There’s an expression that everything is clearer in retrospect. I’m not sure what the expression is in regards to music, or the point at which haphazard trends morph into legitimate subcultures, but it does seem that avant-garde talent is better recognized when there’s been a lapse of time. At least that’s the case with Minimal Wave. Minimal Wave is an interesting genre in that it’s more an umbrella term coined in hindsight than it is a unified movement. The term was pioneered by renaissance woman Veronica Vasicka, New York based DJ, photographer, and founder of Minimal Wave Records. Characterized by its use of analog synthesizers, DIY-recording techniques, and minimal musical structures, the movement comprises a vast array of genres, from synthpop, to synthpunk, to minimal synth and coldwave.
The Deep are an intriguing, new Los Angeles-based electronic sci-fi duo shrouded in enticing conceptual mystery. Their new single Singular Silence has created quite a bit of stir in the blogosphere, partially because it’s backed up by a hefty arsenal of remarkable remixes - such as this wonderfully unpredictable, Björk-resembling Pieces of Juno mix that we’re particularly taken with here at AIAIAI HQ.
On the 28th of November, we’re launching the latest addition to the TMA-1 headphone family: TMA-1 X. Our new headphones have been given a new sound design that suits all genres of music, it provides a lightweight alternative to the existing TMA-1 range and it comes at an entry-level price. Come and celebrate the birth of our new, matte-black baby in Studio A and at Fortunen where a diverse range of DJs, producers and musicians will kick out the jams for your listening pleasure.
Helsinki-based ceramics artist/designer Man Yau has crafted a series of remarkably elegant, conceptual sculptures that look and feel like a million dollars. They’re the sort of trophy-like objects that you might secretly dream of being able to afford - when you move into that swanky new Lower Eastside apartment where Apartamento and Monocle magazines are casually interspersed on the charmingly weathered upholstery of your vintage Eames sofas. However, these sculptures come with an interesting catch; they’re actually fully functional bongs ready to be filled with potent Mary Jane and get you high as a kite.
Boys and girls, prepare to pick up your jaws from the floor because this is unlike anything you've ever seen before: inFORM is a Dynamic Shape Display that can render 3D content physically, so users can interact with digital information in a tangible way. It can also interact with the physical world around it, such as, for example, moving objects on the table's surface. Remote participants in a video conference can be displayed physically, allowing for a strong sense of presence and the ability to interact physically at a distance. This is truly state-of the-art stuff from the Tangible Media Group.
The Phonebloks guy is at it again. And this time he wants to reduce industrial waste through a ‘local recycling centre’ that uses plastic to create a range of products like a waste paper bin, a spinning top and a plastic lamp. But the action doesn’t necessarily stop there as Hakkens made the blueprints for the machines available online for everyone to comment and improve on.
- is a crowd funded documentary featuring, among other creative heavyweights, Diplo, Jurassic 5 and Ghostly International’s Tycho. According to the producers it: ‘reveals the dramatic collapse of the music industry and the unintended consequences the internet revolution is having on creators of all kinds.’ If this trailer is anything to go by, it does look as if UNSOUND is actually a very legitimate attempt at watching out for starving artists struggling to make ends meet in ‘the ‘age of free.’
To some of us Westerners, particularly the ones who live in little, old Copenhagen, the size, scope and vastness of Beijing, let alone China, can be hard to get our heads around. To say that the Chinese capital moves at a different architectural pace than most Europeans are used to is, apparently, a grave understatement.
Just when you thought the Stones Throw label could not possibly get any doper, they unveil one of the most monumental mega jams in recent memory. The hook up between Snoop and Dâm-Funk is one of those collaborations that makes you go:’ why hasn’t this happened before? And the answer to that question is quite obviously that the stars had to be aligned just right, so that the celestial shine from Planet Funk could focus a twofold beam of iridescent cosmic energy at Snoop’s sizable blunt and Dam-funk’s opulent ‘do - the force of which has pulled these seasoned Caesars of the groove together in the one of most delicious, synthed-out love-ins of all time. Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, it is our pleasure to present: The Funk. AKA Dâm-Funk and ‘Snoopzilla’ - ‘Faden Away.’
When we first heard that Motorola were developing a new project that allows ‘users to swap out parts within a modular hardware ecosystem’ our immediate thought was: ‘we’ve heard this before.’ And the idea that sprung to mind of was, of course, Dave Haakens' infamous Phonebloks concept, the viral phenomenon that the entire world and your dad knows about by now. Phonebloks was criticized by a fair amount of naysayers, because of its extremely ambitious (if slightly unrealistic) cross-developer vision. Nevertheless, Motorola have now joined forces with Haakens for a more realistic, albeit less ambitious version of the concept called Project Ara.
This Friday one of our favorite house music duos will be playing at the Warehouse Project in Manchester. If this mix is anything to go by and you're the kind of intelligent individual who decides to go, you’ll very likely be down on your knees praying to the Dark Lord of House when Waze & Odyssey hit the wheels of steel come Friday.
Fetisch and &ME AKA Terranova are not only very nice guys, they’re also the duo you need to book if you want the sort of wonderfully unpredictable party soundtrack that channels the freedom-loving spirit of The Paradise Garage while kicking out the latest lean, focused and forward-thinking jams. Check out how one of Kompakt’s classiest twosomes effortlessly balance the divide between full-on house music dance-a-thon and cultured listening session at the perpetually rowdy Boiler Room Berlin.
Have you ever wondered what it looks like when millions of sound waves are traveling through social networks? Stamen Design did before creating Beatquake - a visualization of dynamic characteristics for typical listening activity across facebook. More than 110 million songs, albums and radio stations have been played 40 billion times through apps integrated with Facebook’s Open Graph.
A bit lost for words on this one as it's actually pretty amazing. By passing sound waves through a metal plate, Brusspup uncovers geometric patterns that form and become increasingly intricate as the pitch of the tone increases. And so, the wow-factor is pretty much off the charts.
Visiting this years Unsound Festival gave us a cornucopia of live acts, DJ sets and impressions. However, one thing really stood out visually with a deserved standing ovation in the Kino Kijów.
Sometimes you have to abandon all notions of decency and rave hard. This is one of those times.
Merging sound, vision and environment, ‘Sadly by your Side’ is an album, a book and a smartphone app. But it’s also an idea. And that rather ingenious idea is that an album is open to your personal interpretation. Not only that, it’s also sensitive to the environment you happen to be in. If you open the app and point your phone at Sadly by Your Side’s physical pages, you’ll hear the tracks in their original form. But if you point it anywhere else, you’ll hear unique remixes of those same songs, with the tracks remixed in-real time as you change your environment.
Nu-disco is a weird term. For starters, it’s not really new, considering it first appeared over a decade ago. And of course, there’s also the spelling. Is new that much more cumbersome to spell than its alternate, edgy consonant + vowel equivalent? Although, there’s something to be said about abbreviating a three-letter word. Using “nu-disco” as a superset genre for several upcoming of artists also poses its own set of problems. How to describe the next wave of this category? New nu-disco? Nu-nu disco? Nu disco squared? Let’s just skip the labels and talk about the music.
Barely a year after releasing the LP Pink, the London-based producer Kieran Hebden better known as the infamous Four Tet returns with a new album, which has so far avoided the usual hype: Beautiful Rewind. Behind the psychedelic cover hides an album swimming against the current trend, resulting in an impressive track, a near perfect summary of all that went before.
I first encountered Oracy one morning in Panorama Bar, the house-oriented top floor of everyone's favourite monolithic temple of techno. The first track he dropped was a particularly demanding 90s-sounding rave number, as if to present a challenge: accept it and dance, or disappear. And some did - maybe 30 percent of the floor emptied out, but the brave ones who stayed were subject to something stunning: his set was diverse, soulful and utterly ballsy. Behind the moniker stands German Thomas Wendel, who you may be familiar with as techno connoisseur Don Williams, or the man behind the imprints Mojuba, a.r.t.less and Wandering. On the 25th of October we’ll be bringing this bold Berliner to Jolene Bar, Copenhagen, for our Dunkel Radio party. We decided to catch up with him before his visit, for a chat about where his journey with electronic music started and how he developed his esthetic on DJing. We even managed to uncover some very promising news about a future Convextion release on a.r.t.less...
African acid-rave and pounding house vibes aplenty, as the man with the tallest headgear in dance music takes center stage at Boiler Room London, armed with facepaint, dancers and champagne. If that opening sales pitch doesn’t have your undivided attention, we will posit the contention that you are well and truly dead inside.
When Young Guru Young was in NYC to speak at The Apple Store In Soho, Nod Factor caught up with him in the street to discuss the new Logic Pro, FL Studio for Mac, why the industry needs Acapellas, that "Control" conversation he had with the great 9th Wonder, and the TMA-1 Studio Engineered by Young Guru.
Supported by a horde of amazing producers and DJs like Kode9, Flying Lotus, Richie Hawtin and Bok Bok, SubPac is a new production tool that gives you bass in the right place. More specifically, it’s a tactile bass system that transfers low frequencies directly to your body effectively allowing you to experience the physicality of the music without doing damage to your precious ears.
What do you get if you take a Russian synthesizer, an Israeli artist, a Copenhagen gallery and run them through a competent curatorial blender? ‘Eccentric Exercise’, that’s what. We’ve lent some friendly headphone support to this very interesting exhibition that sees the Venice Biennale-exhibiting artist Guy Goldstein interpret the sounds of an ageing synth to rather remarkable effects.
Yes indeed, it's that time of year, the Amsterdam Dance Event time of year! In celebration of the impending festival and the party we're supporting, we’ve teamed up with our friend Gregor Tresher for a competition where you can win a grand prize consisting of 1 TMA-1, 1 limited edition Break New Soil ADE 2013 t-shirt and 2 x guest list entrance to the Break New Soil showcase at Amsterdam Dance Event! Read on for details on how to enter
The legendary DJ, producer, graphic designer and founder of the seminal Output Recordings, presents his new compilation called ‘Metal Dance’ at Boiler Room’s Rough Trade event. Expect EBM, Proto-Chicago-house, synth oddities and percussive curiosities from a classy, modern renaissance man who knows a thing or two about the darker side of dance music.
- is the incredibly painstaking video for Extrawelt’s new single that explores 'fractalscapes' through a process, which took over 4 months to realize. Check out the gorgeous video jam-packed with fractal eye-candy. It's well trippy.
To some of you, Daniel Avery’s very distinct dance floor flavor isn’t all that new. The 27-year-old producer and resident DJ at Fabric has been doing the rounds on the electronic music circuit and indeed the outer reaches of the known blogosphere for quite a while. But the striking novelty of his debut album lies not in an upcoming talent’s take on the sonic zeitgeist, but in a versatile artist’s singular departure from it.
Picture a guy who graduated university over a decade ago, sitting in the basement of a student dorm. Now picture that guy doing a radio show called Beats in Space. Different image? Thought so. True, Tim Sweeney has America’s longest-running college radio show. But Beats in Space is iconic, so synonymous with the underground dance music scene, it’s easy to forget its humble roots as a student radio show or the fact that every Tuesday you can find the host at WNYU’s studio located below a university dining hall. And when I say every Tuesday, I mean it. BIS recently celebrated 14 years. And Tim has never missed a week. The stuff of legend, perhaps, but urban myth it is not—he once finished the full two-and-a-half hours with a bad case of the flu (I saw it with my very own eyes.) It was then I realized: there are people who love music. And then there is Tim Sweeney. In a rare moment when he wasn’t on the air or in the air, flying to a gig, I had the chance to talk to Tim about upcoming projects and the beloved show listeners keep tuning into, week after week, looking to hear what they know they won’t find anywhere else.
In this series we'll be asking a variety of names from the scene to point out who and what they believe is being overlooked, so they get a chance to big up the stuff that they think deserves more attention. To kick things off, Najaaraq spoke to two of the UK’s most exciting producers right now: techno champions Blawan and Pariah, after their live set as collaborative project Karenn at PHONO Festival last month.