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Archive for June, 2009

Indexhibit

Posted by Alex

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Indexhibit is the brainchild of Daniel Eatock and Jeffery Vaska. It was started in 2006 and has since become a very popular tool for artists looking to establish their online presence. Creating an online portfolio for yourself can be extremely difficult, and Indexhibit ameliorates that process by simplifying the format side of the equation. (Both of the creators webpages are good examples.) In their words:

[Indexhibit] is a web application used to build and maintain an archetypal, invisible website format that combines text, image, movie and sound…Content flows to the edge of the browser, images can be displayed as thumbnails that can be enlarged etc., this is a break from traditional fixed layout design associated with print, and a move towards an interactive experience where the user creates their own viewing experience. (link)

What is the general consensus on Indexibit sites? I’m curious to hear how people feel about the frame format from a user perspective. Is this type of layout standardization a good thing? Personally I like landing on sites created with the Indexhibit format because the work is given center stage; navigation is clear and there is nothing about the layout or format to distract from the portfolio. Obviously it’s not right for every designer, and you lose an opportunity to develop a badass format of your own, but it’s nice to have some level of clarity at work. I am tempted to implement it for my own online portfolio, if only for the simplicity, though I’m worried people might land and say “Ah, one of those sites,” and have it be distracting in a ‘played out’ kind of way. Maybe that concern is unfounded, but I’d like to hear what people think. Also, if anyone has experience installing and working with the platform I’d be interested to hear your feedback about the process.

Yo La Tengo+Clue To Kalo+Subway+Doom

Posted by Jakub

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To get the full effect of a lot of the music posted here I usually would suggest headphones because I want you to sometimes hear all the little changes and parts in a song kind of like this Yo La Tengo song and some of the ambient pieces. I remember listening to the Summer Sun album on vinyl years ago and worrying that I was going to ruin my copy because I playing it too much. The beginning sounds like a little satellite calling out for attention and then slowly it picks up and becomes a song that almost forces you to smile because it doesn’t scream for attention but so attractive. It just sounds like its gently just having fun in the corner and you’re invited to hang out with it. When I hear this song I always picture someone crying and then stopping and then trying to hold back a smile, good work Yo La Tengo.

I can’t say I like a lot of Clue To Kalo but this song Empty Save the Oxygen reminds me of Lemon Jelly meets early Dntel, a perfect way to change pace on a mixtape for a close friend.

Soul Jazz Records Ltd doesn’t mess around and if they experiment and sign something off the beat and path of electronic music i’m willing to follow it for a while and give it a chance. This is the first i’ve ever heard of Subway, the songs give off this vibe that detailed things are growing and building around you, its perfect music for suspenseful Nouveau Circus or fans of Tangerine Dream songs that get to the point or DFA’s Delia Gonzalez and Gavin Russom.

Have you heard Shadows of Tomorrow and tried not to nod your head? its impossible and thats a fact.

Yo La Tengo – Little Eyes

Clue To Kalo – Empty Save the Oxygen

Subway – Delta II

Madlib – Shadows of Tomorrow

El Al Playing Cards

Posted by Scott

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Ministry of Type has a great post on these beautiful El Al Playing Cards. The cards — illustrated by Jean David — came in this cardboard sleeve. The MOT article is quite in depth and includes all sorts of extra credit info: Link

These are definitely the best looking playing cards I’ve ever seen, someone needs to reproduce these and offer them for sale. I keep seeing all these nice examples of design and thinking how sad it is that most of us will never actually get to see any of them in person. Apparently MOT scored his own deck the old fashioned way, via eBay, but that’s so 2002. Somebody needs to form a non-profit pirate design company that’s sole purpose is to reproduce and freely distribute design artifacts. I’ll take a few copies of all of these.

Synth Pioneers Pt. 2: Detroit

Posted by Sam

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With GM in the news, I was thinking about Detroit tonight. Detroit was the city I grew up closest to. My father grew up here and his dad worked on the Mercury Zephyr line.

Growing up near the city, the musical influence was huge. On any given weekend in the mid-to-late nineties, late night radio would mix up everything from the classic Art Of Noise song “Moments In Love” to local ghetto tech beats and new drum and bass coming out of the UK.

Much has been made about the city and why it’s music sounds the way it does. The desolate beauty, the mechanized auto factories and even the isolated water-ensconced nature of the state. All if it is true.

Here are four tracks that give me that Detroit feeling. These not the more discussed and celebrated classics, but more personal favorites.

Psyche – From Beyond (Transmat)

Carl Craig is a real legend and continues to impress. This song, under the Psyche alias is perhaps one of my favorite tracks ever. It has a crazy spell to it. It’s not quite techno and it pre-dates the breaks and jungle genres. It’s on it’s own planet. Pure late night driving music to roam the vacant freeways.

Cybotron – Cosmic Raindance (Fantasy)

Note: Please play on a proper stereo or headphones as the bassline is what holds this all together.  Juan Atkins (“The Originator”) is arguably the greatest groove maker of the Detroit techno school. Cybotron, his group with Richard Davis and John Housely is responsible for some of the most seminal cuts that have been sampled and re-interpreted endlessly. I remember driving down to the store Record Time in our friend’s Ford Fiesta, listening to this on repeat and his subs would rattle the entire frame.  Simply majestic.

Drexciya – Digital Tsunami (Tresor)

Drexciya is the most mythical duo of the Detroit techno school. The duo of the late James Stinson and Gerald Donald (also of Dopplereffekt, more on that later) made aggressive yet liquid odes to the ocean and it’s provence. This was a later cut, but got me into their brand of mutated electro. Their original pressings fetch a pretty penny on eBay and with good reason.

Suburban Knight – Collaboration Alpha (Peacefrog)

As part of the vaunted Underground Resistance Crew, Suburban Knight racked up a Detroit classic with “The Art Of Stalking” and also co-wrote tracks with Kevin Saunderson for his seminal and wildly successful Inner City project. This is a more recent track, and not a “classic” by any means, but I chose it because it’s important to recognize that Detroit techno is not a vintage style, it’s a methodology and an ethos that will continue to exist.

Tycho + ISO50 Live Videos

Posted by Scott


Tycho Live @ Magic Stick Detroit – Link


Tycho Live @ Magic Stick Detroit – Link

It’s been nice being home this weekend after the past couple weeks on the road. PackardPlantz was kind enough to post up some video from the Detroit show (see above). I’ve been using Vidvox’s VDMX for the live visuals. VDMX is an incredibly powerful, modular, realtime video app for OS X. It employs Apple CoreImage to leverage the GPU directly and the performance is pretty amazing. It can handle full HD video with multiple layers of QC effects running over three decks with no problems. For this trip I brought along the brand new Vestax VCM-600 (pictured below) which I’ve really enjoyed working with.

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After my set I had the honor of doing live visuals for Telefon Tel Aviv which was really an amazing experience to say the least (see video below or click here to view). Will Calcutt shot the video with a Canon 5D MKII and it looks pretty amazing. He showed me some other shots he got of Matthew Dear’s DEMF closing set which really showed off the range of the camera. I was pretty much sold after seeing those, unfortunately he hasn’t posted them yet. Suffices to say, the 5D MKII is the strong frontrunner for HD-capable DSLR’s in my book right now.


Telefon Tel Aviv w/ ISO50 Visuals – Magic Stick, Detroit – Link

Just want to say thanks again for everyone who made it out to the Tampa, Detroit, and Toronto shows. I had a blast playing and hope to be back soon. You can find a few more videos on Youtube here: Tycho Detroit Videos

CBGB 360 Virtual Tour

Posted by Scott

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As you probably know, CBGB — the cradle of the NYC punk scene — was shut down in 2006. But not to worry, this site has got you covered with a 360° panoramic tour of the entire club photographed shortly before (or after?) it closed it’s doors forever. While this concept would surely make most of the bands who made the place famous roll over in their graves, it’s nice to know that the place is preserved in some form. The tour is solid as far as functionality is concerned (nice that it’s in Flash and not Quicktime VR) but the downright awful — and un-hideable — interface elements sort of detract from the experience. At any rate, the photos are high quality and you can zoom in and explore the very detailed shots of the interior and exterior of the club. Link