Guest Music Post: Porcelain Raft

Posted by Jakub

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We are proud to have Porcelain Raft join our short list of Guest Music Posts. Mauro’s “Permanent Signal” LP is out August 20th on Secretly Canadian. Pitchfork Advance is streaming his new album this week. Enjoy the selections, i’m really impressed by the Violeta Parra song, I think its a very essential listen from starting to finish.

1. Factrix “Phantom Pain”
I was in Seattle and randomly ended up in a record store. They were playing a strange sounding song, driven by a drum machine and the singer was almost whispering. I liked it right away.
I stayed in Seattle for less than a week that visit, in a very old hotel in Chinatown called something exotic that I don’t remember anymore. This is the perfect soundtrack for old hotels with exotic names and broken neon lights, constantly flickering.

2. Violeta Parra “El Gavilan, Gavilan”
I’m reading this book called The Spiritual Journey of Alejandro Jodorowsky. I love his movies and wanted to know more about his life. In one of the chapter, he recalls meeting a famous songwriter and guitar player from Chile named Violeta Parra. She was also a painter, and I was so intrigued by their conversation that I went and checked out her music. I’m not into folk music usually but she is different. She improvises songs and plays long guitar interludes, all recorded with a portable device. It’s so beautiful and the sound is timeless.

3. Richard Skelton “Noon Hill Wood”
I don’t know much about this artist…I do know he’s from UK and he’s published a number of books of poetry and drawings in addition to his music. He has also been known to include artefacts, such as twigs and dried flowers, inside the packaging of his album releases. He uses strings and guitars mostly when recording his music. You should check his bandcamp page and website, which is full of poems and drawings he’s created. A stunning, minimalist world he’s building, away from any sort of spotlight.

4. Randy Newman “I Think It’s Going To Rain Today”
I really got into this on a road trip I did a few months ago, heading to perform at a festival. We played Randy Newman in the van and the experience felt like we were the Rat Pack heading to Vegas for a gig.
It was a very magical moment, as if that music existed solely in that van for us in that moment. The song I picked, “I Think It’s Going To Rain Today”, is one of my favorites. Another one I really like is “In Germany Before The War”, when he sings ‘I’m looking at the river but I’m thinking of the sea…” When I grow up, I want to be like Randy Newman.

HNNY + Young Marco + Hopkins + Pharoah

Posted by Jakub


HNNY is an up and comer that has figured out the slow formula that is still entertaining for everyone in electronic music. Its not too lullaby-ish or annoyingly drawn out, every sequence has reason, perfect cool down track.

Recently heard this song on a Dukes Of Chutney mix for Beats In Space while driving with Beamer on the Big Basin winding roads, has stuck with ever since.

Jon Hopkins and Purity Ring collab for something thats nothing new but I can see any young festival goer really enjoy this one.

Pharoah’s rework a Tornado Wallace that has itching for more. The second half guitar needed to make more appearances, it was that good.

1930’s Spy Camera: The Minox Riga


Meet the Minox Riga, the first true, subminature spy camera that saw actual use for espionage throughout the WWII and the cold war. 

Invented in 1936 by Walter Zapp, it was the first to use itty bitty 8x11mm film (a little smaller than your pinky’s fingernail), making it tiny enough to hide in the palm of your hand, but powerful enough to take high resolution photographs of your enemy’s top secret documents.

The Riga was a true marvel of design & miniaturization in it’s day, a time when even 35mm, then a newer format, was widely considered “super compact” in comparison to the 6×9 & 120mm type cameras people were more accustomed to. Holding it up to a normal sized camera then would be like comparing an iPod Shuffle to a vinyl record today. And boy is it a dream to hold. Small, heavy, and perfectly smooth. Later versions, made of aluminum instead of the original brushed steel, even included a built in light meter. Bond-worthy for sure.

Operating the camera

To make this thing go, simply pop in a film canister, pull the camera open to arm the shutter, and click. Advancing to the next photo is as easy as collapsing the camera, then reopening it in a shotgun-like fashion, making a strangely satisfying sound as the gears spin and click into place.

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You can apparently still find these cameras in working order on eBay… that is, if you’ve got 1000 bucks laying around. Regardless, it’s a wonderful example of industrial design to feed your camera nostalgia.

Fort Romeau + Machinedrum + KSIA + Minks

Posted by Jakub


This Gold Panda LP is still making waves, now labelmate Fort Romeau smoothes the track out into a daydreaming stare that you don’t want to snap out of.

Machinedrum’s LP on Ninja Tune is looking to touch some surreal worlds, have a taste of the video below if you haven’t heard the single yet.

I will keep pushing Keep Shelly In Athens, every single and every LP, i’m a sucker for it.

I can’t believe this is Minks, what happened to the sugary hazy garage?

Footage from New Red Dragon Sensor

Posted by Charles





Here we have the first footage made public from Red’s new Dragon sensor. The new sensor is capable of 6K, which is 6144px x 3160px at a max of 100fps. That’s almost more than a 5D mark III which is 5760 x 3840, depending on how you look at the frame size. There was talk on the Epic previously that you could pull stills from the image, which I’ve done, but a 5D III looks much better. With the Dragon sensor this could actually be possible. Meaning any shot from a video pulled off at 21mp, that’s nuts.

There’s a lot going into this, it’s been hyped for a long time and delivery has been pushed back by over a year, but it does look to deliver on a few key things, like improved low light and better dynamic range. Then again, there’s spots that I see in the video where the image breaks apart and the low light looks not that great and the highlights have a less than desirable roll off. It’s a mixed bag at the moment, overall it looks like a big improvement over the previous outgoing Epic MX sensor, we’ll see how it shapes up against competitors like the Arri Alexa and Sony F65. I’d love to go into an analytic chat, but right now I’m going to hold off until I have one in my hand and get to push it around in the computer. 6K is a lot of image, so it’ll be interesting how user-friendly editing with it is. I got in line early for the Dragon sensor upgrade, so possibly some of the future Tycho video / visual stuff will be shot with it and I’ll do a full breakdown for everyone. Supposedly they’ll be doing the sensor swap upgrades in September, so sooner than later!

The notes on the images were baked in by the director, here’s some links to decode what’s going on in each.

Dynamic Range – It’s the amount of range between light and dark. Prior to this sensor, Arri’s Alexa and the Blackmagic cameras we’re at the top, it seems that the new Dragon sensor might be a little more than the Alexa. Then again it takes individual testing to see if that’s true.

ISO – Most digital camera sensors as of this year are native at around 800 ISO ( ASA Film ). The Canon C series of cameras can go all the way up to 16,000 ISO and still be usable. RED Epic used to be maxed out at around 1600 ISO and even then it’s questionable, they’re now trying to go beyond that and get into the DSLR range of ISO sensitivity.

Compression Ratios – Compression ratios on RED clips are the amount of data from RAW ( uncompressed ) it’s using. A clip that has a 4:1 ratio will be larger, but be very clean. A ratio of 18:1 will be smaller in file size, but also more compressed. Think of it as moving the the slider down on a jpeg when you save it for web, it might save file space, but you loose detail. I shoot between 5:1 and 8:1 on the Epic, any more and the image begins to look muddy in my opinion.

The director did a great job of pushing the image around in the short time he had the camera.