Kero and Defasten made our virus dreams into a futuristic music video (CDM premieres)

What do you do when you can’t get a virus off your mind? Channel that into a bioscience audio-vision of immunity that reflects that new reality. We talk to Defasten and Kero about their music video for “Lodge.”

We need this sort of fantasy and escape now, I think. But do also check in on the reality in Detroit and the USA – to all our colleagues and friends and family there, we are with you, from Berlin to LA and around the world.

Highways is the kind of EP that might soothe your mood now – it’s a pulsing, electronic, unfamiliar world, but somehow comfortable. It’s music to disinfect to – dry, irregular acid lines, asymmetrical rhythms, but then mellow harmonies set against them. “Chrysler” sounds like a floating Detroit concept car, after hours, a stylish opener punctuated by a wonderful, bizarre bass line. “Southfield” is urgent and groovy; “Fisher” a growling post-apocalyptic IDM deconstructed-electro. “Davison” is delightfully weird reserved glitch. This is Michigan, yes, but through some Tron filter – enter the sadistic game grid.

“Lodge” rounds out the release, and it’s to me the most ambitious – and striking – culmination of Kero’s concept here. Its abstract cycle never quite materializes, a stuttering sound sculpture trying to escape an Enterprise transporter pattern buffer, but with beautiful, murky pad clusters breathing in and out in the background.

That music is evocative even if you close your eyes, but Defasten gives us a bio-science concept visual – unsettling but eerily pretty turquoise and purple 3D imagery. Watch:

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This is built in Notch, the same 3D software Ted Pallas used in the xR experiments I wrote about yesterday. (Ted reviewed this 3D software for CDM – I’m editing that review now.)

Here’s what Kero and Defasten had to say about their work here.

Peter: Want to say anything about the music, sounds? Love the vibe so – could be either the gear or the feeling you had, or both?

I have always had a love for futuristic GUIs in an ode to classic Miami Vice 80s and futurism / cyberpunk aesthetics. Defasten basically just worked with the aesthetic concepts he knew I already loved, but added a few elements of medical and scientific imagery that we both felt inspired by the worlds current crisis.

Kero’s rig for this release: Eurorack modular (of course, classic Doepfer stuff at top anchoring the setup), Elektron Analog Rytm MKII, Elektron Analog Four MKII, and Teenage Engineering OP-Z, which is nearly camouflaged in gray against its larger fellow Swedish gear.

For both of you – I mean, is there something cathartic and calming about really diving into the science here, understanding what this thing is we’re up against? Or how did you feel about the viral content?

Patrick from Defasten: The Lodge video visibly is a comment on what we’re experiencing right now globally. I found the microsounds of the track to evoke the biology of our bodies, the microscopic world that constitutes our being. It was of interest to interpret this graphically, with the real-time synthetic imagery discreetly reacting to Kero’s sonic pulses.

That said, there is indeed something calming when you’re focusing on crafting an idea, isolated at home. I think a lot of academics and researchers of any field can relate to the isolation required to develop an idea. This is the strange calm required to quell the storm.

CDM: To ask another question, is there a feeling of being on the side of science and technology as an approach, not just sort of giving into 1918 chaos?

Patrick: Let’s hope we don’t give into the 1918 chaos. Looking at the numbers now, we are not experiencing the loss of life at such magnitude. We are grateful that science and technology and general quality of life has increased since the last 100 years. That said, massive loss of life in 2020 is still to be taken very seriously.

But yes – I am on the side of science and technology to combat the pandemic, in addition to the cooperation of everyone to respect the temporary measures in place in reducing the spread of the coronavirus. In 1918, they didn’t have the internet – we now have this luxury to have the latest info – either fake or real – relayed to our phones. In many ways, we’re equipped to handle a pandemic, however it doesn’t mean we should put all our faith in science – in reality, politics has played a huge role in the pandemic’s acceleration, and science only responds as a result.

Can you talk about how this collaboration came together? Obviously there’s tons of visual-sonic collaboration and boundary pushing on DU.

PD: It came out quite spontaneously. I’ve already done more than a few works for Kero’s label since a few years now, I think we understand each other musically/aesthetically and are generally in the same zone with our tastes and interests. So once again – he gave me carte blanche to design what I felt was right. This kind of creative collaboration is what I value most – when there is solid trust in the members involved, and that the constructive dialog between the creatives enhance the process.

What’s next for this project and others? Will we see this bio-future-opera expanded?

PD: I’m interested in exploring the themes explored in the video further, but is it really a ‘’bio-future-opera’’? That is up to the public to decide. Prior to the pandemic – I was already interested in the intersection of biology, technology, the need to improve/augment our bodies, and the innerworld that is within us all. I think, instead of this over-emphasis on AI we’ve seen in the 2010s – the time is ripe for the creative and tech industries to re-examine itself, expand its interests, and push towards a new awareness and understanding of what is already all around us – not only to gain immunity to timeless viruses, but to understand/unlock the secrets of the microscopic world which we rely on to be alive, and of course to respect its boundaries. This of course will not be a smooth journey.

How do you hope people will watch this? I turned out the lights and went VERY full screen in the dark. But with all these streams around, I wonder if you have a vision for how we can have some more, say, quality immersion.

PD: What you did sounds like a good idea. The video is a slow burner and doesn’t require your constant attention – watch it on your phone if you like. There’s a lot of micro detail, so the higher the screen resolution, the better. The original content was made in Notch, so it’s generated in real-time, and it could loop forever, so ideally – a multi-screen installation setup running on real-time data in a large, dimly lit, architectural space. Sound familiar? 🙂 I also see it as a kind of backdrop to a sober, advanced tech ‘’mission briefing’’, in a large auditorium or hangar, with speakers of various expertise explaining to an audience the stakes at hand. Like a TED Talk PowerPoint presentation replaced with a holographic visual data presence.

The latest from the Detroit area, on the front lines

Next up from Detroit Underground is Joe Sousa, who will be out next on audio tape, Infinite Cold Distance. He had these sobering words to share about the current situation in Michigan; he’s a respiratory therapist by day so right out there.

Joe, you stay safe, too – and thanks for the update, especially as we deal with this worldwide. We can’t wait to hear your music.

Covid-19, week 3 southeast Michigan update:

This is going to be an account of my experiences during the boom of this virus, and to the point.

I was the charge therapist staffed during the initial weekend of SARS-CoV-2 infected admissions. Admittedly, a time of extreme uncertainty, with high anxieties felt across every profession in my building. You could feel it as you walked into rooms, as you talked to providers, as you tried to guide those around you with what knowledge you had. I am at a minimum pleased to say that phase has passed.

While my hospital (40 minutes away from epicenters such as Detroit or central Oakland County) is not yet challenged with at-capacity status, we are faced with the highest acute workload we have ever seen as a respiratory department. We have more ventilated patients than I’ve seen in my 8 year tenure. The patient population who requires critical care typically has at least one other health issue, but not all. Age is barely a factor, but most people are between 40 and 80. That being said, there has been individuals who are in their earlier 20s, and let that be a reality check.

Regarding diagnosis and treatment: this is an ever-evolving beast. Too many unknowns, and much is questioned daily, not only based on my personal research but based on conversation with providers across the field. Those with hypertension, diabetes, and ACE inhibitor usage seem to be at highest risk. Conjecture between cytokine storm, vasculopathy, thromboembolism, and more, point to an atypical presentation of ARDS. Some things I’ve read are saying it’s actually not true ARDS at all. Many lung mechanic strategies we implement end up being similar, but there is so much food for thought that I’m kept with a consistently open mind. For the layman: this is a unique virus. Too new (“Novel”), and lots to study. Full disclosure: I am not a physician or an infectious disease specialist for example, but knowing how others think is important as a clinician; to best integrate my respiratory tactic into the care plan. I put this here just as an insight to perspective on how every frontline team member is integrally involved in outcomes.

Regarding PPE: we as an institution early-implemented conservative measures, so we are not yet on the shortage side of the line. I anticipate this happening, though, if the supply chain has not been figured out by now. I also don’t believe in a first world country we should have to worry about “conserving” single-use protective equipment, so that thought is slightly daunting. Key point: I take my time putting on my gear and taking it off, properly, effectively, safely. It goes without saying that we, as the health care workforce, are exponentially more at risk than anyone social distancing or locked in their homes.

Beyond this, I truly feel for my other southeast Michigan hospitals nearing or at capacity. Michigan is currently at the 4th highest case count, and the 3rd highest deaths. And in the spirit of honesty: when they do, the deaths come swiftly. It is taxing to all of us, mentally and emotionally. I’m not a proponent of fear, but please stay home. Please be clean. Keep up your immunity and cardiopulmonary system with proper diet and exercise. Please take my word for it. And probably best to lay off the NSAIDS for a while.

Finally, there has been a token of uplifting measure: to see the level of support from so many friends and family of mine, checking in, giving thanks, it’s just all extremely encouraging. This matters more than you know, and I know my peers feel the same. Thank you to all the restaurants and individuals who donate meals and endless snacks to our ICU units, and while these aren’t alway the healthiest options, it does plenty for morale.

Listen to facts from experts, not headlines in the news. Knowledge is power more than ever, and I hope it quells some stress for some of you, I know it does for me. Stay safe and diligent everyone. This too shall pass.

Kero’s release and videos

Well, we’ll need something while we’re home. So for those of you who can, go get that record, which comes adorned with fantastic urban topography from Berlin’s graphic design shop, pressed in Detroit at Archer.

And for everybody, we get some eye candy. Dim the lights. Start with the opener:

Another one by Katya Ganya, for “Fisher”:

And Bryant CPU Place [], for “Southfield”:

Armin van Buuren and MaRLo team up for trance perfection on ‘This I Vow’

Armin van Buuren and MaRLo team up for trance perfection on ‘This I Vow’Armin Van Buuren

Legendary producer Armin van Buuren has joined forces with Dutch trance artist MaRLo on a beautiful, emotional number titled “This I Vow.” Last year, MaRLo’s track “Lighter Than Air” was named the 2019 Tune of the Year on Armin van Buuren’s popular radio show A State of Trance, so it’s only natural that this impressive collaboration was soon to follow. The two talented artists’ sounds mesh together flawlessly in this new piece that is likely to cause a tear or two to be shed.

Released courtesy of Armin’s own Armada Music, “This I Vow” features the emotionally-charged vocals of Mila Josef. Following a few weeks of consistent teasers from both Armin and MaRLo, the release of “This I Vow” also contains a “Tech Energy Mix” re=work from the latter producer that is equally as enthralling.

San Holo releases second single off ‘stay vibrant’ project [Stream]

San Holo releases second single off ‘stay vibrant’ project [Stream]San Holo Freddy Mercury Stance Goldrush Rukes

With his daily “blessed” percentage showcased in his twitter name, San Holo has been an advocate of transparency and honesty when discussing mental health. On his new project stay vibrant, the bitbird founder aims to rekindle the diminished spirits of those feeling lonely.

stay vibrant — led by the first single “(if only i could) hold you” — features some of the Dutch producer’s most chilled work as of late. The crying strings and trap-inspired percussion of “(if only i could) hold you” offer a complimentary sound compared to the more uptempo future bass of the latest track, “don’t forget to breathe today.”

Every Monday, San will debut a new track off the stay vibrant — which is being released independently through his bitbird label.

Photo Credit: Rukes

Phoenix’s M3F donates $600,000 to various national philanthropies following non-profit festival’s 17th run

Phoenix’s M3F donates $600,000 to various national philanthropies following non-profit festival’s 17th runRufus Du Sol Live M3f Phoeni Credit M3f Fb

Just ahead of the national COVID-19 lockdowns, Phoenix’s long-running McDowell Mountain Music Festival, now known as M3F, slid by with the first (and sadly last) taste of the spring events circuit. Luckily, it was for a righteous good cause. The event, one of the country’s only completely non-profit music festivals, celebrated its 17th year by hosting Bon Iver, San Holo, RÜFÜS DU SOL, Justin Jay, Snakehips, and more, and donating more than $600,000 to a number of national charities.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Teach For America, Habitat For Humanity, and Phoenix Children’s Hospital are among this year’s beneficiaries. The festival saw a 20 percent increase in funds raised from last year’s event, with more than a million dollars raised over the last two years. What’s more—M3F’s sustainability and eco-friendly initiatives saw 80 percent of the event’s waste going to recycling efforts, effectively reinforcing a multifaceted giving model that will hopefully inspire other event organizers in the future.

Featured image: M3F Facebook

Gryffin delves into country territory on ‘Hold You Tonight’ with Chris Lane

Gryffin delves into country territory on ‘Hold You Tonight’ with Chris Lane66714504 888390368187558 5925811295388705089 N

From pop ballads with Carly Rae Jepsen to melodic dubstep works alongside SLANDER to reconfiguring vocals from Shawn Mendes, suffice it to say that Gryffin has played a winning hand across a wide table of genres. After issuing his 16-track freshman venture last October, Gryffin is taking his introduction into the 2020s as a moment to pivot towards an untapped sonic angle. Calling upon country heavy-hitter Chris Lane, the Gravity producer is staying ahead of the curve with a summer-primed, “Hold You Tonight.”

When Lane’s first note meets Gryffin’s grooving guitar plucks, any hesitation in the overlapping genre crossover whittles away. Reminiscent of his past triumphs like “Tie Me Down” or “Whole Heart,” “Hold You Tonight” not only includes every facet of a first-class Gryffin release, it generates a refreshing, and necessary, atmosphere of positivity with a savory southern charm. Recently the producer teased an unreleased John Martin collaboration titled “Cry,” during his Digital Mirage appearance, signaling more new material on the way from Gryffin soon to come.

Featured image: Juliana Bernstein

Hot Since 82 celebrates 100th label release with ‘Centennial Mixtape’ and new single, ‘Make Up’ [Stream]

Hot Since 82 celebrates 100th label release with ‘Centennial Mixtape’ and new single, ‘Make Up’ [Stream]Hot Since 82 Twitter

House heavyweight Hot Since 82 closed out 2019 by dropping the long-awaited 8-Track, a stunning record which took years to craft. Luckily, fans didn’t have to wait long for the follow up. “Make Up” stays true to Hot Since 82’s signature style, with pounding bass and synths underscoring more rowdier percussive elements.

In addition to being Hot Since 82’s first track of 2020, it’s also the 100th release on his label, Knee Deep in Sound. To celebrate the occasion, Hot Since 82 has shared a “Centenial Mixtape” to go along with his new single. The mix runs through some of the highlights from the label’s releases, but also points to a bright future with some of Knee Deep’s most recent releases.

Photo Credit: Hot Since 82 via Twitter

Lady Gaga announces shared network TV benefit featuring Billie Eilish, Paul McCartney, Idris Elba, and more

Lady Gaga announces shared network TV benefit featuring Billie Eilish, Paul McCartney, Idris Elba, and moreLady Gaga Credit Newsweek

In an effort to combat the economic devastation of COVID-19, Lady Gaga has partnered with Global Citizen, a community benefitting extreme poverty and other worldly issues, for a television special benefitting the World Health Organization called Together At Home.

Announcing the special online, featuring some help from Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, and Apple CEO Tim Cook, Gaga revealed that $35 million had been raised within seven days from beneficiaries spanning the globe, including the United Nations and leading tech companies (Apple donating $10 million alone). It will feature performances by A-list musicians curated by the “Stupid Love” singer, including Billie Eilish, Elton John, J Balvin, John Legend, Lizzo, Stevie Wonder, and more.

Hosted by Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, and Stephen Colbert, Together At Home airs on Saturday, April 18, living on major networks including CBS, NBC, and ABC, as well as streaming platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Amazon‘s Prime Video. Head to the Global Citizen website for more details.

Rusko shares a full album from his chilled melodic alias, stonehange

Rusko shares a full album from his chilled melodic alias, stonehangeRusko Edmneverstops

Rusko dropped a new album from his stonehange alias, the more melodic side to the dubstep relic’s grittier productions. According to the Leeds-born and York-bred artist, “[I] spend a lot of time making whole different albums just for myself…. that no one ever hears…”

The project has much more of a calming effect than his dancefloor bass shakers. Known for his catchy arrangements from his publicly known stage name, getting a peek into the more vulnerable, melodically led side of his artistry offers a refreshing change of pace.

playlist1 is an inside look into the private world of one of dubstep’s leading legends. It’s a soothing antithesis of the madness his live sets offer, and comes in time to relax listeners as they remain confined to their homes.

Click here to listen to the private link shared by Rusko of his 11-track stonehange album

Photo credit: EDMneverstops

The RADAR 124: Mixed by Tek Genesis

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Fresh off the release of his debut album Temp, Tek Genesis is making waves in the world of experimental bass music. The LP was picked up Division Recordings, the imprint run by renowned Dutch trio Noisia, and spans bold and complex soundscapes featuring inspiration from bass, acid house, and hip hop music alike.

Off the tip of a breakout 2019, Genesis was tapped for a remix of What So Not and Diablo‘s “OOGAHDAM!” on Diplo‘s Mad Decent. The Sydney-based producer now kicks off 2020’s run in unveiling a dubstep-heavy remix of fellow Australian artist Point Clare‘s “Subliminal.”

In addition to the remix, Genesis busted out some tunes on the latest episode of Dancing Astronaut’s RADAR mix series. Just from scanning the tracklist, Genesis shows a myriad of new music in the works due to the flux of “ID” tracks, including an unreleased tease for Portland-based Quiet Bison. Listeners will also hear some bass-filled reworks of G Jones, DROELOE, and more.

Listen through to mix to add some explosiveness to the COVID-19 isolation and stay tuned for more from Tek Genesis in 2020.

Photo credit: Facbook/Genesis

Control free streaming tool OBS Studio with OSC – and more essential tricks

Control live streaming and recording tool OBS Studio with other apps and tools, and route video live. Free add-ons make it all possible.

Keep in mind this isn’t just for the live streaming craze – it’s for recording, too. But if you’re going to stream, by all means, do something interesting.

Carlo Cattano has made a free tool with some major implications – and it’s simple enough that it’s also a nice demo of how to write this in Python, generally. This code lets you route Open Sound Control – the high-res, open communication protocol used by many VJ apps, touch apps on iOS, and other applications – into OBS Studio:

Control OBS Studio with Open Sound Control template example []

That opens up all sorts of possibilities – script and automate video switching, jam live with the input, automate screencasts and recording, and more. In action: well, blink-y viral action:

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Also useful in OBS – you can route input from other applications directly.

On the Mac, you can use Syphon, open tech that lets you route 3D textures in OpenGL as easily between apps as you might audio signal in a patch bay. That’s native in the latest OBS release.

By the way you might even go the opposite direction – using this as output to mapping, for example:

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On Windows, there’s Spout2 support (the Windows DirectX 11 equivalent of Syphon):

For an example of what this is for, here’s someone recording live visuals – alongside Ableton Live – using OBS and Spout. And this is from 2017, so again, it’s not just about live streaming during the pandemic.

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And across platforms, you can use obs-ndi, which support’s NewTek’s NDI for networked audiovisual support:

That’s useful,, because it lets you freely specify sources, outputs, and filters using OBS over a network.

Streamers – and gamers in particular – have been using this already to use phones as remote cameras and perform multiple computer streaming.

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You can even use it to save using a capture card:

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More tips:

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And yes, you could also use NDI to build your own switcher using something like TouchDesigner:

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Full tutorial:


So there you have it. Let other people keep running horrible sound from their phone, while you use OBS as an all-purpose tool for routing, switching, capturing, and streaming video. Oh yeah and – you can use all of this to make your phone a capture, while using your computer to make light work of streaming/recording audio feeds and mic in high quality.

And the essential glue here is all free.

That means all of this streaming craze is a perfectly reasonable time for the rest of us to hone some of our video chops, whether we’re musicians or visualists. So hope you’re staying safe at home, and happily patching video switchers any time the news makes you a bit too anxious. At least … that’s part of my plan, for sure. Best to all of you and – yes, you can actually invite me to your streams.