Obey Convention

Experimental Music Festival Obey Convention Draws Unconventional Voices

Each year, the Obey Convention, a four-day experimental festival based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, supports some of the best experimental voices in Canada and across the world, presenting both eclectic and confrontational programming. It's not every week you could take in the exciting musicians interviewed here: Debby Friday, exploring feminine aggression through her self-styled blistering Bitchpunk; Korea Town Acid, a classically-trained pianist who creates intricate, eclectic beats; and Layia, combining field recordings, instrumentation, and live vocals in dense ambient collages. Read on to delve into three discussions of the artistic process, vulnerability, authenticity, and more.

Published at Pop Matters

Genesis Breyer P-Orridge

Genesis Breyer P-Orridge

As one of the key originators of industrial music, organizer of the occult art collective Temple ov Psychick Youth, and participant in the ambitious body-altering pandrogyne project, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge has embodied the artistic process for over four decades. Observing and critiquing culture from the vantage point of a disruptor, P-Orridge draws from the teachings of William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin, whom s/he counted as friends. Throughout the years, P-Orridge has dabbled in occult practices, pouring h/er thoughts out in a 500-page tome, Thee Psychick Bible.

Published at Tiny Mix Tapes

oOoOO and Islamiq Grrrls

Pure Intuition Without Any Limits: An Interview with oOoOO and Islamiq Grrrls

oOoOO has released murky music since 2010 via Tri Angle and Disaro. Recently, he's fashioned an imprint, Nihjgt Feelings, allowing him to release music on his own terms. Islamiq Grrrls has come to music more recently, having shared "Yr Love"in late 2016. Their paths converged while both living in Berlin. oOoOO had taken a hiatus from the music industry, while Islamiq Grrrls was just starting to find her voice. Meeting proved alchemical, and in this interview, they share how productive working together has been for their upcoming album, Faminine Mystique (pronounced "Famine in Mystique".)

Published at Pop Matters



There is a moment during Antenes’s Issue Project Room show, past where the static-y radio and telephone signals have crackled away, wherein the ominous, booming drones have subsided. From her surrounding menagerie of self-made synthesizers, Antenes lifts a rotary dial cannibalized from an ancient phone. She places it near a contact microphone and dials a single number. The dial whirs its slow churn, a technology many of us are familiar with, but few use. The sound emanating from within is alien, chilling, even unholy.  A century after Russolo, Antenes channels technological ghosts conjured from a bygone world.

Published at Tiny Mix Tapes

Morton Subotnick

Music As Studio Art: An Interview With Morton Subotnick

Morton Subotnick is one of the most significant figures in electronic music history. His seminal Silver Apples of the Moon emerged as the first fully electronic album ever recorded and has since been included in the National Recording Registry within the Library of Congress. This year, Subotnick celebrated its 50th anniversary with a three-day run at Lincoln Center in New York City.

Published at Decoder Magazine

Rock in a Hard Place

Rock in a Hard Place: Music and Mayhem in the Middle East

For most Westerners, music functions largely as entertainment, even when the songs are politically charged. However, in the Middle East, just engaging with music, whether as a musician or as a fan, can come with severe costs. This is the subject of Rock in a Hard Place: Music and Mayhem in the Middle East, a sober chronicling of music in some of the most conservative countries on the planet.

Published at Pop Matters

Noah Preminger

Noah Preminger Talks About His Bold Jazz Protest Album, Meditations on Freedom

At just 30 years old, Preminger is a prolific jazz force with eight leader releases and six more as a sideman. His first album Dry Bridge Road earned Debut of the Year in the 2008 Village Voice Critics’ Poll and was named one of the top ten albums of the year in JazzTimesStereophile and The NationMeditations on Freedom contains five original compositions about freedoms the saxophonist felt were vanishing: Native American freedom, women’s rights, racial injustice, income inequality, and the planet’s health.

Published at Pop Matters

Tony Conrad

Maximal Minimal: The Legacy of Versatile Artist Tony Conrad

Few artists contained the sheer range of disciplines as Tony Conrad. In a career that spanned half a century, Conrad tried just about everything, with explorations in music, video, conceptual art, and even teaching. Conrad’s legacy put him among the rare breed of artists not content to stay boxed within a singular medium, working method, or subject matter. He was experimental in the truest sense of the word.

Published at Pop Matters

Suzanne Ciani

Suzanne Ciani: The Emotion of Sound

Suzanne Ciani has been on the electronic music frontlines since the seventies. A prominent figure on the West Coast, Ciani worked with Don Buchla as he developed his legendary Buchla modular music systems. Instantly enamored with its sonic possibilities, she became an expert in designing modular patches, becoming a lifelong devotee.

Published in Decoder Magazine's Second Issue


Maelstrom Chats Raar Label, Desert Raves, Self-hypnosis

French electronic producer Maelstrom specializes, as his moniker would suggest, in overt menace. Co-owner of the RAAR imprint, Maelstrom’s gritty distortion and aggressive synths are omnipresent in his latest effort, Her Empty Eyes, with antagonistic song titles like ‘The Murder of Jose Robles’ and ‘Woman Training for a Republican Militia.’

Published at Echoes and Dust

Evoking Kerouac Dumbsaint's Cinematic Opus 'Panorama, in Ten Pieces'

Evoking Kerouac: Dumbsaint's Cinematic Opus Panorama, in Ten Pieces

In 1958, Jack Kerouac listed 30 guidelines for executing better prose, providing valuable insight as to how the celebrated writer approached his craft. A proponent of Allen Ginsberg’s “first thought, best thought” philosophy, Kerouac championed unedited writing as one way of accessing the subconscious, and his often raw prose shows it. Kerouac was also a fan of creating words, as in his sixth instruction: Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind.

Published at Pop Matters

Glenn McDonald

On Wandering the Paths of a Spotify Analyst's Mad Music Map

Have you ever wondered how many music genres there are? Spotify data analyst Glenn McDonald has an answer to the question—and he’s built the map to illustrate it. Every Noise at Once catalogues over 1,500 genres ranging from the esoteric (modern uplift, deep discofox, power violence) to the outright bizarre (solipsynthm, terrorcore, and something called catstep).

Published at Pop Matters

Raving Iran

How Two DJs Are Defying the Iranian Government with Techno

Since the late 1970s, the Iranian government has regulated many of life’s pleasures, including music. Imam Khomeini considered the art “no different than opium” — a sentiment that was echoed in a conservative Iranian newspaper: “Whoever acquired the habit [of music] can no longer devote himself to important activities. It changes people to the point of yielding to vice.” Live performances halted for a decade. Music schools shuttered.

Published at Hyperallergic

Tristan Perich

Tristan Perich: Working Inside 1-Bit's Insane Limits

Personal computers stand as one of the most substantial inventions of the 20th century, to some great extent because of how they’ve reframed our very identities. Our laptops, tablets and phones intersect with many branches of our lives, especially the methods by which we entertain ourselves.

Published at Decoder Magazine


Schnellertollermeier’s Brutal Jazz Explorations

September 1962: jazz legends Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, and Max Roach gather in New York City for a session that sets the standard for the jazz trio. Their Money Jungle session is a master class in performance in which the musicians improvise off each other rather than giving one player the solo spotlight. The influential work is a synthesis of two members of the new guard (Mingus and Roach) and a composer more known for his big band style.

Published at Echoes and Dust

Mark Reeder

Pioneer Producer Mark Reeder’s History Of Electronic Music

Mark Reeder is one of those people who can sniff out a scene. Being friends with Joy Division and producing the last East Berlin band before the Wall collapsed is impressive enough, but Reeder has never liked to stay stationary. Finding himself in a united Germany and a new musical world, Reeder moved on to start the influential and prolific Masterminded for Success (MFS) trance imprint before pioneering the Flesh label that focused on “wet and hard” techno of Eastern European electronic music.

Published at Subrewind


They Call It Skweee: Investigating a Microgenre

The dawn of the century has seen a fragmentation of musical expression arranged into literally hundreds of microgenres. One of the more curious examples is skweee, a Scandinavian sound characterized by squealing, goofy synthesizer lines, an infatuation for vintage electronics, and off-kilter rhythms. Skweee is influenced by late-70s and 80s obscure funk, electronic disco, Kraftwerk and pioneering dance producers like Patrick Cowley.

Published at Subrewind