Gifts for electronic musicians $25 – $50

Floppy Disk Necklace – Ball Chain – $14
Inspired by 8Bit Musician Nullsleep‘s necklace, this retro floppy disk hub makes a striking minimal pendant.

Cable Tie – $30
For stylish electronic musicians who need to dress us, the Cable Tie is the best choice.

Electronic Musician’s Emergency Adapters $35
You will be remembered fondly when These are the perfect gift for anyone who’s ever stumbled around underneath a pile of cables in the dark, only to curse the absence of a missing audio adapters. For piece of mind and sanity
Designed in Chicago by subVariant Recordings.

High Voltage Bag – $42
You can practically see the electrons charging through this bag, with it’s HIGH VOLTAGE warning. Pair it with the Padded Netbook / Tablet Sleeve for small computer haulage.

MIDI Cuff $50
These made-in-Chicago cuffs by Zelle are made from real audio cable (also made in the USA) and non-animal vinyl, and the perfect accessory for a musician of the electron-wrangling sort. They also come in a genuine anti-static bag resembling electronics packaging, for extra nerdery.

Check out all of our Gifts for Electronic Musicians!

Cyber Monday? Nope: Chuck Testa

Hello, friends! Liz here. In case you’re wondering why Fractalspin is not jumping on the Cyber Monday / Black Friday uber-discount-mania bandwagon, it’s because the prices you see here are closely tied to real value.

Mrr?? Ok, let me explain.

I started Fractalspin to share cool stuff with people who are interested in fashion, technology, geekery, edgy electronic music, and the blurry overlaps within and without. It’s been super fun, and so rewarding to meet such a cool group of people who’ve wandered this way from all directions. I feel so lucky to have interacted with you all, and I am grateful for your support. I personally select everything we carry here because I think you’ll like it, and the stuff I choose to carry is special. I seek out interesting people creating innovative things who have committed their time and energy to creating these interesting things.

Now that the gushing gratitude is out of the way, let me share some profiles with you so you see where I’m coming from.

I met Michael Una of Unatronics through a friend and got a tour of his studio. It contained–besides the obligatory monitors and computers–a disco-ball bike helmet and a bicycle that would generate music patterns triggered by wheel-speed. Later, he sends me an invite to an art opening at a show featuring his latest work. His piece involved sitting in a chair with headphones listening to ambient sounds that were supposed to resonate with your brainwaves and create a different state of mind. No, this is not craziness–this is being researched. Since Michael understands electronics, he built his own musical toys, the Beep-It, Beep-It Deluxe, and the Seeq-It.

Love our geek-chic ties? They have come from the mind of Bethany Shorb, aka Toybreaker / Cyberoptix. I met her because while touring as an electronic music producer and DJ through Detroit, I saw her art, performed alongside her, and was intrigued with all the things she does. Fast forward a bit and I learn she’s making cool ties. So it’s obvious: Must. Share. We carry the geekier side of the ties she puts out. BTW: She also doesn’t do mega-sales. For pretty much the same reasons.

Unlike major retailers who negotiate on price as a function of distributor-ship arrangements (boring, I know), here at Fractalspin, it’s not about margins. It’s not about increasing chart digits to make shareholders happy. It’s not about doorbusters or bait and switch action. That makes zero sense.

It’s about giving you something super cool that you probably didn’t know was awesome until just now, and you feel comfortable knowing that we are doing it right.

Take a deep breath. And another. Then think about your gift recipients. What do they need? It doesn’t matter what you paid for it–that’s only a tiny victory in your own mind. Think about what they need that they can’t readily acquire.

Does Chuck Testa need Black Friday deals? Nope.

Keep it local, keep it human-level, keep it authentic.

Totally sincerely, IRL for reals,

Liz McLean Knight

Boots! Gear Bags! Woot.

We’ve added a bunch of boots to the site, and these GI Jungle Boots with a Ripple Sole would make a great summer boot since the upper is made of breathable fabric (normal combat boots are all-leather).

We’ve also added some neat gear bags that have multiple possibilities for usefulness, especially if you’re an electronic musician or DJ. These larger gear / duffle bags–Tactical Gear Bags–with both handles and backpack straps give the bags versatility and are available in two different sizes, the smaller version of which meets US airline carryon requirements.

Cool new science, geek and electronic music ties

benoitbot Woo-hoo! More ties! For the science nerd or retro-fetishist, there’s the Microscope Tie, available in multiple colors and now available with an optional upgrade to silk from microfiber. They’re also available in either a standard or narrow width. As a gift it would be clever to pair it with the Plaguesly Tie featuring the Black Plague causing bacterium, Yersinia Pestis in a paisley pattern. Buy these two together and get 10% off each at checkout when you use the code 2tiez1110.*

We also can do giftwrapping, and you’ll see the option at checkout.

For DJs and vinyl junkies, the Turntable Tie (right) and Vinyl Record Tie (left) are perfect. The Turntable Tie is an original illustration based on a the legendary, but slated to be discontinued (gasp!), Technics 1200 tone arm. Buy these two together and get 10% off at checkout when you use the code 2tiez1110.*

These new microfiber ties are available in standard and wide widths, and can be upgraded to silk versions for an additional $10.00.

Finally, fans of the low-res robot+human romantic comedic webcomic Diesel Sweeties can wear the human-crushing-desirous Red Robot Tie as a sign of solidarity. They are available in standard and narrow widths. You can check out all of our other ties as well.

Did you know you can earn discounts? Send us a video of you showing off your Fractalspin gear and we’ll give you a $10 credit towards your next order. Send us a photo or a testimonial and we’ll give you a $5 credit towards your next order. Remember to include your name & city. Check out what people are saying.

* Coupon expires 11.30/2010

New Compilation from subVariant: “Robohustlin”

subVariant Robohustlin I put together a compilation of melodic IDM / deep techno called Robohustlin for my label, subVariant. I put out an open call for submissions in July and got an amazing collection of submissions. I decided to go with minimal techno / melodic IDM since that was submitted the most. Hope you enjoy!

Chaircrusher’s “Crow Beat” and Milipede’s “30,000” take a somewhat dark, harder approach, while tracks like Diarmo’s “Details” and Matt Wolfe’s “4:09am” hover somewhere between hopefulness and melancholy, held together with intricate rhythmic programming.

In keeping with subVariant’s tongue-in-cheek, music-as-consumer-product design aesthetic (see Subvaritrax, Exception AM), Robohustlin‘s digital cover lists the individual artists as separate “cures” in a packaging style based on the popular cough & cold medication, Robitussin.

1. Chaircrusher: “Crowbeat
2. Millipede: “30,000
3. Digital Gnosis: “Ruins
4. Redun: “Splt
5. Tapage & Stan Verberkt: “Modular
6. CitizenGreen: “Ob
7. Matt Wolfe: “4:09am
8. Michael Una: “Aleph
9. Elijah B Torn: “oooEight
10. JahWarrior:The Mad Piano
11. Codebase: “Duel
12. Diarmo: “Details
13. Glen Stefani: “Over it Already v2


Tartini: Realtime Music Analysis Software

Here is a cool program I found to help with vocal practice, Tartini.

Tartini is a program designed as a practical music analysis tool for singers and instrumentalists.
Just plug in a microphone and instantly your computer will give real-time feedback including:-

* Accurate pitch contours for visualising intonation, vibrato shape, tuning or just which note is being played
* Loudness graphs, to help analyse dynamics
* Harmonic structure of a note describing timbre

The program is named after the violinist and composer Giuseppe Tartini. In 1714, he discovered that if two related notes were played simultaneously on a violin, a third sound could be heard. The frequency of the third sound is the difference in frequencies of the two original notes. Tartini taught his students that unless they could hear the third sound, they were playing out of tune. Thus we see him as an early example of someone trying to apply scientific principles to understanding and improving musical technique.

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Speaking in Code DVD available now at Fractalspin

Speaking in Code is an intimate account of people who are completely lost in music. A heartbreaking and lighthearted documentary, it’s a vérité glimpse into the world of techno.Captivating and entertaining, the film takes you around the world, following the people who make electronic music … their lives. I’ve watched it and could really relate in a lot of ways, from the experience of being a festival-go-er, DJ, musician, and promoter who’s passionate about electronic music. In particular I found one scene where the critic Philip Sherburn becomes emotional while talking about his dead father very moving. It’s a great documentary to add to your collection if you love music. Own yours now for $19.95.

One of the most need-to-watch music docs in recent memory.” — Urb Magazine

STARRING: Modeselektor, Wighnomy Brothers, Monolake, Philip Sherburn, Ellen Allien, Tobias Thomas, Marc Leclair AKA Akufen, Wolfgang Voight, Michael Mayer, Reinhard Voigt, Sascha Ring AKA Apparat, Sascha Funke, Miss Kitten and more.