Where the Wild Things Are

Posted by Jakub

Spike Jonze is about to make the movie of a lifetime in my opinion. The music/movie director will be releasing my(maybe everyone’s) favorite childhood book Where the Wild Things Are onto the big screen. Just look at these shots, they’re golden, and I just want to see more. Rumors around the web say that there will be no effects just large puppets, I think as a fan I couldn’t of asked for more.

Vintage Sony Radio

Posted by Scott

Saw these nice shots over at the Mid-Century Modernist today. In high school I worked at this place called “Good Guys” in Sacramento, it was a consumer electronics place and they had this really nice vintage Sony replica radio. If I’m not mistaken, it was modeled after this one. I remember it being pretty nice, but now looking at these shots, it really didn’t do the original justice.

Images by 33 and a Third via Mid-Century Modernist.

WordPress 2.7 = Success

Posted by Scott

I just successfully upgraded the WordPress install for ISO50 to the new 2.7 version. I must say, this new version is incredible. I was running 2.1 for the longest time as a result of some early edits I made to the core files when I first installed WP (not recommended, but I didn’t really know what I was doing back then). There is a detailed guide on how to upgrade at the WP codex, but I decided to use a plugin that does everything automatically. It literally took 1 minute and I didn’t have to really do anything. The plugin, Instant Upgrade, is available here. If you’re running an older version of WordPress, you really should upgrade simply for security reasons alone, but the new admin interface and features are definitely worth it on their own.

Anyways, let me know if you notice anything weird on the site, I will be trying to flush out the bugs this afternoon.

You probably won’t notice any big differences now, but this is the first step on the path to the new redesign which I posted on a couple days ago. I want to say thanks to everyone who commented, it was a huge help to get such great feedback from all of you. I will be working through all the suggestions and deciding which will benefit the blog the most. As many of you pointed out though, most read the blog via the RSS feed so they rarely even visit the page. With this in mind, I try to make the page sort of the anti-RSS reader version, not stripped down, and not super clean. This isn’t Engaget or something, people come here for more than just the content I think, that is why I’ve never focused too much on things like the inverted contrast, Sifr titles, etc. I still want the blog to maintain a unique visual aesthetic, especially considering 99.9% of all blogs out there essentially look exactly the same. That’s not to say that I won’t be taking steps to make it faster and cleaner in the redesign, I definitely will, I’m just going to try to find a happy medium between form and function. Because those looking for pure function will always opt for an RSS reader.

As for the multiple authors issue a lot of you brought up, this is something I will really focus on clarifying. But to make one initial clarification, a few of you mentioned that you felt I was simply “letting my friends post” on the blog. This really isn’t the case. First of all, Jakub is an A&R, a label owner, and a DJ. I count him as a friend now, but this is from working together (he handles a lot of the day to day stuff for my Tycho music project and ISO50). Besides, he is who I look to when I want to find new music, we have similar tastes, and he is well qualified. This isn’t simply a case of me putting on my childhood friend or something. If I had the time to find new music and put as much effort into it as he does, I would most likely be posting the exact same stuff as him, so I’ve sort handed off a lot of the music posting duties to him and I think he does a superb job (my iPhone is pretty much just a big playlist of everything he has posted on the blog). Beamer is a friend of mine, but he also happens to be the most knowledgeable person I know when it comes to early electronic music and he has a very large collection of rare electronic / ital-disco vinyl. Alex Cornell is a student and my intern here at the studio, his posts are meant to bring a student perspective to the mix. I have been in design for way too long to really see it from that early, super-objective point of view. The point is that I put these guys on the blog because I truly respect and value their opinions and tastes. I am very lucky that they are willing to participate in the blog and I think they are a big part of what makes it what it is. If it was just me posting here you’d all be inundated by a never ending stream of me ranting about what the best version of Windows is for swap disk latencies and MP3s of late nineties IDM. At any rate, I will definitely be making author pages for each of them to make things clearer.

Finally, here’s a tentative list of fixes/upgrades based on your suggestions, there are some other, larger features that will be added but that list is still secret!


New Year / New Blog

Posted by Scott

The ISO50 blog is now approaching it’s second birthday and with the new year I thought now would be a good time to rethink the layout and functionality of the interface. The blog runs on the superb WordPress platform (highly recommended) so it’s extremely flexible and I want to take better advantage of that flexibility. When I first designed and built the blog I admittedly had no clue what I was doing. At the time I wasn’t really an avid blog reader so I didn’t really understand the finer points of a well thought out blog design. Thankfully, WordPress supports themes so I snagged the classic Kubrick theme (now K2) and hacked it into the form you see here. I learned a lot during the process and during the following year or so of working with the blog so I feel better equipped now to give it another shot. But as anyone in web design knows, it’s very difficult to be objective about your own interfaces and to understand the difficulties end users may have with your design.

So I wanted to ask you, the readers, what you would do to improve the blog. Is there anything about the interface or the layout that’s confusing, cumbersome, or just plain broken? Are there any features that you feel are missing or would be a good addition? I am in the early stages of the redesign, I have some mock-ups and wireframes going and a development install running here locally, so now would be a great time for suggestions. I look forward to reading any ideas or suggestions you might have in the comments

Update: Based on Michael J.’s comments I have added to this post in the comments.

Casa BF / Humberto Hermeto

Posted by Scott

370345119_bf-05.jpg  1006863892_bf-04.jpg Saw this incredible house by Brazilian architect Humberto Hermeto posted on Notcot today, amazing! I guess the plan is to first save up and buy a bunch of Herman Miller pieces, then build a house like this around them. Though aesthetically pleasing, I often wonder if would actually be fun to live in a house like this. I have a lot of odds and ends around here, wires hanging out from behind stuff, basically crap everywhere. That probably wouldn’t look very hot next to a stark, modern backdrop like this. But I suppose if you can afford this kind of house you can probably afford some sort of crap organization system, from Design Within Reach. More info and pictures are here

Petar Dundov + Stel + Montag + Mum

Posted by Jakub

I hope everyone has fully recovered from their New Year’s Eve celebrations and had some time to rest yesterday. Yesterday I had some time to compare notes with some other site’s TOP 10 albums of the year and noticed what I didn’t add but I still think mine holds up nicely. Would you guys care if I put up my TOP 25 singles for the year? or is that just going overboard?

One way I look for tracks is by going thru DJs myspace’s and looking at their charts for upcoming months. Usually guys from Hamburg, Berlin, or even older Detroit guys have their finger’s placed nicely on the best new music pulse. One name that came up was this Petar Dundov who made some really nice dubby techno. “Oasis” chugs along nicely, seems like a song you could play for your parents and be like “hey, I know you think you hate techno but check this out” kind of a nice gentle way to ease them into the genre instead of playing some favorite of yours like “Spastik”.

I didn’t know much about Stel when I received his remix for One Of Them’s “Sometimes I Feel Like” but right off the bat it caught my ear. With the French vocal attached he takes a deep house song somewhere i’d like to hear lounge music go into in the future.

I found Montag a long time ago when I was obsessed with Carpark records putting out Casino Versus Japan and Marumari(oh those were the days). He has some great licensable tracks, I feel like him and Styrofoam would of made a better Postal Service than what Gibbard and Dntel did.

Everyone knows Iceland’s Mum here I hope, Scott posted a wonderful track months ago. I had to add this track to the blog because of how simple it is and it makes you feel like you grew up with the group under some moss covered rock that had toy train sets, hand voice recorders and xylaphones.

Petar Dundov – Oasis – Substance & Vainqueur Remix

One Of Them – Sometimes I Feel Like (Stel Remix)

Montag – Best Boy Electric

Mum – I’m 9 Today

Copyright Free Popeye

Posted by Scott

Public domain imagery is nothing new (literally), there are entire source art books for sale that are comprised of royalty-free imagery that’s outlived the “life–plus–seventy” rule of EU copyright law. But most of these images are vague and anonymous with no particular brand attached; they came from a time when the idea of branding was still a somewhat nascent concept. So it was interesting to read that the entire £1.5-billion/yr. Popeye brand has become public domain in the EU (still 15 years to go in the US) as it’s copyright expired yesterday:

The copyright expiry means that, from Thursday [Jan.1, 2009], anyone can print and sell Popeye posters, T-shirts and even create new comic strips, without the need for authorisation or to make royalty payments. ” – Adam Sherwin, TimesOnline  

It’s pretty incredible to think that such a visible icon which has fueled so many industries (restaurants, toys, television, film, etc.) will cease to be owned by it’s various copyright holders. It stands to reason that there are myriad complexities and caveats to this situation; I would imagine Popeye’s Chicken and the others will have some legal recourse to maintain their trademark when 2024 rolls around here in the US (do you guys in the EU even have Popeye’s Chicken?). Other brands soon to join Popeye in copyright-free purgatory include Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, and Superman (source). More info here & here

Image via erikland


Posted by Jakub

So, I love Madvillian but I never noticed that one of my favorite tracks “Accordion” was just sampled from an original by Daedelus called “Experience”, check the similarities below.
Futuristic Hip Hop producer Dabrye has finally shown up this year with a mighty fine remix for King Midas Sound. This track took some time to grow on me because of the vox but the instrumental is pure gold since i’ve been on a huge dubstep kick.
One track that i’ve wanted to post for some time now is this Rustie track but I always thought it might be too rowdy for the blog but the more I listen its not too rowdy, right? You need to at least let it play to around the 1:37 mark so you can hear this muted sped up vibraphone melody. This Rustie kid is pretty amazing and he looks super young though but so do I (blows on nails) I hope he keeps up with this sound. If you like this Rustie guy you should also check out Bar 9, Starkey, and the BBC famous Wiley, they’re all on this rowdy dubstep tip.

Madvillian – Accordion

Daedelus – Experience

King Midas Sound – One Ting (Dabrye Remix)

Rustie – Response