Steve Rachmad is one of the true Dutch techno legends. His breakthrough album Secret Life Of Machines was released 17 years ago. For that occasion, a remix album is going to be released in June.
As promotion for that album and to honor Steve Rachmad, who is one of the best Dutch producers of the last two decades and maybe also the coolest, most laidback dj, this mini-documentary was made. Almost the entire techno nobility (Ricardo Villalobos, Dave Clarke, DJ Rush, Richie Hawtin, Chris Liebing, and local heroes like Dimitri, 2000 and One and Joris Voorn) pays respect to him:
Listen to snippets from the new Secret Life Of Machines:
And here’s a couple of classics from the original album. Check out Astronotes and Satyricon, pure industrial, spacey techno with a classic 808 sound:
Every once and a while you run into a track that makes you realize again how fucking great electronic music is.
Take this 1993 track by Plastikman (Richie Hawtin), for example. Plastikman had an epiphany in the early 1990s, resulting in some of the most original and radical electronic music ever made. ‘Plasticine‘ is a great example: running for 11 minutes, it consists of only a few different elements that come up again and again in a different composition.
The resulting sound is so dark, epic and mysterious that it’ll blow your socks off if you’re susceptible to it. Although I’m still regularly surprised by the originality of new electronic music, a 19-year old masterpiece like this is rarely outdone.
According to RA this new release by Mathew Johnson on Richie Hawtin’s M-nus is “the sort of techno journey with an exceedingly epic actual runtime (hovering right around 12 minutes) that leaves you feeling like you could have gone on dancing to it for double its length”. I completely agree. The B-side is also pretty enthralling.
The latest album by Instra:Mental is called Resolution 653. And boy is it good. The British duo is primarily known for their drum and bass productions, a genre of electronic which is not quite my cup of tea. In recent years they have shifted to dubstep. But to put a genre label on this album is almost impossible, it is a mix of drum and bass, and dubstep, mixed with classic Juan Atkins-style Detroit techno and Marcel Dettman minimal. Let’s just call it very creative and innovative electronic music. These are my favorites from the album:
The iPad 2 was launched in Europe this weekend. I have been using an iPad for a couple of months now. I use it for reading, watching movies, listening to music, games, displaying photos, and primarily for browsing the web and reading my e-mail. So is it really the revolutionary device Apple wants you to believe it is, or is it a useless gadget, an “expensive toy” for spoiled hipster nerds? Well actually, Steve Jobs isn’t lying, maybe just exaggerating a little bit. The iPad does truly change the way you use a computer and how you experience the internet. It’s also great for reading, watching movies and remote-controlling other devices. In a way, it really is revolutionary. And as a matter of fact, it’s not even that expensive. The new version is available from 499 dollars/475 euros and the first iPad is still available in some stores for 375-500 dollars. Good laptops start at 600-700 euros. so it’s generally cheaper than a (quality) laptop.
So should you get one? If you have a couple of hundred dollars/euros lying around and spend a lot of time on the web, Facebook, Twitter, sending e-mails etc., yes you should. It will enrich the way you use a computer. Mr. Strubbe agrees. There are already many great apps and good new ones are added every day. Should you get an iPad 2 if you already have a 1st generation? No not really, the screen, storage and almost all features are the same. It is faster, a little lighter and has two (crappy) cameras, but that’s not enough to make you want to throw away your old one.
The Guardian has a nice story of how the iPad is changing personal computing, quoting users who use their iPad in different ways (including dj Richie Hawtin):
A year on from its arrival, and with the faster, thinner, second-generation model released in the UK on 25 March , Apple‘s iPad tablet computer still divides opinion. A large group of people insist it is an “overpriced toy” with limited functionality – no keyboard, doesn’t run Microsoft Office, can’t play Flash video, can’t expand its storage. But a growing number believe that, on the contrary, the iPad represents a new frontier in computing. And they simply don’t care what the first group thinks. They’re getting on with using their machines.
We have lived with the PC paradigm for around 30 years now, since IBM introduced its first personal computers and pushed them into businesses in the early 80s. Until the launch of the iPad last year the only comparable change in the market had been the laptop, which led to the emergence of an army of travelling salespeople whose most urgent need was always to find a power point where they could charge their machine’s fading battery.
The iPad seems to be different – a third stage of computing. Horace Dediu, a former analyst with the mobile phone company Nokia who now runs his own consultancy, Asymco, argues that “the definition of a new generation of computing is that the new products rely on new input and output methods, and allow a new population of non-expert users to use the product more cheaply and simply”.
Frasier Speirs – teacher
“Nobody has lost a file for a year now,” says Fraser Speirs. “Which used to happen every week – someone coming along and saying they couldn’t find where they’d saved some work or other.”
Speirs teaches computing studies at the private Cedars School of Excellence in Greenock, and is also the IT co-ordinator there. Last year he went to his bosses with a radical plan: equip every one of the children in both the primary and secondary schools with an iPad. And not just for computing studies: for every lesson. Speirs wants them to replace textbooks, though he admits that is still some way off.
But the iPads, with their simplified approach to filing (you can’t choose where to save a file), have made at least part of his life much simpler.
Richard Bowman – physicist
Will the iPad soon become a fixture in science labs alongside Bunsen burners, microscopes and graduated cylinders? Richard Bowman, a 24-year-old physicist doing his PhD at the University of Glasgow, reckons so. His field is optics, and in partnership with colleagues at the University of Bristol he recently developed an app that allows users to manipulate microscopic objects simply by touching the iPad’s screen. Before iTweezers, Bowman employed a desktop computer and a mouse to control optical tweezers, an instrument that traps and moves microscopic particles using laser beams. Now, he does it all on his iPad.
“It’s quite a natural interface,” he says. “It’s like you’re touching the actual particle and pushing it around. We can also move particles up and down with the pinch gesture, which is hard to do with a mouse.”
Richie Hawtin – musician/ DJ
Early last year, the DJ and producer Richie Hawtin was putting together a live show to mark 20 years of Plastikman, the most prominent of his many musical alter egos. Due to its scope, the show posed a considerable challenge to the British-born techno megastar. “When you do an electronic performance, traditionally you have a mixing board with all these knobs and faders to create the sound,” he explains. “For this show, each song called for a whole different set of knobs and faders.”
What Hawtin needed, in order to control all those diverse environments at once, was a touch-screen device. The iPad came out in April. Within two months, Hawtin and his team had integrated it into the Plastikman performances. Six months later, they formed a company, Liine [www.liine.net], to turn the apps they’d developed into commercial products.
One of these apps, Griid, “allows you to navigate a musical environment that would be hundreds of screens deep if you were trying to look at it on a normal laptop. With your hand movements you can zoom from left to right, find the instrument and the melody that you want, and start, stop or modify it with a quick touch.”
En dat is niet mis: Laurent Garnier, Jeff Mills, Richie Hawtin, Speedy J en Chris Liebing. Ook de Detroit-veteranen Juan Atkins, Derrick May en Kevin Saunderson maken hun opwachting. En dat terwijl de Detroit special van 4 april nog moet plaatsvinden!
Andere luminaries zijn Paco Osuna, Adam Beyer, Lutzenkirchen, Ben Sims, Dave Clarke, Marcel Dettman & Ben Klock, Gui Boratto en James Holden. Damn, ik word gek.
Festival vindt 26 juni plaats, uiteraard in Spaarnwoude.