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General Information
Related genres Electronic music, computer music, generative music, electronic dance music, techno
Location Worldwide
Related events Music festival, rave, electronic dance music festivals, circuit party
Related topics Live electronic music, VJ, livecoding

An algorave is an event where people dance to music generated from algorithms, often using live coding techniques, and short for "algorithmic rave."[1] Alex McLean of Slub and Nick Collins are the inventors of the algorave, the first of which was held under the name in 2011.[2]


  • Description 1
  • History 2
  • Technology 3
  • Algorave artists 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


An algorave is an event where people dance to music generated from algorithms, often using live coding techniques.[1] Algoraves can include a range of styles, including a complex form of minimal techno, and has been described as a meeting point of hacker philosophy, geek culture, and clubbing.[3]

Algorave logo (a spirangle).

Although live coding is common place,[4] any algorithmic music is welcome which is "wholly or predominantly characterised by the emission of a succession of repetitive conditionals",[5] which is a corruption of the definition of rave music[6] in the UK's Criminal Justice Act. Although algorave musicians have been compared with DJs,[7] they are in fact live musicians or improvisers, creating music live rather than mixing recorded music.[8]

Due to the experimental nature of this kind of event, it is quite contrary to normal raves because the music can be very stop-and-start and the ingestion of MDMA, ketamine or other illicit drugs does not usually happen. Also, at normal raves, the DJ is usually the main focus, whereas at "algoraves" it is the screen showing the coding going on live.[9]


The first self-proclaimed "algorave" was held as a warmup concert for the SuperCollider Symposium 2012.[10][11] However the idea is said to have originated in 2011, after two live coders (Nick Collins and Alex McLean) tuned into a happy hardcore pirate radio station on the way to a performance.[3] The first Australian algorave took place on June 15, 2013 in Sydney at the MuMe Weekend, which was part of the International Symposium on Electronic Art.[12][13] The first North American algorave took place in Hamilton, Ontario during the artcrawl of 9 August 2013. It was followed the next night by an algorave on the Toronto Islands as part of the ALL CAPS festival.[14] (The acts for both events were primarily solos and duos of alumni from the Cybernetic Orchestra). The first Asian algorave took place in Tokyo on January 5, 2014. [15] The first algorave in Mexico City took place in the Centro de Cultura Digital on June 7, 2014,[16] on that occasion part of the local live coding scene was in charge of the concert, livecoders as Dora Bartilotti, yéct, Estefani Santiago, and bands as LiveCodeNet Ensamble and otú among others, even though during /*vivo*/ Symposium in 2012,[17] a non-official algorave took place in the Centro Multimedia by Alex McLean and Dave Griffiths.[18]. the first algorave Cyprus took place in the NeMe Arts Centre on 2 November 2015 [19] and featured the work of Iannis Zannos, a musicologist and computer scientist from Greece.


A range of approaches have been taken to making music at Algoraves, including generative music and live coding with software such as SuperCollider, Tidal, Sonic Pi and Gibber.[20]

Algorave artists


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External links

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