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.

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Featured Article: Outsound Music Summit: Sonic Foundry Too!

The final concert of this year’s Outsound Music Summit brought together various inventors of new musical instruments under the banner “Sonic Foundry Too!” Rather than each inventor simply presenting his or her work, they performed as pairs. The pairings were selected for musical congruity and brought together people who may have never performed together before. […]

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Amanda Chaudhary

Reconnaissance Fly at DUENDE, Oakland (March 26)

Today we look back at Reconnaissance Fly’s recent performance at DUENDE on Oakland. DUENDE is a venue and tapas restaurant/bar that has been quite supportive of the new music community (I have been remiss in writing reviews for some of the other shows I have seen there), and also has delicious food and wine. The […]

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Base 4 and the Bay Area Improvising Tag Team Ensemble

Despite being extremely tired from a major event as well as a rehearsal this past weekend, I did manage to catch a performance of jazz and improvisational antics at Berkeley Arts this Sunday evening. The evening opened with Base 4, a jazz trio featuring Bruce Friedman on trumpet, Derek Bomback on guitar, and Alan Cook […]

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Lucie Vítková and Joe Snape, CNMAT

Today we look at a recent concert at the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (CNMAT) featuring two very different solo performances. Both explored subtle details in sound, but in very different ways. The first performance featured Lucie Vítková, a visiting artist from the Czech Republic. She primarily played accordion, but also included harmonica […]

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Quick takes: MAS attack LAxSF and Surrey Street Salon

It’s been a while since I have reported on one of those evenings with multiple cultural events that enrich life here. One recent rainy evening involved a visual art opening and a salon with a variety of performances. I started at 17th Street Studios in the Mission for MAS Attack: LAxSF, a one-night show that […]

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Reconnaissance Fly CD Release and Plurality of Worlds

Well, our CD release show for Reconnaissance Fly has come and gone, and it was quite a successful evening. We were joined in celebrating the release of our album Flower Futures by Emily Hay, half of a new project with Polly Moller called Plurality of Worlds. Our preparation for the day started quite early, with […]

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NAMM 2014: New WMD / Steady State Fate modules

Analog-module makers WMD had a strong presence at this year’s NAMM show. In addition to their existing offerings, which include both utility and more esoteric modules, they presented a set of devices that were jointly made with Steady State Fate (SSF). You can see a demo in this video. It was fun how they made […]

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NAMM 2014: Waldorf 2-pole

Waldorf introduced a new analog filter, the 2-pole at this year’s NAMM show. Those of us who spend time with analog synthesis are quite used to all sorts of complex filter topologies, most of which have at least four poles. So a two-pole filter seems a bit simple by comparison. But Waldorf is known for […]

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NAMM 2014: Moog Theremini

The most notable new offering this year from Moog Music, Inc. was the Theremini, a very accessible incarnation of the classic theremin. The design of the instrument evokes classic science fiction of the 1950s and 1960s (in which the theremin was a mainstay), and it features modern enhancements including a variety of tones and effects, […]

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NAMM 2014: New Modules from Make Noise

Make Noise has introduced several new modules this year.  You can see Tony Rolando of Make Noise demonstrating them in this video. There is much delightful noisy crunchiness. The most notable new addition is the Teleplexer, which has a series of metal plates that can be tapped with leads from other modules, creating quite a […]

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NAMM 2014: Teenage Engineering OP-1 and OpLab

Our friends at Teenage Engineering were back at NAMM, with the latest iterations of the OP-1 and OpLab. The little screen on the OP-1 continues to delight, with one of the most unique interfaces from a non touch screen.  They added a new module that allows one to use the device as an Etch-A-Sketch and […]

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