Rhys Chatham, Rene Hell, Solid Attitude Live @ Gabes 2012-03-27

A performance of Guitar Trio by Rhys Chatham is always a stunning, overwhelming, transcendent thing to experience. The composition itself is a schematic set of instructions for 3 or more guitarists, a process that Chatham directs from the stage as he plays himself. It has been his practice to perform the trio with local musicians, as Chatham did in Iowa City nearly 5 years ago with a completely different group. Every performance is the same, and every performance is completely different.

Rene Hell, former Iowa Citian who has gone on to some renown in the experimental music scene delivered a performance that was a departure from his past forays into fuzzy analog electronica. Most of the set was a chaotic blizzard of digitally synthesized sounds; like a Warner Brother’s Cartoon soundtrack done by Karlheinz Stockhausen for an audience of deranged robots. And I mean that in the best possible way.

Solid Attitude were, err, solid. These guys play their punk rock like demons possessed by other, more evil demons, and Mickey Shaw’s lead singer/ranter performance is a thing to behold.

[audio:http://cornwarning.com/MissionCreek2012/2012-03-27-Gabes/2012-03-27-SolidAttitude-LiveAtGabes.mp3|titles=Live At Gabes 2012-03-27|Artists=Solid Attitude]http://cornwarning.com/MissionCreek2012/2012-03-27-Gabes/2012-03-27-SolidAttitude-LiveAtGabes.mp3
[audio:http://cornwarning.com/MissionCreek2012/2012-03-27-Gabes/2012-03-27-ReneHell-LiveAtGabes.mp3|titles=Live At Gabes 2012-03-27|artists=Rene Hell]http://cornwarning.com/MissionCreek2012/2012-03-27-Gabes/2012-03-27-ReneHell-LiveAtGabes.mp3
[audio:http://cornwarning.com/MissionCreek2012/2012-03-27-Gabes/2012-03-27-RhysChatham-LiveAtGabes.mp3|titles=Live At Gabes 2012-03-27|artists=Rhys Chatham]http://cornwarning.com/MissionCreek2012/2012-03-27-Gabes/2012-03-27-RhysChatham-LiveAtGabes.mp3

KRUI Radio DJ Set 2012-03-03

This mix was delayed in posting to the blog because…I forgot it. It reflects some of my recent obsessions, including the new Burial EP Kindred which seems to reflect my mood right now in ways I can’t explain. It also is a bit more tilted towards techno than my mixes have been recently, because there’s a lot of good techno coming out. There’s also a lot of stuff that is roughly house and/or techno but comes from producers who a few years ago were thought of as Dubstep artists. But as Peter Kirn pointed out, there’s Dubstep and there’s “Dubstep” and no one who’s serious about good music wants to have anything to do with the latter.

[audio:http://cornwarning.com/xfer/2012-03-03-Chaircrusher-KRUI-DJSet.mp3|titles=2013-03-03 Chaircrusher KRUI DJ Set|artists=Chaircrusher]http://cornwarning.com/xfer/2012-03-03-Chaircrusher-KRUI-DJSet.mp3
Tim HeckerNo Drums
SynkroQuestions
BurialKindred
BurialLoner
BurialAshtray Wasp
ItalHive Mind
ItalFirst Wave
Storm QueenIt Goes On
BNJMNOne Sea
Artu & Jerry the CatNuclear Funk
Octo OctaShower Nights Second Chance Mix
Octo OctaForced Nature
Knowing LooksListen to my 45
FluxionMotion 1
ObjectCactus
George FitzgeraldFeels Like
Aril BrikhaPalma
GerdPalm Leaves
Mr Fingers Afropsychojungledub Mix
SkudgePollution
Mike HuckabyThe Tresor Track
ChaircrusherPeople People
HeadhunterClone
DaegaLet It All Go
Holy OtherWith U
PoleAue

An Especially Savage 16:18 with the EMS Putney

The EMS Putney is a particularly unruly beast, as I proved in an EP of Putney Improvisations a couple of years ago.

Today I was fiddling around sampling it, and it seemed to be in a particularly industrial, savage, scary mood. And it definitely varies every time I turn it on. Today was a day where apparently, the Putney had to use its AK. Contains drones, swoops, rhythmic pulsing and chattering, howling, screeching, etc.

This is a mono recording, with no effects other than normalization; the reverb is its own internal spring reverb. In particular please note any distortion is internal to the Putney. PLEASE TURN DOWN THE VOLUME UNTIL YOU KNOW HOW LOUD IT WILL BE. Hearing loss or speaker damage are likely if you aren’t careful.

Do what you want with this. I’m releasing it full Public Domain. If you want a WAV file, let me know and I’ll put it up as well.

[audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/2012-01-28-Chaircrusher-Putney.mp3|titles=EMS Putney 2012-01-28|artists=Chaircrusher]http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/2012-01-28-Chaircrusher-Putney.mp3

A life in records

I’m going to be 55 years old this year, and being the sort of music-obsessive nerd that I am I separate my life into musical epochs centered around particular records.

1. 1964 — watched the Beatles on Ed Sullivan at my grandmother’s house with my whole family. My mom — a talented composer, among other fine qualities — insisted we all watch. It’s hard to imagine how that affected everyone then — even my Grandmother thought it was something remarkable.

2. 1966 — I saved up my allowance — for a long time — to buy the Beatles “Rubber Soul” — I got the mono version because it would have taken me another week to get the extra dollar for the stereo version. In my mind the sound of that record — uncluttered and dark is inextricable with the visual image of a dark wood, like mahogany, which of course for me was ‘norwegian wood.’

3. 1970 — the dual shot of Grateful Dead’s “Workingman’s Dead” and “American Beauty.” Forget the Deadheads, the tie die, the bloated, sad death of Jerry Garcia. The Dead crystallized the moment, but with something that will always remain mysterious and deeply American. I wrote an essay for Little Village about it that almost but not quite captures how I feel about these records.

4. 1974 — I don’t know how exactly but I discovered — or rediscovered, it was music that was in the air in my house — John Coltrane & Thelonius Monk. In particular a Riverside re-issue called “Monk/Trane.” Jazz is a fickle thing, that works best in the moment, as it’s being played, but I learned every note of those records, and the version of “Abide With Me” — arranged by Monk but without his piano, still makes me tear up.

5. 1977 — A banner year of “Never Mind The Bollocks It’s the Sex Pistols” and “Talking Heads 77” — I tried to play the Sex Pistols record for my dad, a symphony conductor, and he made it about 3 minutes. He just left the room, shaking his head.

6. 1983 — REM “Murmur” The first few REM records were landmarks in American Music. Like the Dead, they rather outlasted their moment — nothing after “Life’s Rich Pageant” really stuck with me.

7. 1988 — My Bloody Valentine “Isn’t Anything” — as unlike REM as a band could get, a pure, abstract, lovely roaring noise. To the whole “shoegaze” movement this album and “Loveless” basically exhausted the genre before it was fully explored — they just couldn’t be topped. Their influence is immense, and pops up in the weirdest places.

8. 1991 — The Swervedriver EPs on Creation, beginning with “Son Of Mustang Ford.” A lot less punk and a lot more rawk than MBV, Adam Franklin’s songs and the blazing arrangements thereof were impossible not to listen to over and over.

9. 1994 — Two poles of the same universe Aphex Twin “Selected Ambient Works II” and Richie Hawtin “Recycled Plastic” Aphex Twin made music that was like a series of empty rooms that were each haunted by a different ghost. Richie Hawtin’s “Spastik” was an Ars Poetica of pure Rhythm. These two records and a slew more started a headfirst dive into electronic music and led to my own attempts at music production. In an echo of the spirit of 1977, this was homemade DIY music that gave a million people the idea to do it themselves.

10. 2004 — The World Of Arthur Russell. I’m a guy who grew up in Iowa, playing the cello. Arthur Russell was a guy who grew up in Iowa playing the cello. I was aware of “Is It All Over My Face” from club parties, but this album crystallized his genius. I’d give a lot to make a track as transcendent as “In The Light Of The Miracle” or “Go Bang.”

11. 2006 — Burial’s self-titled debut on Hyperdub — I can’t believe it’s been 6 years. Again, someone much imitated since then, but never equalled, except by his subsequent productions. A gateway drug into the world of Dubstep and the whole crazy universe of UK Bass music.

Since then… not sure. I listen to so much new music it’s hard to pick out anything as epochal as these records. And maybe it’s something you only really see in retrospect.

Using Random Processing in Ableton Live

There are two things that I’ve done consistently for 18 years I’ve been using a computer to make music is to experiment with random processes to generate something musically.

EXAMPLE ENSEMBLE: http://www.cornwarning.com/xfer/AbletonLiveRandomizeExample.zip

Ableton Live has a ton of effects. People spend a lot of time and money (or time looking for W4R3Z, which imho is wasted) to find third party VST instruments and effects to give them a palette of sounds. But before you go crazy buying and downloading stuff, it’s a good idea to fully explore the stuff built in to Live.

The Live MIDI effects are an under-utilized resource for creative sequencing, and the MIDI effect rack I’ve built does something that is to me really inspirational: It takes a stream of midi notes and randomizes their pitch and velocity.

That doesn’t seem like much except for this particular context: If you have a drum rack after this MIDI effect rack, when a MIDI note occurs, it adds a random offset to the note number, and assigns a random velocity. If you load a drum rack with an assortment of sounds — in the case of my example, latin percussion samples — it will generate endless variety of drum patterns with continuously changing accents.

From left to right the components of this rack are

  1. Pitch Effect. Adds a fixed offset to incoming notes.
  2. Random Effect. Adds a random offset to incoming notes.
  3. Velocity Effect. Randomly changes velocity of incoming notes.
  4. Velocity Effect. Filters out notes with velocity outside the range lowest to lowest+range.

The actual rhythm is determined by the note pattern that’s playing in the current MIDI track. This is cool because you can use groove templates on (for example) clip with a steady stream of 16th notes, and the output of the rack will follow the groove template. Every time a note is triggered by the clip, a random offset is added to the pitch, which has the effect of choosing a different drum sound, with a random velocity.

The Macro controls on the left side give you control over various parameters.

  1. Lowest: notes with velocities below this value won’t play
  2. Range: notes with velocities above Lowest+Range won’t play
  3. Pitch: Constant offset added to incoming note numbers
  4. Rand Velocity: How much randomness is added to incoming note velocities

Here’s a use case: If you play the third clip in the KW Conga track in the example ensemble, it is a steady stream of notes with a pitch of C1, which in my drum rack corresponds to the first sound. If you don’t want a hit on every 16th note, turning up the Lowest knob will discard notes with low velocity, and turning down Range discards notes with higher velocity. You tune the velocity range with these two knobs to thin out the incoming stream of notes by discarding some of the lowest and highest velocity notes.

The Pitch knob is to get around a limitation of the Random MIDI effect — it only goes up to a maximum offset of 24. Since I have more than 24 sounds loaded in the drum rack, in order to play any of the sounds more than 2 octaves above C1, I have to add an offset. You can also play this knob — or automate it — to change the set of sounds played by the incoming notes. In this particular rack, all the flams are at the top of the drum rack’s note range, so if the Pitch knob is below 8, you won’t get any flams.

The Rand Velocity knob, if turned to zero, doesn’t change incoming velocities at all. This would be useful in the case where you want the Velocity of the Groove template to determine note volumes.

All this is harder to explain than it is to use. Try downloading the example ensemble and fiddle with the knobs, and I think you’ll find that there’s an intuitive feel to using this effect rack. The main thing you need to start with is a drum rack — like the conga rack in the example — driven by clips usually consisting of C1 notes, which is the default lowest note for drum racks. The more sounds you add to your drum rack the more useful the pitch knob will be; if you only have 24 sounds, turning up Pitch will just cause notes to be sent to empty slots in the drum rack.

And if you don’t want to just let this sort of constrained randomness do its thing forever, you can record the output of the MIDI rack in another MIDI track, and then choose a few bars to loop, or find the 4 bars that’s almost perfect and tweak it a bit.

This sort of technique isn’t limited to drum sounds. If you’re using this rack with a pitched instrument it will do something random, and perhaps useful. With a pitched instrument, you can add a Scale Live MIDI effect, in order to constrain the notes played to the scale of your choice.

And that’s only the beginning of what you can do with effect racks. Live’s MIDI effect racks have the same ‘multi-chain’ feature of Live Effect and Instrument Racks — you can set up different chains of MIDI effects and use the Chain Select control to choose between them. And once you add in Max For Live MIDI effects, things can really get crazy.

DJ Mix From KRUI 12-10-2011

I didn’t post this as quickly as I usually do after the show; part of the problem was technical issues, but most of it was the Holidays. At any rate, continuing a trend, I focused on a few new releases — full lengths by Sepalcure, Author, Pinch+Shackleton and Altered Natives. All of which are wicked good, you should give them your Christmas money. Also features a premier of my remixes for Peter Kirn who writes the well-known Create Digital Music & Create Digital Motion blogs.

Worth special mention: Cherie Pyne’s non-dance music track “Tender Steps” which is the closing credits music for the fantastic and fantastically depressing Canadian movie Crackie. I loved the song when I saw the movie; apparently the only way to get her music is to contact her directly — cheriepyn at gmail dot com. Cherie graciously sent me “Tender Steps” by e-mail. She’s also in the band Ledge’s Blast. She’s part of the whole separate musical world going on in Canada; I listen to the Canadian stations on XM Radio and often think that the Canadians that we know about in the USA aren’t necessarily the best, just the most ambitious and luckiest.

[audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/2011-12-10-Chaircrusher-KRUI-DJ-Set.mp3|titles=KRUI DJ Mix 2011-12-10|artists=Chaircrusher]http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/2011-12-10-Chaircrusher-KRUI-DJ-Set.mp3
SepalcureOutside
Cherie PyneTender Steps
SepalcureSee Me Feel
P.KirnChange Of Shift(ChrcrshrRMX)
P.KirnAnaxagoras(ChrcrshrRMX)
SepalcureCarrot Man
HXDB & 3rd EyeTranspacific(Resketch Remix)
Altered NativesLoved By Few
MartynViper
MartynDistortions
Altered NativesGalactic
Altered Natives feat. ESPShake That
Altered NativesMy Game My Rules
Altered NativesWasteman of Love
Altered NativesCan’t Trust Myself To Trust You
MartynHorror Vacul
Guy AndrewsShades
MartynPopgun
Altered Nativesgood evening ladies & gentlemen, we are eventide astral
Lazer SwordsSounds Sane
Lazer SwordsKlock
Cooly G + SimbadLandscapes
Pinch+ShackletonRoom Within A Room
Cooly G+KarizmaIt’s Serious
SeijiFace Up
SepalcureMe
P.KirnTrain 69(ChrcrshrRMX)
MartynBauplan
P.KirnOscilloclast(ChrcrshrRMX)
Pinch+ShackletonJellybones
SeijiFrustratin
KlausPim
VIVEKDiablo
Author feat. Ed ThomasTurn
Author feat. Ben GlassGreen Blue
BiomeDMT
Pinch+ShackletonCracks In The Pleasuredome

Reaktor Effect: Random Multitap Delay/Shuffler

http://www.cornwarning.com/xfer/RandomMultitapDelay.zip

The Random Multitap Delay is a delay effect that randomly, continuously changes the delay time between the input and output. The delay times are based on musical note durations – ¼ note, ? note, ? note triplets, etc.  My goal was to use random processes in a way that preserves rhythmic integrity — the output stays in time with the input and any other rhythmic elements in the music.

Internally there is a multitap delay, whose delay time is a multiple of the current rhythmic division. If you select ? for the tap length then the first will delay ? note, the second 2/8 , the third ? etc.

The effect switches randomly between the delays over time, effectively re-arranging the input signal in time, shuffling it up.  This is particularly effective on drums, because it will generate an endlessly varying rhythmic pattern that will still add up to the ear.

There are two identical delays for the left and right sides of the stereo signal. Since the current delay tap is chosen randomly, the right and left signals will be different even if all the controls are set the same.

It’s actually harder to describe what the effect does clearly than to understand what it does by tweaking the controls, and hearing the results.

In Use

There is a hierarchy of chaos in the controls of the Random Multitap Delay.  I’ll list them from least chaotic to most chaotic:

Sync and Stepped On

With both sync and stepped set, every rhythmic division, one delay is selected.  For example, if 1/8th is selected for tap length and 1/8th is selected for S&H, every eighth note a different delay tap is chosen.

Sync On, Stepped Off

Every rhythmic division a fractional value is chosen, that will select a blend of 2 delay times.  For example, if the tap length is 1/8th and selection value is 3.5, you will hear a 50/50 mix of the 4/8ths and 5/8ths delays.

Sync Off, Stepped On

The delay tap selection varies continuously, based on Rand Speed, but only one delay tap is selected at a time.

Sync Off, Stepped Off

The delay tap varies continuously at Rand Speed, and a mix of two delay taps will be heard all the time.


The meter and numeric display below the stepped button shows you how these controls interact.  They will show you exactly which delay tap is playing at a given time.  The delay taps are numbered 0 to 7, since I’m a computer programmer ;-)

Controls

Tap Length

This chooses a base delay time for the multitap delay.  These are standard musical divisions of time — ¼ note, 1/8th note, dotted 1/8th etc.

S&H

Controls the rate of change of the delay taps.  Every ¼ note (for example) a new delay tap is selected at random for the output.

Sync

When this is on, the delay time is selected based on the setting of S&H.  When it is off, the delays are switched between continuously at the rate specified by Rand Speed.

Rand Speed

Chooses the speed at which the delay selection changes. The numeric value below the knob gives the speed in cycles per second/Herz.

Stepped

Determines whether the delay selection is stepped (i.e. selecting just one tap at a time 0, 1, 2, 3…) or continous.  If Stepped is off,  you will hear a mix of two adjacent delay taps most of the time ( 0.3, 1.7, 2.1 …)

FB

Controls the level of feedback for both the left and right delays.

Cross FB

Controls the amount of the left delay that is fed into the right delay, and vice versa

L FB Mode/R FB Mode

Selects the filter that is included in the feedback path of the delays. High Pass, Band Pass, Low Pass etc. ‘Bypass’ is also an option, which removes the filter entirely from the feedback path.

Spread

The difference between the left and right feedback filter cutoffs.  At 12 O’Clock, L & R filters have the same cutoff. As you rotate left, the left cutoff reduces, and the right cutoff increases.  As you rotate right the left cutoff increases and the right cutoff decreases.

F

Feedback filter frequency

R

Feedback filter resonance.

New Paulstretch OS X build

As software projects go, PaulStretch is rather a shadowy enigma. Since I did the initial Mac OS X port, I’ve had very, very sporadic communications with the author Nasca Octavian Paul about it.

Then there’s the issue of versioning. Paul started a github repository, but it hasn’t been updated since March. It’s currently at version 2.2.2, but the only difference between 2.2-2 and 2.2-1 is that the version number it reports has changed.

At any rate, today I did a new build which is 1) OS X 10.6 (forward compatible with Lion, but perhaps not backwards compatible to Leopard or Tiger) 2) Up to date build, incorporating all of Paul’s changes. I also spent some time playing with it to make sure it works properly.

You can download it here: http://www.cornwarning.com/xfer/PaulStretch-2.2.2-OSX-10.6.dmg

It also has the latest refinements of the build scripts used to build PaulStretch from source. I use CMake, which is Kitware’s cross-platform build tool. CMake keeps getting smarter, and my CMake recipe for PaulStretch will download all the prerequisite libraries, build them, and then download the PaulStretch source, build it, and generate an Apple App Bundle.

And CMake really is cross-platform — the same build recipe will work unmodified on Linux (which I have tested) and possibly on Windows (which I haven’t tried).

If you still have a PowerPC Mac, you can try using http://www.cornwarning.com/xfer/PaulStretch-OSX-PPC.dmg which a friend of mine built, but it isn’t the most recent version of PaulStretch.

DJ Set from The Blue Moose 11/19/2011

[audio:http://cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/Chaircrusher-BlueMoose-2011-11-19-DJSet.mp3|artists=Chaircrusher|titles=Chaircrusher DJ Set @ Blue Moose 11/19/2011]http://cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/Chaircrusher-BlueMoose-2011-11-19-DJSet.mp3

This DJ Mix Brought to you by Wild Turkey, Bourbon of Champions.
I opened the night for Clancy, at the Blue Moose album release party for Iowania, Clancies new joint. You can listen/buy/download this on bandcamp here: http://iowania.bandcamp.com/. I did the mixing and mastering, and I’m a big believer in it.

I usually post a track list with my sets, but I’m too tired and have other stuff to do. So there’s some stuff you’ll recognize, some unreleased tracks from me & my friends, and a lot of tipsy effects tweaking. I selected the tracks by combining all the lower-bpm tracks from previous DJ sets, and I really like the sub-120-bpm territory.

KRUI DJ Set 2011-11-05

I didn’t buy any new music in the past couple weeks, but Liz McClean Knight (aka Quantazelle) sent me e-mail about the new free compilation she’s releasing on her label SubVariant, Frequencity, and the day before David Powers sent me the promo for the new EP on Klectik, Back To The Islands by Synox. So I just figured out how to jigsaw that collection together, more or less. It ranges from 95 to 170 BPM, so some serious tempo creeping happens throughout. Not to mention the genre U Turns.

Full disclosure, Liz chose a track of mine for the last Subvariant comp Robohustlin, and I’ve had an artist crush on her ever since she played a show in Iowa City years ago. She does a lot of very interesting work in various capacities, from her music, to her electronic component jewelry, to the brilliant Electronic Musician’s Emergency Pack. Women are still relatively rare in Electronic Music, which truth be told is mostly a sausage fest, but the women who do get involved have something unique to offer.

[audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/Chaircrusher-2011-11-05-DJSet.mp3|titles=2011-11-05 KRUI DJ Set|artists=Chaircrusher]http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/Chaircrusher-2011-11-05-DJSet.mp3
Foe PawDos Otros
Ella LaurenceaaaAH
SynoxBack To The Islands (David Powers Remix)
BeanBakeA Bicycle In Your Mind
SynoxConception
SynoxTamarindo
QuantazellePolychromatic Tomatoes
Belmont And ClarkDark Compression
EscapeSquare Fingers
LokuaHue
Mike GonsiorReflections
Jon MonteverdeHome
PolyfuseBlood On the Urinal
DraslaMoonlight Somnambula
ElockArt On Acid

Guest DJ Mix on WNUR Chicago

M50 invited me to do a mix for the Streetbeat show on WNUR in Chicago, and it finally aired October 28th. So Now It Can Be Shared.

[audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/xfer/Chaircrusher-2011-09-11-WNUR-Mix.mp3|titles=WNUR DJ Mix|artists=Chaircrusher]http://www.cornwarning.com/xfer/Chaircrusher-2011-09-11-WNUR-Mix.mp3
Holy OtherYr Love
David Talento + Kent WilliamsMemoriam Part 2 (Mike Crooker Krautrock Mix)
RadioheadThe King Of Limbs (Altrice RMX)
PerkowitzTerraform
CodebaseTea Garden
CodebaseDark Lights
Chaircrusher+Rachel KannMy Mother Built Me Out Of Sticks
ReclooseElectric Sunshine
Andy VazDetroit In Me
CodebaseTransitions
Andy Vaz feat. EvaSoul Feelin’
Kerri ChandlerSo It Begins Again (DC10 Mix)
CardopusherThen What
Rex SepulvedaI94 Detroit
LegoWeltSark Island Acid
Rex SepulvedaI75 Detroit
Samo SoundboyShuffle Code
George FitzgeraldSilhouette
ChaircrusherBaile Pedro Baile
FloorplanBaby Baby
DomBlacklock (Donga & Blake Dub)
DJ RumMountains Pt 1
CyrusThe Calling
16 BitSerum
RadioheadGive Up The Ghost (Brokenchord RMX)
Machine DrumDon’t Survive

Emotional Intensity in the films of Mike Leigh

We watched Mike Leigh’s newest film “Another Year” and then last night watched “High Hopes”, and I realized how many of his movies I’ve seen without trying to be complete-ist, and how much each of them sticks with me long after I’ve seen them. “Happy Go Lucky”, “Secrets and Lies”

The thing all these movies have in common, and the thing that can make them hard to watch sometimes, is that there’s always one or more characters who are emotional open wounds. It’s not that their performances are broad or that they chew the scenery, they’re just characters that seem to have crashed on the rocks of their lives, and live with an existential horror of how disappointing, lonely and sad their lives have been. No one else is able to find and present these characters.

But for anyone who’s seen “High Hopes”, I was struct by the next door neighbors of the old woman at the center of the story. It’s a married couple — Rupert & Laeticia Boothe-Brain (what names!) who are insufferable upper class twits. The weird thing about them is how much they sound and act like the characters Raymond & Connie Marble in “Pink Flamingos”. I’m sure Leigh at that point had seen Waters’ films, but could there be a conscious homage going on?

It would be very funny if the upper class twits in Thatcher’s England were modeled on a couple who compete to be the filthiest people alive.

2011-10-22 KRUI DJ Set

Sean DeasonNCWThe Black Dog

This mix is focused pretty tightly on a couple of upcoming releases – Elements Volume 3 by Sean Deason, and Panther Veil By NCW — and the very recent release by The Black Dog, LIBER DOGMA. It’s also one of the few mixes I’ve done that focuses on Techno almost exclusively. Though there’s plenty of the 4 on the floor beat that is techno’s hallmark, there’s other rhythmic grooves represented. I think that Techno is a feeling as much as it is a collection of common attributes, and these tracks represent a pretty wide range musically while staying true to that feeling.

The show itself was interesting because of a guest spot from DJ T, who played a short set of the sort of stuff I don’t really like — commercial ‘electro house’ — but it represents a generational difference. I thought T was a very nice guy, actually, so I don’t want the following to seem like I’m dissing him.

For anyone who’s been around dance music for a while — and I’ve been interested in it going back to the middle 1970s! — there’s always going to be stylistic breaks. I have a hard time getting into what’s currently popular with the 20-somethings, who don’t really know music that wasn’t made in the past 5 years. The current ‘it’ sound seems to be missing soul, and focuses on the least subtle and most ear-bleeding synth sounds. It seems to me that it’s immediate percursors are the music that I hated 10 years ago — poppy progressive house and commercial euro-trance. But I think it’s interesting that there’s a parallel underground scene, that the tracks in this set represent, that is every bit as current, and to me ismuch more musical, soulful, and durable.

But kids — what are you going to do with them. They like what they like. I’d like to think they can be taught about the history and ongoing relevancy of dance music going back 40 years or more, and I don’t think that calling what they like crap is a good way to start. I don’t want to be like middle aged people back in the 70s when I was a kid, holding tight to their Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey records.

[audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/Chaircrusher-2011-10-22-DJSet.mp3|titles=2011-10-22 KRUI DJ Mix|artists=Chaircrusher]http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/Chaircrusher-2011-10-22-DJSet.mp3
Sean DeasonDubnium
Sean DeasonIndium
NCWPanther
Sean DeasonPalladium
The Black DogDark Wave Creeping
Jeff PietroStill 1
Sean DeasonIron
The Black DogStreets In The Sky
Jeff PietroStill 2
UnltdPrécis
The Black DogHype Knot 7
The Black DogSteam Caliphate
The Black DogEden 353
GerdPalm Leaves (Serge & Tyrell Dub)
XXXYKerpow
Israel Vines/UNLTDReclaim
The Black Dog????????? (Car Crash Magic)
Israel Vines/UNLTDDivide
XXXYDown Wit U

KRUI DJ Set 2011-10-08

Sublime Porte, Istanbul
I put out a call for unreleased/promo/advance music to include in this radio show back in September. The response wasn’t overwhelming but I got a few nice tracks from friends and acquaintances, and a rare opportunity to pick and choose among the unreleased music of my friends from Pittsburgh – Shawn Rudiman and Pittsburgh Track Authority. They both are represented liberally in this mix. Also featured prominently is the output of the Sublime Porte label from Istanbul Turkey. Sublime Porte has a load of music that I didn’t do, and it’s free to download so fire up your Googler and check them out.

My obligitory left-field choices are ‘Virus’ from Björk, which is lovely, and Enya’s ‘Boadicea.’ The latter has been going through my head for weeks, after I was reminded of it by an oddball mixtape on Soundcloud. My own track “Anguish Riddim” isn’t particularly anguished musically but a several unpleasant changes were happening at the time I was working on it. We’re all OK, but you know, life has plenty of ugly surprises…

[audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/Chaircrusher-2011-10-08-DJMix.mp3|artists=Chaircrusher|titles=2011-10-08 KRUI DJ Mix]http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/Chaircrusher-2011-10-08-DJMix.mp3
Michael KuszynsikiMidnight Morning
RandomanWinter In Space(Sublime Port Redshift Remake)
EnyaBoadicea
Shawn RudimanIn Light – In Darkness
TM EyePollution
Pittsburgh Track AuthorityMoving 2 Hard
ZzzzraPetite Lassitude N°3
BjörkVirus
Pittsburgh Track AuthorityApril Boogie
HabtUnstationary
Pittsburgh Track AuthorityNite Owl Video
ZzzzraEnnui Profon (Optic Remix)
Pittsburgh Track AuthorityMonongahela Rainforest
Voigt & VoigtSynthesize
Shawn RudimanGhola Idaho
Mr. BizzSpace 1999
ScubaEverywhere
ChaircrusherAnguish Riddim
Oblivion GardenWindmill Projections
Sublime PorteRed Apple (Subsky Remix)
Pittsburgh Track AuthorityOmar’s Here
ScubaNever
Shawn RudimanWhere does time go?
Weston PrinceAluna
Axial CrewSplatterfunk (w1b0 r3m1x)
RegisBlinding Horses
Claude Young & Takasi NakajimaRapture
PoleWipfel

Fun with Max For Live LFOs

[audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/Chaircrusher-2011-08-14-BeatRepeatLFO.mp3|titles=Beat Repeat/LFO Experiment|artist=Chaircrusher]http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/Chaircrusher-2011-08-14-BeatRepeatLFO.mp3

It’s hard not to be an electronic musician without developing a fascination with random/stochastic processes as a compositional tool. Particularly because when you pay attention to e.g. a Max Roach Drum Solo he seems to be balancing random choices with intentional ones. While Roach knows what he wants in broad outlines, part of what makes his playing great is that he has learned to simply allow his muscle memory and hind brain take over and introduce surprises. By letting go of a score and conscious control he’s participating in randomness shaped by his will.

Max spent a lifetime developing the skills as a musician to allow this sort of freedom in his playing. This demonstration clip is what happens when you set up many random Max For Live LFOs to modulate many, many different things. At the core, LFOs are modulating the Repeat and Grid parameters of a Beat Repeat effect. Then two more LFOS modulate the effect send levels, going to a reverb and delay. A third LFO is modulating the rate of the LFO modulating the Repeat parameters.

Then more LFOs modulate the regeneration level and ‘echo reverse’ parameters of the delay, and the size and predelay on the reverb.

One drum loop is the sole audio source for this. All this modulation introduces a currently fashionable sort of crackle where changing parameters introduces audio discontinuities.

Obtuse Strategies Deck

I’m sure most people know about Brian Eno’s Oblique Strategies — a deck of cards with gnomic suggestions to consult at random during creative work.

I propose my own, new deck, informed by my jaundiced world view, and in no small part, my own failings as a human being.

  1. Cultivate the disreputable
  2. Lie gratuitously
  3. Argue extravagantly over minutiae
  4. Blame the innocent
  5. Solve the wrong problem
  6. Construct the trivial sturdy, the crucial shoddy
  7. Give misleading directions
  8. Damn with faint praise
  9. Make a virtue of waste, a vice of thrift
  10. Play dumb
  11. Make incorrect change
  12. Celebrate incompetence
  13. Value syntax over meaning
  14. Imagine things to complain about
  15. Leave out the important part
  16. Flatter the deluded
  17. Argue with those who agree with you
  18. Subvert while appearing to cooperate
  19. Niggle, always
  20. Curse the virtuous
  21. Speak authoritatively when ignorant
  22. Say the opposite
  23. Laugh hardest at the unfunny
  24. Meet sincerity with sarcasm
  25. Hold grudges
  26. Complain operatically
  27. Suspect every kindness
  28. Swamp any straightforward motive with ulterior ones
  29. Purport falsely
  30. Implacably oppose the reasonable
  31. Deliver less than you promise
  32. Ridicule caution
  33. Value yourself negatively, others less
  34. No such thing as excessively literal
  35. Prevaricate, Obfuscate, Denigrate
  36. Puncture someone’s good mood
  37. Pursue empty ambitions relentlessly
  38. Exasperated sighs, sour grimaces
  39. Let people try to drag you with them
  40. Whenever possible, disappoint
  41. Deny the problem
  42. Smirk at people’s misfortune
  43. Boast without justification
  44. Give up early
  45. Assign everyone else sinister motives
  46. Squander the irreplaceable
  47. Disturb the tranquil
  48. Afflict the unfortunate
  49. Cut in line
  50. Waste everyone’s time
  51. Take no stand
  52. No pity, ever
  53. Profit from misfortune