Justice are living up to their name.

I give credit where it’s due and Justice and the Ed Banger crew created something new in electronic music and I respect that. The massive club hits they create are a bit like crack cocaine though. They are awesome the first time you hear them then a few weeks later your not tapping your feet quite as hard. Still, I always press play when I see a new song or remix of anything that has the gold cross logo on it.

The French duo got some bad press this week when they were called out by residentadvisor.net for using unlicensed samples in their work. Remember Crystal Castles was also accused of similar action last May: click here. Honestly, both bands just should just claim Fair Use. Does anyone care if they take pieces of other music and make something new out of it? Isn’t that a good thing? I guess it all depends if they rock the house or not!

During a conversation regarding their production techniques, Justice’s Xavier de Rosnay had the audacity to tell the interviewer, “Say we use the In Da Club hand clap — not even 50 Cent would notice.” You might have thought that he would stop at this theoretical point, but then went on to explain that “if you listen to ‘Genesis,’ the first track (on †), there are samples of Slipknot, Queen and 50 Cent, but they are such short samples no one can recognise them. The ones from Slipknot, for example, are just tiny bits of the voice.” – residentadvisor.net

Now for a far more hilarious “I got ya!”. Check out the photo of Justice playing above. Um I didn’t know the MPD 24 worked without power. But again really people… it’s the show you go to see not some dork with his face planted deep into Ableton pressing little triangles. As long as the club is packed, everyone is moving and chicks are happy to chat thats all that matters. Never forget that.

via Synthtopia, Elite Force and Resident Advisor

Flowers. Another pretty Monome video.


Flowers from Jan van Nuenen on Vimeo.

There is a large collection of really good looking Monome videos on Vimeo. This one is my favorite.

“Monome is a small Philadelphia-based hardware company that makes controllers for electronic music performance and new media art. Their first product, 40h, is an eight-by-eight grid of backlit buttons, which connects to a Mac or PC using a USB cable and the OpenSound Control protocol. Originally developed as an open ended performance interface for electronic music, its developers have said “The wonderful thing about this device is that it doesn’t do anything really,”.[1] As a result, developers have begun to use the monome as an interface for other types of software, from text displays to games.” – Wikipedia.org

More about the Monome: click here

Make an anthem for an event you play.


The Horrorist Live – Halle, Germany 2008 from thingstocome on Vimeo.

Often a promoter from an event I am booked to play will ask me to do an anthem. Sometimes they want to post the song on their website before of after the gig. Other times they are doing a CD for the event and want a song with the event’s name in it to kick it off.

A few weeks ago I played in East Germany at the Alte Lampenfabrik for an event called Ton Aus Strom. It was there 10 Year anniversary party. As part of the plan they recorded my set direct from the mixing console. I started my show with an anthem for them. I did some screaming, pitchshifting and beat shuffling. Some of the vocals… “Ton Aus Strom” “Take Over!” “East Germany!” “Deutschland!”

Ton Aus Strom Anthem by The Horrorist is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License.

Sunday Sounds: Early Rave

Today’s edition of Sunday Sounds is a playlist of early Rave tracks. I was deeply involved with this era so this playlist could be really long but for my own sanity I just picked 10 tracks. So go take some E, crack a few glo-sticks, find your most retarded clothes and press play.

“There’s a rainbow inside your mind!” – Praga Kahn

You want to make music like this? For gear I suggest an Akai S950, discs of breakbeat samples, Roland Juno-2, Roland TR-909, Roland TB-303.

I created this playlist over at Playlist.com. My profile there: thingstocome

Hard drive crashing sounds.

What is a sound that every computer owner hates? Come on the answer is easy right? It’s the sound of a hard disc crashing! Data Recovery Services from Canada has full page of hard disc crashing audio samples. Hear the last breaths of Western Digital, Seagate, Maxtor, Samsung, Hitachi, Toshiba, Fujitsu and Quantum drives.

“These are some typical sounds we hear in our data recovery lab. If your drive makes noises like these please fill out our simple evaluation form to get a fast quote on data recovery services.” – datacent.com

Needless to say this is a strong reminder to back-up. Imagine loosing the only copy of a song you created? I use Time Machine and also SuperDuper.

To hear the sound of your data dying: click here

photo credit: wonderferret

Akai EWI USB. Electronic Wind Instrument.

Since the release of the very first Akai EWI, pronounced like “Kiwi”, acronym for Electronic Wind Instrument was released in 1987 I wanted one. There’s nothing more expressive than the human mouth so even though my lips never touched an EWI I assumed these would sound unique. I have no desire to be a traditional Sax player but imagine adding 16 bars or highly expressive wind driven sound behind your second verse. As I mentioned I never did buy and EWI. When they were release I was 17 years old and anything well over $1000 was going towards a car.

So today I was surprised and happy to see an all new EWI is being released. The new EWI is whistling my name louder than ever because the new kid retails for only $299 and connects via USB. The only thing I dislike about the EWI-USB is that it’s missing the glide plate which I think is pretty important for a wind instrument to have. Maybe the EWI 4000 is the still the better choice? Perhaps a EWI-5000 with USB is also on the way?

The EWI USB comes with it’s own software synth called Aria but the first thing I would do is pair the hardware with NI Massive or an Ableton Simpler patch loaded a sample with my own voice screaming.

Here’s some more resources about EWI’s:

Wind controller FAQ, forum and soundbanks – Patchmanmusic
Great EWI site: www.ewi-evi.com
See the EWIs videos on YouTube: click here
Harmony-Central EWI reviews: click here

Two reasons musicians should check out Scribd.

Scribd is a San Fransisco web company that helps you present documents online. You join up, upload and your doc, pdf, xls, txt, rtf, ppt, odt files to the service and then it displays your upload in an interface which is easy on the eyes. For example, the readers who find your Scribd document can zoom around, flip pages, see thumbnail views and jump into a full screen mode. There are options for viewers to email your iPaper (that’s the official name of your Scribd uploads), save them for later reading, embed them, leave comments and add them to Scribd Groups.

So what’s good about this for musicians? Press kits baby! If you search online for “online press kit maker” you will find many companies willing to charge you $499 to make a flash type of online magazine out of your clippings. But Scribed does this free (ad supported) and has Social Networking and SEO built in so people actually find your interviews and five star reviews.

Something to keep in mind is you have to get written permission from each magazine or newspaper you plan to copy from. If contacted with a DMCA notice Scribed will zap your file. When I get contacted by a magazine asking, “Would you do an interview in GothWorld?”. I always say yes of course as long as I have the right to reproduce and distribute the article. There is plenty of copyrighted material on Scribed as there is on YouTube, Flickr, etc… so I don’t suspect many publishers will be asking for your Press Kit to be deleted. After all it’s good promotion for them too.

Crazy Musical Scores

Another thing I discovered while trolling the site was that there is a bunch of sheet music that’s been uploaded including an Aimie Street sheet music Group. I always say the best way to improve your sound is to take piano lessons. If your teaching yourself here’s some compositions you can check out for free. If you are a beginner  I would not try the “Crazy Musical Scores” I embedded above!

So far all my recent press is: click here. It’s time I get all my saved press clippings going back to 1990 and get them into a Scribd and backup PDF.

Something fun to do with LP covers: Sleeveface

Here’s one of those websites you check out and say, “Huh that’s cool”. I guess taking photos of Gummi Bears using synths isn’t too much different.

One or more persons obscuring or augmenting any part of their body or bodies with record sleeve(s) causing an illusion. – sleeveface.com

Check out all the great LP illusions here: www.sleeveface.com

via Vain and Vapid

Momentum or perfection? If you had to choose.

It seems I am in a constant dilemma when it comes to my music career. I simply can’t create my albums as fast as I should. Ideally I would like to release an all new full length album every 18 months. However, with all the remixes, live shows and well simple procrastination I never meet my own deadline. It’s a shame because I really feel it’s important to remain in the eyes and ears of your fans. It’s also important if you want a constant strong flow of income from royalties and publishing.

I could put filler music on my albums and get the release out the door. Yet this is a shamefull practice because your seriously devaluing your own art. In the long run you will loose fans and your own self respect. Another thing to consider is if you make every song on your album as perfect as possible then people will listen to it longer. Heck we all own great albums from the 60s we still listen to.

Don’t think I can write perfect songs one after another. My absolute biggest trick as a musician is to simply throw away most of the of the music I create. Out of twenty songs I end up finishing I only think eight or ten are worth sharing with the world. Some people say to wait for inspiration to strike but I don’t think that works. I find many times I end up with that killer tune only after pulling my hair out on something that started out quite crappy.

The reason this is all on my mind this morning is I am making a major move from Berlin to NYC in a few weeks. I finally will go from being a renter to landlord! There will be about six months of renovation before my all new music studio is a room a can work in. Yes you will see photos of the build and whatever sound treatment we use. Now to my point… I have seven great songs finished for my next album. I really need about twelve. I took what I had to the label that releases my music (www.outofline.de) to discuss the situation. In the end we decided to put off the release until Spring/Summer 2009. This way it will surely be something I am proud of.

Luckily we live in the internet age and because of that there is now distribution from artist to fan. I decided a good compromise would be to give away two of the best songs from the upcoming album to keep myself in the mind’s eye. So shortly after I get a little settled in New York and armed with some new promo photos I will do just that. I’ll shoot to the world a song I recorded called “Born this Way”. Besides my own websites and Social Media spots I will have my friends help me contact the million music blogs out there and see if they want to help spread the tune.

photo credit: in touch