timscience: (equality launchpad)
This is the first EP from my new project Golden Cities. Please spread the goodness if you like it.
At some stage there will be gigs

timscience: (Candroid)
So where can I write my important feels about Ghost in the Shell then? There will be spoilerz so FB is not appropriate. So clearly LJ is the ideal place! But LJ is now fully compliant with Putin's anti-LGBT agenda Russian Law, so DreamWidth it is. Aparently LJ-cuts work on DW so let's see.

spoilers )
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timscience: (Default)
OK this is a test post I guess.
timscience: (robotdancer)
So then, time for the traditional end of year roundup, several days late because of the enormous LiveJournal fail of new year.
2012 has been pretty good as far as I’m concerned, as shown by the fact that at least five albums which would for sure have been in last year are edged out. However, top ten means top ten not top fifteen – that’s THE RULES. Some of my choices have been described in the past as “a bit Shoreditch” by SOMEONE WHO WILL REMAIN NAMELESS but I have decided that, you know what? That isn’t a bad thing. Say what you like about the red trousered community, they have an ear for exciting new music and a willingness to go to obscure indie gigs that I no longer wish to be cynical about. It's not like they're George Osborne or anything.

Anyway, here we go:

Disappointment of the year: Good Don’t Sleep by Egyptian Hip Hop. A few years ago J and I disagreed over this band at Dot to Dot – I was rather taken by their shambolic charm whereas she lambasted them as overprivileged stoners. On the basis of this album which has been THREE YEARS in the making, she wins. There are elements of tune here but by and large they are lost in a sea of self-indulgence. I suspect that the consumption of massive quantities of weed may have been a factor. Say no to drugs, kids.

Honourable mentions:

Pacifica by The Presets. It says something about the musical quality of 2012 that there is a Presets album that is not in my personal top ten. This is the one where, having done the indie album (Beams) and the techno album (Apocalypso) they go all pop in a Pet Shop Boys kind of way. Lovely but really, boys, the lyrics – sort it out.

Held by Holy Other. The natural evolution of Witch House, I guess, into a kind of spacious indie R’n’B. See also Grimes and Purity Ring, who are also good, but this is better than both of them.

Anxiety by Ladyhawke. It’s all gone a bit Bonnie Tyler, frankly. I hated this at first but have since grown to like it. Not enough for the top ten though.

Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! by godspeed you! black emperor. Is the exclamation mark in the right place or have they moved it again? Is the lowercase thing a THING? These thoughts and more may or may not go through your head as godspeed do their thing of unfolding tunes v___e___r___y    s___l___o__w___l___y until they turn into enormous riffs that blow your shit up.

Reign of Terror by Sleigh Bells. It was always going to be hard to follow up “Treats” and Sleigh Bells almost managed it. Almost. They clearly couldn’t use the same production trick again, so it’s a little dialled down this time, so the rockers don’t work as well. However, there are a whole bunch of sweet pop songs which now have the space to shine through suggesting that they have found a way forward.

Instinct by Niki & The Dove. Another Dot to Dot favourite. Not in because about half of it had already been released as singles and B-sides which I already owned, and there was nothing as good as “DJ Ease My Mind” on the rest of it. Not that it was bad, mind.

White Math by Blanck Mass. Blanck Mass discovers rhythm and – shock horror – drums. This is ace although tbh it could easily be a Fuck Buttons record. Doesn’t get on because it’s a two track EP lasting only 20 minutes. Them’s the rules.

And so to the utterly subjective Top Ten albums of 2012.

10) Kill for Love – Chromatics.

I was slightly surprised to discover that eMusic had not got it wrong and that the scrappy punky Chromatics were, in fact, the same Chromatics as this – the spacious, spectral disco outfit. Apparently there was some kind of Damascene conversion. I have been listening to Chromatics a fair bit this year (not least because their old track “Tick of the Clock” seems to have been discovered by whoever compiles TV soundtracks) and it keeps growing on me. A big influence on the remix I did for Tiger Mendoza which you can still buy at a surprisingly modest price. Well done Johnny – now hurry up with the next Glass Candy record why don’t you?

9) Wixiw – Liars

Their best album yet, more immediate than “Sisterworld” but still retaining the experimental weirdness. Odd and haunting with occasional moments of euphoria, the best of which is “Brats”, a track which would be best described as banging techno if anyone but Liars had made it.

8) BLCKLSTRS – Blacklisters

“You need to listen to this great new track. It’s called ‘Clubfoot by Kasabian’”
“Club Foot by Kasabian isn’t new…..”
“No, not ‘Club Foot’ by Kasabian. This is ‘Clubfoot by Kasabian’ by Blacklisters”
“Blacklisters?”
“Yes. They’re like the new Mclusky or something. It isn’t a cover, they’ve just named their song ‘Clubfoot by Kasabian’”
“What, are they Kasabian fans or something?”
“It’s hard to tell but I think probably not”.
“Not ‘Club Foot’ by Kasabian then.”
“No.”

7) Synthetica – Metric

I dunno, there’s something about Metric. There’s no reason for me to like their stuff. The same ingredients reshuffled as Broken Social Scene don’t do it for me at all. The instrument arrangements are nothing out of the ordinary, they aren’t especially experimental, and their guitarist wears an annoying trilby. And yet, I love ‘em. I think it’s just that they write really good songs.

6) III – Crystal Castles

It’s a fair bet that pretty much anything Crystal Castles choose to release will be in my top ten and this is no exception. This was made using all analogue equipment although you can’t really tell. Manages to combine all the ingredients of rave into something simultaneously both euphoric and bleak, most obviously in “Sad Eyes”, the closest Crystal Castles will ever get to a club banger.

5) Master Of My Make-Believe – Santigold

Santigold’s been away for a bit and consequently I guess this is something of a make or break record. Hopefully make, with pop sensibilities offset by utter lunacy. In her live show at the Wireless festival this year (surprisingly low on the bill) she managed, in a half hour show, to fit in two costume changes, a pantomime horse and a stage invasion without slowing down the pace at all. Quality.

4) We’ll Be The Moon – Fixers

Fixers were clearly the standout at the Punt a couple of years back and this album should have pushed them to mainstream success, if it weren’t for some kind of weirdness involving their label dropping them a couple of days before release and consequently this getting no publicity at all. Another of those records I keep coming back to. I still don’t really see the Beach Boys comparisons though. Fixers are different, and better.

3) the plot against common sense – Future of the Left

After the new Mclusky, here come the old Mclusky (or something) with a truly great record, accompanied by a hilarious internet spat with a Pitchfork reviewer who took it to task for “corporate slickness” (in fact it sounds as if it was recorded in a tin bucket, which is one of its more endearing features). Ranges from the splenetic (“sheena is a t-shirt salesman”) to the immense (“notes on achieving orbit”). SHALALALALALALALA LALALALALALA!!!!!

2) NO LOVE DEEP WEB – Death Grips

This record counts as a 2012 release because of what can only be described as a truly epic act of internet trolling by Death Grips, who have managed to sabotage everyone involved’s chances of ever making any money from it by leaking it onto the internet early with cover art consisting of an erect penis with the album title written on it with a sharpie, then responding to their record company’s rather plaintive note asking them to stop with the comment “HAHAHAHA FUCK OFF”. None of which should put you off – this is stripped down, aggressive, startling and original. Speaking of which……

1) Light Asylum – Light Asylum

2012 was all about Light Asylum as far as I am concerned. Someone described them as sounding like Grace Jones fronting Suicide, I guess this is at least a reference point (as are 80s synthpop and most prominently NY electro) but Light Asylum are a lot more than a collection of references. Brutal drum breaks, minimalist synth lines, the nerve to keep a song tight until the last chorus and suddenly let it take off, Shannon Funchess’ extraordinary voice, and, in case you missed them (as some reviewers seem to have done) arresting, headspinning, dark and glorious tunes.
timscience: (darwin)
Got a phone call from the Kirby service centre (if you've been reading this journal a while you may remember the Kirby from this post). They asked me if I was up for an ultra cheap Kirby service. I said thanks, but I had had one done recently, and it had turned out to be not so cheap as the parts weren't free and he spent an hour trying to sell us a new machine.

Anyway, it turns out that this guy had been the EVIL KIRBY FRANCHISE. It seems that some years back an evil man who everyone had trusted had killed the king and placed their incestuous son on the throne instead STOLEN THE DATABASE and sold it on to an evil company in Bristol who were not the real Kirby company. They had done this while the managing director of the good Kirby company was busy mourning the injury of his son who had mysteriously fallen from the roof at his mother's funeral. The man on the phone said the evil man was a sick sick person as opposed to the GOOD Kirby company who are loyal to the true heir.

The good Kirby company said that they were marching on King's Landing taking the evil Kirby company to trading standards and in the meantime would I like to declare them the King in the North take a service contract from them. I politely declined as I fear the intervention of a fireproof psychotic princess who can command dragons.

REMIX!

12/11/12 18:45
timscience: (SHOTP)
OK we have a remix out on the new Tiger Mendoza e.p. I am quite pleased with it.

I have been listening to the Chromatics a fair bit as you may be able to tell.

unable to embed properly as lj STILL has problems with iframes what is this the 20th century?

Ours is the Space Heroes silent disco RMX in case you were wondering.
timscience: (fondue)
Inspired by Sainsbury's game casserole mix. Ingredients roughly in order of being put in the pot.

1 pack Sainsbury's game casserole mixed mystery meat
2 rashers bacon
2 tsp cumin seed
- coat the meat in flour and lightly fry along with chopped bacon and cumin seed.
1 ltr veg stock
4 tsp sumac stirred into the veg stock
1 small white onion, very coarsely chopped
1/2 dozen new potatoes
1 small handful chantenay carrots
1/2 small butternut squash, cut into 2cm cubes
- this really seemed to make a difference. Up to you with the butternut though I guess. Don't bother to peel it, the peel will go soft enough to eat.
2 cloves smoked garlic
1 tsp smoked garlic powder
1 chipotle chilli, chopped
- the smokey flavours really seem to work although you could probably sub in regular garlic if you must.
1 tsp spice parisienne (mainly paprika and nutmeg with some peppercorns, cloves and thyme)
1 tsp ground coriander seed
1 tbsp sieved flour, to thicken
1 sprig rosemary

Cook in the oven in a casserole dish for at least 1 1/2 hr at gas 3. Serve with dumplings (parmesan dumplings work fine but I think thyme dumplings would also be good).
timscience: (catlol)
Glorious Revolutionary Fabric Design!


More here
timscience: (fuckit)
I have a tendency to listen to Radio 4 on my way to work on the days when I don't feel like listening to music. It's relatively soothing and often quite interesting. Unfortunately my regular schedule gets me Thought for the Fucking Day about the time I go over Tesco flyover.

Usually it just induces eye-rolling scorn over its sixth-form platitudes and idiotic evidence-free assertions ("insight comes from the soul's remembrance of its own spiritual origin" WHAT THE FUCK DOES THAT EVEN MEAN???) but on occasion it leads me to such paroxysms of rage that even the company of Chris Moyles seems preferable. Today was a weird one though and lulled me into a false state of security before delivering its punchline. I'm sure Anne Atkins thinks of herself as a lovely person and maybe even a liberal but this morning's idiocy seemed to drift into highly politicised right wing dogwhistle territory.

Check this shit out, with my interpretation:

Preamble lovely village blah blah some sexist shit about map reading blah blah Jesus, who, apparently, was all for female equality in spite of never having been recorded as mentioning the subject. Then:
"The most important job most of us ever do is raising the next generation." - well that's reassuring to those of my friends who don't wish to, or can't, have children. You may be a writer, a scientist, a teacher, an artist but unless you've spawned your life is esentially worthless.

" A privilege which vitally embraces the commitment of two people, essentially different, equally involved, each incapable of creating a child alone." - "Child rearing is for a man and a woman committed in matrimony....."

"What interested me most about the navigational findings is that those who perform best are, what a surprise, not men alone or women alone but a mixed team of both" - ".....and all you gays and single parents can fuck right off. Especially those gays who might want to get married and maybe raise children."

Now maybe it's just me. But, given the prominence of the gay marriage issue and Anne Atkins' status as a "practising Anglican" I don't think so. Does somebody clear the scripts for what these fuckwits are going to say? Because I'm certainly not up for a bunch of Tea Party horseshit being beamed into my car before my coffee has even kicked in, however delicately coded it is.

Thought for the Day. Can you all just fuck off now please?
timscience: (SHOTP)
OK this is about my favourite of the new ones.

timscience: (rings)
Oh God our anniversary trip was amazing. Wednesday, To Queen Elizabeth Hall (South Bank) for Planningtorock and Light Asylum. Have I mentioned how much I like Light Asylum?

Thursday, back to the Queen Elizabeth hall, for this:










A Room For London is astonishing and beautiful and wonderfully detailed and full of books (Conrad, Ballard, books on architecture and sailing and colonialism and post apocalyptic). Anyway it turns out it is TOTALLY OK to get hammered on champagne and go out on the lookout (the high roof at the top) at midnight.

Friday we took a wander round the South Bank (after staying in the room for as long as feasible, because really we loved every second we were there)and went to Animal Inside Out at the Natural History Museum (which now (the museum, not Animal Inside Out) seems to include an escalator ride through the Earth's bumhole) and the Heatherwick Studios exhibition at the V+A. They built the Olympic cauldron, and also this:



It was the most amazing time.

Tracks!

4/8/12 16:18
timscience: (SHOTP)
WE are back from our London excursion, which was glorious. More of that anon.

First, before going to London, I did some mixing - we have about 8 rough mixes ready for a possible album, some of which will go up on our soundcloud.

As a taster, here are the first two, we'll post a couple more. These two are, you might say, non standard:

Fanfare for Vyacheslav Mescherin

This might be a short intro track. I'm thinking here on the lines of OMD's "Dazzle Ships" with its intro excerpts from Radio Prague. That's something that worked brilliantly for me. Sorry about Soundcloud's rather brutal compression by the way, the weird artefacts in the synth sound near the start aren't part of the mix. Soundcloud seems to do something peculiar to extended synth sounds.

The samples are from a net station called Common Ground Radio who did a show on the Vyacheslav Mescherin Orchestra. Currently waiting to see what the situation is re sample clearance for commercial use.

Icebergs (Space Heroes Atomflot RMX)

This one is a remix of Icebergs by our friends 1877. I'm pretty pleased with this. I'm not sure whether to put remixes out as a separate e.p. On the one hand, a remix e.p. would be pretty cool and would tide people over until we have enough tracks for an album. On the other hand, if putting remixes in a full album is good enough for Crystal Castles, it's good enough for me, and I think the track is strong enough to stand up.
timscience: (strange food)
Last night J and I decided to try the new shish place that's replaced Joe's cafe. It's called Oxford's grill and looks a bit shit from the outside. This is deceptive as it's actually very good.

It seemed totally deserted, which we figured might be a bad sign, until we realised it was Ramadan and before sundown so a lot of the clientele might not be eating just yet. Generally speaking delicious, with generous portions. Fans of the old Cafe du Liban will know the style although the food is Turkish not Lebanese. I reckon you could do a proper mezze meal from teh starters if you wanted which is half the point of this kind of place.

I had Liver fried in spices as a start and Iskander, a mix of meats on top of a pile of cubes of bread soaked in spicy tomatoes,as a main - both were excellent. We also tried Cankaya, a spicy dry Turkish white, which was well tasty, and finished on a good Turkish coffee. You can get a two course set meal and a free glass of wine for £9.95 which is pretty good - otherwise reckon on about 20 -25 quid per person including wine.

Anyone who misses the Euphrates might want to give it a try - the style is different but it kind of fills the same space on Cowley Road.
timscience: (sundial)
While the rest of Oxfords was at Truck, we went to the Milton Keynes International Festival. We'd been a couple of years ago and liked it then. This year, on friday only, we had the chance to have a go on Jeremy Deller's Bouncy Stonehenge. It was that or the Mystery Jets. I think the choice was clear.


Bouncy Stonehenge


Distance shot


Slightly smaller version round the back of the shopping centre


Boat in the shoppng centre made from Significant Pieces of Wood. It needed to be craned in.


Glowing time portal thing in Campbell Park. Not part of the festival, just part of general MK futuristic weirdness.


Grotto of glowing vests. Part of the Fire Garden.


Moving fire sculpture. The fire garden was hard to light (there had been a downpour at about 6.00) but spectacular once it got going.

All images and more from Jeremy's Flickr here.

Milton Keynes is great.
timscience: (sundial)
OMG. This still exists - everyone assumed it had gone when the flats containing it were demolished but the whole thing was secretly removed as one piece and is now in a specially commisioned building in Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

It will reopen to the public in spring next year. See it if you can, it is a thing of astonishing beauty.

timscience: (dino_rider)
OK so Primeval is back and already this series looks better than the last series. Which is a good thing since according to Hannahfromsclub nobody has mentioned a series 6 to her which means there probably isn't one.

Anyway, the monsters in this episode were a bit shit, but the plotting was tight and Abby seems to have stopped acting like her emotions are dictated at random by the whim of the scriptwriter and more like a coherent character again, which hopefully means less soap opera and more dinosaurs. Also a bunch of wibbley wobbley timey wimey looks like it might actually get resolved instead of just made randomly more complicated. Looking positive I have to say, and most of all looking like it might be fun again.
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timscience: (Default)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] la_marquise_de_ at If you only do one thing today...
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] seph_hazard at If you only do one thing today...
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] ozisim at If you only do one thing today...
...make sure that ALL Geeks can get married if they want to!

Dear UK Flisters,

I know I'm preaching to the choir with you guys when it comes to LGBT equality, but believing something is fair and actually getting off your bum and doing something about it doesn't always follow like it should. So here's a little (and slightly preachy) reminder!!

Three things I'd like you all to do before you go to bed tonight (if you haven't already)

1/ Go here and sign the C4EM's petition for marriage equality. This is the simplest and probably most visible way to show your support. It currently has 60,000 signatures -- the petition against (by C4M) has over 500,000!!!

2/ Go here and fill out the government's consultation. It might take a little bit longer, but you can bet that for every pro-person who doesn't find the time, there will be dozens of 'anti' people who will.

3/ Email your MP. There's a handy template there for you to use so you don't even have to think of what to say. Also, you can go here to see where your MP stands on the issue. A hugely important thing to do because the majority of MPs will be voting with their conscience rather than following the party line, so make sure you let yours know your feelings.

4/ Okay, so I lied. There's actually a fourth thing. And that is simply spread the word. The consultation ends in two day - it's our last chance to get as many people mobilised as possible. So tweet it, Facebook, blog it, beat your friends and family around the head with it until they give in!!! And if you want to repost to your own journal (and please feel free to edit), here's an ever-so helpful button

Gig

9/6/12 11:24
timscience: (SHOTP)
Hello. We are playing at Modern Art Oxford tonight, we are on abut 8 as we are first on the bill.

https://www.facebook.com/events/169089173222717/

That is all.

May 2017

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