ISO50

RSS

Kano – Now Baby Now (1980)

Posted by Beamer

Everybody’s got a little soft spot for some Italo Disco, and you really can’t miss with Kano.

kano-big

Unfortunately it’s a little hard tracking down his (or any Italo Disco) original singles without paying a small fortune, but luckily Unidisc compiled the duo’s best stuff onto CD.

It took me 10 minutes to pick which track to put on here. I still haven’t decided, but I’m throwing this one up. Luckily there’s a great video for It’s a War, so you get a double dose. Lucky you.

Kano – Now Baby Now

Kano – It’s a War

Slowdive + The Verve + TRS + M83

Posted by Jakub

The Reflecting Skin
I’m sitting in a friend’s studio and he asks me what would you love to hear really loud since he has an amazing setup and my first reaction is wanting to hear the guitar’s right after the intro of where Slowdive’s Souvlaki Space Station drops in. I’ve always wanted to hear this song live over anything in my life.
After that, i wanted to compare that sound to The Verve’s spaced out Gravity Grave so i can compare in my opinion the 2 ultimate shoegaze tracks. It was lovely, almost as good as it being live in a few parts.
Then, to really take it to a dark and heavy side we put on The Reflecting Skin’s (who is pictured above) Year of the Knife which is an absolute monster. You look at movie trailer’s these days and they end up using some weak heavy metal track or some bad sped up Orbital rip off electronic track from the mid 90′s, why not something with more of an emotional connection that people won’t forget? The latest trailer for the movie Watchmen was perfect, i think it sounded like Billy Corgan from The Smashing Pumpkins, it couldn’t of been a better pick for the footage shown, I still remember it now perfectly clear.
As for the last track, it’s an edit that Addled did for M83′s You Appearing, i felt like i couldn’t of posted these songs without an M83 track but needed a song that was exclusive for you guys, you can download the song on Addled’s myspace. The original is very similar to this but he added the perfect touch to the rhythm section so its a little more driving.

Slowdive – Souvlaki Space Station

The Verve – Gravity Grave (Extended Version)

The Reflecting Skin – Year of the Knife

M83 – You Appearing (Addled edit)

French Kicks: Swimming

Posted by Scott

hirescoverartmyriad
The new French Kicks album Swimming has been out for a couple months now and I’ve had a chance to give it some proper listening time. I thought Songs From 2000 set the bar pretty high so anything coming after that would need to be pretty good to surpass it. While Swimming is a great collection of songs, I don’t think it really lives up to the previous release. Although being subdued is sort of the Kicks’ hallmark, this offering just seems a bit overly subdued for my taste.

The band apparently recorded and mixed this record themselves, which is a pretty commendable feat; it really does sound great and the overall vibe is pretty unique. From a technical perspective the record is interesting, most of the parts sound like they are room recordings, big and airy with a lot of ambience. The album opens with what I think is the strongest track, you can really hear the recording style shine here with the big boomy bass, it almost sounds like a really good live take.

I am not sure what’s going on with this album cover. I’m definitely not a fan of the style or execution; just seems rather boring. Looks like some stock art from an Ikea wall hanging or something.

French Kicks – Abandon

Nikon D700

Posted by Scott

nikond700D700_24_120_top_03 D700_24_120_left_03 D700_back_03
In case you haven’t heard, the long rumored full-frame 12.1MP Nikon D700 is now official. It’s sports it’s older brother the D3′s vaunted CMOS FX/DX sensor but in a smaller form factor and with a smaller price tag. In regards to the price, however, the word "smaller" is a relative term. In the case of the D700 it equates to roughly $3000 USD (as opposed to $5000 for a D3). As a hobbyist that’s a pretty had price point to justify so I don’t think I’ll be ditching my D80 just yet (as much as I’d like to).

When I was in Bangkok I had the chance to try out a D3 with a fixed focus 50mm lens and it was pure bliss. The thing had almost no noise even at ridiculously high ISO’s and it could acquire focus and blast off frames faster than I could comprehend; it sounded like a silenced machine gun when you held down the shutter release. The knowledge that I can have that kind of performance for $2000 less and won’t have to lug around the nearly 3lb. weight of the D3 body makes the 700 pretty hard to resist. It’s supposedly available but none of the usual online outlets have it in stock. Has anyone managed to use / buy one? If so, what do you think?

Windsurf + Project Sandro

Posted by Jakub

Sorcerer
If you’ve been following any of the slowed down disco that’s been in alot of peoples ear you usually hear about talented Europeans like Prins Thomas, Todd Terje, and Lindstrom. Well, California has its own trio in my eyes Hatchback and Sorcerer who make up Windsurf and Rollmottle who is part of Project Sandro with Tony Watson. Alot of their music comes out on the wonderful “California Soul” imprint Sentrall Records where it feels like windsurfing and collecting original vintage synthesizers have become 2 hobbies that are inseparable. I first heard about all this music thru my favorite group Broker/Dealer which have been doing music similar to this for awhile now, they were making these kind of tracks in the early 2000′s. I hope you can enjoy these spaced out jams while you go about your day today. As for the art above i grabbed it from Sorcerer’s myspace and there is plenty more where that came from on Dream Chimney’s Sleevery section which Scott loves to grab from.

Windsurf – Pocket Check

Project Sandro(Rollmottle + Tony Watson) – Blazer

Sorcerer – Surfing at Midnight

Hatchback – Everything is Neu

ISO50 OFFF-AP Print Now Available

Posted by Scott

iso50-offf_ap07_full
There’s a new print now available at The ISO50 Shop. This is the poster I created for the 2007 OFFF Festival in Barcelona. A small number of full size posters were originally printed to support the event (the rest were handbills) so there aren’t many floating around (if any).

If you’ve ever been to the after party for OFFF you’ll know it’s always a pretty amazing event; lots of audio visual input going on. I tried to capture that vibe with this poster, making a foray into a color spectrum I rarely use. Given that the event was more of a party than a live show I felt a little more free to pursue a different vibe than usual. If you’re wondering, the fonts are mostly from the Chalet Family with some Trade Gothic thrown in for good measure. Get one at the shop for a closer look.

Apologies To The Queen Mary

Posted by Scott

Sub Pop Poster
I posted on the new Wolf Parade album a while back so after letting that sink in I thought I’d post some tracks from their first album, Apologies To The Queen Mary. I do love the Queen Mary album, although I have to say I am partial to the new one, At Mount Zoomer. I ran into the guys from Better Propaganda last weekend and we got to talking about bands we’re currently listening to. No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t convince them that Mt. Zoomer was a better record than Apologies. They actually seemed indignant at the mere suggestion that this new one could be better. I then ran that same crazy idea by another friend who knows a lot about music and got the same response. So apparently I’m crazy, but I feel like Zoomer has a decidedly darker tone, it sounds like the product of a maturing band finding their way out of the somewhat crowded category that I felt Apologies placed them squarely in. Apologies is a brighter, more energetic album to be certain, but I guess I’m not really looking for bright or energetic from this band.

At any rate, they are both classic albums in my book with a razor thin margin separating the two in regards to their relative quality. The beauty of the set is that they make such good companions to each other; play them back to back and you have a very fulfilling listening session.

Wolf Parade – Grounds For Divorce


Shine A Light

Student Project: Alex Cornell

Posted by Scott
fig11
Fig 1: Alex’s Class Project

Alex Cornell is a student at the Academy of Art Graduate Design MFA program here in San Francisco and he also helps me out around the studio with various design and music related things (in addition to being a designer he’s also a ridiculously talented guitarist and a knowledgeable sound engineer).

Recently he brought over a project he was working on to get some critique. Since I never went to school for design it was great to get a glimpse inside the classroom through his project and also very interesting to hear what his professor thought of my input. I had a great time working with him trying to refine the project so I thought it would be nice to have him do a process piece for the blog. I think this serves an apt companion to the Making of Obama post; a good counterpoint written from the student perspective. I am sure many of you were/are design students yourselves so you can relate, seems to me like the professor does a pretty good job of impersonating a client. The following article is his account of the process of creating the piece and working with his professor to complete the project.

Continue reading →