Reviews

CatSynth regularly features reviews of music and art. The focus is on modern, contemporary or experimental work in a variety of media. We primarily cover the San Francisco Bay Area, but occasionally find ourselves in New York or such far away locales as an electronic music show in Tokyo or an underground club in Shanghai.

Check out the featured review below as well as other recent reviews. If you are interested in having your event or work reviewed on CatSynth, please contact us or leave us a suggestion on Facebook. Note that with a volunteer staff of one human and one cat, we probably won’t get to all of them.

Featured Article: Flip Quartet performance at Book Zoo, July 17

Last Friday, I performed at Book Zoo in Oakland. To start off the evening, I did a solo set, which was followed by a performance of Polly Moller’s The Flip Quartet. Book Zoo itself was an interesting space, with high ceilings and bookshelves. For a space of this size, we had a decent turn-out as […]

James Chance and the Contortions at the Knockout, San Francisco

James Chance and the Contortions made a rare appearance in San Francisco, and we at CatSynth were on hand at The Knockout to see it. For those who are not familiar with James Chance, he was an icon in the New York post-punk and “No Wave” scene in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Perhaps […]

SF Sympony Performs John Adams’ The Gospel According to the Other Mary

In February, the San Francisco Symphony performed The Gospel According to the Other Mary by composer John Adams with libretto by Peter Sellars. The event was part of the celebration of Adams’ 70th birthday. [Photo courtesy of San Francisco Symphony] The Gospel According to the Other Mary is a monumental opus, over two hours in […]

SFJAZZ Honors Zakir Hussain

Just before departing for NAMM back in January, we had the opportunity to attend the SFJAZZ Gala honoring Zakih Hussain with a lifetime achievement award. One of the unexpected guests of the evening was a torrential rain that peaked just as we were arriving. This video from our Instagram gives a small taste. Crazy rain […]

Ensemble Signal Performs Steve Reich in Berkeley

The time between NAMM and this past weekend’s performances has been quite busy for music, not only performing but also attending a variety of concerts. Today we look back at a concert featuring the work of Steve Reich by Ensemble Signal at Hertz Hall in Berkeley, California. [Ensemble Signal performs music by Steve Reich on […]

NAMM 2017 Apocrypha and Final Thoughts

In this article, we go over a few remaining items from NAMM, and share some final thoughts as well. The DATA module from Mordax takes the trend of built-in displays to another level. The large color screen displays a variety of functions, including oscilloscope, tuner , waveform generator and clock. It also has quite a […]

NAMM 2017: Behringer DeepMind 12

Our somewhat drawn-out coverage of NAMM 2017 comes down to two final articles. We would be remiss if one of them did not include the Behringer DeepMind 12. Perhaps no product was more anticipated and controversial among synthesizer players and enthusiasts this year than the DeepMind 12. A lot of this has to do with […]

NAMM 2017: Qu-Bit Electronix

Our friends at Qu-Bit Electronix have quite a few new modules this year, as well as a refresh of their overall design. The heart of the new modules is Rhythm, a multichannel pattern generator with real-time control over variations. Together with the Wave multi-sampler and Chord four-voice oscillator, the new set forms an autonomous instrument […]

NAMM 2017: Bitwig Studio and BASTL Instruments

Music software maker Bitwig teamed up with modular-synthesizer maker BASTL Instruments as booth featuring hardware and software together. Bitwig’s new Studio software was running on a YUGE Microsoft Surface tablet and controlling a special BASTL modular system. We wrote about BASTL Instruments last year, in particular about their modules that allow external sensors and actuators […]

NAMM 2017: New offerings from Synthrotek and Division 6

Our friends from Synthrotek teamed up with Division 6 for a delightfully noisy and retro NAMM display. This unique enclosure has that future retro look at we at CatSynth adore. It is unfortunately one of a kind at this moment. But we had a chance to admire it. Sitting above the panels, however, was a […]

NAMM 2017: KOMA Elektronik Field Kit

Being immersed in music technology does not mean one forgets the joy and beauty of acoustic sounds, whether a finely crafted violin or the incidental collisions of everyday objects. Our friends at KOMA Elektronik introduce the Field Kit, which brings these worlds together in a single box. The Field Kit fits quite a bit in […]