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Category Archives: Music

The return of Melodic Randomiser Unspooled…

I thought it was time to delve once more into the little plastic boxes of nostalgia that make up my vintage cassette collection, just because I haven’t done a Melodic Randomiser post for a while and it seemed like a good idea.
The box I dragged out from under the stairs this time is as eclectic a selection as any of them and this one offered up a fine juxtaposition of styles.

First we have the epitome of ’90s indie pop, Travis, with their debut album, Good Feeling, from which I’ve picked my favourite single, All I Want To Do Is Rock

….followed by Hey Dude, by hippy rockers Kula Shaker, from their first album, K

…and completing this most unlikely trio with the full album of the frankly unhinged Captain Lockheed And The Starfighters by bonkers Hawkwind alumni, Robert Calvert:


So there you have it, a playlist you won’t find anywhere else, I hope you find something to enjoy.

Stay tuned for further trips back in time in the not too distant future.

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2017 in Blogging, Melodic Randomiser, Music, Video

 

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Reblog: George Michael was killed in US airstrike claims Russia Today

Some satire, to lighten the sad news of another talented performer’s passing. Goodbye, George, we’ll miss your honesty and integrity…

SOZ SATIRE

George Michael Last Christmas? Yep, pretty much, and it’s all thanks to the Yanks says Russia Today

Following the death of pop superstar, George Michael last night, Russian media outlet, Russia Today, have sensationally claimed that Michael was killed by a guided missile fired from an American F16 fighter jet whose pilot was under direct orders from President Barack Obama to neutralise the Last Christmas star.

In a bulletin hours after the star’s death had been announced by his publicist, a Russia Today newsreader made the astonishing claim: “George Michael was targeted by the United States Airforce, no question. He was killed by a heat-seeking missile, specially programmed to target his oven when he opened the door to get the turkey out.

“Our heroic President, Vladimir Putin, tried to intervene when he learned of the plan, but Obama wouldn’t listen, just as he won’t listen when Mr Putin begs him to stop…

View original post 174 more words

 
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Posted by on December 26, 2016 in aardvark, Blogging, Humour, Music

 

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Something for the weekend…

I’m always interested in discovering the new sounds I can produce with Oscilab, the sequencer and loop making app, so with variety in mind, my latest audio creation is a far heavier affair. 

Starting off with a grimy, distorted throb, it fades into a thundering bass line, backed by a thumping back beat and a frenetic staccato rhythm of synths, which I have christened Thudd.

I’m going to stick my neck out and say it’s my favourite attempt at “music” yet, I’d be intrigued to know what you think.

Click the beautiful artwork below, to listen and download for free.

Turn up the volume and feel that bass.

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2016 in Arts, Blogging, Music

 

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Weekend bleep-a-thon…

Yes, I’ve been mucking about with Oscilab again, the looping and sequencer app on my trusty smartphone. 
This track was actually created a couple of weeks ago, but I’ve not got around to inflicting it on you showcasing it yet.

It’s an extended mix with a minimal electro vibe, beginning with a rather tasty pokapow-pokapow-pokapow-pokapow-pokapow noise, which took me quite a while to perfect. I’ve compressed the note envelope on most of the loops, to give it a more synthetic, punchy sound but it still manages to achieve a nicely trancelike, rhythmic melody.

See what you think of FRAKTAL. Click on the image below to listen and (should you be so inclined) download for free.

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2016 in Arts, Music

 

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Interview: The Bee talks with dalecooper57…

​A few weeks ago I was honoured to be invited to take part in an interview with Bee Halton, as part of her The Bee talks with… feature.

Well, I’m only now getting around to answering Bee’s questions and today you can discover what information she managed to wheedle out of me.
The questions all seem quite straightforward but, given my tendency to ramble, it’s anyone’s guess how long this will take, so I’d better get on with it…

1) How would you describe yourself in one paragraph? 

This is the sort of question that makes me wonder how honest we are about ourselves, because I immediately think of the way I am described by the people who know me; loud, verbose, opinionated, arrogant, immodest, sarcastic, the (not always complimentary) list goes on… At least that was generally the case, before I began writing Diary of an Internet Nobody, but recently I’m getting dangerously used to seeing words like “creative”, “talented” and even “artistic” being applied to me. Now, although I’m more than willing to accept the praise and plaudits of my peers in the blogging community, not even I (with all those aforementioned, uncomplimentary, but probably accurate characteristics) am comfortable using those terms to describe myself, not out loud anyway. So I think I’m going to have to go with somewhere in between, something along the lines of; inventive, persistent, determined, intelligent, (or at least clever, which isn’t the same thing, but it’s a convincing impression) friendly, generous and…oh alright, immodest, sarcastic and verbose, too.

2) A fun fact about you? 

Hmm, I’m not sure what constitutes a fun fact, but I was once nearly eaten by a drunken vegetarian at a party.

3) What made you write (draw, blog, paint, make music…) in the first place?

Oh, that’s an easy one. A friend of a friend who I met on Facebook (the irritatingly talented Mr Darmon Richter, writer of the highly successful Bohemian blog) encouraged me to start blogging, after I’d helped promote his work on social media, just over four years ago. I had no idea or plan for what I was going to write, (and still don’t) except that I would have no constant theme and that I would stubbornly insist on creating all original content on the blog, using only my smartphone (both of which mission statements remain true to this day) and it seems to be working ok so far.

The fiction came about, I suppose, because I had always been an avid reader and love a well-told story. Although having said that, it had never occurred to me to even attempt writing fiction until, out of curiosity, I decided to take part in Linda G Hill’s regular feature, Stream of consciousness Saturday Sunday, setting myself the challenge of writing a short story for each of her weekly prompts on the spur of the moment. 

As for all the other threads on the blog; the photography, video, animation and music, they too are a direct result of my introduction to the wonderful world of Google’s Android™ system. It’s amazing what you can do with a phone, few apps, a bit of imagination and the computing power of something you would have needed to carry around on a forklift twenty years ago. The fact that I’ve enjoyed taking pictures and have been an obsessive music fan since I was a teenager probably didn’t hurt either, but I have no actual musical knowledge or training and rely on the marvels of modern technology to make up the shortfall between my ingenuity and any genuine ability to carry a tune.


4) Which author/painter/musician… has influenced you and why? 

I’d probably say that, style-wise, I’m most influenced by the sadly late, but extremely great British writers, Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett, both of whom had such a palpable love of language and how it can be made to inject humour into almost any situation. I also like the way Stephen King and Quentin Tarantino use non-linear storytelling to create suspense and mystery, so I try to incorporate that into my writing, too.

Musically, I’ve always had a very eclectic taste; ranging from rock, prog and metal, through punk, pop, dance and indie, veering wildly into jazz, folk and electronica, the latter of which is what was the biggest influence on me, when I first began mucking about with sequencers and loop making apps on my phone. Bands like Yello, Kraftwerk and New Order are old favourites, while more experimental artists like Crystal Castles and Aphex Twin have also informed some of my more abrasive attempts at audio creativity.

As for actual art, (drawing, painting, sculpture, etc) I have no aptitude for that whatsoever, choosing once again to resort to 21st century gadgets in order to bring my artistic visions to life.

5) What is your favourite book/painting/song? 

I’m fairly sure that anyone who has ever heard more than one song, read more than one book, or seen more than one painting will tell you that’s an almost impossible question to answer, so I’ll just pick one of each from the air, in no particular order of preference:
Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

Metamorphosis by MC Escher.

Spirit of Radio by Rush


6) Your writing/painting/ music making ritual (if you have one)? 

I sit down, I start writing, I see what happens. That’s about it, really.

7) Your secret “sin” when you write/draw/make music? 

It’s a secret, you’re right.

8) Do you suffer from artist’s block and if so, what do you do against it? 

This is very rarely a problem for me, because I only write when I want to (which is almost all the time now) and I’m never short of something to say, however nonsensical it might be. Whether that’s a good enough reason to keep on writing it down is another matter, but I continue to enjoy doing so nevertheless, because it gets more enjoyable each time.


9) Your advice for apprentice creatives? 

Another easy one; DO IT! 

Honestly, if I can do it, anyone can. Start a blog, (as I keep telling my friend Biff, who has so many stories, he already has enough material for about a hundred blog posts. Come on Biff, I know you’re reading this…) take some photos, paint a picture, form a band, even if you think you’ll be no good at it. 

Because if you don’t try, you’ll never know how much fun you’re missing out on, or find out what hidden talents you might have.

**********
So, there you have it, as much random information about me as you could possibly wish for.

Thank you, Bee, for inviting me, it was a most thought-provoking experience. Here are a couple more of my musical selections to play us out…


 

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The theory of Oscilution (or Survival of the Phattest)…

Last week I spent a day mucking around with my loop and sequencing app, Oscilab; one of the few ways a non-melodic numpty such as myself can achieve anything even approaching a sound that could be loosely described as “music”.

This time, I was attempting to create something a little more soothing than many of my sonic experiments, something more than ambient, but without the clattering, frenetic rhythms which are often the result of me inexpertly twiddling knobs and pressing interesting buttons.

What eventually came out of this particular simultaneous playing and recording session, (after a couple of hours of studious programming and spurious guesswork) was a tune that I christened Sphear and you can experience it, in all its multi-layered loveliness, by clicking the artwork below:

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m just as inordinately proud of this entry in my peculiar oeuvre as any other, but there was something that nagged at me when I heard it back for the first time; namely, the slightly discordant tone of the ring modulator in the background.

This twin synth harmonizing thingy (I know, I know, I’m baffling you with technical terms) seemed to detract from the main theme of the piece, (although it has since grown on me) so I recorded a second version, which I called Inner Sphear and you can hear that by clicking picture number two:

I think you’ll agree that this reimagined aural soundscape is an altogether smoother affair, (it is Rhonda’s favourite version, so that’s one reason to be pleased with it) but to me, it felt as though there was now missing something.

Well I doubt it’ll be much of a surprise to you, but I couldn’t just leave it at that, so I decided to go for one final attempt, this one at the opposite end of the spectrum; a full-on psychedelic wig out, complete with frenzied wah wah guitar solos, (no, honestly) which I naturally chose to entitle Outer Sphear and you can immerse yourself in that one by clicking the final image of glossy artwork, below:

And please feel FREE to download any or all of the above tunes from Bandcamp, gratis, complimentary and totally FREE of charge, should any of them tickle your audio fancy.

Thank you for listening.

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2016 in Arts, Music

 

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Video

Travelling in time(lapse)…

One of the main reasons that I keep getting behind with posting stuff, is that I’m continually sidetracking myself with things which seem more interesting than whatever I’m doing at any given moment.

Yesterday, I thought that I’d better write some more in the collaborative space opera that is Starship Gypsies, as I have been very lax recently in keeping up with the story. But, despite my best intentions and having made good progress on a new new episode, my magpie mind soon drifted upwards, to the clouds above my head (serves me right for sitting out in the sunshine, I suppose) and to thoughts of trying out the timelapse feature on my camera.

So I stopped writing (I’ll get back to it this afternoon, honest I will) and set up my impromptu studio on the patio to do an experiment.

While I cooked Audrey and I some dinner, my trusty smartphone camera patiently clicked away in the garden, recording the passage of big fluffy clouds and gently waving trees. Then, full of spaghetti, meatballs and after dinner coffee, I began to apply the all-important “mucking about” element to the collected images.

I decided to add one of my swirly musical compositions to the resulting visual creation, after having run the original thirty second clip of the sky above our garden through several different editing treatments and ending up with the following, rather hypnotic, multi-media presentation.

So please sit back, relax and enjoy this little video for Speedwell

 
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Posted by on August 6, 2016 in Animation, Arts, Music, Photography, Video

 

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