Loop 2016: Day 2

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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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Read @PitchforkMedia’s long-form dissertation on streaming music

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Prominent and ever-controversial music site Pitchfork has recently begun running elaborately designed long-form pieces of music writing in the form of Cover Stories. Their latest is by contributing writer Eric Harvey, and examines “the past, present and future of streaming music.”

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It’s a long read, but investigates angles of the streaming concept that we likely don’t often consider as consumers:

If the recording industry has its way, music ownership will give way to a model completely based on access, but with an important shift. While radio broadcasts are based on a one-to-many model of transmission, streaming platforms aim to zero in on the tastes of the individual listener. Like many other modern industries, the recording industry is doubling down on big data, giving their catalogs to the coders, and betting on a future of distribution and discovery dictated by quantification. Behind the interfaces of streaming platforms are vast databases of songs coded with pinpoint metadata and matched with freely provided listener taste preferences, an infrastructure designed to execute the recording industry’s century-long mission: suggesting with mathematical detail what a listener wants to hear before they know they want to hear it. Combing through a huge corpus of ever-expanding data for each individual song can be a vastly different undertaking compared to older forms of music marketing and distribution. What used to be a question of persuasion has become a problem of prediction.

A time investment for sure, but also a fascinating read. Delve into the whole thing over at Pitchfork.

Streaming platforms in our realm like Boiler Room TV (who just announced everything on their site is available for download), Mixify and Soundcloud are changing the game just as fast. Want to join in the game? Start your digital music career inside the lab.

Most Influential Music Blogs

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Style of Sound, prostate a tastemaker’s blog published a list of the top 100 most influential music blogs. The blogs included cover many genres including, but not strictly limited to indie, alternative, electronica, house, techno, hip hop, folk, soul, pop, rock, and punk. In order to determine how influential a blog is, they use the site’s Klout score.

Klout calculates influence of a blog by measuring the size of a it’s social media network, then correlates the content created by the blog to measure how other users interact with that content. Using more than 400 signals from eight different networks to update its scores on a daily basis, a site’s Klout score on its own is a strong measure of digital influence.” – Style of Sound

The top 5 music blogs according to this list are as follows:

No. 5     Stereogum

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Stereogum is a daily blog that posts music news, reviews, lists, and new releases. They describe themselves simply as a “music website.” Stereogum currently has over 113,000 Facebook fans and over 177,000 Twitter followers.

No. 4     Resident Advisor

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Resident Advisor is an online magazine that focuses on the electronic dance music scene around the world. The site has music news, interviews with artists, reviews, tour dates, and more. Resident Advisor has exceeded 258,000 Facebook fans and has over 171,000 Twitter followers.

No. 3     Tiny Mix Tapes

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Tiny Mix Tapes is an online magazine that covers music releases and news. It is known for having strange and sometimes controversial news, as well as its machine which takes a phrase that you choose, and generates a mixtape. Recent phrases include: “Am I a hipster?” “If I read one more mopey indie girl first world problem mixtape title, I’ll hang myself with my macbook air’s power cord” and “Who am I and where am I going.” Needless to say, there’s an interesting site to explore over at TMT.

No. 2     Consequence of Sound

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Consequence of Sound is another music website, covering music news, reviews, but with the addition of editorials. CoS is based out of Chicago and is named after the Regina Spektor song “Consequence of Sounds.” A fun feature of this blog is the Festival Outlook section, where CoS posts rumors about who will be playing what festivals.

No. 1     Pitchfork

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The number 1 most influential blog on this list was Pitchfork, a website devoted to independent music reviews, commentary, news, and interviews. Pitchfork also publishes Best Singles/Albums of the Year lists every year. They currently have nearly 90 million Youtube views, and well over 2 million Twitter followers.

Following Stereogum was The Line of Best Fit, Your EDM, and Pop Justice. Style of Sound themselves were ranked #38 on that list. You can read the rest of the list at Style of Sound’s website.