Kitmonsters Founder and Editor.
Terry, aka Kat Five, is a producer, artist, music tech consultant and speaker, with music featured on stations such as BBC Radio 6 Music, Radio X, Radio 4 and in film. You’ll find her testing AI and VR tools with her electro-punk band Feral Five, and performing at events such as Music Tech Fest, the National Portrait Gallery’s Picasso night curated by Martyn Ware, Shuffle Festival, and Cro Cro Land. She produced and curated Music Tech Fest Berlin, and is a former Chair of ethical music streaming co-operative Resonate, a tutor on the Jump European Music Market Accelerator, and a guest lecturer in music tech at the School of Music Business. She won an RTS award and BAFTA nomination for her film-making at the BBC.
female:pressure has launched its revealing FACTS Survey 2022, that quantifies the gender distribution of artists performing at electronic music festivals worldwide. There’s some good news, as well as plenty of room for improvement. We’ve interviewed female:pressure’s Electric Indigo about the key findings and what should happen next. You can also support the work by getting this FACTS 22 T-shirt.
New collaboration project Ninety is making waves - it’s an amazing video, a track and a Sample Pack, made from 90 samples collected from women and non-binary producers, and it’s raising money for education in audio production. We interviewed LNA (Liina Turtonen) who founded the project, and you can buy the track and Sample Pack now.
Exciting news on the independent label front as No Such Thing Records launches in the UK - with the slogan “Northern. Independent. Forward Thinking.” and a big commitment to inclusivity and diversity. The first release is an absolute banger from Szou called Rose Tinted, and we talked to the label founders Dirty Freud and Ruby Tingle about their vision.
After thrilling people with the MiMU Gloves powered by Glover software, the Imogen Heap-founded music tech company MiMU has just released Glover as a desktop app, making gesture-controlled music infinitely more accessible. We tested it out and were awed by all the possibilities it opens up for making custom sounds, with the Gliss phone app, Leap Motion and more. There’s a free demo too!
Artist, producer and WITCiH founder Bishi put together an amazing live stream performance with the Volta XR team, for Amazon Music on Twitch. It stunned viewers, who were responding on live chat, and was created using cutting edge code and technology. We spoke to Bishi and to Volta XR’s Alex Kane and Yuli Levtov about how the collaboration worked, and asked for their advice for artists wanting to use VR. There’s also info on how you can become a Volta beta tester!
New features for the groundbreaking Dubler Studio Kit live voice to MIDI controller from Vochlea, as Dubler 1.2 launches.
female:pressure has launched its FACTS survey 2020 that quantifies the gender distribution of artists performing at electronic music festivals worldwide. There’s good news - an increase - but much more work needs to be done by the industry. We’ve interviewed female:pressure’s Electric Indigo who has given some brilliant perspective. female:pressure have also given suggestions for Festival Organisers, Artistic Directors, and Artists to help create change, and have a limited edition t-shirt to support their FACTS work.
The halldorophone is a unique acoustic-electric instrument created by Halldór Úlfarsson from Iceland. One of its leading players is Oscar-winning Hildur Guðnadóttir, who used it extensively on her score for Joker, and was part of its development. We talked to Halldór about the cello-like instrument and how it grew from his original idea to becoming a sought-after sound at the heart of tracks from the likes of experimental metal band Sunn O))) and psychedelic folk rap artists CryptoChrome. If you want to see it in action, Bill Thompson will be playing one at his Cafe Oto show in London, on Tuesday 25th February.
The Augmented Instruments Lab at the Centre for Digital Music (C4DM) at Queen Mary University of London, is a place of wonder. It focuses on developing new instruments and interfaces for creative musical expression, and is led by Dr Andrew McPherson. Hackoustic arranged a Field Trip to meet the team there and explore some of the unique instruments, and unsurprisingly it was quickly fully-booked.
Ty ‘A Work Of Heart’ album launch @ Archspace, London, 12th March 2018
The first New Sounds New Styles event, curated by design icon Malcolm Garrett, was a one-day conference and showcase exploring the intersection of music and technology. With a focus on Immersive Audio and VR, it shone a spotlight on current research, authoring, design and performance, and looked at the future environment for creatives.
The groundbreaking Nuraphone headphones are tailored to your hearing and give a breathtakingly deep and different listening experience. They’re a more than worthy recipient of a CES award this year, for Best of Innovation in the headphone category, and we’re sure there will be more honours to come.
Hosted by the UK’s rapidly growing Omnii Collective, a quartet of top talent from the Monika Enterprise label came to Cafe Oto from Germany to talk about their new Monika Werkstatt album and to play live, creating one of the most exciting electronic music nights in memory. Four brilliant and established artists - Gudrun Gut, Pilocka Krach, Sonae and Barbara Morgenstern, ably supported by new British talent La Leif, plus a surprise, non-performing appearance from Electric Indigo, co-founder of female:pressure along with Gudrun.
Graham Dunning’s Mechanical Techno is a masterpiece - he has played Boiler Room Live in London, Music Tech Fest in Berlin, and his demo video has had over a million views. Graham works in art, music and sound, and shared the inspiring story of Mechanical Techno at a packed Music Hackspace.
It promised a lot and delivered even more - the ReVu Video Editor app launched to massive acclaim, even from an audience of cutting edge musicians and technologists. It gives you quick fix video editing for iPhone, iPad, and GoPro cameras, and Scanner (Robin Rimbaud) was one of the Beta testers.
Inspired by playing some one-of-a-kind DIY gear at a Machines Room DIY and unusual instruments jam, I booked onto a Vulpestruments workshop run by Tom Fox. The aim - to learn about building instruments and come out with a playable 3-string in just a few hours. Little did I know it was the start of an adventure that would lead to a high tech hack at Music Tech Fest.
Like a music innovation adrenaline shot, Abbey Road Studios launched music tech incubator scheme Abbey Road Red with a bang. The night included a groundbreaking first project, a standout performance featuring Matthew Herbert, and a chance to get hands on with some great gear, all showcased in the historic Studio 2 where The Beatles recorded.
The final day of Music Tech Fest Scandi - the festival of music ideas - in Umeå, Sweden, was both inspiring and thought-provoking. It saw kids hacking, new instruments for more accessible music-making, the Hack Camp awards, and some memorable performances including LJ Rich mixing it up with cocktail master Emil Åreng.
Sleaford Mods play Banksy’s Dismaland on Friday 18th September, after a string of festival successes. They’ve released a remix of Tarantula Deadly Cargo ahead of the show, and Jason Williams talked about the Banksy event and how they got involved.
ROLI has just launched the Seaboard RISE and it’s a dream to play. A groundbreaking, beautiful, and sleek piece of design with unique features, that’s the most affordable expressive MIDI controller and instrument yet.
What makes a Sleaford Mod? If you listen to the post-punk / hip-hop duo talk through a few of their favourite tracks and artists, some truths emerge. With The Wire Magazine’s Derek Walmsley on interviewing and DJ duties, the ICA Culture Now event was a chance to get some insights into the band’s formative years and influences ahead of the Sleaford Mods’ highly anticipated next album release. ‘Key Markets’, their fifth album, is out on 24th July on vinyl, CD and download.
Music Tech Fest is back, from 29-31 May in Umeå, Sweden. With the latest in music tech, plus performance, a hack camp and jam sessions, it’s another don’t miss event. Artists already confirmed include Scanner, Laura Kriefman with Guerilla Dance Project, and Kenneth Alewine’s Performing Melancholia, a visual music experiment with an automaton. Exciting new band merch technologies, sound artists, instruments and digital platforms are all featured too, and tickets are free. Here’s a look at some of the highlights from Music Tech Fest Paris to give you a feel for what to expect.
Desperate Journalist generated huge excitement ahead of their sold out album launch at The Lexington, with even their peers calling them the future of indie music. Their exhilarating, euphoric and intense post-punk is amazing live, and the album a must-have release.
Wolfgang Flür held the audience spellbound at Ditto Campfire in London, with anecdotes from Kraftwerk days, tips for songwriting, and some of his new music. Electronic musicians at the packed out event included Neil Arthur from Blancmange, and Jon Fugler from Fluke, and it proved to be a great night. Wolfgang played percussion in Kraftwerk from 1973-1986, has written a book called ‘I Was A Robot’, and has a music project called Yamo, as well as DJ-ing and working on collaborations.
The HOW Music collective brought together some brilliant music industry people and performers for a day of workshops, talks and one to one advice, in a bid to start making the music industry more diverse, and redress the underrepresentation of women in music. Held at Red Bull Studios in London, participants ranged from up and coming musicians to bands with a buzz around them, wanting to move up to the next level, and people wanting to work on the business side of things.
Garage punk duo Slaves have had a brilliant year, from their single release ‘Where’s Your Car Debbie’ in early 2014 - an instant classic - to a string of high octane gigs and now a place on the BBC’s Sound of 2015 list. At a great show at The Victoria Dalston, they played fan favourites and some new ones too.
It’s always great to see something truly innovative, and today sees the launch of REV, designed by Gregg Lehrman and his team at Output. It’s going to get producers, composers and artists really excited - saving hours of time - as it offers you tons of instruments, loops, rises, pads, pulses, and swells all in reverse, in real time. Not to mention the supersonic stutters!
Billed as a Beat Junkie’s ultimate gadget, the Ninja Jamm remix app has had a lot of thought, love and cracking tunes poured into it. We can’t keep our hands off it it’s so much fun! Matt Black of Coldcut and Ninja Tune who devised it, is known for pushing music tech forward whether it’s with cutting and sampling, or VJ-ing software. He says Ninja Jamm carves out a new space between DJ apps and other music/studio apps, and is good for artists too. Ninja Jamm download here.
Planes have been whipping up a storm on their UK tour. Fronted by Steve Forrest (Placebo’s drummer), the compelling five-piece play beautifully-formed hook-laden alt blues-rock that we’ve no doubt will thrill festival audiences this Summer. Fans flew in from across the world for their date at Birthdays in East London and they had the crowd spellbound. They’ve a new single ‘Set It On’ out soon and we’ll be bringing you some great interviews.
Orange Amplification built up anticipation big time at The NAMM Show, inviting people to the launch of a ‘revolutionary new product’. After their innovative Orange OPC amp/pc/studio-in-a-box, no-one knew what to expect. The product they unveiled - the DIVO VT 1000 valve tester - turned out to be a study in sleek pared-down design that will help a huge number of musicians, studios, amp retailers and makers.
One of the most exciting pieces of kit we saw at NAMM was the world’s first wireless hand-held MIDI controller with accelerometer. It’s by Numark who make a ton of kit for DJs but we think it has huge potential way beyond DJs, and the ‘game-controller on steroids’ approach makes it really easy to use.
Legendary London music club Ministry of Sound says it is under threat from a housing development. Music lovers across the world are being urged to support the pioneering dance music operation before 26th February when London Mayor Boris Johnson will make the decision that could kill it. We spoke to Ministry’s CEO Lohan Presencer for the latest news.
The first ever She Rocks Awards, set up by The Women’s International Music Network to take place at The NAMM Show, really rocked! The inspiring event started with a mass vocal warm-up, honoured some amazing women in the music business and finished with a stunning performance by Orianthi, Nik West and drummer Brittany Maccarello.
There’s been huge excitement at the Stylophone S2’s NAMM Show debut, with an exclusive Union Jack edition as well as the standard black model. The classic compact analog synth that’s part of so many musicians’ toolkits, has been “maxed out” in a feature-packed version that’s compact and portable, easy-to-use and at a good price point. Designed by the son of the original inventor too, and with David Bowie to thank!
The hottest ticket in rock right now is for the Bonzo Bash NAMM Jamm 2013 - a tribute to legendary Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham. A ‘who’s who’ of the greatest rock drummers will perform Led Zeppelin songs with an all-star house band in Anaheim, CA. Drummers from Iron Maiden, Korn, Slayer, Whitesnake, Anthrax, Scorpions, Dream Theater and Alice Cooper will all be there, plus plenty more. Who’s playing what track is a closely-guarded secret!
Legendary electronic music pioneer Delia Derbyshire is being celebrated with a day of events in Manchester on Saturday 12th January, including specially-commissioned new music that will also be played in other cities too.
Wishing you a great 2013! We’ll be bringing you plenty more bands, kit, producers, custom stuff, reviews, tips and music tech to make it a great year.
Here’s hoping you have a great festive season! Huge thanks to all the amazing people who have helped get the site off to a flying start. There’s plenty more to come - roll on 2013!
Olaf Diegel is the world’s 3D Printed Guitar guru, marrying innovative structures and designs, with tried and tested guitar hardware. His highly customisable 3D Printed guitars made with 3D Systems caused a sensation at the 3D Print Show in London, and will be shown at The Namm Show in California for the first time this year. We talked to Olaf about his plans for 2013 and heard about some amazing new ideas.
Pulling together The Woodentops’ tapes for their new album, sounds like some kind of knightly quest - with tasks ranging from hunting down lost dance mixes by legends such as Arthur Baker, to oven-baking fragile masters. The indie dance rock gurus have launched the 3-CD set ‘Before During After’, on One Little Indian Records, to great reviews, and there’s a new album due in 2014.
The Music Production Show at Emirates Stadium in London is a hot ticket - the global launch of Steinberg’s Cubase 7 is a huge draw, but there is plenty more on offer. We went along on the first day with Paul Rez - Producer, multi-instrumentalist, acclaimed ‘Analogue Witchcraft’ sample library creator and Vuvuvultures band member, to check out the latest kit. The event runs today - Saturday - too.
Two amazing artists, Amir Amor - a top Producer who is also in the blisteringly hot band Rudimental - and acclaimed multi-instrumentalist Laura Kidd from She Makes War, launched our Kit Session video series with a visit to Roland UK and a good look round the new Jupiter-50 synth. Gareth Bowen from Roland, who also plays with Tricky, showed them all its special features for studio and live, and they asked the questions - finding out the things that artists need to know.
Fender have opened an exciting new Artist Showroom in London for leading musicians to come and try their latest gear. Featuring everything from Pawn Shop series specials, to a Fender Amp Bar, as well as a stage, it’s a great space. We were shown round the latest kit, the amp room and given an insight into how the Johnny Marr signature Jaguar guitar was developed.
Two incredible artists, Amir Amor - a top Producer who is also in Rudimental - and multi-instrumentalist Laura Kidd from She Makes War, launched our Kit Session video series with a visit to Roland UK and a good look round the new INTEGRA-7 rack synth. Gareth Bowen from Roland, who also plays with Tricky, showed them all its special features for studio and live, and they asked the questions - finding out the things that artists need to know.
Design guru Scott Summit and 3D Systems’ Abe Reichental whipped up a storm when they launched the world’s first 3D printed acoustic guitar. Scott is an award-winning industrial designer who counts Apple, Nike, and Palm among his clients at Summit ID, and is known for revolutionising the world of medical prosthetics. Yet he loves playing guitar, has been in bands, and recorded albums. We had an in-depth chat with him at London’s 3D Print Show where he was showing his instrument designs, and he told us about building the acoustic prototype, spectral analysis of The Clash’s London Callling, and future plans for democratizing production.
How often do you get your hands on the stems of a track from a top-selling artist? Shure have launched a remix competition for the Snow Patrol track ‘Fallen Empires’ from their album of the same name. Turn them techno, acoustic, dubstep… anything goes. The isolated vocal and music stems are all being made available, and Snow Patrol will pick the winners, who get vouchers to spend on Shure kit.
Pop-up shop mania hit London last week as London Fashion Week and London Design Festival collided in a maelstrom of party madness. So hats off to Nineboys Guitars who launched a guitar pop-up called Downhome for their new Downhome range, as well as show-casing prototypes like a crazy Jack Daniels machine. The launch party featured filthy blues and metal from the Tin-Tone Army - Motorhead’s Ace of Spades on biscuit tin guitars was brilliant. Josh from Nineboys jammed using the hit of the night, The Wedge, and Stu and Chris Da Lipz played cigar-box guitar and harmonica. Downhome runs at 64 Clerkenwell Road, EC1M 5PX until 9th October, and here are some pics of the latest kit.
Whales in Cubicles are making plenty of hot lists right now, from XFM to Artrocker, Daniel Radcliffe AKA Harry Potter, The Independent, the BBC’s 6 Music and The Sunday Times. They launched their new single Nowhere Flag this week at Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen. The jaw-dropping video - in which they blow up London - has already had a huge response. We’ve got some pics from the gig. Full video interviews and kit talk here.
The Penelopes - Axel Basquiat and Vincent T - make shimmering electro pop, with plenty of indie influences. Originally from Paris, they moved to London to finish their new album Never Live Another Yesterday. It was mixed by The Vaccines/Scissor Sisters/Lana Del Ray collaborator Dan Grech-Marguerat who was seduced by their international yet very French sound, and features Laura Kidd as guest vocalist. The Penelopes love playing live and Axel has a gorgeously growly deep voice as well as the kind of stage persona that sees him dubbed “The Black Iggy Pop”. The duo are playing a series of London gigs this month including one for Oxjam at the Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen on 25th September.
Martyn Ware launched the stunning “Tales From The Bridge” in July, a 3D soundscape collaboration covering the length of the Millennium Bridge in London. The mesmerising piece was commissioned by the Mayor of London for the London 2012 Olympics. We filmed behind the scenes - with riggers more used to rock stadiums, dangling over the Thames - and asked Martyn how he and the team, including Grammy winning composer Eric Whitacre, and poet Mario Petrucci, created the work. There’s more from Martyn on making his Human League and Heaven 17 hits on our bands page.
Great filming with Tim Cohen and Shayde Sartain of The Fresh & Onlys today when they were in London. The San Franciscan musicians told us about some pretty interesting kit and plenty of funny stories. From pawn shop specials to beaten up guitars, we were gripped.
We managed to get hold of one of chillwave pioneer Neon Indian’s mini analog synths a while back. It was so exciting, but the PAL198X came in bits and we wimped out of putting it together for far too long. The synth was designed by Neon AKA Alan Palomo and the wonderful Bleep Labs, and Alan held a competition for PAL sounds. A rainy Sunday afternoon in London and we set to work.
Tagging – that nightmare point in your upload when you have to pin yourself down. Some places give you wiggle room as a musician, others are more prescriptive. How do you make the most of the process? When Matthew Hawn, Last.fm’s VP Product, gave a cutting edge talk on tags at the amazing Digital Shoreditch festival, we were all ears. You need to know this stuff and not just in relation to Last.fm.
The first Music Tech Fest, run by Ravensbourne College and Stromatolite in London gathered sound gurus, hackers and musicians together to make, talk and play. From synth legend and 3D sound designer Martyn Ware (The Human League, BEF, Heaven 17) to the dance demon that is Coldcut/Ninja Tune’s Matt Black, and new app designers, minds were well and truly expanded, if not blown! There’s even a free Synaesthesia app.