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Archive for June, 2010

CEO + Pioulard + To Rococo Rot + Mueller

Posted by Jakub


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CEO is half of Sweden’s The Tough Alliance, its upbeat pop that reminds me of the lighter side that the Balearic sound needed to keep that great genre going.

Benoit Pioulard does a non vocal remix of Owen Pallett’s recent single, great texture and echo.

Its been awhile since we’ve heard anything relevant from long time instrumental masters To Rococo Rot, i’m really enjoying this one, it has soo many hints of what I enjoyed from their first few records but touches on maybe even better melodies.

You probably won’t find Paul Mueller on iTunes because he’s a street performer that I saw in Manhattan yesterday, he hammered away beautiful melodies on his Dulcimer while I sat and starred. I’m guessing he’ll play more? Union Square L stop at around 3p? if you see him ask him to add the bells to the LP that were on his ankles, that combo made me miss 3 trains.

Culture Fasting

Posted by Alex


If I neglect my Google Reader for just one day, the contents build up so much that perusing them becomes more tedious than anything else. I blast through them, glancing often at only the tops of images, feeling the need to empty my “New Items” as soon as possible. I suppose I feel required to stay on top of “new things” and “new” designs — lest I become instantly irrelevant for missing a passing trend. Who knows the reason why but I surely never miss a day; my Google Reader stays empty.

Recently I read an article by one of my favorite authors, Alain De Botton. The article was called On Distraction and I found this passage of particular interest:

We are continuously challenged to discover new works of culture—and, in the process, we don’t allow any one of them to assume a weight in our minds.

I coudn’t agree more with this statement. Just think of sites like FFFFOUND, with its endless parade of sourceless and context-void images. How long do you contemplate each? Then again think of sites like this! I am as much a culprit of perpetuating this rapid culture consumption as any other blogger. I write 2-5 times per week about cool work I find, but how long do you (or I) actually spend looking at it? We glance at it, maybe visit the website, but in all likelihood it is in and out of your consciousness in less time than it took me to write the post. I’ll sometimes almost write a post on the same person twice without realizing it (this has only a few times, but is rather indicative of the problem Botton describes).

Botton’s solution to this problem is a period of culture fasting:

The need to diet, which we know so well in relation to food, and which runs so contrary to our natural impulses, should be brought to bear on what we now have to relearn in relation to knowledge, people, and ideas. Our minds, no less than our bodies, require periods of fasting.

Taking his suggestion sounds terrifying at first. It is not something I have ever been able to do by choice — usually its a vacation that puts my Reader so far over the edge that even I can’t J/K shortcut my way out — I have only hit the dreaded “Mark all as read” button a few times. It is something I would like to explore more. I remember when I grew up I was usually only aware of a few artists/musicians at one time, but I dove deep into their catalogs. My understanding of their work was broad and I can still cite examples of how whatever it was continues to influence me.

I don’t know. The article hit home for me and I am curious what you think about it all. As a blogger, I am inclined to defend my profession of endlessly posting work for the world to consume rapidly, but Botton makes a great point that seems to indicate otherwise.

Foxes In Fiction+Samps+Walls+L. Pollution

Posted by Jakub


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Foxes In Fiction originally released his album Swung from the Branches by himself for free but recently has reissued it with 3 bonus tracks including this song Flashing Lights Have Ended Now. This weekend I got to see him play at the record store down the block from my house that is run by Mexican Summer, he played a great set that reminded me of Atlas Sound and Benoit Pioulard.

While I was in that record store the record shop guy put on this 12″ from The Samps which is a great mixture of some of my favorite genres all in one. It has that lo-fi sound that Lone brought back nicely while touching on a slow disco tempo to carry it along into something fresh sounding.

The Field never disappoints on remixes, this time he takes a stab at a label mates single, the original by Walls was great but at the 2:16 mark this remix becomes a Field classic.

Carpark as always is on a tear, cleaning up with the most exciting signings. Recently they signed Light Pollution who have already secured some lovely bill spots like Pitchfork’s After Party @ The Empty Bottle w/ Delorean + Glasser and opening for Neon Indian, look for them to squeeze onto more summer mixtapes.

ISO50 X FITC San Francisco

Posted by Scott


I’m very pleased to announce that not only will I be speaking at the next FITC, but it will be right here in San Francisco, August 16th-19th, 2010. I’ve presented at FITC numerous times in the past — recently Toronto and Amsterdam — and it’s always an incredibly immersive and educational experience. For the uninitiated, FITC is a series of events focused around interactive platforms like Flash, Flex, and AIR, along with animation and motion/film. But that’s just sort of the core of it, there are all sorts of other design related topics being covered (case in point: the fact that a print designer / musician like myself is involved). Basically just a very inspirational event centered around design and technology. Also, they have incredible parties each night often involving boats and free booze.

For the San Francisco event I’ll be speaking a bit about my background, process, and theory along with some walkthroughs and presentations of recent work. For a rough idea of the style of my presentations have a look at my Academy of Art lecture from April (although this was geared for the students in the Academy program, as opposed to professionals, so it was a little different from what I normally do).

FITC always stack the events with great speakers but this SF date seems to be the most epic yet. It’s the only where you’ll see Yugo Nakamura, Colin Moock, Erik Natzke, Kyle Cooper, Jared Ficklin, Kevin Lynch, and Robert Hodgin (along with over 60 others). It’s also probably the last time I’ll be speaking in 2010 as I finish up the Tycho album and prepare for touring.

Early bird pricing for the event ends Friday July 2nd, so be sure to get your tickets now (they also sell out very quickly, so if you don’t get in on the early bird be sure to get them soon after). You can register here. Enter code “isofifty” under discount code to get an additional 10% off the registration.

Hope to see you out there!

FITC: Tickets | More Info

The New Mid-Century Modernist



The Mid-Century Modernist has remodeled their website with a new and refreshed look. A few new features were added, one of which is gallery displaying a nice grid of vintage designer furniture that can be purchased from eBay. I find this feature particularly cool even though the price tags are pretty hefty for most of the items.

New ISO50 Shirt + 20% Off Summer Sale

Posted by ISO50


A couple updates from The ISO50 Shop for you. First up, a new shirt is now available. The summer edition of the Syv shirt in white on American Apparel 50/50 is now available. The 50/50 is a light, flexible cotton/poly blend which is nice and breathable for the hot summer months ahead. It has a very tailored fit with a perfect length. Get your size while they last here.

We’re also having a 20% Summer Sale going on now at the shop. Take 20% off most items in the shop (excludes giclee prints). The discount will be reflected in your checkout total, not on the individual pages. The sale runs for a limited time only so get on it!

Matt Moore / Crystals and Lasers

Posted by Alex





The ideas for the artworks have actualized while processing time spent absorbing French Culture, exploring the City Of Lights, the vibrant colors, the exaggerated geometry, and the diverse architecture and fashion of Paris. These paintings were created entirely with spray paint, one of Matt’s favorite mediums. But the designs are very clean, and appear almost digital in their precise details and craft. An honest, analog attempt to achieve the same depth and abstract geometry of his digital “Vectorfunk” style. [Link]

Color! What more do you want? These paintings are by Matt Moore and are called Crystals and Lasers. At the bottom of that page he also has a cool collection of iPhone photos that he took of inspirational items while in Paris creating the series.

Kee Desk Phone Dock

Posted by Scott





Update: Sangki Kim of Kee Utility writes: “Desk Phone Dock has been modified to fit iPhone 4. The product will be available from July in some countries.”

With iPhone-Frenzy-2010™ in full swing I thought I’d add some fuel to the fire with this beautiful, yet suddenly obsolete, little peripheral from Korean design firm, Kee Utility. Of course, it will never see the light of day in this form — for some reason, concepts never do — but at least we have this nice model to salivate over. Couldn’t find any word on pricing or availability other then that it was supposed to have debuted at the China Sourcing Fair in April, 2010.

While it’s definitely a looker, there’s not much in the way of originality going on here — the dock looks straight off the cutting room floor of Apple’s design lab and hits all the cues from Cupertino pretty much on the mark. Kind of unfortunate timing to be releasing something like this when they did; apparently they don’t read blogs. I’d like to see Kee do a redesign based on the more angular aesthetics of the iPhone 4. The current base seems a bit overwhelming, I think it could do well without the curves.

Via Geeksology

On a side note, after trying to act all hard saying I was going to defect to Android for the past 2 months, I used Beamer’s iPhone 4 today and immediately purchased one for myself. I couldn’t resist, that thing is incredible. I also bought a pair of rubber tongs to hold it with in light of recent developments.