ISO50

RSS

Archive for June, 2013

Thoughts on The New Mac Pro

Posted by Scott

06.00
27.00
10.00
34.00
40.00
Thermal
fans
47.00
49.00
I have never owned a Mac Pro nor do I ever plan on owning one (probably, never say never). I am writing this from the perspective of a life-long PC user (which I am) who thinks very highly of Apple products (I use Macbook Pros for the Tycho live shows). I love OS X, I love Apple hardware; I just prefer PC as my desktop environment when creating music, design, and video. I don’t have any great explanation, I just do. But I’ve always envied those shiny aluminum behemoths lurking in the corners of my friend’s studios. The interior of the Pros was always what did it for me: that blue color on the PCBs, the brushed finish on the capacitors, the thermal compartments. So I too was waiting on this new machine, if only to see what Apple would come up with next.

Considering I’m not a Mac Pro user it’s not really my place to be thrilled or disappointed, I guess I’d just say I’m surprised. This was a radical step in a new direction and for that, I applaud Apple’s stones. With their dominance in the consumer sector this could have gone two ways: The Mac Pro could have just gone away, or, with nothing to really gain or lose, they could do something completely unexpected and truly innovate. They chose the latter and I think it’s a great thing for the PC industry as a whole.

I would have said let’s put aesthetics aside and just discuss the specs on this machine, but it seems the two are inexorably linked, which depending on how you view this, could be a good or bad thing. On the one hand it’s compact and sleek, on the other it seems very proprietary, further limiting the already limited list of compatible hardware. But don’t forget what’s around back: six Thunderbolt 2 ports. The first thing I thought when Thunderbolt 1 was announced was “here comes modular computing”. The first thing I thought when I saw the 2013 Mac Pro and the Thunderbolt 2 announcement was “here is the face of modular computing”. A compact central computing element with an external interconnect protocol capable of PCIx+ speeds. This opens some very large doors in terms of upgrading and/or easily and quickly adjusting your system for changing needs.

The form factor is incredibly efficient (take a look at the Mac Pro site at Apple for more on the unified thermal architecture, brilliant). For someone who transports a very large PC ATX case to and from various studios, the idea of a compact, tubular enclosure like this is a dream. I could fit this thing in a messenger bag or a small flight case. For tour it could be great too; mount two of these horizontally in a flight case so that when the case caps are removed the intake and exhaust are exposed. I’ve seen the old Mac Pros mounted two-up in 19″ flight cases on stage before, it’s a huge footprint, this would be a welcome change for many a stage manager / tech I’m sure. As I’m writing this I’m starting to convince myself this might make a good next desktop, we’ll see.

All in all I think it’s a beautiful piece of engineering with the specs to back it up, but what do I, a lowly PC user, know? What do you current Pro users think? Does this scare you? If so, why? What do you think of the look? Are you going to get one?

The New Mac Pro

Jacques Greene + Choi + CFCF + Washed Out

Posted by Jakub

Graphic by Yusuke Moritani

Graphic by Yusuke Moritani



I’m really into this Jacques Greene track, its definitely #1 on my “DJ Chart”, it has the beautiful and clarity of the more colorful material Four Tet might make. There’s no tricks and backflips trying to follow a trend, just a softer dance track.

Now for something more modular and shape shifting yet still structured in 4/4, Jin Choi starts off with a smokey swing cut that evolves into something you’d hear in a DJ Koze mix, in love.

I’m going to go deep with this CFCF album when it comes out, his style grabs my ear, always a perfect loner sound but instead of wanting to put on headphones I want to hear it in a cathedral sized cabin with huge windows overlooking an aggressive waterfall.

Last but not least, the first Washed Out single, i’m ready for the album, I think its going to feel honest and exciting but for a smaller crowd to share.

ISO50 Exclusive: Stream Gold Panda Album

Posted by Jakub

"Half Of Where You Live"

“Half Of Where You Live”


We’re proud to be allowed to be streaming the new Gold Panda album for the ISO50 readers. If you love the record be sure to support it physically, this one should be around for years to come. Below is a more detailed description/story around the album but if you want just the music then enjoy above.

SUPPORT:
BUY VINYL / CD / DIGITAL

Nearly three years after the release of his debut album Lucky Shiner, Gold Panda returns with his second album Half Of Where You Live, to be released on Ghostly International and his own NOTOWN label (UK). The album is the product of a period spent touring the world multiple times around, absorbing influences and probing potential new avenues of creative exploration.

Half Of Where You Live represents a stylistic and thematic advancement from Gold Panda’s previous work, expanding on the ideas he presented on 2012’s Mountain/Financial District 7” and this March’s Trust EP. It reflects its creator’s nomadic existence — you can see the influence of his travels in track titles like ‘Brazil’ and “Enoshima,” in the oriental textures of “My Father In Hong Kong 1961″ and “We Work Nights,” and in the sounds of “Junk City II,” conceived as a hypothetical soundtrack to ’90s anime and the films of controversial director Takashi Miike.

“These films depicted a post-economic boom Tokyo in the 1990s”, the producer explains, “and there was a last days feeling in them. [The feeling] still lurks [in Japan]. I saw a return to that possible dystopia. I’ve seen people in Osaka walking around, jobless, mental, stricken. I think real desperation and poverty is returning; it’s quite scary.”

The whole album, in fact, is described as a “city album” by its maker, and it’s easy to see why — each track possesses a different aesthetic and reflects a different environment. Gold Panda describes it as “a jump from location to location… I felt like I was stealing a piece of each place I went to.” ‘Community’ is a house-tinged reflection on cultural divides in London, while “Brazil” catalogs Gold Panda’s arrival in Sao Paolo: “I wanted to make a track that soundtracked my ride from the airport to downtown” he explains. “The [vocal] sample is kind of like an excited chant, bigging up the place, then it all gets confusing to replicate the traffic and buildings.”

Taking on this loose concept has meant a more considered approach for Gold Panda, and the music has harsher edges than his previous work, and an almost hauntological feel at times. Crucially, though, this new approach hasn’t compromised the producer’s creative freedom, and the album still flows with his trademark organic vibrancy. “I’ve tried to really focus on just a few elements,” he explains. “I tried to avoid chopped up female vocals this time around, as it’s become pretty well done, and anything that was too solid structurally. Ultimately, though, you just you find your groove and settle into a sound and realize you only really need to please yourself.”

Honda Motorcycle Design: Illustrations

Posted by Rory

So Tycho just got back from the amazing Taico Festival [yes, really] in Nagano, and on our off day in Tokyo I had the pleasure of visiting the Tower Records book store in Shibuya. I cannot stress enough, this place was coffeetable book PARADISE, I walked out of there with slight buyers remorse, that is, until the flight back when the “in flight entertainment” consisted of endless episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond. I digress. Although they didn’t have the one i’ve been looking for for years, Part 1, they did have this second volume of Honda Design drawings from the mid eighties throughout the 2000′s. In this post I featured just a few of the exquisite hand-drawn mockups of some timeless Honda machines.

Just got my CB360 on the road yesterday [with rebuilt Mikuni carbs and CB750 forks], so this seemed like a fitting post for the weekend as I gear up to blast around the Berkshires. Enjoy!

[Published by Dainippon Kaiga, ISBN 978-4-499-32107-7]

Dallas Stars New Jersey / Logo

Posted by Jakub

dallas-stars-new-logos
Jamie Benn, Mike Modano
I love talking to you guys about sports logos and jerseys, so lets get to it on these Dallas ones for 2014. Let’s start with the state shaped logo- not bad, it’s about as literal as you can get, right? They went the minimal route; the shading is a bit over overkill along with the outlining and italic D. The circle one is junk, it looks like it was following some sort of 3 color rule in the center and the designer gave up.

Now to the main logo, the D over the star… cooooome oooonn mannnnnnn. First off, let’s get some ideas going about why they even kept the Stars’ name when they moved from Minnesota to Dallas? I’m guessing a sheriff badge sort of thing right? Well, now it’s just losing soo much character, at least go with that literal over shaded state shaped logo. Also, the outline of the bottom left hand corner of the D and the whole bottom of the D looks screwy because of the use of italic. The black outline has all sorts of jacked up crap going on. This is a multi-million dollar professional team that just approved a hack job, who approved this? Could you imagine pitching an italic star to the Dallas Cowboys fans? Cows would be let loose into the streets.

Dallas-Stars-jersey-history-2

Look… for the people that think I just want retro back, that’s not the case. I’ve seen beautiful and horrid line work from the 50s to the 80s, I’ve seen over worked and garbage through the 90s to now. I don’t even like the North Stars logo that much when you compare it to others during that time (i.e. Calgary, Hartford, Edmonton, etc. all gorgeous), but I do appreciate the creative effort. I understand the need of a redesign when your old logo is just the word and a star, but the reason it was maybe bothering the higher ups was because it probably wasn’t selling and because it was too plain for fans. This new logo is one whole level worse than a Heineken bottle cap and also with less colors.

Going to end this on a positive note, if I had to wear the green jersey with a different logo on it, I’d proudly do it- it’s laid out nicely and riffing off classic jersey layouts that work with some nice class worked into it.

Minnesota_North_Stars3