‘Tantra’ is the new single from Timo Maas. Taken from his latest artist album, ‘Lifer’, the release comes during a vintage year for the acclaimed German DJ and producer. The video for the single presents a fascinating nexus between human ingenuity, electronic music and mechanical design — whereby the ‘audio’ for ‘Tantra’ programmes a purpose built machine and brings it to ‘life’.
The machinery that forms the art installation at the centre of the piece was designed, built, operated and then filmed by a group of Japanese artists and creatives, including Daito Manabe. Motoi Ishibashi, Muryo Homma and Youichi Sakamoto. They spent weeks researching and testing materials before building the final installation from Arduino controlled ball dispensers, motorised rotating steel plates and LED lights for filming.
‘Tantra’ was then deconstructed into MIDI parts (the computer code that runs the synths, drum machines and samplers in the musical composition), the data that specified notation, pitch and velocity, control signals for parameters such as volume, vibrato, audio panning, and cues from were then run through the machine to control its movement.
Daito Manabe explains:
“The first time I listened to ‘Tantra’, I imagined someone producing something endlessly in a base, deep underground. With this image in mind, we started testing different machines, systems and so on, and then we finally figured out the structure and how we’d control the machine — and the motion of the balls — with the music. We felt that this would give it a sense of reality and beauty that is impossible to realise with CGI.
Remixers on ‘Tantra’ include Tom Demac (who’s about to drop a forthcoming collaboration with Will Saul on Aus), James Teej (the My Favourite Robot boss returns the favour for Timo’s reworking of ‘Liking Your Disorder’), Atelier Francesco (a new project and accompanying pseudonym from an already eclectic Italian producer) and Wolfgang Haffner (the ECHO music award-winning German drummer famous for his work with Nightmares On Wax and beyond).
Creative director/ Software engineer: Daito Manabe
Hardware engineer: Motoi Ishibashi
Video director: Muryo Homma
Installation designer: Youichi Sakamoto