Shaping sounds

The origins of the Netflix ‘sound’. Related, how Brian Eno composed the Windows 95 sound; the man behind the Intel ‘bongs’, the composer Walter Werzowa; the Contentious Tale of the McDonald’s “I’m Lovin’ It” Jingle; the THX ‘Deep Note’, composed by Lucasfilm sound engineer Dr. James ‘Andy’ Moorer / other things, British and Exotic Mineralogy, ‘all 2,242 illustrations from James Sowerby’s compendium of knowledge about mineralogy in Great Britain and beyond, drawn 1802–1817 and arranged by color.’ (via Kottke). To a mineralogist, is this a little bit like those people who arrange their bookshelves according to the colour of the spines? (i.e. controversial) / sort of related, a trip to Cordite Cove / a beginners’ guide to boutique guitar pedals / the synths of Duran Duran (related, the bass playing of Duran Duran).

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Scribbles and side-chains

Cave Things is a little bit Shrigley-esque in its conception and execution / This Cryptid World, cartography of the cultural imagination / swimming pools from above, photographed by Brad Walls / buy a house in the Cité Frugès de Pessac by Le Corbusier (at Wowhaus) / Duma is a Kenyan grindcore band / Olympic-Sized Hoax? ‘Lost’ Krautrock Warm-Up Tapes Mysteriously Surface (via MeFi) / Musical Android / Retracing the Roland Sound in Hip-Hop (via) / tracing the evolution of car sizes.

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Ground Control to Major Tom

Authors Christopher Reeves and Aaron Walker compile the world’s worst playlist on the occasion of the publication of their book The World’s Worst: A Guide to the Portsmouth Sinfonia. More about this legendary orchestra / manipulated scenes and landscapes by photographer Cássio Vasconcellos (via Kottke) / fantastical CG supercars and unlikely automotive high-jinks rendered by 2NCS / Gaia, an artwork by Luke Jerram designed to give us that ‘pale blue dot’/’earthrise’ feeling / ‘welcome to the world of LEGO UX design’: George Cave delves into the the user interface of Lego control panels and the ramifications of poorly designed controls elsewhere (via MeFi) / farewell to William English, co-creator of the computer mouse / Radical Platform, on the design of pioneering 70s feminist magazine Spare Rib, every issue of which is available in Journal Archives.

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Ten Years Ago

Sifting through the archives, we found a few posts that never made it to our new domain a decade ago. For the sake of completism, here they are, dead links and all: Starting Afresh; Museums in a Box; Brand Extensions; Forests and walled gardens; Backs of things; Imaginary places in which to live; Illuminating the corners; Perpetual motion and urban drifts. Prepare for dead links aplenty, but also a snapshot of what was interesting online a decade ago / some other, more recent, things. What’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought with cash? (via tmn / film history with Ryan McCormick / Against the Clock, electronic music artists are given ten minutes to conjure up an improvisation. Courtesy of FACT Magazine / Animate, an electronic toy-making kit / embroidered cartoons by artist Peter Frederiksen / Esoteric Survey, a weblog / art by Hilary Pecis.

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Over your shoulder

Jeff Mermelstein’s book #nyc is a creepy reminder of how much of our private lives and thoughts play out in a (semi) public way / Wired revisits the ongoing hunt for Alien Big Cats in the UK. Check the British Big Cats Society for updates / alternatively, search for bugs (and dinosaurs) on your smartphone for AR-driven encounters / architectural renderings by Bruce Goff / with the 2020 version of MS Flight Simulator on the near horizon, play the history of Microsoft Flight Simulator / the Underground City of Derinkuyu, Turkey, at Brilliant Maps (illustrated by Stuart Jackson-Carter). The history of the city / Yoshihiro Makino, images of High Court of Punjan and Haryana, from The Open Hand Book / Argos to stop printing catalogue after almost 50 years. Time to go back to The Book of Dreams.

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How things change

Things from here and there today. Brick houses in a forest / digital art by Universal Everything / a tour of the architecture of skateboarding with Tony Hawk / The Long Road to The Porsche 911 / “Amid the multibillion pound investments and architectural feats in King’s Cross, might be a tiny hitch, however: there’s no guarantee these buildings will ever be fully occupied again.” / closely related, How London’s Silicon Roundabout dream turned into a nightmare. Also related, Google stays committed to its huge new Kings Cross campus / “Place depicted in Van Gogh’s final painting found with help of postcard”. See also the “Real Locations That Inspired 13 Famous Paintings” / 4½-litre 1927-31 Bentley ‘Blower’ in Lego / Aurélien Aumond photographs the French Neo-Futurist Amusement Park Futuroscope.

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Plinky plonk

A playable Grand Piano made out of Lego / some new style takeaway food packaging / playing with the internet’s most reviled synthesizer / out with the 3D chrome effect; car brands are returning to flat logos / A MAZE. / Berlin is a festival that focuses on ‘arthouse games and playful media’ (via CDM) / computer graphic history at the Pixar Online Library / a 3D sprite printer / ‘photogrammetry models’ of London by David Fletcher (via Meanwhile) / the EYESY Video Synthesizer from Critter & Guitari / Sonic Youth live from the basement, 2007.

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Still watching the skies

a few publications: Document Journal (art, culture, photography, e.g. The secret drawings of Great Britain’s UFO Desk); White Hot Magazine (international art); Tape Op (the magazine of creative music recording) / How to cheat the bestseller list / widely seen, but worth bookmarking for future reference: Artist Recreates How Iconic Figures From History Would Really Look in Real Life, the work of Bas Uterwijk / RIP Tim Smith. The music of The Cardiacs is collected at the Alphabet Business Concern / more music by Tiltshifting / a short film about architectural modelmaking from Morris + Company / J Mascis Garbage Face / Bonfire of the Inanities, an epic history of the New Yorks Times ‘Style Section’ by Jacqui Shine.

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Cogs and gears

Dreamscapes & Artificial Architecture, a new book about computer generated alternative realities / sort of related, architectural models by Frank Kunert (via Dezeen) / sci-fi cities illustrated by Grant Riven Yun / Cigarettes, Space Invaders and the birth of the game watch / Could Liverpool be a 15 Minute City? (from this MeFi discussion) / Science Museum asks public to help identify mystery items. The gallery and some suggestions over at MeFi / Powland is a loose collective of sound artists, with an extensive online presence (via Gearnews).

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Planning ahead

Townscaper, building cities as a welcome distraction (via MeFi). See also the Medieval Fantasy City Generator / Queen Victoria’s private railway station at Nine Elms. Now firmly buried beneath the Gladwin Tower, just one of the area’s many, many claims to sheer architectural banality / WikiDelia, a ‘study of the life and work of the pioneer of electronic music Delia Derbyshire’ / We’re stuck in a lockdown work from home purgatory / The Quetiapine pedal from Pierrot (available from Break the Machine) / illustrations by Bernice Lum.

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In the mix

The Concrete House, one of Connell, Ward and Lucas’s quiet masterpieces / twenty years of the Wallpaper* architects’ directory / 100 years that changed Houston; ‘Just add an overwhelmingly oppressive humidity and you’ve got the place.’ (thanks, David) / welcome to the ‘micro hood’ / an obituary for Michael Glickman, an architect obsessed with Crop Circles / the Temple of the Steps, Sameep Padora & Associates (photos Edmund Sumner / illustrations by Felicia Chiao / switching gears to music. Listen to sounds by Wolf People; Temple Solaire; On Autopilot / Richardjcooper is up to the sixth edition of his endearing scuzzy indie covers series / Bad Moon Rising at 35: How Sonic Youth’s 1985 masterpiece reinvented indie rock / Atomic bombing; how to protect yourself / some classic copycat car designs / How to do archaeology with place names.

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Hook, line and sinker

The Fishing Party, an ancient post about a mid-80s British documentary that’s worth re-watching, if you can stand it / a history of the German autobahn / My Own Private Bookclub, a traditional and wonderful blog / Jon, episode 1 and 2, ‘a Garfield fancomic considering the life of Jon Arbuckle, cartoonist’ / the end of Blueprint’s Print Edition. The website will live on / remembering the 1990s Indie Dance Boom / play with a Slayer action figure / LA under construction / Dawsons Heights, South London’s ziggurat / FOMA 7: When Bricks Are Put Together, Carefully, the ‘seventh edition of Forgotten Masterpieces is taking a field trip through Italy’. At Architecture of Doom / watch the Japanese Consul General to the USA play the Star Spangled Banner, Hendrix-style.

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Fire in the sky

Yes, it’s Los Angeles, July 2020 / I had such a lovely dream last night / Land of the Rising Sound, a Roland Retrospective (related, vintage Roland catalogues / how to pick the perfect watermelon / ‘a new spectacting style’ with the Remote Cheerer app / Adam Greenfield’s Speedbird has officially ended its mission / A Mammoth Of The Air, a silent newsreel from 1921 about the Caproni Ca.60 Flying Boat (via Oobject) / Beer mats of the 1970s.

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Observed around the web

Running Car ‘Faces’ Through An AI Face-Processing Algorithm Is Amazing And Terrifying / enjoy the slow pace of the Ogmios School of Zen Motoring / The accidental dystopia of major construction sites (via K) / Moldova Shuts Down Bootleg Helicopter Factory (via Popbitch) / band photography on I Spy with My Little Eye / music by Zebede / music by The Telescopes, who might even crop up in the the 90s Festival Generator / websites that imitate desktops both via b3ta / a collection of movies to watch from home at BAMPFA, the UC Berkeley Museum and Pacific Film Archive / Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles, 1972. The Baede-Kar Visitor Guidance System used in the film – a fictional device, according to one of the two posts on – perhaps harks back to the 1971 cassette navigation system shown on Tomorrow’s World the year before.

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The speed of Austen

Could Teleporting Ever Work? (Spoiler: No) / where’s the beef? RIP Carl Reiner / QasarBeach emulates the Fairlight CMI (Computer Musical Instrument) (via Synthtopia) / New York scene in miniature by Cityfolk Studio. More small things at D.Thomas Fine Miniatures and the Wonder of Miniature Worlds / the speed of travel in Jane Austen’s England at Sarah’s History Place (via MeFi) / ambient drone-y soundscape music by Starthief / a collection of counter-cultural magazines at the Letterform Archive / Manchester After Engels, an essay at Places Journal / the dazzling world of EXP TV, a streaming video channel of eccentricities and obscurities (via MeFi).

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Short and random things

RIP, Milton Glaser / From Russia with Loewy: The U.S.S.R.’s failed world car. The story of the Moskvich / an ongoing project, Photo collections from every state in the Union / the thoroughly depressing secret economics of the VIP party / beautifully detailed 1/64 car models from Tomica / Create Digital Music, ‘a home for people who make and play music and motion’ (.e.g That Hans Zimmer ad, but it’s chiptune) / the history of the Crystal Palace / always believe in gold / live as a cowboy at Mellonsfolly Ranch, NZ (via The Guardian).

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Infuriatingly idiosyncratic

A film about Carmine Street Guitars (via The Guardian) / music by Danish band Tales of Murder and Dust / recommendations via We Love Lo-Fi / more via American Pancake / Twist Spin Tuck Jump (at K) / beautifully painted film set floor plans by Boryana Ilieva (via Meanwhile). See also how three contrasting houses in 2020’s Oscar-winning movies would be described by an estate agent. Also sort of related, on the film set design of Space Force / time to revisit the architectural illusions of Víctor Enrich / real versus game: the Seattle of the Last of Us Part II / more music at Start Track, a little dose of indie, luna collective, SSG Music and Radio Insight / useful reference: The New Citroen by Roland Barthes, 1957 / hastening the untimely end of the Airbus A380, how COVID-19 killed the era of ‘big’ flying. Meanwhile, in a world where budgets barely matter and the passengers aren’t paying, General Electric Wants To Keep America’s B-52s In The Air Until 2097 / praise be, all of Kottke’s Quick Links are in a single place.

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Life in lockdown

numb‘ is a short film about life in lockdown by the teen filmmaker Liv Mcneil. Recommended (via MeFi) / The Booksellers: ‘This was once a clubbable – and very male – profession that hardly changed for centuries, run by a mole-tribe of eccentric, tweed-wearing guys who were irritated to be beckoned from their chaotic shelves of old books by someone cheeky enough to want to buy one.’ / the Formanta was a Soviet-era synthesizer. Check these and similar at the Soviet Guitar Effects Online Store & Museum and the Good Luck Vintage Shop in Ukraine.

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Get me out of bed

Play with Google’s Shared Piano / Soulwax and the hunt for the EMS Synthi 100 / music at A Certain Kind Records / another label to check out, I Heart Noise / photographs by Jan Koster / Milcho Pipin’s photographs of the Brazilian prison system / Tulgey Wood, a weblog about Disney / the birth of the literary travel journal, ‘Journey Along the Sea Road‘ / a web 1.0 approach to very much ongoing problems: The Police Officer’s Dilemma / a Monopoly-inspired trip around London / Teenage Riot.

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Folded up

For Sale: Eppich House II by Arthur Erickson (via Wowhaus) / former Medicine frontman Brad Laner has a treasure trove of audio on his bandcamp page / more concrete, sorry. On Le Corbusier’s housing at Fruges / sort of related, How Normie Minimalism and Farmhouse Chic Took Over Contemporary Design / the art of Ellen Sheidlin / music by Steve Tibbetts / the afterlife of TV puppet(eers) / Mad Magazine-style fold-ins in css / it’s 1989, all of it (via tmn), at The Hood Internet / make paper computers / buy Prince’s Yamaha DX-7 / the sound of the Trautonium, the monophonic electronic instrument used to soundtrack The Birds / Filmscapes transform with greenery, real and artificial, turning UK locations into the Florida Everglades for Annihilation or creating the gardens surrounding Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children / still lives by Clara Rubin / the art of Nicola Samori / ‘Siri, I’m getting pulled over’.

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