The final day of Music Tech Fest Scandi - the festival of music ideas - in Umeå, Sweden, was both inspiring and thought-provoking. It saw kids hacking, new instruments for more accessible music-making, the Hack Camp awards, and some memorable performances including LJ Rich mixing it up with cocktail master Emil Åreng.
We’ve a brand new Kitmonsters podcast, bringing you interviews with artists and innovators in music and tech, talking about their creative projects, ethos, tools and practices. And giving their tips!
The second day of the amazing Music Tech Fest was full of surprises. Here are some of our highlights including new instruments such as The Seaboard Grand, music economy inspiration from Brazil, performances and very practical band help. All the while Music Hackers were mixing top bands’ stems, cocktails, and coding. Our report from Music Tech Fest - Day 1 is here.
Exciting news on the independent label front as No Such Thing Records launches in the UK - with the slogan “Northern. Independent. Forward Thinking.” and a big commitment to inclusivity and diversity. The first release is an absolute banger from Szou called Rose Tinted, and we talked to the label founders Dirty Freud and Ruby Tingle about their vision.
From Me To You (FM2U) is a one-day conference specifically set up by artists, for artists. It’s an incredible event with all panels moderated by musicians in order to ensure that topics are discussed from their point of view. Tickets for the next one on Saturday 1st December at Rich Mix in London are available at Music Glue.
Day Two of Music Tech Fest Scandi - the festival of music ideas - in Umeå, Sweden, included the launch of new music format TJAY, an amazing performance from Graham Massey, Scanner and Jason Singh, plenty of new music tech and hacking. The next Music Tech Fest is #MTFCentral and takes place in Ljubljana, Slovenia 18-20 September.
Beth White, the inspirational founder of Who Run The World, a promotions company dedicated to booking women, looks back at two amazing years of shows, and at the future for women in music, ahead of the WRTW second birthday celebrations on Sunday 13th August at Fiddler’s Elbow in Camden, with ARXX, Fightmilk, The Baby Seals, The Menstrual Cramps, Suggested Friends, and Beth White.
The HOW Music collective brought together some brilliant music industry people and performers for a day of workshops, talks and one to one advice, in a bid to start making the music industry more diverse, and redress the underrepresentation of women in music. Held at Red Bull Studios in London, participants ranged from up and coming musicians to bands with a buzz around them, wanting to move up to the next level, and people wanting to work on the business side of things.
Like a music innovation adrenaline shot, Abbey Road Studios launched music tech incubator scheme Abbey Road Red with a bang. The night included a groundbreaking first project, a standout performance featuring Matthew Herbert, and a chance to get hands on with some great gear, all showcased in the historic Studio 2 where The Beatles recorded.
female:pressure has launched its revealing FACTS Survey 2022, that quantifies the gender distribution of artists performing at electronic music festivals worldwide. There’s some good news, as well as plenty of room for improvement. We’ve interviewed female:pressure’s Electric Indigo about the key findings and what should happen next. You can also support the work by getting this FACTS 22 T-shirt.
Music Tech Fest is back, from 29-31 May in Umeå, Sweden. With the latest in music tech, plus performance, a hack camp and jam sessions, it’s another don’t miss event. Artists already confirmed include Scanner, Laura Kriefman with Guerilla Dance Project, and Kenneth Alewine’s Performing Melancholia, a visual music experiment with an automaton. Exciting new band merch technologies, sound artists, instruments and digital platforms are all featured too, and tickets are free. Here’s a look at some of the highlights from Music Tech Fest Paris to give you a feel for what to expect.
Music Tech Fest is back, bigger and more exciting than ever - taking place in Stockholm in partnership with KTH Royal Institute of Technology. With Creative Labs, Performances, Demos, in Conversations and Family activities, there’s something for everyone at this festival of innovation and experimentation, including Imogen Heap launching her Mycelia World Tour, work from Scanner, Robyn, Lula Mebrahtu and more. Tickets for the public days 7-9 September are available from the Music Tech Fest website.
I don’t often talk much about what I do or why I do it. I’ve tried to avoid any sort of personal theology and let the instruments just talk for themselves. But this past weekend I attended Music Tech Fest in the wonderful city of Ljubljana in Slovenia and it’s made me re-think a lot of things.
New festival We Are Robots presents an amazing line-up at the Old Truman Brewery in London from 2-5 November. Focusing on the ‘future and innovation of music’ it features performances, installations, workshops, discussions, technology, and an industry conference, and includes leading names and exciting newcomers, with Daniel Miller DJ-ing at the after party. Tickets to the main exhibition are free, with performance, panels and workshop tickets available separately.
The new School of Music Business in London offers musicians short courses from tutors at the top of the industry, as well as giving something back in the form of grants from The SMB Fund. With courses ranging from starting a label, to music PR, social media success, and starting a music blog, plus media training from Kitmonsters’ own Terry Tyldesley, there’s a wide range of expertise. We spoke to the founder Matt Errington - an artist manager, music journalist and music business specialist - to ask him about the school, and give us his top tip for musicians.
Wormhole World is a new label based in South Wales and Lancashire, that’s making its mark with its acclaimed eclectic electronic releases, and bills itself as a ‘micro netlabel doing it for love, not money’. We spoke to Paul Wormhole about the label roster, the underground scene, and the importance of twitter.
Our favourite festival - Music Tech Fest - celebrates its 10th Edition in Berlin 27-29 May, with an amazing line up of performers, technologists, hackers and industry. It’s a giant creative laboratory and festival of music ideas, taking place at the legendary Funkhaus studio complex, and we’ve got a great discount on tickets for people on our mailing list.
Wolfgang Flür held the audience spellbound at Ditto Campfire in London, with anecdotes from Kraftwerk days, tips for songwriting, and some of his new music. Electronic musicians at the packed out event included Neil Arthur from Blancmange, and Jon Fugler from Fluke, and it proved to be a great night. Wolfgang played percussion in Kraftwerk from 1973-1986, has written a book called ‘I Was A Robot’, and has a music project called Yamo, as well as DJ-ing and working on collaborations.
female:pressure has launched its FACTS survey 2020 that quantifies the gender distribution of artists performing at electronic music festivals worldwide. There’s good news - an increase - but much more work needs to be done by the industry. We’ve interviewed female:pressure’s Electric Indigo who has given some brilliant perspective. female:pressure have also given suggestions for Festival Organisers, Artistic Directors, and Artists to help create change, and have a limited edition t-shirt to support their FACTS work.
#MoreInCommon is a fantastic compilation album out soon in support of the UK charity HOPE not hate. We find out more from the organiser and get a taste of some of the tunes, a few of them from artists we’ve featured on Kitmonsters. You can pre-order the release on Bandcamp.