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What makes Madison so special for touring artists is the diverse nature of its musical culture. With a bubbling scene in everything from classical music to jazz to opera to summer music festivals, and more, Madison is a must stop for touring artists. It’s also home to labels like Crustacean Records and Kind Turkey Records. When it comes to live music, you can catch a show at the High Noon Saloon —named the “Best Venue” by a different organizations including Madison Magazine, the Madison Area Music Awards, and Isthmus — or any number of homey, intimate spaces like Kiki’s House of Righteous Music (shown above).

Mentor: Ian Barnett

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Like the tonality, the tempo here is also slippery. I’m calling it 119, and not 59 BPM. Usually the snare on the 2 and 4 is the king that decides meter in pop and rock, so it’d be 59 BPM. However, the lyrics are delivered so quick that I just gotta go with the more double-time feel. It’s right in the BPM sweet spot where either tempo label works. Last, we have some creative treatments of the choruses. The first chorus is really a half-chorus with an added measure (very cool!), and then it’s a regular chorus when it comes back around. And then when it finally comes back around at the end, you gotta call it “C2” (chorus variation) because of how it’s modified to act as the song’s outro.

He’s a virtual reality pioneer, a software humanist, a former rock musician and student of classical music. No surprise that Koosha’s current experimental electronic music embraces paradoxes. It’s chaotic, but reveals deep compositional intent. It’s futuristic while feeling nostalgic. It’s kitsch as well as sincerely melancholic. Born in Tehran and now based in London, he courts a vaporwave aesthetic and is firmly in the sonic vanguard of ambient sound. He has a bunch of stuff up on Bandcamp and the latest Stamina is a good place to start.

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