The leaves are yellow and falling, my cider is brewing along nicely and I’ve been busy writing fiction for a change. It’s lovely.
To go along with that, here’s a bit of what I’ve been listening to lately:
This entire ODESZA album is fantastic, and FREE. You should download it and thank me later.
Described as “vocal chillstep” it falls perfectly into that venn diagram middle of unobtrusive and not so slow you’ll fall asleep at work.
The ever-classic Nujabes next, with his usual flavour of sampled hiphop and jazzy piano ditties that get lodged in your head so easily.
New Stars album: The North, for obvious reasons. Although In Our Bedroom After the War remains my favorite album of theirs, it can’t be denied that they’re a powerhouse of Canadian music making.
I can’t decide if I actually like the new Killers album, or if it’s just so nostalgic that it reminds me of how much I loved Sam’s Town.
Obviously. They made big waves and I’m almost hipster enough to not post them simply because they’re everywhere but in the end, they’re there for a reason: perfect, perfect album. They have that uncanny ability to dig into your soul and apply every song to your personal life, it seems. The melancholy drips so good. On top of that, the band’s branding is so versatile; brilliant.
M83 was in town the other week and I’m sad I couldn’t make it, but there’s this cover as small consolation. I still dream of the day Fantastic Plastic Machine does covers of M83 songs.
I’m listing to that ODESZA album again right now. Man. Did I mention it’s free and you should download it? Because you should.
One of the standby questions that friends ask when they’ve finally run out of other things to talk about is sometimes “What’s you favorite song / band / album ever?” This is often posed at midnight when you’re laying on the hood of your car watching the stars and drinking cream soda. You think about it for a long while before answering, but the pause – the silence – is completely comfortable, such as old friends are.
It’s a tricky one for me. I couldn’t even point to a favorite genre nonetheless a band or album. A song? Man.
But it occurred to me today. This is one of them. This is a song that I’ve had on my iPod since like, the first iPod I ever had. This is a song that, no matter how many hundreds of times I’ve heard it now I keep noticing new sounds and subtle nuances. This is a song that was released for free by Wisp who – in my humble opinion – is probably one of the consistently best IDM artists out there. This is a song for the sad days when you just sit by the window and stare out, not thinking about much as all and a song for working on your favorite project. This is a song that, whenever you notice that build finally coming up you’re just compelled to turn your headphones up to 11.
This is a song that guided high school art projects and some of the first designs I ever did for real, paying clients. This is a song that played as I sat in the backseat of my parents’ car as we drove through dusky, winding mountain roads to visit grandparents, in that surreal state of half asleep and total complete alertness that accompanies long travel. This is a song that was there for me when I first heard Steve Jobs died, and Twitter was just an unending list of personal sentiments and endearing anecdotes. This is a song that, if you close your eyes just travels up and down your spine. The fast break at odds with the patient builds and flows, the sounds with their own attitudes and stories. This is a song that, as a previous girlfriend describes, is me: spontaneous and unpredictable, but never feeling like it would randomly disappear. Just sort of there. This fog hovering over the valley; observing, watching, comfortable, secure.
There are patterns to it’s madness, and if you hang around long enough you can start to make them out, start to see what makes it tick. Break down the sounds and watch them evolve. Conway’s Game of Life. And I think it’s somewhat unapproachable at first – IDM isn’t for everyone – but there’s a certain smile behind the initially rough edges.
I have many songs like these: those that have lasted over the years and have never annoyed me with overplay, but this is one of them. This is one of my favorite songs ever.
It snowed this morning but the sun is out and melting things with reckless abandon. Enjoy!
Also, notice how excellent that logo is? It’s excellent.
Actually, I should make a post about the Acrylo logo’s dimensions – they aren’t nearly as haphazard as you might think. Basically, it’s a pyramid that’s exactly twice as tall (in 3D space, not flat) as it’s base is square and viewed at the 45′ corner with isometric (digital, not architectural) projection. In the end, these dimensions happen to make the golden ratio if you compare the final, flat width to the final flat height. So, it’s actually pretty neat.
I had to pick up some exotic wood across town so I settled into my drive with a classic cruise soundtrack that’s been out of my player for way too long: Kyoto Jazz Massive. It’s spring in Calgary which is, of course, crazy. It snowed a decent amount last night but it’s been sunny and lovely all afternoon. They’re calling for another 10-30cm tonight. My spring / summer / winter soundtracks are getting all mixed up, and KJM pulls through managing to be perfect for all occasions. Today, with a tank full of gasoline and sunshine and tonight when the darkness is held at bay by the cones of swirling snowlight.
It reminds me of the ever diverse Cowboy Bebop soundtrack:
Dripping of Drive’s style, they [the Drive movie people] could have cut out the entire “plot” bits and just made a Daft Punk Electroma-esque super long music video. The soundtrack is already perfect. I would have been happier, anyway. It wasn’t terrible I’m just not really into the slice of crime life neo noir type movies, personally. I felt like his character was really bizarrely portrayed and came across not as stoic but mentally slow. I dunno. The intro part was so good (really, it’s much like the above Nero video) and then they go in this completely other direction.
That car is the Pantera, by the same makers as the Mangusta I posted a while back: De Tomaso. It’s a brilliant successor to it’s older brother, aesthetically speaking. They still had terrible mechanical issues and shoddy bodywork, but they’re gorgeous and that’s what 70’s Italian cars were all about.
The bikes are just modified version of the kind you see every day, fitted with a longer bar and the cylinder from a steam roller affixed to the back. The ridiculousness works with the sci fi future they’ve created and I think stylistically it works. I wouldn’t ever own one, but I think it’s a cool thing to have stick out and be different here.