Speaking in Code: A documentary on the passion-fueled lives of contemporary techno creators

Watching this documentary on the contemporary techno movement gave me goosebumps. And I recognized every single track in this trailer (yay for those technerd points). Speaking in Code is an intimate account of people who are completely lost in music. A heartbreaking and lighthearted documentary, it’s a vérité glimpse into the world of techno.Captivating and entertaining, the film takes you around the world, following the people who make electronic music … their lives. Starring: Modeselektor, Wighnomy Brothers, Monolake, Philip Sherburne, David Day & Amy Grill Also featuring: Ellen Allien, Tobias Thomas, Marc LeClair AKA Akufen, Wolfgang Voigt, Michael Mayer, Reinhard Voigt, Sascha Ring AKA Apparat, Sascha Funke, Mario Willms AKA Douglas Greed, Miss Kittin, Dan Paluska AKA Six Million Dollar Dan, Mike Uzzi AKA Smartypants Featuring music by: … Read More

The Granular Synthesis of Curtis Roads

Watch Motherboard – The Granular Synthesis of Curtis Roads This is a pretty amazing video. Granular Synthesis I can wrap my head around (imagine a more complex version of additive synthesis, but on a micro-scale), but what really amazes me is Curtis Roads was doing it in 1975 on a mainframe with punchcards. You heard me. How much more nerdcred does this guy need? Ok, lemme back up for a minute. I am, actually, old enough to know what punchcards are (but, keep in mind I was like 5 years old and hanging out at my mom’s company to learn about them). Back in the day (and my intro to computer science teacher in college was amazing because he explained this to us and made us basically write … Read More

How to be a LOLkid

LOLkid. Also: Lawlkid. LOLkids are like Scene Kids except add 100 IQ points and subtract emo. (LOLkids=($humanIQ+100)-$emoFactor;). LOLkids heart the intertronz and nerdery and are all about zar lawlz. 1. Is ok to LOL at yrself. In other words, don’t take yourself too seriously. This involves having a formidable degree of self confidence and not taking things personally. However, don’t overdo it and proclaim how awesome you are at every opportunity (like tweeting about your awesomeness) since others will get tired of you quickly. I mean, look at this guy on 4chan. He rules. He actually put a shoe on his head. And everyone LOLd. This is the way to roll. [Frak I can’t find the jpg.] Nvrmd. 2. Noe flaemz. “No flames.” Reference #1: LOLkids don’t take … Read More

Electronic Musician Gift Guide

If you’ve got an electronic musician on your gift list but are clueless as to what would make them grin with delight on Xmas morning, I and the other staff at Create Digital Music are on hand with our suggestions for gifts for electronic musicians. Among them, a Ground Loop Isolator (for killing that annoying hum when you’re playing live), an excellent Laptop / Gig Bag (shown), and the Korg Kaossilator, a battery-powered synth that combines the touch interface of the Kaoss Pad with a bunch of Korg sounds and effects. Unfortunately the Kaossilator isn’t available in the US yet, but if you’re overseas you get first shot at playing with this cool toy. Read the full guide: Our Favorite Things: Music Technology Holiday Gift Picks from CDM

Gustavo Bravetti's custom interactive music controllers

Check out this interview I did with Gustavo Bravetti, an artist who is really pushing the envelope in terms of what can be done with live laptop performance. Specifically, he wrote a custom driver for Ableton Live that allows you to “nudge” the tempo in a way similar to DJing with records, created controllers to affect playback with a glove or a light, and rigged up an electronic drum kit to play back synth lines realtime. The stuff he’s doing is truly amazing. … Uraguay-based Gustavo Bravetti is a master of live laptop performance with alternative controllers. (See previous video of him from Colombia.) He talks to Liz (aka Quantazelle, a laptop virtuoso herself) about the scene on the other side of the Americas and how he’s able … Read More

Interview with Liz Revision at Gearwire

Check out this interview I did with Bill Holland / Mr. Automatic over at GearWire. It’s half super-technical gear talk and half about live performance. If you read closely you’ll learn the secret source of some of my “crunchier” sounding samples. “Native Instruments Absynth, Kontakt, Yamaha PSR-85 And Quantazelle’s Live PA Rig“

Get yourself a musical robotic exoskeleton

Here’s an interesting art / performance project byMaywa Denki. Based on the simple remotely-triggered servo action of “knockers” (not in the sleezy sense)–which are direct percussive controllers that can be used to pound on various things including boxes, pipes, and guitar strings. In the above video, these knocker modules are employed to make a switch-based drum-machine-like instrument that you assign a sequence of remote knockers to, and then control the playback speed manually with a crank. It has the surreal effect of being a very nerdy guitar, with the thrashing accomplished via said crank. Seeing as performative elements are key in this particular project, the “Wings” project shown about a bit past half way is more showy than useful, with the musician sporting spreading mechanical “wings” with knocker … Read More