“Day/Night” by |M|O|O|N|

|M|O|O|N| launched another EP last Friday, this one being titled “Day/Night”. It’s exciting to hear how each release progresses, and I’m eager to hear what else this Boston producer comes up with.

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Bonobo “Cirrus”


Bonobo is releasing their album “The North Borders” on
April 2nd. Their music video for the track “Cirrus” really
captivated me. Animated by Cyriak, the video
repurposes archival footage of the 1962 “American Thrift”. The
original public domain footage can be found on The Internet Archive–it
really does provide a wealth of material for aspiring artists to
work with! In “Cirrus”, the vintage footage builds to create
complex machines which surrealistically move to the music. Well
crafted!

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The Sound of Creation

philips-sound-of-creation

A while ago, Philips released an interactive music story called “The Sound of Creation”. This audio-visual project creates a very rich experience. The music for the website was produced in collaboration with chillmave musician Washed Out and director Gustav Johansson–the combination is stunning. Looped samples build and complement each other to create a very dreamy track, a sample of which can be heard on soundcloud. The website introduces each loop individually, and allows the user to interact with them, creating a custom composition each time.

So this is where it begins. The moment just before nothing becomes something.
Inspiration: It’s inside you, but it’s also outside you. Let it in.
The Idea: Find it. Grow it. The abstract takes shape.
Improvise: Make a detour. Make your own rules. Make it up as you go along.
Experiment: Let it go. When you explore the unknown, beautiful things can happen.
Improve: Move the finish line. Reach it. Move it again.
Test: It’s time for science to meet art. For the rational to meet the emotional.
Compete: Set yourself against the rest, but know that ultimately the battle is with yourself.
Perfect: From broad vision to fine details, this is quest for perfection.
Share: Yourself. Your ideas. Your creation.
And as one journey ends, a new one begins.

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Silverfake – Free Font

I’m delighted to have stumbled upon Silverfake, which is available for free download from HypeForType–with a commercial license too! I love a strong slab serif, and this one feels retro. Plus there are lots of alternates. Enjoy!



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Electronic Concentration – Vintage Game

I stumbled upon a website called the “Handheld Games Museum” and found an old game I used to play as a kid. Yes, this particular example was from before my time, but I was very fortunate that my parents held on to a handful of games from their youth. Feast your eyes on vintage packaging design!

Electronic Concentration

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3D Printed Records

Amanda Ghassaei has been experimenting with 3D printed records. The resolution is low in comparison to the quality of the original audio, but it’s exciting to think what can happen when printing capabilities progress! Because of the printing resolution, not as much audio can fit on a disc (note how quickly the stylus travels toward the center). Nonetheless, Ghassaei has printed a handful of demo discs with the following tracklist:

Nirvana “Smells Like Teen Spirit”
New Order “Blue Monday”
Pixies “Debaser”
Daft Punk “Around The World”
Radiohead “Everything In Its Right Place”
Joy Division “Disorder”
Aphex Twin “Windowlicker”

A whirring noise a strongly prevalent as the stylus makes contact with the groove. The grooves are actually constructed of a series of adjacent triangles, rather than a smooth wavy groove, which may be the cause of the whirring. The file size to make a printed record with a minute of audio is in excess of 200 megabytes (4+ million triangles). She had to develop a special logarithm to convert an audio signal to these shapes. How mind boggling!

Grooves of a printed record.

She does a lot of other audio technology-related projects. The arpeggiator she made is pretty nifty too.

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Onyx Ashanti’s Tron Beatjazz Controllers

How did I not find this artist years ago? Some of my music enthusiasts or interaction design friends might enjoy this. It’s really exciting to see this fellow hone a new craft of music making!

Onyx Ashanti is an innovator of a music genre he calls Beatjazz, which mixes jazz improvisation with sound design and live looping. He performs with two wireless controllers in each hand, as well as a mouthpiece, all of which communicate with radios connected to his computer. The hand-controllers are based on saxophone fingering and include pressure sensitive keys, joysticks, and accelerometers to affect different parameters and effects. The light color indicates which sound is being played.

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Choralstep: An Emerging Music Genre

As a fan of choral music, I often follow the endeavors of modern composers. Eric Whitacre is my personal favorite, and I like to follow a lot of his recent endeavors. After our high school choir instructor offered us a listening session of Whitacre’s work, I was instantly hooked. Since, I have familiarized myself with a considerable portion of his compositions, and have participated in his Virtual Choir annually. On his blog I stumbled upon a remix which another musician of Whitacre’s track Sleep. Alan Keary fused together choral music with a dubstep beat, hence creating what we might call choralstep.

A few months later Keary released another Whitacre choralstep remix of “Water Night”, possibly one of my favorite songs. Sometimes the music-snob in me fears when one alters the original music, but that transformation is phenomenal! It still captures the mystery of the original track, yet gives it an almost cinematic depth. The middle of the remix contains a heart-throbbing sense of adventure, yet feels slow-motion, almost like an action movie of some kind. The voices fade and return with more power, and string instruments played by Alan Keary add another level of drama. In the end, the chimes combined with strings create a heavy nostalgic feeling, which swirls together with this unexpected mix of mystery and memory. I don’t know if my description could possibly make any sense, but definitely check out the track! It’s available for free download too.

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“Through the Deep, Dark Valley” by The Oh Hellos

I downloaded this album from Bandcamp as soon as it released, which is available digitally at “name your own price”. After listening to it several times over the past month, I finally ordered the CD. To my delight it arrived just before Christmas! I might go as far as saying it’s one of my favorite albums for 2012, and I’m definitely looking forward to hearing what The Oh Hellos come up with in coming years.

The anthem-like vocals are incredibly catchy, especially on the opening track (and my personal favorite) “The Valley”. The duo of vocalists, Maggie and Tyler Heath, are siblings that originate from Texas. They blend very well, yet have nicely contrasting textures in their voices. Their lyrics are refreshing rather than mindless, and the overall album melds all the tracks together very well–it is a concept album after all, which is a new phrase I can add to my vocabulary. It’s nice having songs that all relate to each other because I feel I can better appreciate the effort that goes into the producing the entire album. I feel we lose that appreciation when we only focus on individual tracks from artists these days… guess that’s why I still prefer listening to CD’s over my MP3′s sometimes.

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Mystery Skulls EP

Mystery Skulls EP

The lastest EP released from Mystery Skulls is good album if you’re into electropop, or similar artists such as Daft Punk and Justice. I catch myself listening to this one at work a lot when I’m trying to keep the energy level alive!

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