Noises off

The Sound of Mars / Heron, post rocky sounds / music from Machinefabriek / Paso Viejo, music from Argentina / music by Burning Bones / Sail into Night, slowcore shoegaze from Dubai / a fan site of Peter Saville’s sleeve designs / Ed Niles for sale. We feel sure this house has seen some great location action, but it’s not the Niles project that was in Starship Troopers / Barbi Benton at home in Bart Prince, from 2008. Who is actually building crazy houses these days instead of simply rendering them up? / Pentagram has created a new brand identity for MIDI, the Musical Instrument Digital Interface / the Poly Beebo, a review / Soundgas sells old audio gear / Music Machinery, a blog / some air transport futures.

Posted in music | Leave a comment

Post rock

National Museum of Norway infrared scans reveal author of hidden graffiti on Edvard Munch’s original painting of The Scream. See also X-radiography of paintings and the Radiography of cultural objects / original art from TWA calendars / axonometric rooms by Margarete Fröhlich / the Daft Punk break-up got a lot of press and interest. Perhaps it’s because bands don’t really ever break up any more these days, they either just fizzle out or soldier on for ever and ever / from a different era, the Smash Hits Book Of Pop Lists / swoony music by Habitants / some really great music by Koyo / angular rhythms by A Burial at Sea, from Hamburg / Norjack, an experimental music project from Scotland / Basic Dungeon and KOBOLD create atmospheric soundscapes for imaginary video games, two of the many acts on Heimat Der Katastrophe, a label based in Milan / more music at Moment of Collapse Records in Hamburg, with a penchant for noisier stuff / Brooker Vs Curtis / Imaginary Maps / sleek forms by Monoware / Wardy, The Kid From The Rough End Of The Street, a self-published memoir of mid C20 life in South London / sort of related, Ian Visits London’s alleys and passages / the Virtual Fashion Archive captures digital versions of iconic modern pieces.

Posted in art, ephemera | Leave a comment

Lazy Sunday sounds

From The Morgue, a site about movies / Vyomm is a new online estate agent portal, joining Domus Nova, Wowhaus and The Modern House as idle daydream click destinations / somehow we have managed to make 4,000 posts to the things magazine tumblr / the history of Singelkwartier neighbourhood in Schiedam, Netherlands (translated page). Includes drawings by Theo Gootjes / time to revisit Sue Barr’s The Architecture of Transit / Masked artist series raises money for art therapy / Books Peckham, a new (to us) bookshop / Lego Tonic makes Lego architecture / the story behind Lyle Waggoner’s Star Waggons. Love the Melt Banana poster / sound things / a round-up of appreciations of the late audio engineer Rupert Neve / pure guitar pop by / alt jazz by Xander Naylor / post rock from Prague, The New Horizons / post rock from Siberia, So Far As I Know / post hardcore from Lausanne, Abraham / synthwave-y sounds by Corserine / related, ‘I paid for Spotify playlist placements so you don’t have to‘ / love this: Iceberger, ‘Draw an iceberg and see how it will float’ (via MeFi).

Posted in music | Leave a comment

Visions of a life

Another one for the unbuilt London pile, Diller Scofidio & Renfro’s proposed Centre for Music has been scrapped. The scheme was elaborate and ambitious and the suggested £288m budget seemed woefully inadequate (shades of the Elbphilharmonie). The renders brought to mind the early, somewhat pie-in-the-sky visions of the Tate Modern Extension before it took on its final brick form / related, London, my London has a new book out, Vic Keegan’s Lost London / Headquarters, Christophe Jacrot / House for a Craftsman, TEN Architects / sixeightsevensix makes jackets / an interview with former Teletubby John Simmit / related, the remains of Teletubbyland. Not much to see / kickstart this facismile of Louis I.Kahn’s notebooks / wikipedia’s sinkhole page is a sinkhole / On Wimmin’s Land, Southern Oregon’s history as a ‘heartland of lesbian separatism’ / raise funds for the Bad Seeds tour crew / a tribute to architect Trevor Dannatt / music by The Stolen Orchestra

Posted in architecture | Leave a comment

Sky scrapings

‘The adidas ‘Future.Craft Strung’ designed by Kram/Weisshaar, a shoe-making robot that pioneers a 3D knitting technology enabling it to produce full shoe uppers on the spot.’ From Sneakers Unboxed: Studio to Street, coming soon at the Design Museum / 78s at the Internet Archive (Gearnews). Sample gem: teaching a parakeet to talk is fun (for health, normal parakeets only) / a show about special rocks at sight unseen / the hidden world of Christo and Jeanne-Claude / the Alpha EV, a design departure from ‘conventional’ EV styling / Celestial Art by Thomas Wright (d1786), at brain pickings / Swift Redux / Wiltshire Community History / seems to be early days for Stompenberg FX, an online repository of fx pedals at Thomann that allows you to try before you buy / photography by Amos Fricke / art by Carrie Dowdell.

Posted in ephemera | Leave a comment

Ways of seeing

Nightingale, the journal of the Data Visualization Society / Get Offset, a channel about guitars and effects / Wirebird make beautiful guitars / ‘ambient post-rock’ by In Inertia / more music by First Dates / paintings by Stanley Bielen / Same.Energy, a visual search engine. Ideal for the Insta age / a compilation of silent movie era car stunts / the Lilium Jet is aiming for an uncertain sky / from the unlikely to the ridiculous, Dartz make horrific automobiles. That is all / someone should splice City Guesser with altRamsgate. Remember Crap Towns / things you can buy produce great London Walking Guides to contemporary architecture / photographs by Celine Marchbank / revdancatt, making pen plotter art / art, design and architecture books at Hamonika Koshoten / an American study shows that EV Owners Drive Half As Many Miles As Other Drivers / music by Coed Pageant / Ghostly Noises, a tumblr / Subject Matter, an online journal about art / The Good Times for Life, exploring wellness / what were the first words transmitted by or recorded to new methods of communication and storage?

Posted in ephemera | Leave a comment

Sounds high and low

‘Ambient music for study, contemplation, work, and sleep’, The Immersion Zone is a live Youtube channel running 24/7 by Steve Roach (via Synthtopia) / link to an entertaining thread about nightmare interviewees / Dear Prudence / the buzz of the Fjord Fuzz / music by Unwed Sailor / another synth documentary, Bright Sparks Behind The Scenes (via MusicRadar) / music by The Nightmare Generator / isolated Pink Floyd guitar / Self-Organising Textures / ‘Putin’s palace‘ (the quote marks feel important), ‘Builders’ story of luxury, mould and fake walls’ / animation that changed cinema / The remote Canadian architecture of power couple Shim-Sutcliffe / Stock Orchard Street, inside Sarah Wigglesworth and Jeremy Till’s home / the Live Music Jukebox (via tmn), exploring how live tracks differ from studio versions.

Posted in music | Leave a comment

Friday fumblings

Sisters With Transistors: Pioneers Of Electronic Music, a new documentary (via NPR). See also Electronic Music Experimentation in the Films of Alfred Hitchcock (via Synthtopia). Sort of related, The Manual (How to Have a Number One the Easy Way), the KLF’s legendary 1988 book, now available digitally via MeFi Projects. Cheaper than an original printing / photography by Ben Blossom / photography by Lewis Ronald / music by Exhalants / stone carving by Ayako Furuno / music by Maeve / Tome to the Weather Machine, a music blog / photographer Ken Ohyama’s Cutouts of Japanese Urban Buildings at Spoon & Tomago / a collection of Control Panels / Everywhere At The End Of Time Stages 1-3 on vinyl, by The Caretaker. Related, I can’t get you out of my head. Adam Curtis is back. More info / this is how the Internet Archive digitizes books / Gyotaku is the traditional Japanese method of printing fish, ‘the record of the fisherman’s catch’ using the fish itself as the printing plate.

Posted in ephemera | Leave a comment

Wednesday Wanderings

Still no coherent thread / need more screens? Try the Aurora 7. Compare and contrast with Oriol Ferrer Mesià’s modern retro terminal (linked by b3ta / Tape Wizard, a film about Randall Taylor’s Amulets project, which explores the ‘artifacts and lo fi sounds of cassette audio processing and tape loops’ / a new media precursor: the work of Yoichiro Kawaguchi / the Orbita ‘transform colours in music’ (via Gear News) / Audibly spits out random online sound experiments / the Radio Garden is a compulsive browse (via MeFi) / an auction of Beastie Boys Memorabilia / early aerial navigation: Keep Direction By Good Methods / Inside the warehouses where dud Amazon orders go to be reborn / a list of tallest statues / photography by James Barnor / why the BBL is the world’s most dangerous cosmetic surgery / Oddball films / BMC Crash Tests (1961-1965) / bold instrumentals by IS/WAS / more heavy stuff from Desbot.

Posted in ephemera | Leave a comment

Monday Meanderings

Architecture for sale: the late Pierre Cardin’s 1970s ‘Bubble Palace’ in the south of France and Joel Silver’s Brentwood Mansion by the late Ricardo Legorreta (for a cheeky $77.5m) / at that price, the buyer might experience a bit of skyscraper schadenfreude / while the workers are away, the rats will play. How rodents are working the 9 to 5 in our absence / step into alternate realities with lockdown game recommendations. Or live in a virtual suburban Russian tower block / two petitions: Hammersmith and West London College; save International House in Brixton. The gradual realisation that re-use and restoration is many, many times more environmentally efficient than demolition and reconstruction is spurring developers on to clear out the sites currently considered to be ‘marginal’.

Matt Lamont collects beautifully designed brochures, amongst other things / protest posters on show at Reverting to Type / Pick me up, on driving a pick-up truck in Texas / virtual road trips, with local soundtracks: Drive & Listen / I Accidentally Found Justin Bieber’s Futuristic Rolls Royce / just for the memories, Prince at the Superbowl, 2007 / guitar instrumentals by Was a Wolf / more instrumental rock by And So I Watch You From Afar / metal synthwave by Bioplan / dreamy modern pop by Spills / a collection of isolated bass and drum parts from ‘classic’ rock songs / a history of Trackers, the proto lo-fi sequencers that drove video game music and spawned a whole scene. Includes a link to a massive tracker infographic / the robots are coming for your synths. Don’t be too worried.

The Common Table, ‘stories and ideas about food from around the world from people who are searching for ways to fix the global food system’. Recommended / other things. Paintings by Dan Ferguson / paintings by Gideon Rubin (some nsfw) / ‘box stories’ by artist Gaspard Mitz / unsurprising life advice: don’t buy art on a cruise / one second snippets from every episode of Star Trek / The diminishing returns of productivity culture / exceptional photography by Gregor Sailer / a list of aesthetics. We’ve come a long way from Dick Hebdige / finally, ‘the no-longer secret diary of Ingrid Jo Boissevain,’ a self-described ‘posh schoolgirl’ who kept tabs on her life from 1967 to 1968. A fascinating read with what seem to be genuine archive images.

Posted in architecture, art | Leave a comment

Non swimmers

An Historical Collection of Found Paper Airplanes, at Moss & Fog and found via Kottke. Very old school internet. Very lovely / more ephemera, this time collectable rock and pop stuff / epic soundscapes by Echodrone / quirky pop from Monoq / contemporary classical music by Ena Brennan / ambient soundscape, brick edition: A New Mindful Mix: the LEGO Group releases a soothing soundscape created with thousands of LEGO® bricks (via tmn) / conspiracy corner, Everybody Hates Charlie, the ‘Cumberland Gap Tunnel Conspiracy and the Oak Ridge Connection’. Is ‘Nature’s passage through the Cumberland Mountains between Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia’ part of a countrywide network of military tunnels? See also Taking the atomic elixir, a Cold War podcast series / pattern recognition: digital baroque / working from ‘home’ on the road, the Flying Cloud 30FB Office Floor Plan by Airstream (via Cars that never made it) / horror podcast, the Old Gods of Appalachia. In a similar vein, The Lovecraft Investigations (recommended) / Nine Elms Disease, the regeneration blight that is creeping over London’s Vauxhall. See also The free market and rent-seeking / Cab Ride, an 8-bit dreamland / Dark Patterns at Scale: Findings from a Crawl of 11K Shopping Websites. Includes such tactics as ‘Confirmshaming’, or ‘Using language and emotion (shame) to steer users away from making a certain choice’.

Posted in architecture | Leave a comment

Into dust

Rare Film of Monet, Renoir, Rodin and Degas (via MeFi) / Gaming in kids’ own words / the Duke Mitchell Film Club / Can you solve the mystery of these 60-year-old travel photos? / Sweden is home to a large scale map of the solar system / Botanist make death metal about photosynthesis (via Anti-Gravity Bunny’s best metal of 2020 list). See also Duma, from Kenya / Urban Planning and Water Bodies: Florida’s Aquatic Land Cover (via this isn’t happiness) / art by Katie Benn / the Hunkt Canticie continues the long-standing tradition of trolling JLR with copycat designs / Pawson Novelties / references to Mystery Airships through the ages / Folk Horror and Canada’s Colonial Past / Millicent Patrick designed the titular Creature from the Black Lagoon (at Fortune Cookie) / the ongoing war against entropy is not going great but this story of Romania’s Neptune Baths is encouraging. Enjoy some beautiful photographs of the complex, taken by Roman Robroek / is the Wallace Collection really shutting its library?

Posted in architecture | Leave a comment

On the retreat

The 2020 Architecture Drawing Prize includes the epic 737 Max Tower, a project by Victor Hugo and Cheryl Lu Xu, as well as works by Marc Brousse and ‘Spatial Fictions‘ by Clement Luk Laurencio / a constantly refreshed collection of Obscure Media / flying over the moon in realtime, a four hour travelogue (at Kottke) / Pharmaduke, a twitter bot that combines ‘Marmaduke comics and Erowid trip reports‘ / music by Bleach Lab / music by Molly Willis / music by Pale Blue Eyes / Life on Venus, Russian shoegaze / music by Slow Weather / lessons to be taken from the infographic motherlode, ‘Losses from the Russian campaign‘ / rent your Zoom backdrop from the Bookbarn, versus the library of Eco / another interior realm, a tour around the home and studio of graphic artist Morag Myerscough / remember, Alternative Rock Is a Tool of Satan / go on a Mission To Giant Sunken Machines in Flooded Valley. See also the tour of Working Nuclear Bunker / How and why I stopped buying new laptops (via tmn) / Peter Gabriel on The South Bank Show, 1982.

Posted in ephemera | Leave a comment

Out on the mud flats

Weekend perambulations / a drone tour of a century-old German U-Boat wreck on the Thames Estuary, via Historic Medway / more Kent: the tragedy of the Fireman’s Wedding / isolated drum tracks by Nick Mason / paintings by Fred Coppin / an absurd slice of penthouse living / doubling back on yesterday’s underground musings, the London’s secret tunnels post has great comments, and we also recommend the link to Duncan Campbell’s A Christmas party for the moles (pdf) / Saving the modernist architecture of Louis Kahn’s IIM Ahmedabad dormitories / buy an entire midcentury modern holiday village in Ponte Cremenaga, Switzerland / contemporary modern holiday cabins in France, the hotel 48° Nord by Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter / intense abstract paintings by Natalia Wrobel / the American beef industry was built on centuries of exploitation. Some more background / the archives of Punk Planet zine / music by Junkyard of Silenced Poets (trip hop w/noise) / Psychlona (nouveau Hawkwind – great) / atmospheric indie rock by Abandoned Buildings / Tropiques, rich landscape photography by Julien Coquentin.

Posted in ephemera | Leave a comment

Down the rabbit hole, again

This disappointingly short brief history of protest tunnelling in the UK sent us down some tunnels of our own. It seems that protest tunnels barely scratch the surface of a country that has an extensive rumoured subterranean network, mostly private, secret or unknown. While the official efforts are slowly coming to light – Who Owns England has some impressive digging into the documents – one wonders how many more William Lyttles there are yet to be found. While the ‘Mole Man’s’ house now has new life as a artist’s residence and studio, there may be more. It was also a good excuse to sift through the ‘tunnels‘ tag on BLDGBLOG (BLDGBLOG! It’s been too long) and this old piece at the much-missed Pruned, ‘Tunnel Digging as a Hobby‘,w hich traces the below ground activities of one Harrison G. Dyar, Jr in Washington. More detail at the Smithsonian Magazine: ‘The Bizarre Tale of the Tunnels, Trysts and Taxa of a Smithsonian Entomologist‘. Dyar is a fine example of the hobbyist tunneller and there are some great images and diagrams of his work. A decade ago we were lamenting the absence of a survey of Lyttle’s travails – tunnel makers are not great record keepers, it seems. Related, The Same Gates, a post about the Chelsea Mystery House of one Dr Phene (check the comments on that last link) at The Library Time Machine, and the near-obsessional paintings done of the gates by the artist Juliet Nora Williams.

Other things. The ötzi peak observation deck by noa* / photographs of NY by Ruth Orkin, ‘A Centennial Celebration’ / At De Monsterkamer, designers blog about paper / Google Song Maker / reverse any video / music by Flocks / soundtracks by ROMY / avant-garde music by the late composer Roland Kayn / Ombra Oscura, ‘a tribute to 70s Italian horror films’. Recommended.

Posted in architecture | 1 Comment

On the permafrost

Photographer Anna Huix has taken remarkable images of Pyramiden (Google maps), ‘a utopian coal-mining town, a landscape-scale “museum” of soviet-style industrial heritage that shows the fragmented remains of a communist dream’ in Svalbard. ‘It has been predicted that due to the low rate of decay in such a cold climate, the abandoned town’s major buildings will still be visible 500 years from now.’ / New Ash Green, Kent, the view from 1971 / military myths, including ESP. Shades of Goats / unsettling loops and vocals at The Asthmatic / epic Scandi noir from Weal / music by Elizabeth Goodfellow / on destruction, a reflection by Michael Landy / Sergio Larrain: London, the work of a Magnum photographer who gave it all up and went to a ‘Chilean mountain retreat’ / Death Is Not The End: ‘London Pirate Radio Adverts 1984-1993, Vol. 1’ / Soviet Visuals / papercraft computers by Rocky Bergen. Correct even down to the screenshots / snowflake generator. Insert millennial joke here / an architectural alphabet from 1773, via the Present & Correct twitter feed / online photo editor: Photopea / artistry pushing the limits (last four all via K).

Posted in architecture | Leave a comment

A Way Forward

The ghosts of Mark Fisher. On the theorist’s final lecture series, unfinished works, and the exhortation to recognise ‘both the luxuries and privations of modern technologies… Who knows what a culture in which the internet co-existed with strong social security would look like?’ / Kangawa Pavilion by Junya Ishigami / is contemporary iconic architecture simply ‘urban clickbait‘? / ‘The iconic watches that inspired Apple Watch faces‘, a very insightly look at horological history and technology by Arun Venkatesan. See also his post on Louie Mantia’s designs for traditional Japanese playing cards / an auction of classic Detective Fiction, including Freeman Wills Crofts’ The 12.30 from Croydon, which gives a good insight into international aviation in the 1930s when Croydon was a hub of empire. A review by genre aficionado and writer Jason Half / A Chinese Gazetteer of Foreign Lands (via MeFi) / Beats Dissected, a series at Attack Magazine / music by Stray Fossa / other people’s recommendation lists are always worthwhile: Jean Snow / Landscapes of Russia at The Calvert Journal.

Posted in architecture | 1 Comment

Vision Thing

Revisiting a 1930s Soviet optical synthesis animation. See also the Variophone / a big, long, long list of John Peel Sessions on YouTube, courtesy of Formerly Known as the Bollocks. Always something to listen to / tiny living space films at the NEVER TOO SMALL channel / short sci-fi films at the DUST channel / yet another Rudolph bites the dust / music selections from Gim Kordon; Modern Stars; Gimli, Son of Glóin / the Flaming Lips show the world how to bubble / culturally vital information: Noger Chen’s Godzilla Size Chart, 1954 to 2019. Soon to be relevant again / not related at all, As birth rates fall, animals prowl in our abandoned ‘ghost villages’.

Posted in music | Leave a comment

The illusion of a wayback machine

An appreciation of the late stunt driver Remy Julienne / music selections: Heavy Birds; Automatic; Laura Carbone; Neighbours Burning Neighbours; Foxtrott / A map of Frank Lloyd Wright homes in (nearly) every state / card and paper illustrations by Zim and Zou and Raya Sader Bujana / miniatures by Raphael Truffi Bortholuzzi / see also Life’s a (mustardy) beach by Anna Bay / Storytellers, photographs by Magda Biernat / The Eye of Photography / Cars That Never Made It has a growing collection of vintage car brochures / an educational syllabus that uses the series Halt and Catch Fire as a teaching aid (via K (who had his own HaCF moment) / the origins of the insult-du-jour, ‘shitgibbon’, can be traced back to the UK music magazine scene of the 80s. Inevitably, Quantick / CAN Architects bring the spirit Memphis to a south London house. A little bit of James Wines in there as well / The Writer at Work, Tom Gauld. More TG / domestic exploration via online realtors, an occasoinal series: French ManCave Edition / sobering reading, How nature reclaims the places humans have abandoned, ‘What might happen to the entire planet, when humanity shrinks away?’ / Please Stop Calling Things Archives (via MeFi). We’re probably guilty as charged here. ‘Others have since pointed out that a flash drive is not an archive, that a website is not an archive, and that the internet is not an archive.’ Apart from the invisible labour involved, calling everything an archive also adds a false sense of security that the past is somehow secure, when it is anything but.

Posted in collections and archives | 1 Comment

Look closely

Old school sounds from the long lost Sunnyvale Noise Sub-element / even more old school, an appreciation of Swervedriver’s Raise from a driver’s perspective (as it was probably originally intended) / Folklore Generator (via BB) / creepy-named forum to change its name / hyperrealist paintings by Jeff Bartels (via Kottke) / Playing with boredom, on video games and the benefit of slow, repetitive tasks / Putin’s palace. History of world’s largest bribe. In Russian, but an interesting counterpoint to the recently hilltop horror in LA. One wonders if they attract a similar kind of buyer? / on the invention of knots / Animated Knots, a remarkable resource, with knot details from sailing to surgery / five myths about The Modern House / |Modernist houses for sale in California / A Visit from the Zune Squad, an example of how the nostalgia cycle gets ever smaller. Check r/zune. Then look at r/walkman. The simple mp3 player never went away Amazon is awash with brand new sub $20/£20 examples / music by Concrete Ships / zoom, zoom: Girl with a Pearl Earring.

Posted in ephemera | Leave a comment