Do Really Big Crazy Things

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Interview with radically successful venture capitalist investor and ex-Facebook exec, Chamath Palihapitiya about going big and crazy when it comes to technology startups. Oh and learn how to code.

Tenori-On Synthesiser Test

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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

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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

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Thankyou too, Burmani. Nice mix.

Bondi Beach DJ Jim Poe, JP Ducharne – Mancusian Circus

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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:

Marley on War Remixed by Matty G

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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

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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!

Horns of Paradise

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Horns of Paradise : Ron Trammy Wilson

Tim Minchin Purveyor of Fine Wit and Wisdom

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via @seancurtis

Deep Dubby House by Andy Stott

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Racer : A genuine new thing

By: | Topic: Apps, Design, Digital Agencies, Games, Music, Software, Strong Like Water, Tech | Comment »

Since working on Racer and launching it a few people have said, ‘oh it’s like such and such a game’ but I’m yet to find something that is truely as unique as this AND is in a browser. Racer is a multi-player, multi-device Chrome Experiment. A retro-style slot car game played across screens. On phones or tablets, Android or iOS. Anyone can join. No apps. No downloads. Just the mobile web. It’s now up for The FWA Cutting Edge Project of the Year. If you think it deserves it please cast a vote!


And if you’re interested here’s the making of video which goes into detail on why it was so tricky to build.

Here’s Racer being demo’d at Google I/O 2013 – live demos are always nerve wracking, thankfully this one went smoothly.


Also awesome and cutting edge is that there’s also an installation version that runs on the same code base as the mobile game. The table was at Google I/O 2013 and another Google event ‘Zeitgeist’. Here’s a couple of pics of the table:


In addition to the table version, there are two flight case boxes containing a line up of mobile devices ready to play. This version also runs on the same code base. Here’s a pic of the cases and me demo’ing it at Cannes 2013 in the Google tent :



One final plug to get your vote on if you like it thanks!

Crowd Sourced Music Video

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Neat idea via Monika for a crowd sourced music video, around 40K people have contributed so far. If you have a webcam you can throw your face C-Mon & Kypski’s music video

Mental Attainment through Technical Skill

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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

Astral Breeze – Francis Infernal Orchestra

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Great tune from Australian based Griffin James. If you have a soft spot for house check it out

It’s long been a favorite on FBI’s Sunset with Simon Caldwell.