I’ll be heading out to New York for the F5 Fest April 16-17th. I’ve known the organizers for a while and worked with them on past in events in Barcelona and New York. They’re a great group and I’d imagine this will be a very inspiring event for everyone. More info can be had at the F5 site, here’s a quick run down of what the event is about:
Two-days of inspiring presentations and discussions that will alter the way you think about work, life and everything in between.
– An international showcase of cutting-edge artwork and design
– A relaxing bar/lounge to recharge your batteries and make new friends
– A reason to visit New York City, one of the great creative centers of the world
– An amazing after-party by Media Temple
There should be a few tickets left, you can purchase them here. See you out there!
We’ve definitely been talking a lot about the upcoming Spike Jonze-directed Where The Wild Things Are film and now the trailer is here to assure us that all the anticipation was well worth it. Above is the HQ Youtube version but high quality QT versions can be found over at Apple Trailers.
Denmark not only has one of the best looking national flags but they also have one of the best looking and sounding bands called Choir of Young Believers and this group last night at Pianos gave me goosebumps 5 times. The couple remind me of if Band of Horses wrote more gentle songs that were less southern and more Scandinavian. If you live in New York come to The Delancey tonight, they’ll be playing there and the grand opening of a new bar in Brooklyn that is owned by the people that own the Cake Shop called Bruar Falls this Friday.
The new Clark record is out on Warp this month, I grabbed the ambient track to share with you all, i’m really loving how that color scheme worked out for that album cover.
I rave about this Studio band a ton here and posted about how D. Lissvik who is half of Studio did a solo album awhile back and now he is remixing and he did an amazing one for Fever Ray who is half of The Knife who is everywhere from in Nylon to the front page of Pitchfork recently. The remix is perfect Caribbean sounding slow disco and the vox fits perfectly, you can grab it up on XLR8R right now for free.
Choir of Young Believers – Why Must It Always Be This Way
A few beautiful pieces by Buchanan-Smith, a New York City based design firm. I love their type sensibility, especially on the first image, and I find their image style very effective in its simplicity and subtleness. Much more work can be found on their site.
I’ve seen these sort of retro-future space colony illustrations around here and there but never knew the original source until today. NASA has posted a good sized collection of full resolution scans of the original artwork here. Apparently these were part of a series of NASA studies on space colonization:
“A couple of space colony summer studies were conducted at NASA Ames in the 1970s. Colonies housing about 10,000 people were designed. A number of artistic renderings of the concepts were made. These have been converted to jpegs and are available as thumbnails, quarter page, full screen and publication quality images. There are 16 images presented below.”
I made the drive out to Sacramento this morning to have the next Tycho single mastered by Eric Broyhill at Monster Lab Audio. In case this is sounding familiar to you, it’s because this is my second pass at this song. I mixed and mastered it last month but after repeated listens, something just wasn’t quite right so I did another mix over the past week and it’s finally wrapped. It’s been a long road, this particular track is sonically very dense and it’s been a very difficult one to mix. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the idea of mastering, it’s the last stage in the production process in which an engineer puts the finishing touches on your music and gets it into the form it will take for the final release — be it CD, MP3, vinyl, or otherwise. That is, of course, a gross oversimplification of what mastering is, if you’re really interested in the details here’s the Wiki article on the subject. It’s a vital step in the process of moving a recording out of your studio and into the real world where every stereo and every room is different, and you hope that your music sounds good on and in all of them. I think most importantly it puts another set of critical ears on your music. By the end of the production process your own ears can become deaf to the subtleties (or not-so-subtleties) and details of the material so it’s vital to have some fresh ears hear it for the first time and recognize it for what it is, not what it has become for you through infinite listens. Ideally, those ears belong to a capable person who knows waaaay more than you’ll ever know about the science and nuance behind how people perceive sound. Mastering can be heavy-handed or light and transparent, and therein lies the problem. Because the process can have such a profound effect on the final product, you have to trust the person doing it. You must have faith that they get what you’re trying to do with a song. It’s a very difficult thing to hand over the reigns to something you’ve put so much of yourself into, to another person who may or may not understand the essence of what you’re trying to do sonically with a song.
I was fortunate enough to meet Eric Broyhill back when I was finishing up my first album and he’s mastered all of my releases since. He’s great at understanding what I am going for and I am always amazed at the night-and-day results when I compare his versions with the raw material. The shots above are from his space which is located inside Hangar Studios (John Baccigaluppi’s studio and the home of TapeOp magazine) in Sacramento. I took these shots during a session a while back so they aren’t really up to date, I think he’s replaced a few pieces in the rack but the interiors are the same and that’s the really impressive thing about the place (unless you’re like me and you can’t stop staring at the Manley Massive Passive). A mastering environment has to be acoustically treated to ensure accurate monitoring of the material. There are many ways to go about this, most involve fiber sound absorbers and diffusers. I’ve always admired Eric’s solution to these problems from both a technical and aesthetic perspective. He was able to build much of the treatments into the structure so that they’re almost unnoticeable but the most prominent element is definitely meant to be noticed. The primary diffuser on the front wall is a giant face he had built by a local artist out of wood blocks set at varying heights (see picture above). This randomly redirects reflected sound waves to avoid phasing issues that can be caused by parallel surfaces. It looks amazing and sounds even more amazing when paired with the incredible Earthworks Sigma monitors he uses. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever heard a better sounding system than this one.
Now it’s time to finish up the album. I really can’t wait for the day I get to drive back out there, it’s always like a celebration for me at the end of the months spent in the studio slaving away on the music. You get to hand it over and then watch it become complete. If you’re in the market for mastering — which any self-respecting musician should be — definitely check out Eric at Monsterlab, he does incredible work at very reasonable rates. And if you’re not in Northern California I know he can do the work remotely as we did a couple sessions that way. Monsterlab Audio
Assorted work by designer Olle Eksell to kick off your Tuesday right. What great typography! (It’s all late 40’s, early 50’s work.) All of the above are scanned from a book I picked up in Tokyo. I thought I had stumbled upon the secret of all secrets when I found it, but you can buy it on Amazon just as well.
Kelpe might have made of my favorite 1+ minute intros to a song with the beginning of Cut It Upwards. It has hints of Four Tet and early Manitoba(aka Caribou) to the point that I think he was almost trying to replicate their sound, either way the track came out great with quality samples.
Tom Croose comes out with his first remix of one of his own songs as Worst Friends, the song will be out today on an EP with additional remixes by Shigeto and Bostro Pasopeo. Tom will be djing in San Francisco this Tuesday, you should definitely swing by and say hello if you’re in the area.
I’m sure Der Zyklus gets plenty of comparisons to Kraftwerk, I swear i’ve heard this with an Erlend Oye acapella over it years ago but I could be dreaming that up. Such a gentle track, if Tron ever made a snow globe as a promo item this song should be the midi song that plays while neon and black glitter swirled around.
Fred Falke doesn’t do many remixes that aren’t nearly perfect for playing out on the weekend, this remix for Hot Chip could be one of the best remixes they will ever get.
Kelpe – Cut It Upwards
Worst Friends – AG (Tom Croose Innerspace Ski Boot Mix)