RSS

Tag Archives: electronic music

Slave to the rhythm…

Over the weekend, in burst of audio-visual creativity, I made another strange gif and produced (composed, played, mixed and recorded) an all new sonic experiment.

Here’s the gif…

image

…and then there’s the musical thing; “Klack”.

As I wanted to share my latest masterpiece with you, my lovely readers (and hopefully, listeners), I uploaded it to SoundCloud, as I have done with every other weird collection of bleeps, beats, bongos and boinging noises that I’ve made over the years.

At least I tried to.

It seems that SoundCloud have disabled the music upload feature in the mobile version of their site and now offer the option of “record” only, using your device’s microphone, not by direct upload link.
Which is no bloody good if you’ve spent three hours carefully programming drum loops and experimenting with reverb, delay and bit-crusher settings on a separate app and want to send it as an mp3 file.

So as usual, I set about finding a way round the obstacle, because that’s my speciality and I consider it a personal challenge to my ingenuity.

The obvious alternative was YouTube; after all, I’ve made animated clips to go with my bizarre compositions on many occasions and then I simply embed the videos in a blog post.

But at the time (this was late on Saturday night) I didn’t fancy spending ages doing a stop-motion film, just so I could upload a new tune.
Then I had a flash of inspiration; why not upload a static image to YouTube instead, like you see all the time when an album cover or something is displayed, while music plays on the soundtrack.

So I set up my phone camera in front of an old photo I’d previously mucked about with, (displayed on my tablet) and just recorded ten minutes of that.
When I’d got my motionless video, I simply dubbed my track over it and…

…Ah.

The soundtrack appeared to consist solely of the noise that an ’80s computer made as you loaded a game from a cassette player;

SSSSKKKKKKRRRRREEEEEEEEE KKKKRRRRRKKKKKKEEEEEEE!

Oh bollocks, that wasn’t what I recorded.
So much for my brilliant idea.

I don’t know if it was some sort of feedback from the tablet screen through the camera or what, but I had two more attempts with similar results and realised I was going to have to think of something else.

Maybe it was my old video editing software.
Aha! An excuse for a new gadget.
Excellent.

After two new apps, (and an abortive try at videoing gifs) one to remove the audio from the original video and the other one to…well, you’ll see in a moment, I managed to stick the component parts together and upload the result to YouTube.

Now, the extra bits in the video; they are only there to make it more interesting than watching a still photo for ten minutes, they are not in any way meant to be synchronised with the music, but having done this rather rushed version, I may well practice with my new toy and present further projects for your perusal at a later date.

After all that, you’ll probably either love it or hate it, my musical taste is somewhat acquired at the best of times, let alone when I’m actually making it myself, so a ten minute electronic percussion frenzy might not be for everyone.

Give it a listen anyway, I bet it’ll get your foot tapping by half way through.

Here’s Klack, music and video by yours truly.

It builds slowly…

 
11 Comments

Posted by on February 29, 2016 in Animation, Arts, Music, Personal anecdote, Video

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Sunday chill: Janjot jam…

Today I’ve been mucking about with Oscilab, the loop making app that I use to construct my sonic noodlings, like Janjot, the tune I came up with to mark the end of Just Jot It January last weekend.

Following encouraging comments from my old friend Ho and fellow blogger John Howell, I decided to continue experimenting with the original tune, or at least its component parts, to see if I could improve on it at all.

The result is a slightly darker, more atmospheric number, using a bass drone to add more drama and substance to the background, while the waves of twinkly noises and percussion wash over the top.
It’s a bit of an epic production and I’m rather pleased with it.

See what you think, you can hear it in all its glory by clicking the big blue link below the artwork.

Enjoy.

image

Listen to JANJOT JAM via this link.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on February 7, 2016 in Music

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Just Jot It January: Day thirty one…

image

It’s finally reached the end!
I’ve made it through Just Jot It January, having posted once or more for every day this month and to celebrate, I’ve composed a calming little tune to chill out to.

So may I present the world premier of Janjot, which you can listen to by clicking the link below, (Go on, click it, it’s the only way I can get it into the post, so there’s no point in you coming all the way here and then not listening to at least SOME of it, is there?) because you never know, you might like it.

Thank you to the superhuman efforts of Linda G Hill for curating JJIJ, I don’t know how she finds the time.
And thank you for letting me into your busy lives every day this month, normal service may well return tomorrow; who knows…?

THIS IS THE GREAT BIG, REALLY OBVIOUS LINK TO “JANJOT”, CHECK IT OUT ON SOUNDCLOUD HERE!

#JusJoJan

Pingback to Linda G Hill.

 
8 Comments

Posted by on January 31, 2016 in Arts, Just Jot It January, Music

 

Tags: , , ,

The last rock ‘n’ roller…

I’ve been a huge fan of music for 40 years and over that time I have discovered a great many bands and artists who have stayed with me, such was the impression they made on me when I first heard them.

And when one of those cornerstones of my personal music heritage passes away, it always seems right that I should pay my respects somehow, even when the subject of any such tribute would almost certainly scoff at it for being over-sentimental nostalgic bollocks.

image

Ian Fraser “Lemmy” Kilmister, 24/12/45 – 28/12/15.

My taste in music has always been eclectic, purely because (with the exception of embarrassing childhood purchases like The Bay City Rollers and Showaddywaddy) I have continued to listen to everything I have ever bought, so I’d never seen any contradiction in being a Pink Floyd fan who loved  Kraftwerk, or a Rush devotee who was also massively into New Order, although the tribal subdivisions of youth sometimes caused some friction, of the “you-can’t-be-a-headbanger-and-like-Gary Numan-too” variety.

All of which I ignored.

I didn’t want to be in their gang anyway. Or anyone else’s for that matter.

But then one band, one voice, one thunderous, gloriously over-the-top wall of noise arrived and for a while it was all that I listened to with my small group of junior metal-head school friends.

Even in an era where metal, punk and new wave were all still popular in the record shops and on the chart rundown every Sunday, this astonishing sonic assault was nothing like we had ever heard before and Motörhead soon became the very epitome of “heavy” rock.

And this particular blistering album by them was rarely off the turntables and tape decks of our teenage bedrooms at the time.

The band’s frontman, Lemmy, is credited with being everything from “the godfather of grunge” to “the hardest working man in rock” and was once described as having a voice “like a man who gargles with hot gravel”, but however the media portray him he has only ever described Motörhead as a rock ‘n’ roll band and has repeatedly corrected journalists who labelled them as “Heavy Metal”.

Lemmy did, after all, first find success in another of my all time favourite bands, Hawkwind, the stoner space rock collective who would eventually sack him for reliability issues brought on by his already herculean intake of amphetamines, resulting in his subsequent speed-related arrest on the Canadian border whilst on tour with them in the late ’70s.

Here he is playing with his trademark thundering bass style on perennial Hawks crowd pleaser, Silver Machine…

Undeterred, Lemmy formed Motörhead a few years later and has been fronting the rotating line-up ever since; their style never changing from the original frantic, bass strumming, drum galloping, speed soloing, throat shredding, grimy rock bulldozer that finally found them international fame with the archetypal Lemmy tune, Ace of Spades.

Seemingly indestructible for the last three decades or more, Lemmy Kilmister died today, only a short time after being diagnosed with cancer.

It’ll be a long time until someone who so perfectly embodies the term “rock ‘n’ roller” comes along again and the world will be a less entertaining place for his passing.

Killed By Death, indeed.

Like I said, he wouldn’t have given a toss about any fawning retrospectives on his contribution to music, so I’ll leave you with the best possible tribute to one of the world’s last real monsters of rock; the man in his own words.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Lemmy: The Movie, enjoy.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on December 29, 2015 in Arts, Music, Personal anecdote, Video

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Get Spangled…

Just because I haven’t done any for a while, I thought I’d have another go at creating one of my peculiar sonic soundscapes at the weekend.
And since I can never resist adding a visual element to these little experiments, I made one of my lo-tech videos to accompany the new tune.

That’s it, just that.

And here it is, “SPANGLES”, in all its twinkly glory.
Enjoy.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 22, 2015 in aardvark, Animation, Arts, Music, Photography, Video

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Melodic Randomiser Unspooled 1…

image Welcome, one and all, to the first installment of this new archival plundering of my music collection, this time via the little plastic cases of wonder/frustration we folks from the olden days knew as cassettes, or simply “tapes”.

Melodic Randomiser Unspooled will follow the same pattern as the CD version; I shall occasionally dip into my vintage cassette library, progressing through the various boxes of pre- and  home-recorded albums and compilations, posting videos and links to whatever random example of magnetically preserved masterpiece takes my fancy from each trio of tapes.

Since the same principal of chaotic disorganization that ruled my CD racks has been applied to storing my tapes, you never know what sort of strange brew you’ll end up with, with today’s first mixtape being a fine example.

image

The Steve Miller band had several pretty big hits, one of them briefly resurrecting Steve’s career, by way of its use in a jeans commercial, although the  track I’ve chosen today isn’t one of his most memorable songs.
This is probably due to the fact that it comes from the 1984 release, Italian X-rays, a bad enough name for an album as it is, without adding insult to injury by swamping any remaining musical credibility with horrible cheesy ’80s synth lines.

I thought I’d go the whole hog and play the one track that’s completely synth-based. I mean, when you’re dealing with cheese, there’s no point in going for half measures is there?

Here’s Bongo Bongo, terrible eighties animated video and all.

Next up, a mixtape in itself, one made for me by a friend, (that noble, pre-internet tradition of music sharing; Hello and thank you, Nick) kicking off with Side One, Various Artists and the first of two tracks, Richard Warren‘s multi-genre project, Echoboy and a song called Kit And Holly

…followed by another man whose style is impossible to pigeonhole, Johnny Dowd and the fabulous Monkey Run.

Side two has a definite theme, beginning with a few songs from Talking Heads Fear Of Music album and I’ve chosen this characteristically spiky offering, Paper

…segueing nicely into a couple of solo David Byrne songs, my favourite of which is this joyously percussive slice of eccentrica, Look Into The Eyeball.

So far, so varied, but tape number three ups the eclecticism ante somewhat, containing as it does a radio recording from ten years ago.
BBC Radio’s One’s “Peel Day” was a celebration of the life and work of veteran DJ, champion of unsigned bands and national treasure, John Peel, who tragically died one year earlier.
The live, all night broadcast featured interviews, live performances and archive sessions by bands and artists who had been mentored by John, had appeared on the show, or were simply inspired to make music by listening to his legendary late night transmissions, from both the BBC and the studio at his family’s home, “Peel Acres”.

The first track that came on when I pressed play (sacrilegiously, the tape hadn’t been rewound!) was instantly recognisable as one of the so called “world music” artists to get regular airplay on John’s show, Kanda Bongo Man.
Listening to Peel was what introduced me to the frenetic rhythms of African music, especially the sort of lively guitar sounds associated with music from Soweto and the Belgian Congo (now called Zaire).
This song from the Congolese superstar reminds me of that thrill of new musical discovery, all those years ago.

This is Sai.

Then, in typical Peel fashion, I was treated to this historic live session recording of Whole Lotta Love by rock’s Golden Gods, Led Zeppelin, from way back in 1969.

Side two of the last in my opening salvo of jukebox tom-spoolery begins with something that, again, couldn’t be more different, a live performance from hardcore electronic experimentalist, Kid 606 and from that set I’ve chosen this, the original video for The Illness.

Which only leaves us with the final song they played in tribute to one of radio’s greatest exponents of new music, the song of which John Peel once said;

“If they ever do a tribute show for me when I die, this’ll be the last song they play.”

A fitting end then, to the inaugural post of the Melodic Randomiser‘s return; ladies and gentlemen, please be upstanding for Roy Harper and When An Old Cricketer Leaves The Crease.

Thank you for listening.

image

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Gadgets, gizmos and musical mandalas…

Yes, I’ve been fiddling with technology again, in pursuit of new and interesting forms of audio visual entertainment.

The latest addition to my electronic arsenal is nothing fancy or complicated however, in fact it’s nothing more than a child’s toy.
The Android phone application, Magic Paint Kaleidoscope, is a digital art maker that enables you to produce an infinite number of fantastic patterns in a variety of shapes and colours, just like the ones I remember seeing through the eyepiece of a cheap tin tube filled with glass beads when I was a kid, but with an added twist.
Once you have created your patterns, you can play them back, watching them evolve from blank page to mind-bending, multi-coloured mandalas before your eyes.

image

Having got the hang of switching between colours and styles, discovering how to create specific designs by using various parts of the screen and managing to make some pretty pictures with vibrant colours and a distinctly psychedelic flavour, I began to consider the animation possibilities of this new gadget.

My first idea was to add small amounts of the design at a time, taking individual frames of each stage and then animating them to show the build up of the pattern, then possibly adding music to the resulting clip.
This worked fine, but it made for a rather jarring animation, each new layer of the design appearing instantly over the previous one, without the smooth drawing action I was after.
That was when it occurred to me to simply film the playback of the pattern and then dub music over it afterwards.

I hadn’t got as far as composing a custom soundtrack for the finished video at this point, so I used an old piece of music that I made a few months back, called Gothic, and simply kept adding to my pattern until the running time was the same as the music.
This is the result. I call it Kaleidogothic.

I watched it about half a dozen times before I stopped being incredibly impressed with my own staggering genius, (a fairly standard reaction I have to any flash of brilliant inspiration that comes to me) and then started work on a custom made, fully synchronised, bespoke tune for an all new project.

I turned to my trusty Oscilab loop maker/sequencer and, whilst watching the kaleidoscopic masterpiece that I’d carefully created, playing back on my phone, I composed and recorded a live mix on my tablet that fitted perfectly with the evolving patterns in front of me.
After that it was simply a matter of dubbing the sound over the visuals and voila! an original artwork with specially composed soundtrack.

So with no more ado than saying that I hope you enjoy my latest composition, allow me to present Psycheleidoscope.

I tend to get on a bit of a roll once I find a new muse, so I continued to play with musical ideas, attempting more of a long-form piece, without the accompanying visuals.
The result is an eight minute trance-like psychedelic jam, that I have uploaded to Soundcloud, which reminds me of the motorik rhythms of Krautrock.

So, lay back, close your eyes and chill out to the sound of Motorix.

MOTORIX – CLICK LINK

{All the audio visual experiments you could ever want are of course available via my Sound and Vision page}

 
4 Comments

Posted by on September 21, 2014 in aardvark, Animation, Arts, Music, Photography

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Hodown – A musical interlude…

Old friend and blog artist-in-residence, Ho and I have always exchanged some sort of musical birthday gifts.
Whether it was the good old days of the meticulously compiled mixtape, made on C-90 cassettes (of which I still have hundreds) and back-timed to within seconds of the running time, or digging something interesting out of the CD racks in the local record shop to put in the post, or nowadays maybe just sending a few mp3 files via e-mail, we’ve been giving each other new stuff to listen to for thirty years.

Well, this year I thought that, due to;
a) having a permanent mental block on the date of Ho’s birthday
b) having no money, and
c) having run out of excuses
that I’d make Ho’s musical birthday present instead.
I mean, a homemade gift is far better than one you’d buy in the shops, right? (Go with me on this, ok)

Without further ado, I turned to my trusty Pocketband loop making app and began tinkering.
What eventually emerged was a little something I call Hodown. (in no way does this indicate any similarity with barn dances) and you can listen to it in all its glory via the link below.

It will also get a permanent slot on the Sound and vision… page and for those of you who have yet to sample my sonic experiments and animation projects, why not go check that out while you’re here.

So Ho, ladies and gentlemen, readers, followers, and haters of the “Oxford comma” everywhere, put your hands over your ears together for….

                     
      Link>>> HODOWN <<<Link

image

Please let me know what you think.

Happy birthday Ho.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on May 7, 2014 in Animation, Arts, Ho., Music, Personal anecdote

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

 
Running with the Pack

An American Gypsy

Chet Desmond Has Vanished

But Where Did He Go?

48 before its too late

48 states in an RV in 6 months.

AesthesiaMag

French magazine - art & visual culture

cmsaunders

The online presence of dark fiction writer C.M. Saunders

Timeandreflections

"We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect"

Little Fears

Tales of humour, whimsy and courgettes

JOHNNY SPANGLES - THE VILE PILE

The ramblings of a very troublesome haemorrhoid on health, travel, art, sport, bad dogs, good cats and other stuff at www.johnnyspangles.com

The Lessons

that time forgot to teach

SOZ SATIRE

The Best of British Bullshit

Homeschool To UnSchool

Teaching Our Kids to Wonder Again

Ellenbest24

words and scribble.

sloppybuddhist

hedy bach original photography mixed stories and music

Isabella Morgan

Opinions not otherwise specified

Author Kyle Perkins

The latest and greatest of my documented daydreams

Rereading Jane Eyre

Author Luccia Gray

Luca Sartoni

Protector of Asynchronicity at Automattic

Pages That Rustle

The journey from words to stories.

trickyemotions

For your mind only!

Waruni Anuruddhika

Film and photography

Tyler Charles Austen

Foul mouthed, Queer and Angry

balloonfacetrace

The facepainting and balloon twisting lady

Art by Rob Goldstein

Reject Nihilism

Kristin King Author

True Story...

The Paper Kind

Creative living.

thegirlwhofearoblivion

To Share, To Connect, To Create, To Inspire.

unbolt me

the literary asylum

swo8

Music means something and art is right up there too

Broken Castles

Shattered long ago...

Joshi Daniel Photography

Photoblog of Joshi Daniel

iamthemilk

Every day I'm jugglin'.

The Write Project

"The answer is to write." - Richard Rhodes

b e t u n a d a

I'm interested in THE GLUE BETWEEN THINGS. "Back on planet URTH" i search for and study desert wombats and inukThingies (they're like inukshuks) while rambling in the high desert of western Colorawdough.

Sam Seabornen

Photography, Movies, Books

bizchair.wordpress.com/

Stop Yearning, Start Earning

Sass and Sauce

A dash of sass, a dollop of sauce!

%d bloggers like this: