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
Sepalcure Outside
Cherie Pyne Tender Steps
Sepalcure See Me Feel
P.Kirn Change Of Shift(ChrcrshrRMX)
P.Kirn Anaxagoras(ChrcrshrRMX)
Sepalcure Carrot Man
HXDB & 3rd Eye Transpacific(Resketch Remix)
Altered Natives Loved By Few
Martyn Viper
Martyn Distortions
Altered Natives Galactic
Altered Natives feat. ESP Shake That
Altered Natives My Game My Rules
Altered Natives Wasteman of Love
Altered Natives Can’t Trust Myself To Trust You
Martyn Horror Vacul
Guy Andrews Shades
Martyn Popgun
Altered Natives good evening ladies & gentlemen, we are eventide astral
Lazer Swords Sounds Sane
Lazer Swords Klock
Cooly G + Simbad Landscapes
Pinch+Shackleton Room Within A Room
Cooly G+Karizma It’s Serious
Seiji Face Up
Sepalcure Me
P.Kirn Train 69(ChrcrshrRMX)
Martyn Bauplan
P.Kirn Oscilloclast(ChrcrshrRMX)
Pinch+Shackleton Jellybones
Seiji Frustratin
Klaus Pim
VIVEK Diablo
Author feat. Ed Thomas Turn
Author feat. Ben Glass Green Blue
Biome DMT
Pinch+Shackleton Cracks 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 Paw Dos Otros
Ella Laurence aaaAH
Synox Back To The Islands (David Powers Remix)
BeanBake A Bicycle In Your Mind
Synox Conception
Synox Tamarindo
Quantazelle Polychromatic Tomatoes
Belmont And Clark Dark Compression
Escape Square Fingers
Lokua Hue
Mike Gonsior Reflections
Jon Monteverde Home
Polyfuse Blood On the Urinal
Drasla Moonlight Somnambula
Elock Art 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 Other Yr Love
David Talento + Kent Williams Memoriam Part 2 (Mike Crooker Krautrock Mix)
Radiohead The King Of Limbs (Altrice RMX)
Perkowitz Terraform
Codebase Tea Garden
Codebase Dark Lights
Chaircrusher+Rachel Kann My Mother Built Me Out Of Sticks
Recloose Electric Sunshine
Andy Vaz Detroit In Me
Codebase Transitions
Andy Vaz feat. Eva Soul Feelin’
Kerri Chandler So It Begins Again (DC10 Mix)
Cardopusher Then What
Rex Sepulveda I94 Detroit
LegoWelt Sark Island Acid
Rex Sepulveda I75 Detroit
Samo Soundboy Shuffle Code
George Fitzgerald Silhouette
Chaircrusher Baile Pedro Baile
Floorplan Baby Baby
Dom Blacklock (Donga & Blake Dub)
DJ Rum Mountains Pt 1
Cyrus The Calling
16 Bit Serum
Radiohead Give Up The Ghost (Brokenchord RMX)
Machine Drum Don’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 Deason NCW The 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 Deason Dubnium
Sean Deason Indium
NCW Panther
Sean Deason Palladium
The Black Dog Dark Wave Creeping
Jeff Pietro Still 1
Sean Deason Iron
The Black Dog Streets In The Sky
Jeff Pietro Still 2
Unltd Précis
The Black Dog Hype Knot 7
The Black Dog Steam Caliphate
The Black Dog Eden 353
Gerd Palm Leaves (Serge & Tyrell Dub)
XXXY Kerpow
Israel Vines/UNLTD Reclaim
The Black Dog ????????? (Car Crash Magic)
Israel Vines/UNLTD Divide
XXXY Down 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 Kuszynsiki Midnight Morning
Randoman Winter In Space(Sublime Port Redshift Remake)
Enya Boadicea
Shawn Rudiman In Light – In Darkness
TM Eye Pollution
Pittsburgh Track Authority Moving 2 Hard
Zzzzra Petite Lassitude N°3
Björk Virus
Pittsburgh Track Authority April Boogie
Habt Unstationary
Pittsburgh Track Authority Nite Owl Video
Zzzzra Ennui Profon (Optic Remix)
Pittsburgh Track Authority Monongahela Rainforest
Voigt & Voigt Synthesize
Shawn Rudiman Ghola Idaho
Mr. Bizz Space 1999
Scuba Everywhere
Chaircrusher Anguish Riddim
Oblivion Garden Windmill Projections
Sublime Porte Red Apple (Subsky Remix)
Pittsburgh Track Authority Omar’s Here
Scuba Never
Shawn Rudiman Where does time go?
Weston Prince Aluna
Axial Crew Splatterfunk (w1b0 r3m1x)
Regis Blinding Horses
Claude Young & Takasi Nakajima Rapture
Pole Wipfel

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.

Chaircrusher Live @ Blue Moose 08-04-2011

I played last night opening for Ex-Action Model, Binary Marketing Show, and Dream Thieves. I’d have to say that this may have been the strongest bill I’ve ever played on. Totally rad.

But anyway here’s my set.

[audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/2011-08-04-ChaircrusherLive.mp3|title=live @ the blue moose 2011-08-04|artists=chaircrusher]
http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/2011-08-04-ChaircrusherLive.mp3

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

2011-06-25 KRUI DJ Set: The Accidental Curator

I spend a lot of time at thrift stores, garage sales, and second hand stores looking for records. When I’ve collected enough interesting records together to fill a radio show, I lug the vinyl to the IMU for a radio show.

Someone who spends time on EBay and Discogs searching for records, who spends hours combing through YouTube going from one obscure house track to another in order to assemble their ultimate vinyl wishlist, end up with a certain sort of record collection. They’ve spent time boning up on music, read books on the subject, made and lost friends on the internet over records. They’re the true students of the art.

I’m more of a magpie — selecting records based on the relatively short list of producers and artists I’m already familiar with, and winging it based on extra-musical cues — the record label it’s on, the cover art, the song titles. I’m also happiest picking up records for a dollar or two. This mix is an assemblage of that sort of records.

And there’s some true gems that are in amongst all the copies of the “Victory At Sea” soundtrack album. How else would I have ever found out about Joy Ryder, or Claudia T? By the way I played Claudia T’s “Fatal Destination” at 33 when it should have been 45, and I think I like it better at the wrong speed.

And the incomparable Cissy Houston? Now, if people know who she is at all it is as the mother of R&B trainwreck Whitney Houston. But Cissy’s career went from gospel to backup singer to flirting with being a disco Diva. Her singing on “Think It Over” combines impeccable phrasing with deep soul.

Sometimes you can judge a book by it’s cover, after all — I do it all the time, and I’m pleasantly surprised more than I’m disappointed.

[audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/Chaircrusher-2011-06-25-KRUI-DJSet.mp3|titles=2011-06-25 KRUI DJ Set|artists=chaircrusher] http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/Chaircrusher-2011-06-25-KRUI-DJSet.mp3
Vangelis Spiral
Roy Ayers Ubiquity People And The World
Deodato Whistle Bump
Taana Gardner No Frills
Taana Gardner Work That Body
First Choice Doctor Love
Cissy Houston Think It Over
One Way Shine On Me
Bingo Boys Featuring Princessa How To Dance
Evelyn Champagne King Action
Magazine 60 Don Quixote
Madonna Shining Star
Joy Rider Tired Of Phony
Information Society Think (Bluebox 2600 Mix)
Leage Unlimited Orchestra Don’t You Want Me
Telex Lakelele
Chaba Zahouania Dini Maak
Arthur Russell All Boy All Girl
Antena Ingenious
Gil Scott Herron & Jamie XX NY Is Killing Me
The Final Solution Brotherman
Claudia T Fatal Destination
Kazumi Watanabe Yatokesa (Mobo #3)

KRUI DJ Set 6-18-2011

[audio:http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/Chaircrusher-KRUIDJSet-2011-06-18.mp3|titles=2011-06-18 Chaircrusher KRUI DJ Set|artists=Chaircrusher] http://www.cornwarning.com/chaircrusher/Chaircrusher-KRUIDJSet-2011-06-18.mp3

So this is a little different in that I wanted to focus on particular releases and artists. The stars of this show:


Kate Simko whose new album “Lights Out” raises her profile considerably in the dance music world.

Stewart Walker whose new digital label Son Of Cataclysm takes his techno experimentalism to new depths. The Sweetnighter track is an unreleased demo from his new guitar-based project collaboration with Reynold, aka Sam Rouanet, the label boss of Trenton Records

John Tejada whose new album comes out this week. John is a producer who has released a ton of music, always of the highest quality. I wonder when he sleeps.

Reggie Dokes is one of the 4th or 5th wave of Detroit dance music producers. Detroit is really a crucial center of house music’s renewal, with a long list of amazing musicians making crucial tracks. He’s not as well known as Omar S, or Moodyman, or Theo Parish, but he’s every bit their peer, and I expect him to become even more prominent.

Not a person, but a singular constellation of genre-bending music Hessle Audio just released 116 & Rising, a label retrospective that features 12 new exclusive tracks. It’s the only current label in the UK dance music world about which I’m an absolute completist.

Kate Simko Beneath
Reggie Dokes God Of House
Stewart Walker Slipped Off Fogwet Girders
Kate Simko Mind On You
Stewart Walker Lord Housefly
Kate Simko Mira Vos
Peter Kirn Anaxagoras
Stewart Walker Blässe
Chaircrusher Transit Of Jupiter
Kate Simko Bikini Atoll
Reggie Dokes Haiti
Dennis De Santis Five Minutes Today Forever(Stewart Walker RMX)
John Tejada Unstable Condition
Sweetnighter Sign Language Poetry
Sigha HF029 A1
Szare Action Five
SCB Future Unknown
Peverelist Sun Dance
Addison Groove 5 Minutes Of Funk
Bass Clef Rollercoasters of the Heart
Pangaea Runout
Chaircrusher Sojourner
Ramadanman Revenue(Untold RMX)
Addison Groove It’s Got Me
Xi The Ghost
Bass Cleff So Cruel
Blawan Potchla Ve
James Blake Give A Man A Rod (2nd Version)
D1 Subzero
Throwing Snow Un Vingt