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Psychedelic music blog covering psychedelic, folk, drone, metal, and all other forms of out music.

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In Bb 2.0

July 30, 2010

By my calculations, there are 1.5511210043 × 1025 songs available on In Bb 2.0, a collaborative music project spearheaded by Darren Solomon from Science For Girls, which I’m gonna go ahead and show that I’m not a musical omnipotent presence and say I’ve absolutely never heard of.  Regardless, with In Bb 2.0, Mr. Solomon has hit on something wonderfully elegant and gorgeous.  (For the record, my figures are probably really damn wrong.  I just calculated 25!, which, I mean, sounds about right.  Mathlords, feel free to correct me.  Or not.  To paraphrase the immortal words of Mr. Whitney Houston, it’s your prerogative.)

You like this buried lede?  You know you do.  Here’s what In Bb 2.0 is all about.  It’s 25 video clips of various performers playing different instruments in the key of Bb.  They are user-triggered.  That means, when I navigate to the site, I can pick and choose which ones play, when.

Most of the clips operate in the same vein, with performers opting for ambient textures over concrete melodies.  That’s a blessing, since none of the performances dominate the proceedings, and the user can layer at will without making something sounding overly busy.  The results, though I have admittedly only heard a minuscule fraction of them, become a subtly engaging ambient piece that lasts as long as you, the user, want it to.

In Bb 2.0 is a fundamentally user-controlled musical endeavor, more akin to an instrument than an album one passively listens to.  Even though you may just be clicking randomly to begin with, due to the brief nature of the video clips, it’s virtually impossible to listen to In Bb 2.0 for any given period of time without tending to it.  With apologies to Ron Popeil, you can’t set it and forget it.

With my first In Bb 2.0 experience, I started hesitantly, triggering videos more or less at random.  Like one’s first experience with any tool for music-making, my first clicks were ones of discovery.  I would play one, maybe two, videos at a time, determining what was played when. After they all loaded, it was on.  I spent a good half-hour just sitting there, clicking different videos, and seeing what sort of unexpected beauty I could create.

Of course, I had my favorite performances and ones I wasn’t as keen on.  In particular, I kept returning to the first video I clicked on, of Solomon playing the glass marimba.  It served as the backbone for the rest of my ever-changing, quietly reassuring drone-song, and provided continuity to my experience.

Some people will obviously have different videos they favor.  Some people may hate the Solomon’s marimba playing, near to my heart as it was.  But that’s exactly the beauty of In Bb 2.0.  Anyone can sit down, click on whichever videos they want, and listen to what they created.  It’s crowd-sourced, user-directed ambient music, and it’s beautiful.

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Chronicling Domestic Disputes

July 18, 2010

Yeaaaaaah, maaaaaaan.  I’ve been writing music as opposed to writing about music, which, I think, is the superior endeavor, if you’re comparing endeavors, which, sometimes, I’ll do, even though it’s really a fruitless exercise to do so, usually, in my opinion, since you’re apples-and-orangesing at that point, and we need both, though, obviously, the former is much more important than the latter, since you quite literally cannot have the latter without the former.  Right?  Right!

I watched The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia last week with the hunnypot:

Yup.  Incredible.  I watched that trailer all slack-jawed and astonished and giddy, and then I recorded “Lawnwars.”  It’s pretty good, I think, if you don’t mind me buzzing my own vuvuzela.  Here it is: Lawnwars.  Anyway, the movie is every bit as shockingly fantastic as that trailer makes it look, and Hank Williams III shows up to perform a few shit-kickin’ tunes, and Jesco White tap-dances along to them like an organ grinder’s monkey, and I do mean that in the best way possible, Jesco, please, put down the broken bottle, I’m being flattering here.  In other news, I’m loving abusing serial commas right now, apparently.  Also awesome: Recognizable Electric Wizard and Earth songs up in that soundtrack.  “Vinum Sabbathi” and some fucking stone-cold jam off of Hex: Or Printing in the Infernal Method, which, I mean, c’mon, is almost embarrassingly excellent.  All in all, lots to rec about Wild and Wonderful.  Cannot complain.

Stuff in the pipeline: Pram and Spacemen 3 sheeit.  Also, gonna write about In Bb 2.0, which my main man Aaron turned me on to the other day after I showed him some Lab Andre Michele stuff.  I suspect it’s a little on the old side in internet years, but damn it, its age has got nothing on George Brigman or pretty much anything else I’ve written about on here, so fuck it.  I’m writing about it anyway.

Okee!  Here’s to hoping you all desperately love the song.  I do.

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