T minus 28: New Years Speech 2008
Posted December 31st 2007, at 23:59 with tags , ,

December 31st,

nice. Exactly one month left to release, on New Years Eve. Not by design, but nice nonetheless.

One year ago, in this journal, I predicted and proclaimed the imminent death of DRM and the continued rise of MP3. Being that I am a soft,  careful, loving and forgiving person I am not going to make much of this except perhaps mention, cough cough,


DRM is dying. RIAA is dying. Majors are dying. Music, as an art, is thriving. Possibilites are endless. Culture is in a paradigm shift. Right now, right here, we find ourselves in a hyper-dynamic, mash-modern, post-DRMocalyptic landscape, and it is the best sci-fi movie you will ever experience because you are living right inside it.

And you are not only living in it, you are the protagonist.

Remember 10, 15 years ago? When something bored you, you were bored. You hated being bored. Things were boring. Things are still boring today, I would venture as far as to say there are more boring things in the world today then 10 years ago, yet it does not appear such: The control of boredom, the systems and ways we interact with the world has changed, the control of the world has changed. My journal entry sucks? Poof! Ctrl-W, your attention to me is obliterated. You win, someone else on the tubes win, I loose.

Last year, Time Magazine had YOU has their person of the year, but I don't think they realized how important YOU would become. YOU killed DRM. Not me. Not technology. Not the labels.

In the near future, YOU, with the power of networked technology, will become more important than ever. YOU will define and realize the future. My role as an artist, creator, entertainer, provider, should be to learn and adapt to this and do what my role is, create and provide. I am not talking about how I write my music, interesting as that discussion would be (it is! would love to discuss!), but I am talking about how I present and provide the music. I want you to listen to it, I want us both to escape from reality, I want the process to be optimal to us both. I don't want any third party polluting and controlling us.

The solution is simple. Within the release of Unicorn, YOU will be able to listen, download, and purchase high quality DRM-free music as YOU see fit, all released and unreleased music I have ever written. Directly from me, with no label or third party between.

T minus 29: United States of America
Posted December 31st 2007, at 14:55 with tags , , , ,

December 30th,

I might be going to the US. Ugress is invited to play at the Spark Festival Of Electronic Music And Arts in Minneapolis, Minnesota at the end of February 2008. I have applied for and received funding for travel expenses. Economically the trip itself is possible. The deadline for confirmation is tomorrow. I hearts the dream. I will say yes.

But I am unsure if I will be able to pull this off. Travelling to the US, for a gig, is shit-loads of work. I know because I tried last spring, we had a gig in San Fran and I spent several weeks on it, trying to make the most of it and it was cancelled. Que sera. But I know the amount of work involved in this. Not only is the Americans of today slightly nervous of their visitors, also from our side we should try to make some showcases in other cities while we are there, probably East coast. Problem is, with the Unicorn release and promotion coming up, no chance in snowy hell I can follow up on this alone. So right now I'm looking for someone to help me pull this off.

The US is a special country for me. As a child, I adored the US. I still do, but perhaps with more nuances now.

My mom used to live there, we have a lot of family over there, so I got a lot of input. I remember as a kid of the 80ies, everything American was magic, Ghostbusters, Bruce Springsteen, He-Man, The Goonies, Disney, E.T., christmas presents with a certain smell, MASK, SOAP... When I was 9 I was over for a month, driving thru the US, visiting LA, Disneyland, The Rockies, the desert, the midwest, Washington state, 4th of July in Seattle, the A-Team on TV, Mr. T, the summer holiday every holiday will be measured against and fail.

As a musician, in a backwater genre, in a dying industry, I have no illusions about the trip, if it realizes. I'm not going over with Betlehemish ambitions, I am going first and foremost because being invited to an electronic arts festival at the opposite side of the globe is flabberghastingly awesome for me as a person and musician. If I can secure an extra gig at some rundown club in Minneapolis and perhaps a coffeeshop gig in NYC, maybe some of my fans would be thrilled. Maybe I get some new fans. And maybe I could manage to invite some persons in the business that could help me come back again for more touring. It might be a worthwhile investment.

But no matter what, I'm going, alone with my laptop and my Densha De Go train controller, if I must. This is about you and me, US. FTW.

T minus 30: Mixed for wifi not hifi
Posted December 30th 2007, at 02:25 with tags , , ,

December 29th,

I am glad to see a discussion around the trend to mix and produce records towards mp3 distribution, the latest trench in the loudness wars. The last few days there has been a buzz (Slashdot, Boing, +++) around this on the webs, after Rolling Stone brought up the issue. I guess most producers, including myself, has been aware of this for a long time, and made necessary adaptions thereafter. Some more than others.

I have no idea where to position myself and my music in this, except I tend to understand the world is always changing and so should I, in my way. Unicorn sounds different than Resound. I have changed, the world has changed.

(But not really. People have been doing dance mixes since the 70ies, so taking the listening environment into consideration when mixing is nothing new. Give it a break, old-people-afraid-of -everything.)

I know for sure, for my own part, listening to music has transformed itself, I used to listen to music in specific situations on specific systems, now I listen when and where I can, and often in less than ideal situations, sound quality wise. Sometimes I pay attention to the music, other times it is there to replace something else. When touring, in noisy cars, buses or planes. When not touring, while walking or shopping or doing office work. On ipods or laptops. Mp3s in cars. Streaming lofi net radio. Actually I don't have a traditional stereo at home, just an old powerbook hooked up to my previous studio monitors.

This changes my perspective and relationship to music. For example, my blingfeist shopping expedition. Was the first time in ages I actually spent time with new albums, on my ipod. Saved my sanity. And I am not alone in experiencing music like this. I think we as musicians and producers should take this change into consideration, I know for sure I am. People are experiencing music differently now than 20 years ago.

I think a lot of my fans listen to my music in other positions than in front of their stereo. And if they have a stereo, it is not a $300 000 stereo. Not that I actively mix and write music for ipods, but it is very apparent to me and subconsciously this affects the way I write and mix the music. Being that I mix and write simultaneously, like many others in the electronic genre, the consideration for the change in listening habits is probably most prominent in electronic music.

In one way I think this is good. The focus is now on the music, not the details. You can easily tell, take any hiphop track of the last 10 years, the production values are simpler and simpler, the more General MIDI it sounds, the bigger the hit.

In another way I think it is sad. We have technology good enough to capture marvelous quality recording, and reproduce them, yet the trend is the opposite. 

As with all things, there is no holy path for music.

T minus 31: My babies are here, in a box
Posted December 29th 2007, at 23:20 with tags , , ,

December 28th,

picked up a shipment of the first 200 Unicorns today. The main storage is in Oslo, since Roar will be doing most of the initial promotion and distribution, better for us to have him access them there. But I need a bunch of copies myself, for my own promotion adventures and the webshop, so he sent me a box.

Here they are now. Weird. We are both looking at eachother, the box and I. Nice to meet you, box of Unicorns.

I imagine we are both recalling the last line from Casablanca. But none of us is confident enough to say it out loud.

T minus 32: Procrastination Is A Measurement of Somethings' Suckiness
Posted December 29th 2007, at 22:45 with tags , ,

December 27th,

quick note. Just spending these last few days catching up to the world, paying bills, sending invoices, practical repairs of literary everything in a persons life, fixing books and accounting to be done before years end, balancing accounts, typing out journal entries, clearing out inboxes, fixing webs, planning immediate steps for album progress, and in general sorting out the mess that has assembled over the last few months. I thought it would take a day at most, looks like it could take weeks. Particularly because I detest doing stuff like this, so I end up procrastinating like mad.

Much as I dislike it, I have to cut some things short both behind and ahead of me. Which gave me a brilliant idea.

This is probably going to end me up in jail, dead, broke, friendless or worse but my sordid new years resolution is:

If some commitment or responsibility makes me procrastinate, the commitment is not worth doing anyway, because it sucks. So just decide to not do it. Problem solved, and by evolution things that suck will now slowly disappear from the universe because nobody bothers doing them.

T minus 33: G5 vs MBP shootout
Posted December 29th 2007, at 21:35 with tags , , ,

December 26th,

did some quick and informal tests to get some indication on my new Macbook Pro versus my G5. I have been working on the G5 since 2004, just recently bought a MBP and haven't had time to investigate the power of this box yet.


G5: Dual 2 Ghz PowerPC G5, 2 GB RAM, two 1680x1050 LCDs
MBP: 2.6 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB RAM, one 1920x1200 LCD
Audio settings/preferences the same in both setups, running OSX 10.5.1 and Logic Pro 8.0.1

All tests done by selecting new "Empty Project" and creating a single track with the given channel strip settings. I then duplicated the track until consistent core audio overloads. I made sure to give Logic enough time to balance the cores for each test, in all cases both meters maxed out.

Sculpture, physical modeling test

Channel Strip:
Sculpture, preset "Bombay Pluck", playing a 5 note strummed chord
G5: 6 instances of track
MBP: 14 instances track

Space Designer, impulse reverb test

Channel strip:
ES1 Stereo, initial settings, playing a single note
Space Designer Stereo, 06.1 Ancient Church CTS preset
G5: 8 instances of track
MBP: 16 instances track

EXS24 Sampler, polyphony test

Channel strip:
EXS24 stereo, initial settings (the boring sine sound), 64 note chord
G5: 10 instances (640 voices polyphony)
MBP: 21 instances (umm, thats actually a massive 1344 voices polyphony)
Didn't bother find the exact polyphony, if I add another track above these numbers, core audio halts.

OK I've seen enough. Being that I mostly work with soft-samplers, synths and effects with a sporadic audio track now and then, and little to no streaming of samples, this should give a somewhat representative score of how the machines perform for me. Haven't tested RAM intensive projects, the MBP has 4 gigs so I'm not too worried about it.

On a general level, the graphics of the MBP was smoother and more responsive when maxing out, while the G5 was sluggish. I don't think the general snappiness of Logic is good ENOUGH, it is still way behind the speed of the 5.5 PC version, but it is better on the MBP than the G5.


I am actually very impressed, and super happy. This thin, sleek, unobtrusive piece of smooth engineering seems generally twice as powerful as the enormous G5. I was not sure about the difference between them, I prayed the MBP would give me some more juice, but this baby kicks seriously more ass than I dared hope for. Fantastic.

If I get time one of these days, I will test the live setup performace as well. This was a test for composing situations.

Uncanny Valley Still A Deep Pit
Posted December 29th 2007, at 00:39 with tags , ,

A few weeks ago game developer Guillaume de Fondaumière boasted that he and his Quantic Dream team had killed off the Uncanny Valley phenomena for their upcoming game Heavy Rain. The statement is accompanied everywhere by... an image. Duh.

Any 4 yeard old knows you can not determine UVeness from a static image, so this brilliant move on Quantic Dream's part makes me think it is just PR. Their previous tech demo The Casting is nice, but just nice.

But I am still curious. You see, I love the Uncanny Valley phenomena. I love the edge where artificial beings becomes so human, so natural, but not human enough, the illusion collapses. It scares the crap out of me, I love it. So close but yet so far. Almost, but furthest. At some point in the near future the line will become blurry and you won't be sure if what you are looking at is real. Or not.

(Via GameShadow.)

T minus 34: Catching Up
Posted December 28th 2007, at 21:09 with tags , , , ,

December 25th,

finally some quiet time and room to start catching up.

I am not über thrilled with holidays, regardless of the myth behind them. I think anyone is entitled to their beliefs of anything and everything, but why do we have to close down the world every now and then, just because someone chopped down a tree and built the pyramids from it?

However - I must confess if this excellent Moses guy had not exterminated the dinosaurs and buried them inside those same pyramids some 2000 years ago, I would not get a chance to catch myself up today. Thx, Moz.

Now if only the shops could get back in biz so I could get some ink for my scanner. Yes, ink for my scanner.

T minus 35: It is here
Posted December 28th 2007, at 18:21 with tags , , ,

December 24th,

I received the first Unicorn CD in the mail today. Nice timing.

It looks great, a bit darker than I expected in the main colour, and some details are lost in shadowy parts but nothing critical. The most important bits are working like they should.

The only part I'm not too satisfied with, is the disc itself. I was not completely happy with the design, and it did not carry over as well as the booklet. There is also a slight misprint on the disc, Unicorn has Uncanny Planet product code UP 009, but it is printed as UP 003 on the disc. Quick investigation explains it as a result of miscommunication between me, my manager and the pressing plant.

This was just a single first CD, I'm having a larger shipment coming over soon which will probably take a few days.

T minus 36: Taito Train Controller
Posted December 28th 2007, at 17:49 with tags , , ,

December 23rd,

delivery from Hong Kong. Ah, excellent, my new top secret laboratory equipment!

Is it not exceptionally boring to watch electronica live, with a nu-rave inspired knob-twiddler hunched over his run-of-the-mill MIDI controller? Bah, teh contemporary fools of mundanity.

To complement my super sophisticated Dexter, I have imported a Taito PS2 train controller for the Densha De Go game series. Yes, a life size train controller. Huge, physical with only one impressive control lever.

It is awesome. It is incredibly tactile and responsive, you can even slam it down to max and it bounces back up. I can't wait to play this live. Did I mention I bought two? Bliss.

However, I am slightly struggling with translating the the PS2 signal via USB into MIDI signals - I get signal into Max/MSP but turns out the lever is not sending a continous signal, rather a combination of PS2 buttons unique for each step. Not impossible to overcome, but quite amount of work to build a translator table for all the steps.

T minus 37: Blingfeist Provisions Expedition
Posted December 28th 2007, at 17:31 with tags , ,

December 22nd,

I promised myself I would not pester my journal with blingfeist blabber, but today was my first, only and last chance to secure provisions for the upcoming marathon of goodie-goodieness. So I spent most of the day protected by my iPod, fighting my way thru the blingmobs.

Not my cup of tea.

T minus 38: Three Thousand Unicorns
Posted December 28th 2007, at 17:07 with tags , ,

December 21st,

today my manager Roar in Oslo received 3000 copies of Unicorn from the pressing plant. I haven't seen them myself but according to Roar everything is hunky-dory, no problems with the print.

3000 copies are insanely ambitious. I have no idea if we will be able to push that many physical CDs. Roar thinks so but I am a tad sceptical, partly because I strongly believe in digital distribution, and I have seen the rapid decline of physical CD sales. But also because it is four years since my previous album, most people have probably forgotten about me, if they ever knew, and my genre is practically dead in Norway.

I have set my own goal for at least 1000 physical copies by 2008. This is, depending on my approaching angle and confidence of the moment, either insanely ambitious or laughably pathetic. I am not super focused on sales in itself, but the more records I sell the more people know about my music, and Unicorn is very much a beacon for further plans rather than a cash cow.

T minus 39: Dexter, my sinister new assistant
Posted December 28th 2007, at 16:43 with tags , , , ,

December 20th,

a few weeks ago Jazzmutant finally announced a Dexter dual-boot mode for the Lemur, my touch screen controller. Up until now, I have been using the Lemur with my own customized setups, mostly for live and creative explorations. I never bothered to built proper studio functions for it, except a touch-screen keyboard.

The Dexter is a visual, multi-touch, auto-integrated DAW controller - everything in Logic is available at my fingertips, the screen reflecting and updating the focus in Logic - and vice versa. I can draw EQ curves or automation with multiple finger moves simultaneously. Hard to explain, but brilliant to watch. Sonicstate, as always, has a very good and informative review of the unit, displaying the possibilities of the unit in a video.





The Dexter fits like a latex glove in... my future plans. I recently got a Macbook Pro, and soon I might be leaving my dual-screen studio setup for a highly mobile solution. The Dexter with it's visual feedback combined with tactile touch control, easily replaces the need for a second screen.

With a nice pair of cans, my MBP, the Dexter and my new, brilliant physical controller I will tell you about in a few moments, I am Teh Mobile Sonic Ninja, I need only a place with excellent coffee.

T minus 40: First single released
Posted December 28th 2007, at 16:36 with tags , ,

December 19th,

already wrote about this, released The Ultimate Fix teaser single. A rather surprising track for most I suppose, and the feedback has been varied.

I sent out an email to the mailing-list, and to my technological surprise the subject of the message disappeared and the time stamp was set to 01.01.1970. This probably resulted in many spam filters considering it junk email. I am still waiting for my web provider to find out what happened.

Preposterously Brilliant Virtual Reality Hack
Posted December 28th 2007, at 15:57 with tags , ,

Head Tracking for Desktop VR Displays using the WiiRemote, by Johnny Lee.

A 5 minute video explanation with demonstration. Have patience and wait for the wow moment, this is incredible. So simple and effective.

T minus 41: Leopard on my G5
Posted December 27th 2007, at 21:04 with tags , , , , ,

December 18th,

being sensible is boring. So today while waiting for feedback from the producers on the NRK gig I upgraded my Dual G5 to the latest Mac OS X 10.5, Leopard.

I do run nightly backups so if something screwed up I could just roll back to 10.4, but now I had some hours to kill and I took the chance. I've been running Leopard on my powerbook since day one, and the new MBP also runs Leopard flawlessly. I was aching to bring my G5 up to standards.

The Leopard Quickview helper is deadly impressive, insanely usable and totally addictive, once you start use it and realize the power behind it, every OS without it screams of helpless stone age. Spotlight is finally instantaneous and usable, replaces folder navigation and trusty, but worn old application launchers like Quicksilver. Also the improved and simplified network helps me hook up/down things much faster across a multitude of machines and locations.

The promised "Back To My Mac" however, claiming to provide access to any of your macs from anywhere in the world, turns out to be a fairy tale of preposterous dimensions so far. If there is just a tiny fragrance of firewalling or ip sharing, the routine breaks down like an icicle in a volcano.

Fortunately, the upgrade process was smooth as silk. After Spotlight had reindexed the system, I ran some quick tests and everything looked ready to go. Most importantly, the current project loaded and performed as usual.

T minus 42: Production work
Posted December 27th 2007, at 19:47 with tags , ,

December 17th,

didn't have time to work on Unicorn, I am writing some music for NRK, and it has to be finished by this week. So I need to prioritize this gig up ahead. Typical workflow is to send the producer sketches or updated cues, and she runs it thru her people, coming back to me with comments and directions. Back and forth.

In one way it is very refreshing to dive into production work immediately after album work, since the process is very different. With an album, all decisions and demands, for better or worse, lays with me. With production work, someone else always has a meaning and decides what, where, how, no, yes, crap, clap. At times incredibly frustrating, at times deliriously liberating.

For this project the whole process is very smooth and professional, I like the idea, the show and the music I'm working on, and I communicate easily with the people involved, they are consistent, honest and demanding while also appreciative, which makes for a very streamlined progress. Even if things change around a bit and get delayed, that's just the nature of modern media production.

Not so much for technology. I really wish Logic, my sequencer DAW, had some way of working with multiple cues or versions of a project. Now I keep all the cues linearly along the project timeline, or save different versions. Not optimal at all, especially with huge loading times. And Logic only allows one movie file present in a project. (This is circumventable by using Live rewired, since Live allows multiple movie files, but that IS a workaround not a solution.)

The music is very orchestral and complex with lots of small sounds and details, when things get complex structurally, Logic starts to display a certain stiff unruliness I am not too happy about. I love Logic but in certain areas it really starts to grow old.

T minus 44: Radio Woes
Posted December 26th 2007, at 19:13 with tags ,

December 15th,

had lunch with my manager Roar. Handed over a bunch of promos, and we talked about radio. He has been working with a teaser single, The Ultimate Fix, towards radio, trying to have it listed before the holidays. Bad news, the response has not been overwhelming. Student radios were genuinely positive, but the commercial radios were silent and ignorant.

I am not super surprised, it is a challenging track and quite the opposite of my previous radio material. But we thought at least the more alternative and energetic youth channels would pick it up - maybe they will - but not right now. By this time, most of the radio channels have frozen their playlists for the holidays, so it looks like there won't be any radio support until next year.

This isn't a big problem, but slightly unfortunate, we had hoped for a little exposure during the holidays so people would know about the album when it comes. Now we're starting carte blanche in January. Oh well.

T minus 45: A pleasant traintrip
Posted December 26th 2007, at 18:52 with tags , , , ,

December 14th,

took the train from Bergen to Oslo, a 7 hour ride. As you can see from my casual window shot, beautiful snow over the mountains. But I did not enjoy the Norwegian postcard winter.

Because I was spending time with another mad respected scientist, Dr Gordon Freeman.

Yey! Half-Life 2 Episode 2 on my new Macbook Pro FTW! A long awaited reward for several months of hard work. I haven't touched a game in ages, and I really enjoy the HL universe so I was eager to play it.

Did not disappoint. Best train trip ever. Also my MBP impressed me, I haven't had time to check out the strength of this baby yet, but it was  showering me in glorious HD widescreen 1920x1080 Source Engine, without the blink of a frame. 

I had quite the dose of motion-nausea when stumbling off the train in Oslo, checking for headcrabs under the train before stepping off.


T minus 46: Start the press
Posted December 26th 2007, at 18:27 with tags , ,

December 13th,

today the final 1st gen CD master and the finished cover artwork was delivered to the pressing plant for production. Phew!

Regular print turnaround is between 7 and 10 workdays, with luck they should be here before the blingfeist holidays. But late next week is too late for promotional units to reach magazines and others with early deadlines.

So I spent most of the day hand crafting a bunch of promos, running around buying papers, inks and printable CDs, cutting, printing,  assembling and crafting beautiful promo discs. The result was surprisingly professional. With the only issue being amount of time involved in crafting them, I can probably press my own CDs for smaller editions. Brilliant.

I'm off to Oslo tomorrow morning, so I'll bring this batch to my manager who can then deliver the CDs locally in Oslo.

Uncanny Laboratories Goes Nuclear
Posted December 25th 2007, at 20:24 with tags , , ,

Ah, excellent work, Toshiba Consumer Doomsday Department.

They have developed a new class of micro size nuclear reactors that is designed to power individual apartment buildings or city blocks. The new reactor could change everything for small remote communities, small businesses or even a group of neighbors who are fed up with the power companies and want more control over their energy needs.

Or mad evil scientists who needs more spontaneous local mutations and is freezing their butt off in sub-arctic temperatures in the current lab.

Goes on the market in Japan, 2008, Europe/Americas 2009.

I suppose with that size we're not really looking at doomsdays, more like doomsminutes.

(Via Wired Gadget Blog.)

T minus 47: Unicode
Posted December 25th 2007, at 19:02 with tags , , , ,

December 12th,

I am in the middle of cover artwork, and I have spent quite some time devising a few clever little puzzles inside the cover.

There is the usual collection of words inside the booklet, as in all Ugress covers, which unlocks the online bonus area.

But Unicorn also includes a tougher mystery, like the Nanokaravan one. It took some time to develop, I don't think many people will solve it (mostly since many people won't even know it is there), but I'm sure someone will crack it sometime. Or maybe not.


T minus 48: A Kosmonaut Left In Orbit
Posted December 25th 2007, at 18:36 with tags ,

December 11th,

I am sad to note the exclusion of Kosmonaut from the album. It was one of the last tracks to be cut, and we discussed and deliberated for long wether to include it or not. In the end, we decided to drop Kosmonaut on Unicorn.

It was not an easy decision, most obviously since the track has a brilliant music video. But the fact is the track did not generate any buzz (see what I did there?) at all last summer, no radio play at all and only limited video play. It was supposed to work as a warm up, but it didn't work at all. I don't think there is anything wrong with neither the track nor the video, I just think this is a small country, there weren't room for it.

Also, musically, the album is very energetic. If Kosmonaut was to be included, another track had to be excluded, and I favoured a fresh new track since Kosmonaut was already out, and with a wonderful minisite.

This does not mean the track is dead, based on online feedback and interest it seems to work very well in Central Europe. So we just need to find a way of promoting it, at the moment this is way beyond my capabilities but hopefully Unicorn will pave some long needed road out of my constricted geographical predicament, so my orbital projects can land.

The Mssia Saves Us Soon
Posted December 24th 2007, at 15:22 with tags , ,

I love my Prophet64, but the omission of an easy way to cram MIDI into that SID has left it unused too often. Especially since the synths are rather clumsily set up for live playing.

MIDI SID Software Integrated Applications & Hardware, in short: Mssiah, comes to save us. The next version of the cartridge features MIDI in. Excellent, this really puts meaning behind the 8 in 2008.

(Via Retro Thing.)

T minus 49: Cover artwork
Posted December 23th 2007, at 00:47 with tags , ,

December 10th,

these days I am working dedicatedly on the cover artwork, this is one of the areas where I am learning so much new each day. It is not a revolutionary cover concept, as I originally envisioned, but it its nicely into the established Ugress style and I get to visualize a few of my ideas in my own way. I still think my original idea is brilliant, and will be realized, I just know I am not skilled enough to pull it off myself, or externally with my current budget.

I now learn to conceptualize, build and produce the artwork this means the next covers should benefit greatly, mostly because I now know what I can do myself, what I can't, and how much it is worth for me to have someone else do it. Previously I have been kinda in a grey zone for graphics and their value, I have had excellent graphics and visuals done for me almost for free, and vice versa. Not that I ever have been disapproving, but sometimes your visions are not completely carried thru in a project as you intend.

I know this isn't easy. As a composer of film and TV music I sometimes struggle with the demands of producers and clients because of their limited knowledge of the music world. My investment in cover artwork for this album is an investment into the world of graphics and visuals, and how to get what I want in the future.

Canon MP600: I am the dumbest office utility in the world
Posted December 23th 2007, at 00:17 with tags , , , ,

This so dumb and empty brained it must be mentioned. I have a Canon MP600 for regular office work like scanning documents and printing applications and letters and CDs whatnot regular dull boring office work. So tonight I needed to scan and email some documents, long overdue.

I can't. Scanner is disabled.

Because there is no ink left in one of cartridges.

The scanner is disabled because of missing ink.

One of two black ink cartridges is empty.

The other black is almost full.

Canon engineers, if you can read, probably not, but anyway, I DO have plenty of black ink, and I don't even NEED black ink, I am SCANNING, and you won't le me, you tepid excuse of rational existence, go put yourself in a real canon and let me light it up. Oh, no need to be alarmed, it doesn't work, because in your world, NOTHING works if there is NO INK IN IT.

T minus 50: Autodidactifications
Posted December 22th 2007, at 23:15 with tags , , ,

I think halfway to release, countdown style, is as good time as any to report status and analyze some stuff. Most obviously, to myself, I screwed up on time. The final pressed CD was received (in Oslo) yesterday, way too late, I haven't seen it myself yet, I'll write more on that in yesterdays post.

Being a mogul with insane ambitions and simultaneously the only employee in my emporium turns out to be challenging.

The most important aspect has to be stated first. My days are probably great. I just don't have time to notice or journalize them.

I am learning and experiencing so much, every day something new or unexpected comes up and has to be dealt with, or understood, or communicated, or explained for someone else to do properly. This is exactly as designed. I wanted to do this album as far as possible on my own, not so much because I was dissatisfied with external elements before, but because I want to learn how everything works.

I think the initial delay started this summer as the vocal tracks turned out to be too much. I approached several vocalists but the response was generally slow and I quickly understood the responsibility for that was mine, the sketches they got was too complex and demanding and hard to work with. They loved the music but didn't see any room for vocals.

Generally, everyone around me keep telling me to "ease" up, relax and make things simpler. Teh fools! I am not completely in agreement with everyone, I get bored easily and particularly with my own stuff, I am not going to write Loungemeister all over again. On the other side, it would be wise to ease up on the complex soundscapes, to keep in line with the energetic and live-friendly aspect I was looking for on this release. So I had to turn around and make more room for vocals in the music, make it easier for others to work with.

This delayed things for a few months. Also, people are busy, things take time to get around and into movement, and everyone I wanted to work with was not available or interested at the time.

But the biggest copulate-up was mine and mine alone. As mentioned, at various points I reduce the album track selection by dropping tracks that is not good enough. This is where I made the big slip. Instead of quickly reducing the chosen tracks to a final album, and then polishing the album tracks, I spent too much time working on the "almost" ones. I could spend a week trying to make a track good enough, only to throw it away in the end. That week should have been spent on fixing up those tracks already good enough.

Why did I make this mistake? My only and silly excuse is inexperience, this was the first time I was in this position, and I love all my music, and wanted so much to include everything so I spent time on the wrong tracks. For the previous albums there has not been a selection process, Resound was obvious and finished for a long time, Cinematronics was made from A to B, and now Unicorn was a reduction process from 4 years of writing.

The ramifications of my mismanagement was obvious. As delivery date approached, I did not have the time needed for everything, and had to prioritize the final tracks above everything else. Scheduled cover artwork, merchandise and blog/web work for October/November was moved to post-pressing phase, or usually; "whenever I can". I also had production commitments waiting.

This is the explanation for the last fortnight of journal silence, I had so much to catch up, I quite simply just had to work, I had not time for phones or emails or webs.  I didn't like it, my body didn't like it and nobody around me liked it. But the remaining details had to be done, there is no point in making a CD and then giving up a few yards from the finish line.

I took small notes during the last few weeks, I'll type out quick notes for each day to document my progress.

And the good news, due to the amount of work laid down on the tracks: The next album is almost done. And that is, at least, according to the grand plan.

The Sci Fi Sounds Quiz
Posted December 22th 2007, at 22:21 with tags , ,

Are your sonic Klaatu Barada Nikto skills in shape? Take the Sci Fi Sounds Quiz, and see if you can top my score of 78.

The Ultimate Fix first single
Posted December 20th 2007, at 22:22 with tags No tags.

First single is out!

You can downoad The Ultimate Fix in high quality mp3 or lossless wav format.

Read more in the journal.

The Ultimate Fix teaser single
Posted December 20th 2007, at 01:27 with tags ,

It is that time of the year. Maybe your holiday preparations are less then super. Maybe too much blingfeist, and too little oldskool magic?

No worries. Enjoy, escape and reset your expectational spine with a deadly electro bolt teaser single from the upcoming album Unicorn, release January 28th. Featuring Christine Litle on vocals.


T minus the vortex.
Posted December 18th 2007, at 05:24 with tags , ,

Is it really 10 days since I last managed to write an entry? There is an evil vortex devouring my time. I have to backtrack and type out what has happened the last week, but not right now, when I have the time. I have notes and sketches but I just can't fill in right now.

So a quick general update; The album has gone to print, delayed, radio stations won't play the first single, playlists are frozen for the xmas holiday, so there is no radio play or promo during xmas, this is bad news, and I'm way behind on everything, not only Unicorn but also personal and professional commitments, right now I have to focus on some production work for NRK because the economy for Unicorn, and mine, is in trouble so I got to raise money and raise it quick. The NRK gig is kind of a simultaneous investment right now because as it looks  right now the Unicorn release is another uphill battle meaning I need an economic backup, and prod work for NRK could help fund the next album pretty fast.

Benefit of all this, is no time for xmas. I'm not particularly fond of that blingfeist.

If you find yourself amongst the patient horde awaiting a response or call or letter or present or update or payment or invoice or comment or update or ping or ack or sms or promo or document or contract, your excellent communique has been noted, I read and note everything, and I'll get to it. My inbox is an unstable volcano.

C64 is 25 yrs old
Posted December 16th 2007, at 16:56 with tags ,

A few days ago, the legendary C64 was celebrated for 25 years of excellent computational service. My first computer is getting older, but not growing old at all. The 64 is like exquisite wine - the older it gets the better. The birthday was even worthy of CNN coverage.

The "you-can-always-trust-our-integrity" journalists over at C-Net has pictures of the birthday party thrown by The Computer History Museum.

IMHO, it does look like a boring party.

T minus division by zero: Run/stop Restore
Posted December 12th 2007, at 03:24 with tags , , ,

I'm not dead. I just, as usual, completely miscalculated amount of time needed to execute a tiny part of my world domination plan. Evil scientists are often old, grey and mad when their cunning plan is set to motion, I start to understand why.

The first gen master was finally received by messenger today and the cover artwork are finally done, assembled and made ready for production, uploading now. My manager Roar will hand everything over to the prining guys in Oslo this morning (in a few hours).

Hopefully everything is A-team, I'll get some sleep and then dive mercilessly into merchandise bit. With cover and concept artwork nailed we can start the long overdue merch bit.

I'll journalize the last couple of Adobe Days and Why They Happened tomorrow.

T minus 51: Cover Artwork Helps Me Learn About Myself
Posted December 9th 2007, at 04:33 with tags , , ,

My best attribute is also my worst. Like any true mad genius, I have consequently unattainable ambitions.

For the Unicorn cover artwork I had grandiose plans. I worked on it for ages. My notebooks are filled with sketches, ideas and complex relational mind-maps. I directed, booked, prepared and planned smart photo shoots. I have spent a fortune on eBay props. I photoshopped and photoshopped. I set a new world record in layers.

It sucked.

This is nothing new, and this is me over an over again. What I want in the end is so far above me I loose complete touch with ground and too late realize I forgot to calculate the effect of gravity into the equation. Suitably, my next-best attribute is an uncanny ability to land on my feet.

Did I journalize my über-ambitious original plan for the album? I can't recall so. When I get some room to write it out, I should elaborate.

Rest assured, I never scrap plans, I just adapt them to reality. Which usually means reducing them to a hundredth in size and spread the work over a much larger time span. Crap I hate the limits of reality.

T minus 52: Excuses
Posted December 9th 2007, at 04:14 with tags ,

I glance at the evil countdown to my right and mutter. I see it reads 50 days left and I'm so far behind I haven't even journalized day 52.

Things are seriously delayed, we haven't received the final first generation master yet, a bunch of minor details eat up time, and the cover artwork is far from finished. The goal is to have everything ready by early next week, running everything for print and hopefully have the first batch before the holidays kick in.

As it looks right now, this is a tad ambitious. AFAIK the CD is printed in Denmark. Due to some pestering holiday phenomena, everyone and everything runs slower than usual, in particular postal and messenger services. WHY? I mean, we have had Xmas for what, 2000 year now? And the postal service STILL forgets to hire extras or extend hours during December.

"Oh, look at all those packages, by golly, how could it be? We won't be able to meet our schedules, I wonder.. oh darn I forgot it's that jolly old time of the year again, ho ho ho, well whaddayknow! Let's have a cup of tea shall we."

When I become cruel, evil, merciless, but loved, dictator of the world, there will be some serious upgrades to the postal service.

T minus 53: Ableton Live 7, MIDI lives
Posted December 8th 2007, at 03:01 with tags , , ,

When you experience Ugress Live, the audio and video of the show is run by Ableton Live. I work with Logic in the studio, but for live shows and working on the road I tend to prefer Live. Some of the tracks on Unicorn was done in Live.

Last week Ableton announced the next version of Live, with a few intriguing details. Most exciting is the new slice-to-midi function, the ability to create custom templates for slicing. Tah bomb! A marvellous feature. You can slice any audio from your arrangement to a singular drum rack (racks was introduced in 6), and then work with a multitude of plugins uniquely to each slice, but treated as a single instrument. For loop and beats mangling this is halfway to cold fusion nirvana.

Second, native sidechain compresssion and upgraded compressor. FTW.

What still lacks big time, is proper midi and automation editing. The sequencing editor is rudimentary compared to the competition, and you still headbang the only-128-first-parameters limit on plugin automation. Add only linear automation. This really has to be fixed ASAP, Abes.

I haven't upgraded yet (no time and no cash), but I have briefly played with the demo, and I totally dig the slice-to-midi stuff. I can't wait to start experimenting with it.

Western Digital: Please Don't Buy Our Products We Are Morons K THX
Posted December 8th 2007, at 00:36 with tags , , ,

This is so blistering stupid it needs to be told.

Western Digital network drives won't share media files over the network. Because, you know, the files COULD be pirated. According to Wired's Gadget Lab, they won't even share .IT files, Impulse Tracker files. What Teh Copulate!

I don't know what to say except this is the stupidest thing I have seen all my life, and I won't buy another WD product for the rest of my life. If I can, I will steal them. Since they already consider and treat me a thief, I will behave like one.

(FTR, this is thru their own client software. You can install alternative software to circumvent the pooh you just bought if you just bought some pooh.)

T minus 54: The universal unicorn apprehension
Posted December 7th 2007, at 22:57 with tags , ,

During my research and investigation into unicorns, I have ventured into the most pastel corners of the Internet and discovered the universal apprehension of them. The unicorn is in dire need for an extreme makeover.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present exhibit A, the image illustrating this entry. This is a collection of the very first batch of Unicorn images you get from Google image search. Have you ever seen such a gloriuos mess of un-uncanniness.

I have much work to do.


Hardware investment: Macbook Pro
Posted December 5th 2007, at 16:34 with tags , ,

This summer I applied for a grant with the Komponistenes Vederlagsfond (Norwegian Composers Compensation Fund, for contemporary composers). I received funding for buying a new Macbook Pro, but haven't bought it until now.

There are two main reasons I sorely need this baby, and need it now.

Most important - I need a portable studio. During the last few years I've been travelling and moving around a lot, composing on the road. I love it, and want to do it more, but the most frustrating aspect has been the aging powerbook I'm lugging around. My Mojito is a wonderful laptop but just does not cut it anymore for audio work. Also, a 12" screen is OK for a few days of work, but prolonged and complex work totally benefits from my new 1920x1200 screen.

I might be leaving the laboratory life completely, some time ahead. For the last few years I have been located in my lab, having a place to go to every day. In the lab I have a Powermac G5 with dualscreen setup, this is where I do all the production work.

Just yesterday I received a letter from the owner of the building - they are tearing it down in a few months time. No surprise, I have known this could happen for a long time. I have enjoyed and survived on a low rent as compensation for the uncertainty. Now finally they are ready to start demolishing the area and build new skyscrapers. I'm out on the street with my Thingamagoop. I have no idea what my life looks like in 6 months, but I know I need a highly portable and flexible studio.

Second - the live show. For the last few years I have been lugging around multiple laptops, two for audio and two for video. This takes too much time to set up and synchronize and failcheck and keep running night after night. It's a mess to set up and a mess to pack down. I want to reduce this as much as possible, and the MBP is powerful enough to run most of it, I hope.  I'm about to start preproduction on the Unicorn live shows, so it was time to pick it up.

I have been using it for two days now, and it kicks ass. Very practical to have this now while working on the cover artwork, with all this screen area. I haven't been able to test audio and video properly yet, need to fix over all my registrations and serials. Will know more about that in a few weeks.

Say hello to Shanghai, Flickr unbox set. My studio the next few years.

T minus 55: Photography
Posted December 5th 2007, at 14:44 with tags , , ,

Today was photography, and most of the day was spent shooting.

We were taking some shoots for the cover, for one of my ideas. No clue if it works out, but it was fun doing the pictures. Practical sense dictates the obvious idea of doing the promo shoots at the same time. Have to touch them up a bit, but a nice pack of shoots of me and The Igor should be ready in a few days.

I'm not too fond of sticking my face out, but I understand common people need to illustrate interesting information with pretty pictures.

I have no delusions that any paper will ever write anything about us, but I like to be prepared for any emergency. And trust me, newspaper photography is an emergency for me. The horror. A super busy photographer, buzzing around, always want you to do something "funny" and "crazy" and totally not-you.

I detest band pictures where everybody is jumping or wearing silly sunglasses. I love band pictures with 8-bit ties.

T minus 56: Investments
Posted December 4th 2007, at 01:20 with tags , , ,

This came today. Perfect timing. It is preliminary an investment for the live show, but it will be put to work immediately.

What could it be?

Update: A MBP

T minus 57: Final Album Data
Posted December 3rd 2007, at 02:49 with tags , ,

I updated the album progress statistics over at ugress.com with current numbers of today. Here are the latest numbers, taken just as the album is finished.

Total projects/songs created: 187
Days since start: 1056
Total files created: 54 876
Total bytes created: 44 gigabytes
Average files pr project 293
Average bytes pr project: 235 megabytes
Average files pr day: 52
Average days pr project: 5.7

A few comments:

-There is an error with the day count, but I'm too tired to get into it. I don't think there has been more than 1000 days, because the count starts at October 1st 2005, meaning October 1st 2007 should be around 730 days, meaning it's more like some 800 days. There must be a bug in the day count calc routine, something has changed. This render some of the averages moot.

-Total bytes created has almost double since last time, which is because of recording and extensive freezing.

-As mentioned earlier, the total projects count is slightly higher. Some of the projects are located outside the structure being analyzed.

T minus 58: Celebration Dinner
Posted December 3rd 2007, at 02:24 with tags , ,

This was a scheduled nice day. I worked some hours on the cover, then.. TIME OFF! Drop everything in your hands!

We had planned for many months to be finished with the album by this weekend, and set up a celebrational evening. Roar came over from Oslo and The Igor took a break from his Kayak survival preparations.

I was slightly let down by the fact that the album has not started printing yet, I so much wanted to have a finished concept and album to show off and celebrate, but scheduled celebrations are scheduled celebrations. The music is done, and that is most important.

We talked over beer for many hours, then went for sophisticated excellent Vietnamese/Japanese. I had sashimi, my current favorite dish, and we even had a bottle of sparkling magic bubbles. It was great fun and time flied, even faster than regular. I haven't had a night out for ages. Best yuletable ever FTW.

T minus 59: Slight delays
Posted December 3rd 2007, at 02:07 with tags , , ,

One of the mastered tracks turned out to have some faint clicks and pops, all my fault.

We did notice the clicks during final testing, and I fixed them, but turns out that they happen RANDOMLY, so for each new render they appear in a new place. I investigated, it is due to some random note-on parameters, and I can't change that without altering the whole sound. So I just had to render the track enough times to reduce the clicks as much as possible. Boring and time consuming.

I then uploaded to the Exchange for a re-run of this track. This means we're a bit delayed going into printing, but it kinda suits me because I myself am seriously delayed on the cover artwork.

Our original plan was to start printing by today at LATEST, I am afraid this will be postponed by as much as a week. This is not critical, but it eats into my time, I was hoping to catch some air (there is TONs to note in the journal) and start working on some top secret new brilliant feature. The most important aspect of this release, I think, and I need good time to execute it. Loosing time for this worries me more than the delayed printing.

T minus 60: Status update
Posted November 30th 2007, at 04:03 with tags , , ,

My goodness we are almost half way through the countdown. Short note this time, just a summary of what is happening.

Today I went for a drive with Hans Igor, to check out the Unicorn masters. Purple velvet laser. I'm not working with subs in the studio, my sound is pretty exact and balanced all over. So when I experience my own music, in purple velvet laser version on powerful subs, I shout out with excitement. We drove thru the Åsane, suburban marshland of shopping malls where we grew up. I pulled down the window as we cruised thru the mall area, and gave Åsane the exclusive first preview of Unicorn. The nuclear families zombiying around the malls didn't seem too care, stuck in their xmas mode.

I also emailed and discussed a bit back and forth with the mastering studio, The Exchange, regarding final details, fades and track lists, sending the ISRC codes and all that practical stuff.

No rest for the wicked, I am working on a production job for NRK, writing music for one of their regular shows next spring. It is not a big job, mostly small jingles and hooks for further use but it is still a lot of work and needs proper concentration.  It is not optimal of me to work on separate projects from the album right now but the pay will help on my brutal economic reality.

I've started on the cover artwork, I have the concept and lots of sketches, but the production and assembly will take a few days. Should coincide with the delivery of the final physical master early next week.

I prepared a small promo site for Roar (my manager who's starting the promotion of singles towards radio stations). I'm releasing the single completely as soon as possible, but in this crooked world and due to my tiny size we have to give the radio channels a chance of exclusiveness. I know I know, it is a silly phenomena, but it is important for them to feel it anyway and I understand the mechanisms. Hopefully the radios will pick up the first single - they didn't pick up Kosmonaut this summer, so we're kinda starting on ground zero.

Anyway the first single should be out for all as soon as we know more on the radio situation. There's going to be lots of other teasers and tricks and treats, don't worry you won't have to wait until Jan 28th to hear something.

Now sleep.

T minus 61: Purple Velvet Laser Sound
Posted November 30th 2007, at 03:47 with tags , , , , ,

Today (Wednesday) I got the master reference back, and I was very nervous. What would it sound like? Did I make the right decision?

Mastering is the final touch of the album, to sweeten and finalize everything for production. Wikipedia explains the process more detailed. Sometimes nothing can happen to the sound, somethings magic can happen and sometimes shit happen. You never know. 

The mastering process is either done by the artist or producer themselves (because of budget) or a professional mastering engineer (because it should sound awesome). The mastering process, the final sound, is profoundly important to me, and if there was one thing I was not going to do myself, it was mastering. And if I'm not doing something by myself, I get the best there is in the world to do it for me.

The album is mastered by The Exchange Mastering Studios in London, by Nilesh Patel. The reason I chose this studio and this engineer, was simple. For some inexplicable uncanny reason, turns out The Exchange has mastered almost all of my favourite artists and albums, Nilesh in particular those with a sound I love. I was not aware of this until a few months ago, I have no idea why, but I guess there must be something in their secret mastering magic that resonates with me.

If this magic could be applied to my music I had no way of knowing. Only way to find out, was to try. So a few months ago I booked Nov 27th with them. This was partly the reason for a hectic deadline, I did not want to loose my mastering date (and my money). I could not attend the session, couldn't afford it, and also it is better for me to listen and approve the tracks on systems I know, like in my studio.

So finally, by afternoon today they ftp'ed back a reference master for me to listen to.

It sounds like one billion dollars, with laser. Purple laser. Purple, velvet laser. That heals. When I heard the mastered tracks the first time it was like a field of extra colors appeared in the air. I wanted to drink it, capture a cup of invisible soundwave nectar and have it flow inside of me, just listening to it wasn't enough. I had no idea my baby Unicorn had this within.

It sounds like purple velvet laser on my studio reference monitors, it sounds like purple velvet laser babies on my ipod, it sounds like purple velvet laser escapism on my laptops, it sounds like purple velvet laser cruise missile in Hans Igors car. It is never fatiguing on 11, and it sounds clearly and detailed even on a low setting on the ipod in noisy streets. The subs are slamming and the highs are candy cottoned.

Purple velvet laser FTW!

T minus 62: Day of waiting
Posted November 29th 2007, at 02:23 with tags

I know I'm seriously behind. I just don't have time to do and write all I would like so this note is brief again.

I uploaded the premasters yesterday (T minus 63) and expected the masters today but they didn't come. I spent most of the day sleeping off, waiting for the masters, and eating. Haven't eaten anything healthy for ages. My GF made some powerful soup and that really helped. She's the good version of Magica De Spell in the kitchen. Always cooking up something that fixes.

T minus 63: Album done, delivered for mastering
Posted November 28th 2007, at 01:56 with tags ,

Continued from previous post.

Around 8 in the morning, after a wonderful 24 hour mixing and rendering session, all of the tracks was finished, trimmed, rendered and triple checked for problems. It was done. I went for a walk to get a cup of coffee and some hot food to keep me going. Walking around the busy morning streets was a strange and surreal experience indeed. I was disconnected and hazy (more than usual), very exhausted and very happy and very finished, and around me everyone else was hurrying in the snow to start their work week. While my 3 years of work were just done. If there ever was a Monday morning worth living this was it.

So I got back to the studio, fixed any remaining comments from my tireless acolytes, we discussed some more details around sequencing and stuff, and around 10 I started the upload to the mastering studio, as scheduled. I started writing out mastering guides and information to the master engineer. This took a few hours, around 15 I was finally finished.

The upload was done, mastering instructions typed out, I had taken backup of everything, twice, to separate disks. I walked around the studio and gave every piece of gear a friendly touch and thanks. For long periods my gear is my only friends, the only ones I talk to, they keep working and doing their thing faithfully, and I am grateful for that.

With this album I have pushed everything to the extreme, including my body, own psyche, my social ife and all of my gear. I make huge demands, force equipment to perform operations they were never intended for and they have struggled, but always risen and met the challenge. They must not be forgotten.

I bought some beers to celebrate, went home, put the album on loud and collapsed in tears of exhaustive happiness. I slept for 18 hours, just getting up every few hours by alarm to see if everything was OK with the mastering guys.

It's weird. For me, the album is done now. The music is done, I can't do anything more, it is behind me. Done. I can't fix it any better. I so much would like everyone in the world to hear it right now. I can't. I must be clever and patient. For everyone else it is still in the future, and the job now is to make it known, get people to listen to it, build it up. If I am to survive I have to make this something to live off. There are mechanisms I must master to make the most of it.

I think the album will surprise people. I know it will, it is designed to surprise and please. It is VERY energetic and melodic, more than ever. I know people will love it, and I know people will hate it, I know it has to be like this.

I can't satisfy everybody, albeit this being every artists fundamental dream, to be loved and accepted by everyone. Nobody admits it, some  artists fights desperately or invisibly to pretend this isn't the case, me inclusive at times, but this is what everyone wants deep down. Unconditional respect and love. Layer as much you want on top of that, conceptualize it to hell, whatever, that is the core and the only reason for doing art. To reach and be respected. Knowing this fact and dealing with it is very important. Especially for me, now, with this album. It is not the most perfect art ever made, by all means, but it is a great album. The best I could do on the time I had. I think it is über fcuking brilliant.

Time will judge.

T minus 2 ^ 6: 1 day left
Posted November 27th 2007, at 19:11 with tags , , ,

This note is written retrospectively. I didn't have time to write anything the last few days.

I slept a few hours during the early morning, from 5 to around 8 clock. My plan was to work for another 12 hrs, then sleep a few hours to reset my ears and then a final session of preparing the tracks. The tracks had to be uploaded to the mastering studio Monday morning. This plan was doomed I didn't sleep a second. And this workload is highly inappropriate during the critical final stage of an album, one should give things rest. But what must be done must be done. I'll document my horrible planning and execution skills in another journal entry.

Most of the day was spent finely adjusting mixes, correcting small errors and detailed work. Cleaning it up, and render to final 24 bit premaster. But two of the tracks still didn't have a final obvious version, I was still debating which was best, what combination of parts and their sequence would be most optimal. Idiotic and extremely unprofessional of me to keep working on such fundamental issues just hours before delivery, but if it is not good enough I will keep trying until not possible anymore.

What I did not take into account was the amount of time lost in waiting for the computer to load or render. My projects are pretty complex, lots of itsy bitsy tiny samples cut up and duplicated and processed and manipulated and then loaded into soft-samplers, with demanding channel strip FX, and all this takes time for Logic to load and fit into my poor limited RAM. When working on a track over a few days the load time is negligible compared to production time, but when continuously switching between multiple projects like this, the loading time becomes a troublesome factor.

Another issue I didn't foresee was time lost in freezing. All of the projects either max out or über-max out my CPU, so there is much need for freezing of processor intensive tracks. This again eats up time, just changing a little EQ or automating a filter in a slightly different curve can suddenly cost me 5 minutes of freezing time.

All the time I was uploading or emailing new versions to my external ears, Hans Igor and Roar. I have no idea how I would have pulled this off without them. They kept listening to everything, informing me of any issues or shortcomings, and keeping me sane and grounded whenever I went too far.

Continues in the T minus 63 entry.


Posted November 26th 2007, at 14:47 with tags , , , , , , , ,

Is done.

T minus 65: Backup
Posted November 25th 2007, at 03:30 with tags ,

I'm paranoid as ever. In addition to nightly automated backups, these desperate days I also duplicate all changes to an external disk. This disk leaves with me in case a volcano erupts or similar possible events. So right now I'm waiting for the clone to finish, and I'm spending the minutes journaling.

Worked on five tracks today, some just need a quick polish others need serious surgery. One is a pestering plague of a complex mix, and I can't seem to find a proper balance. Every tiny adjustment seem to break another element, creating a cascading implosion of sound.

Well the backup's done, now get some sleep then attack them all tomorrow with fresh ears.

T minus 66: Single number two finished
Posted November 24th 2007, at 02:43 with tags , , ,

I'm to deliver the premaster Monday. This means the album, musically, is finished in two days. Two months prior to release. This means all the final touches, decisions and mixes has to be taken NOW. In or out. Yes or no. Live or die. Worst of times and the best of times. Atom drive rollercoaster.

Today I finished the second radio single. Tomorrow I'll battle and finish the first one, and fix any remaining tracks. Sunday I'll go over all notes and fix all the final adjustments, and do the sequencing. Monday is uploading and communication with the mastering facility. Tuesday is mastering.

Won't be much journaling until the master, but I'll try to mention progress inbetween.

Meta: The excellent readability of my journal
Posted November 23th 2007, at 02:35 with tags , ,

Word. I'm writing high quality novels here. I ran the journal thru a readability test, and the results are in, visualized above.

You need an average of 7 years of schooling to understand my journal, and the wording is on the level of a regular novel. Most impressing is my readability level. On a scale from 0 to 100 (Flesch), 70 is considered the most optimal. And I'm at 69.99.

T minus 67: What They Look Like
Posted November 23th 2007, at 00:30 with tags , ,

This is what a Unicorn track looks like. Screenshot from one of the vocal tracks above, zoomed out to project overview.

In general, layered beats at the top, you can tell they play the same. Then the bass, closely following the beats, then the general sounds making up melodic and harmonic stuff, then some FX. Vocals are the majority of the lower part.

I never start out in this system, or keep it during the build process. Everything is a mess during the creative phase.

During mixing I try to organize it the same way I approach the mix, from top to bottom. Also makes it easier to locate stuff when you know approx where to look for it.

T minus 68: LMAO FTW
Posted November 21st 2007, at 21:30 with tags , ,

Yesterday I worked on the mentioned NRK gig, which is a lot of work. This took all day. And then I had to finish of another Unicorn track, so I ended up working all thru the night. I have no problem working long hours, as long as the work is challenging and fun. Only practical problem is my ears, they tend to loose fine details when going past 24 hours. So I had some hours of sleep around noon. Much to my pleasure I discovered that two hours sleep is enough to reset my ears.

But even more important, note to self in the upcoming days: Have something to laugh about. When things get stuck and the progress linger and your body desperately tries to subdue your will: Watch a Metalocalypse episode or hilariously awesome retro-animated Disney prophecies of the automobile future. Nothing wakes the spirit as much as a hearty LOL. And coffee.

T minus what? I forgot. Anyway,
Posted November 21st 2007, at 11:07 with tags

All nighter and now I need some hours sleep to reset my ears.

I'll have a serious talk with my scheduling IQ when this is over.

GMMnternet: There's no place like
Posted November 20th 2007, at 15:04 with tags , , ,

What, prey tell, does a genius do to avoid procrastinating away valuable time on alluring websites. Why, edit my hosts file of course.

I have no time make my move, I'm panicked about time but still I can't help myself from drifting towards trivial escapism. This happens too often, mostly because at the later stage of projects I'm often waiting for Logic to render or freeze something, so I jump into Firefox while waiting. Must not loose focus!

But should I keep focus myself, or let technology do it for me? Silly question. I came up with the brilliant idea to remove all non-vital domains from my hosts file.

Digg, Reddit, news sites, forums, blogs, I'll see you when the album is done. For now, I'm only allowing relevant sites to my mission. I'm on GMMnternet and he saw that it was good.

T minus 70: Status update
Posted November 20th 2007, at 02:34 with tags ,

I had meant to type out some kind of general status report every 10th day, but I think this one will have to pass. No time, and not much to report either. Same old. I work 14-16 hours daily (nightly) and it is just mostly mixing, structuring and finalizing of tracks.

Spent all day today on one single track, finished it off. Maybe some small mix details but I'll wait a few days and polish.

I do save versions intermittently while working, so I'll demonstrate the various phases of tracks later.

The Future Was Almost Here Today
Posted November 19th 2007, at 20:13 with tags , , , ,

OMG The Amazon Kindle. But not really OMG after all.

Ever since I was 2 hours old and started reading I have loved books. I buy five books every time I am at an airport, just to be safe. A captivating book is the difference between a flight from hell and instant time travel. With a good book I don't notice the world, I love gliding obliviously thru airports with a book resting in reading position on the cart.

So for me the electronic book is a holy grail. Ever since I was a kid I wished to have all the books in the world in my hand.

I noticed the Kindle was introduced today and at first I was like, wow, this is perfect, it is Teh Future Begun! I can have hundreds of books and all my notes and personal wikis and wikipedia and dictionary and wow wow wow! Then I dived into the specs, ahem... and crazy expensive? No PDF support? No html? RTF? No NOTHING, except awz and txt? And the books are DRMed? It is locked to your Amazon account? WTF?

Why is it everyone in the ebook race always does one thing wrong. This thing looks awesome. But "Proprietary", "Locked" and "DRM" are NOT benefits, Jeff...

It's like making an mp3 player that doesn't play mp3s only realaudio and WMA.


T minus 71: The truest 11
Posted November 19th 2007, at 03:08 with tags , , ,

It has been decided. The truest 11 are determined. The album is locked. No more out, no more in.

Today I worked like a madman on a track, it is a brilliant track, I so much want to include it, but it is not good enough yet. Too much work left, and there is not enough time. Keeps eluding me. It is out. I have to concentrate on mixing the final 11 now. The next week will be hell on earth. 7 days left. Finalizing, mixing, production, cover work, concept work.

I went for a beer with Hans Igor tonight, to discuss progress, the final 11 and their sequence, and I realized this was the first time I actually spoke to a living (ahem) human being for over a week. Except for the brief "cash or card?" dialogue when buying groceries.

I watched a movie last night but I can't remember what it was about, or how it ended, except cyborgs, I was too busy answering emails and updating the journal.

I am not an ad
Posted November 18th 2007, at 01:24 with tags , ,

I just realized I sometimes sound like I am plugging products in my Journal. I am not sponsored by anything or anyone. I just love technology and brilliant products so I have to mention them. I try to mention and plug smaller and indie developers when I can because I can. Cross my heart.

I have gotten a few offers from advertisers for placing related banner ads in here, but until now I have politely declined. The pay was ridiculous, if I am to pester this place with ads it has to be worth it big time.

But perhaps I should look into alternative ways. Running all my websites are not free.

Rest assured if I ever venture into sponsoring or whatever it will be clearly announced and disclaimified.

T minus 72: Izotope RX reanimates the dead
Posted November 18th 2007, at 01:00 with tags , , , ,

Today I was working on one of the uncertain tracks for the album. It contains quite the amount of crazy-awesome samples from old B-movies. Unfortunately for me, they are not of crazy-awesome quality. They clip, distort, the noise floor is insane. And there are lots of background noise, environmental foley I need to remove.

Izotope RX to the rescue. This piece of software blows me away every time I reach for it. I just got it earlier this fall to clean up some production work, but it has turned out to be the most clever investment in ages. RX can magically restore, remove, repair and reanimate anything. I haven't got time to provide A/B examples, but check out the audio demos at the Izotope website.

Most importantly for this track was to remove clipping and distortion. There were some brilliant dialogue that clipped hard, but RX took care of it. Removed the background foley. Then I could move the stuff into Melodyne, tune harmonic components and stretch consonant transient timing to fall in groove with the rhythm. Ah the wonders of topmodern music technology! Click the mouse pwn the house.

RX is not for everyone, if you do minimalist synthetic techno it is completely moot. But 90 percent of my music is painstakingly built up from vintage vinyl samples or B-movies or other questionable backwater dumps of previous century culture. Sometimes I want to retain the lofi sound, but sometimes I need to clean it up. For the latter, the spectral magic of RX is dead on.

One Laptop Per Child Can Save Us All
Posted November 17th 2007, at 02:31 with tags , , , ,

When I was in primary school, probably around 10 yrs old, I took a summer course in computer programming. I didn't know anything about computers except I was fascinated with them from the numerous scifi novels I read. This course was probably the most important thing happening for me in primary school.

I remember programming the computer, with Logo I think, to draw geometric shapes of different colours. I was awestruck, my future was set. A few lines of logical text represented infinite possibilities. I grasped the magic behind the logic. Computers and programming was my destiny, and even if I didn't follow the obvious path from there, programming, adapting and bending digital technology has been a fundamental part of my life.

This is why I am passionate supporter of the One Laptop Per Child project by Nicholas Negroponte.

Some place, somewhere, a kid will get one of these laptops, and he will experience the magic of programming and make his own way. Some will use it for malice, some as a regular tool, but some as a path. You can do anything with this laptop, it is completely open. The possibilities are exceptional. This is what I love, this is what somebody else could love.

I don't think this will solve the world's problems. Maybe it will create more problems than it will solve. It is not a solution. it is a possibility, and I prefer the latter over the former. Don't fix people in need, help them fix themselves. This could mean several nations could skip the entire industrialization step, jumping from agriculture to information technology. I choose to be naive and hopeful for this project, I think it is needed, it is so easy to write this off as techno fantasy. It's not.
Right now the OLPC is offering a Give 1 Get 1 program, where you buy two computers, one of them is shipped to you and one is given to a child in need.

I have tried ordering a G1G1, but there seems to be a problem with my order. Maybe they don't like me using a buffer courier, I don't know. And I can't get them to respond to my enquiries by email. I know I'm not the only one, looks like they have failed somewhat with their business model for the G1G1 program. Which is too bad, because this laptop should be produced, produced, produced and available, available, available. I will keep a close eye on this.

Wikipedia article on the project, on the laptop, OLPC's own wiki.

T minus 73: Fifteen Left
Posted November 17th 2007, at 02:29 with tags , ,

Final selection was done today. There are 10 definitive tracks. They are the essence, the core of Unicorn. I am very satisfied. It is the most baddest Unicorn since... ever. Mostly just details and mixing left on these.

There are 5 uncertain ones left. There are room for one or two of them. They are five very different  tracks, and each of them will nudge the album in a particular direction. I will work on these over the weekend, and decide which ones will make it.

The selection process has been really hard for me. For every track I exclude, it feels like I'm excluding huge amounts of possibilities. You never know which track is going to be the diamond. I'm so afraid I excluded the diamond. And this gets harder and harder, I'm looking at 15 diamonds here.

Stories From Real Life: They're after me
Posted November 17th 2007, at 02:12 with tags , , , , ,

Journal entry Nov 17th. May be my last one.

They're after me. I'm really stretching things. I'm living in a bubble the album is all my world and focus and it's bad weather in the bubble world, I'm not in equilibrium, tiny details can put me completely off. On my way home tonight, some time after midnight, as I was about to enter my building, someone came running and yelling up behind me.

-Hey hey hey!! Can you do me a favour?!

I turned around and a tall guy was standing there with an empty plastic bottle. A girl came walking up from behind the hedge.

-Can you fill this with water for me?

I grew up with Army Of Darkness. Everything is a trick. OMG I'm being mugged and kidnapped and carved to pieces, with just a week left before the album is done, no way, was my first and only thought, the water is just a decoy, so I composed myself and calmly said:

-No, sorry can't help you, there's a 7/11 a few blocks down maybe you could try there?
-Are they open? he said perplexed. I smelled even more trouble, 7/11 is everywhere and everyone knows it.
-Duh, they're 24 hr.
-But why can't you fill the bottle for us, the girl said.
-Sorry can't help you, I said and ran inside and closed the door. I didn't dare turn on the lights for 30 minutes.

Now my heart-rate has steadied, and I linger between extreme angst for almost being killed, and on the other side, extreme guilty conscience for denying a fellow human being water. Maybe they really needed the water? Maybe it was a test? Maybe they were time travelers, he didn't know about 7/11? Maybe I should get out more and see something else than plugins. But asking for water, in the middle of the night, in the worlds' most rainy city, and not knowing there are 24 hrs shops... it's got to be a trick. Maybe they're outside waiting for me tomorrow. Or maybe they are reading this entry right now. OMG I have to disappear they're HERE.

Paranoia is just reality on a finer scale.

70ies Scifi Lounge Retro-Futuristic Synth-Pianist
Posted November 17th 2007, at 00:12 with tags , , , ,

I grew up devouring sci-fi books from the local library, many of them relics from the 60ies and 70ies. They were all worn to pieces by escapism-starved, misplaced suburbias like me, and had wonderful archetypical illustrations. I always wondered why the future looked like something designed 20 years ago.

This awesome painting by Chris Reccardi speaks to me like water to fish. It is perfect.

(Via Music Thing.)

Culture And Commerce And Powerpoint Hell
Posted November 16th 2007, at 04:52 with tags , , ,

Currently I am board member of BRAK. Today there was this presentation seminar thing of an extensive report regarding culture and commerce in our region, the western part of Norway. BRAK is an interest organisation for regional music, our current goal is to professionalize and internationalize the local music industry.

The report is available for free download (PDF, Norwegian only) and is VERY good read. Extensive and well researched.

T minus 74: Unicornless Day
Posted November 16th 2007, at 04:30 with tags , , ,

I didn't work on Unicorn today, at least not musically. I close to getting a gig for television (NRK), scoring one of their flagship programs. This is an important gig, it could result in sorely needed cash for Unicorn.

They start editing tomorrow, so I spent the day developing some sketches for them, just to get the project on it's feet. I won't be able to do any more work for them for some time so I reckoned it was better to invest dedicated time for one day, rather then patching here and there. I also needed a short break from Unicorn, get some distance.

The last few days I've been working on the "maybe" ones, there are several brilliant tracks I really would like to have on the album but they are not quite there yet, so I give them one final shot of editing. For most of them, the shot turns out to be fatal.

It does not feel good, it feels like I'm wasting time. Much of what I do right now gets scrapped, but I suppose it's a natural consequence and it has to be done.

T minus 75: I'll give you firewire, MOTU
Posted November 14th 2007, at 21:41 with tags , , ,

From sub-zero problems to digital fire.

Today my MOTU Traveler completely screwed up, it crashed everything, crashed my G5 so hard it cried for several minutes while rebuilding Spotlight index. It took me an hour of complete total utter panic, restarting, error testing, swearing, crying, laughing manically. First I thought something was wrong with Logic, then OS X, then the harddisk, then everything, I was on the verge of restoring the nightly system backup before I found out the problem was... the cute little Traveler firewire audio interface. It just kept locking up, randomly spitting out high pitched noises audible at loud levels, sometimes working prefectly, sometimes not at all, crashing everything. Confirmed on multiple computers with multiple cables. Eff you see kay upped. I tried calling my dealer but got voicemail and he never returned the call.

Finally a factory reset combined with driver update, external power and change of FW port seems to have slapped it back into shape. For now.

This is my THIRD product of MOTU with crazy problems, and now I've had it. Last time this happened was right in the middle of scoring the first NDG film, my 828 mkII did exactly the same thing, random reboots and high pitched noises, eventually after a week of horrors it just died completely and I had to return it. Another 828 broke down the display during the first days of a month long trip. It continued working but the display was dead and useless for live work. Why do these things keep breaking down at the worst possible time? And why don't they break down PROPERLY, so you KNOW it's broken. Like with an explosion, or at least some smoke, like my Amiga. And why do they break down in quiet, controlled studio settings, not during a sweaty, violent nightclub gig, where I kinda would have understood it?

If this unit keeps giving me trouble, I'm never ever going to touch a MOTU product again. I'll set fire to this one on the next gig, I'LL GIVE YOU FIREWIRE, BASTARDS! I lost a whole day, and I'm nervous for loosing more. Fucked up interfaces is the last thing I want to waste my time with. I just hope this piece of plastic keeps it together until the album is done mixing.

And yes, I know what the MOTU acronym stands for. Makes the timing of this screw-up even more horrible.

It Has Begun: Sighted in Switzerland
Posted November 14th 2007, at 00:45 with tags ,



Pay attention around 00:34.

T minus 76: Freeze
Posted November 13th 2007, at 23:59 with tags , ,

Today I made a very important discovery.

Logic, my DAW, does not consider sidechain signals when freezing. This is a very fatal bug IMO, and it has affected my work and the resulting mixes profoundly.

(Freezing, for you noobs, is the process of rendering down demanding audio tracks to save CPU juice during realtime work. If you have a monster plugin or huge channel strip single-handedly using 95* of the computer's resources, Logic can render the track to disk and disable the plugins, freeing up CPU.)

What I discovered today, to my surprise, and relief:

When, freezing Logic does not consider the sidechain signal unless this signal is also frozen. This has devastating effects on mixes. If you control the dynamics of the bass by the drums, and you freeze the bass track alone, the frozen signal does not incorporate the dynamics from the drums. So the REALTIME version sound awesome. The FROZEN version sounds crap.

In some simple situations this would be very appearant but in more complex arrangements, like mine, you would not really notice a single freeze being wrong. But 5 or 10 would perhaps collapse the sound, and drive you crazy because you couldn't figure what went wrong. You cannot run the project in realtime to check how it is supposed to sound, you HAVE to freeze stuff to run it at all at once. Catch 22.

I find this bug very lackluster programming and very bad planning from the fat lazy sauerkraut chewing americanized Germans behind Logic. It should be as simple as;

IF Freeeze CONTAINS Sidechain:

FOR EACH Source FEEDING Sidechain:

INCLUDE Source IN Freeze

The Germans are really getting sloppy lately.

Anyway I'm just glad I discovered this now, in time. It probably explains why I've been having so much trouble with complex mixes. I know how to work around it.

My neighbours like me, and they are smart too
Posted November 13th 2007, at 00:45 with tags , ,

Check with. The place I live (I'm renting a flat in the center of Bergen), has got this hopelessly open wifi network, nobody administers it and every day someone just resets the router because I'm sure everyone in the local neighbourhood knows about it and uses it. As long as it works ok for me I don't mind.

So tonight I come home, and there are two new computers in my Finder sidebar, Feinschmecker and Mint. Well hello there, don't be a stranger. Of course I check them out, hey Mint's got a shared Music folder. Organized by letter. Naturally I check out U first, and indeed, not only Resound and Cinematronics, but also a bunch of independent Ugress tracks from ages ago! Wow, 'spect, neighbour!

I'm now copying the Ugress folder to myself. Is this pirating? I mean, it's my music, but I'm copying it from someone I don't know. By definition I'm pirating. I have not paid for that exact copy of the music. Will the RIAA sue me? I'm sure they'd find a way to. But I already own... I TOTALLY PWN, this music. Yet what I'm doing right now is illegal. It isn't right. See how this is a division-by-zero minefield?

Anyway, what kind of person is behind Mint? Let's see, what else is there... Oooh, a folder named "Audiobooks". Let's check it out.

The person is a genius! Lot's of physics and science subjects. Brilliant! There you have it, my neighbours are very smart academic intelligent people, and they got wonderful music taste too. They listen to thermodynamic lessons one minute, and cinematic beats next.

Oh crap, I hope this is not the guitar guy living below me playing insanely crappy Chris Isaak licks at 4 AM in the morning.

T minus 77: Blaupunkt must DIE
Posted November 12th 2007, at 23:59 with tags ,

Today I tried hard to make one of the last potential 20 into something worthy of Unicorn. I couldn't. "Blaupunkt" is scrapped for now. It has much potential within, but with the time left and amount of work needed to shape it up, the decision is




Tomorrow the merciless killing continues. By Friday night, the album selection will be final.

T minus 78: Afraid Little Pink Ponies
Posted November 11th 2007, at 23:59 with tags , ,

I'm smack in the middle of the final selection process for the album. As of right now I'm looking at 20 final tracks. This coming week I'll work on some of the final "maybe" ones, see if I can make them worthy. My plan is to have the ultimate final set of between 10 and 15 tracks by Friday.

I'm starting to get a sense of how the album will be. I'm not overly startled, rather knowingly surprised, by the energy levels. This is one hard hitting einhorn. No mercy. It will have crushed My Little Ponies as appetizer before breakfast. With bacon juice.

Lolinator: Make any site a LOLsite
Posted November 11th 2007, at 17:37 with tags , ,

When is a meme reaching gold status?

When the meme has it's own meme-ificator to run any website into itself. Check out my journal LOL'ified. HiLOLrious.

T minus 79: Delayed Status Report
Posted November 10th 2007, at 22:33 with tags , , , ,

Allright a few hours of down time now, I'm dumping out long due journal entries and typing up a status report. 

Btw, this is me, pictured, during the long stretches in the lab, thanks to HM for shooting the pic. I'd like to point out that I myself personally NEVER use paper, except for... you know. I was just holding the print out for her recording reference sheet.

My lab is located in a huge abandoned office building, I'm at the end of a massive, deserted cubicle area. There is no heating in the building since the offices are empty, so the studio gets pretty chilly, especially now with the first snow. That is why I am wearing a scarf.

By tomorrow night (Sunday) I will have killed more than half of my darling babies. I will also get the first final look on how the Unicorn will turn out content-wise. Very very exiting, I have a 22nd sense that Unicorn will be a killer album, and by tomorrow I will know for sure. I will also know the massive amounts of editing to be done.

I've spent the last few days finishing demos and making necessary changes to tracks, and now I'm taking a step back. Trying to get a birds eye perspective, getting some feedback from a few selected people. The cruel babykilling commences.

Chop, chop, my babies. But fear not, there might be use for my little ducklings. The last few weeks there have been a crazy amount of requests for licenses, productions and commissions.

Check out my current desktop pictured. (Not the studio G5, the ever-present GMMffairs Powerbook.) I try to organize and clean it up every other day or so, anything on the desktop is "current". I'm usually pretty structured and organized, or try to be, and having a desktop like this for me means a lot.

Why is the world connected like this; either nothing happens for ages, or everything happen at once? I'm not complaining, just observing the typical pattern of "busy makes busier". Looks like I might be doing some production music work for NRK 1, the main channel of the official Norwegian television network as soon as the album is done. (Yep, in super social democracy Norway we have a state owned TV network. Like the Beeb.)

I don't think I'll have time for Christmas this year. And I am very happy about that.

Did you notice that Zebra 2.2 post? What if you remove the dot from the version number? I tell you, the stars are lining up for Unicorn.

Steampunk Laptop Video Report
Posted November 10th 2007, at 21:27 with tags , ,

A few weeks ago Marc emailed me this brilliant WSJ clip of Datamancer, the super-mad genius creating fabulous steampunk laptops and steampunk whatnot. Thanks Marc, stuff like this passes under my radar way to often and I'm so happy to be emailed stuff like this.

I've seen Datamancer's work around, and if I could afford it I would most definitively get one for the live shows, or just for regular use. Or rather have Datamancer decorate the whole BEEP stage.

Or rather, when I think of it, Datamancer should design the whole BEEP BEEP BEEP venue just like The Edison and the costumes for the audience as well as for us on stage. And the tour-bus.

That my dear Journal, would be BEEP BEEP steam BEEP BEEP BEEP punk.

Thanks, Marc!


In space noone can hear you scream. Except maybe NASA, and everyone on the internet.
Posted November 10th 2007, at 21:09 with tags , , , ,

NASA went to Saturn with a very expensive tape recorder and now you can listen to Saturn.

The Underwire notices, it sounds awesome, that I do not question. However, I don't think it sounds anything like 2001 - A Space Odyssey. It sounds more like a rabies infected Commodore 64 is mashing up the soundtrack of my favorite sci-fi movie of all time: Forbidden Planet.

I stopped dead right now. That is a brilliant idea for an album.

Thanks, Sprengstoff!

Zebra 2.2
Posted November 10th 2007, at 20:33 with tags

One of my fav synths, Zebra 2, just got updated to new version 2.2.

Not much exiting for my part, except perhaps it works a bit snappier and faster.

However, this new version comes with a good amount of new patches, and pretty good ones too. Haven't got time to try them all, but some of them was highly inspirational. I can't wait to get started on the next SOTB album.

T minus 80: Postponification
Posted November 9th 2007, at 23:59 with tags , ,

I'm exhausted and need immediate sleep. All tracks are now delivered in demo and/or production versions, for final selection. Tomorrow is easier, it's just replying to tons of email, listening to Chosen Ones and deciding Final Ones. I've got butt-loads of stuff to journ. Much is happening, snowballs are building. Status update and general catching up tomorrow.

Update: I was so tired I forgot to publish this entry. Out now.

T minus 81: More tracks, Propellerheads, Logic
Posted November 8th 2007, at 23:59 with tags

Three more done. Spent most of the day working on a single track, codename "Preparations", we're not agreeing on which version to choose. So I mixed and produced both to a presentable state, and we'll let some more people listen and opiniate.

Also spent the last few hours on mixing and restructuring an energetic, bluesy track, several of us really like it, but I can't get the mix together. It either collapses from too much, or drops dead of dullness. Argh.

Got a blog comment from Michael of Propellerheads, reacting to my Leopard post with broken Rewire report. We briefly emailed, removing the Melodyne components from the Rewire folder fixed the issue. Celemony are the lazy ones, not the Props. Most impressive customer service! (Not so impressive blog system, who placed the comments wrong.)

I am extremely satisfied with the new Logic 8. I producing everything for the album in Logic 8, and as a .0 release it runs incredibly stable. There are some new functions that really makes my day over and over again, among them the "duplicate channel strip" and "hide/show all plugins" key commands. The only issue I have is the slowness of the GUI; whenever the CPU is maxxed out or the arrangement is super complex, everything runs molasses.

80 days to go tomorrow, I'll type up a larger Unicorn status report by then.

T minus 82: HM recorded and mixed
Posted November 7th 2007, at 22:21 with tags ,

Another brief one, HM came by today and we worked on a new track with her, great pop track. It's a love/hate track, either you love it or either you hate it. That's a good thing.

Mixed it for demo purposes, and fixed up some of the remaining Chosen Ones. Uploaded to the crew.

Sleep now. Tomorrow should be more mellow, I'll write more then.

T minus 83: Track updates delivered
Posted November 6th 2007, at 23:59 with tags , ,

I just uploaded a good bunch of updated tracks for my collaborators and beta testers. I think in a few days time we should be able to reduce the 50 Chosen Ones to the Final 20 or so.

Now I got to get some sleep and reboot my poor ears. HM is scheduled for recording in a few hours. My brain can keep going but my ears tire from long days and need a few hours downtime.

It's almost 5 in the morning, my favorite time to walk home in completely deserted streets.


Renoise 1.9
Posted November 6th 2007, at 03:03 with tags , ,

Renoise, my fav tracker, is out in 1.9. This baby is really starting to come of age. I wish I had time to toy around with it, particulary the upgraded compressors and EQs are excellent for me. I also like the enhanced look, I mean Renoise 1.9 on a black Macbook is teh sexy sass.

I am very intrigued by the future of Renoise and tracking. I think there is a huge gap between modern production DAWs like Logic, Protools, Sonar, and trackers. They are like two islands drifting apart, evolutionizing their own ecosystems and cultures. Nobody seems to fill this gap, by providing Rewire or bridges or plugin or anything. I really wished Renoise would branch into this gap.

T minus 84: The Raedio Daemon Trakx Hell
Posted November 5th 2007, at 23:50 with tags , , , ,

As you might have noticed, many of the countdown posts are timed at 23:50 or so. Yes, I'm cheating and backtiming, I usually don't have time until 2 or 3 in the morning to write here and I got to keep the countdown posts on the date. So right now it's 02:40 and I am super tired I'm not even going to spell check this one.

Today I spent all day fighting the most obvious radio track of the album. This will be the first track you hear from Unicorn. I'm trying to bend it into a killer album track, a killer live track, which also can kill well on radio and the web. The album sorely needs a single to carry it.

This is music politics and I wish from the depths of my heart and soul I didn't have to consider and manipulate the optimum radio potential in my music. With Shadow and Spokelseskladden and Nebular and most my other projects I do exactly what pleases me and nobody else, but for Ugress I try to find a balance between personal ideas, musical expression, artistic credibility and commercial appeal. Every artist in the world who release their art to the public does this, but nobody says it. (And a surprising amount have no idea they do it even if they do it.)

I am a mad crazy multinerd composer, I want to write mad music just the way I want it but I also want to live like it, so I try to create music not only for me to love, but for others. If this makes the music better or worse is a very interesting discussion. But I need a catchy single to sell albums, so I can reinvenst and continue my mad world domination plans.

Oh, btw, the track work title starts with the letter U. It must mean luck with three U's, Ugress, Unicorn, Uxxxxxx.

Reznor/Williams pee in Radiohead's diaper, while Radiohead sucks the dying cow's tit
Posted November 5th 2007, at 03:03 with tags , , ,

It appears that Radiohead's online album campaign was nothing more than that, an online album campaign. They did not want to change the music biz, they just want to milk the cow while it is dying. Fair enough, doesn't really bother me. The most important aspect of Radiohead's campaign is the consequence that they normalize the concept of purchasing music online, directly from the artist. The more people comfortable spending money online on music, the better. I'm happy about that.

So I don't give a flying fuck about the rest, thou I find it pretty stupid of them to suddenly proclaim it was "all just a stunt" and announce a CD with BONUS TRACKS. Oh so you shouldn't REALLY have paid for the download because you need the CD to get it all. OK computer? No. Radiocunt bling-bling Yorke-shark pudding.

Thank jesus, maria, buddha and the flying spaghetti monster, we have Mr Reznor lecturing us pigs how it really should be done. This is pretty close to my planned model for Unicorn and beyond.

T minus 85: Rollercoaster days
Posted November 4th 2007, at 23:59 with tags , , , ,

So yesterday was a tough one, I worked for maybe 100 hours and everything I did sucked.

Unicorn Constipation

There's around 20-25 tracks I want to rise up to a presentable level for the final album selection, because I know how important it is for demos to sound good and 99 percent complete. Problem is, for some of them it just never seem to click no matter how much/hard/soft/slick I try. I know by myself there is some special magic potential within the tracks, but I can't I seem to realize it. I set a much higher standard for an album release than EP release, so cheap trickses and quick fixes doesn't cut it. Perfect, or forget it.

Anyway gesternday sucked, and then suddenly today was the complete opposite.

Elephant Spa Meditation

I had to take a break from Unicorn, I was helping out the GF with an art film of hers. The short includes some wonderful footage of an elephant being washed and pampered in a zoo, and the sound is pretty all over the place. So I helped cleaning up, fixing and structuring the sound. Took most of the day, but it was kinda meditative work for me, a nice break from my own stuff. Just concentrating on making the sound of an elephant having a spa sound good.

Then I went up to visit my sister's father-in-law. A few weeks ago he mentioned his plan to "deconstruct" his radio studio, he doesn't use it anymore and perhaps there could be some gear I would be interested in? So I popped by for coffee to check it out. Now picture me with my jaw on the floor and the coffe pouring out from a forgotten held cup. I was completely surprised and awestruck by all the gear he wanted to offload.

Hardware Heaven

I had no idea. He's been collecting music and gear since the 70ies, there are probably several thousand albums, in LP, MC and tape format, turntables, oldskool reel-to-reel tape decks, MC tape decks, pro DJ CD decks, everything in two pairs, and top of the line super hifi pro pristine quality. Most of it purchased by him on his frequent stays in Asia during the 70ies and 80ies (he worked on cruise ships, and ran radio channels back home when off duty). Incredible stuff I only heard or read about.

I told him I would be super honored to have anything, but that in fact he's got very valuable gear. It should not be any problem to sell it, either completely or part-wise. But he did not want to sell it piece by piece, he had already tried and did not want the hassle. Specifically the music collection he would rather not sell in parts. So anything I wanted, I could have, the more the better for him, he just wanted it out and hopefully for someone to use. Of course I'd like to take it all, there are SO much cool stuff. I mean, SOTB 2.0 can be done on huge magnetic reel tape decks! And there is enough vinyl to keep me sampling for ages! (Better not tell my manager about the vinyl part.)

Problem for me is, I KNOW his gear is really valuable, his offer is extremely generous and I don't have any money to repay him or return the favour. I have no idea how to honor his generosity. I have to come up with something very clever to repay him.

And then, when I got back to the studio, already super exited about all the vinyl, I learned this from an email; the Gisle wiki. My jaw went thru the floor. I'm typing a separate entry on it.

From blackest black to shining sparkling silver white in a single weekend. These are crazy, crazy days.

T minus 86: Time angst again
Posted November 3rd 2007, at 22:15 with tags , , , ,

Not much to write today. Spent all day producing and working the the last days takes. Still much to do, hope to have them done for a scheduled final selection process by tomorrow night. But I know that is impossible, Monday at earliest.

Time angst will be a recurring theme I reckon.

T subtract 87: Heidi Marie again
Posted November 2nd 2007, at 21:25 with tags , ,

So today it was Heidi Marie's turn, she came biking in at noon and we hit the mic. Or not really. Today was quite different from yesterday's marathon session.

I've already got a few tracks with HM, so the plan was to record those for production. But she had brought some new ideas, and we spent some coffee time going over her sketches, working them out. Ah, excellent, one of them was just perfect! I've got this pretty energetic club track that we haven't been able to nail because it is either too much or too little, but with HM's new suggestions I think we've got another hit.

The rest of the day we spent working on recording the vocals for one of the definitive album tracks. Contrary to yesterday this one took almost all day, because it has so many different layers, with huge amounts of dubbing. We're building it step by step, hammering it out.

Now I gotta cut this short and run, cause I'm scheduled to meet HP for an album status pow wow in the bar downstairs and if I'm as much as a second late I'll have to endure his German-punktlichkeit-wrath for at least a beer.

Shit I'm already late.

T-88: Christine Litle vocals
Posted November 1st 2007, at 23:35 with tags , , , ,

Today we set a new world record in number of tracks laid down on one day. I know what you think; "It is not how fast you do, it is how WELL you do it."

Well, let me introduce to you CL: Mrs Christine Litle, heretics. A living, breathing and singing specimen of the rare and exquisite wonder-voice race, tracking fast AND well. I have never ever met a vocalist so good at nailing things on the first take, and keeping harmonies so consistently in mind. I am multi-impressed. I mean, some of the dubs are almost useless because she is so dead on it just doubles the volume.

We probably spent more time waiting for projects to load than doing retakes. I am super tired but I am super happy, I've got huge amount of incredible vocal to work with up ahead. As some of you have guessed, Unicorn is a luxury problem selection-wise, I've got enough for several albums just with CL.

Naturally I know she has spent a good amount of time preparing herself and her stuff. But I shit you not what this girl has in mind to track down usually drops at the first take. I was so concerned with time and out of the blue comes this wonderful gift of one week done in a day. I wish every day was like this.

I am so lucky with the people I'm working with on this album. They are each so different, so talented and so pushing me in a necessary direction and tempo at the right time. Just when I needed a creative break Jørn popped by for a groovy bass session, and just as I needed a productive push Christine pops by and zooms everything into place.

So finally, like the super mega popstars (or as Mrs Litle presumably prefer, rockstar) we treated ourselves to fresh outdoor sushi. Most deserved raw fish ever.

(The Tom Kha Gai sucked, btw. Can't win'em all.)

T-89: Vocal preps
Posted October 31st 2007, at 23:35 with tags ,

Brief note. CL flew into town today, we started working on her tracks, preprod for recording tomorrow. Went over all the tracks, agreed on what to prepare for tomorrow and generally how to approach each track.

We've got quite the mileage to cover. This is going to be very interesting and lots of work. Must go. Write more tomorrow.

T-90: Status report, the common angst-time curve
Posted October 30th 2007, at 23:03 with tags ,

Observe, the chaotic nature of my psychiatric health, including drop shadow. 90 days to go, and sleeping has become impossible without a respectable amount of magic beverages. If I don't subdue my hyperactive brain before passing out, I get these frequent jolts of nano-angst when I close my eyes, rendering much needed sleep nigh impossible.

It's ridiculous, I've spent close to four years on this album and still I feel I need more time, shitloads of time. Every day I discover something wrong or bad that has to be redone. I swing between bursts of grandeur megalomaniac confidence and then utter self-annihilating desperation. I guess I'm more worried than I used to be since I'm handling everything myself. I have more control, more overview, but I also have more responsibility; artistically, practically and economically. If Unicorn fails, everything fails. I have to sell my body on the streets. In parts. Used parts. Useless parts.

I shiver at the prospect of learning the street value of my derelict body. Must not come to that.

It is 90 days left until the album is released, but I have less than a third, a month to work on the music. On 26th of November the album is delivered for the mastering process, and my musical work is over. I'm not expecting to sleep any better after that, but right now I am very concerned with the disappearing amount of time until November 26th. All music, concept, visual and graphical work has to be done by 26th and I have no idea how I'm going to fit it. Expect one-word journal entries on the blacker days.

Today I worked some more on replacing and reworking samples, and prepared a huge bunch of tracks for recording. Tomorrow CL comes to town and we have two days to record and work out approx 15 tracks. No way all of them end up on the album, but they are potential so we need at least to do reference takes to get an idea. I am super impressed by her work so far, but I haven't met this creature yet so I'm quite nervous.

As mentioned we have started the selection process and reduced the amount of tracks from 200 to approx 50. The last few days we've reduced the list even further, and keep reducing it day by day.



Mustakrakish Metalocalypse
Posted October 30th 2007, at 16:44 with tags , , ,

Can you spell awesome? No you can't. Not the version I'm thinking of. I just discovered the Adult Swim show Metacolypse, and they represent this unspeakable version of awesome.

Featuring the death metal band Dëthkløk, the worlds greatest cultural force with the 12th largest economy in the world. They live in Mordhaus, a massive heavy metal castle fortress. Their fans have to sign death release before entering concerts as usually most of them are killed in spectacular ways. Their live shows are übercrazyimpressive. They tour with a 8 story steampunk diesel locomotive tourbus with swimming pool. I haven't seen all episodes yet, haven't got time, but the 11 minute episodes are perfect lunch accompaniment. Except I keep spurting half chewed food all over the laptop.

This is by far the best animated series I have seen in ages, it is poly-awesome. Excellent writing, pacing, animation, scripting, editing, not to mention the blood metal music. Heroes, go cry mummy in your NBC Universal backwater cradle. THESE are my new heroes.

You can watch a full episode at the Adult Swim tube-brochure and Season 2 is available in iTunes.

When they gig in Finland, to apologize for destroying half the nation last time, they awaken the Mustakrakish troll. It kills unicorns and can only be destroyed by mobile phones. They set out to kill it to get back their high speed internet link. Metal.


T minus 91: Regular workday
Posted October 29th 2007, at 23:06 with tags , , ,

Not much to report. Long day of work, and that's it.

I worked on some of the vocal tracks to be recorded this week, arranging and structuring them to make room for vocals. Recording and working with these vocals tracks are this week's primary goal.

Samples is another issue eating into my time. Some of the samples are pretty hard or impossible to clear, so they either need to be replaced, camouflaged or removed. I find it  exceptionally pointless to waste days on obscuring excellent pieces of music just because of some silly copyright limit. Sometimes I mash things completely to pieces, sometimes I want to use a loop exactly as it is. I have no problem sharing the rights with the original writer, but the system makes sure this is not an option. After DRM is dead, archaic copyright law and artistic limitations based on bling-bling tactics will be my next target.

I also tried to move and incorporate the "good" parts from killed darlings into some of the currently approved tracks, with various degree of success. Sort of musical CPR. Maybe I should just let them go.

Kids; smarter than they look, but clueless anyway
Posted October 29th 2007, at 21:10 with tags , ,

Torrentfreak has a funny and interesting interview with a 9 year old file-sharer, Hannah.

Great read, a peek at the upcoming generation, kids growing up with everything available. My favorite part is when she is asked about breaking the law, and responds:

- Why would they put music on the internet and invent mp3 players if it was against the law?

Indeed, why would we. Sometimes children are smarter than one expect. Sometimes.

(The image is just a random google pirate kid image, not Hannah.)

T minus 92: The Mysterious CL
Posted October 28th 2007, at 23:11 with tags , ,

I'm working with several new vocalists on this album, I want to expand the vocals. Already been doing some takes with the Vonderful Vestrheim. Here's a quick report on the work with another one, she is rather mysterious.

For now, let me refer to her as CL.

I have not met CL. She has not met me. We will meet this week, we have recording scheduled. We have no idea about each other. I was not aware of her, and she was not aware of me, I assume. She comes from a different musical background. This all came to be thru my manager Roar, he heard her on some tracks on other projects he's involved with, and thought she would be cool to try out for some of my material. So we gave her a few tracks to demo, and she blew us away.

I think I have been very lucky with the people I have worked with, I am always amazed with the material people come up with from my music. CL is no exception, she actually continues to amaze me. With Unicorn, I'm moving into new terrain and she seems to be perfect accompaniment for this. Sometimes she provide suggestions more perfect than I could envision myself.

The process with CL has so far been highly digital, we are exchanging tracks, demos, sketches and ideas by email and google docs. Nothing revolutionary, basic digital communication. But it is great fun, we are so far working on 10+ tracks, without ever meeting, and I am very comfortable working like this, it makes room for thinking stuff through.

I'm very excited and very nervous, she's coming in for proper recording in the Uncanny Labs this week. I'll report more as it progress.

T minus 93: Kill Your Darlings
Posted October 27th 2007, at 23:34 with tags ,

A horrible day. I love all of my songs with all of my heart. But today I had to kill many of them.

Over the last week we have discussed and deliberated The Chosen Ones in our Unicorn wiki, and for some tracks a consensus quickly appear. The tracks are either groovy gold or gruesome goo.

Today, with heavy heart, I eliminated 19 gruesome goo tracks from The Chosen Ones. They are not dead, they are not really gruesome, but they are now in limbo, and will not be polished and nurtured for the album. Rest in peace, my beloved ones. I will come back to you and make you shine.

Current Unicorn Chosen Ones status:

Groovy Gold 14
Gruesome Goo 19
Uncanny Uncertain 29

There is going to be a lot of darling-killing ahead. I cry within.

T minus 94: Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard
Posted October 26th 2007, at 23:49 with tags , , ,

Today I upgraded my beloved 12" powerbook with the latest freshest newest operating system, Mac OS X 10.5.

There are some clever new features in Leopard that can help me be more effective, and ease my work on the album.

I really, really, really like the new universal look. Everything looks better, more modern and concrete. That horrible brushed metal is gone. The total visual aspect of the operating system is great, I feel like I'm in the future.

Performing this update right now in the middle of album work was risky, but Apple continues to amaze me by how well Things Just Work. I selected "upgrade - retain my settings", and after 45 minutes I was right back where I left, only in a completely new operating system. Wow. Every single setting, mail account, personalization, password, bluetooth phone synchronization, firefox extension, font, preference, template, EVERYTHING carried over smoothlessly. I am baffled. I keep expecting things to break, but they don't, they just WORK. So I do the same, I just WORK. This is why I love Apple.

The update is bloody leet superior, there are so many things that will make my life easier, particulary now during the hectic album work:

Quick Look took me completely by surprise, it is the single most brilliant thing I have ever experienced in an operating system. ANYWHERE, whenever something is selected, you just hit space, and you get a preview of what it is - if it's an mp3 file, it starts playing, an image file displays the picture, a movie starts playing, a Word document displays the contents (you can browse all pages), a Numbers spreadsheet display all tables. And it is indeed Quick. Together with the drop dead gorgeous Coverflow in Finder, I shit you not it's like using a computer from the future. This helps me enourmosly with the album artwork, it is so much easier to get an overview of what where how.

Spaces helps me separate and differentiate my different "hats". One space for email, web, one space for documents and wiki work, one space for iTunes and audio work, one space for Photoshop, images and conceptual visual work.

Back to my mac and remote access to any of your macs, from anywhere in the world. This feature is what I need.

Stuck at the airport in Hong Kong for several hours? And there's a great movie you'd like to see but you left it back home on your media disk? No problem, just hook up to your mac at home and copy it over. You can even remotely control the screen. This is awesome, for example in the middle of a tour in Antarctia we decide to do some changes to a track, where all the production material is back at the studio in Bergen. I hook up to the studio machine, boot up Logic, make the changes, bounce the project, and copy it over. 

For me now, this means I no longer have to remember copying a zillion files here and there before running to a meeting. I can just hook up to the studio machine and play it directly from there, or if I'm in studio and need to reference an mp3 from my massive home library, I just hook up to the home computer. Thinking in portals.

Yes I know some of these features are possible by 3rd party software and Linux probably had all of this including color-fax before WWI. The point here is, there is no half-broken 3rd party software needed and Linux is not an option for me. You don't have to prepare for this. It is completely baked into the Finder, right there under your finger, just as easy as copy a file from a folder to another. It just works.

But all is not super shiny, naturally some lazy Swedes lazy Germans had to sabotage the future. Rewire Melodyne Rewire is broken. I wasn't going to install Leopard on the studio G5 anyway untill the album is done, and definitively not with Melodyne broken.

Update: The Rewire problem is not Propellerheads fault, it's those lazy krautprogrammers in Celemony, too busy with Oktoberfest I suppose. Thanks Michael!!


T minus 95: The Groovy Bass Mascot
Posted October 25th 2007, at 23:54 with tags , , , , ,

I love recording days. Hanging out in studio with wonderful people, having a few beers, talking, laughing, wasting time, and then cold-heartedly with deadly digital precision, capturing a sonic piece of them for further use in my cruel experiments.

Today my very bestest friend and most brilliant bassist Jørn Rathe popped in, we popped a cold one, and laid down bass on a few tracks for Unicorn. If you didn't know , Jørn is the groovy bass guy on the original Spiderman Theme and was part of the legendary original Ugress Live Crew from back in the days. I think he's part of a few other tracks as well, we did some drunken recordings for Resound. We've got some mad hvetebolle stories from those days to share.

Jørn has his groovy fingers in many projects, he plays with several bands around the world, runs his own studio doing music production, he writes film music, got his own mad scientist crazy art projects, and is part owner of Happy Sound Factory, an excellent indie printing company that printed my Shadow Of The Beat debut album. I am flattered he found time to participate on the upcoming album, whatever he does is just mad groovy.

Jørn is the kind of guy the music business SHOULD be made of. He's a quiet guy, brilliant on his instrument, loves music, loves what he does, always trying to make things better, to learn and grow. Always busy but finds time anyway. Always considering the well-being of others before his own. Always sharing his knowledge in subtle ways, helping people out just because he is friendly, not because he's maneuvering and politicking to get ahead. Above all he is a person you can trust.

It's pretty far between people sculpted like Jørn. He's a close friend of mine, and I am very happy that he is able to return as the groovy bass mascot on Unicorn. Bass solo!

T minus 96: Website maintenance, production wiki
Posted October 24th 2007, at 23:33 with tags , , , ,

Did some more pre-preproduction work today, mostly theoretical.

I fixed up the ugress website, cleaned out dusty, old information and updated bios and discos and faqs and all that web shit. The site should see more fundamental changes approaching release to be in line with the album concept but this should do for now.

I also spent a good amount of time with Google Docs and Calendar, setting up everything for smooth and synchronized information management. (In other works, a wiki.) The amount of data and information this album produces is amazing, both in size and actual contents.

My irreplaceable drummer, assistant advisor and reality consultant Hans Igor Schnellkayak lives here in Bergen, my manager Roar lives in Oslo, and the vocalists are all over the place touring or wherever these creatures linger at night. We all work at different hours and communicate often but random and mostly by email, sms, chat, phone, fax and telex. So it's pretty effective for us to have all documents, information, calendars and plans available online for instant sharing and collaboration.

We used to have a dedicated wiki, but that sucked and Google Docs is much more swift and elegant. We use Google Calendar for scheduling and planning, and with Spanning Sync I got it all synchronized in iCal and on my phone.

I'm very happy that Gmail today introduced IMAP, this is awesome. I can now switch to Gmail and keep everything available offline in Mail, and online available wherever whenever whatever. No need to worry about backups or fuckups. If Google only could get their Gears in ass and make Docs available offline, I'd be very satisfied. But come to think of it, I'm actually never offline unless I want to, I got my 3G cellphone and wifi most places in my natural habitat. So it's not big a deal, and hence Google Docs a bloody brilliant solution for the Uncanny Planet production wiki.

Now with OS X 10.5 out in a few days, with Spaces and Back To My Mac remote access and screen sharing, iChat video conferencing, things are really looking good for Nuskool HyperText Label 2.0 work.

Website updates
Posted October 24th 2007, at 22:22 with tags No tags.
We updated the biography, the discography and the FAQ. Removed old and outdated information and inserted fresh new juicy stuff.

T minus 97: Sample Clearance
Posted October 23th 2007, at 19:17 with tags , ,

I let my Bollywood hero Don act out todays issue, the clearance of samples.

Today I traversed all tracks and listed any samples we have overlooked. (The most obvious ones we have either cleared or given up by now). It took almost all day, backtracking samples and loops. Tedious boring work, but necessary. Sample usage/clearance is sadly a decisive factor when it comes to album track selection.

I am, for the record, not commenting on the relevance of using the Don clip.

T minus 98: Statistics
Posted October 22th 2007, at 21:32 with tags , ,

I updated the album progress statistics over at ugress.com with current numbers of today. The official start date for this album was October 1st, 2005. I have been keeping score since then. There are some interesting trends, here are the latest numbers.

Total projects/songs created: 184
Days since start: 1015
Total files created: 49 070
Total bytes created: 29 gigs
Average files pr project 266
Average bytes pr project: 158 megabytes
Average files pr day: 48
Average days pr project: 5.5

First, the numbers are somewhat off. There are over 200 projects in total. The project number is misleading because I only count project folders, not actual projects, and some project folders have branched into several independent projects over time sharing the same folder. There are a also a few project folders stored other places, these are not counted. For the final count upon release I'll try collect it all up.

Second, I slap myself with dishonor because I didn't notice and celebrate the 1000th day! Probably because I was too busy battling my webhost that day. I also notice with smirking satisfaction, the total days working on Unicorn will be 1113 upon release. Pay attention - three 1s followed by a 3.  Unicorn is one horned. Unicorn is the third album. There is magic in numbers.

Now the most obvious and expected change occurs in average days pr project, going up by almost two days . This is natural because I am now focusing on finishing existing material, less new projects.

The average size pr project is also picking up, because I've started recording and doing multiple takes. I reckon this number will jump pretty high by release, most of the recording is coming up the next few weeks.

But what puzzles me is the average files per project has been steadily declining. I wonder why, I would expect this number to be higher as time goes by, especially now with less new projects and more work on established ones. Curious.


T minus 99: The Chosen Ones
Posted October 21st 2007, at 19:38 with tags , ,

99 days to go. Yesterday I took out stock. There were over 200 sketches, projects and potential tracks for the upcoming album, I impress even myself. Did I actually write all that shit? This load of golden crap is now reduced to The 50 Chosen Ones, the 50 potential candidates for Unicorn.

Why do I feel like I'm part of a goofy reality show for little girls? WHO GETS TO BE THE UNICORN? ME! ME! ME!

By the end of this week, we (me, Roar, HP and the vocalists, more on each later) will agree on a limited subset, around 20-25 tracks I suppose. We shall call these The Really Chosen Ones. Then I must focus all my strength and dexterity and concentration on these Really Chosen Ones. We record final vocals, do final post production, sequencing, single selection and video candidates. This should happen within a month. Then for premaster we end up with a final selection of around 10-15 Totally Really More Über Real Than Realest.

What  is the sound of 50 Chosen Ones, one might ask? What is the sound of a one horned Unicorn clapping 50 times? I might answer, something like this:

I took all 50 tracks into iTunes and generated a one minute iTunes signature mashup of them; The 50 Chosen Ones.

T minus 100: One hundred days left
Posted October 20th 2007, at 23:59 with tags ,

As of today, it is exactly one hundred days until Unicorn, the third Ugress album is released.

It might sound like a long time to some, but I assure you, it is indeed not a long time for myself. I can feel the the angstful fangs of time drooling, waiting with cold patience and snarling at my every effort to make headway.

I'm from going to write one post each day, documenting the process, the progress, the setbacks and the flashbacks. Some days there will perhaps be wonderful revelations, other days, horrible confessions. There will be moments of glory and moments of despair. The only thing I am sure of, we're looking at 8 million 640 thousand seconds here and not a single one of them will be boring.

The Unicorn, after all, is quite the hunt.

Uncanny Robot Automaton Dancer
Posted October 19th 2007, at 15:04 with tags , , ,

There is beauty in the uncanny. And there are horror in the machines.

Uncanny Planet Global Micro Investment Group Inc
Posted October 16th 2007, at 13:27 with tags , , ,

This is Mrs. Keo Sophar and her husband, in Kampong Cham, Cambodia. I have invested 25 USD in her exquisite and successful dessert making business. This investment will help expand her inventory, and increase revenue to pay for her children's education. (Perhaps also a stylist, or at least a wardrobe, for the next promo shoot, Mrs Sophar.)

I just started my fresh new entrepreneurical adventure as microfinancer. Kiva, a non-profit organisation, provides a portal for microfinance institutions around the world to present their applicants. You can review them, and lend them a small sum of money, as much or as little as you want, to as many or few applicants as you find fit. Your  contribution is part of a larger loan to the applicant, then disbursed by the microfinance institution. The money is used by people in poorer regions of the world, to help them self-help themself.

Mrs Sophar needs to borrow 1,200 USD to upgrade her business to a larger revenue stream. I'm just a little part of it, but with enough people like me, she gets it. And we get our money back when she has paid down. All four of the projects I invested in has already raised their loan sum. I look forward to my quarterly progress report from Mrs Sophar.

This is the way I think we can make a better world. Small steps, smart steps. I can afford to outsource some of my money for a time. What is a negligeble sum of money to me can make a huge difference somewhere else. To learn more about Kiva and microfinance, check with this NY Times article.

For your convenience, please revise my excellent global investment portfolio.

Uncanny Planet Global Micro Investment Group Inc, Portfolio

Mrs. Sit Sokhum, age 41, Kampong Cham Province, Cambodia.

Works with her husband as a broker to buy and sell rubber, together earning about $3.25 per day in profits. They have two children who are students. In order to increase her supply of rubber, she would like to request a loan of $400 to purchase an additional stock of rubber from a plantation to sell to the wholesalers.

Carmela Perez Hernandez, age 29, Margaritas, Mexico.

Works in textiles.

Carmela has two children. She embroiders cloth blouses with colored flowers. In order to sell and buy her material she travels two hours from her home to the nearest town. She belongs to the group called "Mujeres para Progresar 3," together with another artisan Blanca Flor Jiménez Pérez. The women will invest in purchasing cloth, thread, needles, and scissors with their loan.

Mrs. Keo Sophar, age 48, Kampong Cham Province, Cambodia.

Mrs Sophar sells homemade desserts on the roadside of her village, earning about $7.30 per day in revenue. Her husband, age 62, is too old to work. In order to grow her business and meet customer demand, she would like to request a loan of $1,200 to buy products needed to make more desserts to increase her inventory

Ms Nguyen Thi Hoan, age 44 years, Soc Son, Viet Nam

She has a shop at a very good location, and the selection of goods sold are really varied. Her shop is divided into three rooms. In one room she sells sundry goods, in one room her husband fixes bicycles and sells parts of bicycles, in the last room they sell cattle foods. Her business is doing well. She wants to borrow 1200 USD to upgrade her shop and sell more variety of goods.

Now you are thinking in portals.



Strato Cruiser - The Über Zeppelin
Posted October 16th 2007, at 02:04 with tags , , ,

My goodnight prayer is just a short curse of the LZ 129 Hindenburg's tragic demise. If that most unfortunate event had not taken place, airships would still gracefully glide us through the clouds, and arrivals in New York would be at Empire State Building.

Did you know the first transatlantic Hindenburg flight actually had a piano in the lounge? A piano. In the lounge. Picture yourself (or rather me) with a Dry Martini at the bar, gazing absent-mindedly at the panning vistas, accompanied by soft jazzy tones. And then picture a Ryanair flight. The humanity.

Hope is not lost. Tino Schaedler and Michael J Brown has come up with the Strato Cruiser concept, a lifestyle zeppelin. My next tour bus number one.

Transformers The Score
Posted October 15th 2007, at 12:26 with tags , , , ,

I loved the Transformers movie this summer, it was my summer vacation. Quite a short holiday one might say, but it was very intense and full of aweness and I had popcorn for all meals. And I loved the music, a majestic orchestral score by Steve Jablonsky, which to my intense grief was not available when I got home, there was only this god-awful soundtrack compilation.

Until now! It's out! I couldn't find in the Amazon mp3 store but iTunes has it (regrettably not in plus yet).

I've wondered why I was drawn to the score, and two things spring to mind. First, of course, the opening autobot theme is spine-tinglingly hair-raisingly brilliant and deceptively simple, and the other themes are none worse. Secondly, Jablonsky uses a "pulsing" soundscape technique, I don't know the exact musical term for it: It is a combination of flowing staccato arpeggio and synchronized delay for the strings. I love this technique, it gives everything a sense of controlled urgency. Small and subtle changes in the arpeggio notes can easily sculpt the harmonic bed for the slower themes running on top. And this exact technique was used to very similar in the Batman Begins score, which I also love.

If you're into big robots and in the mood for radiant, majestic Hollywood orchestral craftsmanship, compulsory.

Posted October 13th 2007, at 19:01 with tags , , , ,

In Norway your personal income and tax are public information. Envy, gossip and the Jante Law are fundamental parts of Norwegian culture. The Ministry Of Finance makes sure to uphold these glorious traditions, by making your private taxes available to everyone. Apenes where are you, you lazy bastard.

Saving you all a visit to Norwegian tax search forms (NO), and since I'm way to B to be listed in local paper lists, here are my official public numbers. Last year (2006) I ended up with NOK 129,480 for spending on rent and electricity - of which I paid NOK 40,346 in taxes. Saving you international readers even more complex currency crunching, here are the results globally adapted for your instant digital comfort.

In US dollars I earned $23,915, of which I taxed $7,452.

In European euro I earned €16,863,  of which I taxed €5,254.

In Japanese yen, I earned Y2.8 million. Which makes me a Japanese millionaire! The Yakuza shivers just by hearing my name.

The official limit of poverty in Norway is at NOK 127,000 (NO). This means my 129,000 makes me a RICH RICH RICH SUCCESSFUL person.

Bling, bling, bling. I'm a super rich popstar.

Ouch: My live bass player quits
Posted October 13th 2007, at 02:31 with tags , , ,

My very good friend and the hitherto permanent Ugress live bass/percussion player, Czhewr Affen, informed me a some days ago he won't be able to offer his services for the upcoming Ugress release and tour. Crap.

He has other commitments and priorities, he has his own projects, I understand his need to choose.

But it fucking sucks. It sucks on a personal level because he is a great person, it sucks on a tour level because he is an awesome guy to run trivia contests with on long stretches. It sucks on a performance level because he brings a spectacular dimension to the live shows, it sucks on a musical level because he's a genius on any instrument. And it definitely sucks on a practical level because my future plans, incorporating him, are challenged.

I knew he was busy and had commitments to his own projects, but honestly I didn't expect him needing to pull out. We knew the release period since March, I just considered it a logistical challenge to schedule our time and having the calendars add up. I know it sounds easier said than done and I know he has a demanding commitments.

I was prepared for unforeseen setbacks with this album, spaghetti monster knows there has been enough of them, but didn't expect one from that particular angle. It really took me by surprise.

So I've spent my time pondering it, and the conclusion is simple. I'm not doing anything about it. One man down, I observe it, note it, but business as usual.

This does not change any short-term goals. Unicorn is not dependent on a live bass player. It could benefit, but it is not compulsory. Much as I am reluctant to admit it, this might actually be for the better in the long term. I need to do some adjustments here and there for my concepts, but for the most part everything run as scheduled.

Loose some, gain some. Quoting Rune, our legendary tour bus chauffeur: "It goes."

(Photos by Eivind Senneset.)

Maelstrom Accelerates: Madonna quits her contract
Posted October 11th 2007, at 14:18 with tags ,

Quick update on the recent music maelstrom: Madonna dumps her label. The snowball is gaining momentum.

Understanding mp3 compression
Posted October 10th 2007, at 23:13 with tags , ,


Ars Technica has a bloody nice technical article on how mp3 compression works. If you consider yourself a clueless moran on lossy compression, do your duty. Knowing how mp3 works is compulsory survival skill.

Music Maelstrom - The Future Has Begun
Posted October 10th 2007, at 21:40 with tags , , , , , , , , ,

So much happens I feel digitally dizzy.

Recently I announced my next album, to be released by myself on my own. Not because it is a calculated PR move, I have no plans or illusions of becoming a trendsetter or someone anyone listens to. I'm a water molecule in an ocean, a good molecule, intent on doing my best, but still just a molecule. This is just a necessary, natural step for me.

But not just me.

Last week Radiohead announced the release of their next album, completely without a record label or middle man. Pay what you want, it is out today. Yesterday NIN followed up, and today even more bands enter the future (and then even more).

And then Yahoo gives DRM the finger, just like iTunes, MSN, and the new Amazon mp3 store has done.

This is fucking unbelievably awesome! The future is happening NOW, it's going to work, it happens, it's alive, AAAALIIIIIVE!!! The record labels are literally falling apart around us. Nobody wants DRM, NOBODY! Except the labels. Nobody wants the labels. Do the math.

Music is bigger than ever. The hypertubes are quietly replacing television. The possibilites are bigger than ever.

On one side you have the record labels and their archaic business model, desperately fighting the future, in court rooms, with lawyers, by tricking people, by locking down music, by making everything complex, hard, controllable and PUNISHABLE. They have had a billion chances of adapting, to turn around and start respecting THE MUSIC, not the money.

On the other side, artists and fans adapt, communicate, embrace new technology and nurture music.

Shit you not, we are in the middle of a music maelstrom, a paradigm shift of such dimensions music has never seen before. I have no idea what is at the end of the maelstrom, but I'm not worried anymore. Not one bit.

Things Are Broken, My Webhost Is Incompetent
Posted October 7th 2007, at 17:32 with tags

Update 23:46: Seems to be back to normal now. Carry on, nothing to see here, move along!

The subdomain pointer for gmm.ugress.com is broken (and so is all of my other subdomains).

So links are broken, images are gone and I don't know what else is kaput. I guess the fat lazy ass IT consultants won't be in until tomorrow to fix things. I phoned their so called "24/7" line several times with no response to my messages.



Hello Thingamagoop I Love You
Posted October 6th 2007, at 18:28 with tags , , , ,

I'm in love. With my newest acquisition, a Thingamagoop. Look at it. Is it not sexywunderschön?

It's an impressive little thing, from the mad brain of Dr Bleep, which makes the most respectable spectacle of pitched noise. It has a powerful in-built speaker, and a line signal for further manipulative madness. You can adjust volume, pitch, LFO rate, LFO destination with sexy knobs and faders. But, the mega super screaming-consonant feature: The most brilliant feedback mechanism ever, a self-modulating optic photocell modulator! Excuse me while I change my pants.

In honor of this new respectable supermodel member of the Uncanny Labs, I scrambled together a quick track, with The Thing as guest vocalist.

I just went crazy with the unit, waving it around like a madman, riding the controls like a madwoman. Then I put some of the results thru Melodyne, re-pitching and re-timing the madness to a less-chaotic system. I love technology! Other takes I spread around Logic 8 to try out new features and effects in the new version. Me likes.

I routed some of The Thing into the new sidechain function in Ultrabeat, meaning I can program and trigger the audio like a drum machine, even routing the audio out to separate busses. I haven't had this fun in ages! Here it is, the result of a few hours studio madness:

Thingamagoop Boogie (192 kbps mp3).

 Also make sexy benefit the beautiful Flickr set of my Thingamagoop, hot damp cellphone shots I took of my new lover. Yes baby, oooh, squeak that square wave of yours for me, ah ah aaaaah.

The Day Music Died
Posted October 5th 2007, at 16:09 with tags , , ,

WAHT TEH ÜBER-FUKC!!! The verdict in the Capitol Records v. Jammie Thomas case is in just now. The defendant was found guilty, for file-sharing 24 tracks. $222,000 in damages.

I have no idea if this person did it or not. If she did it that is wrong, it doesn't help anyone if you deliberately file-share music. Don't do it. Give a copy to your friends if you like it, spread the word, help music, but don't put it out for everyone, don't kill music. Sometimes I am hungry, you know.

I know how easy it is to spoof IPs and MACs, or for that matter, how easy it is for someone to do whatever they like on my laptop if I'm not at it. There IS NO DIRECT CONNECTION between a human being and a computer's actions, you cannot know if I am typing this, here, right now, or someone else. It is PROBABLE, there might be shitloads of indicators, but it is IMPOSSIBLE to know for sure. Anyway, let's say she did it and she is guilty.

10 000 bucks for a track? WHAAAAT THEEE FUUUUCK. Does nobody in the jury, the RIAA or the rest of the world have their head out of their own smelly asses? $9,250 in statutory damages per pirated song? There is no realism in that! What kind of signal does this send? That the music business is fucked up beyond anything. That the legal system is meaningless. How can we expect people to pay a few bucks for a track when the RIAA displays this complete lack of common sense? And you can be found guilty for file-sharing just because fat burger-eating jury members are technological dimwits with no clue of how technology work. You cannot have fucktards with no understanding of how technology works, judging people based on their actions with that technology. Or without, for that matter. GDI I am furious right now.

The RIAA might consider this an important victory. I think it is a sad, sad day, a completely unrealistic verdict, that jury is a bunch of clueless ugly fat pigs, and this witch-hunt process just keeps alienating artists and fans from a proper model. I am not surprised if this means war. And irrespective of who wins, pirates or RIAA - I loose.

More info and further links to coverage at Recording Industry vs People.


Ableton Live 7
Posted October 5th 2007, at 13:30 with tags , , , , ,

Nothing happens for ages then everything happens at once. I just started using the new Logic version 8, the new Kontakt version 3 zooms towards me somewhere in the courier clouds and last night Ableton slams up the Live 7 announcement.


All three updates seems a little underwhelming at first. There is really nothing new, no revolutionary new audio tools or brilliant stretching solutions. To put it simply; there is nothing in these new versions you cannot do with previous versions.

But you can now do everything faster better stronger harder. There are lots of small improvements that make your life easier. The new versions are smarter, smoother and sleeker. I spent some time working simultaneously in Logic 8 and Logic 7 (not all projects carry over painlessly), and my general experience so far is that the new version feels better, I like working with it - but thats it, it just feels better.

I've been thinking around this, that pro media software, in almost all areas, are currently at a saturated level. Most of the pro media apps, Logic, Live, Photoshop, Protools, Max/MSP, Illustrator, Final Cut, Maya, 3D Studio, Blender and so on, are quite competent at doing what they do. Every new update seems to be more about streamlining and adding details than coming up with some brilliant new editing dogma. For example, the huge brouhaha around Adobe CS3 was really totally meaningless and that update is totally ONLY about marketing.

Perhaps it's time for a paradigm shift in pro media editors.

Unicorn progress: Heidi Marie vocals
Posted October 3rd 2007, at 22:41 with tags , , , ,

Unicorn album status: Started recording vocals.

The last two days super-voice super-person multi-talent Heidi Marie Vestrheim came by the Uncanny lab and we worked on some tracks for the upcoming album. We already did a bloody awesome blues-break track last year, which I have been saving up for the album. Now we're cooking up a few more tracks, with quite the variation, each one pulling in a totally different direction.

We did some writing, improvising and brainstorming yesterday. I provide her with a bunch of beats, she picks whatever fancies her and we take it from there. Heidi Marie is a fantastic person to work with, she's got an immediate musical sense and a mad voice technique to realize it.

So today we did some proper recording, lots of takes and variations and overdubs and I'll start programming, manipulating and structuring the bits over the weekend.

I did some quick sketching and conceptual probing after she left today and one of the tracks is a definite bomb. I love it when this happens, you get this sense of "whoaa, there's something great in there", and when you sit down to figure it out, things just fall into place automatically, everything is obvious.

Can't wait to get back to the lab tomorrow and continue.

YAPUTB: The supertourbus
Posted October 3rd 2007, at 20:02 with tags , , ,

Yet Another Potential Ugress Tour Bus. Maybe I should make a separate category for this. Or perhaps a calendar?

Uncanny Planet Presents:
The 2008 Tour Bus Calendar
Uncanny, Undressed & Undriven.

Aaaanyway, gawk benefit the superbus, developed by mad wannabe bus drivers at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. Top speed 250 kilometers pr hour. With a little pimping on this bad baby, we could travel faster than light and do several gigs at once because we would travel back in time everywhere we went.

(Bus via Dark Roasted Blend.)

Weekly update: Magic Moist Mountains
Posted October 3rd 2007, at 02:25 with tags , , , ,

Dear journal, a confession to make. I've taken some some days off. I didn't have a summer holiday this summer, and I won't be having a minute of breath until March 08, at the earliest. So I needed some quality time off with myself and the GF.

We booked an off-weekend at Finse, a remote but popular resort in the Norwegian mountains, only accessible by train. Finse is the place they shot the winter scenes in Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back. True. All pics from my cellphone, Finse is the tiny settlement at the left of the lake:

The weather was sinister and grey but it didn't matter, this was mad mountain mortal massage. The soft, moist rain was only welcome. We did highly individual treks, ignoring maps and tourist guides. We deliberately went straying from paths and routes and just walked arbitrarily around on the moors, exploring desolate areas for hours and climbing peaks as we found fit.

It was a total benefit to my mad chaotic mind to linger on those majestic vistas, and strolling endless miles of soft, untouched moss. At times the wind and rain screamed around my ears, and a minute later a sudden eerily silence enveloped me completely.

I should do this more often. Not only because getting away is great, but because I am bursting with creativity and inspiration after lounging the mountain plateaus.

In addition to stumbling around on stoic mountains, I am very fond of train travelling.

The rail segment between Finse and Voss is the highest, most dramatic, beautiful and inspirational part of the European rail network. Wild Norwegian mountains dressed in cruel glaciers, ghastly fogs and flaming autumn colours.

If I did death metal I would live there. Alas, my bane is electronica so I marvel the cruelness from my comfortable train seat with an 220V outlet for my laptop.

So, on this death metal inspired train back from Finse to Bergen I whipped up my laptop, with my super excellent new Logic 8 update, and I have to confess, I think I wrote, sketched and nailed another single for the upcoming Unicorn album.

The track is deceptively simple but unavoidably hooky. I can't get it out of my mind even if I work on other tracks, I yearn listening to it, I put it over on my cellphone for listening at all times and when I do I never want it to stop, I don't really want to work on it I just want to listen to it.

It has absolute nothing to do with mountains or glaciers or autumns or trains, not even remotely. That would be silly, I did write a few sketches in that vein on the train and they sound nice but not GROOVE CHAMPAGNE. Massive mountains are not the message they are the medium.

This one is diamond-fluorine champagne, with the cure for common cold as petty side effect. I must do more vacations in death metal landscapes.

Floppy disk album and bitrate composing
Posted September 30th 2007, at 19:18 with tags , ,

If you are releasing your album on floppy, directory listing website is the only true retro-l33t style web design you should consider.

Danish band Batch Totem is out with their newest album, it's a whopping full 74 minutes - on a single floppy. To make this fit in 1.44 MB, naturally the music is super-encoded at a bitrate close to absolute zero. Yes atoms almost stand still at this rate.

But fear not, quality-draculas, the brilliant Totems utilize the exciting fact that the slower the bitrate/lower the frequency, the more prominent the encoding artifacts - so prominent and obvious that you can control them musically and synthesize new sounds of it. Mad lofi props!

In some ways this border closer to sound design than music but there is a wonderful idea behind the concept, that it is possible to control and exploit the encoding of sound, utilizing the artifacts for designated purposes.

I love things like this, taking side-effects of limits and turn them into enhancements. People should stop worrying about technical limits and start appreciating the possible beauty within them.

(Via Music Thing.)

Robots have steampunk sex, Aethernet screwed
Posted September 26th 2007, at 19:18 with tags , , ,

GDI, I hate it when those reversed tentacles over at wonderful boingboing manages to post something before me, as I reckon bb compulsory read for anyone with their aethernet skills in ordnung. Problem is, bb coverage sometimes render my own notes here into double-posted trifles.

This morning while scavenging my feeds over coffee I came over this super-uncanny quasi-steampunk robot sex imagery from Underwire. Ah excellent that is proper robot revolution material for my journal! Just got to fire of some emails regarding getting my stuff onto that new Amazon mp3 store and pop by the library for some books on chimeras, unicorns and other nonwikified information before they close (they close! wtf!?), then some scheduled journal updates.

The pictures are super awesome, super creepy and totally NSFW, but uncanny to the point of essence. Wunderschön. There's also a youtube clip, but it sucks so I'm not going to link it, it's available thru the Underwire post.

But then, as often happens, comes boingboing running along, fueled by it's tipster minion brigade of attention-whore dribbling dogs and ruins it all, turning this into a meta post about robot revolution, sex, uncanny imagery, boingboing aether influence and contemporary aethernet problematics.

See, how it goes, when robots starts having sex? Things get bad.

Bergen-Tokyo tectonic shortcut
Posted September 23th 2007, at 20:17 with tags , , ,

I really, really, really, reaaaaally would like to go to Tokyo. I am profoundly mesmerized and fascinated by everything Japanese, i would very much like to live in Japan for some time and if I could I would eat sushi for every meal, drink Asahi until my liver explodes and travel with bullet trains all the time.

But I have no money and no time.

Science to the rescue! According to this awesome NASA map, cooked up by mad-ass geo-tists, my hometown Bergen will in 250 million years find itself located at approximately the same place as Tokyo is today! Bloody marvellous excellent tectonic movement FTW! All I have to do is wait.





And wait.












And wait. Are we there yet?


Release date and EP
Posted September 20th 2007, at 22:22 with tags No tags.

The next Ugress album titled "Unicorn" will be released on January 28th, 2008.

To celebrate the awesomeness of this fact, there is a wonderful new EP available for download. Go get Chromosome Corrupt EP!

More info in the journal .

Ugress 3: January 28th, 2008
Posted September 20th 2007, at 03:26 with tags , ,

"Unicorn", the third Ugress album, will be released January 28th 2008.

I know it has been four years since "Cinematronics". To shut you up, go to the Ugress hypertext site now and download the Chromosome Corrupt EP, released 5 minutes ago to celebrate the official release date. I'll document the final album progress in here. More on the EP further down.

Actually, I have known the release date since February 2006, the date wasn't made up this week. I decided for this date almost a year ago, at the time I calculated this was the time both myself and any professional third party needed to build up a proper release, conceptually, promotionally and musically. Been hard not to tell. At the time I had a lot of sketches and ideas but no concept, nothing coherent.

I am glad I didn't know then what I know now. It has been a long road and the plan has been changed fundamentally several times, not because of me but because of external sources. I should write a book about all the shit I've been through. Quite simply summarized, I am sick of the music biz and the lazy asses working in it. I talked to multiple record companies, labels, distributors and and they all SUCK. Of course they all want to do my album, they know there's money in it. Everyone's a friend. But they don't want to actually DO anything. They just want to milk it. I don't need a maid I need a well connected farm.

Everything is ready, the shit is ready to smack the fan, I do the music, I do the live shows, I do the concepts, I do the webs, I do the virals, I do the press, they do the biz and make it possible, all that needs to be done by not-me is to utilize whatever professional channels one has access to. But people doesn't even PICK UP THE PHONE.

Here's an example, we had the Kosmonaut single, video and website ready. It fit perfectly within the time buildup for a six month release, to start buzz and flow. Not making money for those involved, but get the music out and build the potential for a business. We desperately tried to get the distributor-of-the-moment in negotiations to PICK IT UP, to do something, generate some buzz, start the build-up, get going, make it happen. But no, they were to busy drinking free beer with American Idol producers or sucking the tit of the cow of the moment or whatever. Didn't return calls or emails for 10 days. Not even a "sorry we're busy, got your message, will get back to you". Nothing. They didn't want to do anything, they hoped for us to do everything and then milk us since they controlled the money making part. Are you wondering why the record business is going down the drain? Don't. They thrive in the sewers and love the sound of things made down there.

So finally I decided, I'm the best fuck the rest. I have no patience with indecisive calculative trend-fuckers or short-sighted milk maids. We'll do everything ourselves. My current advisor slash manager Roar has the connections needed for a proper Norwegian release, and the rest we'll make up as it goes. I've got my drummer HP and his practical sense of advice, I got my laptop and I got Google. I don't care for the formulaic dinosauric business part as long as I can get the music out. The album is going out my way, no matter how or where. I say January 28th 2008.

With the music biz out of the way, let's talk copyright law, another contemporary problem.

As mentioned, the current Chromosome Corrupt EP is out to celebrate the official release date. Some of the material in the EP is non-clearable samples, which means right now there's a lawyer in South-America itching to sue my ass. Come get me, my Youtube account and my student loan, amigo.

The samples are considerably changed from their original source material, enough that I'd say fair use. It's not like I'm trespassing on anyone's cashflow by this. But in some cases I retained a few vital aspects for the sound and text which pinpoints the source material - if you are familiar. We tried to clear it, but no go, and decided it too risky to use this material for an international CD release. That's why you can now download it for free, until the DMCA riders come into town at high noon.

The rest of the chromosomically challenged women you hear lulling around in the EP are anonymous victims of topmodern music sample technology. Cthulhu have mercy on their souls.

Enjoy. Save your pennies for Unicorn, 28.01.08.

Sex Pistols Reunite: God Shaved Our Bank Accounts
Posted September 19th 2007, at 13:59 with tags , , ,

I love it, the utter essence of punk. Oppose system until comfortably established then utilize system and reunite as needed to retain cashflow.

If there still exists a few yelling anarchists on the planet, still believing punk was a true revolution, get yourself some tickets for the Sex Pistols reunion and worship your gods in true capitalist full circle style. Funny thing is, all of those revolutionaries of the eighties won't give this capitalist transformation a second thought, because they themselves have made the same transformation.

Struggling with their Volvo down-payment and if their choice of career is the right one. What happened to the system? It didn't need change after all? Or you realized you'd rather have a flatscreen? To watch what, American Idol? Animal Planet? Shaking your head at the sad state of the world? Looks like you getting drunk and yelling during the eighties didn't help much, except perhaps give you something to be nostalgic about and your kids something to sample.

"Any 20 year-old who isn't a liberal doesn't have a heart, and any 40 year-old who isn't a conservative doesn't have a brain."

The Sex Pistols is one of the most formulaic bands of the last 50 years, and bloody successful at that. Everyone, except themselves, pretend they're not. Live the illusion.

Unboxing Teh Future
Posted September 18th 2007, at 23:07 with tags , ,

Highly symbolic and exquisitely promising:

I was (and I'm not making this up*) just about to lay down the final chord and outro-scape of Tentacle Lullaby, the final track of tomorrow's Ugress EP. The track was conceptually done and I knew how to finish it off. Then the phone called. "Hi this is TNT messenger service we have a package for you from Steve Jobs we'll be there in 15 mins".

Oh the excitement. What could it be? Could it be...? I finished up the lullaby, started the final render in Logic and went to pick up the package.

Yes indeed. It was my über-delicious shipment of Logic Pro 8, the freshest newest most mad techno-musical topmodernism. I documented my excitement on Flickr, make hypertube benefit my Logic 8 unboxment. I just briefly got to try it out today, to my wild astonishment it looks like all of my current projects work perfectly, they look better, and perhaps even sound better? To my even wilder astonishment this looks like a bloody marvellous update of Logic. More when time.

*) I'm not making it up because I spoke to TNT on the phone earlier today and they told me it would be delivered tomorrow so I didn't expect it.

Weekly update: Ugress EP and BRAK anniversary
Posted September 16th 2007, at 22:36 with tags , , , ,

Dear Journal,

there was no summer in Bergen this year and now it is autumn, as my cell-cam reports above. I love the autumn, it is my favourite time of the year.

I spent most time last week I working on the final details of a fourth Ugress EP, to be released very very soon. (Hopefully before the UPS guy comes with my Logic 8 upgrade next week...) The release date and title of the next Ugress album will be revealed, and I thought it would be a good idea to celebrate those facts with a final EP before the album. The overall mood and atmosphere of the EP suit the autumn very well, so I think it all lines up pretty nicely. Watch this space next week.

Yesterday I surprised myself. BRAK, where I am currently director of the board, celebrated their 10th year birthday. I just entered the board earlier this year, and the insight I now have of their magic abilities impresses me profoundly.

What BRAK is doing for the music scene is invaluable. The major record labels are tearing down the music business while BRAK, and other small independent entities, are desperately trying to build it up. They are doing it quietly in the background, by hard work and sheer will, with no rock-star attitudes. I am exceptionally honored to be working on the board for this organization, representing us smaller indie artists.

There were a panel debate and an after-party with lots of politicians, bureaucrats, music biz people, artists and other VIPs. I had to be there, representing myself as one of the directors, but also I was supposed to perform as an artist.

Usually I am very uncomfortable in such networking situations, I strongly prefer my lab and mad world domination plans, or at least a backstage with my band mates. Tonight I was alone, and no surprises, I was an alcohol-consuming shaking leaf of  nervous introvertness most of the evening.

However, to my big surprise, when I got on stage to perform I actually grabbed the mic and held a short appeal to the politicians present, prominently towards Henning Warlo, city council representative for finance and culture. I told them how important it was to professionalize the music industry and make sure not only us artists, but also the surrounding apparatus of venues, agents, managers, publishers, labels and promoters, must be able to make a living off music. We are an industry - yes, we generate value as well as culture - in the midst of an paradigm shift and if at any time we need support it is right now, to keep us an industry and develop it. Not only artists but the whole industry. And then I blasted out some mad Ninja 9000 tracks and people actually danced for a change.

After my show Warloe approaced me, agreed to the importance of my points and we talked and discussed the issues I brought up. I knew he was a smart guy but after talking to him I have renewed faith in (some) politicians, and I am certainly glad he most likely will continue in his city council role. Regardless of one's political viewpoints, Mr Warlo is a serious cultural resource in Bergen.

Then I made sure to get super drunk as quickly as possible. Which, dear Journal, never seems to be a challenge of any proportion.

Are you a nerdster?
Posted September 15th 2007, at 15:49 with tags , , ,

I took this Nerdster test, which measures your nerd-hipster level. Results are in, and not surprising:

I'm a Low-Level Nerdster. I've got a solid mix of geek know-how and my finger on the pulse of cool.

Oh, and yes of course, I'm a Make subscriber. Can't wait for the Halloween edition, hope it get's here in time.

The Ringle
Posted September 14th 2007, at 20:46 with tags , , , ,

The Ringle.

The ringtone single, the latest innovation from the music biz. Three tracks on a CD, the single, a remix and a ringtone. USD 5.98.


Robots With A "Sense" Of Humor
Posted September 13th 2007, at 23:18 with tags , ,

Oh great. Not only will the robots zap us all into oblivion during the robot revolution but they will do it cracking exceptionally bad jokes.

Researches at University of Cincinnati have developed an artificial-intelligence program that can understand knock-knock jokes.

I grimly look forward to hear my executioner proclaim, not without irony:

Knock, Knock
Who is there?
Dismay who?
Dismay not be a funny joke

(Via Collision Detection.)

Falling off my chair: Logic 8 and Kontakt 3
Posted September 13th 2007, at 02:04 with tags , , , ,

Yesterday, Apple announced Logic Pro 8 and Native Instruments announced Kontakt 3.

WTF OMG! I literally fell off my chair. Both my main production tools has received major updates, it's like christmas and my birthday simultaneously! Or it will be, when I get my hands on them. Logic is my number eins studio tool and Kontakt my number eins sampler.

In both cases my initial response was considerably full of three-letter-acronyms. And then a more sombre; "but did they improve on....". So I skimmed the manuals and feature sheets, and then my response goes more in the tune of "meeh I dunno...". The improved sample editor in Kontakt looks awesome and will make me benefit indeed. There are many smart new details in both apps that look nice. On the other side, the lack of elastic audio in BOTH OF THEM is a huge letdown*. After all this time I had expected them to futurize the audio engine, not just the GUI.

In both cases I have a feeling this is more of a facelift operation than proper engine improvements. They DO look awesome, and being that I spend maybe 12-14 hours in those apps daily, I don't mind some beauty.

Potentially much more to rant about these updates but perhaps I'll wait until I have actually got to use them. Expect surgical review upon delivery.

 (* Yes I know both apps can do variations of timestretch and pitchshift but it sucks dead bollocks and is not usable for anything but to screw up the sound.)

Ninja 9000 EP is out
Posted September 11th 2007, at 22:22 with tags No tags.
You will love this with all of your 8 bits.

The Ninja 9000 sideproject is out with the first EP, "Bit Collapse". Free download.

More info in the Journal.

Rant: On mp3 and other audio formats
Posted September 10th 2007, at 23:24 with tags , , , , , ,

You know guys I thought long and hard (read: 20 secs) about that, before ripping, if I should go lossless or whatever as an intermediate step. I decided not to for a few fundamental reasons:

  1.  Quality. I never find myself in a listening situation where I could be able to tell, IMO, the theoretical difference between 320 kbps mp3 audio and lossless audio - or for that matter, the difference between 256 kbps AAC and lossless. I'm not a hi-fi freak, I love music not audio, and some of my most cherished moments with music has been with horrible audio quality in a state where anything goes. Mad beats are mad wether 128 or 1280 kbps.
  2. Availability. I'm super lazy, so if I have to re-encode to whatever format my current listening device supports, I just wont' do it. If I had all of my music in a proprietary format, it would be just that, a bunch of proprietary files on my disk never being accessed. Neither my ipod nor my cellphone support any usable formats except mp3. I'm too lazy to transcode.
  3. And third, and this is most important. Rest of post on this:

One can not DRM-ifize mpeg layer 3. Mp3 is a holy format that must never, ever die or be left behind. The alternatives will kill music. Mp3 is what keeps digital music alive, it is the current lifeblood of music and it was the spark that ignited the revolution. Because it is all-encompassing, it works everywhere, any product that wants to survive MUST support the mp3 format.

Ogg, Flac, whatever, yes they are brilliant and good and perfect and better options technically than mp3. But they do not have the sheer massive force of mp3, they do not carry any weight on their own. Being better is not necessarily good enough in today's world. (I KNOW.)

Do you not realize that if we fragment audio formats, there will eventually come something "better" to replace mp3, and you can bet your flOGGed ass it will be crippled and controlled and preloaded with DRM crap and we will all hate it. Blue-ray? HD-DVD? Does anyone really WANT those?

IF there comes a new global audio format, it will only be the result of years of standardization done by huge corporations in coop with dirty lobbying from content producers (read: major labels, Hollywood, TV/radio networks, Microsoft etc), and it will SUCK MUD. It will be impossible to use for anything proper, and it will be hacked within two days, and a never ending battle between users and producers will kill us all.

The reason mp3 is important is because it MUST NOT DIE as a format. It MUST NOT become a tool of the trade, it has to stay a tool for both the users and the producers. My mom knows to play an mp3. She has no idea what ogg or flac is, and if she is forced into using another format you and I and DVD-Jon all know that it won't be flac or ogg, it will be whatever format Microsoft or Apple or someone else than her has decided is good for her. She does not approach these matters as we do and she shouldn't. There are more moms than DVD-Jons in the world. This is why mp3 is important. It is established pre-DRM. Every time you choose to use mp3 you reinforce the power of mp3. Therefore I use mp3 and I will until the end of the world or something better, in all aspects, comes along.

Good god I should written this as a separate journal entry. Oh, look I just did. Hah, thats the power of writing and running your own blog software. I'm like the Fraunhofer Institute of blogs!

Ninja 9000 - Bit Collapse is out
Posted September 10th 2007, at 02:22 with tags , , , ,

The first Ninja 9000 EP, Bit Collapse, is out. You can download and celebrate four tracks from the Ninja 9000 minisite. Revel in 8 bits! Then find the fifth hidden bonus track.

This is C64 retro the way it should be. Slam in-your-face 8 bit rocking electro-disco. No meaningless introvert modular wankery over the SID chip or silly chiptune sampling just for the nod. Screw the fat ugly contemporary cred-surfers. Ninja 9000 takes no hostages, does not stop until the dancefloor is it's own computer game, everyone squared in the eyes and our parents have been in 5 times.

I played the first Ninja 9000 gig last Friday and it was a peculiar experience.

The Ninja 9000 music is very energetic and optimized for clubs and dancefloors. I dream of having thousands of naked Dutch supermodels, both sexes of course, dancing wildly uncontrolled to real, mad SID 6581 beats. Yes, I'm hammering out live beats on my Prophet 64. However this night was pretty far from that.

The gig space was a huge, abandoned office space with a carpet floor, part of the huge building complex where I have my laboratories. I was playing on a stage at one end of the space, and the few nice people who showed up lounged randomly on the floor in front of the stage.  My audience was a super-relaxed, allthou attentive and polite, bunch of scattered lounging creatures.

I must admit, personally, I would have loved to experience live concerts lounging flat-out on the floor. And everyone present was actively listening and appreciating the music. Which is probably more than I could expect from the Dutch models  admiring their own bodies.

There was however, as always on my gigs, some things that screwed up. The visual animation, which was mashup of various Amiga games colour  manipulated and layered on top of each other, was run from a projector thru a TV BeeBoo filter. It was supposed to give a diffused experience of retro games. But no. Too late I realized that the idiot no-good-for-nothing crap BenQ projector had somehow switched from 1024x768 to 800x600 while rigging, rendering much of the visuals... wrong and off-screen. That didn't work out pretty well. I hate that projector it keeps screwing up things.

Anyway, the ninja is out, the live show is up and ready for future gigs, and I am very happy to be able to present it. I think it is some of the best material, club-wise, I have done the last few years, and I really would like to have those Dutch models go crazy.

Weekly update: Ninja, lab, Ugress, digitizement
Posted September 10th 2007, at 00:44 with tags , , , ,

Dear journal, mad times.

No chance to survive make my time, quick recap of last week.

Ninja 9000.

The recent Ninja 9000 gig and EP release took quite some effort, but I'm glad to have done it. It is available for download on a minisite and I wrote an entry on the gig. As usual, never as expected but always exceptionally fun.

New Lab.

I moved to and furnished a new lab location. My previous laboratory was a cozy but cramped office of approx 12 square meters. I worked there for 3 years, day and night. and I loved it. However I'm getting madder and madder, the madness knows no boundary. So I needed more space. Also, I work almost around the clock, and at the previous location there were a few other bands and producers. They didn't annoy me much, but they made noise, and it just teared me down over time. I prefer NOT to hear someone else's beat when working on my own.

My new space is wonderful. I have a huge, airy room with a lots of light. There is a proper kitchen right outside the door, and a fantastic, huge balcony overlooking the busy container port of Bergen. The room is located at the end of a huge empty abandoned space, in fact so huge I actually ride my bike or rollerblades from the studio to the toilets because it takes too long to walk. Seriously, yes, it is that big.

Did I mention the silence? I'm really glad I took the week to move over.

Ugress album release date and concept.

The next Ugress album is looming like a snoozing monsoon. I  spent some time finalizing and deciding for myself what, how, where, why and when to do the next Ugress album. There is an enormous amount of material ready. The concept is ready. The date has been set for quite some time, actually since April, but now it is irrevocably agreed upon. Within a week or so you know it too, good things comes very soon.

My Life In Bits.

Any waking moment at home I spent feeding my laptop with CDs, my scanner with photos and the waste bin with everything else.

I digitized all of my CDs, removed the discs from their redundant cases and jammed them all into a huge disc storage folder. I reduced enormous amount of shelf space, where CDs had been collecting dust for ages. I haven't bought a physical CD in years, except from friends or live gigs. Most of my purchases are digital, and whenever I buy a physical CD I digitize it at once. The physical product is useless to me and it was fantastic to get rid of all that plastic.

I encoded them in 320 kbps mp3, I thought about doing it losslessly but instant accessibility is more important to me than the potential quality. The discs are still available in any case. Much to my surprise I have now almost 1300 albums in my iTunes library. I had no idea it was that much, and I'm sure there must be a lot of duplicates, non-album albums and trash. Haven't had time to sort it out yet.

I also scanned all of my analog photos, reducing even more of my embarrassing past and ghosts from shelf space to disk space. I'm trying to move all of my knowledge, history, property and repository from physical to digital, as you might recall I mentioned my struggle to find a proper information manager. I am very comfortable with having all of my stuff available on my powerbook. With Spotlight I can reach anything within a few seconds, I don't even need to know where it is. Everything I do - music, visuals, ideas, concepts, texts, webs, communication, whatever - is either digitally confined or at least spends one step in it's process in the digital realm.

The concept and theory around digitizing of ones life is super intriguing and MUST be properly explored in a future entry.

Today I killed.

I wacked an irritating fly, by throwing a pad of post-it notes at it. I was delighfully surprised at my hit. Bad karma but good marksmanship.

NBC: "We are stupid as fuck"
Posted September 9th 2007, at 22:50 with tags , , ,

My comment on the NBC vs Apple iTunes kindergarten quarrel.

I think NBC is shooting themselves in their own smelly feet with bazookas. They are trying to force the TV model onto Internet distribution, they just don't get the webs and the future. They want to control what us viewers see, how we do it and when we do it and what else we are going to watch after what we just watched. So they can put ads into it,  force us to buy complete seasons, or bundle shit with cream so they make money on all the stuff they produce, not just the things people actually want to buy.

Well guess what dinosaur numb-fucks, you just wrote yourself out of history. And nobody will miss you. I'm not saying iTunes is the holy grail of digital distribution, but at least it WORKS, it tries to work the way people WANT it to work. That's not the way network executives stuck in their own TV mud want it to work.

The music biz fucked up the internet for themselves. How nice to see the TV networks do the same. I'm continuously amazed at the lack of brain in media people. Why? Why are they so stupid? Greed? Or just lack of brain? Combination?

Btw, you just made Heroes and BSG into just another crap shit torrent puddle.

Meta note: I'm not dead your tepid ploy didn't work
Posted September 9th 2007, at 22:20 with tags

Okay then I didn't post here for almost a week and nobody seems to report me dead. Which means either you my dear readers have exceptional faith in my offline survival skills, or more likely, my reader rate finally dropped to zero. Well not counting you, Google bots, my last true friends. If a mad genius dies in his lab, and the monster was not finished, is it the sound of one hand clapping?

Much has happened. Coming up a shitload of posts on what happened the last few weeks, and what is going to happen the next few weeks.

Ugress Tour Bus Plans
Posted September 3rd 2007, at 02:11 with tags , , ,

It is mad times right now I'm moving and restructuring the Uncanny Labs studio and preparing a live show for a new side project and working on  some important Ugress 3 concepts and date scheduling. More on everything later.

I just popped in here to inform that the result of all this madness will hopefully be super financial success, meaning a new tour bus for the next Ugress tour. Like this droolworthy Russian one.

My world without me, let me show it to me
Posted August 30th 2007, at 21:39 with tags , , ,

Hey remember Alan Weisman? I mentioned him a few months ago and his post-apocalyptic realness article in Scientific American.

Alan has gone all web mad and got himself a tube-lair full of scientific post-apocalyptic Flash multimedia information thingies. Seems us humans can't get enough of a world without us, AND make money on that fact. Wonderful us!

There are some cool interactive roadmaps to a human-less future, for Your Eerie Robot Friend to print out and hang in his battery room.

Now perhaps it is just me but... post-apocalyptic Manhattan pictures and domain name worldwithoutus.com?



EFF: The file-sharing lawsuits doesn't work, RIAA
Posted August 30th 2007, at 20:56 with tags , ,

The EFF has produced a 20 page report on RIAA's "sue and scare" campaign. The report looks back on the last four years of lawsuits against file-sharers, concludes it has been a failure and suggests a flat-fee model as an alternative.

Roughly summarized this is what myself and most people with common sense has been thinking all the way, but it is nice to see it stated in a proper report from a reputable source. Allthou I have no illusions that RIAA will listen to EFF.

Via Arstechnica, who sums up the article pretty good, if you don't want to read the whole thing.

Weekly update: Growing pains
Posted August 26th 2007, at 22:26 with tags , ,

A week of exceptional ordinary quality, yet some notable events appeared. I mostly worked on a current production job. I also decided to do a live gig with Ninja 9000 on September 7th, which is only 14 days away which means I should have a certain amount of panic, but that hasn't kicked in quite yet. I know it will. More in this in another journal entry.

I also spent a few days considering, debating, researching and concluding that I should move to a bigger laboratory. I quite simply have outgrown my cramped current location, and when there appeared to be a bigger locale available in the next building I grabbed it. Not only bigger but with better light and a fantastic balcony for fresh air strolls. It means a higher monthly rent, and a few days of moving all my stuff, but it means I will be able to do some basic recordings in my own space, which saves recording expenses. I also get less noise (no rehearsing spaces in the vicinity) and access to a proper kitchen, this makes for less take-away expenses and more work-hours.

There must be done some soundproofing work, but right now I can't focus on that. In time. I am however eager to get more space, and look forward to moving early September.


Ninja 9000 live gig coming up
Posted August 26th 2007, at 21:35 with tags , , ,

Nothing like a live gig in 14 days to kick-start your lazy ass studio dabbling.

Friday September 7th I'm playing live with my new baby Ninja 9000 at Kulturnatt 2007. The studio complex I'm part of is having a houseparty where everyone show off their work. Several other bands are playing and the artists and architects should do some exhibits. I decided this would be a nice way to break the water of my Ninja 9000 stuff.

The horror of hubris! This means I have 14 days to actually get my stuff together and finalize 30-40 minutes of proper, entertaining, live friendly music. I have a lot of Ninja 9000 ideas and sketches but nothing that works as a coherent whole. Enter illusions of grandeur and the inevitable panic.

I'm not going to overdo it production wise before the gig, like Ugress is sometimes planned and scripted down to each nano-second of music, lights and video. This time I would like to just have kick-ass live computer acrobatic fun. I will probably do some pre-programmed 8-bit material for a rocking digital background, and then go impro-bananas on a super-rigged C64 or two.

Which could make for a total catastrophe, or a nice and cozy 8-bit mayhem experience. Maybe I will smash a 64. And start crying because I didn't really want to but I did it because I thought it would be cool. And nobody thinks it was cool and I stand there in total silence while everyone leaves. Don't miss this.

iLife and iWork 08
Posted August 23th 2007, at 00:15 with tags , , , , ,

Me and drummer HP and some friends got us family pack updates for the Apple software suits iLife 08 and iWork 08.

I am not super-anti Microsoft or super-pro Apple but I am happy to finally NOT being dependent on the Office pack. The new Numbers spreadsheet application is a good alternative to Excel, and Pages replaces Word perfectly for my use. Keynote/Powerpoint is horrible both of them I hate presentation software, that's like giving racing cars with automatic transmission to blind people. At best it makes for spectacular crashes and unbelievable wrecks. Finally I'm using MySQL for the website databases so Access is redundant.

The new versions are OK, but far from rocket science, and IMHO not worth the single license update fee. The family pack split on 5 is an OK price. Most of the apps are only updated versions with either eye-candy or clever new functions most people had found workarounds for anyway.

There is a new behaviour in iPhoto I am not happy with at all - you can edit and touch up your photos pretty extensively, great, but this is saved as a "formula" or whatever, and every time you browse your photos it applies this formula to the photo in realtime. This gives a pretty noticeable lag on my 12" when there's a lot of cell-cam touchups, especially on battery.

However the whole pack has the typical Apple thoroughness, quality and just-what-you-need-exactly-the-way-you-need-it. The software happily fills my need in areas where I'm not using professional software. It is in this regard I often find myself enjoying using Apple soft- and hardware, in that the "rest" of the computer experience outside my dedicated work is expertly taken care of. I quite simply have not the time nor the interest in fine-tuning and baby-sit my digital tools.

Weekly update: Steady as she goes
Posted August 20th 2007, at 02:11 with tags , , ,


not a particularly exciting week, but been busy and had a lot of work to do. I'm working on a documentary score for a production company, need to raise some cash for the upcoming Ugress album. Usually I can spare my enthusiasm for production work, but this project is jolly good fun. I like the theme and concept (I don't know if I can talk specifics) and the people I'm working with are very professional and communicative.

I'm happy with the music I'm writing and I think the production company is happy too, they know what they want and give specific instructions for alterations. If only all production work were this smooth and professional! Then perhaps I could shut down my mad ambitions and just do some small production work, go home at five, eat dinner and watch television (if it still exists).

Then I come to my senses and realize that watching TV would be suicidal for my maniac world domination plans and get a grip. Speaking of which - how are those world domination plans coming along?

I have started working on title, final concept and the practicalities surrounding the next Ugress album. There is still more cash to raise, rob, or manufacture, but according to my plan the final concept stuff ought to be carved out by the end of August. By then I should have an overview of the total package and how much it will cost. Things move a tad slower than I planned because I have so much to do but some extensive brainstorming the next weeks should take care of that.

The CD is 25 years old
Posted August 17th 2007, at 13:14 with tags , , ,

Yesterday Today, it was exactly 25 years since the first commercial compact disc left the factory for sale. The compact disc started the digital revolution that changed music, or even entertainment, completely. The revolution is by no means over yet, we are probably at the very center of it right now. The CD itself is very much alive but more as a digital storage product than a musical product. I can't remember the last time I bought a physical music album.

My first CD, if I remember correctly, was Jesus Jones' Doubt album (iTunes store link). I bought my first CD player in 1990 or 1991, I can't remember what brand it was but it was a standalone CD player, not a boombox system. I didn't have a proper stereo (I never had!) so I had to listen to CDs on headphones the first few months.

The difference in sound from my dual-speed 100th-generation tape compilations was incredible. And I could skip to any part of the CD instantly! And program my own track listing, and listen A to B on repeat! OMG it was the future.

Naturally one of the first things I did, was to start sample beats and sounds off CDs from the local library into my Amiga. I still have those early 8 bit samples in my library.

I have no intention or ambition to venture into a historical and sociological analysis of the CD, but I know for sure it must be one of the most important technological inventions ever. For both good and bad, but mostly for change, and change is always good.

01101000 01100001 011100 0001110 0000111 1001001 0000001 1000100 1101001 0111001 0011101 0001101 0000110 0100011 0000101 1110010 0100001

Tesla Teh New Ninja Steampunk Pirate?
Posted August 15th 2007, at 11:58 with tags , ,

It rains like crazy outside. The nice part of living in Bergen is that as long as I'm in the studio I can pretend I'm living in Los Angeles, November 2019 with the rain hammering on the windows and Daryl Hannah boiling some eggs.

Welcome to a highly unstructured journal entry. I just came across this super collection of Tesla experiment pictures and had to share it. I've got some small Tesla towers we use live on stage with Ugress but they are far from the madness on display here. And they interfere with some of my other instruments so their use is rather limited, but they look awesome of course.

Nikola Tesla is the most realest mad crazy scientist genius ever.

And he is becoming really popular as of lately. I wonder why so trendy now. I have some theories on why steampunk has a renaissance, but Tesla.. I have no idea. Have to think about that, perhaps it's sort of an extension of steampunk and the need for something tangible (sic) and physical. Anyway I don't mind, I hope somebody makes a movie with the following ingredients:

  • Tesla gadgets and experiments
  • Steampunk
  • Ninjas
  • Alien lifeforms
  • Post-apocalyptic locations
  • Pirates
  • Spaceships
  • Robots and artificial intelligence dilemmas
  • Remote planets with ancient ruins of lost civilizations
  • Mindbending new special effects
  • Genetically modified humans and the transhuman dilemma
  • No gender clichés
  • Time travel

I wouldn't mind scoring that movie, btw. Or let's make it a series I don't think one movie is enough.

PS if you really dig Tesla stuff I hope you have seen last years The Prestige (feat my favorite actor Christian Bale with David Bowie as Tesla). Splendid entertainment.

Bzzzzt zzzz fffft bzzzzt GMM out.

Weekly notes - On Information Management
Posted August 13th 2007, at 10:30 with tags , ,

Dear Journal,

the last week I spent a lot of concentration on my digital repository, looking for a proper solution. I have a huge and endlessly growing collection of ideas, information, concepts, recipes, documents, knowledge, tricks, sketches, world domination plans and grocery shopping lists. Yes, we mad evil geniuses must also shop groceries. The clones must be fed.

I am struggling to find the optimal way to manage all this information on my laptop. Consulting and benefitting the library is eventually more important than building the library, and this is my current biggest headache.

I recently read Everything Is Miscelleanous by David Weinberger, and it changed my understanding of how to organize. Quickly summarized, Weinberger explains how digital information is (and must be) free from oldskool physical organization models. Why do we use folders? Because we used this box model in the physical past, and real things can only be organized a limited number of ways in a limited physical space. You can not store a signed contract more than one place. Any copies will just be copies and if the original is changed someone has to redo the copies.

This is moot in a digital world.

Let's say I have an idea, a visual idea, I would like to have a skull, perhaps as a logo. Or as a cover. Or for the stage. Doesn't matter I just come up with the skull idea. So at first this idea would be just a note that goes “skull that looks like a pirate skull but with an digital twist“. Now, should this be stored in the “Cover“ folder? The “ideas” folder? The “Ugress“ folder? The “live“ folder? The “incubator” folder? The “WTF” folder?

And how should “ideas” and “live” folders be organized? Under Ugress? Under Music? In a hierarchy under any of those, or an “idea” folder under “live”? Or the other way around? Should I put aliases in each folder? Copies? What if I change or expand on the original note? Make it relevant for other folders? New folders? And what if I change the hierarchy? Maybe today it should be like this and tomorrow like that? But that would make me crazy every time I enter some new information. WHERE SHOULD I PUT IT? Is it OK to put it here? But I could have use for it over there?

Bzzzt! I freeze, crash and burn with information overflow - not because there is too much information but because I don't figure out how to deal with it.

We are using computers and the future is now. We shouldn't need to make final decisions  - information should be in ALL folders it NEEDS to be in. The computer should adapt and display the relevant information where it is needed when it is needed. Stop thinking in predetermined folders and preset structures. Just tag the note “visual“, “idea”, “concept”, “skull”, whatever fits, the more the better. Then I make a smart folder structure, and the “cover“ folder contains notes that are tagged “cover“, “visual“, “idea“, “concept“ - and whatever I think AT THE MOMENT is relevant for my “cover” work. Not what I think when CREATING the idea. Just come up with ideas, and then review them when you NEED them. The computer tubes analyzes the tags and the contents tagged and makes connections on it's own, presenting me with artificial analyzes of my information. This makes it possible for me to see my ideas and information in multiple ways, and provide connections I wasn't aware of myself.

(This does not render the folder model irrelevant, it still is useful in particular situations, like a musical project.)

So, in light of this utter obvious brilliance - HTF does one do this practically?

The last few years I've been jumping between information managers like a bee on cocaine in a psychedelic flower field. Many eons ago in the dark ages I used to have everything organized within Outlook, and then Entourage when going Mac. I kicked out Entourage a few years ago and then kept it in regular folders. Then I started using Stickybrain, which became Soho Notes, and I tried Yojimbo and Google Notebook and Backpack and probably a billion others. Currently I'm using DevonThink as the main brain, and Google Notebook for off-laptop notes. I'm using Quicksilver to capture ideas and notes instantly. But I'm still trying out new IMs as they appear, right now I'm eying Journler.

There are many options, information managers clearly are the new black, but NOONE gets it just right. And this looks to be the consensus in the tube-clouds as well; there is no holy grail manifested yet.

For me the current standoff is between the stability, maturity and scientific über-ness of DevonThink, and the lean modernist futurism of Journler.

I am satisfied with DevonThink on a scientific level, the artificial intelligence is amazing. But it does not support tags, the most obvious caveat. I'm not fond of the dull GUI either, it looks like I'm using OS9. And no spotlight integration: WTF are you serious? The insanely slow update rate of the app is another turnoff. They have spent ages on the next version. You can't pretend it is 1992 anymore, things must happen, and not fixing spotlight by now is a good telltale they are lagging way behind. It puzzles me because the developers come across as a supercompetent and highly knowledgable bunch.

Journler, my most recent crush, looks incredibly promising, the latest beta really nails the dynamic tag system but it lacks some stability and maturity on a general level. Though, the developers seem attentive and very responsive which makes me optimistic.

This makes for an unbearable conclusion, a standoff which tears my knowledge apart. I haven't decided yet. I would like to trust Journler but it has not convinced me fully. So I decide for now, I will try to use DevonThink as my repository of external knowledge (PDFs, webarchives, scanned articles) and Journler for my personal notes, ideas and plans. I don't like to separate these two, but let's see how this runs.

The Salmon Dance - Beatboxing fugu(e)
Posted August 12th 2007, at 16:47 with tags , , , ,

I really enjoy the new Chemical Brothers album and the Salmon Dance video is preposterously aquatic fun.

Superdig that beatboxing tetraodontidae balloonfish.

Pastel 80ies
Posted August 11th 2007, at 22:22 with tags No tags.

Just for fun I took the most 80ies sounds I could find, stacked them as high as I could, and built a simple instrumental track. Honouring a time when anything with LCD was considered hi-tech and memories were measured in kilobytes.

Ugress - Pastel Artery Intersections (256 kbps VBR mp3).

More background info on the track in the journal.

Raygun infomercial - Cookie Monster FTW
Posted August 11th 2007, at 13:29 with tags , , , ,

Privacy, the future and your helpless über-analyzed soul in the Googolmatrix-cloud is a frequent and heated discussion topic when I meet up with my fellow mad professors at the local brewery. Some of us fear The Cookie Monster, others can't wait for it. I tend to oscillate between the two extremes and shop the best of both worlds. Today, I want the Cookie Monster - particularly if I am armed with a Goliathon 83 Infinity Beam Projector. (Spot the strange loop?)

If huge evil megacorporations know everything about me, the result could be a bombardment of such infomercials on my Joost eye implant (which sponsors my brain's 1T wifi connection). What, prey tell, is the problem.

Manmelter 3600ZX FTW! Check out the Dr. Grodbort's steamtube nest, it's wunderschön viral cloud-enhancement. I got to get me one of those.

The problem with the Cookie Monster is not that it knows everything about you. The problem, for most people, is that something that knows everything about you, tells you more about yourself than you like to know yourself. Basic complex trivial psychology:

Nobody likes being reminded by personalized advertising that they are boring.

Pastel Artery Intersections
Posted August 9th 2007, at 17:50 with tags , , , ,

Been kinda out of the loop lately, so I spent a few days sampling a bunch of old retro gear, digital and analog synths. My kind of meditation.

I love the sound of synths from the late 80ies, when they shifted from the trusty old analogues to the bright new shining digital future. There is a naive shimmer of optimistic faith in the digital which permeate everything from the 80ies. I've got myself this Roland D-550 which sounds like vintage, silky smooth neon.

Just for fun I took the most 80ies sounds I could find, stacked them as high as I could, and built a simple instrumental track. Honouring a time when anything with LCD was considered hi-tech and memories were measured in kilobytes.

Ugress - Pastel Artery Intersections (256 kbps VBR mp3). You can click the image for a larger version but it should be included in the mp3 metadata.

Ugress iTunes expansion
Posted August 8th 2007, at 22:22 with tags No tags.
Uncanny Planet, our very own beautiful record label, is now up and running in iTunes.

You can now digitally purchase the Ugress albums Resound, Cinematronics and Film Music: Selected Cues in iTunes.

More info in the Journal.

Uncanny Planet material now in iTunes
Posted August 8th 2007, at 17:35 with tags , , ,

Ah, excellent work Artspages. Finally my world domination plan is seeing some baby steps. The first batch of Uncanny Planet material is now available in iTunes, and most likely other online music stores (no time to check every one).

You can now digitally purchase the Ugress albums Resound, Cinematronics, Film Music: Selected Cues and Shadow Of The Beat's debut album Nanokaravan.

No, they are not DRM free yet. This is important to me but it is more important to get started, non-DRM tracks are not available to all artists in iTunes yet. EMI still has an exclusive DRM free agreement, but not for long. EMI just wanted to get a head start and utilize the promotional effect of being "nice". AFAIK, DRM restrictions will be lifted for anyone that wants to, within the year.

What better date to start my digital world domination than 0808? Resound was released 0909. This is a good sign.

Overdrift: Dinosaur drifting
Posted August 8th 2007, at 13:58 with tags , ,

Most likely the best 5 minute movie you have ever seen. It is awesome in the most unexplainable way. It's parody but it's not.

Dinosaurs didn't go extinct - they just drifted into another dimension. Paleontologist Dr Cockamura, haunted by the death of his brother in a street car race, must go to Egypt to dechiffer prophetic cave-wall paintings.

Editing, acting, effects, dialogue, genre techniques: Bullseye.

Heroes Of GMM: Vincent Price and Peter Cushing
Posted August 7th 2007, at 02:34 with tags , , , ,

I just stumbled across this wonderful scene in an old Hammer horror movie Madhouse: Vincent Price and Peter Cushing having a friendly drink before the bloodbath commences. I just had to freeze frame and linger. Warms my soul to the bones. How I would love to be there with them! My two favorite actors of all time. The only reason I would travel back in time, is to have a drink with these two übergents.

Peter Cushing, the culminated essence of disdain, is to the ignorant masses probably best known for his role as Grand Moff Tarkin in Star Wars. Pitiful ignorant pop-culture fools.

Cushing was an outstanding character actor giving memorable performances in Hammer films, usually as Dracula or Van Helsing or some similar mad genius position. I particularly love him in Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed, as the unscrupulous consumer of dead body parts for his experiments. Move aside moral consequences and human feelings, we have scientific progress to make!

Vincent Price, I take it, need no introduction. If he does, SHAME on you, you illiterate cinematic dilettant. He is the real reason Thriller is the best pop album in the history. And that is the LEAST important aspect of the phenomena Vincent Price.

Vincent Price is the undisputable king of cult culture in the 20th century. Without Vincent Price there would be no Tim Burton and without Burton all those sordid emo and goth punks would just be refered to as "gloomy hippies" and have no pumpkin king to gravitate around for their quasi-suicidal cultural centerpoint.

Enjoy Burtons tribute to Vincent. Narrated by Price himself, it has become without doubt the best obituary in the history of mankind.

The Marimbalite: Play it with L.A.S.E.R.
Posted August 6th 2007, at 01:25 with tags , , ,

The past always has a better sense of the future than the present.

That photo-electronic radio-tubophonic marimba with spaced out blaster ray controllers certainly renders MIDI meaningless. But what happened to the dresscode of the future?

(Via Modern Mechanix.)

Posted August 5th 2007, at 18:47 with tags , , , ,

  • Mad geniuses?
  • Twin Peaks location?
  • Secret government project? 
  • Nice visual effects?
  • Gadgets?
  • Must-have-gadgets?
  • "X-files" concepts without the goofy alien excuse?
  • A talking house that kicks K.I.T.T.'s ass?
  • "Northern Exposure" mundande triviality?
  • Excellent entertainment?
  • A lounge version of "Heroes" for brains?
  • Compulsory NDA?
  • Mad futuristic inventions?

Excuse the meta-resolvement when I proclaim: Eureka.

Eureka is a TV drama series about a seemingly ordinary town whose residents lead extraordinary lives. Nestled in the Pacific Northwest, the picturesque hamlet of Eureka is shrouded in secrecy. It is actually a community of scientific geniuses assembled by the government to conduct top-secret research and development.

That doesn't mean everything is hunky-dory, quite the contrary. With the population's unique talents, troubled psyches and limitless resources, these small-town concerns have a way of becoming big-time problems.

Sounds awesome. Looks too. I just got the pilot and a few episodes from iTunes and this is marvellous entertainment. I like all the characters. The FX is über awesome. The tone, or the soul of the show, is just... intri-fun-guing.

The show has the science of X-files, the quirkiness of Norther Exposure, the location of Twin Peaks and the realness of Heroes. Grab a beer, relax, watch the show, be somewhere else. It's ok to let the world pass for 45 minutes without worrying if your next invention will finally pull in a Nobel prize in Awesomeness. (Am I talking to myself again? Sorry about that.)

The main character of the show is the local sheriff Jack Carter, seemingly the only "normal" person in town. Being a sheriff in this town however, is not your average Streets Of NYPD Blues mission. Streetwise yelling, loud confrontations, a big nose or camera shaking won't get you anywhere here.

As an extra super nerdy retro-bonus, Carter lives in a house which is the Ikea version of K.I.T.T. A talking, intelligent house with everything automatable, programmable, adjustable plus tap beer in the fridge door. And personality. Awwww.

I usually avoid small towns, but I seriously wouldn't mind living in Eureka. A town for mad geniuses, the madder the better.

Grab the iTunes download from the clouds or purchase the physical manifestation in the DVD release. You can also watch full episodes on the official site. Or do your Piratebay thing but realize you are like shooting your own web future in the foot.

(I haven't been following the show for long but looks like Sci Fi Channel puts out the last aired episode on the tubes so you could follow it there.)

Good Copy Bad Copy - copyright documentary
Posted August 4th 2007, at 19:42 with tags , , ,

The Danish documentary Good Copy Bad Copy about the current state of copyright and culture, is now officially available for torrent download.

Strongly recommended.

(Thanks Magnus M. for the heads up on the film.)

Weird weak week
Posted August 4th 2007, at 16:19 with tags , ,

Journal entry, August 4th 2007.

What a crappy week. I've had this weird allergy response to something, I have no idea why or what or how, but it just floored me completely physically and mentally. Maybe it was a virus or whatever, I have no idea. I've been in a black hole of itchy eyes, running nose and disconnected thoughts (more than the usual). I get really drowsy and sleepy but can't sleep and it's a wonderful self-replicating loop of madness. I'm no fun at all.

I haven't been able to do much work, every time I sat down to write I ended up staring blankly at the screen, contemplating to format every drive, memory stick and synth in my vicinity. Sell it all off and take up quilting. Then I realized quilting sucks, I would probably suck even more at quilting than quilting sucks in itself. There is no way out. Ride it off, you self-depreciated excuse of a biological entity. So I just kept staring and waiting for the allergy response to wear off.

I can assure you, dear worried reader, I feel much better now, thank you very much. If I didn't, this post would be written like this: "FUCK YOU ALL TO HELL and I hope you end up in the quilting department down there AND you become allergic to quilts."

Luckily for me, I have a brilliant survival response technique: If I'm not able to do anything, I let my computers work on their own. So my studio spent most of the week automatically sampling itself. I set up Redmatica's Autosampler to.... autosample (duh) my old hardware synths, making them accessible as sound material on my laptop when traveling. Works like a charm, going on for hours doing its little sample harvesting.

So I sat there, redundant like a broken pencil next to a Xerox, staring at the screen while the machines did their thing. And my life reminded me of a great poster which always makes me feel better:

Check out despair.com for more brilliant (de)motivational posters. Have a nice weekend.

A Gentlemen's Steampunk Duel
Posted August 4th 2007, at 10:43 with tags , , ,

Quick the click! Make benefit this hilarious steampunk short animation A Gentlemen's Duel (8 min.) by superanimators Blur before it vanishes in the copyright claim cloud.

It has steampunk robots. Or maybe I should define them as steam-powered automata.

(Via Brass Goggles.)

Yamaha Tenori-On shipping in September
Posted August 3rd 2007, at 18:58 with tags , , , , ,

I once had a Yamaha sampler. Actually a big part of my first album Resound was done on the legendary Yamaha A-3000. Do you think they remember me? And will ship me a free Tenori-On when it is released in September? Maybe my third Ugress album will be an international breakthru if I use the Tenori-On. Do you hear that, Yamaha? You + Me = Aha. Youmeaha. Yamaha. It is written.

Enough cheap personal theatrics. This is a pretty interesting device, mostly because it pushes the boundary of what is considered a musical instrument, and how we interact with them. (What's up with all the definition spree in here lately?) The Tenori-On is kinda hard to define in writing but check out some videos and be wiser. Looks cool? Indeed. However, Create Digital Music's take has a non-jaw-dropping take on the device - most musicians, composers and mad professors seems to be more interested in the more programmable Monome than the corporate locked-up Tenori-On.


I have a bunch of Alesis AirFXes and AirSynths, I love playing them, makes great stage theatrics, but you know... they are kinda limited, they only manipulate audio within a preprogrammed setup. Customization no-can-do. They've got this awesome infrared controller, very responsive, wave your hands like you just don't care, but I CARE, I wished it could spit out controller data, MIDI or OSC or whatever. That's why got myself a Lemur, the ultimate customizable rock-ruling motherfucker of all controllers.

I am a person who pretty quickly learns how something works, and then figures out what is wrong with that (usually a lot) and how it could be done better (teh fools!). Ze Germans call it besserwisser, my friends call it annoying, I call it MAD L33T HAXX0R SKILLZ. And my MLHS tells me - the Tenori-On is going to be super fun - but from a toyish perspective. Unless they open it up.

What Is A Robot?
Posted July 31st 2007, at 12:48 with tags , ,

Times Online has a list on their take of the 50 coolest cinema robots. Not a brilliant list but an OK read. At first I was puzzled there were no replicants on the list, and then I saw them on their disqualified robots list.

The replicants are not robots? Why not? What is the definition of a robot? It must be mechanical? Have monotone voice? Is a genetically cloned human a robot? Is a nanobot a robot? A nanobot can be fully biological, but is considered a bot? If the cylons are defined as robots surely the replicants must be too.

According to Wikipedia, International Standards Organization ISO 8373 defines a robot as:

An automatically controlled, reprogrammable, multipurpose, manipulator programmable in three or more axes, which may be either fixed in place or mobile for use in industrial automation applications.

I think pretty much weird stuff could fall under that definition. Even some people I know falls into that definition.

This is very interesting and worthy of further research and discussion. How do we define a robot? Anyone?

I know what I did this week
Posted July 28th 2007, at 18:57 with tags , , , , , , ,

Journal entry, July 28th 2007.

This week has been a dull grey week weather-wise, but there were some sunny spots in the Uncanny Labs (and some foamy spots in the Uncanny Kitchen). I'm supposed to be working on a private project, but it has been delayed externally. I'm waiting for feedback so I had some wonderful time to work on my own stuff.

I never was one to use compression much, but the last year I really started enjoying compressors and their possibilities. Recently I got into multiband sidechain compression and I am proud to say I'm starting to get the hang of it. It sounds MASSIVE. It's sort of a magic technique: The mix collapses completely and sounds exceptionally bad at first, until you find the sweet balance of perfect settings where it hits right home. And then it just makes everything sound instantly awesome. Even noise becomes inherently attractive, because everything graciously move and adapt rhythmically in relation to the rest of the mix.

Practically, what it means is that I split the mix, or parts of the mix, into multiple frequency bands. Then I compress these bands individually by sidechaining a controlling element, usually the beat, or some other prominent element in the mix. I think the sidechain compression skill is mostly about picking which element, and what part of the element, to enhance and which element to submit. I love that, it is natural extension of my sample based nature - hunting for that particular element that just PWNS.

Clever sidechain compression means a single beat and a single loop can sound the world alone. It is used a lot in French electronic music; Justice, Mr. Oizo and Daft Punk are sort of masters of this technique (I'm sure Ed Banger has a compulsory sidechain compression requirement for their artists).

So I mostly spent the week writing and trying out new sketches using this technique, but I also tried it out on older projects. Some of them really benefit from this.

In other news, I got my first bunch of Ugress and Uncanny Planet Moo minicards in the post. Great! They are wonderful, high quality small plastic cards perfect for innocent viral marketing and small presents. I put some logos and stuff up on Flickr and Moo prints your Flickr stuff the way you want it. I'm dropping off a few sticks here and there in pubs and bars, and i'm gonna add some cards to CD order shipments. You can use the cards for bookmarks or on your fridge or whatever. They are not going to revolutionize anything, they are just NICE. I also have an order for some stickers coming up, looking forward to that and plastering Ugress logos around the world.

Of minor events this week, I got the new Renoise 1.9 beta, and converted and sorted all my old Amiga Protracker ST disks from iff to wavs and a more usable folder structure. 8 bit iff samples from 1991 are perfect for multiband sidechain compression, it kinda brings the grittiness of the 90ies up right into your face.

Well that's it, been a calm week with lots of bad weather, 8 bit samples from the 90ies, Flickr printouts and laboratory focus on compression. Wish all weeks where like this.

Kama Sutra Terminators
Posted July 26th 2007, at 19:13 with tags , ,

Conceptually, I can't decide if this is seriously disturbing or seriously awesome. I guess both, which in a twisted cthulhu sense, is perfect. The pictures are beautiful in any case.

Terminator Kama Sutra Flickr set by czar.

Mastodon Linoleum Knife (STFU)
Posted July 26th 2007, at 12:48 with tags ,

Word. They should play this one before every movie. Then I might be going back to the cinemas.

Aqua Teen Hunger Force heavy metal pre-movie instructions (2:54).


More foamy brilliance from yours truly
Posted July 26th 2007, at 00:09 with tags , , ,

As mentioned a few posts down, I have a lot of ideas. Some turn out to be GOLD JERRY!, like the FPS sequencing controls, others, not so good.

I hate doing the dishes. A dishwasher machine is more important than heating in any living quarter, it is the pinnacle of human civilization, the essence of convenience. Also, I am a mad genius, NO mad genius ever wastes time on manually cleaning cups, forks and tubes, it is just NOT acceptable.

For some time now I have forgotten to stock up on soap tablets,  you know, the tablets that go in the little compartment and magically remove all the dirt. I forgot to buy today AGAIN. The machine is full, smelly, and there is a also huge stable of dirty dishes waiting for their turn. The kitchen is a mess.

But no way I'm doing it manually. So I thought, WTF, I'll just pour some dishwater liquid/soap in the tablet compartment. That should do the trick, soap is soap. Dirt is dirt. Soap wins over dirt. So I filled her up and hit play, pretty satisfied with my own MacGyverism.  

A few minutes ago, the machine didn't sound like it should, it sounded... choked. So I opened the door, it was very happy to be opened and gladly helped me open itself.

I am now having a foam party in my kitchen.

Mr President What About Royalties
Posted July 21st 2007, at 10:21 with tags , , ,

The American Presidency has become a political farce, I know. There is no point in me repeating common world knowledge in here. But apparently the idiocy is not limited to global stability and peace, now he's moving into music biz.

The 'tub above is a one minute clip from an audience session, where president Bush is asked a question regarding artist royalty rights in the USA. His response, summarized is "Eh, I have no idea what you are talking about... you know... I like country music if that helps."

If somebody asks me a question I don't understand I ask for more information or explanation so I can understand and hopefully answer the question. Now if I were the president of the most powerful country in the world, I'd think that an insatiable hunger for understandment and knowledge would be a necessary skill - even if you are evil. And it's not like royalty and copyright legislation is a hidden curiosity of music - it is fundamental to any society.

Bush could just have asked "I'm sorry, I'm not educated enough in this area, could you please explain statutory rights?"

Dear American readers, I love you and I love your country. Please wake up.

(Via The Underwire.)


FPS composing - WASD will frag your noob ears
Posted July 20th 2007, at 23:42 with tags , , ,

I just had a brilliant idea. I have them all the time, but usually they are only brilliant in theory. This one, however, turned out to be gold. Pure gold.

I changed all my key commands in all my sound, sequencing and audio programs to a deadly and cold-hearted über-streamlined FPS setup. That's right, I am now strafing, circling and fragging beats and sequences faster and more transparent than you can say "Wolfenstei..." - PLAYER 1 GAME OVER.

M@d ski11ls babbles aside, this was actually pretty fucking clever. It speeds me up by 500 percent. I never have to take my right hand of the mouse, and I never have to move my left arm, I'm just moving the hand or fingers, centered around the WASD keys. The most fundamental functions are located at WASD, quadrupled by modifier keys on my little finger. Secondary functions are located and quadrupled on adjacent keys, and more esoteric functions further out in circles. Can I patent this?

Click the image, if you can FIND YOUR MOUSE, NOOB, and enjoy the high res of my CUNNING PLAN.

Network Horror Terror Spiral Timedrain
Posted July 19th 2007, at 18:21 with tags , , , , , ,

I hate computer networks. Hate hate hate. Kill kill kill die die die. Kick dead body after dead. Again.

Network signals are like the evil acid bloodstream of robots and technology. Awesome from a comic book perspective but gruesome when you stare it in the white of eye. I wish Apple or Nintendo grabbed world domination of wifi, ethernet and  the DSL world. Result: Just plug it in and start fucking use it. Forget it is there and concentrate on the contents. I'm done with medium for medium's sake.

Uncanny Planet Laboratories is a small office space located in a huge, partly abandoned office and garage complex. The buildings will probably be demolished in the near future, but until then the rent is pretty cool. The owner is OK and lets artists stay there on short contracts while they wait for demolition- and rebuilding permissions (takes time). There is a fine bunch of artists, designers, architects, writers, publishers, unicorns, studios and rehearsal rooms spread around the complex. We've set up a broadband connection (true socialist spirit) and most of us hook into that connection. The myriad of connection techniques would wet MacGyver's pants and make van der "Less Is More" Rohe implode.

Of course it doesn't work very well, or not at all. We probably have enough cable entanglements to throw a lasso around the sun. The link wobbles from 15 megabits to 150 kilobits, most often the latter. Now, personally I have no interest whatsoever in dealing with things like this but I can't stand it when things doesn't work. Problems Must Be Solved. Technology Must Be Conquered. "Matters in own hands" will be my bane.

I spent 5 days and nights now, in addition to working on a project, learning, probing, pinging and battling local networks, wifi connections, routers, hubs, switches, pitches, ditches and DHCP bitches and other madly frustrating concepts. I had no idea how a LAN worked until now, except basic theoretical guesstimates. My Google search history now looks like the TCP/IP section of DVD Jon's adolescence bookshelf. I wasted a fundamental percentage of my limited time in this universe running around the studio complex trying to find why stuff didn't work, pinging from here, pinging from there, why things suddenly slow down, and then jump up again, ping again, things disappear, or randomly change IP address with no (ping) other obvious reason than to (ping ping) madden me to the border of ethernet (ping) insanity (DID I MENTION PING!??).

This is so NOT steampunk. It is mundane LANpunk.

  • If a gigabit switch is placed before this particular wall panel it doesn't work but if there is a pre-world-war hub connected it works.
  • Something works when I try it on my own but 2 minutes later when someone pops by to see "is it fixed yet" it suddenly stops working.
  • If this cable is connected in this port it works but not if another cable is plugged into another port but if I swap the cables it works. Yes I know about crossovers.
  • It works perfect for two hours than doesn't work at all for two hours.
  • This guy's computer works fine if that cable is hooked into another computer that isn't even turned on but only when the day of the week starts with "T".
  • Everytime I try something new it works blazingly fast for a few minutes, making me think I fixed it, but then crumbles to a halt within 30 minutes.
  • Ping.
  • If someone turns on and off their wireless router it resets all settings and starts act like a DHCP server again, screwing up the network completely.
  • Why on earth can't DHCP units talk to each other and just fucking agree that one of them does the DHCP work!??!?! It would take the engineers  FIVE MINUTES to code that shit into it. Or even better, why isn't there just ONE DHCP server in the whole world, why do we need a billion?
  • When I turn DHCP server off in a device, why does it happily jump back on when someone restarts the device?
  • Nnahahahrhahrrggg!!! Ping?
  • OpenDNS is crap and only adds to the problem. WTF "there is no google.no domain"? Well, there is, OpenDNS morons.
  • There should be a program that runs on it's own for 24 hours and concludes: Dear Sir/Madam Here Is Your Problem It's Not Bad You Must Just Do Like This Everything Will Be OK Happy Rich Wifi Benefit.

I'm telling you, when I get super rich I'm going to get an IT department way before a house maid or a car. I hate LANs.

Dreamweb PSP: 90ies retro-nostalgia takeaway
Posted July 19th 2007, at 02:24 with tags , , , , ,

The 90ies are back. The 80ies was fun, the 90ies was AWESOME.

Give me cyberpunk, techno,  grunge, CGI you could spot a mile away, lumberjack shirts, Gulf War, teenage delusions, Fasttracker, Doc Martens and the blink tag in Internet Explorer 3. But please, bring it back conveniently and in a 2.0 wrap.

How about the greatest cyberpunk adventure game ever, Dreamweb - on your portable gaming system PSP?

Dreamweb was one of THE games that made me realize that computer games would eventually kick movie's ass. It made a huge impression on me when I played it, late nights sometime in the early 90ies. The atmosphere, visuals, gameplay, violence and the music was beyond anything I had experienced until then.

The game is a top-down view interface, with mesmerizing hand drawn pixel visuals, a world you want to live in, and a compelling story. You play as protagonist Ryan, sometime in a rainy, dystopian Blade Runnerish future. Problems with your life, your dreams and their apparent catastrophical ability to morph over into reality draw you into violent adventure. Technology is run amok, society is falling apart, and your mind is doing both. Classic vintage 90ies sci-fi stuff. Just check out the cover, above. 90ies? 90ies.

I realize the futility of selling the game to you, dear reader, if you have not experienced it yourself at the time. Technically Dreamweb lingers eons before the immense 3D FPS'es of today, but it is pixel world is nothing short of amazing. The game has atmosphere from here to the tip of the unicorn's horn, in part thanks to a haunting score. You can download and watch a speedrun/walkthru from Recorded Amiga Games. (Is there anything the interwebs doesn't have?)

So when the latest PSPUAE emulator was released a few days ago, I had to try. And it worked. Dreamweb (non AGA version) works, runs and rules my PSP. With the brilliant Save State function in PSPUAE the game is a vintage gem channeled into modern convenience. I can't wait to actually find time to PLAY this.

Running this game on my PSP is a beautiful demonstration of how technology and content is ever reusable and recyclable. It is fundamentally important to retain content between generations, and continuously make it available on new platforms - preferably thru a public and traceable system, benefitting both consumer and producer.

The only way for me to get this game running on the PSP was to download it from a fan-driven archive of OOP Amiga games. I would GLADLY have payed a few bucks thru a proper channel to download this game (and several others). The game makers/publishers could STILL be making money on this gem. Unfortunately they don't. Most of the world is so concerned with locking everything up and proprietarizing their own stuff so if you want to get anything working properly in this world, you have to homebrew it. You can bet your soggy old 2.0 Ajax ass, when everything is 3.0, nothing of your 2.0 stuff is worth even the eBay value of the 1.0 versions.

Want WILL find a way, always. That's why we are HERE NOW. Exploit it, don't fight it.

Jesumination Soon: Robots Now Walk On Water
Posted July 18th 2007, at 16:31 with tags , , , ,

Think that remote island you just purchased is going to save you when the robocalypse hits? Think again. You are not even safe from our new electrical overlords in your own bathtub.

CMU researches have developed robots that run across water, according to Slashdot (article contains link to PDF paper).

I hope their next research project concentrates on more important stuff, like robots that can turn water into wine.

Absynth - Mad Deep Ocean Steampunk
Posted July 17th 2007, at 02:08 with tags , ,

I am currently working on writing some music for an underwater scene in a film. It's great fun, an inspiring project. I love building ethereal soundscapes that transform from their inherent sinister and dark ambience into majestic themes with beats the size of the Gulf Stream. I should do an album with stuff like that some day.

For this particular piece I dugg out Absynth 4 from a dusty old plugin corner of my system. Absynth is like a film composers take-away palette of sci-fi soundscapes, it's great for making ethereal pads and haunting bellscapes. So I knew it would be good.

However I was instantly surprised by the interface - I had forgotten how steampunky Absynth looks, and not your boring average brass steampunk but an exquisite Ocean Depth Steampunk Cyan! Tubes, rounded boxes, bubbles, complex control panels, dark swirling cyan backgrounds.

It looks like the Operating System of Captain Nemo's sub.

PSPUAE 0.63 - Amiga emulator for Sony PSP
Posted July 17th 2007, at 00:36 with tags , , ,

PSPUAE is an Amiga emulator for my beloved Sony PSP handheld gaming console. A few days ago the superl33t bri11iant Amiga revival hax0r-her0es released version 0.63, and this is a fantastic update, with lots of speed improvements.

You can now play most Amiga games at full speed with full sound on your Sony PSP. I briefly tried a few of my old flames and got most of them running perfectly with some adjustments.

Oddly, and sadly enough, the same day of the PSPUAE release, Logic 3 cancels their coveted PSP keyboard. Bummer.

PSP USB keyboard support was planned in a future version of PSPUAE. Do you realize what that could mean? It means I could have a full Amiga setup, with gigs of diskspace, on a Sony PSP. I could have a complete Protracker setup for composing on the go.

This is particulary nice since my last real Amiga blew up a few months ago. But no, the dickheads at Sony keeps trying to block homebrew and keep things proprietary. Bling bling idiots.

The world would be a much better place if anyone who wanted to could develop for the PSP, with SDKs and documentation from Sony. And Sony would sell shitloads of units.



Uncanny Planet signs aggregator deal with Artspages
Posted July 10th 2007, at 22:41 with tags , , ,

Last Wednesday, July 4th 2007, my precious own label Uncanny Planet finally signed contract with an aggregator, Artspages.

(Last Wednesday was also the premiere of  the rockingly awesome Transformers movie, as well as Independence Day for some of you. So it was a perfect day to sign a contract.)

An aggregator is the element between labels and online music stores. Marvel at my incredible visual digital pixel skills:

A picture says more than 1000 words, but my illustrations kicks Wikipedia's ass.

Most online music stores only talk to aggregators, they don't want to bother with a gazillions egomaniac artists or hysterical label managers. So Uncanny Planet material is now in the hands of Artspages, which takes care of transcoding and formatting audio, video and meta information for the myriad of demanding specs out there. Currently Artspages aggregate all the major services and a bunch of esoteric ones, with the list rapidly growing.

My former manager Eivind Brydøy is working for Artspages and it's splendid to be back in business with him again. It is exciting times for this segment of the music biz, the future is blitzing all the time all around us, I think it's good to work with knowledgeable and smart people with the ability to look far ahead.

Most excitingly however, Artspages are very strong and focused on Asia - which I think is a very important region in the near future.

Stay tuned for Uncanny Planet material in your favorite online music store.

Hortibot - The Robot Revolution Is Now Personal
Posted July 8th 2007, at 19:10 with tags , ,

Looks like the robots doesn't approve of my sarcastical revolution posts. They are making it personal.

Enter The Hortibot - an autonomic weed removing robot. Developed by utterly mad scientists at Aarhus University, Denmark. We actually played there with Ugress once. I now realize we should have nuked the place before we left.

(Via Slashdot.)

Rant: Live Earth Crap
Posted July 8th 2007, at 18:40 with tags , ,

Live Earth: Two million people demanding that somebody ELSE than them does something about global warming.

The Live Earth event is calculated to have a carbon footprint of 74,500 tons, meaning it's a delicious little environmental disaster in itself. You and I both know the brainless zombie-morans going to see Madonna, Black Eyed Peas or some other dimwitted megastar doesn't give fuck what kind of event she's playing at or what the message is.

As the referenced Washington Post article eloquently puts it between the lines: Jumping up and down is not going to save the planet*.

IMO, Live Earth are just using global warming as a brilliant marketing ploy. "Spend your money on us and get your environmental conscience cleared!"

* = Well actually when I think about it. If everybody on the planet jumped up and down SIMULTANEOUSLY, the effect of the jump would maybe send the earth out of orbit. If we time the jump perfectly, we can push the planet out into a bigger orbit around the sun, and practically reduce the effect of global warming.

Steampunk flame-powered audio visualizer
Posted July 7th 2007, at 10:07 with tags , ,

Rubens' Tube by [vbrtrmn], visualizing sound waveforms with flames.

(Via Hack A Day)

Free Jimmy Soundtrack delivered
Posted July 6th 2007, at 23:12 with tags , , , ,

Earlier this week I handed over the draft for the complete Free Jimmy soundtrack remix to the producers for their judgement. I really would like to write about the process, the result, what I've done, and give some sound examples, but I'm not allowed by contract to talk about any specifics - NDA stuff... I'm probably not even allowed to say that it is NDA.

Anyway, I don't care, some details can be spilled I guess. For the record (journal), this has been a huge project for me, in multiple ways.

First content-wise. It has been immensely fun, and immensely challenging, to remix and rework a 90 minute package of sound, licensed music, soundtrack and dialogue into a coherent and whole result. That has been my number one priority. I have tried to make an album that reflects the movie and the lofi, quirky world of Joachim Nielsen, a CD you can play anywhere and relive the movie - but also an album that stands on it's own feet. The original score by Simon Boswell contains many brilliant sequences and motifs which I tried to incorporate and reference on multiple levels.

Second, time-wise. Remixing a single track and remixing a movie is two VERY different workloads, I quickly discovered. I started working in December 2006 (!) and have been working on Jimmy now and then thru early spring for various project deadlines, but generally the last couple of months everything I did musically was working on Jimmy.

It has been a very tough job, because I wanted SO much, and for a long time things just didn't materialize for me. I usually spend much more time on remixes than my own stuff, probably because failure is not an option. If I work on my own stuff, I can just scrap it pretty quickly if it doesn't work out. If I'm working on a paid job with expectancies, I can't just scrap it. There's both good and bad sides to that. In any case, this remix job took way more time than I intended.

Third, practically-wise. My technology shows it's age. I'm so tired of waiting 5 minutes for Logic to load a project, just to check out a single phrase or extract one simple channel strip from a project into another. In this manner Live is so much more elegant, where you can extract bits of a project into another without loading it. Working on 10 simultaneous remixes, each a huge project, it gets really cumbersome loading and reloading stuff. Especially at the final stages, when you start referencing stuff between various concepts. This is one point I really felt the technology working against me. It's not cool when you get a fresh simple idea, and it takes 10 minutes trying it out. Next time, I drop the idea.

Fourth, commercially-wise. I know the producers wanted a radio friendly single. I wanted one too. They kept wanting me to reduce my stuff, it grew very complex, and I understand why, I was focusing on the inner Jimmy world, trying to mix multiple motifs and soundscapes into each track. That gets too complex for a single. Personally I would love to dive into that world, expand it and challenge listeners. The concept of making a remix album that could pull the movie further into its universe is insanely interesting. However a commercial radio single was pri 1. It would be a great boost to the soundtrack release, and good PR building up to my own album. Unfortunately there just didn't materialize one, I kept trying and trying to work something into a single, reducing complexity and stripping stuff.. I really wanted one, but it kept crashing with the concept I was working with. And I'm tired of mindless radio jumbo. I need substance. I'm not saying it's impossible, maybe someone else will write the perfect Free Jimmy radio single, but I'm not the one. The depth stuff on the other hand, I thrived in and desperately wanted to expand.

I don't know the progress from here or how/when the producers wish to release it. Some of my work has been used in the international DVD release. I wish I had more time, there's still things to do, and I wish I could kick the radio single concept out the window, that one took away a lot of energy. But at the same time I have spent so much effort on this I'm not sure more time is the solution. I know some planned details for release but I'm not at liberty to talk.

Ugress on WUML radio
Posted July 6th 2007, at 22:22 with tags No tags.

Tonight Friday July 6th at at 8-10 PM Eastern Standard Time, Al Saniuk on WUML radio will feature some Ugress tracks on his show Universal Mind.

Thanks to top-modern technology you can listen to the show digitally even if you find yourself NOT in Lowell, Massachusetts - there's a web stream.

Ugress on WUML Radio
Posted July 6th 2007, at 12:05 with tags , ,

Tonight Friday July 6th at at 8-10 PM Eastern Standard Time, Al Saniuk on WUML radio will feature some Ugress tracks on his show Universal Mind.

Thanks to top-modern technology you can listen to the show digitally even if you find yourself NOT in Lowell, Massachusetts -  there's a web stream.

I'm always happy when radio channels play the music, slowly helping me gaining listeners around the world. I just thought of something - at some point, when enough channels play it and enough people listen to it, there will always at any moment, be one or more Uncanny Planet tracks playing in the universe. Maybe that already happened? Maybe enough people already listen to it? Maybe there are TWO streams of UPR music, or FIVE?

I got to try to find a formula for how many listeners (players) are needed on average to result in a continuous universal Uncanny Planet stream. Then I shall call this number the "The Continous Universal Stream Coefficient". I'm sure there are interesting statistics to be learned from the CUSC.

Where was I?

More Than Meets The I
Posted July 5th 2007, at 00:06 with tags , ,

Dear Michael







Post-apocalyptic Realness: When We Are Gone
Posted July 2nd 2007, at 20:33 with tags ,

I love stuff like this. Every mad professor naturally wishes he was left alone on the planet with only his mad experiments and cloned friends to keep him company. It wouldn't hurt that the world looked somewhat post-apocalyptic too. I always find  mysterious ruins much more attractive than contemporary Wallpaper-approved architecture.

Science writer Alan Weisman has investigated what the world, or more specifically Manhattan, would become if humans disappeared overnight. Quote:

Large parts of our physical infrastructure would begin to crumble almost immediately. Without street cleaners and road crews, our grand boulevards and superhighways would start to crack and buckle in a matter of months.

Splendid! Excellent! Bring it on! Check out this meaty article about his theories in Scientific American. Bring on global warming, make benefit solitude mad lone genius!

Uskull: The Ugress Museumized Skull
Posted July 2nd 2007, at 20:04 with tags , , , ,

Kosmonaut director Svein Sund was minding his own happy times in London when this skull popped up at a museum and reminded him of a certain logo.

(Via email. Yes! Email, from Web 1.0 if you remember.)

The Edison - Steampunk Bar
Posted June 27th 2007, at 22:43 with tags , , ,

Hot diggity damp. Remember the WABOT-2 musical robot mentioned a few entries ago? I just found Teh Palce to have the robot churning out easy-electro-lounge - the Edison Bar in LA.

A steampunk bar. I have no words. I'm moving to LA.

See the HDR Flickr set of the bar from Dave Bullock / eecue.

(Via BrassGoggles.co.uk)


More Than Meets The Eye (not really but it is ok)
Posted June 27th 2007, at 22:04 with tags , , ,

Krrsh Krrsh Krrsh Krrshh Krrshh (the transform sound).

T-Day is approaching and I am giddy like a school boy who just discovered females and can't wait for swim class. I can't remember the last time I was actually looking forward to a movie with blind anticipation. I'm a true child of the 80ies, the capitalist's victorious decade in the cold war, and nothing symbolizes it better than me aching for a blockbuster movie based on a toy spin-off cartoon.

So, in true human 2.0 spirit I quasi-ponder the situation from a meta distance and find a splendid resonator in this in-depth Wired article about Transformers, Michael Bay and 80ies TV-show nostalgia.

When you're done with the theory enjoy one of the worlds best TV spots. Teh PULSE! I'm amazed that 30 seconds of brilliant editing can change my day for the better so profoundly.

I'm not saying capitalism is wrong, or communism is wrong, or people who doesn't get Transformers are stupid or anything like that. Well maybe they are stupid. It's just that right here right now, when capitalism in it's utmost appearance spares no expense in making a stupid toy line look goddamn überhot, there's a moment I see my soul on eBay and I don't mind i just want to SEE THAT MOVIE.

Oh and then there's the iPhone. There goes my body on eBay too.

Do Not Adjust Your Set: Internet Radio Day Of Silence
Posted June 26th 2007, at 01:26 with tags , , ,

I'm an angstridden wreck of panic, I have a deadline at the end of the month and nothing works out the way I want to and I have no idea how to wrap it up. So everything is as expected, but I'm not the only one in trouble.

Today June 26th, it's Day Of Silence for indie web radios and webcasters. It is a protest against new royalty rates that effectively will kill the small independent radio stations.

I wrote an entry on the problem a few weeks ago. My stance in this matter, as an artist, is that the suggested new royalty rates are bad, evil and stupid. The more channels and alternatives we have for playing, distributing and experiencing music, the better. Royalty rates should reflect this. Nurture, don't punish.

What can you do? See SaveNetRadio.org for options.

Timelapse Screendump: One Day In 5 Minutes
Posted June 23th 2007, at 00:54 with tags , ,

Some mindless fun I wanted to try out, I remember seing something like this for a photoshop job. I set up a little program to take screendump every second or so, while working on a project in Logic.

Then I assemble the files into a sped up timelapse sequence (Quicktime, open image sequence). Pretty simple, looks pretty cool. I wish I could work that fast.

I haven't figured out how to incorporate the sound, or my full dualscreen setup. I think I know how to fix and sync the sound OK but that would take some time to arrange. The track you hear now is just some beats from another project I slapped on.

Sickness benefits for heavy metal addiction
Posted June 22th 2007, at 14:20 with tags , ,

A Swedish man is to receive sickness benefits for his addiction to heavy metal music.

I have no idea if this is true, but if it is: Fantastic! This is the sharpest essence and mad benefit of social democracy.

Oh no... what's this? I'm not feeling very well today. I haven't heard or made electronic music for at least a couple of hours. I'm beat starved. I think I must lie down.

Actually I think my only hope is the Norwegian government. The only thing that can keep me alive is sickness benefit. My electronic music addiction is getting to me... must .. have.. government.. funded.. beats..

(Via OmniBrain.)


Sonalksis TBK-3 Über Compressor
Posted June 22th 2007, at 01:17 with tags , , ,

If something has "über" in it's product title, I'm buying it unseen or unheard. Über is like an invincible adjective, by calling something über you automatically make it indisputable. And I love writing journal entries where I can write über über and über again.

But luckily for me, and for Sonalksis, their new TBK-3 Über Compressor really, truly is über. It smashes, twists, pumps and squash audio like Autobots and Decepticons smash eachother and our planet. Mercilessly and exceptionally massively.

Simple explanation for you non-tech-compliant clones: Compressing, in music production, is a technique for manipulating the sound level. (Not like digital or mp3 compression, which is done to reduce file size.)

Take a classical symphony for example. The difference between the quiet parts and the loudest parts are huge. If you compress a symphony really hard, everything has the same sound level, and then you can hear everything on your crappy laptop speakers. The single soft violin theme is just as loud as the mega final hit. You typically raise the lower levels while keeping the higher ones intact, so everything sounds the same level.

Mostly, compressing is used on vocals to make vocalists sound like they're keeping the same level all the time. Compression is regarded more as a utilitarian function than a creative one.

But it is the future, we can do whatever we want here. Compressing is a production skill I have spent a long time mastering. Coming from a sampling background, you don't really need much compressing skill, since much of your source material is already compressed.

The last few years I'm really starting to love and experiment with compressors. You can literally push the limits of sound with compressors, and the TBK-3 takes it a step further. I love being able to treat the dynamics of a song like a separate creative element.

I'm looking into future 2.0 and I'm not seeing a lot of hi-fi freaks in their suburban basements listening to precious vinyl on $100 000 stereos. I'm looking at music everywhere, played by lousy laptop speakers, on bluetooth cellphone headsets, streamed from dirt cheap DACs embedded in your fridge door and provided anywhere. The producer and artist that knows that the music itself is most important, and to get a great sound on cheap technology in future 2.0 wins, not the bald sound engineer of the 70ies that keeps bringing up the tired old vinyl-sounds-better, what-is-the-world-coming-to argument, ssshhh be quiet, listen to those castanets, you can hear the wood is illegal Burmeese teak? It was a rainy day they felt it?

Yes, perhaps it does sound rainy. Of course I enjoy experiencing great music on a great system. I'm not arguing that. But the way we listen to music is changing. The most profound moments of musical importance is not going to be the ones in optimal listening environments. Its going to be that day you spent on the beach with your friends, pumping summer tracks from a crap cellphone speaker while yo think you're falling in love with this über nice person you just met.

Pümp Üp The Volüme.

Surprise: DRM-free music sells really well
Posted June 21st 2007, at 02:38 with tags , ,

What an earth-shattering surprise. EMI, the first major to drop DRM from their digital tracks, reports excellent sales figures for non-DRM tracks.

Naturally, some of those crazy high sales are probably a honey-moon phenomena; people upgrading their DRM tracks to non-DRM. (The non-DRM version in iTunes is also higher quality.)

Let's hope it keeps up. DRM free tracks are coming in several other digital music stores in the near future.


C64 USB keyboard
Posted June 21st 2007, at 02:20 with tags , ,

The musical retro-nostalgia for SID music has wonderful implications.

The above-pictured excellent contraption is a C64 USB keyboard. Yes, you now use your old C64 keys to type out your next novel in Notepad.

Super genius Spaceman Spiff build this on request for super genius band Press Play On Tape (my favourite SID tribute entity).

The Robot Revolution Will Be Accompanied. Any Requests?
Posted June 19th 2007, at 22:23 with tags , , ,

If I had walked into a piano bar and seen that - I would have instantly fell in love, ordered anything that was fluorescent blue and made that bar my regular joint.

You are looking at WABOT-2, a Japanese robot from 1985. It could read a score, take requests from the audience and play along with a singer, listening to their voice and playing in tune.

With WABOT-2 in the ranks, the robot revolution doesn't look like a bad thing to me.

(Brought to my attention by wonderful Music Thing, which has more info.)

Music Politics, Or: Mad Fucking Waste Of Bio-Mass
Posted June 19th 2007, at 22:02 with tags , , , ,

You know... It's probably not a secret - it's given between the lines by the posts herein - that I'm actually building my own little virtual music biz bomb shelter. I'm soooo leaving most parts of the music business, as soon as practically feasible.

Of course it will take some time before that happens. I need to learn how some stuff works first. And I'm an egoistic artist that wants to be heard and loved so I can't just hide completely in a basement. No, actually, I'd like to hide in a super-awesome impenetrable castle with swimming pool with mechanic sharks, cinema, arcade hall, steampunk decoration and a digital terabit connection for my webs to serve all my fans. I shall just laugh maniacally in the face of grey old men desperately clinging to archaic distribution systems - from my delicious non-political correct 666 floor tower. There's a bunch of things I have to arrange, build and some processes will take years. And do NOT panic - my music will be even more accessible to fans then before.

Here in Norway there's a bunch of political music interest organisations. They're a wonderful mashup of record company interest organisations, RIAA offsprings, performing artist organisations, rights collecting agencies, and they are all completely utterly MAD.

They have ONE priority, and that is their own crave and keep of power. They spend most of the time planning internal revolutions, coups of other organisations, adjusting political structures, complaining about everything, blaming everyone else, fighting to keep their own power, NONE of them actually worry about the health of music or creativity, none of them have even stopped for a second to ponder the possibilities of modern technology, they just automatically snarl at it. They see problems everywhere. They come up with stuff like Piracy Kills Music where they sincerely and wonderfully proclaim DRM the holy grail and only solution. PIRACY DOES NOT KILL MUSIC! MUSIC IS NOT DYING! YOU ARE!

I try to be a calm and rational person. Robots make me happy. I would rather just make beats, experiment with technology and create extravagant live shows that makes the audience forget reality. I want a music scene and a society where that is possible. Not where that is illegal, problematic, bureaucratic, politically dependent, controlled by power-hungry middle-men and you need a degree in law just to even think of doing anything besides singing in the shower.

But now these organisations are just digging the hole deeper. They are emailing me and probably everyone else in the Norwegian music biz from anonymous addresses, claiming this, claiming that, throwing shit, just generally making fools of each-other. I don't care who is right. Seriously, grow up. Get a grip. Work it out. Find a way. It's supposed to be about music, not your power.

Uncanny Planet Library
Posted June 19th 2007, at 17:10 with tags , , , ,

Whew, I'm back. Alive.

As reported some posts ago, the new Uncanny Planet website was the first step in a major new web strategy.

I have to confess: There is one thing I am NOT mad l33t ski11ed at, and that is estimating how much time a project needs. I consistently imagine that everything is finished pretty much instantly. If I can think something up, I can probably execute it almost as fast as I can think it, right?


The last two weeks I disappeared yet again into the otherworldly jungles of http, and emerge today - badly bruised, my browser thorn and personally starved for external digital entertainment. A clip of Youtube, please, sir, anything, I beg of you!

Most of the reason I got so lost this time, is because I suck at planning and estimating time. But of course that's no fun to realize so I like to blame my fatigue all on Internet Explorer. Cursed be that non-compliant evil piece of Internet scum!

Where was I? Ah yes my travels. Fear not! I do not return empty handed, oh noes. Uncanny Planet now has... a Library.

A wonderful and extensive library of all musical material ever created by Uncanny Planet artists, all one of us. Approximately 200 tracks so far, catalogued and indexed and ready to serve. I have to say, I'm most impressed. (When did I have time to write those?)

The idea behind the Library (and why I made it right now) is pretty simple: It's supposed to make me money and help fund the next album.

I don't make much money on album sales. I make my living off writing music for films, projects or by licensing my tracks out to films, tv-shows, commercials, installations, stuff like that. What usually happens is that somebody, a film-maker or producer, generally some media professional, approaches us and asks for some music or permission to use a track. We then send CDs, maybe burn a CD-R with some particular material. They ask for more. We dabble back and forth. I thought, what if I can make a library where those people can just wallow around in my material as much as they like, in their own tempo, and pick out what they want to use. Have nice prices. Simple contracts. And give many media professionals access to that library. It would be bizniz.

That's the Uncanny Planet Library. Media professionals can log in, search, listen, filter, browse, play, feel great, loose weight, grow hair, win Pulitzer Emmy Nobel prizes and get laid any time they want, if they use my library.

So, if you happen to be working in the media biz, or are an aspiring film maker, or just somebody who needs some music, the library is now in private beta. I'd love to see if it works. If you are interested in using it, please send me an email, explain your position (what you're doing, who you're working for, what you've done, your website, just some basics), and I'll zap a log in over to you.

If you are NOT a media professional but still would like to get your hands on all that material - ahaaahh. I would like that too. You got some even-better-goodies-than-that coming your way pretty soon. This is just step 2 of x, and a strategic step to hopefully fund the next ones.

Thermoacoustic flame-powered organ
Posted June 14th 2007, at 01:46 with tags , , ,

It is not often my cloned lab assistants must bring me my smelling salts. But today I fainted when I saw this flame-powered organ via Ektopia. A flame-powered organ! That is like heavy metal steampunk. I just fainted again.

Be sure to check out the video where this supernerd performs Star Wars Theme on the organ. He is exceptionally happy inside but tries desperately not to show it.

Multi-touch Done MacGyver
Posted June 14th 2007, at 01:29 with tags , ,

Erling Ellingsen has come up with a simple and affordable multi-touch input device that actually works.

A plastic bag, some dye, a camera and clever programming. This is bloody brilliant.

Publishing Predicaments
Posted June 13th 2007, at 13:26 with tags , , ,

As you might recall I recently joined the BRAK board of directors (sounds impressive, eh?) and last night I attended BRAKs seminar on publishing. It is part of our goal at BRAK to help internationalize the Bergen music scene. This is a very relevant subject to me since I am smack in the middle of doing that myself as an artist/composer.

Publishing, briefly explained, is the business around the USE of music. A record company sells the physical product, a publishing company sells the music itself. For example to films, tv-shows, ads, computer games, and to other artists if the client is just a songwriter who doesn't perform. The publisher also collects the income from performing rights societies, like the money earned from radio play. Publishers nurse and manage the music, or the song, itself. (Learn more from the Wikipedia article.)

We had Blair McDonald from Nettwerk Music Group, one of the worlds largest indie publishers, over from London to talk about the publishing business. He was very informative, and it is always a great pleasure to experience enthusiastic and reflective people who share their knowledge. I had a beer with him afterwards, he's a very likeable fellow. I am hopeless when it comes to selling myself, so I didn't do what I probably should, promoting myself, but we discussed sampling, file-sharing, digital distribution and the future of music - areas I find much more interesting to talk about than promoting myself.

However there probably is a deeper reason than my crappy social self-esteem as for why I wasn't selling myself and my projects.

I have a very bad publishing relationship behind me. A few months after releasing my first album Resound, I entered a publishing agreement with EMI Publishing Norway. My music is frequently used in films, tv-shows and ads, and besides live touring, this is generally what I make a living off. So having someone with an existing network professionally expanding this bit was a natural investment for me. I also received an advance, which practically funded the Cinematronics album. But more important to me as an artist - EMI Publishing sits on the largest back catalogue of music in the world. Clearing samples from this back catalogue was supposedly going to be a walk in the park with ghetto-blaster on 11.

Three weeks after signing the publishing deal, EMI Publishing Norway was closed down and operation moved to Sweden. That could have turned out well for me, but it didn't.

I think mostly because the Norwegian office recognized my sampling background, but Sweden balked at it. Many of my tracks quite simply cannot be licensed. Others can, but not without extra effort. I do not retain all the rights to all of my music, meaning a publisher does not make as much money on one of my tracks, as they do on others. Neither do I. I was very clear on this when entering the agreement, I have never hidden the fact that I sample. We had a separate point in the contract to handle this.

EMI Publishing Sweden probably found the sampling aspect to difficult, complex and maybe dangerous. Or perhaps they're just lazy and only wanted to milk the income - my music IS used a lot. So they didn't do anything, they actually just took all the sync income I generated and sat on it. Even refusing to pay out my share, keeping the money in a "black box" until they had sorted out what to do with my contract. The advance was quickly recouped, so it wasn't like they lost money on me. For three years we fought to end the deal, and my management at the time (Vox Management) wasted a lot of time negotiating a solution.

Finally last summer we managed to secure an exit, and we parted ways. I have no idea why they sat so long on it - maybe they hoped I would have an international break at some point, generating them shit-loads of cash. From my perspective, I think when they heard the Shadow Of The Beat side-project they realized I was moving in a less commercial direction and decided to give up. I'm just guessing.

The experience was a very tough but incredibly valuable lesson for me. I learned that you have to think of all possible outcomes in a contract - we did have a clause that terminated the contract if EMI Publishing Norway was bought by someone else, but we didn't have a clause that terminated if EMI Norway was moved internally within EMI. Live and learn.

I also discovered how insanely slow, vague and afraid of decisions the music business can be. Everybody is nice all of the time, but nobody actually MEANS anything and gets something done in accordance with their opinion. I learned the gruesomeness of exclusiveness. When things doesn't work out, exclusiveness can be horrible. We spent three years trying to break out, during those years I had no chance of doing anything anywhere because EMI sat on all the rights and did nothing. It was enormously frustrating.

This has made me weary of the music business and very concerned with retaining my independence at all levels. Which means my artist career will grow very slowly, things will take a long time - I have to do everything myself or with people I trust 111 percent. But I will grow, I will reach my goals and in my own way and my own tempo. I will not end up as yet another indifferent act spew out by the same music biz formula.

In any garden I always find the wild plants the most interesting.

Uncanny Planet website redux
Posted June 8th 2007, at 00:24 with tags , , ,

I updated the Uncanny Planet Records website.

It wasn't really needed for the website, there isn't that much activity on the label itself, it's mostly just a placeholder. But some changes in the dark backwoods of http-technology was needed to make way for future phenomenal features, Uncanny Planet will play a bigger role in the not too distant future.

Also, in some professional situations I direct people to the label website, and in those cases I'd like the visitor to get the impression the label is more than a digital flyer.

There are some label info, and audio snippets of all artists, including some you probably haven't met yet.

Mucic Rights Collectors: More DRM is the solution
Posted June 5th 2007, at 01:23 with tags , ,

Why does old and stupid people with power always think that technology is a bad thing, and if it is ever used, it should be used to make things MORE COMPLICATED?

CISAC is a worldwide body representing collection societies (TONO ASCAP BMI etc), the agencies that collect money from everyone and everything playing music in public. Radio and TV networks, shops and malls, webradio, elevators, dentist waiting rooms, even taxis.

Lovely old CISAC just held a two-day conference in Brussels on Thursday and Friday to tackle a thorny question: How do artists get paid in a digital world? (Or: How do we justify our own existence since technology makes us redundant?)

Well they brilliantly conclude: More DRM.

And these are agencies supposed to "work towards increased recognition and protection of creators' rights"? Please, collecting agencies, either WAKE UP and adapt or PERISH. The world does not need narrowminded old men greedily clutching their pennies and power.

Go play in a an active volcano with RIAA.

(Via Ars Technica.)

Electronic Music? Did you mean: Music Electricity
Posted June 5th 2007, at 00:50 with tags , , ,

Provocative electricity bill? Download my music and generate some of your own.

University of Utah physicists unveils technology that turn heat into sound and then into electricity.

Orest "He-Who-Controls-The-Tubes" Symko demonstrates how heat can be converted into sound by using a blowtorch to heat a metallic screen inside a plastic tube. This produces a loud tone, similar to when air is blown into a flute.

Symko and his students are developing much smaller devices that not only convert heat to sound, but then use the sound to generate electricity.

This has black hole feedback end-of-the world potential. What happens if you use this technology to power your boombox by the sound coming out of your boombox?

Boombox indeed.



Transformers Traffic Tumbling
Posted June 4th 2007, at 19:28 with tags , ,



Mad Genius Recreation: More Feedback Machine 2
Posted June 1st 2007, at 23:37 with tags , , ,

Weekend recreation. Ah, the light at the end of a weeks struggle! Some people like to watch a movie, catch a few beers with friends, or spend quality time with the family in front of the old tube. Friday evening is the Western civilization catching it's breath.

But what, I hear you ask without knowing it yourself, what does mad geniuses do? Why, we check out new plugins for our sonic arsenal.

And when the stuff comes from Urs Heckman, greatest mad indie plugin developer, you know it's gonna groove. Today saw the latest beta and start of pre-order for his ganz wunderschön delay plugin More Feedback Machine 2.

It's got 4 independent delay lines, for you to mash and modulate and cross-feed between each other until your sound implodes into its own gravitational-recursive black hole. And that implosion sounds apocalyptically wonderful, I can assure you.

Then you zoom a wee bit further out of your sonic universe and discover everything is beautifully controlled by the über-complex host synced multistage envelopes. Your ears are dreaming.

Available now for pre-order at 59 USD, save 20 bucks off the final price.

Memo to Michael - kill those carbon entities
Posted June 1st 2007, at 17:36 with tags , , ,

To: Michael
From: GMM
Subject: Kill the carbs

Dear Michael,

love the new Transformers clip! Prime sounds awesome. Can't wait.

However, Mike, we gotta talk. I know you put some humans and a human angle and a human story in the movie. I know there is a smug plastic looking boy and an even smuggier plastier looking girl, but they look and behave more fake than the robots.

I know you put them in there on the premise that people will buy tickets to your destruction-feist because they "connect" with the protagonists.

No, no, no Mikey. NO. Drop that human carbon alibi crap. Fire up 3D studio or iMovie or Paint or whatever program you are using, select all objects with soft curves, and hit DELETE. Empty trash and overwrite your backups.

The math is simple. Everybody grown up during the 80ies with ANY self-respect left, desperately wants to see Autobots and Decepticons joyfully smash the planet to pieces. You can easily charge us 5 times the normal admission, if you throw out those fake carbs. People born in the 70ies just stays at home reading books anyway, and kids of the 90ies are gonna torrent it. You're not missing anything by disregarding those clueless demographics.

Hope this helps,


Ugress on Slay Radio
Posted May 31st 2007, at 22:22 with tags No tags.
Tonight at 20:00 CET DJ Ziphoid will be playing some Ugress tracks in his live show, at the C64 & Amiga-retro webradio SLAY Radio.

SLAY radio is a fantastic webradio playing remixes, covers and other tracks tied to the awesome age of 8 and 16 bit supercomputers.

Ugress tonight on SLAY retro radio
Posted May 31st 2007, at 11:10 with tags , , , ,

Tonight at 20:00 CET DJ Ziphoid will be playing some Ugress tracks in his live show, at the C64 & Amiga-retro webradio SLAY Radio. Happiness!

SLAY radio is a fantastic webradio playing remixes, covers and other tracks tied to the awesome age of 8 and 16 bit supercomputers. Slay streams excellence 24/7, if you are tired of the original blips of Kohina this is the perfect antidote, most of the music is modern production remixes of the originals.

Right now they're playing a heavy metal version of Jeroen Tel's Supremacy, morphing into one of the Last Ninja II levels. I can not state my approval hard enough, except perhaps by the moistness in the corner of my eye.

DVD-sniffing dogs and night-vision ushers
Posted May 31st 2007, at 01:09 with tags , , ,

I can't stop laughing but I'm not sure if I should start crying.

Malaysia is utilizing DVD-sniffing dogs in their fight against piracy, as well as arming cinema ushers with night vision goggles.

Now I agree piracy must be stopped, but seriously. Night vision goggles? Dogs that can smell DVDs? Surely the problem must be combatted elsewhere. I don't want to be thrown in jail, infected by rabies, because I'm keeping a copy of my latest music video in my laptop bag at the cinema.

Btw the picture is of a cat. For illustrative purposes.

(Via Reuters and Epicenter.)

Surface - multi-touch now also from Microsoft
Posted May 30th 2007, at 11:43 with tags ,

Microsoft joins the multi-touch bonanza by announcing their Surface prototype. A table with a 30" screen as surface, powered by a PC within the table running an adapted Windows Vista.

Surface is supposed to ship Winter 2007 (harr harr yes of course Microsoft, sure, ok, everyone believes you), priced somewhere between $5,000 and $10,000. Not exactly consumer oriented pricing.

I love multi-touch. So many possibilities in the technology.

But why is it, every time Microsoft does something that is supposed to be cool, it just ends up.. not cool. Zune? Wouldn't be caught dead with it. And after watching the promotional videos on the Surface site - I just don't get it. Why should I pay $10 000 for a enormous gadget of which most prominent feature is the ability to display my photos in a messy bunch? Why are those ethnically correct users so... uncannily FAKE?

Who are they marketing this for? At that price, why are they displaying pictures of kids? Do they see this device as a soccer-mom must-have?

I use computers because they can do things very fast and they can help ME do things very fast. I get so annoyed with bloody mindless menu-animations that waste one second every time I navigate a menu. My patience would have lasted 10 minutes with that thing. If someone makes a $10 000 multi-touch device, I don't want to use it for moving a bunch of baby pictures around. Gee how fun.

Hopefully someone hacks that table for homebrew pretty fast, then we're talking.

(Via SeattlePI.com.)

Update: Fitzfan over at the Digg Surface thread sums it up nicely:

"Awesome, a touch screen table.

Now if only it could fit in my pocket, hold songs and video, had a phone built in and only cost $499 or $599...."

Yamaha PSR-S900: MIDI, internet access
Posted May 27th 2007, at 12:01 with tags , , ,

I love it when technologies converge, most so when they converge in surprising, and most likely, braindead ways. A friend of mine bought a consumer video camera a few years ago - it had email functionality. Via infrafred. What an excellent feature.

Not far behind you find this brilliant new keyboard from Yamaha. It's got both MIDI and Internet. As Google Translate eloquently puts it: "To pursue the high sound quality, with LAN terminal adoption Internet connection conveniently."

The unit is effectively bridging the gap between the laptop "Is-he-checking-his-email" performer and the trusty old skool keyboard performer - next time you see the dinosaur keyboard guy hammering out blood-dripping organ licks, know that he is probably FIGHTING SPAM. And the organ solo is provided by iTunes running on the internal organ HD.

Go snicker the Google Translate version of the original Yamaha Japan press release.


Pro-gress, almost the same as u-gress. Ha-ha!
Posted May 25th 2007, at 17:52 with tags , , , ,

Hoka hey. A few words on what's up. Sorry the lame title.

But first, check out those STATS. I upgraded the Ugress album progress statistics.

Ugress album progress stats, pr May 25th, 2007
Total projects/songs created: 161
Days since start: 601
Total files created: 42 430
Total bytes created: 20 gigs
Average files pr project 263
Average bytes pr project: 124 megabytes
Average files pr day: 71
Average days pr project: 3.7

161 projects! Bagoobels. I have enough sketches for scoring a 10 year soap opera. Granted, 10-12 of those ended up in the Nebular Spool side-project, but still approx 150 sketches. I notice the average size of projects has picked up, which is expected since the closer to release, the more rendering. I also got some plugins (oh I should write about those) that tend to out-CPU my G5, so I need to freeze tracks, this eats disk space.

The last week, since the Kosmonaut video release and all the fuzz around it, I've spent working on the Free Jimmy remix. The deadline is June 31st, and naturally I'm way behind. I was supposed to deliver a few updated tracks a week ago but still haven't managed to wrap something into a presentable shape. Must do it before they get back on work Tuesday. I've got gazillions of ideas and concepts but none of them materialize into the awesomeness I would like it to. As usual.

So that's it. Got some http goodies coming up.

Kosmonaut video updates
Posted May 25th 2007, at 00:05 with tags , , , , , ,

The Kosmonaut video is well out of the critical launch phase and approaching orbit.

Yesterday Dagbladet, one of the major tabloids in Norway, ran the video as premiere news on their http frontpage. Don't know how long it will stay.

The video is programmed for more film and music festivals this summer; in addition to Grimstadfestivalen now also showing at Indy Music Video Filmfestival in Toronto, Canada, and Hovefestivalen, Norway.

NRK Filmpolitiet, in cooperation with Grimstad Festival have a music video program available online for voting. Kosmonaut is featured - VOTE! You have to scroll down a few entries, it's a crapping flash website so I can't link directly.

Both MTV and ZTV are probably going to list it for rotation within a week or two. NRK Svisj is a bit slower, haven't heard anything back from them yet.

No radio channels in Norway has listed it, which I kinda expected. Most major radio channels in this country are tripping over one another trying to become the One Channel that plays the Same Sounding Song over and over. I'm not expecting much radio play from this one locally.

I'm very happy with the response for Kosmonaut, everything goes as planned. Things take a little more time than expected, but - that is as expected, of course.

Steampunk Dracula Pirate Halloween Train
Posted May 22th 2007, at 18:40 with tags , , , ,

I'm not kidding, the subject is real.

Chris Walas makes model trains and creatures in his own alternate universe, consisting of vampires, terminators in rail wheelchairs, victorian steampunk locomotives, halloween skeletons, early sci-fi lunar rockets... I give up, if it is cool, Chris has modelled it.

As a kid I loved my model railway, like any true aspiring mad genius would. It was real love.

A beautiful, tired and worn little Märklin locomotive with three dark green wagons. Probably being vintage before I got it, it broke down 9 of 10 times I tried to run it. But when it finally ran, on my very simple circular track, I was mesmerized for hours. I could just watch it run and run. I was God.

I remember countless hours of devouring model train catalogues, dreaming of building my own small world of tracks and trains. Some young boys ponder pictures of naked people, I was drooling over Märklin remote lightning traffic systems.

I am still very fond of everything on rails, and I love to travel by train.

Chris Walas not only makes steampunk model trains, which in itself is worthy of exceptional hero status, but he creates  them in his very own universe, with figures and concepts from pop and pulp culture mixed in the most excellent eclectic way. I can't get enough of stuff like this. It bubbles of genius creativity and fun.

I recommend brewing a delicious cup of your favorite mad neon-blue beverage, take a 15 minute break from the break you already were taking anyway. Sit back and hypertravel to the world of the fantastic world of Rouge County, there are hundres of wonderful photos.

Transformers Trailer II
Posted May 21st 2007, at 21:34 with tags , ,

"Dear God what is this?"

THIS is AWESOME, Mr Phelps. Transformers FTW.

Danger Will Robinson! Copyright Alliance
Posted May 18th 2007, at 21:31 with tags , , ,

The fight against subtle evil is a never-ending one.

The Copyright Alliance is a new industry-backed alliance, with the goal of "promoting the value of copyright as an agent for creativity, jobs, and growth." Organizations behind the alliance include MPAA, NBC, News Corp., Disney, Time Warner, the Business Software Alliance, Microsoft, ASCAP, the NBA, and others. (Microsoft? WTF?)

I am veeeeery sceptic. Something's fishy.

The website reeks of cover-up and lets-hide-real-motifs-behind-innocent-design. They do not say ANYTHING important on their website, they just smack up a few ethnically correct photos and try to angle the whole website as "Creativity is important! We love creativity! Artists are wonderful persons! We like balloons! Weee isn't this fun! Give us power everything will be ok!" while not at all presenting ANY solutions, ideas or practical actions for backing their image.

The website looks like something Scientology cooks up in panic in response to BBC investigations. You just KNOW it's phony. I bet they even thought getting a dot org address would buy them credibility. Fucking idiots.

Don't you think it is rather alarming that RIAA teams up with Microsoft? Oh great, Windows suddenly reports directly to the RIAA anything you cut copy paste. Yeah, that's gonna encourage creativity.

The emperor director, Patrick Ross, actually supports RIAA and their actions. Check his blog. Thats all I need to know. I'm with Gizmodo on this one. Dark Force.

(Via Ars Technica.)

Lab Notes May 16th, 2007
Posted May 16th 2007, at 20:22 with tags , , ,

A few words on what's up.

I am very cramped for time these days - the Kosmonaut video has taken a lot of time. I spent maybe 10-12 days creating the wonderful minisite (more on that later - got plans), fixing up everything that goes along with it, and built enthralling promo kits for the spoiled media brats. I sent out press kits to the national networks early this week, lets hope they like it and list it.

We put the video out on social video sites, the response has been great. I'm really happy the video turned out kick-ass and people like it. There's a lot of energy in the track and the video renders it perfectly. I would very much like to send the press kit to European networks as well, but there is no chance in hell I have time to do it right now. I'm so behind on the Free Jimmy remixes, I got to concentrate on that for now.

I was very close to sign a distribution deal with a huge distributor a few weeks ago - they were supposed to do a lot of the promo work I just pulled off, but they just... didn't. So I dropped them. 

I like being independent, I like to do everything myself, mostly because then I know things GET DONE. The last couple of years I've had people around me who just didn't do what they should or could. The music biz is full of empty words. When it comes to commitment I no longer have any patience or mercy. Do your job, and do it well, or get out of my way.

However, the last two months I probably haven't written a note of music, or watched a whole movie (that's a good measure, I usually see a lot of movies), it takes so much time to just RUN Uncanny Planet and all my projects. I'm not sure if I'm complaining, I'm just observing the lack of music written the last months and it somehow worries me.

I also used to be quite vocal in this journal regarding DRM issues and the latest shenanigans by the RIAA, but quite simply I'm now fighting against them by doing something, instead of writing about something. But I keep a close watch.

So a happy finale for this entry is then to mention the great news that Amazon will launch DRM free digital music sales later this year. Yey! Another nail in the coffin in the wall.

Sony PSP as sound effects processor
Posted May 16th 2007, at 18:25 with tags , , ,

Bloody brilliant. A clever chap named ROCAMATICS has released homebrew software to run audio thru DSP effects on your Sony PSP. You can run whatever you want into it, your guitar, your voice, your PC, your iPod, anything with a line signal. That is just plain psuperb. 

All you need to do is build a custom cable to get the audio into the PSP. Next time you see Ugress live - am I playing Crush or crushing those drums on my PSP?

Robot: "Not feeling well today, human slave"
Posted May 16th 2007, at 17:21 with tags , ,

What is worse than being exterminated by cruel soul-less robots?

Being exterminated by cruel soul-less hypochondric robots.

Thanks to Gifu University for making robots able to move their body in ways that exhibit the symptoms of preprogrammed ailments. (Japanese via Google Translate).

In addition to slaving day and night for our new mechanical overlords, we now have to listen to them moan and groan about headaches and showing off "muscular pains" due to all that stressfull annihilation work.

(Via the always excellent Pink Tentacle.) 

Danger I.U.M.! Teh Zombies Are Teh Real
Posted May 16th 2007, at 09:03 with tags , ,

I can't stop laughing.

Flickr zombie candy shot by Johnson Cameraface.

(Via Eyebeam reBlog.)


Kosmonaut featured on DailyMotion frontpage
Posted May 12th 2007, at 16:21 with tags , , ,

Awesome! The Kosmonaut video is frontpage news right now over at mega video site Dailymotion, with over 3000 views and a highest rating.

Don't know how long it will stay, in case you're too late here is the direct video page.

Dailymotion is a European video sharing site, one of the largest in the world after übercolossus Youtube/Google. DM has twice the resolution of Youtube and better codecs. Based in France you KNOW they have good taste. Apparently also in video selection. Tres bien!

Evil Servercat Stealed Mah Strings
Posted May 12th 2007, at 15:30 with tags , , ,

Something dark and evil is lurking in the shadows of the servers hosting this journal.

Repeated queries to the mySQL database return empty strings. (IT-morans: "strings " are how computers store text.) So any place I use a string twice, the second one is now suddenly empty. They weren't a few days ago.

This means a few things might not work fully as expected. I know what the problem is, I have taken care of the most annoying consequences and the ship looks like it floats but there might gremlins and it's really not MY PROBLEM. I don't have time to babysit mySQL connections. I have reported it to my provider. Let's see if they work weekends.

Kosmonaut Video
Posted May 10th 2007, at 22:22 with tags No tags.
The legendary Kosmonaut video is now available, on it's very own super luxurious minisite.

You can download the video in multiple formats, high quality mp3's, remix packs, ring-tones and more.

Go kosmonaut.ugress.com now!

Kosmonaut music video now available
Posted May 10th 2007, at 14:09 with tags , ,

The Kosmonaut music video is now available on it's very own mini-site.

I can safely say I am very happy to present it. The video is available in wonderful super excellent moving pixel quality, there are high quality mp3's, ring-tones, remix packs, production shots, crew info, and more.

I have more goodies standing by, I'll put them out and write more background info as soon as I have time. Gotta do some promo first.

My instruments are now fine art requisites
Posted May 8th 2007, at 00:41 with tags , , ,

Tonight was a big night out for some of my gear, including my beloved vintage 1084 Commodore monitor. The stuff was promoted to fine art objects. The value of my 1084 went from 50 to 50 000 USD in 12 minutes. (Saatchi: I wants give us now precious!)

The gear was used in a performance by Maskinanlegg at MC Messa, an independent art exhibition at BIT-Teatergarasjen. The exhibition as a whole was curated by Members Club, and the Maskinanlegg performance was part of Galleri Rekord's stand.

The performance was a rather excellent piece of industrial. The composer himself was not present, the lazy bastard, but represented by a masked mannequin torso. Not that the mannequin stiffness makes for a huge deviation from many other electronica acts if you ask me... The background was displaying works by Tommy Olsson - some kind of water-proof bank robbers that kiss.

Sadly the exhibition was this evening only. If you was not there you was bad luck. There were quite a few nice things on display and I liked the whole indie vibe (except the bar ques). In particular I loved the colourful plastic bag bunnies - lots of small plastic bags tied to look like cute bunnies.

I just hope my gear was not scared by those bank robbers.



Joost - not juiced enough yet
Posted May 7th 2007, at 10:43 with tags , ,

I'm investigating Joost. The new super-smart TV/video network app from the guys behind Skype and Kazaa. It has potential. However.

In Norway, on certain public holidays like Easter and Christmas Day it is not allowed to air "commercial" commercials on national networks. That means, between regular TV programming there are no soap or chewing gum or plastic music or plastic pizza commercials. The only spots allowed are from religious, aid and health organizations.

I love it. The spots are usually really bad, so bad it becomes entertaining. The quality is often way below local, and the message/contents of the spots are "oh so important" and self-righteous it all becomes unintentionally hilarious. You know, some people still think as long as you have a important message the delivery method of the message is irrelevant. Good luck with that. Time to wiki some Marshall?

I kinda feel bad for them - the content is clearly not up to the quality level expected by the media (national network). They loose their message.

That's kinda what Joost is like right now. Like forced B-programming from TV with content that is not up to it's expected level.

I don't have time to actually sit and watch all the crap that is there, but for the last few days while working on a new minisite for the Kosmonaut video I had Joost running Far East music video channels in the background on a separate monitor. In that regard it works pretty much like a TV channel, except the programming often loops after only a 30-40 minutes. And I get the feeling that a lot of the programming on Joost is stuff the networks was glad to "get rid of". There is nothing on Joost I MUST see.

You're not gonna be TV 2.0 going at it like that, Joost.


(Thx to Per A for the Joost invite.)

Steampunk guitar - "The Villanizer"
Posted May 5th 2007, at 01:39 with tags , ,

Guitars, acoustic or electric, is not something I get excited about. Most guitar players are either exceptionally boring singer-songwriters or anal riff repeaters. In both cases dead poets and computers respectively can do better jobs.

Or so was my humble opinion until I saw THAT. If ME had that steampunked guitar, I would be Charles Jesus Rockstar Babbage.

Journal tech update: Social bookmarks, Twitter
Posted May 4th 2007, at 17:29 with tags , , , , , , ,

My G5 is working like crazy transcoding the Kosmonaut music video. Not wasting a precious breathing moment, I spent the beach-ball time rigging the journal with some long delayed social functionality. You can now submit articles/bookmarks directly to Digg, del.icio.us, Reddit and the Norwegian Digg wannabe Kudos.

You can also know what I'm currently up to via the Twitter badge up in the right menu. I'm not sure how long that will be relevant, we'll see how often I bother updating it. 

Let me know if anything is kaput.

Flock: Realtime crowd-sourced composition
Posted May 3rd 2007, at 23:47 with tags , , , , ,

Flock is a musical performance by Jason Freeman, where both musicians and audience compose the music in realtime by moving around. Realtime crowd-sourced song-writing.

"During the performance, the four musicians and 60-80 audience members move freely around the performance space. A computer vision system determines the locations of the audience members and musicians, and it uses that data to generate performance instructions for the musicians, who view them on wireless handheld displays mounted on their instruments. The data is also artistically rendered and projected on multiple video screens to provide a visual experience of the score."

This is a beautiful example of how technology can benefit music - simultaneously as a compositional tool as well as an enhancement of the experience. This is where I find music technology the most intriguing, and it is an area I continuously investigate and loose myself in. Throw in the current progress made in the fields of AI and physical modelling, add the ever-growing CPU power, and my brain starts tingling.

Naturally, as a mad scientist tired with the money-loving limits and pathetic trifles of mortal human beings, my goals are unfortunately considered quite megalomaniac by my contemporaries. In addition my ideas demand ridiculous budgets not to mention CPU. So not quite there yet.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Point being, for now, Flock is a very interesting prototype and proof of concept. I wish I could experience it.

(Via Wired's nice interview with Mr. Freeman. (Perhaps he knows Gordon?))

Super Creepy Emo-Robot Wants To Be "Friends"
Posted May 2nd 2007, at 00:10 with tags , , ,

This is creep directly from the depths of Uncanny Valley. I think it is staged, but it is creepy anyway.

It is a short clip with a few (script-reading?) humans taking farewell with a robot before packing it down for shipment. The moment when you start to regret computers and mechanics ever was invented, is when the little kid comes up and the robot says in his HAL inspired tone:

"By the time you're grown up, I'll be as smart as a real person, and we will be like brothers. I do not know if you'll remember me then, but I will never forget you. Someday I'll come and find you, and we'll be friends."

I fears the day.

(Via Gizmodo.)

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0
Posted May 1st 2007, at 23:49 with tags , , ,

DRM proponents, please, just GIVE UP will ya. It will never work, it will always be a problem that will annoy customers, it will never be fail-safe, you will always look like idiots when your latest greatest consumer annoyance is broken by DVD Jon, while he plays Doom on his toaster.

Yes mass-piracy is bad and efforts must be made to fight that. Yes artists rights must be retained. But at the moment the main problem, in my correct opinion, is that nobody  actually wants to buy our, the artists, real stuff because they HATE DRM, they HATE being reminded by proper purchased products that they shouldn't pirate while the pirates doesn't have any warnings or problematic playback hindrances.

Treat your customers like thieves and they will act like thieves.

God damn it I get so angry with all this DRM bullshit and tired of repeating myself. Stupid trade organisations are killing off all the future technologies I hope to utilize for my music.

But finally I can do something. I heartily line up to be sued by the AACS. The title of this post is the famous HD-DVD decryption key that they are really not fond of seeing on the webtubes. Copy paste it everywhere.



I have no chance to survive make my time
Posted May 1st 2007, at 03:42 with tags , , ,

I have always wanted a time machine. I love asking people the question "If you had a time machine, when would you travel?" My friends always come up with some boring romantic idea that they would go back to this or that age, like the Wild West or ancient Egypt or the roaring twenties or Kindergarten.

Naturally my preference has been to travel so far into the future that everything will be spine-spinningly awesome and all humans are super-smart highly evolved mind-reading über-beings. There are no wars and we know everything and sampling is both legal and regarded as Teh Most Exquisite Art Evah. Also perhaps Duke Nukem Forever is out.

But alas! The real world is swallowing my daydreams and if I had a time machine, the only thing I would do right now is to generate more time.

I meant to write clever funny well-pondered thoughts about three very interesting tube-bulletins, all related to DRM and the future of music. I won't be able to, Kosmonaut single/video release and Free Jimmy remixes have priority numero uno. And look at me rambling on here about time machines.

Anyway these are too important to let them slip so I can only suggest you hyperlink swiftly over to:

The Economist slams DRM in editorial.

Why they fileshare: Young Europeans distrust music labels.

Barenaked Ladies suggest compulsory blanket music license.

World War 2.0 Nazi Mech Robot Mayhem
Posted April 27th 2007, at 14:42 with tags , , , ,

CGI Animation.
Mega robots.
Air battles.

CODE Guardian, 12 minute awesome short by CGI-nius Marco Spitoni.

Download 720x576 Divx, or watch on Youtube part 1, part 2.


Kosmonaut video news: Zoooon. Very Zoon.
Posted April 27th 2007, at 01:08 with tags , , , , ,

The legendary Kosmonaut music video is finished. In fact it has been ready for a few days and I have been aching to tell and show. Now, now, calm down, no need to get all crazy and start running around like small rabies infected rats on speed.

We all have to be clever little evil music bizniz minds for a few days more. For unexplainable reasons the whole world is not aware of Ugress. So we are trying to get ourselves a wee bit of exposure by shopping for exclusive video premiere on the good old TV tubes.

Also, as usual with Ugress videos, there are some issues with idiotic censoring. (Remember Loungemeister? It was dropped by chicken-shit MTV because of all the hilarious swearing.)

I will shorten the wait by posting some background information on who/what/where/why/when/how  over the weekend. It has been a long and rocky road. The video was initiated way back in October 2005.

Now, there are a few things I would have done right now if I were you.

Subscribe to the Ugress mailing-list. The mailing-list WILL get to the video before anyone else.

Download the EPs, if you haven't already. They will not be around forever.

I'm kicking the album monster into gear. And yes, it IS a monster. Just wait and see.

HTTP idiots: Stop making youtubes and podcasts of everything!
Posted April 26th 2007, at 01:43 with tags , , , , ,

I am really NOT happy with this current trend where everything is flashed or podcasted or videoized or youtubed or explained-in-person. For example, [appearantly] there is this great interview with the Pandora founder regarding the before-mentioned online radio royalty rate issues. But I dont have the patience to sit for 30 minutes listening to a guy go "but you know, uh, uh, like, uh, its like, you see, uh, uh, you know uh-uh-uh-uh". Forget that, someone transcribe it.

The reason I am HERE on the http-webs and NOT in front of a dumb glaring preprogrammed realtime television set is because I want stuff, I want information, and I want it much faster than realtime. I want to throw a glance at things and decide if it is relevant. I like to quickly scan or search for the bits I am after and then devour them in the speed necessary for me to attain the information I seek. Which usually is pretty much fucking faster than anyone can speak.

LOOK UP THE PREFIX HYPER, you mindless video loving idiots. Go back to TV and stay there. I don't want to spend my life watching stupid Flash intros or menus just to download a driver for my scanner.

Not only are interviews lazily youtubed and websites heavily flashified, there is also a trend where software features, instructions and technical information are being relayed as video. With a jabbering developer mumbling the voiceover, instead of plain text documentation. It's horrible! It sucks moose!

Often I find myself on a roaming 3G cellphone connection outside Norway. Can you imagine my frustration when I have to wait several hours for a stupid single bit of information, stuck in the middle of a 36 megabyte mp4 clip? Not to mention the bankruptcy-inspired prices for roaming 3G data waiting on my phone bill? And it's probably just a matter of time until my phone bill comes as a bloody interactive 10 minute youtube clip.

Don't get me wrong - I love the fact that youtube/streaming video is a reality. I grew up before the war, with BBSes, you know. I am just mad at the bonkers idea that youtube and podcasts should be used for everything, and sometimes, INSTEAD of text.

Thank the-flying-spaghetti-monster for the 4 x speed function in Quicktime.

Habitable Planet Found Outside Our Solar System
Posted April 25th 2007, at 01:08 with tags , ,






Coffee soap (for real)
Posted April 24th 2007, at 01:19 with tags , ,

This soap is normal soap. It makes you clean and undirty. But it also it has caffeine added.

Say hello to Shower Shock. It supplies the caffeine equivalent of two cups of coffee per wash, with the stimulant absorbed naturally through the skin.

This soap is TEH SOAP!

This actually makes me want to get out of bed in the morning, like an eager kid. I can't wait for the alarm to buzz so I can run into the shower and rub myself in with coffee.

So, when is the beer/wine/gin-tonic soap ready?

(Via Scienceblogs.)

UPDATE 17:38: Arstechnica has tried it and has an excellent in-depth blog report.

Time Tunnel - retro sci-fitsch
Posted April 23th 2007, at 02:23 with tags , , ,

Ooh this is great. I have been so busy the last few weeks I haven't had time to keep an eye on new releases in the  iTunes store. Today I popped in and discovered my über-favorite TV series perhaps of all time, Time Tunnel, is now available for purchase.

Warning - this is good old retro 60ies studio based sci-fi. It's the kind of sci-fi where the jungle is never larger than a single camera group shot, there are many control panels and they are awesome, and every forest in the world looks like the bushes right outside Los Angeles. It is sci-fi where you get totally frustrated because the protagonists only run around in the same cramped fake locations all the time. It is probably not cool if you didn't see it as a kid, or if you lack a certain B gene. Then again, that means that YOU are not cool.

Time Tunnel originally ran in 66-67 in the US, was created by legendary Irwin Allen. Mr Allen is also responsible for my other darling series from the same era, Lost In Space.

The premise of the show is great - two engineers are trapped in a Time Tunnel experiment gone wrong, for each episode they appear in a different place and time. They always pop up in highly dramatic situations like Pearl Harbor, Titanic, French Revolution, Troy, always trying to stop the calamity they know is about to happen. Naturally nothing they do has any consequence for the future. My favorite was the episode where they end up on the island Krakatoa just before it blows. Time travelling and exploding volcanos, can it get any better?

I remember watching this show very late at night on cable, must have been early 90ies or late 80ies. You know, shows you end up watching because the only other alternative is Knut Bjørnsen selling pans and pots on TV shop. At the time it was regarded as worse TV scum than Falcon Crest, but HA!, soapy morons, I can't see any Falcon Crest DVD releases, can you? (Oh god. Someone is probably working on that.)

If you DID watch Time Tunnel, I think you are a very respectable human being and salute your excellent taste. If you didn't, now is your chance to devour a fine piece of television history.



Journal tech update: RSS feed now full fledged
Posted April 23th 2007, at 02:04 with tags , , , , ,

Marvel at the wonderful visual illustration above - especially in your feed reader! No, you are not dreaming. The RSS feed is now full fledged super-nice all-inclusive multimedia treasure good. You never have to leave the XMLs again. HTTP = obsol33te.

Note: Already-published posts will automatically be updated. I don't know how all feed readers will handle this so pardon my XML if you suddenly have 15 unread Journal posts.


MIDI Talking Synth Extravagonzo
Posted April 21st 2007, at 20:27 with tags , , , , ,

Remember the Say function in your Amiga? No? You, sir, are a clueless moran. Please educate yourselbst before http or rss strange places.

A kind and magical soul, Per Salzwedel aka FLAME, has taken a similar 8 bit speech synthesis technology and made it available in the Flame MIDI Talking Synth (just the name makes me come in my pants). Listen to those crazy 8 bit neurotic babbling sound examples. I hearts!

The synth contains 72 speech elements (allophones), 43 sound effects, and 12 DTM touch tones. The idea was to create sounds, patterns and sequences in the 8-bit style of the 80s or other retro sounds for making music instead of just simulating speech. Most allophones can be tuned and used tonally.

DTM touch tones! OMFSM* that is so ninja perfect for your über-retro phone-phreaking 90ies BBS soundscapes.

This sweet little baby actually seems available. I wants for xmas, i promise to not sample anything this year. 


* =  Oh My Flying Spaghetti Monster

I am soon a director of the BRAK board
Posted April 19th 2007, at 18:14 with tags , , ,

I'm expanding my capabulary.

Yours truly are soon an officially appointed board director member of BRAK - the music interest organisation for the West Coast / Bergen area. I was not present at the general meeting due to my globalistic travels, but I was interviewed and suggested by the board committee beforehand. As I have been informed, I was elected and this will be officialized or something like that in early May. I am honored to be considered.

Now why on earth would I volunteer for something like this? A very good question I indeed pondered for a long time, and still am.

It is not paid work, and it's not like have a lot of spare time that needs filling up. I detest politics of any kind, and I'm not hungry for power at all. I prefer to ask questions over providing answers, and I enjoy just doing things instead of discussing them for ages. I prefer studio over stage and value my privacy over public appearances. Volunteering for board work that probably represents all of the above is totally NOT me.

Perhaps all the reasons for NOT doing it in the previous paragraph is the best answer WHY I'm doing it. I have no idea how to do this so therefore I have to try. But there are also exciting reasons:

More (much more..) after the jump.

Lisbon botanical discovery: Uncanny HQ
Posted April 15th 2007, at 21:32 with tags , , , , ,

I'm currently in Lisbon, Portugal on family business. Great city (it has trams!), but so far hopeless when it comes to wifi spots, didn't find anywhere usable except expensive hotel bars until today. Everything & everywhere is encrypted. So I'm kinda behind on the tubes. (What you say? Final Cut Studio 2?)

Doesn't matter, I get to see a lot of the city since my nose is not glued to the powerbook. Yesterday I was at the Ajuda Botanical Garden (Jardim Botânico da Ajuda), right at the corner of my favourite neighbourhood Bairro Alto. And doust my eyes deceive me? I found the definitive Uncanny Planet Operation Laboratory Center Complex HQ.

I love abandoned post-apocalyptic buildings and I love weird wild plants and I am not scared of victorian Astronomical Observatories either, so when I stumble upon a long forgotten one in the middle of an awesome botanical gardens, of course I fall madly in love.

When I become super-billionaire I will pwn this building and make it the Uncanny Planet Lisboa HQ and I will write crazy exuberant floral beats with tons of uncleared Fado samples. In the meantime we can look at the nice pictures my cellphone snapped. More after the tubejump.

More touchscreen madness: Mid-air version
Posted April 9th 2007, at 22:18 with tags , , ,

YATP - Yet Another Touchscreen Prototype discovered on the tubes. Kinda interesting this one, it hovers in the air, but it is probably rather noisy and unstable. The concept however, is much more significant in a live stage setting than an interface setting. It looks like a smaller version of the famous Fogscreen.

Actually, we almost used the Fogscreen for the Ugress Cinematronics tour a few years ago. We managed to negotiate a very nice price from the Finnish producers, they were super happy to have it demonstrated and experienced in a musical setting. But the transport cost and installation setup really was too megalomaniac for the smaller clubs (and budgets) we played. We had to let it go. I haven't given up on it thou, projecting live video on controlled fog is a holy grail to me and at some time we most certainly will slam your jaws to the floor.

Shit you not, if there is one person in the world who should have big budgets to spend on extravagant showmania, it is I. Especially TODAY. For now, you and me both can only manifest our dreams via Youtube.

Real Steampunk R2D2
Posted April 9th 2007, at 12:56 with tags , , ,

Supermad steamgenius Crabfu has made a steampowered R2D2 unit, named R2S2.

I hearts so much it hurts!

Orbifold Spatial String Music Theory
Posted April 8th 2007, at 12:26 with tags , , , , , ,

Exceptionally interesting. Dmitri Tymoczko, a composer at Radcliffe Institute has developed a way to visualize the "quality" of music, or rather, how pleasant various chord structures sound. Quality, of course, is highly subjective, but you DO prefer to listen to harmonic chords over a pneumatic drill don't you?

When writing out music visually, it is usually done with musical notes - simple instructions on how to perform it, like a recipe if you will. Tymoczko has come up with an alternative, by using non-Euclidean geometry and a complex figure, borrowed from string theory, called an orbifold (which can have from two to an infinite number of dimensions, depending on the number of notes being played at once).

Tymoczko’s system shows how chords that are generally pleasing to the ear appear in locations close to one another, clustered close to the orbifold’s center. Sounds that the ear identifies as dissonant appear as outliers, closer to the edge. You can try it out yourself, with his program ChordGeometries. The program is made in Max/MSP/Jitter, and is available for both Mac and PC.

I find stuff like this hyper-intriguing. When I was a teenager, at least 100 years ago, I was very captivated in how to write music, how to measure and represent the quality of music. I still am, but I gave up trying to find something that worked for me so I made my own ways. Notes are frustratingly boring and limited to me. Scales and harmonic theories are fine for their use, but hopeless when mapping out the nuances of timbre. I spend just as much time fine-tuning samples first into multiband layers, and then adjusting transient separators as classical composers spend pondering their  violins harmonic structure. And the classical idiots get insanely higher sync rates for playing on radio. I tell you, YOUNG MAN, if I were to print out "note instructions" and my programmed automation they'd eat the pathetic 60 page symphony scores for breakfast.

Being that I had no formal music theory education I remember having a lot of heated arguments with classically educated classmates and friends. To me they were locked in a rigid system. Music is always a combination of frequencies and their relationship in four dimensions. And rhythm being super-fundamental to music, yet totally ignored in notation. I can't understand how one can represent rhythm accurately with the coarse note and timing values available in musical notation. Horror!

I therefore salute and heartily applaud Mr Tymoczko and his new ideas for harmonies. I think musical notation/representation really needs a kick in it's soggy ass, and if one can include string theory (I hearts) into the system - even better.


Skate-pocalypse Soon
Posted April 5th 2007, at 15:52 with tags , ,

How does it feel, knowing that you and your fellow humans will not be exterminated in a blaze of glory fighting a league of supremely intelligent Terminators.

Rather, the robot revolution will be the exact opposite. The human race will slowly disintegrate quite simply because when the robots reach adolescence, they stop doing the grunt work, and start slacking like any other teenager. As reported by Engadget, they are allready skating. Next up is tagging semacodes everywhere, while listening to emo-techno.

Transformers Movie Perhaps Also With Storyline
Posted April 3rd 2007, at 09:47 with tags , , ,

A picture says more than 1024 words. Awww so cute! Playing together on the highway. Tears in my eyes. Is there a que somewhere I can start camping out for tickets?

Even better, we are looking at more than 2 hours of überdestruction. Quote one of the actors:

Storyline? I think that should be a hidden bonus feature on the DVD.

Music 2.0 Is Go, DRM Is Dead, Future Is Now
Posted April 2nd 2007, at 19:22 with tags , , ,

Wow, this is BIG. This is great, this is major (duh...) this is RIGHT! I guess you all already know this, it even made the regular TV news here in Norway.

Apple (uff curz, I hearts) and EMI (what? those bastards!) launches DRM free music on the iTunes music store.

I shit you not this is SO important for music and the future of music. Expecially for fans and artists. I predict in the future, historians will look back on April 2nd, 2007, as the Day When Music Went Digital And Saved Itself.

Now I going to get seriously drunk and celebrate the imminent death of DRM and a bright future for myself. And tomorrow, with the worlds happiest hang-over start working on putting the Uncanny material on iTunes DRM free.

RIAA still going... but not so strong?
Posted March 30th 2007, at 13:37 with tags , , ,

Again, too much to say, too little time to type. I hereby http you:

The RIAA is still heading in the same direction as always, but not as easily as before, even if they don't seem to care about their reputation. Gizmodo's Boycott-The-RIAA month is over, they feature a wrap-up with comments from the EFF.

American universities refuse to cooperate and give up students suspected of file-sharing. Some even charge the RIAA for the time they waste dealing with the situation.

The RIAA are facing harder times in courts. Usual practice so far has been to sue someone, and then just drop the case if it turned out to be wrong/hard/difficult/idiotic. Leaving the innocent victims with incredible lawyer fees. Now judges are tired of these tactics and the RIAA cannot just drop cases, they must finish what they start even if it is bloody obvious they will loose. Effectively this means the RIAA must be more careful who they sue, they can't just shoot wildly and hope to hit something.

The RIAA decision-making flow-chart has been leaked.

And now for something to ponder over the weekend - the RIAA is conveniently evil. What would us poor, helpless internet dependent indie musicians have to complain about and unite us if the RIAA suddenly gave up...? If they suddenly turned around and released brilliant,  all-encompassing super-popular digital distribution? Would that be for the better?

The RIAA is The Dark Side but without The Dark Side there is no Star Wars. Are the RIAA a necessary evil?


Future now: Multi-touch
Posted March 30th 2007, at 13:02 with tags , , , , , ,

It is Friday and the sun is shining and the weekend looming and I'm travelling the next five days and my to-journal inbox is BURSTING with stuff. Shit you not, I am definitively a warm proponent of human cloning, the sooner the better, and the more I (then: we) will be able to do. But for the time being I just have to summarize, regarding a matter dear to my heart.

Multi-touch and interactive interfaces.

The future zooms closer and closer, and soon you can touch it. Take a http at the following.

Reactable, by the Music Technology Group at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona.


A multi-user electronic music instrument with a tabletop tangible user interface. Several simultaneous performers share complete control over the instrument by moving physical objects on a luminous table surface. Wonderful musical demonstration.

The Tangent



Diploma project by clever students at a Zürich university. Very interesting because they actually seem to think and attack the challenges that a multi-touch interface presents to the interaction principles in human-computer interfaces.

Perspective Pixel
by Jeff Han


Nice demo, but the PR text is so completely full of bullshit and buzzwords, it effectively writes off the creator as a sheepish idiot to me. Stop pretending you have invented the wheel and start explain your brilliant new take on USES of wheel. Because have you not heard of...

The iPhone and other Apple multi-touch patents

The iPhone itself is not directly related to musical interfaces, but the technology signals that Apple is headed in the multi-touch direction. The mad genius behind my favorite sequencer Logic (by Apple), Dr Gerhard Lengeling, has patented a bunch of musical multi-touch interfaces. The future of Logic, and OSX, is very exciting.

Now regarding all of these wondrous new things, I have a few thoughts. I have Lemur myself, it is fine for it's specific use (create customized interfaces to my particular workflow.)

Firstly, the most blatant obvious shortcoming of all these new toys, is LATENCY. The latency is CRAP. You cannot use it for ANYTHING that is rhythmically critical, that means performing live music with it. The response is sloooow. You can not work FAST with it. Lost me allready.

Second, amazement-factor versus longevity-factor. For how long do you think you bother standing upright waving your arms around, pretending you are in Philip K Dick screen adaption, when the alternative is 101 dedicated, fully context sensitive keys directly beneath your fingers. When you hit Cmd/Ctrl-C to copy something, you are... using wonderful  functional mature multi-touch. 

I work insanely faster with the oldskool multi-touch keyboard than with a mouse or the Lemur, and moving my whole arm just to adjust something is just stupid waste of time and energy. Also - relocating your eye focus is very consuming. I prefer layers of stuff on a small screen (think alt-tab abstract) as opposed to rotating my head or eye around looking for something (in a huge primitive mess).

And third. Many of these interfaces always show you ONE specific situation, where the location of the manipulated items always are close and immediate and probably pre-programmed. That is not the real world. How do you navigate not only between locations (it being folders in the OS, documents in a program, layers, tracks, open applications, plugin settings) but also between each and every element and its inherently different context? No fucking way I spend four hours fine-tuning a stupid filter frequency. I spend 3 seconds on it, and then move on. Using a computer does not mean doing one specific operation for a long time. It means doing zillions of small operations on zillions of different items, and every interaction between them. All of these demos linger forever on dead simple operations you wouldn't ponder for a second in real life. "Oh, let me step into my Google Earth Zoom Function Room to zoom a little into this map here. Back with more specific coordinates in 10. Stay tuned." Yawn. It is alt-tab, 8x(cmd-+), alt-tab, hello I'm back that was 1 second here you go.

And fourth. Do not underestimate tactile feedback. It means you can navigate controls without looking at them. Think of your cellphone. How would it feel navigating the phone if there where no mechanical response from the buttons? You would be unsure about every key-press and would have to wait for visual feedback. The iPhone is pretty but you have to give it full visual attention whenever operating it.

Multi-touch is a holy grail, but for the foreseeable future, it is mostly awesome techno-gimmicks except for highly specific customized situations. And your keyboard allready is an excellent multi-touch interface.

Not yet.

Gearlust: Musikmesse stuff
Posted March 30th 2007, at 10:06 with tags , , , , ,

I am very fond of THINGS, in particular music and sound generating things. Right now there is a huge Musikmesse in Germany, a yearly exhibit where new wonders are introduced and PR departments get to shine and yell for their 15 minutes.

For each year that passes I am becoming more and more jaded regarding music technology - in a world where everyone and their grandmutter can make beats in Fruityloops, the core musical ideas and soul of the sound itself are becoming ever more important and the technology ever more redundant.

But what is a mad professor without his laboratory equipment? There still is a little flame inside of me regarding sound technology, and a few selected announcements this year made it sparkle.

Ableton / Cycling 74 collaboration

Most interesting are the newly announced collaboration between Ableton and Cycling 74. The Abletons are the evil geniuses behind the revolutionary Live music performance software and Cycling 74 is the mad dogs behind the super-complex super-modular processing software Max/MSP.

My biggest concern* with Live is the lack of modularity and my biggest concern with Max/MSP is the horrible user interface - so in my regard, the collaboration seems like a match made in Germany.

(* Well that's actually not totally true, my biggest concern is the 128 parameter plugin limit, and no automation curves. But Live would be the BOMB with the modularity of Max/MSP.)


Secondly the Jazzmutants introduce a new version of their multi-touch interface Lemur, this one daftly named Dexter. I love my Lemur, but it takes much time to build and sculpt interfaces. Looks like the Mutants has thought of this, and introduce a bunch of new proprietary items in Dexter, as well as a few interface tweaks (zoom). This means you don't have to create your interface, the unit comes with ready-to-use control interfaces for all major DAWs.

Now - I personally do not find Dexter itself very exciting, but I think this means the Mutants will see better sales figures, and this means more $, which means more support and development for the Lemur.

EVO DJ mixer

Lastly, not überly super-interesting but still NICEEE, is the EVO digital DJ slash performance mixer from Ecler.

Quality in every part. Designed by none other than Giugiaro, the same guy that designs Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Bugattis and probably every car you ever wanted as a kid. I tell you, my cross-fade moves will accelerate from 0 to 100 in less than a nanosecond.

It also has a password feature for turning of the limiter. So you can't turn it up to 11 unless you know the password. How Spinal 2.0.

Robot Disposes Of Your Body
Posted March 29th 2007, at 12:13 with tags , , , ,

Ah, excellent work again, Tokyo Institute of Technology. Not only hard at work giving robots the ability to crush us, now the robots are also capable of disposing of the body after the crime.

Dear Tokyo Institute of Technology, perhaps a Cylon detector is in place for next years budget?

(Via Pink Tentacle.)


Posted March 28th 2007, at 12:35 with tags ,

Bad news.

My current excellent manager/advisor/guardian angel informed me last week that he won't be able to continue acting as my manager. Very sad news, he has done an excellent job the last year and seriously helped me with stuff I either hate or fear to do. His experience and network has opened many possibilities. But I perfectly understand his reasons and I fully support his choice. And he will still be around for reference and advice, it's not like he's going to Mars.

But it has practical consequences. I don't like practical consequences I prefer theoretical ones but anyway:

It means a lot of work falls back on me, and I loose time and focus from the most important things. Not because managing always is a lot of work, but it is a lot of decision-making based on experience, and patient political navigation. I hate shit like that, it makes me mad, mostly because there are so many crazy cumbersome established ways of doing incredibly simple things.

You spend five days writing a song and then five months doing the paperwork and contracts and filings and reports and THEN five more months fixing everything that everyone else screwed up in the first five months because they didn't do what you told them to do. So I do not have the patience and coolness for strategic planning (I hate chess, give me a crowbar).

Neither do I have the experience to understand the long term consequences of a decision, but I know that there WILL BE long term consequences, so I waste weeks thinking, pondering and investigating the outcome of often very simple situations. Time which should be spent otherwise.

Management is often the dead simple task of just saying NO to a lot of things. Which is a very easy job to do if you can say NO on behalf of someone, but incredibly tricky to do when you are declining yourself. Partly because I do in fact want to do everything in this world, partly because I want everybody to get what they want, and partly because I get excited about everything and do not want to miss any opportunities. From this perspective it is very convenient having someone with a larger view of things, being able to quite simply say NO.

A practical example of how having an active management has helped me indirectly the last 6 months, is this journal. The last year my manager really has relieved me of administrative and music-political work, and I finally got time to create and maintain it, even programming my own blog system to expand when needed. This became possible, partly because I got more time doing creative stuff, but also because I relax more when I have experienced people to fall back on.

Anyway. In all regards, bizniz continues as usual. The journal will be kept, and the album is still on track. Nothing has changed except the person doing it. I might have to postpone some projects, but I don't know yet, I have to see how things fan out. I'll manage somehow (hark hark hark...).


PS. I actually wrote this whole thing, and then did a spell check, and WTF NO SPELING MISTAKS!!! Must be a good sign I'm doing GREAT on my own!

Steampunk Star Wars
Posted March 28th 2007, at 12:04 with tags , ,

I love steampunk and I love Star Wars and that means I lovelove Steampunk Star Wars. It is obvious to me C3PO is the missing link between steampunk and sci-fi.

Made by Eric Poulton. Also kindly available for your desktop background benefit.

Surprise: RIAA most unpopular
Posted March 24th 2007, at 19:09 with tags , ,

Why am I NOT surprised. Scum-of-the-music-biz RIAA was voted the most unpopular company in 2006 in the USA by readers of The Consumerist.

Somehow though, I don't think that will stop them from continuing on their self-righteous path to kill music.


Piracy-Kills-Music Are Pirates Themselves
Posted March 23th 2007, at 21:00 with tags , ,

I had written a rather lengthy rant, but I will spare you the gory details and rude language. I need to cool off and rather just mention the main issue:

The Piracy Kills Music campaign has been mentioned earlier in my journal, you can read my opinion of it. Summarized: I'm not so sure about it. Anyway today I got the free CD they hand out to promote the campaign, and to my surprise I am listed in the booklet as a supporter. W-T-F?

I have never given my support for this campaign. In fact I have questioned the validity of their claims.

But my name is printed in the booklet. I don't like. I don't like at all.


How much do you believe in the campaign now? 

Robot Hand Crushes Humans Soda Can
Posted March 23th 2007, at 09:50 with tags , , , ,

Is that the human civilization I see crumbling like an empty soda can in a cybernetic robot hand?

Well done Tokyo Institute of Technology, handing (cough cough) robots the muscles to crush us.

The creepy Terminator hand prosthetic currently has half the strength of normal adult human male. I dearly hope not (or maybe I do...) that cybernetic hands follow Moore's law: Doubling in capacity every 18 months. That means in three years time your Windows Vista Genuine Advantage will reach out and grab you and break your fingers if you type the wrong Activation Key.

PS. I KNOW what you dirty "scientists" really are trying to make it do.

(Via Pink Tentacle.)

Stream Audio From Your Library To Your Cellphone
Posted March 23th 2007, at 00:53 with tags , , , ,

Yes, I know, you all marvel at my mad l33t photo5h0p skillz.

But pixelwhiz aside, the Wired Listening Post reports something I have been patiently waiting for.

I have a 3G phone, meaning I have theoretically 300 kbps http anywhere I go. In reality it's on average 200-250 kbps, good enough for Youtube and HQ streaming audio.

Now my Mac at home is on a WiFi link, always on, with the music library stand by. Why can I not simply sling any mp3 to my cellphone, in 192 kbps? The link is already there? I would even be satisfied with 160, or 128, just as long as I could access and stream anything from my home computer to my cellphone.

No need to copy things over. All I need is a thin client on the cellphone, navigating my library remotely and receiving the audio stream. Nokia, are you listening or passed out drunk in the sauna? Fuck connecting people, connect my phone with my iTunes library!

It is 1998 to fill up your ipod or zune or iriver or phone or thermos with gigs of music, stuffing duplicates in several places, when you just as easily should be able to stream whatever you want directly from your main library. Sling Media is already doing it for video.

Well, good news, a first step has been taken. Curiously enough it comes from a ghost of the past: WinAmp (now owned by digital rednecks AOL)  has announced a major new feature that lets anyone with a mobile phone or connected handheld access the music collection stored on their PC at home. You need to go thru your mobile browser to a Winamp portal (winamp.orb.com), which I then suppose is hooked to your home library.

Bravo! I would love to try it out but WinAmp is not supercompatible with my Powerbook. Now someone make this universally accesible on all phones and computers AT ONCE.


Steam: A Brilliant Example Of Future
Posted March 21st 2007, at 23:54 with tags , , , , ,

I love computers. I love computer games. I love not to wait for anything. And I love it when it is more convenient to purchase than to pirate, that makes me happy for an alternative to the dystopian RIAA strangled future. You see, I just had a great experience.

Background for experience: I just got more memory for my Dell Inspiron laptop. The main reason is because I am using Ableton Live for the Ugress live shows, and when playing multiple audio tracks together with full screen video on external monitor and providing sync for the other laptops, the poor bugger gets a nervous breakdown with only 512 MB. Usually at very embarassing moments in the show.

So I just slammed 2 gigs of random access memories into it. Of course I must check to see that it works. And what better scientific way to check the quality of my new silicon chips then by FRAGGING HEADCRABS! Die scum die!

Experience: So I install Steam. Takes 30 seeconds. Half-Life 2 Episode 1, come come, welcome to my HD lair. Purchase with Paypal, I don't even have to look for the stupid credit cards (which I most likely forgot in a bar somewhere anyway). Click, click, click. Download in 2 hrs. Play. Yes, eeeexcellent, seems like the RAM works fine.

This is brilliant, this is how the world should work! This is how one should get movies, music, games - when you want it, easy and at once and at comfortable prices. Steam even knows I already own HL-2, so I can download that too... no need to search for the long lost CD.

All I need to remember, is my email address.

I Is Not Afraid Of Woods Anymore
Posted March 21st 2007, at 01:32 with tags , , ,

Do I look like I know which berries are edible and which are poisonous? Do I look like I can fend off surprise attacks from rabies-infected hordes of blood-thirsty zombie mutant bears? Do I look like I know how to build a lodge (with fireplace, exclusive wine cellar and marble floors) out of just wet seaweed? Do I at all look like I would survive more than 2 hours without GSM coverage?

Why yes indeed. I just pop up my laptop and scan Youtube for keywords related to my predicament and see what MacGyver would do (that clip's how I would escape the zombie bears). Problem solved.

Because wherever I go, no matter how deep the forest or how high the mountain or how close to the edge of nothingness, I will always keep my Ecos Lifelink with me. It makes benefit me with clean water, http, and solar energy power.

Thank you for everything dear civilization, now goodbye. I take my leave and will forever be one with Teh Nature.

Virtual musical instruments
Posted March 19th 2007, at 09:44 with tags , , , , ,

I am currently researching and investigating the possibilities of creating musical objects in Second Life, preferably with connections to the real world. My idea being that I, or you, can participate in live shows or studio recordings via virtual instruments in Second Life. A simple example is a virtual keyboard, with playable keys that send real MIDI signals anywhere in the world. A more exciting example is that virtual gestures or movements from your avatar or objects you manipulate is translated into continuous controller messages for sculpting sounds in realtime.

Turns out to be more complicated than hoped for. The only output mechanisms in SL are email or http streams, can't seem to find any chance for local output from the client. I have to first create the objects in SL, which output data via HTTP, then write a small, efficient and low-latency web server for Max/MSP to pick up and data from the HTTP stream in realtime. Or I could screen-cap locally from SL with Jitter, using visual cues for Jitter to recognize intended triggers, this could work but only for on/off messages. In any case, a lot of workarounds that introduce evil latencies everywhere.

And then this slams into view from a totally unexpected angle:

It is a clip of a player in the MMORPG Lord Of The Rings Online : Shadows of Angmar, performing "Dust In The Wind" on guitar - in realtime. Players can buy musical instruments, and perform on them in realtime with their keyboard. The music system compensates for lag, allowing for bands to perform in sync.

Brilliant! Not exactly what I wanted, but in any case a huge push in the right direction and most inspirative.

Also this looks to be a good week. First thing Monday morning is a journal entry that contains the words "MIDI", "HTTP", "virtual" and "low-latency web server".

Very Cool Vinyl Record
Posted March 17th 2007, at 15:06 with tags , ,

It's made of ice.

Very cool.







Elder 2.0
Posted March 17th 2007, at 14:49 with tags , ,

What an adorable old lady. My new hero! I can't wait to grow old and be like her. Collecting my meager state pension every 20th, finally have time to read alle the books I want, and per chance Duke Nukem Forever is out by then?


Teh Ugressomobile
Posted March 15th 2007, at 20:22 with tags , , ,

Teh Ugressomobile!

From a wonderful assortment of other VW Beetle mods. Particularly love that spider-beetle next to the ugressomobile.

Copyright Your Motions Now
Posted March 14th 2007, at 03:07 with tags , , , , ,

Engadget reports on a new motion capture system which allows the motions of a performer to be recorded as-is with nothing more than a camera.

Previously one had to dress up like a misunderstood cyber-harlequin to have one's motions captured properly. Not anymore, now a computer (with smartypants software) does it all in realtime from normal footage. This new technology not only makes Andy Serkis sad and unemployed, but it has insane mind-blowing possibilities.

Imagine hooking up your $99 Logitech motion cam to your Second Life avatar for instant fluid true life gestures. Or controlling Duke Nukem without waving a wiimote around like a lunatic. Or even better - the way you snake-dance around on stage as an artist is digitally directly motion captured to your virtual representative in a live-synchronized James Cameron IMAX-killer virtual 3D concert submerging concert replication system.

Or even über-better -  imagine motion cams with GPS RFID chips everywhere there is CCTV, on every street corner, in every building, on your laptop, in your cellphone. Combined with the new top-secret Google Motion Capture Satellite Skycams hooked up to a Second Life world-map generated from actual geodata off Google Earth.

You could watch everyone in world - exactly where they are, exactly what they are doing. Then pipe it simultaneously with GPS coordinates of nearby Dugg events via Yahoo Pipes. And remix it to your liking. Ah, world as one wants it.

Ouch darn there goes my brain overflow error, have to reboot. I hope the future is closer when I'm back.

Kosmonaut video stills
Posted March 12th 2007, at 22:22 with tags No tags.
Lookie lookie.

There is a bunch of production stills from the Kosmonaut music video posted in the journal.

In Soviet Russia, Space Travels To Kosmonaut
Posted March 12th 2007, at 14:46 with tags , , , , , ,

OMGMM CCCP DR00L! For your exclusive super advantage we present these hyper-intriguing production stills from the Ugress Kosmonaut video.

Who is the general? What is the relation to the masked ballerina? Why did the Soviet Empire crumble just when breakdance started rumble? And what really happened to the moon?

Most kindly supplied from Yesbox, the most tireless producers (dir. Svein Sund).

Your eyes benefit only. Video status: A few more weeks of postprod sweat.

Rare touch-screen footage from Uncanny Labs
Posted March 10th 2007, at 15:22 with tags , , , , , , ,

What a scoop! Footage from Uncanny Labs smuggled past security for yourtube benefit!

A rare and most intriguing peek at what goes on behind the nuclear-proof walls of Uncanny Labs.

What you see is one of the genetically cloned lab assistants playing beautiful haunting sounds with our very own custom built "Bumpalizer" interface for the Lemur touch-screen controller. Why play stupid real guitars when you got virtual balls?

The balls you see bumping happily around are indeed exceptionally virtual, triggering sound via MIDI when they hit a wall. By adjusting the sliders at the lower part of the interface, the performer can control the tune of each ball.

The sound you hear are also quite non-existant: It is generated by virtual strings in the physical modelling synth Sculpture in Logic, pictured to your right. Oh, and the MIDI signal is virtual too - it is transported over Ethernet. No MIDI cables were hurt in this experiment.

The future is here now, we can't see no spoon.

R2D2 going postal
Posted March 9th 2007, at 11:45 with tags ,

"Dear Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Please help me. I am mailing you this hand written letter. The holographic projector on this USPS R2D2 unit is just wishful thinking. Also the unit cannot move. Actually, it is not a real R2D2, it is just a painted mailbox. But it is totally awesome anyway. I hope you are well.









Internet Radio In Trouble
Posted March 8th 2007, at 20:19 with tags , , , , ,

I never listen to oldskool airwave radio, except when in cabs being forced listening to horrible mindless popmuzac slash boring news channels. I prefer the individous choice of streaming net radio.

Among my favourites is the über-excellent selection presented by Soma.FM as well as the ultimate soundtrack radio Streaming Soundtracks. For nostalgic reasons I could fire up Monkey Radio, or go even further back into magic 8 bit realms with Kohina. If none of those pleases the moment, a quick http over to shoutcast.com has me fixed.

But not anymore if the ever-evil RIAA has their way. Thru their own creation SoundExchange they have proposed new royalty rates for online radio in the US, which in the long run effectively kills the small, online, indie radio channels.

Is it only me or does it look like everything I think is cool with the Internet is constantly under attack? Don't even get me started on net neutrality.

Anyway - Save Internet Radio has a post regarding the situation, with facts and explanations for why the new rates are trouble. And they have suggestions to fight it.

For me as an artist the single thing I can do is to provide release forms for the radio channels. This provides the radio channel the right to play my music without paying any royalties. It doesn't make me any money, but indie radio is a critical vein in the music organism. Thanks RIAA, you are continuously screwing up everything for everyone except your own fat ugly money-loving ass.


Piracy kills music?
Posted March 5th 2007, at 14:21 with tags , , ,

If you find yourself in this remote little outpost of Europe called Norway, you might have heard of the PiracyKillsMusic campaign, initiated mostly by the Norwegian recording industry. It is also supported by a bunch of mindless bands/artists that come across to me as more concerned about their next fix than the state of the biz.

Piracy is not good. I agree. Conscience and information regarding possibilities and responsibilities in a digital world is important.

Being honest is also important. Making up facts and presenting them as overwhelming evidence is not smart.

I have been trying to get in touch with PiracyKillsMusic since the campaign started a few weeks ago, but have not been able to get any response. I would like to know more, especially since they seem to know it all. They bring up important issues, and I agree with them on a few points. Piracy is a problem. But they also state a few questionable claims, and do not list any sources or references for backing them up.

For example, my translation: "There are overwhelming evidence that file-sharing hurt music sales, and in the end hurts musical innovation". Now I personally strongly disagree with that statement, and I would very much like to see the overwhelming evidence they claim is behind it. I know of contrary evidence and my experience also disagree. But I do not get any reply from neither the campaign itself nor Gramart, the artist organization also behind it.

I might be jumping to early conclusions here, but I love rocket-jumping to early conclusions. I think they do not want to answer those questions. Because 1) "who the fuck is this guy" and 2) they made it up. And 2) is very very dangerous. They are only hurting the future of music if they are lying or making up facts. Even if some other statements in the campaign are valid, they are rendered invalid by the false ones.

So, for the record, I do not support that campaign. I strongly recommend focusing on the Gizmodo Anti-RIAA campaign instead.

Uncanny Planet presents: Nebular Spool
Posted March 1st 2007, at 21:38 with tags , , ,

My delicious own record company Uncanny Planet Records is proud to announce the digital release of Nebular Spool. Lofi retro-organic digital steampunk - sounds of dead dreams and begone futures.

Or that is what we think it is supposed to be. We don't know much about Nebular Spool, it is all quite the mystery to us. One early morning we came into office, and a letter we hadn't seen before was already there on the floor. If this had been a film noir this would not surprise us at all, but actually this is Western Norway, 2007 and it is quite impossible to slip anything under the door. It is well insulated.

Inside the envelope was a single, dirty DVD, marked "Nebular Spool", containing a few audio files (in .snd format) and a plain text file (Unix line ends). This is the contents of the text file:

I much only walk alone, not much choice… Everyone differently now dead. On one of my solitary voyages to the ruins of urban landscape I found a half of portable computer buried in sand. It was rusted and full with the scratches, the broken screen, but it seemed intact.

I brought back it to the laboratory and indeed it started with the power starting from my generator. The computer was full with the noises and with strange samples, loosely organized together in the folders called hidden. There was also a visual file of television, one documentary about the fall of civilization. I think that it has mockumentary, because the details of the apocalypse in the documentary one were far from my own experiment and it was full with the fictitious characters. I organized the noises in with formed album and now I listen to this music when I walk my long voyages along the abandoned roads.

A madman, clearly. Or madwoman. No idea about the reason for giving it to us. Perhaps the person WANTS to live on an Uncanny Planet. Or actually comes from one. But fantastic music, and what better time to release these wonderful sounds, but now in the Anti-RIAA month of March 2007? Instead of buying that super swell mindless major release you've been eyeing, download this for free instead. We can't charge for anything of this, we don't know who wrote it or who is behind it. So just get it before someone from the future comes back to claim it.



March - Boycott The RIAA Month
Posted March 1st 2007, at 13:39 with tags , , , ,

Gizmodo the super excellent gadget and technology blog has declared March the Boycott RIAA month, and I strongly support it. 

Read the Gizmodo Anti-RIAA manifesto. It is an overview of what RIAA does, why it is damaging and how to stop it. We can stop it.

For me as an artist the most important issue in this battle is DRM. DRM must die. It is the largest and most painful obstruction for a beautiful future of digitally distributed music.

I'm not advocating piracy, not at all, I detest pirates. Mostly my concern is organized piracy, but piracy on a personal level is not cool either.

Actually, sometimes people come up after gigs and boast about how they downloaded the album of a file-sharing server, and how cool is that, hey? Dear asshole-of-insane-proportions, I have news for you.

It is not cool. You, sir, are a mindless fool. I do not support that at all. I understand it happens, but I do not condone it, I cannot. You come across as a shortminded idiot, not as much because you actually did it, that could be understood, but mostly because you are socially stupid enough to brag directly to me about it. You are flat out telling to my face that you stole my album. It is not much money, neither of us would perish over the amount of money lost. But you are indeed coming across to me as a cheap asshole, and then you want a cellphone shot and how about party at your place? Dear sir, please remove yourself from my sight. You have seriously fucked up morals.

Sorry for that outburst, it does happen and it bugs me. But - I do not sue wildly left and right because of it. The person doing it is an idiot, yes, but the idiot is not the problem. Humans are silly creatures and generally must be convinced without being aware of being convinced to do the right thing. Humans do not pirate because they are evil, they pirate because they are lazy and piracy is easier than honesty.

I have to provide a better solution so people would not want to pirate. Unfortunately I am part of a music biz that is heading towards the opposite of my opinion, making everything more complex and difficult and protected and controlled. And the control is not left in the hands of the artists. That is why I think the Gizmodo Anti-RIAA manifesto is important, and why I support it, and why you should.

Read the manifesto and see how you can do your part.

Renoise 1.8 released
Posted February 28th 2007, at 16:37 with tags , , , ,

My favourite tracker Renoise is finally out in version 1.8. New features are the ability to sample directly from any input, and a channel mixer - a sorely needed addition to any tracker today IMO. Renoise is an excellent tracker, especially since it is available for OSX.

I understand the superhero-developers have made a lot of changes under the hood, to make way for fundamentally new features. One thing I really wish for, is to get rid of that stupid tick timing mechanism, still hanging over from oldskool trackers. I have always found it incredibly inelegant to run patterns in 800 BPM just to get the necessary speed for certain modulations.

My hope is that the Renoise team continue making Renoise into a super-powerful sampler, which is what trackers really are. I prefer working completely ITB with Renoise, using it as a song and soundwriting tool, and then export the result for further processing in Logic.

Live video
Posted February 27th 2007, at 22:22 with tags No tags.
Hey check benefit the youtube quicktime goodness!

There is a 2 minute excellent video mashup of this weekend's live gig at University of Aas in my blog.

The Sweet Fragrance Of Decisions
Posted February 27th 2007, at 15:11 with tags , , ,

Aaah, can you scent it. The wonderful, subtly delicious bouquet of great decisions.

The date for Ugress 3 has been set.

I won't disclose it yet, but considering the Anno Dominis of the previous releases and the numerical system utilized in the Ugress logo, I  would say there clearly is a wonderful mathematical formula behind the Ugress release system.


Ugress Live Aas Video
Posted February 25th 2007, at 23:33 with tags , , , ,

Here is a quick mashup of the live cams from the last gig at University of Aas. Everything you see is taken either from the camera or from the live video feed at the same moment. So what you see is what you get when experiencing Ugress Live.

Or rather, what you see is a horrible Youtube encoding of DV video.

As you can see, or just don't bother but you know it anyway, Youtube makes it look like shit, so I put up a marvellous extra good super quicktime version for download. 320x240, encoded in H264, approx 30 megs.

Anyone want to sponsor us with HD cams?


Ugress Live Kills All Technology Die Die
Posted February 24th 2007, at 11:34 with tags , , , , ,

Dear journal, excuse the lack of attention the last few days.

I've been so insanely busy prepping yesterday's live show at the University in Ås. When we finally got to the airport hotel early this morning after the show, I had been awake for 44 hours - yes that is 2 times 22 hrs. No rest for wikkid mad sonic scientizts.

There has been a lot of changes to the live show lately and as usually it turned out to be much more work putting it all together than anticipated, but well worth it. I have much to report and document - this gig was the craziest in a long time.

We introduced 8 video monitors on stage in addition to the usual huge backdrop projection screen. The monitors run a different video feed than the projector so we now have two independent video feeds synchronized to the music with surgical precision. In addition we had an electromagnetic pulsating sphere, reagent test tubes with mysterious reagents, smoking laser gun and the usual arsenal of infrafred motion synths.

And it was so totally awesome, it melted the audience like lava melts glaciers. We even managed to crash one of the monitors (unintentionally, it was knocked over during Binary Code, how ironic) and fry another (it short circuited, probably from stage fright).

The burning electronics set off the smoke alarm which automatically killed the power which again killed everything full stop silent dark in the middle of Reason To Believe. We had to wait for 15 minutes before power came back. Ugress Live has turned into a game of life and death for electronics, I think something has broken or crashed or died every time the last 5 concerts.

We taped the whole shebang with two cams, check this journal entry with Youtube clip and a tasty quicktime download.



Financial Times DRM poll
Posted February 19th 2007, at 11:23 with tags , , ,

The Financial Times is having an online poll with the simple question: Should music companies drop DRM? Yes / No.

As of right now, Monday noon in Europe, 3000 beautiful souls have said Yes and 79 (probably Doug Morris' Myspace friends) said No.

I suggest you hypernavigate over and voice your opinion. This is one place the fat ugly bling bling label orcs actually might hear you.

A little monsoon
Posted February 17th 2007, at 22:22 with tags No tags.
Starved for smooth exotica beats?

Here you go, we just cooked together a little exotica mashup, to help you thru this horrible Norwegian winter.

Weekend Monsoon Escapism
Posted February 17th 2007, at 17:38 with tags , , ,

I need to get away, I'm tired of the grey Norwegian winter. So I escape into old exotica thrift LPs, and suddenly stumble upon a beautiful little piece by the legendary Martin Denny.

A simple and haunting little melody, that is all I need to immediately teleport away on a magic trip to India of colonial yore. Ah, the gin tonics, the white spots on the map!

This is too good to enjoy alone with my drink.

So I just EQ it up, slap on some smooth beats, FX and carefully spice it with a subtle loop here and there, to make it presentable for the 2000ies. Now enjoy my tiny dose of weekend mashup escapism:

Ugress - A Touch Of Monsoon (160 kbps mp3).

I hate cars
Posted February 16th 2007, at 23:06 with tags , , , ,

I hate cars. But I love robots. I hate commercials. But I love animation.

Based on those premises I am truly doubtful about journaling this animated commercial of a robot and a car. It contains good and evil.

But since it also includes the robot skating, and a reference to We Love Katamari, I approves.

PS. Dig the baldachin underwear.

Return From The Planet Of HTTP Creatures
Posted February 15th 2007, at 21:03 with tags , , ,

Great news.

As you probably can see, in case you are one of the two returning visitors to this journal, I am back from my expedition  into the gruesome innards of HTTP. And what trophies I can present!




Perhaps you would like to be left alone, to admire these precious gems in privacy. I'll be in the bar, numbing my nightmares of the innumerable IE 6 encounters with alcohol.


Gollum Sings Barry White - Mashup
Posted February 15th 2007, at 17:04 with tags , , , ,
This wonderful magical mashup will possibly never happen in the bleak dystopian future of DRM-ified locked up media.

Enjoy the 2000ies, because when you tell your (copyrighted) kids about those crazy webolescence years, they quite simply won't believe you. They won't be able to imagine single individuals making great art without being executed by the local RIAA Citizen Copyright Compliance Force.

RIAA "amazon-izes" file-sharing lawsuits
Posted February 14th 2007, at 22:20 with tags , ,

The RIAA bling bling orcs has suddenly realized that suing left and right is not the smartest way to fix the music biz. So they sit down, think it over, and come up with AN EVEN MORE STUPID IDEA.

They get ISPs to do the dirty work for them. RIAA has sent a letter to ISPs, where they ask ISPs to help them track down subscribers who file-share. The ISP then communicate with the subscriber directly on behalf of RIAA, preferably making them settle out of court. The settlement can be fixed thru RIAAs new website P2PLawsuits.com.

ISP do the gruntwork and become the new unpopular kid. RIAA just sits back, saves money on evil lawyers and cash in the dough thru their website. The whole process is almost like shopping on Amazon.

The RIAA probably realized they were coming across as a grumpy, clueless organisation, so they tried really hard to "modernize" their anti-file-sharing campaign. They think that means "amazon-izing" it.

Fittingly, the RIAA website had ads for file-sharing software plastered all over it...

(Via Recording Industry vs People. But it's been all over the tubes.)

Mad TV-chef cooks awesome beats
Posted February 12th 2007, at 13:30 with tags , ,

This süperb british chef cooks up awesome beatbox breakbeats on his kitchen. When I get my own mansion this guy is hired.

Take-away martinis
Posted February 12th 2007, at 13:21 with tags ,

Being a very busy mad scientist on the verge of evil genius means I do not have much time to waste lounging in sophisticated clubs with beautiful women (or robots, or mutant clones, or any combination of the three).

There's always some experiment-turned-monster on the loose, or treasured samples to be hunted down in dusty old cellars or plain simple mad schemes to execute.

Metropolitan Martinis to the rescue. Mystique Brands offers take-away Martinis, readily premixed and packed in twos with a peel-off top. They even come in crazy chemical colours.

Now before you whip out your credit card and ruin yourself on portable drinks, be sure to educate yourself properly - Days That End In Y has an excellent and thourough review of the product.

Yahoo! Pipes - a glimpse of tomorrow
Posted February 9th 2007, at 17:31 with tags , , ,

You MUST check out benefit Yahoo Pipes (beta). It is a free online service that lets you remix popular feed types and create data mashups using a visual editor. You can also use your own or any other feeds.

Here is a pipe I made: I took the RSS feed of this journal, and content analyzed it. This gives a keyword for each post, like the post "What sci-fi writer am I" returns the keyword "sci-fi". Then, I pipe this data into Google, search the web with that keyword. THEN, i content analyze the returned articles from, returning yet another keyword, and this keyword is used to pick out images from Flickr.

See the GMM RSS - Google - Flickr remix!

Click "Run this pipe" to see the results. You probably have to click it several times, the first few runs always return "No pipe results". I usually have to try 4-5 times before it hooks into the hyperpipes and starts delivering. Just hit it a few times and the Flickr goodness appears.

Look at that, those are images connected with my interests. The images are based on what other on the internet write around the same concepts that I do. Oh the connections! This is incredibly interesting, my brain is tingling with anticipation. You can make your own mash-ups and remixes, imagine this service when it includes streaming audio and video!

Now you are thinking in Portals.

Download vs file-share
Posted February 9th 2007, at 17:30 with tags , , , ,

The Wired Listening Post brings an important matter up: The confusion and mix-up of the terms downloading and file-sharing, especially by major media outlets.

In general, the RIAA lawsuits are not brought against people because they download illegal music. It is because they file-share that downloaded music (or ripped music). That means, someone else has downloaded the music from them.

I'm pretty sure I'm guilty of mixing up the terms myself, mostly because I haven't been focused on the terms, and also I'm often so agitated and determined when writing about the RIAA and their file-sharing lawsuits, that I forget to double-check my sources. That is not smart of me but at least I'm right and their wrong. And sometimes it is tricky to get to the real truth behind a newspaper coverage, like in this article about a man being sued for downloading 5 tracks. The article states "downloaded", but does that mean downloaded, or that he file-shared those 5 tracks?

But, as I have mentioned before, I think this is part of RIAAs intention - to create fear for downloading. The RIAA benefits from a media confusion around downloading/file-sharing/piracy, they benefit from people being afraid of digital music - because the RIAA is not needed in a future where music is digital.

HTTP expedition enters Private Beta Phase
Posted February 7th 2007, at 17:29 with tags , ,

I'm in the process of writing my own journal publishing system, and need assistance fighting the cruel HTTP monsters.

The system I'm working on, with comments and tags and other beautiful hyper-beasties, is about to go into a private beta. I need a few external people to write comments, snoop around and check that stuff works outside the lab. The contents is the same as this journal, all my current posts and upcoming ones, but with commenting and tags enabled.

If you an adventurous spirit, experienced in facing horrible unspeakable html bugs and interested in helping out, send an email to gisle at martensmeyer dot com. Beta starts this weekend I hope. It must, I dont have time to work on it anymore.

Update Feb 9th: Thanks to all who volunteered, you will receive an email this weekend. The system is approx ready and usable, I just have to slap on some CSS to make it look usable.

The Day DRM Stood Still
Posted February 7th 2007, at 15:47 with tags , , , , , ,

What an exciting week! A lot has happened today around the world. Remember my New Years Speech prediction about DRM and 2007?

I'm not going to spell it out, just report a few incidents of today, and let you ponder what's going on.


First, just a few random picks of what todays music biz activity. The RIAA (the record labels industry association) claim that the CDs should cost much much more than they actually do. They claim that CD prices has not followed inflation. Read Techdirts article for why this is silly economics.

Then, as mentioned here several times, RIAA and IFPI are running a scare campaign, suing everyone and their mutter for downloading theoretically something illegal, not because suing them will fix anything, but to scare others from using digital music. Now finally a blow against the bling-bling orcs: A wrongfully sued defendant (and there are many of them) countersued, and now RIAA must pay her legal fees.

This should theoretically stop them from suing wildly left and right, but, uh-uh. The RIAA happily continue by suing a man for downloading 5 (five) songs.

If anything it is blindingly obvious to me that the recording music industry are not only shooting themselves in their own feet, they are using a bazooka and looking down the rear end of it while firing.
Digital music is a big part of the future, and both the recording industry and we as artists should be working on a smooth system that benefits consumer, artist and the technology involved. Don't sue your customers because they jumped on a better technical solution before you thought of it.

Ah but one question springs to mind. Do we really need a recording industry, if everything goes digital? No we don't, at least not in the form it has existed the last 70 years. That is why RIAA, IFPI and all instances in the music biz that earn their income from the physical product (not the music itself), is fighting so hard, and futile, against the digital future. They are redundant in it.


The first nail in the DRM coffin: Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Inc, the maker of iPods and iTunes and the largest retailer of digital music, today states in an open letter that the death of DRM is the only solution for digital music. He explains that the current iTunes DRM in place is a demand of the major labels, and a pain in the ass for everybody.

Of course Mr Jobs has economic self-interests and is not out to "save music" per se. He wants to save iTunes from the current European anti-iTunes-DRM brawl, and likely maneuver it into an even better market position. I'm not sure I'm happy about an iTunes monopoly. But in my opinion Jobs points directly at the source of the problem, and he speaks out about it. An action that people in his position should do more. Bravo.

My Powerbook shines proudly right now.


Industrial Turntable Scratch Robot
Posted February 5th 2007, at 20:36 with tags , ,

When the robots take over the world, and in the process turn my tender organic mass into a sad heap of crushed bones and wasted DNA, I pray by the flying spaghetti monster, that my executioner will be one of these. Or both at once.

Some total evil genius has programmed two Kuka industrial robots to scratch vinyl. They can pick up different records, put them on the turntable, and scratch, independently. When the humans are gone the beat keeps rocking.

Posted February 4th 2007, at 15:32 with tags , ,

This webpage is rigged.

Journey To The HTTP Planet, Update
Posted February 2nd 2007, at 15:08 with tags , ,

 Journal entry Februar 2nd,

I can report excellent progress so far. We have encountered less obstacles than expected, and apart from a few surprising encounters with the nasty MySQL connection options critters, everything seems to go en route.

Below is a picture taken at the camp site we are currently resting.

As you perhaps can make out from the awesome view on the next photo, we are currently at the Valley Of Blog Entry Editor, and generally the spirits are high! There is nothing better than staking out your own path and creating the optimal system exactly as you want it.


FlashFlashRevolution features Manhattan Sapphire
Posted February 2nd 2007, at 10:13 with tags , , ,

Manhattan Sapphire is this weeks spinfile in the online Flash game SpinItUP! available on the excellent FlashFlashRevolution website. The game is a Flash take on the gaming style popularized by the likes of Dance Dance Revolution.

I have to confess I utterly suck at the game but that doesn"t matter because the MUSIC is awesome.

FlashFlashRevolution has permission to use more of my stuff, so work up those FlashFlash skillz.

CHAOS robot will probably create... that
Posted February 1st 2007, at 15:17 with tags , ,

The first 40 seconds of this clip is not very alarming. Aww how cute! They even look friendly, letting humans ride piggyback.

But from 00:50 and out I start becoming nervous. Can you imagine a crowd of these coming for you, stopping at nothing, relentlessly pushing their way over sticks, stones, and human bones. Towards total human annihilation. No amount of Linden dollar will buy off these bots.


Journey Beyond The Planet Of HTTP Creatures
Posted January 28th 2007, at 15:22 with tags , ,

Journal entry January 28th,

I am about to enter unknown territory. What lies ahead is not known to any man, beast or para-psycho-somatic entity. I might not come out alive. I will definitively come out as a changed person. I will probably be silent, introvert and reluctant to talk about things. I will start crying for no apparent reason. I will be a marked man. Common and everyday words like table, border and xhtml-validation-scheme will send me into a frozen state, and the slightest sight of Internet Explorer will trigger a raging berserk.

I am about to travel into the innards of HTTP.

The expedition could be code-named "ugress.com version 4.0", but that is only a small part of the expedition and its exotic destinations. My whole Uncanny Planet syndicate of webs and tubes will see digital surgery and Frankensteinification.

I will not find neither rest nor satisfaction until I return with an entanglement of interconnected xhtml validated diamonds. There are certain treasures I must add to my wwws, amongst them the long sought after blog comment system, and a web-shop for both digital and physical goods. Perhaps also the legendary "gopher", a protocol so obscure and treasured, that most is not aware of it"s existence, yet alone ever seen it in use.

There is great chance the hypertubes will implode upon me, so I therefore take this last chance before lunacy takes me:

It has been nice. I hope we meet again.

Yours, at the edge of hypertext darkness,

Myself as bunch of Ugress Mosaic pictures
Posted January 27th 2007, at 02:04 with tags , , , ,

I upped a bunch, and by bunch, I mean shitloads, of Ugress photos to the Uncanny Planet Flickr account. You can now spend many hours surfing them and see promos, photos and our own cellphone shots from the last few years.

Why am I so generous? Not because I am nice, which I am, but because I was going to make this awesome mosaic of myself based on Ugress photos. Check it! Download the über-hires version (many pixels * many pixels) and zoom in and out and up and down and verify that indeed, me myself and I is made up of poopillions of the Flickr Ugress pictures. Gosh!

Now ponder my brilliance and geniality for a minute, and then pick your jaw up from the keyboard and realize that everything is possible on the interhttps today. You can even do it yourselbst with a single image in your Flickr account, because the service lets you pick source material from anyones public images. Gosh 2.0!

Best wishes for the weekend, which you now most likely are going to spend infront of your .com-puter,

Oh, look, I did a few more ones after the jump!

Free Jimmy progress (or lack of...)
Posted January 25th 2007, at 15:23 with tags , ,

As some of you living here amongst the polar bears might have noticed - the Free Jimmy DVD is out in Norway and there is no Ugress remixes to be seen or heard. What"s up with that?

When we started talking about the score remix I understood the initial plan was to release the soundtrack simultaneously with the DVD. That was also my intention and I worked a lot on the remixes in November and December, so I could deliver for a Januar release. But I never got any deadline, nor any signed contract or agreement, so now every thing"s kinda waiting for all that.

So for the time being the remixes are, like Jimmy, loose on the moors looking for dope.

It might not come as a surprise, in case you didn"t know, that the movie is 3-4 years delayed so far and way over budget. But that is totally in character with the movie, and it"s a gem no matter how many delays there are.

Indie labels gather to create new major
Posted January 24th 2007, at 15:24 with tags , , , ,

Merlin is the name for a "virtual major label", created a few days ago at MIDEM by a huge bunch of independent labels. It"s so fresh it even hasn"t gotten it"s own Wikipedia entry yet (I"m not sure that is a good sign...) but if this succeeds, it will be the "fifth" major, and possibly the largest.

Separately, indie labels are microscopic compared to the four majors (Sony BMG, EMI, Universal, Warner), but combined they represent 80 percent of new music releases, while the majors keep spitting out their back-catalogue on new DRM infected media.

Theoretically this Merlin thing is brilliant. This new "major" is nothing physical, it is just representative for all the involved indies. Merlin does not distribute, or own anything, but represent.

This is needed when for example negotiating royalties and rights for online music sales. Let"s say you run an online music store, let"s call it uTunes. If you want people to use uTunes, you probably would like to have all the music in the world available. That means talking to four majors, and 42 051 431 small indie labels. Or, in reality, you talk to the four majors and they decide for you, and uTunes ends up being yet another major money printer.

With a fifth major label representing the 42 051 431 indies, not only will this new major be able to negotiate for all the indies at once, making the process VERY simple for uTunes, but due to it"s size it is also able to negotiate better deals. Sounds good.

It almost sounds too good to be true. Now I have tried digging out more info on this new "major", but there isn"t much available yet. And I"m not convinced. I"m not super happy about macro-solutions, and centralizing power like this. Of course the indie labels keep their independence within Merlin, that is not what I"m worried about. Do we need really need a new major? Who is running this? Is it a democracy? How do the labels decide and agree on Merlin"s policies?

I dunno.

I really hope this is a step in the right direction. Maybe something like this needed to fight the majors, who I truly believe are killing music right now with their weapons of music destruction; RIAA and IFPI.

So my current take on this; I"m on the fence. I gladly welcome Merlin, but he"d better pull some nice tricks before I"m convinced. And he"d better not appear in my lower right corner when I"m printing something.

Via ArsTechnica.

Smash My Amiga
Posted January 21st 2007, at 22:22 with tags No tags.
We sacrificed vintage computers on our last gig. It was worthy of it's own obituary-ttp. Enjoy www.smashmyamiga.com!

Smash My Amiga - dot com
Posted January 21st 2007, at 15:26 with tags , , , , ,

A few days ago I had a gig with my band Ugress at Garage, Bergen, a private gig for a company releasing a new kind of snuff. A closed event at a small club, nice and easy. And if you remember, a few weeks ago my precious Amiga died.

Dead computers are still beautiful computers, so I used is a prop onstage. And what do you know, while hammering out b-b-beats right next to it (more on this in the next entry), suddenly a strong impulse overtakes me.

The domain name probably gives a clue as to the specifics of the impulse. I hereby proudly hyperpoint you to: www.smashmyamiga.com.

Sweet TV repair flash with Ugress music
Posted January 17th 2007, at 15:27 with tags , , , , ,

Make benefit check out this DIY TV repair flash animation by sysrq868. Fixing your tube is not always a romantic adventure with happy ending.

I had no idea about this, thanks to John Q. for the tip. I love it when things like this pop up, out of the blue. It is very flattering and inspiring. I put out some tracks on the http webs and forget about it. But sometime, somewhere, someone takes it further, and it comes back to me, like this flash now.

Its like publishing the tracks means they start living on their own, they leave the nest. They can become hideous monsters or beautiful flowers, I don"t really care. The Frankenstein effect is more important than the Frankenstein result. As anyone who loves a B-movie knows; the beauty lies not in the appearance or the box office result, but in the je-ne-sais-quoi of the B-moment.

WHAT am i talking about? I"d better fix my own tubes.
Update Apr 25th 07: Link to sysrq868, tags.

Ugress album turning point
Posted January 16th 2007, at 15:29 with tags ,

Today I decided THAT"S IT. I"ve been working on the next Ugress album for well over a year (473 days, to be exact). When starting I made myself some criteria, and the last couple of days I think finally most of them has been met.

So the process of creating, writing and trying out new stuff is theoretically over. Now it is time to revise the material, pick out the potential album tracks, potential singles, potential collaborators and what, how, who, where, why to do with them. And of course, then to do it. The two worst words in a procrationists vocabulary.

I have 114 (!) sketches, that means individual tracks with potential to be independent songs. Just counted them and made a beautiful spreadsheet table, worthy of drop shadow border. They range from finished pieces, as released on the EPs, to small skits and musical wireframes waiting for vocals and instrumentalists. I was surprised at the huge number of workable items, I didn"t think it was that much.

And when taking this step back and getting an overview, I am even more surprised by the variety of it. There are even some major chords. Naturally there is a lot of junk, but it is very promising junk, I already scraped the worst out, I probably wrote around 200 sketches in total. Some of the material is natural to dump into side-projects like SOTB, PixxelTyger, Ninja 9000 and film music but first and foremost I have worked with the next Ugress album in mind, and now I will focus intently on it.

I also think I have found the main idea, or concept if you will, for the album. Perhaps even the title. The current concept I have cooked up has stuck in my mind for quite some time, and doesn"t seem like such a bad thing even after thorough and critical scrutiny. Some ideas wane quickly, but this one seems sticky. It just grows more and more exciting. I don"t want to go into details in this entry, I know by experience how quickly plans can evolve and deviate when set in motion. I hope to be able to document the process as closely as possible in my journal.

But I can already now promise Something Else And Much Better Than All The Other Homogeneous Crap Out There. That is one of the most important criteria I set for this next album, or myself in general, and it is more important than immediate commercial success. Naturally I would prefer it all, but if I must choose, originality and quality must prevail. That is of course easy to say, even easier to type, and it sounds very noble. But it is very hard to live.

Ah, the smell of huge words and risky adventure. I always find sharky, uncharted waters the most inviting!

World War 3.0 approaches
Posted January 12th 2007, at 15:44 with tags , ,

The swedish pirate / bittorent / filesharing organization Pirate Bay is trying to buy Sealand, a very small country in the North Sea outside UK (actually it"s just a rusty platform). If they manage to pull it off, Pirate Bay will (theoretically) not be subject to any copyright laws since they could write their own. In Notepad.

Now add RIAAs latest eBay purchase, and World War 3.0 is go.


Soon after RIAA blows up Pirate Sealand, civil torrent war breaks out in most western countries, and this quickly escalates to a full blown war, especially when globocop US and A feels the need to intervene anywhere and everywhere and introduce "stable copyright" and "consumer protection", so American film and music companies can continue releasing old material on new formats with special directors commentary track, demanding customers re-purchasing entertainment they already own on the new format. Ordnung muss sein.

What worries me, as an artist, is that as of right now I have a hard time telling who is this war"s evil nazis? Pirate Bay or RIAA?

Posted January 11th 2007, at 15:47 with tags No tags.

Me wants so badly, now now now now noooow!
But WTF. No 3G?

C64 laptop beats the crap out of sissy iPhone
Posted January 11th 2007, at 15:46 with tags , ,

This is so exceptionally awesome I am still fumbling around on the floor looking for my jaw. This the only PDA you will ever want. Take out the innards of a C64 DTV, add some keyboard and LCD, put in box. Runs on batteries.

Unfortunately it seems there are no cartridge port, which is a shame. Because if there where, I could just slam in my Prophet 64 cartridge, and have myself a portable C64 sequencer package!

Via Hack A Day .

Heroes Of GMM: FLA
Posted January 7th 2007, at 15:51 with tags , ,

This entry is part of a series about my heroes, and not a biography or introduction to FLA. Make benefit their Wikipedia entry for a bio and iTunes for musical demos. This is a shameless GMM Hero declaration.

One of those many solitary late nights in the early 90ies I catched this on MTV:

It was beyond doubt the most important moment in my musical life. Up until this video slammed into my consciousness I had not had any serious musical affairs. I managed to memorize the name of the band, and nervously traveled the bus from the suburbs, went to the überkool record-shop guys at Akers Mic Tårnplass, and mumbled a pitiful request for any records of Front Line Assembly.

The guy behind the counter rised an eyebrow and checked the paper catalogue (yes, paper). No they didn"t but they could order one for me. Yes please. I ran home to my safe Protracker and breathed heavily after so much social adventure.

A few weeks later Tactical Neural Implant enters my life, and I remember I didn"t like it much at first, I think I felt it too difficult and hard to grasp. I was used to Amiga/C64 demo-scene music and Jean-Michel Jarre. But there was something that kept calling me back, and slowly the album just kept getting better and better. It still does.

It contained everything I liked and was interested in, or if not, I struggled to find out WHAT it referenced, and by that discovered I was intrigued by those things as well. I remember using BBSes and sneaking into university with older friends to use their internet accounts (Mosaic!) to learn more.

That the album coincided with the birth of internet is incidental, but to me, new worlds appeared and were definitely interconnected, and will always be. I can only sum it up as futuristic escapism, and I really needed that at the time. TNI was the perfect soundtrack to the new worlds unfolding before my eyes on a computer screen. To this day this is definitely the album I have listened to most. It will always be the first love that all others will be compared to.

German IFPI: We zue everyone und your mutter
Posted January 3rd 2007, at 15:55 with tags , ,

Some entries ago I posted about Germany putting a limit on max 50 Euro fine for file-sharing. Now the German IFPI branch seems to have found a way to keep their cash-flow juicy. They just sue many more people!

Managing Director Peter Zombik (of course, a CEO in IFPI is almost named zombie) claims they plan to sue more than 1000 people a month in 2007. Scare tactics, if you ask me.

Via The Digital Music Weblog.

(PS. Everything is falling apart this winter, now my power adaptor for the laptop is gone so i had to type and publish this quickly quickly before the battery went out apologies for any crashed sentences. Check the Digital Music Weblog link for more background info.)

Silky Sultry TV Sounds
Posted January 3rd 2007, at 14:24 with tags ,

I am a TV composer! Mike Post watch out. This coming Monday January 8th, the local TV channel BTV launches a new show called MM. The theme music for the show (it"s great) was written by Inger Lise Størksen of Ephemera fame, and yours truly put some silky sultry orchestral notes and expensive beats around her sweet voice.

So check it out, the program airs Monday 1830 CET and you could also probably squint it online from BTs http. Mr Tux himself, Mikal Olsen Lerøen of Filmplaneten fame, is also involved in this somehow.

Now I have to be honest, Inger Lise called me incredibly early in the morning, it must have been the ungodly hours around 11, when she explained what the program was about, so the only words I managed to remember are MM, film, art and that they two would be working with the program and could I perhaps add some cinemalixir to the jingle? I think they are program hosts (I hope so, they would be perfect). Early morning communication and information exchange is not me.

Update: Inger Lise is the producer, Mikal is the host. I think Inger Lise is prettier than Mikal, but that"s just me. And he IS well dressed.

What is a captcha?
Posted January 1st 2007, at 20:56 with tags , ,

(NOTE: If you end up here after posting a comment, it is because of a bug in my journal. Most likely you timed out (the server forgot you). That in itself shouldn't be a problem but in some cases it screws up. It's on the to-fix list. Sorry.)

A captcha is a simple and stupid test to see if you are human or a spambot. The point being that if you are human the question/test is insanely simple, but for a computer or a script or whatever automatic spamtool, it just fills in something random (which is wrong.)

Read more about captchas at Wikipedia.


Why can't I set my own password?
Posted January 1st 2007, at 19:32 with tags

Very often, people use the same password for many things.

Your password here is stored in a textfield in a database. Since I developed this whole shite myself, it means I can go into the database and look at  everything, including your password. I don't have any incentive to do that, but it is theoretically possible and very easy to do. Until I have time to make a system that stores your password encrypted in the database, so I cannot read it, I will not sit with the responsibility of having your peronsal password stored as plain text.

Therefore the best solution for now, is to force a password upon you that you cannot change. You can request the system to generate you a new one if you want.

When I have time to program the encryption, you might be able to store a lot more. Patience, young apprentice.


What are the planned features?
Posted January 1st 2007, at 17:32 with tags ,

- Post comment notification system (get an email when someone adds a comment). Coming soon.

- Mobile browsing layout. Probably coming. Use Opera Mini in the mean time.

- Private/registered-users-only features. This means some content will only be visible to logged in users. Will be integrated with the webshop. Part of the next development step (ties in with the webshop).

-Further enhancements are planned. Post suggestions below.

What are the commenting rules?
Posted January 1st 2007, at 16:09 with tags ,

Some nice and loose guidelines for comments. You will die if you don't follow them.

- Please keep your comment relevant to the post.

- Write in English.

- Do not spam or link to irrelevant stuff. Being a robot is no excuse I will hunt you down and unplug you.

- Be civil and polite, even to strangers with stupid opinions. This is not Myspace or Youtube.

- Dont disagree with me unless you heartfully apologize first for your obvious stupidity. It is OK to be wrong.

This website is a cruel but just dictatorship. If your comment or account is nuked, consider yourself in trouble with the current authorities and head for open sea. Complaining will get you nowhere but executed, quite possibly in a gruesome scientific experiment with no relevant benefit except for manical torturical reasons.

In the current version, you cannot delete your registration or comments yourself. Comments cannot be revoked. Written means written.

FAQ: How To Register
Posted January 1st 2007, at 00:00 with tags , ,

You register automatically when posting a comment... so just a write something nice on a post, and there you go.