Loop 2016: Day 2

The Loop 2016 series of blog posts chronicles Mmmmaven’s Ableton intern and former student, Katharine Fountain, on her journey to Berlin to attend Ableton’s Loop Summit. Loop is three days of discussions, performances, presentations, studios sessions and interactive workshops aimed at exchanging ideas at the cutting edge of music, creativity, and technology. Click here to learn more about Loop, or connect with Katharine via Instagram or on Soundcloud .

Snapchat Takeover!

On my second day in Berlin I got to takeover Berklee‘s snapchat account and share my experience at Loop with fellow students and followers from around the world! It was a lot of fun and I tried my best to showcase as much of Loop as possible. Watch my Snapchat story from Day 2 below: ( via @kitkat_514 & @berkleesnaps)

Searching for Sound: Screening and Discussion

The first event of the day was a preview of Red Bull’s new film, Searching For Sound, followed with a discussion moderated by Loop’s Creative Producer, Ed Williams. Searching for Sound is an ongoing documentary series created by Red Bull, that follows artists on a journey back to their cultural roots in search of new inspiration for their music.

Each episode follows a single artist, capturing the experience first-hand as they explore the foundations of their music, collaborate with local artists, discover new audiences and record new sounds – all with the ultimate goal of recording and performing new material inspired by the region.

We were introduced to Indian producer Sandunes, and Russian multi-instrumentalist and producer Mitya, who shared several highlights from the documentary. As part of their journey, each artist travelled to diverse locations to engage with local musicians and learn from their traditions. The goal of their exploration was to use field recordings and traditional instruments discovered on their journey to use within their own compositions. The film was both heartwarming and entertaining, and left me eagerly awaiting its full release in the near future.

Deantoni Parks in Concert

Next, I attended an electrifying performance by producer and former drummer for The Mars Volta, Deantoni Parks. With one hand on a sampler and the rest of his limbs in control of a drum kit, Parks delivered a dynamic half analog/half MIDI performance that was unlike anything that I’ve seen before. His live set reimagines the way that music can be created and performed, and was both a visually and sonically captivating experience.

“Adding the MIDI controller really helped solve that problem. I had to drop a stick and that was the hardest part, but you gain so many opportunities with the samples. I feel like this is something I couldn’t have done ten years ago. I think the timing of it is perfect, because I had no where else to go, not that I’ll never work with bands again, I’m just over the concept. Especially when it comes to composition and arrangement, it’s too much compromising. When you’re in that moment, in your own ensemble, you’re arranging it by the moment. Everything is tight, it’s together, it’s amazing. That’s how I like writing—you get thing done more quickly, the software is made so that things get done quicker.” – Parks via XLR8R

Apart from his solo work, Parks is also the drummer for NYC based band KUDU, and is one half of electronic duo Dark Angels. His solo debut, Technoself, was released by Leaving Records in 2015.

CDR x Ableton at Prince Charles

Day 2 concluded at Berlin nightclub Prince Charles, where Ableton partnered with multi-platform music project CDR (Create, Define, Release) to host an evening of new music submitted by Loop attendees, as well as performances from the likes of Kode 9, Daedelus, and Lady Blacktronika. CDR sessions are unique in that they offer emerging producers the chance to submit their tracks to be played in a live setting, which allows the artist the opportunity to gauge crowd response and identify any modifications they would like to make to their music.

Another great day and a super fun night!

<<< Day 1   |  Day 3 >>>

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3 Reasons Not to Miss Wrecked NYC at Make It New Tonight


1. It’s “A party for gentlemen who like the boom”

You can gather from that what you will but this sudden staple of NYC nightlife has taken the underground by storm. With a well-groomed email list and whisper campaign, Wrecked rapidly became the go-to spot for the discerning gentleman (and their friends, of course).


2. Residents Ryan Smith and Ron Like Hell know what they are doing.

It’s been described as a “serious-dance-music party” by Time Out New York because the resident selector take the job very serious-ly. DJ Ryan Smith and DJ Ron Like Hell both have experience in the biz and know what it takes to be respected. So expect deep disco dives, powerful house vibes and for sure plenty of Italo like this:

Hold onto something.

3. It’s going to be hot

And that’s a good thing.

Summertime at Make It New has a couple of advantages. The students are mostly gone and it leads to a grown and sexy crowd. The Middlesex has a decent A/C system but hey, dancing makes you sweat so just get into it. Work tends to be a little lax in the dog days of Summer so hey, why not stay a little later?

Don’t worry, like any good dance music party, we’ll have plenty of free water. As they themselves say: “Dress to Sweat.”

It’s finally time.


Ryan Smith & Ron Like Hell
w/ residents Mike Swells + John Barera
21+/9pm/$5 before 11pm / $10

3 Reasons Not to Miss DJ Sprinkles at #MakeItNew Tonight

Typically, posts such as these are easy to come by, our guests have been big in one club or another for years, or have recently releases a club-smashing hit single or have a podcast we’ve been following for years.

DJ Sprinkles, however, is a bit different. That’s not to say you won’t shake yourself into a sweaty mess, but there will be more for your brain to do tonight than normal. Let me see if I can explain.

1. She’s less of a DJ and more of a magician

As the New Yorker put it (via “Depth on the Dancefloor”):

Usually, electronic dance music is all about the sound; songs succeed when they feel good on the dance floor. Sprinkles’s songs are more like essays—through their samples, they make an argument, usually having to do with the recent history of gender, sexuality, race, capitalism, and/or dance music.

So basically the mix turns into a speech, the EQ becomes the red pen of a dissertation and the crossfader a clapboard. Sprinkles casts a spell on the dancefloor quite like no one else.

2. She released perhaps the best deep house album of the 2000s

A lot of people say they are into deep house now, but no one did deep house quite like Midtown 120 Blues. It’s as classic of a deep house album as Moodymann’s Silentintroduction. I’ll again let someone else explain, this time over at Resident Advisor:

Thaemlitz treats us to well over an hour of exquisite deep house. Other than a handful of monologues and loops of vocal samples, Thaemlitz eschews vocals and keeps things instrumental—there are no wailing divas here, but instead richly textured productions that are warm and enveloping, full of gently tapped pianos and flute notes floating by. Even as the tracks groove (and they do indeed groove—many of these tracks would be quite welcome on a dance floor), there’s a gentle fluid grace to Midtown 120 Blues.

3. DJ Sprinkles is a veteran of the New York City house scene.

Her take on New York City house is in a first-person singular perspective. I’ll let her tell you herself.

There must be a hundred records with voice-overs asking, “What is house?” The answer is always some greeting card bullsh*t about “life, love, happiness….” … House is not universal. House is hyper-specific … The contexts from which the deep house sound emerged are forgotten: sexual and gender crises, transgendered sex work, black market hormones, drug and alcohol addiction, loneliness, racism, HIV, ACT-UP, Tompkins Square Park, police brutality, queer-bashing, underpayment, unemployment and censorship—-

all at 120 beats per minute.


Must Be – Jordan Bratton Prod. By Durkin


He’s back… As with his recent hit from Banana Seat (currently at 175k plays and counting) the NYC/Boston axis has teamed up again for the aptly tagged electronic soul track “Must Be.”

The NYC native Jordan Bratton teamed up with Mmmmaven’s own Durkin for a fresh summer tune. Durkin provides a laid back beat filled with cut time hits and subtle industrial sounds to make the track punch in just the right spots without coming off too heavy. Jordan’s effected vocals give the track a slurred, hypnotizing feel that makes fly by before you have enough of his pure voice. Have a listen and before you know it, you’ll be hitting replay to get more of the deadly combo who may very well be appearing in Boston sometime soon, keep a lookout.

And get to following Durkin and Jordan on Soundcloud.

For faster service, visit Zuzu this Friday when Durkin takes the reigns at Central Air:

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