There is a new Aphex Twin album coming soon called Syro. I loved Come to Daddy and his Mescalinum United remix. Overall however I think a lot of his work fits into the “interesting because it was first” category. That said such a long time has past since his last album (2001) that it’s going to be really interesting to hear something new. I hope it blows us all away.
“It was Aphex Twin’s first tweet in over two years, but Richard D. James turned 140 characters into the news fans have been pining for since 2001’s Drukqs: A new Aphex Twin LP is on the way. Days after a strange Aphex-affiliated blimp hovered above London and James’ trademark logo was seen stenciled outside New York’s Radio City Music Hall, the long-dormant IDM wizard revealed that his new album will be dubbed SYRO. The always-technologically advanced James posted the album’s press release on the Deep Web, meaning only those with TOR proxy access can see the LP’s alleged cryptic track list. As Stereogum notes, Monday also marks James’ 43rd birthday.” – Rolling Stone
For more info: warp.net/records/aphex-twin
The UK Riots will have an effect on independent and electronic music. The Sony DADC warehouse has been burned down. It contains large stocks of records from Warp and others. I’m certain some of these labels won’t survive this. To see a full list of those effected: click here.
“Numerous independent record labels fear they have lost a catastrophic amount of stock in a fire at a distribution warehouse in north London during the riots in the capital on Monday night. A three-storey, 20,000 square-metre building in Enfield, owned by Sony DADC and holding stock to be distributed by the Pias Group, was burned to the ground.” – guardian.co.uk
For more info: guardian.co.uk/independent-record…
A few months ago I performed at a club called Rumours in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands. This required us to get picked up from Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam and be driven about two hours north. In the car I was shocked to see there was no CD player or MP3 jack. Staring me in the face was a cassette deck. Looking around some more I noticed about 50 cassettes stuffed in various places. About an hour into the drive I realized how good these cassettes sounded. There was some very nice high end going on that I had not heard in years. The bass sounded warm and sincere.
There is hardware software that will emulate tape saturation. On the hardware side check out Robert Neve’s 5042 True Tape FX unit.. Software wise there are lots of options including Digidesigns Reel Tape Suite and PSP’s Vintage Warmer.
But what if you want to bring back some good old fashion tape noise? Adding a few seconds of noise before your song starts will trigger your listeners mind into believing your song was recorded in the 1980s or earlier. My favorite plug-in for the task is Izotope’s free plug-in called Vinyl. Here’s a list of some of the “sounds” you can add into your song using Vinyl:
- Mechanical Noise
- Electrical Noise
- Warp Depth
You can also adjust “Warp Models”, year and RPM of the Vinyl emulation. Lastly, there is a mono/stereo switch. Using the Dust and Scratch settings you can get a nice Portishead sound. I have to say I really love this plug-in and if it cost money I would buy it. Big thanks to Izotope!
There are many other ways to get some noise into your tracks. Sometimes I turn off a synthesizer’s Oscilators and turn up only the Noise Generator. Adding a filter modulated by the LFO to the Noise makes some nice wave or storm sounds. Sonic Charge has a superb software drum machine called uToniq. I use it as a noise generator by clicking the oh so ever awesome random button. Or why not record some real noise with a microphone? Even aiming a mic at your computer’s fan while it edits a large Photoshop document will do the trick!
photo credits: Lee Jordan and Breakfast for Dinner