Favorite 10 … err… 11 albums …

This is something they were doing on Facebook — the ’10 albums 10 days’ challenge, where you were supposed to just post the album cover without comment. I’m terrible at following instructions though.  I actually did 11, and I took a couple of weeks to finish it. I’m collecting them here as a more coherent way to archive them.  No particular order implied.

Beatles “Rubber Soul”

This is the first record I bought with my own money, when I was 9 years old, at the Gemco in San Jose, California. I chose it over Revolver, which was the current record at the time, for reasons I don’t remember, but I still prefer RS to Revolver.

I bought the mono version because it was a buck cheaper, and hearing the stereo version still feels wrong.

This was the record where they hit their stride as a recording band, when their collaboration with George Martin elevated them from their status as pop phenomenon to something more. The quality of the sound on this record always felt mysterious to me, tied in my mind to the title “Norwegian Wood” — like dark wood, with a deeply figured grain. Ironically at the time and now, that song is probably the slightest one on the album; the groove of “The Word”, the melodic and lyrical depth of “In My Life,” the propulsive anger of “I’m Looking Through You” all surpass “Norwegian Wood.”

I had the American version, which followed Capitol’s practice of releasing records with fewer tracks than the original UK release. In this case only, I think the US version is superior, both for leaving off “Drive My Car” and “What Goes On” and for including “I’ve Just Seen A Face” which is a much superior song.

John McLaughlin “Devotion”

 John McLaughlin is a polarizing artist, and kind of a difficult person from all reports. He claims to hate this record based on how it was mixed, which is silly, it has always sounded fantastic, and I have no idea what McLaughlin would do instead, and probably, neither does he.

This record is at an interesting intersection: the drummer, Buddy Miles toured with Jimi Hendrix in the Band of Gypsys. Larry Young, the organist had played with McLaughlin in the Tony Williams Lifetime, and they’d both played with Miles Davis. The bass player, Billy Rich was Buddy Miles’ bass player.

At any rate, this album is McLaughlin’s answer to Jimi Hendrix, with whom McLaughlin had jammed in New York. So there’s some of Hendrix’ blues influence, but combined with McLaughlin’s own compositional style, which is related to Jazz, but is rooted in his own odd chromatic exploratory style.

The key track is “Devotion”, which starts with an almost atonal riff, before opening up into a expansive modal chord progression. It is at once rocking, loud and meditative.

McLaughlin went on to be one of the seminal artists in the jazz rock fusion movement, with his group Mahavishnu Orchestra, but “Devotion” is everything great about his music with none of the annoying things he was prone to.

 Wendy Carlos “Sonic Seasonings”

 

It’s frustrating that Wendy Carlos’ “Sonic Seasonings” is out of print and not available except as pricey second hand CDs. Partly it’s Carlos prickly fussiness about her own work, but I think mostly it’s that she’s always been a better artist than a manager of her own career; it’s quite difficult to find her stuff, aside from the millions of copies of “Switched On Bach” you can still find in thrift stores.

This was my study hour music in High School, though it was not really music by the standards of the day; it was a recreation of natural sounds with synthesizers, and had a curious feel to it. You could go to a rain forest and listen to your surroundings, and it would be like “Sonic Seasons” but it wouldn’t be the same; every second of this dual vinyl record is carefully and obsessively arranged. It was ambient music before Eno had the idea, and it’s still a great achievement of that genre.

The natural world can be engrossing and if you really pay attention, the sound of the natural world can be fantastic, but there’s something special about how a dedicated artist can start with nature and end up with something both artificial and authentic.

Joni Mitchell “For The Roses”

Again, while “Blue” is the obvious choice, this Joni Mitchell album is my favorite. “Blue” was a masterpiece of misery as art. By comparison, “For The Roses” was more an album of adult concerns. The opening song “Banquet” could have been written yesterday; it is always current and outside any moment: “Who let the greedy in/And who left the needy out/Who made this salty soup/Tell him we’re very hungry now/For a sweeter fare.”

Every song has arresting details, from the multitracked chorus of Jonis singing close harmonies in chords of her own invention, and the menace of ‘”Come with me I know the way” she says “It’s down, down, down the dark ladder'”, “when you dig down deep you lose good sleep.”

It continued where she left off with her piano-centric tunes on “Blue” but there’s some of her trademark guitar songs, like “For The Roses”: A meditation on fame that goes deeper than most songwriters go: “Just when you’re getting a taste for worship they start bringing out the hammers and the boards and the nails.”

And always her lyrics are conversational, and conversations with an implied other, “Did you get around rezoning for you way up here?”

I have a long difficult Joni Mitchell essay in my head, but I’ll try and boil down what gets me about her: She is what every artist should be, an observer off to the side, but her self-reflection is endless and uncomfortably sharp, so much so she seems as estranged from herself as she is from others. Her music makes you feel as though she’s shown you her inner self (and the album art includes a long shot of her naked next to the ocean), but this is an artistic construct.

You listen to her music and think you know her, but what you really know about her is her sharp eye for detail, the way she sees things in others, and herself, and the abiding emotion behind every song: loneliness, a yearning to connect that seems impossible to fulfill. She connects with us, her audience, in a way that it seems like her personality and intellect denies her in her own life…

Or maybe that’s a construct as well, but it’s fascinating to dwell in the cloud of uncertainty she creates.

My Bloody Valentine “Isn’t Anything”

“Loveless” is the obvious MBV choice, but I played the hell out of this (and the various EPs that came out pre-Loveless) at the time. It was the synthesis of contemporary influences (Jesus & Mary Chain, Dinosaur Jr) but still sounded completely original.

If there’s a moment on this CD that still slays me, it’s that opening riff of “Feed Me With Your Kiss” that ends with a repeated hammer on the root note of the key. Each time it’s repeated they add another BAM on the tonic. I pointed this out to my kids once, and thence after when it came on the car stereo when we were driving, they’d count out the BAMs at the top of their lungs.

Basic Channel “BCD Vol. 1”

Like a lot of things I learned about Basic Channel from a mixtape by Aran aka DJ Teep, and playing that tape in the janky car stereo was the best way to get up on the music.

Also notable for the Metal Box packaging which invariably destroyed the CD after inserting and removing it a few times.

Now that this kind of music is such an institution it has it’s own category on the Boomkat website, it’s hard to express how odd and otherworldly this music sounded the first time I heard it. I’d heard a lot of techno before hearing this but this was something else. It was music that seemed to bring it’s own abandoned factory with it, barely lit, and filled with fog.

Brian Eno “Before And After Science”

I’m hot and cold on Eno. Never really warmed up to the stuff he did after he stopped writing songs and singing, but this album (and “Taking Spider Mountain By Strategy”) is is close to perfect.

Side one is more up tempo and reflects his antic ideas about lyrics: “Anna with her feelers moving round round round Is sharpening her needles on the wheel.” he sings in “Kurt’s Rejoinder,” an homage to Kurt Schwitter, the 20th Century avant-garde artist, whose “sound poetry” is is the background on this track.

But the authentic substance of this album is Side 2, particularly the sequence beginning with “Julie With” and ending with “Spider and I.” This is ambient music before Eno “invented” ambient music, and it’s slow quiet music built from layers and effects. It culminates with “Spider And I” which is what I want to hear while I’m dying.

Wishbone Ash “Pilgrimage”

Another one from back in the day: Wishbone Ash are a band with remarkable longevity. This album was their peak for me. It’s a player’s album — it was their second album after a lot of live shows, and they’re just plain hot. The album opener “Vas Dis” seems to be played at double speed, but it’s no problem, they an do that and make it look easy.

The peak for me is the second track “The Pilgrim” which starts out with a simple phrase repeated forever as echoey guitar floats in the grid created by repetition. This is eventually crossfaded into extended math-rock-esque riffing.

“Alone” follows a similar pattern, with a 4 measure repeated melodic pattern that transition into interlocking lead guitar solos, but the star is the bass, which defines the rhythmic pocket while still improving.

This kind of mostly-instrumental guitar-led music shows up again decades later with bands like Tortoise, but Wishbone Ash were there first.

An aside: They were on their first big US tour and played a show in Cedar Rapids, after which they invited Cedar Rapids police into their hotel room for some reason, having forgotten there was a suitcase open on the bed with a giant bag of weed sitting on top. They were arrested and sent home to England, and it was a long time before they were back touring in the US.

Gentle Giant “The Power And The Glory”

In this cavalcade of favorite albums, I’ve focused on things that were artifacts of my youth, because they’re the things I’ve live with the longest. In general I don’t feel nostalgic for being young, particularly the run from when I was 13 to about 25, because it was a period of untreated depression, family upheaval, and being completely unprepared for any of the normal growing up/adult business.

So what stands out for me isn’t nostalgia, but rather what music was the most effective escape from the buffeting winds of negativity and despair.

This Gentle Giant album I actually had to mail-order from an import company that advertised in the back of a music magazine. I’d sent something anyone born since about 1980 knows nothing about — a Self-Addressed-Stamped-Envelope (SASE) to the company, in order for them to mail me a paper catalog

I was intrigued by the album art and the brief description, and ordered it. For better or worse, it was music unlike anything I’d heard before.

These British beardos had this unbelievably ambitious idea for a concept album about political power and manipulation. They were the sort of hyper-technical musicians turned out by the British university system, who constructed herky-jerky jigsaw compositions. No melody too atonal, no rhythm too awkward. When they calmed down for a moment (listen to “Aspirations” in the comments) they could make really lovely, heartfelt music.

Mostly, though, they were the kings of making hyper-proggish girl repellant music, the sort of thing that got women to yell “take that shit off! Put on some Earth Wind & Fire!”

And no one did it better.

Sonic Youth “Daydream Nation”

I guess my assessment of Sonic Youth was rather soured by events of the past few years, let’s just say Kim Gordon got me in the divorce.

But it can’t be denied, this is a seminal record that does what great art does: Take the the discarded things, the things thought of as ugly, ungainly, misshapen according to current conventions, and make them the center of a new kind of beauty. There are moments of dissonance and thrashing around that at the time this record was released were hard to take, but they serve as frames for sustained passages of great beauty and meditative calm.

They got extra points from me for the references to William Gibson novels. This is the sound equivalent of Gibson’s dead television channel sky.

XTC “Black Sea”

There’s several truly great XTC albums but this one stands out for me. Starting with the hilarious over the top skronk of “Respectable Street” that royally takes the piss out of the British middle class, this is subtle song writing beginning to end, fleshed out with a huge, rude rock production.by Steve Lillywhite.

Favorite Songs:

1. “No Language In Our Lungs,” which is one of the few rock songs that addresses the inadequacy of language directly: “I would have made this instrumental but the words got in the way”

2. “Towers of London” That opening riff is purest XTC. Like “No Language …” it takes as its subject something unexpected. It’s a love song to London and the long dead people who built it: “Pavements of gold leading to the underground, Grenadier Guardsmen walking pretty ladies around, Fog is the sweat of the never never navvies who pound, pound, pound, pound, pound spikes in the rails to their very own heaven ”

The Beatles have much to answer for; XTC’s perfectly distilled British eccentricity is one thing they can be proud of.

Ziúr “Deeform” Review

https://ziurmusic.bandcamp.com/

Ziúr is a woman who lives in Berlin who identifies as an “earth citizen,” and Deeform is the first 12″ release on Lara Rix Paradinas‘ Objects Limited label.  The label’s mission is to release music by “female identifying/non binary electronic producers.”

Ziúr’s gender identity is orthogonal from her music; the label’s sexual politics matter but her music stands alone.  It has prerequisites across the electronic music spectrum.  In “Himilaya”, The juxtaposition of distorted electronic beats with africa drums and hand percussion recalls Muzlimgauze. The sustained synthesized voices echo those prevalent in Pardinas’ music as Lux E Tenebris.

At the lighter end of Ziúr’s music “Bud Dallas” builds up a sort of tongue and cheek funk around an E flat 7th chord and a start-stop drum pattern.  The bassline’s repeated 16th note patterns flex under the shifting accent of the snare samples. A flute-like lead melody drifts in and out of tune.  This piece recalls Muziq’s Jake Slazenger tracks a bit, in that both are at the same time serious and playful.

“noR3gGts” has a staggering break beat pillowed in degraded, noise.  About a minute a dog’s bark comes in as the lead sound. It is played in the dog’s natural triplet rhythm, which rubs against the more or less straight programmed beat.  The dog sample plays both naturally and artifically — Ziúr’ lets it play out at its recorded pitch, but then repeats it in straight 16th notes, calling notice to  the sample’s artificiality.

The tension of Ziúr is this interplay between the real and the virtual.  Blatantly ‘fake’ sounds versus minimally processed found sound. Distorted drum synth kicks play off against bells and tambourines.  Human voices yell in combination with obviously digital synth sounds.  There’s a sense of a natural acoustic space, simulated with digital reverb, but the reverb is sometimes sucked out of the mix to leave the dry sound naked.

Leaving that conceptual tension aside, Ziúr has come up with an original take on electronic music.  As with fellow traveller Lotic, she’s no slave to club hedonism or the dance floor, even as her complicated, hocketing drums achieve their own sort of abstract funk.  If her music is on Blackdown’s breakbeat continuum, it’s not on the one-dimensional line. It’s out there somewhere on the complex plain, circling around its own obsessions.

Gabes DJ Set 2015-03-19

I got the chance to play the regular Mixology night at Gabe’s in Iowa City, and for the past few weeks I’ve been collecting tracks I wanted to play and fiddling around with a DJ setup for them in Live. I had two impulses — play current and current-ish music that I like, and to collect some of my all-time favorite tracks. I was also mercilessly stealing ideas from other DJs. I grabbed the “The It” tracks (actually Larry Heard) on Thomas Cox of Pittsburgh Track Authority’s recommendation, and the Boards of Canada remix I heard in a mix by Aidan O’Doherty.

But tracks like those by Moodymann, DBX, Basic Channel, and DJ Pierre are ones that everyone played fifteen or twenty years ago, and among the first that I got to recognize when other DJs played them. The DJ I opened for, RAfrika wasn’t even born when some of those tracks came out. But I figure if they worked in 1996, they’ll work now and the kids dancing will never have heard them.

One track that always gets me: Patrice Rushen “Haven’t You Heard?” Larry Levan did the edit, but a lot of people first heard its musical DNA in the Daddy’s Favorite track “I Feel Good Things For You.” Always like playing the original of something sampled on a big track.

http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/Chaircrusher-2015-03-19-GabesDJSet.mp3
Boards of CanadaOlson(Midland Re-Edit)
Virgo Four The Dryer
The Black Madonna Stay
Four Tet Love Cry
Larry Heard Forbidden
Stevie Wonder All I Do (Todd Terje Edit)
Luke Hess Real Life (cv313 Dimensional Space Edit)
Larry Heard Beauty In A Picture
Theo Parrish Cypher Delight
Salsoul Orchestra Ooh I Love It(Love Break)
Omar S Psychotic Photosynthesis
Aphex Twin minipops 67 (1202)[source field mix]
Black Coffee Basu
Moodymann I Can’t Kick This Feeling When It Hits
The It Utopian Dream
Kontext Arctic Spaceship
Moodymann Shades of Jae
DJ 3000 Burough & Beer
Rick Wilhite What Do You See (Rick’s Groove Mix)
The It Somebody Somewhere
Ron Trent Blood & Fire
Luke Hess Transform (Marko Furestenberg Remix)
Black Coffee feat Siphokazi Lo Mhlaba
Concubine Luxend
Black Coffee feat Zonke Garden of Eden
Martyn & Four TetThe Air Between Words
Perkowitz Nectar
Rick Wade Angry Pimp
Dense Pika Colt
John Tejada RUR
Floorplan Confess
Terrence Dixon Dark City Of Hope
Reggie Dokes Once Again(Mornign Factory Edit)
John Tejada Two One
DBX Losing Control
Patrice Rushen Haven’t You Heard(Larry Levan Remix)
Basic Channel Phylyps Track II
DJ Pierre Box Energy
Chaircrusher Plasma
Jeff Mills The Dancer
DJ Slugo DJs On The Low
Chaircrusher Burundi2

Unreleased Aphex Twin, Warped in Ableton Live

By now, people who care about the music of Richard D. James, aka Aphex Twin, know about how he dumped 175 (and counting) unreleased songs on Soundcloud. Like everything he’s done its a body of work that is at turns beautiful, frustrating, and obtuse. The majority of the tracks seem to be Aphex-esque techno and acid house, which is to say his unique combination of standard drum patterns with melodic flights of fantasy and piss-takes.

I had the idea of DJing with these tracks, and when I say ‘DJ’ I mean ‘arrange and blend tracks in Ableton Live’ — which isn’t proper DJing, according to many. That controversy aside, that is the easiest way for me to work; by not having to worry about synchronization and beat-matching, one is free to concentrate on the arguably more important parts of DJing, which is song selection and sequencing.

What started as a simple project to select some tracks to play in DJ sets turned into an obession, and I ended up ‘warping’ the entire corpus of tracks — 175 in total. There are only 173 on Soundcloud because 2 were withdrawn.

To make use of my warping efforts is unfortunately a 2 stage process, the first being to go download the music files. These are available on Google Drive. You’ll need a Google account of some sort to download them, but you can just download the “Selected Soundcloud works 1985-2015” folder. https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B80j1_axBSvIRWJJMUNvdldmWFk&usp=sharing.

Then, download this zip: http://www.cornwarning.com/xfer/AphexUnreleasedLiveProject.zip. It’s also available in the Google Drive AFX folder as well, in the “Ableton” folder.

There’s a ‘Readme’ file in the project ZIP file explaining how to use the warped files, but the TL;DR instructions are “Unzip the mp3 files, unzip the Project, load the project in Live, and tell Live where to find the mp3s.” It should be self-evident to anyone who regularly uses Ableton Live.

Some observations after working through all those tracks:

1. Tempos are almost all very consistent, making me think that he used accurate clock sources & DAT recordings from very early on. There are a very few with the telltale ‘cassette stretch’ tempo drift.

2. There are several with ‘Sequencer Stop’ pauses where he stops the master clock device, allows the effects to decay, and then restarts the sequence off beat. This blows Ableton Live’s mind. I’ve fixed these as best I can, basically pinning a warp marker on the last beat and then dragging the point where the sequencer restarts to the next measure start.

3. Only a few had ‘intergral’ BPMs, i.e. 130, 140, etc. Meaning that the tempo clock was only accidentally set to an intergral tempo. Or the sequencer device and Ableton Live don’t agree about intergral tempos.

4. A couple of them were unwarpable, and I gave up on those.

5. This set of songs was a torture test for Ableton Live’s automatic warping, and I wasn’t impressed, even by the new 9.2 beta version which supposedly improved automatic warping. It rarely found the downbeat properly, was confused by beatless intros etc. Even though the tracks have a very steady tempo.

This was an interesting project to undertake, and it allowed me to ‘needle’ drop in every track. There’s a lot of impressive tracks in this collection.
afx

Live @ I Hear IC 2015-02-20


http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/Chaircrusher-2015-02-20-Live.mp3

The idea of I Hear IC is to gather people from Iowa City to present brief performances in a local coffee house. Peformances were in the range of 10-20 minutes. Other performers on this night included Jazz singers, an improvisation from two Iranian musicians and a small ensemble improvising a new soundtrack for old cartoons.

In that context I knew that it wasn’t like playing an hour-long techno set; no one would be dancing so the kick drum didn’t need to be in the mix the whole time. As it happened I finally brought it in at around 6 minutes; this goes back to early 90s origins of ambient techno, when producers would do long beatless intros to tracks. The rise of ‘popular’ ambient — with the KLF and the Orb being the most famous proponents — grew out of never actually bringing in the beat. Sonically I think this piece has a bit of the Orb about it.

It’s also an instance of not holding anything back. I went back over projects on my studio machine and plundered them for interesting sounds and loaded them all together in one set where I could mix and match stuff that originally went with much different music. I recorded a lot of sounds from my outboard synthesizers, playing loop clips and tweaking knobs to get some movement. The main repeated pad changes chords but it was accidental — I discovered that the JP6 would change the pitch of sounds when I jacked up cross mod. Which is fun because I was playing a slider; the chords were not exactly in tune.

The basic framework was dictated by a tonal center of C Minor. The bassline is straight 16th notes playing C C Eb Eb. That kind of simplistic sequencing reminds me a bit of early Tangerine Dream.

Groove, Metastability and Randomness

[audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/Chaircrusher-TestPercussionGroove.mp3|titles=test percussion groove|artists=chaircrusher]http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/Chaircrusher-TestPercussionGroove.mp3

bazille
This is a recording of two loops playing in Ableton Live. One is a percussion drum rack, the second is the U-He Bazille instrument run through several effects.
This loop plays the same notes, but will never actually play the same one bar sounds twice, for two interlocking reasons.

First, both instruments go through a gate effect, which is adjusted so that the threshold is at the point of metastability, meaning that it spends most of it’s time on the cusp of closing and cutting off the sound.

Second, the Bazille patch uses random LFOs to modulate the levels of two oscillators as they modulate each other. On top of that, each of the two random LFOs is modulating the rate of the other, and the cutoff of a low pass filter through which the resulting signal passes. This accounts for the filtered noise sounds continually changing sound.

In addition, the two MIDI clips driving the sounds are modified by two different groove timings.

So the loop never repeats, and yet it also stays the same. The variety of the loop has musical value — in the same way (but not equal to) a human drummer adds vitality and interest to a repeated drum pattern with micro-variations of timing and dynamics. And the repetition of the loop has musical value, in the way a groove can entrain the listener’s mind.

It’s the wisdom of Heraclitus embodied: “No man ever steps in the same river twice.” It’s the same and not the same. Though I’m neither as wise as Heraclitus nor as musically talented as a significant percentage of humanity.

Olive Kitteridge Music & the synchronicity of chord changes

The new HBO series “Olive Kitteredge” is great television, and the music, composed by Carter Burwell provides a lot of the moody atmosphere for the show.:
[audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/xfer/CarterBurwell-OliveKitteredgeTheme.mp3|titles=Olive Kitteredge Main Theme|artists=Carter Burwell]
But I was sure that I’d heard the main theme music before, or something very similar to it. It nagged me all day and then I remembered: The song “Paradise Circus” by Massive Attack, used for the theme of the British crime drama “Luther.”

This is also, in the form of a Gui Borrato remix, used in a 2011 car commercial in the United States.

This is a really simple chord progression:
F minor, A flat Major, C Major, E minor diminished.
ParadiseCircus

But quite evocative. You can never know for sure whether Burwell had heard the Massive Attack song, and incorporated that core chord sequence, or if he came up with it independently. I’m reminded of the Axis of Awesome’s “40 songs, same chords” performance:

Trailer for “Olive Kitteridge”

VOLCA JAMMIN

Sometimes you try something and it’s accidentally kinda compelling. The setup was

  • Volca Beats
  • Volca Keys
  • Jupiter 6
  • Meeblip Anode
  • Eventide UltraVerb on one send
  • Audiodamage Dubstation16 on the second send.

This is straight up tracky. It’s live mixing/tweaking. I actually added effects and the anode while recording. There’s minimal EQ-ing on the Volca Keys and Volca Beats.  I did some limiting and EQ on the mix-down and edited out the 16 or so measures where the anode was doing this unpitched farting noise.

Syncing the Volcas to Ableton Live is kind of wonky. It seems to work marginally better if you set the sync mode to pattern. The only way I found to get it tight was to hit the ‘play’ button a few times quickly. If you just hit play once, it always starts out of sync. Somehow resetting the counter to 1:1:0 a few times while Live is playing gets things lined up properly.

http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/Chaircrusher-2014-10-07.mp3

[audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/Chaircrusher-2014-10-07.mp3|titles=2014-10-07|artists=Chaircrusher]

Getting a good Korg Volca{Beats,Keys,Bass} AC Power Adapter

I’m sure I’m not the only person who got their new Korg Volca thing home only to discover that the power jack doesn’t fit any of the AC adapters you have laying around. This is annoying. I for one have a box with about 30 different power adapters to check through. But I have found a good, cheap solution.

First off, what you need is this:

  • DC 9V
  • Center Positive
  • 1.7mm connector

According to this guy, Matthew Zipkin A Volca device never consums more than 80mA, so pretty much any 9V AC adapter has enough juice to power multiple Volcas.

The problem is the plug is an uncommon size, 1.7mm. If you want to try splicing something together look for the yellow-tipped plugs. If I recall correctly, old Sony CD Walkmans used the 1.7mm plug. But another solution is this: Adafruit sells 2.1mm to 1.7mm DC jack adapters for $2.50. They also sell a 9VDC Center-positive 1000MA supply for 6.95.

The Adafruit solution is actually cheaper than the AC adapters I just bought on Amazon.com, with higher power output.

You can also power multiple Volcas from a single supply with guitar effect daisy chain cable, if you buy enough 2.1mm to 1.7mm adapters.

adapter

KRUI Noise Radio 2013-10-12

Song Of September Apples
Song Of September Apples

Another semester, another Noise Radio Show. Comprising mostly tracks I’ve been sent, either by the producer themselves or label promos. Plus several of my own productions. Hope it hangs together for y’all.

[audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/Chaircrusher-2013-10-12-KRUI-Noise-Radio.mp3|artists=Chaircrusher|titles=KRUI Noise Radio 2013/10/12]http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/Chaircrusher-2013-10-12-KRUI-Noise-Radio.mp3
Arthur RussellHow We Walk On The Moon (Youth Rerub)
Art BleekJune Gloom
DeflonGot To Give It Up Remix
KageLuna Twighlight
MekhaImmersion Reshape
ChaircrusherInner Marshlands
Omar SBe Yourself
Art BleekProcedure 678
CerebroTelevision Sky
Brian PrinceThe Accretion Disk
Omar STardigrade’
CerebroPeripheral
Omar SMoney In The D
Pittsburgh Track AuthorityOmar’s Here
ChaircrusherSong of September
BleupulpPanta V2
ChaircrusherBirthday Girl
Cut La RocDon’t Knock The Roc
BleupulpPanta V1
Brian KageNeoblue
ChaircrusherTosh Der Putz
G-ProdInfluence
ChaircrusherAleppo Chili
Kerr KnollWater World
MekhaComa (Emmerrichk Rmx)
Brian PrinceMis Mercury

KRUI Noise Radio 2013-07-13 DJ Mix

The 2 month gap since my last radio show means that a lot of new music has come out so this set has some ‘new’ stuff that’s a bit older than usual, and advance promos played after their release. No matter.

The two releases that are of particular note to the summer’s mood are http://www.bordercommunity.com/?p=5240 and Boards of Canada’s Tomorrow’s Harvest. This is a new BOC album after a long silence, and I think that it is a brilliant album, though the critical and fan reaction has been muted. This is, I think a result of BOC no longer being a musical surprise. But it stands on it’s own merits, and by the way did anyone say to Mozart “Another bloody symphony, when are you going to come up with something new?” It took me longer to come around to James Holden’s record — on first listen it seems pretty discursive and aimless. But on repeated listen there’s something that gets under my skin. “Blackpool Late Eighties” is a perfect standing wave of dream logic romanticism, using Kraut Rock loopiness to build a mood that takes flight. The musical equivalent of being hypnotized by clouds out a jetliner window.

Estroe’s collaboration with Nuno Dos Santos on Eevonext is interesting for breaking out of the techno mold, “Second Thoughts” is nearly beatless, moody, and uses bass to create a forboding mood. The always excellent FourTet shows up repeatedly, in three radically different tracks, including the trip-hop reimagining of Tori Amos’ “Unspoken.”

Detroit Electro veterans Aux 88 sent me a promo of their new EP, from which I chose the Detroit House track “Blue Love.” My revelatory discovery this summer is the Japanese techno producer Takuya Yamashita, whose track “Daybreak” is an instant classic of the emotive Detroit deep techno style.

Closing out, with a blast of low-fi techno from the last century, Joel Brindfalk’s “Great Dose Of Monotonous Techno”. Released under the name ‘Ü’ (try googling that), it is a time capsule from 1992, both in terms of production technique — Roland TR909, a synth or 2, and effects — but it has a deep connection to the new wave of lo-fi techno revivalists.

[audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/Chaircrusher-2013-07-13-KRUISet.mp3|titles=Noise Radio KRUI 2013-07-13|artists=Chaircrusher]http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/Chaircrusher-2013-07-13-KRUISet.mp3
FourTetUnspoken
MarginalStyle Is A Cage
Boards of CanadaNothing Is Real
AllumettesWallace
S. CareyTwo Angles
Tone Of ArcLost In The Machine
James HoldenBlackpool Late Eighties
Estroe & Nuno Dos SantosSecond Thoughts
DeadbeatJaffa Dub
RX GibbsHoney Dub
DatalogSumingoshi II
Chris GavinNice View (Martin Ruth RMX)
DatalogArc
DeabeatPeripheral Artifacts
David PowersRemember The Future
DatalogGampl
StingraysAdjust To New Knowledge
CerebroL System
Nathan FakeThe Sky Was Pink (James Holden RMX)
Roska + Jamie GeorgeSecret Love
Takuya YamashitaJupiter
Four TetLion
TahoMon Bala
Aux 88Blue Love
Rocket #9Rotunda (FourTet Refix)
Takuya YamashitaDaybreak
ChaircrusherThe Man Who Played Himself In The Movie
StingraysSimplexity
Boards of CanadaCold Earth
Joel BrindfalkGreat Dose of Monotonous Techno (excerpt)

2013-05-11 KRUI Noise Radio

Shawn_Rudiman,_DEMF_Day_1The only thing the end of a college term means to me now is that the grad students in my office are scarce for a week or two, and we get a break on Noise Radio. But I tried to end the term on a high note, or at least a loud one.

I’ve noticed my tastes, at least for DJing, changing, in that more and more I crave things that are simpler and more straight ahead. I prevailed on my friend Tom Butcher to pull out some of the hard techno tracks he recorded in the 90s, that he’d sent me on a casette tape. I wore that tape out listening to it in my car, and luckily he’d rescued those tracks from DAT at some point. He also provided me with pre-release copies of his new record on Roam Recordings. so I used some of his oldest and newest music.

The irrepressible Shawn Rudiman has been releasing a backlog of his tracks digitally on Detroit Techno Militia. I took several tracks from the 4th volume. I’ve always been a fan of his live shows, and I’m frankly in awe with his ability to go into the studio and crank out so many high quality tracks. I don’t know when he sleeps.

Kataconda (Barry Ryan) is another guy who’s been going nuts putting out killer techno for a long time — he came to Iowa City and played at my ‘Off Seamus’ event concurrent with the 2002 SEAMUS conference for Electro-Acoustic music.

Bleupulp (aka Maxim Tanguay) is another prolific composer and the guy behind Pertin-nce net label, which has a huge catalog of mostly free, high quality music.

Andy Vaz produces his own intricately layered deep house from his base in Cologne, and Yore has graciously put me on their promo list. Two upcoming releases — a remix EP for his ‘Straight Vacationing’ album, and ‘My Love is 4Ever’ by Librah — are also featured here.

Along with those things, I’ve been trying to keep with my promo e-mails, and what Facebook friends are tipping, which accounts for the vocal pop I include in the mix. So maybe not 100% a techno purist, but hey, good music is good music, and I try to shoehorn in whatever’s making me happy at the moment…

[audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/Chaircrusher-NoiseRadio-2013-05-11.mp3|titles=Noise Radio KRUI 2013-05-11|artists=Chaircrusher]http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/Chaircrusher-NoiseRadio-2013-05-11.mp3
CodebaseFalling Bricks
MicrolifeLe Printemps
X09Nuclear
LushSweetness & Light
PhaelehFor You
MS MRHurricane (CHVRCHES remix)
CodebaseBlack Mondial
Andy VazDetroit In Me (Patrice Scott Remix)
HapbtWumpus8
LibrahGravity
RroseWedge of Chastity
FieldedArms of Heaven
LibrahMy Love Is 4Ever
Ron TrentPressure Zone
x09Statika
Garage $aleBump and Grind (Waze & Oddysey Remix)
Andy VazStubnitz (Memory Foundation Remix)
Arthur OskanMaximilian
Adam MarshallChaos
Shawn RudimanXK7 Dustoff
KatacondaLeaf One
BleupulpLondon (Hemptera Mix)
KatacondaLeaf Two
The TranslatorPrime Time Chords
Shawn RudimanOne More Sometimes
Mount KimbieMade To Stray
BleupulpA Few Stories
Shawn RudimanWhen To Let Go
BleupulpThe End Is Near
ChaircrusherLe Printemps Du Chien
LerosaSlavery
X09Arc
MartynOceania
PhaelehTaking It Back
Flying LotusTiny Tortures

KRUI Noise Radio 2013-03-30

More specifically Techno & House than usual. Featuring new Shawn Rudiman on Detroit Techno Mlitia, new Cephax Acid Crew album Cro Magnox, Kommon+Appleblim, Trus’ Me, and things found trawling through my ITunes collection…

[audio:http://cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/Chaircrusher-20130330-KRUINoiseRadio.mp3|titles=KRUI Noise Radio 2013-03-30 Noise Radio|artists=Chaircrusher]http://cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/Chaircrusher-20130330-KRUINoiseRadio.mp3
Kommon+AppleblimSilencio
AnikaIn The City
Trus’ MeMe Tes une Pute
Felix LenferinkFirst Bouree
Trus’ MeHindsight
Shawn RudimanGhola Idaho
Space Dimension ControllerMercurial Attraction
Thomas BrinkmanXenia 2
Kerri ChandlerSo It Begins Again (DC10 Mix)
KWide Road
Analog Cop & BlawanSickle
Jeff Samuelheb gbz
VersionThe Brighter Side (Percussive Vocal Mix)
La Funk MobRavers Suck Our Sound (Carl Craig Mix)
Jon MarguliesGood Religion (Dub Mix)
Touch Sensitve & Annie LunoeReal Talk
DJ 3000Sasanian Stomp
JethroAin’t No Way
Raw Series #2B
EstroeCheapo Cheapa
CalmacTangerine (Jozo & Can Dub Remix)
TouaneTolousian Duck
Mike DunnLet It Be House
Kommon & AppleblimGas Jam
Shawn RudimanBlinded By The Future
DeadbeatWolves & Angels
Shawn RudimanThe Last Snow
Kerr KnollDrone Avionix
The Black DogTrain By The Autobahn (Robert Hood Remix)
Ceephax Acid CrewFlight Of The Condor

In which SoundCloud sends me a hilarious takedown notice

Anand and SchatarSo today I got this interesting message from Soundcloud:

Hi chaircrusher,

Our automatic content protection system has detected that your sound “Rubber Duckie (Wub Machine Remix)” may contain the following copyright content: “Get Some Fruit (Wubstep Dubstep Remix)” by Anand Bhatt, owned by Favorecido Productions. As a result, its publication on your profile has been blocked.

You can dispute this report, if you believe the copyright content has been mistakenly identified or if you have obtained all the necessary rights, licenses and/or permissions to upload and share this material on SoundCloud.

Please do so by filling out our dispute webform at the following link:https://soundcloud.com/settings/disputes/6512879

If you would like to learn more about copyright, please visit our copyright information page.

Thanks,

The SoundCloud Copyright Team

FYI I didn’t even remember uploading it to Soundcloud — it was just a joke that took about 5 minutes to put together. I kind of love how it turned out, since Sesame Street is embedded in my DNA. If you need to hear it:

[audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/xfer/RubberDucky-WubMachine.mp3|titles=Rubber Ducky Wub Machine Remix|artists=chaircrusher] http://www.cornwarning.com/xfer/RubberDucky-WubMachine.mp3

There are several things that are awesome about this:

  • Soundcloud’s automated copyright infringement detector did NOT detect my actual ‘infringement,’ which was against Jeff Moss and Jim Henson, who wrote and performed the original Rubber Duckie.   I claim this is fair use, but I’m not going to the wall on that; this was a JOKE track, it isn’t worth it.
  • Soundcloud’s audio fingerprint software did detect that there was some common source material in the Rubber Duckie Wubstep remix and that track by Anand Bhatt. That common material is there because Bhatt and I did the same thing: Took an audio file and fed it to the Wub Machine, which is a neat hack that ‘converts’ any audio file into bad dubstep.  Feed the Wub Machine random songs, traffic noises, outgoing voicemail messages yadda yadda, and hey presto! Bad dubstep! it’s hours (well, minutes) of fun.
  • The most hilarious part of this debacle?  This guy Anand Bhatt has released a digital EP which you can buy here on Amazon.  Bhatt took what sounds like random crappy songs, ran them through the Wub Machine and released them as his own original ‘remixes’!

What conclusions can I draw from this?

  • Soundcloud’s audio fingerprint software is able to detect common elements in two songs.  That’s great, but it can’t distinguish between one song sampling another, and two songs containing common source material.  So it’s going to generate thousands of false positives.  I guarantee that the worst-paid people at Soundcloud are the poor shmoes who have to wade through all the people contesting false positives for copyright infringement.
  • Anand Bhatt is a complete tosser.  Don’t believe me?  Visit his mega-awesome website, or his Amazon Store.  All those pictures at the Grammies are curiously absent of any other people, as though he snuck in after hours to get his picture taken in front of the Grammy background.  This man has been spending his time inventing an imaginary international rockstar career.

Here’s the transcendent, timeless, original “Rubber Duckie”

Live @ PS One 2013-03-19

It was cold and snowy and there wasn’t much in the way of an audience, but I got to try out some new stuff. Starting about 14:00 I have a section that samples (well, granulates) Milk & Eggs aka Jordan Sellergren. It ultimately bears only the most tenuous relationship to the original music which is wonderful in my opinion.

I don’t get to play out that much — I’d like to do it more often — but the general framework of what I’m doing goes back a couple of years, so it’s time to tear it down and build up something new. Expect more chances for live mistakes and chaos.

[audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/Chaircrusher-2013-03-19-LiveSet.mp3|titles=live at ps one 2012-03-19|artists=chaircrusher]
http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/Chaircrusher-2013-03-19-LiveSet.mp3

KRUI Noise Radio 2013-03-02

So it’s been a bit since I did a radio show, so I have a backlog of new stuff to work through. New Burial, Autechre, My Bloody Valentine, Alex Under, Ron Trent, Terrace, and of course Chaircrusher….

[audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/Chaircrusher2013-03-02-KRUI-NoiseRadio.mp3|titles=2013-03-02 KRUI Noise Radio|artists=chaircrusher]http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/Chaircrusher2013-03-02-KRUI-NoiseRadio.mp3
My Bloody ValentineWho Sees You
AutechreBladelores
Alex UnderBola 7
Alex UnderBola 3
Ed McFarlaneShe Sleeps
Ros Sola6Sway
Sean DeasonOde To Detroit
Tevo HowardPump & Bounce
Tevo HowardYou Have A Way With Words
Micro WorldYour Techno Toy
Ron TrentKids At Play
Ron TrentExotic Drums
PerkowitzTime Lapse
TerraceOut of Time
MicroworldHappy Machines
Ros SolaSign Language Poetry
MicroworldSubterranean
Don FrothREflex (Shake Shakir Remix)
TerraceMekanika
Sean DeasonS4R4
Orphan101Baila Second Mix
Sean DeasonThe Nature Of Time
ChaircrusherIsthmus Strait Isthmus
Max 404How to Bluff Your Way Into Techno
StarkeyFantasy
StarkeyNucleus

My Bloody Valentine “M B V” Review.

OK, new MBV first reactions. The overall sound hasn’t changed much if at all. If I had made a record as epochal and evocative as Loveless, I guess I’d have problems finishing a follow-up. There are kids in their 20s who literally grew up listening to it. I know it was on heavy rotation in my car driving kids around, and my sons are 24 and 27.

Where it’s different? “New You” is pretty sunny and not as fuzzy as the usual MBV song; the focus is on Bilinda’s multitracked vocals. It points up the influence of 60s french singers like Jane Birkin and France Gall on Shields. The album almost sounds like a noisier Stereolab at times. The two bands were more or less contemporaries; Stereolab had french women vocalists who made that connection more explicit, but it’s a serious part of Shields’ stylistic vocabular.

“If I Am” bears close listening, because it’s maybe Shields most fully realized, appealing vocal melody. If anything has changed in 22 years, it’s that Shields has progressed as a songwriter, especially in the songs he wrote for Bilinda Butcher.

“Nothing Is” in my opinion should have been left a B side, and replaced with another pop song. It is a relentlessly repetitive loop that gets slightly louder and then ends. It would be fun to hear them play it live, but compared to the more fully composed songs it comes off as a piss take.

ValentineIf you’re at all a fan it’s worth tracking down the Tape Op interview where he describes his recording techniques. It’s easy listening to MBV to feel like there’s something complicated there, but once you know how simply he recorded the music it’s more impressive — there aren’t a whole bunch of overdubs — he spends time getting the sound he wants, and he might have 4 tracks of different microphones on a guitar cabinet, but compared to a Beyonce record they’re very simple and transparent.
Image stolen from Mojo Magazine without permission.

KRUI DJ Set 2012-12-08

The last show of the semester! Found some stuff downloadable on Soundcloud (Ekko, Delany Duvall), some recent-ish Terrence Dixon/Juju&Jordash/Sigha. Merry frikken Xmas!

http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/Chiarcrusher-2012-12-08-KRUI-DJSet.mp3http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/Chiarcrusher-2012-12-08-KRUI-DJSet.mp3
Ex Action ModelHeavy Shadow
ChaircrusherMichelle
Juju & JordashShakshuka Dub
EkkoPawnmover
Marc EvansCrescent Moon (Delany Duvall SpiritualSoul RMX)
Jason SnellCataclysm Sketch
Juju & JordashTrack David Would Play
Panda ValiumCopaiba
DubsheppardsThe Others (Ekko Remix)
Hakim MurphyInfinite Sensations
Murat TepeliUntitled
LegoweltSketches From Another Century
Flash MobNinety Five (Dirty Channels Remix)
LegoweltRenegade of a new age
Hakim MurphyBlack Robots Having Sex (Kieran Brereton’s Deep Mix)
LegoweltDanger In The Air
Hakim MurphyNikki Muscles
Nick HoeppnerSeaweed (Deadbeat Fireweed Mix)
Stephen BrownHorizontal
Dave BrubeckTake Five (Kieran Brereton’s Deep Mix)
Terrence DixonDark City of Hope
Aril BrikhaDefinition of D
Stephen BrownMini Mood
Aril BrikhaPeople Mover
Mayra AndredStoria (Delany Duvall Yoruba Remix)
VentressSilotar (Silent Servant Remix)
SighaAscension
Terrence DixonThe Switch
SighaShe Kills In Ecstasy
VentressTyphon
Terrence DixonThe Auto Factory
SighaDressing For Pleasure
British Murder BoysDead Sun
SighaFaith & Labour
ChaircrusherShwarma