on the longest day of summer 2016 sigur rós drove the whole way round iceland’s ring road, broadcasting the entire 1332km journey live on youtube. the soundtrack to this “slow tv” adventure was created using generative music software taking the multi-track stems of the sigur rós song ‘óveður’ and endlessly reinventing them to create new and unpredictable musical directions in real time. the very best moments from the 24 hour journey have now been pared down to a single album of great and reflective beauty. 8 tracks.
Six Windows startup tones, from 95 to Vista, are slowed to 4000% of their original speed, transforming each into an ambient piece of several minutes’ duration, and amplifying the internal structures of these iconic, dream-like sounds.
Music was generated autoregressively with SampleRNN, a recurrent neural network [Soroush Mehri et al. 2017], trained on raw audio from the album Punk in Drublic. The machine listened to Punk in Drublic 26 times over several days. The machine generated 900 minutes of audio. A human listened to the machine audio, chose sections from varied evolution points, and taped them together into a 20 minute album.
I’d pay real money to see someone attempt to annotate this on Genius.
My dear friend Vaughan would have turned 40 this year.
Vaughan and I bonded through music and basketball. We sat for hours with a Dr Sample SP-202, a Tascam 4 track, and an old hi-fi record player with a paper towel ‘slipmat’, creating loops and beats and experimenting with sound.
Some time around 2000, Vaughan bought a Pentium computer with a decent sound card, which upgraded our musical noodlings from 4 tracks on tape to 16 tracks of digital thanks to a free version Cool Edit Pro. Over the years Vaughan wrote and recorded many songs in his various Auckland flats, on the farm in Kaihere, and alone in the Coromandel while renovating his parents’ new house. I’ve had a collection of his tracks backed up for years now (first on old data CDs, then an iPod and now in the cloud).
Since Vaughan’s passing I’ve struggled to listen to his music at all. Attempting to do so has brought on a deep sadness which conflicts heavily with my enjoyment of his music and those golden memories of hanging out.
But this changed for me in March when his sisters celebrated his memory on his 40th birthday in a Facebook post. Listening to his music now I still feel his loss, but the sadness has diminished over time. I’m able to enjoy his art again. I miss you Vaughan, but I’m glad I can still hear your voice in your music.
“The fact that sales revenues dipped in a record year for British music shows clearly that something is fundamentally broken in the music market,” BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor told the Guardian. So who’s responsible? Taylor places the blame on “dominant tech platforms like YouTube,” which he says are “dictating terms so they can grab the value from music for themselves, at the expense of artists.”
Recorded music as a consumer item is less than 100 years old as an industry, and the tech behind it has changed rapidly. Taking a long view historically, there’s been very little stability in the music industry as a commercial undertaking at all. The Internet has redefined an industry that’s already been completely redefined multiple times since records became popular. We’re still at the very start of this adjustment period, and the entrenched entities are flailing about a bit while the dust is starting to settle.
Blaming dominant tech platforms for year-on-year discrepancies is myopic, but the music industry as a whole – and record companies in particular – have never been particularly visionary beyond the hunt for profits. “…dictating terms so they can grab the value from music for themselves, at the expense of artists” – yeah, that sounds familiar.
Subscription-based music streaming, on the other hand, has yet to prove itself to be a viable model, even after hundreds of millions of investment dollars raised and spent. For our part, we are committed to offering an alternative that we know works. As long as there are fans who care about the welfare of their favorite artists and want to help them keep making music, we will continue to provide that direct connection. And as long as there are fans who want to own, not rent, their music, that is a service we will continue to provide, and that is a model whose benefits we will continue to champion.? – Bandcamp
Remember when you had to buy magazines to find our about weird little off-shoot bands, then order the CD from overseas? Every once in a while I remember an obscure album from the early 2000’s and have a hell of a time tracking it down. Simply Mortified was easy to find on YouTube at least…
“BS 2000 is the name of a musical side project of Beastie Boys’ Adam “Adrock” Horovitz and Amery “AWOL” Smith also with tracks featuring Janay North. In 1997, BS 2000 released their vinyl-only self-titled debut. Simply Mortified was the final release through the Beastie Boys’ Grand Royal label.” – Wiki
Props to mdacv for sharing files for this rare album! (dl)
New psychedelic hiphop from my pal, So Much Lasagne.
Inspired by Middle Eastern rev heads, spirulina, NBA action and classic and hazy hip-hop beats, Dream Diary is an ode to doing your own thing and not being forced to finish it until you know it’s ready. – Noisey
We’re in a weird point in time when it feels like All The Content In The World is available digitally, but often that’s not the case.
There’s a weird bermuda triangle of content that sits in the early 90’s, when cassette tapes were king and CD’s were just starting to get a foothold. Many of these albums run the risk of being lost to time.
One such album is Phase III by SFC (Soldiers for Christ) released in 1992. With solid rap and even better beats/samples and turntablism, it’s a consistently great album. Currently there’s no digital sales of Phase III, and 2nd hand CD copies are currently going for upward of USD$45.
Some gentleman dropped the album on Soundcloud. Enjoy!