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Old 11-16-2019, 06:03 AM   #761 (permalink)
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Default Underworld – DRIFT Series 1 Box Set



Closing out the year at Innerspace Labs with a monstrously mammoth undertaking by my favorite electronic duo, Rick Smith and Karl Hyde of Underworld with the newly-issued DRIFT Series 1 Box Set – the 600th addition to my Underworld release library!

From Wikipedia:

Quote:
DRIFT is the ongoing music-and-video experiment by the British electronic music group Underworld, launched on 1 November 2018 with consecutive tracks and music videos being released online, on a weekly basis. Individual new tracks are being made available through the band's official website, as time-limited free downloads, along with accompanying videos published on YouTube — followed by collective "episodes" released as digital EPs on music streaming platforms.
It's Underworld's second digital distribution project, after the 2005–2006 series Riverrun, which stand and some of my favorite deep cuts from these veterans of progressive house music.

Released on Smith Hyde Productions via Caroline International, DRIFT Series 1 (Boxset Edition) contains seven CDs comprising all 52 of the weekly-issued tracks from the project. The set also includes a Blu-ray DVD with the 30 videos produced for Series 1 as well as an 80-page book. The box set has nearly 2 hours of content that wasn't issued during the weekly digital releases.

UnderworldLive.com provides a captivating summary of the project:

Quote:
What is DRIFT?

• It’s precisely one year inside the minds of Underworld.

• It’s a journey that began on 1st November 2018 when Underworld released the track Another Silent Way and set off with no map, no fixed destination and a simple mantra (“Drift is the opposite of ‘normal’ or ‘usual’ practice; we’ll do this until we’re dust.”) ‘Rick Smith and Karl Hyde’s aim was to create and publish music and film episodically for 52 weeks and see where the journey took them. Within a few weeks, the experiment found its own path, prompting the electronic pioneers to react to previous releases and create new works accordingly. Over time, the duo’s innate curiosity opened up a unique space in which they could experiment, learn and explore new frontiers – together and with others (including Tomato’s Simon Taylor, Australian improv-trance band The Necks, techno producer Ø [Phase], Japanese noise band Melt-Banana, economics writer Aditya Chakrabortty and members of Black Country, New Road). During the 52 weeks, five self-contained episodes were released (respectively in November, January, March, May and August) – collectively, they formed DRIFT Series 1.

• It’s a unique and expansive audio/visual document of that open and constantly evolving recording process – seven discs of immersive and exploratory music that dive deep inside the band’s psyche. And it’s also a carefully picked single disc sampler that guides the listener straight through the centre of the project.

• It’s a series of extraordinary films that take you from Shibuya Crossing to the Moroccan desert to rural Essex via the inside of supercomputer.

• It’s a book that delves into process and explores the motivation behind one of the most ambitious creative endeavours ever attempted by a recording artist.

And… at the heart of it, there’s some of the best music Underworld have ever made – as much a progressive leap forward into the unknown as their classic debut dubnobasswithmyheadman.
The series was well-received by critics, with a normalised Metacritic score of 86 based on 6 reviews indicating universal acclaim and stands as the band's most-acclaimed studio release to date. Mixmag called the album “absolutely stunning.”

As with other collaborative efforts from the duo like Teatime Dub Encounters (with Iggy Pop) and Downpipe with Mark Knight & D. Ramirez, DRIFT Series 1 features a number of guest artists.

From International DJ Mag:

Quote:
Guests featured in the collection included techno producer Ø [Phase], Japanese noise band Melt-Banana, trance outfit The Necks and economist Aditya Chakraborty (no, really) as well as long-term collaborator Simon Taylor, with whom Underworld founded the Tomato design and film collective.
Tragically there are few published reviews exploring this release in the detail it deserves. (This article was drafted before the commercial release of the box set, so there will likely be more reviews to come once the release is available to the public.) Though the band themselves provide a brief write up accompanying each digital single which are archived at underworldlive.com/drift.

Thankfully, Adam Blyweiss of treblezine.com offers some insightful observations which contextualize both the strengths and shortcomings of this massive project. I'll quote a few sections from his article but encourage readers interested in exploring the DRIFT series to read it in its entirety here. Blyweiss writes:

Quote:
I’m pretty sure Rick Smith and Karl Hyde struck the word “small” from their vocabulary long ago. Performing as Underworld, nothing they have ever done can be described as such. Their biggest hits are epic in length and strength, their albums cavernous, their ideas complex enough to require dedicated studios, design firms, and streaming media channels.



The techno form has always had detractors of its monorhythmic and monotonal origins, and responsive artists who dare to twist those as far as they might go. With that in mind, Drift Series 1 is a daunting work, and a daunting listen. To the uninitiated or less-dedicated, there are moments when Underworld stray so far from being, well, Underworld that they sound like faded copies of other artists, the promise of experimentation turned into heavy-handed gimmickry. Disc four, with the episode “Space,” includes heretofore unheard gestures with melody and songwriting that can sometimes descend into irritating Flaming Lips territory (“Hundred Weight Hammer”). And for as pretty as the piano feature “Brilliant Yes That Would Be” is, it’s still just lifted from the modern classical motifs of Eno, Glass, and Satie.

Further, there are moments where Smith and Hyde’s equipment and sample libraries threaten to overwhelm listeners with countless variations on what is ultimately the same theme. Many of these songs are long, shifting treatises on the groove—multipart, meditative throbs that recall the days of “Juanita/Kiteless/To Dream of Love”—that in a vacuum might stun but revisited over and over might make even the most dedicated fan a little numb.
But he makes sure to express the merits of the project -

Quote:
Still, so much of Drift Series 1 reminds us that Underworld are just worlds apart from most other house derivatives of today, let alone the contemporaries who rose up with them in the heart of the 1990s’ big beat and intelligent dance music movements.

...

For another thing, Drift Series 1 brings to the lexicon some of Underworld’s most memorable contributions since Beaucoup Fish in 1999. “Listen to Their No” is a fresh dip into their well of ecstatic house conceits, and “Imagine a Box” is a dour, eerie acid ghost story. “S T A R,” meanwhile, is an infectious little speed demon of a track that rests somewhere between nursery rhyme and children’s word game, matching up the activities of established fantasy characters like Tom Thumb and Robin Hood with modern names like Dr. Dre, David Beckham, and Rosa Parks. This and other cuts like “Another Silent Way” (originally released set to footage of UK drift racers—“drift,” get it?) find Smith and Hyde continuing to sneak more cheekiness into their music this late in their careers, and they’re all the more entertaining for it.

The last song of disc one, “One True Piano Need Hand,” is their first real attempt at droning noise, while disc three, “Heart,” is the box set’s locus of high weirdness anchored by the stuttering improvisations of “Poet Cat.” Frankly, Underworld scatter horns and strings, jazz and classical throughout Drift Series 1, from the patches of “Altitude Dub” to disc five’s choral denouement, “A Moth at the Door.” Smith and Hyde also make room in this music for contributions from Australian experimental band The Necks, none so thorough as the set’s sixth disc of collaborations between the bands based on songs released earlier in Underworld’s project. While the first two songs (42 minutes!) lean heavily on The Necks’ tender jazz interplay, Underworld’s stamp is clearly on the closing half-hour-long “Appleshine Continuum,” a composition suggesting the massive remixes and studio bootlegs from the dubnobasswithmyheadman days.

Underworld bravely use the broad expanse of time and creative space covered in Drift Series 1 to explore sounds and arrangements not yet heard in their repertoire. There’s also plenty of evidence that what brought them to the dance—and the dancefloor—not only never went away, it’s as sharp as ever. Surely not even UW superfans are going to like everything they hear in this collection, but there’s so much worth giving a chance. And hey, there’s always the sampler. And next year.
I also must mention a parallel drawn between Underworld and one of my favorite kosmische musik artists which I found mentioned in a feature by Simon Tucker of LouderThanWar.com:

Quote:
John Doran of The Quietus recently compared Underworld to German pioneers CAN and that comparison is perfect. Like CAN, Underworld always seem to be in a constant state of evolution and knee deep in the high-art of experimentation. What they also share with their German predecessors is the sheer wealth of quality that they produce with DRIFT being the ultimate example of this. Fired up and free from the leash, Hyde and Smith now plan on continuing the project into 2020. They are now the gatekeepers and the spirit guides. Cerberus and Snoopy. As they continue we wish the road rises up to meet them and we will be following them every single step of the way for this is a story that has many enthralling chapters left to be written.

Stunning.
Series 1 explores a gamut of electronic subgenres. The Discogs entry for the release cites no fewer than a dozen genre tags for the release, including Techno, Leftfield, Experimental, Downtempo, Electro, Abstract, Future Jazz, Minimal Techno, Progressive House, Drum n Bass, Ambient, and Spoken Word.

DRIFT is, as Blyweiss wrote, a daunting and somewhat overwhelming undertaking, but one which is fantastically rewarding and welcomed by fans who wished for new Underworld music. As I mentioned, this release brings the grand total of discs in my Underworld library to an even 600, comprising well-over 8,100 tracks, many of which clock in at anywhere from 40 minutes to hours in length. These six hours of new content will be enjoyed again and again this winter and I look forward to the next DRIFT installment in 2020!
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Old 11-28-2019, 02:35 PM   #762 (permalink)
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Default Innerspace Labs’ Year-End Large Library Catalog



With Thanksgiving off from work and the whole day to myself it felt like the perfect opportunity to run some metrics on my archive to provide me with some valuable insight as to the development of my larger libraries just in time to close out the year.

And it couldn't have come a more fitting time, as I've been filled with inspiration and have been actively expanding my archive thanks to the magnificent ambient soundscapes showcased on the syndicated radio program, Hearts of Space.

I maintain a complete broadcast archive of every transmission of the program since 1983 - over 1200 hours of ambient space music. These tone poems accompany me for eight hours every day at the office, and all through the night as I sleep. (For someone as hyperproductive as I am, this music is a godsend as it helps to quiet my overactive mind.)

Captivated by these contemporary instrumental works, I've spent the last few months compiling complete discographic archives of the artists featured on the program, many of whom have over one hundred albums in their respective catalogs spanning the history of ambient and space music. It's a labor of love, and infinitely rewarding as I enjoy the company of their music all throughout my waking and restful hours.

I had previously compiled a digital archive of all official and unofficial Tangerine Dream releases, including the Tangerine Tree live recording archive totaling 298 discs of electronic ambient music.

Soon thereafter I assembled a complete discography of the 45 releases by modern classical composer Harold Budd. I've loved his soft-pedal technique ever since I first heard his collaborations with Brian Eno.

Inspired by the Hearts of Space program I continued this effort by building a lossless library of the 72 releases by veteran ambient composer, Robert Rich. Rich has been featured on 84 transmissions of Hearts of Space and is a staple figure of the genre.

From there I built an archive of the 161-album catalog of his collaborator and Hearts of Space favorite artist, Steve Roach. Roach's recordings are informed by his impressions of environment, perception, flow, and space and are considered to be highly influential in the genre of new age music.

Next I compiled a complete 100-album discography of the late master of Tibetan singing bowls, Klaus Wiese. Wiese played tamboura on Popol Vuh's classic Hosianna Mantra and Seligpreisung LPs and isconsidered by some as one of the great ambient and space music artists.

I then secured a 149-disc library of the German dark ambient / drone ambient musician, Mathias Grassow. His Wikipedia entry notes that "[his] music often has a meditative and emotional and spiritual context, which induces deep feelings of introspection in listeners."

I did the very same for the Berlin minimalist composer Andrea Porcu, who performs under the moniker Music For Sleep, and for UK experimental artist 36 (a project of Dennis Huddleston), and for other prominent figures of the genre.

These explorations directly resulted in a number of physical media investments like the Hearts of Space first transmission LP limited to 500 copies worldwide, Robert Rich's Premonitions 4LP box set (also limited to 500 copies), and the limited edition Nighthawks / Translucence / Drift Music autographed vinyl box set comprising the complete collaborations of Harold Budd and John Foxx.

I last published a feature on my playlist projects five years ago so it seemed like a good idea to recalculate the number of albums and total runtimes for the artists and record labels representing the largest segments of my library as a means of both organizing large sets of data and to serve as a reminder of catalogs I still need to explore in full. And while the former project from 2015 included large-scale genre maps I thought that this time it would be more productive to focus on specific artists, producers, and record labels specializing in a particular sound to highlight large libraries in my archive.

So that tabulation is consistent and equally weighted across various collections, I've calculated totals based on the total number of discs, so that a 30-disc box set weighs accurately against a single-disc release.

I factored collections of greater than 20 albums as being eligible large libraries. I was going to render a set of graphs of the results as I did with large playlists in 2015, but given the sheer number of eligible sets I felt that the data is most clearly expressed in a basic table. This list of approximately one hundred artists accounts for roughly 1% of the artists in my library, but over 75% of the total albums cataloged.

Here are the results, organized from largest to smallest libraries. I’ll divide the results into three categorical sets - first complete artist / record label discographies, followed by libraries of old time radio broadcasts, and close with box sets of audiobooks.

(Forgive me for the lack of formatting - I tried every permutation of BBCode table formatting from https://theenemy.dk/table/ but none were recognized by the coding of this forum.)

Here are the discographies:

Largest Discographic Archives by Artist / Record Label: # of Discs
Hearts of Space Radio Broadcast Archive 1232
The Progressive-Kraut-Psych-Avant garde Rock Collection (Vols I-VIII) 753
Underworld 600
The World's Greatest Jazz Collection 500
Psybient DVD Packs Map 317
Tangerine Dream and Tangerine Tree Live Archive 298
Big Band Music Digital Archive 259
FAX +49-69450464 Catalog (Pete Namlook) 254
The KLF / Kopyright Liberation Front / JAMS / Justified Ancients of Mu Mu / The Timelords 189
Steve Roach 161
Ninja Tune Records 154
Mathais Grassow 149
Future Sounds of London & Amorphous Androgynous 141
Lemon Jelly 137
Keith Jarrett 135
Max & Dima: Sapovnela Studio Sessions 131
Throbbing Gristle 131
111 Years of Deutsche Grammophon 111
Miles Davis 109
Daft Punk 104
Brian Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno 100
Flea Market Funk: Funky Soul & Rare Groove 100
Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention 100
Hit the Brakes DJ Series 100
Klaus Wiese 100
RYM Top 100 Downtempo / Trip Hop LPs 100
Sigur Ros 100
Nurse With Wound 99
Franz Liszt 97
Thelonious Sphere Monk 97
Good Looking Records: Archive of LTJ Bukem's Intelligent D'n'B Label 94
Deuter 89
Franklin Mint's 100 Greatest Recordings of all Time 88
Vangelis 87
Richard D. James / Aphex Twin 86
Karlheinz Stockhausen 86
Jimmy Smith 85
Klaus Schulze 81
Ravi Shankar 81
Ludwig Van Beethoven 80
Sun Ra and the Arkestra 74
John Cage 73
2manyDJS / Radio Soulwax 72
Robert Rich 72
They Might Be Giants 72
Café del Mar 71
Peter Gabriel 68
Philip Glass 68
Ornette Coleman 66
Mike Oldfield 65
Muslimgauze 63
Tom Waits 63
The Orb 63
Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers 62
Spacemind Psybient Mix Series 62
Cornelius 60
Attention K-Mart Shoppers: K-Mart Corporate Muzak (1973-1992) 58
DJ Food & Solid Steel Radio Sets 58
Porcupine Tree 58
Parliament / Funkadelic 57
Ambient Music Guide Podcast (2015-2019) by Mike G 55
Cocteau Twins 52
Herbie Hancock 52
Ash Ra Tempel / Manuel Göttsching 50
Early Experimental Electronic Music (1940-1976) 50
Bill Laswell 49
Early Moog & Synthesizer Library 48
Jimmy McGriff 48
Harold Budd 45
Ryuichi Sakamoto 44
Duke Ellington 42
Bob Marley & The Wailers 40
Captain Beefheart 40
DJ Prestige 39
Fela Kuti: The King of Afrobeat 39
Enya 37
John Fahey 36
Fluke 35
Low 35
Arvo Pärt 33
Electronic Supper Club 33
Robert Fripp 33
Charles Mingus 32
Jah Wobble 31
Moog Indigo: Classic Albums of Space Age Bachelor Pad Music 31
Claude Debussy 30
John Coltrane 30
The Flaming Lips 30
Chant Ambrosien: Sacred Music From the Middle Ages to the 20th Century 29
Music For Sleep (Andrea Porcu) 29
Kruder & Dorfmeister 28
Moondog 28
Cabaret Voltaire 26
William Basinski 26
Son House: Walkin' Blues (The Complete Recordings) 25
Top 25 Psybient Ultimae Records Releases 25
Autechre 24
36 (Ambient Composer Dennis Huddleston) 22
Biosphere 21

And the Old Time Radio Series:

Old Time Radio: # of Discs
Dragnet 298
The Adventures of Superman 171
The Goon Show 168
X Minus One (1955-1973) 122
CBS Radio Mystery Theater: The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes 83
BBC Radio: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes 79
The Shadow (1937-1954) 75
The Complete Sherlock Holmes Audiobooks 60
Flash Gordon 26
Orson Welles Mercury Theater 1938 20

And Audiobooks:

Audiobooks: # of Discs
Ray Bradbury 425
Isaac Asimov 348
Douglas Adams 268
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 207
Philip K Dick 124
HP Lovecraft (Dark Adventure Radio Theatre Complete Programs) 17

The next libraries I intend to collect are Conny Plank’s 122-release extended discography, Dieter Moebius’ 65-album map, Hans-Joachim Roedelius’ 115-release catalog, and the 126 releases by Klaus Schulze, Pete Namlook, and Tetsu Inoue.

This new data will prove to be immeasurably useful for my annual reports and as a mental bookmark of large libraries I'll continue to explore throughout my work days and subliminally while I sleep each night. And I have exciting new listening equipment arriving in the weeks ahead which will further enhance my sonic experience so stay tuned for an exciting feature to kick off the year 2020!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.
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Last edited by innerspaceboy; 01-11-2020 at 02:53 PM.
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Old 12-17-2019, 05:57 PM   #763 (permalink)
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Default Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas Has Arrived!



I'm quietly celebrating the holidays with a new addition to my vast Jim Henson library - this is the Record Store Day exclusive limited edition picture disc of the music from Henson's 1977 television special, Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas. The soundtrack was issued for the very first time for Record Store Day in 2018 and was limited to 2000 copies worldwide. This year a picture disc version was issued in a run of 2,500. Both editions were issued by the soundtrack record label, Varèse Sarabande.



All versions of the soundtrack feature 15 tracks from the TV special, a previously unreleased song called “Born in a Trunk” that didn’t make it to air, as well as extended liner notes featuring interviews with the film’s puppet performers, and more.

The film was Jim Henson's most complex endeavor to date. As Dave Goelz reflected in 2011:

Quote:
"We built a 55-foot-long river that was about 10 feet wide and went all the way across the stage, and they built a radio-control rowboat for Emmet. It was so lovely and lyrical to see Emmet rowing his mom down the river. The idea that there was life along the river and that it was all interconnected was a great metaphor for people."
The soundtrack features all of Paul Williams' music from the special, including the fan-favorite, "Riverbottom Nightmare Band" and the heartwarming, "Where the River Meets the Sea," the latter of which was featured on the classic John Denver & the Muppets: A Christmas Together LP in 1979.

Though I was too young to have seen the original television broadcast in '77, I had the great pleasure of seeing Emmet Otter along with The Bells of Fraggle Rock together in the theater when they were featured by Fathom Events on December 16, 2018.



Now I've added the picture disc to my library of 60+ Jim Henson-related LPs. (There's one more Henson holiday disc I hope to secure, but as it has almost never surfaced on the resale market I'm going to keep it under wraps until one appears or a reissue is released.)

Happy holidays, everyone!

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Old 12-18-2019, 01:39 AM   #764 (permalink)
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Cool stuff as always, ISB, and happy holidays to you too!
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Old 12-18-2019, 01:44 PM   #765 (permalink)
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Cool stuff as always, ISB, and happy holidays to you too!
Wow! I'm honored! Thank you, and congratulations on your new role!
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Default An Ambient Milestone – The First-Ever Vinyl Issue of Oliveros' Deep Listening

Exciting news to start off the new year! A classic recording of the ambient genre has been issued for the very first time on vinyl by Important Records. The Massachusetts-based label has issued special releases from artists including Daniel Johnston, Boris, Coil, and Japanese noise musician Merzbow and specializes in indie rock, electronica and avant-garde music.

The label's official website posted the news in early December and quickly sold out of the gold edition on the evening of Wednesday, December 18th. The official release date is January 31, 2020 but pre-ordered copies shipped January 6th to arrive well in advance of the official date. (This copy arrived Friday, January 10th.)

From their announcement:

Quote:
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Deep Listening, we offer you the definitive double LP combining the classic, complete original 1989 release with selected tracks from the Deep Listening Band’s 1991 album The Readymade Boomerang.

This elegant double LP is packaged in a gatefold sleeve with original and updated recollections from the performers, the recording engineer and a mesostic from John Cage, to which these recordings are inextricably linked.

Recorded in a cistern, this double LP reverberates with brilliant sonic clarity and masterfully improvised performances combining live electronics, vocals, trombone and accordion. Deep Listening is a classic in the fields of improvisation, minimalism, ambient/drone and modern classical.

Listen with attentiveness, listen while lying down, listen with headphones - as recording engineer Al Swanson entices the listener to become a virtual performer in selecting the many different ways to perceive these phenomenal tracks. Whatever you do, listen deeply.




A quick summary for those not already familiar with the band -

Deep Listening Band was founded in 1988 by Pauline Oliveros (accordion, "expanded instrument system", composition), Stuart Dempster (trombone, didjeridu, composition) and Panaiotis (vocals, electronics, composer). Oliveros was a central figure in the development of experimental and post-war electronic art music and a founding member of the San Francisco Tape Music Center. Wikipedia notes that:

Quote:
[Oliveros] coined the term "deep listening," a pun that has blossomed into "an aesthetic based upon principles of improvisation, electronic music, ritual, teaching and meditation. This aesthetic is designed to inspire both trained and untrained performers to practice the art of listening and responding to environmental conditions in solo and ensemble situations"
Pauline's mantra, exquisitely realized on this recording, was to "Listen to everything all the time and remind yourself when you are not listening".

Deep Listening Band recorded the album in the 2-million-US-gallon Fort Worden Cistern in Port Townsend, WA on October 8, 1988. The cistern has a 45-second reverberation time. AllMusic describes the unique sonic characteristics of the recording as follows:

Quote:
The unlikely instruments -- primarily accordion, trombone, didjeridu, and voice -- produce sustained tones that are subtly modulated by the extraordinary acoustics, making it often seem as if there were more instruments present, or as if this music has been electronically processed -- neither of which is the case. All the music was improvised on site, with the musicians banging on metal pipes and found objects on the final track. The effect is remarkable, immersing the listener in a hypnotic field of shifting resonance, in a truly profound experience of deep listening.
This pivotal and iconic recording was originally only issued on compact disc in the US on New Albion records in 1989 so it is a great honor to finally have it receive the double-LP vinyl treatment just in time for the album's 30th anniversary. The bonus selections from The Ready Made Boomerang and the mesostic from John Cage are wonderful additions for this special release and an exciting way to begin 2020!



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Old 01-18-2020, 07:21 AM   #767 (permalink)
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Default Enography: The Collected Writings of (and about) Brian Eno

I’ve been reading texts on artist, producer, and self-proclaimed “non-musician” Brian Eno for years, and thought it might be a good idea to start tracking all of the books examining his work in my library. I extracted a list of all Eno-related texts from moredarkthanshark.org and added a few other rare titles from my own archive. Referencing data from my Goodreads account I built a spreadsheet to catalog which texts I’ve read, which I have in physical form, as well as the ones I have as ebooks. I then used an aggregate book search engine to secure physical copies of most of the texts I was missing to build as complete a library as I was able. There are three titles I’ve yet to claim, but they command higher prices than I was ready to import to the States for this first stage of the project.

Pictured below are thirteen of my favorite titles on the subjects of Eno’s work, and ambient and generative music in general. There was a week delay in the project after book #13 was lost in the post and I had to order another copy, but at last I have them all.

I was particularly excited to secure a copy of Sound Unbound published by MIT Press, which compiles essays on sample/mashup/remix culture collected by Paul D. Miller (aka DJ Spooky), and which features a Forward by Cory Doctorow, my favorite essayist on the subjects of digital rights activism and copyleftism. And like the Moondog book I recently ordered, it is packaged with a companion compact disc of the works discussed.

Pictured are the following:

Brian Eno's Ambient 1: Music for Airports by John T. Lysaker
Audio Culture: Readings in Modern Music by Christoph Cox
Ocean of Sound: Aether Talk, Ambient Sound and Imaginary Worlds by David Toop
A Year With Swollen Appendices by Brian Eno
Experimental Music: Cage and Beyond by Michael Nyman
Brian Eno: His Music And The Vertical Color Of Sound by Eric Tamm
The Ambient Century by Mark Prendergast
Sound Unbound: Sampling Digital Music and Culture by Paul D. Miller
On Some Faraway Beach: The Life And Times Of Brian Eno by David Sheppard
Another Green World (33 1/3 Series) by Geeta Dayal
Brian Eno: Visual Music by Christopher Scoates
[Brian Eno: Oblique Music by Sean Albiez
Music For Installations (companion book to the ltd ed. 2018 9LP vinyl box set) by Brian Eno

as well as the official Oblique Strategies deck Eno produced with artist, Peter Schmidt.

Also read but not pictured:

Music Beyond Airports - Appraising Ambient Music by Monty Adkins

I really look forward to diving into the yet-unread titles from this indispensable collection. These books will be wonderful company through the chills of winter and shall serve as an intellectually stimulating start to 2020!

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Old 01-25-2020, 10:29 AM   #768 (permalink)
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Default Volume Leveling Server Project a Success!

I'm pleased to share my success with a project I first began in June of 2019 but had shelved until today! I'd constructed an ambient playlist on my server of ~130,000 tracks for background listening which I enjoy for an average of 19 hours each day while I work and while I sleep. Unfortunately I found that many tracks were mastered with considerable differences in signal processing / dynamic range compression / equalization. The result was that some albums had a perceived loudness far greater than others, which disturbed my concentration and my rest.

Thankfully, a bit of research revealed that I was not alone with this concern, and that digital audio engineers addressed the issue by incorporating a feature into the ID3v2 standard outlined by hydrogenaudio as the "replaygain 1.0 specification."

Most digital music library software applications feature a replaygain function, permitting the user to apply, automatically or manually, gain adjustment values stored in the metadata of the music file to nudge the volume up or down as required, and my Linux desktop audio software was among them.

Automatic loudness measurement, (the formula for which is available on the hydrogenaudio wiki), can be applied to selected tracks individually, or to the loudness of an overall album. The album option, hydrogenaudio notes, "leave(s) the intentional loudness differences between tracks in place, yet still correct for unmusical and annoying loudness differences between albums."

The challenge was to find a mobile media server client which retained and interpreted the replaygain values during transcoding. I experimented with various mobile applications to find one which natively supported both gapless playback and replaygain.

Researching forum discussions on the subject lead me to an independent fork of my preferred media server application available for Android. The project was a success! After batch processing the replaygain values for the ambient segment of my library, the adjustments I applied to the track metadata were successfully interpreted and rendered during playback in the mobile application!

This small victory will have a profound impact on my daily and nightly listening sessions. I'm so glad I kept my notes and revisited the project!

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You are to all of us what Betelgeuse is to the sun in terms of musical diversity.
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You sir are a true character. I love it.
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You, sir, are a nerd's nerd.
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Old 01-25-2020, 03:19 PM   #769 (permalink)
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Default This Is Not a Conspiracy Theory

Note: While the majority of my writings showcase musical works, I occasionally divert to touch upon other forms of media which are important to me and which strike me as culturally relevant. This was the case with Weapons of Math Destruction by Cathy O'Neil. This afternoon I want to share another new work, a web miniseries whose final episode has just been published.

My favorite independent documentary filmmaker, Kirby Ferguson has just completed production of his follow-up to the enormously satisfying, Everything Is a Remix web series, (which I cannot recommend enough!), with his informative and well-paced new venture, This Is Not a Conspiracy Theory.

From religion and the natural philosophy of the ancient Greeks to the Middle Ages, colonial America, on to the Enlightenment and beyond, the early episodes explore mathematical and technological innovations like calculus and the printing press and their profound impact on human thoughts and perceptions. Ferguson outlines the search for patterns in the animal kingdom and in the society of man, and the impact of media and pop culture in all its forms, from political ideologies to the birth of conspiracy theorism.

Episode four offers the impacts of the Kennedy assassination and The Warren Report, as well as Watergate, MK-Ultra, and other events on the public’s formulation of conspiracy theories. Episode five touches upon Roswell, the moon landing, and other cultural phenomena which further fueled the notion of conspiracies.

Ferguson progresses chronologically to explore the subcultures of emerging talk radio and VHS communication, and then on to the impacts of 911 and the world-wide web, InfoWars, and flat Earthers, and debunks many of the misconceptions which were the fundamentals of major JFK assassination conspiracies. He examines how WMDs, the US economic bail-out, and the Trump era perpetuated the psychological appeal of conspiracy theorism for the masses.

The final two episodes, parts six and seven explain how the game of Life demonstrates the unpredictability of complex systems like societies and economies and how complexity can emerge from simple rules. Self-organizing simple systems lead to emergence, as exhibited by ant colonies, beehives, and the neurons in the human brain.

The final episode expounds the powerful impact of emergence and explains that we can introduce simple rules in our own smaller systems to yield positive outcomes through emergence. But Ferguson also cautions us about the potential large-scale and unforeseen negative forces of emergence, such as climate change, economic catastrophe, and pandemics. He professes that it is our responsibility to remain skeptical of ourselves and of our misconceptions, (quoting American physicist Richard Feynman), and to foster positive emergence from the bottom up rather than projecting our struggles as being the malicious intent of an external enemy from above or of a force otherwise beyond our influence.

Ferguson explains the error of viewing complex living systems through the lens of the mechanical paradigm as was appropriate in Newton’s age and instead suggests that we need a new perspective for the speed and complexity of non-”clock-like” living systems - a network paradigm to perceive society.

This Is Not a Conspiracy Theory is an engaging examination of the history and origins of conspiratorial thought. Highly recommended for those who enjoyed Everything Is a Remix or for anyone who embraces skepticism and rationalism.

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You are to all of us what Betelgeuse is to the sun in terms of musical diversity.
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You sir are a true character. I love it.
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You, sir, are a nerd's nerd.
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Just chiming in to declare that your posts are a source of life and wholesomeness
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Old 02-22-2020, 10:18 AM   #770 (permalink)
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Default 40 Years of Underworld - The Innerspace Collection

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a tremendous fan of the electronic duo Underworld.

At age 15, their album Dubnobasswithmyheadman was my very first exposure to the world beyond Top 40 radio pop, and its award-winning typographical packaging created by the band’s critically acclaimed Tomato design collective directly inspired my pursuit of a design degree and an 18-year career in the field.

Checking my latest stats, my Underworld collection now comprises 77 physical releases and artifacts, memorabilia, subway posters, books, prints, magazine articles, DVDs, VHS tapes, etc, as well as over 600 digital albums, EPs, mixes, concerts, and other materials - over 8100 tracks including concert videos. With new material being released every week, they're showing no sign of slowing down, and they continue to expand my scope of musical appreciation with each new release.

Here is the physical portion of my collection to date. (For scale, the green print at the center is a subway poster from the UK measuring five feet in height.)



Below is an itemized inventory of the physical collection. The 8100-track digital library is too large to post here but is itemized in the Innerspace Labs Workbook previously published in this journal.

Artist - Title - Format
Screen Gemz - Teenage Teenage b/w I Just Can't Stand Cars 7" single (sleeve reproduction) - 7", Single
Freur - Matters Of The Heart - 7", Single
Freur - Get Us Out Of Here - LP, Album
Freur - Runaway (Dun Difrunt) - 12"
Freur - Look In The Back For Answers - 12"
Freur - Doot Doot - CD
Freur - Doot-Doot - 7", Pic
Freur - Doot-Doot - 12"
Freur - Doot-Doot - 12"
Freur - Doot-Doot - LP, Album
Underworld - Going Overground Melody Maker Magazine January 22, 1994 - Magazine
Underworld - Barbara Barbara, We Face a Shining Future - LP, Album
Underworld - Spikee / Dogman Go Woof - 12", Single
Underworld - Beaucoup Fish - 2xLP, Album
Underworld - A Hundred Days Off - 2xLP, Album
Underworld - A Hundred Days Off - 2xLP, Album
Underworld - Born Slippy - 12", Single
Underworld - Dark & Long - 12", RE
Underworld - Two Months Off - 12"
Underworld - Second Toughest In The Infants - 2xLP, Album
Underworld - Rez / Cowgirl - 12"
Underworld - Stand Up - 12", Maxi
Underworld - Glory! Glory! - 12", Single
Underworld - Underneath The Radar - Cassette
Underworld - Underneath The Radar - 7", Single
Underworld - Change The Weather - LP, Album
Underworld - Long Slow Slippy / Eventually But - 12", Ltd, S/Edition
Underworld - Barking - 2xLP, Album
Underworld - Dubnobasswithmyheadman - 5CD Box Set
Underworld - Underneath The Radar - LP, Album
Underworld - Underneath The Radar - LP, Album
Underworld - Cowgirl / Rez - 12", Ltd, Whi
Underworld - Pearl's Girl - 12"
Underworld - Jumbo - 12", Single
Darren Emerson - Global Underground 020: Singapore - 2CD
Darren Emerson & Tim Deluxe - Underwater, Episode 1 - 2CD
Underworld - Videos 1993-97 Footwear Repairs By Craftsmen At Competitive Prices - VHS
Underworld - tomato: onyx pearls - DVD
Underworld - Underworld Live - Everything Everything - DVD
Underworld - Barking (Super Deluxe Edition 2CD+DVD+book+autographed print) - 2CD+DVD Box Set
Underworld - 1992-2002 - 2CD
Underworld - Born Slippy - CD
Underworld - Change the Weather - CD
Underworld - Dinosaur Adventure 3D (US) - CD
Underworld - Dinosaur Adventure 3D (JAPAN) - CD
Underworld - Dubnobasswithmyheadman - CD
Underworld - A Hundred Days Off - CD
Underworld - King of Snake - CD
Underworld - Pearl's Girl - CD
Underworld - Second Toughest in the Infants - CD
Underworld - Underneath the Radar - CD
Underworld - Underworld Singles Box Set - 3CD Box Set
Underworld - Limited Edition Barking Art Print (Hand numbered #64/650) - Art Print
Underworld - Dubnobasswithmyheadman A2 sized Promo Poster - Poster
Underworld - Dubnobasswithmyheadman Concert Tour Memorabilia Keyring - Keyring
Underworld - Dubnobasswithmyheadman T-Shirt (unofficial) - T-Shirt
Underworld - Dubnobasswithmyheadman Coffee Mug (unofficial) - Coffee Mug
Underworld - Dubnoboasswithmyheadman Custom Chromebook Skin and Keyboard Inlay - Laptop Skin (Custom)
Underworld - Everything Everything 150cm x 100cm UK Subway Poster - Poster
Underworld - Underworld Press Photo - Photo
Underworld - Rowla/Juanita - 12"
Underworld - Oblivion With Bells - 2xLP, Album
Underworld - Dubnobasswithmyheadman - 2LP, Album
Underworld - Second Toughest in the Infants Remastered Super Deluxe Edition - 4CD Box Set
Underworld - Beaucoup Fish Remastered Super Deluxe Edition - 4CD Box Set
Underworld and Iggy Pop - Teatime Dub Encounters - LP, EP, Limited Edition, Clear
Underworld - Drift Series 1 - 7CD+Blu-Ray DVD Box Set
Tomato - mmm.. skyscraper i love you: A Typographical Journal of New York - Art Book
Tomato - Process: A Tomato Project - Art Book
Eno • Hyde - Someday World - 2xLP, Album, S/Edition
Eno • Hyde - Someday World - 2xLP, Album, S/Edition
Eno • Hyde - Someday World 12" x 12" Art Print - Art Print
Eno • Hyde - High Life - 2xLP, Album
Eno • Hyde - Brian Eno and Karl Hyde with Flowers in Vase Against White Background Postcard - Postcard
Eno • Hyde - Brian Eno and Karl Hyde on Stage Before a Concert - Postcard
Karl Hyde - Edgeland - 2xLP, Album, 180
Karl Hyde - Personal Live Photograph - Photograph
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chula Vista View Post
You are quite simply one of the most unique individuals I've ever met in my 680+ months living on this orb.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trollheart View Post
You are to all of us what Betelgeuse is to the sun in terms of musical diversity.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Exo_ View Post
You sir are a true character. I love it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Batlord View Post
You, sir, are a nerd's nerd.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marie Monday View Post
Just chiming in to declare that your posts are a source of life and wholesomeness
The Innerspace Connection | Essential Recordings | Top Archives | Hot 100 Albums | Top 550 Artists
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