30 January 2010

April's show is going to be a treat!

I was approached tonight by Moshi Kamachi (@Herald_DUB on twitter) who is a bringer and bearer of wonderful dub, dubstep, roots and reggae, found at KingDUB-fm.com - WebDUBRadio, to do a set of music for an upcoming show.

Well, since we're getting all conspiracy like in February and March will see some laid back ambient, chilldown tunes hitting your speakers; April seems like the perfect time to drop some chilled out dub sounds on all of you!

Get ready, because it's going to be the perfect blend of warm rhythms and cool sounds. I can't wait!

So, in the meantime, hit up Moshi's site and fill your ears with his delicious mixes!

the UBLF

26 January 2010


What is it you ask?

Some super strong form of UV B rays that can penetrate through Mt. Everest? A planetoid with life forms in the shape of obese chipmunks? Or some podcaster's weird handle he/she uses?

That last one might be possible, just sayin'. ;)

If you've read my previous posting you note that this is going to be the name of my next podcast. Through that deduction you can figure out it is a number station.

And a right odd one at that.

It's been sending out signals into the stratosphere (atmosphere, -sphere) since 1982, according to observers (e2k site, Nexus @ the Centrifuge, Wikipedia - the Conet Project says it has been running since 1987 - booklet page 63. See it's a mystery!). This "oddity", as the e2k site labels it and others of the same ilk, has been running round the clock (The Conet Project booklet - page 14) with an EERIE sound that changes on the top of the hour (The Conet Project booklet - page 63, listen here - track 139).

This piece of mystery broadcasts about 40 km (or 25 miles) northwest of Moscow in a location called Povarovo in Russia (Wikipedia). According to the Wikipedia page there is no known purpose to the broadcast. The station has only broken it's, ummm, format three times in the past 28 years, the first in 1997. During this first break, a man speaking Russian gave the call sign and location solving at least one part of the puzzle. In 2002 and 2006 the voice returned, the last time he was a bit more busy with a longer message mixing numbers and the Russian phonetic alphabet (Wikipedia).

Someone on youtube caught a fourth voice transmission last year.

The case gets curiouser when you realize that the noise is apparently something held up to a live microphone rather than a recording or just some random feedback (distant conversations can be sometimes heard behind the sound, though they're difficult to decipher).

With all of this in mind, here comes why I decided to call this show UVB-76 and also add some of the "buzzing" to my intro: the sheer mystery and eeriness which this piece of broadcasting brings, along with the Number Stations Project from Public Spaces Lab and the Conet Project, has (as I have said before) just sent my mind into overdrive. This is the type of lore which sends the brain into fight or flight, keeps you up at night thinking of the possibilities (either insidious or ridiculous) that a station like this has, and just sends shivers down your spine!!1!!11!*

And the name UVB-76 just has a ring to it, don'tcha think!

Plus, the sound of this station isn't near as irritating and horrific as the Backwards Music Station (see the Conet Project - track 135). The sounds recorded from that station kept me up one night and had me checking everything to make sure I wasn't going to wind up in some prison being asked questions like, "Do you know the muffin man?", and me responding "The Muffin Man, dude owes me money!". Then I'd get slapped, or worse: be tortured like James Bond in Casino Royale.

Sorry, still a little freaked out, okay!

Hopefully that brief overview (and check out the links I added from Nexus, the Conet Project, e2k (which I want to check out more now!), and Wikipedia) will give you a look into the deep, dark recesses of my soul.

Get ready, 'cause we're down to two weeks before the show hits! Or so I've been told.

*Update 31 January 2010: umm, yeah - some bad grammar and repetition...

25 January 2010

Erik L & Illingsworth - Northern Connection is out

Just to give y'all the heads up: Northern Connection is out now! Erik L and Illingsworth have teamed up to bring everyone a tight blend of glitch, beats, rhymes and northern hemispheric domination! Head on over to their bandcamp site and check the project out.

Here's a hint, they might be on my next podcast...

I can neither confirm nor deny: just giving you what could be in the works, but you didn't hear this from me.

22 January 2010

Preview for Chilldown Period Episode Twelve

Episode Twelve is on its way and it is time to share with you all the cover and a bit of information to get you all ready for what is in store.

Public Spaces Lab recently released their fifteenth (PS015) album entitled "Number Stations" (click here to find out more information) and it has sent my mind in a tizzy! (see the first definition 1b) My imagination has been stirring for the past week and this project has superseded my listening of other great music which has come out around the same time. After spending hours listening to the music, I've spent a fair share of my free time looking into Number Stations and how unbelievably mysterious they are.

This took me to the mother project of inspiration for not only the Public Spaces Lab project, but for what appears to be scores of artists (both musical and not): The Conet Project. I've listened to about 50% of the four disc set and the sheer eeriness of what they have compiled over there is amazing (yes, I used eerie in a complimentary way). The booklet for the set is pushing 80 pages, I think, and is chock-full of great information.

Both are a tremendous inspiration for my creativity!

Also, in my journeys, I've kept myself up late at night. One article I accidently came across was Cracked.com's "The 5 Creepiest Unexplained Broadcasts" which helped me pin down the name for this episode: UVB-76 (I'll update this post to let you know a bit more about this sphinxlike number station. Plus, the Max Hedrom video really FREAKED me out at one in the a.m. I was checking locks at work, looking in my backseat of the car just to make sure I wasn't being followed. These sounds will get to you; especially the "Backwards Music Station" and it's freaky sounds).

I cannot forget to mention the ambienteer in all of this. As I was visiting his site of great music a while back, I saw his songs inspired by these "Number Stations" there first and kind of passed them off as something of not much importance. My wonderful mind said, "Aren't all radio stations numbered?", enjoyed the music and went on. Boy, was I wrong. Then, I read in a book recently about how spies out in the field will have One Time Pads (OTP) where they could decode super secret messages and possibly send them back.

All of this didn't click in my mind until PS015 hit me like a tonne of bricks.

So, here we are!

I am currently creating an intro using sounds from UVB-76 (or better known as "the Buzzer" which the fine folks over at Irdial have so graciously allowed me to use) and my wife vocalizing code so all of you with your OTPs can better understand.

You may have also noticed my cover (which my wonderful wife, Lady ten10, took around here) and will probably notice it falls in line with other music/etc projects (scroll down to the bottom) connected with the Number Stations (particularly the cool one associated with the Number Stations project - no, I'm not trying to suck up, it's just really COOL! Go see for yourself!). I wanted it to look blurry, grainy, almost something you'd see in either a conspiracy book or a recon photograph. I used a few filters to keep it in that manner. Plus, I don't have the time to set up people out in the woods or in a mall or somewhere to look like something espianogy blah, blah, blah, so I chose to do something easy which can go along with what I'm trying to do.

Which brings us back to PS015 and the Conet Project. Through the inspiration of the album and the recorded transmissions, I am going to play music with elements of glitch, interference and static that is in no way directly connected (unless it is unknown to me) with Number Stations (i.e. not inspired by the broadcasts), but could sound like they would be transmitted over shortwave radios into your... uh... place of security and secretivity.

It all came to me after I heard the first few songs played I have planned to use in my next episode in a row. I heard their common theme, made the connection, and came to this conclusion: let the conspiracy flow (is it really conspiracy if it is true? or, if people are conspiring to do something then the conspiracy is out there, just not revealed. I want pudding!)

The real art in all of this comes from PS015, the Conet Project, and the musicians whose music I have permission to use either from netlabels or IODApromonet*. This is just my meager attempt to try something I haven't completely done before: have a consistent (well, 90%) theme with the music I have on tap. I've had themes before, well - dedications actually - but this is different.

Through all of this, I hope you enjoy :) also check out the other projects listed and enjoy them as well.

I will use some songs which are directly inspired by these airwave mysteries to help set up the rest of the show.

Here's a list of the first three tracks to get things started:

Konets by the ambienteer: if I am right, this song uses samples from the "Swedish Symphony", number station, from the former West Germany, which had a girl reading the codes.

UVB-76 by Nexus (from the Centrifuge netlabel off of the Silicone Poplars LP): I was searching around for pictures of "the Buzzer's" home site in Russia when I came across this nifty experimental album. If you travel to their page you can read a bit more on the subject.

Kinematics Dub by Galapagoose: It was a tough decision to figure out what song to use, but with some help from my lovely wife we nailed it!

Update 22 January 2010: Refined the grammar of some of the sentences and clarified some things.
*Update ibid: I realized I had done something in my words which I did not intend to do - possibly downplay the great music which will be found on this podcast. That was not my intention... in fact there have been quite a few generous artists who have allowed me to use their music and some great netlabels of which I have found some truly distinguished gems. When the show comes out - follow the links to their sites and find out what I'm talking about. To me, podcasts have many functions and one of them is promotion. I know I downplay my role in all of this because it's not about me... it's about the music. I've probably flip-flopped in a bit of my logic in the post, but truly it is about the music. I am also going to have some fun on this show with all the fun little side things I'm doing (especially the research).

Endnote: If you're looking for references for my information, follow the links I've provided in the text. These include the Conet Project booklet and webpage, Public Spaces Lab, Nexus' page at the Centrifuge netlabel, Cracked.com, the Number Stations page which is somewhere in the body, and I'll throw in Wikipedia about Number Stations and UVB-76.

15 January 2010

To the People of Haiti

Our thoughts and hearts are with all those who have been affected by the tragic earthquake in Haiti. If any of our readers know of a good charity to give to, leave it in the comments and we'll try to give it some time here on the blog.

the UBLF

Update: The wonderful Pixieguts has a suggestion, I'll just cut and paste her remarks here (I know they are in the comments, but as I said before - I'll give it some blogface time!)

I donated through Avaaz which goes through local community groups, more info on their site. Look for PayPal button if like me you don't have a credit card http://bit.ly/HaitiAppeal

14 January 2010

The Chilldown Period - Episode Eleven

2010 - a new year and on the threshold of a new decade!

Heck, I still remember the whole Y2K thing like it was an annoying yesterday! But, we need to get back on track and we have a great show set up in store for you.

It seems like forever when I first started working on this show, and I think the work and the help has paid off!

Many thanks, once again, to the ambienteer for the theme song and to so many different artists who helped make this show happen.

Here comes the line-up!

Panda Transport - Dark Horse - Monorail

Rumorse - Alexandra Avenue Orbit Will RMX - A Future Without Sampler #ONE - A Future Without

Alex Hudish - Ozone

Soft Words Traverse - Sprawling Certainty - Gently

henri.petterson - sensor - traveller e.p. - no response - CC

DJ Racy A.J. - Street Loony - Rust Tree LP - dusted wax kingdom - CC

Anno Bergman - Sunshine - The Free Tenderbytes - modular field - CC

M.W.D. - Rico - Singing Forest - Budabeats - CC

Autorotation - Mittelschmertz - Everything is Everything

13 January 2010

My gateway into dubstep

When I first heard about dubstep, I immediately took to youtube to find what I could on this genre. I can't remember all of the songs I heard that night, but this one stood out the most. I think because of the color changing squid, but a good portion was the song is hypnotic and addictive.

Here it is: Benga & Coki's "Night"

12 January 2010

Just Plain Ant "Songs About Something" Extended Version due out SOON!

Sleaze wrote about this on Just Plain Sounds' blogsite back on the fourth and Ant just gave me the word on twitter that the Extended Edition of "Songs About Something" is coming out February 2. I did a "Nightly Nine" on twitter a while back... (I should do that again) and the "original" version was on that. If you haven't heard it you are definitely missing out. So, I guess I'll have to post a link so you can do your homework and check it out.

Alright, there might be a pop quiz later on. :)

11 January 2010

Creative Commons Choosings - 11 January 2010

A month has passed by and I thought I'd drop on in and get you guys updated on some Creative Commons music which I have found need to be shared with you, the readers, over the past four, maybe five weeks. If you haven't heard much about Creative Commons music, do a search for either CC itself, or netlabels or both - you will NOT be disappointed.

M.W.D.'s "Singing Forest"* is a fun little trip into the musical jungle.... you know what - I shouldn't have gone that cheesy. But the fun mix of "nu-jazz and broken beat with a little downtempo and electronic spice" (from the budabeats.com website) will keep you coming back for more. I love the fine mix of drums through out the record. To me, a good rhythm can make or break a song - all through out his loops keep my interest piqued with funky melodies and samples coming in to keep the album interesting. For some songs, like "Elephant", it seems as if M.W.D. has reached through time to find a swinging crooner to sing over the nouveau-antique beats he creates. His touch of guitar samples, such as on Rico and others, keep the energy dutifully flowing on this album as well. (Also, check out the jazzy goodness on "Snake" - you will not be disappointed).

On a side note, you'll get to hear Rico on my upcoming podcast due out this week!

For my next find, you have to read the review of her music over at Public Spaces Lab, for I cannot do her music justice like they have there! I'll do my best to give you an insight to how I dig the music, but they have the market on this piece.

adamned.age's "whiteout" is a brilliant minimalist album. It's got all the bits and pieces you will come to love such as glitch, a nice and slow tempo, some keen keyboards (see "infinite expanse"), dark and gritty emotion, and a hypnotic flow to keep you going back through the music time and time again. You'll have to check it out to see what I'm talking about.

Like I said earlier... check out what PSL said about her music, it's worth the read!

* Updated 12 January 2009: Singing Forest not Swinging Forest.

03 January 2010

Just Plain Sounds blog is now up and running

Just got the tweet in from Just Plain Ant that Just Plain Sounds has launched their new blogsite. So, what are you waiting for: go there NOW!

02 January 2010

Lowpitch's Boxing Bet EP is out (hey, and so is City Rain's These Days)

Sorry to take so long to get this out, but Lowpitch (who was on Episode Five of the Chilldown Period) has released their EP "Boxing Bet" on December 30th - just in time for the new year! Here's the official video of their single "My Game."

Oh, and by the way - another friend of the show, City Rain, has released his most recent EP - These Days - on Output Noise records. I can't find a video for the song "These Days", but we'll have to let this interview suffice for now.