Need more Panoramical? Check out this ethereal interactive journey

With new album Yume, ambient electronica musician Helios seems to recall the beauty of lazing underneath a sun-crested sky. The music soothes by letting high notes drift out to a gold horizon. It seems to lift off from the soft fringes of grass and get carried out on a hot puff of wind. More precisely, it’s a series of airy vignettes punctuated by a dozy amalgam of lightly brushed acoustic guitar, everyday sounds echoed out as percussion, and piano melodies that seem to have been recorded underwater. A tranquil reverie is conjured, and so it comes as no surprise that…


Go beyond the music visualizer in today’s Playlist pick

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. Panoramical (PC, Mac)  BY FERNANDO RAMALLO & DAVID KANAGA Forget the “music visualizer” that has been spinning webs of geometry on your PC since the ’90s. Panoramical finally makes it as outdated as dial-up internet or the word “gnarly.” It’s not a fleeting distraction for your boredom but an aperture into ethereal places. Here, music is transformed into bucolic alien worlds that billow into absorbing synesthesia. You can tweak the timbre, tempo, and volume and see hues warp, trees and mountains arise, clouds whiz by and moons arc.…


The rhythm game genre is about to get a whole lot darker

You were lured in by the sight of a skeleton astronaut, weren’t you? Or is that just me? The idea of an astronaut left to rot in space grips me as one of the horrors of the future. At the moment, as far as public records show, there are no dead people floating around in space. But we have to suppose that one day there will be. There’ll be an accident and, for whatever reason, a body will be left to drift off into the void, unrecoverable.  what makes a human a human  Laserlife is an upcoming videogame that follows…


This procedurally generated game captures the lurid rituals of a concert

Everyone shuffles in, somehow looking both non-committal and excited. The space is tight-knight, vaguely dingy, and hot from all the breaths and bodies. People are talking, but not real talk—at most, small talk, to diffuse the tension of waiting. Then, the lights go black and everything stops for one full second. Whether the lights come back on only to reveal a pouty mouthed Justin Bieber, or the pasty faces of Neutral Milk Hotel, the ritual is just the same. Like-minded (sometimes even like-looking) people huddle around a stage, thrashing their limbs in synchronization to a rhythm they know by heart. No…


Think you’re good at rhythm games? Try mastering Steve Reich’s Clapping Music then

Welcome to life after Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash, where every music game feels incomplete without J.K. Simmons’ Fletcher yelling, “are you rushing or are you dragging?” While Whiplash does not yet exist in game form, at least there’s Clapping Music, which may induce similar levels of angst in players.  The game, which was made by Touchpress, London Sinfonietta, and Queen Mary University of London, challenges players to learn Steve Reich’s 1972 composition, “Clapping Music.” This is easier said than done. “Clapping Music,” like much of Reich’s work, uses a technique called phasing in which multiple players play the same sequence at…