Music is by and large static. Every time you play a song, it sounds exactly the same. There have been attempts in the past to get the listener more involved in the musical performance. Remember the emergence of multimedia and CD-ROMS in the 1990s?
I have to say, I could not get into the whole interactive music thing. Perhaps I was just being lazy. Or perhaps it was because I was listening and interacting with the music in a very conscious manner and this took away the enjoyment of, well, listening.
So, what if a piece of music evolved and changed according to your everyday, natural, less conscious actions or responded to information from the visual and auditory environment? I do think with the ploriferation of technology we are finally getting to a point where these ideas can be explored and distributed beyond the art installation at a museum.
I thought this was an interesting concept: a shopping centre built from shipping containers accommodating local brands, cafés and galleries.
Boxpark is opening this month in Shoreditch (East London), an area frequented by trendy folk often referred to as hipsters (hip·ster, noun: a subculture of young, recently settled urban middle class adults and older teenagers with musical interests mainly in alternative rock).
Although not entirely original (there have been similar assignments; such as, Puma City in Boston and Activity Centre in Melbourne); with no less than 60 containers being transformed into retail outlets, it certainly appears to be the most aspiring.
I do find it an intriguing application of industrial design; and at the same time, it does make good use of those containers, which can eventually be moved to other locations around the world.
I've always felt that musicians get too worked up about their music being perfectly "in time". Personally, I am quite comfortable living on the more chaotic side of music making. This is partly due to laziness, but also due to a fondness for error in an otherwise orderly medium of sound and silence.
However, many would disagree. Tight timing is so important to the likes of John Digweed that he even dusted off his old Atari for the sole purpose of achieving precise MIDI timing. "We're very hot on timing", he once said. Personally, I fucking hate that mindset.
On the other hand, people like Kieren Hebden (Four Tet) feel that when sounds drift in and out of time it gives electronic music more soul.
Where do you place yourself on the orderly-chaos scale?
After several months of what may seem like a pitiful paucity in activity, I've just released a new single, We Must Be Skilled. Emotive computer tones on a backdrop of crackling polyrhythmic percussion. It's like The Who and Kraftwerk got together and made a baby.
It will be available on iTunes VERY SOON.
It's odd how the simplest tracks often turn out to be the most sumptuous. The track, "A Long Way to go for a Weekend", came together in about 2 nights, and is one of my personal favourites.
Initially, I had a 2 bar over-amped guitar piece with an almost nuanced time signature. After some experimentation it sounded interesting, but needed something extra. While sitting outside reading "The God Delusion", this tune came into my head, so I rushed back inside and played part of it on an old synthesizer and the other part using an indian folk sample. The result is a simple instrumental pop tune.
The new album “Something Something” is set to be released on September 10th. I would describe it as electronic fusion, with a fondness for speedy love/hate electro pop, 1970s supergroups and indian folk. Here is the track listing:
1. Slow Kids
2. Jelly Finger
3. Breakfast TV
4. Leif Ericson and the Moon Beast
5. The Channel
6. How Many Times Before
8. After Hours
9. A Long Way to Go For a Weekend
It will be available on iTunes.