The Beautiful Hell Sound of a Tickled Penguin

I admit the shame of having no immunity to Cute Animal Doing Cute Thing videos. It’s my burden to live with and it keeps me out of the death metal bars. But yet, that can’t be the entire explanation of why I can’t stop watching this clip. That sound! It’s like the skin of the plane peeling back midflight and Steve Vai’s up there playing arpeggios through an amp he made out of chrome plated dolphin skulls. If you’re the remixing type, nab that beautiful/awful sound below and send me your creation. MAKE ALL MUSIC SOUND LIKE THIS FROM NOW ON! [Audio clip: view full post to listen] Download

1981 Post-Punk Boxed Set For Free Download

We all know it and we all complain about it: the internet tends to privilege the up-to-the-second cult of newness in it’s music delivery methods. Blogs killed albums, everything’s a badly ripped leak, and kids these days are all listening to MP3s compressed to shit. Grumble grumble grumble, get off my lawn, etc. But it’s not all gone to hell. The same gifts of compression, free storage, and sharing have enabled the quiet obsessives, the crate diggers, the mix makers. Case in point: Musicophilia’s 1981 Boxed Set. 10 discs and over 400 bands from that year, documenting the energy and variety of what is very loosely termed ‘post-punk’. Why 1981? 1981 probably wasn’t the peak year for any sort of “pure” cultural or musical strain of what defined “post-punk” as an ethos or as a sound (I’d give that title to 1979).  But I chose to focus on 1981 in […]

Squarepusher is back with a new band ‘Shobaleader One’

2010 is turning out to be a great year for IDM/Braindance/whatever fans. Two albums by Autechre including their triumphant “Oversteps“; Wisp’s We Miss You, the perpetual hope of new Aphex Twin, and now today new Squarepusher. There’s been a short clip up for awhile, but today we get the track Megazine in all its glory. This time around though the multi-instrument and normally mildly dressed Thomas Jenkinson aka Squarepusher is in a band called Shobleader One with forthcoming release d’Demonstrator. Or so he claims. According to a Q&A on Warp’s Squarepusher page the band is composed of Squarepusher (Bass/vocals) Strobe Nazard (Keyboards), Sten t’Mech (Guitar), Arg Nution (Guitar) and Company Laser (Drums). Mr Jenkinson goes into more detail on its founding and purpose. Given this genre’s artists penchant for gags, hoaxes, and jokes this could be a one man show by Squarepusher– much like The Tuss might be Aphex Twin. […]

Half-Remembered and Half-Right: The Bullys “Sluts”

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] I’ve been looking for this track for about six years now and I just found it on an old data CD I just dug up out of an eternally unpacked cardboard box.  It stuck in my head for a few reasons: About damn time there was a good honest anthem about preferring ’em promiscuous, nicely under two minutes.  Know thyself, said that famous Greek. The heart of this band was Johnny Heff, a NYC firefighter who died when the Twin Towers collapsed. The spring of 2001 was my first headlong dive into punk rock appreciation, coming to it from the nerdier side of things (being a long-time Sonic Youth fan, going through that awkward ska face in high school and then, finally, wolfing down Greil Marcus’ Lipstick Traces in about three days).  This being the heady early days of file sharing, I took […]

Song of a Weakling Child: The Dispute Between Aphex Twin and Stockhausen is over

This clever video fuses two masters of electronic music together: Aphex Twin‘s “To Cure a Weakling Child” and Karlheinz Stockhausen‘s “Song of the Youth”. In 1995 BBC Radio 3 recordings from several electronic artists including Aphex Twin, Plasticman, Scanner and Daniel Pemberton for a story called “Advice to Clever Children“. What Stockhausen had to say about Aphex Twin: I heard the piece Aphex Twin of Richard James carefully: I think it would be very helpful if he listens to my work Song Of The Youth, which is electronic music, and a young boy’s voice singing with himself. Because he would then immediately stop with all these post-African repetitions, and he would lookfor changing tempi and changing rhythms, and he would not allow to repeatany rhythm if it were varied to some extent and if it did not have a direction in its sequence of variations. And Mr. Richard D James’ […]

1-Bit Symphony: Jewel Case as Orchestra

Tristan Perich is releasing a live performance that creates itself within the confines of a CD jewel case. Though housed in a CD jewel case like his first circuit album (1-Bit Music 2004-05), 1-Bit Symphony is not a recording in the traditional sense; it literally “performs” its music live when turned on. A complete electronic circuit—programmed by the artist and assembled by hand—plays the music through a headphone jack mounted into the case itself. Reminds me of of the Loud Objects Noise Toy, albeit in somewhat more elegant packaging¹.  It’s available on pre-order for $29.  Would love a kit or an Instructable to make my own. Saw this over at notcot. ¹Edit: That’d likely be because Tristan Perich is a member of Loud Objects.  How foolish am I?

My Reignited Theremin Obsession

Game Reviews – E3 2010 – It’s #&*%ing Science! Just had my theremin lust reignited by this 3 minute history/build video from G4’s Attack of the Show, via Create Digital Music.  Oh man.  I’ve been planning to build one of these since a random reference on the Slanky-L* to a theremin sample sent me off in search of just what this weird musical instrument could do. Turns out the history is just as fascinating as the ghost sound machine’s electronic guts.  Here’s an excerpt from the first interview with the Theremin’s inventor, Leon Theremin, after he first emerged from the U.S.S.R. after 51 years of state arrest: Mattis: When did you first conceive of your instrument? Theremin: The idea first came to me right after our Revolution, at the beginning of the Bolshevik state. I wanted to invent some kind of an instrument that would not operate mechanically, as does […]