If you think that electronic music was born in the 1970s or 1980s, you’d be wrong. Bandsplaining introduces us to Silver Apples, a group who was way ahead of their time, creating innovative glitch-pop sounds back in 1967. They even worked with Jimi Hendrix, but faded into obscurity after a controversial album cover did them in.
THE BEST Electronic Music
Electronicos Fantasticos! shows us how an electric fan can be used as musical instrument – first as a sort of electric guitar, and then as a bass. The sounds are generated by a light behind the fan blades that influences a photosensor circuit held by the musician. Their wild performance of Blue Monday is a must listen.
Korg’s recently launched Nu:Tekt line will create DIY instruments, effects, and utilities for electronic musicians. First up is the NTS-1 a tiny, build-it-yourself polyphonic synthesizer with a digital oscillator inspired by the prologue and minilogue xd. Sound demo here.
Visual artist Kevin McGloughlin teamed up with with musician Max Cooper for this mindbending audio-visual collaboration. Reminiscent of the work of the great Philip Glass, Cooper’s repetitive and driving sounds are reflected in surreal scenes which were digitally copied, tweaked, and pasted to repeat endlessly.
A droolworthy tool for any musician’s arsenal, Headrush’s looper pedal on steroids features a 7″ touchscreen UI, an onboard mixer and effects, and up to 9 hours of internal recording time. It offers numerous inputs and outputs, and comes pre-loaded with 300 percussion loops.
Teenage Engineering’s OP-Z combines a synth and sequencer in a minimal device. It can record 8 audio tracks and 8 control tracks at once, and has a 2-octave keyboard, speaker, microphone, headphone jack, and USB-C/MIDI ports built in. It also works wirelessly with iOS.
Kraftwerk’s 1978 The Robots is an electronic music masterpiece. But it was originally performed by four
musicians robots. Doctor Mix shows us how to perform the track with a single Arturia Matrixbrute synthesizer, which is able to perfectly replicate all of the the classic sounds.
Put on your leg warmers, and pour a bucket of water on yourself! Electro-rock act Carpenter Brut is here to light up the place with a fantastic live performance of Michael Sembello’s hit Maniac from the 1983 film Flashdance. The track is available for download on their live album.
Musician Nigel Stanford is accompanied by a roomful of KUKA industrial robots in the video for his dynamic electronic track Automatica. The robot arms play guitar, keyboard, bass, drums, and of course wield deadly lasers. The brief behind the scenes video is worth a watch too.
One of the more entertaining robotic groups we’ve heard was built by FT Mechatronics, whose electronic band consists of a variety of stepper motors, solenoids, hard drives, oscilloscopes, a robot xylophone, nixie tubes, and a tesla coil. Here, it plays Hello by OMFG.
George C Music has been creating alternative versions of the Doctor Who theme music, to approximate what it might have sounded like if created by other musicians. We can’t decide if we like the Kraftwerk or the John Carpenter version best. The swing jazz is cool too.
A nifty noisemaker for electronic musicians, the softPop’s analog brain makes a virtually endless variety of sounds. Its semi-modular design means you can modify sounds not only with its sliders, but via a patch bay. It can also process external sounds through its filters.
Electronic music phenom Ronald Jenkees’ music video is a tour de force of colorful retro-style pixel art, created by animator Ben Luce of Soul Proprietor, who will use funds raised by fans of the video to support cancer research. From the new album Rhodes Deep. (Thanks Scott!)
Toon Welling and David Menting designed this plaything which encourages face-to-face interaction, with one person controlling an analog synthesizer, and the other controlling a sequencer on the other side. Its simple enough for kids, but awesome enough for all ages.
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