Much like their video-game peers, police officers are adding a rumble pack to their experience of dealing with grand theft auto — and any other incident requiring use of a siren. As Wired reports in the December 2008, issue (titled “Sirens, Now With Megabass” in print and “Seismic Siren Shakes Up Distracted Drivers” online, wired.com), the Rumbler is the name of a system that adds significant, chest-thumping bass to the standard cop-car sonic alarm.
When Wired‘s news service covered the technology almost exactly year ago (“Feel the Noise,” blog.wired.com — and I mentioned it here, at disquiet.com, in reference to an engadget.com entry), it included a sound clip (MP3), borrowed from nytimes.com coverage. In retrospect, the siren is a much less threatening thing when heard like this, removed from the street and from the pursuit, where it’s very much like one very loud machine in an otherwise empty video arcade.
More info on the Rumbler at fedsig.com.
These days, it isn’t so rare to find a DJ equally comfortable in exhibition halls and dance halls, in galleries and clubs, but long before such renaissance styling was the norm, DJ Olive was the high-low liminal culture figure to watch — and to listen to.
A veteran of the Whitney Biennial who’s also performed with such characters as Minutemen punk bassist Mike Watt and jazz guitarist Charlie Hunter, Olive (born Gregor Asch) has a way with rootsy material, as evidenced on a realms-crossing mix he posted over at plumindustries.org back in September.
Titled “Titicaca BBQ Mix,” the hour-long set places field recordings from Kenya, Cambodia, and Guyana (among the various stops) alongside the electronic and otherwise outward bound music of German iconoclast Karlheinz Stockhausen, British digital audio sculptors Autechre, and Italian film-score legend Nino Rota, with a little Cheech and Chong tossed in for good effect (MP3). While the broad and excellent selection speaks to Olive’s taste, it’s the spots where the tracks meet that his skill at locating artful parallels and contrasts is best evidenced.
Click through to the Plum Industries link above for a full set list. More on Asch/Olive at djolive.com.
This beaker of noisemaking, christened the Bit Blob, is the co-creation of the folks at bleeplabs.com and loudobjects.com:
More details (including video) at bleeplabs.com/bitblob (via blog.makezine.com), which explains, “The Bit Blob is a digital noise maker that’s controlled by connecting its contacts together, allowing you to bend your way through unlimited sonic madness. You can also connect LEDs, audio outputs, or other Bit Blobs between control pins. Only 30 will be made for this holiday season.”
From a San Francisco Chronicle interview with Einstürzende Neubauten figure Blixa Bargeld, in response to the question as to where “Blixa Bargeld’s music should be filed between”:
“…” and “…” In vinyl times (the ’70s), I remember being disillusioned with what I could find in any category. I remember finding records like “Sleep Gently in the Womb” by a Japanese medicine professor compiling sounds of what (an unborn) baby would hear on Side A, and on Side B connecting it with classical music. That was an excellent record. Unfortunately it melted under a lamp. I would like to be filed in categories like that where wandering spirits like myself could find me. I wish I could just say I have my own category. But then they’ll start filing other people in there, and I’m not happy with them, and what do I do then? Nothing in the filing world is happiness.
Read the full Q&A at sfgate.com. More on Bargeld at blixa-bargeld.com.
Used to be, the Ninja Tune label’s website was a fount of free music, a free-flowing stream of MP3 uploads. The label’s penchant for freebies seemed appropriate, given how sample-based is much of its music (from founder Coldcut to Funki Porcini to the later explorations into hip-hop). These days, the “free” section on the site’s downloads page is stagnant, but the Ninja podcast series — titled Solid Steel — continues apace, and it’s as always packed with tasty mixes, interview segments, and new Ninja goods.
Case in point, the most recent entry (MP3), which features a sprawling interview (dating from 2002) with remix figures Steinski and Double Dee, backed by a massive haul of classic, beat-driven, copyleft-crazed goods, from Dee’s own use of Led Zeppelin’s “The Crunge,” to Herbie Hancock’s “Rockit,” set in context alongside Grandmaster Flash (whose “Adventures on the Wheels of Steel,” also heard here, gave the Ninja series its name).
The duo recount numerous stories from life before mash-ups dance parties and lawyer-cleared sampling, back when audio appropriation, much like graffiti, was an outsider art just beginning to make its mark on pop culture. Full track list at ninjatune.net.