Archive:
Music

Buddha Machine II

A few years ago I wrote about the Buddha Machine, a charming little plastic box that emits ethereal music. It is an interesting object, mostly because the nine loops that it can play are so other-worldly and, despite their brevity, infinitely fascinating. Which is just as well, because they will repeat endlessly. Well, until you […]

The Edinburgh Twestival

I had a great time yesterday at the Edinburgh Twestival, an opportunity to meet other local users of Twitter while at the same time raising money for charity: water. A comment I heard a lot from other people was that the event wasn’t quite what they expected. It certainly wasn’t a total geekfest as some […]

Music of 2008: Top ten

10. Stereolab — Chemical Chords This is more or less what you would expect from Stereolab. Fantastically jaunty and slightly idiosyncratic pop songs. This is hardly Stereolab’s best album (and I say that as someone who has only heard three of them), but it is a joy nonetheless. 9. David Byrne and Brian Eno — […]

Music of 2008: #25–#11

At the end of every year I write a post ranking my favourite music releases of the year. But for 2008 I was very busy, and I had other things I wanted to write about more. Now that it’s February, I think I’d really better get on with it. I know not many people will […]

The Designers Republic

The other day I learnt from my brother that the graphic design company The Designers Republic went out of business earlier this month. My interest in graphic design is not particularly heavy. But the interest I do have in it has all stemmed from my exposure to the work of The Designers Republic. Their work […]

Radiophonic re-releases

One of the Radiophonic Workshop’s most famous composers, Delia Derbyshire, left in the early 1970s partly in dismay at the increasing popularity of synthesisers. Disillusioned with the state of electronic music, she soon stopped composing music altogether, only returning to the scene briefly for a couple of years just before her death in 2001. In […]

Fifty years of Radiophonic influence

Regular readers may know that I have an interest in electronic music. 2008 has been a bit of a treat for fans of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. This year marked 50 years since the establishment of the hugely influential sound effects and music department of the BBC. That, combined with a coincidental discovery of new […]

100,000 scrobbles

Around a year ago I wrote a post that analysed the year’s activity on Last.fm. For those who don’t know, Last.fm is a website that tracks your music listening habits. It produces lovely graphs and churns out recommendations as well as providing tailored radio stations for you to listen to at your leisure. I adore […]

The Fiery Furnaces — Remember

You wouldn’t expect The Fiery Furnaces to do anything in the conventional way. When their debut album, Gallowsbird’s Bark, was released in 2003, they were seen almost as being part of the same scene as The White Stripes. There was the bluesy-rock element to the thing, then the fact that both bands were a brother–sister […]

Squarepusher — Just a Souvenir

The premise of Just a Souvenir is most intriguing. “This album started as a daydream about watching a crazy, beautiful rock band play an ultra-gig,” says Tom Jenkinson on his website. He goes on to describe the mad japes that the band got up to in his daydream, setting out a vision of an eccentric, […]