Back in the day when I was freelancing as a flash developer in London, one of my favourite clients was Julie Allen from MTV. I built several websites and games for her various projects, which unfortunately by now have all vanished from the face of the internet: it was a pretty long time ago, back when flash sites were the next big thing and Actionscript was my passion.
So it was nice to hear Julie approach me again almost 8 years later to ask if I could make the intro visuals for her latest MTV project called MTV:Redefine, an exhibition hosted by the Dallas Contemporary.
Couldn’t have done this without Dean McColl who managed to assemble a huge amount of layers of textures and patterns. His eye even makes an appearance in the video.
Music was crucial to get the right retro/futuristic vibe. So I called up Michael McCay from Silk Rodeo who I’m a big fan of since hearing this. From his gear-packed studio in Austin he whipped up a series of amazing textures that he sent over, and from there on we spent a few nights exchanging chords beats and basslines, and by bounce #20 we had the final 90sec soundtrack, fully tailored to the edit.
The last time I wrote about Kinq was almost 2 years ago. Since then I’ve been doing some bits and pieces with Nicolas Jaar; he heard some of my tunes and really liked Kinq in particular. To my surprise he asked me if I would be willing to release it on his new label Other People, on a compilation called Trust which would contain tracks by Acid Pauli, Valentin Stip, Benjha and Nico himself amongst others. I’ve never had any of my music released officially, let alone be listed next to these kinds of names, so I was really over the moon and said Yes Please.
So, months go by and finally last week Trust was released on LP and CD. If you sign up as a paying member of Other People, you’ll be able to get the digital file. Hurrah!
To celebrate the occasion, I decided to make a video. Composed of various stock films from the Prelinger Archives, it focuses on a boy who bears a striking resemblance to 9-year-old me which evolved into a nostalgic trip into forgotten dreams and whatnot.
This is the second time I’ve made a video to my own music. The first one was KRIX
It’s my first day in Spain of the summer, the plane I flew on had no tv screens, and by the time I got bored of complaining to my girlfriend I decided to rummage around on the laptop for things to do on a 25% battery life. I found this track that I completely forgot about, which I started a few weeks ago.
I’ve played guitar for years, but since moving to New York I had to make do without one, until I finally bought one the other day. Since then I’m getting back into the moody long hypnotic sounds that I used to play a lot, so I tried dropping it in amongst some digital sounds to see what happened
New tune using my brother’s little spanish guitar (it’s tiny!). I wanted him to record some solos as he’s pretty good at those arabic pentatonic scales, but he didn’t have the time, so I’m just left with a basic solo that’s a bit rigid. I was just spending a couple of nights at his place in London, and as I’ve been longing to pick up a guitar I started messing around with his while he was at work and came up with this riff.
I also recorded some humming vocals and repitched them to create the harmonies.
The recording quality is rubbish (half of it done on my macbook’s inbuilt mic), so I figured it be a good idea to just destroy the sound even further, hence the distortion effects.
UPDATE / SEPTEMBER 2013 This tune has just been released on Other People and I’ve made a video for it. Watch and listen here.
I’ve come to London for a couple of weeks for a couple of projects, the first one being with my friend and fashion photographer James Mountford. Shot at the marvelous Town Hall Hotel, and styled by Way Perry this could be considered our first trial in making something a bit more cinematic than our other works together. The star of the film is Ilona from Union Models.
I also made the soundtrack for this, helping give it the twist that we usually like.
I’ve never had a passion for skateboarding, but using one as a camera dolly was rather exciting.
Video: Yesterday someone sent me this video by Haythem Zakaria, so I decided to try something similar out using my Flash engine, I dropped the shapes animation into Final Cut and played around with them, using Krix as the audio baseline.
The other day I uncovered a whole bunch of music I made years ago when I knew very little about music production. Right now I’m waiting for a really long render to complete so I decided to upload a couple of them.
RECKONER (RIPPLES MIX) The first one is what I entered into the Radiohead remix competition a few years ago. I made it in Ableton when I knew very little about mixing and mastering, but I don’t have the source file anymore as I made it on someone else’s computer which eventually got trashed. So I just have a badly produced mp3 file that I have now just re-mastered.
REFLEKXS The second one was made in Reason, when I was 20 or 21, and again I can’t open the source file as I don’t have the app anymore. I’d love to rebuild this from scratch and fix those synths!
This is the first episode in the REBELRAVE series that I had to outsource. Luckily some time ago I came across Jocie Cox after she made this video for Mulletover in London, who I immediately got in touch with when I decided I wasn’t able to make it to Miami for the Get Lost party due to the Plastikman film (which I’m still working on).
We kept in touch via Skype while she worked on the video from her base in Ibiza, and once the general edit was built, I got my hands dirty by working on mixing all the music and audio together into a single track.
I was nervous at first about handing an episode to someone else, but seeing the first cut was really exciting, and I’m really happy we can keep the series going in one way or another even if I’m tied down with other work. Love the slomos!
Julien Donkeyboy is one of my favourite films. Ever since watching it I have always wanted to sample the audio from the scene that sees this black albino spontaneously jump into this 5 minute rap, surrounded by fellow mental patients who are getting really excited by his performance, which is one of my favourite scenes of the movie. Here’s part of it on youtube.
I only just made this last night on my headphones and haven’t had a chance to listen to it on decent monitors, so probably doesn’t sound great.
Last year a hot girl called Zahara asked me for some music that she could work to. So I put this mix together.
Other stuff going on right now…
AH AH AH AH You should check out Zahara’s blog (it’s not quite a blog) that I built for her: ahahahah.zaharagallardo.com. Careful – it contains boobies. You can subscribe to her Facebook page to keep updated on the latest happenings in Sexy World.
M-NUS EMBED #3 My edit for Mr Hawtin and Co. is pretty much finished, I’m waiting for some final feedback right now, so I’ll be posting a link to this in the next few days when the video launches! Very exciting
Zev – Don’t break it The boys from Wolf+Lamb asked me rather nicely if I could make a video for Zev Eisenberg’s next release “Don’t break it”. So I spent last weekend up at Zev’s place upstate filming him in the middle of a forest, equipped with a smoke machine and a strobe light. Oh and a log splitter. I started editing this yesterday. Interesting stuff
Wolf+Lamb youtube loops I went to the Marcy yesterday to make a couple of video loops that the Wolf+Lamb guys can use whenever posting a release up on the youtube. I haven’t seen any interesting ones, so I think what we did last night could be quite new for all those youtube jockeys.
Facebook page I’ve set up a Facebook page for my work that just alerts people whenever I post something here on my blog. This is for two reasons: firstly because I’d like to try to keep my personal profile private, so diverting strangers to the page should work in theory. The second reason, which kind of goes against the first one, is that I’m using Facebook more and more as a tool to receive updates from blogs and websites that I wouldn’t otherwise voluntarily go an check out on a regular basis, so I figured it would be a good way to keep people updated on what I’m up to!
Another rendering session, this time for my M-nus Embed project… So a track of mine that I started early last year and never really finished just arrived in my playlist. This is actually an earlier version, I made lots of other versions following this one which stretched across the whole of last year. I even got to a stage where I sent the final piece to a sound engineer friend of mine to mix and master it, but it kind of got a bit too crazy and loud. So here’s one of the first versions, obviously needs to be mastered.
The audio is taken from Edgar Alan Poe’s “The Raven”
Over the past 2 months I’ve been playing around with this track during occasional monster renders (not renders of monsters), but not having any decent monitors here in New York means that I’ve got a bit stuck with it and it has been risking ending up being stored away and collecting dust like dozens of my other tracks.
It probably won’t sound very good on a decent sound system, so I would be flattered if someone offered to master it.
I’ve been almost been 2 months here in New York and I’ve happened to land right in the middle of a fairly interesting group of people, all of whom work in one way or another in fashion. The most special these people is a (cute) Spanish girl called Zahara Gallardo who is a (cute) graphic designer at Menage A Trois and a part time photographer. She plays around with video from time to time and recently made this cute little fashion film for magazine VNFold, and used a track of mine as soundtrack to these dark retro/futuristic images.
Video by Zahara Gallardo! I should state that my involvement in this was just on the music front.
I have a list of projects here on a piece of paper: they are the projects that I am currently working on, and they are 12. You need three hands (which I don’t have) if you wanted to count them with your fingers – unless of you just use a single hand to count batches of five. So I’ve just spent the second night this week working through the night, watching progress bars crawl across my screen.
Once this period will be over I will have a few bits of nice work to show on here, but in the meantime I am posting a song I made last night during several rendering periods.
A Pret A Manger has opened directly beneath the studio, securing yet another brutal mark in the heart of Shoreditch. I feel ashamed to say that I love their coffees, and religiously buy one each morning before walking up through their staff back door into my office’s corridor; however the other night as I left work to head home I saw some perfectly hydrated youths urinating on Pret’s glass front door, and I couldn’t help but smile.
Leaving work late at night happens quite often, so I get to see a few interesting scenes on the street. For example I get to witness the progression of the “girl’s night out”: the night begins with the wonky-walking stilettos in heavy makeup, then gracefully moves on to wonky-walking with stilettos in hand, ending with sitting on the pavement, makeup splattered all over the face yelling obscenities at no-one in particular (or down the phone). The “boy’s night out” isn’t as glamorous and nowhere near as captivating.
Anyway, this track was inspired by such Shoreditch happenings, while the Pret A Manger logo glared at me from the reflections in the windows on the other side of the road. Ah, Shoreditch.