27 February 2010

I'm in the mood for some dubstep right now...

I was searching around the interwebs on youtube when I came across this group from New Zealand (I believe) called Mt. Eden Dubstep. I'm going to be listening to a few of their songs for a while but here are a couple I enjoyed and thought I'd share with you.


24 February 2010

Some pictures from my trip into Wyoming and Eastern Idaho

I figured, why the heck not - I'll show some pictures of my recent foray into the wilds of Idaho and Wyoming. I hope you enjoy :) If you decide to use one, just let me know! If you want to make money off of it... we'll talk as well ;)

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20 February 2010

Cover for Episode Thirteen of the Chilldown Period

I was travelling around the Idaho countryside this past week and came across one of my favorite scenes in this area. It was delightfully cloudy and they brought out the beauty of this old granary. I used to go by this area five times a week, and for one season working around here we'd have to fill up the vans at the gas station next to this place.

One word to describe this podcast is flow. It's almost a darn shame I have to speak during this episode, but I'll do as I usually do by giving you information about the artists I will feature this next month.

I hope you all will enjoy!

Also, if you've noticed, I've changed the main banner for the blog. I was travelling around Jackson Hole, WY on the same day I snapped this cover picture and the mountains were just too good to not take pictures of. The picture up top is from the moving truck I was in - so I got lucky.

16 February 2010

Episode Twelve - Correcting my mistakes

In Episode Twelve (as you may have heard) around the 37 minute mark there was this harsh sound which occurs during Outputmessage's song "Resurface." I did not correct it because I would not get the podcast out on my scheduled deadline, and I didn't quite know how to correct the issue technically.

Well, it has been gnawing at me off and on for the past week. I've felt bad because it is something I SHOULD HAVE corrected! Also, I feel bad because it happened during a dang good song by a good artist who has been GREAT to this podcast/blog! I've tried to correct the problem as best as I could and reloaded the show for this month.

This wasn't a tiny mistake like a word mispronounced or bad grammar... this was fairly abrupt.

So my apologies first to Outputmessage and second to the listeners and supporters.

Enjoy the newly corrected episode of the Chilldown Period.

11 February 2010

The Chilldown Period - Episode Twelve - UVB-76

Greetings fellow agents and operatives! It is that time of the month for our regular transmission and I hope you enjoy the message which I have sent you this time.

I take it you have received your One Time Pad so you can decipher what is being said.

With that out in the open, I'm going to take some time and let you know who has made this transmission possible.

First and foremost: Made by Robot and the Public Spaces Lab. They've been amazing to work with and you'll get to read the true transcript of the conversation between MbR and myself a little later on.

Second: Irdial Discs! Without their samples I could not have added that hint of reality to this show. Still geeking over those mp3s from the Conet Project.

Thirdly: Cracked.com, the ENIGMA 2000 newsletter and other websites where I've found interesting information.

Fourthly: Pure_tone - I tried to use the information you gave me!

Fifthly: the artists in the episode! Go and get their music... good stuff!!

Last, but not least: the ambienteer! as always!!

Ooooops - almost forgot: Thanks to my lovely wife, lady ten10, for lending her voice to this podcast.

Update - the english man's sample I used is actually his null message. Also, during Outputmessage's song, Resurface, there is a glitch... my apologies to everyone for that.

My Q and A with Made by Robot:

UBLF: Why did you decide to do a project centered around Number Stations?

MbR: I've always had an interest in obscure radio stations recordings for as long as I can remember, some of my earliest memories were of playing with those small transistor radios that have a speaker and a dial and that's about it. Listening it at night to the obscure areas of the frequencies (since at that age I wasn't so interested in the musical or spoken portions). I'd spend hours listening to 1 side of the police radios (which in England you used to be able to pick up with a regular radio), or weather stations (the shipping forecast was a great example), or just finding bands that had strange beeping going on. As a child those random noises evoke such huge imagination, they must come from somewhere, your mind goes wild.

I've always been a fan of the Irdial, Conet Project work. I think they're really the ones that made "Numbers Stations" become, for want of a better word, mainstream.

Whilst working on my last album, Penguins. I used a number of samples I'd found on a couple of radio ham sites, as well as some of my own recordings (I have some of my own shortwave equipment for finding samples). This sparked an idea that it would be interesting to get a diverse group of electronic musicians together and with everyone using these strange samples see what came out. So I contacted a bunch of people I knew, a fair number came from the Monome community, but probably 50% from outside their, and I dropped Public Spaces a line to see if they were interested, and it all went from there.

The thing I'm most happy with on the project is that the range of the music is pretty diverse, dub to ambient, interpretive to moody idm, all from the same source that has a certain sound. So all the tracks are very different, yet they all sound the same. I love that.

UBLF: What is it about mysterious things such as Number Stations, the Cosmos, and cute kittens* that inspires people and their art?

MbR: as mentioned above, I think Numbers Stations have a great potential to make people imagine. They aren't random they're there for a reason, yet their purpose is somewhat unknown. That allows the listener to opportunity to listen and apply their own back story, their own reasons, and I think that's why they have such a strange draw on people.

*yes, that was apart of the question. Cats and kittens live and exist in their own world.


Now, the number codes:

The Conet Project - tcp d4 32 the buzzer irdial - Irdial Discs

PIXSID - Love You to a Drumbeat - Atoms Apart

Erik L & Illingsworth - l kire htrowsgnilli - Northern Connection

Junior Wong - sixfour - Factory Jams - Just Plain Sounds

Kid Logic - secret potatoes - Baconomics EP

Outputmessage - Resurface - Autonomous - Output Noise

Uniform Motion - The Pen Fallacy - Pictures - aaahh-records - CC

And His Father Was a Great MachineOmbudsman
"To My Hideoot" (mp3)
from "And His Father Was a Great Machine"
Buy at iTunes Music Store
More On This Album

The Conet Project - tcp d3 7 english man irdial - Irdial Discs

09 February 2010

Outputmessage - Autonomous || 9 February 2010

If you haven't heard of Outputmessage, then you ought to reconsider! Producer, singer, DJ, and runner (?) of the label Output Noise has thrown together one floor stomping good record. (Here's an overview of the album found on ON's website - and I promise I did not read their review before I wrote my overview. This is how the album "reads" to me!)

Here is how I describe his latest release (and first full length release both electronically and in hard copy from ON) Autonomous: Upbeat, positive synth-house.

Remember, I'm good at making up my own genre labels!

The album starts out at full speed with the instrumental "Prelude", and relentlessly refuses to relinquish its resolve until the record releases the ghost (i.e. ends).

It keeps its stride as Bernard breaks out the vocals in "Get Away", which is a one of many self-reflective pieces. It speaks of personal revelation by leaving a tough situation and creating your own path despite the ruins of what has happened. It is the understanding that the games others play will keep you entangled until you realize this isn't where you want to be.

Acknowledgement is the first step to healing and Outputmessage keeps on the path open with "N.Y.R.". The reflections continue with words winding their way through the epiphany that you have to put forth effort to make relationships work. The thread is defined in the face of a possible breaking up and making the resolution to do what ever it takes to make things work.

Goal setting helps you follow through on the acknowledging of what has happened and how to make things work. Then there is the part where you fall down after trying so hard and realizing you have to "get up and try again". "Resurface" is the tale of putting forth your all, messing up, getting frustrated at what has happened and accomplishing what you need to do make things right. Sometimes you've got to prove people right by get up and trying again. I've heard a Japanese proverb which states, "Fall down seven times, Stand up eight," even if it is to walk away from a situation... you've got to do it!

Then a familiar sound will grace your ears: "I Remember" featuring City Rain. The memory of a lost love which will not leave and the recognition of why they left. The lyrics continue on reflecting the determination of not making the same mistakes with future love.

This determination coupled with goal setting, coupled with the IDM influx, continues on "Follow". Here is the desire and the determination to do things on your own "following your heart" to realize the goals you have set.

Then "Tuesday" comes. That's the name of the next track. Of course the day Tuesday will come, but... oh, nevermind.

You'd better make sure you have some good soles on your shoes or you're gonna stomp so much you'll bruise yourself. The pulsating beats and synths with frantic keys in the background cross into "house" themes making this one danceable tune.

Next comes "Glintz" and the call for help when everything has crashed around you. In the pleadings it's asked "will you be there?" even after all of your friends have left you. It's the need for someone who is willing to see through all the mess and keep their promise to be by your side. "There's a glint in your eye that lets me know that everything will be alright." When you go through change and a determination to go forward, it is always good, nigh unto necessary, to have someone whom you can rely on through all the tough times which sometime accompany progress.

"Undone" - this trippy little ditty, at least to me, is the frustration of confronting someone to find out why they're hurt and the nerves coming from wanting and needing to apologize. Also, through the finding process, there are the setting of limits on what needs to be done and what part you will take in the reconciliation process. There's a call for growth and avoidance of regression. I'm probably wrong on this one...

Then the relationship meme continues with "Foreign". Speaking from personal experience, I know what it's like to actually fine someone you feel you can trust with your feelings, or have someone there who's dedicated to you despite all of your faults and short comings, and when it seems like everyone else has left you and they're still there to be by your side. They actually care for you that much to actually like you and want to be with you. This new, weird feeling is almost unnerving! I can related to the name of this song and what it entails. This all culminates in the song "My Love" which goes through the ups and downs of relationships and the need to fight through the frustrations that at times accompany them.

"Syracuse" is the final piece to this twelve song puzzle. The final plea of coming back together and trying to work things out before you grow apart from each other and the relationship not happening ever again.

Outputmessage doesn't let up much on the thumping and bumping despite the themes found on this record. What better way to reinforce a message than through happy, housey beats.

My final recommendation is to get this album. The positive vibe and the toe-tapping nature of it all is worth it. I truly do recommend it!

Plus - I got some intel that there is going to be a song from "Autonomous" on the next episode of the Chilldown Period.

06 February 2010

Creative Commons Choosings - 6 February 2010

Good heavens, where do I start for this episode of Creative Commons Choosings? There have been so many good ones come out lately that it is hard to choose just a few.

After deliberations with myself, here are my choices!

Various Artists - Number Stations - Public Spaces Lab

First up, Number Stations. I've ranted and raved about this album for the past month and you'll get to hear a track on the upcoming Chilldown Period.

See, what did I tell you - that's a freaking cool cover picture. The mystery of where the antenna ends mixes into the cryptic nature of just what Number Stations are. Made by Robot is the master behind this collaboration, getting help from great musicians who stay true to the sounds which come from these stations with songs ranging from dancehall sounds to interpretive mixes (source). A few of these songs have grown on me (either for repetition of playing them to just listening more than the initial play) and I'd be lying if I did not mention how much this album has influenced me - I know, in just a short time. Heck, if Pink Floyd were a new band today, I could see them do a song for this compilation.

But that's just me!

Just Plain Ant - Songs About Something XE - Bloc Sonic

The original of this is album has been another influence on me. I've been a fan of Ant's since the first time I heard his collaboration with Oh.Bliv on "Black Soap". He's also been one of my "Wrap Your Ears Around This Artist" and he runs his own netlabel Just Plain Sounds.

"Songs About Something" is a gem; no other way to put it. When I heard about the Xtended Version, I became excited. I believe Ant put out a preview track on Soundcloud a week before the album dropped which was quality! "Songs About Something XE" hit the interwebs a few days ago and it does not disappoint. There are some nifty remixes by Sleaze, Oh.Bliv and Rowan plus some great original material added to the second disc.

I don't want to get too hyperbolic, but the XE continues to make the original mythic!

Airnino - Spacesuite Radio - Retrofuturism

I was digging around the blog GoodNetlabels and came across this little nugget of CC music goodness: Airnino's "Spacesuite Radio" from the Retrofuturism netlabel.

Whew, this is one of those we'll-take-sounds-of-the-past-so-we-can-look-forward albums. It works, oh believe me. If it didn't, you would not be reading about it right here. It's smooth, soulful, and an "imaginary trip" as the voice sample in the second song lets you know. I'll be contacting Retrofuturism fairly soon to let them know I plan on using one of Airnino's songs in an upcoming episode.

Another factor in my choosing this is the chilldown factor involved. He's flatlining the joint with this album. Just like Sleaze's "A Rose, By Any Other Name", "Spacesuite Radio" is another splendid mental respite for my work day.

Junior Wong - Factory Jams - Just Plain Sounds

I finally did myself a favor and checked out the one and only Junior Wong's "The Spaceman Chronicles" about a month ago and found myself pleased with the beats he makes. Pleased isn't the word. Enthralled, maybe? You know what... let's throw that album in with this article.

Junior Wong - The Spaceman Chronicles - Just Plain Sounds

Now, the universe is at balance.

Back to where we were. "The Spaceman Chronicles" is just pure silk. Smooth beats, unpretentious sounds, and a few bangers mixed in (i.e. Bush Bread). By the time you go through the album, you hardly realize its over. That's not a statement of boredom or jadedness, but to show just how well the songs mesh together.

It's that good.

Then I was either on twitter or checking out Just Plain Sounds when I caught word that Junior's beat album "Factory Jams" dropped. Of course, being the fanboy I am of nice music, I immediately downloaded the album and started listening. He's batting 2 for 2 here.

It's another release of pure silk from the "Composer in Exile" (source). Plus one more great example of the quality of work coming from JPS and also the beauty of simplicity.

So, do yourself a favor and get it!

That's it for right now... I'll have to save more releases for future dates.

Hopefully you all will enjoy these releases.

Oooo, forgot to mention, you'll get to hear one of the "Factory Jams" soon. I mean very soon!

* Update 7 February 2010 - made some spelling corrections plus some grammatical and repetitious corrections.

03 February 2010

Boxing Bet is out from Lowpitch!

Lowpitch is back with the release of their EP "Boxing Bet". You can head over to their website and buy it, or wait a while and get it from your favorite emusic retailer! As promised, they deliver musically, lyrically and groovically (yep, you can add that to your UBLF dictionary of words I have made up)!

Thanks to Simone (@djsygo) for giving me the heads up this morning!


01 February 2010

Just Plain Ant "Songs About Something" XE is out!

Songs About Something XE, from the one and only Just Plain Ant, is finally here and you can catch the download over at Bloc Sonic (head over there by way of this link). Just from the few songs I've heard - definitely worth the wait!

Update - Listened to it and, yep - same opinion: worth the wait! Some nice stuff on Disc 2 (and you know how I feel about the first disc, well if you don't, I like it... a whole LOT!). Grammar is out the window right now...