We were fascinated to see a new video from The Creators Project recently — it explores the work of South Korean artist Viktor Jan, and specifically a home-made Traktor controller he’s made that starts or stops various loops as you put them in and take them out of a kitchen saucepan. The device blurs the line between art and utility, but it does call to mind all the weird and wonderful ways you can make music if you step outside the idea of using the same prefabricated instruments that everyone else does. Here are some other weird and wonderful homemade instruments — some are used by famous musicians, and others are pleasantly bizarre YouTube discoveries. … Read More
We’ve been listening a lot to the new Crystal Castles album III, which is out this week, here at Flavorpill, and while we’ve been enjoying it a lot more than we thought we would, we do rather miss the days when they sounded like someone taking a sledgehammer to a Commodore 64. Clearly, you have to be in the mood for such things, but when you are in the mood, there’s nothing more viscerally thrilling than some nasty, nasty noise music. We thought we’d share some of our favorite albums for inducing earaches. What are yours? (Incidentally, we mean albums that make your ears hurt in a good way — which means: sorry, Hadouken!/Enter Shikari/BrokenCYDE/etc, you don’t qualify.) … Read More
Piramida, the new album by Danish five-piece Efterklang, is out this week. The album continues Efterklang’s march away from the experimental weirdness of their early recordings toward a more conventional sound, and it’s also a pretty somber-sounding piece of work — perhaps because it’s based on field recordings that the band took in a crazy-looking abandoned mining town in the Arctic Circle. Indeed, the backstory to Piramida is pretty fascinating, and it got us thinking about albums that were recorded in similarly exotic locales. We’ve put together a selection, and as ever, we’re open to suggestions. (Just please for the love of god don’t mention Bon Iver and his damn cabin.) … Read More
Experimental digital media, music, architecture, and sound art lab Realität — founded by Juan Manuel de J. Escalante — has created 3D-printed visualizations of different albums. The unique sculptural works include: Jewels by Einstürzende Neubauten, Another World by Antony and the Johnsons, Pink Moon by Nick Drake, Third by Portishead, and the composition “Für Alina” by Arvo Pärt. As works of art, the objects are compelling, but the process is equally fascinating.
Realität describes their Microsonic Landscapes as “an algorithmic exploration of the music [they] love. Each album’s soundwave proposes a new spatial and unique journey by transforming sound into matter/space: the hidden into something visible.” Each piece was created with the open-source, three-dimensional data visualization programming language known as Processing, and then printed via a programmable machine that can print in plastic called MakerBot. The results look almost exactly as you’d expect. Albums dominated by sweeping sounds maintain a concentric shape, while layered, complex noises take on the form of spikes and towers. The smaller, grooved details are exquisite. Head past the break for a closer look. … Read More