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Open Source

by Practical Records

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Practical Records presents Open Source, an avant-electronic compilation by California’s QTPOC experimental music community. Recorded over a series of open studio sessions on the mezzanine of 2727 California in Berkeley, Open Source documents the psychic harmonies produced by an “open source” studio comprised of analog synthesizers. Presented here as a long multidimensional song, the compilation consists of cloud-like soundscapes, transatlantic techno, improvised “transmissions”, and dreamlike vocal atmospheres.

Reminiscent of Vangelis’ soundtrack for the 1982 film Blade Runner or the naive melodies of '80s Japanese pop, Open Source evokes a dreamlike state of dystopian imagery. Sharp arpeggiators and weightless chords conjure images of helicopters hovering over wildfires, tires screeching on an empty freeway at dusk, traffic jams under bright skylines.

Just a week into recording, the project took new meaning as the nearby Camp Wildfire ravaged Northern California. From the studio windows, we watched as thick plumes of ash descended the hills, obscuring nearby buildings and trees into unrecognizable silhouettes. Amid this backdrop of earth in peril, working collaboratively took on added significance. Donning smoke masks, we would quietly improvise on the synths together, lost in the textures radiating from the equipment, sometimes looking out from the studio windows into streets emptied of their usual bustle of bicyclists and schoolchildren.

Open Source is a nod to the nearby tech industry, whose open source software is shared freely and turned into larger ideas. Open Source refers to the studio as a welcoming resource that invites artists to improvise freely. Open Source points to the legacy of the analog synthesizer as a fundamental in the development of our foundational genres like house, techno, and hip-hop.


released May 4, 2019

Written and produced by the respective artists unless noted otherwise. Additional production and mixing on “Atlantic Acid Connection”, “Chariot”, and “Untitled” by Peter Hernandez. Recorded at 2727 California St. in Berkeley, CA, Fall 2018. Mastered by Practical Records.




Practical Records Los Angeles, California

Practical Records is an independent cassette label. Our mission is to cultivate community and exposure for emergent queer artists from the Bay Area & Los Angeles.

Since 2014, we have released an extensive catalog of music and zines. In addition, we produce concerts and DIY workshops that provide opportunities to interact with Practical Records artists.
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