CMKY Announces 2015 Lineup

Communikey Festival: 8th Edition has released its initial line-up. Scheduled to run Thursday, April 16th through Sunday, April 19th in Boulder, the Communikey Festival has consistently brought in some of the most innovative international and local experimental music and visual artists throughout its run. The programming of events, workshops, installations and speakers is guided by a mission statement every year, and Communikey 2015 will be informed by, according to the festival's press release, a "dive into the deepest recesses of the self and explore our innerspace."

The line-up for this year's festival will bring several noteworthy experimental musicians including Philadelphia-based free jazz and composition legend Charles Cohen, one of the few living masters of the Buchla Music Easel synthesizer.

French composer Pierre Bastien promises a truly unique performance -- he is known for building his own instruments as well as machines that play instruments. He even built a full orchestra, called the Mecanium.

Music technology pioneer Paula Temple recently returned to the world of music after several years as a teacher and will bring her unique brand of industrial techno to the festival.

Former 90 Day Men singer and multi-instrumentalist Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe will make an appearance with his drone/ambient/psychedelic project Lichens.

Other artists announced include: Neel, Orphx, Christina Chatfield, Erika, Clinker, Stridah, Erin E, Foans, Experimental Housewife and Silent Season Showcase (featuring Segue, Jamie McCue and other guests). Other artists, local and otherwise, as well as workships and installations will be announced in the weeks ahead.

Festival passes go for $125 for full access to all musical shows, worhshops and other activities. For more details and to purchase tickets please visit the Communikey website at www.cmky.org/tickets.


:: Beretta Music Ten Years of Techno Compilation

Established in 2002, Beretta Music is a collective from Detroit focused on the future sound of techno music. Soul Over Hype, is a guiding mantra of Beretta Music, the label that Brian Kage & Ryan Sadorus founded and it has played a very important role in helping to shape the self-fulfilling prophecies for each internationally respected artist on its impressive roster. Seth Troxler, Ryan Crosson, Jesse Somfay, Luke Hess, and Alex Israel many of whose talents were first recognized and developed by Brian at their side in the studio to produce key tracks that defined them as artists and unlocked the first doors to the paths of their noteworthy music careers. 2012 marks the Ten Year anniversary of Beretta Music, with the Ten Years of Techno Compliation! Featuring music from Brian Kage, Ryan Sadorus, Seth Troxler, Luke Hess, Ryan Crosson, Arthur Oskan, Keith Kemp, Alex Israel, Christina Chatfield, and many more!


:: Interview with 5 Magazine

5 Magazine is a print and online zine out of Chicago. 

Interview by Terry Matthew

 You're in San Francisco now, which much like Chicago is often a way-station for artists who are from somewhere else. Where are you from originally and how did you get to the Bay Area?

I grew up in Dayton, OH until I moved to Boston to attend the Berklee College of Music, where I studied music synthesis. After graduating I decided to try out life on the West Coast. I have family in San Francisco so I've made frequent visits to the city over the years, and I knew from a young age that this place really appealed to me. The Bay Area in general is really beautiful and has so much to offer, and I am one of many Midwestern transplants out here.


Many producers start DJing and add to their repertoire as they go. Do you remember who you first heard performing a live PA? Do you ever DJ, and was there a greater learning curve to learn how to do a live PA?

The first live performances I remember really making an impression on me were from a couple of Ohio artists, Todd Sines and Titonton Duvante. Their music is pretty much what introduced me to techno as a teenager in the Ohio rave scene. From that point I started paying attention to the music coming out of other Midwestern cities, making the trek up to Detroit on many occasions. I actually feel pretty lucky to have grown up where I did, getting exposed to so much phenomenal electronic music along the way. I may not have ended up where I am now if it weren't for that influence.

A lot of people ask me why I don't DJ. I think it's because I grew up playing music, so writing and performing are both things I've been doing for a majority of my life. As my interest in electronic music grew over time, I knew I wanted to get involved beyond just going to the parties. It seemed like the next step was to start producing music of my own.

I don't know if there's a greater learning curve to playing live since I don't DJ at all... I've never even attempted it once. I'd have to try it out before I could give a real answer. But I do know that playing live is a ton of work. My set relies on regularly writing new material, because I don't want to be playing the same set over and over.


A number of the labels you've released music on but especially Beretta Grey have really pushed your name out there and made people like me notice. How did you link up with them - simple demos over the transom?

I've gotten a huge amount of support from the labels I've worked with so far. I like to be part of labels who sort of operate as a collective, where all of the artists support each other, the label has showcase events, and being on the label means more than putting a record out every now and then.

I hooked up with Beretta Grey because I was introduced to Brian Kage by one of the other artists on the label, Keith Kemp. I stayed in touch with Brian and sent him recordings of live sets I was playing, and he picked out some of the tracks that he liked. Being a part of Beretta has been amazing, in part because we're all friends with each other. It's one of the big reasons I look forward to the Movement festival in Detroit each year. I know there's a Beretta reunion in store.


There's a substantial underground scene in San Francisco, and you're a part of it with As You Like It. Pretend I'm a tourist. Can you give me a bit of an idea of what the scene is like?

Kontrol is definitely responsible for bringing the San Francisco techno scene to life a few years ago by launching a monthly party featuring international techno headliners. By the time I moved to SF, the party had been moved to the End Up, which is a legendary venue in the city because it stays open well into the night. Kontrol would definitely be a requirement for anyone taking a techno tour of SF.

As You Like It also brings in a ton of great talent. They throw a lot of their shows at two of my favorite club venues: BeatBox and Public Works. The AYLI events go off every time, bringing together a diverse crowd of SF electronic music lovers.

Housepitality is a weekly party every Wednesday, and is one of the best weekly events in the city. They book great artists and consistently get a solid crowd. It doesn't even matter that it's in the middle of the week.


When you perform a live set, how many of your tools are analog instruments? Do you bring a laptop with? Is this markedly different than your studio?

The three synths that I usually perform with are the Elektron Monomachine and Machinedrum, and a 303 emulator called the x0xb0x. I also have an Eventide Space reverb unit that I like to bring out.

I do use a laptop, because I have more gear in my home studio that's too big to travel with. One of my synthesizers, the Alesis Andromeda, is a huge full-sized keyboard and weighs over 50 lbs. It makes incredible sounds, but it's not something I want to carry on the road so I record it and throw the recordings into Ableton Live. I also can't think of too many club venues that would have the space for me to bring all my gear, so I try to limit the size of my setup and only bring the smaller synths out.


If I were to introduce someone to your music, which recording would I start with?

The Bloom set is one of my favorites because it the live recording of my first solo live set, at a party called Bloom. The concept behind that party was to feature female artists, and the promoter had been asking me to play for awhile. When she first contacted me, I was still really busy with [her previous partnership with Danny Patterson] Monocle and hadn't really started working on solo productions yet. So when I finally had a bunch of my own music together, I hit her up and asked if she could get me on a lineup. I was so incredibly nervous going into that night. People liked Monocle, and our sets were getting great feedback from people. I didn't want to go from that to playing on my own and have it go badly. But so many of my friends came out to support that night, my nerves calmed down and it went well. The recording ended up really good, I was very happy with it. • 


:: Modyfier Process Series - part 279

Artwork courtesy of the Modyfier Process Series.

I was asked to contribute to the Process Series on Modyfier, an electronic music blog that highlights the creative process behind each contributor's work. Along with the music, all participants are asked to submit a written statement about their contribution. Below is my submission to the Process Series, number 279 in a long line of musical creations from various artists around the world. I gave this podcast the title "clearly unfocused" which is a play on words regarding the fact that I enjoy dabbling in many different facets of four-on-the-floor (one might consider this a lack of focus) while trying to maintain a similar overall theme... bringing clarity to the blur.

christina chatfield - process part 279 (clearly unfocused) by modyfier


I don’t like to limit myself by always writing music that consistently fits into one of the meticulously named sub-genres of electronic music. This is a conflicted goal because at the same time, it is of equal importance to me to create an overall cohesive arc from start to finish. So even though I make music that nods to house, techno, dub, etc., I like to think it all ties together in the end because everything is ultimately funneled through my brain, and through my creative vision.
In addition, the music I am working on at any point in time is usually an indicator of my mood, my state of being. But don’t let that fool you... some of the happiest-sounding tunes I’ve made were written during some of the deepest slumps in my life. I write music for all kinds of reasons: to calm myself down, to cheer myself up, to get into the therapeutic--or at times maddening--state of creating. This podcast is a recorded set of my original music so it represents all of the above in some form or another. But I don’t solely write music that comes from some kind of emotional core. Sometimes there is simply nothing going on that is either monumentally exciting nor relentlessly melancholy.
This is when I draw inspiration from totally random, but specific places. Here are three examples.
1. One day I went into my studio and decided I wanted to make a song that sounded like 1960’s shopping mall music; kitschy and a tad forcefully uplifting, but also current and futuristic. Basically I set out to make the song that Jane Jetson would’ve pushed her retro space-age shopping cart around to.
2. I’ve always been obsessed with the idea of decorating my studio to look like some kind of dimly lit, moody Moroccan opium den. However, being a glutton for music gear means most of the studio funds go towards that, and not towards intricately carved mahogany wood furniture and colorful tapestries... So I settled for making the music one might listen to in a dimly lit, moody Moroccan opium den instead: dark, smoky, with the mellow bubbling of hookahs.
3. Back when I was in music school, a friend of mine used to tell me that my productions sounded like little creatures digging around in soil. I’m still not sure whether I should take that as a compliment or an insult, but regardless of that, I remain pleased that my music managed to conjure up such a specific image in my friend’s head. To this day it is a statement that floats around in my mind frequently when I’m in need of inspiration. 
While they might seem completely superfluous, they are not meaningless. These images led me to create some of the music that’s in this recording, though I’ll leave the speculation over which track is referencing which imagery to the listener. And while each example paints a wildly different picture, they all have one thing in common: they set a very specific scene and mood, in a way providing me with a clear goal if I’m feeling lost creatively. It can be difficult, but I think it’s very important for artists of any kind to be continuously inspired by new and different things. This is one of the ways I do that. 
Thank you to Rayna for inviting me to participate in the Modyfier series. I hope you enjoy the music.


Check out the Modyfier Podcast Series to hear and read hundreds of other contributions.


:: Beatport chart summer 2011

10 tracks that make me want to either drink a piña colada on the beach, sweat it out in the club, or both even though my city is completely covered in fog at the time of this post...