Archive for November, 2009

ISO50 Playlist 6

Posted by ISO50


Cover by S.Hansen

I know it’s been a long wait but the sixth installment of the ISO50 Playlist is finally up. Sam Valenti IV — the man behind Ghostly International — was kind enough to put together this latest edition of the playlist. Here’s a few words on the selections from Sam:

“This playlist is beats-heavy, they feel right for uncertain times.
There’s also a tip of the hat to some 90’s nostalgia: a hint of Drum &
Bass and filtered House thrown in for good measure. All in all, it’s
a set of listenable wares, without a lot of tire spikes to get caught

So sit back and enjoy… And if you like what you hear, let us know in the comments.

Playlist 6 – Compiled By Sam Valenti IV
Click to Play, or use player at top of middle column.

Track Listing:
Phantogram – When I’m Small (Barsuk/BBE)
Memory Tapes- Run Out (HSR)
Zomby – Digital Flora (Ramp)
The Go Find – Over The Edge (Morr Music)
Omni Trio – Skeleton Keys (Omni Trio Remix) (Moving Shadow)
A Mountain Of One – Freefall (10 Worlds)
Lali Puna – Clearcut (Arovane Remix) (Morr Music)
Syntaks – Buio Omega (Ghostly)
CFCF – Letters Home (Paper Bag)
Paul White – The Punch Drummer (One-Handed Music)
Bear In Heaven – Ultimate Satisfaction (Home Tapes)
Midlake – Roscoe (Beyond The Wizard’s Sleeve Remix) (Bella Union)
BGM – 900X (Asthmatic Kitty)
Mux Mool – 1st and 4th (Ghostly/Moodgadget)
Grizzly Bear – While You Wait For The Others (Warp)
DJ Q- We Are One (Filter)
Dominik Eulberg – Daten-Uebertragungs-Kuesschen (Sistema Remix) (Traum)
Saint Etienne – The Place At Dawn (Sub Pop)

Editors+Ronson+Mike Slott+Computer Jay

Posted by Jakub

This Editors song might have some of the best/worst lyrics i’ve heard in a while, all the food stuff just grosses me out but how he sings “Well love, it isn’t felt” well then i’m all in a big fan, not a huge fan but a big one, its the little things sometimes.

Walked into Turntable Lab Annex tonight with my mom[we were looking for a watch] and heard this Mark Ronson remix of Miike Snow, i’m a fan to be honest and I never listen to this kind of music but now when someone asks me to play Raggae i’ll have one song to play them.

I feel like Flying Lotus has a slew of soldier musicans all across the world and Mike Slott is becoming one of my favorites out of that crew, he can get a bit more cut up then what i’d like to share with people as a song that I love although he can still make my head nod.

Computer Jay’s track Distance is what I hope to hear more of in 2010 which is heavy on making your synths sound melodic and large, I see him sitting with acts that are on the rise like Mux Mool, Rustie, Falty DL, Paul White, Lone, etc.

Editors – Like Treasure – BUY


Miike Snow – Animal(Mark Ronson remix) – N/A


Mike Slott – Home – BUY


Computer Jay – Distance – BUY


Tycho Live In Toronto / New Poster

Posted by Scott

I just wrapped up the poster for the upcoming Tycho show in Toronto (shown above) which can also be purchased at the ISO50 Studio shop. I’m doing a solo art exhibition at Function 13 Gallery and then a live Tycho performance afterward at Nocturne on Friday, November 20th, 2009. I’ll be posting the gallery show poster tomorrow with all the info, for now you can find all the details for the Tycho (music) show here and details for the Function 13 Gallery Show here.

This poster is sort of an alternate take on the gallery show poster (which will be released tomorrow), they are both based on the same subject but have very different aesthetics. This is the first time I’ve worked directly with a live model for a project — I shot her against a light bouncer with a flood light coming from the back to get the silhouette. Although rather time consuming, it was a pretty fun process and I learned a lot. You may notice that this piece in similar to the Coastal Brake cover in it’s use of negative space. I’ve employed this concept in various ways throughout my career (the Past is Prologue cover [2004-2005], for example) but have only recently found the time to truly explore it to the extent that I have with these recent pieces as compositions in this style are the most time intensive of all my work. When creating these, I treat the process more like painting than graphic design and so things can become much more complex. This particular piece is not quite as complex as some of the others, it’s a composite of about 20 image layers overlayed using various blending modes and masked by the silhouette image, the negative space was then filled with photographed paper which was colored using color balance. It will be on display at the Function 13 ISO50 Gallery show on the 20th.

Tycho Show Details
ISO50 Toronto Art Show After Party

TYCHO (Live Audio / Visual Performance)

With Guest DJ’s
Aarnio (Ghostly/Moodgadget, New York)
Noah Pred (Thoughtless Music, Toronto)

550 Queen Street West Toronto
ON MSV 285
$10 Advance / $15 Door
Doors: 9PM

Purchase Advance Tickets
Purchase Poster

+81 Voyage | Magazine Report

Posted by Alex







A new edition of the frustratingly infrequent +81 Voyage is out now. Billed as the ‘Magazine Creation and Bookstore Excursion’ issue, it rounds up some of the most exciting and innovative magazines out there today. From Newwork to Monocle, there are example spreads, designer interviews, and just about everything else a magazine lover would hope for. As stated in the introduction, the goal of the issue is to prove that, even in this day and age, the appeal of magazines is alive and well. As a die hard magazine consumer, you don’t have to tell me that, but if you need convincing, there is plenty of terrific and inspirational design to be found in this most recent issue. Above are a few of the magazines profiled.

Our aim with this event is not to yearn for the magazines of yesteryear but rather to look upon those magazines extant in the world today, and in doing so, understand the culture and tastes of our time, reaffirm our awareness of paper’s function, and confirm the intelligence and ingenuity of humanity as seen in magazines.

Related Reading
An Overview of Design Related Magazines
Can Design Save The Newspaper?
NYT Magazine ‘T’ Covers

Etienne Jaumet+2562+Mark E+Film School

Posted by Jakub

Towa Tei album cover wannabe
You may recognize Etienne Jaumet’s face from his past project Zombie Zombie which was a pretty influential band back when. The part that grabbed me towards posting this song is how his soundscapes aren’t on autopilot, there is a ton of well done synth work here, nice to hear someone on a rack of gear that has talent and knows how to use it all.

Some of my close friends probably can’t go a day without listening to Dubstep these days, I can see why, its one of fastest growing/addictive genres i’ve heard in awhile, it towers over what slow disco and minimal did. 2562 probably more known for his less dense material brought to the table a high impact package of goodies, a definite highlight for 2009’s dubstep output.

I was hoping for a Pocketknife and Mark E collab at some point even if it was just a remix. You see if you follow the music on the blog I do my damnedest to keep up on all things Mark E since his production style is one of my personal favorites, he blurs the lines of darker deep house and slow disco which always makes a song grow nicely.

Ahh the redheaded stepchild of this music post, Film School can be pure cheese at times but also in the right mood these strings in this song make a minute just a bit more sweet.

Etienne Jaumet – Mental Vortex – BUY


2562 – Lost – BUY


Pocketknife – Get Around to It (Mark E Remix) [feat. Joe Worricker] – BUY


Film School – Two Kinds – BUY


Dear Adobe: Layer Masks

Posted by Scott

Dear Adobe,

I’ve decided to start a new category on this blog called “Dear Adobe” for the purpose of writing open letters to you. I don’t really expect you to listen, I just want to put some ideas and open-ended questions out there for people to consider. This will never be meant to bash or criticize, just some friendly suggestions from someone who’s used your software for a while.

My first letter concerns one of my favorite features in Photoshop: the layer mask. I chose this feature mainly because it’s central to my process, but also because I feel it could be so much more powerful with only a little tweaking. So here goes, my suggestion for additional layer mask functionality in Photoshop CS5 (or 6, or 7, or just someday).

I propose a feature called “masking groups”. Why do layer masks have to be flat? Why can’t a layer mask be a composite of multiple layers in a group or even the result of a smart object which contains many layers? For instance, a masking group could contain many layers which are freely editable and independent of one another. The layer to be masked would see this group as a single, flattened mask and change it’s opacity according to the sum total of all layers in this masking group. At any time I would be able to go back into the masking group and move elements around, scale them, delete them, etc.

My workaround for this has been to nest the image to be masked within successive groups, each with their own mask attached. But due to the group depth limitation in Photoshop, this system only works for up to 5 layers. Also, it does not truly behave in the same way as the “masking group” I envision. With the current workaround, each successive group and mask can only be subtractive (black). If you try to put an additive layer mask (white) over the same space as a subtractive mask on a group nested anywhere below it, it will not reveal the underlying image. This is because the groups and their respective masks are not seen as a single, flattened image by the underlying layer to be masked. In the proposed masking groups, the sum total of all masks would be treated as one. The best analogy for this would be the Smart Object. While a smart object may have many layers within it, only the layers that are actually showing will be visible in the document in which they are placed.

I’ve included a mock-up of how these masking groups might work. Masking groups are just like any other group except that they are linked as a mask to another layer or normal group, sort of like a layered version of the clipping group. In fact, this concept could be accomplished simply by allowing multiple layers to be used as the base for a clipping group. Notice in the example below how the Square, Triangle, and Circle are all separate layers in the masking group, but that their flattened state is reflected in the composite thumbnail image at the top of the group. This is the true layer mask that will effect the “layer to be masked” below it. This composite is constantly updated as layers are edited within the masking group. Also note how the white (additive) square sits above the black (subtractive) triangle, effectively masking part of the triangle and subsequently revealing part of the underlying “layer to be masked”. This is the key to the whole concept, and it’s something that is not possible using the workaround I described earlier. A masking group could be applied to a single layer, or to another regular group containing many layers to be masked at once.


An example of how a masking group might work (click to enlarge)

I hope this all makes sense. I think a feature like this could unlock all sorts of new possibilities. If this is, in fact, already possible, please let me know how to accomplish it. When I worked for you I walked over to XD one day and asked a guy about this and he said it wasn’t possible, so for now, I’m going with that assumption.


P.S. The shower head upstairs has been leaking, could I get some help with that too?

If anyone else has any suggestions concerning masking functionality in Photoshop or just want to second the notion, sound off in the comments.