Sunday, December 14, 2008

Flying Lotus: Fan Video

So, I got hip to this guy about 18 hours ago, and I can't stop listening to it. If you've ever been watching an adult swim commercial and wondered, "what is that ILL beat in the background?", you've found your man.

The man in the background is Flying Lotus; a one man beat junkie who blends the traditions of sample-based hip hop with the electronic trickery of artists like Boards of Canada, Four Tet, and Aphex Twin. Now, to call this music hip hop would be doing it a disservice; but it's clear where his roots lie. His music is reminiscent of the Pete Rock/Madlib MPC school, but with lo-fi, 8-bit, trippy-as-hell electronics to wash out the dry laid back drums.

It's great to see the two genres making this long awaited collision. Every track i've listened to has made me ask the question, where has this guy been? The songs he produces seem to be such a natural amalgamation of current trends in popular music and culture, yet none of it sounds even remotely recycled. His catalog is incredibly eclectic, so i'm sure i'll be posting a lot of different stuff in the near future.

For now, check out this fan-made video for the song "My Chippy". Just wait for the bass to drop, and you'll know why I can't turn this stuff off. (also: this has got to be one the best fan videos i've seen in a long time. I don't know why, but the visuals seems to match the music in an amazing yet subtle way.)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Matmos - Stars and Stripes Forever!

A video for the Matmos version of the song "Stars and Stripes Forever!", a modern take on the marching band classic by John Philip Sousa. I can't help but think of "Switched on Bach" by Wendy Carlos when I hear this.

Click here to listen to more music by Matmos.


Video of the Day: ProTools 8 Preview

ProTools 8 is coming.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

New Tools for Synthesis: Spectrasonic's Omnisphere

I realize I'm a few months behind on the release of this product, but I've been so intrigued by it lately that I thought it deserved a post.

There's not much I can say here that video won't explain. Omnisphere is a follow up to the popular synthesis tool Atmosphere, a soft-synth that can be used in conjunction with your DAW as an RTAS plug-in. The new version boasts a huge library of foleyed sounds that, when put through the powerful "steam engine" (the name for their real time audio processor), makes some pretty out of this world textures. The program seeks to combine real-time processing of raw recorded sounds with modular synthesis techniques to create hybrid intruments like you've never heard.

For example, one of their sound designers recorded the sounds of an upright piano burning while he was playing it. He then hyper-sampled the sounds to a keyboard turning that one sound into a totally tonal, playable keyboard. Once you've built that keyboard, you can use the same key to trigger some synthesis tools, playing the synths and the "burning piano" at the same time.

Other features include an incredibly comprehensive arpeggiator, drum sounds for use with Stylus RMX, and mulitple synthesis tools. To name a few: Granular, Modular, FM, Waveshaping, Ring Mods, etc. etc.

The raw sound quality is just so clear and sharp, I have a feeling we will start hearing this tool in film and video game scores all over the place.

The price is high ($479.00 USD), but I must say it sounds better than any soft-synth i've ever heard before. I might be so inclined to buy the thing. If that happens, expect a lengthy review of the user interface to come.

Click here to view all of the other web-isodes detailing different aspects of the software. I highly recommend episode 3 that shows how they utilize Psychoacoustics to create some crazy sounds.

Click here to go to the product's main website.

Click here to buy the thing.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Video of the Day: Moldover's How to Mod your Controller

Some education for your morning. Here is a video from controllerist Matt Moldover, explaining the techniques he uses to create a totally customized midi controller. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Metropolitan Opera: Lepage & Förterer bring new Advances in Performance Technology

So for those of you who know me, you know I had a brief stint in the opera world. I studied classical voice for 10 years, thus I've been fully exposed to the world of opera. During my second year of college, I decided to give up classical singing and traditional music and instead begin studying music technology. One of my reasons for diverging from that career path was my feelings about the genre and its future.

After talking with voice teachers, attending lectures, and seeing concerts I came to the conclusion that classical music is, in essence, a dead art-form. That is not to say that it cannot be appreciated, rather it means the creative juices that institute innovation and advancement have either run dry or have been scared off by the classical music community. This statement is obviously up for debate, and is not a scientific statement in the slightest. My opinion is rather a reaction to a traditional classical music education. Everyone is always looking to the past instead of the future. Singers want to sound like the Divas and Divos of yesterday. New styles of singing are considered "butchering" the music, and risks are seen as something to be avoided rather than embraced.

That being said, the production aspect of Opera is entering a new age. If anyone was lucky enough to catch the Met's last production of "The Magic Flute", you know what I'm talking about.

This year at the Met, director Robert Lepage is taking stage production to the next level. His goal is to incorporate visual elements that react directly to the music as it is being performed. Projectors will display images and visual textures whose parameters are controlled by the volume, inflection, and rhythm of the singers. Because the visuals will directly reflect the sounds of that actual moment, no two productions will look exactly alike. The new technology was unveiled in the production of Berlioz's "Faust" which opened this past Friday.

So you may ask, what the heck is this stuff going to look like? Let's take the opening aria for instance. As Faust sings his opening song, birds are projected in the background. As the singer increases in volume, the birds fly faster. As he changes pitch, the birds change direction. Other optical illusions include false grass that moves as Actors feet drag across it and digital reflections of real objects on stage that change dynamically with the music. The picture at the top of the post exemplifies this "digital reflection" technology. As you can see, it looks as if there is water below the boat that mirrors the image above it. This watery reflection is nothing more than a projection.

Although Lepage is the director who pushed the idea to the Met, the actual technician behind the visuals is the German-born Holger Förterer; a self-proclaimed software artist. Förterer hand wrote the software that interprets the aural and visual inputs from the stage and translates them into data the projectors can display. After a quick glance at his website, the guy seems to be doing some really interesting and innovative stuff in other artistic realms outside of opera. Apart from video installations, he also does digital photograph manipulation and some sound design as well. (Click here to check out his website)

Up next on the production duo's to-do list is Wagner's "Ring", which will also be hosted at the Met later in the year. Faust will provide a test-run for the new technology, as Lepage sees it entering the production of "The Ring" in a big way. The Ring will no doubt provide a lot of room for exploration. Not only is the music very visual, but the scenes themselves exist in a mythical world that will lend itself well to the new technology. When Wagner's Ring Cycle premiered in 1869, it was the largest, most elaborate staged production the world had ever seen. Wagner's financial backers were even forced to build a new theater to house the show. Hopefully we can expect something of this magnitude when the new tech-savvy production is unveiled later this year.

I am almost as excited by the forthcoming reaction to the production. There will no doubt be those purists who see the new production techniques as blasphemy. I can hear the complaints already. "Lepage defecates on a work of art!" or "The end of opera as we know it!" (I don't think that second one would be such a bad thing!) These people equate things like this to drawing over the smile of the Mona Lisa. I would argue that nothing could be further from the truth. My hope is that Lepage will manage to drown out the dying breed of Opera traditionalists with packed houses and a stunning new look for the finest opera stage in the world. Opera Traditionalists and Modernists can agree on one thing, something drastic needs to be done if this art form wants to survive.

My suggestions? Stop dressing up to see a show, don't be afraid to applaud if you feel so inclined, and never, under any circumstance, shy away from taking a risk. After all, if we did that, we would have no Marriage of Figaro, no Fidelio, and no Ring Cycle.

Friday, October 24, 2008

CMJ Festival: Swedes invade the LES

Tobias Froberg and Teresa Anderson Live @ The Living Room, October 22nd, 2008

What a night for the Swedes! I must start this post by briefly venting about the CMJ Festival. Usually this time of year I am so overwhelmed by the volume of musicians playing the stages of the CMJ fest that I end up not seeing any. CMJ is by far New York's largest music festival each year; commadeering virtually every square foot of stage in Manhattan. This year the band count amounted to about 1,100 different acts. There are Official CMJ shows, unofficial CMJ shows, secret CMJ shows, official CMJ after-parties, and shows that are so indie they're not official or unofficial CMJ shows, they're just plain concerts.

Typically there are so many freakin concerts that it's daunting just choosing a place to go. Luckily for me, I had guidance to make this important decision. My girlfriend works for a PR company called Girlie Action, which represents a Swede by the name of Teresa Anderson. She brings to mind hints of Kaki King, Joni Mitchell, and Keller Williams. She has a pedal board that puts The Edge's rig to shame, and a suitcase full of instruments like drums, guitars, a dobro, and a turntable.

Anderson begins each song by building a bed of musical and rythmic loops which she brings in and out under her powerful, soulful voice. She then proceeds to stack layers of vocal harmonies that she controls with various foot pedals layed out in front of her. To get an idea of what i'm talking about, check out the video below of Teresa in her Kitchen. Teresa's performance was, in-all, a very insipring 50 minutes. The highlight was the last song, an a capella version of CSNY's "Find the Cost of Freedom" in which she layered about 4 or 5 counterpuntal vocal harmonies over each other. As I looked around at the audience after she ended, many were in tears. No joke.

Teresa's opener was someone new to me, a guy by the name of Tobias Froberg. I arrived at the Living Room about half way though Tobias's set, and was pleasantly suprised by his music. Honestly, it's not often that you stumble upon someone amazing in New York. That may be hard to believe to outsiders. Think of it like living in a sea full of every kind of fish, and you only want sashimi grade. More often that not you're gunna get the guppies. But, every once in a while, you find that toro tuna and it tastes so good.

Tobias was my tuna that evening. He went back and forth between guitar and piano throughout the set, although he seemed most comfortable with the ole gitbox. He mostly finger-picked, which gave a transient bed for his warm comforting voice to soar above. I couldn't help but draw comparisons to Kings of Convenience, being that both acts are Scandinavian and both draw on 60's folk for their harmonic inspiration.

Between songs Tobias engaged the audience with some frightfully witty banter. Although some jokes were directed at the large number of Swedes in the audience, most proved to make the performance a very intimate and inviting one indeed. The highlights of his set were the last two songs, during which of few of his female collaborators (Teresa included) sang backing harmonies. Those songs sounded much like the music of Simon and Garfunkel, but with more relevant lyrics and a "hipster" sensibility.

I highly recommend checking out each of their records. Here is a path to lead you to them:

click here for Teresa Anderson
click here Tobias Froberg

Here is Theresa in her Kitchen jamming out

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Bob Dylan and George Harrison: If Not For You

honestly, i've never been the biggest dylan fan, but this video is simply awesome.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Stockhausen on Sound

To put that last post about Stockhausen in perspective, here is an excerpt from Karlheinz Stockausen's May 1972 lecture to the Oxford Union on 'Four Criteria of Electronic Music'. It proved to be astonshingly priescent. If you like this, get the whole lecture from Stockhausen-Verlang.

Thanks to youtuber "golfthewlis" for posting.

Stockhausen on Aphex Twin and Vice Versa

I came across this interview on the interweb and thought i'd share it with you all.

I've always wondered if electronic composers like Stockhausen and Babbitt are hip to guys like Aphex Twin and Squarepusher, the juggernauts of modern electronic music. I find so many similarites between the two movements. I think it's obvious that today's artists are influenced by Stockhausen and his contemporaries. The question is, does the influence go both ways. From the tone of his words, it doesn't sound like Stockhausen was very familiar with Aphex's work, and actually comes off as pretty out of touch with the electronic music of today.

The Interview is from a November '95 edition of the magazine "The Wire". You can read the whole thing here, or just look below for the details about Stockhausen and Aphex Twin. I've also included some examples of both artists music below the interview if you are not familiar with them.

"Can we talk about the music we sent you? It was very good of you to listen to it. I wonder if you could give some advice to these musicians.

I wish those musicians would not allow themselves any repetitions, and would go faster in developing their ideas or their findings, because I don't appreciate at all this permanent repetitive language. It is like someone who is stuttering all the time, and can't get words out of his mouth. I think musicians should have very concise figures and not rely on this fashionable psychology. I don't like psychology whatsoever: using music like a drug is stupid. One shouldn't do that : music is the product of the highest human intelligence, and of the best senses, the listening senses and of imagination and intuition. And as soon as it becomes just a means for ambiance, as we say, environment, or for being used for certain purposes, then music becomes a whore, and one should not allow that really; one should not serve any existing demands or in particular not commercial values. That would be terrible: that is selling out the music. I heard the piece Aphex Twin of Richard James carefully: I think it would be very helpful if he listens to my work Song Of The Youth, which is electronic music, and a young boy's voice singing with himself. Because he would then immediately stop with all these post-African repetitions, and he would look for changing tempi and changing rhythms, and he would not allow to repeat any rhythm if it were varied to some extent and if it did not have a direction in its sequence of variations. And the other composer - musician, I don't know if they call themselves composers...

They're sometimes called 'sound artists'...

No, 'Technocrats', you called them. He's called Plasticman, and in public, Richie Hawtin. It starts with 30 or 40 - I don't know, I haven't counted them - fifths in parallel, always the same perfect fifths, you see, changing from one to the next, and then comes in hundreds of repetitions of one small section of an African rhythm: duh-duh-dum, etc, and I think it would be helpful if he listened to Cycle for percussion, which is only a 15 minute long piece of mine for a percussionist, but there he will have a hell to understand the rhythms, and I think he will get a taste for very interesting non-metric and non-periodic rhythms. I know that he wants to have a special effect in dancing bars, or wherever it is, on the public who like to dream away with such repetitions, but he should be very careful, because the public will sell him out immediately for something else, if a new kind of musical drug is on the market. So he should be very careful and separate as soon as possible from the belief in this kind of public.

Aphex's Response:

Mental! I've heard that song before; I like it. I didn't agree with him. I thought he should listen to a couple of tracks of mine: "Didgeridoo", then he'd stop making abstract, random patterns you can't dance to. Do you reckon he can dance? You could dance to Song of the Youth, but it hasn't got a groove in it, there's no bassline. I know it was probably made in the 50s, but I've got plenty of wicked percussion records made in the 50s that are awesome to dance to. And they've got basslines. I could remix it: I don't know about making it better; I wouldn't want to make it into a dance version, but I could probably make it a bit more anally technical. But I'm sure he could these days, because tape is really slow. I used to do things like that with tape, but it does take forever, and I'd never do anything like that again with tape. Once you've got your computer sorted out, it pisses all over stuff like that, you can do stuff so fast. It has a different sound, but a bit more anal.

I haven't heard anything new by him; the last thing was a vocal record, Stimmung, and I didn't really like that. Would I take his comments to heart? The ideal thing would be to meet him in a room and have a wicked discussion. For all I know, he could be taking the piss. It's a bit hard to have a discussion with someone via other people. I don't think I care about what he thinks. It is interesting, but it's disappointing, because you'd imagine he'd say that anyway. It wasn't anything surprising. I don't know anything about the guy, but I expected him to have that sort of attitude. Loops are good to dance to... He should hang out with me and my mates: that would be a laugh. I'd be quite into having him around."

"Kontakte" by Stockhausen with a video by youtuber "Archosvalens"

"Vordhosbn" by Aphex Twin from the album Drukqz. Video by youtuber "chabusse"

Monday, September 8, 2008

Knitting Factory leaves the island: Buys tight-fitting jeans and moves to BillyBurg

(picture: me the last time i played the Old Office at The Knitting Factory Leonard St. location with GhostMeat! Halloween 06)

So the Knitting factory is officially closing up shop on all 3 of its Manhattan stages this January.

Some of my fondest concert memories are from the various stages on Leonard St. (even if the place was a bitch to get to) The Knitting Factory was a diamond in a rough of high end residential development. I remember hanging outside the club and having the neighbors screaming at all the kids below. "Keep it down!" "Get out of my neighborhood!" "Hey you Punk! Y'Know People LIVE here!" I always found those people to be such hypocrites. There they were, shouting out the window of their brand new condo, at the patrons of a club that had been there for over 10 years.

My favorite part about the venue was that I could go see my favorite artists on the Main stage one night, and then take my buddies down to the Office or Tap Bar stage and play a set or put on a whole night later that week. It gave a great community vibe to the whole place. It's something the Brooklyn spot will lack. The venue is moving from being a 3 stage, 4 bar establishment to 1 bar, 1 stage.

Even though I love the fact that Brooklyn's Music scene is growing, I am sad to see the place go. In a sense, its not even a growing music scene in Brooklyn, it just Manhattan's being transplanted. It's hard to complain though. New York artists are in a constant state of flux and homelessness. They move to neighborhoods that are cheap and spacious. They make that cheap run down neighborhood cool and trendy. (and paint cool things on public walls) Wealthier people want to be cool and trendy and build condos in run down neighborhood. (and paint over cool things on the walls)

It's kind of ironic that the space the Knitting Factory plans on vacating is the de facto Luna Lounge. (another club that closed in Manhattan and moved to Williamsburg) The Knitting Factory is going to have to offer something the Luna did not, and I don't think a sheik name will suffice. (Hipsters hate lame shit like that)

It's worth noting that literally right next to the new Knitting Factory are brand spankin' new condos on BOTH SIDES. I actually used to live 2 doors down from the space Luna Lounge was, and it's amazing how much the neighborhood has changed in just 3 years. Imagine what it will be like in another 5. Good Luck Knitting Factory!

Below are some good tunes played from the soon-to-be-condo-ized stages.

Kaki King

Click here for a video of Elliot Smith playing there in '96.

Sufjan Stevens

Phish re-unites as a wedding band!

It's been 4 years since we've seen the guys from Phish play together. After the band's 2004 Coventry Festival, trustafarians and frat boys have been forced to look elsewhere for their heady jams, until now. Who knew that the boys would go from sell-out stadium residencies to weddings!

All summer rumours have been flying around of a Phish reunion. Some even went so far as to say that they were in the studio up at Trey's Barn, recording new matertial for a Fall Tour. Whether or not the studio rumour is true, the Vermont-based quartet has been jamming out.

This past weekend the guys from Phish attended Brad Sand's wedding. (an old road manager for the band) What ensued was a inpromptu jam on Julius, Suzy Greenberg, and Down with Disease. Thank the JamBand Gods someone was there with camcorder in hand to capture the event. They got the tail-end of Julius on camera. Check it out below.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Friday, July 25, 2008

Chris Bergson: Modern Day Blues Man

I saw this guy a while back at Rockwood Music Hall. Me and a friend went on a random night to see what was playing and stumbled upon his show.

Rockwood was pretty noisy that night. We caught the tail end of a previous set, over which the audience talked and laughed at jokes and what not. Although the performer got a good reception after the music had finished, it didn't seem as if the crowd was there to see music.

Chris stepped on stage and I assumed it would be more of the same. He looked a tad shy; a short humble white guy coming to play the blues. Once he opened his mouth, however, the audience dynamic changed drastically. Everyone shut up as soon as they heard this deep, warm, soulful voice coming from such a small package. It only took about 5 minutes for everyone to warm up to the music, and from that point on, everyone was dancing, singing, drinking and having a great time.

Chris is a Brooklyn-based Blues man. I'm assuming he's from Gowanus Heights as that's the first track on his new album. Chris finger-picks a chinky Gibson guitar and sings with the soul of a 50 year-old delta man. His backing band lays down some nice funky grooves and Chris just goes at it. His signature voice is equally matched by his guitar work, he rips gritty blues rock with the twang of an acoustic finger picker. He played for about an hour that night. Each song had its own unique vibe and he managed to make an hour of relatively straight forward blues tunes go by in an instant.

Chris is playing a few times in the New York area in the upcoming month:

July 30th, 2008 - in Hoboken, NJ @ Scotland Yard - take the path train from Manhattan to Hoboken, it's about 2 blocks from the station. It's a pretty awesome pub/blues joint.

August 21st, 2008 - Rockwood Music Hall - on Allen St. just below Houston St. The best sound in the city. Go early because it's a tiny spot.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Aphex Twin: Covered

I dug up a bunch of live performances of Aphex Twin's music and paired it with the original recordings. Enjoy!

The Bad Plus performing Aphex Twin's "Flim". David King gives quite an interesting take on Richard D. James's insane programmed electronic drums. The original recording is posted below.

Flim - The Bad Plus

Flim - Aphex Twin

Some dude playing a classical guitar rendition of "Avril 14th" from the album Drukqz. Original Recording below.

Avril 14th - Aphex Twin

This is Dillinger Escape Plan playing "Come to Daddy". This ones a bit silly if you ask me. I dont think they're entirely successful in pulling it off.

the original. video by Chris Cunningham.

Come To Daddy - Aphex Twin

click here for more music by Aphex Twin

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Daft Punk: The root of all samples

I love Daft Punk. Until recently I assumed the songs were all original. To be honest, I was a little dissapointed when I came across this YouTube video exposing the extent to which the French duo quote the songs of the 70's. It's quite suprising that a group known for originality and innovation is so rooted in the past when it comes to the compositions themselves. Nonetheless, the duo does re-record the instruments and make their new versions more suitable to modern bass-pumping sound systems. Even after learning the terrible secret of where the music comes from, I still think these guys rock. My personal favorite Daft Punk moments: The wah-wah lead line to "Robot Rock" and the redunkulously funky bass line in "Around the World".

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Fatty Acid: New Music

Hello all. Here's a new track I put together last night. The player will load below in a few seconds. Hope you enjoy. For more head over to

Friday, March 7, 2008

How many ways can you play the Super Mario Brothers theme?

Vote for your favorite in the comments section.

on 2 guitars at once?

on an 11-string bass?

on a flute while beatboxing?

or perhaps...accordian?

Rubber Johhny: Chris Cunningham and Aphex Twin

This video isn't particularly new, but it must be one of the most amazing pieces of music/video that i've seen in a while. If you like this style of video I strongly encourage you to pick up the DVD of The Work of Chris Cunningham. He's done videos for Aphex Twin, Squarepusher, LeftField, Bjork, and many more.

This one is called Rubber Johhny. It's soundtrack is a scaled down Aphex Twin song from the album "Drukqs". Viewer Discrection is advised.

to purchase the film visit:

Monday, March 3, 2008

Podcast: Sleepcast Vol. 1

Here is the first installment of the Fatty Acid podcast, "Sleepcast Vol. 1". It's all original music/sounds that I composed in an effort to help myself fall asleep. Press play just as your head hits the pillow. I haven't figured out a way for folks to download these to their computers but as soon as I do, I'll let you know. Enjoy!

Friday, February 29, 2008

Squarepusher in the Studio

Check out this rare footage of Squarepusher in his home studio discussing his gear and composition methods, circa 1996. The intro is in some foreign language but the interview is all in english and worth the wait. My favorite part: the Aphex Twin stickers on his drum machine and bass! I always wondered about that relationship.

Controllerism: Moldover at the Warper Festival

The Warper Festival for Electronic Music
January 28th, 2008
@ Supreme Trading in Brooklyn, NY

A few weeks ago at Supreme Trading in Williamsburg, BK I attended an electronic music concert put on by the people over at Warper. The event was advertised as a full night of music with "2 Rooms of Omnidigital DJs and Biomorphic Musicians" for free! There were DJ's, singers, guitar players, and knob twidlers all under the blanket of "live electronic music".

My first impression of the night was pretty bad actually. When I arrived, there was a DJ performing with a laptop, midi keyboard, and all sorts of drum machines and samplers. As is the case with a lot of electronic music these days, the guy just turned samples on and off, twisted knobs, and bounced up and down standing safely behind the screen of a PowerBook. There was absolutely no audience interaction and pretty much zero ingenuity to what he was doing. Needless to say the crowd was yawning by the 10th minute of his hour long set.

But it wasn't all techies behind laptops. Up next was a guy who calls himself Moldover. Now this was where things got interesting. Moldover is a self-proclaimed "Controllerist". Simply put, a Controllerist is like a Turntablist but instead of using decks he uses customized Midi controllers and a laptop to control and effect samples, usually, but not limited to, pre-recorded music. The set started with Moldover on guitar with some delay/flang/weird stompboxes effecting the sound. He would transition between guitar and electronic pieces quite seemlesly, oftettimes combining the two. The music was a mashup of prog-rock, electronica, breakbeat, and....I dunno....classical guitar? His performance reminded me a bit of Squarepusher because of the combination of live instruments and sequences electronics. (to get an idea of what i'm talking about, check out the video "Hello Meow" on YouTube)

What interested me most was the keyboard he was using. From a distance, it looked like your typical Midi controller with faders and a few mapable potentiometers. Up close, however, it was anything but. The keyboard had been modded to suit Moldover's performance needs and, if I may say so, it was slick as hell. He had modded the keys so that they were more convenient for triggering samples fast, added a few touch pads for sample retriggering and time stretching, and replaced the small faders with big ones so that he could quickly and easily raise and lower the different tracks that made up his mash-ups. This controller was hooked into his laptop which was running ableton live with some custom beat matching software. What came out was some of the sickest live electronica i've seen this year. In a matter of minutes, I was bombarded by 20 different tracks, all rythmically and harmonically synched and all effected to the point where it was almost hard to imagine the original format of some of the tunes.

I'm of the opinion that videos speak louder than words so if this kind of stuff interests you, check out his videos that I have posted below. The first 2 give you an overview of his keyboard mods and the second is a mini-documentary about a controllerist concept project of his called the Octamasher. You can also learn more about him at it.

As for the rest of the night, I'm sad to say it was like the opener: a big let down. The guy who followed Moldover was a laptop DJ who might as well have just pushed play and sat at the bar. In the next room was a singer/sequencer/video performance that was ok, but nothing new or innovative. Admitidly, I did not stay for the whole night so I can't speak for all the performers; but from what I saw, Moldover killed it, the rest left much to be desired. OK, enough complaing, check out the videos below.

until next time......

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Hans Blix: Live at 507

This past weekend was one of my most eventful musical experiences. Kurt Elling on Friday, Ryan Scott on Saturday, and then a great double bill of Hans Blix and The Sly Fox Gentlemen's Club on Sunday.

Hans Blix turned out to be the only band that I had not heard before this weekend, and I was quite impressed. In the depths of the 507 bar in Williamsburg, I found three guys rocking out at full volume to a crowd of about 45 people. The group consists of a drummer, an electronically effected saxaphone/bass synth, and a guitar running through ableton live with tons of stompboxes and loopers.

What came out was a kind of music that I have never seen before. If I had to categorize it (i hate doing this to music like this) I would say it seems the three guys were trained in jazz, listened to rock, and recently realized that electronics could take these two genres and bend them into new and exciting things each time they play. The songs were totally improvised on the spot and covered many stylistic grounds. They may start out in a laid back hip/hop-esque beat with subtle jazzy guitar licks and then explode into a driving break beat with wailing riffs and driving synth bass.

It was only after the show that I learned about the improvisational nature of their set. The grooves and textures they develop are suprisingly cohesive for music of this kind. I am oftentimes let down by totally improvised music (Marco benevento's recent performance at Sullivan Hall with Billy Martin, Skerik etc. for example). Thankfully, the three dudes in Hans Blix communicate extremely well and their music reflects that. There were very few times when the three were not totally locked in, and during those times when they were not, the music didn't really suffer. Rather, they served as little free interludes between locked in grooves.

Unfortunately, It seemed as though they only got half the crowd with them. Some people seemed to waiting for the next band, (a live hip hop act) and were a little turned off by the noisy noodling that preceeded what they were there to see. Honestly, it's not too suprising. Improvisational music can be hard to groove to sometimes, and when you play it you run the risk of turning people off simply because they don't understand what you're trying to do. Nonetheless, Hans Blix put on a good show. Although they may not be the most animated band to watch, the sounds they create are anything but ordinary.

To listen to some tracks from their album "What's the highest number you can think of?" (some incredibly dope shit) and some live cuts from a performance at Piano's, visit

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Ryan Scott: Smoke and Licorice

I don't know why it has taken me so long to write about this guy, but after listening to his album for the 50th time, I felt compelled.

It all started one rainy New York night back in November, I think. I was going to the Mercury Lounge to check out a local NY favorite, Charlie Hunter. On the bill as the opener was Ryan Scott, a name I had heard of but couldn't place a face to. I realized he was signed to Velour Records, a label I worked for a few years ago. Ryan hadn't been picked up when I was with Velour; but once while I was perusing their list of new artists I noticed his name and listened some tunes on the player.

I have to admit, back then I didn't give the tunes a second thought. Perhaps it was the mood I was in, perhaps it was the time of day. Whatever the reason, I forgot about him completely.

Then comes the show at the Mercury Lounge. I decided to go early and see what kind of stuff Ryan was playing. I proceeded to be absolutely floored by his performance. I went in expecting some run-of-the-mill singer songwriter tunes, but I was truly rocked. Ryan was performing with 3 others, bass, drums, and a back up harmony singer. I was captivated from start to finish. Ryan not only has an incredibly expressive and honest voice, but he wails on the guitar like a bad-ass blues/jazz guy who decided to turn his amp up. His songs were heart-felt and his persona was very intitmate and inviting. The club was only half-full at this point and I got a very warm vibe from the people around me. Everybody was totally attentive. Usually at small clubs in New York I am put off by all the people talking during the sets. On this night, the whole audience fell silent every time Ryan opened his mouth or plucked his guitar.

After the concert I had a short chat with him and thanked him for the performance, and he proved to be a very nice dude; very grateful and personable. Me and some friends picked up the CD before heading back in to see Charlie Hunter. (a little side note: after charlie played his set, John Mayer showed up randomly and played a solo acoustic set at 3 am for about 50 people, and Ryan was still the best part of the night)

The album was just as good as the show. It reminds me a bit of Jeff Buckley, the way he blends ambient textures with clean instrumental sounds. It was a very consistent vibe the whole way through without getting too repetitive. It doesn't strike as particularly innovative or new, but that doesn't seem to be what he wants. The album blends jazz, rock, blues, folk and all the little genres in between yet still maintains a suprisingly cohesive sound. His rock-solid vocals really tie everything together. His words tell stories and the riffing guitars fill in the gaps between literal ideas. This kind of music usually wears thin fast for me, but i'm still hearing new things each time I listen to these songs, which is quite frequently.

If you want to hear Ryan's music online, there are a couple places to do it.

Click Here to visit his myspace. Visit to buy his new CD. Here is a nice little radio performance/interview where he performs some songs not previously recorded; and below is a little video about his latest album, Smoke and Licorice.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

New Videos

well, it's been quite some time since a post. So to prove that I have been doing some musical things with my life, i give to you two videos i recently worked on. The music is all original and the video was sampled from various silent films i found on The first is called "Ether" and the second is "Atomic Interlude". You can listen to my other tracks @ Enjoy!