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Archive for April, 2009

KEXP’s “Music That Matters” : Alex Ruder

Posted by Jakub

KEXP
If I had a car or satellite radio i’d probably follow the radio a little more but I don’t have either really, I do try though to catch Alex Ruder on KEXP whenever I can because of his diverse taste on one of radio’s best commercial-free KEXP(Seattle). Its kind of nice to get thru 30 brand new songs within less than 70 mins and a get a little info along the way, definitely worth checking out.

TRACKLIST – KEXP DJ Alex Ruder“Your Style Won’t Survive You”
BalmorheaSettler
KoushikWelcome
Flying LotusCamel (Nosaj Thing Remix)

OsborneHydragilm Exit

DestrumentsThe Get Down

CalmerPast Is Present
KilnMarigold Bunker

New VillagerRich Doors
Ariel Pink’s Haunted GraffitiCan’t Hear My Eyes
TussleElephants Meandering (Sal Principato and Dennis Young Remix)

Roots ManuvaLet the Spirit (Hot Chip Remix)

Zion IDJ DJ

Buraka Som SistemaD…D…D…D…Jay

Home VideoI Can Make You Feel It

KiD CuDiDay ‘n’ Nite (Jori Hulkkonen Remix)

Grampall JookaboxLet’s Go Mad Together
The Bran FlakesWhat It’s All About

Charles TreesMemories
CYNEFall Through Atlantis
AetherAnywhere
Hudson MohawkeStar Crackout
HauschkaFreibad

Dyme DefFresh In My Kicks

Circle ResearchThis Is A Recording

Black MilkGive the Drummer Sum
Eliot LippSentinel
Benoit PioulardRagged Tint

Marie SiouxxLove Song

DaedelusC’Est Super

SurkinChrome Knight (f. Chromeo)

LemonadeBig Weekend (Delorean Remix)

DOWNLOAD HERE

KEXP – “Your Style Won’t Survive You” By Alex Ruder

Vitsoe Shelving

Posted by Scott

vitsoe-shelves-office
vitsoe-shelves-display-planes
vitsoe-shelves-home-office-old-computer
vitsoe-shelves-living-room
vitsoe-shelves-study-albuquerque
Since we’re on the subject of Dieter Rams this week, I thought I’d post on his Vitsoe Shelving series. You may remeber the name Vitsoe from the Name That Chair post a while back, but it’s not enough just to have a Rams chair, you must also surround it with his amazing shelves. The Vitsoe site features a nice gallery of the shelves in their natural habitat, and you’ll also catch a few 620 chairs in there.

If course, a setup like those in the gallery will no doubt cost you an arm and a leg, but it’s nice to look. It’s always funny, whenever I somehow randomly find myself in some rich guy house, they never have anything as cool as this. It’s either gaudy old classical gold leaf stuff dripping with ornament or garish nouveau riche style with white carpets and bad marble floors. Apparently you have to be broke or German to appreciate this stuff.

Khoi Vinh / Design Criticism

Posted by Alex

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Khoi Vinh just posted an incredible piece about design criticism for his Subtraction blog entitled “Dear Designers, You Suck”. He calls for a new kind of design criticism, one that separates the designer from their work and attempts to imbue the field with more objective and honest criticism.

…are we really having the kinds of meaningful, constructive, critical discourses that we really should be having? Are we too quick to take offense at the opinions of our peers? Or are we pulling our punches too much when discussing the merits of the work that our peers turn out? To put a finer point on it: are we being honest with one another?

The answer is definitely no, we are not being honest with one another. As a student, I am very familiar with the problem he describes. As our school is critique based, we see this avoidance of real, honest criticism every day. When something truly awful gets laid in front of us, we hedge around what we really think with all sorts of meaningless qualifiers: “Well, um, I think…for me anyway, and maybe it’s just the light but…the colors aren’t working.. but uh.. in the best way possible.” I know I for one have never felt comfortable saying what I really think, and this is the problem. There is no way to really grow if you don’t get the critique you need, and getting past the discomfort of critiquing honestly is what desperately needs to happen, as awkward as it might seem at first.

The harsher teachers at our school tend to get a bad reputation for being blunt–which in my mind translates to a good reputation. I’ve always seen the most improvement with my own work when the first thing the teacher says is “this is really bad, and here’s why.” I want the teacher that makes people cry. I want to hear “this is terrible” when the work actually is. The worst thing someone can do is say they like something just to be polite.

Khoi’s article is a breath of fresh air, and I truly hope his words will be put to practice. I like to imagine what class would be like if everyone truly spoke their mind; how exciting! How much more we would learn! Maybe it won’t happen tomorrow, but it can start with reading this article. Well done Khoi for calling attention to a such a pervasive problem!

Juan Maclean+Junior Boys+Terje+Yacoub

Posted by Jakub

The Juan MacLean
April 7th is a huge release date for electronic juggernauts The Juan MacLean and Junior Boys, both putting out Best Of like albums that you’ll probably see on many lists this year. This song Work is just perfection in my eyes of what i’d love to take in the studio, it has the dark drive and its sexy beyond belief. Those distant Tangerine Dream synths and rolling leads just grab me right from when they start. The Juan MacLean does jam out on his new album, full of pop length songs and the vox upfront, reminds me a little of how Adult. started out meets Human League.

Todd Terje makes America’s Horse With No Name a bit easier to play out for all the slow disco DJ’s out there, a lovely simple edit.

I found this Manoo remix of Yacoub on a mix by Culoe De Song, just a real nice groove, i’m sure when i’m older i’ll be listening to only this kind of music, all my friends and I will have ponytails, steel round framed eyeglasses and our world music vinyl collections will be sprawled across our living rooms, almost crushing the newly mined gold bird cages holding our rare cockatoos and sometimes even being bookended at times by 500+ euro authentic African rain sticks, while the house reeks of Nag Champa and the kiln is burning my latest failed attempt at a clay vase.

Junior Boys – Work

The Juan Maclean – The Station

America – Horse With No Shame (Todd Terje Edit)

Yacoub – Da Na Ma (Manoo Remix)

Calculators: Japan vs. Germany

Posted by Scott

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“Omron 86R & Braun 4 776 calculators. Interesting similarities and differences, especially layout, letter forms, color and shapes. The Braun’s 12.5mm total thickness versus the Omron’s 25mm is a clear sign of the 10 year age difference between the two designs.

Omron 86R & Braun 4 776 calculators. The Braun’s font is clearly Akzidenz Grotesk, but the closest I can find for the Omron’s font is Univers 53 Extended. Any better ideas? “

Dieter always wins out, but that Omron still has it’s own thing going.

Via faasdant

Praveen & Benoit + o9 + Mount Kimbie

Posted by Jakub

Praveen & Benoît - Songs Spun Simla Remixes
Praveen & Benoît’s Songs Spun Simla Remixes has a few lovely surprises with remixes from our favorite mix contributor Tom Croose doing a slow shuffle remix to names like Daedelus, Machinedrum, and David Last but one of my personal favorites is this Shigeto remix called The Tunnel is Still There (Shigeto’s Deep Tunnel Diving Remix). The Shigeto remix grabs a certain energy from the song and runs with it, below is video for the remix that HeadUp did using footage from Koyaanisqatsi and Powaqqatsi.

o9 released Church of the Ghetto PC in 2004 on Schematic who have gave us Phoenecia and Richard Devine. The song Terminal Silver has a hint of the ever classic Alberto Balsalm by Aphex Twin but its a bit more digital and bubbly.

I’ve been hearing about this Mount Kimbie duo for some time now, pretty nice stuff and its kind of hard to pin down their sound and style. Either way its really nice to listen to especially this song WIlliam which has these foggy PBS sounds to it but moves into a nice

Praveen & Benoît – The Tunnel is Still There (Shigeto’s Deep Tunnel Diving Remix)

o9 – Terminal Silver

Mount Kimbie – William

Praveen & Benoît – Chiaroscuro (Daedelus Remix)

Praveen & Benoît – The Tunnel is Still There (Shigeto’s Deep Tunnel Diving Remix) video


DRAFT – Shigeto – The Tunnel is Still There (Praveen Remix) from Alex Koplin on Vimeo.

The Architecture of Happiness

Posted by Alex

alain
I purchased The Architecture of Happiness by Alain de Botton because I loved the cover. I think it was the colors that first caught my eye. I was also intrigued by the shadow and the shape it created; how it almost touches the statue in the most perfect way. The eye follows the line it creates, and it helps reinforce the hierarchy of the page really effectively. For whatever reason, and as the title indicates the book may elucidate, the whole design makes me happy every time I look at it.

Why this design makes me happy, and to a greater extent, why architecture of a certain aesthetic caliber appeals to us, is largely what this book explores. It is a must read for designers of all disciplines as it pursues the question at the core of what we do: Why make things look beautiful (what does “beautiful” even mean?) and not just purely functional? One of my favorite parts of the book describes the principles of some nineteenth century engineers that felt like they had determined the end-all criteria for evaluating structural design:

The engineers had landed on an apparently impregnable method of evaluating the wisdom of a design: they felt confidently able to declare that a structure was correct and honest in so far as it performed its mechanical functions efficiently; and false and immoral in so far as it was burdened with non-supporting pillars, decorative statures, frescos or carvings. Exchanging discussions of beauty for considerations of function promised to move architecture away from a morass or perplexing, insoluble disputes about aesthetics towards an uncontentious pursuit of technological truth, ensuring that it might henceforth be as peculiar to argue about the appearance of a building as it would be to argue about the answer to a simple algebraic equation.

As the rest of the book unfolds, Botton examines, as eloquently as he does above, the alternative to what these engineers proposed. Why it is that we strive to make things beautiful, and what qualities beautiful work possesses. The parallels between his chosen arena of architecture, and other realms of design, are easily drawn, and make it very worthwhile for interested minds in every field. My favorite paragraph is on page 72, and does a nice job bringing together a lot of what he discusses in the book:

In essence, what works of design and architecture talk to us about is the kind of life that would most appropriately unfold within and around them. They tell us of certain moods that they seek to encourage and sustain in their inhabitants. While keeping us warm and helping us in mechanical ways, they simultaneously hold out an invitation for us to be specific sorts of people. They speak of visions of happiness. [Buy on Amazon]

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On an unrelated Note: Peter, of Buchanan-Smith, wrote in to clarify the attribution information of a previous post on designer Josef Reyes. The work presented was produced by the studio Buchanan-Smith, where Reyes works as a designer, and the post has been updated to credit the work to the Buchanan-Smith studio. Definitely make sure to check out their site, they have a lot of great work.