?

this is a list of things i encounter that i like that aren't websites and want to either share and/or say something about and/or find again later

because it's more fun to create an aesthetic object out of this urge than it is to post youtube links into the void on social media

atom feed

jimi phillip making a steelpan

jimi phillip wearing a blue cap and shirt, sitting on a chair in front of an in-progress steelpan, tools in hand

jimi phillip seems like an amazing craftsperson and this video documenting his whole process is a gift

i'd never really thought about where the steel pan sound had come from, so seeing him cut the top of a steel drum off was a real epiphany - oh, obviously steelpans came after... steel - and then - hmmmmm i wonder why certain people in the carribbean had to make their own instruments 🙃

the wikipedia article on the steelpan is a good read for the history of african music, slavery, and cultural suppression that hammered the steelpan into existence

Chas Sheppard's Sounds Like Steel documentary, which this Jimi Phillip interview is a behind-the-scenes excerpt of, is also great

식료품groceries - Log In/Create Account

i found this album by searching "muzak" on bandcamp

the cover art for the album 'ascension' by the artist 'groceries' - featuring brightly coloured photos of fruit that have been sheared by rolling shutter distortion

i am such a sucker for those vektroid random tempo / rhythm switches

chipmunks on 16 speed

a hand-drawn illustration of 3 chipmunks, standing next to a rubbish bin with a sludgy guitar melting on it

i remember when this album came out. people were so surprised by how enjoyable it was to listen to. alvin and the chipmunks, a novelty act for children, only had to be slowed down to be annointed with the aesthetic legitimacy of vaporwave, the melvins, and new beat.

the fact that the rest of the instruments were tuned down to sludge-adjacency by the slowdown is a huge part of the effect. listen to that guitar solo in walk like an egyptian!

anyway i was thinking about this album again and listened to Rebel Yell on youtube where there's a pretty good bit running in the comments.

3 comments on the video for Rebel Yell Chipmunks on 16 Speed: 'This was the only track from Alvin’s solo career to feature Simon on backing vocals. The track was recorded in the wake of Theodore’s nearly fatal car crash and hospitalisation; tragically, Theodore was in Berlin recording percussion on the Chipettes third album when the crash occurred. Alvin was contractually obligated to remain in the U.S. while working on his solo album leaving him unable to visit Theo. While Alvin was unsure if he’d ever see his beloved brother again, Simon decided he would remain in the States to be with Alvin while Dave flew to Germany. Alvin and Simon cranked out this record in just two takes. You can really hear the fear and anguish in the vocals, especially Simon’s backing vocals. This will always be my favourite performance from A and S. RIP Alvin Seville, in our hearts forever!', 'This was around the time Alvin suffered his third overdose. Seeing this tour was honestly some of the hardest live music to watch. You could genuinely feel his pain and suffering, amazing show nevertheless', 'Maybe Alvin’s most bleak track from his Solo career. It speaks to the sad state of affairs he’s fallen into as the excess of the 80’s rolled on. The torturous conditions he’s put himself into as his distance from his brothers, especially Simon, only increased.'

delightfully, i took these comments at something approximating face value when i first read them, so it only really hit me when i started reading the band's wikipedia article and discovered they weren't actually three strung out brothers who got fucked up by the eighties.

chipmunks on 16 speed continues to surprise

george orwell - can socialists be happy?

compared to Politics and the English Language, which I love, this is a funny essay.

It is a commonplace that the Christian Heaven, as usually portrayed, would attract nobody. Almost all Christian writers dealing with Heaven either say frankly that it is indescribable or conjure up a vague picture of gold, precious stones, and the endless singing of hymns. This has, it is true, inspired some of the best poems in the world:

Thy walls are of chalcedony,

Thy bulwarks diamonds square,

Thy gates are of right orient pearl

Exceeding rich and rare!

But what it could not do was to describe a condition in which the ordinary human being actively wanted to be. Many a revivalist minister, many a Jesuit priest (see, for instance, the terrific sermon in James Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist) has frightened his congregation almost out of their skins with his word-pictures of Hell. But as soon as it comes to Heaven, there is a prompt falling-back on words like ‘ecstasy’ and ‘bliss’, with little attempt to say what they consist in. Perhaps the most vital bit of writing on this subject is the famous passage in which Tertullian explains that one of the chief joys of Heaven is watching the tortures of the damned.

space is the place of contemporary western utopias, e.g. Star Trek or Iain M. Banks' Culture. All the problems back home have been solved. A life of luxury is freely available to anyone who wants it, and for those who don't: a life of exploration and diplomacy unencumbered by the religious and ethnic atavisms of humanity's pre-perfect politics. imagine a hand cracking open a cold brewski - forever.

the book makers

headsdupped to this beautiful documentary by @textfiles@mastodon.archive.org:

The book is dead, long live the book. The Book Makers is a 1-hour documentary that pulls back the curtain on the people who are keeping books alive in the 21st century. THE BOOK MAKERS profiles an eclectic group of people who have dedicated their lives to answering the question: what should books become in the digital age? From the esoteric world of book artists to the digital libraries of the Internet Archive, the film spins a tale of the enduring vitality of the book. This engaging documentary captures the painstaking but pleasurable process of creating hand-crafted books, in a diverse range of styles and mediums. The film travels from New York to Germany’s Black Forest, culminating at the Codex Book Fair in San Francisco, where the cast of characters congregates to sell their books to collectors from universities and the Library of Congress, and to curious buyers from around the world. Along the way, THE BOOK MAKERS highlights the talent, dedication and skill of these book artists, and reframes the concept and purpose of the book itself.

長谷川白紙 - 帰って来たヨッパライ

hakushi hasegawa's gorgeously maximalist cover of Drunkard Returns by The Folk Crusaders.

apparently the lyrics are

I died

I died

I died

I went to Heaven

I climbed up

A long stairway

A stairway of clouds

Tottering

I continued to climb

Wobbling

Finally I reached the gates of Heaven

Come to the paradise of Heaven once

Where alcohol tastes great and the ladies are pretty

I died because of

Drunk driving...

I died

I died

I died

I went to Heaven

I died

I died

I died

I went to Heaven

But in Heaven

Scary God

Takes away my alcohol

And always yells

"Hey you, don't you think that Heaven is something to take that lightly. Take it seriously"

Come to the paradise of Heaven once

Where alcohol tastes great and the ladies are pretty

I would drink alcohol

Every day

But I had forgotten

About God

"Hey you, Still doing that same stuff ? Get out of here"

Just like that

I was thrown out from Heaven

I descended

The stairway of clouds

I descended

The long stairway

Missing some of the steps...

When I opened my eyes

I was right in the middle of a field

I came back to life

I came back to life

i like how the voice of god is vocoded. i like the hammered dulcimer. i like the pounding bass piano note. it's good art!!

bill labounty - when the magic works

a 2 frame sparkling diamond gif

this song is so god damn good

stereolab - golden balls

the bright yellow screen print album art for the album transient random noise bursts with announcements by stereolab.

one of many sterolab tunes that i can happily loop for hours (while mass producing socialist zines, of course). i noticed in this one they did the M.E.S. thing of needle dropping in their own song to edit it. listen to this every alternate day and crest on the other.

edith piaf - la foule

perfect song

da da, da da, da da, da da

da da, da da, da da, da da

da da, da da, da da, da da

da

✿ 111loggedin // xxenaa ♡ mixes

the album art for a recent 111loggedin / xxenaa mix. a bash terminal with some random commands occluded by an anime angel holding a JVC camcorder

i think i first heard 111loggedin from the dismiss yourself youtube channel. now they're putting up their own algorithm amenable jungle mixes that i like.

the titles are encoded in various ways. half the comments are people commenting on this with amusement joking about how they'll never be able to find the video again. presumably they are so feed-addled they don't know about liking and subscribing!! the other half are people doing shannon entropy analysis on the strings to try and work out what scheme is being used. i tried running it through cryptii but wasn't able to get anything.

posterity info box for this mix

we r so fcking bacj ( ◡̀_◡́)ᕤ

✠ ——— ✠ — tracklist — ✠ ——— ✠

riffz - untitled rough tunes

chasechase - 1994

ghostrider & special k - killin

ganja kru - tigerstyle (krome and time remix)

dr s gachet - remember the roller

electric blue - away

x project - jah set it

riffz, msymiakos - lurkin shadow

electric blue - deepness

tom & jerry- till the morning

dextrous & rude boy keith- lovable

benny blanco- remember me

jimmy j & cru-L-T - take me away (slipmatt remix)

mac demarco - on the level [skeptic's another level remix]

art by: milkyhearts__

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COTyxEiIzGZH2U8LFrULlrwoQTJ0DPBJRHHpazgvqhgzphRbIInVEPWkTA0stmEL6C6vmEtof8nqjQb0nOziuDWGKW4ZUFWLwmch

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muzak

A square photo of a muzak dial, Photo Vincent Mazeau. Courtesy the Mazeau Muzak Collection

Before lofi beats to study to we had muzak to transition into a service economy to

i find muzak to be much more charming, even though it had plenty of critics in its heydey

courtesy of cabinet magazine, i tend to agree with this quote from Joseph Lanza:

“Elevator music (besides just being good music) is essentially a distillation of the happiness that modern technology has promised. A world without elevator music would be much grimmer than its detractors (and those who take it for granted) could ever realize.”

that being said, if i had an elevator, i would blast it with univeristy radio station. it's my elevator.

pj harvey - hair

the album art for dry by pj harvey. a green face and unnerving lipstick smeared lips

my brother introducted pj harvey to me when i was young and i'm very grateful to have been able to listen to her music throughout my life

the 12/8 over shuffled-5/4 polyrhythm that kicks this song off (and returns throughout) is basically the core idea of any music i play that i find interesting

the fact that such different rhythmic feelings can syncrhonise so perfectly... i think this is what mathemeticians feel when they think about euler's identity

astrel k - brighter spells

the album art for the album The Foreign Department by astrel k, featuing Rhys Edwards in the corner of a room being interviewed by a panel of anonymous mic-holding arms

a standout from a new album by rhys edwards, vinyl dust in the opening four bars barely prepares you for the massive attack bassline that knocks down the door.

tryyyyyy

a crisis averted!

i’ll cross the line again

a crisis averted

a child from the future shall write again

a curse!

yourself!

But let in the light, let in

on concrete blocks

on spiral stairs

more self assured in brighter spells

the cat came in

the moment’s here and it’s murderous!

I lost my foot on final stair

tumbled back to where i came

the hallway sleeps another kväll

on andra våningen is where brighter spells and times of trouble, entwine, then hide, then end

A conscience commuting

a dead end or one way route?

The context is worthy, astute observation of yellow suit

they cast a line

a call to bite

a reel to turn

a revert to type

a table turned

a lesson learned and it's murderous

You lost your foot on final stair

tumbled back to where you came

the hallway sleeps another kväll, on andra våningen is where

maybe you’re right

but that’s no way to go about it

I’m likely a light that was off but now is on

maybe this is less surprising if you're not familiar with previous projects ulrika spacek or tripwires, where the low end was almost always supplied by a bass guitar, but rhys has a shit ton of instruments now and they're spread out all over this song. drums, synths, guitar, tambo, sure. but then strings? and a piano and idk i think i'm hearing a xylophone in here. meticulously arranged! parts swoop in and out, never intrusively.

i particularly like the snear in his voice during the line "more self assured in brighter spells" and the strained soft little overdubs in the chorus.

kväll is swedish for "evening", and andra våningen is "second floor" - i'll probably simmer on the lyrics a little longer before i feel confident interpreting them, beyond that i suppose they're the thoughts on "progress"/"direction"/"movin' on up" of a depressive musician that expatriated to stockholm.

i hope rhys is having a brighter spell at the moment.

NAH - i dont think this will be over

he is doing it

sun ra - love in outer space

such a cute song. i love the syncopation, and the botched little fill at 0:49. it all just feels so playful and fun.

love for everybody

✌🏿

dan deacon - america

the album art for america by dan deacon, featuring a beautiful photograph of a lake surrounded by flower-covered hills

i've been mainlining the second half of this LP recently. the journey through dan deacon's signature sound - animal collective meets steve reich - is wonderfully evocative of... at least an idea of "america".

kassie krut - deluded

love these dubby sets from eve and kasra. helps tide me over till the release of their album that i'm hoping is in the works

balaclava - simon steals a lot

duplo punk that scratches my big supermarket itch and my lightning bolt swamp ass

their little EP is all that's out on bandcamp

dickie landry - hang the rich

this track is imperatively fun. i love landry's part. the drums are low in the mix, but Ricky Sebastian's also doing some great work, especially the over the bar playing around ~2:45

i could see DFA labelmates guerilla toss covering this. or working men's club.

the olive green mostly-text album art for the 45

yeah, woo!

looking for you

looking for me

yes, you know them

hang the rich

hang 'em

hang the rich

hang 'em

they look at me

they look at you

come on, ya hoo!

big long black cars

shine lights so bright

trips going to nowhere

yes, you know them

hang the rich, come on and hang 'em

hang the rich

hang 'em

designer clothes

look at that rock

which china shall i use?

swimming in the winter time

skiing in the summer

glass elevators and a penthouse, too, come on!

hang the rich

hang 'em

hang the rich

hang 'em

this one, that one

rosé, red or white?

fly here, fly there

ya hoo!

bring the bill

send it over to me

yeah that's correct 'cause i'm loaded

hang the rich

yes hang 'em

hang the rich come on and hang 'em

hang the rich

hang 'em

hang those rich

come on and hang 'em

hang the rich

hang 'em

hang the rich

come on and hang 'em

designer clothes

look at that rock

which china shall i use?

sprachen sie deutsch?

parlez vous francais?

¿hablas español

come on!

hang the rich

hang 'em

hang the rich

hang 'em

this one, that one

rosé, red or white?

fly here, fly there

ya hoo!

bring the bill

send it over to me

yes that's correct 'cause i'm loaded

hang the rich

hang 'em

hang the rich, come on

hang 'em

hang the rich

saying hang those rich

i'll hang 'em

purpur spytt - luggage in the stairs

a gentle and lovely little minimal bass-guitar-focused build-up tune from Charlotte Mermoud, reminds me of sneaks' gymnastics

the album art for
  the album Scavenges, Time-travels, and Scrapbooks by purpur spytt. it's a clip
  art style person doing a backwards arch with a purple semi-circle on the left

the light has started to decline

the sun has gone since a while

they're just starting to warm up

stretch and twist. squat and drop

tonight we put up quite a fight

looks like the flag will not turn white

each one is aiming for the heart (so much luggage in the stairs)

and here we are a time apart (what if all this wasn't theirs?)

akash murthy - digital audio tutorials

these are some very high quality, high effort explanations of concepts in digital audio synthesis.

Similarly, this series on saturation by youtuber sseb is also very good.

matt herzog - speedrunning the moma

insane RNG on the lift during the sixth floor section

scavengers reign

"This is Azi Narene, of the planetary freighter ship Demeter 227. I am marooned on planet Vesta, alone. Seeking rescue.

for fans of:

This show rules. It's gruesome and traumatizing and biological and beautiful - a grotesque and psychedelic episode of BBC Earth.

What is morality in a world that evolved without humans? Who (or what) should be considered? Each character has different ethical motivations - selfishness, prosociality, kindness, collectivism, and every motivation is confronted by the violence and harmony of Vesta.

devo - in heaven & the one that gets away palladium 1979

booji boy: hello there. y'know, in the future, when you come to devo concerts, you won't see five spud boys up here, workin' our humps off. you'll see beautiful animated holograms floating around the room. and we'll pass out diapers at the door for everyone, so that when you all get in here, we'll turn on the subsonic frequencies and we'll all shit our pants together. yeah! yeah we'll have a good time, yeah! but if you're really lucky, if you're really lucky, you'll get to come to devo island. home to the world's first recombinant dna lab. where you too can become one of the beautiful mutants of the world. and when there's enough of us. when there's enough beautiful music. we'll come back. we'll come back and we'll kill all the normal people. we'll make it a wonderful place to live. we'll make it a beautiful planet. we'll make it on earth as it is... in heaven

a musician named Erik Nervous has a pretty good studio cover also. it misses mark mothersbaugh's tremulous tenor voice but it's probably the closest thing to a studio version of the song that exists.

terra nil

a thing i often find myself doing in factorio is building a new coal mine to fuel my smokestacks to power my ammunition fabricators to kill all the animals on the planet.

i also often find myself thinking "this is fucking awful"

finally, i then wonder how i could make a morally redeemable version of the game based on ecosystems, until i get stuck at the part where the point of an ecosystem is that it doesn't require effortful intervention, and go back to throwing grenades into nurseries.

terra nil is South African studio Free Lives' attempt to get past the paradox.

in factorio, you are stranded on a planet and must construct from scratch the technological capacity of a modern nation state to build a rocket and get off the planet. how this plays out is: you're a little guy running atop patches of ore, connecting densely packed machines with pipes and conveyor belts. due to a judiciously designed material versimilitude — everything you build requires its own raw materials and energy inputs — the very act of pursuing your goal more efficiently necessarily forces you to balance the consumption and production of your factory.

this improved conveyor belt requires more steel. i'll need to increase my production of iron and reroute my coal supply blah blah blah...

ultimately, you kill most of the animals that were there first and industrialize enough of the planet to launch off into space again. as negatively as i'm framing it here, i will say that it is very, very satisfying to do this.

in terra nil, your objective is nominally the same: work on a planet and leave it. the difference is that balancing resources is the explicit goal. the planet you land on has already been desolated, and it's your job to restore a healthy ecology. you do this by placing buildings on poisoned soil that work synergistically with each other to clean, fertilize, and germinate the land. doing this optimially requires you to tetris your placements correctly in order to minimize redundant overlap, prioritised in different ways depending on which stage of the level you're on - detoxicification, biome restoration, and fauna reintroduction. once you've done these three things, you also have to recycle every building you placed, leaving only footprints as you fly off.

some more thoughts on the differences between the games

  • in factorio, alongside what's there to mine on the planet, your own time is a resource because everything has to be done or set up manually. it is amazing how close it can get to the "this is work" boundary without making you want to stop playing, because you can't accomplish your ultimate goal without sinking a lot of time into the game. in terra nil, there's a currency system and buildings appear immediately as you click on where you want them to be. thinking it through takes time, too, but far less time is spent on execution of your plan, comparatively. i think there's a lot to be written here on how controlling a guy versus birdseye strategy game agency affects the work/play boundary but if you're interested in that you should just go read an actual game theorist.
  • factorio's planets aren't beautiful. despite abundant water and minerals, most of the planet is brown. the animals there are basically the zerg, with no apparent culture or behaviour beyond "swarm and attack". you could take pride in this - "graphics aren't the point. it's about the gameplay" - but i think this should be understood as more than a simple consequence of game development prioritisation. the planet isn't beautiful because makes it less disturbing to destroy. factorio players grimly joke about how the factory must expand, because it's already uncomfortable enough. imagine if the land was diverse, lush, and thriving. or if the animals all had names and cultures and complex societies. it would be awful. it would be like a first-person shooter where all the enemies are children. so obviously the designers haven't done that. but in terra nil, beauty coming back to the land is probably the largest positive reward it gives you (i don't really care about getting a percentage bar to 100%). aesthetics are quite inseperable from gameplay.

so, i think terra nil's shift to something more akin to a puzzle, with a focus on aesthetic objectives is an interesting way to handle the paradox. it is a far shallower game. it doesn't teach you much in terms of fundamental principles of the universe in the way factorio does, but it was a calming and fun way to spend an afternoon and i think the designers of the future eco-factorio could take a lot of good lessons from its successes.

(i was clued into terra nil via the honourable mentions appended to Mark Brown's analysis of Jusant as this year's most innovative game. Thanks, Mark!)

kristine leschper - ribbon

i've been listening to kristine's music since hearing the audiotree set of her erstwhile band mothers, and i'm delighted to hear the direction she's taken her sound

this live performance of Ribbon (filmed at "the Gradwell House") is delicate and sensitive, syncopated and curious. the flute and percussion sections really distinguish the arrangement from more typical indie fare

DJ Manny - You N You

back on a footwork kick.

you don't have to be overdosing edibles to make this music, but it helps.

cruel santani - FTR

really love how nigeria is pushing hip hop forward. DJ Rashad is in here syncopating against S-Smart's Alu Jon Jonki Jon and it's just so good.

sydanie - bubble 4 a winna

Say my name

Go again and again and again and again

Say my name

Go again, and again..and again

kaarlo conley - this is america drum cover

this guy killlllllllls it

i was curious about how people would play this track, but found most people stylized it too far away from its trap roots for my liking.

this one stays faithful, at least during the verse with triplets on the hats. then it gets audition quality. check out the triple kick at the end :0

the art of louie zong

a cute painting of a polyphemus moth with mimicked eyes on its wings that appear to be looking at the moon in the sky

a cute 'n' cohesive multimedia style meets the industrial might of a hustling 'n' grinding L.A. creative. it's cool to see the gradual distinction of his aesthetic over time in spite of many (very lovingly drawn) direct inspirations.

does that make sense what i'm trying to say? even if someone starts out with "i want to create graphics that look like MacMall catalogs and vintage playing cards", if they do it for long enough they'll blend enough new things in that the original mission statement won't be what they're making any more.

it also helps that he works in many different formats

Clinton Jones's 3D render competitions

these things rule. the variety and quality of people's submissions is incredibly inspiring. some participants detail their workflows which makes me think:

  1. It is amazing how much skill this takes
  2. It is amazing how one person can do all of this

un blonde - staying in line

good will coooooooooooooome to you

good will coooooooooooooome to me

good will coooooooooooooome to us

good will coooooooooooooome

hellier ulysses - s/t

the album art for the hellier ulysses self titled put out by the studio egg paper. it features the name of the band and some cropped film frames of a running dog

a transitional species between women-music and polyrhythm indie. it's less than 10 minutes long and each song has an amazingly taut structure. alongside the muffled production and unexpectedly intriciate rhythm section, there are a couple of synth parts (e.g. 0:25 in How to Become a Small Dead Dog) that are, in my estimation, essential to its character.

Casper Electronics DIY synth building. Part 1: Oscillators

a top-down view of a breadboard synth with a circuit schematic drawn in whiteboard marker on the table surface

synth guys have the biggest fetish for aesthetics

this guy Casper Electronics is no less meticulous but there's a kind of intentional roughness in this fun and fast-paced demo of some basic sound-making circuitry that an algorithm accurately predicted i would respond positively to