There’s a frisbee golf course at the edge of the Iowa River on the Iowa City side that wanders into the woods at the water’s edge. This is a little shallow backwater. It was full of tadpoles.
Once more into the breach: stitching together something from various styles of music…
Radiohead — for those who bought King Of Limbs they sent out e-mails about a free download of 2 songs “Supercollider” & “The Butcher.” If you pay attention to the whinging class King Of Limbs sucked, but to them I suggest they go listen to Weezer or something. For those of us who love electronic music, Radiohead has been trying nothing less than to make art songs with one of the best live bands in the world, using all the tools of electronic music producers. It’s some 4th or 5th category, and if your’e not enjoying it, you’re not really listening.
Burial — talk about 4th or 5th Category, Burial is his own genre. Massively influential over the past couple years, his morose, introverted, wistfully vague assemblage of house music and audio detritus never fail to kill me. I play all 3 tracks of his new record.
Kode 9 & Space Ape — dropping a new album of (again with the categories) uncategorizable illness. I have a hard time with hip hop any more — it’s either coke-dealing fake-hard, po-faced backpack, or artistically bankrupt commersh. These guys are what I wish hip hop was again — moody storytelling with evil, deep beats.
Atropolis — Atropolis is a guy from Queens, which is perhaps the most racially and culturally diverse urban community on the planet, and he seems to jam it all in the blender and come up with badass pan-human party music. The tracks I chose mash up Soca with Kwaito, with some distorted MBira a la Konono #9. Sweetness.
Addison Groove — the next ‘next big thing’ — especially if you’re Planet Mu’s label-head/IDM legend Mike Paradinas is the Footwork/Juke sound coming out of Chicago. I’ve not yet jumped on the bandwagon with Juke music, but guys like Addison Groove take some of that Chicago flavor to mess up their UK-based post-whatever grooves. Addison Groove put out a couple of tracks I feature here that have some of that frenetic Chicago ghetto energy.
Area/Lightness — my friend Max from Chicago who is one of the people re-mutating Dub Techno, without sounding like the 923rd remake of Phylps Track II.
David Powers + Max Jacobson — David sent me a 4 track demo that is going to come out on a Mexican techno label sometime soon. He’s definitely into his own brand of deepness, or deep weirdness. Going from sampling Sheila E and Hall & Oates, to dropping in little atonal jazz keyboard squiggles over jacking beats … he’s probably the most traditionally musical house producer I know, in addition to being scary smart and emotionally unstable. He’s everything you could ask for in a 21st Century dance music producer.
|Antena||Camino Del Sol|
|Gatto Fritto||The Invisible College|
|David Powers + Max Jacobson||Sheila Don’t Love Me|
|Rick The Godson Wilhite||Blame It On The Boogie|
|David Powers + Max Jacobsen||Feel It|
|Lightness||Burning Mercury(Metal)||Burial||Street Halo|
|Julio Bashmore||Father Father|
|Jace Syntax||Jackin Around|
|Owiny Signome Band||Wires(Theo Parrish Remix)|
|Kode9 & The Space Ape||Love Is The Drug|
|Graceful Exit||Revolve Disco|
|Addison Groove||Make Em Bounce|
|Chaircrusher||Baile Pedro Baile|
|Atroplis Feat. Anbule||Som Sista|
|Addison Groove||This Is It|
|Terror Danjah||Zumpi Hunter RIP|
|Kode 9 & The Space Ape||Am I|
|Kode 9 & The Space Ape||Black Smoke|
|Kode 9 & The Space Ape||Promise|
This headline definitely rubbed me the wrong way. I’m all for small-‘s’ socialism where appropriate — health care, education, social security, appropriately modest defense — but I’m having a hard time imagining many people who would receive a University-wide e-mail who could credibly complain of being oppressed. Sure, there’s racism, sexism, and the erosions of personal freedoms in the US, but when I think of oppression, I think of having your home bulldozed, or being kept naked in a cell with a bag over your head and receiving daily beatings.
There’s hardly a more privileged group of people on the planet than the faculty, staff, and students of the University of Iowa. We worry more about cell phone reception & the price of Lattes than we do about actual oppression.
Will the U of I Socialists do anything useful to liberate the oppressed of the world? If they actually do something that in some small way comforts the afflicted or afflicts the comfortable, more power to ’em. But somehow I don’t imagine they can do much beyond holding weekly meetings.
Special Afternoon edition during the Mision Creek Festival. This was in the basement of Public Space one, standing at a cramped counter with crap monitors. I didn’t have a lot of new tracks to drop, so I let each one ride longer than I usually do in the mix, and I think they’re worth it — particularly the Rick Wilhite and Virgo Four joints. The other things I played might overlap a bit with previous mixes, but I hope this his its own flavor…
|Mount Kimbie||Before I Move Off||Radiohead||Separator|
|Rick Wilhite||City Bar Dancing (Basement Mix)|
|Gene Hunt & Ron Hardy||Indiana|
|Virgo Four||Sexual Behavior|
|Virgo Four||Let The Music Play|
|Shackleton||Deadman (The Bug Crackle Mix)|
|Instra:Mental & DBridge||Detuned Heart|
|Chaircrusher||Hallucinogens In The Nescafe|
|The Others||Vertigo 909|
|RadioHead||Morning Mr. Magpie|
|Roof Light||All Day Breakfast|
|Freeze LX/One SP/MC Youngsta||Unidentified|
|Ramadanman||Pitter||Truth + Dutty Ranks||Worlds Apart|
At some point they took away the robot air-freshener spritzers in the bathrooms on our floor. Some joker took matters into their own hands.
This particular bathroom is perennially grotty looking and smelly. Aside from the flourescent fixture, I doubt anything’s changed in it since the 1950s.
Assistant secretary of State P.J. Crowley resigned yesterday because he said of Bradley Manning’s mistreatment in military custody “is ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid”
Ron Schiller resigns in disgrace for saying “The Tea Party is fanatically involved in people’s personal lives and very fundamental Christian* — I wouldn’t even call it Christian. It’s this weird evangelical kind of move.” and that they aren’t “just Islamaphobic, but really xenophobic, I mean basically they are, they believe in sort of white, middle-America gun-toting. I mean, it’s scary. They’re seriously racist, racist people.”
In both cases, they were telling the truth. In both cases there was a scandal and they were forced to resign. Now I fully understand why that happened, but it vexes me that we live in world where lying, prevaricating, waffling and misdirecting are rewarded and telling the truth gets you punished.
It’s a world where James O’Keefe gets rewarded for being manifestly, comprehensive dishonest. I could fulminate about this all day but what’s the point? It’s not going to change anyone’s mind. Because the basic, fundamental principle of conservatism is this: Believe what we tell you, and never question our authority.
*I might quibble with Schiller about the ‘Christianity’ of Tea Party People. There might be some crossover between religious conservatives and the Tea Party, but there’s plenty of secular people involved. They’re united in their belief in a bunch of bullshit. Not just differences with Liberals over policy, but “slept through high school civics, never actually read the constitution” errors of fact. They get together and reinforce each other’s misguided bogosity.
I’ve put a new album up on Bandcamp: For Delia Derbyshire 2011-03-10
This EMS Putney came into my hands when I purchased it from Iowa City South East Junior High School in 1997. It is one of the unique artifacts of electronic music. The Putney & it’s close relative, the attache-case-housed Synthi, were workhorse synths at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, and was a favorite of musicians like Brian Eno, Pink Floyd, and other Space Rock bands of the 70s.
It’s sonic character derives in large part from the cheapness of the design and construction. Moog Synthesizers were laboratory grade audio equipment; the Putney is cheap and difficult to use in a traditional musical context. And yet it was seductive. It’s limitations and imperfections enlarged musican’s ideas of what sounds could be musical.
Delia Derbyshire was one of the pioneers of electronic music during and after her tenure at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. She was both a gifted composer and an audacious and precise engineer. Since seeing her in documentaries, and hearing her music I’m both awed by her and have a synth-geek’s crush on her. She was on my mind as I recorded these pieces, and I dedicate them to her memory.
The 5 parts of this piece were recorded in one evening, with no editing or overdubbing. The Putney was plugged into the Stereo Memory Man pedal, and the pedal was plugged into my computer.
The only post processing applied was normalization. These recordings are as close to the original, raw sound of the instrument as I could make them.
I’ll let go of my obsession with Anika soon, really. But among the interesting covers on her debut record was of “Sadness Hides The Sun,” which was originally recorded by someone called Greta Ann.
As a child of the 60’s I’m always looking for the awesome stuff I missed out on when I was, y’know, eight years old. And listening to the song on Youtube you realize why Anika covered it, it’s a brilliant song. But who was Greta Ann, and where did she go?
There’s precious little to discover on the Internet. The song is featured on a couple of compilations, including Merseybeat -The Story Of The 60s Liverpool Sound, and the awfully named Dream Babes 5: Folk Rock & Faithfull. The song was written about in the June 1965 New Music Express. But aside from the Youtube video, there’s nothing of substance about her. It seems crazy to me that someone could pop up, make one record, especially one that memorable, and disappear.
A little different than the last few sets I’ve done, as I brought the computer; I just didn’t have enough fresh vinyl for a show. It’s a combination of things that have been on mind, some for months, some as recent as this week. The Darkstar album North has been haunting me since it came out last year. Incredibly moody, emotional music.
Of course, for some of us, Radiohead’s new album King Of Limbs has been a recent obsession. It’s without hit singles, per se, but it does have something of what the Darkstar album has — inventive sound design & production as a way to make emotional connections. The When Saints Go Machine song “Fail Forever” is a recommendation from my son Lucas, who is music director at the Earlham College Radio Station. I never was into Radiohead before Lucas fell hard for them when he was 11; I got him to listen to Arthur Russell, so he knew I’d like anything that had some of that AR magic to it. I’m not sure When Saints Go Machine are Arthur Russell heads, but “Fail Forever” is haunted by him.
And then there’s Anika, who I was turned onto by Peter Kirn’s interview with her. The eponymous Anika is produced by Portishead’s Geoff Barrow, and has the sort of dark, noisy, rough production values that make the Jamaican work by Lee Perry and Clement Dodd so compelling. Two of the songs I played appealed to the hippy pacifist in me, Dylan’s “Masters of War” and Greta Ann’s “Sadness Hides The Sun.” Odd, but not that odd, that 60s era protest folks songs are so relevant still. Same assholes killing brown people then as now.
And there are 3 of my tracks, for better or worse. The Pete tracks are meant to get some additional instrumentation added when I can get Pete Balestrieri captured to put down some saxaphone, but I kind of like Music Minus One sounding stuff. Then there’s my shoutout to Muammar Gadaffi, “Hallucinogens in the Nescafe” which I wrote about earlier. He really is an epically evil motherfucker, and sometimes I think he says the hilarious things he does to soften the blow of his unrelenting, remorseless cruelty. He’s not Charlie Sheen, and of course, Charlie Sheen is another real-time tragedy whose humorous aspects can’t be denied.
But I couldn’t resist last night during my show when I tweeted “Thom Yorke doesn’t have tiger blood, innit? Tabby blood maybe.”
On a technical note, this mix is a cleaned up in a few places from the on-air performance — I was warping tracks in a mad rush yesterday and a couple of things were fucked up, resulting in dead air, tracks falling out of time, and one track getting played twice as fast as it ought to have been. There was one hilarious moment when somehow the tempo was following mouse movements when I wasn’t initially aware, so one track swung up and down between 120 and 200 bpm for a few seconds. But I photoshopped that out.
|Just A Band||Extra|
|Dirtbombs||Shari Vari (Omar S Remxi)|
|West Norwood Cassette Library||Blonde On Blonde (Pearson Sound Remix)|
|When Saints Go Machine||Fail Forever|
|Rooflight||Birds Outside The Window|
|Chaircrusher||Hallucinogens In The Nescafe|
|Darkstar||Aidys Girl Is A Computer|
|RoofLight||All Day Breakfast|
|Freeze & LX One||Foreseen|
|Anika||Sadness Hides The Sun|
|Radiohead||Morning Mr. Magpie|
|Anika||Masters Of War|
|Instra:Mental + DBridge||From The Start|
|Instra:Mental + DBridge||Detuned Heart|
|Derek Piotr||Cleopatra (Chaircrusher Remix)|
In the Herzog film Strozek Bruno S shows a small sculpture of twisted wire and says “this is a schematic model of how it looks inside Bruno. They’re closing all the doors on him.”
So this track goes out to my boy Muammar Gaddafi; it’s a schematic diagram of how it looks inside Muammar. Thug Life 4Ever, Brotherly Leader and Guide of the First of September Great Revolution of the Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya!
For those who give a shit about such things:
Drums: Battery3 with tweaked percussion presets.
Funny noises: 2 instances of Reaktor.
High synth: Jupiter6
Effects: Audiodamage Dubstation delay, Audiodamage Eos reverb, UAD EMT140 Reverb (on filtered snares), a Reaktor BBD delay simulator, UAD LA2 Compressor on some tracks, Audiodamage RoughRider Compressor on others. UAD Pultec EQ on some percussion sounds.
Sequenced in Live, several passes of live recording of effects tweaks. This was actually a track that came together when I was actually focusing on something else — i.e. it was a scratch track to test something.
This set was driven by a trip to Dave’s Records in Chicago, where I crouched on the floor going through the used $1 Dance Records. I also did what I usually do, which is look through a section of floor to ceiling shelves of records in my office I haven’t visited lately.
|ARTIST||TITLE – DISCOGS.COM LINK|
|Clandestine Featuring Ned Sublette||Radio Rhythm (S-I-G-N-A-L S-M-A-R-T) (Extra Cheese Mix)|
|Judy Cheeks||Mellow Love|
|Isley Brothers||I Wanna Be With You (Parts 1 & 2)|
|Skyy||Let Love Shine (Instrumental)|
|Dinosaur L||Go Bang (Walter Gibbons Mix)|
|McFadden & Whitehead||Ain’t No Stopping Us Now|
|Sax||Give Yourself To Me (deep house mix)|
|Royal House||Yeah Buddy|
|Dan Curtin||Journey’s In Motion|
|2 In A Room||Take Me Away|
|Debby Harry||Feel The Spin|
|Ten City||That’s The Way Love Is|
|Roy Davis Jr.||About Love (Jon Marsh “All About” Vocal Mix)|
|Africanism||Call It Jungle Jazz|
|John Beltran||Your Colors (Yoruba Soul Mix)|
|Roy Ayers/Kerri Chandler||Good Vibrations (Kerri’s Mad Mix)|
|Michael Jackson||Do You Remember The Time (Silky Soul Mix)|
Please go Here for latest build!
Paul added a new library dependency, which I hacked into my build recipe here: http://www.cornwarning.com/xfer/PaulStretchBuild-2.1.tar.gz I have a completely UNTESTED binary for people to try here. It should work, but I can’t test it right now. http://www.cornwarning.com/xfer/PaulStretch2.1-OSX-10.6.tar.gz If you’re not a command line jockey, just downloading and clicking on it will create paulstretch.app where ever you dropped the downloaded file. If you know about command line stuff:
This is built on OS X 10.6, 32bit. No idea what OS X versions will run it.
The world of open source software development doesn’t sit still. A program that I rely on to build PaulStretch on OSX is CMake, which is an open source, cross-platform program that hides some of the complexity of building software on different platforms.
If you’ve built any software on OS X or Linux you’re probably familiar with the “./configure ; make ; make install” method of working with source packages. CMake does that but it goes out of its way to handle the low level crap that is a pain in the ass to set up program configuration with autoconf. On top of that, it will run on any Unix, OS X or Windows. And on top of THAT, it will generate Makefiles, or project files for any of the commonly used integrated development programs like Visual Studio (on PC) and XCode (on Mac).
CMake really is as close as you can get to ‘write once, run anywhere’ in the world of C and C++. Not that there won’t be platform-specific stuff you’ll have to do, but it’s a lot easier and more concise in CMake.
Anyway, as of CMake 2.8, there is a powerful new CMake Module called ExternalProject. It automates downloading, configuring and building open source packages. I’ve used ExternalProject heavily in my day job, so it seemed natural to use it to streamline building PaulStretch. The result is maybe just as complex as the original build setup, but it is a lot more robust. Reading through the CMakeLists.txt files I’ve set up will be a good introduction to how things work in CMake — I’ve done a bunch of things in there you’ll want to know how to do for your own projects — use ExternalProject_add to download and build libraries, do some platform-specific configuration, create an executable, etc.
You can download the new PaulStretch Build package here: http://www.cornwarning.com/xfer/PaulStretchBuild-2.1.tar.gz
The instructions are pretty straightforward:
0. Make sure you have the compilers and development libraries installed on your system.
1. Download the Tar file
2. unpack the tar file, somewhere you have write permission.
3. Run PaulStretch/BuildPaulStretch.sh
On OS X, this will create a paulstretch.app, that you can drag and drop wherever you want. On Linux, the executable will be in bin/paulstretch — it’s statically linked so it will run without needing anything besides the program file on your system. Or, for that matter, any other compatible Linux distribution.
The result is an executable program in whatever directory you’ve run this process in. The following commands would accomplish this whole process in a directory called ‘PaulStretch’ in your home directory.
mkdir -p ~/PaulStretch
curl http://www.cornwarning.com/xfer/PaulStretchBuild.tar.gz | tar xzf –
After running these commands, on OS X your PaulStretch program will be ~/PaulStretch/paulstretch.app. On Linux, it will be ~/PaulStretch/bin/paulstretch.
As an added bonus, I took the time to try building on a couple of different Linux systems, to verify it works there.
Once again, what will trip up the non-software-developer types in this whole process is step 0: making sure the dev tools are available on your system. That’s something I’m not going to explain here. Google it. You’ll need GCC installed, all the development libraries, and on Linux the development libraries for libasound — the ALSA sound library.
If you happen to be a Windows developer, you could take a crack at building using Visual Studio or MinGW. The CMake build files are theoretically portable, but you’ll have to download CMake for Windows (here: http://www.cmake.org/files/v2.8/cmake-2.8.3-win32-x86.exe)I haven’t done this, because I avoid doing development work on my Windows machines at home. If I’m at home, and farting around on the computer, I want to be able to just use music software, not build it. Plus you can download the Windows version of PaulStretch here: http://sourceforge.net/projects/hypermammut/.
Let me re-iterate again — I don’t want to be tech support for this — if you can’t figure out from this post how to use what I’ve put together, you probably shouldn’t even be trying to build it yourself. Ask your kid nephew who’s a big H4X0R to do it for you.
I like the tracks, but I like her command of Yardie patois as well:
New year… its here again 2 rassclart…kmt bout New Year! Nuttin nuh fuckin New… old debts, old bills, old job, old partner, old mix up, old car, old house, old settee, old frens dat owe u money frm last year, old new year resolutions yuh nuh keep, old fuckry wid di youts pon road, same old tired gyal dem, same old wutless bwoy dem, same old nah wash dread dem weh fraid a water like fire, same old tired weed weh lace wid crack, same old miserable old people, same old excuses from di stinkin baby fada dem weh smell like shit n nah look bout dem pickney, same old attitude from di sour cratches gyal dem, same old tear up draws, same old fem fresh dem nah use,..same old same old. What’s required is a New Vision, New drive, New purpose or a new fuckin planet fi good people like me & u…and this can come at anytime of the raass year!!… Yuh zeeeeeet… :)
A new product at my Supermarket is called “Move Over Butter.” I thought this was so hilarious I bought some. OK on toast but not as good a butter replacement for cooking as Smart Balance.
In researching a post about this topic, I found that there’s actually a definitive post on SeriousEats about stuff people buy when they think they shouldn’t buy butter.
And apparently “Move Over Butter” is a resurrected brand name, because there’s early 90s commercials for it that are just awesome:
And here is the classic riff on “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter”
Not my favorite track on the Just A Band 82 album, but this music video does rule. Apparently it was one of East Africa’s first Viral video complete with its own #Makmende Twitter tag. Makwende is apparently the Kenyan Chuck Norris, which the world needs now!