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Auroratone: Therapeutic psychedelia from the 1940s
02.03.2011
03:25 pm

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A collaboration between one Cecil Stokes (1910-1956) and Bing Crosby (natch) sometime in the ‘40s, an Auroratone film was apparently meant to be used in the treatment of mental disorders. As one does. The colors and crystal patterns are indeed quite lovely and Der Bingle and his organ are dreamy (or something).
 

 
More about Auroratone films here
 
With thanks to Devin Sarno

Posted by Brad Laner | Leave a comment
Electronic music pioneer Milton Babbitt (1916-2011)
01.30.2011
11:38 pm

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Composer Milton Babbitt died yesterday at the ripe old age of 94. I have always adored his piece Ensembles For Synthesizer, composed from 1962-64 on the guargantuan RCA Mark II synthesizer for which he was an official composer/consultant. I include that piece here from the 1967 album New Electronic Music from Leaders of the Avant-Garde which is a toweringly great slab of classic experimental music. Seek it out !
 

Part One
 

Part Two
 
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And because it’s so totally great, here is the John Cage piece from the same LP: Variations 2 as performed with brutal precision on amplified piano by the great David Tudor.
 

Part One
 

Part Two
 

Part Three

Posted by Brad Laner | Leave a comment
Soul man Bilal takes it to the next “Levels” with a freaked-out Flying Lotus-directed video
01.25.2011
11:23 pm

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Animation
Music
Race
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Innovative L.A.-based electronic music label Plug Research scored big-time when they signed Philly-raised soul singer Bilal Sayeed Oliver in the middle of 2009 to release his revelatory sophomore album Airtight’s Revenge. Bilal left his former label Interscope soon after they shelved his proposed second album, Love For Sale, based on their skepticism of its commercial potential and the fact that it was leaked before official release. Seems like an aphorism for the steady decline of the music industry to me.

Directed by stoned prodigal son Flying Lotus (damn, does that mean he did all that animation?), the recently released video for Bilal’s track “Levels” seems to evince how eagerly the singer has swallowed the red pill. This is some high high Afromythofuturistic material right here.
 

FULL SCREEN
The Sounds of VTech / Bilal Levels   

 
Get: Bilal - Airtight’s Revenge [CD]

 

Posted by Ron Nachmann | Leave a comment
Amplified melting ice: Cryoacoustic Orb
01.25.2011
03:27 pm

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A simple and lovely notion: freeze some hydrophones in various attractive water filled vessels, amplify and subtly tweak the output as the ice slowly melts. Such is the work of an outfit named Portable Acoustic Modification Laboratory. Good on ‘em.



 
With thanks again to Shannon Fields

Posted by Brad Laner | Leave a comment
1960s video predicts we will all be plugged into a ‘central brain’
01.17.2011
11:41 pm

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History
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A peek into the future of the Internet as featured on a mid-1960s episode of the BBC’s Tomorrow’s World.

“Every home will have its own terminal plugged into a central brain.”
 

 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Bruce Haack meets Seventies Hungarian sci-fi
01.13.2011
06:22 pm

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Television

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A mashup of imagery from 1970s Hungarian Sci-fi TV series Tales of Pirx the Pilot (based on Stanislaw Lem’s book) and soundscapes from electronic music pioneer Bruce Haack, this video pays tribute to the roots of digital pop culture. 

Stones Throw Records has released “Farad, The Electric Voice” which…

[...] specifically focuses on tracks using Haack’s self-made vocoder, which he named “Farad.” This was the one of the first truly musical vocoders, and first to be used on a pop album, pre-dating Kraftwerk’s Autobahn by several years.

In his music and lyrics, Haack explored the interface between humans and machines in the beginning decades of cybernetics. Releasing groundbreaking experimental records as early as 1962 using synthesizers, early proto-types of the vocoder, rhythm machines and the touch sensitive Dermatron, Haack’s visionary sound still seems fresh.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Hip-hop noise: Is 21-year-old AraabMuzik the Hendrix of sampling?
01.13.2011
12:00 pm

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Hip-hop
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Designed by Roger Linn and released by the Japanese company Akai in 1989, the MIDI Production Center or MPC has proven to be the backbone of hip-hop production. Its 16-pad interface allows for 64 continuous sample tracks, and has provided producers with some of the intense sound-granulating control that you’ve heard in the genre’s last 20 years.

The MPC has been around for pretty much all of Providence, R.I.’s Abraham Orellana’s life. So it makes almost cosmic sense that Orellana—who does business under the puzzlingly given name of AraabMuzik—has a masterful way of pounding the pads. He came to most peoples’ attention as the man who produced this summer’s “Salute,” the reunion track for Harlem’s Dipset crew (after the jump). Personally I think the kid’s talent far outclasses Dipset’s extreme-swagger stance, but whatever.

Here he is in raw form in the studio with his buddy the MPC-5000…a visual treatment of his virtuosity to follow…
 

 
After the jump: the Death by Electric Shock video crew and visuals freak System D-128 collaborate to spotlight AraabMuzik’s technique…

Posted by Ron Nachmann | Leave a comment
The sauerkraut synthesizer
01.13.2011
11:22 am

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Amusing
Food
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Science/Tech
Unorthodox

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Better yet, keep your Italo disco. Here’s some actual Krautrock. Yes, It’s the Sauerkraut synthesizer, the work of one Gordon Monahan.

Gordon Monahan’s Sauerkraut Synthesizer is an experimental synth, built around fruits, vegetables, and a jar of sauerkraut as voltage controllers for a software synthesizer, built with ppooll-max/msp and an Arduino interface.
The video captures a live performance on the Sauerkraut Synthesizer at the Subtle Technologies Festival, on board a cruise ship in Toronto Harbour, June 5, 2010.
The Sauerkraut Synthesizer is based on a technical prototype using lemons (The Lemon Synthesizer), developed as a collaboration between Gordon Monahan, Akemi Takeya, and Noid, in Vienna, March, 2009.

 

 
Witness the majesty of the Lemon Synthesizer after the jump…

Posted by Brad Laner | Leave a comment
Looking through a glass onion: ‘Enter The Void’ mood elevating visual effects video
01.13.2011
03:08 am

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Drugs
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Pop Culture
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French special effects genius Geoffrey Niquet collaborated with Gaspar Noe on the creation of the mindblowingly wonderful Enter The Void. Here’s a clip that shows the multi-layered visuals that were composed for the film. It’s like looking through a glass onion. For those of you have seen the movie, this will be a reminder of its loveliness. For those of you who haven’t experienced the Void, this will tantalize and perhaps compel you to see it.

Music by Sigur Ros.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
The Frontier is Everywhere: Beautiful fan-made video for NASA
01.10.2011
04:44 pm

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Here’s a gorgeous and beautifully edited fan-made video for NASA by YouTube user damewse. Damewse says he made this video because “NASA is the most fascinating, adventurous, epic institution ever devised by human beings, and their media sucks. Seriously.”

There ya have it.

 
(via TDW)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
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