Philadelphia Sound Forum Blog

Friday, April 24, 2009


Tina Frank is a »visual artist« – her name is internationally known as a synonym for experimental design as well as visualisations of music/for music.
Her roots are in cover designs for electronic music label Mego during the mid 1990's when she also started to work with digital realtime-visualisation, video & multimedia. Taschen Books listed Tina Frank in their book Graphic Design for the 21st Century among the top 100 graphic designers worldwide.
Performances and contributions to exhibitions, such as Ars Electronica, Linz; Centre Pompidou, Paris; or ICC, Tokyo, and many interviews in magazines are evidence of Tina Frank’s activities as a design and video artist.
The video chronomops received first prize in 2006 at »diagonale 06« for best innovative, experimental-, animation- or shortfilm 2005/2006.

chronomops from Tina Frank on Vimeo. Music by General Magic

pitbudp from Tina Frank on Vimeo. Music by Pita

aus from Tina Frank on Vimeo. Music by Fennesz

See more videos here
For more information check out her website.

Friday, April 10, 2009


I stumbled on a few excerpts from this upcoming book on contemporary electronic music and I thought I should spread the word. Looks like an interesting read covering lots of ground in this field.

M i c r o B i o n i c:
Radical Electronic Music and Sound Art in the 21st Century

As mainstream music consumers wait with baited breath for the next major musical upheaval a la punk rock or hip hop, a small core of tech-savvy, highly mobile individuals are re-shaping the aural landscape without the assurance of being part of any larger movement. Their ideologies, creative approaches, and end products differ wildly; but they do share a common bond of self-reliance, flexibility in the face of information overload, and a desire to take sound beyond the realm of mere entertainment.

Starting with the guerrilla media tactics of Industrial music in the late 1970s, Thomas Bey William Bailey charts an ongoing trend in electronic music: an increasing amount of sonic quality, recorded output and international contact, accomplished with a decreasing amount of tools, personnel, and capital investment. From the use of laptop computers to create massive avalanches of noise, to the establishment of micro-nations populated largely by sound artists, 21st century sound culture is expanding in its scope and popularity even as it shrinks in other respects.

The text of Micro Bionic is built up from exhaustive research into the world of audio extremity, including physical travel to the various ‘hot spots’ where these new sounds are made, and thousands of hours of immersion in live and recorded music. Numerous exclusive interviews with leading lights of the field were also conducted for this book: William Bennett (Whitehouse), Peter Christopherson (Throbbing Gristle / Coil), Peter Rehberg (Mego), John Duncan, Francisco López, Carl Michael von Hausswolff, Bob Ostertag and many others weigh in with a diversity of thoughts and opinions that underscore the incredible diversity to be found within new electronic music itself. Micro-Bionic unveils a host of audio phenomena that range from the whimsical to the terrifying, and provides a perfect gateway into this parallel universe for the previously uninitiated. Over 330 pages of text- perhaps the first book of its kind in the English language.

The first hardback pressing of this book is limited to 100 copies. It is accompanied by an 11 track CD of new and previously released works by select artists discussed throughout the book.


1. Pita « Get Out 2 »
2. Fennesz « Fa »
3. COH « Beneath My Sun-Proof Eyelids, Truth Never Sleeps »
4. GOEM « Zes »
5. EVOL « Punani 7 excerpt »
6. Consumer Electronics « Crowd Pleaser (alternate mix) »
7. Leif Elggren « The North Is Protected »
8. Scott Arford « 60 La Scala »
9. John Duncan « excerpt from Tap Internal »
10. Merzbow « Anicca Part 3 (extract) »
11. Francisco Lopez « Untitled #151 »

A second "unlimited" paperback pressing is tentatively due out later this summer.

Curious? Read some excerpts

Like what you've read? Order this from Creation Books

YOU TUBE DISCOVERIES :: Computer Music - composed and improvised

A short clip of a composition called "The Deep" written by Kasper T. Toeplitz and performed by his computer trio Kernel. Kernel's main objective is to perform all new compositions for electronic music, utilizing the computer as a "real" instrument - meaning no sequences, sound-files or samples. These compositions are realized using Max/MSP patches designed by the musicians specifically for the work at large.

Next we find Farmers Manual, who have been one of my favorite computer acts since the release of the their epic album "Explorers_We" on OR. Another impressive example of musicians creating their own sound through various programming languages. Unlike the group above, Farmers Manual live concerts were all improvised. Here we find these three young Austrians performing at the turn of the century at the ICA in London. Their interactions with each other at the end of part two is quite amusing.

this concert plus many more are archived for free download on the Recent Live Archive section of their website. Check it out and enjoy!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Incus Records overhaul

Incus Records, the label run by the late Derek Bailey and his partner Karen Brookman, has a newly revamped website with a plethora of intriguing material, including a section of writings (I've not been brave enough to jump into the 1716-page bio, but Dominic Lash's piece on Bailey's private notebooks is making interesting reading), one of Bailey's inimitable audio ads, and even pictures of his denture cream. Bailey was a huge early guitar and improvising hero of mine, and he's rightly considered a godfather of British and European improvisation, so it's nice to see all this.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Wire 300

In celebration of its 300th issue, the Wire magazine has posted a bunch of specially-commissioned essays. It's a mixed bag (including a lot of Simon Reynolds articles about techno), but certainly worth a look.

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