Review: Open Source Music Party

Computers, technology, music and counterculture have been intertwined since the days of rave (and earlier).  Last week's Open Source Music Party showed that their respective evolutionary steps continue to complement one another, like free-form dancers.

Governments and big business have attempted to chaperone that dance through the privatization of the Internet and the aggressive-ization of Western piracy laws. Like a bad Sheriff in a Western, they mostly have their own good in mind: greater control all things digital allows them to vet new ideas and movements for subversiveness, weed out potential competitors and harness creative energy for the purposes of financial 'progress'. Open source music is about freeing those same energies for the greater goal of creative progress.

The resourceful and versatile people behind the Retune Open Source Music Party have been keeping one step ahead of the legal and financial stumbling blocks that the Powers That Be have thrown at them.  Through voluntary sharing, they've managed to keep a virtual floor open for artists and dreamers who don't want the dance to stop, or slow down.

I have to admit, I didn't understand much of the techno-geek jargon used by the artists who played at Retune's open source music party but the words "DIY" "community" and "free" that they used in the event's write-up were compelling enough.
Although they're using new technology, they're doing so to further old causes.  Progress before profit.  Community before commerce.  Unity in the face of adversity. No doubt that is one reason why there were a number of hippies and ravers mixed in with the audience of self-described geeks.

The Open Source Party, which was curated by composer/ digital artist/ educator/
technology journalist Peter Kirn, showed us that a digital badlands still exist beyond the frontiers of the corporate music industry... far, far beyond.  

There, you can still find people who bring new meaning to the words 'body modification' and 'performance art' - like bionic musician Onyx Ashanti (below). Or who have freed the 303 sound from its analogue constraints by through open source software, like German-Portugese duo Reslichverstärker (page bottom).

The party also provided lots of inspiration for myself and talented photographer/DJ friend Zin Lumi (whom I have to thank for capturing these amazing images).  And that's something you just can't put a price on.    

Stay tuned for the next Retune on this blog...

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Berlin, Germany
...is NOT a fashion blogger! I write about underground music, activism, social media rights. Other publications that I have written for: OpenDemocracy, Urban Challenger, Siegesaeule, Alternative Berlin and Sensanostra.