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Kick Ass Speed Boats

Posted by Scott

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These are some hi-res shots from a 70′s speedboat cup held by Benihana (Yeah, the Japanese restaurant. Apparently the owner used to be into boats until he almost died when his disintegrated in the San Francisco bay). I’ve had these pics laying around for a while and figured I’d post some of them. I really like the photographic style, very nice colors. And check out the paint jobs on the first two, rad.

Loscil + Helios + I’m Not A Gun + Tim Hecker

Posted by Jakub

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Accuse my absence, my macbook needed to get repaired, so i decided to post 4 tracks for you today. First, Loscil who’s on Kranky Records and i have his cover up at the top of this post which is honestly in my top 5 favorite covers of all time no questions asked. I’ve read abit about Loscil, he gets his warm tones by sampling ticks and hisses from cassette tape and stretches out the sounds and thats how he gets such full warmth in his sound. As for the cover, i’m not sure who did it, all i know is that if there’s a poster of it somewhere out there send me a link to buy it please.

Helios is the second track, I’ve looked on my play count on iTunes and this track is in my top 10. It’s just a wonderful organic track, Keith brings in layer upon layer of melody from each instrument and add hints of adjustments that are all easy to just listen to and enjoy.

Third is a John Tejada side project with Takeshi Nishimoto as I’m Not A Gun, it’s very similar to musicians like Aeroc or Mercury Program which i posted earlier in the year. The attention to detail that John takes towards his own production always has me checking out everything he does. They go off a little on an experimental session in this track but bring it back to what catches my ear the most which is that first 8 second melody which i think could just go on forever in my opinion.

Finally, I had to add Tim Hecker “Dungeoneering” this song floors me, not to get cheesy but it feels like i’m in a air tunnel when i listen to this track. For someone known for doing lo-fi noise this is as pretty as it gets.

Loscil – First Narrows

Helios – Coast Off

I’m Not A Gun – Blue Garden

Tim Hecker – Dungeoneering

Banksy Revealed?

Posted by Scott

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Banksy may be one of the most famous artists in the world but his identity has been a closely guarded secret, perhaps until now. The Mail UK has printed an article that supposedly reveals Banksy’s true identity and has even gone as far as to print a photography (allegedly) of him. I find it funny how the media are always so concerned with the background of people like this. We have no control over where we come from or how we were brought up, we can only control where we go after that. And besides, it’s the message, not the messenger. If accurate, this article will surely put a dent in Banksy’s ability to create in the future. So it begs the question: if you care enough about art to care who Banksy is, why would you destroy what he is trying to do by writing an article like this? Article Link

Photo via nolifebeforecoffee

Newforms

Posted by Scott

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My introduction to electronic music came via the UK drum n bass movement of the mid to late 1990′s. Logical Progression was and is one of my top electronic albums of all time. I was also a big fan of the Bristol scene and labels like Full Cycle and Dope Dragon so when Roni Size & Reprazent dropped New Forms in 1997 I was hooked. This album won Britain’s coveted Mercury Prize (and mind you, this was the same year OK Computer and Fat of The Land were released) and sort of signaled the peak of Drum n Bass as a whole. In my opinion the genre pretty much backslid from that point forward until it completely devolved into some sort of dance floor-fodder, cookie cutter noise-fest; but that’s beside the point. New Forms stands as a classic album without qualification, it can sit beside great records from more traditional genres and still hold it’s own.

Roni Size Reprazent – Railings

Roni Size Reprazent – Destination

Three G’z

Posted by Scott

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Unless you live in an actual cave or have an actual life, you know / care  that the iPhone 3G is now available and that the entire world is completely freaking out. When the first one came out I tried to play it cool and pretend like I didn’t want one; but once the lines died down about a month later, I caved in and got it. I was planning on doing the same this time around, but thanks to a bit of luck I was able to get one at an overlooked AT&T store by my house after only 30 minutes of waiting. Apparently everyone thought the only place that was selling them in San Francisco was the downtown Apple Store, because there were like 15 people in line at the Mission AT&T.

I always really enjoyed the original one, it’s a huge help while traveling, and as a designer, the slide show functionality is invaluable for client meetings and giving impromptu portfolio viewings. There were definitely a lot of little (and not so little) problems I had with the old one, and while most have been addressed in the new version it still leaves a bit to be desired. Regardless, it’s without a doubt a major triumph of design and usability; the user experience Jonathan Ive & Co have delivered is light years beyond anything else out there. The original iPhone was the first Apple product I ever owned and the experience led me to switch over to Mac for my work. It’s a pretty major feat to distill an all-encompassing user experience like that found in OSX and nearly replicate it in the form factor of a phone. That was enough for me to take a harder look at OSX as a design / work platform.

There are countless articles written about the iPhone by far more informed people than myself, so I won’t go into detail about my opinions (but needless to say I am loving this one even more than the last). But I am interested to know what the design community thinks of it: Do you have one? As a designer, do you feel devices like this benefit your workflow / business? Do you see it as a successful design? Do you want to bang your head against a wall every time you hear about the f&*$%ing thing? Let us all know what you think.

Life In Technicolor

Posted by Scott

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The relevance of a band like Coldplay can be argued all day and while I can’t really say I’m a fan of everything they do, I’ve definitely enjoyed a fair amount of their releases over the years. So as you no doubt know they have a new album out called Viva La Vida and it’s sort of a hit and miss affair for me. Whatever you think of the album, you can’t deny the quality of the production, which comes courtesy of the man, the legend, Brian Eno (pictured above). Eno essentially invented ambient music and since the early 70′s he has produced an ever-growing pile of amazing records for bands like U2 and David Bowie. So I was pretty surprised to hear he was working with Coldplay for this new record, and pretty anxious to hear the results. Needless to say, I’m not finding myself in love with the album as a whole, but it has it’s moments. One, very short, moment that really stands out is the first track, Life In Technicolor. It sort of straddles the line between electronic and rock and we are momentarily spared the weight of Chris Martin’s heavy-handed lyrics. The space that’s left allows a brilliant glimpse of what a talented bunch of musicians working under the direction of a music god can create. I think there should be a law that states that any rock band releasing a new record has to tell their lead singer to shut up, just for one song, so we can hear another side of the band. It almost always works out.

The image above is a shot of Brian Eno from the cover of his 1977 solo release, Before And After Science. I didn’t post this cover because it’s repulsive. I don’t know what it is about it that doesn’t work for me, it just makes it feel like I am buying a hair metal record or some Gun’s ‘n’ Roses box set or something.

Coldplay – Life In Technicolor

Cover image courtesey of Sleevery