Wednesday, March 19, 2008

BEW - Dubs EP

Sophie made a series of covers for my latest little EP of tunes. I've called it 'Dubs' as they all have a slightly dub-like feel to them, among the other elements of noise and electronic and acoustic stuff I usually try to stitch together.

I would like you to leave a comment to say which you think is best.

If you want to hear a sample track go to the BEW myspace. There is a special edit of one of the tracks - Gwan Dub.

Any help you can give in the selection process is appreciated.

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

MIDI LIDI Roxy Prague

A good show at the Roxy in Prague.

I was busy at work so there are no pictures of Bulerbyne, but I took a few of MIDI LIDI. The Machine Funck guys played some lovely twisted electro beats too.

There were two as opposed to three VJs on the evening; vj kolouch and myself. He has a great display of his style at his myspace which you should follow for fun eyecandy.

Kolouch at work

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Michael Swan 150308 PARK conference

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Cashier No. 9 - I Kid You Not + Subtitles + stuff

A short while ago I made a little video for Cashier No. 9's song, 'I Kid You Not'. As an experiment I decided it would be fun to try to add subtitles (maybe as a kind of karaoke version). Above is the result of my first try. The audio has deteriorated quite a bit (dodgy stereo? actually it's monophonic), so I'm going to try some different tools to improve audio fidelity for future versions.

Clips from the Prelinger archive.
Window's Movie Maker.
DivX codec.
FLAC codec.

In other news, I have a string of VJing gigs lined up. I'll be in Prague on Thursday 13th March at Roxy. It's an early show for Bullerbyne and MIDI LIDI, the Machine Funck djs will also be there.

Next month I'll be back in Fleda on April 5th to vj for Dieselboy and again on the 16th May for Roni Size, thanks to the Level B productions crew who run the Break 4 Beats parties.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008


The evening started at 7 pm, so unfortunately i missed the first part, which featured Slovak noise duo POO. A pity as I've wanted to see them since Sophie bought me one of their CD's for my birthday.

I arrived as the ticket seller was packing up their laptop/till. I was told that I couldn't buy a ticket and my heart sank as I'd raced up to the venue as fast as I could. A large man told me I could go in for free. He seemed to be very happy to see me smile when he said this. I went into the main room; bunged.

As before the stage was absent. The performance was a floor show. Three chairs, three performers. Four stage lights at floor level; two blue, two red.

At the far left and far right were two guitar players. In the centre a saxophone player.
The group is Text of Light. Named after a film made by Stan Brakhage. The film was played above the performers.

Although I was working to 8.30, I managed to get down to Fleda to see another performance from the EXPOZICE NOVÉ HUDBY.
The group doesn't play songs, they improvise and make noise. It isn't related to jamming in a way that might bring to mind blues and rock wig-outs. Instead they listen to one another, listen carefully to every noise they make and how it fits with what the others make. The end result is a series of waves of sound that you can't really sing along with. Quiet, loud, mutate, repeat.

The group has a pool of musicians, like a collective. They ar flexible in that different members will perform at different times and places. The performance I saw featured Lee Ronaldo (guitar, radio oscillator), Ulrich Kreiger (Saxophone, electronics), Alan Licht (guitars/devices).

I arrived a little late and missed the very begining of the performance. What I did see an hear was a range of tones that moved from sparse drones to harsh explosions to delicate humming with dots of sound back into shards of fuzz with squeeling harmonics.

The trio looked quite relaxed throughout, and they looked quite pleased when they finished. The audience gave them a warm round of applause. I walked home feeling glad I had experienced such wild sounds.

I know the videos are dark. I know it's almost impossible to enjoy them as visual documents of a live musical performance, however, I feel the sound works as a sketch of what you might find if you want to go buy one of their records.

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Monday, March 03, 2008


I recieved an e-mail from Ales telling me about a festival of new music. I lost the message, but remembered to google for more info which led me to the site. I decided to go and listen for myself. I met Ales and Lucie when I got there.

The main room of Fleda was prepared like a bizarre cinema or lecture hall. The seating was tiered with a mix of flip-down seats and sofas. Very inviting and comfortable. There was no stage, the performance area being the floor with a large white projection surface as a back drop.

The first to take to the stage were Mateřídouška. A strange duo. A man in a mask sat at a table with laptop and some other hardware that included some wood and metal percussion akin to a finger piano (Kenyan Kalimba). A woman in an asian styled dress joined him. She was singing and occassionally played what I think was a shamisen.

(The video is very dark: but at least you can hear things.)

The music was a mix of field recordings treated with DSP and etehereal tones which occassionally resembled more conventional synths. Crackles, bleeps, tweets and sighs, were the backdrop to a wide range of vocalisations.

Also sharing the stage was a large wheel, on the side of which was painted a kind of mini-mural. It was balancing on an axle around which it turned very slowly. A video camera was aimed at it and a portion of the picture was projected over the performers.

Near the end of the performance the music shifted into a kind of contemporary pop music with run of the mill riffs and a kind of trip-hop beat. This was actually something that didn't help the performance feel like a consistant whole, as it felt like a detour from the surreal opera vibe it had originally set up. Still an enchanting and different type of music to that I've experienced in my time in Brno.

They performed a very short encore, around two and a half minutes or quasi-pop. There was then a short break before the next performance.

The next performance was by Operabil Memotopia. The performance area was more stark than before. A small desk with a seat, laptop, and MIDI controller on one side and two seats and two lecturns on the other side.

A man sat at the table. Two women sat at the lecturns. The lights went down and a slide show began.

One of the two women was using her voice to make notes, long and short, often repeating the same sound.

The man would say a sentence or two in English after which the other woman (not singing) would say the same in Czech. I am not sure exactly what the story was about, but it semed to be about a charachter called 'Mousey'. And it suggested that we are all conected to a hook in the centre of the planet.

Strange and otherworldly stuff. (The video is very dark: but at least you can hear things.)

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