If you cared at all about hip hop during the early 90′s, chances are you’re a big fan of the two albums Digable Planets released during theie brief but brilliant career (Apparently they are touring again, but I’ve yet to hear of a new album). This was way back when, just as rap was turning into the complete mess we hear today and before "what what what what what what what what" was an acceptable refrain for a song. I know, I know, it’s not like everything back in the day was great, and it’s not like everything now is trash; it just seemed like it was easier to come by a well thought out, intelligent hip hop album back then.
When Digable Planets released Blowout Comb I was a Junior in High School and I had spent the previous summer installing a ridiculous sound system in my car. I think I played this album about 500 times in a row the first week I had it; I distinctly remember blasting this particular song (9th Wonder) on repeat on the way to taking my S.A.T.’s that year. Strange how you can forget whole chapters of your life but somehow you remember something seemingly as trivial as the song you listened to on the way to a test. I guess that’s the power of good music. It seems today I consume most of my music through headphones on planes or coming out of computer speakers, neither of which do this song justice, this one has to be played through the 12′s in your trunk to get the point…the bass is massive.
As for the cover art, this was the sort of thing I coveted when I was younger. I wasn’t exposed to anything even approaching good design where I grew up so album covers were one of my only windows into the world of somewhat decent graphic design. I remember being blown away by the design and packaging of this CD when it came out. Now looking back, I see it wasn’t exactly perfect, but still well executed considering. The version on the bottom is the cover for the single, which I think I had in cassette form before I got the album on CD.
Digable Planets – 9th Wonder (Blackitolism)
Some very exciting news about the new CS suite (dubbed "CS Next"). It is being reported that Photoshop CS Next (CS4) will have GPU acceleration, meaning that it would be able to leverage the extremely powerful processor that, for 2D work like Photoshop, usually sits dormant on that $400 gaming video card you have in your computer. This is really big news and could lead to very big performance gains for large computations like filters and screen rendering. No news on how the lack of a 64-bit flavor of Photoshop for the OS X platform will affect this development. Via TG Daily. There’s also some more info over at TUAW.
We’re in Detroit for DEMF (Movement) and it’s pretty insane. I played a set today, thanks to everyone for coming out. I had no idea this thing was so big, and loud. The first picture is unfortunately from my iPhone, so the quality’s not so hot, but it’s all I had on me at the time. I did have my Nikon for (a very small) part of the day and got some interesting stuff here and there. Incidentally, that’s your faithful correspondent Jakub in the last shot; if you see him out, ask him for more information about Willits. We’ll be out and about tomorrow so hopefully I’ll get some better shots of the festival and Detroit in general. I think we’re also taking a drive up to Ann Arbor (always wanted to visit) so maybe I’ll get some up there too.
Update: This print is sold out.
As some of you already noticed, the Barack Obama site announced the arrival of the print today. You can purchase the print now for $70, all proceeds go to the Barack Obama Campaign.
After all is said and done, I am very happy with the finished product. Unfortunately the colors on the JPEG above don’t come through as well as they did in print and there’s a lot of fine detail that’s lost at this size, so you’ll have to stretch a little bit to imagine what the real thing looks like. I just got into Detroit, will be playing a set at DEMF tomorrow, so I won’t have time to put together a good case study on the process of creating this print until I return on Sunday. But I wanted to post this up in the meantime after holding it back for so long.
Comment on this post | Purchase Print
Right around the time the Ghostly Swim tracklist was coming together i had to check out some more releases by some of the new faces and picked up this limited 7″ vinyl from School of Seven Bells called Silent Grips. You might remember them from the last Prefuse 73 record or saw them on a tour date with Blonde Redhead. They have this wonderful full sound that is worn down, its like if you molded together some of the best parts of Slowdive and replaced the guitars with warm synths and but brought the vocals up front and add some slower dusty Black Moth Super Rainbow percussion. I hope you enjoy.
School of Seven Bells – Silent Grips
This is the AKAT-1, a Polish made analog computer from the 1960′s which apparently was rumored to have been used as a synth on Beatles recordings [source]. I happened upon it while reading an article about analog computing on Wikipedia. I’m not trading in my digital computers for the analog variety any time soon (as I did with my synthesizers), but if they would just make a MIDI / DAW controller that looked like this I would be set.
"An analog computer (spelled analogue in British English) is a form of computer that uses continuous physical phenomena such as electrical, mechanical, or hydraulic quantities to model the problem being solved."
I place songs into two categories: those that have the power to change my state of mind and those that don’t. This song falls squarely in the former, and within that category there are several subsets. I would have to say this song fits into a very rare space for me, there are lots of songs that make me feel excited, melancholy, nostalgic, etc.. But this is something entirely different and I love that. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Postprior – Climber
Also, the cover reminds me of The Impossible Art of Li Wei, so it’s just that much more awesome. It actually reminds me of someone else’s work too, but the name escapes me right now, anyone know who I am talking about?
Star Wars has nothing on this, costume / set design at it’s finest.
Still from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Via FFFFOUND.