There's a couple of things I forgot to mention in previous posts.
One is the new screensaver I'm using on both my work and home computers: Polar Clock
This was mentioned in the March 2009 issue of "Wired" as one of the top ten things that the staff liked that month.
Actually, it was ranked number 1. :)
Polar Clock shows month, date, day, hours, minutes and seconds as colored concentric arcs that grow as time passes.
They spawn from the 12 o'clock position and grow clockwise, progressively changing color from white to blue to pink
to red to yellow to green back to white. It's pretty and functional, available for Mac and PC.
The Kzin says "check it out".
Another is about eMusic and how they have been busy lately.
First, they've actually signed Warp Records. For real this time.
You might recall the fangasm I had when eMusic accidentally made available a dozen Warp releases for one day.
I guess they licensed the albums for Europe and North America was not supposed to see them. I snagged the stuff
I wanted before they could take 'em down the next day, muahahaha!
It was a while back and I couldn't find the original post because I forgot to tag it with "emusic". Blargh.
Anyway, Warp records is a legendary label in electronica circles, having released some truly excellent material in
its 20 year existence. Warp introduced me to the Egyptronica stylings of Black Dog Productions, a less harsh side
of Aphex Twin (as Polygon Windows), the concept of Detroit Techno with Kenny Larkin and his "Azimuth" album,
and many other wondrous things. Warp showed that there was more to techno than happy fun rave and breakbeat.
You may have heard the term "IDM" (Intelligent Dance Music) thrown about here and there. This is where it started. :)
eMusic is starting off easy with just 19 albums, many of them from the early days.
Which means that, yes, I own most of these on CD already. :)
Of particular interest, if you missed them the first time:
The first "Artificial Intelligence"
compilation, providing a 10-track sampler of what to expect from Warp Records.
This and other "AI" releases listed below were distributed in the US by TVT/Wax Trax and those are the CDs I have.Autechre's
first two albums, "Amber"
. Much more melodious than their later output.Kenny Larkin's
album. I've babbled about Detroit Techno in this journal many a times.
This album will give you a good idea of what Detroit Techno is all about, a sort of futuristic techno soul."Frequencies"
, not to be confused with the stupid failed pop band LFO that came later.
This LFO actually has talent and rocked the house back in the day. This album is a must-have."Surfing On Sine Waves"
, the only album ever released by Polygon Windows, a Richard D. "Aphex Twin" James
It's very different from his "drill'n'bass" and acid madness from the early days. It's still strange and it's still
got a beat though! Definitely worth checking out.
And last, but in no way least, "Bytes"
by Black Dog Productions
(mistakenly listed as "Various Artists" by eMusic).
I know I've talked about Black Dog Productions and Plaid in this journal before. Black Dog was Ken and Ed and Andy.
Then Andy and Ed left and used their Plaid moniker as a permanent band name. Ken still makes music as The Black Dog.
eMusic carries a lot of The Black Dog, some of it dating back to when Ed and Andy were still in the group.
I urge you to listen to the bits of "Bytes" on eMusic and hear for yourself the wonder that is Black Dog Prods.
There's really nothing quite like it. The odd beats, the strange ancient Egyptian vibe to some of the tracks.
I find this stuff utterly entrancing. This is why Black Dog/Plaid are my all-time favorite electronic artists.
Yes, even more favorite than Orbital or Kraftwerk or The Orb or the Detroit Techno guys. :D
eMusic has also signed Superstition Records
, a German label that became the refuge of artists formerly on the
Eye-Q Records labels: Harthouse, Eye-Q, and Recycle Or Die. I have an awful lot of Eye-Q CDs, so I am interested.
The style of Superstition seems to be mostly German Trance and House.
And holy crap, there are 172 different items listed under that label on eMusic! O_O
Off-hand, I recommend looking at stuff from Humate
and Mijk Van Dijk
And finally, The Prodigy
have a new album: "Invaders Must Die"
. It's okay, nothing particularly groundbreaking.
I do like tracks 2 ("Omen"), 3 ("Thunder"), and 5 ("Take Me To The Hospital").
I am intensely amused by Track 9, "World's On Fire", because it contains a beat that really really REALLY sounds like
something Praga Khan/Lords Of Acid have used in one of their tracks. I mean, really, it's hilariously blatant! :D
And that's it! I think I'm forgetting another label and...
Oh yeah, Metropolis! No, wait, I think I mentioned it before.
Anyway, with Metropolis
, eMusic now has everything Juno Reactor
ever released, including their crappy new album,
"Gods And Monsters", which really sucks, and "Luciana"
, the weird-ass 1-hour ambient collaboration with The Orb.
Which is actually hard to find on CD, and is one single track so it counts as only one download, nice one eMusic!
Metropolis also means a truckload of Gary Numan, KMFDM (WOOH!), Meat Beat Manifesto (YEA!), Front Line Assembly,
Assemblage 23, Clan Of Xymox, Die Krupps, Front 242, Mindless Self Indulgence, and other happy fun industrial acts.
Achtung baby! :D
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this lil' ride through eMusic's neat new (old) stuff.