Author Archives: TC

Extreme crate-digging

This is really something. Patrick Feaster from the Media Preservation Initiative at the University of Indiana, has recreated the sound of one of the earliest known vinyl records, from a picture of the record. Here’s how it works:

“First, I take a high-resolution scan of the print and convert it from a spiral into a set of parallel lines through a polar-to-rectangular-coordinates transform. Next, I “cut” the individual lines and “paste” them end-to-end to create several long, narrow strips. After repairing any breaks in the line, I use a “paintbucket” tool to create two separate bands of varying width—one with the area below the line filled in white, the other with the area above the line filled in white.  Next, I run these images through ImageToSound, a program that converts them into WAV files as though they were variable-area optical film sound tracks.  Finally, I combine the paired WAV into stereo files, stitch the successive pieces together, sum to mono, and voilà—we have sound!”

As I Write My S-A: The Morality of Free Music

Now for something a bit different. Because someone is wrong on the internet.

This article about the ethics of not paying for music has been doing the rounds on The Internets for a few days, and I thought it was pretty interesting but pretty wrong. I ended up having an interesting conversation (okay, argument) with a friend from uni over on facebook, and I thought I’d bring the argument over here and see what people think. Even if, as I suspect, you just think “I don’t really give a shit”.

Basically the whole business started when Emily White, a 21 year-old intern at a national radio station in the US, wrote a piece on their blog about how she has 11,000 songs in her iTunes but she’s only ever bought 15 CDs. On the whole it’s pretty impressive; she’s frank about the way her generation look at this stuff (“I honestly don’t think my peers and I will ever pay for albums”) and as a music lover she’s obviously struggling with the idea that she’s never really ‘given anything back’ to the artists.

But then David Lowery, who apparently was in a few alt-rock bands in the 80s and now teaches in a university (as well as owning a studio, a record label and a publishing company) decided to go to town and challenge her on the ethical implications of her actions, asking her to take responsibility for screwing the artists that she claims to be a fan of.

So what exactly is wrong with it, I hear you ask? Good question, my friend:

A Thousand Words

Trying out a bit of a new thing here. Instead of putting together a mixtape and then slinging some poorly-photoshopped artwork on as an afterthought, this one started with yonder photograph by our own Sam Daniels, and I put together the sounds to kind of fit the mood of the picture. Or at least, fit the mood of what I made of the picture.

It’s not even really a “mix” to be honest, it’s more like a mixtape in the old fashioned put-some-stuff-on-a-cassette kind of way. But I think it turned out alright anyway.

Hoping to try some more of these as well, and get some more collaborations going too. So if you want to come and play, either by scratching some artwork or sketching a mixtape, holler @ me.

Wild Things Were

Maurice Sendak, author of definitively the best children’s book in history ever, has passed. Sad news.

If you haven’t seen it, check out this old article from The Guardian where Spike Jonze and Dave Eggers talk about  going to visit Sendak while they were making the Where The Wild Things Are film. It’s great (better than the actual film, maybe?).

Most kids in modern movies are de-fanged. They have no wildness. What you and I and Maurice all figured out pretty quickly was that we all remembered what it was like to be an actual boy. We didn’t pretend that boys wore three-piece suits to school, sat with perfect posture, said please and thank you all the time. We wanted to make sure that Max acts like a real boy – breaking things and throwing tantrums, the kind of kid who would play with swords and slingshots. When I was a kid, I was pretty wild and got in trouble like Max. And you had, and Maurice had been that way, too.


Music is the weapon

Steeno’s next job…

…has to be with Munich Re.

Owiny Sigoma Band

In 2009, a handful of London-based musicians travelled to Nairobi in Kenya to collaborate with two local musicians: Joseph Nyamungo and Charles Okoko, who hail from a village up country called Owiny Sigoma. The workshop/rehearsals were a lot of fun and pretty fruitful so they set about finding a studio that could accomodate a 7-piece live band. The resulting four tracks made their way to Gilles Peterson who promptly signed the band to his Brownswood imprint and sent the boys back to Nairobi for another week-long recording session with Joseph, Charles and their extended musical family.

Brendan picked up these guys’ new single a couple of weeks back and it’s triple-double-nice. Turns out the ‘London-based musicians’ are the same guys who used be Task Force’s live band, and one of ’em is also AKA as Louis Slipperz, who made the incredible “£10 Bag” mixtapes back in the day. This is ‘Wires’, and it is good:

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