistor. That optical detector feeds an analog signal, fed directly to the mixer. They’re real, opto-analog oscillators.

The magnetic part is real, too. 2-3 second tape loops record samples, with variable-speed playback, on top of 3 one-shots that move the magnetic head along the tape (with in turn varies pitch). So you have digitally-controlled magnetic tape and opto-analog synthesis – a fusion of past and present tech. It takes the historical sound techniques, but produces a more accessible, dynamic interface with the computer – digital input, analog output.

And visitors to the exhibition get real recorded results, too – just as they would if they stepped into the historical electroacoustic studio. There’s a printout of the score, plus a digital record uploaded to a server.

The historical use of tape is reimagined with real, digitally-controlled magnetic tape sampling.

The historical gear that inspired the new invention, side by side with the results.

Visual scores accompany the sonic creations.

The Apparatum will make the trip this weekend to Karlsruhe, Germany, where it will accompany an exhibition on now through the start of next year on the historical Polish studio:

Through the Soundproof Curtain. The Polish Radio Experimental Studio

Apparatum is there from the 4th to the 12th:

https://zkm.de/en/exhibition/2018/08/apparatum

If this has picqued your interest, you can learn a lot more about the studio in this series of articles:

Polish Radio Experimental Studio: A Close Look

And the design aspect specifically:

Spatial Music: Design and the Polish Radio Experimental Studio

Now let’s check some more pr0n of the installation:

This work nicely echoes what curator Natalia Fuchs argued in our interview earlier this week – that media archaeology could lead artists to new innovations:

Between art tech and techno, past and future, a view from Russia

Previously, panGenerator on CDM:

FEEDBOXES are autonomous sound toys that play along with you

MICKEYPHON is a terrifying giant robot head that’s also a musical instrument

http://pangenerator.com/projects/apparatum/

The post The retro-futuristic Apparatum draws from Polish electronic music history appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Mo’Wax, James Lavelle, DJ Shadow, and more in a new documentary

A new documentary is poised to take what looks like a personal, thrilling look at the UK turntablism revolution.

The film is “The Man from Mo’Wax,” a documentary set to premiere at the end of August, with a full digital release (disc and download) on September 10.

The film centers on James Lavelle and his label, the pioneering purveyor of trip hop, alternative hip hop, and other things involving vinyl. And because of Mo’Wax’s seminal role in the 90s UK music scene, you get Lavelle’s story, but a lot more. DJ Shadow, Joshua Homme, Badly Drawn Boy,
Robert Del Naja (3D), Ian Brown, Futura, Thom Yorke and Grandmaster Flash… you name them, they’re in this picture. And it’s a coming of age story about Lavelle, who launched his DJ career at 14 and the label at 18 – all the ups an downs.

And of course, a lot of what sampling and beat-driven music is today is connected to what happens in this film.

How you get to watch this – apart from the YouTube trailed we’ve embedded here – is also rather interesting. Via something dubbed ourscreen, you can actually order up a screening at a participating local cinema… erm, provided you’re in the UK. For the rest of us, of course, we can just wait some extra days and microwave some popcorn and make every crowd around our MacBook or something.

The real fun will be for Londoners on the premiere date:

On Thursday, 30 August at 20:30, London’s BFI Southbank will host a premiere launch screening alongside a live Q&A with James Lavelle and the filmmakers. The event will also feature a Pitchblack Playback of an exclusive mix from UNKLE’s new forthcoming album. Plus, join us for an after-party with a live DJ set from Lavelle. The Q&A with James Lavelle will also be broadcast via Facebook Live from the BFI.

Given the subject of the film, of course there’s also a lovely limited edition record to go with it:

http://www.themanfrommowax.com/pre-order/

If you can’t wait, though, here’s FACT’s two-parter on Lavelle from the label’s 21st birthday.

Images courtesy the filmmakers.

http://www.themanfrommowax.com

Thanks, Martin Backes!

The post Mo’Wax, James Lavelle, DJ Shadow, and more in a new documentary appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Casio RZ-1 Digital Sampling Rhythm Composer Hands-On Demo

Here’s a look at the Casio RZ-1, a sampling drum machine from 1988.… Read More Casio RZ-1 Digital Sampling Rhythm Composer Hands-On Demo

Is WhoSampled’s app set to be the Shazam of pro users?

One app for iOS and Android now recognizes songs – and links you to covers, remixes, and samples. WhoSampled just added song recognition.

First, let’s talk WhoSampled. The site is a database of sample sources, plus remixes and covers – basically, think Discogs for people who want to know where samples came from. This is obviously only really relevant to genres and artists that make heavy use of sampling and remixes, but for those, it’s a fascinating linkhole of musical connections. Here’s a look at Flying Lotus’ back catalog, for instance:

And like Discogs, that data is all human-gathered, not algorithmically collected.

The site already has an app that lets you manually look up that information. Now, you add music recognition. No word yet on whose algorithms they licensed for the recognition – accuracy and content depth remains a stumbling block for some music – but we’ll have to give it a try.

Why this matters: you get a whole bunch of functionality now in this app, between the WhoSampled database, the various features of the app to check out your music collection, and now music recognition, too. In short:

  • Unlimited music recognition (via the mic), irrespective of whether a particular track is in the WhoSampled database
  • A list of track IDs (with login)
  • Favorite tracks
  • Scan your existing Spotify, Apple Music, and iTunes libraries (iOS) or local library (Android) – a fascinating window into the music you’re playing. (And a lot of us duplicate DJ libraries on Android or iOS on the go)
  • Check out sample, cover, and remix connections

All of this will cost you a little bit. In an interesting pricing approach, they’re ad-supported and free on Android, but US$3.99 and ad-free on iOS.

For music recognition, you pay ten bucks a year USD, which then removes ads on all platforms (including the Web).

Take Your Music Recognition Game to the Next Level! Let the WhoSampled App Show You the DNA of the Music Playing Around You

[Whosampled, via rekkerd.org and h/t Oliver Chesler]

The post Is WhoSampled’s app set to be the Shazam of pro users? appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.