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All posts by Jakub Alexander

Jakub Alexander curates the music selections here at the blog. He also runs his Moodgadet record label out of Brooklyn, NY and does A&R for Ghostly International Records. Links: Moodgadget Records Jakub's Tumblr

Propellerheads unveils Music Making App

Posted by Jakub





Swedish software firm Propellerhead (the makers of Reason) put together not only a simple eye appealing music making app but one that has controls that will have you making music in just a few minutes.

The great part about this music app is the sounds aren’t wacky, thin or robotic, if you’re a Reason user like myself since v2.0 then this will make you smile from ear to ear especially at the $.99 price tag.

They have a thorough overview on their site and the solid video above for new fans. Definitely haven’t been this happy about a music app since Animoog.

“I think we as an industry haven’t been that great about inviting people in who don’t have deep dreams about becoming big stars or understanding everything about music production, it’s time for that: I think everyone should be invited to be part of this. Figure is a small step towards that.” – says chief executive Ernst Nathorst Böös.

– via Guardian UK

Propellerhead’s Figure now available on the iPhone

Cole Rise Interview / Playlist

Posted by Jakub


Name: Cole Rise.
Current City: San Francisco, CA
Website: coleri.se
Instagram: @colerise
Pets: A piano named Eleanor. I feed her and she makes music.
Dream vehicle: Piper Super Cub with Tundra tires (it’s a bush plane)

ISO50: Tell me about your first memory?

Cole: The first thing I remember is an insect in my bed. Maybe it was a millipede? It’s not like the house was gross or anything… we were in a wooded area so i think it was just lost. We moved out of that house when i turned 2, so I must have been about one and half years old, as crazy early as that sounds. I remember waking up and being rather startled by it, but not having the words to express it. I wasn’t the most verbose one and a half year old. I probably just stared, wide-eyed. I vaguely remember mom coming in a few minutes later, but by then it had crawled out of sight. I hope it found it’s way.

ISO50: I see that you’re a pilot, do you ever let go of the wheel and get a photo off like some of the instagram car drivers I see sometimes on the road?

Cole: Oh sure… but within reason. It’s not as dangerous as you might think. When you’re learning to fly, they teach you to scan your horizon every few minutes, so you’re always aware of where you are, who and what’s around, and what’s ahead. Plus most planes have auto-pilot, which is basically 3-dimensional cruise control. With little air traffic, it’s reasonably safe to snap a photo or two. On the other hand, I recently tried it while hang gliding and almost dropped the phone from 800 feet. I’d say that was more dangerous.

ISO50: Can you list off a 4 song playlist of what you listen to while you’re tinkering with a photo?

Cole: In no particular order, i give you…

“Aegina Airlines” by The Dead Texan
“Indian Summer” by Jónsi & Alex
“Don’t Worry” by Zoe Keating
“Foreground” by Grizzly Bear (Note: this song works in all regions of a photo.)

Tycho, of course, goes without saying.

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ISO50: If there could be a new filter added on instagram describe it the best you can:

Cole: If you combine Inkwell (the current b&w filter) with say, the soft tones of Sierra, it produces some lovely results. I think there may be something to that.

ISO50: Do you find there being pressure of getting a certain kind of shot to post on instagram? Do you ever hesitate to post?

Cole: Sure i’d say there’s an incentive to keep it interesting and meaningful, so you tend to become more selective with what you post. I definitely feel some pressure to keep traveling, to keep it consistent with the landscapes that i usually post. Twist my arm. As for hesitation, once in a while i’ll think twice about posting some the crazy experimental stuff. I have fun trying to push the medium in new & weird ways, and then sharing the process so everyone take part and push it further. Take for instance, shooting through a sweater stretched over the lens. Sometimes you have to look at the photo, turn your head to one side and ask yourself “… really?” So, you share what works, and you bury the rest. Like an iceberg, most people only see the little bit that’s above water.

ISO50: I’m moving to SF next week, can you list your favorite bar, venue, restaurant, and a place to relax at?

Cole: On a Thursday night when it’s not too crowded, grab a couple of friends for drinks in an old pirate ship themed bar called Smuggler’s Cove in Hayes Valley. There’s even a flaming skull drink! Nuff said. Then, when you’re good and toasty, mozy on down the block to Absinthe for one of the best burgers in the city. While you’re there, have them bring over the St. George absinthe, the only variety any sane person should bother to try. You’ll be feeling pretty good at this point, and maybe a bit full, but i promise you won’t care. When it’s time, sign your check and stroll a few blocks further to the more relaxed appeal of Hotel Biron, for a glass of wine you’ll in the short term love & then soon regret as you wait for your Uber cab before crawling into bed.

ISO50: What do you think about the popular page on instagram? What would you change about it to make it something you’d visit more frequent?

Cole: It’s very honest and very human. Algorithmically, it’s doing some really smart things to bring you photos that are getting a lot of attention. Attention, however doesn’t guarantee that every photo will be amazing, so that’s where i think the honesty comes in. Right now, the popular page is a perfect snapshot of what’s on people’s minds at a given point in time. It’s Freud meets Ansel Adams, with some teenage angst and a few cute puppies thrown in. I love it for what it is, but as with anything, it’ll evolve. Down the line I would love to see it become more curated, or influenced by more tastemakers on Instagram. Imagine giving more weight to a photo if it’s liked by other influential users who have had a few of their own photos featured on the popular page. An “artists supporting upcoming artists” metric.

ISO50: If you weren’t working on photography or being a pilot what would you be doing for a living?

Cole: Well, I have a web company called Particle that pays the bills, but that aside, i’d probably sell tripods or hang gliders online and travel. Build a water well for a community that needs it. Maybe grow some rice.

ISO50: What are your feelings on Facebook buying Instagram? Any updates that what would make you sad to see added?

Cole: I think from the beginning it was obvious that the app was going to be huge. Even before they launched, the hundred or so beta testers were using the app all day everyday. It was exactly what was missing, and i’m damn thrilled to see it make its mark in history. Their team and inner culture is incredible, so i have faith in the people and the smarts they bring behind scenes. I can’t really imagine them adding a feature that wasn’t great or without the user in mind. I’m actually looking forward to the much needed updates to Facebook that Instagram will bring.

Instagram Photo Favorites: 13th Edition

Posted by Jakub


5a5a5a – The colors of this feed are perfect when it comes to bright colors, never too simple and never overwhelming, such good balance.


debbs – With all the minimal architecture shots going on, I often find myself looking for photographers that photograph people well but not in a personal way, debbs does a great job of capturing people without relying on their style to make it a popular shot.


_willett_willett has under a 100 photos under his belt, his hazy work is my favorite.

CertainCreatures+Streets+D’eon+KingFelix

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Certain Creatures is an Ex-Warm Ghost member, the direction with the new project seems to be more hypnotic and if you listen to the blog you know I love hypnotic, reminds me a lot of Cloudland Canyon.

I’ve spent a little more time recently re-enjoying listening to the early Streets records again. Then this gem popped up, youngin’ King Krule does a solid rework that keeps the feeling of what I think people love about the emotional Streets tracks.

This is the only D’eon song I have and for the style of music he makes I can’t imagine it getting better than this. Is it wrong to just keep this as the only D’eon song I own ever and think of him as this talented distant cousin of Dam Funk that only released one song?

Laurel Halo coming in with a new alias that continues the quality where Hour Logic left off, waiting on that album.

Sabrina Ratte: Plink Flojd

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Fascinating new video work by one of my favorite video artists Sabrina Ratté, this is from an ongoing project called Plink Flojd which is a super audio/visual collective started by David Quiles Guillo. When I saw Sabrina do visuals for Le Révélateur it was incredible how the visual identity was perfect for the music, soo many “VJ’s” get it wrong or end up trailing off and making no sense with the music and this was one of best accompaniments i’ve ever seen.

Sabrina Ratté lives and works in Montreal. Her video work mixes digital and analog techniques and often deals with the diverse manifestations of light. She is also interested by the relationship between electronic music and the electronic image, and she often collaborates with musicians in different contexts. She has an ongoing collaboration with composer Roger Tellier-Craig, with whom she also performs live video projections. Her work has been shown in different galeries and festivals internationally, and her recent videos with Le Révélateur have been released on DVD by the San Francisco Label Root Strata.

And here’s a video from last year for Boxcutter’s track TV Troubles.

Instagram Photo Favorites: 12th Edition

Posted by Jakub


videotap3B3PO turned me onto videotap3, what a fantastic feed of foggy woods and natural mirrors.


otije – What I enjoy about otije is that his/her’s minimal approach never feels empty


bunnymama – Okay i’m going to put out a personal favorite, if you know me in real life you know I love rabbits, there’s plenty of cat and dog focused instagrams but this bunny one makes me soo happy, I mean look at that damn thing and if you don’t like it then Happy Easter.

Teen Daze+Au Palais+Forma+Lotus Plaza

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One of the nicest/friendliest musicians i’ve ever met in my life has to be Teen Daze, his happiness just rubs off on you, you could be at a trendy bar just acting cool ya know maybe leaning against a wall in a dark corner trying to watch a band play and you end up talking to Teen Daze and 5 minutes later you’re skipping along like a Gummi Bear to the bar getting yourself a Dr. Pepper. The music is great and all and you know that but I just wanted you to know if you ever see the guy he’ll be soo kind to you.

I’ve probably looped this song by Au Palais 20+ times in the past 72 hours, it was suggested to me by Rami who co-runs Pop Gun Booking(they book the Glassland shows in Brooklyn). This song in particular stays with me, its rides that catchy end of when M83 writes something slower and foggy while also channeling a more melodic Zola Jesus.


Sometimes I don’t want the Forma song i’m listening to to end so i’ve found a solution, download and listen to this 24+ minute live radio session, its completely satisfied that craving.

I’m a fan of Deerhunter and an even bigger fan of Atlas Sound so automatically i’ll listen to their bandmate Lotus Plaza(again). What i’m realizing after listening to the new album is that these guys are the best bet for a noisy rock band to get in the pop world. I mean ambient aware/wall of sound controlling noise which I think might be the most beautiful sound and thinking about it actually getting to a mom’s sirius radio and her liking it bends my mind but not too much, but if anyone is going to do it it’s going to be these guys.