Archive | June, 2008

sigur rós, westminster

25 Jun

Fantastic gig the other night (24th june). Great set list, happy Jonsi, brilliant audience, nice stage stuff, amazing acoustics… standing in the front row, 2/3 metres from jonsi and kjartan…hearing the vocals half through the amps, half directly through the air…it was brilliant. stand outs have to be Gobbledigook for being just FUN FUN FUN, and then Hafsol and Pop.. for sheer epic brilliance. However, Fljotavik is my favourite from the new album and hearing it was just beautiful…. understated, perfect and so emotional.Inni mer syngur vitletsinkur was the other new song to really shine. The new style of Med Sud works really well live, the more upbeat songs bounce really well off the sadder material. We were treated to three bows, two encores…and the final song All Alright was just haunting, heartbreaking.

Rubiks Reality

12 Jun

So I while back I posted about moving, rotating buildings and urban environments, which was really interesting. A little while after I came across some more posts about some potential projects and today I found out Dynamic Architecture has designed an actual rotating tower, together with some of the environmental, power generation, and user friendly benefits I suggested might be offered by this type of design.

So, Inhabitat has a nice post about the project and some great pics. Unsurprisingly Dubai is the base for the first of these towers, construction is to begin soon. And whilst I am against a lot of what Dubai is about – the superficiality, the environmental negligence, ostentatious luxury, worker exploitation and so on – it is an incredible opportunity to test out experimental, unique designs and ideas.

I really feel that this could be the start of something really exciting. This building is self sufficient too, in terms of energy requirements! Sure it’s in Dubai, but with the exponential improvement of voltaic cell efficiency it surely won’t be long before more innovative solar techniques are applied to everyday builds. There’s so much further to go before the Rubiks City I imagine could become reality, but I feel like this is a massive step forward and can’t wait to see the results. It’s the natural evolution of the merry -go-round via the Dymaxion House.

The next step might be an integration of flexible transport systems into city – lane alteration, for example for rush hour seeing 4 lanes of a 6 lane motorway allocated to the influx or exodus of workers in morning and evening respectively, retractable drainage systems and pedestrian crossings, roads turning to walkways and so on.

However, Dubai is also the land of the architectural gimmick. (Take your pic…)

World largest, biggest, tallest, shiniest…world’s first, world’s only, world’s most expensive…..And this all means there’s a threat of genuinely interesting ideas like this being cast in the mould of the Palm islands – pretty pointless in reality, all show and no tell. I guess we’ll see in the next few years if this building is a success, if it works. The architects/developers have gone for a big first development – it’s Dubai after all.

I’ve got a feeling though that working out new ideas on a smaller scale might be more useful. 7 smaller projects, but still larger than the several rotating homes already built, each completed in a fraction of the time of the Rotating Tower (Despite it’s relatively fast construction time) could offer 7 experimental approaches and then those outcomes could be factored into a really well thought out, more ideologically and technically sound buidling.

Anyway, i’m really excited just to see this being built. This is experimentation…and I love it!

Edit:

Funnily enough there is a new car advert out, which is all about adjustable features/customization.

What is it about car adverts and rubiks like city environments?

Hearing about what the whole world is talking about…

6 Jun

…this.

which is just genius.

Creator James Houston explains:

Radiohead held an online contest to remix “Nude” from their album – “In Rainbows” This was quite a difficult task for all the electronic musicians that entered, as Nude is in 6/8 timing, and 63bpm. Most music that’s played in clubs is around 120bpm and usually 4/4 timing. It’s near impossible to mix a waltz beat into a DJ set.

This resulted in lots of generic entries consisting of a typical 4/4 beat, but with arbitrary clips from “Nude” thrown in so that they qualified for the contest.

Thom Yorke joked at the ridiculousness of it in an interview for NPR radio, hinting that they set the competition “for a laugh” and to find out what would come out of such an impossible task.

I decided to take the piss a bit, as the contest seemed to be in that spirit.

Based on the lyric (and alternate title) “Big Ideas: Don’t get any” I grouped together a collection of old redundant hardware, and placed them in a situation where they’re trying their best to do something that they’re not exactly designed to do, and not quite getting there.

It doesn’t sound great, as it’s not supposed to.

Sinclair ZX Spectrum – Guitars (rhythm & lead)
Epson LX-81 Dot Matrix Printer – Drums
HP Scanjet 3c – Bass Guitar
Hard Drive array – Act as a collection of bad speakers – Vocals & FX

HD: Big Ideas (Don’t get any) from 1030 on Vimeo.

It’s such a great idea, and it’s amazingly well done. It makes me wonder about the sounds that some factory machine in Siberia might be making in the dead of night. How the hum of a supercomputer in Southern California could follow the melody of a swedish pop song, or how an industrial fryer in Grimsby could be chinking along to the drum beat of Arcade Fire’s Keep The Car Running.

Music is sort of one big collection and sampling process. We take the noises around us, filter them down. Select the ones we like, add them together and build our own sonic landscapes which are in reality a reworking of the ugly sounds, the beautiful sounds, and those background noises which we experience everyday.

Reminds me of Bjork’s starring role in Dancer In The Dark, which is a brilliant but absolutely devasting film.

This clip from the film was my first ever introduction to Bjork, broadcast on saturday morning Japanese TV, and I spent nearly 8 years looking for the film, or music video it came from. Seeing it for the second time the other day was an amazing experience.

When words just won’t do…

3 Jun

sigur rós: festival

[image: Michael Wolf- The Architecture of Density]

There are times when it’s just better to let the music speak for itself.

This is one of them.

Sigur Ros – Festival

[Radio 1 radio rip, first play, 3rd June 2008]

Thanks to janhaw from Sigur-Ros.co.uk messageboard for uploading.