Water People

Posted: 2020-03-07 16:48   |  More posts about art code music

I'm very fond of Liz Harris's art — so much so that I have a small canvas print of the cover for the Grouper single "Water People" hanging in my living room. The cover looks like this:

This morning, having spent the last few days on sick leave from work, it caught my eye and I decided to relieve my boredom by attempting to recreate it in code. One naive solution is simple:

  • Draw a square - a "segment" - containing 7 inner squares, with an equal amount of spacing between each, and diagonal lines from the top-left to the bottom-right and bottom-left to top-right.
  • Repeat this N times from left to right, ensuring segments are visibly stacked towards the center, to draw a row.
  • Repeat this N times from top to bottom, ensuring rows are visibly stacked towards the middle, to draw the full canvas.
  • Draw two lines that span the entire height and width of the drawn area, meeting in the center, forming a cross.

I've never ever done any graphics programming before and have a questionable grasp of mathematics, so I was pleased with the result after an hour's hacking, regardless of how trivial the problem is. You can see it here:

The code (~50 lines) can be viewed on github and requires no dependencies to run (apart from the graphics.py library, which is checked in to the repo.) Its parameters (e.g. padding, number of segments per row, etc.) can easily be played around with.

After many years of programming professionally, it is nice to create something inefficient and functionally useless but aesthetically pleasing — just for the sake of creating something.


xltronic Vibes

Posted: 2013-05-17 00:15   |  More posts about music

Years ago, when xltronic.com was a thriving community of electronic music nerds, something like xltronic Vibes was possible: a series of albums of music produced by xltronic members, mixed together, often with an overarching theme.

Such collaborations are pretty much impossible nowadays. The website has been dying a slow and miserable death in the past few years and the community is now as good as non-existant. To make matters worse, the old Vibes series has disappeared from the site.

So, here is a mirror of all of the Vibes albums I managed to collect over the years. If anyone has any that are missing, please get in touch, so they don't disappear from the internet forever.

Personal favourites are definitely #10 and #19.


Shout-out to hipsters

Posted: 2013-05-10 16:28   |  More posts about music live music

Had the chance to see Mac Demarco live in Munich a few days ago. My expectations were so high I was almost certain I'd come away disappointed, but I left completely blown away.

Demarco's studio albums are fairly mellow. When playing live, however, the tempo is jumped up and plenty more distortion and general madness is thrown in to the mix.

Here's a video of the band playing in the Pitchfork headquarters. An excellent performance all around: funny banter, awesome music and really tight playing.


Set list

  • The Stars Keep On Calling My Name
  • Cooking Up Something Good
  • Rock And Roll Night Club
  • Ode To Viceroy
  • Freaking Out The Neighborhood
  • My Kind of Woman
  • Baby's Wearing Blue Jeans
  • Jam:
    • She's Really All I Need
    • Take Five (Dave Brubeck Quartet)
    • Break Stuff (Limp Bizkit)
    • Blackbird (The Beatles)
    • She's Really All I Need (Reprise)
  • Still Together


Due Process

Posted: 2012-02-28 17:51   |  More posts about film music

Another tune I've been searching for for years (this time since probably around 2000) - first heard it as the backing to Ronnie Creager's part on the Blind Skateboards section of Rodney Mullen VS Daewon Song Round II:

Happened to give this video a watch for a bit of a blast of nostalgia and thought to have another look for the tune. This site has popped up in the last decade and gave me the full run-down of tunes:

  • Blind #1 - instrumental mix by DJ Mino
  • Blind #2 - Gideon Choi - Afromaxx Music Production - Two Steps Beyond
  • Blind #3 - Josh Kasper - Visionaries - Say Where (instrumental)
  • Blind #4 - Corey Sheppard - Diamond D - When It Pours It Rains (instrumental)
  • Blind #5 - James Craig - Choclair - What It Takes (remix instrumental)
  • Blind #6 - Ronnie Creager - Lone Catalysts - Due Process (instrumental)

Incredibly happy to have finally tracked it down after all these years. Easily one of the best hip-hop productions I've ever heard.

Here's the normal version:

And, most importantly, the instrumental:


Albumart Replacer

Posted: 2012-02-04 18:33   |  More posts about art code computers music

The Albumart Replacer is a little script I wrote to automatically find higher-resolution copies of album covers. For listening to music, I use foobar2000 and although the wonderful foo_discogs automatically adds album art to my music, sometimes the artwork on discogs.com isn't the best.

Enter Albumart Replacer. If I'm listening to music and I notice the album art isn't up to scratch, e.g.:

I simply run the script, it sends the image's data to tineye.com, and if any higher-resolution copies of the same image are found, it'll grab the best quality one:

This is all done without any user interaction. Using foo_run, it's easy to set up a keybinding in foobar2000 so that it just takes one key press (simply pass the script a song's %PATH% variable from foobar and it'll do the rest.)

Source code, downloads and further details are available at the github repository.



Is this the worst piece of music ever made?

Posted: 2012-01-29 12:56   |  More posts about experimental music

I'm fairly certain it is. I've nothing further to say about it.

The Sea of Providence by Richard Youngs

If Richard or Root Strata take exception to me hosting this music here, they need just contact me and it'll be taken down.


A Winged Victory For The Sullen Live

Posted: 2011-11-24 17:42   |  More posts about art music

From their Facebook page:

for those of you who could not make to one of our US shows...our videographer friend Joshua Smelser filmed the entire Los Angles show. Enjoy!

You can watch the entire concert in high-definition below.

EDIT: Although the sound quality is pretty dreadful...


Slow Walkers

Posted: 2011-11-23 00:12   |  More posts about art film music

"Wake" from "Slow Walkers", a Grouper / Lawrence English collaboration, to be released in 2012. The video is something else -- "meditations for the zombie as cultural phenomena".

Thanks to Dennis for bringing this to my attention. He also makes great ambient music himself -- if you like this kind of thing, you should check his music out.


Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima (Aphex Remix)

Posted: 2011-11-07 18:29   |  More posts about art music war

Very unsettling.

From its vimeo page:

see original version, conducted by Krzysztof Penderecki himself, performed just before this performance, here = youtube.com/​watch?v=SFoTqF-gGxA&feature=related

see the other Aphex Twin edits for this show here = vimeo.com/​album/​1735255

see all other performances from the show here


Live visuals by Weirdcore.

gfx programming by weirdcore & andrew benson



Posted: 2011-11-02 22:12   |  More posts about art music oddities poetry