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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

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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.

The GUI Godfather

Posted by Scott

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You’re looking at the Xerox Star which “represented the most complete implementation of the ‘Desktop Metaphor’ of any system until the advent of mature Desktop graphical interfaces later on the Mac and PC/Unix/Linux in the 1990s” [source:digibarn] Digibarn has posted up several Polaroids from 1981 depicting the various facets of the Star 8010’s interface (a few of which are shown below). I don’t know what’s more amazing: how ahead of it’s time this GUI was, or how little the OS interface has changed in the past 28 years. This was nearly three decades ago and we’re still clicking folder icons and using archaic pointing devices. Where’s my Minority Report interface!? My wrist hurts.

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Check out all the rest of the hi-res Polaroids here.

The Curious Case of Jon Engle

Posted by Scott

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Just a quick summary of this case since the details and “facts” have been shifting so much: Designer Jon Engle cried foul and the entire internet rushed to his aid. Engle accused a stock art site of stealing his designs and then billing him $18,000 for them. But as it turns out, he may be the real culprit. Read on and come to your own conclusions. This is an epic tale!

DOUBLE EDIT!: It just keeps looking worse for old Jonny-boy’s case. Jo just linked to a nice summary of this whole disaster which can be found here. Frank also sent in this link to some side-by-side comparisons of Jon’s work and the StockArt stuff. If this turns out to be all wrong, why did this guy do it? Perhaps he didn’t think it would blow up so big? If in fact this is all some elaborate hoax, $18,000 is probably the least of Jon Engle’s worries now. What a mess!

Edit: Wow! This is a saga for the history books. After posting this article, a few astute readers pointed out this thread on Reddit. Pretty interesting information there. I guess it’s up to you to decide who’s at fault here.

The alleged story — in Jon’s words — can be found here. But in light of recent information, you may want to take it all with a grain of salt. Either way, quite an interesting train wreck of a story this will be if it all turns out to be as upside-down as it’s starting to look.

Daft Punk’s Electroma

Posted by Scott

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I finally took the time to check out Daft Punk’s latest film, Electroma, tonight and I must say it was pretty impressive. The cinematography and visuals are breathtaking and the sound design and music (which was, sort of ironically, not made by Daft Punk) is incredible. The plot is pretty much an afterthought though; your standard issue vague, arthouse storyline that didn’t really move me in any way. But I didn’t want that out of it, nor was I expecting it, so I can’t knock the film for it. The substance is in the imagery and it’s simply beautiful. When paired with the excellent sound design it achieves a 2001-esque vibe, a sort of retro-future as imagined in the 80’s. You can watch a Vimeo clip from the film below featuring the superb laboratory scene (from which the stills above were taken). It’s out now on DVD and I would have included the cover and title graphics, but they’re pretty bad, which is a shame because a film with imagery like this just begs to be wrapped in quality design.

One Second Bridge + Canyon Country

Posted by Jakub

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I couldn’t help myself but these 2 bands are very unrated and deserve 2 songs posted by each group.

One Second Bridge seems to be a Spanish duo that makes lovely faint daydream songs, N°2 really grabbed my attention because around the 1:26 min mark this looped echo comes in and steals your attention and fades out, its what I can only describe as the perfect interruption. Sucio Cielo Azul is a little more slow going but still stunning and at a perfect length.

Don’t mix up Cloudland Canyon with Canyon Country, Canyon Country has plenty of slow post showgaze vocals and definitely a hint of The Doves and/or GOOD Air.

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One Second Bridge – Sucio Cielo Azul

Canyon Country – Dead Or Dreaming

Canyon Country – Setting Sun

Process Post / Student Project

Posted by Alex

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A while ago I mentioned a project I was working on for class regarding a film festival. The project is about halfway done at this point and I thought I’d post a little (tiny) bit of what I’ve been working on. The project is to create a hypothetical film festival centered around a director of our choice. We are to design all of the collateral that would support the festival; posters, catalogs, tickets, schedules, signage, products, a website, trailer, and DVD packaging to name a few. The style is to be reminiscent of the director, but we are not meant to copy the existing visual branding that surround the films.

As Wes Anderson is my favorite director, I decided to create my fictional film festival surrounding his work. His films are packed with beautiful imagery and all adhere to his very distinctive visual tendencies and style. Of all the directors I was considering (Gondry, Allen, Fincher) his work seemed to have the most exciting/appealing visual possibilities. I started out with a much different approach than what you see above, and was mainly just taking pictures of random objects and curiosities and slapping type over the whole thing. My first directions were really bad, fantastically terrible even. I was pretty much just poorly recreating shots from some of the films and not inserting any additional concept to the look and feel. (I’ll post some of these earlier directions in later process posts).

The direction I eventually landed on, and what you see a piece of above, was a combination of tilt-shift photography and Anderson’s typeface of choice. The use of Futura Bold is a direct tip of the hat to his style. I figured I needed to have at least one direct visual link, given that my image style was much more divergent, and Futura Bold would be immediately recognizable to anyone familiar with his work. The concept behind the tilt-shift choice was based on the observation that all of Anderson’s films seem to take place in a parallel social universe where people say what’s on their mind and things unfold in most peculiar ways. Anderson, being the auteur that he is, sort of curates this whole crazy universe. The tilt shift look, in addition to being visually captivating enough to grab attention, is meant to conjure this image of Anderson overseeing this unusual world that exists in his films. I have been tilt-shifting my own photography so far, with fairly successful results, and it’s been a fun technique to learn. I try to use my own photography whenever possible, and find the “Flickr look” (as in people sourcing images on Flickr) that pervades most projects at school exceptionally irritating. It’s hard to generate your own imagery for a project this big, especially if the concept is unusual, but I feel much more proud of the end result when everything is of my own creation.

The centerpiece of the project is meant to be the logo. We spent the first couple weeks coming up with logo treatments and titles for our film festival (Just calling it the “Wes Anderson Film Festival” was not allowed). For my project, I have neither a title or a consistent logo mark. The logo and title unfold throughout my project, and are consistent in their type treatment and ridiculousness of the language. For example, the title of the LP above is “I Should Probably Try Harder to Score Chicks,” a line from Rushmore. The “logo” that appears at the top of the main film poster is “They Were Giving Each Other Handjobs While You Were Taking a Nap by the Pool.” When you see a lot of pieces of the puzzle, the lack one mark is not evident because the consistent type treatment and language tie everything together. It’s also fun to have super random sentences gracing the front of all of the work; makes for a much more humorous project.

Above is just one piece of the massive project that I am attempting to put together. It is a soundtrack of songs that are either in some of the films, or feel like they might be, and is still very much a work in progress. Having landed on a image/type style, with about a month to go, my motivation has trickled to a crawl. The hardest thing for me is conceptualizing what the project will look/feel like, and once I have this locked down (and it’s just a matter of applying it to all the different formats), I lose a lot of interest in what I’m doing. I’ll kick back into gear soon, and hopefully will have more pieces to show in the weeks to come.