Monday, December 31, 2007
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
The Board of Trustees of Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) announced on December 21, 2007 that John Maeda, Associate Director of Research at the MIT Media Lab, has accepted the offer to become the 16th president of RISD.
RISD Board Chair Merrill Sherman said, “We are delighted to name John Maeda as successor to Roger Mandle. RISD has a special obligation to play a leadership role in the world of art and design, nationally and internationally. Creativity and innovation are more important than ever. We believe John will be a bold, innovative and exciting president and will enhance RISD’s role in helping to shape and inform art and design in this century.”
Full release here.
I didn't see that one coming. Should be very interesting to see where he takes things.
+ read his interview in BusinessWeek.
Posted by: Michael Doyle at 12/25/2007 11:37:00 AM
Our next year-end list comes from Ghostly International founder Sam Valenti IV:
SV4 at Les Infants Terribles, summer 2005 [photo by Jeffrey Paul]
Favorite 10 new albums I heard this year.
1. Interpol - Our Love To Admire (Capitol)
Love it or hate it, I came back to this more than any other album and it only got better.
2. Various Artist - After Dark (Italians Do It Better)
This may be the equivalent of being 7 and dressing up with your girl friend (not girlfriend), and pretending to be in a band in front of the mirror, but when its this stylish and moody, how could you hate it?
3. Various Artists - Cocoon Compilation 6 (Cocoon Recordings)
Audion, Dettman, Onur Ozer and MyMy's "Flash Freeze". This is the perfect cross-section to show why Techno is the most exciting it's been in years.
4. Yeasayer - All Hour Cymbals (We Are Free)
Upon first listen, gave me the feeling of hearing Broken Social Scene for the first time, a feeling of fun, new and exciting times.
5. Pantha du prince - This Bliss (Dial)
Haunting, mesmerizing and all those "sublime" words people like to use.
6. Peter and the Wolf - The Ivori Palms (Whiskey And Apples Records)
Thanks Will Calcutt!
7. Jens Lekman - Night Falls Over Kortedaa (Secretly Canadian)
If only for "The Opposite of Hallelujah".
8.Uuitsitalo - Karhunainen (Huume)
The marriage of dance and abstraction like only Vladislav Delay can do, the type of record that goes unheralded, but proof of consistent genius.
9. New Young Pony Club - Fantastic Playroom (Modular)
This album as a whole doesn't get many plays, but since my lady put them put "Ice Cream" on a mix cd for me, I've been hooked on them.
10. Ghostly and Spectral releases
Someone's gotta do it. I'm extremely proud of our releases from Audion, Cepia, Daso, Kiln, Lusine, Matthew Dear, Mobius Band, Osborne, Par Grindvik and Skeletons and The Kings Of All-Cities.
related: all entries tagged Best of 2007
Posted by: Michael Doyle at 12/25/2007 10:36:00 AM
Saturday, December 22, 2007
View high resolution trailer here.
I've been infatuated with the 2004 Japanese live action film Casshern since seeing the trailer above a couple of years ago and rumors of a US release. After waiting for two years with nothing more than the promise of "coming soon", I had almost forgotten about it - until I saw it on the shelf at the video store recently! It's a shame that it never had its theatrical release over here, becuase it deserves to be viewed larger than life.
Based on the 1973 animated television series Shinzō Ningen Casshern, director Kazuaki Kiriya's modern adaptation is one of the most visually stunning films ever made.
Relying as much on visual metaphors as dialogue, the story is more sophisticated than you'd think for such an action-packed movie and touches directly on current political and social themes, as well as timeless ones related to the human condition, both broad and intimate.
You can watch clips here, but I'd strongly suggest buying the DVD and watching it on the biggest screen you can find.
Posted by: Michael Doyle at 12/22/2007 09:06:00 AM
Our very own Andy Malone will be showing and demonstrating his mechanical sculptures at the newly re-opened Detroit Institute of Arts this afternoon. Come speak with the artist and experience his work first hand.
Andy's whimsical machines and drawings have been shown in over thirty exhibitions since 1995. Andy will present his sculptural works and let visitors test a prototype of his new sculptural board game.
Saturday, December 22, 2007 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Info here and MetroMode article here.
Posted by: Michael Doyle at 12/22/2007 08:08:00 AM
Friday, December 21, 2007
Bavarian Motor Werks was the first car company to be fully iPod compatible. Now, rumor has it that the boys from München are working tightly with the Cupertino camp on a new in-car operating system to replace BMW's innovative but rightfully maligned iDrive interface. As a partnership, it makes a lot sense: both have gotten a bad rap over the years as being toys for elitist jerks, but they do both make, without question, the very best products in their respective businesses. (Haters be damned.)
The gadget blogs seem more interested in whether future BMWs will have an iPod dock or not. I think that's missing the forest for the trees. Over the past twenty years cars have become extremely dependent on complex computer systems, yet OEMs have yet to come up with a good interface between the driver and these systems. I think that the reigning masters of intuitive interface design [Apple] and the masters of driver-oriented cars [BMW] getting together to define the next evolutionary jump for driver/machine interaction is perfect. (If there is one U.S. manufacturer I'm pulling for, it's Ford. I just hope for their sake they don't do something really stupid like strike up a partnership with Microsoft... uh...)
Apple has two very different faces. On one side, they make ultra high-end/high-performance/high-design/high-price machines. On the other end, they are extremely friendly and easy to use by everyone. Apple has always been "the people's computer." It makes a lot of sense for them to partner with the original people's car: Volkswagen. There are dozens of rumors floating around about a potential iCar. The latest rumors suggest that talks have stalled (maybe this is related to iDrive 2.0? Who knows.) There's speculation that VW's all-but-110%-confirmed new entry-level Space model will feature an Apple designed interface... a gestural interface at that! Let's hope this isn't all concept car pipe dreams.
Last but not least interesting, just today is talk of Apple computers being deployed by the U.S. military because, according to the army, they are more secure than Windows-based systems. I'd like to spare you from the painfully obvious, but I can't resist: Der!
Posted by: Michael Doyle at 12/21/2007 07:37:00 PM
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Ghostly International is in the giving spirit; releasing two holiday songs a day for three days. Go here for your first two gifts: the lovely "Rays in the Tallow" by Benoit Pioulard, and a dreamy electrified rendition of "Christmas Time is Here" from Cepia. Check back over the next couple days for more goodies.
Circlesuare's modern holiday classic "Untitled for Christmas" has been lovingly re-mastered and kindly re-posted for your downloading pleasure at Circlesquare.ca This is also the only place to get physical copies the now out of print Fight Sounds EP and Pre-Earthquake Anthem LP.
Posted by: Michael Doyle at 12/20/2007 11:36:00 AM
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
You've probably seen Linzie Hunter's brilliant Spam One Liners project around the blogosphere.
You can now buy prints (but not postcards... yet) of these whimsical hand lettered gems.
Digging around her Flickr sets a bit reveals a wealth of scanned vintage illustrations, books, photographs, packaging and design. Check it out!
Posted by: Michael Doyle at 12/19/2007 02:13:00 PM
Monday, December 17, 2007
When you kick off your week with six cups of coffee and a raw video clip of an early Ministry/Skinny Puppy collaboration, followed by intense production meetings, making impossible schedules possible, and facing a long evening of putting out fires, the last thing you want to do is chill out. The accelerated heart rate feels good. You're getting stuff done. Nothing keeps the blood flowing better than pure teen-angst-laden machine music.
So presented here are a selection of classic cyberpunk music videos you can bookmark to keep you going for that next pre-review all-nighter, battle day at the office, or to just rock out to at home.
Front Line Assembly - Mindphaser (1992)
This appears to be a multi-million-dollar music video, which wasn't exactly feasible for a highly influential but rather small Canadian indie label like Nettwerk. FLA and their production team masterfully blended original footage with clips from the Japanese cyberpunk film GUNHED. The resulting narrative... wait, there isn't really a narrative here, but it looks f*cking awesome. Mindphaser went on to win MTV's "Alternative Music Video of the Year" in 1992.
Nine Inch Nails - Happiness In Slavery (1992)
I remember when Madonna's Erotica came out, there was so much controversy - "Oh, it's so radical... S&M, oh my!" Shut the hell up. She's so consistently late to the party it's not even funny anymore. Within a few months Trent Reznor, director Jon Reiss and performance artist Bob Flanagan showed everyone what "hardcore" really meant. One of the best music videos as art film ever, and banned everywhere. Nine Inch Nails went on to win multiple Grammys that year.
Einsturzende Neubauten - Blume (1992)
Not heart-racing materieal by any means, but probably my favorite video ever - from the godfathers of industrial.
Posted by: Michael Doyle at 12/17/2007 06:50:00 PM
Home video of Ogre performing with Ministry in 1988(!)
I wonder if Paul is whispering at the beginning, "Hey, look sharp - this might end up on something called YouTube in the future."
Posted by: Michael Doyle at 12/17/2007 11:52:00 AM
Krampus illustrated by Travis Louie
Words from The Morning News:
Santa Claus may be a wonderful symbol of the holiday spirit, but time and consumer society have warped him to the point where he makes little sense. The idea behind Santa, originally, was to carrot-and-stick little boys and girls into good behavior - he’s got a list, he’s checking it twice, and if you fall under the ‘naughty’ category it’s switches and coals for you. But what child in America is at all afraid of receiving a lump of coal under the tree? What child even knows what a ‘switch’ is? Thanks to a range of factors - Dr. Spock and Mattel are high on the list—Santa’s beneficence fait accompli.
Alpine Europe, on the other hand, doesn’t have this problem. This is because years ago St. Nick’s job was split - while the jolly old elf delivered the goods, an evil, goat-horned spirit called the Krampus brought switches and bad dreams to the boys and girls of Austria, southern Germany, Switzerland, and far northern Italy.
Saint Nicholas and his helpers in an alpine village [origin of photo unknown]/vintage postcard
And while many regional European traditions are giving way to international consumer culture (the fat, red-bedecked Santa is in fact quickly replacing the rail-thin St. Nick throughout the continent), the Krampus is alive and well. He even has his own day - December 5. His success is certainly thanks in part to the lack of a parallel in American society. But he has stuck around mostly because Krampus Fest, like most holidays in alpine Europe, is a beloved excuse for small towns to get together and drink their brains out.
vintage Austrian postcards
According to Mannfred Kapper of the Austrian Cultural Forum, the Krampus was initially a side note to the St. Nicholas story, a goat-faced eminence noir who accompanied St. Nick on his December gift-giving tours. ‘Nicholas and Krampus would come to the houses together,’ Kapper said. ‘Nicholas gave the children presents and Krampus beat them.’ But in the last 200 years, Krampus has slowly developed an identity of his own. ‘Today Krampus is more popular in the countryside, but if you come to the city it is more St. Nicholas,’ he said.
Here's a small gallery of Krampus images I put together last night (which Mr. Sterling was quicker at the draw than I on posting.)
Posted by: Michael Doyle at 12/17/2007 06:49:00 AM
Friday, December 14, 2007
A few days ago Jalopnik followed up with a post and survey about their Flickr photos we grabbed last week. (Big surprise that 92% of readers prefer the Audi engine design.)
Although I was intially in the camp that considered the Audi engine a work of absolute perfect design/engineering balance, and the Lexus engine an utterly despicable display of thoughtlessness and bad design, I stepped back and got to thinking about the cultural differences between Germany and Japan. Germans are traditionally obsessed with order (a bit too much sometimes...) while Japan often tends toward a fetish for chaotic mechanical complexity. One needs to look only as far as the streets of Tokyo or the brilliant cult classic Tetsuo: The Iron Man.
There is the distinct possibility that the Lexus engineers find that seemingly random tangle of wires the sexiest thing ever. I am a European car fanatic and like to wrench on my cars myself, so I can't appreciate that school of thouhgt whatsoever when I can't find the spark plugs, let alone change them. But it is a very reasonable explanation. Quality obsessive Lexus - of all companies - can't possibly put such seemingly horrible design out there without reason. The engine compartment of the IS-F may very well represent the ultimate example in over-the-top technology as a pure aesthetic, and within that context, the better and more advanced design of the two.
What do you think?
Posted by: Michael Doyle at 12/14/2007 01:08:00 AM
Thursday, December 13, 2007
China's leaning towers face moment of truth
BEIJING (AFP) - Work on arguably the most radical office building on earth has reached a crucial point, with engineers ready to join the two leaning towers that will be the new home of China's state broadcaster.
model and diagram by Office of Metropolitan Architecture
Groping 70 metres (230 feet) into space, 160 metres above Beijing's Central Business District, two cantilevered arms have been slowly edging towards each other from the twin towers that lean over at a sharp angle. If weather conditions allow, the tricky manoeuvre will take place this week.
"It's the most interesting point in the whole process," said architect Ole Scheeren, the German partner in Rem Koolhaas's Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA).
Engineers have a one-hour window before dawn to complete the crucial task when the building will be least affected by temperature change. At any other time, imbalances caused by expansion of the steal beams through the heat of the sun would be locked into the complex structure forever.
The building is effectively a twisted tube - a loop folded in space, according to Scheeren - that forms the world's largest corporate headquarters and the second biggest office building in the world after the Pentagon.
Two angled towers reaching up into the skyline are joined at the top by a canopy that will eventually house 11 floors of offices, restaurants and public areas suspended over a void.
Just to intensify the sensation of "free-fall vertigo," glass flooring will be installed on the bottom floor of the overhang, said Scheeren.
[Story via Archinect]
All photos by Tom van Dillen. See his fantastic photo gallery here.
Posted by: Michael Doyle at 12/13/2007 10:19:00 AM
If you're like me and have just only begun to think about gift shopping, our good friends at Core are here to help with their list of 77 Gifts Under $77.
Some favorites include Wrenchware by Northern Tool + Equipment, Core's Design, Wit, and the Creative Act poster, Material Paper Goods, MoMA's 3D Drawing Pad and Pentagram's Classic Typographic Calendar.
Posted by: Michael Doyle at 12/13/2007 09:22:00 AM
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Not really. I mean... I don't think so.
Let me back up for a sec. and start over...
Google Street View for Detroit went live yesterday. As the 11th largest city in the country... whoa, tangent: When the hell did San Diego, San Antonio, Phoenix and San Jose pass us? What is that about? Those were considered cute resort towns when I was a kid, if they even existed back then. Anyway, as the 5th largest city in the country (in 1970), one might figure Detroit would be one of the first to be photographed by
Google's Immersive Media's army of New Beetles. Well knowing that Detroit is generally considered a third world country within the borders of the United States, we don't take anything for granted. That's why it's a pleasant surprise whenever someone thinks we're important enough for something like early adoption of Google Street View.
Street View is a fantastic application, and I'm really impressed with the extent Detroit is documented so far. The thing is though, the very first place I went was Techno Boulevard - specifically the block of Gratiot which is home to Transmat, Metroplex, KMS and the Atlas Building. It turns out this the only block of Gratiot not documented on Street View. You can get as close as the corner of Gratiot and Russell, but not close enough to get a good view. I suppose it's no big deal for me, since I'm down there all the time, but I have to imagine that block would be the primary site of interest for techno tourists.
Chances are the camera car took a left turn into Eastern Market and just forgot to go back and cover that block. Still, it's entertaining to think there's a conspiracy at foot. (I'm easily entertained sometimes.)
Posted by: Michael Doyle at 12/12/2007 12:48:00 PM
The third installment of our irregular food feature, where I gab on about something I cooked.
I went into Westborn Market after work last night with no idea what I was going to make for dinner. Sometimes the best meals come from just walking around to see what looks good. (This can be really dangerous when you're hungry.) The first thing that caught my eye was a beautiful pile of fresh poblano peppers - not something we see so often in Michigan in December. The hunt was on for what to stuff them with and what to serve alongside. I've never attempted to make poblanos before, or even looked at recipe for that matter. The fun of cooking is making it up as you go.
I brought a pair of peppers home and stuffed them with mushroom goat cheese, sauteed baby spinach, spicy pickled garlic, lobster mushrooms, diced bulb onions and tomatoes, poured olive oil over the lot and popped them in the oven. Meanwhile in the skillet was white asparagus, chopped garlic and bacon. (Bacon makes everything better.) When the asparagus was done, we put two gorgeous pieces of wild halibut in the same pan and seared them right in the bacon fat with some sea salt and white pepper. This was a last minute decision that could have been disastrous, but I think ended up being a moment of divine intervention that pulled the whole meal together. The hint of smokey flavor the bacon grease added to the sashimi quality fish was phenomenal and unlike anything I've ever tasted.
When plated, the poblanos were topped with shaved machengo, fresh salsa and guacamole. The guac was a simple mixture of avocado, diced tomatoes and the same spicy pickled garlic in the peppers. The asparagus/bacon medley and the halibut was drizzled with the juice from the baking pan. I'm not sure exactly what that was, but can presume it was a combination of olive oil and fluids cooked out of the vegetables and cheese. Whatever it was, it was tasty.
This went surprisingly well with an '06 red Zinfandel. We actually had a Weiss beer poured as well, since beer seems to go better with most Mexican food, but the hearty red worked better in this case. The bacon, the cheese, the garlic... whatever it was, it worked. This is definitely something we'll be making again. ¡Buen apetito!
Posted by: Michael Doyle at 12/12/2007 10:24:00 AM
From Allen's Best of '07 Post:
If this list says anything about 2007 its that DJ-culture is no-longer about the filler that Philip Sherburne, or the like, will chart. Parties have become about small, unexpected moments, but most importantly DJ’s have taken back the song from the bloggers.
Hell, we've been trying to articulate that since 2001, but I could not have said it better myself.
Bravo, Mr. Goodman. Bravo.
Posted by: Michael Doyle at 12/12/2007 12:09:00 AM
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
A Minor History of Giant Spheres from Cabinet Magazine.
Newton Cenotaph by Étienne-Louis Boullée, 1784
Visionary French architect Étienne-Louis Boullée designs his Cenotaph for Newton, a giant sphere punctured by holes that create the illusion of suspended stars. He writes, "O Newton! … I conceived the idea of surrounding thee with thy discovery, and thus, somehow, surrounding thee with thyself. … From whatever side we look at this shape, no trick of perspective can alter the magnificence of its perfect form... as soft and as flowing as it is possible to imagine."
BLDGBLOG had a couple of great posts related to Boullee's monuments a while back. Well worth another look. For even more tangentary reading, see Pruned's entry about Jean-Jacques Lequeu.
Posted by: Michael Doyle at 12/11/2007 04:32:00 PM
Hirst inspired cellphone charm?
"Sometimes, there is no border between Loveliness & weird..."
Be sure to watch the promotional video.
Posted by: Michael Doyle at 12/11/2007 11:20:00 AM
Tycho's new single is released today on Ghostly Digital. A recent addition to Ghostly SMM family, Tycho [a.k.a. Scott Hansen] weaves organic and electronic sounds into a lush and delicate web. The Daydream feels like soft sunlight on your face on this rainy December morning.
Posted by: Michael Doyle at 12/11/2007 09:56:00 AM
Monday, December 10, 2007
To be a bit different this year I decided to identify the boldest choices that I heard from various DJ’s this year. Be them renowned or unknown the following gave me some of the best moments as far as I, the club-goer, was concerned.
What makes some of these selections interesting is that most appeared on albums or compilations that had a single that was more casually played. While this is certainly not the case for some, ‘The Magic Position’ or ‘D.A.N.C.E.’ for instance, when I initially heard most of these tracks they appeared obscure but most went on to some sort-of notoriety outside of the club scene.
If this list says anything about 2007 its that DJ-culture is no-longer about the filler that Philip Sherburne, or the like, will chart. Parties have become about small, unexpected moments, but most importantly DJ’s have taken back the song from the bloggers.
Black Kids ‘I’m Not Going to Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You’
Simian Mobile Disco ‘Wooden’
Gui Boratto ‘Mr. Decay’
Chromeo ‘Bonafied Lovin’ (Tough Guys)’
Kalabrese ‘Not the Same Shoes’
Pantha du Prince ‘Saturn Strobe’
Caribou ‘After Hours’
Dan Deacon ‘The Crystal Cat’
The Field ‘A Paw in My Face’
Jens Lekman ‘Sipping on the Sweet Nectar’
Kanye West ‘Good Life’
LCD Soundsystem ‘Us v Them’
Patrick Wolf ‘The Magic Position’
Prodigy ‘7th Heaven’
Mirage ‘Lady Operator’
The Tough Alliance ‘Miami’
Studio ‘Out There’
U.G.K. ‘Intl’ Players Anthem’
!!! ‘Break in Case of Anything’
Kathy Diamond’s ‘Racing thru Time’
Dizzee Rascal ‘Da Feelin’
El-P - Run the ‘Numbers’
Pharoahe Monch - ‘Body Baby’
Lil’ Wayne ‘Sweet Down Load’
P.S. The National’s ‘Boxer’ was the best album of the year. Kanye West’s ‘Graduation’, Jens Lekman’s ‘Night Falls Over Kortedala’, A-Trak’s ‘Dirty South’ Dance’, St. Vincent’s ‘Marry Me’, and Burial’s ‘Untrue’ are all essential. Also, Arcade Fire’s ‘Neon Bible’ was more enjoyable than Radiohead’s ‘In Rainbows’ but both are terrific.
Posted by: Allen at 12/10/2007 11:09:00 PM
Lowfish is always up for a challenge, so he's submitted additional Best of 2007 selections that were actually released in 2007...
Dr0nken electro royalty at Oslo.
OK. Three more that really are from 2007.
1) Psyche "Unveiling The Secret" (Rude 66 Remix) (Tractor Records)
I don't know when Ruud did this but Italy's DJ Gio mc-505 released this on some promo thing very recently and it's been playing non-stop since I got it. I very much wish he carried the vocoder action thru the whole track but maybe that's what keeps me hitting the rewind. (Psyche had a new cd out in Oct too.)
2) Claro Intelecto "Warehouse Sessions Volume 4" (Modern Love)
Brooding, dark and very fat 4/4 business.
3) Various "200" (Planet Mu).
P_mu is all over the place but Mr. Paradinas hits gold for me every now and again. This release includes the wicked Neil Landstrumm track "Bleep Biopsy"...
Posted by: Michael Doyle at 12/10/2007 08:00:00 PM
Audi RS4 engine compartment
Lexus IS-F engine compartment
The pictures say more than I ever could. More here.
(For those who aren't total gearheads, we're looking at two comparable +/- $60K compact sedans with massive V8s stuffed under the bonnet.)
[photos by Jalopnik]
On a side note, it's somewhat interesting that - if I remember correctly - Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's classic quote was adopted as Lexus archrival Infiniti's very first marketing tagline. Here's the G35 for comparison. Audi still clearly kicks everyone's ass when it comes to beautifully designing every little thing down to the last detail. Germans...
While we're on the subject, I've been wanting to do a feature on engine compartment design for a while. It's such a rare treat when manufacturers practice solid Gestalt theory, it deserves to be rewarded. I'm asking all of our readers to send photos/links of exceptional under hood design to mike[at]burnlab.net. We'll create a little gallery post right here with the best examples.
Posted by: Michael Doyle at 12/10/2007 02:49:00 AM
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Our first year-end list comes from Canada's electro ambassador Lowfish:
Lowfish at Oslo, Detroit - September 2006 [photo by Bethany Shorb]
I'm sure some spotters will tell me some of the below are 2006 or something but here's the top 10 reks/traks I was into this year (since you asked).
In no order...
1) Jegor Teplow "L A C / Russia" (STAMP 001)
Everyone know who this is? The perfect example of dstep meets pan_sonic meets 808. All the samples and stuff should give away who it is...
2) Loefah "Mud Vip" (Track) (Planet mu)
I can live without the stupid MC intro but after that this is one of the sickest 808 tracks I've heard in years. The bass is a touch out of hand and you have to really pull it down hard if you aren't paying attention in a mix...
3) Minisystem "Madingley" (Noise Factory Records)
Toronto analog head/people slept on this release.
4) Trentmoller "The Last Resort" (Poker Flat Recordings)
Guy is a sick producer with next level analog skills and a real musician. I get grief for propping him so much from "real" electro heads/min_waveindustrialcoolpeople. whateve. Check out the just released "Chronicles" of all his earlier 12's/rmx's.
5) Junior Boys "So This Is Goodbye" (Domino)
A little sappy yes - but some of the best "songs" this year for me...
6) Anthony Rother "Skin" (Datapunk)
A good analog stomp. He kinda messes it up a touch towards the end with a melody he might have tried harder on but interesting 4/4 action.
7) Solvent "Demonstration Tape" (Ghostly)
Two new unreleased traks that are wicked and all his hits in one place you can't go wrong with this.
8) Modeselktor "Happy Birthday!" (BPitch Control)
A proper, well sequenced "album" (remember?) - lots of value here with a wide range of tracks from dstep'ish stuff to IDM with Mr. Radiohead singing on top plus a couple stompers for the party people. I can imagine this is pretty popular. I get grief from the hardcore for liking this too...
9) Heuristic Audio "Shaded Mind" (Satamile)
Dark, emotive and well thought out/produced new school electro. People also sleep hard on this one.
10) Skatebård "Vuelo EP" (Radius Records)
New school robo-disco and a lesson in out-board effects. Steers well clear of the cliches that grate but is close enough to the template to appeal to weirdos, heads AND Italo librarians/collectors.
Posted by: Michael Doyle at 12/09/2007 02:58:00 PM
Saturday, December 08, 2007
First order of business:
As part of the Burnlab 4.0 overhaul, I'm cleaning up the Conspirators section. A lot of our editors have updated their accounts to Blogger 2.0, but many still have not. If you haven't, please log in to Blogger and update your account so that you can post here. if you've misplaced your log-in info, just send an e-mail to mike[at]burnlab.net and I'll cheffy out a fresh new invite lickity-split. (I'm talking to Jon O, Liz Copeland, Dave Pinter and a handful of others.)
Second order of business:
It's that time of year - when we make lists and check them twice! The last time we did a truly comprehensive recap of the year in art, design, music and culture was way back in 2003. As a group blog of self-proclaimed tastemakers (or something,) it would be great if we could have that level of detail with our year-end recap of 2007. All Burnlab editors are encouraged to post their Best of lists for any and all categories, in any format they see fit, from now through January. As moderator, I ask only that you standardize the title - such as "Chris' Best of 2007" or "Andy's Best of 2007", and that you hyperlink to sources wherever possible.
Third order of business:
We are always looking for new Lab Report editors. Approval can be a convoluted, whimsical, demeaning or magical process - depending on our mood - but most of the time it's easy as the click of a button. (Nobody has had to waer the donkey costume since Doc came on board.) We would love to hear from you if you think you'd like to be a Lab Report contributor. Send us a note and tell us why you're the awesomest!
Posted by: Michael Doyle at 12/08/2007 08:27:00 PM
I'm re-posting Circlesquare's video for Fight Sounds Part 1 [directed by Bienvenido Cruz] just because it's awesome.... and everyone [myself included] needs to be reminded now and then just how awesome a video this is for such an awesome song by such an awesome artist.
Fight Sounds earned the #3 spot for both pop single and album/EP on my Best of 2006 lists. I didn't do a music video list last year, but the above clip would have certainly commanded a top 3 spot as well... possibly number one.
So what's up with our favorite Canadian cognitive libertarian/electronic musician/visual/installation artist and Emily Carr Institute graduate since the venerable Output Recordings met its self-inflicted demise? It looks like 2008 is going to be a big year for Jeremy Shaw a.k.a. March 21 a.k.a. Circlesquare. Rumors, conjecture and reliable info include a new label, a new record and new awesomeness. We can't wait!
[Big thanks to Jason Patterson for turning me on to Circlesquare a couple of years ago.]
Posted by: Michael Doyle at 12/08/2007 07:20:00 PM
Friday, December 07, 2007
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Hot new stuff at the Ghostly Store.
Say hello to the newest offerings from one of our favorite new clothing lines: Hot new stuff at the SPRFKR. Based out of a kitchen in Rialto, SPRFKR's striking graphics have been featured in magazines such as BPM and URB, as well as on the torsos of celebrities like Zac Efron (People Magazine). The man behind the magic, one Marco Antonio Rached Jr., describes his influences as "70's amateur porn, memories of things I wanted when I was a kid, B-horror movies with bad acting, Alfonso Mucha, James Beardsley, Jose Gonzales from the original Vampirella, Vaughn Bode's Cheech, Rat Fink, Rockin' Jellybean, psychedelic art, Ram Dass, Timothy Leary, LSGoons, and most importantly, my hometown, Rialto, California, 92377." We dig.
Posted by: Michael Doyle at 12/04/2007 11:26:00 AM
Robert Hodgin a.k.a. Flight 404 has been an old fave since the glory days of experimental personal websites, circa 1999-2001. Robert shifted focus from Flash to Processing and has been creating some beautiful generative work the past few years. His latest explorations are called Magnetic Ink.
For the first step, over a period of 100 frames, the gravity orbs paint their cross-section onto the paper where it intersects it. The second step, also cumulative over 100 frames, has the particle orbs raining down a mist of ink. The third step is where it gets fun. Every 100 frames, all of the geometry collapses onto the paper. Voila! Instant chaotic hair balls.
To give the piece a little extra depth, every 300 frames (every 3 geometry collapses) the paper slightly blurs the image painted on it. Over time, the old content fades and blurs as new content is placed atop it.
Check it out here and here.
Posted by: Michael Doyle at 12/04/2007 10:47:00 AM
The Pink Project is an art installation created to raise awareness and funds for rebuilding in New Orleans. It consists of 150 disassembled tangram-based, pink-clad structures placed within 14 city blocks in the Lower Ninth Ward.
While filming on a set in New Orleans, actor Brad Pitt became seduced by the powerful image of a pink-clad CGI house within the lush Louisiana surroundings. He saw the pink structure as a metaphor, representing the future of renewed housing for those displaced by the recent disasters.
With the vision fresh in his mind, he picked up the phone and described the concept to the Los Angeles office of Graft. A hurried telephone conversation was followed by a lengthy brainstorming session over a number of bottles of Pinot Noir. The master plan was confirmed, and work began the next morning.
Make it Right is a non-profit organization, founded by Brad Pitt, to act as a catalyst for redevelopment of the Lower Ninth Ward. The organization emphasizes Cradle to Cradle ideals, healthy living, and quality design.
The ultimate goal of The Pink Project is to transfer the attention received via the bold art installation into a fund raising effort to build actual homes to replace the 150 structures, rebuilding the Lower Ninth Ward community. The Make it Right website has implemented an innovative donation tool allowing visitors from anywhere in the world to visit the site, virtually, and maneuver a house to purchase specific elements to donate to the community, eventually building up the inventory required to construct all 150 homes. For the homes, Graft and Pitt commissioned designs from 13 architects representing local, national, and international perspectives.
Posted by: Michael Doyle at 12/04/2007 09:54:00 AM
Monday, December 03, 2007
Video clip of Brendan M. Gillen at the past Saturday's
12 13+ hour No Way Back party.
We might have a proper review here once we get all our brain cells lined up again.
Until then, here are a few comments from around teh interwebs:
"[Interdimensional Transmissions] payed great attention to every aspect of the party. I was thoroughly impressed with the production. Great job, guys. And the artists all killed it."
"Easily the best party I have been to in a long, LONG time."
"I have not had that much fun in eons. Loved every minute. THANK YOU!"
"best party of the year. all I can say is.... WOW!"
"One of the best parties I have attended since, I don't know when! "
"holy f*cking christ."
There's more, but you get the point.
I will say that at one point the music was so evil, Bethany and I literally had to back out of the room for fear of our souls being eaten by snakes.
[And thanks to Decay for the clip!]
Posted by: Michael Doyle at 12/03/2007 03:41:00 PM