Roundup: Matthew Dear, All Hands Active & Tanner Porter


NEW KICKS: When a musician gets asked to compile a mix for the DJ-Kicks series, it’s like a baseball player making the All-Star Game. Since 1993, the German !K7 label has had some of the world’s biggest electronic music artists, including Carl Craig, Hot Chip, Actress, and 54 others create DJ-set albums -- ones that still sell really well even though virtually every music website offers approximately 273,000 mixes to download for free.

Now it’s Matthew Dear’s turn to boot-up a mix, and the Ann Arbor artist and co-founder of Ghostly International is celebrating his DJ-Kicks album with a party at the Blind Pig on Friday, January 20. (UPDATE: Fellow Ghostly star Shigeto has been added to the gig.)

Dear will be DJing and dropping cuts from the 57th DJ-Kicks comp, which includes his new song, “Wrong With Us,” plus 24 more jams from the likes of Simian Mobile Disco, Pearson Sound, and Audion (aka Dear’s more dance-oriented alter ego).

Not familiar with Ghostly International or its sister label, Spectral Sound? If you’re an Ann Arbor District Library card holder, you can download almost everything the labels have released, free of charge, including many Dear and Audion classics. (➤ !K7) (➤ Blind Pig) (➤ AADL’s Ghostly/Spectral collection)

AHA! BRAINS ON NETFLIX: The Ann Arbor makerspace All Hands Active appears in the debut episode of White Rabbit Project, a new Netflix series starring the Mythbusters team. Greg Gage, co-founder of Backyard Brains -- an A2 company that provides affordable neuroscience experiment kits for kids -- uses All Hands Active tools, teaches show host Kari Byron how to build a Cyborg Cockroach, and takes her into Kerrytown to show how she can control someone else’s body with her ... BRRRRAAAAAIIIINNSSSSS. (➤ Netflix) (➤ All Hands Active) (➤ Backyard Brains)

SUMMER SOUNDS: Tanner Porter is a U-M grad and a member of Ann Arbor’s Ensoleil quartet, which blends classical training with Irish/Scottish/Québécois/New England-inspired melodies. But the cellist/singer’s solo work recalls the experimental fringe-pop of Joanna Newsom and Jenny Hval, with hints of Kate Bush and Joni Mitchell. Last August, Porter released her second album, The Summer Sinks, and her new video, “II,” just debuted on I Care If You Listen.

The multitalented Porter also animated the video: “The images are done with pencils, fabric, and watercolors, created in layers by hand and put together on the computer.” (➤ I Care If You Listen) (➤ Tanner Porter)

Christopher Porter is a Library Technician and editor of Pulp.