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Machinedrum Vapor City Citizenship

Posted by Jakub

Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 5.31.30 PM

Machinedrum and Ninja Tune have expanded nicely on the continuation of keeping Vapor City an experience beyond just an album release with a release date.

Introducing “Vapor City“, sort of looks like Africa broken up into boroughs. I’m guessing you sign up and join as a citizen and once a month for the new few months new boroughs unlock and i’m sure new music will be given away like today. Vizion Center just went live which is a above, its a really special collection of ambient tracks from Travis.

Tycho – Awake Album Artwork

Posted by Scott

Awake-450
As you may have noticed I haven’t been very active on the blog over the past year. This is because I had decided to focus solely on my music project, Tycho for a while. I spent the last 9 months or so working with the band on a new record which is now complete. Of course, Tycho is very much an audio / visual project so I’m still working consistently on design whether it be album covers, show posters, or online assets. I was working on the cover art and developing the packaging in parallel with the recording process this time around. We recently shared the final artwork for this LP, entitled Awake (listen to the title track here). I’ll go more into the reasoning behind and making of the artwork later, but for now here is a quote from this Reddit discussion of the cover art that I commented on:

This design was mean to be a flag; more of a symbol than what I would think of as traditional album art. I felt that, with physical mediums disappearing, album art didn’t necessarily have to fit a given format and I wanted something that could be readily transported.

If you look at earlier artwork you’ll see that I was pursuing a more maximalist / photographic direction for Tycho (e.g. http://imgur.com/a/kk93f ). But this album has a more stripped down, visceral thing going on and I wanted that reflected in the artwork. Really this is meant to be an inconized form of the sun / circle motif present in a lot of the Tycho cover art to date. Kind of like a unifying symbol for all the output that preceded this release. I see this, for various reasons, as the first true Tycho album and so wanted to focus everything into a simple form that encapsulated that idea. On a side note, there are eight color bands in the circle, each one representing a track.

The beauty of creating the artwork for the music over all these years is that I am free to develop a cohesive lineage with the imagery. From what I have seen of my peers over these past 13 or so years as a designer, we generally tend towards simplification as we go along and I think that is an important part of design: efficiency of communication. Whether this particular design is effective in that respect obviously isn’t something I have the objectivity to comment on, but that was the goal at least.

The album will be released on March 18th, 2014. Here is the track listing:

Tycho – Awake (2014)

1. Awake
2. Montana
3. L
4. Dye
5. See
6. Apogee
7. Spectre
8. Plains

And those who were following along on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter know that we released the artwork first via a 9×9 grid. I printed the artwork, cut it up, and photographed it using various pieces of musical equipment as backdrops. Here’s the grid in one image:

9x9-White

Makeshift lighting setup. All my camera gear was stolen recently so limping along with a point and shoot setup for now.

Makeshift lighting setup. All my camera gear was stolen recently so limping along with a point and shoot setup for now.

You can listen to the title track from Awake now on the Tycho Soundcloud page

More to come soon, thanks for the support!

ISO50 playlist: 2013 Top Songs #10 thru #1

Posted by Jakub

dirtybeaches101


We’ve finally reached it, the Top 10 songs of the year. Make sure to check out the rest of the playlists easily by using the Featured Post Section on the right side, I hope you’ve found something new or just a playlist to sit back with.

**Side note: I didn’t include Moodgadget or Ghostly International releases because that would just not be fair.

#10 Jessy Lanza5785021

Just how everything expands after the 3 minute mark does it for me, Junior Boys perfection.

#9 DJ RashadPass That Shit (feat. Spinn & Taso)

I need the extremes of both ends of the music spectrum to make me feel normal, being from Detroit you couldn’t get enough Ghetto-Tech, this song just makes me happy.

#8 DianaBorn Again

“The Pop Song of the Year” for me, all ages and genres, nothing matters but the music here.

#7 PtakiKrystyna

The Polish in me and my love for slow disco bumped this song into the Top 10. Really though you can’t deny that bassline and the sample, just heavy lush disco, its like the West Coast Rap of Disco.

#6 Toro Y MoiSay That

If anyone deserves Top 40 support its Chaz, keep him happy and in the studio.

#5 Boards of CanadaNothing Is Real

They came back in such a perfect way this year.

#4 The FieldA Guided Tour

My favorite listening album of the year, beautifully prepared, a formula that doesn’t need adjusting.

#3 Majical CloudzChildhood’s End

The only emotionally vocal song that hit me this year, he does simplicity soo well.

#2 Dirty BeachesCasino Lisboa

This song is the definition of passion and drive.

#1 BibioA Tout a l’heure

Uplifting done right, changes my mood instantly, music is priceless when it can do that to you.

Bunker 599

Posted by Jonathan






A World War II bunker in the Netherlands was turned into a sculptural visitor attraction by slicing it down the middle to reveal its insides. The bunker was built in 1940 to shelter up to 13 soldiers during bombing raids.

Intervention by Dutch studios RAAAF and Atelier de Lyon.

Movie shows concrete bunker cut in half by RAAAF and Atelier de Lyon from Dezeen on Vimeo.

ISO50 playlist: 2013 Top Songs #20 thru #11

Posted by Jakub

toroymoi2011


Aaaannnd we’re down to the Top 20 *dodges tomatoes*

#20 The Beat BrokerDeparture

#19 CFCFBeyond Light

#18 Juana MolinaEras

#17 MachinedrumGunshotta

#16 Four TetParallel Jalebi

#15 Toro Y MoiRose Quartz

#14 Oneohtrix Point NeverAlong

#13 LawrenceLucifer

#12 Sally ShapiroLives Together (The Field remix)

#11 Standish/CarlyonNono/Yoyo (HTRK remix)