Tenori-On Synthesiser Test

By: | Topic: Gear, Music | Tags: , , | Comment »

Yamaha produced a kind of experimental control surface for electronic musicians called the Tenori-On. The interface is a little too experimental for my taste, but it does show how you can control almost every aspect of a multi-track composition with a simple matrix of lights – track volume, modulation, instrument selection, melodic sequencing and pattern composition to name a few. I had a chance to play with a software reproduction of this device for the iPhone. The result is a very rough sketch of a melodic electronica vibe:

Haptic Media at MIT

By: | Topic: Tech | Tags: , , | Comment »

What could you do if digital media could manifest more physically? How would you interact with it? What if you could touch and interact with a physical space that is accessed remotely? What if you could integrate the online world of digital media with the physical world?

Superchilled Mix Berlin Cocktail Bar

By: | Topic: Music | Tags: , | Comment »

Thankyou too, Burmani. Nice mix.

Bondi Beach DJ Jim Poe, JP Ducharne – Mancusian Circus

By: | Topic: Music | Tags: , | Comment »

My good friend Jim Poe, DJ and label master of Republic Music, founding member of New York’s legendary FSR crew and confirmed good guy – he’s been busy and that means we all get lucky. In this sample set he gets together with JP as “Mancusian Circus” (whatever that means) and broadcasts a sturdy set of galactically eclectic vibes across Bondi Beach (as you do).

The musical angle seems to be a “Nuyorican melting pot” with healthy helpings of Afrobeat, Disco, Dub, Deep House and what is, to my ear, a sprinkling of Brazilian Funk, Japanese LoungeCore and Hawaiian Country … or something! I don’t even know. Jim! JP! Where do you get these sounds?

The unassuming two perched their decks up near the skate bowl and pumped the life-giving bass across the surfscape in the early autumn sun. If you want to catch more of this kind of thing, why not head to their Thursday gig at the inimitable Ching-a-Lings on Oxford St in Darlinghurst, Sydney.

No cover, no mirrors, no attitude.

Sounds like my scene. I’ll try to be there, say hi. More details are to be had thither: https://www.facebook.com/TheMancusianCircus

Marley on War Remixed by Matty G

By: | Topic: Music | Tags: | Comment »

Same Thing

By: | Topic: Philosophy | Tags: , | 4 Comments »

I was recently reminded of a fantastic book I read last year, one that sat in my mental reading queue for at least a decade. The book is called The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff and I thoroughly recommend it to anyone who doesn’t mind spending a little while thinking about big questions.

If you’re wondering whether you will like it, just read the following quote slowly and properly, you will probably feel the same way about the whole book:

That was after some of us were discussing the Great Masters of Wisdom, and someone was saying how all of them came from the East, and I was saying that some of them didn’t, but he was going on and on, just like this sentence, not paying any attention, when I decided to read a quotation of Wisdom from the West, to prove that there was more to the world than one half, and I read:

“When you wake up in the morning. Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”

“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say. Piglet?”

“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully.

“It’s the same thing,” he said.

“What’s that?” the Unbeliever asked.

“Wisdom from a Western Taoist,” I said.

“It sounds like something from Winnie-the-Pooh,” he said.

“It is,” I said.

“That’s not about Taoism,” he said.

“Oh, yes it is,” I said.

“No, it’s not,” he said.

“What do you think it’s about?” I said.

“It’s about this dumpy little bear that wander; around asking silly questions, making up songs, and going through all kinds of adventures, without ever accumulating any amount of intellectual knowledge or losing his simpleminded sort of happiness. That’s what it’s about,” he said.

“Same thing,” I said.

What do you think?

Hot Hand Bass Guitar Dubstep Wobbles Update

By: | Topic: Gear, Music | Tags: , , | Comment »

A while ago we blogged about masterful bassist Nathan Navarro producing some pretty dope dubstep wobbles live on a bass guitar. At the time, Nathan was using the Source Audio Hot Hand which a lot of our visitors have been particularly interested in.

In case you don’t know, the Hot Hand is just like a guitar pedal, except that you can activate it by moving your hand. But it’s better than that. If you want to continuously change an effect, like a Wah Pedal, you can use it to modulate the sound. Of course the sound doesn’t just have to be a Wah Wah, and it works great for a lead guitar as well.

Better than that, you can actually control two parameters at once, so, really it’s more like a 2D control surface like a laptop trackpad. Being a modern control, you can choose what parameters you control, so it’s no surprise that Nathan manages to pump out some serious wub wubs and wow wows.

Great news for anyone who has been holding out before getting one of these babies, since our previous post there is a new version, the Hot Hand 3. It’s compatible with everything, has a huge wireless range and gives more options and more control than the earlier versions.

Check it now:

As Nathan demonstrates, you can have the Hot Hand on the headstock of the guitar or bass and move the whole guitar to generate an effect, or you can have the Hot Hand ring on which allows hand movements to do the same… or, if you’re Nathan Navarro, both at once!

Tim Minchin Purveyor of Fine Wit and Wisdom

By: | Topic: Philosophy | Tags: , | Comment »

via @seancurtis

Deep Dubby House by Andy Stott

By: | Topic: Music | Comment »

Mental Attainment through Technical Skill

By: | Topic: Philosophy | Tags: | Comment »

It is true that the mental aspect of kung-fu is the desired end; however, to achieve this end, technical skill must come first.

– Bruce Lee

Busking Virtuoso Estas Tonne

By: | Topic: Music | Tags: , | 2 Comments »

Is Hugh Jackman, Estas Tonne’s Twin Brother?

This is my first exposure to Estas Tonne. Maybe he is Hugh Jackman’s long lost twin or what.

Watch his face. Now watch the crowd’s faces. He is transporting them to another place.

Classical purists might not be totally on board but this is exactly the sort of impassioned, accessible creativity that inspires me. It’s been a long time but that look of total absorption reminds me of the feeling I always followed when practicing guitar: being lost in the vibe improvisation.

The incense wedged in the guitar headstock is an interesting touch.

Bruce Lee on Wisdom

By: | Topic: Philosophy | Tags: | Comment »

A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer.

– Bruce Lee

Everything is Rhythm

By: | Topic: Culture, Music | Tags: , | Comment »

And it all goes back to Africa.


Nerd Up Amiga

By: | Topic: Music | Comment »

This is how some of us misspent some youth.

Voodoo People Recreated in Ableton Live

By: | Topic: Music | Tags: , , | Comment »

Jim Pavloff knows his way around Ableton Live, and, apart from being an accomplished creative producer in his own right, he has put together a couple of remakes which show just what goes into creating a classic electronic dance track… from the 90s.

Prodigy’s Liam Howlett famously composed most of Prodigy’s music single-handedly. He’s the genius behind the atomic riffs and explosive sample-laden dance floor rippers. It’s worth saying that when this music was new, all this production had to be done on physical devices… dozens of them.

These days digital electronic music production can all be done in software. Of course, it still requires talent to assemble. Jim Pavloff has that talent.

Jim, perhaps you could indulge us with some rock god poses of yourself during the intro? Thanks that would be great.