Archive for March, 2010

Helvetica and the Subway

Posted by Scott

Helvetica and the New York City Subway System by Paul Shaw — which examines the Helvetica’s role and history in the New York City Subway system — looks like a must have for any design collector. It’s currently sold out of it’s initial limited edition but Shaw’s site says they are looking for a publisher. Let’s hope that works out.

Also not to be missed is David Heasty’s One Color Subway Map featuring, of all things, Helvetica. You may still be able to score a print, details are here.

Via The Daily Heller via Thinking For a Living

Gorillaz+Birds & Souls+Tanlines+Loscil

Posted by Jakub

Artwork by Will Calcutt aka Hardac

I’m pretty proud of this music selection today because its so diverse on the electronic end, we have a track from the potentially Top 40 worldwide Gorillaz, a summer track from Birds & Souls, a hip Yeasayers like song from Tanlines and one of the most beautiful ambient tracks that has come out this year from Loscil.

So glad to hear this track Stylo on the new Gorillaz tracks, I was going thru the album trying to find a song I liked plus one to share and it seems that this was my jam. It really reminds me of INXSMediate at times especially when the synth lead chord is being held down. I can see this song being played at clubs and also the more hip private parties, I hope it spreads like wild fire to people’s ears.

Birds & Souls are new and their first single is what i’m going to call 2010 summer’s jam for the festival circuit in the dance world(WMC, DEMF, Sonar, etc.). The track builds from what sounds like friends experimenting making a song into where they find a groove then after around the 4 minute mark it starts blooming into one of the more catchy songs i’ve heard in a while. Its definitely one of those songs to lose yourself in, you can’t even judge a 3 minute section of the song since the song completely transforms if you stick with it, really looking forward to hearing this on some big speakers.

This back to back with the Birds & Souls track you might like i’m a world music nut when it comes to percussion which I am but this song from Tanlines goes a completely different direction which is this sound that is seeping into the indie rock world. I think the unraveling of it started with Animal Collective > Yeasayers > to someone like Tanlines, the added synths morph it into something a bit more poppy and youthful and less experimental.

Time to shift gears and slowly dip into the calm water, let me paint you a picture in your mind: you’ve canoed around a mile off the coast its about 4:55am on a foggy rainy night where its almost dawn, you grab your goggles and put them on, they’re your favorite ones with an oval face and vintage leather strap that doesn’t match and somehow has made it thru all your early morning solo dives. You drop in the water backwards and go exploring like you always do, part of the thrill is people don’t know your out or know that you even do this, its your small kept secret that you take very serious yet when you come up from the water and you see the tiny bit of sun starting to peak out you can’t seem to never hold back your smile. Thats how this Loscil song is for me.

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The shameless side of Club Music – Part. 2

Posted by Jakub

I’ve been bored with dance music for a bit now when it comes to the more upbeat stuff(the slow groove stuff has been amazing though). I use to play these kind of records and it was a ton of fun to dj out but its pretty much been harsh cut up remixes of Top 40, newbies that haven’t heard much of what was going back in the day and fusions of trending whatever. In Part 1 I went on this small rant:

No matter how much you might hate certain kinds of music you can always find something that appeals to you unless you have a one track mind or prefer a safe and conservative lifestyle. So you’re definitely not looking for trance, you definitely don’t want what’s playing at Crunch gym, and your sick of what your friends are suggesting because the vocals make you uncomfortable or there are too many snare rolls or it gets too cheesy dreamy sounding. Maybe you just want one dancey anthem for the week, well i’m gonna do my best to help steer you in the right direction before you have a bad club remix of Pet Shop Boys on your hands.

I hope these kind of posts show that there was some melodic dance cuts at one point that worked both in the underground and mainstream dancefloor, I hope we come back to this driving catchy sound where the synths are warmer and the instrumentals could hold their own without a vox.

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Old School BMX

Posted by Alex

I wish I could say these were from when I was younger, but the closest I ever got to BMX was digging jumps and watching my friends careen off of them (I went off once with a road bike, crashed, and stayed grounded after that).

Anyway the above shots were taken by Cameron Muilenburg from Hidden Clothing. It looks like he and his friends were pretty good — not only at riding but also at capturing the experience with basic equipment (I assume Polaroid). I love the color and composition. The first one feels like a still from a film, paused at just the right moment to capture the most movement.

Sure look like some fearless little kids. Check out the rest of the pics here.

via defgrip

Mark E works 2005 – 2009 selected tracks

Posted by Jakub

Mark E’s works 2005 -2009 selected tracks and edits is a must have in my mind, I only wish I had collected all these tracks on vinyl but here it is in an easy to swoop CD over at Phonica.

Mark E’s production is very groove based a slow burn if you will, its definitely for fans of Pilooski, Studio, Marvin Gaye, or Moodymann.This music for a dance floor that’s in it for the long haul and not looking to tire themselves out at some club. You might notice his edits touch on slow house and disco and classic soul, nothing in your face, to be honest I could put a song on repeat and have it going for 40 minutes+ and just keep trekkin’ along my work day completely enjoying doing anything while every once in a while dance in my chair.

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1969 Mercedes C111

Posted by Scott

Was reminded of Mercedes’ beautiful 1969 C111 gullwing design after their recent concept unveiling. Beautiful Pictures; I’ll go ahead and file this under “things you can’t have, ever”. I’ve always loved cars; I used to collect die-cast models when I was a kid. I guess I picked the wrong thing to be obsessed with though because it’s becoming increasingly apparent that a 1959 Testa Rossa just isn’t in the cards for me.

I suppose it’s for the best though; nice cars are so impractical and besides, this is the sort of thing that has me dreaming these days. ($8700 MSRP!!! why do you torture us?) I feel like we as designers sort of got a raw deal; we’ll never be able to afford what our taste dictates as acceptable to us (except for that one guy who redesigned the Louis Vuitton monogram maybe? He could probably buy the car and the guy driving it). And then you see MTV Cribs and these people’s houses look like they hired Scarface and the set designer from Full House to do their interiors.

More images here

ISO50 at FITC Toronto in April

Posted by Scott

I’ll be speaking at this year’s FITC in Toronto (April 25-27, 2010). My talk should be on April 26th at 2:30pm, but seeing as it’s still a ways off this may be subject to change. I just got back from Last week’s FITC in Amsterdam (will try and post pics soon) and it really was an incredible event. Toronto should be even better, in my experience over the past couple years it’s a much larger event as it’s held in the home town of FITC. I will be posting more info as it becomes available, you can also check the events page.

Photo via The Chilton Computing Archive