Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Dialogue Inc | Radioshow #11 | March


Dialogue Incorporated | March Newsletter
Dialogue Incorporated Radio #11

Compiled, mixed, and hosted by Mister Joshua
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Letter from the Editor

LIFELIKE IN AN ALL DIGITAL WORLD
By Joshua P. Ferguson

Product \ präd-ukt\ n
  • Anything that is produced, whether as the result of generation, growth, labor, or thought, or by the operation of involuntary causes; as, the products of the season, or of the farm; the products of manufactures; the products of the brain.

2.0 \ tü-pöint-oh\ adj
  • A perceived second generation of web development and design that aims to facilitate communication, secure information sharing, and collaboration on the Word Wide Web. Concepts have led to the development and evolution of web-based communities, hosted services, and applications.

It is with the utmost confidence that, as I try to make some headway on this subject of digital technology and the music industry, I know I’m treading on an issue that has some level of personal significance to most of you, Dialogue Inc’s faithful readers. Obviously it does for us as well. We exist entirely as a web entity – the blog: web only. Our Facebook and Myspace pages: web. Our podcast: digital download. Our musical content: … Wait for it… Digital. Even releases we feature that were only released on vinyl get encoded digitally before making it onto the show. It’s not like we’re outside of the norm either. Look at popular culture today. itunes. ipods. Netflix play instantly. It was a conversation about the true worth of digital books for Amazon’s Kindle that sparked this whole digital meditation in the first place.

Almost all of today’s media and entertainment products come in a digital format now and in a lot of cases, said digital format’s sales far out gross their physical counterparts. Ultimately because of this shift in product form, many a conversation arises as to the larger implications of this sea change in entertainment consumption. When the topic was the Kindle, it was how we’d much rather spend $15 on the actual book than $9 for its digital alter ego. It was easy to turn our nose up and see it was a more worthwhile endeavor to read an actual book then to sit, staring at the words on a screen. When you shift to discussing a movie or song in digital, the lines are much more blurry. Most, for example, might prefer watching a movie on the net because you can utilize HD technology that might not have made it into your living room yet (and you wouldn’t have to spend 3 times the amount to buy the Blue Ray).

But we all know that it’s digital music that should be under the spotlight here. I’d like to do this without getting into the whole stereophonic sound quality discussion. We all know that mp3’s don’t sound as good. Even within mp3’s we know there’s varying degrees of quality. We also know records take up a lot of space and weigh a lot more. Nuff said. Rather, I’d like to take a cue from the always-enlightening Bill Maher and discuss what he referred to as a lotto mentality, or the increasingly prevalent American mentality of something for nothing. I know this might border on that stereotypical grandfather/grandson conversation about how many miles uphill he walked each way barefoot in year round snow to go to school and how much character it built but it does have a ring or truth to it. The move to digital and the ease of access it offers has seriously degraded people’s perception of quality of product and therefore what they’re willing to pay for it (and that’s if they intend to pay at all).

I read yesterday that torrent site Pirate Bay has created a Virtual Private Network (VPN) site to sidestep new laws in their native Sweden that would force Internet providers to turn over personal info for suspected copyright violators. The new laws are abbreviated IPRED (Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive), the new Pirate Bay site is very fondly entitled IPREDator.

By now we’re all guilty of downloading something off the net in a not so legal fashion. Man, I lost more than one PC to the virus-plagued practice of frequenting Napster or Kazaa. But the sheer self-entitled audacity of a move like Pirate Bay’s is a big middle finger to all producers, musicians, actors, writers, etc who choose to make their living in this business we call entertainment. What part of our brain is it, I wonder, that defies logic in convincing us that we deserved this particular something that someone toiled over for free? That we should have these things bestowed upon us.

As a result of this across-the-board degradation of perceived worth there’s also been a subsequent dip in quality, specifically in music, that finds its way onto the digital marketplace. Today’s bedroom producers and blogging enthusiasts are remixing and re-editing mp3’s willy-nillly and then putting them back up for download in their typically bastardized, half-assed, and regurgitated form with complete disregard to the original artists or their bank accounts. Then we all go and download them and play them on our radio shows perpetuating the whole cycle. HaHaHa. Crickets. Silence. The hypocrisy stings a little bit but welcome to life (and some of them are damn fun to play).

So please welcome, everyone, Product 2.0. It’s officially here and it’s here to stay. What do we do from here? Farms and factories aren’t exactly the sure thing they once were so we best turn to our own mental faculties to help us navigate in our new wiki-world. Personally I say embrace the digital. Its convenience and efficiency are unparalleled and it offers amazing opportunities when wielded properly. The key is to be conscious of the proper height for the bar of quality and make sure what ever you’re entering into cyberspace stays above it. As consumers, lets also be aware of this bar and if the product makes the grade, lets shell out the few bucks to download it off their website.

With that, let the conversation begin!

Jpf

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Every third or fourth show its nice for us to step back from having a guest and do a full on Dialogue Inc showcase of the heavy hitters in our world. Now that we’re a full quarter of the way into 2009 that’s what this show is all about. Starting things off with a three fold mash-up from local Chi-Town heroes Hood Internet, we get a taste of The Friendly Fires, Aeroplane, and Bon Iver all rolled into one. Be sure to stay tuned over the next couple months if you like what you hear because we’ll be featuring a full-length guest mix from the Hood in May.

From here the gloves come off as some 70 bpm battles break out. Contemporary shoegazers Asobi Seksu vs Twins, Lefties Soul vs the jigga man, Joker vs indie-pop starlet Little Boots, Austin’s BP vs the Thuggish Ruggish Bone, and so on.

There’s a healthy bit of debut material in the mix as well, with brand new material from Tosca, Telefon Tel Aviv, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Gui Boratto, Camera Obscura, Fever Ray, and Junior Boys. Everyone named has a new album out in the last month or one coming up so be on the lookout for all this wonderful new music.

We end things on a seriously mellow tip, which is all right with us. Spring is quickly approaching and some of these tunes are perfect fodder for anticipating the suns re-emergence. We’re especially in love with the new Fever Ray single. One half of Swedish act The Knife, Fever Ray is a new project from Karin Dreijer Andersson and her debut single “When I Grow Up” is aural ecstasy. Quiet Village also did a blissful job with their reworking of Pacifika. It’s definitely a mellow bordering on new age but we love it anyway. Finishing things off we’ve got this great trip-hoppy b-side from Tricky, and new soundtrack work from one of our favorite bands ever, The Cinematic Orchestra. Check out our full review of their new release here:

Also check out these posts to the blog that we've done since last time:

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Dialogue Incorporated Radio Show #11
Compiled, mixed, and hosted by Mister Joshua

Tracklisting:

1st Hour

Bon Iver vs Friendly Fires/Aeroplane “Lump Sum of Paris” (Hood Internet mix) – cdr
Asobi Seksu “Familiar Light” (Twins remix) – cdr
Jay-z vs Lefties Soul Connection “Frankie’s Party Life” – MPM
Santogold “Shuv It” – Downtown
Little Boots “Meddle” (Joker remix) – cdr
Bone Thugs-n-Harmony “Crossroads” (Bird Peterson remix) – cdr
Keri Hilson “Turn Me On” – Interscope
Metronomy “A Thing for Me” (breakbot remix) – Because
Tosca “Rosa” – G Stone
Telefon Tel Aviv “You Are the Worst Thing in the World” – Bpitch Control
Cage & Aviary “Television Train” – DFA
Joubert Singers “Stand on the Word” (Hot Coins remix) – Tirk
A Mountain of One “Ride” (Time & Space Machine remix) – 10 Worlds
D. Lissvik “Track 9” – Information
House of House “Rushing to Paradise (Walkin’ These Streets)” – Whatever We Want
Gang Gang Dance “House Jam” (Them Jeans remix) – Warp
Flosstradamus “Big Bills” – Green Label Sound
Woolfy “Oh Missy” – Rong
!!! “Yadnus” (Still Going remix) - Warp

2nd Hour

Yeah Yeah Yeahs “Zero” – Interscope
Temper Trap “Sweet Disposition” – Liberation
Gui Boratto “No Turning Back” – Kompakt
Hey Champ “Cold Dust Girl” – 1st & 15th
Camera Obscura “My Maudlin Career” – 4AD
Fujiya & Miyagi “Collarbone” – Deaf, Dumb, & Blind
Xaver Naudascher, Paul Mogg, Rosalind Blair “Connections” (Ewan Pearson remix) – Supersoul/DFA
Serge Gainsbourg “Bonnie & Clyde” (DJ APT remix) – cdr
Marina & the Diamonds “Obsessions” (Pink Stallone remix) – cdr
Fever Ray “When I Grow Up” – Rabid
Junior Boys “Parallel Lines” – Domino
Pacifika “Sweet” (Quiet Village remix) – Six Degrees
Tricky “Numb” – Domino
The Cinematic Orchestra “Crimson Skies” - Disney

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Allure: Quaker Oatmeal | GO HUMANS GO!

Bringing Get Up & Go to the Breakfast Table

Evidently not even oatmeal is free from the need to spend millions on advertising. At least for Quaker Oats, who fall under the Pepsi Co umbrella, those millions are being spent cleverly (in my humble opinion anyway). I’m not sure if this is the case in your city, even though there’s no doubt this is a national campaign, but in the last 2 to 3 weeks the popular oatmeal brand has rolled out an extensive new ad campaign championing humans and their get up and go here in their native Chicago, IL. Created by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, the campaign channels Quaker’s long held message of being the perfect breakfast fuel. The campaign centers around the tagline “Go Humans Go” and their sleek, minimal imagery shows everything from the Quaker Oats man telepathically communicating “go humans go” via his iconic grin to suit & tie clad business men embarking upon their day with rocket propelled Quaker oats canisters.

While some have apparently over thought the campaign, criticizing it for implications that the Quaker Oats man is not human in his cheering on of our sub-species or that the slogan is a tongue in cheek copywriting joke, referencing oats digestive qualities, I personally think this campaign is a testament to clever, aesthetically pleasing, and effective advertising. The presentation is clear and concise, the visuals are clean and eye catching, the campaign (whether in a positive or negative light) is obviously buzz worthy, and the message is as on point as any ad man or boardroom exec could ever ask for. While it may not have successfully woo’ed me away from my breakfast of choice (everything bagel with brie) it has yet again reinforced my fascination with advertising and its ability to communicate.

- Joshua P. Ferguson

http://www.goodbysilverstein.com/
http://www.quakeroats.com/gohumansgo

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Singles Review: LDN Picks the Picks | March

LDN's Roy Shay Drops the Knowledge for March

PART 1::

1:: Martyn - "Great Lengths" - So, the album leaked in 128. What can I do… Not listen? This is a stunning achievement almost entirely throughout - layered, lush, exciting and at times simply moving. "These Words" is a shoe-in for my top ten of '09, and it's only March.
3024world.blogspot.com

2:: Flying Lotus - "Tea Leaf Dancers [Low Limit Remix]" - No clue who Low Limit are, but they managed to get Tea Leaf Dancers back on my iPhone after I thought I'd never be able to listen to that track again because I rinsed it so hard. Gorgeous.
LISTEN

3:: Joker - "Digidesign" - It's official: Hyperdub go hard.
www.hyperdub.net

4:: Onra - "Come Closer [Kicks & Claps Edit]" - Must've been hard for Onra to have decided to release this groovey little project in the shadow of Madlib's prolific venture into Bollywood archives, but he made the right choice: he took a completely different approach to these coveted samples.

5:: Gordon Gartrell - That dude is a fucking idiot. I listened to his podcast religiously since the start 12 episodes ago, but refuse to indulge his ludicrous drivel any more. Rihanna's beating may have been warranted! Who knows what she did to "get him" to act that way?! Didn't you know??! Twat.

PART 2::

1:: La Roux - "In For the Kill [Skream's Let's Get Ravey Remix]" - This joint is just silly. The ubiquitous Amen break gets another treatment, this time courtesy of 08's golden boy, Skream. Does the fact it kicks in a minute before the track ends make it better or worse? Whatever. This shit goes hard.
LISTEN

2:: TV On the Radio's latest, "Dear Science" - This is a beautiful, ambitious and varied piece of pop your iPhone can't do without. I slept on this, I admit. Don't be the last to know.
www.tvontheradio.com

3:: Black Milk - "Dreams" - Black Milk will be 09's Kid Cudi/88 Keys. Smart, bubbly, infectiously juvenile flow with a knack for hooking up with the right button-twiddlers.
www.myspace.com/blackmk

4:: Wham! - "Wham Rap! [Paul White Remix]" - Oh shit. The two most polar extremes in popular music of the last 30 years collide on a chillingly perfect two minutes of post-modern obscurity.

5:: Dorian Concept - "Fort Teen" - An Austrian student who's finding it hard to juggle his uni studies with his distinct talent for making Microkorgs sound funky. Red Bull Academy have acknowledged this, as should you.
www.myspace.com/dorianconcept

Live Review: Booka Shade

photo courtesy of Stv Slv

Booka Shade - Live @ Metro Chicago

With heads still reeling from their blistering live performance from this past year’s Lollapalooza, Get Physical Records techno superstars Booka Shade took to the Chicago stage again last night and systematically proceeded to keep those heads spinning. All over the venue staff had posted signs warning that the forthcoming show would be a strobe light intensive one and this served as only a mild indicator for the light and sound spectacle to follow. The duo, comprised of Berlin based Walter Merziger and Arno Kammermeier, has definitely come a long way with their live performance. The last few times they've been to the city they've done much smaller venue performances (Spy Bar, Funky Buddha Lounge) but obviously the scales of their fan base tipped big time with their landing the Lolla gig. Now they're boasting flashing strobes, projected visuals, light box stands, full drum pad sets, synths, and a control panel of knobs galore. They pumped out rooms full of sound beyond what you could ever expect from a two man crew. Accompanying their high-impact sonic presence was a full Metro so in-tune and amped by the show that the Shade was cheered on for not one, but two encores.

- Joshua P. Ferguson


Monday, March 16, 2009

Album Review: The Cinematic Orchestra | Les Ailes Pourpres


The•Cinematic•Orchestra
Les Ailes Pourpres – Motion Picture Soundtrack
Walt•Disney•Recordings

Class•ic•al \ klas-i-kel \ adj + jazz \ jaz \ n + chill•out \ chil-aût \ vb

At first glance this may seem like odd fare for a Dialogue Incorporated review and admittedly little of our concentration falls to items bearing the tags “motion picture soundtrack” or “classical” and especially not to “Disney”. But The Cinematic Orchestra defies conventions that way and it’s in part because of this fact that they hold a unique and very personal position in the Dialogue annals. So pronounced is my admiration for this band that 2 years ago at one of their live performances here in Chicago I ran into an acquaintance I hadn’t seen in at least 3 years who told me that if it weren’t for me he would never have discovered the band or gone to the show. This year marks the 10-year anniversary of the first time I heard Jason Swinscoe, his orchestra, and their one-of-a-kind take on downtempo and jazz. Believe it or not I actually remember the trip to the record store. Nice Musique was a fantastic little shop in Madison, Wisconsin, run by local celebrity dj and good friend Nick Nice. From the first time I set foot in the shop it immediately set itself apart as a one-stop shop for my musical explorations. The place was clearly ahead of its time and even today there are few to rival it. It was here on the top slot of their downtempo picks wall that I spotted Motion, The Cinematic Orchestra’s debut album for Ninja Tune records. I may have even had to ask Nick to get it down for me it was so high up on the wall. Listening at one of the communal listening stations facing the street I remember staring out at a sunny, spring day and losing myself entirely to the band’s moody jazz textures, orchestral touches, layers of sampled vocals, and atmospherics. To date it was the coolest thing I think I’d ever heard and with the passing of each subsequent release they redefine the levels of cool with their depth and scope. They’ve matured quite a bit since ’99 and over the years the group has truly come to embody its name. 2003’s Man with the Movie Camera saw TCO compose an entire soundtrack for the Russian silent film of the same name. 2007’s Ma Fleur is self-described as “a soundtrack to a specially commissioned screenplay for an imagined film (which may or may not be made)” and it definitely sees Swinscoe and company embrace a more orchestral framework favoring sweeping strings and lush arrangements to their more jazz oriented beginnings. Now two years later they are poised to release their first actual soundtrack, commissioned (in reality) by Disney Nature for their documentary Les Ailes Pourpres (its working English title is Crimson Wing). In a similar vein to March of the Penguins, Les Ailes… follows the lives of the Crimson Winged Flamingos from a remote lake in Northern Tanzania. Fully channeling their vivid compositional style, TCO’s resulting soundtrack is a beauteous and peaceful oeuvre to the lifecycle of these exotic birds – and this (admittedly biased) high praise is only from hearing the soundtrack and having seen a three and a half minute trailer for the film. Maybe letting my imagination fly with images of Flamingos standing, stretching, running, dancing, and flying alongside waves of strings, vibes, piano, and acoustic guitar is part of what makes the listening so interesting but one thing is certain whether on its own or with an African lake for its backdrop The Cinematic Orchestra’s soundtrack is as rich a listening experience as any.

- Joshua P. Ferguson

www.cinematicorchestra.com
Disney Nature:Crimson Wing homepage







Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Article: Kutiman | Break On Thru (You)

Kutiman remixes Youtube.

This was first published in Hebrew on Sunday, March 8th here: e.walla.co.il

Written by our new friend,
Polar Pair & Botanika Records Nadav Ravid, It was kindly and skillfully translated to English by our dear friend Roy Shay.

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First off, and before anything else, clear yourself half an hour, make sure those speakers are properly plugged in, click on the link at the bottom of the page and watch the videos on
www.thru-you.com - Seven audio-visual musical videos comprised only and entirely of clips found on www.youtube.com and edited by Kutiman.

This is, if I may so humbly and absolutely state, a groundbreaking cultural accomplishment; It is one of the most exciting audio-visual achievements of the last decade, a decade characterized mostly by a fascination of gadgets, start-ups and social networks and less with what people actually did with them.

Like any other substantial achievement, Thru You is also a unique, rare combination of a brilliant idea and and an equally flawless execution. Indeed, video samples combined with music are not a novel idea:
EBN (Emergency Broadcast Network) pioneered some of this in the early 90s - the era of VHS and Beta - through to the end of the previous decade when Hextatic and Coldcut perfected the formula, the tools and the software with a CD-DVD, that was constructed solely of samples of audio-video footage and that had some truly inspiring, moving moments on it. The novelty factor here, though, lies in the fact that on Thru You, the audio and video raw material is all off of YouTube.

YouTube has gradually and systematically become the most spectacular digital content archive on line. The unfathomable richness of the content it stores, whether significant or not, has morphed into the business plan of countless other sites that are built around its content and links to its seemingly endless material. It is a musicians' heaven, too: Beyond the countless music videos and live gig footage it provides, are tens of thousands of tutorials and instructional videos that'll teach you how to play every musical instrument on the planet, in any style one could dream of; demonstrations of every synthesizer or sound machine ever produced and documentation of all flavours of strange modifications people have done to their equipment. Seek and you shall find.

In the past, a musician who wanted to make a musical collage of samples (or, assemblage, if you will) had to scour thousands of records to find a bare, stripped down musical element (guitars, percussion etc.) to layer. Today, a quick search on YouTube will find you any musical element you could possibly dream of.

How didn't anyone think of this first? That is still unclear. But Kutiman didn't excel just in concept; The execution is no less jaw-dropping. Incomprehensible levels of musicality, inspiration, whim and insight are needed to construct songs that capable of standing on their own. Kutiman, without ever having recorded a single note of his own throughout the entire project, managed to squeeze out the same infectious psych-funk that oozed off his debut album in 2007. A drum break here, a guitar lick there, organ solo from somewhere else entirely - Kutiman has disassembled these individual elements to the molecular level of the individual notes. This he then took further by chopping up the actual accompanying video itself, totally demystifying the process of sampling. What you see is what you get. And hear.

What is so enthralling while watching these clips is the knowledge and awareness of the fact that the original, sampled building blocks are in fact works of hundreds of passionate hobbyists who, through limited resources, uploaded videos of themselves playing, tinkering or modifying electronic equipment, usually on their own; At times, their loneliness is actually evident in their eyes: staring at their webcams while filming themselves playing their instruments in their bedrooms, somewhere out there in the world. As opposed to some musician sampled off of a forgotten piece of vinyl, these oblivious bedroom-musicians never expected or asked for any fame or recognition.

Kutiman compiled these disparate pieces of binary alienation, floating out there in the digital ocean, and with the aid of two tools of the same digital nature - a computer and a solid internet connection - did the simplest, most human thing: combined the two to create a breath-taking, moving piece of art. Soon, countless imitators will surely flood this ever-expanding ocean and endless discussions about artists' copy rights are bound to pop up everywhere you look. But don't let this distract you: Thru You is the most important cultural achievement you are likely to experience in the near future.

__

and on a smiliar note, make sure you pay a visit to
Who Sampled , a website dedicated to finding the connections between a song and and the original track it used a sample source.



This is probably our favorite of the 7 different videos. Gotta listen all the way through to catch the genius at the end!