Monday, June 29, 2009

Moritz Wolpert

Heckeshorn by Moritz Wolpert

Heckeshorn by Moritz Wolpert

Moritz Wolpert is the Berlin-based artist responsible for the Steampunk modular synth a few posts down. See him perform with another of his musical inventions, the Heckeshorn:

A Tale of Two Spreads

Very nice animated infographic film about butter:

Butter & Marge: A Tale of Two Spreads from Outside Line on Vimeo.

[via Information Aesthetics]

Doing it Right: Big Dig House by Single Speed Design

Big Dig House

From ArchDaily:

As a prototype building that demonstrates how infrastructural refuse can be salvaged and reused, the structural system for this 3,400sf house is comprised of steel and concrete discarded from Boston’s Big Dig utilizing over 600,000 lbs of salvaged materials from elevated portions of the now dismantled I-93 highway. Planning the reassembly of the materials in a similar way one would systematically compose with a pre-fab system, subtle spatial arrangements are created from the large-scale highway components.

Big Dig House
Big Dig House
These same components however are capable of carrying much higher loads than standard building materials, thus easily allowing the integration of large scale planted roof gardens. Most importantly, the project demonstrates an untapped potential for the public realm: with strategic front-end planning, much needed community programs including schools, libraries, and housing could be constructed whenever infrastructure is deconstructed, saving valuable resources, embodied energy, and taxpayer dollars.

Single Speed Design

The Tower of Light

The Tower of Light is a new darkwave project ["bootgazer" as we like to call it around here] from Danny Scales [The Reflecting Skin] and Scott Stimac.

A thousand foot tall steamroller of sound, intricately decorated in shimmering crystalline fragments of dreams half-remembered... I'm predicting a huge resurgence in impossibly slow and low dance moves.

Even more crazy maker action: Radial-Engined Goggomobil


From Jalopnik:

The Russian-built, 10220cc Vedeneyev M14P radial engine was originally commissioned in the 1930's for airplanes and over the years power rose from 360 HP to a stout 460 HP when electronic injection was added. The Goggomobil was a German-built micro-car, like many ulta-compacts which sprouted up during the post-war era. Its most powerful iteration produced all of 20 HP. The two were never intended to go together, but a German mad man named Uwe Wulf has married radial monster to microcar for what is easily one of the most technically impressive and plain old-fashioned spectacular small car/big engine transplants we've ever seen.

The process began with a fully stripped-down and heavily reinforced Goggomobil, to which the 9-cylinder radial producing 360 HP and 666 lb-ft of torque was lowered and installed just behind where the front seats go. The controls, fuel system, air pressure ignition system, rear differential and fully independent suspension was then installed or fabricated and the body lowered onto the creation. This is the point where this project deviates from most. You don't exactly hit the parts catalog and order transmission to fit an M14P, and neither did Uwe. He built his own. From scratch.

Watching him fabricate the parts for the custom built two speed transmission, assemble the whole thing meticulously and then afterward take it for a test drive makes us question how much one person is capable of. This is brilliance and insanity on a much higher level than we've seen in a very long time, perhaps ever. Rarely does something deserve the term, but we think "epic" applies here. Our hats are off to you sir, for putting us mortals in our places.

More maker action: Circuit Bent Soviet Briefcase Synth

via Matrixsynth

Friday, June 26, 2009

Stunning Steampunk Modular Synthesizer

I literally forgot how to breathe for a few minutes upon seeing this apparition.

This glorious machine more than makes up for all the lame, half-assed hot-glued gears on belt buckles that have been giving Steampunk a bad name for far too long.

steampunk modular synth 500px


Info at Matrixsynth

From Google Translator - from German, of course:

Christian Günther, of the electronics we have is after about two years to build the "Schaltzentale built with the Hecke horn with the help of a sequencer, which still has more features (ring modulator, control voltage, and a complex rhythm Center) remote is. Klingt tierisch gut die Kiste. Sounds good tierisch the box. Die Grund Idee sowie das Gehäuse stammen von mir. The basic idea and the housing come from me. Alle Teile wie die Knöpfe + Griffe wurden an der Drehbank von Hand gefertigt. All parts such as buttons + handles were on the lathe by hand. Gleiches gilt für die Front Platte. The same goes for the front panel. Sie wurde von Hand beschriftet, verziert und geätzt. It was hand-lettered, decorated and etched. die Rückwand ziert eine Qualle die einer Opium Pfeife entschwebt. the back to grace a jellyfish to an opium pipe entschwebt. Die Verschalung habe ich aus einer sehr alten Birnbaum Bohle geschnitten + verleimt. The boarding, I have a very old pear tree Bohle geschnitten + glued. Der Voltmeter, und die Klingel (08.01.1901) sind Antiquitäten. The voltmeter, and the bell (08.01.1901) are antiques. Es gibt auch Bilder, die man sich auf meiner my space Seite ansehen kann. There are also pictures that are on my my space page can see. Und wer Lust hat kann sie auch live gemeinsam mit dem Equipment von CG erleben. And who wants it can also live together with the equipment of CG experience...

[Big thanks to Christopher Bissonnette!]

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Bad idea of the day

wozniak and jobs

If one considers kilobytes, megabytes, etc. to be metric units, wouldn't it be fun if there were an imperial measurement system for binary data too?

Possible example of imperial data unit: number of hairs in Steve Wozniak's beard = 1 Wozbeard.
Use: "I got a 500 Wb external drive."

Monday, June 22, 2009


Morphosis - Phare Tower, Paris rendering

Morphopedia is a dynamic and increasingly comprehensive resource for projects, news and information about iconoclastic LA architecture firm Morphosis. Not revolutionary, but the approach is a refreshing departure form the Flash-heavy [read: over-designed, hard to update & slow loading] architecture sites so popular a decade ago.

Monday, June 15, 2009

From the Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines

Morskoi Boi viewer

From the spectacularly Atompunk Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines: the analog torpedo game Morskoi Boi lovingly recreated online.

More about the game and museum from Russia! magazine

Secret factories, anonymous engineers and military training methods – these are the scattered origins of what became Morskoi Boi, the torpedo-launching simulator that introduced Soviet children to the world of coin-operated entertainment.

Produced in same facilities as the nuclear submarines it sought to imitate, Boi was the first in a long line of government-produced arcade titles beginning in the late 1970s. And while it may not have matched up to the early Atari consoles in terms of bells and whistles, the game’s funky design and addictive gameplay make it an iconic emissary from the parallel universe of Soviet arcade culture.

Morskoi Boi

The gameplay actually leaves much to be desired, but it's visually stunning.

Techno archeology recovers high resolution moon photos

["Techno archeology"? Really? Sweet!]

Abandoned McDonald's Serves Restored NASA Moon Pictures

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Stunning advert for the Finnish tabloid Ilta-Sanomat:

"An epic story in black and white, the story about what the world would have looked like in the '30s if the world wide web and newspaper had co-existed.

"Not the Internet as we know it today, but a web constructed out of huge mechanical devices, wires, cogs and man powered machines."

No Fat Clips via William Gibson

Tiga interview


Friday, June 12, 2009

Alice + Mary Refresh

"The music video for my song 'Alice', an electronic piece of which 90% is composed using sounds recorded from the Disney film 'Alice In Wonderland'." - Pogo

Pogo, an artist from Perth, Australia, has created a few really wondrous mixes that borrow from the world of Disney. We're frankly surprised these videos have lasted on YouTube, so watch quickly before ol' Walt and his media-goons raise a hand to them.

Here's another of the same ilk, this time borrowing from Mary Poppins.

Tracks here.

[Thanks to Jim for this find.]

Monday, June 08, 2009

Telefon Tel Aviv live

Below are a few video clips of Telefon Tel Aviv's stunning performance at the Ghostly International 10 Year Anniversary in Detroit a couple weeks back.

I actually shot 13 continuous minutes and cut it into bite-sized highlights to meet Flickr's 90 second limit. "Long photos", as they are called, are almost like video Tweets - just enough to get an idea or feeling across. I'm getting hooked on the format - in no small part due to Flickr's continually outstanding user interface.

I Made a Tree On the Wold

The Birds

Helen of Troy

TTA is currently on tour in Europe

Jun 10 - Usine/PTR, Geneva
Jun 11 - The Roxy, Prague
Jun 12 - EXIT07, Luxembourg
Jun 13 - Maximal Electronic Festival, Milan
Jun 14 - TBA, Pisa
Jun 15 - Hoxton Bar, London
Jun 16 - Suoni Universitari, Rovereto
Jun 17 - Circolo degli Artisti, Roma
Jun 19 - Direct Digital Festival @ Vibra, Modena
Jun 20 - Nitsa, Barcelona
Jun 21 - TBA, Madrid

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Finish this bad zoology joke, please

"A Magnapinna, a Portuguese Man o' War & a badger walk into a bar. The Magnapinna elbows up to the bar, the Man o' War can't come to a collective decision, & the badger picks a fight with Steve Wozniak..."

Sorry - I haven't formulated anything close to a punch-line for this. I just really love the visual scenario. If you dare flesh it out, please do so in the comments! The author of best resolution will receive 10 shares of General Motors stock* [*or equivalent value in dollar store kazoos.]

Badger eats cobra

How metal are badgers?
The eat cobras.
Pretty f*cking metal.

Jim Steinman once wrote a song about badgers eating cobras. You can hear it if you play Bat Out of Hell backwards at exactly 66 & 1/6th RPM. Kode9 once said it was the prototype for dubstep. [He'd probably deny it now.]

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

This sounds like a lot of people we run with...

As hilarious as it is inspired. Pranking with purpose!

Via Bruce Sterling [who knows what we'll bite at] Libertarian direct civil disobedience

KEENE, N.H. - From a jail cell in this rural corner of New Hampshire, 
Sam A. Miller waged a philosophical battle, one milk carton at a time.

 (((Nice narrative hook, Sarah.)))

The soft-spoken electrical engineer (((geek))) declined food for nearly a month, 
save for swigs of milk. To eat, he said, would be caving to the 
tyrannical government powers that placed him here for illegally filming 
in a courthouse and refusing to reveal his legal name to jail officials. 
(He says it’s private; jail officials obtained it from a fingerprint trace.)

 (((That’s right: his name is private. EAT THAT, FASCIST OPPRESSORS!)))

His resistance has made him a folk hero among antigovernment types who 
have been making their way to New Hampshire from points across the 
country since their leaders put out a clarion call six years ago.

The Free Staters, as they are known, hope to lure thousands of 
like-minded souls to the state, with the goal of paring government to a 
bare minimum by eliminating things like taxes, speed limits, and zoning 

Thus far, just 427 Free Staters have relocated. Yet, here in Keene and 
in pockets across New Hampshire, Free Staters are making their case in 
increasingly provocative ways.

“Like Gandhi, like Martin Luther King, we need to educate and enlighten 
the public,” said Miller, who joined the Free State movement after 
breaking up with his fiancée.
 (((You may think this is an odd reason to go to jail for extremist political reasons, but, no, it isn’t.)))

The actions have ranged from the odd, such as when Free Staters filed 
another person’s fingernails without a manicurist’s license on a public 
sidewalk or held an unlicensed puppet show, to the irksome, as when they 
tried to dig a garden in a downtown Keene park, to the instigative, such 
as the day they stood on a street corner with a marijuana bud held 
aloft. Sometimes, they simply veer toward obstinate, wearing hats in a 
courtroom after being asked to take them off or refusing to remove a 
couch from a lawn. (((I’m having a little fun at the FreeStaters’ expense here, but Henry David Thoreau would be shoulder to shoulder with these boys.)))...

...During an interview in the airless visitors room of Cheshire County 
Jail, Miller said he has scratched “FreeKeene” into a wall with his 
thumb (((with his thumb. Nice one.))) and befriended other inmates, who gave him their milk. Still, he 
said, jail has only reinforced his abiding conviction that government, 
as constituted, is an enslaver.

”I see Free Staters as the modern-day abolitionists,” he said.

 (((Okay, ADBUSTERS goes for nihilist revolution while Libertarians are feeding nickels to parking meters — I think it’s time to ratchet the BEYOND THE BEYOND “Political Instability Meter” to “Condition Orange.”)))

related: Free Keen dot com

Obama on the Middle East

[Gosh. This just... makes so much sense! What a novel approach.]

Thomas Friedman: Obama on Obama

...“We have a joke around the White House,” the president said. “We’re just going to keep on telling the truth until it stops working — and nowhere is truth-telling more important than the Middle East.”

A key part of his message, he said, will be: “Stop saying one thing behind closed doors and saying something else publicly.” He then explained: “There are a lot of Arab countries more concerned about Iran developing a nuclear weapon than the ‘threat’ from Israel, but won’t admit it.” There are a lot of Israelis, “who recognize that their current path is unsustainable, and they need to make some tough choices on settlements to achieve a two-state solution — that is in their long-term interest — but not enough folks are willing to recognize that publicly.”

There are a lot of Palestinians who “recognize that the constant incitement and negative rhetoric with respect to Israel” has not delivered a single “benefit to their people and had they taken a more constructive approach and sought the moral high ground” they would be much better off today — but they won’t say it aloud.

“There are a lot of Arab states that have not been particularly helpful to the Palestinian cause beyond a bunch of demagoguery,” and when it comes to “ponying up” money to actually help the Palestinian people, they are “not forthcoming.”

When it comes to dealing with the Middle East, the president noted, “there is a Kabuki dance going on constantly. That is what I would like to see broken down. I am going to be holding up a mirror and saying: ‘Here is the situation, and the U.S. is prepared to work with all of you to deal with these problems. But we can’t impose a solution. You are all going to have to make some tough decisions.’ Leaders have to lead, and, hopefully, they will get supported by their people.”...

...Part of America’s “battle against terrorist extremists involves changing the hearts and minds of the people they recruit from,” he added. “And if there are a bunch of 22- and 25-year-old men and women in Cairo or in Lahore who listen to a speech by me or other Americans and say: ‘I don’t agree with everything they are saying, but they seem to know who I am or they seem to want to promote economic development or tolerance or inclusiveness,’ then they are maybe a little less likely to be tempted by a terrorist recruiter.”...

The Astounding World of the Future

[Thanks Maximus!]

D.A.B. tonight!

Dark Ass Bats: New Dethlab residency first Wednesdays at the Magic Stick roof deck

Wednesday, June 3 [that's tonight] we start a new summer residency at the Magic Stick roof deck. It's free. Come on out and enjoy a beverage under the stars and listen to some musicks.

Dark Ass Bats
DJs Dethlab & Sean Whaley
First Wednesday of every month during the summer
The Alley Deck
4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI
10PM | 18+ | free

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Quote of the day

"Most of them may think of themselves as cultural consumers, but that’s just a role they’ve surrendered to. There’s no such thing as a cultural consumer. Culture isn’t consumed, it’s lived. Like the culture growing in a petri dish — it’s a living, growing, mutating thing. You are either in it or you’re not."

-Douglas Rushkoff, interviewed in Flavorwire on his new book Life Inc.


Monday, June 01, 2009

Brogan's Toybox

Subtrak Records founder Ryan Brogan released his first full-length album Toybox this past week. Toybox covers acid, electro and everything in between with Brogan's distinct sense for detail.

"An accomplished DJ and Producer hailing from Detroit, Ryan brings a wide range of sounds together in this exciting release. Whether it is the intricate pulses of Black Acid Social, or the hard charging distorted bassline of Faster Auto, each track's distinct direction illustrates Mr. Brogan's range and ability to push the envelope in creating new and interesting music. There is at least one track in this Toybox for everyone."

Faster Auto and Le Parkour have gone directly into Dethlab heavy rotation. Get it from Beatport here.