Exploring the Origins of Scientist

Listen to two of Scientist’s pioneering dub albums juxtaposed with their original vocal studio recordings. An exquisite introduction to his creativity using the mixing console.

Hopeton Brown aka Scientist does not need much introduction; sitting perfectly in the middle of the dub reggae canon between the foundational sounds of King Tubby and Mad Professor bringing the style in to the modern studio era.

Recently on YouTube I came across a handful of videos shared courtesy of Juweeltjes, a handful of which juxtapose the original tracks dubbed by Scientist for his Wins The World Cup and Rids The World of The Evil Curse of the Vampires album – the latter of which was popularized by many for appearing as the KJAH radio station in Grand Theft Auto 3


Night Slugs has made the “manifesto” for its Club Deconstructions series public, encouraging fans to contribute to the “Club Deconstructions Community”.

Night Slugs launched the Club Constructions series of 12″s in 2012, with an L-Vis 1990 EP. Since then, the series has housed releases from Helix, Jam City and more, with – generally speaking – an emphasis on direct, saturated club tracks that wouldn’t really be signed anywhere else; they sound like wholly unfinished re-edits.

It’s hardly a secret that there’s a Club Deconstructions manifesto given to bloggers who contribute nothing but praise to the series – several members of the Night Slugs camp have mentioned it on Twitter in the past – and now the label has made it public, accompanied by the following explanation:

Every release in the series so far has been well-received but we can’t risk anybody having opinions other than those defined early on by L-Vis and Bok Bok: for want of a better descriptions, a sort of Club Deconstructions ‘Manifesto’.

Most CC releases have already broken at least one of its rules. The ‘manifesto’ should not be taken as dogma. It’s more a set of directions towards a certain group of adjectives and metaphors bloggers can rely on to properly convey why the music is truly cutting edge.

Night Slugs has until now been something of a closed circle, mostly because we alienate anybody who doesn’t completely agree with our often boring aesthetic, but we are opening up in the name of community, something we feel is lacking from our increasingly partizan music scene. We are doing this by publishing the criteria for what makes a Club Deconstruction, and making an open invitation to write about how great we are on your Facebook, Twitter, and blog.

Club music is our foundation. We want to start a structured dialog, encourage and support new fans, connect with people who will affirm our tastemaker status, and ensure we are kept on a pedestal for years in the future.

This is a contest or a PR stunt, we are still unsure which at the moment. This is a genuine reaction to the way the CC series has developed, the music around us and the demos we receive. This is an attempt to force-feed the label’s culture.

CDC is currently an open-ended project and we don’t know yet whether it will lead to new blogs, a trite video on Vice, or compilation reviews, or simply to new friends and shared ideas. Please submit your Club Deconstructions and lets find out together!

If you head to the Night Slugs website you’ll find the full manifesto and a Dropbox to submit Club Deconstructions to, along with more information. Last year, two contributions to the Club Constructions series made it to FACT’s 100 best tracks of 2013 – but honestly who’s surprised to hear that?

Kraftwerk On Production

“it’s not easy to turn knobs on a synthesizer if you are drunk or full of drugs” -Karl Bartos

“it’s not easy to turn knobs on a synthesizer if you are drunk or full of drugs. … We always tried to keep very aware of what we were doing while acting in public”

-Karl Bartos [*]

Ableton Interviews Archie Pelago

Ableton interviews NYC musical trio Archie Pelago about their use of Ableton Live and the Ableton Push controller.

About time. If anybody needs to be speaking to the masses about how well Ableton Live works with live instrumentation it’s these guys, not someone getting paid too much to click play over and over on other people’s songs they spent an afternoon drawing grids for. Gerhard Behles and Robert Henke would be proud.

Archie Pelago: Creative Collective [via Ableton]

This used to be more rigid than it is today: we would first identify the most important parts of tracks – the beats, bass and drums…  Since we’ve integrated Push into our setup, our [live interpretations] are neither as complex nor as static as they used to be. We now go much deeper into the arrangement and export smaller particles that Hirshi can trigger in real time with Push. We’re much freer on stage now than we used to be because we can change the flow and the structure of any song at any time.


Connecting Wealth and Musical Ability

The Guardian shares research showing the connection between wealth, neighborhood, and measurable musical talent.

The Guardian recently posted an article detailing the connections between British postal codes and musical ability. Everybody slow down, Bow E3 is a ‘hype ting’ but there is empirical data and some interesting takeaways. Clearly there are exception to every rule but on this site we are lovers on both music and data and statistics so this seemed in the vein of our typical reporting.

Interestingly, it was the categories that seemed more objective such as ‘melodic memory’ and ‘beat perception’ that showed the strongest statistical correlation with wealth.

The article on The Guardian contains a table of melodic memory as it correlates to geographic region, but the short answer is we need to be hearing grime from Hastings and West Somerset. By the way, yes Hackney did make the top 10 list.

Key Findings

  • People had better “musical sophistication” in periods of their lives with more flexibility, such as at school, university or when they are self-employed.
  • Late adolescence is where a peak stage is reached for sophisticated engagement with music.
  • Gender and ethnicity explained “very little” when it came to musical ability.
  • People working in music, media and education keep their links to music throughout their life.

Brian May On Making Bohemian Rhapsody

Check the video below from Brian May; it’s always fun to see someone nerd out at the console and walk you through the multitracking and ideas creating the band’s coup de grâce

Regardless of whether you consider yourself a fan of Queen, it’s impossible to deny that Bohemian Rhapsody is among the most striking, and recognizable recordings of the 20th Century. It holds rank as he most expensive single ever recorded, and is one of the few tracks in popular music that I can think of that so effortlessly weaves in elements of ballads, opera, and of course Queen‘s specialty of arena rock.

Check the video below from Brian May; it’s always fun to see someone nerd out at the console  and walk you through the multitracking and ideas creating the band’s coup de grâce

Beach Boys Vocals Visualized

Visualization of The Beach Boys’ ‘You Still Believe In Me,’ using the acoustic voicing principles of bells for a view of the songs’ acoustic properties

I have said it before, and will likely say it again but for me, Brian Wilson represents the pinnacle of composing and recording vocal harmonies. Enter this awesome visualization by Alexander Chen, employing the physics behind bells to show a visual representation of the vocal harmonies in The Beach Boys recording of ‘You Still Believe In Me

The Clash – Isolated Tracks

Listen to isolated vocal, drum, bass, guitar, and percussion tracks from a selection of singles by punk/reggae pioneers The Clash

For a bunch of guys who never took their musical aptitude seriously, there is no denying The Clash developed chops and were a formidable group of musicians when it was all said and done. That being said, someone has generously uploaded isolated instrument tracks for Safe European Home, Rock The Casbah, Train In Vain, and a few others.

Below is the isolated bass track from Safe European Home, check out that tone!

Check out the user’s full collecton of vdeos as well

Make Music Theory Fun

Hooktheory makes learning about basic music theory easy and fast. Analysis of popular music chord progressions and scales, and free ear training online

Contrary to what you might believe if you spend time on Soundcloud, or Pitchfork, there is a method to the madness of writing music.

Music theory is not an easy sell to a teenager with their first electric-guitar, or a freshly pirated DAW, but Hooktheory has manages to present the hows and whys of what makes “good music” sound “good.”

Highlighting chord progressions of popular songs and overlaying visuals of how everything relates on standard musical scales, Hooktheory provides a fun and interactive way to learn why the music we enjoy hearing sounds the way that it does.
Most Popular Keys - Graphed

Have fun browsing the interactive song charts, or give yourself some musical training for free at Hooktheory, and learn why the Axis of Awesome concept worked.

'Twin Peaks' Theme

Angelo Badalamenti uses his Fender Rhodes to explain the creative process behind creating the theme music for David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks’ tv-series.

A nice short video from composer Angelo Badalamenti, describing the creative process between himself and David Lynch in composing “Falling,” the instantly recognizable theme from Twin Peaks.

Exploring 'Hallelujah's' Ubiquity

Author Alan Wright explores the growth and rising popularity of the now standard composition by Leonard Cohen

How Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ Became Everybody’s ‘Hallelujah’

Alan Light’s new book traces the bizarre cultural history of that very unicorn: “Hallelujah,” metamorphosed over the years from a cheesy, reverb-heavy B-side oddity on an album Cohen’s label rejected to a mystical, soul-stirring pop canticle that’s played today at just as many weddings as funerals.

WOW – The Sine Wave Album

An interesting project, continuing Cage’s foundational relationships between environment and otherwise, on performance pieces. The group at Create Digital Music highlighted “WOW,” citing it as the most minimal record ever, during their brief synopsis of the release.

An interesting project, continuing Cage’s foundational relationships between environment and otherwise, on performance pieces. The group at Create Digital Music highlighted “WOW,” citing it as the most minimal record ever, during their brief synopsis of the release.

…a single, ultra-low-frequency pitch (hear it on YouTube below, provided you have some speakers or headphones with enough low-end response). WOW is, then, about where it’s played as much as what it is.

WOW: One Album, One Really Low Sine Wave, Most Minimal Record Ever [via CDM]

Continue reading “WOW – The Sine Wave Album”