Duch Jo rock The Castle.

If you saw yesterday’s photo challenge post, you’ll know I went to see my friend Duncan and his latest band, Duch Jo at the weekend.

Well, despite Duncan’s insistence that they “don’t want to be famous, we just want to play music”, they do have a Facebook page, where you can meet the band and find out about forthcoming gigs.

And if that isn’t enough for you, I did manage to video one of their songs on Saturday; Bad Brother Animal.

Having obtained permission from Duncan, I uploaded it to YouTube and present it here for your listening pleasure. It’s not the most artistic visual treat, but the sound quality is actually rather good, so play it through some decent speakers and you too can check out their unique blend of funk rock.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Duch Jo…

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Mixing lice and noise.

Another lazy weekend, another chance to sit in the sunshine and do some remixing.

This time, the victim subject of my sonic tomfoolery is Stephin Merritt, the singer/songwriter also known as The Magnetic Fields and his strange little song, The Meaning of Lice, which I mashed together with an Art of Noise percussion sample

Here are the lyrics;

Lice, lice, divine device
Miscellaneous
Ticks, ticks, and magic tricks
Subcutaneous
Fleas, fleas, STDs
All of Egypt on their knees
Lice, lice in paradise,
A necessary heresy.

Our god would want their sod
To turn to pestilence
Strange angels so unjust
To peasants in their tents
Murder, rust bringer
Of each leech and skin stinger
Lice, lice in paradise
Religion ain’t philosophy

Lice, lice, divine device
Miscellaneous
Ticks, ticks, and magic tricks
Subcutaneous
Fleas, fleas, STDs
All of Egypt on their knees
Lice, lice in paradise
A necessary heresy

…and here is my mix, along with the supremely gloopy video I made to accompany it.

I give you, The Art Of Lice.

Return of DJ Nobody.

To help take my mind off the stress and turmoil of the past few weeks, I’ve been mucking around with audio-visual gadgets again, to bring you two additions to my ever-expanding collection of psychedelic remix videos.

The first frenetic explosion of sound and colour is an unlikely collision between African rhythms and Balearic beats, mixing The Sahara All-Stars with Beat Connection, resulting in Take Your Balearic Trunk Soul Rhythm

************

Secondly, a more subtle reworking of a song by electronic music innovator and producer, Imogen Heap, the lovely Glittering Cloud, unimaginatively renamed by me as Stuttering Cloud.

From start to Finnish: The Woolhouse International Rescue service.

Those of you who follow my particular brand of online nonsense will already be aware that I am a huge Twin Peaksfan. You may also remember that this obsession with David Lynch’s extraordinary TV odyssey, led to me being involved in the comedic fellowship of The Woolhouse Boys, a Facebook group set up to celebrate an obscure side-character and his garish knitwear.

{If you are now scratching your head and thinking I’ve lost it completely, GO HEREto find out more}

As I have previously indicated, this merry band of like-minded, friendly geeks and nerds are only too happy to lend a helping hand to other members in times of need, which is one of the reasons I love The Woolhouse so much.

Well at the weekend, I was able to offer a little woolly thinking to a couple of fellow Lynch-obsessives from snowy Finland, who have been making Twin Peaks-inspired short films for some time.

Merja and Tarja sent me a link to their latest project and I suggested a small tweak to the music, saying I’d be happy to help if they needed it.

Long story, short; I offered to mix the soundtrack for them and, since they were happy with the result, I thought it only fair that I shared it with you here.

There are already several other short films on their YouTube channel, so if you like atmospheric, enigmatic audio visual treats, why not pop over and subscribe, especially if you’re a Twin Peaks fan.

Here is the short clip to which I added a small pinch of sonic polishing, so please enjoy DARK DREAM.

One Man And His Zombie Dog, part two.

Just because I have the day off, here’s another clip featuring Audrey’s Stikbot figures.

An everyday story of a man doing death-defying acrobatics with his dog, which then kills him and turns him into a zombie.

Obviously.

K’lee and Dale’s Cosmic Photo Challenge.

Hello everyone, I hope you’re enjoying a pleasant bank holiday Monday (if you get one, that is) or are at least having a successful start to the working week.

I set the theme for K’lee and Dale’s Cosmic Photo Challenge this week and I decided to go for the obvious topical prompt, with a monochromatic twist; Easter in black and white.

For today’s challenge, Audrey wanted to get involved, only fair when you realise it was her Easter gifts that are the stars of the post.

So here are a couple of shots from yesterday’s celebrations, with Audrey providing the peculiar facial poses (I think the second one is a rabbit impression, to match the chocolate truffle carrots she had for breakfast)…

…along with these two little clips (yes I know, they’re in colour, sorry) we made using the STIKBOT figures and app which Audrey got for Easter.

May I present The Chick Dance

…and One Man And His Zombie Dog.

I’m sure K’lee will have something wonderful for you HERE.

But now it’s time to see your Easter treats.

*****

To get involved with the challenge, post a photo to your blog on Monday, add a pingback to this post (or to K’lee’s) and don’t forget to tag your post #CosPhoChal.

Alternatively, add a link to your blog in the comments of either mine or K’lee’s post and we’ll come and check out your entry.

Any and all effects, editing, Photoshop, Instagram, morphing, collages or whatever other post production techniques you fancy are permitted, (in fact, they’re actively encouraged!) so get creative and turn your photos into artworks for the Cosmic Photo Challenge.

#CosPhoChal

Stream of Consciousness Sunday: Words, sounds and pictures.

It’s time to delve into the world of Linda G Hill and her SoCS feature, for today’s attempt to crowbar a random word or phrase into whatever post I had planned anyway find inspiration in the weekly prompt, which this week is;

When you’re ready to sit down and write your post, look to the publication (book, newspaper, permission slip from your kid’s teacher, whatever you find) closest to you, and base your post on the sixth, seventh, and eighth word from the beginning of the page.

Well, I found, this on the living room table beside me…

…one of those free catalogues of useless gadgets, gizmos and questionable “fashion” items that comes stapled inside the TV guide.

A crapalogue, if you will.

Giving me this as my prompt;

ORDER WITH CONFIDENCE – We Guarantee You Will Be Happy!

Ok, then.

You will be delighted to hear that I’ve been experimenting with my audio visual toys again this weekend; namely, my edjing mixing app and a selection of video imaging and editing gadgets.

My first sonic hybrid creation is an atmospheric and vaguely cinematic piece; electro-goth by way of Twin Peaks, (just for a change) using Dark Water by Hide and Sequence, from this excellent album of Peaks-inspired, retro-synth tunes, combined with the bass line from Sanctified by Nine Inch Nails, who appeared in the recent third season of David Lynch’s oddball masterpiece.

I used Poweramp to generate some fancy visuals and set up my temporary studio in the airing cupboard to shoot the accompanying video, managing to re-synchronize the soundtrack perfectly, (even if I do say so myself) which you can experience in all its glory, right here.

You will be equally thrilled to learn that I’ve had a go at combining another trio of Kraftwerk classics; mixing the German and Japanese versions of Pocket Calculator together, (or Taschenrechner and Dentaku, if you prefer) to make a frenetic bleep-a-thon I like to call;

***DENTAKULATOR***

Then I took a few samples of Music Non-Stop, from the 1986 album Electric Café, adding them to a version of Radioactivity to produce this bastard lovechild of a track, the epic electro megamix called;

***RADIOACTIVITY NON-STOP***

You will be able to listen to and/or download my remixes if you wish, using the links above. And you will be able to find many more of my mixes and strange compositions on The A/V Project page.

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#SoCS

Pingback to Linda G Hill.

Woolhouse Boys road trip.

You may have spotted that I’m a Twin Peaks fan, you might even have noticed my recent obsession with a certain item of garish knitwear, due to my membership of The Woolhouse Boys, the best group on the internet. If so, then hopefully you’ll be up to date enough with the story to appreciate this seasonal tale of goodwill and friendship.

First, a little background.

Back in March, while the frenzy surrounding Twin Peaks: The Return was still building to fever pitch, I became friends with a very interesting chap with the unlikely name of Kneel Downe.

As an author and fellow Twin Peaks fanatic from the North of England, with whom I share a birthday, along with many other common interests, it was inevitable that Kneel and I would get along like the proverbial house on fire and I subsequently invited him to join the Woolhouse Boys.

To my total lack of surprise, that warm and friendly group of kindred spirits took to Kneel as quickly as I had and it wasn’t long before he became one of the inner circle of genuinely close friends we have all made in the last few months.

So it was just as unsurprising that, when he was going through a really tough few weeks, the Woolhouse rallied round to help.

Kneel suffers from MS and his health can vary wildly from one day to the next, especially when dealing with stressful situations, but despite this, he is always concerned about the welfare of other people and is one of the most compassionate people I know. He was caring for his father, who was seriously ill, meaning Kneel’s health also deteriorated and there were many days that we didn’t hear from him at all, the stress was clearly taking its toll.

Then, on November 6th, we got the sad news that Kneel’s father had passed away.

Which was when the Woolhouse swung into action.

Within minutes of hearing of his loss, Joel and I were getting messages from members all around the world; from here in the UK to all over America, from Europe and even from Australia, everyone wanted to do something for Kneel.

Now, sending round a card for everyone to sign was obviously impractical, given the distances involved, so I suggested anyone wanting to contribute could PayPal me donations, which I would gladly take and present to Kneel, along with all the love and condolences of the boys and girls in the Woolhouse.

Needless to say, donations came in from many of Kneel’s friends and, after the funeral had taken place, I arranged to go up and meet him for the first time last Saturday, taking Audrey with me for company, (because it’s almost impossible to feel down when she’s around) but not before we had another brilliant idea.

Joel and I had been working on a new shirt design, which we were about to roll out to any interested group members, and I’d only just picked up the first prototype when we heard Kneel’s sad news. It immediately seemed obvious that, along with the generous donations from his friends, I should also present him with this small token of our affection.

But how could we make it that little bit more personal, a completely unique gift?

Then I had a flash of inspiration; if I got everyone to send a nice clear photo of their name, black on a white background, I could compile them onto one sheet, invert the colour and have the resulting white signatures printed on the shirt, as if we’d all signed it for him.

That was easy enough to accomplish (although I left the technical stuff to Joel, who works with computer graphics) and I’d have been happy with that, but Joel had other plans afoot.

While I was still on the phone to him, ironing out the fine details, Joel was e-mailing one or two of his famous Twin Peaks cast member friends, asking if they’d be happy to add their names to ours for a good cause.

I can’t, I’m afraid, reveal the three names he delivered to us, but rest assured you would be amazed at who he managed to get to send us an autograph. On top of that, I contacted the wonderful John “Chad” Pirruccello from the show, who had previously been such a good sport about our daft shenanigans and he instantly sent us his name.

{I should point out that all of this happened on Thanksgiving, so I am eternally grateful to all of you who spared the time to get involved, you’re all awesome}

So at six thirty on Saturday morning, Audrey and I set off on an 800 mile round trip to Lancashire, arriving at Kneel’s around lunchtime and presenting him with his extraordinary gift, along with a few baked goodies from Rhonda and all the best wishes of The Woolhouse Boys.

Kneel’s home is a veritable shrine to Dr Who and you can’t turn round without coming face to face with one of the dozens of daleks that adorn almost every flat surface, not to mention the hundreds of DVDs, a Cyberman head on top of a hat stand in the hall and all manner of other memorabilia throughout the house.

I filmed little clips of our journey, editing them together into a short travelogue, WHICH YOU CAN WATCH HERE, including our first meeting with Kneel and, although the actual presentation of his gifts will remain private, here is a redacted version of that fabulous shirt and a shot of us toasting our friendship (a condition impressed upon me by Joel was that I must get a photo of Kneel and I having a pint together and who am I to refuse such a request?).

Please excuse my peculiar eyewear, I wear my varifocal glasses from work for driving and forgot to take them off for the photo.

It was a real pleasure to finally meet Kneel and to see his reaction to the kindness of his global network of new friends, it made me truly proud to be a part of something so positive and supportive.

But I’ve found that this is what The Woolhouse does, it brings people together from all walks of life and it makes them into lifelong friends, I see it happen every day and it is good to know that we have helped one of our own in some small way, by showing him that there is always someone who cares enough to make a difference.

*****

You can explore Kneel’s amazing Virulent Blurb universe AT THIS LINK.

Mixing it up.

During my extended medical absence from work, (which comes to an end tomorrow) I downloaded an app called edjing, which is a full set of DJ decks with all the gadgets required to make high quality mixes from my extensive mp3 collection.

I began by playing around with small samples of tracks, just to get the hang of mixing (which I have never attempted until now, despite always wanting to have a go) then advanced to remixing entire songs.

It shouldn’t really be a surprise to discover that among the first victims recipients of my remixing skills were Kraftwerk, given my previously documented appreciation of their robotic rhythms; but it also turns out that their precision engineered style makes their material remarkably easy to combine in a mix.

Here is Antenna, from Radio Activity, spliced with a sample of Pocket Calculator percussion, from the career-defining Computer World album.

It’s called, rather predictably, Pocket Antenna.

For a more lively visual treat, here’s a remix of Numbers, with an added sample from Control by a band called Operators, accompanied by another of my psychedelic videos.

You’ll never guess what it’s called; Number Control.

I had even more fun, mixing a sample from It’s More Fun To Compute with the dynamic Dusseldorfers’ self-aware hit, The Robots, which you can listen to at the link below.

CLICK HERE »»» ***It’s More Fun To Robot***

Finally, for a bit of variety, I made an extended mix of the Grimes bonus track, Angel, adding some wispy visuals for extra atmosphere.

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