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Friday, April 28, 2006

Free Compilation Album: The Rhythm Method LP

The Rhythm Method LP

First Experimedia unleashed a collection of lush ambient soundscapes, to commemorate their 25th release. Then they unveiled an abrassive noise compilation, aimed at proprietors of artistic censorship. And now, Experimedia returns with their greatest compilation yet... the double LP-length 'Rhythm Method', featuring close to 160 minutes of new & exclusive music from mostly new and/or unheard artists in addition to a few established artists. Thematically, this release continues the tradition of attacking a specific niche of electronica, with the focus now on beat-driven electro, squelchy glitch-hop, raw and rugged d'n'b... basically, if it has a pulse, it is being represented. Whether you like to dance, nod yer head, or just sit back and chill to some ear candy...this is for you. Design by Jack Rabbit.

Playtherecords' own Blue Vitriol have a track called Ravishing Tea Party on it, check it out.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Music For The Masses

I'm back from my vacation (and the lost week of lingering laziness that followed) with an inspiring article about Venezuela's music education program. Initiated by former minister of culture Dr. Jose Antonio Abreu in 1974 (long before the current Bolivarian revolution), the program has transformed Venezuela into "probably the world's leading musical centre" by making classical musicians out of many underprivileged, young Venezuelans. Consider this amazing fact:
Abreu managed to get a law passed by parliament, guaranteeing every child the right to a musical education.
To an American, the idea that a music education could be considered a guaranteed "right" is astounding. If we live in the (so-called) richest country, then why can't we have this right? It goes on:
Teachers go into schools in the countryside, the slums and the towns and let the children play with instruments.

If they show an interest, they are allowed to borrow the instrument of their choice, but have to agree to practice and to perform on it within a few weeks.

If they keep up their interest and practice seriously for two years, they are allowed to keep their instrument.

It all sounds so straightforward. With support from Venezuela's state oil company (more reason to buy your gas at Citgo - it will help put instruments in the hands of Venezuela's poor children), the program has an estimated quarter of a million young Venezuelans either playing a musical instrument or singing in a choir. Dr. Abreu sums it up better than I could:
"Historically, classical music was performed by an elite for an elite, then by an elite for the majority, but, in Venezuela, it is now being performed by a majority for a majority."

Friday, April 21, 2006

The Physics of Sound/Music

NPR's Science Friday is doing a great show on the physics of sound and music right now:

Examining the Physics of Music

Take a few select notes, add an envelope, some overtones, and just the right timbre. Now let that vibrate your basilar membrane. What do you have? Beethoven's Ninth, of course. So what makes one sound "musical" while another is just noise?


Bryant Hichwa, professor, physics and astronomy, Sonoma State University

David Kirkby, associate professor, experimental particle physics, University of California Irvine

Brian Holmes, professor of physics, San Jose State University

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

sCrAmBlEd?HaCkZ! Interviewed in Wired News

Wired News has posted an overview article on sCrAmBlEd?HaCkZ! that has a nice interview with some new information. (sCrAmBlEd?HaCkZ! has been covered here before)

The Man Behind Scrambled Hackz

WN: When might Scrambled Hackz be released to the public, and under which license and operating systems?

SK: I'm currently very busy with lots of other things, but because there's such a great interest I hope to find the time to launch (Scrambled Hackz) on SourceForge38 in mid-May. The initial release will be just the core so the nerds can already start to play with it. All code will be licensed under the GNU GPL and it will be platform-independent.

WN: I was astounded by the speed with which the program is able to reassemble the Michael Jackson interview once the sound sample database has been created. Can users of the eventual release expect that sort of performance on a normal machine? Will any special hardware be required?

SK: Michael works in real time on my 2-year-old laptop, a 1.7-(GHz) Centrino with 1.5 (GB of) RAM. No special hardware is needed; any recent computer will do it.

Read the article and interview here

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Blog Link Roundup

The New Moog: More pics & my questions answered

Boss Bass Synth Watch

The State of Digital Music in 2006

More Music File-Sharing Lawsuits in Europe

Radiohead's "Fitter Happier": cool fan-made internet video

moron whiteness, more on whiteness

Sex Pistols perform Anarchy in the UK on TV in 1976


Thursday, April 06, 2006

Good Libyan Music

I don't often agree with Marco Werman (music reviewer on PRI's The World) in terms of his taste in music. I find he often stretches to give too much credibility to what would otherwise be considered shitty, generic pop music just because it happens to come from Country X (where X != US or UK).

He so often focuses on horrid world-music/electronica fusion acts, 95% of whom sound like 4th rate under-produced electronic crap with "ethnic" singing stapled on top in a feeble attempt to mask the shoddy synth tones. Look, this was done and redone in the early ninties. Now that we've all purged our Deep Forest and Enigma CD's from our collections, can we move on?

...rant switched off...

Today though, he struck pure gold. He covered some some Libyans doing Reggae as well as some traditional music, and every song he played just jumped out at me as "gooood".

The story is available here as an mp3. Here is more info, including some links to the artists.

Props to PRI for being hep to the podcast phenomenon (do dooo di doo doo).

6 DJs. 1 podcast. Mega fun.

Blog Pals the Riddim Method have posted an insane frankenstein monster of a collaborative podcast:

Lemon-Red Mix Series: April 2006 -- the Riddim Method

How 6 people living across the country from each other collaborated on one 50 minute mix is a bit of a mystery, but what sounds good sounds good, right? Besides, any mix that includes LA Style's "James Brown is Dead" (Jacob Z's favorite song ever) is ok by me.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

NPR gets Hyphy, Hu-Hu-Hu-Hu-Hyphy

Hip-Hop to the Nth Degree: Hyphy

It never ceases to crack me up to hear the halcyon NPR voices talking about new movements in underground hip hop:
All Things Considered, April 4, 2006. Youth Radio's Tapan Munshi explains hyphy, a rap style out of the suburbs of San Francisco that is defined by a fast pace and intricate wordplay. It has been popular in the Bay Area for a while, but it's just now getting national attention. The godfather of hyphy -- rapper E-40 -- has an album in Billboard's top 100.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Scratchin' For A Guinness

Scratchin' For A Guinness

Check out these awesome Guinness ads featuring none other than Lee 'Scratch' Perry over at Distinctly Jamaican Sounds.