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Old 04-09-2009, 04:31 PM   #1
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Live IDM.

I was talking to my friend the other day, and an interesting topic was brought up.

I didnt want to continue with it because I didnt know the answer.

Anyway, my question was:
are there/has there ever been a legit IDM act that plays live.
When I say live I dont mean DJing, I mean live musicians.

Perhaps its a stupid question and someone probably knows some obscure local act that I dont..
but.
I found the premise interesting.

To clarify, I dont mean live circuit bending, or Ableton Live jamming.
Real synths/drums(or drum machines)/whatever instrument.

Im thinking about taking my project live, but its not quite IDM.

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Old 04-09-2009, 09:35 PM   #2
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Re: Live IDM.

Mouse on Mars? They do lots of stuff live
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Old 04-09-2009, 09:54 PM   #3
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Re: Live IDM.

+1 to Mouse on Mars. I haven't seen them for quite a while (the Niun Niggung tour,) but it was all live except for some sampling and synth sounds from a laptop, I think.

This topic brings up a sore spot for me, though. Why are electronic instruments like drum machines and synths considered more real than a laptop doing the same thing? I make about 75% of my music on my laptop, and the idea that I have to go out and buy and Akai sampler, a dozen effects pedals and five synths to do exactly the same thing I'm currently doing with one laptop because its more legitimate for performing just seems stupid.

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Old 04-09-2009, 10:10 PM   #4
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Re: Live IDM.

I concur, however, I think theres a difference because I still consider laptop music performing live.
However, I dont feel that simply pushing play on the same laptop and just playing your tracks is "performing".
Free improvising with loops and synths is completely different from DJing.



Of course the more equipment on stage with you, the more legit you are.
At least in the public eye.

But I was hopefully looking for an IDM band (like Mouse on Mars [ive actually never heard of them so thanks!]) that performs live.

Laptops or not, its how you use it, if you simply set up a bunch of tracks and play them, no go, for me. Using it as an instrument is totally different.

I started this thread for the simple fact that Im planning to take my IDM project live. Live players (yes on laptops), live synthesists, and live sampling. All with the ability to improv in their own way.

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Old 04-09-2009, 10:40 PM   #5
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Re: Live IDM.

I saw Four Tet a few weeks ago and he definitely improvised some. He has a laptop and some pads of some sort and some knobs and shit. I couldn't get a good look at his gear. He also played with a tenori-on for like 2 minutes. I read an interview with him talking about how he doesn't like doing the same ol' shit at shows. And how he doesn't like videos playing and fancy light shows and whatnot because it detracts from the performance. He says he just plays for the audience what he's feeling in the moment. Yeah he plays the songs you know and love but he alters them to his mood for the day. He made his non danceable stuff damn well danceable to boot, that night. He was really into his musiks and certainly put on a good show without just clicking away with Live.

Anyway, yeah. I usually go to "rock" concerts and that was my first experience with something like that. The guy before him was a little more boring. Just plainly pressing buttons. Four Tet is a good guy. My girlfriend asked him what she should name a kitten and he was all nervous. Haha.
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Old 04-09-2009, 11:00 PM   #6
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Re: Live IDM.

Oh yeah, I can't believe I didn't think of this right away. Autechre's last album and tour were all done using live electronics. I couldn't see all of their gear at the show, but I know that they had a Elektron machinedrum and monomachine among lots of other stuff. I recall reading an interview where they talked about first getting together the gear that they wanted to tour with and then recording Quaristice only using that gear so that everything on the album could be played live. That seems like an effective strategy for doing proper live IDM, but a very expensive one.

I saw the Quaristice tour in Seattle, which was kind of a shame, since it was at Neumo's, which has a muddy sounding PA system, IMHO. It was a pretty ridiculous show. At one point, some random eTard from the crowd got on stage and just walked over to their mixing desk and started trying to mix there stuff. The one of the Autechre guys had to actually stop playing and physically stop the guy from screwing with their board. Security removed him, but very, very slowly. It was totally disgraceful. The set was cut very short, since they were most like (and very understandably) pissed.

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Old 04-09-2009, 11:05 PM   #7
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Re: Live IDM.

I was HolyFuck live a few years ago and they were amazing. They had a table full of circuit bent toys and instruments and just jammed on those for the whole set. Absolutely great, I don't think one of them touched a laptop or deck through-out the whole thing. It was the first time I had heard of them and was so impressed I offed them a blowjob there and then in exchange for a CD, unfortunely my offer was declined. <-- true story
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Old 04-09-2009, 11:16 PM   #8
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Re: Live IDM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Persiflage View Post

This topic brings up a sore spot for me, though. Why are electronic instruments like drum machines and synths considered more real than a laptop doing the same thing? I make about 75% of my music on my laptop, and the idea that I have to go out and buy and Akai sampler, a dozen effects pedals and five synths to do exactly the same thing I'm currently doing with one laptop because its more legitimate for performing just seems stupid.
I don't think it makes it any more legit, but some may be curious if you are playing a .wav file or actually making any real-time edits/automation.
I agree with SpookyC that it truly depends on what your live set consists of and how you integrate some sort of improvisational skills into it.

Also, I have seen plenty of live hardware based acts that are boring.
Pressing play on their hardware sequencers and then just letting it trigger everything else in a line with no hands on their gear...

I like to see what people are doing, whether it is hardware or software, and how they are manipulating sequences or sounds.
When the audience can see a button tap, filter sweep or any other parameter trigger, I think they can relate to what they hear and feel.

Really no different from seeing a live band play...if the band was behind a large wall playing their hearts out, would it really be that interesting to watch?

I like laptop musicians that project their desktop or turn around so everyone can see...

SpookyC,
You probably won't find many hardware based idm acts, but i know there are some...
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Old 04-10-2009, 12:58 AM   #9
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Re: Live IDM.

Well, its all giving me some inspiration.

I think it could be treated in the same way as a rock band show.
If theres some shitty performance but kick ass music, the show doesnt ring as true as a performance that dominated.

I saw Bob Dylan perform a few years ago.

He walked out, sat on a stool, didnt acknowledge the crowd, and sang. No encore, no "goodnight", nothing.
yes it was Bob Dylan but I can sincerely say it was the worst concert Ive ever seen.
I compare it to a boring electronic set. Interesting live performance, whether behind a deck, or laptop, needs that energy. The idea of LIVE.
Creating music live, essentially.
A typical rock band has 4 instruments, and they (can) kill with that.
No backing tracks, no pre-written sequences, but live.
I think Ive got a way to approach this.

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Old 04-10-2009, 01:27 AM   #10
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Re: Live IDM.

Dylan is old and tired
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Old 04-10-2009, 02:37 AM   #11
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Re: Live IDM.

Tim Exile does a pretty sweet live breakcore act if I'm not mistaken. However, Breakcore/DnB + Tim Exile's voice = blech.

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Old 04-10-2009, 04:11 AM   #12
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Re: Live IDM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kuxaan-sum View Post

Also, I have seen plenty of live hardware based acts that are boring.
Pressing play on their hardware sequencers and then just letting it trigger everything else in a line with no hands on their gear...

I like to see what people are doing, whether it is hardware or software, and how they are manipulating sequences or sounds.
When the audience can see a button tap, filter sweep or any other parameter trigger, I think they can relate to what they hear and feel.

yah, i'd almost rather see someone "play" a laptop than hit go on a sequencer and stand around trying to look busy as their synths and samplers play back a sequence....


my livesets are all ableton based, and i make an effort to map more obvious things to my controllers... visual feedback for an audience makes a big difference. i think a lot of electronic performers forget the performance part of playing live.

its a show for christsakes!

i never hurt anyone to play it up a little!

I had a friend in Tampa who played laptop through a kaoss DJ mixer, the other channel he was feeding a theremin into... Henry looked like he was doing tai chi when he played the theremin... it was about performing, not just playing the damn thing... people ate that up!

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Old 04-10-2009, 04:51 AM   #13
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Re: Live IDM.

at the end of the day the winner is always a great performer. one who plays the fuck out something. be it a laptop with midied up triggers from hell or ancient instruments. its about passion, soul, and going for the vibe. duende is where its at.
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Old 04-10-2009, 05:34 AM   #14
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Re: Live IDM.

When I saw Bjork last year, she had 3 guys playing this..


But yeah, you can play most things live if you have enough people. and even easier if you have enough money

If there is something you can't play, have it on a laptop. Play everything possible live.

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Old 04-11-2009, 10:50 AM   #15
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Re: Live IDM.

I did a live improvised set last a few days ago with my Monomachine+KP and two mates who had EMX-1's, Blofeld, Radias and KP3's.

My Mono was the master clock which went to a MIDI thru box and out to everything else, my two partners in crime used the on board sequencers on their EMX1's and had some MIDI loop sequencer on Ableton for their other stuff. We started with totally blank patterns at a slow (90 BPM) then progressively bulit the tempo up every 9 mins for a chaotic climax after 30mins.

Interesting and nerve wrecking evening which certainly had it's faults but also had its moments and the audience loved it anyway so all went well.

It's still an evolving project as we still need to iron out some performance issues when things get a little too busy but we all respond an react well to each other and know when to cut back when things go shity but it's still a lot of fun.



On the more renowned note Autecre http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwxDEZa-KAk and Richard Devine http://www.vimeo.com/2413331 do well with thier Elektron's.

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Old 04-12-2009, 04:12 PM   #16
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Re: Live IDM.

For me it`s all about the music.
I`m no more interested in seeing an electronic musician "perform" than i am seeing a good singer fuck up their act because their manager tells them they have to do a dance routine otherwise it`s not a performance.
How many dj`s do a "performance"?
It`s the same thing.
If you`re looking at the stage you`re not fucked enough imo.
Let yourself go, get into the tunes, have a dance, enjoy it, when are you gonna get to hear it at that volume again?
That`s what live is about, that and unique versions of tracks.

Edit: Ae @ the warehouse project was wicked Soundwave.
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Old 04-13-2009, 12:38 AM   #17
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Re: Live IDM.

myspace.com/hunz

Hunz is flipping amazing. 1 laptop/ synth, 1 amazing drummer and a bassplayer....

Great stuff live.
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Old 04-13-2009, 03:49 AM   #18
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Re: Live IDM.

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Originally Posted by Sveldt View Post
For me it`s all about the music.
I`m no more interested in seeing an electronic musician "perform" than i am seeing a good singer fuck up their act because their manager tells them they have to do a dance routine otherwise it`s not a performance.
How many dj`s do a "performance"?
It`s the same thing.
If you`re looking at the stage you`re not fucked enough imo.
Let yourself go, get into the tunes, have a dance, enjoy it, when are you gonna get to hear it at that volume again?
That`s what live is about, that and unique versions of tracks.

Edit: Ae @ the warehouse project was wicked Soundwave.

I really think this depends on the style. If your going for Art Music and not there to dance...something fucking interesting had better be happening on stage.

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Old 04-13-2009, 04:01 AM   #19
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Re: Live IDM.

Video is great for experimental music shows.

Even if the music weird for your average person, People are trained to look at those screens. It definitely helps going full media.

one my many shows i done in my city.
"It's a Fookin BBQ"

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Old 04-13-2009, 10:00 AM   #20
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Re: Live IDM.

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Originally Posted by SpookyC View Post
I really think this depends on the style. If your going for Art Music and not there to dance...something fucking interesting had better be happening on stage.
Ok, no you`re right, i like a lot of non-dance orientated music too, but still, when did you last go to an art gallery and expect the artist/painter to be singing a song or doing a little dance to keep you interested in looking at their paintings?

All i`m saying is that the interesting thing that should be happening on stage at a music event is hopefully the music.

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