a brief hiatus

Sorry for the lack of music lately. More coming soon.


Petri Dish Music

I was just checking out the web site for Jakalope, the new project from Skinny Puppy producer, Dave "Rave" Oglivie. He's been working with the likes of Katie B, the Sons of Freedom, and unfortunately, Trent Reznor. I say unfortunately not because I don't like Trent Reznor. Actually Nine Inch Nails was one of my favorite bands growing up. But it seems that everything that Reznor touches ends up getting delayed over and over again. Remember when Zach De La Rocha was working on his solo album? But maybe we'll get lucky this time. Anyway, I was on the site and I was pretty impressed by the music in the background. I'm hoping that a lot of the album will sound like that. Just simple, calming, ambient texture music. Perfect music for a petri dish, which is the only other thing on the web site.

Riz Malsen, better known as Neotropic, is one of those names that you don't hear often enough. There's something very interesting, very different about her music. It sounds organic, but not in anyway that I've heard before. If Jakalope is the music that looks at a petri dish, then Neotropic is being inside it. Alternating between wide open spaces and microscopic points. She was originally signed to Ninja Tune's N Tone label before making her new home on Mush Records. This is from her new album, White Rabbits.

Neotropic - Inch Inch



You know that Aphex Twin song, Milkman? Ever wonder what that voice is saying at the beginning of the track? Imagine what could have been had Richard James made it to Top of the Pops.

I've been meaning to post something by Oval for a while now. Although Oval is a full band (their first album featured full vocal tracks), it is really the creation of Markus Popp, one half of Microstoria with Jan St. Werner from Mouse on Mars. The source material for Oval's sound is sampled from compact discs with scratches or paint on the surface. While this may sound like of gimmicky at first, there is something kind of sublime, mysterious and relaxing about the result. Lately the sound has become more computer based and even more complex, as was Popp's latest side project, So, with Japanese artist, Eri. Anyone who understands this sound (or at least enjoys it) should do themselves a favor and check out the rest of Oval's back catalogue, he doesn't disappoint.

Oval - Zentrik



Balk Errors

Because of a lack of time, I'm cutting right to the mp3. Here's a couple of remixes of Speedy J. I'll probably have some more up soon. These two come from Cocoa Wild Boars, who I don't know anything about. They sound to me like some of Funkstörung's less abstract work. Think a more straight forward version of Autechre. The second remix is simpler, Speedy J's textures with some distorted drum beats.

Speedy J - Balk Acid (Cocoa Wild Boars' Balk Error 1)

Speedy J - Balk Acid (Cocoa Wild Boars' Balk Error 2)



It's jazz for your trousers

I like concept blogs. Lacunae has a simple concept, all mp3's come from 7 inch vinyl from the 80's and 90's. They're also all on there with permission from the artists, so if you've been feeling guilty about downloading, these tracks are legitimate.

Today's download comes from one of the best performances I saw at Homelands this year, Mr. Scruff. I only have one challenge in trying to describe this music, which is that Andrew Carthy (the man behind the scruff) has already chosen perfect titles that already describe the music better than I ever could. The title of his last album, Trouser Jazz, seems to fit his style better than any genre I could come up with on my own. And everytime I hear this song, I do actually picture shrimp dancing at the bottom of the ocean, enjoying their pies. If you haven't seen the web site yet, take a moment to go there and watch the cartoons. They're definitely part of Mr. Scruff's success story.

Mr. Scruff - Shrimp



I'm slowly finding my way into a real job I think, or at least that type of lifestyle. My internship has me coming in an extra day this week, which I suppose is a good thing. Four days instead of three, still not quite full time though. Right now they have me working on shows for The History Channel, the Food Network, Women's Entertainment and the Discovery Health Channel. The show for Discovery Health is about autopsies. I work on that one on Fridays. It makes for interesting conversation because I get to watch the autopsies in their entirety, including everything that will never make it to television. It takes a little getting used to, but I have to admit I get kind of a cheap laugh at other people's reactions to this, particularly because the monitor I use to watch these autopsies is in direct view from the kitchen area at the company. Actually that sort of works to my disadvantage because people do eat over there and one thing I've learned is that while you're watching organs being taking out of a motionless body, you don't want to have to smell anything. But I do gets some cheap fun out of discussing my work very loudly in large crowds. This weekend for example, I got some good looks by saying things like, "And then the doctor stuck her finger right through the bullet hole in the woman's brain." I guess maybe this is a little sick of me, but honestly it is pretty interesting to watch once you get past how creepy it is.

Ok, music. For those who liked the Animals on Wheels tracks from last week, here's more by Andrew Coleman. These songs are a bit more minimal sounding and more keyboard based. Pi One makes me picture someone playing a Casio on Mars. Is it just me?

Andrew Coleman - Pi One

Andrew Coleman - Too Early By Far

Andrew Coleman - Bucket Rider



Björk update

Rolling Stone has a brief, but interesting article online about the new Björk album, Medulla. Some interesting new information: the album will be composed entirely of vocals, no instruments; she's not touring this time, but going right back into the studio to yet the creative juices continue to flow; and guest performances will include the likes of Razhel, Mike Patton, and Tonya Tagaq. Songs titles that I know of so far are:

Desired Constellation
Where Is The Line
The Pleasure is All Mine

Read the whole article.

Very short post today. It's been a long day. I'm planning some new stuff for Radio Babylon, keeping up the pictures for a while, adding links, etc. I should have some new stuff up by next week.

As far as I can tell, Ninja Tune's old sublabel, N Tone, is no more. I haven't seen or heard anything new from it in a while and there's nothing on the Ninja Tune site about it any more. But it used to be there as a haven for the label's more experimental stuff. Hunting down the releases they did have makes more some interesting listening. For example the strange atmospheres and rhythms of Andrew Coleman, aka Animals on Wheels:

Animals on Wheels - Proof if Proof was Needed

Animals on Wheels - Battered Sausage Wendy

Animals on Wheels - As Hard As a...




So while I was on my lunch break today, I was walking around 50th & 6th in Manhattan. I was stopped by a man in his 70's or so. "Fuck Bush!" he said. Then he handed a flyer explaining his problems with Bush and Kerry. It included a note that urged everyone to make copies, "pass them around your neighborhood, pin one to your boss's behind. Joy!" It then went on to explain his beliefs that both Bush and Kerry were slaves to the military-industrial complex. He also urged people to stop watching television, suggesting that we'd be in a revolution within a year if 10% of the population stopped watching TV. He ended with a line that I really liked, "If you are young enough to understand, then accept & be one of the 10%. If not, trudge on and be one of the eaten." Well, it looks like at least one older person has taken Bush Sr.'s advice to get out and be active in the autumn years. I liked the fact that this guy was out there, speaking his mind, but I think that maybe his proposal was oversimplified a little. I don't think that television should be attacked as a technology, but rather some of the stuff that tends to be produced on it. Basically, I think an awareness is more important than just throwing your television out of the window. But I was pretty surprised to see a commercial for Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 on a Viacom owned station. Maybe that says something about our country now. Or maybe winning at Cannes says something about the film.

Ok, enough with the rant for today. Now for some very, very lo-fi dance music from German group, Bodenständig 2000, who had a release on Rephlex a while ago. This is for all the MIDI junkies. If the 8 bit version isn't lo-fi enough for you, try the 4 bit version.

Bodenständig 2000 - In Rock (8 bit version)

Bodenständig 2000 - In Rock (4 bit version)



I'm trying something new on the blog now. I'm going to start posting some of the abstract pictures that I've taken along with the mp3's. They'll just be up for a limited time, probably a week or so before I take them down. I don't remember what this was supposed to be a picture of. Today's another short one, but first, some news. Tofu Hut is posting again! It seems that for a while he was having some technical problems with hosting and with his e-mail. Apparently, there's something about the old iBooks and the gmail site because I've been having the same problem. I do actually have a new e-mail address, radiobabylon@gmail.com, but I can't currently check it on my home computer. So I'm probably not going to change the sidebar link until I get that sorted out.

A couple of years ago I wondered when I would find an artist that I really liked who was younger than me (I'm 22). So I started to think about younger artists that I know of. There are a few, but I couldn't think of any that were really amazing. Then Jimmy Edgar came to my attention when he was signed to Warp Records. Being 20 years old and on Warp is pretty impressive on its own, but his mix of the early Detroit techno sound with electro hip hop elements is what really struck me. This is a hidden track from his web site, written under the name Morris Nightengale, with "vocals by a random crackhead on the streets in Detroit."

Morris Nightengale - Check Out My Gold Tooth




It's been officially announced, the name of the next Björk album will be Medulla, not The Lake Experience as was previously rumored. The album is tentatively slanted for a late August release.

Yet another mp3 blog for your continued (and expanding) listening pleasure. Spend some time over at Sixeyes.

Eight mp3 links today. These are the Tapelab pieces from Jack Dangers, the man behind Meat Beat Manifesto. These pieces are pretty short and tend to sound more like sound installations than actual songs, but if you want to here what kinds of noise Jack Dangers is capable of, listen to these. The titles describe the sounds, but full descriptions can be found here.

Jack Dangers - Emulating the Sound of the Exploding Sun!

Jack Dangers - Emulate the Sound of Gaseous Beings Having Sex...

Jack Dangers - Slow Down the Rate of Decent...

Jack Dangers - Gaseous Beings Communicating...

Jack Dangers - Strange Whistling Sounds...

Jack Dangers - The Strange Sounds They Were Hearing...

Jack Dangers - Huge Magnetospheres and Their Own Polar Aurora...

Jack Dangers - Masked by this Terrible Humming Sound



Another quick post. A long day at work, then Mary Prankster at the Knitting Factory (take a moment to check out her site, it's good tongue-in-cheek country/folk/punk), and then back here to post another experimental hip hop track from Mush. More it's autopsy footage and a longer post.

Omid featuring Hymnal - Club Opotheosis



Why I Am Now Officially a Liberal

First of all, a bit thanks to Ryan for helping me get a gmail account. Unfortunately, my computer for some reason can't access the site to actually sign up for it right now or any gmail site for that matter. Hopefully that's just a temporary thing though. Still, thanks for the invite.

Ok, now it seems that the California Patriot, a conservative newspaper based in Berkley California, has been making fun of me. One of my professors from last year brought this to my attention yesterday. Here's the story. Last year this professor tried out a class called "How to Watch Television." You may have heard Jay Leno making fun of this class, because, let's face it, from the title it sounds kind of dumb. And I worry that a few people actually did take the class because they thought that it would contain detailed instructions on how to operate a remote control. Despite the poor choice of a course name, it actually was a pretty in depth class in terms of teaching how television as a medium of a communication, as well as various biases within the media industry. My guess is a class of this nature doesn't sit too well with many conservatives (although if any conservatives do read this and don't agree, let me know), which is why they wrote an article attacking the class. The cited an article written by one of the university's online magazines, called Insights, that I had been quoted in. I was asked to give my opinion about the class. Now first of all, they misquoted me (I never said the "in front of the screen" part), but I'll let Insights take the blame for that one. Even so, I have to commend the California Patriot for being able to take a misquote out of context. Now in our current heated political climate in the US, I can see that both sides have valid concerns, although I do consider myself to be hopelessly liberal. But I think this cements it. Being made fun of in a conversative publication seems like one of those honors usually reserved for the likes of Michael Moore or Ralph Nader, although on a much, much smaller scale. I think this will make my mom proud. Read the article here (scroll down to "Higher Education Turns to Television").

Ok, on a completely different note, your mp3 of the day comes from an artist on Mush Records. Another experimental hip hop, Octavius has one of the best albums I've heard on Mush, second only to cLOUDDEAD.

Octavius - Sudden and Increasingly Strange Behavior



Despite the poor exhange rate, I couldn't help but buy some new music while I was in London, so today is just a brief update with the music I bought and links for them for anyone interested. Also an Epitonic track from the incredible ambient artist, Casino Versus Japan. Expect a better update tomorrow (I've got a good story). My new CDs:

Alec Empire - Intelligence and Sacrifice
Sixtoo - Chewing on Glass and Other Miracle Cures
Unkle - Never Never Land
Martina Topley-Bird - Quixotic
LFO - Advance
David Holmes presents The Free Association
Miss Kittin - I Com
Casino Versus Japan / Freescha - split EP
Phoenix - Alphabetical

And your mp3 for the day:

Casino vs Japan - Where to, What for




So I was thinking about the whole gmail thing from Google. At first, I didn't see much of a point in it. But recently I was thinking that the 1 GB storage space sounds kinda nice. So if anyone has an account and can send me an invitation, please let me know if we can work something out. Thanks.

"Fuck! Norwegians are amazing."

Ok, I'm trying to get back on a regular blogging schedule now. London was great. I went to Homelands, which I'll probably talk more about this week. I also spent some time at Speakers Corner, where I saw some people stand up and speak their minds, regardless of how crazy they might have been. The most intesting of them was Diana. But I'll talk more about all of this stuff later this week.

Updates from the mp3 blogosphere over the past couple of weeks. Zero G Web is now Fat Planet. If you haven't already, go there for some new international music downloads. Mike over at Losing My Edge has started blogging again, with a new design. It was the first mp3 blog I started reading after the LCD Soundsystem reference caught my eye. A newer blog, Scissor Kick is becoming one of my favorites, with tracks from Sixtoo, Blockhead and Console already up, not to mention a couple from the new Boom Bip Ep. And if that's still not enough music for you, check out Uncritical and 33rpm. There are a lot of you guys out there with blogs lately, so if I'm you have one that's not linked from here and you want it to be, let me know. I don't have a problem whoring out my sidebar to good mp3 blogs.

I've had a few days to kind of relax a little so I've been spending them watching the new Ninja Tune Video Retrospective, Zen TV. Featured on there are all the Mr. Scruff videos, Kid Koala's Basin Street Blues, and Coldcut's classic More Beats and Pieces. But more than anything, this DVD has gotten me in the mood for one of my favorite Norwegian groups, Jaga Jazzist. The best way I can describe them is like a mix between DJ Food, Stereolab and Squarepusher. This track comes from their album, A Living Room Hush.

Jaga Jazzist - Lithuania



So after a couple of weeks without posting here, I just finished a pretty big post. Or rather I almost finished it. I was just about to check one thing to make sure my facts were straight, when my computer froze up on me. I pretty loyal to my computer (it's name is Blue Calx, by the way, hence the posting name) but it is no fan of multitasking. So if I try to type a post, send an instant message, and look for information on the Jaga Jazzist site, Blue Calx begins a valant effort to do all three at once. There's always that moment when I sense that the computer is struggling, followed by a couple of minutes when I wait patiently for it process all the information and become unfrozen, followed by the point where I give up, restart and accept the fact that my posting has been lost forever and that I'll just type something else tomorrow.


I'm back from my London trip, unfortunately since I had to start working again right away, it's gonna take me a little while to get my life back in order again. So I'm gonna take a couple of more days off before I start updating with new links, mp3's, and thoughts about London (the trip was great by the way). So for today, a very short update.

If you haven't heard about this song from any of the other blogs yet, take a minute to download the Eric Idle (of Monty Python fame) FCC song. This is what he had to say about it: "Here’s a little song I wrote the other day while I was out duck hunting with a judge… It’s a new song, it’s dedicated to the FCC and if they broadcast it, it will cost a quarter of a million dollars."

Eric Idle - FCC Song