Tangents: DJ Shadow on Hero, Dan Hill on Cities …

Recommended reading, news, and so forth elsewhere:

The Copyleft Potential of Ripped ‘Rock Band’ Music Tracks (gamesetwatch.com): Like CDs, the musical content of music video-games is making its way to the Internet’s back alleys, leading to a new layer of copyright issues — which is to say, opportunities for cultural appropriation and remixing. Writes Eric Caoili, "This might not seem any more remarkable than the pirated MP3s that we're already so familiar with, but you should remember that these are based on the songs' masters and stored as 'multitracked audio with isolated guitars, drums, vocals, etc.', perfect for remixing." More at the website of Flash developer Mike Nowak, the-inbetween.com. (Via twitter.com/Nobuooo.)

Dan Hill on the Sound of Cities (cityofsound.com): A thorough survey by Dan Hill on his ever-excellent blog of the issues involving the sound of transportation, from cars to bicycles to buses, and what they mean as the contemporary urban environment wrestles with increasing density and the rising price of energy. The piece presumes that cars are on their way out, something I think it's too early to be sure about, and also seems to perpetuate the idea that bicyclists have less responsibility than drivers when it comes to looking out for the best interest of pedestrians ("A bell suffices, and after that it’s about taking due care and attention on both sides"). It is packed with rich examples on the challenge, easily dispels the recent myth that there's any concern about the relative quietude of hybrid cars, and colorfully proposes curated city sounds: "SND score Sheffield as a series of pulsing, jittery staccato tones; cars pausing at a stop-light in Ginza are suddenly part of a DJ Signify tune; Steve Roden pins up a series of aleatoric triggers across Echo Park…" (Via twitter.com/djrupture.)

Holger Czukay on Karlheinz Stockhausen (newstatesman.com): “[Karlheinz] Stockhausen, however, couldn’t handle pop or rock music — it was not his field. And his music is mainly scored. In my group, Can, we did exactly the opposite: we improvised everything — performed with an ’empty head’ — and composed the music afterwards by editing the tape. When Can started in 1968, it was understood we wouldn’t speak of him, because we had to do the opposite. We had to kill him so that we could start something new.” From an essay by Can’s Holger Czukay on Karlheinz Stochausen.

DJ Shadow on ‘DJ Hero’ (gameinformer.com): The game will attempt to do for turntables what Guitar Hero did for guitars. As DJ Shadow, who advised on the game's development, said, the real test of the DJ Hero controller is: “Would this make some eight year old kid who got it for Christmas want to try the real thing?” He also comments on a unique distinction between guitar heroes and DJ heroes: "I mean some of the best DJs I’ve ever seen play do nothing on a technical level that would blow any turntablist’s mind, but they can read the crowd really well and it’s all about their song selection and the progression of the music that they play over the night." (Via nobuooo.com.)

More online resources at disquiet.com/elsewhere.

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