Reception.ac3

A couple of you were asking about the surround version of Reception (see here for more info), so here it is:

Reception.ac3

Working in surround is still somewhat of a novelty for me, and I'm sure I've yet to get to grips fully with it, so let me know if you hear anything that sounds like it shouldn't be there and I'll make appropriate adjustments.

Wordpress and Download Store update frenzy

You might have noticed a few changes to the site of late, as I've just updated Wordpress to the new 2.5 version, which includes a whole host of updates on the admin side of things to make my life a little easier. Cosmetically though, there are few changes, although you'll have noticed the addition of Gravatars to the comments section.

For the uninitiated, Gravatars are 'Globally Recognised Avatars', and exist to make it easier for us to have a uniform identity across the net (the avatar equivalent of OpenID, if you will). It will become quickly apparent, by the dearth of avatars in my comments section, that this is very much A New Thing, and has yet to catch on within the online world (although I have noticed one or two commenters have caught on already).

So, if you fancy procuring a Gravatar, all you need is an email address to sign up and associate an avatar with and you're all set (you can assign multiple emails with different avatars).

Continuing the theme of updates, I've tweaked and tinkered with the download store, mainly to a) reduce the number of tracks I have to tend to, and b) by popular request, arrange the downloads into more manageable album-sized chunks, with the option of buying individual albums separately.

The previously 'orphaned' tracks are now separated into three volumes, imaginatively titled I, II and III (yes, I did take a pinch of inspiration from the recent NIN release), and are now approximately grouped chronologically (by completion date, rather than upload date). Each album is about 45 mins long, and will cost you just £2 (~$4---yep, I've switched currencies, allowing me to accept Google Checkout now too!).

Finally, I've also provided each release in 320kbps and FLAC formats, as a single purchase, to save you having to pick which format when buying. You'll get links to separate zips of each format emailed to you---just choose which you'd like to download.

Lemodie on iTunes

Following some digital broker misunderstandings, the details of which I shall not bore you, Lemodie is back on iTunes. If you've got iTunes installed on your computer, you can hop straight to Lemodie here.

While I'm on the subject of downloads, Rednetic Recordings have updated their site with a swanky new download store, so you can now, for example, grab mp3 copies of my tracks Valley Forge and Reverse Engineering from the One Point One compilation, should you so wish. ;)

Recent mastering projects you might enjoy

Just a quickie: a couple of my recent mastering projects might interest those who enjoy a bit of Boards of Canada-esque electronica (both of which are free to download, I might add).

First up is the new compilation on Twoism Records (borne out of the Twoism BoC community) called One on Twoism (Volume 2)---yes, there's a One on Twoism Volume One too! Try saying that quickly.

Second up is the Inspired by... Boards of Canada: A Few New Tunes release, on the budding Myuzyk netlabel. It's a bit more eclectic than the Twoism release, but still very much worth a listen.

Both releases are available in lossless FLAC too, as well as mp3! :cool:

Alan Wilder essay, new NIN

Here's an interesting (and at times chucklesome) essay by ex-Depeche Mode member Alan Wilder, concerning the music industry and its ongoing existential crisis. Topics covered include an increasingly fickle and attention-starved attitude towards listening, the loudness war's attempt to catch the consumer's ear for a moment---along with the ensuing ear fatigue that sets in when you try to listen intently, and musings on alternative modes of operation and distribution. Bang-on the nail and well worth a read.

Coincidentally, making use of the boutique-approach discussed by Wilder, Trent Reznor just released some new NIN, entitled Ghosts I-IV, directly available through his site (or at least, it will be available once the server-crushing traffic wanes---I ended up getting the free release through a NIN-authorised torrent). There's an almost bewildering variety of products and prices available in addition to the free version, right up to the $300 Ultra-Mega-3000 Edition.

It's interesting to see these special editions increasingly being offered alongside standard releases, to subsidise the mp3 and basic CD releases. Giving away part of the release for free also makes a lot of sense, especially when there are so many tracks on offer anyway; Ghosts I clocks in at almost half an hour of music, free for familiarisation, to become lodged in the mind of listeners, who'll then hopefully be back for more. Assuming I get enough material written, I can see myself utilising a similar method. After all, why limit a release to a single CD or 74 minutes of music if you've written the equivalent of two CDs? Package it all together as a single release, and give away 30--40% of it as mp3s to get people listening straight away before you're eclipsed by next week's news. Little use saving it for a separate release if no-one will give either release a chance.

AV Festival: Broadcast

It's that time of year again when the North-East of England sees the biennial AV Festival descend upon its streets for a week. Working feverishly over the preceding fortnight, I managed to get involved by writing a piece of music for the festivities being held in Newcastle's Culture Lab, as part of the Music & Machines VIII conference. My resulting contribution was a 4.1 9-minute piece called Reception.

This year the symposium shared the AV Festival's theme of Broadcast, featuring a variety of lectures, presentations and interventions by various key writers, artists and musicians. In between the scheduled presentations, artists from Newcastle University presented a series of installations and performance pieces taking inspiration from Jeffrey Sconce's notion of Haunted Media, using sample material sourced from Antonin Artaud's Pour en finir avec le jugement de Dieu, a recording originally commissioned by Radio France sixty years ago for a broadcast that never was (unsurprising, given the blasphemous and and somewhat scatological subject matter).

Other highlights of the weekend for me were Tao G. Vrhovec Sambolec's Reality Soundtrack and Tetsuo Kogawa's Deconstructing Broadcasting.

Vintage Ochre tracks from ‘AudioMicroDevice’ now available for download/purchase

For those of you who were interested in hearing my very early works, I've added tracks from my 2001 demo CD, AudioMicroDevice, to the music page, completely remastered, with high quality versions also available for purchase. I guess it's the first time for almost eight years that these tracks are available in genuine lossless CD-quality, too.

AudioMicroDevice was originally given away to anyone who asked, and while the tracklist varied a bit depending on what I was writing at the time, I'm quite sure I've managed to collect all the tracks from the CD's various permutations (the discogs listing is pretty much accurate). Some of the tracks went on to be released on A Midsummer Nice Dream, others though various compilations, and so couldn't be included here; I'm just filling in the gaps, making the long-lost material available for those who are curious, for a bit of fun.

Stylistically, it's pretty varied stuff, written before I'd actually settled into any kind of musical identity; some of the tracks were actually college coursework pieces, which might account for the scattered nature of the CD.

Hope a track or two catches your ear, anyway. :)

Ochre Download Store Now Open!

After a few late nights spent tinkering with the inner-workings of my site, I'm pleased to inaugurate the new Ochre Download Store! It's basically an extension of the previous music page; in addition to the usual free downloads, you now have the option of purchasing 320kbps mp3s and FLACs of each track. I've been wanting to offer better quality versions of the tracks for quite a while now, so I'm glad to be able to offer some lossless CD-quality FLACs of each track for the first time. Hopefully I'll be able to cover the costs of the store, which is powered by E-Junkie.

I've priced the individual 320kbps mp3s at $0.79 (~£0.40) and the FLACs at $0.99 (~£0.50), which I hope is reasonable, given their quality. For extra savings, you can purchase a bundle containing the whole lot for $15 (mp3) and $20 (FLAC). Payment at the moment is via PayPal, though you don't need an account to pay---you can simply enter your credit card information in directly. Once you've paid, you'll be presented with your download links, which will also be emailed to you.

Of course, you're still welcome to download the full mp3s for free, and although the quality is limited to 128kbps 22.05kHz, this should be enough to still enjoy the music on portable players etc.

So, please test the store, make sure everything works, and let me know if you come across any bugs, or have any suggestions. :)

Byrne, Reznor and Yorke on retail downloads

After recently reading some articles and interviews on Wired featuring Talking Heads’ David Byrne, Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and NIN front man Trent Reznor, I got thinking again about mp3s, and how best (if at all) to sell them directly. Looking at how Radiohead and Saul Williams have priced their downloads, can we glean any more clues yet as how best to price music downloads alongside CDs?

Read on…

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Header image: National Ignition cover art, by nkurence.