04 Aug: The Rhythmic Surprise of Syncopation

Treat yourself to this ten minute explanation of syncopation, using the deceivingly complex rhythmic basis of Radiohead’s “Videotape” as its example. “Videotape” is my favorite of the Radiohead ‘dirge’ songs but what I didn’t realize is that it actually grooves at a very un-dirge-like 155 BPM. Vox has been on fire with their videos for a while now. I watch them all. Check more of their output HERE.

06 Jun: If You Are Losing the Game, Best to Change the Rules

Ben Thompson for Stratechery: The long-rumored competitor to Amazon Echo and Google Home was, fascinatingly, framed as anything but. {Tim} Cook began the unveiling by referencing Apple’s longtime focus on music, and indeed, the first several minutes of the HomePod were entirely about its quality as a speaker. It was, in my estimation, an incredibly smart approach: if you are losing the game, as Siri is to Alexa and Google, best to change the rules,…

04 Jun: Hitting the Links: Music’s Technological History, Repetitive Pop Lyrics, and Peter Saville

Technology In Music: A Chronological Playlist Through History: Let’s start from from the beginning, in 1937: a timeless feel – eerie and alienating at times, permeates ‘Oraison’ by French composer Olivier Messiaen. The song was originally written for an ensemble of early electronic musical keyboards called Ondes Martenot. The Ondes Martenot is a very expressive instrument, meeting Messiaen’s avant-garde composition techniques. If you’re expecting beat drops you may want to keep in mind the release…

02 Jun: Cranking the Wheel

Noisey: “Spotify playlists, and Spotify charts, and Spotify plays, have become the number one tool that labels and artists and managers are using in order to break artists and measure success,” said industry analyst Mark Mulligan, speaking to Wired earlier this year. “If you get things working on Spotify, that’s going to crank the wheel.” Anyone who’s opened Spotify and found themselves clicking on their Daily Mix playlist, or fired up the app’s Discovery Weekly…

31 May: Music as Data, and the Wisdom of the Crowd

The Conversation: The Musical Genome, the algorithm behind Pandora, sifts through 450 pieces of information about the sound of a recording. For example, a song might feature the drums as being one of the loudest components of the sound, compared to other features of the recording. That measurement is a piece of data that can be incorporated into the larger model. Pandora uses these data to help listeners find music that is similar in sound…

30 May: Decolonise: A Punk Fest Celebrating People Of Color

The Quietus: For those who have no experience of being a person of colour the fact that this event is even happening may come as a surprise. Why would anyone need a punk festival for people of colour in 2017? What does race have to do with the music you listen to? Why are you complaining, isn’t racism over? You might be reading this thinking the very same. Well despite your misgivings I can explain…

29 May: Spotify Settles With Songwriters

Billboard: Spotify has reached a settlement with a group of songwriters who had sued for copyright infringement, eliminating an potential complication to the public offering that the streaming service is planning later this year. Under the agreement which will need to be approved by the court, the streaming company will set up a fund worth $43.4 million to compensate songwriters and publishers whose compositions the service used without paying mechanical royalties. Spotify has to pay…

29 May: Make LUFS, Not (Loudness) War

Ask Audio: It appears as if Spotify have decided to join the majority of online streaming platforms and reduce their streaming target loudness from -12 LUF to -14 LUFS! By my own measurements, a solid thirty to forty minutes of the Top 50 global playlist off the free Spotify app yields an integrated value of -14 LUFS with true peaks well below -1 dbTP. Spotify has long been the outlier in terms of online loudness,…

28 May: Hitting the Links: Talk Talk, a Package from Felix Laband, and Hippie Architecture

Talk Talk – 10 of the Best: Engineer Phill Brown, speaking to the Guardian in 2012, recalled “an endlessly blacked-out studio, an oil projector in the control room, strobe lighting and five 24-track tape-machines synced together. Twelve hours a day in the dark listening to the same six songs for eight months became pretty intense.” Felix Laband – A Life In Collage: Hailing from Johannesburg South Africa, Felix hasn’t exactly become a household name here…

27 May: Ceding Control to an Unseen Force

A reminder from Music 3.0 blog: A website many times gets overlooked as an integral piece of your digital promotional life because there are so many other places that you can use as your online focal point. Having a Facebook page or Tumblr blog, or relying on another social network as your online central focus has a number of potential flaws, not the least is control of your message. When you depend on a social…