Category Archives: Free

Free Circuit Board Gift Tags!

So my store Fractalspin has been carrying these cool Circuit Board Ornaments for a while, and there’s now a quantity discount if you buy 10 or more.

We learned from some of our customers that they were using them as gift tags for presents, and we were buying quite a few at a time, but unfortunately last year we ran out of stock to get them out by Christmas. This year we’re starting the promotion early enough for larger quantity orders in time for holiday madness.

I also designed some free gift tag templates you can print out and attach to gifts, right away, for free!

fractalspin-gifttags-star-300wfractalspin-gifttags-dreidel300w

[Download Stars Gift Tags PDF]
[Download Dreidels Gift Tags PDF]

If you want smaller tags for smaller gifts, just print them out at 50% or whatever size, instead.

Hope you find them useful!

“Wired Fridays” will feature Chicago DJs prominent in the industry every Friday beginning in January

The 2013 series of Wired Fridays in Chicago will be showcasing Chicago DJ-slash-promoters who have been passionately sharing their highly-specific tastes within their chosen branches of electronic music through their events, radio shows, workshops, and personal performances–albeit with the discerning eye of a curator who has been immersed in local musical culture long enough to be able to sift through the sand to find the gems.

What’s really exciting about this particular debut lineup is that every performer has contributed to Chicago’s electronic music culture in a very significant yet personal way over the years they’ve been in the industry. Unlike certain major festivals that seem to rely on headlining those global-trekking-performers who appeal to the most people to generate the highest revenue (and, if they get it down right, the festivals expand to other cities to repeat the template and income) these performers have chosen to work within and support specific communities, both musically and locally.

Friday, January 4, 20113

Striz, aka Ben Stroh, for instance is a dedicated member of the illmeasures collective that hosts unique electronic music events that can surprise, delight, and sometimes confuse their guests with their mix of live performance, video projection, crowd participation, and generally a Situationist-inspired, interactive space that can at some times conjure up an urban-based, toned down version of Burning Man. His DJ sets are equally eclectic and genre-bending, mixing funk grooves with downtempo, dup, breakbeat and instrumental hip hop.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Frankie Vega

Chicago-based Frankie Vega not only  organized many showcases of underground electronic music in unconventional spaces (to rave reviews) he’s also a well-heeled producer of his own merit. While his DJ styles slinks between Chicago house, minimal, deep techno and acid, he’s made a name for himself through the patronage of labels like Kompute, A Squared, Blueline, Tora Tora Tora and Remains. You can find music from Frankie Vega on iTunes and beatport.com.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Chris Widman

Chris Widman is a Chicago DJ that defies easy classification. As a host of the weekly radio program Abstract Science (celebrating 15 years in 2012), he is at the forefront of breaking new styles, brazenly crossing genres and re-contextualizing forgotten music into his vision that really seems to work. His DJ sets have the same philosophy, but less heady and more bass-y. http://abstractscience.net will keep you up to date.

Friday, January 25, 2013

DJ Warp

With a unique ear for electronic music and international music, DJ Warp has become a staple DJ playing at many Chicago clubs and venues, including past residencies at legendary clubs such as Shelter, Smartbar and Sonotheque. In addition to playing music at venues like the Aragon Ballroom, the MCA, Navy Pier or Riviera, Brian was the very first DJ to ever play the Chicago Symphony Center. His cultural ramifications were not limited to simply performances, though–he has been involved with Chicago musical culture for some time, being a program coordinator for the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture / Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs.

With an unique ear for the latest in abstract dance music and unusual in international music, Brian has been lucky to share the bill and support some of the world’s top touring talents of many styles including; Luke Vibert, Konono No.1, Art Of Noise, Four Tet, Femi Kuti, Basement Jaxx, Bebel Gilberto, Plaid, Manu Chao, Nicolas Jaar, Jamie Lidell, Talvin Singh, Prefuse 73, Amadou & Mariam, Biz Markie and Bassnectar just to name a handful. Brian looks to use DJing as another form of musical expression in an effort to continue his life mission of turning people onto damn good music. Visit facebook.com/djwarpchicago

Weekly: Every Friday
From: Jan 4, 2013 to May 24, 2013
Hours: 12:15 – 1:00 pm
Location: Chicago Cultural Center, Randolph Cafe
78 E. Washington St
Chicago, IL 60602

“Sniffles, The Frost-Breathing Dragon” Paper Toy



Sniffles is basically an “albino” in the dragon community. Through a strange combination of recessive genes, he doesn’t breathe fire, he breathes frost, which means he chills whatever he breathes on. While he later learned that this was useful at house parties without enough fridge space for all the beer, when he was growing up he had to deal with constant ridicule, just like deer Rudolph. Talk about awkward! Needless to say, he quickly learned not to laugh in the face of people telling a joke (frostbite is super uncool). And another uncool side effect for his “power” is that he constantly has a runny nose. Think about it–if you breathe frost you’re going to get sniffly. Sniffles has gotten used to is, and so his trusty sidekick is A Box of Tissues. So here you have Sniffles and his trusty sidekick, A Box of Tissues. Enjoy your time with these guys, and chill all the things!
Download him now!

Reformat the Planet: A Chiptune Documentary

Reformat the Planet is a feature-length documentary that focuses on some of the personalities behind the 8-Bit / chiptune scene in New York City, featuring some of our favorite Game Boy artists, notably Bit Shifter.

Reformat the Planet (RTP) is a feature length documentary which delves into the movement known as chip music, a vibrant underground scene based around creating new, original music using obsolete video game hardware. Familiar devices such as the Nintendo Game Boy and Nintendo Entertainment System are pushed in new directions with startling results.

…After documenting several live chip music performances in New York City and being invited to film the first year of the now annual Blip Festival, it was clear that they stood before a rich cultural mine that few were tapping in any long-form projects. The decision to focus the film on the varied personalities of the NYC chip music scene was a quick and obvious one.

How to Start Making Electronic Music — A List of Resources

Electronic Music

Here’s a nice article over at Memeshift with a lot of resources from all over the intertrons for getting started making electronic music. Even though it’s a bit old (2008), it focuses on basic principles and components, like oscillators, filters, synthesizer programming, and sampling. A nice resource for people just getting started.

The author recommends Ableton Live as the sequencer of choice, because it allows for both live performance and more traditional sequencing and I agree. I would also add that to get some really advanced sound and have control over it at a very granular level, look into MAX / Msp. Despite the steep learning curve, and somewhat unintuitive interface, it allows for some very interesting, interactive and experimental projects, like these over at Musicthing and these over at Create Digital Music. There’s a guy who uses turntables to video mix, someone who created an invisible violin using a wii controller and bluetooth with MAX/Msp, and a crazy balloon + lights + sound installation by Monolake at Mutek.

If you just want to play with something online and get the feel for making electronic music, Audiotool (pictured above) is pretty awesome.

“How to Start Marking Electronic Music”

Also, if you live in Chicago, there are other physical humans that can help with your quest at

via

Feb. 9: Free Soundcloud Meetup at Transistor

Check out our Soundcloud Meetup at Transistor. The folks from Transistor, a cool music and bookstore in Uptown have kindly agreed to host this Meetup. Also, this Meetup will be a bit tricked up. There will be Soundcloud swag and wi-fi, so people can share their tracks.
From the Soundcloud Meetup Group:
Also, the folks from Soundcloud would like for us to record some audio (music, interviews, whatever) from the meetup to share with the Soundcloud community.

I made a Group on Soundcloud where you can post your tracks: Chicago Innovative Electronic Music Soundcloud Group

When: Wednesday, February 9, 2011
7:00 PM
Where: Transistor, 5045 N Clark St
Chicago, IL

Ode to Sniffles, The Frost-Breathing Dragon

liz revision

Ode to Sniffles by Liz Revision on Mixcloud

Liz Revision:“Ode To Sniffles” [DOWNLOAD MP3]

Download the PDF of Sniffles to cut out and assemble.

1. Altered Tensions “Slow in Ashes” The Answer to the Question You Forgot to Ask [Self]

2. Diarmo “Details” Robohustlin [subVariant]

3. s.t. “Emotions in a Box” Emotions in a Box [Monotonik]

4. Elijah B. Torn “oooEight” Robohustlin [subVariant]

5. Kettel “Boekebaas” Myam James 2 [Sending Orbs]

6. Fourtet “Sings (Extended)” There is Love in You [Domino]

7. Quantazelle “Polychromatic Tomatoes v.1″ Unreleased

8. Deetron “Collide” Collide [Green]

9. Marc Romboy vs. Stephan Bodzin “Atlas” 6 Monde [Systematic]

10. Nick Curly “Kalimba” Critical Mass EP [Murmur]

11. Peaches “Lose You (Brodinski & Yuksek Remix)” Lose You [XL Recordings]