Sunday, December 27, 2009

Rhizomatiks' lovely iPhone clocks

Thanks to Creative Applications blog (definitely worth keeping up with if you're interested in browser, desktop, Processing, and iPhone-based art of the more fringe and digital varieties), I've discovered the lovely iPhone / iPod Touch app maker Rhizomatiks - specifically, their fantastic clocks.

At present, the Japanese artist collective has 12 free clocks apps available in the App Store. Each one has a different spin on telling the time. Clock10, for example, shows the time as virtual electronics knobs, while the recent Clock12 has a timely snowfall theme. Each Clock is elegantly minimal, and they don't take up much space (perhaps upwards of 10 MB for the whole set); personally, I've set up a separate app page for all of them, app glutton that I am.

More about Rhizomatiks and the artists involved at this fantastic site. You can preview short animations of each clock here.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My tops of 2009 on Big Shot

As the year winds down, it's been that list time again. A few weeks ago, I had some contributions to PopMatters' best of 2009 feature. Today, a longer personal article is up on Big Shot, featuring my top 25 albums and top 10 singles of the year. You can read the full thing here, but in the mean time, here are the lists:

25. DJ Hell - Teufelswerk (International Deejay Gigolo)
24. White Rainbow - New Clouds (Kranky)
23. Vinyl Life - Vinyl Life (Tape Theory)
22. Basement Jaxx - Scars (Ultra)
21. Tim Exile - Listening Tree (Warp)
20. Ethan Rose - Oaks (Holocene)
19. Gui Boratto - Take My Breath Away (Kompakt)
18. The Prodigy - Invaders Must Die (Take Me To The Hospital)
17. Clark - Totems Flare (Warp)
16. Falty DL - Love Is A Liability (Planet Mu)
15. Alva Noto - Xerrox Vol. 2 (Raster-Noton)
14. Tim Hecker - An Imaginary Country (Kranky)
13. Ras G - Brotha From Anotha Planet (Brainfeeder / Alpha Pup)
12. Voodeux - The Paranormal (Mothership)
11. Gus Gus - 24/7 (Kompakt)
10. Babe, Terror - Weekend (Perdizes Dream)
9. Kid606 - Shout At The Döner (Tigerbeat6)
8. Moby - Wait For Me (Mute)
7. Antipop Consortium - Fluorescent Black (Big Dada)
6. Dixon - Temporary Secretary (Innervisions)
5. Meshell Ndegeocello - Devil's Halo (Mercer Street)
5. Telefon Tel Aviv - Immolate Yourself (BPitch Control)
4. Kikumoto Allstars - House Music (International DJ Gigolo)
3. Syntheme - Lasers 'N' Shit (Planet Mu)
2. SND - Atavism (Raster-Noton)
1. Harmonic 313 - When Machines Exceed Human Intelligence (Warp)

10. Moby - "Mistake"
9. Matias Aguayo - "Rollerskate"
8. Neurotic Drum Band - "Robotic Hypnotic Adventure"
7. Marek Hemmann - "Gemini"
6. John Callaghan - "Phylactery"
5. Audion - "Look At The Moon"
4. The Juan Maclean - "Happy House"
3. Speech Debelle - "Searching"
2. Gus Gus - "Add This Song"
1. Fever Ray - "If I Had A Heart"

* - yes, I noticed I have two #5 albums. Whoops. Consider it a tie.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Snow Storm - new track & RjDj scene!

My friend Paul Edwards came up from NJ today to make some music. We'd been meaning to do this for awhile, and now I feel like an even bigger tool for having to delay things so much; if I dosay so myself, the results from today are pretty dope. Listen for yourself:

Click through to the SoundCloud page to download a high-quality AAC version of the track. It's still a work in progress, so don't get mad if you hear some odd things hear and there. But it's pretty, yeah?

There's another way to hear "Snow Storm" - as an RjDj scene! For those who aren't aware, RjDj, a product of Reality Jockey ltd., is a free iPhone/iPod Touch app made up of "scenes" that facilitate playing/making reactive music. Scenes are put together in Pure Data, Miller
Puckette's free, open-source, platform-agnostic environment for modular DSP. Here's a snapshot of the "back end" of the scene, with heavy use of the excellent RjDj-provided developer macro objects:

In this case, I've take a couple stem loops from "Snow Storm" (they come with the scene as packaged wav files) and made it so that incoming sound controls the relative loudness of certain parts, while lowpass and bandpass filters on all parts are controlled by the x/y/z positioning of the accelerometer. You can download it by clicking on the link below, but first, a warning: this is still technically a private share - I have yet to submit it to RjDj for public approval. I haven't noticed any major issues with this revision of the scene, but you're downloading at your own risk. With that out of the way, here it is:

Here it is. Before you download it, you need to first download the RjDj app for free. Then open up that link - - in your iPhone Safari browser, click "install," and RjDj should take care of the rest. The picture above is the artwork for it - original photo is of the kitchen setup where Paul and I recorded the track earlier today. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Merry Christmas from ol' Saint Ranta

My friend and colleague Alan Ranta - some of you might know him by his former penname, Filmore Mescalito Holmes - has unleashed another yearly bounty of mixes designed the make the holidays a bit more interesting.

This time around, there are three Ranta mixes for your holiday enjoyment, all of which can be found at his blog, The FMHole. The cover to the first mix, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sugar Plums? is pictured above; the other two mixes (one with a rather NSFW cover and theme) go the lusty and family routes in exploring this universal North American holiday.

So, ho ho ho, and would this dude sell you short?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

MiniSpillage - free drum synth for Mac OS

Here's a fun little free drum synth courtesy of AudioSpillage - MiniSpillage. Essentially a "lite" version of the upcoming DrumSpillage, it's a great tool for making some interesting percussion sounds. If you've been looking for some more out-there or deeper electronic percussion sounds, this is a good one to try out. Note that it's not modeled off of any classic analog machine, but rather just features parameters that you'd general want to have with a drum synth.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Jasuto Pro - new demos

Chris Wolfe, author of the impressive Jasuto app for the iPhone / iTouch, revealed new information about the forthcoming Jasuto Pro today in a post on the Jasuto forum. Here's the first of four demo videos:

There's an impressive laundry list of new and improved options, including a vastly improved sampler, manual patching of wires between nodes, oscillators that Wolfe promises are "nearly alias-free," an ADSR envelope node, granular synthesis (especially excited about this one!), and some other new tweaks and goodies - see the post for the full list.

Wolfe plans to submit Jasuto Pro to the App Store on December 18, though given the sluggish pace of approval these past few months, who knows what that means regarding a public release date. The app will initially cost $5 as an incentive to early adopters, before going up to $10 - steep for the App Store, but steal a huge bargain given Jasuto's capabilities.