Soundbreaking is an 8-part documentary series about the art of producing records, featuring both legendary and lesser-known producers like Quincy Jones, Linda Perry, Don Was, RZA, Brian Eno, Questlove, and of course George Martin. [more inside]
A Beginner's Guide to the Synth is a nice long write-up to the history of the synthesizers, from their origins up to the present, with embedded sound samples. For a deeper dive into the history of the hardware, learn the secrets of the synths from Sound on Sound.
Daphne and Celeste were a manufactured teen pop duo around the turn of the century, who released singles such as U.G.L.Y and Ooh Stick You and reached some kind of apotheosis during a legendary near-riot of a performance at the 2000 Reading Festival (at a time when it was essentially a heavy metal festival), and then went off to have normal lives. Ben Jacobs made quirky, obscure but well-loved electro-pop records under the name Max Tundra, before going on an extended sabbatical in 2008. In 2011, Ben contacted Daphne and Celeste and asked if they'd like to make a record with him. This is it. The Guardian reports. [more inside]
My favorite new tumblr: Experimental Music On Children's TV.
Digging up long forgotten memories for a generation who spent their formative years glued to the boob tube, Memorex is a veritable nostalgia nuke for children of the 80s. Endless beach parties, Saturday morning cartoons, claymation everything, sleek cars, sexy babes, toys you forgot existed, station idents, primitive computer animation, all your favorite sugary cereal mascots, and so much more. An ode to the hyper consumerism and sleek veneer of a simpler time. (previously)
For all your italo/euro/synth/space-disco needs, Cosmic Dudes record store has you covered. Sample tracks: Richie Heinen - Beach Freak or Torelli/Massiera - Afro Disco (scroll down for both)
Not all groups with synthesizers in the 1970s and 1980s were lame Top 40 acts with keytars. Some groups of the era used synths for spastic keyboard bleeps, herky-jerky tempos, and angst-ridden aggression in a style now classified by record collector geeks as synthpunk, minimal synth, or minimal wave. Several famous New Wave acts dabbled in the style before providing soundtracks for Molly Ringwald movies (OMD, Electricty) or singing about waitresses in cocktail bars (the Human League, Being Boiled), but vintage videos from synth punk acts all over the world can be found all over YouTube. [more inside]
Travis Hallenbeck's website is an awesome collection of links about lo-fi music and art, retro-computing, cheap children's synths, and more. Some gems: CompactFlash for Apple II, Iconolog, The Audio Playground Keyboard Museum (with vintage drum machines reworked in flash). Look around!