Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Deconstruct This

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  • Tom Beard,

    Some great Vocoder etc moments? Hope these qualify:

    "In a Beautiful Place Out in the Country", Boards of Canada
    "O Superman", Laurie Anderson
    "Sexy Boy", Air

    Oh, yes indeed. How could I forget "O Superman"?! And I'd add "Kelly Watch the Stars" by Air.

    "Hamburger Lady", Throbbing Gristle -- but was that vocoder or some cut-up device they invented themselves?

    Hmm, I'll have to have a look. There are a lot of other cutup/sampling/distortion effects that can sound a bit like vocoding, and various time-stretching and granular synthesis techniques (as stretched to breaking point by Fat Boy Slim, Chemical Brothers and others) can give a mechanical effect. Ditto for a lot of the glitchy/gated effects.

    such frustrations largely come from the self-conscious blending of the tropes of electronic and guitar music rather than the sounds of the instruments themselves

    Very true: rather than saying "Hey, let's mix rawk and techno!", if the whole range of electronic and acoustic instruments and techniques are treated as a broad palette for creating music, the results can be extraordinary. While I'm not so much into the current electro/punk crossovers (I keep wishing there was more electro, as well as wondering whether Bang!Bang!Eche! are up after their bedtime), I'm thinking of things like early Underworld, Electronic (the Bernard Sumner/Johnny Marr/Neil Tennant collaboration) and some of the ambient Fripp/Eno stuff.

    the world however, does not require me to take a stance on Jesus Jones

    Let's just say I had a misguided youth.

    I'm on a boat! I'm on a boat!

    Too many dicks!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1040 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Oops fucked that up. Not sure about this embedding thing. Meant to be Neil in his vocoder stage.

    No worries -- I fixed it. You don't need the embed code here -- just paste in the URL.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • philipmatthews,

    Thanks for sorting out the Neil Young, it was excellent. It's funny, I had the impression that the Trans era was widely hated by critics, fans, etc but there was this very informed write up in Rolling Stone:


    Christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 656 posts Report Reply

  • R A Hurley,

    Let's just say I had a misguided youth.

    You're only young once. Over and over again.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    Something else to deconstruct for your Thursday, courtesy of the Dim-Post.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1611 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    I had the impression that the Trans era was widely hated by critics, fans, etc but there was this very informed write up in Rolling Stone...

    That Neil Young was quite something!

    The internet is a boon for re-examining the past, examining the documents directly rather than reviving memories of what we thought we read.

    I'm looking at US newspapers from the early 19th century today. Weird.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Harris,

    Something else to deconstruct for your Thursday, courtesy of the Dim-Post.

    Someone's not been taking their medication.

    Waikanae • Since Jul 2008 • 1343 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    Yeah it was Russel and his mates!
    What era was it when all Orientals were thought to look the same to to large swathes of the population?
    Well at least he can distinguish (if somewhat loosely) professional groupings.
    As the man said "Ya always get a few nuts"

    And you cant beat a good plate reverb, but its not as much fun when taking the piss.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1891 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Ackroyd,

    ... has anyone here ever worn a hand-knitted jumper with a keyboard design on it? Anyone?

    My Mum knitted me a jumper with a stave with notes on it to my own design. It was about the nerdiest thing I have EVER worn.

    And I still have a Squeeze-era Jools Holland keyboard skinny tie.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 159 posts Report Reply

  • Brodie Davis,

    Don't forget the song that lauched thousands of internet memes,

    (Still Alive - Portal End credits song).

    But the thousands of voice samples through the game really made it.

    Since Aug 2008 • 54 posts Report Reply

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