‘Music, Makers & Machines’ launches on Google Arts & Culture

Key members of the electronic music community from across the globe join forces with support from Google Arts & Culture and YouTube to create ‘Music, Makers & Machines’. This interactive collection celebrates the history and legacy of electronic music and is an important recognition of the crucial role this music plays within our wider culture. Music, Makers & Machines is a permanent online exhibition accessible by all from 10th March 2021 on Google Arts & Culture, Google’s not-for-profit platform.

Music, Makers & Machines has been created through the collaboration of over 50 international cultural partners spanning 15 countries, including museums, archives, festivals, educational establishments, industry experts and pioneers from the electronic music scene. Contributors include XL Recordings (UK), Innervisions (DE), Kompakt (DE), Kitsuné (FR), Moogseum – Bob Moog Foundation (US), WDR – West German Broadcasting (DE), Museum of Youth Culture (UK), Clubcommission Berlin (DE), Deutsches Museum (DE), Visit Düsseldorf (DE), SMEM – Swiss Museum for Electronic Music Instruments (CH), Amsterdam Dance Event (NL), Philharmonie de Paris (FR) Barbican Centre (UK), Black Cultural Archives (UK), Hayward Gallery (UK), Chicago History Museum (US), Sydney Opera House (AUS), Nakamura Keith Haring Collection, Hokuto (JP) to name but a few.

Together these institutions capture the vital part electronic music has played in influencing movements, places and technology. Whilst lockdown restrictions have left dancefloors empty, many assets featured in the platform will transport viewers back into the clubs, institutions and studios that have helped shape the community that it has become today. The result is a highly immersive resource, presenting Augmented Reality features, over 13,000+ archived photo and video assets, 200 online exhibitions, 360° tours and 3D scans along with bespoke editorial features delving into scenes, sounds and iconic cities – highlights of which can be found below. Music, Makers & Machines will also come with lesson plans for schools and students for classroom or online learning.

Electronic music brings people together from all walks of life and from all over the world. Its community has always been one of creativity and shared experiences. As a result of Covid-19 many venues have had to close their doors, yet fans and musicians have remained connected through new online forums and formats. In this spirit, important cultural archives, museums, collections, record labels, festivals and some of the music industry’s leading experts and pioneers galvanise on Google Arts & Culture and YouTube to offer a gateway to learn about electronic music: Music, Makers & Machines.


Tech Highlights
Augmented Reality:
Experiment by the Google Arts & Culture Lab: g.co/arsynth.
‘AR Synth’ is an online AR/3D experiment that helps everyone to create, compose and interact with five famous synthesizers from the collection of the Swiss Museum for Electronic Music Instruments (SMEM).

On mobile devices that support AR:
Allows you to scan your surroundings, drag and drop instruments and start composing. Each instrument is controlled by a 16-step sequencer. Explore numerous arrangements automatically generated by the system or compose your own using the grid controller. (Version also available for mobile and desktop without AR.)

Archive scanning:
3D scans of 22 synthesizers from the collection of the SMEM (Swiss Museum for Electronic Music Instruments) as well as the iconic entrance door of Tresor club.

Street View and 360° tours:
Museum of Musical Instruments, Berlin, Museum of Youth Culture, London, Nineties Berlin, Munich, Pierre Henry Studio, Paris and WDR Studio for Electronic Music.

Electronic Music Map by Dorothy
UK-based design studio Dorothy have created a special Music, Makers & Machines version of their Electronic Music Map celebrating over 200 inventors, artists, composers and musicians who have been essential to the evolution of electronic music.
3D scan of Roland TR-808
King Brit – Blacktronika
Iconic entrance door of Tresor
Exhibition Highlights

phatmedia: Iconic Flyer Collection
London-based Museum of Youth Culture presents a very personal story by phatmedia, one of Europe’s biggest flyer collectors. Around 10.000 of his digitized flyers will be showcased, covering various movements, from Early Rave and Drum’n’Bass to Hardcore to House.

A Brief History of Early Dubstep
From its underground beginnings in South London expanding to a global scene, Georgina Cook talks us through the early days of the movement.

Detroit Techno: The Sound House of Mirrors
After R’n’B, soul, funk, and hip-hop, Detroit Techno is probably one of the most recent major stylistic inventions in African-American pop music.

King Britt (DJ, label founder and professor at University of California San Diego) explores black innovators in electronic music, curated and with a dedicated soundtrack.

How Grime Took Over the UK
Grime has taken the world by storm, with Stormzy taking the headline slot at Glastonbury festival, the first Black British solo artist to do so.

Theme Highlights

  • The iconic machines: Sound production, man-machine interaction and forgotten instruments – Moog, Buchla, Theremin, Subharchord, Telharmonium etc.
  • The night is young: Explore the electronic music scene in 12 vibing cities – 90s Berlin, Detroit, Chicago, Bristol, Tiflis, Hamburg, San Francisco, Tel Aviv etc.
  • Dancing in the dark: Coming-of-age stories, safe spaces and new cathedrals – Club culture in different cities, sound systems, squat raves etc.
  • Electronic music is Black music: Getting to know the originators – Detroit Techno, Thirty Faces who Shaped the Sound of Black Britain
  • Queer pioneers: Exploring the role of LGBTQ ravers in the history of electronic dance music – The Club Kids – from Ballroom & Disco to Cybergoths & Psytrance
  • Where the magic happens: The iconic places and stories about the history & culture of clubs – Berghain, Amsterdam Dance Event, Tresor, Salon des Amateurs
  • Turning the tables: How electronic music has influenced other music genres – Hip Hop, Jazz, Funk, Synth Pop, Dancehall, RnB etc.
  • The sound of the future: What happens when artificial intelligence and electronic music meet? – 12 songs created by AI, Resurrecting the world’s first electronic sequencer through AI

The entire Music, Makers & Machines online exhibition can be accessed on the Google Arts & Culture app on iOS or Android or online via g.co/musicmakersmachines

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About the Author

Loves long walks along the beach, holding hands and romantic 80's power ballads, partial to electronic music and likes to make the odd mix or two.