I was feeling a bit avante garde today and whipped up a Christmas video for you all. The video was shot around Austin and edited in Vegas Video. The music was done in Ableton LIVE...if anyone is wondering.
Have a GREAT HOLIDAY!! I'll catch ya all on the flip side.
My friend Mark Mosher, who also released a great electronic album this year called "I Hear Your Signals" created an Ableton LIVE pack for his blog readers and fans for Christmas. Mark is also interested in creating a community around this live pack for users to post their own notes about the instruments as well as receive updates from Mark. Mark is also giving away the root samples so that folks who don't have Ableton LIVE but do have instruments such as: Absynth, Alchemy, ElectraX... etc can create their own compatible sounds.
I haven't downloaded this yet. I plan to do that this evening, but if this is like any of Marks previous synth work, the pack should be meticulously, well thought out and very cool sounding. Check it out. http://www.outpostexperiment.com/
I stumbled upon two synth performance videos I thought I would share. The first one is an ode to the moon by Mark Ettlich of RetroSound, which showcases the Yamaha DX II, Korg EX-8000 and the Oberhem OB-X. The second is an electronic version of the Star Spangled Banner played on a ribbon controlled experimental analog synth by Eric Archer.
I'm starting a new feature on mondays on my blog here, where I will spotlight a new electronic musician/band and some of their music. There is alot of exciting new music out there that isn't immediately easy to find, so I thought I might do my part in bringing some of that to the surface. If you have are and electronic musician/group and would like to send me your stuff for consideration you can email me the link to your Soundcloud, Reverbnation, Website or MySpace page at redfaux01 AT gmail dot com. Your stuff should be available for sale or download.
So to kick things off I'd like to introduce:
"I Hear Your Signals" by Mark Mosher
Released July 13th, 2010
Mark Mosher is an electronic musician from Lousiville, Colorado who specializes in his own brand of techno-ish, industrial & experimentally tinged instrumentals. "I Hear Your Signals" follows up Mark's pervious release "Reboot" which came out last year. Unlike the last album, this new album was composed around using the following devices live: Percussa Audio Cubes, Theremin and the Tenori-ON. However, like the previous album, this album when listened to in its intended sequence is supposed to tell a story.I appreciate that Mark doesn't tell you what that story is. He prefers to let his music do the talking while he offers austere clues such as the titles of the tracks and leaves the rest up to the listener.
Get a free preview of Mark's album, click the player to listen!
This album is 8 tracks, not much longer than the 7-song release of Re-boot. I appreciate the shorter album format because it seems now adays I don't have enough time to fully digest a typical 12 song album before moving on to the next, and the price point for these shorter albums is usually quite a bit lower. Mark's intuition is spot on because 7 to 8 songs on a release is just about right.
Lets take a brief look at these 8 tracks.
1. Arrival - Space spreads out before you. The downtempo beat ushers you along into a techno-ish and wistful feel. The Theremin makes a tasteful appearance about 2 minutes into the song.
2. First Orbit - This track is more up beat, showing more EBM and techno stylings with some Kraftwerk flavorings. This track sets up a sci-fi backdrop for the rest of the album's story to take place.
3. Control Zone - This track is more down tempo like "Arrival" however, more experimental. The lead synth sings with technical difficulties reserved only for technology long forgotton. Velvety guitar-like strums modulate pitches as if posessed by some dark industrial motivation.
4. I Can See them - The track which begins with disembodied voices whispering "I can see them" "They're all around us... Don't trust anyone"hails images of zombies or aliens in a clausterphobic aural backdrop.Percussion pings around the stereo field. Spectral type delays shift and scurry about your ears. The track ends with an anxious bassline urging you to get the f* out of there... where ever you are... The track ends with a reprieve of the voices echoing a sort of "I told you so..."
5. When Connected - There is a synergy about this track that that sets up a false sense of security. Machines musically whirr and breathe behind minimalistic bass lines and percussion.
6. Celebration and Voices - This track is all machines and metal chimes... the fusilage of the space ship sings like a mechanical choir.
7. Dark Signals - This track shows EBM roots in an almost militant fashion announcing the state of things... cold and calculated.
8. Resolute - This feels like the credits track to Mark's story. The song carries a certain sense of resolution about it. Rythmic gated synths and a driving tempo are accompianied by a an intriguing vacuum cleaner like chorus.
This is a great electronic release that doesn't take itself too seriously or try to marry itself to a particular genre.Mark does a great job of somehow sounding fresh and new in a style of music that has been over run with derivitive content.I highly suggest you check this out...
I hear Your Signals is available through multiple outlets. Check out Mark Mosher Music for more information. Also, check out Mark's blog "Modulate This" for some fun facts about the new album: HERE.
Last Saturday, March 20th, after the Austin Handmade Music workshop I was lucky enough to catch performances of two cool experimental electronic groups at the Salvage Vanguard Theater: Loud Objects & Bodytronix.
Loud Objects is a duo from New York who in real time create 1-bit noise circuits on a glass plate on top of an overhead projector. It starts out silent, obviously, and then as the circuit gets built and they play around with connections you can hear the noise change. Its loud and noisey and I wouldn't call it musical, but it was definitely interesting to watch and hear. It was probably one of the most unique art sound performances I've seen. Below is a picture of Loud Objects creating the circuit, you can see the two guys below huddled over the overhead projector.
Here's a another picture of the progression of the circuit during the performance.
You can see more pictures of the circuit on my Flickr page if you're interested.
The second group I got to see was Bodytronix which is an Austin duo made up of Eric Archer and Erich Ragsdale who do live electronic jams with a couple tables overflowing with odd handmade electronic instruments and retro gear. The philosophy behind Bodytronix, jamming with homemade gear & retro gear, isn't new but what is so appealing about this group is the musicality of their jams. They are able to take this mish-mash of oddball gear and make music that is refreshing but has a musical sensibility about it. They walk the line between experimental and popular music with a mad scientist edge about them. The prize piece of gear at the show was Eric Archer's new vocal synthesizer which he had singing in english throughout the performance. The heart of Bodytronix is the spontenaity of their live performance, but their recordings stand up as well, so I suggest checking them out on MySpace if you get a chance. Below is a pic I took of the group jammin' out.
On Sunday, December 20th, I went to the third Austin Handmade Workshop at the Salvage Vanguard Theater put on by the Church of the Friendly Ghost. We were originally scheduled to build a Nebulophone Synth designed by John Michael of Bleep Labs at this workshop. Due to the release of his new Thingamagoop 2 for Christmas, the Nebulophone project was postponed until January. Instead, we made a drum machine... a different version of the one we made previously in the first workshop.
Andromeda Space Rocker mk-4 is the official title of this new Eric Archer creation. This drum machine produces an analog bass kick with adjustable tuning & decay as well as a primitive loop sequencer. As with all of the Andromeda Space Rocker line it syncs up with the other models via infrared. The drum box also has a filter that is controlled by a photo cell. This is why you see footage in the videos of people waving flash lights at these things. ;-) The drum machine also has the option to be triggered externally instead of using the onboard sequencer. This can be done via a jumper on the circuit board.
One thing I also want to mention is that if you want to run your drum machine off of a midi clock, as I do, there is a MIDI-IR synch box available from www.woosteraudio.com.You can buy a completed box or if you like to solder you can buy the kit as well.
Aside from getting to make these cool kits in the presence of their creators: Eric Archer, Dann Green (4MS Pedals) and John Michael (Bleep Labs) the workshops are an excellent opportunity to meet other amazingly creative electronic musicians and artists.At this workshop Chris Palmer who was nice enough to show off his Monome controller in an Etch-A-Sketch case… yes it is as cool as it looks.I also got to see Shawn of Lustigovi perform some very interesting music with some bizarre homemade gadgets made with wood, bells, springs, rubberbands and contact microphones.So once again the Austin Handmade Music workshop delivers the goods: awesome new electronic instruments and insteresting people.
On November 15th, was the second Austin Handmade Music workshop at the Salvage Vanguard Theatre in Austin, which I attended and had a great time at. Sadly I must admit I was pretty busy in November so I didn't do a post on it. We made these incredibly cool autonomous bassline generators that were made to synch up with the drum machines we made in October. The bassline generator was designed by 4MS Pedals. You can buy the kits online so chek it yo.
Next is workshop #3 which I will be attending on Sunday and I promise I'll be more forth coming on the post for that one :) However in anticipation for workshop number #3 here is a short video that I made from footage I took of the last workshop.
If you're in the Austin area and interested in attending future workshops the info is: HERE