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Archive for June, 2009

Ghostly Poster Progress

Posted by Scott

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I’ve been working on a new poster over the past week and it’s very near completion. It’s a limited edition for the August Ghostly 10 Year show Chicago installment. If you follow me on Twitter you’ve probably seen a sneak preview of the poster (the image above is a cropped snippet). The one up on the Ghostly site is a very early draft though, we just needed to get something up as a placeholder while I worked out the final version. There will be two versions: one with the artist names and one without. Bot will be available in large format offset and Giclee in the coming weeks. I’m hoping to post up the finals very soon here, could be as early as tomorrow but might hold off until Monday to make sure everything is dialed in.

I’ve been focusing a lot on music lately so this has been a nice chance to get back into design for a little bit. It’s definitely been a challenge wrapping it up though. I feel like the older I get the harder it is to decide when a project is complete; I just want to keep going through every possible permutation and variation until the finished product presents itself to me. For this particular poster I’ve been finding success in bouncing the different versions off of friends to see how they react. I’m still not sure if that’s the best idea, but it seemed to work this time around and it probably cut down a lot of the time I would have spent second guessing myself. Stay tuned for the final versions…

BodyLanguage+Cassette+Proem+Arovane

Posted by Jakub

Body Language - Speaks EP
Brooklyn has a lot of talented musicians, some of them follow the trends that keeps a room of sweaty hip people moving but usually it’s never original or very formulaic and similar sounding. One group that i’ve been lucky to see a handful of times is Body Language which does a catchy amount of soulful harmonic indie dance. The 3 piece consists of Matt Young, Grant Wheeler, and Ang Bess who all share the workload of entertaining us by bringing out old synths, voiceboxes, and xylophones on stage. If you want to see them they open up for Passion Pit and Miike Snow this week in New York.

Cassettes Won’t Listen has been stuck in my head all week long, I am trying to figure out who he sounds like, maybe its what I want video games to sound like or its kind of a mixture of if Eliot Lipp made 4/4 material instead of hip hop and he invited IDM specialist Wisp to help make the music and they had to use studio instruments, I know thats a odd comparison since i’m name dropping but it is what it is.

Proem is just one of those musicians that surfaced during the IDM boom and grabbed a lot of the attention of fans during the mid 2000′s and now kind of goes down in my mind as an important piece of keeping that genre afloat. he has a similar sound to Marumari which is that melodic and dreamy Aphex Twin sound with tons of texture on his notes and each one kind of flutters by kind of like this Arovane song.

Body Language – Sandwiches (Body Language Remix)

Cassettes Won’t Listen – Into The Hillside

Proem – I Don’t Know How To Tell

Arovane – Instant Gods Out of the Box

Nikon SB-600 Test Shot

Posted by Alex

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Recently I purchased a Nikon SB-600 flash for my D40. I have never owned anything in the way of photographic lighting and I figured this would be a good first step. I’ve outfitted my studio with a good continuous lighting set up (for video), but photographic lighting has always intimidated me (in regards to complexity and cost). The SB-600 is a flash attachment that works with the D40 (thankfully) and basically just augments the existing flash. The big difference is the ability to adjust the direction of the flash, allowing you to bounce light off the ceiling etc. It also has more options and allows for more control than the basic flash.

Above I’ve posted two pictures, the first uses the SB-600 (pointed at the ceiling), and the second is just the on-camera flash. Neither has been edited. Given that I have no idea what I’m doing with this flash, I think the results are fairly impressive out of the box. Every time I’ve used the SB-600 indoors, the pictures reflect exactly what I see in real life. None of that blown out flash nonsense. The colors are correct, the light is balanced, and the level of detail is like nothing I’ve seen come out of my D40 previously. Of course, the SB-600 is no substitute for a real studio lighting setup, but it’s a great way to cheaply augment the power and versatility of your on-camera lighting situation.

There are a number of other options for speedlights of this kind. I chose the SB-600 mainly because it seemed to be the best fit for my relatively “low end” D40. It’s not too heavy and didn’t break the bank like some of the other Nikon models (the SB-800 for example costs more than my camera). It’s been very easy to use and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a quick and easy way to improve their indoor photography. If anyone has experience with other models, Nikon or otherwise, I’d love to hear your thoughts or see some examples. I’m still learning how to get the most out of mine, but the potential definitely seems to be there.

Paul Tebbott

Posted by Scott

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It’s always great to learn about new artists and Paul Tebbott is no exception. Alex sent me Paul’s site today and I was really moved by his color choices and restrained use of texture and distressing. Paul seems to be just getting started — as evidenced by his relatively small body of work — which is all the more reason to believe we’ll be seeing lots of great things from him in the future. If that’s not enough for you, Paul also has a music project that Boards of Canada fans will surely find enjoyable.

Saccenti’s visuals for School of 7 Bells

Posted by Jakub

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You may know Tim Saccenti for his unreal spacey Battles video or his wild Animal Collective videos or press photos for Flying Lotus and Jimmy Edgar but his live visuals this weekend for School of Seven Bells were jaw dropping, not only did School of Seven Bells play a gorgeous live show but Tim Saccenti nailed the visuals and captured the sound perfectly, I almost felt like I was experiencing something that was on some other level. Below is a great review of the night:

Digital Transcendentalism
Timothy Saccenti’s Visuals andthe School of Seven Bells

The question that immediately comes to mind as one looks into the silky black voids of photographer/director Timothy Saccenti’s mind, manifested wonderfully in images of black expanses occupied ironically by an artist or an object beyond one’s capacity for reaction, is this: What possible world am I occupying and how am I existing in this space and time? With the School of Seven Bell’s visuals, Saccenti (in conjuction with Flame artist Alvin Cruz) achieves, brilliantly and originally, the apex of what all artists can hope to achieve; as the mirrored yet chaotic colors begin to rise up on the screen, the viewer relinquishes control of his or her consciousness of the moment and enters the beautiful, black, colorful, numbing minds of Saccenti and Cruz.
So what makes these images so otherworldly yet familiar enough that one can fall into them so whole-heartedly? The peice mixes familiar epiphenomenal stimuli (shapes and images) with powerful digital distortion, creating a space that is paradoxically common and foreign. The experience places the viewer at the precipice of human comprehension and tethers them to the rock of humanity with fibers so inconspicuous that it is hard to know when one might fall into the black abyss. It is exhilarating. Paired with the ambient, submissive music of The School of Seven Bells, an audience is treated to complete perceptual experience involving the lyrical mastery of the band and their interstellar sound.
There is a diamond shape that occupies the screen for much of the piece. Besides being a spatial image that one can clearly identify, it suggests another, semi-erotic, human form that boldly stares back at a transfixed audience. It is difficult not to see a vaginal, pink shape in the diamond. It is natural and digital, surrounded by a hazy distortion and heavy digital sounds that are reminiscent of television snow. Watching the two female singers, it is hard not to feel lulled by a kind of siren song.
One of the more powerful images, a white face with dark eyes, exists as a kind of character throughout the piece. It comes and goes as the viewer’s ability to make it out is realized and lost. The face is mirrored on both sides of the screen as one’s own face so commonly is. The face swings back and forth with an organic fluidity that is imperfectly natural and correct. Amongst the computerized movement of box shapes and spheres, this face stands out with its organic movement that, at the apex of its swing, faces the audience and becomes black (with white eyes). It is an eerie and fantastic moment as the echoing voices of The School of Seven Bells rise and fall to the metronome of the huge face.
The image that most dramatically drives the feeling of nature is the wilderness at sunrise; however, in digitally transcendental fashion, the piece juxtaposes the desert grasses with outstanding digital effects. The sunrise image sits inside a sphere that seems to rotate as the image remains still. The sphere fits inside the skeleton of a neon cube in an eclectic picture that moves with a more perfect, digital, fluidity. The circle is also seen in another major part of the piece. Inside of a large, white circle are numbers that follow around the circle’s circumference, similarly to that of an ancient calendar. Here, Saccenti seems to be exploring the most seamless connections between man and nature. Time is a human invention developed to understand the most fundamental engine of nature. It is a similar idea that drives the image of the Hindu deity, Ganesh. Here, the audience explores the human invention of religion as a tool for understanding the impossibilities of nature. A statue of the deity rotates slowly, giving a reverend importance to his presence.
The pairing of these two artists could not have been more perfect. The School of Seven Bells creates an original sound using a similar juxtaposition. Soft voices and flowing guitar riffs round out the heavy digital sound that backs up each song. These two elements collide to produce a sound that is otherworldly.
Throughout the piece, we see the majesty of nature and the boundless imagination of humanity. Represented beautifully by digital displays, the viewer enters a possible world that can only exist with the imagination of this brilliant collaboration, through the conduit that is their talent.

- Steven Graf

Help Wanted: Overclocker

Posted by Scott

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I’m looking for someone with detailed knowledge of overclocking Intel systems to help tweak a production system in the studio. It’s running an Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650 CPU (liquid cooled) on an Asus Maximus Formula Mobo with Patriot 8GB DDR2 PC8500 1066MHz memory (detailed specs here). If you or anyone you know can help overclock this machine please contact talk [@] iso50 [dot] com with the word “overclock” in the subject. Location is not an issue, we can handle it over the phone or video if need be. Please include a cost estimate in your email.

I’ve had the machine overclocked in the past, but it was never as stable as I needed and I wasn’t able to get the memory running as fast as I wanted so I’m hoping someone can step up and sort it all out.

Lawrence+Run Stop Restore+Toh+Go!Team

Posted by Jakub

Lawrence - Teaser KOMPAKT 41
Lawrence makes techno poetry as Kompakt calls it and I couldn’t agree more, even if we go back to some of his recent releases the phrase still holds up. Teaser which was featured on his Teaser EP and on the Total 3 compilation on Kompakt has this great slow swing to it and sounds like a huge ship cuts thru a thick night fog while a young women on the ship smokes and speaks thru the song.

I never would of expect a label like Minus to put out something as sexy as this Geometry track, usually we get bouncey, distant, cold minimal techno from them and this track sounds like something Arab Strap or Colder would of made.

I don’t know anything about Tim Toh, I just got the song from a friend and once I heard it and let it play all the way thru I was pretty blown away on how many elements of different styles show up in the song that make it beautiful. The song One crosses over so many genres its unbelievable, a definite necessity for fans of Dial and old Traum releases.

New Go! Team remix of Black Moth Super Rainbow pretty and PBS-ish like an old Stereolab but more on the happy side.

Lawrence – Teaser

Run Stop Restore – Geometry

Tim Toh – One

BMSR – Twin of Myself (Go! Team Remix)