20jazzfunkgreats has been delving into the early history of computer graphics and animation – the way in which digits give life to moving images that eventually, touched by the finger of genius, are imbued with an illusion of intelligence and soul, arguably artifice for now (although who knows what those cowboys and astronauts get up to at night when no-one is looking, or in the imaginations of those within which they migrate with every projection?).
Our synaesthetic tendencies require a discussion of some basic graphics techniques in the context of sound (Signal processing theory 101, we know, but bear with us). In doing so, we cover some of our most beloved grounds, fertile lands of dance with their own dashing peculiarities, and start the countdown for the end of this year, or perhaps age, for next week we’ll be a-listing our 2011 loves.
Where the naked mathematical abstractions of a model are enveloped in smooth patterns that, with subtle gradation, wholly encompass the spectrum of feeling.
The gorgeous shadows of the platonic truths that the model embodies are projected against the walls of our discotheque, where we pursue them like enthralled lepidopterists, hopeless for they always escape from between our fingers like snowflake butterflies, delighted that they exist, and also at our failure, for in the romantic game, victory is always the beginning of defeat.
Synthetics – Silicone Dreams (Demo)
The demos that we have obtained from Synthetics effortlessly capture a bewildering array of italo moods like perfectly preserved postcards from a forgotten Rimini escapade – you can explore them at your leisure in his soundcloud.
It has been a sweet struggle to select the one to display in the blog today, but after much deliberation, we have gone for Silicone Dreams, a minimal tango that we dance alone, across the fixtureless white spaces of a Michael Mann-induced hallucination.
Here, the geometric purity of our sound polygon is deliberately perturbed so as to better simulate the carousel of rhythm, and the emotional swings that it induces.
Render a dance-space, say, a summer festival tent. Let X, Y and Z represent the usual spatial coordinates where the agents are positioned, changes in their locations capture time. Because this tent is packed, you can represent the dynamics within the tent as a surface. At a low enough level of resolution, the surface is flat (because the height distribution of your agents is normal, with miniscule variance).
You are missing out on what’s going on. Get bump mapping mate. Plug the DJ/band output into your height map, and apply this to the surface normal – Z becomes an emotional/psychedelic high. Suddenly you have peaks and lows stretching to the top of your graph like invisible ball players seeking to slam dunk the sun. Things are getting real deep, now you want to get in there.
Beyond – Untitled III
Moon Glyph are serious front-runners for the 20jazzfunkgreats ‘label of 2011’ prize, if we indeed decide to allocate it (you know we aren’t that keen on rankings due to ‘greatness commensurability’ issues), so we are pleased to slide towards the end of the year with another of their excellent releases, this time by Beyond (aka J. Shaver from Deep Earth).
In his paradoxically titled No Man Moves, he travels across adjacent provinces of physical and spiritual enlightenment with much gusto – imagine Gavin Russom’s various facets compiled within a single release, after time well spent in an Aegean spa.
Untitled III begins with the metronomic organ that calls to worship in the Holy Church of Chicago, and then progresses towards its Balearo-idealistic drop with deft guitar-work. Wine into blood, bread into flesh, bass into the pulsing blood-flesh (heart) of the unnamed divinity.
The interpolation of a signal (say, the shining kernel of creative energy at the heart of everything we love) sampled at a low rate produces aliasing. You can address this by filtering high frequency components out of the original, but something is lost in translation, a blur lingers at the sub-perceptual level, the soul of the copy has been mangled in ways you aren’t aware of – unlike your pineal gland. A mild feeling of dissatisfaction and emptiness ensues.
You could crank up your resolution up to 11, but that’s the accountant’s way out. Instead, let the true idea charge untamed into the lair of the machine, crash through its silicon halls like a furious stampede of binary stallions, position yourself at the exit with eyes shut tight, ride its jagged lines as it breaks out, for an exhilarated instant, and then smash in the ground and break your bones, bruise your skin and splatter your spit, watch it disappear in the distance, free, alive, legion.
Julianna Barwick – The Magic Place (The Recycle Culture Uplift)
The Recycle Culture’s (alas, no link) uplift of Julianna Barwick’s The Magic Place is psychedelic trance in the best of ways, running up that hill in a wild hunt that is its own purpose, the joy of the gallop and its perceptual distortion, accompanied by velocity devils of emotion and exhilaration. Pity that 13 Monsters is no more, for this anti-aerodynamic banshee would have made a worthy closer for our New Years bash.
You can get The Magic Place from Asthmatic Kitty.