Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Classic Albums: "The Campfire Headphase" by Boards of Canada

I love Boards of Canada. They are one of my favourite musical acts. In "The Campfire Headphase", the third studio album from BoC, Michael Sandison and Marcus Eoin created something really special.

They also managed to capture their magic in the video for "Dayvan Cowboy" which features footage from Joe Kittinger's famous parachute jump from 19.5 miles (31.4 km) altitude and slow-motion footage of big-wave surfer Laird Hamilton (see below).

I can't really describe the analog joy that is the Boards of Canada sound. It is both familiar and disconcerting... with a warmth that has yet to be emulated.

Whilst this album contained "Dayvan Cowboy" it was best enjoyed in one sitting... from start to finish. Whilst I love hearing "Dayvan Cowboy" in a mix ... it feels out of context. "The Campfire Headphase" is that context. This is a truly an album... something to be treasured from start to finish.



Sunday, October 28, 2012

Joss Whedon on Mitt Romney

Brilliant... simply brilliant.


Some thoughts about Windows 8 Metro UI

I watched this video on Friday morning... lying in bed sick with 'man-flu'... and well... I kind of liked what I saw.

Please... before you shout at me... hear me out. I have no intention of converting from Apple's iOS... I love Mountain Lion on my MacBook Pro and the various flavours of iOS that I have on my iPhones and iPad (my iPad is a first gen and missed iOS6). At least no intention at the moment.

What struck me about the Windows 8 Metro user interface (UI) in this demo was that it is different. Microsoft are going their own way... trying something new... and I like that.

It is colourfully bold and vibrant... and the tiles are well designed with simple yet effective symbols. It is fresh... design-wise... with an interesting UI that does embrace the touchscreen.

Now... I say that from watching the demo... I haven't played with the UI yet... but I intend to. I want to. Which is nuts, if I am honest. I have never really wanted to play with an alternative operating system before... not Linux... not Android... not Blackberry. I don't 'want' to play with Windows XP but have to at work.

I guess I like it because it is a well-designed alternative to Apple... and I wish it well. I'm beyond what is 'better' in tech and am all about what works for you. I hope Windows 8 works for folks and consumers are given a credible alternative rather than more 'me too'.

At the end of the day... its about choice and I welcome it.


Saturday, October 27, 2012

More thoughts on Evernote

Earlier I spoke of how I use Evernote. I forgot to mention two other ways I use Evernote.

First up... I use the fantastic service over at IFTTT to send content to my Evernote such as links to my Instagram photos and specific emails in my Gmail account.

What is IFTTT I hear you ask? IFTTT is a service that lets you create powerful connections with one simple statement: if this then that.

For example: If I post a photo to Instagram (this is the trigger) then send the hyperlink to Evernote (this is the action).

Evernote is a key channel within IFTTT with loads of different recipes available to utilise. As such... its well worth checking out.

Secondly... I use the Skitch app  on my iPhone5 to take photos of my 'pen and paper' notebooks.

I take a photo (above) then crop it and annotate it with some words or tags to make the note accessible.

I am then left with usable content (below)... that is if you can read my writing?

Skitch is a free app and is part of the Evernote toolbox... working seamlessly with the main Evernote app.


Tapes On Books

I like this idea... create unofficial mixtapes that reflect the story, characters, locations, props etc in classic stories... like "Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?" by Philip K. Dick.

The mix contains tracks from the likes of Kraftwerk, Lambchop, Joy Division, Bob Dylan and Tubeway Army. I haven't heard the mix yet... but really like the idea behind it.

Go here for more :: http://tapesonbooks.wordpress.com/


Oh and they have a mix for "The Lord of the Rings" too :: Link.

Some thoughts on Evernote

I recently became a premium subscriber to Evernote. Whilst I wasn't really using all my uploads in the free version... I jumped at the chance via the latest MacHeist bundle which, in essence, gave me 15 months worth of Evernote for £18 plus a whole heap of other software and games... including Scrivener, Bejewelled 3 and Radium (a sweet internet radio app that enables me to listen to StillStream while I type).

I use or have used a number of note-taking apps on my iPhones, iPad and MacBook Pro over the years... but nothing has come close to the user-friendliness of Evernote. In fact, I've ported over all my notes from the Apple Notes app and intend to do the same for SimpleNote. I like the fact I have access to all my notes on all my devices.

I watched the video (above) that demonstrates Evernote 5 for Mac... with glee this morning. Yes, I am *that* nerdy. It really looks fab and will hopefully make my Evernote experience even better.

It got me thinking... maybe I should share *how* I use Evernote?

First off... I email everything I want to recall to Evernote. Tweets with links I need to check out later? Emailed. Emails? Emailed. Notes from Simplenote? Emailed. The email facility, whilst not a one-click operation, is fab and most apps allow for emailing out.

Secondly... I use the webclipper which takes a screendump of the page I'm on and creates a note in Evernote. I then add the URL for reference later. This is very handy because the image grabbed helps recollection of the note... I take screendumps of Bandcamp pages, for example - the name of the band and the artwork aid my recall.

Thirdly... via connected apps like Evernote Food, Evernote HelloGenius Scan and Drafts on my iPhone and Bamboo Paper on my iPad. I now actively look for apps that connect with Evernote.

Fourthly... easy access to my content is key. As such, I have multiple notebooks each on one specific yet large topic - blogs, church, bigbible, music recommendations, scanned etc - and I use metatags to describe the content within the note - blog, review, thoughts, ideas etc. Both the notebooks and the tags make it easy to get to my

Fifthly... I scan pages from my analogue 'pen and paper' notebooks using the Genius Scan app and upload them to Evernote. I could never function without my 'pen and paper' notebooks and use Evernote in conjunction with them.
I don't have an Evernote Moleskine... which adds additional functionality to the page to enable tagging when uploaded... but may invest when my current stockpile of notebooks is used up. I would love a Fujitsu ScanSnap scanner but I don't like ripping pages out my Moleskine notebooks... albeit I could use Rhodia more often instead.

That's me... nothing 'rocket science' about how I use Evernote. Its easy to use and the threshold before you need to upgrade to Premium is significant that you could do quite a bit with it without incurring cost.

For more on how to use it... please check out the extensive notes that Michael Hyatt has posted on his blog :: http://michaelhyatt.com/a-handy-index-to-all-my-evernote-posts.html


I've embedded the wee promo video for the Evernote Moleskine below... just to let you see what I'm on about:

To Have and To Hold - an archive of paperbags

I find this Tumblr - To Have and To Hold - a fascinating design archive. Their focus is simple: paper bags. I would never have paid attention to their design but now that I have... it's remarkable the amount of effort that goes into making something so disposable so easily identifiable.

This one for Penguin Books is my fave. Well worth a gander... especially to spot British shops that are no longer with us.


(via iso50 with thanks)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Andrew Kolb's version of the "Pet Sounds" album cover

33.3 Art Show - Pet Sounds
Image: Andrew Kolb via Flickr

I saw this image on Flickr by Andrew Kolb and totally loved it. It is a perfect take on the cover of my favourite album.

It stands up against the original, in my opinion:

It was created for the 33.3 Art Show ... and whilst I'm near 20 months late... I'm glad I can share it here. It really is that good.


Seven questions with... Tom Currie aka The Narrows

Yesterday I posted a review of "There's a ghost inside me" by The Narrows aka Tom Currie. I was so impressed with the album that I asked Currie to complete my wee blog interview... he obliged almost by return. I love his music and I love what he had to say:


1) Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Tom Currie. I live in Detroit, MI and The Narrows are my solo adventures.

2) What are you working on at the moment?
I just finished recording my first record titled "There's a Ghost in Me". The album was recorded during the summer months of 2012. I'm been busy promoting it and trying to get it into as many peoples hands as possible.

3) Who inspires you?
- Name an artist who has inspired you.
It's hard to name artists that inspire me. To be honest with you, I don't listen to a whole lot of music these days and don't really keep up with whats going on in the music world.

- Name place that has inspired you.
My family has a cabin deep in the woods of Osceola County, MI. It's my retreat away from the city. The quietness of Northern Michigan inspires me.

- Name some "thing" that has inspired you.
My soon to be wife Amanda, and my dog Ruby inspire me.

4) What drives you to do what you do?
Music is an outlet for me. I need to do it. I played in bands for along time with some moderate success but nothing has brought me the satisfaction like doing an album on my own.

5) What values do you wish your creativity to express?
I just want to be honest with the music I write. I do it for myself. If others like it, thats a plus.

6) What role does community play in what you do?
My family is my community.

7) What is next for what you do?
Hopefully the new album is well received and I can begin recording the follow up sometime in 2013. There are no plans for shows at the moment.


Thanks Tom. I've embedded his SoundCloud player to let you here "There's a ghost inside me" below. Please diarise 27th November and go get his album from bandcamp and / or iTunes. Its recommended.

Now playing... 26th October 2012

261012_ lying in bed listening to music on this

I'm off work today ... the effects of a bad cold are working through me ... so I'm catching up with some tunes.

For some reason I began my day listening to 'The Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers' score on my old Minidisc player. I wanted to see if it still worked after reading an essay on tech lust and planned obsolescence. It has been gather dust since I started on the iPod journey and, well, it does still work and what's more... it sounded fab. ATRAC isn't lossless by any means... it works out about 292kbps which is less than the 320kbps I insist as a minimum for MP3 nowadays... but somehow it sounded better. No idea how... but it intrigued me.

Anyways... been catching up on some sounds:

First up we have a new single-track release from Sean Cotterill aka Artificial Sun Project. I'll let his blurb describe the track:

This single was developed in collaboration with Basdriver - the skanvas project is something truly unique, and something inspiring. The idea of the 'sky canvas' is represented with some awesome and striking photography.

This track is based around the skanvas picture ''Electrifying Sunlight' - trying as best as I can to relay the image into sound form, to turn the sky canvas into a sky soundscape.

I initially intended to do five tracks, but life swiftly overtook me and I only managed to get this one done properly. I may come back to the other four :). This track was done entirely live using electronics and no computers, synthesizers or acoustic/electroacoustic instruments, just pedals and related gizmos, a mixer, an induction coil, some feedback and a cheap and nasty shortwave radio.
It makes for an interesting and, at times, challenging listening experience but it is well worth checking out. Glad to see Basil's photography used so eloquently too.


Next up we have some interesting indie 'chill wave' from Tundra Vole. He's released a new recording entitled "Mint and Marigold EP" that is something special and worth checking out. It has a post-work vibe about it... nice and chilled but with a bit of energy left for what's to come when we play... and I really like it.


Costa Rican purveyors of dark ambient - EUS - have been really busy or I have a blindspot on my radar. They've released some new music in the form of a collaboration between themselves, Postdrome and Saåad entitled "Sustained Layers"... as well as a new release entitled "Los Otros" ... which has recently been remixed by the likes of Gimu and Wixtes. Well worth exploring if dark, droning ambient electronic soundscapes are your thing.

My thanks to Emily for the heads-up.


Lastly we have "Never Without" by Postdrome. I found them through downloading the releases mentioned above from / including EUS.

If you use Bandcamp, use your recommendations to share 'the love'. Fans, like me, love it.

More of the dark, droning ambient electronic soundscapes that I just love. Not necessarily easy listening but definitely interesting listening.


That's me for now ... off to see if it is in fact my nose that is running and not my brain leaking.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Loving... "there's a ghost in me" by The Narrows (from Detroit)

I recently received an email out of the blue from Tom Currie ... a friend and bandmate of Steve Swartz (Swartz_et)... who records on his own as “The Narrows”. He has a new album coming out in November and wanted me, along with a whole host of others, to hear it.

I duly downloaded it and have been obsessing about it ever since... interspersing listens with music from my podcast or netlabel. To say it is good is... well... an understatement.

“There's a ghost in me” is an utter delight... 36 minutes of pure atmospheric neo-classical joy. Think Sigur Ros at their quieter non-guitar instrumental moments and you’ll get an insight into how this sounds.

Currie’s piano-playing is simply divine... truly engaging and attention-keeping... he delights in and delivers the most beautiful melodies... ones that sit in your consciousness long after they have stopped playing.

What's more... Currie creates lovely moments of atmospheric ambience that cradle these melodies. These glitches and drones immerse the listener... and provide an all-encompassing experience that I, for one, am truly grateful for.

The album commences with “boxcar cut, 1942” ... a short opening that features some delightful droning ambience before opening into a superb slice of post-rock entitled “who are the ’hidden people’?”. Piano. Strings. Guitar. All come together to create the most sensual of soundscapes. One that meanders in the most delightfully hypnotic manner... setting the scene for the rest of the album.

The next track is simply stunning. “Emporer Steamer” demonstrates how talented Currie is with a piano... creating an exquisite melody that is underpinned with and complemented by some interesting found-sound percussion and what I think is the distinctly nautical sound of a melotron. It is a stunning reminder of all that is good in the convergent space between post-rock, ambient and neo-clasical.

We then move to “swimming pools”... a track that plays in a more ambient space... loops and drones intertwine to create something seriously beautiful... accented by a haunting melody played effortlessly on a violin. The glitches and ticks in the background add some warmth to the track... giving it a homely feel as if Currie himself is playing for you in your living room.

This feeling of warmth is extended to the track that follows. “you’re beautiful, like a mayfly” is exemplary. At just over 8 minutes long... it is a delightful soundscape that sits nicely within the overall whole of the album. Not a filler... because there are no fillers on this album... but a strong piece centred on the beautiful sound of the cello. Currie’s string work Colette Alexander's playing here is truly amazing to me... he shapes soundscapes that are just right... not too much, not too little... just right. “You’re beautiful, like a mayfly” is the perfect example of this.

The penultimate track - “some will fall, some will fly” - is a very expressive and atmospheric track that utilises the combination of violin and piano well. They complement each other nicely... playing off each other... creating a deeply moving and emotive track. It is almost heartbreaking in the melancholy that it expresses... and as such works really, really well as a precursor for the last track on the release - “the man in the boat”.

“The man in the boat” completes this release eloquently... reminding the listener of what they have heard. A drone and a melody played softly on a piano provide the listener with the opportunity to recap... to recall all they have heard... whilst also providing something new to mull over and consider. At this point, the release finishes... it doesn't go out with a bang but more a slow but eloquently delightful decay... a fade to black, so to speak.

To say I have enjoyed this release would be an understatement... I have loved this release and would heartily recommend it to anyone with even a passing interest in post-rock, ambient and/or neo-classical soundscapes.


I have embedded a SoundCloud player to let you have a wee listen to the album... to whet your appetite, so to speak, before “there’s a ghost in me” is released via Bandcamp on 27th November.


I made a mistake and forgot to credit Colette Alexander with the cello playing on this release. I have amended my text above and apologise to Tom and Colette for any inconvenience caused.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Stabbing a Dead Horse Tour Sampler

I am really looking forward to seeing / hearing The Fierce and The Dead next Wednesday at the 13th Note in Glasgow (£5 - 1930hrs) ... and am even taking my prog-obsessed brother-in-law Colin with me ... I figure he *needs* to hear them live too.

I am curiously eager to hear Knifeworld and Trojan Horse too ... and am grateful to each band for putting up a wee sampler over on Matt Stevens' bandcamp with one track from each band. I would highly recommend you download it and get the gist of all three bands ... and if you can ... support them by buying their music or attending a gig.

I've embedded the bandcamp player below to let you hear them. Please do what you can to support new music.


Classic Albums :: "before the dawn heals us"

There is something wonderfully euphoric about M83's "Before the dawn heals us" ... the third studio album by M83 ... which was released in January 2005 to positive reviews, according to Wikipedia.

Their music is a distinctly heady mix of electronic beats, euphoric tempos, ethereal vocals  and shoegazing guitar noise ... a kind of dreamy pop music that is simply an utter delight to consume.

"Lower your eyelids and die with the sun" ... the final track ... stands on its own as 10+ minutes of the most adorable euphoric bliss... a set-ender of immense quality ... the kind you can only imagine playing on a beach after a long night ... just as the sun begins to coat the skin with reddish hues. It never fails to delight me and for this track alone ... the album deserves to be called a 'classic'.

However, the rest of the album takes you to this track. Whilst not a concept album in any real way ... it is certainly one that demands (and rewards) listening to in order and in a single sitting. It isn't the kind of album that you can pick tracks from. It works better as a whole ... rather than parts.

If you don't have it in your collection ... then I recommend you get it. It's that good!



Next up in the 'Classic Albums' series is "The Campfire Headphase" by Boards of Canada.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Seven questions with Ash West-Mullen aka Mender

Photo shamelessly pinched from FD2D.com (which is recommended reading btw) 

I connected with Ash West-Mullen after reviewing his album 'the subtle sting of change' a wee while back. An interesting fact is that my netlabel ... weareallghosts ... is named after a lyric from one of his songs of that album.

I found him to be a fascinating and highly prolific musician whose musicianship was only surpassed by his love of music and, in particular, the love he has for his craft.

I recently received an email informing me of his next release entitled Asembulus. I've had a wee listen and was impressed ... so I grabbed the opportunity to ask him my seven wee blog questions ... this is what Ash had to say:


1) Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Ash West-Mullen and I write and produce electronic music.

2) What are you working on at the moment?
I'm busy promoting my new release Asembulus which comes out in November. I'm also busy trying to figure out how to play my songs live. Luckily I've enlisted the help of two very talented guys, Dave and Ed who are making the process much more tolerable. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that it actually sounds quite exciting!

3) Who inspires you?
- Name an artist who has inspired you.
I get inspired by a lot of artists. It's hard to narrow it down to one. I certainly don't sit there and try to sound like anybody but I do worry sometimes whether I'm obviously ripping off Four Tet with some of my tunes. Then I figure that Four Tet and Caribou sound very similar to one another and I stop caring. Either way, Keiran Hebden's music is deeply affecting to me.

- Name place that has inspired you.
I play drums in this math-rock band called Alright The Captain and we saw some crazy places on tour round Europe. My favorite was this converted paper factory in Groningan, NL. A lot of the squats we played were full of hardcore vegan punks and girls with dredds but this place was slick, organised and hospitable. The residents were professionals and masters students using wood work and engineering skills to renovate this awesome building. The audience were attentive and enthusiastic. Music communities like that put UK audiences to shame.

- Name some "thing" that has inspired you.
I recently bought a new bit of hardware called the Native Instruments Maschine. It's opened up worlds for my music and sent my workflow into over-drive. Inspiring stuff indeed!

4) What drives you to do what you do?
Some people read books, others play Skyrim. Some people go to football training. I spend that time writing tunes on my computer. Seriously, I'm one of the most prolific people I know! That's not to say it's all good but I'm definitely driven by an unquenchable desire to simply write something else. Since September 2011 Iv released 4 albums and 4 EP's. There's not much else to it.

5) What values do you wish your creativity to express?
I guess with most electronica there isn't always an obvious subtext to the music. I'm not political or particularly technical. Perhaps a little egotistical? I tend to be very blasé about the way I improvise a lot of stuff which could be seen as either sloppy or arrogant by some people but honestly, it comes out of being consumed with a moment and a feeling. Perhaps the value I want to express is introspection. Yes. I'm willing to go with that. Introspection.

6) What role does community play in what you do?
A very strong one indeed. You can't do this kind of thing on your own. I am grateful to all the bands and friends of ATC who have helped me push Mender in the right directions, not only because they dig the music but because we are part of a wider musical community and have a mutual respect for what each of us are trying to achieve. I've found the Netaudio community to be incredibly interconnected, making it easier to get the word around. Without this sense of community, musicians might as well be playing to themselves...or with themselves.

7) What is next for what you do?
Our first live date is on December 8th for bUTTONpUSHER Bookings in Nottingham. I'm hoping to land one or two other dates too along with a few live sessions and video blogs if possible. I'm working on the video for one of the new tunes with a film-maker called Phil Formby. Then there's the new ATC album, the debut solo EP for an artist called Major Kid Sun that I'm producing and Im working on a new record for my other electro side project Rysic Cygo on Dedpop.co.uk

I like to keep busy.


You certainly do, Ash. Thanks for taking the time to complete the interview.

Asembulus will be released on 12th November via Ash's Bandcamp page.


Photos from Charlene and Brian's Wedding

201012_ Charlene & Brian no6

On Saturday, 20th October I attended the wedding of friends Brian and Charlene... I took my camera along and whilst I was banned from shooting in the church (because of some daft church law which wasn't universally enforced... i.e. the chap only picked on me) I did get a few shots at the Reception afterwards.

The rest of my shots... including a number taken with my iPhone5 which were posted on Instagram on the night... are available here: Link.


201012_ Lizzie & Kenny

201012_ Charlene & Brian no3

201012_ Andrea & Eddie

201012_ Scott & Susan no1

201012_ Dayna no2

Sunday, October 21, 2012

circumambient 003 now live

The third instalment of circumambient... my podcast that explores all-encompassing and deeply immersive music... is now live.

 Go here :: circumambient 003 :: for more.


The 37 cameos of Alfred Hitchcock

Saw this on Open Culture and thought is was fab... so here it is - every cameo Alfred Hitchcock made in his movies... all wrapped up in a 3 min+ video.


Friday, October 19, 2012

"Mission 26 The Big Endeavour" from Matthew Givot

Mission 26 The Big Endeavour from Givot on Vimeo.

For my 4,000th post on this blog... I thought I'd share this video of "Mission 26 The Big Endeavour" from Matthew Givot. It's a time-lapse view of the Space Shuttle Endeavour's last mission... to get from the airport, through the streets of LA to it's new home in Exposition Park.

Open Culture has more details on the mission which is estimated to have cost $10m to complete.



Quik from Colin Kennedy

QUIK from Colin Kennedy on Vimeo.

I saw this on foxisblack.com and totally loved it... or what I got to see of it as my internet connection grinds to a halt between the hours of 2000-2300hrs. I finally got to see it this morning... and it was well worth the wait.

I love skateboarding videos and this one it up there as one of the best I've seen in a while. I like the fact it is shot from a moving car... the juxtaposition between Austyn Gillette on his skateboard, the pedestrians we see passing by and Colin Kennedy and his film crew in their car is definitely an interesting one.

As the blurb says...
QUIK is a collaboration between theberrics.com and Quiksilver. It's a film shot exclusively on the sidewalks and streets of Los Angeles giving an unprecedented look into the world of street skating. Captured entirely from a moving vehicle, the film follows Austyn Gillette as he skates through the neighborhoods of LA's historic east-side and downtown at top speed.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Classic Albums: "...and justice for all"

I listen to a whole heap of new music that it is always refreshing to relisten to a 'classic' album that I haven't heard for a while... and try to hear it with 'new ears'. So with this in mind... I'm going to try and work through my iPods... A - Z... and pick out some music that I consider 'classic'.

To get the ball rolling... the first A album is: '...and justice for all' by Metallica... it is their fourth studio album and the first one to feature Jason Newstead on bass.

I, for one, love this album... it has a deftness of touch that marks it out: it is heavy in places and melodic in places... but it's not too heavy and not too melodic... it's just right. I love the time signatures and James Hetfield's earnest vocals too... they really work for me.

'One' is a stand out track... something I remember from it's release. I remember buying the video on videotape and watching it repeatedly... I didn't have MTV when I was a we'an.

I never really connected with Metallica again after '...and justice for all'. Only that and 'ride the lightning' really spoke to me. I had (have) both of them on vinyl and played them constantly.

It is a great record and one I'd recommend.


Next up 'B' - 'Before the dawn heals us' by M83

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The opening credits to "Catch Me If You Can"

Another Spielberg film with a John Williams' soundtrack and a really catchy title sequence... Catch Me If You Can is a fab film that lives up to it's opening. My thanks to Stuart for reminding me of it.


The opening credits for "The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn"

Just watched Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn this evening... and thoroughly enjoyed it.

There is so much to the film: the animation is stunning... the soundtrack is up to John Williams' usual standard... and the story, while not appealing to the purists, makes for a good movie.

But then this is my opinion... I watched the film well after all the hype and criticism has died down. I can understand the criticism levelled against it. I was worried Olly would get motion-sick but she didn't... which was a relief.

What really struck me was the opening credits (above). They really bring back the idea of opening credits-as-art. I really loved them and welcomed their length... giving me more to watch.

Whilst searching for the titles on YouTube... I found this opening too:

Not sure where it's from... was it used? is it the Theatrical Opening and the top one is the DVD opening? I don't know... but I thought it was really fab too.


Loving... the iPhone BBC iPlayer Radio app

The BBC recently released a specific radio app for the iPhone and I think it's fab. Yes, I've already got a radio app on my iPhone (WunderRadio) but this app is something else... the interface for one is really, really nice.

Spin the dial to see all the BBC's radio channels... including the ones that aren't 'terrestrial' like 6music or Radio4 Extra.

I was listening to Radcliffe & Maconie when I took the screengrabs... but I could have been listening to...

Radio 4 Extra... or

Choral Evensong on Radio 3... or

Tom Morton on Radio Scotland (Morton is a fab journo, btw)... or even

The World Service... whose News coverage is well recommended if you want a broader view of what's going on.

I would recommend this app... it's free... and a brilliant example of how the BBC are seeking to innovate and bring their product to the people.

That said... I'm not sure why there aren't Android or Windows Phone apps yet. I also recommend plugging your iPhone in... streaming does eat up battery life and bandwidth. I'm glad Vodafone gave me 3 months of unlimited data when I got my 5. I don't know how much streaming via 3g I'll do when I'm back to 1gb per month... although I will happily use it at home with my wifi.


Artwork for "Impermanence (waag_rel011)" by Ketsa

I thought I'd share the artwork for Ketsa's upcoming release on my netlabel weareallghosts.

Really loving playing with my iPhone5 and creating these images.

I wonder if any of my friends from Motherwell will recognise the building pictured?


Thursday, October 11, 2012

The gift of music... from Ketsa, Apta, Cousin Silas and others

What do you get the person who has everything? You offer him an album for his netlabel and tease him with a wonderful video for one of the tracks.

The awesome Ketsa has recorded an album and sent it to me... for me to release via my netlabel :: weareallghosts. To say I was and am overcome... is, well, an understatement. Especially when you consider Ketsa lost his wife a couple of months ago.

Music is Ketsa's release... so I am, according to him, doing him the favour.

I doubt I will ever agree with this sentiment... and will consider myself to be in his debt. I am delighted that he has entrusted me with this gift and look forward to the time when I can share it with you.

I guess that's the thing... I have been overcome with the generosity of the artists who are affiliated with my netlabel and now have five recordings awaiting release: music from Apta, Cousin Silas, Gurdonark and Wolfgang Merx... as well as from Ketsa.

That's on top of music from some of those artists and Earlyguard.

Music is a passion of mine and to be part of this community... to be able to pass on these wonderful gifts... is an absolute pleasure.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Stabbing A Dead Horse tour comes to Glasgow on 31st October

Looking forward to catching the Glasgow leg of the Stabbing A Dead Horse Tour on the 31st October. Big fan of The Fierce and The Dead... and am really curious about the other two bands: Knifeworld and Trojan Horse.

For more info... go here :: www.stabbingadeadhorse.com


Saturday, October 06, 2012

Loving... NounNoun from CW&T

I found this fab wee app called NounNoun in the App Store last night. It comes from the art and design studio CW&T and in simple terms takes two nouns from the English language and combines them for no other purpose than to inspire you. It is the randomness that truly gets you thinking.

It's a 'freemium' app... giving you so many views per day for free... or unlimited views for 69p / 99c.

I love it and thought I'd share some of the new 'words' I saved (by grabbing the screens... the app could do with a save function, imho).


Friday, October 05, 2012

Loving... Complex Silence 28

"...I was not disappointed. Cousin Silas has created wonderfully atmospheric music that would happily and easily soundtrack a plethora of futuristic sci-fi landscapes. Vast, empty, formless, silent landscapes. Spaces in time and space, so to speak. He has captured in sound the way we used to see space, not as dystopian brokenness or as bland tyrannical sameness, but a wide open expanse of opportunity for exploration and adventure. Almost Lovecraftian in texture. A rich and varied plurality of experience full of light and hope as well as darkness and despair. Listening to Time Dilates, for example, makes me think of At the Mountains of Madness../"
My liner notes from the latest edition of Complex Silence... the 28th edition by Cousin Silas.

I have been listening to this release on and off since I got a pre-release copy to help me prepare my notes... it is simply first class, I love it and I would highly recommend it.

You can download it for free here.



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