4 Years 4 M’s

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Jon Hopkins, who played our launch party.

Four years ago, the music, art, and technology festival called Together Boston had a storefront location in the heart of Central Square, Cambridge. Inside they held discussions, hosted a series of DJ in the live lab, and generally had an open space where music lovers could gather, chat, and chill. As we were closing down and moving out, we heard from a number of people that they were unhappy. No one wanted to see the space closed as it was a benefit to the community at large.

That’s when Managing Director Alex Maniatis and Creative Director David Day turned and looked at each other.

They said, “Why can’t we just do this all year?”

And Mmmmaven was born.

With the distinctive 4 M’s (each M represents 4 beats, so for M’s = 4/4 time signature) we went in search of investors, and met a lot of quizzical faces. We were told numerous times that “EDM” is just a fad (pro tip: We don’t really deal in “EDM”) or that there wasn’t an interest in the Boston music community.

“Why open this in a ‘rock town’ like Boston?”

The answer, of course, is that Boston has a passion for music and always has. With a wide array of musicians who could learn Ableton, or newly-graduated students looking to DJ, or simply Boston’s lengthy history of a passion for music, there’s not another city that makes more sense.

Eventually, with the help of our valiant General Manager Corina Hernandez, we launched a kickstarted and found a way to open. Some of our first instructors were close friends like Erik Pearson (aka Baltimoroder) or Ableton super-gurus like Encanti (a/k/a Ben Cantil).

Baltimoroder – Mmmmix #1 for @mmmmaven by Mmmmaven on Mixcloud

Soon, we were graduating students. These students would go to find bonds, and make their way up the ladder. What Alex and I really didn’t anticipate, however, was the community at large that would form.

Matt Rohr, Alex Maniatis, Corina Hernandez, and myself in the Boston Globe.
Fens, Alex Maniatis, Corina Hernandez, and myself in the Boston Globe.

Soon the team recruited Sarah Hoffman, who answered a Craigslist ad looking for a Business Development Director. More would join up, everyone from award-winning Boston DJ Leah V to Berklee and Ableton whizkid Wigbert “Wigz” Caro. Charles Mazzola, Andrew Hlynsky, DJ Rugged One, Polina Starobinets, the list goes on and on.

And that’s just the instructors. As I mentioned it was the larger community, the alumni, those who would attend a workshop or Make It New, that formed an extra-wide group of people …

all of whom share a passion to see the worlds of music and technology not only grow, but thrive.

So to anyone reading this sentence who has contributed in any way over the last four years, I hope you’ll consider this video below a result of you and your time and your effort.

Thank you.

See you tonight!

Mmmmaven Agency Update #005

In addition to providing education for those who want to upgrade their musical ability through powerful technology channels, and including our production side (which recently brought Bob Moses to Middlesex Lounge), we seek to assist and support Boston’s burgeoning music production scene however we can.

We’re proud to say Boston is home to some fabulous musician/producers, and they’re catching fire. Here’s what is going on with some of them.

  • Ricardo Donoso
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    About two years ago, our in-house modern music maestro collaborated with Dutch photographer Julie Nymann for “A Song for Echo,” at the Museum of Science Planetarium. Some pretty heavy-hitting art mavens approved and the resulting soundtrack has finally been released. Here’s what elite music critic Philip Sherburne had to say at Pitchfork:

    As the album proceeds, it builds into something almost overpowering—an enormous basso throb accompanied by the grating sound of knives being sharpened, metal gates swinging back and forth in the wind; swollen reverb sings the wind-tunnel blues. And then, like a storm passing overhead, it all fades to silence.

    Read the rest of the review here. To immerse yourself in the sound (headphone highly recommended) click below:

    You might also want to buy the limited-edition white vinyl here.

    Ricardo also returned this weekend from a jaunt to NYC, playing as Scuba Death:

  • Durkin
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    Our in-house hip-hop and #dreamclub producer Durkin regularly gigs around Boston, from museums to corporate soirees and back again, but his productions are starting to be wholly recognized by the outside world. Take this tweet for example, where he points out that two of his tracks are in the Beatport Top 100 for hip-hop. Including this gem: “Feel it”:

    Read all about his latest release with an interview for Run the Trap:

    Who are some of your favorite producers/artists in the game right now?

    Shash’u, FS Green, Jailo, Vices, Full Crate, Promnite, SevnthWonder, abhi//dijon, D.R.A.M., Cousin Stizz, Roses Gabor, Branchez, Obey City… I’m sure I’m forgetting tons.

    The sheer volume of GOOD music coming out these days is overwhelming.

    We couldn’t agree more.

    Durkin also is getting attention from across the pond at funkimag.nl. And don’t sleep on his hip-hop productions either. Read what ComplexMag has to say about his latest release with Michael Christmas. On top of all that, Durkin has had copies of his Get Wet mixtape buried with shoes throughout the world. It’s true.

    Catch the wave with Durkin Tuesday November 11th with Ryan Hemsworth at the Sinclair.

  • Doctor Jeep
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    Doctor Jeep resides in New York, but cut his teeth playing parties up here during a stint at Northeastern. We still chime in with him from time to time and just this Saturday, he played with some of his idols: Pinch and Pangaea (Hessle Audio.).

    He seemed to have a pretty good time:

    dude, wow. last night in boston was one of my top 3 favorite shows all time. big soundsystem in a small dark room with people who really appreciate the music. big up our uk guests for the insane sets too, never thought i would witness pangaea b2b pinch jungle set at 5am IN BOSTON!!!

    On his Facebook page he shared what he played:

    jeep

    Keep an eye out for his new EP coming out in December:

  • Coralcola
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    Not to be slept on, Coralcola aka Mikey Lee of Worcester Massachusetts is starting to release some of his own music. He’s long been known to create some cutting-edge electronic ambient darkness, but his latest, “TOAC“, sees him veering into some Oneohtrix Point Never-style glitchyness. Listen to the #MakeItNew resident break it down on this short but powerful EP:

    And if you have yet to hear his two-hour essential mix of #MakeItNew he created for Vanyaland you simply must check it out. It’s right here.

  • John Barera
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    We certainly hope you’ve been keeping up with John, our #MakeItNew resident and world-traveler, but now he’s gone and done something wonderful: reciprocated.

    In his latest mix, this time for the hugely-respected Boiler Room enterprise, he’s made a mix of all Boston-based producers including Ableton instructor Ali Berger, fellow #MakeItNew resident Baltimoroder and our friend Matt Gravis. In turn, he gives our city a bright light:

    Boston is hardly short on musical merit: check Gang Starr’s rough-edged wisdom; the quiet, trembling majesty of Galaxie 500; hell, even Bobby Brown knocked it out the park now and again. But cast an eye over the electronic music scene, and you can count the big hitters on one hand. Armand Van Helden, Kon and Soul Clap have all successfully flown the flag—but even then, it’s relative. Perhaps chalk it up to long shadows cast by fêted hubs like Chicago, Detroit and the NY-NJ sprawl, but the city sells itself curiously short.

    Of course there’s more where that came from.

    You too can learn in the ways of new music via our Ableton production labs. Email Sarah to start on your career today.

    ISGM: Third Thursdays feat. Durkin

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    As far as Boston’s museums go, there is none that is as unique as the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum. Start with the museum itself: most the product of a lifetime of collection and curation. Then there are the current exhibits. But nothing quite tops the courtyard, which will be open to you this Thursday featuring the music of our own Durkin. Here’s Bob Vila taking a tour of the courtyard:

    To hear Durkin in action, click on one of our first podcasts:

    As the museum itself says:

    In the courtyard, Boston-based DJ and producer Durkin plays his signature mix of dreamy and beautiful beats.

    It all goes down this Thursday. In partnership with Grub Street, the theme is “Word Play.” More information and tickets are here.

    Even then, if you are a student at any of these participating schools, you can go for free! So make some plans this Thursday to go out. And make your after-party Make It New in Central Square! We’re open until 2am and are free this week.

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    An Update on our Artists

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    Our affiliated artists continue to produce and get wavey around the world.

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    Just commandeered the LED video wall at @RoyaleBoston to open for #BIGFREEDIA @mmmmaven #BOSTON #BOUNCE

    View on Instagram

    This was the scene at Royale Boston Sunday night before true debauchery and masterful booty manipulation took place. Then this happened…

    Nate Bluhm aka Begbick continues his Thursday night residency at Club Cafe and recently made headlines playing the first-ever all-LGBTQ music festival.

    Switching gears, #MakeItNew resident DJ and Boston musician John Barera has a new LP coming out with fellow Boston producer Will Martin and “Graceless” is poised to be one of the biggest LPs of the year. They made a DJ chart to commemorate the release. You can view the whole chart here. Some of my favorites are below.

    You should also take a look at this interview with Barera and Martin conducted by electronicbeats.net. Both artists speak very candidly about their creative process.

    John Barera & Will Martin — “My whole life is trial and error.”

    Durkin continues his ascent as a pioneer of dreamclub. His “U Guessed It” rework has been played over 8,000 times in 11 days. Catch him at Zuzu regularly for Central Air and don’t sleep on his productions for Dorchester’s own Black El.

    Update: Durkin just premiered a remix at Run The Trap.

    Ricardo Donoso is also doing big things. A year ago, we got to witness the premiere of his “A Song for Echo” at the Hayden Planetarium. A Song for Echo was released last week, and is the soundtrack to a film of the same name by Julie Nymann. Resident Advisor did a nice synopsis about the album.

    Not to be overlooked, Bosq via the Whiskey Barons recently completed a jaunt to Europe, including this appearance in Brussels.

    Do not sleep on his recent productions with the soulstress Nicole Willis:

    This is just a few of the stories of these Boston artists. There’s more where that came from. Follow our agency on Twitter to keep up:

    Get involved in music via our Ableton classes. Most of our talented artists use the program, why shouldn’t you? Email Sarah to get started.