Archive for July, 2011

July 31, 2011

New Acoustic Dimension

nad

NAD is an electronics firm whose products include low-cost home audiophile amplifiers and related components. NAD was an acronym for New Acoustic Dimension. The company was founded in London, England in 1972 by Dr. Martin L. Borish, an electrical engineer with a Ph.D. in Physics. Its most famous product is the late-1970s NAD 3020 amplifier, designed by Bjørn Erik Edvardsen, which became a staple of low-budget Hi-Fi in Britain. NAD’s philosophy is to include only genuinely useful features for aesthetically understated designs. The company focuses on ‘effective power’ and its amplifiers have been known for delivering generous headroom, meaning that they can deliver dynamic power bursts far in excess of their rated power. The key to this feature is a flexible power supply which stores significant reserve current for quick release at moments of high musical load. The various incarnations of this design have been associated with different names over the years including Power Envelope and recently PowerDrive.

Additional benefits of this approach include the fact that amplifiers using this technology can handle complex, real-life, lower-impedance loudspeaker loads as compared with the simple 8-ohm resistor typically used to calculate advertised power ratings and the fact that the circuitry in this approach requires less cooling, while maintaining ability to handle complex impedance loads as low as 2 ohms. An amplifier that is overdriven, or pushed beyond its designed power capabilities, produces audible distortion known as clipping by cutting off extremes of the music waveform, resulting in harshly unpleasant sound and threatening damage to speakers, particularly tweeters. NAD amplifiers incorporate a user-defeatable ‘Soft-Clipping’ circuit to address this issue. It gently transforms the music waveform as the point of clipping approaches, the goal being clearer reproduction and simultaneous protection of speakers.

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July 30, 2011

Max Hattler

Collision

Max Hattler (b. 1976) is a German video artist and experimental filmmaker best-known for his kaleidoscopic political short films ‘Collision’ (2005) and ‘Spin’ (2010), abstract stop motion work ‘Aanaatt’ (2008), and psychedelic animation loops ‘1923 aka Heaven’ and ‘1925 aka Hell’ (2010).

He also works extensively in the field of audiovisual performance, and has created concert visuals for Basement Jaxx, Diplo, Jovanotti, The Egg, and Ladyscraper.

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July 30, 2011

Turntablism

qbert dunny

dmc

Turntablism is the art of manipulating sounds and creating music using phonograph turntables and a DJ mixer. The word ‘turntablist’ was coined in 1995 by DJ Babu to describe the difference between a DJ who just plays records, and one who performs by touching and moving the records, stylus and mixer to manipulate sound. The new term co-occurred with a resurgence of the art of hip hop style DJing in the 1990s.

Composer John Oswald described the art: ‘A phonograph in the hands of a ‘hiphop/scratch’ artist who plays a record like an electronic washboard with a phonographic needle as a plectrum, produces sounds which are unique and not reproduced — the record player becomes a musical instrument.’

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July 29, 2011

Invisibl Skratch Piklz

invisibl skratch piklz

beedle

The Invisibl Skratch Piklz were a group of Filipino American turntablists. The members of the group were originally hip-hop DJs, who were among the pioneers of the turntablism movement in the 1990s; turntablists create musical pieces by mixing samples from records, by using multiple turntables as instruments. The group started in 1989 as Shadow of the Prophet, with DJ Q-bert, Mix Master Mike, and DJ Apollo, who left the group in 1993. The group later added DJ Disk, Shortkut, DJ Flare, Yogafrog, D-Styles, A-Trak to their lineup. They performed their last show in July of 2000 at the Skratchcon 2000 conference in San Francisco. Individually and as a group, the Piklz’s reputation in the hip-hop underground is undisputed, with journalists regularly describing how they were asked by the Disco Mix Club (DMC), an international DJ association, to stop competing since they were discouraging other DJs from even bothering to enter.

The Piklz produced most of their work around 1995-2000. During that period they also gave numerous performances and seminars around the world, helped in the design of various DJ products for Vestax and Ortofon, and developed the break record, an essential tool used by most present-day turntablists. One of their most notable performances was an International Turntablist Federation (ITF) battle between themselves and the X-Men (now the X-Ecutioners) of New York. Their group routine for this battle, immortalized on bootleg videos, was later recorded in a studio and released as ‘The Invisibl Skratch Piklz Vs. Da Klams Uv Deth.’ All previous members of the group have gone on to solo careers, most notably DJ Q-bert & Mix Master Mike.

July 29, 2011

Scratching

A-TRAK

scratch

Scratching is a DJ or turntablist technique used to produce distinctive sounds by moving a vinyl record back and forth on a turntable while optionally manipulating the crossfader on a DJ mixer. While scratching is most commonly associated with hip hop music, since the 1990s, it has been used in some styles of pop and nu metal. Within hip hop culture, scratching is one of the measures of a DJ’s skills.

Scratching was developed by early hip hop DJs from New York such as Grand Wizard Theodore and DJ Grandmaster Flash, who describes scratching as, ‘nothing but the back-cueing that you hear in your ear before you push it out to the crowd.’ Jamaican-born DJ Kool Herc also influenced the early development of scratching; he developed break-beat DJing, where the breaks of funk songs—the most danceable part, often featuring percussion—were isolated and repeated for the purpose of all-night dance parties.

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July 29, 2011

New Wave

Psycho Killer

New Wave is a subgenre of rock music that emerged in the mid to late 1970s alongside punk rock. The term at first generally was synonymous with punk rock before being considered a genre in its own right that incorporated aspects of electronic and experimental music, mod subculture, and disco, rock and 1960s pop music.

While it incorporated much of the original punk rock sound and ethos, such as an emphasis on short and punchy songs, it was characterized by greater complexity in both music and lyrics.

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July 29, 2011

Grace Jones

Slave To The Rhythm

Grace Jones (b. 1948) is a Jamaican-American singer, model and actress. She secured a record deal with Island Records in 1977, which resulted in a string of dance-club hits. In the late 1970s, she adapted the emerging electronic music style and adopted a severe, androgynous look with square-cut hair and angular, padded clothes. Jones is a contralto, the deepest female classical singing voice. Although her image became equally as notable as her voice, she is a highly stylized vocalist. She sings in two modes: in her monotone speak-sing as in songs such as and in an almost-soprano mode in songs such as ‘La Vie en rose’ and ‘Slave to the Rhythm.’ Her voice spans two and a half octaves.

In 1981, her ‘Pull Up to the Bumper’ became a Top 5 single on the US R&B chart. Jones is also an actress. Her acting occasionally overshadowed her musical output in America; but not in Europe, where her profile as a recording artist was much higher. She appeared in some low-budget films in the 1970s and early 1980s. Her work as an actress in mainstream film began in the 1984 fantasy-action film ‘Conan the Destroyer’ alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the 1985 James Bond movie ‘A View to a Kill.’

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July 29, 2011

Full Moon Party

last stop for paul

The Full Moon Party is an all-night beach rave that takes place in Haad Rin on the island of Ko Pha Ngan, Thailand on the night before or after every full moon. The first Full Moon Party was improvised at a wooden disco not far from the beach in 1985 for giving thanks to about 20-30 travelers. They quickly gained fame through word of mouth, and the event now draws a crowd about 20,000-30,000 every full moon evening.

The party carries on until the sun rises the next day. The bars on the sunrise beach of Haad Rin town stay open and play music such as R&B, drum and bass, house, dance and reggae. The modern event is characterized by unruly and potentially dangerous attractions such as fire skipping ropes, wildly variable alcohol strength ‘buckets,’ and a drug culture. It is seen by many as the ‘ultimate party experience,’ although drug laws are still strictly enforced.

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July 29, 2011

Melbourne Shuffle

melbourne shuffle

lmfao

The Melbourne Shuffle (also known as Rocking ) is a rave and club dance that originated in the late 1980s in the underground rave music scene in Melbourne, Australia. The basic movements in the dance are a fast heel-and-toe action with a style suitable for various types of electronic music. Some variants incorporate arm movements. People who dance the shuffle are often referred to as rockers, due in part to the popularity of shuffling to rock music in the early 1990s.

In the late ’80s, the Melbourne Shuffle began to emerge as a distinct dance, incorporating more hand movement than its predecessor, Stomping, which in turn originated from Celtic and Malaysian folk dances. The clog and sword dance can easily be matched to some earlier experimental rave and club dance moves that evolved into Stomping.

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July 29, 2011

LMFAO

party rock

LMFAO is an American electro hop duo that formed in 2006 in Los Angeles, consisting of rappers, and DJs Redfoo (Stefan Kendal Gordy, b. 1975) and SkyBlu (Skyler Husten Gordy, b. 1986). They are the son and grandson, respectively, of Motown record label founder Berry Gordy, making them uncle and nephew. Their music incorporates a theme of partying and drinking, and the group commonly refers to their music style as ‘party rock.’ The name LMFAO is an initialism for ‘Laughing My Fucking Ass Off’ (although it is often sanitised to ‘Loving My Friends and Others’) and is pronounced letter by letter.

Stefan and Skyler both grew up in the affluent Los Angeles neighborhood of Pacific Palisades, where they eventually formed the group LMFAO in 2006. Redfoo is one of eight children to Berry Gordy, the founder of the Motown label. Redfoo’s mother is Nancy Leiviska, a music video director and writer. In an interview with Shave Magazine the duo stated that their original name was ‘Sexy Dudes’ and they subsequently changed it at the advice of their grandmother. The duo recorded their second album, ‘Sorry for Party Rocking’ in 2010 and released it in the summer 2011 in the US. The first single taken from the album, ‘Party Rock Anthem,’ which features British singer Lauren Bennett and producer GoonRock. The song was based upon the Melbourne Shuffle ( a dance that originated in the late 1980s in the underground rave music scene in Australia). Redfoo is a former brother-in-law of Jermaine Jackson, Michael Jackson’s older brother, and is also an uncle of Jermaine Jackson, Jr.

July 29, 2011

Berry Gordy

motown

berry gordy

Berry Gordy, Jr. (b. 1929) is an American record producer, and the founder of the Motown record label, which played an important role in the racial integration of popular music. Motown achieved a crossover success. In the 1960s, Motown and its soul-based subsidiaries were the most successful proponents of what came to be known as The Motown Sound, a style of soul music with a distinct pop influence.

The Motown Sound typically used tambourines to accent the back beat, prominent and often melodic electric bass-guitar lines, distinctive melodic and chord structures, and a call-and-response singing style that originated in gospel music. Pop production techniques such as the use of orchestral string sections, charted horn sections, and carefully arranged background vocals were also used. Complex arrangements and elaborate, melismatic vocal riffs were avoided. Motown producers believed steadfastly in the ‘KISS principle’ (keep it simple, stupid).

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July 28, 2011

Sergeant Stubby

Sergeant Stubby

Sergeant Stubby was the most decorated war dog of World War I and the only dog to be promoted to sergeant through combat. While training for combat on the fields of Yale University in 1917, Private J. Robert Conroy found a brindle puppy with a short tail. He named him ‘Stubby,’ and soon the dog became the mascot of the 102nd Infantry, 26th Yankee Division. He learned the bugle calls, the drills, and even a modified dog salute as he put his right paw on his right eyebrow when a salute was executed by his fellow soldiers. Stubby had a positive effect on morale, and was allowed to remain in the camp, even though animals were forbidden.

When the division shipped out for France aboard the SS Minnesota, Private Conroy smuggled Stubby aboard. Hidden in the coal bin until the ship was far at sea, Stubby was brought out on deck where the sailors were soon won over by the canine soldier. Stubby was once again smuggled off the ship and was soon discovered by Pvt. Conroy’s commanding officer. The CO allowed Stubby to remain after Stubby gave him a salute.

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