Sunday, October 11, 2009

Waveforms (part 1)

So lately i've been teaching myself in the ways of Logic's ES2 synthesizer. I captured these images of some lovely sine waves using a great plugin called WaveWindow. I think I am going to make this a regular thing actually. I've been so interested in simple vibrations lately... the sounds we hear all around us, and what they look like. To me, it brings me closer to nature.... not to get too DEEP on you. ha.

Here's a simple octave (sine wave):

And a double octave:

Major 2nd (whole tone):

Perfect 4th:

Perfect 5th:

Extended Perfect 5th:

Those are all simple sine waves. Quite possibly the simplest vibration in the universe? Zero harmonics. These are only snapshots though.... they look sooo cool when theyre pulsing and shifting before your eyes.


This one is called a "wood wave".

Stay tuned for more waveforms to come... as i continue along my sonic adventures.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

REVIEW: Silkie - City Limits Vol. 1 LP

And here is the second review I wrote, published in the Summer 2009 issue of Big Up Magazine, Silkie's wonderful new album on Deep Medi.



After an onslaught of consistently epic 12” plates embodying the meditative side of dubstep music since 2006, Mala’s Deep Medi Musik label makes its first move towards a full-length album, with Silkie at the controls. Remarkably emotive, while maintaining a level of irresistible danceability, this young North Londoner displays a distinct mastery in crafting his own sound.

Within the first ten seconds of “Concrete Jungle”, you’re immediately pulled into Silkie’s care-free, summery island world of rich soundscapes, refreshing in its balance of instrumental samples and expertly designed synthetics. At its best moments, the album has the ability to make all your worries melt away and send tingles up your spine, leaving you in a blissful, energetic state, like you’re on a rainbow rollercoaster soaring through the expanses of outer space. He delivers his music the way a great linguist delivers prose – igniting feelings and actions from your inner depths. His tasteful use of uplifting melodies, harmonic shifts, and post-garage rhythms send signals to your brain that simply inspire movement in both the physical and mental realms. Most of the tracks make excellent use of bass to drive the tunes forward at the right moments, but some others use slightly typical wobbles, shifting the focus away from the more unique elements of his productions.

The standout tunes of the album evoke excitement through pure originality and raw emotion, without much use of LFO. “Purple Love”, for example, is a bubbling ascension of bass-boopage, massaging your senses down from your toes and shimmering its way up to your eyeballs. Another highlight is “Head Butt Da Deck”, beginning with a half-step rhythm that eases its way into your cranium, waits until you’ve gotten comfortable, then cuts out. What enters next is what you’ve been waiting for the whole time but you didn’t expect, and once the beat drops back in, if you’re not bobbing your head with your eyes closed, there’s something wrong with you! The finest opus of the album is undoubtedly the final track, “Beauty”. Carefully constructed from start to finish, it sweeps you off your emotional feet, and floats you up to the top of the castle you’ve been questing for this entire time, and then it’s gone, like a fleeting lover, and you’ve got nothing to do but start the journey all over again. This Silkie. This is Medi Musik.

Due out this summer, City Limits Vol. 1 couldn’t come at a better time, proving itself as a valiant contender for the most imaginative album in the dubstep sphere this year. As an LP debut for Deep Medi, it shows nothing but promise for the label. And with rumors of Quest’s album up next, the future looks very bright.

-Alex Incyde



Stay tuned for more reviews to come... I've just written one for the AMAZING new 2562 album 'Unbalance' in the new issue of Big Up Magazine and hopefully can post that up soon.

Until next time...

REVIEW: Hudson Mohawke - Polyfolk Dance EP

So I figured it would only be relevant for me to post up the reviews I've written. Here's the first one I did for Big Up Magazine, in the Spring 2009 issue.



Warp presents a six-tracker from the 22-year old Scottish beatsmith Hudson Mohawke (AKA one half of Heralds of Change, alongside Mike Slott). Following up from the limited-release Ooops! EP on LuckyMe/Wireblock that sold out in a heartbeat, this mini-LP gives us a little taste of what the man’s capable of: taking post-hip-hop beat music to the next level.

The opening track, Polkadot Blues, happily bounces along like you’re riding through a subconscious nursery, where dancing robotic babydolls whisper sweet nothings in your ears, and meanwhile the pony that you’re riding on has only three legs. This makes the journey bumpy, and a little bit disturbing but mostly reassuringly pleasant. After all, it’s not like you’re in the real world or anything. You float into the second track, Monde, except now you’re on a rainbow carpet ride through space, and the conductor is a three-headed music box. You’re not sure why, but you’re satisfied and your head won’t stop bobbing from left to right.

HALT. One of those canes from those old cartoon shows yanks you by the neck and pulls you into a sub-atomic future rock-disco, AKA track three, Overnight. Center stage, a floating set of pink lips sings triumphantly, and a synthetic baby pig is singing his heart out in the loveliest way possible. This track is a pure dancefloor stalker, as in you don’t see it creeping up on you for the first five seconds, and that’s all it needs before it has you hooked by the jugular. And at 140 bpm, it’s friendly for a dubstep set.

Flip the record over to Speed Stick. You don’t even get a chance to catch your breath before some digi-instrument that hasn’t been invented yet invades your brain sockets, the drums are slapping you on your rosy cheeks, and three-eyed, mini-mouthed children are humming polyphonic chords into your facial area. However, they’re gone as soon as you’re starting to get used to it. Next track, Velvet Peel, the same children pull you by your pinkies onto a color-shifting radio flyer wagon that glides into Super Mario World and you feel strangely at home. The koopas aren’t even mad at you either. Then you go down a green super-pipe.

Final track, Yonard. It’s too dark to see. The babydolls are back! What are they yelling at you? Who cares… a kick-drum sludge monster that you can’t really make out rumbles across your peripheral vision but you’re too scared to move. The lights come on, and it’s not a monster! It’s just a gelatinous music-machine dripping with clicks and claps, babydolls, sirens, and mechanical nonsense. It grows larger, starts spinning uncontrollably, and then careens into a black hole. You wake up in a hot sweat and you’re sleeping upside down. Ooops!

Seriously next-level tunes from this young Glaswegian producer, with more greatness to come, surely. By the time you read this, the vinyl copies have probably sold out unless you’re looking on Discogs, you might still be able to grab a CD from Boomkat, but there’s always for all your digital music needs. And this is one you need.

-Alex Incyde