24 Jun 2015

EMW TV YouTube Channel. Please subscribe!

I have a proposition! I would like to integrate live streaming in to my final year project and have found YouTube Live is a good option. It's free (with one catch) and provides all the encoding etc. 

The one catch is that I need 1000 subscribers before I can use the service! Its a long shot but I would really appreciate if everyone that reads this subscribes to my channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/EMWBlog). It would mean the world to me! 

Also, if you have any ideas to help me reach 1k subscribers by September then I am all ears. Please share and subscribe! In return I will subscribe to your page twice (if you have one) in return!!! Better than any kickstarter campaign I'm sure you'd agree.


13 May 2015

All My Friends and EMW Present Superhand, 5th Spear and Ghostlawns at GwhdiHw

All My Friends and Electronic Music Wales are bouncing to be able to present one of Wales' most exciting experimental, electronic, downright darkly hypnotic acts - Superhand.

Described as by turns "ethereal and twisted electronica" and "Alt-Electronic-Rock Genius" (Louder Than War), the part Welsh, part Swedish duo have been getting rave reviews for May's 'American Teeth' EP, and we can't wait to see the work in full.

The LP draws on an extraordinary array of collaborators - being produced by Mike Mason and mixed by Mike Mason (Grammy award winner, no less who's worked with Placebo & UNKLE). Atop that, members & collaborators of The Cure, Primal Scream and Radiohead helped draw out the nuances and dark subtleties that inform American Teeth - making it a potent, dramatic mix.

Informed by Electronica, Psychedelic music, blues and more, it's all drawn into a stunning, cinematic mix which is going to be a treat to enjoy live.

Support comes from 5th Spear & Ghostlawns.

SUPERHAND - http://www.superhandland.com/
5TH SPEAR - https://www.facebook.com/5thspear
GHOSTLAWNS - https://twitter.com/ghostlawnsUK

29 Apr 2015

All My Friends debut nights in Cardiff. Tonight!

All My Friends are hugely excited to kick off as a promoter with a huge launch party with 2 gigs in one night! We are kicking off with 2 separate shows in 2 venues, with 6 bands & DJs extravaganza with an experimental amalgam of Electronic, Punk and Indie music at Gwdihŵ Café Bar & Undertone

Inspired by the dance-punk spirit of the eponymous LCD Soundsystem song, we're infusing the two venues with bits of both - with Heyrocco's 'Disney Grunge' headlining Undertone as part of their UK tour & the gorgeous, Jon Hopkins-esque, ambient dance soundscapes of Cotton Wolf at Gwdihw. 

Tickets are separately priced at £5 at Undertone & £4 at Gwdihw, with All My Friends DJs at both venues after and free entry for either club night with either ticket.

As James Murphy said - That's how it starts.

Cotton Wolf - http://www.wegottickets.com/event/315516
Heyrocco - http://www.wegottickets.com/event/311584

Gwdihw | Cotton Wolf, Karenin & Parcs plus All My Friends DJs | Wed 29th | 8PM | £4

We've been lucky to get a wonderful bill of Electronic, Ambient and atmospheric dance crossovers, with the gorgeous electronica soundscapes of Cotton Wolf headlining. Variously described as “meticulously crafted...Jon Hopkins like ambient dance” and a “brighter Boards of Canada”, they perform the trick of producing synth-led, sometimes meditative, sometimes outwardly beautiful digitalism which cracks and bleeps in a way that ushers you into it’s world.
Support comes from Karenin and Parcs. All My Friends DJs will play their eclectic mix of Alt, Electronica, Indie-Punk & Experimental tunes ‘til late.

COTTON WOLF - https://www.facebook.com/cottonwolfworld
KARENIN - https://www.facebook.com/karenindontmakehiphop
PARCS -https://www.facebook.com/pages/PARCS/720149271395300

Undertone | All My Friends & Jealous Lovers Club Presents | Heyrocco with Birdcage & Mumbleman & DJs
We're stoked to welcome the compelling, dark yet nostalgic pop, ‘Disney Grunge’ of Heyrocco fresh off a string of shows in South By South West.
The trio may be known for their dark, nostalgic pop tunes, but they are full of “a corrosive mixture of The Cure & Mudhoney, conjuring all manner of adolescent fury” (Clash Mag), making them a particularly energizing mix of something like Nada Surf, Broken Social Scene and early Pumpkins - grunge with moments of sugar-sweet catharsis.
Plus Birdcage & Mumbleman & DJs ‘til late.

HEYROCCO - https://www.facebook.com/Heyrocco
BIRDCAGE - https://www.facebook.com/Birdcagewales
MUMBLEMAN - https://www.facebook.com/mumblemanmusic

19 Mar 2015

Foyer Sessions returns this Saturday at Sherman Theatre, Cardiff.

Foyer Sessions Event page

Welsh Electronica is always a fascinating subject, the language and weather seems to naturally push electronic music in to the realms of experimentica. Art and sound blurred in to colourful, bi-lingual and gloriously joyful pieces, Y Pencadlys has the ability to make even the most traditional wet Welsh day a little more bearable.  He will be performing this Saturday at Foyer Sessions this Saturday (21st March). It's free entry and starts at 8pm. Foyer Sessions Event page

Joining will be H O R S E S, drenched in dreary reverb and driven by 80's sounding percussion. Their self titled Gloom Wave could easily be mistaken for the grey soundscapes of Joy Division. So beautifully gloomy and depressing there are elements of Catharsis with in these compositions. H O R S E S perform at Foyer Sessions this Saturday. Free entry starts at 8pm. Foyer Sessions Event page

Tree of Wolves are returning with more this year!

Tree of Wolves are preparing for a new run of releases after a busy year touring and spending time in the heart of West Wales at StudiOwz writing and recording new material. ‘Shapes’ is the first glimpse in to the direction TOW are heading and it is unashamedly Pop. A simple backbone rhythm leads the shimmering sound that TOW have been crafting for the last couple of years. Wales is a very exciting place to be right now with Anti-Pop being a buzz word on many lips and more and more musicians reaching deeper in to their musical tool boxes. This year is going to introduce the world to many new exciting acts emerging from this beautiful country and TOW are definitely on the list! Keep listening! #WelshElectric

3 Mar 2015

Evolving education: An interview with Leigh Davis one third of the Feed App team.

Feed - Remix Everything - V2 from incidental on Vimeo.

During the last semester at USW we were fortunate enough to have 3 excellent guest lectures from different fields relating to the creative industries. Leigh Davies a former pupil of the CSM course has gone on to work on some really exciting and innovative projects. Feed is an App that is making an impact in schools across the UK, encouraging fresh faces and ears to listen in ways that for some takes years to get around to. I was supposed to post this up at the beginning of the year but feel that now would be a good time. Spring is coming and new ideas blossoming. For more info follow the links at the bottom of the page.

EMW: Your guest lecture today at USW for CSM was really interesting and it is great to see a start up like Feed flourishing in Wales. What were the biggest challenges when developing Feed?

LD: Thank you. Without a doubt the biggest challenge was committing to a project fresh out of University and not knowing exactly how to do what was asked of me. The opportunity arose as I graduated, and opportunities like these are few and far between, so in order to take it, it was a case of say yes now and figure it out later! After that, over the years the problems weren't as big of a hurdle as this was I suppose… Things like learning to professionally "wear many hats" was quite a big learning curve. There's only three of us as the core team, with things to do to make Feed happen, so it was tough, but this is also one of the best things about working in this field.

EMW:  It’s more than just another app but it seems to have evolved in to a tool to educate people on sound and music, did studying at CSM give you many ideas on how to integrate education in to creative industries?

LD: Yes, since its inception it has definitely become more about "what happens around Feed" as an experience rather than just as a product/app, one of those things being our education program. CSM definitely influenced what concepts were brought into our education courses. My time at CSM exposed me to thoughts and concepts that were totally new to me in music and further, and these were things I wished I'd have been exposed to years ago, so we decided to begin exposing primary school pupils of this generation to some of these perception-bending concepts too.

EMW:  Feed is now at a place where you are able to build upon the original concept and make available to an even more diverse audience. You are currently working on FeedforAll. Could you explain this briefly?

LD: Absolutely! Feed is now becoming a bit of an "umbrella" which branch projects are sitting under. FeedforAll is looking to bring a much more accessible Feed experience to SEN/ALS students. Very recently our experience of running a few of our course sessions at Special Needs schools went fantastically but it became clear immediately that not all individuals were able to fully engage in the experience…  The concepts carried over well but a barrier was presented to us in the form of the touch screen, especially to those with poor fine motor control. FeedforAll will be a new development of Feed kicking off in 2015 and we hope, over the next few years, will ultimately will take us into hardware tool development and spacial/immersive experiences that will remove as many of those disability barriers from the equation.

EMW:  It is also a creative tool. What I love most about Feed is that no matter who gets their hands on it, whether it's a class of year 3 students or a fully versed musician working with all the latest tech it can make exciting content. How did you manage to balance ease of use whilst maintaining this far reaching aesthetic?

LD: On approaching the UI design for Feed we immediately decided to keep things very graphical and representational. So there are no words, icons, or workflow grids to guide users in any specific way, and I think this is what allows us to tap into that wide audience age/ability span; it's open to interpretation. Because of this I've always personally viewed Feed like an "instrument" in that sense, as it's something you can learn to use, get better at with practice, and develop a personal user style. Every user we've come across uses it totally different from the other, and that's been one of the more extremely satisfying result of this project for me.

EMW: What is it like for a start up within the creative industries based in Wales? Is there much support out there and would you recommend more people do it?

LD: So… in terms of the "traditional" avenue of the start up and funds associated with that, that side is still very new to this project. Incidental have only recently become LTD so those models weren't really applicable to us on starting... Feed was born through Arts funding in Wales in 2011, it's thrived through educational income since Sept 2013 in both Wales and England, and only now are we looking to explore supporting our growth through the more traditional Start-up funding model.

So we've come through a slightly strange avenue of realising Feed to get it to a point as a "business". I'd definitely recommend the process of sitting down and finding out all options and avenues available outside of the traditional methods to make a project happen, there's more options out there than you might think.

EMW:  From your work with schools and Feed you have built up a large sample pack of material that I believe has fallen in to the hands of a couple of electronic acts from Cardiff, Jauge and Bodhi. Is there a project developing based around this?

LD: Yeah, so all of this has come out of our finalisation of the format of our "Feed Beginners" course. This is a course where pupils get 6 sessions learning about Feed, about the concept of found sound, and alternative music composition. Recently we wanted to bulk up the outcomes from the course to increase its impact and value to schools. All of the Beginners courses we have delivered to date have always churned out several gb of audio files that sound totally interesting, fantastic, and weird! So as well as the pupils getting a chance to create their own Feedcentric tracks during their time on the course, a collection of the pupil produced stems get handed over to a professional musician to produce a "class track". It's a way for the kids to get involved in the professional music scene but also an opportunity for artists to wind up with a large sample pack produced by primary school pupils, which is really quite a bizarre thing to have when you think about it!

Jauge has been in residency this month piloting this new idea for the Beginners course and it has been absolutely fantastic, he's delivered incredible tracks and the pupils/schools and general community have loved what’s been created. And yes, we've spoken to Bodhi plus a few other artists in order to get a few more names involved over the coming Spring and Summer school terms.

It's proving to be a really great model so far, and we're currently closing in on secure a radio play for each track that comes out of every beginners course to take the impact of the delivery to its limits and further inspire the pupils.

EMW:  Can others get hold of this sample pack?

LD: I think the exclusivity of the complete sample pack that each class produces is one of the rewards that the artist gets when they jump on board and create a class track; a "unique content for unique content" trade if you like. So if any electronic musicians were interested in grabbing a few gig of audio content exclusively, produced by these crazy primary school classes then this opportunity is now finally open to the network of electronic musicians.

In terms of public audio content, we have talked about some form of in-app sound content for Feed. Maybe… a browser in the app that features monthly selected sound sample collections, or audio background feeds that can be loaded up and used by anyone inside their personal copy of Feed… but this is all currently on the drawing board.

You also present Feed in a live performance setting. Could you talk a little about this?

LD: Yeah, Feed:vox is the name of this branch of the project. This was developed as an opportunity for us at Incidental to explore a new live performance method using Feed. We debuted it at Wellcome Collection in London as part of "The Voice" event. Basically we turned up with a multi iPad setup, audio routing gear, and a solitary microphone at the front of the stage. We had no content, or no idea what we were to perform so the performance was sculpted in real time around the audio that a member of the audience gave to us through the microphone at the front of the stage. High levels of risk, weirdness, and flying by the seat of your pants character building for sure.

EMW: Who else is of interest to you working in emerging tech within the creative industries?

LD: We're always keeping an eye on emerging tech in order to perch us back on the edge in terms of pushing our projects development. We're starting to think about hardware utilisation and/or development, especially with some of the more blue-sky ideas around FeedforAll, so things like the Leap Motion have caught our eye in the past year or so, and it sorta goes without saying that the heavily cited Oculus Rift is on our radar in terms of a way of starting to look at spacial interaction with sound and jumping out from the touch screen.

EMW:  What’s next?

LD: 2015 is looking to be the first big year for us in many ways, the development for FeedforAll will be kicking off early in the year. We'll also be expanding the Feed course facilitators team with new willing, driven individuals across the UK, potentially further. We’ll also finally be getting around to porting the standard app to mobile and then also outside of the iOS platform, something that been delayed with the added responsibilities we’ve had outside of our “app developer” roles.

But most importantly there will be a big push for us as the core team to put ourselves once again at the edge of the emerging and experimental art tech arena, but this time under an already established umbrella, being Feed, to put it onto and into new platforms and incarnations via new systems and technologies, a professional mantra for us that brought Feed into the world in the first place.

Useful Links for Incidental/Feed:


Facebook: www.facebook.com/thefeedapp


Twitter: @FFeeeedd