What Is [Live]? – The New Generation Of Live Techno

Pages: 1 2 3 4

As the latest generation of live techno acts hit the road, we ask what defines ‘live’ electronic music. Is a backlash against lazy Ableton sets responsible for the most exciting live shows in decades? Kristan Caryl investigates.

Skudge

“The set is never the same.” Skudge performing live.

Live electronic music is nothing new. Back in the late 80s acts like The Orb and 808 State were quick to spot the potential of taking their music-making machines up on stage. In the 90s live electronica became so popular that even the traditionally guitar obsessed Glastonbury invited The Chemical Brothers to headline their main stage. And in the noughties, although the medium had largely switched from hardware to software, hardly could you glance at flyer without that little word being splattered all over it, sandwiched between a pair of brackets to show that this was more than just a standard DJ set: this was live.

In 2013, those four little letters have never seemed more popular. A new generation of techno artists are embracing the old-school all-hardware approach, whether it’s the distorted purist assault of Blawan and Pariah’s Karenn project, the slightly housier techno leanings of Juju & Jordash or the stripped-down grooves of Skudge. Naturally, the proliferation of live sets also makes the definition of live even more ambiguous and sometimes even divisive. After all, a DJ set is technically a form of live performance, whereas many live shows are planned down to the last note. And what about the music itself? Hardware is the choice of all the coolest cats, but does banging a few beats out on a 909 really make for a better sonic experience? Let’s get to the core of the matter: why has the laptop-free live show come back into vogue, just what is ‘live’, and does it really matter?

“Shitty plip-plop techno”

“Ableton got picked up by the shitty end of electronic music in the noughts. When you think of it, you think of shitty plip-plop techno.”

Live shows are no longer the preserve of the underground: you’re as likely to find a laptop rocker turning up to the local superclub as you are a rave veteran blasting out his hardware hits from the side of a truck. As such, playing live has become a trend; something to which the young bucks aspire so as to stand out. Ironically, though, so many live sets end up conforming to the pseudo-live norm in which artists turn up, plug in and trigger a load of pre-recorded loops in a carefully programmed sequence, often recreating whole tracks verbatim.

One of the factors driving this trend is the emergence of new tools which allow artists to approach live performance in different ways. The most notable is Ableton Live, the software package which has had the single biggest impact on the way dance music is produced and performed over the last decade. Its clip-based approach makes it easy for samples, loops and pre-sequenced MIDI parts to be triggered on the fly, all in sync with each other. Its impact on the way we view the typical live set is undeniable. Speak to those in the know, though, and they point out that lacklustre ‘live’ sets are not the fault of Ableton itself, but weakness on the part of the person in control.

“Ableton got picked up by the shitty end of electronic music in the noughts,” says Delsin producer and hardware advocate Disco Nihilist. “When you think of it, you think of shitty plip-plop techno, like Minus stuff. It’s easy, it’s cheap. I think Ableton got a bad name from the people who used it early on, yet Legowelt was talking in a recent interview about the difference between using an MPC and Ableton: in a lot of ways Ableton can be more live than an MPC because you have more freedom and control in your set. It’s romantic to see hardware and say, ‘Oh, this is more live than a laptop’, but I don’t think that’s necessarily the case.”

Exercise One's live setup

Exercise One’s live setup

Berlin-based duo and long-time live performers Exercise One are in a fine position to comment on the similarities and differences of both approaches. They started out performing with “a huge PC tower, two big screens, a bass and a Korg PolySix” before switching to Ableton for almost a decade and then moving on again. “We decided to come back to a very simple but powerful set up,” Marco Freivogel explains.

“Live shows in a club context became more and more of the same attitude, with everyone using the same methods. Technology can also breed some laziness and for me things get boring when everything is easily possible. So we had the feeling we needed to change and get back where we came from: being able to play like a band, truly live, where everyone has his instruments and you need to practice and rehearse regularly. Today we arrive at the club with a Moog Minitaur, Roland SH-101, Dave Smith Mopho, Elektron Analog Four, an MFB Tanzbär, an Elektron Octatrack, a Korg MX as sequencer for the Moog and Mopho, a couple of effects and some compressors. I have to say it is the most enjoyable set up.”

Pages: 1 2 3 4

Back to top
  • Words: Kristan Caryl. Photos: Phrank (Skudge), Nik Torrens (Gerald)
  • Date: 10th October 2013
  • phil Wrote:

    good read

  • 3030303 Wrote:

    Great read! Should of interviewed Ceephax Acid Crew, who only uses hardware and is very entertaining!

  • Attack Wrote:

    3030303 – we’re working on having a chat with Ceephax for another feature. Hopefully we’ll get something sorted.

  • bossa Wrote:

    If only all Dj booths could accommodate my equipment I would happily do a hardware set… I often struggle to get Machine + laptop and few fx pedals setup so it comes down to practicality. Then I have to endure the indignity of having people say I’m playing a laptop set… hey ho

  • James Dean Brown Wrote:

    Supported by Narcotic Syntax (Perlon), re-transformed to Hypnobeat: http://www.narcoticsyntax.net/pics/Hypnobeat_Serendip_NeoTribal.jpg

  • Brenn Wrote:

    On the money here Kristian / Attack. Thanks!

  • marlgrey Wrote:

    excellent article. long live live!

  • josh Wrote:

    Yes, great article. Rare nowadays to see an article that draws upon so many different sources. You can tell that this took some time to write – the effort really pays off!

  • chava Wrote:

    Wise words from disco nihilist as always.

  • Omsk Wrote:

    I’ve always thought live dance music is a bit boring in a club context with a tendency to become self indulgent and most artists lacking the quantity or range of tunes to hold down a set an hour or more (including almost all of the ‘greats’ i’ve seen). When dancing is the order of the day I’d much prefer a DJ set. Also, a live performance even if it’s mostly a couple of blokes pushing buttons, demands to be looked at which can lower energy and take it away from the dancefloor.

    Just my personal experience of course

  • James Wrote:

    The point is artists should use what they want for their performances. The result is what counts. It’s not like if you are mediocre you’ll miraculously make great music just because you use hardware. I rather hear a great live act made on Live than a lousy one with hardware.

  • Basil Wrote:

    Have you guys checked out Premiesku? Definitely one of my favorite (live) performers these days http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIZjo3AIZ-A

  • sidney Wrote:

    got to agree with omsk , it was always time for a smoke when the live act came on . The dancefloor suffers when people are just facing forward instead of looking at each other , but hey i always liked it when you never knew where the dj was either

  • truuuuu Wrote:

    it’s this just DUB music?

  • Michael Walsh Wrote:

    Great article. I think this is the most exciting thing happening in electronic music performance these days.

  • Alex Wrote:

    You can do a very complex live act with ableton. It depends how you use it. It’s just like cooking.:you can be a masterchef or a wannabe fast-food cooker ;)

  • rude 66 Wrote:

    one of the great things about hardware is being forced to improvise when things go wrong. i’ve played hardware sets (mostly analogue) for 20 years and everything that could possibly have gone wrong, did at some point. drum machines out of sync, crashed sequencers, out of tune synths, broken mixer channels.. i once spent an entire gig holding the power input of my syntecno teebee because the psu out was broken.
    the thing is, when those things happen, you are taken out of your comfort zone and you have to improvise on the spot. some of my best gigs came from moments like that..and its just not the same as a laptop set where everything either works or not..

  • Disco Nihilist Wrote:

    I use an MPC2500 and a few effects when I play live. I’d love to bring more but I travel alone and can only bring a backpack full of gear with me.

    I’ve never been a huge fan of working in Ableton, but I don’t dismiss it out of hand. Abelton’s problem is that it is cheap and easy to get ahold of. You see a lot of shit Ableton sets because it is the first thing people get. If you wound the technology clock back 15 years, the people playing boring music in Ableton would be playing boring music on hardware. Content is more important than the delivery method. I grew up on hardware synths and drum machines, so that is what I use. A 20 year old kid who has been working in DAWs his whole life might feel different.

    PS I have an open date for a live set Europe on Friday, November 22. Promoters hit me up.

  • Disco Nihilist Wrote:

    @Rude66 reminds me of when I had to play an sh101 by hand for an hour at Panorama Bar. Couldn’t get the 909(thanks Magic Mountain High!)to sync with the 2500. That was the most fun I’ve had playing live to date.

  • Gordon Lost Wrote:

    “ABLETON GOT PICKED UP BY THE SHITTY END OF ELECTRONIC MUSIC IN THE NOUGHTS. WHEN YOU THINK OF IT, YOU THINK OF SHITTY PLIP-PLOP TECHNO.”

    That’s the most offensive bullshit to music technicians I’ve read in the last 10 years….

  • Allert Wrote:

    Just hide the computer and don’t look at it. That makes a lot of difference. You don’t need to look at yr computer anymore with Push or Machine. Then again, what I’m developing now is a set where I start with an unpatched modular and an empty step sequencer, maybe add one or two synths and a box of drums. Won’t be done for a long time cause I need to practice.
    This article took me back to the days of Human Beings with our two MMT8′s and our whole studio on stage. We were once, to our surprise, asked to do an encore. Our solution: the MMT that usually played the drums now played the melodies and vice versa. Got the crowd moving by switching 2 MIDI cables :)

  • FBK Wrote:

    After about 10-15 years of not doing live performances, I have started again, along with Plural (aka James Johnson) as The Fallen. We use a hybrid of ever-changing equipment from our studios…and I do use live. I use it because I can completely destroy and reconstruct a sample or sound in real time and in any way I choose. It tends to make for great sets. Allen Iverson had it right when he asked about practice…we do what comes natural to us-make people dance to things WE haven’t even discovered yet!

  • slk Wrote:

    This is pretty awesome really. With the advent of EDM in the US it feels like the rest of the dance scene is having to finally grow up and mature. We are having to find what we really value about the scene/music/culture as opposed to the values that have been so readily painted on for us as its all grown.

    The reality is for many of us minor or major, it really has been 20+ years of kicking around with electronic music. The waves of trends come and go, but it feels like today both audience & artists are becoming more comfortable with what they like vs just whats on trend.

    Sure its a ‘thing’ now to play with loads of outboard gear, but its not a new thing, its just one of the ‘things’ you can do to make electronic music. It seems like people are doing it because its fun more than anything else.

    Personally I love the variety, texture and diversity of ways that electronic music culture presents itself. The beauty is we are finally collectively sharing methods to read/understand/critic/value all the differences as opposed to just polarising around the trend.

  • Micro Groover Wrote:

    Interesting read! The essence of Live PA’s have become diluted over the years, a way for producers to rake in more cash when all they do is have their original stems minus some synth they can tweak. That’s not “live”.

    I started using Ableton for Live PA’s some time 2000 when it was just a sampler, now using a hybrid setup with Ableton, two Electribes, a Jomox Mbase 01 + a Wavedrum for live percussionist stuff.

    The favourites right now is absolutely KiNK (check the vid from Wonderland on YT) and Michael Ballus (YT him) :)

  • Computer Controlled Wrote:

    Been playing live for a loonnng time, always hardware based.

  • Maria Wrote:

    Loved the article… can’t stand the laptop live tag some people banter around. you guys should check this Aussie guy who’s been playing live with hardware for a very long time. He called Honeysmack.

  • Jesse Wrote:

    Interesting article. Like someone said earlier, Ableton can be used in different styles if your smart enough. I’ve seen many Live shows and couldnt take the same loop over and over for while the guys brought in on more track at a time, it gets boring. The new interest in true Live sets is nice , happy see more kids turning that way then stealing tracks and spinning them. Maybe I need to leave Detroit to see some real sets…?

  • Olè Wrote:

    Perhaps it is appropriate to say to many “professors” that the MPC and the Octatrack also are machines based on a software … like Ableton. So not much difference in my opinion.
    The point is that If you use in studio many different machines, samplers and devices it is obvious that the only way to build a performance is to opt for Ableton like loop/clips sequencer. Instead If you make music, for example, basically with a Juno and a Roland 707 it is obvious that you will use the same “only hardware” set up in your live set.

  • XyNo Wrote:

    Olè you are right !
    I just updated my JJOS 2XL in my MPC ! ;)

  • chris moss acid Wrote:

    when i play live it’s hardware + ableton with loops/full tracks…that particular live set will never be played the same again.. and it takes me a couple of weeks to program and sort out my set..
    all mpc sequences/707 drum patterns/basslines (unless i want to make a track out of it) will be deleted and the next live set will have 64 brand new 303 patterns, new 707 patterns, new npc sequences ect;
    alternatively when i DJ i use ableton as well with a bcr-2000…sure it has a live aspect to it, but i am only DJing.

    But, at the end of the day I don’t think anyone gives a shit on the dance floor wether you have a 303 on stage or your playing tracks from a laptop. as the old cliché goes it’s all about the music innit?

  • pbjohn Wrote:

    good read – Nice to know stuff. Love the techie stuff but don’t care for the bleep bleep blop bloop music.

  • Bioni Samp Wrote:

    yeah good 1 for the article here is my computer free live hardware set with some homemade kit https://soundcloud.com/beespace/bioni-samp-live-at-lost-in-the

  • cosmosuave Wrote:

    What happened to calling it Live PA? Great article nice to see some recognition for a change… I will never forget someone saying to me after a gig as I was loading my raodcase of gear into the car “Nice laptop”…

  • Antifaz Mechacorta Wrote:

    the means doesnt matter, only the result. Plus, im not taking my studio to a live performance, i think theres the magic of ableton live, you can record all your sounds and machines and then take it everywhere… Also, you can make shitty music with machines on a live performance too…

  • ross_two Wrote:

    Isn’t one of the fundamental problems here that watching someone flick a switch can’t ever be as immersive as watching someone play, for example, guitar? We are naturally studio beings, where bands are naturally live animals. Switching territories just doesn’t work that well for us. I’ve been to some fantastic ‘live’ electronic performances, but it wasn’t the performances themselves that made them fantastic; it was the music.

  • wndfrm Wrote:

    it’s really hard to look past the mud-slinging in this.. whether intentional or not.. calling minus ‘shitty plip plop techno’ is really shortsighted, and skudge essentially insult artists like disco nihilist with their larry heard comment.. it just goes around and around.

    use what you have, use what you like, do whatever the hell you want. the only thing that shouldn’t happen is faking it. having a stack of hardware on stage doesn’t mean someone isn’t just ‘pressing play’.. sequences are sequences, wherever they are stored (RAM is RAM!) so is live adaptation and improvisation.. use your boutique hardware all you want, but don’t slag off the kid with the laptop and software (that frankly, enabled a lot of the current crop of boutique hardware to exist, ala octatrack)

    i think it’s important to focus on your own art, your own forms of expression, and let that speak about your process. stop worrying about everyone else.

    imho.

  • djoremi Wrote:

    The kind of hatred shown towards DAWs here is pretty alarming here. If I could have a drum machine, sequencer, effects, other synths etc for around the same price, don’t you think everyone would? I dream of owning 909s, 101s, octatraks etc. but I just can’t afford it. And until I’m at an extremely professional level, I won’t. I make do with what I can afford and I’ve always argued that that’s a noble and fair route to take.

  • Nicolas Wrote:

    One thing that has been missed I think : the more hardware you bring, the more energy you have to spend managing the gear (at the risk of losing track of the music during a set). There is a point where you need to focus on what’s really effective at keeping the flow going, hardware or not.

    I’m a hardware guy, however, I understand why people rely on Ableton sets. People have near-zero attention span, and I wouldn’t blame anyone with a laptop in case they run out of options in front of a crowd.

  • Frekkel Wrote:

    New Generation of live techno? Octave one? new?
    And beside of that all artist in this article, are releasing producers for at least 2 decades. New gen is much younger, and upcomming..

  • Drumfreak Wrote:

    Exactly Djoremi. For all the new guys its hard to get a 303 or 909 and loats of loveley analog hw equip. The second thing time goes on, you need to find a job to effort all this stuff. So the cheapest way to make music and go on is a laptop and a usefull DAW and midi controllers, because they are cheap.

    Ow wait aint that the same thing these guys did back in the days? Buying 303′s 909′s etc because they wer cheap.

    Its funny why this Disco Nihilist says. Ableton is cheap and easy to effort.
    This does count the same for the 303 and 707 back in the days, this was the reason why most of this kinda music excist.

  • Graham Miller Wrote:

    I wrote this piece about 10 years ago, before Ableton had really taken off, but it still stands true as far as what I consider ‘authentic live electronic music.’ It’s a long one, but check it out!

    http://www.stylusmagazine.com/articles/weekly_article/the-real-deal-toward-an-aesthetic-of-authentic-live-electronic-dance-music.htm

  • greg Wrote:

    I am so sick of hearing about this bullshit. Why does “live” have to mean emulating a band? What about generative algorithms? What about different ways of adding spontenaeity into the performance environment? What about different ways of adding expressiveness into the performance environment (like effects that actually change the way the atmosphere of the music feels, instead of the same tired old filters)? What about introducing audience controlled elements? What about other inputs like weather data on the night of the gig or the current position of the mars rover or the value of whatever stock? Why do we have to keep dragging the same old fucking synths out and beating the same old pulvarized fucking horse?!

    I’m not trying to be a dick, this is a plea. Can we please not give up like this? Can we please, all of us that make computer music and perform it live, please, take another look at our computers and think “how else can I make this thing work for me? What else can I do to make my performance live, that hasn’t been done before?”. Ableton live is the tip of the iceberg, and I have yet to see many people use it to its full capabilities (fuck I know I don’t use it to its full capabilities).

    Sorry I know that’s not the most concise, beautiful rant ever… Anyways, the article is nicely written :) looking forward to reading about other approaches to live electronic music!

  • Valyo Wrote:

    I also think this notion of live electronic music is rather romanticized and the hatred towards laptops and ableton is blown out of proportion. The nerdy underground-y type of public expects to have the ‘performers’ appearing to be ‘doing stuff’ in order to be legit. Also there is this notion that any live musician requires greater skill and musicality than the dude who is mixing stems on Ableton or tweaking knobs on a 909.

    Regarding the first point, if we take a step back and look at the bigger picture of evolution of popular music, the definite trend which one cannot help to notice is the fact that music has been transitioning ever since the first tape recording machine from a purely performance art to a hybrid between performance and design art.

    Everybody reading this blog will probably be aware of the notion of the studio becoming an instrument in its own right (think of dub, etc), the cutting and pasting that was done with tape, all the weird stuff that was done by the BBC radiphonic lab since the 50s. If we would consider re-framing our notion of what the art of music should be and accept it as a design art as well, the argument that an artwork loses its validity/credibility if it is not created in the very moment it is perceived, loses its strength. When you go to an exhibition, you do not expect the painter to be creating the artwork, do you? I understand that there is a lot of heritage (or cultural luggage?) in music which would elevates the performance as the ultimate act and expression of musicality, but for me this is hindering progress.

    Related to that is also this silly, in my opinion, idea that many people, typically non-electronic music fans and non-musicians hold that any sort of musical performance on an instrument is of higher artistic and musicianship value than the act of performing electronic music either with software or drum machines etc. I am a guitar player and I can tell you that I can strum Nirvana (which is an amazing band, very favourite!) songs while going through my grocery shopping list in my mind. If I am, however, mixing two tracks and have, say some pattern running on my Elektron A4, I have to be 100% concentrated because any change in parameter is very audiable and can significantly mess up the experience. The average Joe, would however consider that I am greater musician when I’m casually strumming ‘About a girl’. Nothing you can do about it, but it does come to show how mass opinions are not always a great reflection of objective values.

    But I should be working now.

    Since I don’t want to be a smartass without any background, here are my musical efforts

    https://soundcloud.com/zero_slum

  • Get on ! Wrote:

    Fuck S*** dont you get it.. Skills skills .. Music is no Competition, Bach had also better skills than James brown behind the piano.. He just rock, the music sounds beautiful and enjoy and get on whit your life..

    If you really want to make a better world by a competition, go help people in Syria, and fight there for freedom. But seriously this is fucking childish.

  • p43 Wrote:

    I’ve been putting on/going to techno parties in London for nearly 20 years and I’ve seen artists blow the roof off the venue using Ableton and a $100 laptop and I’ve seen also people cart in a ton of hardware and completely fail to move a crowd (and the other way around). It’s not about what equipment you use! Put your soul and emotion into the music and it will connect with and move people.

  • Mango Wrote:

    I’ve seen guys with one laptop mostly pressing play in ableton do a way better show than dudes buried in gear. Live playing is about interacting with people and having fun. Not about looking like the smartest boffin in the room with all the gear you can carry up to the stage.
    Also check you Genius of Time for a great live hardware set.

  • brutal truth Wrote:

    was watching a live kINK show yesterday.
    Performing live for an hour needs great expertise.
    He seems like he knows what he’s doing and enjoys the experience at the same time.
    great guy!!!

  • Dave Stitch Wrote:

    For us, Synth racks are key to a live hardware set, no more arched over a table just stand and face the machines. It is easier to dance (or bob) along with the tunes as well. And the challenges of equipment failure just adds to the fun!

  • Andre + Michele Wrote:

    Wow, great read, really glad “live” sets are getting so much attention!

    We subscribe to the “all from scratch” philosophy for live performance, building up and mixing loops from drum machines, synth, and guitar, using Ableton as a mixer/looper. Although each set is different from the last, regular jamming/practice allows us to visit certain motifs and moods.

    As has been said several times, it does all come down to the musical results, so here’s ours:

    https://soundcloud.com/andre_et_michele

  • ChuckyFunk Wrote:

    This is yet another case of the younger generation reinventing the wheel again. There are plenty of really great live techno/electronic acts and there always have been. Seek and ye shall find my friends. Two words : OCTAVE ONE. Nevermind “Live”…….one of the best techno acts period. Been around forever (in the old days as Random Noise Generation). There’s also projects like the onea with Carl Craig, Mortiz von Oswald and Francesco Tristano, Tone of Arc, Dubtribe Sound System… the list goes on and on. Problem is most dudes today can’t figure out how to hook up a MIDI cable nevernind work a Live PA set up. Good to see people stepping up their games a little.

  • sasha Wrote:

    >the emergence of new tools like Ableton live
    >new tools
    it’s approaching the end of 2013 and Ableton is still somehow regarded as a new development?

  • asdg Wrote:

    I think that disco nihilist should go fuck himself and be more aware of what is going on in minimal techno, e.g Minus label.

    Fuck that mother fucker.

  • Randolph Knackstedt Wrote:

    We’re heading into 2014. Can we please stop calling electronic music “electronica?”

  • grg Wrote:

    I played live since ’95 using analog gear and used Ableton from their start in ’00/’01 since 2010 or so.
    It’s true what Disco from Delsin said!
    Hate this software!
    That’s why I still use hardware and you know what?
    It sound’s better and I’m much faster in getting my sounds done!

  • Dotty Acid Wrote:

    what a pair of cunts. I`m surprised they had the time to stop sucking each other`s cock to do the interview. i personally use hardware and i could not give a shit how other producers play their work, if it works for them and they {and others} enjoy it, then they are doing fine. crawl back up each other`s arseholes.. oh and can i just emphasize words. WHAT A PAIR OF CUNTS.

  • Roger G Wrote:

    Words are just words and Live has very little meaning in this context. Or maybe it’s that Live has nothing to do with being a Musician . So Live What? Does hitting the play button on your disc player make you a live anything? Yes you are a DJ. You may be responding to the situation. Knock yourself out – call yourself LIVE. But you are not a musician. Hey, my car mechanic is doing a live performance where he fixes my car while I watch. My dentist is doing a live performance in my mouth. All these people are creative and so are you. But you are not a musician so why advertise the fact. Big deal – you have some creativity, some tech knowledge and maybe you even push buttons that make a nice sound. BUT YOU ARE NOT A MUSICIAN. Sorry. Until EVERY sound that is heard is the direct result of the performers intention At That Moment, you are not a musician. If you are playing a loop you are not a musician even if you created every sound on that loop. You are only a technician. It’s not your fault that unfortunately your listeners can’t tell the difference.

  • Cody Wrote:

    Robert G, you have a very peculiar definition of musician.

    When Philomel by Milton Babbitt was performed live, the only musician present was the live singer and the tape she was singing to indicates that Milton Babbitt isn’t a musician?

    When Tangerine Dream played live and set analog sequencers live, that means they weren’t musicians?

    I bet you also think that people who digitally paint and use filter effects aren’t artists, because they didn’t paint every last pixel by hand. You have an absurdist vision of what it means to be a musician. I’m sure it works for you. But, when you get off your high horse, reality will welcome you back.

  • Spike Wrote:

    All this means to me is more diversion and music SNOBBERY
    as if there was a short supply of it already BIG SIGH!.

    Nobody on the dance floor moans about a truly great dj
    so get your head out of your arses and concentrate on no
    more then making great emotive/imaginative music that touches people!

    If it’s hardware based excellent it it’s produced only in Ableton fine
    if it’s one guy with 2 decks and a mixer WHATEVER if its a kick sample of some one banging on a bus seat then sent through a fax machine and recorded with a delay unit on the other end brilliant!

    It does not matter. work on progressing musical ideas and individual personality not the delivery of those ideas.

    YES Live sets are more dynamic (Of Course they are)

    But better is a subjective term and anything that gives people an attitude
    about whats best is moving so far from the only important issue I.E the quality and personality of the music

    In all art preparation is the WORK the execution is the PLAY.

    Articles like this help to reduce music scenes to mere superficial and shallow levels

    NEWS FLASH Live techno using hardware is NOTHING NEW particularly where electro is concerned

    If I am not mistaken which im not, we were all using hardware setups before ableton/reason etc… came along so whats the point of this article other then to create more barriers and snide music snobbery

    Have a heart and a soul music is pure emotion and vibration transmitted from one to another and is the purest form of communication we have stop trying to ruin it.

    “ABLETON GOT PICKED UP BY THE SHITTY END OF ELECTRONIC MUSIC IN THE NOUGHTS. WHEN YOU THINK OF IT, YOU THINK OF SHITTY PLIP-PLOP TECHNO.”

    What sort of generalist nonsense are you perpetuating here???
    it’s rubbish total bile journalism

    I would rather watch pitch black from n.z play and they use oh yea thats right ableton if your calling pitch black the shitty end YOU DON’T know what your on about mate period…

    OBSERVE > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1siG6_Pd-Mg

    Use what ever you want to deliver your music. if it’s good the people will let you know and guess what NONE of them really care how it gets to there ears!

  • Spike Wrote:

    @ Roger G Im a gifted musician I have close to mike oldfields command of different instruments but I will say with electronic music the rules are
    different.

    The expression is in effects build ups and tension/drama/Drops I do not approach
    the two in the same way and whilst nothing gets me like the purist joy
    of playing old time fiddle and banjo in a our bluegrass band there is something
    in electronic music I can not or do not not want to replicate like with acoustic instrumentation. I am using the whole sound system and freq spectrum as an instrument!. I do not have the time to play complex lead parts or dazzling arpeggios it’s just not what it’s about for me tripping people out and making them dance to the polarities of darkness and light whilst forgetting about all the bullshit of daily life is where I focus my attention

    It’s the difference between deep kundalini breathing and dropping a tab of strong acid.

    King Tubby the dub organiser played a mixing desk and sound system with as much skill as a concert pianist and with a million times more technical knowledge and innovation

    Your argument is pure semantics.
    One mans sampler/Mixing Desk is another mans piano I prefer to use both and except the totality of the truth that they are both instruments of VIBRATION AND LOVE

  • Spike Wrote:

    @Dotty Acid You said it better with fewer words respect you are a pair of cunts!

  • Spike Wrote:

    Basically there trying to create a vibe of “music elitism” because they have spent more money on expensive hardware and think they deserve status based solely on that to create a gap between home musician and what they deluded think is pro

    ahahahahahaha

    Shower of cunts …

  • Ian Wrote:

    Great article. Live techno is the future!! Don’t think I saw any mention of Dragon Suplex. These guys are seriously underrated and under recognized in my opinion. Deep disco house. Oh so good! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvsbMy_K2Fw

  • Theo Wrote:

    Dont hate on ableton just becuz u got the money for a 2000$ drum machine.

  • Un Important Wrote:

    This is all bullshit. Live electronic acts SHOULDN’T be “live” in the way rock-and-roll is. Why are techno/ electronica artists trying to shoehorn into the template of a rock star. Next thing you know, they’ll be jumping off of drum risers like David Lee Roth. This is music (generally) made by one guy, in the middle of the night, IN STEP TIME. Why is there such pressure to present this art of sound design in the context of MTV bands. IT’S AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT ART FORM. Accept it for shat it is. Electronic “bands” appear stupid trying to present music made in a step-time environment, like an MTV band. It all started going wrong in the 1970′s when Tangerine Dream felt the need to do this. I wish people would get smart and just realize this is a different art form and realize presentation SHOULD be different. Artists who use pre-recorded loops etc are smarter than those trying to make a pop-show from music made in step time. I have more respect for the guys who just present electronic music like electronic music rather than this whole bullshit “band aesthetic”. In the 80′s, we were proud that we didn’t resort to this bullshit. Now in 2014, it’s fashionable to be a band on stage. In 2 years, it will be cool to do it like an electronic band again. These stupid trends. We’re NOT a rock band. Be proud of it. Stop this nonsense. Remember Manchester in the 1980′s. Back then, electronic bands were PROUD to be different, and be playing tapes and doing it like a electronic band does. Now we’re all pseudo-MTV bands. Jump up and down and bang on your synth. It’s suposed to be like “Me And My Rhythmbox” Adrian Sings in Liquid Sky, not Rolling Stones with synths. This has gotten so messed up. Electronic music was born from a movement to be 100% different than all the stuff on MTV back then. Now, we’re emulating the bands that disgusted us into making music that wasn’t presented like a live band.

    “I hear you’re buying a synthesizer and an arpeggiator and are throwing your computer out the window because you want to make something real. You want to make a Yaz record. I hear that you and your band have sold your guitars and bought turntables.I hear that you and your band have sold your turntables and bought guitars”

  • Un Important Wrote:

    The backlash should be against bands having a pissing contest showing off gear. Get back to reality. Show some respect for the artists that understands this is computer music, and show up with a computer to do a live set, rather than the fakers who use a computer to make music and show up with a truckload of expensive shit to fake a live set. In the 80′s, bands like OMD and Human League showed up w/ 4 reel-to-reel tape decks and did a concert, and were proud to do it that way.