Saturday, December 30, 2006

A new music blog from friend and longtime co-conspirator Aaron Rietz:

An Indian Too

He's got a new mix up to download here, and this is the tracklist:

1. Chrome - (I Left My Heart) In San Francisco [Ralph]
2. Chelonis R. Jones - Deer In The Headlights (Radio Slave Remix) [Get Physical]
3. Nass - Untitled (Side A) [Teile]
4. Someone Else + Miskate - Ooo Yeah [Microcosm]
5. Green Velvet - Shake & Pop [Relief]
6. Radio Slave - My Bleep [Rekids]
7. Paperclip People - The Climax [Planet E]
8. Mekon - Boy Bitten (Padded Cell Remix) [Pias]
9. Betty Botox - I'm An Indian Three [Botox]
10. Cosmic Sandwich - Battle Twig [My Best Friend]
11. Fedde Le Grand - Put Your Hands Up For Detroit (Claude VonStroke Packard Plant Remix) [Data]
12.Reel 2 Real - I Like to Move It (Mr. Oizo White Label Mix)
13. Audion - Mouth To Mouth [Spectral]
14. Heidi Vs Riton - Vejer (Jesse Rose Remix) [Get Physical]
15. The Knife - Silent Shout (Troy Pierce Barado En Locombia Mix) [Mute]
16. Kerri Chandler - Phuck This Cowbell [Max Trax]
17. Luke Solomon - Ghouls (Claude VonStroke's Beats From The Grave) [Rekids]
18. The Juan Maclean - Love Is In The Air (Mook & Toof Remix) [DFA]
19. Hot Chip - Boy From School (Erol Alkan's Extended Re-Work) [EMI]

Friday, December 29, 2006

A throwback track for you today:
4 Hero- 9 By 9 (M.I.S.T. remix)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Brian Eno- Dunwich Beach, August, 1960

Also, Beats in Space tour photos here.

Greetings from overcast Key West. I've been catching up with a lot of reading, and this NYT article was a recent highlight. It is about the Italian espresso company Illy, and their plans to build up their retail presence and differentiate themselves from the omnipresent Starbucks. Now, I'm as guilty as any of going to Starbucks for my daily fix, but it's more for the lack of halfway decent alternatives than for the product. After all, anyone who has tasted a proper latte knows that it isn't a large cup filled with warm milk and a little splash of espresso. More on that here.

Some key excerpts:

Illy expects to post $330 million of revenue in 2006, selling coffee as beans, ground and in individual portions, or pods. It is expanding beyond its traditional professional food trade, like hotels and restaurants, and this fall opened the first three of its Espressamente bars in the difficult Chinese market, in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Illy is one of three big Italian coffee makers, along with Lavazza and Segafredo Zanetti, but it is arguably the leader in marketing coffee as a fashion accessory.


Last year, it opened Galleria Illy in the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle in Manhattan as a way to test a new market. The next step will be to introduce Espressamente in the United States, he says, as soon as the company can find a property. Mr. Illy said the company had “solid roots and a reputation” in America. ‘’We believe the cultural barriers are not insurmountable,” he said.

The point is, while Starbucks started out as a well designed, retail chain for discerning coffee drinkers, it has morphed into the modern day equivalent of McDonald's. The quality of the beans has gone down, and the art of making coffee has been diminished. They've automated a lot of the processes (which probably minimizes their training costs), and lost what first made them special. If I were running Illy, I would really seek to capitalize on this with the discerning class and that looks like what they're doing. It will be interesting to see how this pans out in the coming year.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Check this out:
Performances from Thom Yorke, White Stripes, Kieran Hebden & Steve Reid.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

In case you missed it, here's my review of Benoît Pioulard from last week's Flavorpill/Earplug:

Benoît Pioulard, Précis
Released October 2006

Thomas Meluch's Benoît Pioulard project finds him melding his love for field sounds, reel-to-reel recordings, and the carefully crafted, vintage electronic tones of Boards of Canada with a deep knowledge of folk and pop structure. The 22-year-old's rooting in drone and ambient music leads off the album with "La Guerre de Sept Ans," a series of simple, tense guitar loops that build into a wall of blissful static, then flow into "Together and Down," a melancholy seafarers' song. Like this poignant contrast in styles, many songs beautifully combine textured electronic elements with live instrumentation to add depth to the songwriting. On "Patter," gelatinous synthesizer tones seep into the spaces between acoustic guitar notes, while "Moth Wings" demonstrates Meluch's mastery of nuance: simple piano tones are captured and processed through a tape delay, resulting in a crusted, antique sound, like that of old vinyl recovered from the attic. (CJN)

Also, if you haven't lately, go pay a visit to Unconscious Repeat, one of the best music blogs on the internet. In fact, make a playlist in your itunes for it.

Happy Holidays.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Are you a Socialight?

A quick update from the road: Some friends of mine, Michael Sharon and Dan Melinger have been working on an interesting project that has finally come to fruition. I've been working with them to raise awareness for the launch alongside my colleague Peter Himler, and I think it holds tremendous potential.

In essence, Socialight is a platform that allows people to tag information, media, etc to a defined place, anywhere in the world. There's also an interesting social networking element to it, and it seems most people start out using it on the web interface initially to tag their favorite places (stores, restaurants, bars) and generally good finds around the world.

An excerpt from the press release:

First developed as part of a project at New York University’s Interactive
Telecommunications Program (ITP), Socialight lets both individuals and publishers post location-aware content that can be “pulled” via search or “pushed” as part of a spam-proof, opt-in channel exactly when and where it’s most relevant.

For example:

• Curious about the real estate around New York’s or San Francisco’s Union
Square? Subscribe to a real estate channel and view rich media listings
using your mobile phone – pushed to, or pulled by you while you’re out
walking in the area.

• Want the inside scoop on the coolest, hard-to-find shops in London? Use
your mobile phone to see what your fashion-forward friends have tagged in a
particular shopping district.

• Looking for restaurant reviews from friends whose opinions you trust? Use
your cell phone to access their creative take on the food and service...before
you’re led to your table.

• Take a walking tour of virtually tagged landmarks around Boston, enriched
by trusted tidbits of information... off the official tour map.

• Or, create your own channel based on your personal preferences and
insights and share it with your friends.

It may seem like an abstract concept at first, but go create a username and play around. After you make a few Sticky Notes from the web interface, go and give it a try on your mobile. They are still working out some minor kinks here and there, but I think once you spend some time on it, the true potential becomes quickly apparent. Let me know what you think. My username is cjn208.

Also, for an in-depth interview with Socialight CEO Dan Melinger, go check the Q&A over at Emerge Trends.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Relax. It's only a ghost.

Photo Credit: Gordon Hull

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Essential listening:
Trevor Jackson Solid Steel DJ Set

Also, check the 12' wrap-ups over at Tape.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Just back from a trip to Cologne-- pardon the budget cameraphone photo. It was a quick 2 day jaunt to see some friends, buy some presents at the Christmas markets, stockpile the Continental miles, and generally check out a new city. On Friday night, I went to the Total Confusion party put on by Kompakt's Tobias Thomas, and where Michael Mayer and BPitch's Sascha Funke also played for the duration of the night. What stood out to me is the friendly, small-town vibe of the event (Michael Mayer worked the door for a few minutes), and it seemed that everyone knew each other, and were friends/supporters/collaborators. I'd heard that these nights start out with an hour or so of ambient music, and was pleasantly surprised to arrive early to hear Mayer playing just that.

It had to be an hour and a half before the first kick drum, and I found it such a refreshing change to the NYC dynamic, where all too often, DJs have no sense of pace, and you find yourself arriving at a club wanting to relax and catch up with friends to a soundtrack of a DJ playing barnstormers at 130 bpm at 11:45 at night. Needless to say, there was a slow and steady build up that peaked out with Sascha Funke's inspired set at about 5 am. All in all, a really memorable night with a great group of people, and I was back in NYC for a late Sunday brunch.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Spinoza's got a new mix up right here. Check out the Troy Pierce track that he leads off with. Incredibly good.
According to the latest comScores, Myspace is now rated the number 1 most visited site on the internet. So why is all the advertising on here still mostly "click the rabbit win a free ipod" or others that have little or nothing to do with the main demographic (flash ads for Jim cramer's Mad Money, etc). Is it that advertisers are that slow in adapting to new media buying, or am I missing something?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Greetings from Atlanta. A quick update of two things I've really been enjoying lately:

Ricardo Villalobos- Fitzheuer Zieheuer

Since I hear our friend Ricardo doesn't like his music to be sold in MP3 format, I bought the limited edition Playhouse CD with both the title song, and Fizbeast, a more stripped-down drum track. Judging by the fact that one friend said he got vertigo from listening to it, and another said it completely screwed with his sense of time, thats all the reason to go pick one up. I won't delve into the sound here, aside to mention its probably the deepest thing he's done, and contains Gypsy brass. Yeah.

Blitzen Trapper

According to Daniel Gill at of my favorite publicity shops, Forcefield PR, this is one of the better unsigned bands in America. I'd have to agree. Go listen and download via their Myspace page.

Also well worthy of mention is the forthcoming Pantha Du Prince LP on Dial. More on that later...

Sunday, December 10, 2006

A must-read for anyone with an interest in the transformation of traditional media:

A Modest Proposal for Reinventing Newspapers for the Digital Age
by David Hirschorn
Ada- Call the Tune
Liars- Don't Techno for an Answer
Optimo- Essential Mix

PS. The new Konrad Black remix of Snax is the sound of Prince moving to Kreutzberg. Stop by this Myspace page to check out his new stuff including the original Honeymoon's Overdose with Mr. Jamie Lidell.

Friday, December 08, 2006

I found most of these to be spot-on. Written up by my friends at Influx Insights, a division of BSSP:

Influx Insights predictions for 2007

1. Hordes of "Borat" imitators over-run adland
2. Skaters and surfers adopt country club apparel as their signature looks are further co-opted by Hot Topic et al
3. Trans fat ban spreads from New York across the country, transforming the way Americans eat
4. Race returns to the forefront of the popular consciousness after several decades lurking in the shadows
5. Sports teams and leagues start to build and practice game strategies on Second Life
6. McDonalds comes out with McOrganic Meal
7. RyanAir partners with JetBlue
8. 24 hour fitness partners with wii
9. itunes launches a concert tour
10. YouTube starts charging the networks to place their content
11. A global ad agency joins forces with a media company to form a new content hot shop
12. Ask A Ninja signs a 3-year deal with Comedy Central
13. Bloggers will be legible for the Pulitzer Prize in 2008
14. XM and Sirius merge
15. The Gap partners with a leading French design house
16. Pitchfork launches a magazine
17. Companies test their advertising using internal prediction markets
18. Hollywood studio agrees to a $100 million budget for the 17-year old winner of their consumer-generated content competition
19. A Second Life avatar has a No1 hit
20. Home Depot joins forces with Whole Foods to create the first sustainable home improvement store
21. Flickr takes over New York's Central Park for the "People's Photo Show"
22. Best Buy launches an electronics store for kids

Saturday, December 02, 2006

I'm not sure why it has taken me this long to get the Beatport bug. In addition to the piles of promos I'm lucky enough to receive, I regularly buy a lot of music online through the itunes store, the Kompakt MP3 store, and via emusic. But, I let this one pass me buy for some reason. I spent a few hours on the site today trawling through their catalog, and most impressively, through a wide array of downloadable charts. I don't buy as much vinyl as I used to, and spend about 90 percent of my listening time on my laptop through Sony MDR-V6 headphones, so being able to buy 320 kps tracks (and only the track you want, rather than a 12 dollar import-only vinyl 12' with one good track), is really nice. So much of P2P file-sharing yields corrupt or low quality files, and it seems like more pain than it is worth. So, go check it out when you get a second, and be sure to listen to some of the stuff I picked up today:

Chateau Flight- Baccula
Elbee Bad- Show Me
Latex- The Porcupine
Gabriel Ananda- Doppelwhipper (Live)
Grindvik- Sepia
The Mole- In My Song
Loose Change- Kosovo
The Missing Link- 911
Matt John- Hologramm
Paul C- Minitools

Some new music to come. In the meantime, check out the latest Viva Radio installment