Thursday, March 23, 2006

Birds of Spring

With spring on my mind, perhaps it's no coincidence that I ran across this searchable site of Edison Cylinders. I've owned one for years and always wanted to know what the music on it sounded like, but didn't want to buy or build a player. So it just languishes on my shelf.
And lo and behold, they have it.
It's called Birds of Spring and it's by the Edison Symphony Orchestra.
Now I know.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


An early nineties movie that was so drenched in the Blade Runner aesthetic - like a lot of straight-to-video sci-fi at the time- that it dripped of it. It also reaks fairly of the whole Techno/Industrial/Cyber thang. Heck- I'm pretty sure it was the first place I'd heard Ministry's Stigmata, which rocked my jaded world. Before that I'd always more or less slagged them off as a coupla Cab Volt imitatin' posers.
And like Blade Runner, this movie suffered from the same malady as the film it tried to emulate, that being really cool premise, imaginative art direction and budget defying effects coupled with a muddled script and bad acting/casting.
I dunno, it's been years since I've seen it.
But another aspect that it shares with BR is that it has a cool(ish) soundtrack, which some kind soul has put in an open dex for the enjoyment or bewilderment of the masses.
So, not only can you snag that aforementioned Ministry track, there's also PIL's Order of Death and some goofy bits of Iggy Pop as a recurring radio or TV guy, along with some psuedo-ish industrial ambiances by Simon Boswell.
Nostalgia ain't what it used to be.

Found at Escrito en el Agua.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


For those of you who say 'I wouldn't listen to pop music even if you ran it through spectral averaging and played every Billboard #1 in choronological order covering the last 40 years', I bring you R. Luke DuBois' Billboard Project.
Billboard allows you to get a birds-eye view of the Billboard Hot 100 by listening to all the #1 singles from 1958 through the millenium using a technique I've been working on for a couple of years called time-lapse phonography. The 857 songs used to make the piece are analyzed digitally and a spectral average is then derived from the entire song. Just as a long camera exposure will fuse motion into a single image, spectral averaging allows us to look at the average sonority of a piece of music, however long, giving a sort of average timbre of a piece. This gives us a sense of the average key and register of the song, as well as some clues about the production values present at the time the record was made; for example, the improvements in home stereo equipment over the past fifty years, as well as the gradual replacement of (relatively low-fidelity) AM radio with FM broadcasting has had an impact on how records are mixed... drums and bass lines gradually become louder as you approach the present, increasing the amount of spectral noise and low tones in our averages.
It's quite lovely.
File under: it's been in my page for so long, I don't remeber who turned me on to it or where I found it.