The quake song

Having moved to the LA area little over five years ago, it wasn’t until today that I experienced a significantly violent earthquake in our hometown of Fullerton – just across the freeway from the epicenter of the 5.4 quake in Chino Hills today.

I was talking on the phone in my studio for work, when suddenly it all started moving.

What’s interesting to me now is that though I remember the specific feeling of the earthquake, the adrenaline rush of anticipating when it will end, the cycles of disbelief and acceptance and small notions of what the edge of panic feels like… of all this, I remember the sounds the most.

We keep our glasses on a wire shelving unit, which began disposing victims to the kitchen floor. Not many perished, but the crashing and rattling of glass was enough to know. We also have a lot of wind chimes in various forms around different places in the house – most of which live on the front deck. The ones in my studio joined them in exultant songs of the earth! It was nothing less than enlightening, as the high timbers met the rumble of crust.

With little broken but a lot shaken (especially our cats, the breaking glass and shaking house wasn’t their idea of a good time – though our outside cats both napped straight through), it became a sort of coming-of-age moment, as the exhilaration of an enormous power much greater than I could immediately conceive finally welcomed me to California.

Erotus Records Kickoff Set

Here’s a live set from the guys at Erotus (Blamstrain’s new label) celebrating its launch, featured in the Viides Uuden Musiikin Festivaali, or “Fifth Festival for New Music”, held in Kupittaanpuisto, Turku, Finland.

Download it to hear area, asketix, blamstrain, ercola, and mk10 (not necessarily in that order) throw down a continuous two and a half hour set of glitch-filled, sometimes psychedelic, always atmospheric minimal techno from 25 July in Finland.

Twisted Records now has downloads

One of my favorite sources for anything psychedelic, Twisted Records has started an online store with digital downloads.

Traditionally this has been a “DJ’s label” selling mostly vinyl and CDs of primarily music meant to be spun at a party, but it’s interesting to see them offering things digitally.

It matches up a bit with the direction of some of the music Posford and friends make now, a lot less “fringey” I’d call it – more use of pop elements some might say – not any less worldly but a lot more accessible for the common ear.

So on the one hand, you become less a fan of the music because of elements that you enjoy the music especially for being without, and on the other there is an entire world of ears out there being brought closer to the fringe.

Probably there is a happy medium where experiment solidifies into an entire musical experience, drawing people to different levels and depths but always satisfying.

The Pull of the Unexplored

Once aspect of creativity I haven’t quite discovered how to manage is the navigation of intuition.

It strikes me that some are better than others at accessing this elusive part of the imagination. As a visceral experience it’s unmistakable, but the pathways to obtaining that level of immersion are not so clear.

Inspiration strikes at the most incredulous opportunity; sometimes it’s like a pull, like gravitation towards a goal not seen, being drawn into a feeling that is indescribable beyond the need to create.

What about when it’s required? On-demand?

Like an actor playing the same role week after week, or a jazz musician improvising over the same progressions night after night… the good ones – the ones really in touch with the craft – know where to look for passageways, or how to prepare themselves to accept the supernatural-like ability of the unconscious brain to know exactly how things go and exactly where in the most immediate and uncalculable ways.

That doorway is really the goal itself, the ego-freeing feeling of letting go and allowing what Nature designed to take its course. In a way artists do nothing but recite what they already know by understanding themselves as part of the entirety of life outside of themselves.

Soaking Tide

One of my favorite pastimes recently is surfing through social sites like, following neighbor and friend links to different people’s pages and friends and neighbors and so on and so on… it’s a fascinating and sometimes recursive journey through the tastes of like minded individuals.


I am infused from all directions it seems, there is so much to do.

At times there seem to be so many directions that I cannot find a clear path; when I dream to be great at something, but feel I have no focus on anything.

New Release: Material

MaterialSince this release came out while my blog was unavailable, thought I would shout it out that a new Craque album called Material is available on Kahvi Collective! From the website:

“Guest artist craque arrives on Kahvi Collective with a unique blend of textures and IDM elements. Five track ‘Material’ verges on the style of ‘MigloJE’. Torus Europa sets the scene with its lush, drawn out passages of sound and textures and leads into the interesting ‘strawberry jam’, an atonal melody drawing on a paced bass line which makes a nice combination and the extraordinary ‘organum’ (my personal favourite of this release) with ‘that’ sample hook that fits so well with the rest of the track. a great first release from craque, perhaps we`ll see more from him in the future?”

I think probably so there will be more Craque appearing at Kahvi, and hopefully others real soon!

DIY photo-sensitive synth

I’m excited to be waiting on the arrival of my new Bleep Labs ThingamaKIT.

Not unlike the simple improvising synth I’ve been working on with VCOs and 2-pole filters, this is a DIY version of their photo-sensitive thingamagoop, described on their website as simply:

“The Thingamagoops have oscillators just like any synth. On analog synths the oscillator that creates the actual tone you hear is called a VCO or voltage controlled oscillator. The Bleeps work a little differently so we’ll just call it the main oscillator. Instead of using a keyboard, the main oscillator in the Thingamas is controlled by a photocell.”

It’s basic, it’s clean, and best of all it’s amazingly well priced for the stuff included – as long as you’re in it for the soldering, of course, like nuts like me. There’s some good pics up on the thingamakit flickr group.

Looking forward to a good learning experience and possibly some ideas on how I can improve my homebuilt oddities.

Welcome to the New Sound

You may have noticed a slight change in interface on the blog here, it’s because I switched from the TWiki BlogPlugin to WordPress.

The basic reason is that although BlogPlugin is a great tool on TWiki, it’s not as fully featured as I’d like, and there is the overhead of several dependencies within TWiki. The latter reason is difficult to deal with between system crashes and other kinds of data loss, and instead of banging my head against infinite loops in perl ImageMagick, I opted to install WP.

The installation was smooth, I was able to import – with original posting dates and images! – the TWiki blog (which will be shut down posthaste, although with redirects to the correct RSS points) in its entirety.

Several twiki pages are being moved into WP pages as well.