Sunday, February 01, 2015

What I listened to in January, 2015 ...

January was an interesting month for music: I got my hands on "Hotel: Ambient" by Moby ... and Björk released a cracker of an album. I was also album to listen to unreleased work by Venona Pers, Cousin Silas, and Symatic Star ... all destined for my wee netlabel: weareallghosts.


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Seven questions with ... guitarist Bob Guido

Life has been pretty busy of late. Between a full time job that I love, full time life with my wife and kids, and ... there hasn't been a much time for the ol' nanolog. I'm glad there are folks like guitarist Bob Guido that still believe in this little blog and pour their heart into the seven questions. Have a read below and you'll see what I mean:


1) Who are you and what do you do?

Since I was four years old, people taller than me have been calling me Bobby Guido and insisting I play music.  Music has been wonderful to me so far.  I craft my own kind of music here in Canada, the old fasioned way, by hand.  I come from a smaller community of very talented local musicians where if you sound like someone else, it's going to be obvious that you're a copy.  That forces a certain level of honesty and pushes people to work on their own thing that comes from the soul.  It's been really good for me - not competing with anyone else but making original music instead.

My home and native land is a strikingly beautiful country that gives me strong feelings of freedom and escape, though at the moment, I am trapped inside.  The cold and dark winters here give us lots of inside time.  The imagination runs wild while we look out through our frosted windows at the very stark winter landscapes.  I grew up down the road from this magical music circus too and that made an impression on me.  The recording studio where ambient music was invented in the late 1970's by Brian Eno, Daniel Lanois, Harold Budd and a tremendous group of pioneers in music is still here.  It's the birthplace of ambient music and part of the story of Canadian music.

2) What are you working on at the moment?

I think that I've reached a new level of emotional vulnerability in a way that sets what I'm working on far apart from my previous work.  I've been on a hiatus from music and during this time, some profound things happened to me and I had a wake up call.  I have learned from the darkness that pulls at one's soul.  Life's direction inspired me to write “My Last Love“ which implies finality but is truly about a journey that never really ends.

3) Who inspires you? 

- Name an artist who has inspired you ...
People who's hearts resonate with my heart and elevate my spirit are the kind of people who have always been an inspiration.  I've been extremely lucky to have had some incredible mentors along the way who's words have continued to echo in the back of my mind.  Words that guide me every day.  They inspire.  

Bill Dillon.  He has this sound with his guitar and guitorgan that is like an entire orchestra from another planet.  It's this emotionally charged sound that kind of kreeps up on you and I discovered this on some of my favorite records growing up - Joni Mitchell, Peter Gabriel, Daniel Lanois, Sarah McLachlan, Robbie Robertson, Counting Crows.  It was the kind of thing that turned me into a musical forensic investigator, trying to unlock the secret sounds that he made to understand how  magic like that happens.   Bill travelled to my studio to play on my latest and he shared some truths with me that were like a map to navigating this life as an artist.  His heart is pure and full of passion which is so good.  He's a musical hero of mine.

Anna Donahoo.  She's a talented songrwiter from Texas.  A soft spoken but passionate musician who awakened something fierce inside of me about 10 months ago.  I flew down south to Texas and we met and it was life changing.  We started to write music together, her on guitar and me at the piano and then the both of us at the piano and it was a miracle.  I think we both knew in that moment that we could create something greater together.  Something unique and exciting and inspirational.

- Name a place that has inspired you ...
I used to walk around a lot, clapping my hands and listening to the reverb when I went different places.

I like to work in spaces that have a story and a remarkable sound.  Places with incredible sonics and reverb.  Reverb.  Lots of interesting reverb.  Places like that inpsire me.  Cathedrals, huge empty parking lots surrounded by the high walls of buildings, parking garages, subway tunnels, old schoolhouses and silos.  If anyone reading this knows of a really amazing sounding place, especially in Ontario Canada, please contact me here:

Canada's natural landscape, I feel is a great part of who I am.  I love being outside in nature and I soak up so much of the beauty I experience there and I think it finds it's way into the art.  Iceland is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to.  It's a place that has greatly inspired me and continues to give me a sense of wonder and fills me with excitement and warmth!

- Name some "thing" that has inspired you ...
The search for truth

4) What drives you to do what you do?

Something greater than myself.  Music is my little boat that I travel in search of a greater purpose with.  A purpose that will, I hope help inspire others to reach their own greater purpose.

5) What values do you wish your creativity to express?

respect > honor > love > equality > unity

6) What role does community play in what you do?

Community plays a supporting role and I've tried to help others along the way as much as I can.  It's an honor for me to share my knowlege and experience with artists and recording enginners who are doing great things and they all return the help with gratitude.  It's important to share whenever you can because you need a strong foundation of musical family when you dedicate your life to music.  It's not an easy road to take but it is a complete and fulfilling one.  Not everyone has direct support for a music life so it's important to support each other.  

Support is why community exists isn't it?  

The greatest supporters are those who help make specific connections for people who need to find one another to help fullfill or complete each other's destiny.

 Internet community allows for a very specific alignment of people looking to connect with others artistically.  It's a blessing that way.

7) What is next for what you do?

I'm at the beginning of a new chapter, dedicated to being a part of a musical team with my musical compadre, Anna Donahoo from Texas.  There is a mutual feeling of a greater purpose for us and our music.   To live our way into that is more exciting than anything before.  We can't wait!


I can't wait either, Bob! Thanks for taking the time to complete the seven questions so thoroughly.

Bob can be found at the following locations ... +

I have embedded his most recent track - "My Last Love" - below ... have a wee listen and if you like what you hear, please do what you can to support Bob's music.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Seven questions with ... Ricky Fabulous, the man behind Keenya

I wrote some thoughts on Keenya's new album last week:
"Drones, samples and found-sounds find purpose as they form the melodic underscore for disjointed and glitchy polyrhythmic loops. Together these disparate elements work to create wonderfully engaging, multi-layered aural tapestries that I cannot help being drawn to. This is music to get lost in, music that envelopes me, as the listener, in a new and decidedly hypnotic world."

I'm delighted to say that Ricky Fabulous (love that name), the man behind Keenya, has answered the ol' nanolog's seven questions. I, for one, really wanted to know a wee bit more about the man behind the music ... I'm glad I can:


1) Who are you and what do you do?
I'm Ricky aka Ricky Fabulous aka Keenya. I'm a guy who makes day dream music.

2) What are you working on at the moment?
I'm just working on new songs at the moment. I'm in quite a good place to work at the moment which is cool.

3) Who inspires you?

- Name an artist who has inspired you.
I'm really inspired by Theolonius Monk. From the first time I heard him I was really blown away with how he immediately sounds like him. All his rhythm and harmony sound a bit like a kid playing the piano and it's really fun to listen to.

- Name place that has inspired you.
Weirdly I find Dubai really inspiring. I've been there a couple of times to play gigs and find it a really fascinating place. I really like man made stuff and you don't get much more man made than Dubai. Almost feels like you're another planet which has been made to look and feel like a city on Earth.

- Name some "thing" that has inspired you.
Being alone in places I've never been before. I quite like feeling lost inside somewhere and just observing things which are going on. Kind of using a place as a back drop to my own thoughts

4) What drives you to do what you do?
I think the music I make is the way I hear things. Sometimes you hear music being played but everything else around plays a weird percussion to the music you're hearing. But I think it's also the kind of music I want to hear and be alone with. I guess making music which becomes a backdrop to me thinking about things, but also helps me think about different things

5) What values do you wish your creativity to express?
I'd not really thought about my music having values before, but I guess I'd say that I want people to feel ok to be alone and listen to it. I find my music quite meditative and it would be nice if people found the same peace with it.

6) What role does community play in what you do?
The music I make is pretty introverted. I'd like to think it gave people an outlet for being introverted. I like it when people 'get it' and I suppose in that way there's a communal feeling to feeling and thinking a certain way.

7) What is next for what you do?
Reckon I'm going to keep writing a whole lot of tunes and then start putting another album together!


Thanks Ricky! I really enjoyed "Gone Home" and would agree with the meditative quality of it ... it is rather beautiful in that regard.

If you haven't had a chance to listen to it ... please take the time to do so, you will not regret it.


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Repost - Presenting … ending the year on a high 2014 (waag_com003)


Presenting … ending the year on a high 2014. A compilation album that features twenty tracks from some of my most favourite people in independent ambient electronic music. There is well over 2 hours of music here to be consumed, music that I personally find tremendously inspirational and deeply thought provoking.

I have spoken, at length, about the power of ambient music to give the mind space to wander and the music presented here does just that. The music created by the folks on weareallghosts is truly exceptional - music from Cousin Silas and Christopher Alvarado, Brother Saturn and Kevin Lyons, Stephen Briggs and Tim Rowe, Negative Spectrum and Sound Awakener, Delicate Apparatus and Scott Lawlor, William Spivey, Wolfgang Merx and Rhys Anslow, Mystified and Microvolt;

The tracks demonstrate the breadth of talent from further afield too - the music presented from the likes of Orbit Over Luna, åpne sinn, Row Boat, Daniel Prendiville, and Twin Cities; is truly awe-inspiring. I cannot thank each and every artist enough for their contributions.

Normally I would put this compilation out for free as a wee token of appreciation to our faithful supporters and fans, but this year I would like to try something different: I have set a minimum price of £5 or 25p per track. ALL PROCEEDS from this album will go to the charity HOSPICE UK (formerly HELP THE HOSPICES), a charity that supports the development of hospice care in the UK and internationally.

weareallghosts is my main side-project and something I do for the love of it. My main employment is as a Business Analyst in Glasgow, Scotland; my current employer actively and generously supports HOSPICE UK and doubles any donation made by her staff - by donating for this album I will hopefully be able to raise some money for a really great cause and give a little good back into the world.

My sincere thanks to all the artists who have contributed to the making of this album - they have given their time and, more importantly, their music for free to aid this worthy cause.

Whilst it would be wrong of me to single any individual artist out, I have to mention a generous gift provided by Mark Wardale aka Row Boat. He has offered his exceptional post-rock album - In Between ( - for FREE to the first twenty people who pay MORE THAN £5 for this album. I am indebted to Wardale for his generosity!

This album will NOT be available on Archive.



01. Cousin Silas and Christopher Alvarado - Elysian Fields | 06:36
02. Orbit Over Luna - It Seems A Small Thing | 06:37
03. Christopher Alvarado - The Amity Order | 04:26
04. åpne sinn - Auspice | 10:34
05. Cousin Silas - Recollections | 06:02
06. Row Boat - Draugen | 06:23
07. Brother Saturn - God Never Skips A Beat (Space Dimension 9) | 08:32
08. Kevin Lyons - The Burning Sky | 05:48
09. Daniel Prendiville - Floaty Floaty | 02:52
10. Stephen Briggs - Fuzz And Karbonades mk2 | 12:30
11. Tim Rowe - Orange | 06:26
12. twincities - Minim | 03:10
13. Negative Spectrum - Now You Know Where I Come From | 10:12
14. Sound Awakener - Sketching | 01:46
15. Delicate Apparatus - We Are Celestial | 04:21
16. Scott Lawlor - Night Terrors In The Darkness Of Space (Tribute to H.R. Giger) | 14:00
17. William Spivey - A December's Wish | 04:02
18. Wolfgang Merx and Rhys Anslow - Innocent | 01:59
19. Mystified - Perseverance | 04:27
20. Microvolt - Raintown | 03:35

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Loving ... the multi-layered aural tapestries from Keenya on "Gone Home"

"Gone Home" by Keenya arrived in my in-box without much ado over the Christmas holiday period. I'm not sure how DJ Alex Ruder, founder of Hush Hush Records, got hold of my email address but I am sure glad he did because "Gone Home" is fab! It reminds me of Susumu Yokota's more experimental downtempo work (as opposed to his more beat-driven house explorations), a sound and an approach that I, quite simply, love.

"Gone Home" is the debut full-length album by London-based musician Ricky Fabulous aka Keenya, an album influenced by his recent international travels while on tour with Belleruche (of which he is a member).

Drones, samples and found-sounds find purpose as they form the melodic underscore for disjointed and glitchy polyrhythmic loops. Together these disparate elements work to create wonderfully engaging, multi-layered aural tapestries that I cannot help being drawn to. This is music to get lost in, music that envelopes me, as the listener, in a new and decidedly hypnotic world.

"Glass" is so otherworldly and immersive that I nearly missed my stop en route home from Glasgow last night, so entranced was I in the sounds presented.

I wouldn’t say "Gone Home" was instantly accessible - it isn’t floaty, droney ambient nor is it head-bobbing melodic IDM - it is something else, something unique, something that demands your attention & yet sets you free to dream. The beats may seem disjointed and the timing awkward if given too much attention, and the sounds and melodies may seem incongruous with the beats ...
but somehow it all works and works really, really well ... kind of like a slightly blurry photograph taken on old Russian camera: the composition or colouring might not be perfect but the photo manages to connect and move the viewer in a tangible and meaningful way.

I really enjoyed "Gone Home" by Keenya & hope to feature tracks from it on circumambient in the near future. I’m going to try & get Ricky Fabulous to complete the wee blog interview too.

For now, please take time to listen to "Gone Home" and, if you can, please do support the efforts of Fabulous in his guise as Keenya.


Thursday, January 08, 2015

"Ghost Stories" by Coldplay ... my favourite non-weareallghosts album of 2014.

It is hard to pinpoint when I fell in love with "Ghost Stories" by Coldplay, all I know is I did and I do. I love "Ghost Stories" so much that I consider it my favourite non-weareallghosts album of 2014.

Why? I hear you say. I'm not sure exactly but I’m willing to try to explain why.

First off ... it grew on me. I know the concept of ’a grower’ is a bit clichéd but that’s what happened. I got the initial singles but wasn’t raving about them, mainly because I am an album guy. I wanted to hear the whole album and when I did I initially thought it was a good Chris Martin solo album. It took a few listens and a view of the concert video that was prepared to promote the album to really appreciate it was a Coldplay-as-a-tight-group album. From there it just grew exponentially in my estimations.

Secondly ... it became important to my whole family. My family doesn’t share a lot when it comes to similar music: definiately no prog, very little ambient (Cousin Silas' lighter work being a notable exception), some indie rock (Radiohead & Regina Spektor) and some orchestral work (soundtracks mostly). We tend to stick to the classics (The Beatles, Beach Boys, The Carpenters), some Gospel, and 80's pop like A-HA ... as well as the Muppets OSTs and One Republic.
Coldplay are part of the indie rock we listen to as a family. Mostly because it is common ground. Dayna, my eldest, is obsessed with them with the rest of us digging them to greater or lesser degrees.
This album, however, really clicked. It became THE album played in the car and the house - Dayna was always asking to put it on in the car & it became a real favourite of the family. Olwyn, in particular, really got behind it.

Thirdly ... I got it on vinyl. As I type I have the album as a digital download (paid), on vinyl and on CD. Back in August I was given it on vinyl for my 40th from Roscoe & Janey. Since then it has received a lot of play. It was the first album I played on my Project Elemental after I set it up before Christmas.
I do not underestimate the power of having it on vinyl - it became something more than the music, it was absorbed into the ritual and became part of my slightly-OCD vinyl life ... and as it was loved by my family, it got play when I couldn’t play my other fave vinyl albums - the No Prog rule extends to ’close to the edge’ unfortunately. Only ’Blade Runner’ & ’Pet Sounds’ get as much play as ’Ghost Stories’.

Lastly ... I think it is sonically very accomplished with a cohesive narrative that holds the album tightly together. The sounds presented on the album really work for me. The electronics, the percussion and the rhythms, the guitars, the bass, even Chris Martin’s voice … they all work for me. It is predominately a chilled album: downbeat and rather blue … even the frenetic and upbeat “A sky full of stars” (a track I didn’t get initially but has really grown on me) has a touch of melancholy.
It is this downbeat nature that holds the whole album together. This is a break-up album, one that superbly expresses Martin’s broken heart in a way that doesn’t dwell or wallow, yet somehow manages to convey so much.
Whilst the album sits well in Coldplay’s body of work, it also stands out: this was a surprise, a next-plateaux record that was a real progression from their previous album. I welcome this willingness to evolve and wish more bands would follow suit.

I know it isn’t ’hip’ to like Coldplay ... they seem to be an acceptable whipping boy that ’real’ music fans love to look down on & slag off. I heard the term ’bland’ used to describe their work too many times & it’s now starting to annoy me. Yes, Chris Martin can come over as a bit of a numpty some times but their music is anything but bland. It might not be your taste but don’t put it down with such a patronising term as bland.

If you don’t get the music then fine ... but please appreciate there are folks that do, myself included: I really love "Ghost Stories" and consider it ... for all the reasons stated above ... my favourite non-weareallghosts album of 2014.


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Where have I been?

You don't hear from me for a whole month and then I turn up with fifty-something fave albums of 2014 ... where have I been?

I work in projects and on the last weekend in November we implemented a new system. The implementation went well (I was on call that weekend) but once the system was in place we experienced a number of issues that really affected performance. I've been working, as part of a team, to rectify this situation.

In addition to my day job ... I've been out and about as a photographer:

I was privileged to photograph the Salvation Army in the West of Scotland's Annual Carol Service at the City Halls in Glasgow (link) ...

... the dedication of Nathan Laird at Airdrie Salvation Army (link) ...

... and Airdrie Salvation Army's Annual Carol Service at the Town Hall in Airdrie (link).

I also released some new music on my netlabel: weareallghosts ...

"Curious Warnings (waag_rel060)" by Kevin Lyons (link) ...

"Tales of Space Exploration 25 - 34 (waag_rel061)" by Brother Saturn (link) ...

... and four instalments in a series celebrating an 'ambient Advent' from Simon Slator.

(link) + (link) + (link) + (link)

I also released a podcast - a guest mix by Michael Gaida - over on circumambient.

So yeah ... it's been a very busy period for me. I haven't had the time to write and, to be honest, I haven't had the desire. I lost the 'want' ... and that really hurt.

I was able to celebrate Christmas with my work colleagues (most of my 'gang' are pictured above) and was able to see the third instalment of THE HOBBIT with my family ... all of which counts.

Anyway ... I hope normal service can be resumed. Thanks for sticking with me.


My TOP FIFTY-ISH Best Albums of 2014

Over on I was asked to list my Top Ten favourite albums of 2014. Unfortunately I was unable to limit my list to Ten … so I went with Fifty. Since then I’ve thought of a few albums I missed off the list.

This is my TOP FIFTY-ISH Best Albums of 2014 … I haven’t split the list into genre or whether the album was self-released, on a net-label or a major player … I also haven’t listed any albums from my netlabel: weareallghosts … as that wouldn’t be fair.

Here we go (albums in BOLD were missed previously):

"A home for you" by Good Weather for an Airstrike
"Absence" - Gargle & Bosques de mi Mente
"Asleep Versions" - Jon Hopkins
"Awake" - Tycho
"Building Nothing, Laying Bricks’ - Evolv
"Chronos" - Andrea Carri
"ClarOscuro" by Bruno Sanfilippo
"Distant Satellites" - Anathema
"Dogma" - Gespenst
"Fall, Rise" by Richard Ginns,
"Falling Sun" - Chihei Hatakeyama & Good Weather for an Airstrike
"A Forest of Fey" - Gandalf's Fist
"Gemini Gemini" - Jennie Abrahamson
"Ghost Stories" - Coldplay
"The Ghosts of Pripyat" - Steve Rothery
"Glasshouse" - Northcape
"The Healing Seasons" - Canopy
"Hibernation" + "Random Forest" - Random Forest
"I Did That Tomorrow" - Tess Said So
"I Never Learn" - Lykke Li
"In Between" - Row Boat
"In Each and Everyone" - Polar Bear
"Interstellar OST" - Hans Zimmer
"It's Nearly Tomorrow" - Craig Armstrong
"Leaving Stations" by Zenjungle
"Lost in the dream" - The War on Drugs
"Love Lost in a Storm" - Panoptique Electrical
"Movements for an Absent Mind" - by Darren Harper
"My Family goes on without me" - Caught In The Wake Forever
"No Mans Land" - Tommy Guerrero
"Nomawkish" by Diamond Gloss
"Oscillator" - The Atlas Amp
"Opening" - Christopher Willits
"Pacific"  + "Sierra" - The Echelon Effect
"Petrichor" - Harnes Kretzer
"Under The Skin OST" - Mica Levi
"The Secret of the Sea" - Bruno Bavota
"Seeds" - TVOTR
"Sibir" + Bonus Tracks - The Gateless Gate
"Spaces" - Nils Frahm***
"Sparks" - Imogen Heap
"Standing on the edge of decay" - Cousin Silas*
"Stereoscope" - Max Greening
"Starting Over" - Summer Effect
"Syro" - Aphex Twin
"Tales from Urban" - Zenjungle & Tunedin52
"They Flew in Censored Skies" by Sleepstream
"This is all yours" - Alt-J
"This is for our sins" - Lowercase Noises
"Tomorrow's Modern Boxes" - Thom Yorke
"Transit" - Orbit Over Luna
"Twilight Kingdom" - Lisa Gerrard
"Variations on the Celesta" - twincities.
"Warpaint" - Warpaint
"We Held Our Breath Until Our Hearts Exploded" - Beneath The Watchful Eyes
"We never left" - Stray Theories
"Your Empire, In Decline" - Hessien**

*I designed the cover for this release.
**The Hessien album is not released until Jan 1st, 2015 … but I was given it in 2014 and its a cracker, pure and simple … and just had to be on this list.
***"Spaces" is from 2013 ... but I discovered it in 2014 ... so, you know, I think of it as a 2014 album. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

What I've been reading in the last week ... 23/11/14

I am a well documented Moleskine nerd and their latest product, announced via the awesome Coolhunting, made me squeal:
"Moleskine's latest collaboration happens to be with Adobe, and the resulting Moleskine Smart Notebook and accompanying Creative Cloud app make it easy to turn work on paper—made with any implement of choice—into JPG and SVG files for use in Illustrator and Photoshop."

"On Spotify, music consumption is “frictionless”—a favorite word of Ek’s. In tech terms, we’ve gone from a world of scarcity to one of abundance. Nothing is for sale, because everything is available. The kind of calculations you make on iTunes, such as “I like this song, but not enough to buy it,” don’t matter. It is a music nerd’s dream, which may be why the user population on Spotify tends to lie outside the mainstream. On Spotify, the Pixies’ top songs have about four times as many streams as Neil Diamond’s biggest hits."

Spotify: Friend or Foe? 

"Recent survey data from Cambridge Sound Management revealed the impact of noise on productivity, which will likely come as no surprise to those of us working in open offices. The survey revealed nearly 30% of office workers are distracted by coworkers’ conversations."
The not so silent office productivity killer

"This is why the Taylor Swift affair is a genuinely dangerous moment for Spotify, which is used to artists including Adele, Coldplay and Beyoncé “windowing” their new albums: keeping them off streaming services for a few months after release to maximise sales of CDs and downloads.  
By removing her entire back catalogue, Swift has generated a new discussion about whether albums should also be windowed between the free and premium tiers of services like Spotify. Her music remains available on premium-only rivals like Rdio, Napster and Apple-owned Beats Music."
The future of music sales is here. So how CAN the artists make it pay?


Big love and respect to Brad for this ...
"And so as it came time to prepare for the annual Free Floating Christmas compilation, all|is|calm, I thought that I would end this “In Hindsight” year with silence. No new music. No bustle of collecting new tracks and auditioning them. No designing artwork."

all|is|calm 2014 – a truly silent night

"Throughout the day, we face a number of decision points about how to spend time. Too often we approach these decisions passively, as if our hand were being forced, our free will compromised. Let me add one caveat: if you have young children, a brutal commute or juggle several jobs to make ends meet, you are exempt from everything I write in this piece. You are truly busy."

The Cult of Busy

"Shazam searches are just one of several new types of data guiding the pop-music business. Concert promoters study Spotify listens to route tours through towns with the most fans, and some artists look for patterns in Pandora streaming to figure out which songs to play at each stop on a tour. In fact, all of our searching, streaming, downloading, and sharing is being used to answer the question the music industry has been asking for a century: What do people want to hear next?"

The Shazam Effect

"There's a real reason why there's a vinyl renaissance," John Vanderslice said. "There's a lot of people who are having an amazing listening experience. It's not false."

Inside the vinyl revival: Facts, fiction and rock 'n' roll

"Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass" video, posted to YouTube in June, is nearing 300 million views. So, what did the singer do for an encore to her No. 1 hit? She got a brand, an ad agency and social influencers involved."

An Ad Agency Made Meghan Trainor's New Video, and It's Great - 180LA and HP team up on 'Lips Are Movin'

"After spending over 62 total hours comparing turntables and measuring their performance using $30,000+ worth of equipment, we’ve determined that the Audio Technica AT-LP120-USB is the best turntable for most people. It is highly adjustable, has a built-in phono preamp for hassle-free setup, sounds great out of the box, and even has a built-in USB port if you want to digitize your LP collection. It’s also very speed accurate, according to our tests."

The Best Turntable for Casual Listening


Sunday, November 16, 2014

What I've been reading in the last week ... 16/11/14

"The Hemingwrite is designed like an old-fashioned typewriter but does also manages to keep some modern technology. It has a 6-week battery life so its perfect if you write better away from civilization, ample memory, instant on so no time is wasted on booting up, and a high contrast screen so it’s easy to read in daylight or at nighttime. It also has WiFi and Bluetooth capabilities, allowing it to connect to Google Docs, Evernote, and the Cloud. The best part of all is that stylish old-school look and feel of a typewriter that completes the writing experience."
I really like the look of the Heamingwrite ... read more over on PSFK or Hemingwrite


Norway has a new passport ... and it is gorgeous!
Neue, a multi-disciplinary design studio based in Oslo, has given the Norwegian passport a minimalist makeover. The new designs have crisp, block color covers which come in white, red or turquoise. The pages reference the country’s stunning scenery and famous fjords.
Take a look over at PSFK

"But when nerds figured out how to play music over the Internet, it rendered indie culture inert. The shift away from physical albums destroyed that mechanism of consumer individuation. When getting into a band became as easy as typing its name into a search box, particular musical tastes lost their function as signifiers of commitment. What you listened to ceased to be a measure of how much you cared and became a mere list of what you liked."
An interesting critique on streaming music that I can relate to ... music snob that I am.

Streaming Music Has Left Me Adrift - New York Times

"The way that work looks, feels, and functions is in the midst of a dramatic shift. Every time we have gone through a major shift in work in the past, we have had to learn new skills to support it. We had to learn the work of agriculture. We had to learn how to work on an assembly line. We had to learn to use typewriters and fax machines. So the question now becomes, what do we need to learn that will help us thrive in this new world of work today and ten, 20, 30 years from now? From my experience, I see three of the main categories of skills as: problem solving, technology, and self-management."
The Three Essential Skills You’ll Need to Survive the Future of Work

"Seen in New York, LA and everywhere in between, the Lumbersexual is bringing the outdoor industry’s clothing and accessories into the mainstream."

The Rise Of The 'Lumbersexual'

“The best ideas start as conversations. A small change at the beginning of the design process defines an entirely different product at the end. At the start of the process the idea is just a thought- very fragile and exclusive. When the first physical manifestation is created everything changes. It is no longer exclusive, now it involves a lot of people.”

12 design secrets spilled by Jony Ive

"I don’t think I’ve even heard more than three Taylor Swift songs, but the idea that artists are “insulting” or “greedy” for asking people to pay a relatively modest amount of money for their art is pervasive in today’s culture. People make these same claims about indie authors, bands that can’t afford a tour, and struggling illustrators. I’ve seen people proclaim that midlist novelists who can’t even make a living off their books are “greedy” and “evil” for asking more than 99 cents for an ebook. I’ve seen readers who admitted to pirating every single A Song of Ice and Fire book say that George R. R. Martin “owes them” a quicker publication date and that he should essentially give up all his hobbies and other projects until he finishes his next book."

Taylor Swift and the Myth of the Mean Greedy Artist


The world's most beautiful metro stations - in pictures

"Christopher Lee has precisely one line in the recent trailer for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, but his little cameo was an unsurprising winner with fans. And, apart from reinforcing that stuff is always better with Chris Lee, it also sparked a surprising amount of speculation about Saruman’s intentions in desiring to confront Sauron alone."
When exactly did Saruman fall?


Science Says Lasting Relationships Come Down To 2 Basic Traits


"Introversion is more about how do you respond to stimulation, including social stimulation. So extraverts really crave large amounts of stimulation, whereas introverts feel at their most alive and their most switched on and their most capable when they are in quieter, more low-key environments."

10 Ways Introverts Interact Differently With The World


How to Debug Your Brain and Build Better Habits


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