You (Are Going To) Smile

Posted in Ambient, Art Music, Pop by jurbanik on August 18, 2010

Just a quick one today, folks.

Up until now, pretty much all of malleus&incus has been devoted to informing you about good music. For this post, though, I’m going to get a little silly – In fact I’m going to make a bit of a game of it. These songs are versions of songs that were with a program called PaulStretch, and your job is to identify what they actually are. There are a few rules: don’t cheat by looking at the soundcloud pages, and don’t scroll down and read what the originals are until you’ve listened to at least a few minutes of each track. There is a decent chance some of you may have seen these tracks online by this point – they’ve gone viral in the past couple of days.

Before we start, a little about PaulStretch. It is a program that was originally intended to slow tracks down or speed up tracks 50x or more to create audio textures. It uses several processes like spectral smoothing to take short ‘windows’ of music and stretch them , maintaining the qualities of the original song but essentially vectorizing and stretching the real audio. (more…)


Videosongs: A Medium By Jack Conte

Posted in Art Music, Folk, Indie, Live Music by jurbanik on August 1, 2010

Everyone knows the cliché that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words.’ Considering most YouTube videos are uploaded at 24-30 fps, and each of the videos I’ll be posting here are over 120 seconds, this post is going to be a minimum of 20,000,000 words – that is one LONG post. Yes, that’s right, this is going to be a video post. Why, you ask? Jack Conte.

What is so special about this scruffy man, you ask? Well, beyond being a very talented musician, he is the mind behind the VideoSong – something that I believe has the potential to develop into its own new (and niche, of course) genre of media. Whereas music videos today are all about unique filming, a clever story, bizarre imagery, or any number of other things that serve to cloud and distract from the music (or at the very most, complement it), the VideoSong is a medium that is all about honesty and transparency. In the words of Conte:

A VideoSong is a new medium with 2 rules:
1. What you see is what you hear (no lip-syncing for instruments or voice).
2. If you hear it, at some point you see it (no hidden sounds).


What Up, Wendy Heller?

Posted in Art Music, Experimental by Sam on July 12, 2010

Lately I’ve been getting into a lot of 20th century American experimental composers. I feel like even though part of me still loves blasting Trash Talk or Lady Gaga (fuck the haters) in my car as I drive around town, another part of me is getting kind of bored with that. I feel like my entire (musically-interested) life, I’ve been trying to push my listening boundaries. Initially that took the form of looking for heavier and heavier music. I’ll admit it – I went through the shitty metal phase in middle school, then moved on to grindcore/hardcore in high school (which is probably equivalent in some readers’ minds to the shitty metal, but that’s beside the point). Along with heavier music in high school, my tastes broadened as well. I began to listen to rap, something I would never have done during middle school. I listen to country regularly. I even started cranking a little Rigoletto in my car on occasion. However, during the last few months I’ve felt the growing need to explore even more. Spring semester I took an intro class in music, and the stuff toward the end is really what stuck with me. These composers were and are pushing the boundaries of what music is. I’m not going to try to be super erudite about this shit and I’m definitely not the most informed person in the world on these composers/genres, but I will talk about why I like it and why I think it’s cool. (more…)