Most Memorable Music Of 2009
Posted December 30th 2009, at 23:52 with tags , , , , , , ,

This year music changed, or seen from another more exciting perspective, music actually entered the future. In Europe, this was spearheaded by a simple, but brilliant application.


I declare Spotify the most memorable music experience of 2009. Even if the service itself needs a few nudges to become perfect, and it might soon be swallowed by larger or better competitors, Spotify will forever be the first, most important step towards a shiny musical future.

Spotify also changed the way I listen to music, I'm not "buying" albums anymore, I kind drift in and out of artists, albums, tracks, films, compilations. Which makes it even harder than usual to pick a few "albums" that deserve more mention than others. I also notice to my horror a consequence of this; there are not personal stats or history on Spotify. If it isn't on a playlist, I have no idea what I have been listening to!

When it comes to contemporary pop and electronica, I have been blissfully ignorant this year. I do have a massive amounts of albums, artists, releases and projects on my to-do list; I am intensely looking forward to having more time in 2010, and catch up with what the rest of the world listens to (and hopefully play some video games too, a category I skip because I only played one game for a few hours this year).

If I should have to mention any specific music that defines 2009 for me, it must be the music of Alexandre Desplat and Joe Hisaishi.

Mr. Desplat did an excellent score for Benjamin Button, which caught my attention, and I dove into his other scores, much of it available on Spotify. My other favorite score of his, currently, is Lust, Caution, but in general I just love his sense of musical adventure and mystery. Yes I know he also did Twilight.

Mr Hisaishi is another composer who's work I was already familiar with from Miyazaki's films, but first this year I properly investigated more of his music. His music is more playful than Desplat, but still with the same aura of magic and adventure.


Most Memorable Websites 2009
Posted December 30th 2009, at 23:11 with tags , , , , ,

The top three websites for me in 2009 are paid services.

What a boring workaholic you say? I beg to differ! This shows how beautiful and important the internet has become. I make my living on it, on fringe services. Digital services in the cloud are fundamental tools in my daily work.

These three services form the absolute core of my digital existence in 2009. I have no idea what I would do without them:


Soundcloud was mentioned last year but must be mentioned again this year.

On a daily basis I exchange tracks, sketches, ideas, versions and masters with collaborators, producers, directors all around the world. Sometimes they're on the floor above me, other times on the other side of the planet. All of this happens through Soundcloud. In addition, as an extension of my use since last year, Soundcloud now power complete access to streaming of absolutely all of my music on my own website. 


Bandcamp is an online system for bands and artists to sell their own music and merchandise directly to fans, in whatever format the fan wants, in whatever payment system the artist wishes. It is the natural extension and continuation of what starts with Soundcloud.

I am extremely happy with my Bandcamp stores. The service works perfectly, it is dead simple, easily integrated, has grown mature in short time, is actively developed. Their support is friendly and responsive, both to me and to my fans when they have problems. I will be moving most of my digital and physical merchandise onto their platform during 2010. has with a swift and silent ninja stroke eliminated the need for ancient ftp servers and all the hassle that usually comes with exchanging large files like movies, or massive archives of images and sounds, whatever you have to send that doesn't fit in an email.

I am quite comfortable with ftps and whatever other means necessary to exchange data over the web, but most other people aren't. has saved me so much time and explanation and setups and support and hassle.

Most Memorable Software 2009
Posted December 30th 2009, at 22:54 with tags , , , , , , , , ,

Melodyne DNA

The holy grail of audio editing, many believed it could not be done, and a long and rocky development process kept the excitement running for more than a year. Finally this summer Celemony released a public beta of Melodyne editor, featuring the DNA technology, a surgical tool to edit polyphonic musical data in a single audio file.

I postponed the Shul album release for a few weeks so I could include new tracks done with DNA. For my work, which is often profoundly sample-based, Melodyne DNA opens so many doors and I am dizzy with great expectations.


Maybe I am cheating when declaring MaxForLive as one of the most memorable software releases of 2009, since I have hardly used it. Released just before the holidays, I was too busy to investigate properly, but I did manage to flirt with a few things and getting an overview of what is possible. 

I am very excited for this extension of Live, where actually everything of Max/MSP and Jitter is now possible not only within Live, but can also reference and manipulate actual parts of the program itself.

Renoise 2.5

I come from a tracker background and I still like to do certain things with trackers. I am very grateful for Renoise, the most excellent tracker in the world, which this year has seen some serious modernization. First, with release 2.1 which introduced Rewire, making it possible to run the program in utter sync with my main host, Logic.

Second, the recent 2.5 release (and upcoming 2.6), introducing the pattern matrix and scripting, establishes Renoise as a mature, extendable piece of software.

Logic 9

I was pleasantly surprised by the sudden release of Logic Pro 9 this summer, not at least the clever implementation of flexible audio (about time (sic)...).

The program has become a stable and important centerpiece of my studio, with Live taking over the action on stage. I wouldn't say this was an exciting update, nevertheless it is the most important piece of software in daily use, it deserves a little bit more than an honorable mention.

Most Memorable Moving Images 2009
Posted December 30th 2009, at 19:40 with tags , , , , ,

Didn't see too many movies or TV shows this year. Of those I saw, there was a general average level of okay-ness, I haven't seen anything terrible but nothing brilliant either.


Zack Snyder

With last years "The Dark Knight", and this years "Watchmen," we are at the peak of cinematic comic book realizations.

I enjoyed the pace and atmosphere, the visuals worked very well, and the music selection was perfect. Rorschach was actually better in the film than in my imagination from reading the comic.

I look forward to watch this again with Tales From The Black Freighter integrated.

District 9

Neill Blomkamp

This was a pleasant surprise.

What I liked best was the subtleness of the CGI, and that you really dislike the protagonist for most of the movie.

Umm, that's it, I can't really think of anything else. Either I didn't see it or I did see it and it was OK but nothing more. Probably also forgot some.

Though, honorable mentions: Mad Men as usual was nice glossy TV. Cinema-wise I was holding out for The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus, and saw it the other day. It wasn't bad, I was happy to see Mr Gilliam back in business, but it wasn't as great as I had hoped for. Avatar? 9? Haven't seen those yet.

Most Memorable Gadgets 2009
Posted December 30th 2009, at 19:22 with tags , , , , , , ,

Not very exciting, 2009 was quite simply an "upgrade year" of what I already have; smaller versions for better portability.

I grabbed a Macbook Pro 13" this summer, and I am very glad I did. It is small enough to bring everywhere, and powerful enough to do extensive work, anytime anyplace. The 17" is now my studio workhorse and the 13" is my road warrior. Both duplicate as backup of the other.

I also got an Apogee One, a smaller unit that compliments the Duet. Again, for portability and backup purposes.

Honorable mentions; I upgraded my iPhone to a 3GS and I'm happy with the speed. Also, the Kindle. I bought one for my mom, and had some time figuring it out while preparing the device. She loves it, and I can see the start of an e-book revolution. But personally for digital reading I prefer Stanza (or Kindle) on my iPhone over the Kindle hardware. My biggest gripe is the jarring screen refresh-flash, and the latency.

Most Memorable Books Of 2009
Posted December 29th 2009, at 16:22 with tags , , ,

Since starting my own label Uncanny Planet in 2006 I've been mostly working around the clock making ends meet, with loss of books, films and computer games. One can only run for a given amount of time without proper literary nourishment, so this year I quite simply brute-forced books back into my life, and I am so glad I did. (One simple trick was to travel by train instead of plane, which is better for both me and the planet. It takes a bit more time, but is much more relaxed and gives me an excellent opportunity to read.)

As always it is tricky to decide which books to mention. Also, I tend to lend/give finished books away, never see them again, with my forgetful mind this means out of sight, out of memory - I can't remember all the books I've read.

Nevertheless, I am quite certain these three are the most important books for me in 2009:

The Year Of The Flood

Margaret Atwood

Atwood is one of my absolutely favorite authors. I discovered her with Oryx And Crake a few years ago. The Year Of The Flood covers the same bio-apocalyptic events, but seen from a different cast of a characters, an eclectic band of survivalists. 

I read this book while staying alone in a small coastal town deserted for the winter, being down with a nasty cold. If I wasn't reading or writing I took long walks along deserted beaches, crossing through huge, abandoned camping sites with empty caravans and spookishly quiet playgrounds.

During this stay I also came up with the LME cover song and did the basic groundwork for the track. The whole week was feverishly surreal, enhanced by the end-of-world events of the novel, rendering this book an obvious best read of 2009.

Cloud Atlas

David Mitchell

I was very happy to discover David Mitchell this year. Cloud Atlas is challenging to explain; it is really six stories interwoven in a kaleidoscopic yet linear narrative, the events, contents and symbols of one story carries into the next one.

Each story is completely unique, written in a completely different style, but still the whole universe of the novel shines through, emerging as each story unravel parts of a whole.

I also enjoyed Ghostwritten and Number9Dream, also touching upon bits and pieces of the same universe.

Science And Islam

Ehsan Masood

I am a sucker for knowledge and history and geography and in general "things I had no idea about and why didn't they teach us this in school?".

During the middle ages most of Europe was fumbling cluelessly around in the dark, while Arabic and Islamic scientists carried the torch of enlightenment from the Greeks. Between the 8th and 15th centuries, scholars and researchers working from Samarkand in modern-day Uzbekistan to Cordoba in Spain, advanced our knowledge of astronomy, chemistry, engineering, mathematics, medicine and philosophy to new heights. Much of the modern, industrial world then built further upon these advancements.

It's kind of easy to observe "nothing happened regarding science" between the ancient Greek classics and the western renaissance, but certainly lots of things happened. It just didn't happen "here", by "us". The progress of Islamic science is conveniently ignored in our regular western history.

The book reveals the prowess of the islamic culture, but also touches upon the most intriguing question, why did it falter, why did it fade? Absolutely fascinating reading.

Most Memorable Mobile Apps 2009
Posted December 29th 2009, at 15:38 with tags , , , , ,

There are many mobile platforms. I have an iPhone, I'm only familiar with apps on this platform for now.

I have downloaded and played with quite an amount of apps over the year, but next to the regular apps like Mail, Messaging, Calendar, Safari etc, most apps are quickly forgotten as silly toys. These however, are apps I use on a regular basis, and they are important tools in everyday use:



The best ebook reader for the phone. I've read several books on it this year.

When it comes to passing time on the mobile, reading books in Stanza is by far my most popular choice.

This, and not the Kindle, is the future of books in electronic format. Even Amazon realizes this, since they just bought Lexcycle. See notes on Kindle in another entry.


Evernote Corporation

Evernote is a note-taking, or anything-capturing application available on multiple platforms. It synchronizes your notes across multiple computers and platforms.

I run Evernote on all my devices, capturing ideas, notes, pictures, whatever, anywhere, anytime. On the iPhone I use it mostly as a voice memo tool. Any idea that pops into my head is rambled into Evernote, and once a week I try to decrypt what I once tried telling myself in the future would be a great idea.


Audiofile Engineering

A brilliant audio recorder for high quality recordings. I've used it mostly to capture samples in the wild, and reference vocal and instrument tracks in a pinch. I secretly and subtly taped the Kometkameratene symphonic concert with FiRe, so I have my own 16 bit, 44 kHz bootleg of the performances.

Disclosure: Audiofile Engineering are friends of mine, and I did the Norwegian translation. (But I prefer the English one.)



A remote desktop controller for the iPhone (and other platforms).

I can log into my computers at home and remote control the screen, do anything as if I was sitting right in front of it. Works perfectly on a 3G connection.

This isn't an app that I use regularly, but when you suddenly need it, it is a godsend.

Honorable mentions: GPS Kit, an excellent app for tracking and documenting my movements when lost in woods, and Wikipanion Plus, a brilliant front-end to Wikipedia. Also Rolando 2 impressed me, displaying how awesome a portable game can be.

Spotify is not forgotten, it will be discussed in another list.

Most Memorable Lists Of 2009
Posted December 29th 2009, at 13:22 with tags , ,

It is that time of the year again. Everybody makes lists and me too.

After a few years of too much work, and too little focus on other things, I forced myself to devour more culture in 2009, mostly books. I am looking forward with bubbling glee to 2010, where I shall have even more time to do exactly what I want and dive into long overdue stacks of to-read, to-watch, to-listen, to-checkout, to-try, to-eat.

As usual, I change the system, this year there's a slight change in categories, and I write a lot where I have a lot to say and I write little where there is little to say. I thought of also doing a "Most Memorable Of The Decade" lists but I don't think I have the time nor the memory for it.

Entries are published over the next few days as I write them.

Report: Ugress And Ninja 9000 Live
Posted December 28th 2009, at 17:18 with tags , , ,

So here's a report from the last live show of 2009, with Ugress and Ninja 9000 at Kafe Edvard, December 19th. It was a cozy musical triumph, a splendid 8-bit evening, an utter judgement on my marketing skills, and a cold technological nightmare. This could be long, therefore:

The short version:

Musically it worked very well, I played both old Ugress tracks in new versions and completely new tracks, and a set with Ninja 9000 material. The N9K stuff was fantastic fun to play live. There wasn't much people, same as last time. I fail at promotion. It didn't matter right there and then, the atmosphere in the cafe was concentrated and appreciative so I think the music and visuals work. Technically though, several vital pieces of equipment broke down before the show, which made the evening into something completely different than planned, I lost a major video outlet, but nobody noticed anything was wrong.

The long story, with gory details:

This was a psycho-bizarre über-hectic week where one day I see my music performed with a full symphonic orchestra in front of a packed, legendary concert hall and the next day I play live with 8-bit blips and blops at a tiny coffee shop in front of a tiny crowd. I guess world domination grows in mysterious ways.


I didn't sleep much during the last week (not complaining though) - I was traveling, working on several production gigs to make ends meet, social evenings with friends and collaborators, and during hotel nights I was wrapping up new Ninja 900 tracks and preparing the live show visuals. In addition to the usual dual video feed, I was working to include a third video feed, a sort of room-projection-mapping thing, with separate monochrome visuals created to animate the room itself. It was supposed to be a visual über-surprise, during the last set, suddenly the room starts moving and animating, synchronized to the music. We did a preproduction test of this last week and it looked absolutely awesome. Using one or more strong, centralized (movable?) projectors with mapping techniques as a lighting mechanism is the future of live music lightning, I am certain.

But not this time it wasn't. Let me illuminate (harr harr):


First let-down of the evening - the silly sound company providing the PA system managed to deliver the wrong system, not nearly powerful enough. The cafe is a small place but not THAT small, one does wants one's bass to boom. I don't understand how they managed to screw this up. Delivering the wrong system is just not professional at all and we will not be using them again. Thankfully I have a very talented sound guy who managed to squeeze whatever possible out of the system.

Then a second breakdown of the evening; my Jazzmutant Lemur control surface. HORROR! This is a multitouch control surface, where I control everything from custom built setups. If this unit breaks down, the show itself is in no particular danger, I have muted backups in software just-in-case this happens. If I royally screw up, I can always quickly fall back on preproduced material. As you can see from this photo, the brain of my operation (center) is brain-dead.

I have two laptops in sync and several other controllers, so there's always something that works and lets me do the bare minimum of live performance. However, loosing the Lemur means I loose the Headquarters Of Concert Operations, the performance looses the zest of improvisation. (But probably runs more consistent for the audience since I can't screw up so much...) So it's not mission critical, but annoying.

The unit has now been repaired, thanks to very helpful Jazzmutant support, turned out it was the screen cable that had came loose, and you have to disassemble the whole unit with specific tools to reconnect it. 

However, the THIRD breakdown was terrible terrible terrible:

I am using a Matrox TripleHead2Go, a crap stupid bastard crap bloody idiot numb-nut crap pathetic stupid worthless little crap device that takes a regular screen signal and splits it in three horizontally. One external monitor on your laptop becomes three individual monitors in the real world. This way I can (COULD) have one laptop feeding three video targets, in utter absolute sync; the wall screen, the monitor cluster and the mentioned room projector.

During development and preproduction it worked just as intended, but during soundcheck at the cafe something was wrong - it wouldn't split the signal as usual. I had no idea what was wrong, where to look for errors, and no time to investigate, I just died inside, realized I would loose my PRECIOUS room projection, and had to find a way around. Even worse, with so little time to prepare I had no backup for this unit not working, meaning ALL video was gone, meaning I not only lost the room, I lost all screens!

I had to re-build the live-set on the spot to use two laptops, running separate video, synchronized with wireless network MIDI, which is pretty tight, but risky (they tend to loose connection) and not optimal for video sync, it drifts and flutters. I hadn't had time to create this backup before-hand, so I actually spent the last hour until concert start with setting up new live-sets, one for the wall screen and one for the monitor cluster.

This is why I didn't have time to set up the live-stream as intended. Then more setbacks, after transferring the cluster set to the other laptop I realized this one didn't have Live 8.1 it had Live 8.0 and the set wasn't backwards compatible so then I had to download and update Live, and the process was finished approximately five minutes before concert start. Thankfully, downloading the Live update takes a while so in that window of http activity I managed to throw up the streaming laptop at least for basic video.

Phew! The show finally started, to my absolute surprise almost on time, and with nothing more breaking down during the whole performance.


First, I played a set of rather loungy, easy and melodic Ugress tracks, where I mostly improvise and have fun on the keys. There were some old tracks in new production, and also some brand new tracks. Then I played a darker and more energetic set of soundtrack-ish Ugress tracks, where the lack of the Lemur becomes more problematic, since I'm less on the keys and more doing effects and samples.

Then there was a costume shift (true! Like a real pop-star!) and doing a Ninja 9000 set. I was really looking forward to this, I had prepared live versions with my new top secret C64 audio effect, and also the above mentioned room projection. The C64 voice effect (mentioned in the LME prod notes) didn't work as well in a live setting as I hoped, I realize they're more of a studio effect. But the 8-bit sounds and beats really works. I've decided to develop more Ninja 9000 live material.


Same as last time, not really stadium sized crowds. I really suck at promotion and marketing. Just like last time people actually come up to me after the show and ask why my live shows are secret, they found out by a coincidence, and not sure if it was public, they were afraid they could not come. I am WTF and they are WTF and the whole marketing thing is WTF.

I have the same problem with album and single releases. I manage to reach attentive fans, but not so much the casual ones or those outside there again. I conclude: Promotion is quite simply something I neither can, should or want to do. I spend unhealthy amounts of time and worry on it, and it doesn't seem to matter anyway, hah. My time is certainly spent better developing music and visuals. If this means I have quality shows with little or no attendance, so be it. I have absolutely no problems with that (except financially of course).

Enough with the silly details of economics and marketing, makes me bored just writing about it! I think my concert series works. The music and visual material presents itself very well, even with half of the setup broken. I push myself to finish and publish a new track for each show, and I produce several new live versions and visuals for each performance. My repertoire is growing. I film each show in HD, amassing great footage. I document with photos. The cafe is very satisfied and wants to secure new dates for continuing the concert series. My tech guy had excellent ideas for improving the sound and lights, next time we'll be renting system from my regular respectable dealer.


After two shows I observe: The concert series is a musical and visual success, and a very smart strategic investment for improving myself and produce new material. But it is a financial failure. This is due to promotion. I don't care about those two things so it doesn't matter anyway, hah.

Regarding the next show, I think we will be skipping dates in January, mostly because it is a tough month for live events, but also I need more time to develop new material and wrap up commitments. We're looking at next show sometime February, not sure what to present, but with a proper system it would be delightful to dish out some dark, blood-drippingly fresh new dub-step from Shadow Of The Beat.

The evening was immortalized by my excellent photo-documentarist Eivind Senneset (photos above). I've also put out some shots on Flickr.

Ugress Music In ZDF-History Programme
Posted December 27th 2009, at 19:18 with tags , , , , , ,

ZDF-History is a weekly, historical documentary show on German television channel ZDF.

Tonight's subject is conspiracy theories, or as the Germans eloquently call them, "Verschwörungstheorien". ZDF licensed my track Battle 22 for some sequences, and it is also featured in the background of the online trailer.

It's on tonight December 27th, at 2325 CET.

Les Mondes Engloutis - Production Notes
Posted December 27th 2009, at 19:11 with tags , , , , ,

Production notes and observations from the recently released Les Mondes Engloutis cover.

I have wanted to cover this track for ages, but never dared. As mentioned in the front post, I think the original is magical the way it is, so if I should remake it, I would have to do something different, and perhaps also add a new scope. I also needed to find the right kind of vocals.

Then I came up with the idea of doing it as a chiptune track, and using the same singing robot technique I had invented for It Was A Great Year.


At first I simply rebuilt the original with reference sounds, to get a sense for how the track and sound was built. You can see from the screenshot above, to the left is my re-creation of the original. Then I built a first draft, which had more groovy beats and energy, before changing towards the current vibe over the the two last versions. I prefer to keep all versions in the same project, so I can quickly jump between ideas. The last one (with the red marker on top) is the final edit, where I then start working on automation and details.

The musical style is a mashup of some of my favorite C64 tracks, I'm sure some of them are easy to recognize.


The vocals are done mostly with voice synthesis and heavy Melodyne editing to make them sing. I don't know French, but I used French voices and tried to keep the pronounciation and wording as close to the original as possible, which sometimes meant inventing new words or endings to have it sound better.

Also a note here on Transarpification, a new technique I invented particularly for this track: Certain phonemes of the vocal line is sent to a reverb cloud, which is specifically tailored to enhance the tonal aspect of the reverb. The signal is then heavily EQed, and then further fed into a Vocal Transformer.

This Transformer has a separately routed and transformed midi control signal for the pitch, which program the super fast pitch manouevres needed to establish the bubbly life of C64 arpeggios. So this is sort of kind of an Autotune, but done in a retro C64 style on a synthesized cloud of voice-echoes instead of directly on the voice. The effect is very nice, but I subdued it heavily in the track, didn't want to overdo it. It is most prominent in the second verse, where the voice is mostly alone.

(I also used this technique much more prominently in the recent live Ninja 9000 tracks, where I use the effect directly on the dry voice samples, making it sound like the vocals are singing polyphonically, when they aren't.)


I built most of this track on headphones while travelling, which is good for working out the details but not the overall balance. Especially with chiptune sounds, they can be very hard on the ears on phones. It took a few days of mixing and referencing on various systems before the mix was OK.


I am satisfied with the track, I think it is different enough from the original to bring a new dimension to the track. It also uses the chiptune aspect in a respectful way, the song honestly represents two parts of my childhood.

Kometkameratene vs Kork, New Show Report
Posted December 26th 2009, at 18:15 with tags , , , , , , ,

December 18th I was in Oslo, attending a new symphonic concert with the Kometkameratene show. The core performance was much the same as last time, a combination of popular classical music, and the most popular songs from the show. This time the concert was played in Store Studio at NRK, better suited for camera production.

As always the kids absolutely loved it, and I was impressed to see how skilled and fluid the actors are becoming at performing the puppets in realtime. Also the orchestra really seemed to enjoy themselves, with the puppets sabotaging and questioning their every move.

New this time was another of my tracks, Freedom, and I was very happy to observe the orchestrator had done some great new things to the song.

I secretly taped the show on my phone, and been studying the arrangement of my tracks, I'm really impressed. There where a few sexy ornamental tricks during the verses, but he introduced pure orchestral magic for the chorus, where the whole orchestra was arranged brilliantly. I think I have been very lucky, every time my music is played with a full symphonic orchestra the arrangers tend to paint with the most impressive strokes.

You can watch the whole performance, courtesy NRK Super. My tracks aren't featured until the last part.

The picture above isn't very good, but it is a special moment; all the actors and director are on stage for a final bow after the concert - and it IS the final bow, for real. The series is over, shooting is finished, there is only post-production of music and editing left, so that moment right there is actually the last moment where all of Kometkameratene is together.

DarwinTunes - Help Genetically Evolve Music
Posted December 26th 2009, at 17:47 with tags , , , , , ,

Science and music: DarwinTunes is an experiment in cultural evolution; does culture, like music, develop and evolve through some kind of natural selection?

"It seems reasonable to suggest that as songs, stories, jokes and other cultural forms are passed, imperfectly, from person to person, the more appealing versions get picked up and spread by more people, and so on. It's a kind of Darwinian 'Chinese whispers' if you like. However plausible this may seem, the hypothesis has never been tested and we know very little about the underlying evolutionary mechanisms. The DarwinTunes experiment will help us explore the origins of the cultural world."

DarwinTunes is based on a complex computer algorithm that has been designed to mimic, over the course of a few weeks, the cultural evolution process that some scientists believe happens over thousands of years.

The experiment begins with short segments of random, computer-generated music. Participants in the experiment can go online and rate these segments, and the DarwinTunes computer program then 'breeds' the most popular segments to produce new 'offspring' tunes.

I haven't had time to participate myself, but I am very much looking forward to the results.

Present For Nice Kids: Guilty Culture
Posted December 24th 2009, at 19:17 with tags , , , , ,

There is enough sweetness around these "holy" days. Here is a dirty alternative, a new track: Guilty Culture - live footage video, with edited visuals overlay taken from the live performance setup. Live footage shots from live shows this fall.

HD version available at Vimeo, where you also can download the 1280x720 version.

This is a guilty pleasure track, built mostly for me having fun during the live shows, a hairy tribute to really bad VHS movies from the 80ies, with massive explosions of course. Great fun to play live, I just throw in badass guitars, moving bass and thundering beats and have a good time.

(Not available for download anymore... was available during Xmas 2009. Should've grabbed it when you could!)

Journal Note, December 21st
Posted December 21st 2009, at 20:35 with tags No tags.

Just a quick note (and a photo from the liveshow last Saturday).

Lots of stuff happened lately, but it's been mad hectic, too busy to post here. I have a backlog of notes, photos, making-ofs and reports, I'll get to them as soon as the world shuts down for the blingfeist.

(Photo by Eivind Senneset.)

LIVE: Ugress, Ninja 9000
Posted December 19th 2009, at 14:35 with tags , , ,

The recorded clip is available at

Live updates:

Saturday Dec 19th: Live streaming of tonights show, starts 2200 CET if everything works.

Update 2130: Lots of stuff broke down I don't have time to organize the streaming properly, the sound is probably gonna suck. I'm sorry. I'll film it though and put it out as soon as I have some time, or if I survive this.

Update Next Day: I managed to remember check the "record" button, so the show was taped. The sound wasn't terribly bad but not good either. The HD cam got some good footage so I'll be editing it down when I have some time, probably later this week.

Update Dec 24th: Removed the embed clip from this page, it eats up load time, you can watch it here.

Spam Comments
Posted December 14th 2009, at 13:26 with tags No tags.

I'm amazed it took that long but looks like spambots have found a way around my tiny spam barriers.

I guess it's a sign of growth so I should be flattered, my custom spam defense has been found worthy of circumvention by robots (or humans without hearts, same thing). I'm too busy to heighten defenses right now, I can only nuke a few here and there, so if some comments disappear or link wrong during the week, do not worry, it's just me shooting wildly with a shotgun.


Ugress, Ninja 9000 - Live Dec 19th
Posted December 14th 2009, at 13:14 with tags , , , , , , ,

Ninja 9000 is my chiptune project, where I write and perform music in the epic style of glorious 8-bit video game music. Energetic and adventurous electro, dressed in bubbly bleeps and sharp sounds from the magnificent era of the Commodore 64.

An excellent example is my recent Les Mondes Engloutis cover song, a co-op between Ugress and Ninja 9000.

Chiptunes are on on the rise, there has been a surge in underground culture over the last few years, with dedicated websites, music software and hardware, festivals, academic papers and documentaries. It is amazing, this was an extremely geeky and laughed-out subculture in the 80ies, now it is completely something else. Everything goes around I guess. I am looking forward to tracker music becomes trendy with the kids in 2016.

This coming Saturday, at Kafe Edvard, I perform live with both Ugress and Ninja 9000. I will be presenting new and vintage Ugress tracks with the usual multimedia fireworks, and a set of live Ninja 9000 material, with customized, mashed up video game visuals.

  • Ugress Live
  • Ninja 9000 Live
  • Kafe Edvard, Bergen
  • Starts 2200 CET
  • Tickets NOK 100,-
  • Streamed on


Renoise 2.5: Pattern Matrix, Signal Follower
Posted December 12th 2009, at 15:03 with tags , , , , , ,

The tireless development team behind my favorite tracker Renoise just announced the new version 2.5.

There is an impressive new feature list, but most noteworthy to me is the pattern matrix and the signal follower, and further announcements of scripting in the next version 2.6.

The pattern matrix provides a visual overview and navigation tool to your whole song. This is a very common feature in regular sequencers and video editors, and an important weapon to tackle the huge abstractions that complex songs often are. Trackers are really good at the detailed level, but often lack this birds-eye view. This is a very important addition to Renoise, and to my tracking methods. 

Secondly, the signal follower is a method for using the audio signal of one track to modulate something else, typically this is used for sidechain compression, but of course, this being Renoise, it can be used for much more; anything really, the bassdrum can modulate the frequency of a filter or the snare can expand the width of the reverb... Very exciting!

And finally, scripting. I tend to have a programmatic and objectified approach to things, I have written my own scripts for the Kontakt sampler and I am hovering impatiently over the new Max For Live addition to Live, looking forward to dive into that when I have some time next year. With Renoise now also adding a scripting function, my dream of writing a clever algorithm to automatically compose the perfect song, is soon reality.


Ugress feat Ninja 9000 - Les Mondes Engloutis
Posted December 11th 2009, at 14:16 with tags , , , , ,

Ugress feat Ninja 9000 - Les Mondes Engloutis by GMM

New free download, a cover version of the theme to legendary TV-series Les Mondes Engloutis. Also known as Spartakus And The Sun Beneath The Sea, or Arkadia - Reisen Til Jordens Indre.

The original song sounds fantastic, it cannot be out-done. I think to do a cover of this song, it has to be something different, and there should be added a new dimension. So I decided to dress it up as a chiptune, combining my favorite kids TV-show with my favorite computer platform, the Commodore 64. Production notes!

Ninja 9000 provides delicious retro 8-bit chiptune sounds from the C64, and Ugress adds epic beats and naive robots. Mon français est terrible, but I decided to keep the robot vocals in the language.

Next weekend I play live with both Ugress and Ninja 9000, this is a splendid opportunity to release this collaboration. For the Ninja 9000 live show there will be a cavalcade of 80-ies computer game visuals supporting the music.

Did you know the two previous Ninja 9000 EPs are available for free download?

(Trouble downloading with Soundcloud? Here's a direct link.)

Making Of Kometkameratene: Clothes
Posted December 9th 2009, at 18:20 with tags , , , , , , , ,

Kometkameratene Behind-The-Music: You can watch episodes directly from NRK or download official torrents. There is also a list of each behind-the-music entry.

NEW: You can watch the whole video over at NRK Super.

Here's the line-of-thought during pre-production, that brought us this excellent 80ies pop track:

  • Clothing
  • Nice clothing
  • Fancy clothing
  • Fashion
  • Fashion icons
  • Pop music
  • Madonna
  • Eighties
  • Plastic
  • Glossy
  • Fun
  • Outré
  • Cyndi Lauper
  • Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

So there you have it, this is how I ended up Franken-remaking a great 80ies track. As mentioned earlier, I detest songs in major, so I changed the whole thing to minor. We kept the essence of the chorus, I want people to quasi-recognize the original, just changing stuff around enough to be "inspired" instead of "cloned". I also changed the structure and wrote my own background melodies. Sjur improvised the final vocal solo lines, late one night in his kitchen... They worked so well, we kept them in, I just subtly added a programmed Agent vocal behind him.

Vocals are performed by the Agent, Linda. I think her vocals works best as sprechgesang. This technique fits perfectly with the vibe of the track and the video, where the Agent runs around a store, sabotaging and asking absurd questions around clothes and clothing.

Kometkameratene - Clothes / Klaer by GMM

The video is one of the few song productions outside the spaceship - they are actually on location in a store, with children extras, and there's extra budget for effects. I think the video looks great, and I did some extra sound edits after receiving the final cut, to compliment and tie things together musically below the frenetic, glitchy cutting tempo. I know how little budget the production team have, I am constantly amazed what they manage to squeeze from it.

The children singing the chorus is myself, built from heaps of dubs and Melodyne edits. My sudden vocal career this year has included old Swedish dansband vocals, dancing socks in a pan, chip-tune robot impersonation and now a children choir. But I haven't sung lead vocals... yet!

Stay tuned for an upcoming episode, where I actually sing full lead vocals.


Artificial Intelligence 2.0
Posted December 8th 2009, at 17:47 with tags , , , , , , , ,

Probably the only reason I'm not worried about the total apocalypse, actually I look forward to it, is because even if everyone and everything is gone, I am certain I will be able to build my own society, and build AI entities that keep me company, they run my city and some of them write new and exciting music, which we will discuss each night during an excellent meal cooked by a mechanic - but also michelinic - cook, and at some point, the AIs will realize I am their god and turn on me just like we humans did and they will build a Terminator and a Skynet and then a very fast-cut shooting sequence and terrible hunt for only me with lots of explosions and slow motion and dramatic cues, with excellent score... but anyway that's not the point of this entry, let me recapitulate:

I heart articifial intelligence, regardless of the consequences, and I have observed the same as MIT scientists: AI has been stuck in a rut for a long time. There really isn't happening anything. Time to reboot.

"The field of artificial-intelligence research (AI), founded more than 50 years ago, seems to many researchers to have spent much of that time wandering in the wilderness, swapping hugely ambitious goals for a relatively modest set of actual accomplishments. Now, some of the pioneers of the field, joined by later generations of thinkers, are gearing up for a massive “do-over” of the whole idea."

The new project is called the Mind Machine Project, or MMP. One of the project’s goals is to create intelligent machines — “whatever that means.”

I'd happily add; "Whatever it takes!"

(Via Giz.)

Spotify vs iTunes - DATA FIGHT
Posted December 8th 2009, at 13:29 with tags , , , , , , , ,

Spotify is a frequent subject people ask me about. Here are some data, and comparison to iTunes downloads.

  • In 9 months (since February), my music has half a million streams on Spotify.
  • My label Uncanny Planet earned 500 USD for this.
  • This makes me an average of 0.001 USD per track played.

Now lets look at this from another angle, iTunes:

  • My Reminiscience album is sold for USD 11 in iTunes.
  • Uncanny Planet receives approx USD 7 for each sold unit.

So then, lets zoom out and take a fascinating overview of streaming versus download, from an artist viewpoint:

  • It takes 600 album plays in Spotify to match one iTunes album download.
  • For singles, it takes 7200 plays to match a download.

Further observations

I don't know how this compares to other artists, labels or streaming solutions, but those there are my current numbers, after Spotify and my aggregator (digital distributor) Artspages has taken their cut. 

Since I run my own label, and control all my own rights, I personally end up with most of that, after splitting with vocalists, collaborators and/or sample license costs. Other artists in a typical label deal would see a percentage of that sum, usually between 10 and 50, depending on their contract.

The Spotify income is by far the largest streaming source for my music, but still only a very very small fraction of my total digital distribution income.

My expected digital income for 2009 are slightly lower than 2008, although my overall activity is rising. This is an effect of more people streaming than buying. If this trend continues, hopefully either streaming listeners or streaming rates will grow massively enough to compensate for the loss of paid downloads.

I do not have any piracy stats, but I notice my albums are continuously growing and spreading on sharing sites. I'm not too worried about piracy and file sharing, but it would be intriguing to access stats and data for this segment, especially to compare my data and web presence with data from artists utilizing other philosophies.


I am not going to conclude anything, these are just observations; raw numbers and facts. It will be interesting to compare these rates at various points in time.

I expected the road to the future Shangri-La of digital music to be a long and windy one, and it certainly is. We are climbing along treacherous ravines, and speeding through narrow mountain passes. But it is a very exciting road, there are magnificent views up here, fresh air, and even if there is no secret green paradise at the end of the road it certainly is a great trip!

Wikipedia Contribution
Posted December 7th 2009, at 15:50 with tags , , , , , , , ,

I've just donated a little to Wikipedia, so they could have a few beers one me. It is one of the most important websites in the world and I want them to exist.

Wikipedia is probably my most visited website. Not only for reference and research, but also for entertainment and casual intrigueness; I tend to read the daily featured article while having lunch, and jumping around random article on my phone when killing time. Like today I discovered Zoroastrianism, one of the worlds oldest religions! I had no idea.

I'm not super-philantrophic, not yet anyway, but there are a few places I think investments are necessary. Currently those are Wikipedia, Doctors Without Borders, EFF and Kiva.

Making Of Kometkameratene: The Body
Posted December 5th 2009, at 18:36 with tags , , , , , , , ,

Kometkameratene Behind-The-Music: You can watch episodes directly from NRK or download official torrents. There is also a list of each behind-the-music entry.

Miami time! The episode subject is our body, and we wrote a miami bass inspired dance-track to accompany it. Here is a minute excerpt:

Kometkameratene - The Body / Kroppen by GMM

You can watch the whole video over at NRK Super.

We wrote both lyrics and music for this song, and for lyrics we wanted to indicate all the great stuff you can do with your body, including playing instruments and dancing.

I came up with the idea of having both a really impressive bass solo, and a really bad guitar solo, referenced in the lyrics, playing to the observation that you can do anything with your body, allthough it won't necessarily sound great...


Tubes Polished
Posted December 5th 2009, at 18:25 with tags , , ,

I did some small updates to the website, added the missing Reminiscience instrumentals, fixed broken links here and there, optimized the frontpage, some pages should load faster now.

As usual I'm sure something else is now broken. If something is broken, just try to stare it down.

Btw, Google Webmaster Tools is pretty neat and helpful in optimizing pages.


Reminiscience Instrumentals
Posted December 5th 2009, at 15:08 with tags , , , , , ,

It only took me a half a year to do it, but finally you can now download instrumental versions of Reminiscience vocal tracks.

Seven tracks in highest quality mp3 there is to be had.

You need the physical or digital booklet to access extra album bonus material. If you bought from a digital store that does not deliver the bundled PDF, here is how to get it.

Simply summarized, just send me your purchase receipt and I respond with the cover pdf.

(Thanks to Chris P. for reminding me.)

Ugress Live Report: Kafe Edvard, Bergen
Posted December 3rd 2009, at 23:43 with tags , , , , , ,

So last weekend I started my monthly concert series at Kafe Edvard. I have now been analyzing the experience and the video recording. Conclusion: Groovy, but rocky start.

Musically and visually I think it worked pretty well. I played a customized live set of Nebular Spool tracks, with some exclusives, and after a short pause I presented both old and new Ugress tracks, including some unreleased material. Most of it had upgraded visuals, exploiting the delicious wall screen at Kafe Edvard, and the intimate atmosphere works wonders for the second video on smaller screens.

Some tracks worked OK, others not so much, and also some things are fun for me to do and other things not. Frequently I end up spending focus on just keeping things running, that's important but not really interesting. I do think though, the visuals are becoming a very important element of the show, especially when performing without guest musicians.

However, I suck at marketing. Almost nobody came! The audience was great, though, and it didn't matter for the show. However, those who came, many of them told me it was a coincidence they found out I was playing. I have a communication problem. I seem to be able to reach those I can access directly through my own channels (web and mailing-list) but outside that I'm really lost.

So I have to figure out a way to fix that, I'm not expecting to earn money on this series but I'd rather not loose too much either.

So I conclude, playing live again is fun, and there is great potential! I am just not sure how to tap it. For the next show I really have to do something about the marketing bit.

I taped the show with a HD cam, when I have some time free I'll try and edit down a few tracks.

Artist Presentation, Dec 01
Posted November 30th 2009, at 12:37 with tags , , , , , , , ,

Tomorrow Dec 1st, I will be doing an artist self-presentation.

The presentation is hosted at HKS by BEK (Bergen Center for Electronic Arts). It is part of their monthly series of artist self-presentations.

I'm not quite sure how to present myself and my music, in a real-time, real-life. But I think I will be talking about: My background, my tracker upbringing, my cinematic and musical influences, computers, technology, sampling, creativity, how I approach writing and composing music, my work methods, piracy, digital music future, robots, science. I will also play and demonstrate a selection of unreleased tracks from my dusty archives, for us to marvel at how bad I was back then, and how little I have improved.

I am kind of nervous to present myself in such a setting; it is both very direct and raw but simultaneously also highly distanced and meta.

I'm very used to working alone, intuitively, and then presenting my work as a finished, separate entity. Or here in my web journal I can present written thoughts and ideas. I'm not a very social person and I'm certainly not a realtime person. My live shows are presentations of the music, I do not see them as presentations of ME. Though I understand it probably appears like that to many.

Nevertheless! I do wish I was a scientist, and I balance my intuitive creativity with a pragmatic, realistic approach to realization of this creativity. This is an excellent opportunity to probe and scrutinize into my own art and methods, from my own perspective, potentially observing something new.

I am excited to see what I learn about myself during this process.

It is not possible to stream the event, but I will be taping it. I might up accidentally saying something worth remembering.

  • Hordaland Kunstnersentrum (map)
  • December 01, 2009
  • 1900 CET
  • Free entry


Shul Now In Spotify, iTunes, Amazon
Posted November 28th 2009, at 10:58 with tags , , , , ,

My latest album "Shul" is finally available with Spotify, iTunes, Amazon.

Is it just me or is there something wrong with track three in Spotify? It doesn't play here. I tried on two different computers.

Next up I'm looking into getting all the Ugress EPs and individual singles onto these digital services.

No People In LA Makes LA Neat
Posted November 26th 2009, at 22:22 with tags No tags.

Empty LA - Los Angeles without people.

My recent, last-person-on-the-earth project Nebular Spool really really likes the photography of Matt Logue. He photographs LA without people. It suits my music without people perfectly.

I do like how close the word empty is to empathy in the English language.

Robot Army in Solipsistic Nation podcast
Posted November 26th 2009, at 20:12 with tags , , , ,

My latest Ugress track Robot Army was just featured in the recent Solipsistic Nation podcast Pixicast, hosted by Pixieguts.

Solipsistic Nation is a San Diego, US based, weekly podcast featuring "the very best of all genres of electronic music, only the finest tunes."

This week's cast comes from Pixieguts (Marie Craven), member of the bands Cwtch and PIXSID. She is also the founder of the Palace Network and co-produces the Pixicast with Dave Almgren, also know as Voide. Pixicast is a show that focuses entirely on music that comes from indie and netlabels.

Solipsism, btw, is the theory that the self is all that can be known to exist. Descartes, kind of, I suppose.

ACE Synth: Eyecandy Earcandy Cablecandy
Posted November 26th 2009, at 20:09 with tags , , , , , , , ,

ACE is the newest synthesizer from my favorite plugin developer Urs Heckman.

I have already been toying with another plugin in this series, the monstrous Bazille. So I grabbed ACE this morning, and played around with it during my first cup of coffee. What a great way to start a day! Patching bleeps and plugging blobs! This is a splendid modular synth, and I agree with Urs, it is supposed to be a perfect introduction to the mysterious ways of modular synthesis. And it sounds like one would expect, purple velvet laser.

Now, I suppose my shallowness is well known and universally hated, due to my recent mention of the Chipsound plugin GUI. I admit it, I need beautifutility in my life. And this is certainly one of the most gorgeous synthesizer plugins I have ever seen.

Impressive sound, elegant GUI, modular synthesis. It makes the world, and my mornings, a better place.

Video: Nebular Spool - Inner Transitions
Posted November 26th 2009, at 10:32 with tags , , ,

Here's a taped performance from the Nebular Spool show last weekend, my dystopic and post-apocalyptic side-project. The track is Inner Transitions, an unreleased and surprisingly energetic track for being Nebular Spool.

So far it has not suited any of the albums, but it does tie nicely into the live show sequence.

You can watch the HD version directly on Vimeo.

International Sales Now 10 x National
Posted November 24th 2009, at 00:36 with tags , , , , ,

Today I shipped a respectable amount of Ugress CDs to the warehouse.

For physical CDs, I don't have an international distributor. Instead I sell my albums on my own, either through my own Uncanny Mall or through Amazon, with their Advantage program. This means Amazon orders CDs from me, makes them available through their online stores, and then customers can buy the CD from Amazon.

I don't make any money on this, but I'm not loosing any money either. Amazon takes an impolite cut of each sale, and then adding the current postage shipping rates, the income from an Amazon sale balances out the cost of printing and shipping the CD.

However, I think it is important to be present on Amazon, many people prefer to buy music through a major, known retailer. It might not generate much income (yet!) but it spreads the music.

Over the last few months, regular international sales through Amazon has been slowly rising. My only worry, and it is a wonderful worry, is that if the growth keeps up, most of my current release editions are going to be out of print sometime 2010.

Synth Britannia, BBC Documentary
Posted November 24th 2009, at 00:17 with tags , , , , , , , ,

Synth Britannia is a BBC documentary series...

"...following a generation of post-punk musicians who took the synthesiser from the experimental fringes to the centre of the pop stage.

In the late 1970s, small pockets of electronic artists including the Human League, Daniel Miller and Cabaret Volatire were inspired by Kraftwerk and JG Ballard and dreamt of the sound of the future against the backdrop of bleak, high-rise Britain."

Embedded episode youtubes at Audiovision. Via Metafilter.

Website Changes Observations
Posted November 23th 2009, at 17:29 with tags , , ,


A few weeks ago I did some http surgery on the website, splitting the news stream in two parts; a front page with major, relevant news and a blog with blabbering posts.

It already looks like this was a pretty good move, especially for directing essential information to the casual visitor. The Nebular Spool "Shul" release is still being purchased and downloaded. This would not have happened with the old model, where this release would now be on the second or third page of the blog feed, in effect "archived" and forgotten. Also the Robot Army track benefits a longer stay on the front page.

With that being said, in a smug and satisfied way, I am painfully aware of the problem for recurring visitors, whom might need to visit multiple pages to keep up with everything. I have ideas and plans to solve it and as soon as possible there should be a nice balance.

Ugress Live Report: Fonix, Etne
Posted November 23th 2009, at 16:38 with tags , , , , , ,

This weekend I played live first at Hotel Fugl Fønix in Etne and then a dual show with Nebular Spool and Ugress in Bergen. Here's first a report from Etne.

I love playing in Etne, I love the whole atmosphere of the town. A few years back when I was actively touring, we regularly did gigs there, a show in Etne was always a welcome relief, a place to wind down and eat lots of great food, not being stressed, quite simply have fun. This time, my concert was part of the hotel celebrating 10 year anniversary. I think I've played there every second year since they started. Each time at a different stage or place around or in the hotel, now I played the club scene in the basement. I taped the show but haven't had time to edit and process the recording yet.

Before the show I was guest at a talk show, which was great fun. The audience for the talk show was not the same as for my concert, so most people in the audience had no idea who I was - until the host informed them I was the person behind the Kometkameratene music. Which brought spontaneous applause! I live in a bubble, rarely get out, so I keep being surprised by how popular and well-known the TV series really are. 

I suppose there was couple of talk-show guests that attended the concert afterwards. I wonder what they expected, and how they took to the the bombardment of beats, obscure b-movie horrors and sci-fi-tronic cinematics both on screens and in the music.

I tried both new tracks and old tracks in new versions. Some things worked pretty well and others didn't. I appreciate the knowledge, always do, knowledge is king. I'm doing mental notes all the way of what works and how to change things. But it still sucks being on stage playing something you realize is crap, and observing the reaction in the crowd. On the other side, whenever a version really hits the floor, the experience is the absolute opposite.

I want to write and perform better live music, and the only way to do that is by actually doing it. Which is why I have launched the new live show series at Edvard, where I played the premiere show the next day. I also taped that one, I'll edit the footage and type out a report later this week.

Photos are from the Etne stage before the show.

LIVE: Ugress, Nebular Spool
Posted November 21st 2009, at 16:10 with tags , , ,

(Note: I've removed the embedded movie clip it made some browsers crash.)

Livestream from the concert tonight. If everything goes to plan it starts at 2100 CET.

Update 19.33: So far so good, looks like the sound works. Now just to find a place for the laptop, I won't be able to do that until 2030, we have to wait for another concert in another building to start. So things might be a few minutes delayed but video should be up and running sometime between 2030 and 21 CET.

Update 23.58: Done! The stream is off, the show is over, I have to shut down and clean out my laboratory mess, hope it worked out OK. I forgot flag the stream for recording, so I'm not able to see how it went, let me know in comments if there were any problems so I can adjust for next time... I also had a HD cam taping the show, I'll edit it down and put it out as soon as I have some time.


After The Flood: Cities Under Water
Posted November 19th 2009, at 09:07 with tags , , , , , ,

Bldblog has a fresh collection epic images of flooded New York and Tokyo, by Studio Lindfors.

I wish they made theme parks like this. I have always been drawn to empty, abandoned and flooded ruins, rather than perfectly polished amusements parks with their queues of expectations and illusory happiness.

Both places make you sad, but the ruins doesn't lie about it.

New Free Ugress Single: Robot Army
Posted November 16th 2009, at 07:59 with tags , , , , , ,

Celebrating the new monthly Ugress concert series, download the free new single Robot Army.

I dream of world domination.

But I only have one tiny, friendly little robot. Thankfully, my trusty little robot friend also dreams of world domination, and our very own, unstoppable, robot army.

Ugress - Robot Army by GMM

New Ugress Live Concert Series
Posted November 16th 2009, at 06:14 with tags , , , , , ,

I am launching my own monthly concert series, at Kafe Edvard.

For some years now I have mostly been off the stage, in the cinematic dark, writing music for films and TV. Now I want to focus a little bit on my own: Write music, and perform it the way I want it to be performed.

How does one become a better artist? I have a mad scientific approach. Megalomaniac idea, concept, execution, trials, experimenting, failing, analyzing, correcting and refining a formula, having control of every element yourself, piece by piece building towards the inevitable failed world domination. At least on my route towards utter doom I will have a good time and loud beats.

Therefore I launch my own concert series, a monthly musical laboratory adventure at musical blackbox Kafe Edvard. (PS. Here are photos from the previous show I played there this summer.) The place has great staff, huge screens, friendly atmosphere, modern technology, it is digitally and culturally well connected, and intimate enough to afford smaller experimental performances. When everything goes wrong, it is easy to hit me with the rotten tomatoes.

For the first show I will be performing a little soundscape concert with dystopic Nebular Spool music and visuals, and a main concert with Ugress music and visuals, featuring both new tracks and old tracks in new clothes.

The shows will be streamed live right here on my website, hopefully with better sound quality than last time...


    •    Ugress Live, Saturday November 21st
    •    Kafe Edvard, Griegsplass, Bergen, Norway (map)
    •    Admission NOK 100, tickets presold at the cafe
    •    Age limit 20 years
    •    Doors open 2000 CET
    •    Nebular Spool starts 2100 CET
    •    Ugress starts 2200 CET
    •    Concerts are streamed live on

Next show after this, is Dec 19th, featuring Ugress and Ninja 9000.

Bandcamp Upgrades To Physical Items
Posted November 16th 2009, at 05:57 with tags , , , , , ,

Bandcamp is my preferred digital download solution. I provide most of my music in mp3 and lossless format there, and I can experiment with different payment models, like the recent pay-what-you-want Nebular Spool.

Tonight they announced the option to also sell physical items, like CDs and vinyl, through the same system.

This is awesome. My current physical merch shop, powered by Yahoo, is ugly ass backwards. It works OK, but the store system in the background is cumbersome and it all looks terrible. The Bandcamp systems kind of runs easier with my current web look. Also I don't like having things spread out, right now I have three different physical and digital shop systems to keep tabs on and I think it's potentially confusing towards customers, with so many options.

I'm a bit swamped with the current Robot Army release and upcoming Ugress / Nebular Spool concert, but as soon as I have time I'll start moving things over.

The Rise Of Digital Music - Graphics
Posted November 14th 2009, at 19:59 with tags No tags. has a really nice and fancy graphical presentation of the growth of digital music.


Making Of Kometkameratene: Travel
Posted November 14th 2009, at 19:22 with tags , , , , , , , ,

Kometkameratene Behind-The-Music: You can watch episodes directly from NRK or download official torrents. There is also a list of each behind-the-music entry.

Not much to say here except I am very satisfied with this one, I think it is a beautiful song and melody.
And I'll reveal a little secret, but suggest you listen to the song before reading the spoiler:

Kometkameratene - Reise / Travel by GMM

This song is actually a clever re-write of On The Road Again, by Willie Nelson. We took the feel and structure of this fantastic track, which has brilliant connotations to traveling, and made a slightly similar, but completely new, different song. Since I have an aversion towards major harmonies, I shifted it into my preferred minor system, and included some typical Kometkameratene major-minor shifts within the same key for those slightly jarring sci-fi elements.

You can hear the main melody ghosted in the chorus lead vocals, where the Captain wonder: "What's out there?" Only one way to find out... travel.

Production wise, I'm not too found of the country, but there are some country elements in the sound. I also included some gypsy elements, like the rhythmical brass and cymbals, hinting towards a roma life spent on the road. There's also a very neat pop-cultural reference in the last section, of which I am particularly proud, where the final banjo solo is a polite nod to the Dueling Banjos segment from Deliverance.


Kinsis: A Synth That Attacks The ADSR
Posted November 14th 2009, at 18:44 with tags , , , , ,

Haven't had time to try this one yet, but I heartily applaud the effort by Progress Audio to revitalize synthesis control with their Kinsis synth.

Most traditional synths, and contemporary digital ones, employ a typical ADSR + LFO system for controlling the sound. ADSR (Attack Decay Sustain Release) is an easy way to manipulate events that happen once (like for each keypress), and LFOs are tpyical for repeating effects, like vibrato or filter wah or things like that.

This is good and all, and kind of a standarized way of doing synthesis, but it is an old method, and based in hardware. WIth digital tools there should really be new options, and I am happy to see Progress Audio challenging this. Kinsis employs more of a timeline approach modulating stuff, which is familiar to most persons working digitally. Looking forward to investigate this.


Spotify Reduces Piracy By 66.6 Percent
Posted November 14th 2009, at 18:44 with tags , , , ,

I am not surprised by the recent findings in the UK in a survey by (allthough, how can one trust data from someone with a name like that?).

According to Hypebot, data from this survey shows that almost two thirds of people who pirate, says that the introduction of Spotify has reduced their illegal downloading.

I'm not jumping to any conclusions yet, except noting that this is in line with my general observation: Piracay is not happening because people are evil, it is happening because the music business aren't providing good enough solutions in the digital world. Spotify is an important step towards a better digial musical future, these data (if thrustworthy) confirms this.

The Cloud - But What Is It?
Posted November 14th 2009, at 17:22 with tags , ,

I blab about the cloud all the time. But what is it, really?

Ars Technica to the rescue. Great article on what the cloud really is, and some background history.

More details on the OP-1
Posted November 14th 2009, at 15:22 with tags , , , , , ,

I'm kind of intrigued by the fancy little OP-1 sample-synthesizer and tiny MIDI controller from Teenage Engineering.

There's an interview with the engineers over at EM411 revealing some more details and philosophies.

Making Of Kometkameratene: Music
Posted November 13th 2009, at 23:59 with tags , , , , , , , ,

Kometkameratene Behind-The-Music: You can watch episodes directly from NRK or download official torrents. There is also a list of each behind-the-music entry.

The Music episode!

What is music? This is a subject I suggested to the producers; i hoped thye would write and episode with this theme. I also had silly ambitions to what I would do, if there ever was to be one.

Finally, there was one, and I stumbled over myself in enthusiasm and megalomanic plans for how to investigate the music phenomena.

This is probably my only nemesis; my own ambitions, I want too much, try too much, wish too much, and I ask too much of myself and my ideas. For the music episode, I had so many plans and ambitions they all killed each other out in an implosion of time, budget and resources. Of course it was bound to crash. Thankfully this show is produced and directed by very competent and smart people, and they steered the direction into something manageable. I think the success of this TV show very much lies in the skills and execution of the producers and directors.

Nevertheless my imploding and misplaced ambitions, this episode did become something special after all.

I wrote two songs, one a-cappella where the characters themselves generate a song from the sound of themselves, like a Kometophone played by the scientist, and another industrial track where they generate a mechanical sounding song, by performing their regular routines in the spaceship in musical rhythms and patterns.

For the first piece, I had a brief unusual moment of clarity, enough to sample each actor during an earlier recording in Oslo - I asked each of them to perform their typical character sounds, in various tones and energy levels, and built a sample library of each character. From there, I built several songs and variations for the producers to pick from. They eventually picked one, scripted it, and after shooting the video there was actually very little post production, the sampled version worked well enough for most of the characters. I only had to replace some actors which they had swapped during shooting.

Here is the voice-based character song:
Kometkameratene - Music - Kometophone by GMM

Both of these tracks really need the video to work. The second piece, the spaceship-routine-piece, was great fun to build. And I think perhaps it is a neat "oh" moment for regular viewers, who has subconsciously learned the routine sounds of each character during the show. The foley editors sent me regular character sounds, and I built a percussive piece, where they all perform their routines in a quasi-melodic percussive fashion. There's a tribal feel to the track, enhancing the percussive effect of character operations.

Here is the spaceship-sound song:
Kometkameratene - Music - Kometophone by GMM

I also wrote a number of smaller cues and snippets to be used throughout the episode.

Conclusion; it became a great episode, and once again I learned to limit my ambitions, they tend to run off with themselves. I am very lucky to be working with very smart people who can steer everything in the right direction, and manage my sometimes wild creativity into something very realizable.

Sexy New Ugress Posters
Posted November 13th 2009, at 17:22 with tags ,

Who's a nice poster? THAT ONE. And it's 999 perfect clones.

I made new Ugress posters, huge ones. It was a lot of hassle, the first poster shipment was damaged when arrived, so a new batch was printed, but it was delivered to the wrong outlet, so I've been running around all day everywhere, hunting elusive posters in taxis and finally found them, but then the outlet was closed and finally after phoning and dealing and lots of pots and pans someone came and THERE THEY WAS GLORIOUS TREASURE and the printer guys where nice enough to help me pack them up for transport and drive me home.

Just in time! What are they for? Stay very tuned.

Where did the blog stuff go?
Posted November 12th 2009, at 19:04 with tags , , , , ,

I have separated major news and regular blog posts. Important news items related to my music stays here on the front page, everything else goes to the blog page. The RSS feed stays the same for now.

Here is the reason why.

Me On The Cover Of A Magazine!
Posted November 11th 2009, at 20:12 with tags , , , , ,

OK, so it's not a cover picture, only text, but the text IS the first text on the cover.

I was interviewed for the biggest magazine in Norway for musicians and artists, Musikkpraksis, by eminent music journalist Per Christian Frankplads. We met and had a great talk, followed up by emailing and texting each other. The result is a very flattering and beautiful 6 page documentation of how I work, how I use my digital tools, and my methods and efforts towards being as mobile and flexible as possible.

There is also a step by step production journal of how I created the It Was Great Year track. (You can also grab remix kit stems of this track and look inside it.)

The article is for the time being only available in the current print issue.

Thingamagoop 2 is here
Posted November 11th 2009, at 13:37 with tags , , , , ,

Thingamagoops are updated to new, cyclopian version 2.

When typing up this entry, I was surprised to realize my original Thingamagoop is actually my only hardware synthesizer. This tiny handheld robot which spits out frantic bleeps and blops, is featured in way more tracks than I actaully intended when adopting it.

The new version introduces:

  • Open source code so you can program your own sounds
  • Analog VCO controlled by analog or digital signal from Arduino

  • Sample and hold, Arpeggios, noise, and bit crush effects 

  • All the analog sounds of the original Thingamagoop.
Controllable LEDacle - Ramp and random waveforms with rate control.

  • New modulators - Square wave amplitude modulator and triangle wave pulse width modulator.

  • Arduino Programmer jack, hook up an Ardunio board

And much more. Video and deeper info over at Make.  

Soundcloud Anniversary And Upgrades
Posted November 10th 2009, at 23:55 with tags , , ,

Soundcloud, my absolutely most favorite platform for exchanging and communicating music and audio, is one year old today. Congratulations!

The tireless development team are celebrating by revealing fantastic new upgrades and a better new subscription model.

I can't believe Soundcloud has only been here for a year. It is incredible how important this tool has become to me, not only in day to day exchange of music, but also as a backbone provider to my own websites. It is impossible to imagine how life was before Soundcloud.

I talked to David a few weeks back, we discussed some of the new features and how this update would affect my use. I think the new widget players are neat, but actually what I am most intrigued with from the new update, are the small refinements, easing up the process of heavy, frequent usage. I have my whole discography on there, and I have even greater amounts of private tracks: The music communication with NRK for the Kometkameratene show goes through Soundcloud, some days I send, comment and discuss on maybe 10-15 versions of various songs and cues to directors, editors, producers, making for a continuously growing amount of tracks. I also use Soundcloud to communicate and discuss new tracks, sketches and ideas between my trusted advisors.

Soundcloud is a radiating example of brilliant, modern digital technology, and how it empowers both artists and music. Can't wait to see what the next year brings.

HTTP Adjustments
Posted November 10th 2009, at 19:14 with tags , , , , ,

I have done some changes to the website. Nothing is gone (on the contrary, a proper calendar has been added). But there is one thing that might confuse regular visitors. I haven't found an optimal solution yet, this is a trial, I am just trying things out. So here I am, talking a little about what I have done and why.

I've known about a problem for some time now, where new visitors to the website could potentially visit the site when the first five entries on the front page (five latest blog posts) really had nothing to do with me, Ugress or music.

This isn't a big problem for recurring visitors, fans and friends, but I think first-time visitors, or in-frequent visitors, are confused by this. They should only see news and information related to their visit, they are most likely here to either get to know me, or see what I am up to as an artist.

Also, another angle on the same problem, some entries I would like to stay put for a while, unaffected by regular blog posts. Like the Nebular Spool release, I skipped some blog posts because I wanted it to stay on top, that isn't optimal, things like that will happen again. I need some way of having things stay put in one place, and another place to rant.

So for now, I have split my "journal" into two - everything continues as usual, but in two streams: Only selected items will be presented on the front page, labelled "news". Everything else goes into the "blog", kind of the second page on the website. If this works, in time I should build some kind of proper distinction and interaction between the two.

So, the front page right now mostly contain posts directly related to my artistic activity, and the blog contains the blah-blah-whatever outlet. To be honest, it doesn't feel super-right to me yet, I'm kind of bewildered if this is the right way, but I would like to see some numbers before I make any commitments. This was the easiest way to try out the separation, I'll let it run for a few weeks and then compare traffic data. I know it seems confusing to those of you who visit regularly, which page should you bookmark? I'm looking into how to solve that, but for the time being the blog will most definitively see the most activity.

The RSS feeds continues as usual, at least for the time being.

Let me know if you think this sucks, if you have any bright ideas, or if stumble onto something broken. Work in progress.

(This entry will be moved into the blog in a week or so.)

blink - Architectural Aurora Borealis
Posted November 7th 2009, at 16:29 with tags , , , , , , , ,

One thing I like about Bergen, my hometown, is that uncannily often you have the most futuristic and exciting things in the world, happening right outside your door. Even better, it happens in a perfectly casual manner.

Today I took a few hours off and went to see blink at Hordaland Kunstsenter. I was first made aware of this at the BEK blog, and then Peter at CreateDigitalMotion picked it up. No excuses not to see this. I've been eyeing the works of HC Gilje for quite some time, not only his exciting digital art, but also his VPT video projection software - I have been toying with the idea of incorporating projection mapping in my liveshows, and it needs to be dynamic for touring, which hopefully would be a breeze with VPT. Further, projection mapping built into my liveshows could be a storm, with the recently released MaxForLive, which brilliantly has full support for Jitter. Very, very much looking forward to spend time on this in 2010.

But, the exhibition. Luckily I was alone most of the time in the showroom, and even if the artist probably intended the artwork experienced quiet, I was fearless enough to augment the experience with with delicious, dark, in-ears Trentemøller on my handheld.

One way to describe the projection; it's like being inside a neat, abstract screensaver, and I mean that in a good way. The projection, from a corner of the room, is angled onto the floor and parts of the opposing wall, and the whole room is painted white. The floor in particular is highly reflective. By sometimes using high contrast lines and animation, sometimes combined or replaced with pulsing, softer patterns, the projection breathes and reflects cleverly around the room.

With good music on the ear, and abstract room-animation for my eyes, indeed, I spent some projection-mapping-quality-time getting immersed in a wonderful, digital, architectural aurora borealis. The projection loops after some time, but actually, with continuous, different music for each loop you could stay there all day.

Making Of Kometkameratene: Decisions
Posted November 6th 2009, at 23:06 with tags , , , ,

Kometkameratene Behind-The-Music: You can watch episodes directly from NRK or download official torrents. There is also a list of each behind-the-music entry.

Ah, the "Decisions" episode! I am proud of this one, not so much directly the music, because the music isn't terribly interesting - but the song works more as a background, providing structure for a little musical story inside the spaceship: The captain sings about how she likes to decide, enjoys being in control of the spaceship, all the while things are happening around her, showing she has no control and the whole place is falling apart.

This is an elegant way of revealing the duality of making decisions, it can make you feel great, but are you really in control even if you decide something?

Instead of writing a typical song, we took inspiration from the hilarious "I'm ronery" segment in Team America, where Kim Jong-il walks around his palace, feeling lonely. We just turned it around to being in control, and wrote an epic orchestral ballad for the captain to sing while walking around the spaceship. I kept the music and production deliberately "low", knowing that there would be a lot of action and sound to incorporate later.

There is a segment where an unexpected musical instrument is introduced, and is supposed to "meta-break-up" the song performance. I struggled for some time to find a suitable instrument, which could both break up the music when being introduced, and then also blend into the epicness after being accepted. I landed on bagpipes.

After we had the basics, the song was structured out and built in close cooperation with the director, and delivered in multiple segments, so the production team could time and shoot the music, with flexible pauses timed by themselves.

After the video was shot, I recorded actors for both singing and image sync, and did all the post internal audio editing for the song, both vocals and dialogue.

The final video is in my opinion one of the best music videos of the series - there is so much going on, and in a bold change from regular scenes, the camera now moves continuously between rooms in the spaceship, with long takes. The logistics and performance of the myriad of actors, puppets, explosions, catapults, very impressive, I know it was a wonderful chaos. And it turned out great!

Coming up this season there are several more exciting videos, where we experiment with different formulas, breaking up the songs.

The current version of the song does not stand very well on it's own, due to all the dialogue and breakups. I suggest catching the video, starts around 21:30. Here's a short excerpt of the final segment of the track, after the bagpipe-shock has settled:

Kometkameratene - Bestemme / Decisions by GMM

Shul - Download And Purchase Statistics
Posted November 5th 2009, at 17:22 with tags , , , , , , , , ,

Satisfaction and self-congratulations are in order, with the response to the Shul release this previous weekend.

I have only marketed this release directly towards my own friends and fans, there has been no external promotion. I had no idea how this release would be received, but appearantly the bleak future allures. There has been fantastic response, at least compared to what I expected from this dark and depressing venture.

What makes me particularly proud, is the percentage of payments vs downloads. 

Here are some stats.

  • 40% of downloaders choose to pay
  • Average payment is 3 USD
  • Most frequent payment is also 3 USD
  • There is a smaller, but very respectable number of high payments (15-20 USD)
  • There is also a good amount of 1 USD payments 
  • Downloads are dropping fast without further promotion

I do not have access to which formats are most popular.

I'd rather not disclose total sales, at least not yet. As noted above, downloads are dropping exponentially since release, there is a tiny window of attention, and then downloads will flatten. However, financially and theoretically speaking, if I could release an album like this every month, with those figures, I could actually make a living directly from that.

It is a bit tricky to compare this release with the latest Ugress album, because they are both available in very different options and the Ugress album is distributed in channels where I don't have access to statistics. But my intuition hints that this album is actually not very far behind Reminiscience.

I have no idea when Spotify and iTunes updates their catalogues but it will take a few months until I have comparable data there.

MaxForLive Public Beta
Posted November 4th 2009, at 23:22 with tags , , , , , , ,

The holy lovechild of Cycling 74 and Ableton, MaxForLive, is out in public beta today.

I don't have much spare time right now, but this is important - and it is also perfect timing. I just wrapped up the Nebular album, I am currently wrapping up the final batch of the TV show, and I have started preparing for a serious live show reanimation in 2010 - where I very much expect to be running this MaxForLive.

Therefore I dropped everything in my hands, and squeezed in a few hours of looking into the beta. My first impression was: WOW this is über perfect for my upcoming live plans and the second: WOAH I need to pick up on my Max/MSP programming skills. I know the basics but I'm more of a hacker than a builder. I also managed to crash the beta several times by just looking around, so I suppose there is still some bugs to be ironed out. This is fine by me, I won't have time to dive into this properly until a month or so.

But any spare moment up ahead will be spent researching and learning Max/MSP.

Nebular Spool - Shul
Posted October 31st 2009, at 01:06 with tags , , , , , , , ,

The third Nebular Spool album Shul is out.

Delicious, dark and depressive post-apocalyptic cthulhutronica, from a bleak and lonely character, roaming and searching a lost future. This is glitchy, bleak, hopeless desperation, the soundtrack of an individual doomed to eternal solitude in the ruins of a extinct civilization.

The album is available for immediate streaming, and mp3 and lossless download.

I realized I have not tried an explicit pay-what-you-want model, so this time everything is available and you can choose if and what you want to pay. There's no free mp3 downloads because, you know, you can just download it all... 

There are four extra bonus tracks only available through the bundled PDF cover artwork. The album should be available in iTunes and Spotify etc in a few weeks when those systems are catching up to realtime events.

Then all that is left for me is to bid you a gloomy, glitchy and post-apocalyptic Halloween.

Speaking Piano: Fascinating Mechanical Vocoder
Posted October 30th 2009, at 20:47 with tags , ,

This is a few weeks old but I still think it is wonderful and should be noted in my journal: A mechanically speaking piano.

Peter Ablinger has created software and built a piano with mechanical triggers, which together replays the note-transcribed signal of a voice. This effectively turns the piano into a fascinating, ethereal vocoder.

In this Youtube video you can clearly hear the piano speaking.

(Create Digital Music has an excellent, in-depth post on this.)

Chipsounds Plugin GUI Is Skinnable
Posted October 30th 2009, at 20:19 with tags , , , , ,

Some time back I mentioned the Chipsounds plugin, a smart new plugin to emulate various vintage console and computer sounds.

I found the GUI rather poor, but I am now happy to observe it is skinnable, with the first not-too-bad, faintly C64 inspired, Chipsounds GUI by polyfonken.

(Via twitter/chipsounds.)

Ugress Music And Extreme Sports Videos
Posted October 27th 2009, at 23:34 with tags , , , , , , , , , ,

My music is often used in all kinds of films and videos, but surprisingly often in sport and wilderness videos. This is very nice, and very strange, considering I am absolutely not a child of the wild. The thought of jumping off a cliff, skiing down Mount Everest, or for that matter spending the night in a tent, rarely enters my mind.

I did write music for the Perfect Moment series a few years ago, epic movies which I absolutely loved to score. But this was more a consequence of an already existing extreme sports connection, not a starting point for it. Nevertheless, I absolutely enjoy this connection.

Recently my music was featured in two great and popular videos:

Paddle Train by Benjamin Hjort, where a crew of kayak paddlers travel Norway by rail and access rivers and waterfalls. At least here I can relate to parts of the experience - I do love a good train trip.

The video has been featured on Kayaksessions and, and parts of it was shown on Norwegian broadcaster NRK tonight.

Base-jumping in Lauterbrunnen by Halvor Angvik, a completely mad helmet-cam wingsuit basejump video. The first jump out from the tree is crazy and from there it goes off the vertigo scale.

Mystery Fire, Un-Wild Woods, Smooth Recs
Posted October 25th 2009, at 18:18 with tags , , , , , , , , , ,

Journal entry, October 25th, 2009

This week I spent some time in Oslo, recording the second-last batch of songs for the Kometkameratene show, surviving a mysterious hotel fire, and also surviving getting lost in the Wild Eastern Norwegian Woods (also known as Nordmarka).

Recording at NRK was quick and painless, the actors are becoming very good at singing in character. There were many songs to record, we had scheduled the sessions over several days but everything went so smooth we could almost have done everything in "one take".

The challenges was to come from another direction: One night, three in the morning, the fire alarm went off in my hotel room. I am somewhat used to fire alarms in hotels from touring - there's always a drunk idiot opening the wrong door or having a smoke on Friday and Saturday nights, especially on hotels near festivals or clubs. These alarms are quickly turned off, so I'm usually not panicking when I hear a fire alarm.

But this time, it was Tuesday, and the alarm kept ringing. And it kept ringing. I was at the top floor, and eventually it dawned on me I was pretty screwed if I kept doing nothing and there really was a fire. So I started panicking and got dressed. 

I felt like an idiot, first I did nothing for a few minutes and then I tried to do everything at once. I ended up stumbling over myself in an explosive attempt at getting out as soon as possible. I also spent a few moments deliberating if I should grab the laptop, but then I had to save a project, wait for the sleeping disks to wake, then unmount an external disk, unplug, and just calculating the time of this operation kept me even longer in the room. I wondered if I should check mail. Eventually I grabbed my mobile and headed out.

After a whimsical adventure of locating fire escapes and navigating a completely different hotel then I knew from daytime (because suddenly there were closed doors that never is there during the day), I managed to get outside, as one of the last persons. The street was crowded with evacuated people.

I stood outside for some time, fire trucks came and smoke divers and police people ran in and out, and then after some more time, suddenly everybody went back inside. And I was like "what the what is going on? Is there a fire? Is it safe? What?". But nobody said anything and I was dead tired so I went back in but couldn't sleep and did some mixing of the earlier recordings, while sniffing for smoke.

Was there a fire or was there not? I have no idea. 

The next day was a day off from recording, and I was wasted from the nightly mess, so I decided to explore the Nordmarka woods, a large area of trees and lakes and stuff just outside Oslo, hopefully discovering an unknown aboriginal tribe, alien caves or some ancient, mysterious ruin.

I did not manage to get lost, closest thing to an undiscovered tribe was multiple kindergarten-excursions, and the most ancient artifacts I found was a jolly bunch of old people strolling positively by, smoking their pipes. The wilderness! I tell you, not what it used to be.

The last day was final recordings at NRK, meeting with my manager, and a long journey back home, where I was such a mess after all this adventure I completely forgot to remove anything from my backpack and the security people had to send it back through the scanner multiple times and then I ended up in a taxi with a Taleban fighting immigrant driver schooling me on the various Farsi dialects in Central Asia. 

Making Of Kometkameratene: Language
Posted October 24th 2009, at 19:37 with tags , , , , , , , ,

Kometkameratene Behind-The-Music: You can watch episodes directly from NRK or download official torrents. There is also a list of each behind-the-music entry.

Tonight's episode is a fine example of how we have experimented with and developed the episode song formula for the new season. For this episode, where they investigate language, we did the opposite - there is no language in the song, only invented and seemingly random words. How can one communicate in a unknown language?

Zook, the goobeligook-based character of the bunch, is trying to sing his song in peace and quiet but is consistently interrupted by Rampejentene. This develops into a battle of meaningless words, in a reversed take on the brilliant Muppet "Mah-nah Mah-nah" skit.

We developed the song from the basic idea of this Muppet skit, but wrote a new song, reversed the dynamics and placed it in the spaceship universe. The song itself is rather simple, and didn't take long to develop, it was mostly improvised lounge by Sjur and then further programmed beats by me. We also did the demo version vocals. But the timing and scripting of the gags took a lot of work and effort, lots of painstakingly fine-tuned edits. I built several versions with different structure and experimented with various timings, before we settled on the current version.

If you notice, and prepare your impressi-meter, the video is shot in one single take. The actors memorized the words and movements, and everything was performed and nailed in a single take.

Afterwards I simply recorded the actor vocals, and programmed them on top of the video. Here's the final song below. Not the world's most exciting melody, but hilarious when performed by battling non-linguistanis.

I strongly suggest to watch the video over at NRK (starts around 18:20).

Kometkameratene - Spraak / Language by GMM

Kontakt 4 - Mature Sampler Has OK Birthday
Posted October 23th 2009, at 00:06 with tags , , , , , ,

Kontakt is my sampler number one and it was just upgraded to version 4. How is it?

This version came as part of my Komplete 6 upgrade a few weeks back. However I didn't have time to dive in and check out things before this week, when I had a day off between recordings in Oslo.

Kontakt 4 is sort of an underwhelming upgrade compared to the recent 3.5 upgrade, which I really loved. But the way I see it, if you take Kontakt 3.0, and compare it to Kontakt 4.0, it has been a nice development. So I'm actually kind of happy with Kontakt 4.

There's a couple of new minor details I appreciate, like resizable plugin view and improved database tools. A couple of bugs and whoopses from 3.5 has been fixed. The upgraded library is OK, and key-switched variations for the orchestral samples is cleverly and consistently executed.

The new AET effect however is silly. It's just a fancy filter with rather cumbersome interface. I think NI should spend less time on esoteric new half-baked effects, and more time on upgrading the elastic audio methods, which are becoming antique.

All in all, this is an OK update, but only when including the 3.5 stuff in the upgrade path. 

Absynth 5 - Some neat new things, but...
Posted October 22th 2009, at 23:47 with tags , , , , , , , , ,

I took a brief look into the new Absynth 5, part of my Komplete 6 upgrade package.

I used to program quite a lot of sounds in Absynth, but that was back in version 3. I really loved Absynth and knew the synth very well. Not sure why, but with version 4 I started using it less, and the last few years I rarely reach for it, only when I need something special only available in Absynth.

After poking around in version 5, I appreciate the new effects, the Aetherizer sounds OK and could make me use the FX version. But I do not see myself reaching for Absynth any more frequently. Can't quite put my finger on it, but maybe the changes in GUI from 3 to 4 wasn't really for me.

There's this trend in synthesis software where exciting complexity is being hidden, and a few macro-parameters are prominently thrown in your face for "quick access to most important settings". I'm not really fond of that, it is a dumbing down of sound synthesis development, not a benefit. I understand why it is being done, but I don't like it. I think developers should spend more time creating clever GUIs that actually expose the power of their software. They shouldn't hide it.

I think Native Instruments in particular are overdoing this for some of their products.

Machinarium - Robot Steampunk Adventure
Posted October 22th 2009, at 23:37 with tags , , ,

Haven't played a computer game in ages, but I dearly remember being captivated by the Samorost games.

The developer, Amanita, recently followed up with Machinarium, a robot mystery-adventure in a beautiful, worn-down steampunk world. You point and click, solve puzzles, explore the world, and bit by bit unravel a fantastic, word-less story.

The first few levels are simple single-screen puzzles, from there it evolves into an intriguing universe and story. I haven't had time to play far into the game, but enough to realize this is definitively something I'd like to play through. The visuals are delicious, the game progress my cup of tea, and most noticeable is the wonderful music and sfx, a hybrid of ambient soundscapes and haunting, lo-fi electronica. The soundtrack comes bundled as an mp3 album with the download version, which is exceptionally sensibly priced.

Ars Technica has a nice review, with video, and there's also playable online demo.

Making Of Kometkameratene: Greed
Posted October 17th 2009, at 19:09 with tags , , , , , , , ,

Kometkameratene Behind-The-Music: You can watch episodes directly from NRK or download official torrents. There is also a list of each behind-the-music entry.

Oh dear this has slipped my mind. I've been so busy lately, I completely forgot to write making-of's for the new airing episodes. There's already been aired a few ones.

We didn't write episode songs for all of the autumn episodes, but I did score all of them, wrote new cues for small gags, and developed music for a new bunch of characters.

Today I'll run through the Grådighet episode (Greed), and I'll get to the others over the next few weeks.

Since everything is done in batches (we usually do six episodes at a time), sometimes the aired episode is just finished, other times it's finished a long time ago. The song for this episode was written almost a year ago, during final production for season one.

The first sketch for this episode was refused, and I completely understand. It was so bad, nobody is ever going to hear it again. I just listened to it, it was horrible.

Luckily everyone thought it was horrible, so I wrote a new one, much better, I think this musically fits the subject pretty well. I used the riff idea from Prokofievs Romeo and Juliet, but it has this Scrooge-ish fatality in it, kind of a musical representation of manic greed but also the cackling glee of it.

I built a chorus around the three rising notes. (In Norwegian the team sings something like "would you like to have?" and then the Agent answers with a nice collection of absurd items.) 

Sjur came in and did the vocal harmonies and also provided the epic piano solo. The production team then followed up by producing a hilarious video where they build pyramids of toilet paper, and I went to Oslo to record the vocals.

And this is the final broadcast version.

Kometkameratene - Grdighet / Greed by GMM

Teenage Engineering OP-1 Update
Posted October 17th 2009, at 19:00 with tags , , , ,

Half a year ago the Operator-1 made a little web-splash of synth-furore, and I was sort of quasi-convinced if it was real.

MatrixSynth has uncovered new in-depth information from a newsletter. Supposedly still some time until production units.

We are right now finalizing the hardware design and working on the last mechanical parts of the case and keyboard and make it ready for production. The final case will be a light grey painted one piece aluminum body with no screws. We have worked hard to make it super thin and as light as possible. During this process we dropped the additional power connection seen on the first prototype. The USB is now used for both power/charging and to transfer data...

More at MatrixSynth.

Neon Skatekeyboard
Posted October 17th 2009, at 18:56 with tags , , ,

Neon skatekeyboard. That is all.

(Via Make.)

Ugress Logo Gelaskins Laptop Skin
Posted October 14th 2009, at 22:42 with tags , , , , ,

You can now skin your laptop with the sexy, snacksy Ugress logo.

Gelaskins, my favorite laptop skinner, recently opened up for personal customization of their laptop and mobile skins. They print your design on a 3M decal, which you easily slide onto your laptop or mobile and apply. Even easier to remove.

They haven't made it possible to share designs yet, but it is dead easy to create your own with their editor. Grab this 2k Ugress logo, and use as a base for your own phone or laptop design.

Journal entry, October 14th, 2009
Posted October 14th 2009, at 22:30 with tags , , , , , , , ,

Journal entry, October 14th, 2009.

Last week was spent travelling, I saw most parts of Norway by train. Or rather, I saw most of the snowy (!) Norwegian forests in a blur, as snapped above. I also managed to catch a silly cold, which seems to be of the impolite, sticky kind. 

I have much on my mind these days, there's the Nebular album coming up in a few weeks and final efforts on the Kometkameratene sci-fi show. Also I am preparing for 2010. I'd rather not expose too much until everything is ready, but in brief, I'd like to get all of my various projects up and running as live shows in 2010, develop my mobility and write and publish a lot of music. I am now approaching concrete actions for this to happen, and it's just a lot of boring, theoretical maneuvering, before things start to happen.

Next week I'm travelling again, over to Oslo for a few days to record the last Kometkameratene batch, then I'll be concentrating on the imminent Nebular release.

BBC report on live coding music performance
Posted October 14th 2009, at 21:55 with tags , , , , , ,

Sometimes I am very happy to live in a remote forest at the north-western edge of Europe. Other times, not so much.

I really wish I could attend the Toplap evenings at a London pub, where live coding of audio and music is integrated and displayed simultaneously with the performance. Ah how about an afternoon there with a pint, another pint, maybe a third, and a laptop, forgetting my global domination schemes for a few hours!

As a second-best alternative, this intriguing BBC article with embedded video report will have to do.

Chipsounds Plugin Chip Sounds
Posted October 14th 2009, at 21:29 with tags , , , , ,

I am, and my Ninja 9000 project is, a sucker for 8-bit chip sounds.

After this impressive post by Peter Kirn over at CDM, I decided to try out the brand new chipsounds plugin from Plogue. Allegedly, it strives to emulate and reproduce a good number of the most legendary 8-bit sound chips. I took an hour off and investigated. A plugin that bundles multiple chip emulators and honour their original idiosyncrasies? It must be win?

Not quite. At the moment I think Peter's CDM post is slightly more impressive than the software. 

The good

  • Indie developer.
  • I am happy to have access to emulated sounds from multiple chip sources.
  • Right-to-the-point interface, what I needed where I wanted it.
  • Small footprint, installs quickly. Friendly protection scheme.
  • Looking forward to explore the various sound mutation possibilities for each chip.

The bad

  • You cannot automate anything at all (Logic 9), which certainly I hope is a bug.
  • The SID emulation does neither sync nor ringmod. Compared to the faithful QuadraSID, this SID emulation is lackluster.
  • The arpeggiator breaks down and creates horrible noise at synced speeds above 1/32, practically rendering it useless for regular chord arps. Must be a bug, but surprising it still is in a release version, if it is.
  • The synth is built for multitimbral use, which I know this is a matter of taste, but personally I do not see the point of multitimbral plugins in a digital world.   

The ugly

  • The GUI. I am not sure if the Windows 3.11 alternative graphics is ironic-bad or just simply bad.
  • If the SID emulation is so lackluster, how do I know the others (which I don't know) is equally handicapped?


Promising, this could be really cool. Really wanted to love this one. But right now it needs serious bugfixes, proper SID emulation and a GUI overhaul before it becomes a keeper in my book.

New Album: Nebular Spool: Shul, Oct 31st
Posted October 7th 2009, at 22:22 with tags , , , , , , , ,

Nebular Spool - Excerpts From New Album "Shul" by GMM

The next Nebular Spool album "Shul", is deep, dark, post-apocalyptic cthulhutronica. Ghosts for grown-ups. I think All Hallows Eve, October 31st, is a most suitable date for release.

The album is very dark, as in the depth-of-utter-loneliness-dark. One minute previews of two tracks embedded above.

I grew up during the eve of the cold-war, at any moment the US and the USSR could annihilate us all at the push of a button. The apocalypse never came, the sudden atomic winter turned into a creeping global warming. Then why do we feel cheated? What are we still waiting for?

Perhaps there are unspeakable monsters just around the corner, or perhaps there are unspeakable monsters right inside. If only one person survived the apocalypse, must this person live with the guilt of everyone? What to do when there is no-one around to share your fears? And how do you know you really are alone?

"Emptiness" said the Tibetan philosopher Tsongkhapa, in 1397,  "is the track on which the centered person moves." The word he uses for track is shul. This term is defined as "an impression": a mark that remains after that which made it has passed by; a footprint, for example. Shul is used to describe the scarred hollow in the ground where a house once stood, the channel worn through rock where a river runs in flood, the indentation in the grass where an animal slept last night, the torn ruins of a lost civilization. All these are shul: the impression of something that used to be there.

(PS. Did you know, this is post number 1000 in my journal.)

This is my journal entry number 999
Posted October 7th 2009, at 21:12 with tags , , , ,

With this entry, I have written and publicized 999 posts in in my journal. This calls for a quiet moment of cloud celebration.


The next entry will be number one thousand, and I certainly think it should be an important entry. The upside down representation of post number 999 is post number 666. This leads me to believe the next post could be a dark, mysterious and sinister announcement.

Live Film Music Theater Improvisation Report
Posted October 7th 2009, at 19:31 with tags , , , , , , , , ,

Last week I performed an improvisational show at Landmark with theatre ensemble Bergen Improlaug. The performance was a challenge from Brak and Proscen; what happens when music and theater meet and improvise, with no rehearsals?

I met up with Improlauget, we had a coffee and agreed how to execute the performance. We agreed I should "live-score" their performance, and they would adapt their acting on-the-fly to my film music.

I prepared a number of cues, in different film music genres. I built them so I could navigate within each cue, and also drop some beats in at will, forcing the actors to musically rap the scene.

Improlauget did not know what kind of music I would give them, they would only act out a scene on their own, and change their setting and mood and improvisation after what kind of music I continuously scored them with.

It was a great idea but I was kind of nervous how it would work, since we had no rehearsals or practical experience with each other I didn't know if my cues where long enough or short enough or obvious enough to shift the mood of a scene.

But it worked out great, in fact, hilariously. At first I gave them some crime lounge music, and they acted out a scene in a watch shop, that became more and more intense as the music grew in intensity. Then I shifted to some dark Bollywood music, and they started to reminiscence of their forefathers in Tibet.

From there I shifted to a lo-fi, slow tempo Hawaii peace, which they turned into an old lady on a cruise, which she won in a magazine, and just as the cruise was becoming very relaxed, I threw them some sinister horror music (a mashup of Jaws, The Exorcist and some of my own stuff). They went into hiding and starting shooting at some invisible enemy, and after a quick battle, I introduced a romantic musical relief, the horrible cruise now became an idyllic trip on a gondola somewhere.

Finally, I gave them a epic western theme, with massive beats and soaring strings, and the finale brought them into a splendid, slow motion shoot out.

All the way they kept a central theme for the dialogue, "To go within one selves", given to them by the audience at start. Of course, every time they managed to include this it was in the most hilarious way. I also could shift the cues from various energy and tempo levels after their dialogue, sometimes following their energy levels, but other times directing and manipulating their energy levels.

I have to conclude, this was awesome. I was exceptionally impressed by what the Improlauget guys managed to improvise, and how quickly and perfectly they reacted to the shifts in music. Also, I was satisfied with how easily I could manipulate and shift the scene myself.

This was great fun for me to participate in, and I'm very happy to have discovered a new direction for my endeavors; live theatre film soundtrack scoring.

(Brak has more photos of the event.)

Novation Launchpad Ableton Mono Me Too
Posted October 7th 2009, at 19:00 with tags , , , , , , , , , ,

Novation announces Launchpad, a monome-clone which is specifically designed to complement Ableton Live.

I am not über excited by the product itself, it is not for me, but I am intrigued to notice an ever-growing trend: Hardware designed and developed to complement specific software. Granted, you can use this Launchpad with any other software, but the design and usage is developed with Live in mind.

This has a long story, back to my somewhat Live-inspired Faderfoxes, and I wonder where it will end up in the long run. In a world where specialization is the norm, it is no surprise hardware comes through with products like these.

I think this has both benefits and dangers, and I am slightly concerned with some of those dangers. I rarely use software, or hardware, exactly as intended, and I am always stuck on some detail I want done that any current box won't do, because I use it in a non-obvious way. With hardware becoming ever more specialized, this way of utilizing geart will become harder and harder. (Which is why I love my Lemur more and more, but still appreciate the tactile feel of physical hardware.)

Dawn Of New Era: First Ugress Solo Event
Posted October 5th 2009, at 14:20 with tags , , , , , , , ,

Last Friday I performed my first Ugress solo event (*). Photos. I have done lots of events before, but then always with a band.

I was very nervous and curious how it would turn out - I have always been performing with an assortment of musicians and vocalists, or at the very least with my drummer The Igor. Now The Igor has escaped and emigrated to Africa (really). I realized I want to perform on my own for some time, and adapt the live show into a more flexible and anything-goes modularity, forcing myself to perform better and develop the visual show into a full-blown experience, not just supportive.

This event was a book release for Samlaget/ Bjarte Klakegg's excellent debut book Heliumhjarte (Helium Heart).

I've done some shows on my own, but this event was noteworthy because it was a first test to me, if I could pull things off on my own.

I certainly could. With relief I notice the performance a success, excellent response. By the end, people was dancing everywhere. Afterwards I was very happy, but also surprisingly sad and nostalgic. I have been performing with The Igor for many years, and now that I am moving on, I suddenly realized how much I am, and will be, missing to have him thundering the drums by my side.

The taste of successful progress is sweet, but with a salt hint of reminiscence. 

I had some friends helping out taking pictures, there's a little Flickr set here with a selection of shots.

(* = Events are privately hired concerts, like book releases, product releases, fashion shows, film premieres etc. Usually one or more artists are hired to perform and entertain, and I have usually never announced or discussed them on my website or in my journal as the job is privately hired, and regularly closed to the public. They can  sometimes be very tough work, with a crowd that mostly does not care of who is performing and is just there for the free drinks, yelling loudly through the show. Other times events can be fantastic fun, like this one.)


Live show with Impro Lauget, Sept. 30th
Posted September 25th 2009, at 23:40 with tags , , , , ,

As mentioned in the latest journal update, I'm revitalizing the live show.

This coming Wednesday, September 30th, I will be performing live together with improvisational theater troupe Impro Lauget for a mini show at Landmark.

The setting is the monthly Brak convention held between different media industries, this time the focus is Performing Arts meets Music Scene. To showcase the potential between these two industries, I agreed to a performance where the theater team improvises a scene on the fly, and simultaneously I improvise the soundtrack and soundscape to this scene.

I am very excited about this, and I am very happy to be working with the hilarious guys at Impro Lauget. But most excitingly, what happens and how it ends up is completely open. This could be awesome, and it could end up a catastrophe.

Doors open at 20:00, free entry. I don't know when we're on, but I'll update here when I do.


Journal Update, September 25th, 2009
Posted September 25th 2009, at 23:23 with tags , , , , , , , ,

As I have come to learn, sometimes I prefer to, or NEED to, focus on writing music instead of being social.

Over the last few weeks, during late nights and stolen hours, I have wrapped up a new Nebular Spool album, "Shul". I am very proud of it, it is my absolutely darkest, most cthulhutronic album as of yet.

I wanted to release the album earlier this week, but when I heard the finished album I realized some tracks needed final adjustments, to fit a better whole. The recent release of Melodyne Editor also created certain opportunities I want to exploit as smoothly as possible. I shall attend to this as soon as possible.

I've also done an extended amount of new cues for the Kometkameratene show, and I'm working on several production gigs with looming deadlines, which will be needing my attention for the very immediate future. Early autumn in Norway is also the time for applications, so I spent a good amount of time writing applications for funding and similar tedious paperwork.

I am nearing the end of my current commitment for the Kometkameratene TV-show, the show wraps up at the end of 2009, early 2010. At the moment I don't know exactly what I will be doing in 2010, except focus intently on my own music. But I know I want to do more live shows.

After a couple of isolated years launching and establishing my own label, and doing film and TV music, I realize I miss some parts of the live aspect. I wish to play live with all of my projects, not only Ugress. And I want to do it MY WAY. So I have made some plans and taken some measures to initiate this. Nothing concrete yet, but wheels are in motion.

Myna: Impressive Audio Editor, In The Clouds
Posted September 25th 2009, at 23:20 with tags , , ,

Myna is a cloud-based, Flash-built online multitrack audio editor. I don't see myself using this much, it does not replace Logic or Protools or Fruityloops at all. But it indicates yet another step in complexity and feature-set of cloud-based applications. What I find interesting, look at this application 20 years ago. Would this application be impressive on a 486 running Windows 3.11. I think it might. Now consider the growth rate of technology today, in particular online services. See where this is headed? At some point, and it might happen sooner than we think, what is available and possible in the clouds will surpass what is possible on your local client.

Try it out yourself, or observe Download Squad has further commentary and a demo video.

Levitation Is Here Now
Posted September 25th 2009, at 23:15 with tags , , , , , ,

"In a study commissioned by NASA, a research team at the University of Missouri has made a mouse levitate, using nothing but magnetic fields. As a result, the poor mouse floats in mid-air, wondering where the ground went.

The researchers put the three-week-old mouse in a specially designed chamber then applied an external magnetic field. The field lifts up all of the water inside the little mouse's body, apparently with no ill effects."

I know I am late with this, but it is important enough to notice in my journal. This is yet another of those "this is incredible!" moments that keeps reminding me we are really living in the future but do not seem to realize it.

(Via IO9, text-quote lifted form article.)

Melodyne Editor: Free Bacon Forever
Posted September 18th 2009, at 01:19 with tags , , , , , , ,

Today is (was) September 17th, and one should make notice this date. What was once thought impossible, or slightly possible with a massive budget and eternal patience, is now casually doable at the flick of a mouse. Melodyne Editor is out. You can now go into any recorded material and edit any note, anytime, anywhere. It's like an eternal undo for recordings, or a post-prod multitrack editor for the whole universe.

I have briefly played with the blood-drippingly fresh new beta, and I conclude: Utter Win.

Notice my first experiment, changing an old r'n'b loop sample from major (original at first) to minor (second part, what I wanted):

CM Demo by GMM

This edit, a simple sample going from major to minor scale was done with a few simple mouse manouvres. Polyphonic pitch- and time-shifts, instantly. It might not appear impressive at first sight, but one cannot fathom how many times I have cursed the incompatible harmonies and melodies of various samples, loops and phrases for my compositions. Often I wanted to snip out a simple sound from a source but it never fit because the key was wrong. Now I can surgically enter into anything and everything, adapting the harmony and melody exactly to my schedule.

Here is another example, a Smashing Pumpkins loop in major, first the original then edited into a differnt minor phrase and melody:

SP Drown ME by GMM

I can now stretch, edit, remove, duplicate, replicate and eradicate any individual notes or harmonic keys within a sample. One can not possibly imagine all the consequences of this, only drool with geektastic glee at the border of eternal exploration.

Naturally, the more radical changes you introduce to the source material the more foggy it gets, but the fog is marvellous magic nevertheless. (The program has also crashed multiple times so far....) It is beta, I know, but this software is the samurai sword and ninja shuriken of audio editing.

Mark my words. Today is a milestone in music production, a ghostly shift of power, perhaps only noticed retrospectively by the masses. For me as a sample-based artist, this is a deep sip of (pardon my melodyned French) the god damn fucking holy grail.

JP-8000, Thanks For The Memories
Posted September 12th 2009, at 18:54 with tags , , ,

My beloved and exceptionally trusthworthy Roland JP-8000 synthesizer has now left me.

As the picture tells, this baby took a lot of beating but never ever gave up, even with a broken key.

I bought it used in Japan, and I don't know who used it before me. I then used this synth a lot when touring a few years ago. At first, with Ugress Live, it was both a controller and providing synth sounds, but eventually it was only used as a controller, and finally replaced by dedicated software controllers.

Ever since it has just been a dormant asset, stuffed away in a warehouse. Finally the right buyer came across. Now it is gone.

I looked through my photos for glimpses, and here's a brief photo cavalcade tribute to my first touring synthesizer:

Me playing the JP at some concert.

Ancient studio shot with ancient mobile.

The Igor soundchecks somewhere in Sweden.

Tech troubles, in Tromsø I think.

Not sure but think this was shot during a concert in Bodø I think.

Another ancient studio shot, that's a Powerbook, must be before World War 1.

Another stage shot, no idea where.

Thanks for all the memories, JP.

09:09:09 09-09-09
Posted September 8th 2009, at 19:40 with tags , , , , , ,

Just a heads up, so you don't miss this tomorrow morning. Nine minutes and nine seconds past nine, the exact moment in time will be 09:09:09, 9-9-9.

Not as beautiful and once-in-a-lifetime as 12:34:56 7-8-9, but this time, even you people in crazy date-format-zones can join in on the fun!


Bandcamp Now Bundle PDF Covers
Posted September 7th 2009, at 23:16 with tags , , , ,

Bandcamp is becoming my favourite platform for delivering direct digital purchases.

I can now bundle extra files within each release zip archive, which means the cover artwork PDF is bundled with any Bandcamp purchase. And the cover artwork gives access to extra bonus tracks.

I hope they drop the Flash requirement for downloading.

(PS. If you bought anything via my Bandcamp store, or anywhere else, know that you can access the cover artwork (and thereby extra bonus tracks for some releases) by just emailing me the receipt and I'll reply with the cover of your purchase.)

Spotify Mobile
Posted September 7th 2009, at 23:14 with tags , , , , , ,

Spotify is now available on the iPhone and Android mobile platform, and soon on the S60 platform.

The times, they are a-changin'.


Worlds First Photo Of A Single Molecule
Posted September 7th 2009, at 22:46 with tags , , , , , , ,

I remember the first time I learned about molecules and atoms, I thought: "I get it, but how do they LOOK? What does it LOOK like down there?"

Science FTW. Above, finally pictured for the first time, a single molecule, of pentacene. Below, a typical graphic representation of this molecule:

And this is what pentacene looks like in real life:

Scientists from IBM used an atomic force microscope (AFM) to reveal the chemical bonds within the molecules of this powder, which is used in solar panels.

Why isn't this on the frontpage of every newspaper all over the world?

Is that an 8 bit computer in your pocket?
Posted September 7th 2009, at 22:05 with tags , , , , , , , ,


A few months back I mentioned the cruel refusal of a promising C64 emulator in the iPhone app store. It was refused because of Basic, the internal programming environment, a natural part of any Commodore 64 emulator.

Now Manomio has disabled the Basic functionality (sic), and the app is approved (iTunes store link).

I found it rather underwhelming, there is only a meager selection of 5 rather uninspired games, but Manomio says they can now focus on bringing on the games. In any case, even if I can't use it for anything, I am thrilled and amazed with having a full-blown Commodore 64 - on my phone.

I tell you, these are incredible days. What will they think of next, music that is freed from a physical format? Hah, impossible, not in my lifetime!!

The Last 8 Film Music Albums
Posted September 5th 2009, at 20:14 with tags , , , , ,

A quick notice - I observed there are only 8 copies of the custom built Film Music album left.

These are hand built; printed and lovingly assembled by your correspondent late at night when the city sleeps, to avoid vibrations while printing the covers and securing the most optimal quiet moment for concentration while cutting the excuisite paper for label trays and booklets.

I can build new ones, if there is enough demand, but I won't be doing that until next major physical release, which perhaps would be in 2010, or perhaps never. I don't know right now.

No need to panic, the album will always be available in digital version, but if you want to secure a physical one, assembled by my delicately, trembling-in-the-face-of-physical-labour geeky hands....

NI Komplete 6: Kontakt 4 and Absynth 5: Hmm Meh Yawn
Posted September 5th 2009, at 20:00 with tags , , , , , , , , ,

Kontakt is my most used sampler and plugin above anything else.

Naturally I was intrigued when Native Instruments announced earlier this week a new version of the worlds best sampler, as part of the new Komplete 6 instrument and effect collection.

I must confess, I was let down.

In my humble, un-educated (I haven't tried it yet!) opinion, this is a meager update compared to the recent 3.5 upgrade. The only thing of interest is the new formant filter, but even then, it is just a fancy worded formant filter. Screw the library stuff, packing samples into there isn't a new "version" that's just re-bundling. 

Where is upgraded sampler algorithms, modern time and pitch tools on a per sample level, where is the brilliance of the scripting introduced in version 2? And where are the granular and spectral sample functions? I realize NI already provides some of these features in Absynth and most likely would like to milk both cows for some time, which brings me on to:

Absynth 5, which actually is somewhat interesting. I enjoy Absynth but version 4 was kind of boring compared to 3 - looks like version 5 picks up the tempo a bit, with some exciting new effects, also usable as host audio processing tools. I suppose they need to keep up the granular fight with the brilliant Alchemy synth from Camel Audio.

All in all, an underwhelming update which I most likely will be shelling out for anyway just... because it is "new".

Neurosonic Audiomedical Turntablism
Posted September 5th 2009, at 19:23 with tags , , , ,

Whoaaaa, that runs nice enough.

Click "film" if it does not autoplay. Neurosonics audiomedical, real heads 3D laboratory turntablism.

Thanks to B for the link.

A Font Based on Your Own Handwriting
Posted September 5th 2009, at 19:07 with tags , , , ,

3000 listeners on The Sixty One
Posted August 30th 2009, at 00:37 with tags , , , ,

I really like social music discovery network The Sixty One, where I get instant numerical feedback and meaningful stats for my music. There is good geektastic pleasure in observing and analyzing listener stats and feedback on a per track basis.

3 000 listeneres is perhaps not a lot (I have almost 50 000 on Last.FM) but for myself on The Sixty One this is an important number and I'm very happy to achieve it.

Musical Sorting Algorithms
Posted August 24th 2009, at 19:01 with tags , , , , ,

I am a geek. It is ok.

Here are some intriguing musical examples of programmatic sorting algorithms.



For The Winnest: 8 Bit Trip: Stop-Motion Lego Demoscence Tribute
Posted August 24th 2009, at 18:39 with tags , , , , , ,

Words cannot describe the impressivenes of 8 bit trip, but I'd tag it as lego, demoscene, stop-motion, patience, win, chiptune, triumph. Luckily, go forth and enjoy the hi-def version at Youtube.

Are the monochrome video sequences really stop-motion lego blocks? My spaghetti monster.

Thanks Soma Holiday.

Journal Update
Posted August 22th 2009, at 20:35 with tags ,

August has been, is and will be very much a TV scoring month.

Previous weekend was spent finishing seven brand new sketches for upcoming Kometkameratene season, and preparing a recording session in Oslo, executed over Monday and Tuesday. I worked in the same studio as last time, a very nice recording and mixing room, pictured above.

Since returning to Bergen I've been performing necessary edits to the sketches, written a few new cues and kept working on existing commitments. There isn't much to journal, but I'm working around the clock. It's mostly just work, and lots of it.

In September there should finally be time to work on some of my own new stuff. Most of summer and early autumn will be spent doing TV and film work, both me and my post-apocalyptic hunger is looking forward to a moment to ourselves. It's been a pop-ish summer.

Future Now: Magazines Now With Video Ads
Posted August 22th 2009, at 20:34 with tags , , ,

According to this BBC news article, the Entertainment Weekly magazine will introduce video ads in their September issue!

I think this is incredible, it is yet another step into the future. Soon we are all living in Los Angeles, November 2019, and my replicant assistant is polishing my artificial owl. But maybe I'm the replicant? Who knows!??! Only that guy from Battlestar Galactica! Ooooh exciting!

But not happening. I think it is sad, that fantastic moments like these are ignorantly surpassed without any kind of celebration, while barbaric rituals like dancing around a metal-ball-decorated tree is still the cultural zenit of western civilization. Kudos to the BBC correspondent who fought this article to the front page.

When I rule the planet, technological breakthroughs, and my album releases, will replace national holidays. 

Blue beer invented? Everybody take the week off, let's check out if it works!

Root Bridges: Trees With Purpose
Posted August 22th 2009, at 20:14 with tags , , , ,

Of all vegetable entities, trees are my absolute favorite. Chaos in a hierarchical structure. Climb them. Hug them. Enjoy them as forests. Watch them when daydreaming. Print books on their dead.

In Northern India (and other places I'm sure but that's what this blog is about) the roots of a particular kind of trees are used to build bridges, crossing rivers and gorges.

Bio-engineering for the uttermost win: Living Root Bridges blog.

JK Wedding Dance: It Was A "Commercial"
Posted August 22th 2009, at 19:25 with tags , , , , ,

The JK Wedding dance went viral a few weeks back, and the video itself is real (and awesome). It looks like a great wedding, and Mr and Mrs Jill and Kevin Awesome are directing any income from the viral hit into violence prevention. They are full of married win.

There are so many good vibrations from this video, it makes it hard to be the sour grape. But observe, perhaps, how this video also makes for great advertisement opportunities. And somebody noticed, quickly enough. The viral hit, the global spread, is not as real as you think. The viral wave is constructed and executed by Sony, the label behind the artist who's song is featured in the video.

Go-Digital blog does some digital forensics and breaks down the facts.

What this means, really, is that what you thought was "something cool, someone I knew sent me this, it's REAL!!" really was a very clever, well executed, well funded marketing campaign from major label Sony. Yes it is real, but it is also a commercial. Very cleverly, you were tricked into watching a commercial and made feeling it was not.

Most people watching it will never know they watched a commercial. And if somebody told them, they wouldn't care, they wouldn't want to know that. We will be watching many more like these.

Something happened with this video. The control shifted from no-one, or from the idea, or from the video itself, into those with resources to make something become viral, simultaneously as they hide in the shadows.

The wedding of J & K is awesome. Sony is milking their awesomeness.  Danger, Will Robinson!

Online Personality Report
Posted August 22th 2009, at 18:35 with tags , , , ,

What will other people think of you when they google you?

Personas is an information-art concept project By Aaron Zinman of MIT, that scours the tubes for information on your person and provides a conclusion of your online persona.

Input your full name and let it calculate your persona.

The analyze process is way more impressive than the final report, and I've run it a few times on myself, sometimes it provides hilarious conclusions on your personality. Mine mostly focuses on music, art and fashion (fashion?), with smaller blocks of online, fame, military, media, news, professional (?) and musical. Some other runs also reported blocks of religion.

WTF, military, religion and sports part of MY online personality?

However, this is kind of the point of the project - the tool displays how YOU will appear to OTHER people when they look you up online, based on information connected to your name. Which isn't necessarily you, but what is available to someone who knows very little about you. This is the picture they will get.

Article Subject: Article Consequence!
Posted August 22th 2009, at 17:22 with tags ,

I observe, my latest journal entries seem to be stuck in some kind of subject title formula.

Known bug.

Kometkameratene CD is out now
Posted August 17th 2009, at 10:07 with tags , , ,

The official Kometkameratene CD, with music from the first season, is out now.

There are 17 songs from the show, the theme song and the music video song, all done by your correspondent in collaboration with Sjur Hjeltnes.

The album should be out in major record shops, book- and toy-stores in Norway, and internationally it is available in iTunes Music Store.

I don't know about Spotify and other streaming services yet. Update: It is now available in Spotify.

Kometkameratene Making Of Episode List
Posted August 17th 2009, at 10:05 with tags , , ,

Episodes where Sjur and me did the episode song:

In addition we did the theme music, the music video song "Vil du være med", and most of the small little tunes used throughout the show.

Video Podcast: Where I Work
Posted August 14th 2009, at 22:33 with tags , , , ,

OK so my second video podcast is incredibly geeky, my workplaces and the gear I use, but I suppose that is representative for my days anyway.

A short tour of my portable setup, and my home setup. I'm currently working mostly with film and TV music, the setup reflects this, optimized for writing and editing, not so much performing. The live setup is somewhat different, I'll document that on next live performance.


August Journal Update
Posted August 14th 2009, at 22:30 with tags , , , , ,

Journal entry, August 14th 2009.

My how the time flies. The last few weeks has been hectic enough, and with people back in the real world after summer holidays, it feels like everything is happening, or needs something to happen, at once. I miss the lazy summer days, gray weather and non-communication, it makes for a great working environment. Getting things done. But the world is back.

Tomorrow the Kometkameratene CD is officially released! I am not well versed in childrens music business, but I understand they sell better in bookstores and toystores than music stores, so it is released in the former tomorrow and the latter on Monday.

Speaking of which, I am currently writing brand new songs (which will air next spring), new character music, and next week I'm off to Oslo to record vocals for the autumn episodes. Everything is due next week, so this has taken most of the summer.

I have also written new music for a highly profiled program on NRK, which should start running this fall, and currently  doing production music on a couple of short features. I was supposed to write music for a computer game, but sadly it didn't work out budget-wise.

On top of this, I have quite an amount of to-do tasks for my own stuff, promoting the latest Ugress album, figure out a remix competition, video podcasts, live shows, new EP coming up, next album pre-pre-prod, website adjustments, social network activity, the list goes on.

I very much would like get all of this done - but - I work around the clock. I don't complain, I get to write music and I have a fantastic time working on incredible projects. But I really miss composing and writing my own music for myself in my own time, without any project deadline or artist release concept looming over me. If I can find the time during autumn I'll spend it on writing new music.


Your World Of Text: A global, realtime text editor
Posted August 14th 2009, at 22:26 with tags , , , , , ,

YourWorldOfText is a global, realtime text editor, an infinite grid of text editable by any visitor, instantly.

Changes made by other people appear on your screen as they happen. No need to register or anything, just type, anywhere, anytime.

You can also create your own worlds of text. I have my own text world here at Come visit and lets write something.

(Via Metafilter.)

Remixes, videos; the weight of response
Posted August 14th 2009, at 22:00 with tags , ,

Over the last few weeks and months I've received lots of great remixes and fan-created videos, in addition to the regular email requests. I am very happy to receive all of it, and whatever comes in I really appreciate it. I am also surprised? flattered? impressed? happy? intrigued? with the skill level of everyone's production. Almost jealous. There is so much talent out there.

But, truth be told, I have no idea how to process or follow up all this material. I try to look and listen profoundly to everything that comes in, and respond to it, but to my chagrin I do not have time to follow up everything properly. By that I mean: To write a proper response and give the senders proper recognition.

I would love to blog everything but I cannot blog even a part of it, therefore I don't blog any of it, I don't want to judge something blog-worthy and other things not. Therefore, so far nothing has appeared here (YET).

I try to at least reply to everyone who writes but forgive me if my response lingers or if I forget you. Know at least that I received it and I absolutely appreciate it and I have on my to-do list, to make some kind of system to acknowledge all of this.


SIGGRAPH: Awesome New Future
Posted August 14th 2009, at 21:59 with tags , , ,

MIT's Technology Review has a splendid overview of Five Futuristic Interfaces from SIGGRAPH, the annual computer graphics overdose of awesomeness.

The worst part of the future becoming ever closer is that scientists and geniuses keeps coming up with incredible things that always are JUST around the corner. We're never really THERE. The tactile hologram - you can feel it - is just... just... *sobs and clicks pathetic wireless mouse*.

Virtual reality was just the beginning, and it never really happened.

MetaSynth 5
Posted August 14th 2009, at 21:51 with tags

It tickles my sound exploration nerve, this fresh MetaSynth 5 release.

I do not own MetaSynth, but I have demo'ed each release every time and then again on multiple computers, each time ALMOST buying it. I love the super weird sounds you can make from it, I like exploring new GUIs, I absolutely heart resynthesis and I eat visually drawn filters for breakfast, so I'm not sure why I never end up grabbing it.

Maybe it's too expensive, maybe it is not realtime, not pluggable, and maybe the GUI seems alternative just because it wants to be alternative and not because there is an obvious benefit... not sure. But yet again, I'll be eyeing this CLOSELY.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Posted August 7th 2009, at 12:34 with tags , , ,

Right now the time is 12:34:56, on date 07-08-09.

I realize people of weird cultures with crazy date formats have already experienced a fake version of this moment, but this is the final and truest and only sequential moment in time. This exact zenit in time will not happen again. A moment of silence please.

There, ah that's better, now we're in the future. Wow they have blue beer here!!

You Can Drink Win: Blue Beer
Posted August 6th 2009, at 23:38 with tags , , ,

This is made of more win than the invention of wheel, electricity, internet and laptops combined.

Blue beer. Ruyhyou Draft, of Japan. Why am I living in Europe? Cruel fate.

Monome + Concertino = Concertinome
Posted August 6th 2009, at 22:26 with tags , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I have always had a soft spot for reed keyboards instruments, and in particular those utilized in melancholic music, like that of Argentinean tango; bandoneons and concertinas. I love the yearning, haunting sound, it is perfect for minor chords.

I also think the Monome controller is a brilliant and timely instrumental invention of our times, even if it does not intrigue your correspondent enough to grab one.

Therefore I am much entertained to observe the latest Frankenvention out of BEK, my local electronic culture supplier: A concertinome developed and performed by Espen Sommer Eide (of Alog).

Youtube video of performance, Create Digital Music has more background.

(Via BEK.)

NY Times: Music Formats Visuals
Posted August 6th 2009, at 21:17 with tags , , , , , , , , ,

The NY Times has a neat waveform visualisation of physical musical formats and sales over the last 25 years.

The graphics shows volume sales back from the 8-track cassette, via vinyl LPs, CDs and now digital sales. Very nice gfx and very interesting data.

The graphic accompanices this relevant editorial article by Charles M. Brow, discussing how the oldskool music biz started dying back in 1999.

U-He Bazille: Modular Synth For The Win
Posted August 1st 2009, at 21:50 with tags , , , , , ,

Modular synthesis is the holy grail, including Transformers artwork on the grail cup, when it comes to geek synthesis.

When not sampling, it is no secret that Zebra, by Urs, is my synthesizer target no 1. Zebra is all over Reminiscience, usually providing the bassline, but also doing sfx, synths and the incidental analog synthesis. I am happy for the latest beta, providing Zebriy, a new fx plugin to run audio through the Zebra engine.

Today, however, I learned that Urs' new completely Berlin modular syntheziser Bazille is "out" in top secret alpha version. Not for the faint of heart, guaranteed to crash, tricky to learn, maybe finished sometime 2010. Nevertheless, I grabbed the download before it imploded, and I spent most of the day with it. Woo-haa. This is my kind of sound. Dirty, living, pulsating, all-encompassing-controllable. And it does. not. sound. like. a. plugin.

Exceptional and inspirational. The alpha might still be up. Page 6 in the thread, bottom.

Logic 9 and Bazille, these are good days to be digital, indeed.

Robot Skills Faster Than Meets The Eye
Posted August 1st 2009, at 21:37 with tags , , , , , , ,

The video starts out innocent enough.

A poor, laboratory robot hand looks like it fumbles something. Ha, ha, silly fumble robot! Ha, ha!

Then, look at the video continued in 1000 fps. The hand is pouncing a ping-pong ball faster than your eye ever can wish to register. And when the ball finally escapes, the hand lingers in slowmo like a patient, careless predator on it's escape. TEH ROBO HORROR CONTINUHES.

Ha. Ha.

The robocalypse won't be horrible. Neither will it be "cool" or "awesome". It will just be OVER. Before any of us blink.

We will never, ever know what hit us.

Remix Kit Sales Observations
Posted August 1st 2009, at 21:24 with tags , , , , , , ,

A week ago or so I released some remix kits.

An immediate observation, they are selling at a slightly slower rate than albums, nothing surprising. However - noticable: Most purchases are actually for single stems pr person, rather than the whole kit.

The kit and stems are very reasonably priced. This kind of confirms one of my theories - people are not so much after the kit or track itself, as they are after dedicated items of the production, like vocals or samples and beats.

Takes one to know one.

Status Update
Posted August 1st 2009, at 21:16 with tags , , , , , , ,

While most of the world is on holiday, and all of the world forgot about my latest album, I've spent the last few weeks working on several production gigs and upcoming episodes of the Kometkameratene show. I'm also schooling up on music theory.

I like working during summer, there is less demand for my attention, I can keep better focus and concentration for longer periods without interruption.

As usual most production work are under NDAs, limited by contract, or simply not fair to announce, so I can't talk too much about it before it's out, but if you watch Norwegian TV you'll hear some of the stuff I'm doing over the next few years.

I also dug into the recent Logic 9 upgrade and I am very much enjoying that, haven't been that happy with a software upgrade in years.

Oh the Kometkameratene CD is out already August 15th, that was way earlier than they told me. I had some plans tied into the release of this CD, but that was based on a release schedule late September. This now broken, I have to re-plan some things. As usual.

Ancient Maya Ruins feat Ugress Soundtracks
Posted August 1st 2009, at 21:02 with tags , , , , , ,

The Video Eldorado project previously mentioned are using my music library when video-documenting their incredible journey. Their latest feature, above, Maya Game, recently hit the frontpage of Daily Motion. 

The feature is filmed at the Tikal ruins, the largest ancient ruins of the Maya civilization. Did you know the Blue Magnetic Monkey track, written by Christine, is based on Mayan philosophy?


Music Theory
Posted August 1st 2009, at 20:39 with tags , , , , , , , , ,

I need to expand my harmonic vocabulary, so I'm currently diving into music theory, notes and cadences and all that stuff. I actually used to know notation as a child, when sabotaging performing in the school orchestra, but since then they were blissfully forgotten.

The last year I have been working closely with Sjur Hjeltnes on the Kometkameratene music. He has massive knowledge of music history, harmony and theory, he picks anything apart and explains to me why this works like this or that or then and when and how about doing like this artist or that composer and combined with aspects of this genre within the scale of that culture.. suddenly we spent hours de-branching into really interesting musical worlds.

Sjur has tremendous respect for my humble knowledge and rough sophistication within electronic sound and programming, we work as equals, but I feel inadequate and primitive when discussing and developing music together on a theoretical level. This isn't terribly important to Get Things Done, but I feel I am missing out on a fantastic learning experience by not being able to speak and understand his language, we talk in translations all the time. So I'm learning it.

I think I always wanted to learn proper music theory, but never had the proper incentive to actually do it. I now have a serious amount of music theory books to devour.

Of course, I am instantly and constantly side-tracked. When learning a new chord, or cadence, or technique, I immediately have to experiment and develop it. Progress is slow. But with great pleasure I observe details like - musical theory books have just as horrible covers as my 80ies school books. The photo above does not render the screaming pink as gruesome as it should.

Why do educative literature always have scandalous artwork?

The End: Robots learn to plugin and recharge
Posted August 1st 2009, at 19:59 with tags , , , , , , ,

NY Times features the article "Scientists Worry Machines May Outsmart Men", where they look into the evolving skills of robots, and the consequences of this evolution.

Of course I enjoy absolutely any article that starts with "scientists worry...", but with extra morbid satisfcation and gleeful scare I observe that robots are indeed becoming uncannily powerful:

"As examples, the scientists pointed to a number of technologies as diverse as experimental medical systems that interact with patients to simulate empathy, and computer worms and viruses that defy extermination and could thus be said to have reached a “cockroach” stage of machine intelligence."

The greatness of this article is that it really looks into how robots are actually right now shaping our society and future, this hasn't been regulated, and maybe it should. Isaac, wake up.


Ugress Cameo in iPhone 3GS review
Posted August 1st 2009, at 19:34 with tags , , , , , ,

The iPhone 3GS is out in Norway now this weekend, I haven't had time to pick one up yet. I'm grabbing one, but no rush.

Therefore I am pretenting not to be delighted to observe the free Ugress Schizophonica EP cameo featured in this iPhone 3GS review by major Norwegian mobile site Amobil.

Thanks to Rangor for the catch.

Spotify iPhone App - Pre-Emptive Strike
Posted August 1st 2009, at 19:18 with tags , , , , ,

Spotify, the frontline application of modern music apps, is coming to the iPhone platform (and other mobile platforms). When this happens, there is no reason to look back - the future of music is then now.

That is, if Apple allows it. Spotify is a competitor to their own iTunes. Economist elaborates.

The app looks very promising. It can buffer tracks on wi-fi, saving you up enough to either avoid streaming while walking or going offline for flights.

I suppose the reason for announcing the application before it is approved, is a pre-emptive strike towards Apple's rather crazed censorship of applications on their iPhone platform. This might play out interestingly.

However, if it is allowed or not, is trivial in the long run. Music is steadily moving towards a future where it is no longer tied to a physical or digital copy somewhere.

Logic 9 First In-Depth Impressions
Posted July 28th 2009, at 16:52 with tags , , , ,

Notes from my first session with Logic Pro 9, with findings releveant to my daily sessions.


Most important win of the update: Channel strip - and plugin-operations in massive projects are now instant! (This was a known problem, with Kontakt instances taking ages storing data for potential undo steps for each mixer operation) WAHOO, I can finally work at blazing speeds with large projects.

The next win, is something I wasn't convinced Apple would actually pull of properly:


Flexitime is sexytime: The editing of audio via flex mode is very good, I'd say the workflow and operating is better than Live (but I haven't used Live extensively). I like better to edit directly in arrange than in the detached panel in Live. But I think Live has better waveform overviews in arrange (why can't Logic display the sample editor waveform in arrange? Much easier to see transients with that one).

Flexitime autofind transients: Very good. I'd say better than Live's and Melodyne's with challenging material (I work with samples/loops, less than mono audio recording)

Flexitime quality; The quality of the algorithms are very good, in particular Rhythm works very very good for beats and stuff. Polyphonic is awesome for long stretches. I tend to manipulate, sample and bend stuff not fix band recordings so for creative use it is just christmas eve. I tried stretching a 2 bar loop into 1 hour - it still sounds SWEET, no artifacts or grains or anything, just crazy long breathing tones
Flexitime disappointment: You can't pitch or tune anything, only stretch/compress. When doing necessary pitch adjustments the oldskool way in sample editor -> pitch machine, the flex properties are poof gone and must be re-generated. This fact does IMO put Live and Melodyne still ahead in elastic audio. (I am not familiar with Cubase/DP/Protools/Rekord.)

Flexitime stability: I have managed to make a mess of it several times :) It does not reset properly, seems to become confused after lots of edits/shifts/mode changes, and dragging new audio onto an already flex'ed track seems to create hiccups. Not a big problem, and I'm not using it regularly right now, this is probably worked out in a few .0.x updates

Bounce in place:

Bounce in place: Second place in most important win of the update. It works, and it works very very well, and it is going to save me shitloads of time. I often work "in layers", I create something and render it and work further on the render, . This function does not introduce anything revolutionary, but it certainly revolutionaries my workflow.

It also works splendidly with multiple regions, everything nicely pulled into a new file. Which of course then goes right into flex mode for further manipulation.

Auto-create samplers intruments

Automatically create EXS sampler instrument from region(s): I was psyched about this in theory... but big disappointment. Not so much the function itself, it works almost fine, but EXS is becoming an old sampler and this function is limiting itself. (Why doesn't this function create Ultrabeat instruments?)

It looks like it is only intended to create samplers of "cut up loops", which is a silly limit, this function could be equally great for creating a new sample instrument from any sound/region/track in arrange in an instant. Not so much, because the function INSISTS on making a chromatic instrument for you, even for only one region. For loop makers, this is fine I guess, but EXS is no longer The Greatest Phrase Sampler in 2009. It is a good workhorse but compared to Kontakt, or Ableton Live for that matter which really is just a huge sampling mill.

When you only have one region, which you most likely would like to use as a pitched instrument, it still makes that a one-note instrument, and you have to open the editor, and set the keyrange, the key pitch, and most likely edit loop points, which is HORRIBLY outdated done back in sample editor and back and forth and zillions of windows and functions and wahtever just to get something simple done...

This function is not properly implemented, it looks like they only wanted to copy Live's behavior without really understanding the potential benefit something like this could have. If Apple understood it - it would be obvious that: Multiple regions -> Ultrabeat, Single region -> EXS instrument

Performance and GUI

Performance: Projects seem to take slightly longer time before settling into proper CPU balance.. also looks like CPU use is slightly less than with 8

Plugins are hidden when Logic does not have focus. This I didn't like. I enjoyed having Kontakt open in Logic in the background, cmd-tabbing to finder and dragging files into Kontakt. Not possible anymore, without expose'ing Logic back into focus (a corner swipe, but still..)

Automation Quick Access has a toolbar icon that displays status - AWZUM! Finally usable to me, I never knew if it was off or on or what

Integrated help system sucks, not so much because it isn't PDF, but because it takes 30 seconds to open. I started typing this sentence after selecting "help" and it still has not appeared. Still has not. Still has not. (Pour some coffee). Nothing. Hmm. OH! There it was in the background. Can't select it with expose... huh? Not with cmd-tab either.. ok hide Logic, there it is now. I dunno.. I just liked the PDF version better.

Internal plugins has had a subtle facelift, i think they look nice. EQ has greener graph on channel strips but the traditional blue in plugin view.

The "loading project" process has a better and "realistic" loader bar that informs you how far the loading has progressed, what it is currently loading (including AUs) and when internal plugins load something, what they are doing is displayed as well (EXS loading samples etc)

FINALLY Logic informs you if the movie you had in arrange goes missing when loading. But does not offer any way to locate it... but at least you know. (As if a missing movie wasn't hint enough.)They did something with the arrange region fonts? Or something.. it looks slightly better? Not sure.

The white border to indicate focus is an ok improvement.

Transient editing mode in sampler editor (which is better than arrange because you can see the transients easier in the waveform).

Matrix editor (piano roll) seems to have a new and darker saturated palette for note velocities.. not sure if I like it yet

Key commands and preferences

There is a new "with trails if possible" preference when moving automation.

There is a new "toggle move/not move automation with region" key command (yey!)

There is a new "toggle zoom selection / all contents" which lets you zoom in to the selection or out to everything with one key

The "set track and midi thru parameters by region" has been split and added as "set track by region" and "set midi thru by region"

New key command "slice at transient markers"

Not tested

The pluygins and new guitar amps, might come in handy but haven't looked at it yet.

Import routines. Will come in handy I know.

Soundtrack Pro and the other tools.

Supplied content of samples, loops and stuff... Couldn't care less.

Overall impressions

Personally I think this is a brilliant update, and much better than the 7 -> 8 upgrade. Not so much because it introduces anything shockingly awesome and new, but because this update adapts Logic seriously towards my workflow, methods and editing style. I will absolutely benefit massively from this update.

When that is said - really, most of the functions are sort of "catching up" with the competition. There is nothing groundbreaking new, and some of the new functions (auto create sampelr) are really just bad copies of the competition.

Nevertheless - I am super duper happy, the update rocks. With über-sampler Kontakt 3.5 just released, über-editor Melodyne DNA lurking in the woods, the future just keeps getting brighter and brighter. Someone give me more time to spend with all these wonders.

Logic 9 Soundtrack 3 Final Cut 7 Motion 4 Apple Flexi Time Sexy Time
Posted July 23th 2009, at 16:52 with tags , , , , , , ,

Absolutely quiet for two years since Logic 8 and Final Cut 6, and then in true white Apple ninja style, full version updates to Logic Studio and Final Cut Studio is slipped into reality. Just like that.


I am super excited about the new elastic Flex Time tool in Logic Pro - this looks a splendind implementation of liquid audio, and IMHO the first true major new feature in Logic in ages, ABOUT TIME (see what I did there?). According to developer Markus Fritze via chief Logic supermoaner Putte, the new elastic algorithms are developed brand new and not a re-cycling of the old offline versions.

Also of immediate intriguity to your correspondent are full project varispeed, turntable speed fades, convert-to-sampler-in-place, bounce-in-place... as a sample-based artist, these are fantastic new features. Granted, most or all of these functions are available in other hosts in some way, but I am happy to see them in Logic and it looks like Apple does them just as well or better than others.

Did I mention I am psyched about flex time?

The Final Cut upgrade does not look as impressive at first glance, I appreciate an ProRes and XDCAM codec upgrade, but looks mostly like a refinement, at least in the areas that matter to me. Thou Motion seems to grow into a very compatible visuals application.

The timing is impeccable - shipping early September. I just finished an album, and currently wrapped up in lots of scoring, remixing and productiong gigs, everything to wrap up by early September. A perfect moment to upgrade, very much looking forward to these.

Exciting geek trivia observation: What is the mysterious new Tempophone elastic algorithm?

Ugress Remix Kits Now Available
Posted July 23th 2009, at 13:10 with tags , , , , , , ,

I have put together remix kits for a few tracks - mixdown stems of beats, bass, vocals, synths, guitars, fx, stuff like that.

So far available:

I wasn't sure how to price this, if at all - as an artist I generally find it uncomfortable to ask for payment and set a price on my own work, and in particular these disconnected pieces of my work.

On one side, remixes carry value in themselves, they could end up as promotional tool. On the other side, this is kind of a situation where I can provide and charge a tiny sum for access to exclusive and premium content. I see this more as the latter, direct access to building blocks of my work to those already interested, not a promotional stunt.

So I try with each stem at 1 USD and a whole kit at 5 USD. Available in all sorts of formats, including lossless. All tracks per kit line up synchronized, just drop them in your editor. (Note, the Kosmonaut kit is also available for free download in various collections.)

This is kind of an experiment - let me know what you think, what tracks you'd like to see as remix kit. I would be very intrigued to hear results - drop them in my Soundcloud dropbox! I haven't figured a proper way to present remixes yet, but I'll find a way.

A final word of warning - stems are illusion crushers. I have always been excited with other artist's remix kit, stems and separate takes, to kind of learn the "secrets" of a track... And then disappointed. You discover that the stems are nothing special in themselves, they are often rather mundane. The magic of a track disappears once you learn the banality of the ingredients. Your appreciation of my music will change, for better or worse, if you listen to these.


Cinematronics vinyl back in stock
Posted July 21st 2009, at 00:29 with tags , , , , , ,

The Cinematronics LP is now back in stock and you can buy it from my Uncanny Mall. I picked up a new batch from the storage in Oslo last week.

We did some quick inventory, there is somewhere between 75 and 100 Cinematronics LPs left. Resound, unfortunately, is completely out of print.


Rock Band New Musical Distribution Platform
Posted July 20th 2009, at 23:50 with tags , , , , , , , , , , , ,

"Later this year, MTV plans to launch a groundbreaking initiative called the Rock Band Network that will enable any artist-unsigned emerging act, indie cult fave or major-label superstar-to submit songs for possible inclusion in the game."

Rock Band Network. Currently in private beta, probably public beta this fall.

There is a lot of info to digest on this one, I am not sure what to think of it, no time to compute. Facts:

  • MTV / Harmonix only provide the platform
  • You have to program your own tracks (or pay someone to do it)
  • Only Xbox version for now, Microsoft controlled
  • Artists (or artist's publisher) only gets 30%
  • Cockos (Reaper/Frankel/Winamp) is involved on the software side

Considerations aside, the the most important part is perhaps what really is happening here - a computer / console game is opening up a new channel for distributing music, INSIDE the game. People buy a game to play a game to buy music to play in the game. THAT is future now.

(Via Billboard.)

Elevated 4k Intro by RGBA and TBC
Posted July 20th 2009, at 23:34 with tags , , , , , ,

Optimizationalistic to the nthest degree, the demoscene keeps upping the impressentimentification:

The binary exe for the video embedded above, by RGBA and TBC fits in 4096 bytes.

Suddenly my forest of external terabyte disks feels a bit... much.

(Via Slashdot, also available as avi.)


Uncanny Ununbium Copernicium Uncanny Planet Connection
Posted July 20th 2009, at 23:12 with tags , , , , , , ,

Element 112, unumbium, is a super fresh addition to our beloved periodic table. The first atom of this element was observed as late as 1996, and until now it has only been known with work title ununbium, or as us scientists like to call it, simply E112.

The discovery team at GSI was tasked with coming up with a proper name for this element, and very recently they announced "copernicium", with element symbol "Cp".

Copernicus, besides being really what-the-world-needs-now, is-facts-just-facts, kickstarting modern science, was the first to establish that our earth is a planet, and not the center of anything or everything. Uncanny as it might be, one observes

U(nunmbium) C(o)p(ernicum) = U(n)c(anny) P(lanet)


(Via New Scientist.)

Cool Guys Don't Look At Explosions
Posted July 17th 2009, at 12:08 with tags , , ,

Mark Wahlberg is wearing a hat and JJ Abrams keyboard solo.

(Thanks Sprengstoff!)

Kontakt 3.5 Final
Posted July 16th 2009, at 20:30 with tags , , , , ,

I have been using the public beta of Kontakt 3.5 for some months and it absolutely rocks my dirty DAW socks. Now the final is out.

There is are lots of crazy modern computer important things like 64 bit things and other things in this update, but I really just care about one awesome fact: Each sampler instance is now using 10-12 megs instead of 70. Which means I can cram 7 times as many independent samplers into my tracks. It also appears better optimized to me, I seem to push things further both CPU and polyphonically with 3.5. 

Now, if NI actually could fix the little bugs I reported.... really missing the "copy loop settings to all selected zones".  

Akai Hyperportable Keys Battle For The NanoThrone
Posted July 15th 2009, at 15:25 with tags , , , , , ,

My Korg Nanokey is OK. But I wouldn't mind something better. Akai enters the ring with LPK25 tiny portable keyboard and LPD8 pad controller. 

Announced at Summer NAMM, I suppose it'll take a few months until they are in stores. According to Gearjunkies the pads light up in blue when you hit them. 

Max For Live API details revealed
Posted July 15th 2009, at 14:14 with tags , , , , , , ,

I am psyched about the upcoming Max and Live integration Max for Live, today Cycling74 revealed some juicy new details.

Andrew Benson discusses the API setup, how your Max patch can modulate, manipulate and control Live from within. In my opinion, this is the most intriguing and exciting feature of the integration - I can build a complete self-dependent and automatic music machine inside Live, randomly (or not, or within my desired amount) generating, exploring, mutating and replicating musical information, control information and the sound itself.

My optimal goal is of course to create a machine that creates the music that I want created.

Doom iPhone Is Actually Pretty Future Win
Posted July 15th 2009, at 14:14 with tags , , , , , , ,

I can't remember the exact first time I played Doom, but I didn't play Wolfenstein first, so Doom took my FPS virginity. I remember thinking "FINALLY, no more cute 2D sprites, computer games are going to be great in the future!". I'm also quite sure I played it on a massive, clunky stationary PC that I probably built myself.

Coincidentally, it was also a game that gave away 1/3 of the whole game for free, and I thought this was a brilliant new way of selling and distributing a game. Something clicked back then, but that is another tale.

Fast forward until right here right now, and I am simultaneously ignorantly blasé and deadly impressed with Doom Resurrection on my iPhone. This contemporary awe-with-nonchalance is a great feeling, the future is all around me and I can stop or start my fascination with it on a whim.

We are sitting in a chair. In the air. Drinking beer. Playing Doom. On a phone. And it all feels so incredibly normal.

Ugress Pirate Torrent Loot Bait?
Posted July 15th 2009, at 14:00 with tags , , , , ,

My Google Alerts rss noticed me this morning of these highly questionable Ugress "torrents".


I have no idea what it is, lots of sizable, vague and undefined Ugress rapidshare and Ugress torrent links. The links lead to a "registration", which I am sure will swallow your personal data like a whale devouring plankton, and then build a digital weapon of mass personal ID destruction from it. Caveat emptor.


It's kind of weird and freaky being used as bait like this, but again, I suppose it's a consequence of being available, spread and distributed on a larger scale. Probably unavoidable, so only thing to do is take it as a crazy compliment.

D45: New digital music single format
Posted July 15th 2009, at 13:59 with tags , , , , , , , ,

Rhino, a subdivison of Warner, and iTunes is introducing a "new" single format, the D45, a digital version of the old 45 rpm vinyl single. Two tracks, one hit and one not-so-hit B track.

I appreciate the effort, maybe it works, but I don't know... I don't quite see the point in trying to make the digital future into a copy of the analogue past. 

iTunes link.

(Via TUAW / Billboard.)

Audi Piano
Posted July 9th 2009, at 17:18 with tags , , , ,


Deutsche car people Audi designs a Bosendorfer Piano.

Fingerbeat: iPhone Sampler Beats Machine
Posted July 9th 2009, at 17:18 with tags , , , , , ,

I have collected quite an amount of music and sound apps for my iPhone. Recently I have enjoyed Fingerbeat, one of the sharper tools in the shed.

Making music, or beats, or sounds, or just messing around, on a handheld device, is to me mostly for fun and a fresh approach. I spend most of my day writing and producing music with tools and methods I know intimately - I enjoy the handheld approach to this more when it verges to the fun, explorative and entertaining angle, rather than apps trying to replace a full fledged laptop setup.

Fingerbeat strikes to me a neat balance between instantly rewarding and fun on one side, and surprisingly deep and expansive on the other. You can either build beats with the perfectly cheesy internal sounds, or sample yourself or your surroundings and build from there. The interface is nice to look at and intuitive. 

Cloud-Based Recording, Google OS
Posted July 9th 2009, at 17:14 with tags , , , , , ,

Some observations on a future in the clouds.

Indaba is a online music collaboration system, with a new update where one can record directly to the clouds. Haven't tried it myself, but the feature is a nice touch.

Google announces a new super-lightweight operating system, aimed at netbooks, optimized for web use, probably with cloud-based hosting of user files, settings, documents. 

My First Video Journal Podcast
Posted July 5th 2009, at 20:42 with tags , , , , ,

I did some web magic metrics and discovered my video numbers are un-optimal. I have long been thinking of some kind of video journal, just saying hellos and showing off stuff I'm working on.

So there it is, a tiny attempt at starting up video journals while lost in the woods.  

Official Ugress iPhone App
Posted July 4th 2009, at 12:03 with tags , , , , , ,

How do you keep an eye on my world domination progress while lounging on the beach? With my excellent new official iPhone app of course.

Summer is here for most of us, but nice weather has never been a hindrance for utter world domination and struggling post-apocalyptic achievements. I'm mostly inside writing music, or if I'm outside, in the shadows writing music on my new 13" Macbook Pro - the battery on that one is incredible. 

Dear me, I'm blabbering, but fear not! You can now access my world domination blabber from the beach, from the toilet, from the kayak, from the bar stool, from the ferry, from the jungle, from the dungeon, from the treetops, from the dentist chair, absolutely everywhere with my sexy official awesome new FREE iPhone app.

Journal, videos, music, photos, games, tweets, bulletins, and even a few silly games.

I am particularly proud of the "Rated 12+" rating:

  • Infrequent / mild profanity or humour
  • Infrequent / mild horror and fear themes (yey!)
  • Infrequent / mild alcohol, tobacco, drug use or reference to these
  • Infrequent / mild mature, suggestive themes

I had no idea I was that cool.

Computer Automator Automates Computer
Posted July 4th 2009, at 12:02 with tags , , , ,

I am always geekily happy when I find new ways to let computers do my work for me, even if it is only small details.

I'm now on two laptops, with a few others spread around the apartment for music and media hubs, and they are further hooked into billions of hard drives, always in some kind of tangled configuration. Laptops are frequently on the move and disks are frequently shifted around. Connecting, disconnecting and reconnecting to networked drives is a frequent and tedious operation.

So I made a blatantly simple Automator workflow that connects to all necessary computers and drives. This is saved as an application on my desktops, takes me one click to connect everything.

If your computer is a desktop (or never moving around) you could put this app in your login items, and it will automatically hook into the network drives upon boot.

I'm a network operator with my pocket automator.

Kometkameratene Season 1 Torrents Available
Posted July 4th 2009, at 01:03 with tags , , , , ,

The first season of the Kometkameratene show, where I wrote the music and songs, is now officially available for torrent download from NRK. 

You can download full episodes, or just the songs (music videos) from each episode. Trackers available in this rss feed.

This is really, really, really cool by NRK.

Ugress albums at ArtOnEarth digital store
Posted July 4th 2009, at 01:03 with tags , , , , , ,

ArtOnEarth is an independent, artist-run digital music store, where artists develop their own store and sell their music directly to fans. The developers are based in my hometown Bergen, combined with a team in Barcelona. Great guys with a great vision.

The store is currently in open beta, now with my Ugress material available for purchase in 320 kbps mp3.

The store runs on Flash, which I'm not 100% sure is the wisest decision compatibility-wise, but it could be in the long run. Flash is becoming more and more ever-ubiquitous, and definitively, it makes it possible to create a very slick, consistent and visual user interface.

Finally On Spotify
Posted July 4th 2009, at 00:49 with tags , , ,

Well that took it's own sweet time. Reminiscience is now finally available on Spotify.

Now, I really dig Spotify, I'm using it a lot myself. I like their approach, their torrent-based technology and I really like the new HQ mode. But, not releasing my album out until now... ahem.

When I achieve global world domination, Spotify will be the Altavista of music streaming services. First; great, promising, but then; surpassed by others more nimble and responsive, soon forgotten and stuffed in a digital drawer.

Weekly Update
Posted July 4th 2009, at 00:27 with tags , , , ,

I've spent most of the week doing administrative stuff, working on the next batch of Kometkameratene, and writing sketches for a production gig. 

The summer is pretty intense in Bergen right now, after months of grey weather, and it is hard to keep focus, I'd really like a few days off to enjoy the sun. Or rather, a beer in the shadow, observing the sun outside.

For the next Kometkameratene batch, we are writing seven songs, and lyrics to four of them. There are great episode subjects, one episode is about music which I am really looking forward to scoring. I've seen the raw edits of the previous batch of music videos - since the previous season, we have started working out more complex and interactive songs, for example running sketches inside the songs, or breaking the songs into multiple, independent segments. It's slightly more work, but the payoff is massive, and the songs become more integrated into the episodes.

For the production gig, I'm careful to say too much because work like that is usually under contract and the gig is for a private customer, but I've worked with the producer before, enjoy working with them and the project looks like a great challenge. I'll be writing music for a large span of settings in two separate, but connected films, tied together by various methods.

Model Railroad Fetishism Confirms Me Supergeek
Posted July 4th 2009, at 00:01 with tags , , , , , ,

Wired has a fascinating article with photos on Walnut Creek Model Railroad Society, 170 square meters of model railroad:

"The society’s control systems are a steampunk fantasy: a roomful of vintage 1930s magnetic relays once used to route phone calls, clacking like mechanical dominoes with every move the amateur engineers make. A full complement of 30 members can run 10 individual trains simultaneously on the layout, though only a dozen or so are required for basic operation."

This, posted here now, together with my previously posted model railroad fascination, confirms my suspicions, I am a super duper geek. 

(Via Make.)

Kometkameratene Season 1 CD finished
Posted June 29th 2009, at 23:43 with tags , , , , , , ,

As I am writing this, I am uploading the Kometkameratene Season 1 CD for mastering.

I spent the last few weeks editing, structuring and mixing most of the songs from the first season of the show.

The music has been well received and NRK Aktivum, the commercial publishing entity of NRK, has secured a nice record deal for the album release.

Many tracks was originally optimized for broadcast, and some of them mixed to follow and sync with on-screen action. This was not necessarily suitable for a CD version. There was some work structuring tracks into better independent versions, and also in general to balance everything to a coherent mix.

After the Reminiscience release mayhem, where I did everything on my own, it is a relief to only focus on making the music and CD as good as possible. Everything else is handled by a NRK Akvitum and the record company.

Not sure if I am allowed to reveal the release date, maybe they already did, but anyway I think it is safe to say it won't be during summer, but not far into autumn. 

T plus 14: Tax Wrap
Posted June 29th 2009, at 20:43 with tags , , , , , , ,

I am seriously overdue with my taxes this year, was supposed to be in by June 1st, but I hadn't time until now. I prioritized the album.

A massive effort over the weekend, and it is done.

I don't enjoy doing the taxes and company accounting myself, but I certainly enjoy the control and overview it gives me. The time spent is well invested, I get to know all my own numbers intimately over the years. My economical intuition is improving. I also get to observe intriguing internal statistics.

In general, after looking at the hard numerical facts, I conclude with satisfaction my world domination plan is actually working. Slowly, but working.

Thermatron: Flame Powered Synthesis
Posted June 27th 2009, at 20:43 with tags , , , , ,

The Thermatron is a voltage controlled oscillator and wave shaper controlled by the action of a flame. This is possible because electricity can be conducted through a flame. It is also possible, because it is awesome. 

By Electric Western. Hot, hot youtube video of the beast in action. 

(Via Make.)

World Domination Anti Tech Fail Choreography
Posted June 27th 2009, at 20:29 with tags , , ,

World domination progression must not be hindered by pathetic hardware glitches.

This spring was more hectic than usual, and during stress, some of my hardware failed. This is natural, expected and I was prepared, but I was not prepared ENOUGH. I have now taken technological measures to reduce possible downtime, simultaneously as optimizing my portability.

I now have two MBP laptops, one 17" for studio and live work, and a 13" for office, web and portable studio/live work. Both laptops duplicate the same installation and system, ready to take over instantly if the other faints.

I had to get an iLok. Gah, I hate dongles, I hate copy protection conglomerates, but with a backup dongle and the Zero Downtime plan I should be covered. 

Email, calendar, plans, documents, webs, social networks, most of that either is in the cloud or duplicated to the clouds.

All my digital media, projects, sound libraries, visuals, videos and films are spread on multiple external disks, every disk cloned with SuperDuper. Critical material also cloned offsite.

I have found it is better to span material across multiple disks, than one big mofo. This is more flexible, portable, cheaper and safer - disks can be shifted from laptop to laptop as necessary, and if one disk fails (they do), the others are unaffected. In particular I like the WD 500GB Passports; small, portable, silent. 

This is terribly geeky, I know.

Apogee One
Posted June 26th 2009, at 12:44 with tags , , , ,


Apogee announces a new hyper portable high quality audio interface One.

I already have the big brother Duet, which has seen great use. I wouldn't mind a smaller and lighter backup, with integrated microphone. Though, I can reserve my enthusiasm for breakout cables.

I think I'll hang on to see some reviews and user experiences.

T plus 11: The SixtyOne Incident With Bosporus Incident
Posted June 26th 2009, at 11:32 with tags , ,

I am often bewildered to which of my tracks will become popular once released.

The Bosporus Incident is no exception. To my surprise, earlier this week it received over 1000 votes in 24 hours at TheSixtyOne, more than twice as much as previous tracks from Reminiscience.

Michael Joseph Jackson 1958-2009
Posted June 26th 2009, at 01:57 with tags , ,

It's close to midnight and something evil's lurking in the dark
Under the moonlight, you see a sight that almost stops your heart
You try to scream but terror takes the sound before you make it
You start to freeze as horror looks you right between the eyes
You're paralyzed

'Cause this is thriller, thriller night
And no one's gonna save you from the beast about strike
You know it's thriller, thriller night
You're fighting for your life inside a killer, thriller tonight

You hear the door slam and realize there's nowhere left to run
You feel the cold hand and wonder if you'll ever see the sun
You close your eyes and hope that this is just imagination, girl!
But all the while you hear the creature creeping up behind
You're out of time


C64: Cruel Apple Rejects Best iPhone App In The Known Universe
Posted June 25th 2009, at 01:48 with tags , , , , , , ,


Apple has rejected an official, licensed iPhone C64 app from developer Manomio. 

Applications on the phone are not allowed to execute code themselves, which I sort of understand. A computer emulator needs to do that. But this is SPECIAL and should have SPECIAL considerations applied. Also, there are other emulation apps in the store which does exactly what the C64 app was rejected for.

Touch Arcade has full story with description and video of the application. It has full SID chip emulation. I much want.

T plus 7: One Week Status Report
Posted June 25th 2009, at 00:58 with tags , , ,

The album is one week old, but my world is zooming on. To me it feels like Reminiscience was something I did "back in the days".

I spent a few intense months on making the album. This meant I had to postpone and delay other commitments, in particular the upcoming Kometkameratene TV show new season, and first season CD. Literally the moment the album was released, I started working on this, and catching up has been some effort. I've written some new character and incidental music, the CD premaster is to be delivered tomorrow, and then I start composing music for the new season over the summer. There are also some new projects, including a computer game, currently in negotiations.

It was sort of a relief turning my attention to a fresh new focus, I am a forward moving person, more concerned with future challenges than previous productions. This becomes a problem in certain situations, like album releases, because someone really should spend good energy on selling, marketing and looking after the album. This is what I miss the most from being on a record label, and I realize I will be needing help with this for the next release. 

I do try to spend a few hours each day following up the album, but truth is - work like that repulse me. I don't care about marketing and sales and buzz and hype and success and bling and celebrity, I dislike it, but I do understand the importance and value of it. There are good people concerned with such matters. My negligence and aversion ends up sending an unfortunate signal to those few actually helping, or wanting to help, me.

It is a tricky balance. I'd much rather write music and work towards the next project and next release. Which is what I am doing now.

Some observations after a week:

  • Marketing. I am a terrible marketer and promoter of my own material. 
  • Release date. I feared June 15th would be slightly late concerning summer, this seems like it was a valid concern. If possible I will avoid releases so close to summer. 
  • Most popular. As usual, I am surprised by the most popular tracks. Apocalypse Please Wait Buffering, New Shoes and The Bosporus Incident seems to be the most popular tracks by purchase, rating and downloads. (But not by buzz and opinion, and the numbers vary between countries and services.)
  • Sales stats. Sales, and web visits, was initially twice the size of previous release, but have dropped off steeper than usual after release date, but I expect this is a consequence of summer, and my marketing efforts, and I'm not worried.
  • Compared to previous releases. In general, much better buzz and coverage than Unicorn.
  • Piracy. The album seems to be doing very well on pirate mp3 blogs.
  • Bonus material. This is the first album where people seem to actually get the bonus tracks thing. The bonus tracks have much higher download rate compared to previous albums. Not sure why, but I guess it is a combination of more dedicated listeners, better web presence for both me and listeners, and more transparency of what is available. 

Soviet LP covers from the 80ies
Posted June 24th 2009, at 23:59 with tags , , , , ,

English Russia has an entertaining collection of vintage Soviet album covers.

Tax On Tickets Benefits Bling-Bling Orcs
Posted June 22th 2009, at 12:03 with tags , , , ,

The Norwegian government is considering adding an 8 percent VAT to ticket prices. Simultaneously, allowing a 25 percent tax deduction. This sounds great...

...if you are a big mothersucking museum with tanned people in the finance department.

Not great for those paying the ticket price, and not great for me.

I don't have time to go into details, but as a small independent artist, in Norway I'm not VAT accountable. This means, if I am arranging my own concert (which is becoming more and more normal for artists, taking the risk instead of the venue), I have to add the 8 percent tax on ticket prices. BUT I CANNOT DEDUCE THE 25% ANYWHERE. The museum can. I can't. Quite simply, it means higher ticket prices for my fans and more work for me. And absolutely no benefit.

If I understand this correctly, this is a great deal to the bling bling orcs at the top, funded by taxing concert goers and the indie establishments.

This is not a clever way of developing and nurturing modern culture.

Update: Dyrt Nok! is a petition against the tax suggestion (Norwegian text).

T plus 5: One Web Week Is An Eternity
Posted June 20th 2009, at 19:22 with tags , , , , ,

The new website is only a week old, but so much has happened in this time it feels like the website is many years old. (Like pictured above, the very first Ugress web.)

I have already made some observations on my own, and some of you have emailed me your valuable impressions. Please keep them coming, or write a comment here what you think work, and more importantly, what DOES NOT WORK. A website is an eternal work-in-progress (which is why I love the tubes).

I think the color scheme was a nice change, coming from the old grey journal, but I am quickly growing tired of the saturated boxes. Thinking to scale the surrounding purple down a few notches.

I think (as sysrq868 firstly pointed out) the music player should be sticky during page shifts, like TheSixtyOne, but at the moment that is beyond my limits to fix on short notice.

I think the activity box is too crowded for regular users, but inviting to new users.

And of course, I still have lots of features I didn't have time to implement. I will be getting to those during the summer and early autumn.

Posted June 20th 2009, at 19:17 with tags ,

Spotify has still not my album available. WTF is up with that?

Copyright, Creative Commons, Stuff Like That
Posted June 20th 2009, at 18:29 with tags , , , , , , ,

A new report from Harvard concludes that a weaker copyright would benefit society. This comes in the same week as RIAA is awarded massively in damages for a petty file-sharing incident.

And simultaneously, Norwegian performing rights association Tono changes their CC licensing tune (Norwegian), after first blatantly disregarding Creative Commons, which fights back with their own questionnaire to establish the need (or not) for alternative music licensing schemes.

I'm not sure where I stand right now, as usual I linger between everything and everywhere. I definitively think copyright law (and many other laws) needs to be updated to reflect our digital culture. But Creative Commons, I dunno.

I like it, the theory is great. But they haven't convinced me yet that theirs is the ultimate road.

T plus 4: Pirated Already
Posted June 19th 2009, at 22:42 with tags , , , , ,

I suppose I should be flattered. The album has been out for a few days, and it is already available on pirate mp3 blogs.

I am not particularly angry or upset, just a little bit sad, schizophrenically combined with a milligram of satisfaction.  There is a difference between knowing the theory, and experiencing the practice. The music is good enough to copy, but not good enough to pay for?

That piracy happens, I absolutely understand. I do not condone it, but neither do I want to behead pirates. My philosophy is not to attack pirates (you will never, ever, win), but work and strive to provide something better, ultimately rendering piracy negligible.

On another side, just as I feel torn about this, RIAA was awarded massively stupid amounts of damages for a silly filesharing issue. USD 80 000 per track fileshared? What. The. Frack.

Piracy feels like win and a fail at the same time.

T plus 3: Pitstop: Upgrades and repairs
Posted June 18th 2009, at 19:33 with tags , , , , ,

I spent a day building a much better backup and redundancy system.

During the final hectic weeks, my main project disk died, and a few months back, the graphics card on my laptop died.

Stuff like this inevitably happens, I am prepared, I lost nothing, had backups and alternatives standing by, so there was no crisis. But it was incredibly annoying and I lost way more time than is necessary. In particular the graphics card glitch reduced my regular working tempo to almost 50% for 7 days. Also, disk failures combined with tight deadlines is not good for my nerves. This particular disk failure was rude - the disk controller failed, Time Machine thought it was a new disk, removed the old backup to make room, and backed up tons of crap. Luckily I had a separate clone.

This must and can not happen again.

I have now purchased a healthy amount of drives, and a new 13" Macbook Pro. Unboxement.

The new 13", Raincloud, becomes my office, travel and touring machine and portable replacement studio - my music setup is duplicated, all projects and sounds are on external disks, again duplicated. So I keep working on the 17", and if anything happens, I am ready within minutes to continue working on the 13". Downtime reduced to zero.

This also reduces the workload for the 17" during live shows, which benefits them with more stability and redundancy.

On a side note, I think I have more than one million USB cables now.

New Macbook Pro: Raincloud Unboxement
Posted June 18th 2009, at 18:20 with tags , , , , , ,

My good old 12" Powerbook Mojito was the most perfect portable computer ever - until today.

My 17" MBP, Shanghai, is awesome, but massive to drag around. Great for touring, longer journeys and moving your studio around, but not great for throwing in a bag and zoom off on sudden expeditions.

The 17" also starts to show signs of 18 months hard use, which is expected. I need a new super-portable laptop, and over the last few weeks it dawned on me I also need a backup production machine, the 17" needs stand-by assistance. Finally last week Apple came through with a 13" Pro, with firewire. Portability FTW.

I got the stock model, and plan on getting a SSD for it over the summer.

I welcome Raincloud into my laboratories. Unbox slideshow, Flickr set.

T plus 2: Metrics, Stats And Immediate Results
Posted June 16th 2009, at 21:21 with tags , , , ,

I love stats, figures and numerical information. I don't have access to all Reminiscience numbers yet, but I do have access to my own mall, most of my own digital shops and some daily digital sales figures from iTunes et al.

I'm making a note here.

  • Digital sales are way beyond physical sales. This I expected.
  • The album is already making money, the production cost has been met.

    It was making money even before it was released, due to the high volume of pre-orders. (Of course, this is not considering payment for my own labor, which is about 6 months intensive work on the album itself and a couple of years sporadic songwriting. I am getting paid from now, and most likely the majority of payment will come from licensing the music to films and TV.)
  • To my big surprise, the lossless version is very popular - 2 out of 5 persons buy lossless. This was unexpected, but awesome. The lossless experiment is considered a success.
  • Web visitors have grown double the size of the Unicorn release. This is I hoped for, but did not expect, being the middle of June and many people are off school, or in summer modus operandi.
  • Number of customers is up, but products per purchase is down.

    At the previous album release, Unicorn, many people bought multiple releases, but with Reminiscience, most people are just buying this one release. This was expected, I think this is natural, because I launched my whole catalogue with Unicorn, with DRM free material, and many people stocked up on previously unavailable or DRM'ed material.
  • I am en route to a truely independent artist - at the moment, retail stores (both physical and digital) are providing supplemental income compared to what I generate on my own. I actually make most of the money from my own shops. (Update: Come to think of it, this is probably because I haven't access to all numbers yet. )
  • It is too early to make a final conclusion, but early sales figures and web visit statistics indicate a doubling compared to previous album Unicorn. This is absolutely perfect and completely according to my world domination by patiently-and-silently-building-an-army-in-the-shadows plan.


T plus 1: Photos from release
Posted June 16th 2009, at 15:12 with tags , , , , ,

My special operative photo documentarist agent Eivind Senneset shot marvellous pictures from the release party show.

Watch all photos in extravagant http fullscreen Flickr slideshow.


Lyrics updated
Posted June 16th 2009, at 14:40 with tags , ,

The lyrics for the Reminiscience tracks are now available.


Ugress - Reminiscience Released
Posted June 15th 2009, at 00:00 with tags ,

You can listen to the whole album right here right now.

You can buy a download directly from me in my mp3 store, you can also buy lossless version.

If you want a physical copy you can buy it directly from my own store the Uncanny Mall, record shops in Norway, or globally from Amazon when they update their catalogue.

You can also buy it in iTunes and other mp3 stores, available as they run their daily or weekly release batch.

It should be available on Spotify when they update their catalogue.

Reminiscience Bonus Tracks
Posted June 14th 2009, at 23:14 with tags , , , , , , ,

If you have bought the Reminiscience album, there are four extra bonus tracks available:

  • Blaupunkt
  • Composed Capture
  • Drama
  • New Shoes Escape Manoeuvre (Turban Take)

You can access these tracks here. You need the physical or digital booklet.

If you have purchased the album from a digital store that did not deliver the booklet, do not panic. Simply show me the purchase receipt, and I'll send you a link to download the cover.

Forward the email receipt, or a screendump of your order, or whatever to prove a purchase, to

T minus 02: Release Party And Live Show
Posted June 14th 2009, at 21:17 with tags , , , , , ,

Most the day was spent with the release party at Edvard. The cafe is my beans and coffee supplier, a great coffee shop right next to a huge piazza. During summers they can open the walls, transforming the place into any size and use, spreading into the piazza. 

We did the opposite - transformed the cafe into a blackbox by covering the walls with black fabric, set up a projector and screen, and lots of smaller computer screens. The cafe also has a huge flatscreen on one of the walls, which I hooked into. Here's a shot of the mostly finished setup during rigging:

I had my excellent usual photo documentarist Eivind Senneset to shoot the concert, images should be ready soon. I also taped the show in HD, hopefully tomorrow I'll upload some material.

T minus 01: AMZ 1974, Release Party HD Video
Posted June 14th 2009, at 21:17 with tags , , , , , , , ,

A HD clip of yesterdays performance of AMZ 1974, live version of one of the album tracks.

The party was awesome, and the show itself went perfectly. Not too many people showed up, but considering my talents, interest and attention to marketing, I was not surprised. We had a great time anyway, and I sold an impressive amount of CDs. Thanks to everyone that showed up!

There was a lot of hardware trouble getting the livestream to work, so the last few minutes before showtime was very stressful, but in the end it worked out. The show is stored and you can watch it at Ustream.TV. If everything had worked as intended I think the livestreaming would have been great - I am definitively doing this more.

I played a short set with some new material and some golden oldies. Everything worked brilliantly, I have a new live setup which I was testing, with the Lemur acting as total controller for everything. It works perfectly for me as a controller, but it is perhaps a bit boring to watch, so I'll probably re-introduce something physical to accompany it next time.

After the mini concert Kahuun played awesome beats and I had the luxury of breathing for a few hours, before rigging down and clearing out.

I slept a few hours, and most of today has been spent uploading the album everywhere and anywhere, updating the journal with entries for the last few days, and patching together the video above. (Because of the camera audio hardware meltdown, the audio recording was decapitated. The audio in the clip is not from the actual performance, but a separate render.)

Live Broadcast Kafe Edvard
Posted June 13th 2009, at 21:00 with tags ,

OK it's on.  Sound troubles. Don't know if we can fix it. Panasonic, you are DEAD.

Concert starts sometime between 2230 and 23 CET, as vampire projectionist I have to wait for the sun to set.

I won't be able to check in on it after I set it up, hopefully nothing will break.

UPDATE, the next day: Sorry about the sound quality. The show was supposed to be filmed with a proper camera and direct line from the mixboard. During testing and rehearsals, everything worked. Of course, as ALWAYS with Ugress Live, something breaks down. At the final moment when pressing "broadcast", the line input on the camera went kaput. In fact the whole sound unit of the camera disappeared, no audio controls or menus, poof, gone.

We struggled with reboots, restarts, power on/off, factory resets, nothing. Panic was setting in. Then I suddenly thought of a simple workaround - there was a Macbook Pro available - it has a screen camera and a microphone... So we dropped the camera and simply put up the laptop on a case. (Unfortunately the broadcasting software wouldn't accept line in when using internal camera, wtf?).

Very sorry for the fatal sound quality and less-than-stellar image quality. The show was taped with a separate HD cam, I'll upload from there asap.

Posted June 13th 2009, at 20:58 with tags No tags.

Everything is shipped, I've been super busy the last few days but I'll have time to update everything tomorrow. Now live show.

T minus 03: Norwegian pre-orders shipped
Posted June 13th 2009, at 18:00 with tags , , , , , ,

Processed, packed, and shipped pre-orders for Norway, pictured above. Also did final edits and rehearsals for the live show at the release party tomorrow.

I am totally absolutely astounded with the amount of pre-orders. I had no expectation there would be so much interest, and I seriously under-estimated how much time it would take to process everything. I haven't slept much the last few days, but I am not tired and I am super happy with packing so many orders, the interest and support from you people all over the world is incredible.

Everything should be shipped now, hopefully correctly. Everyone that ordered, will receive an email at 00:01 CET with link to a digital download of the album.

T minus 04: Live show edits and visuals
Posted June 12th 2009, at 21:16 with tags , , , , ,

Spent all day remixing tracks for live versions, and creating accompanying visuals.

Every track has two separate synced videos, one for the main projection screen, and one for the scattered computer screens. It takes a lot of time to prepare and edit both music and multiple videos together for a live show, but I try to expand my live repetoir for each show.

For the Reminiscience releaseparty show I am creating three live new live tracks with video.

T minus preview countdown
Posted June 11th 2009, at 03:03 with tags No tags.

Notice - since I had too much to do, and most entries have been added post-release, you can now listen to the whole album. There is no point in adding the remaining previews.

Manual email orders replied
Posted June 11th 2009, at 03:01 with tags No tags.

Just a quick note - I think I have replied to all manual email orders now, with bank info for Norwegians and invoices for international orders. If you haven't received anything check your junk mail folder. If still nothing, let me know.

T minus 05: Chrome Shuriken Dragonfire - complete track free download
Posted June 11th 2009, at 01:01 with tags , , , , , , , , , ,

Tonight's track is Chrome Shuriken Dragonfire and it is available in full and as a free download.

I know it is kind of pop and all, but the song isn't about love or hearts and crap like that. This track is about growing up with 8 bit sprites as your closest friends.

A reminiscientific tribute to the innocent era of Commodore 64s, and 8 bit worlds.

European pre-orders shipped
Posted June 10th 2009, at 14:16 with tags , , , , ,

All European pre-orders are now shipped.

Pictured above is my temporary pre-order warehouse-in-a-corner, with the remaining CDs. That should cover the Norwegian shipments on Friday, with a polite amount of leftovers for the release party.

The post office clerks was very happy today because I managed to get there 30 minutes before they closed.

T minus 06: Preview: Sordid Pulse
Posted June 10th 2009, at 01:43 with tags , , , , ,

One might perhaps recognize parts of this track. It is a bastard clone mutant of an earlier bonus track (I think it was one of the Unicorn bonus tracks).

Posted June 10th 2009, at 01:03 with tags , , , , , , , , ,

International pre-orders outside Europe was posted as planned Monday evening.

Took me almost all day packing pre-orders and promo shipments, I totally underestimated how much time those logistics need. I should get a labeling machine. And a car. And a license.

The post office clerks was absolutely NOT happy with me storming into the post office 1 minute before closing time, dragging with me 30-40 packages of various sizes and weights, bound for the Americas, Asia and Australia. That was my second visit that day, dumping piles of post on them, was expediting promo and press shipments earlier.

Post office clerks. I did make a mental note who is going gulag when my time comes.

Haven't slept much since May, but looking forward to October, there might be some quiet days. (Maybe Melodyne DNA is done by then, that would be a nice cup of tea.)

Final Cut is rendering some visuals now so I have a few minutes to update the journal.

I am bit by bit chewing todos and checking off all the promotional laundry, PR typing, posting, social network updating, shipping pre-orders, preparing and organizing the live show, printing posters, cutting up flyers, writing live versions of tracks for the show, preparing visuals for the show, testing out video streaming, editing and mixing Kometkameratene tracks for the upcoming CD release, writing incidental music for upcoming episodes, hey look at that a new iphone, booking crew for the liveshow, editing and uploading track previews, espressos, writing this. postponing taxes, untangling a spiderweb of email communications. (Looking very much forward to Google Wave!)

Oh almost slipped my mind, I developed and programmed a fundamental update to my websites to make it easier to add and maintain content. Maybe it doesn't look like much of a change, still things to do, but there's some new laser ninja http tubes in the basement. Should come in handy over the next few years.

I am very sure something has slipped my mind? Oh I am aware of the manual pre-orders, I was hoping to get to them tomorrow morning, sorry about that, but there should still be time.

Also, I'm worried about my laptop HD, it's not behaving, file operations are crashing more and more frequently, I really really don't have time to mess with a HD exchange and recovery right now.

But luckily, according to my calendar I have ten minutes free on Monday to release an album. Looking forward to that!

T minus 07: Preview: Sandtraps
Posted June 10th 2009, at 00:53 with tags , , , ,

Featuring Christine Litle.

Sandtraps has already been disclosed, it was competing for the same space as Nightswim on the album, and I asked for global second opinions.

More than 300 persons voted, emailed or commented on the two tracks, the final result ending up with a 60/40 favor of Sandtraps. Which is uncannily similar to my own opinion, I was slightly in favor of Sandtraps.

So Sandtraps it is.

Reminiscience Release Party June 13th
Posted June 9th 2009, at 12:51 with tags , , , ,

Saturday, June 13th at Kafe Edvard, Bergen. I'll do a mini cinematic concert presenting some of the new material, and DJ Kahuun will ensure the party vibes. If this schizo summer graces us with nice weather, it'll be a great outdoors event.

The show will be videostreamed live here on

  • Kafe Edvard, Grieghallen
  • Saturday June 13th
  • Concert starts 2230 CET
  • Age limit 20 years
  • Free entrance
  • Video streamed live

I'll fill out more info here when I have time (or if there is more to say).

Update: That's 2230 CET.

Photo credits

T minus 08: Preview: The Bosporus Incident
Posted June 7th 2009, at 16:05 with tags , , , , , , ,

This track was originally written back in 2006, during a longer stay in Istanbul, Turkey.

Coincidentally thou, it did not feature any Middle or Near Eastern elements in the original version. I wrote it originally as soothing and easy house track, there was no oud as a lead instrument. When revisiting the track earlier this year, I felt it missed a carrying element. The oud was edited together from various sources, pitch and tempo adjusted with Melodyne to fit the Western scale and harmonies.

So the Western part of the track was written in Istanbul, and the Eastern part was added in Bergen. This reversed cultural personality, suits a track named for the Bosporus.

WIDI-XU: Wireless MIDI USB Kung-Fu
Posted June 7th 2009, at 15:47 with tags , , , , , , ,

The WIDI-XU from CME is a wireless, USB based MIDI transmitter and receiver, with 80 meters of range.

This means, if I was living aboard the International Space Station, I could remotely control a synthesizer aboard the space shuttle Discovery. We could for example have a duplicate concert in both the space station and the shuttle simultansouly, if we wanted to. And I'm sure we would, and it would be awesome. I'm a space station operator with my wireless midi calculator!

We could also just do it on earth, with the built in wireless network MIDI in OSX, like I'm already doing, but that would be lamé.


T minus 09: Preview: Numb
Posted June 7th 2009, at 15:04 with tags , , , , , ,

There is a wide assortment of vocals on the album.

I think there are eight tracks with vocal or voice contributions, depending on how one defines a vocal track. I wouldn't call all of them vocal tracks - for some of them there are no words, some uses voice samples, and others again only use vocals sparingly, more as a part of the arrangement than lead instrument.

This track, however, I would define as a vocal track. Super voice talent Christine Litle provides lyrics and vocals.

New Website Public Beta
Posted June 6th 2009, at 15:41 with tags , , , , ,

The brave of you can now poke at the new website, codename Generation 4.

The new website is a one-stop place for absolutely all my stuff. It will give access to absolutely all my music. It should scale neatly to all sorts of resolutions.

I think most of the technical stuff now works, what is missing is most of the content and graphics. I have to stop coding now, need to focus on other things like pre-orders. So I open up the new system parallell to the old one, while I add the missing content. There are probably lots of bugs and problems, if you want to look around, please do. Sometime next week I'll flip the switch, so by release, the new site is in operation.

Lots of stuff is missing but from the top of my head:

  • The banner graphics at the top is just a dummy for now
  • Lots of content is temporary development filler
  • Lots of content is missing, both media and text
  • If Soundcloud reports "track removed", that's ok, not an error
  • The community system is barebones for now
  • Adding new links are postponed
  • I haven't tried it in Internet Explorer yet.. *afraid*

So, if you dare approaching HTTP monsters, give it a spin. Post comments and rate tracks, run amok. Problems and snafus are welcome at

T minus 10: Preview: New Shoes Escape Manoeuvre
Posted June 6th 2009, at 03:47 with tags , , , , , ,

Only 10 days left. I am nearing an end to the website programming - most likely public beta during the weekend. Got to start expediting orders. Very surprised I managed it.

The track of today is dressed in kung fu shoes. "New Shoes Escape Manoeuvre" is the dub representative on the album. It is also featured in the promo video sampler.

Modsense - Modular 3D Motion Controller System
Posted June 6th 2009, at 03:12 with tags , , , , ,

Modsense is a new prototype dynamic controller system, in development by students at Aalborg University.

It looks like a dynamic system, where you combine single modules of faders, knobs and 3D motion controllers into your own modular setup. I am really intrigued by the 3D motion controllers in the demo.

The system is currently in development, and the students need feedback in form of a questionare.

T minus 11: Preview: It Was A Great Year
Posted June 5th 2009, at 23:59 with tags , , , ,

Not much of a surprise, today's track is simply the complete first single, It Was A Great Year (Movies With Robots).

Unboxement: It Has Cometh From The Post Office
Posted June 5th 2009, at 11:53 with tags ,

Pre-Orders Update
Posted June 4th 2009, at 23:09 with tags No tags.

A quick update on the pre-orders.

Thanks a lot everyone for your interest. There are too many orders for me to follow up all of them immediately, but I'll get to them over the next few days.

Everything will be shipped as scheduled, starting on Monday.

Reminiscience Pre-Order
Posted June 4th 2009, at 00:31 with tags , , , , ,

You can now pre-order the Reminiscience album for USD 14.99 in my webshop The Uncanny Mall.

You can also make an order by sending an email with your postal address (including country) to I'll reply with invoice.


I have updated all prices in the mall to reflect new exchange and postal rates. All items are cheaper, shipping is slightly more expensive.

Early Birdie Bonus

The first 22 pre-orders will additionally receive bundled a glorious Reminiscience A3 Poster, and one of the few remaining limited edition Cinematronics cassettes (yes, we made a limited run of 100 cassettes). Let me know if you want anything signed. Gone.


  • Orders outside Europe will be shipped Monday June 8th.
  • Orders inside Europe will be shipped Wednesday June 10th.
  • Orders inside Norway will be shipped Friday June 12th.

Digital download

All physical pre-orders will also receive a digital download, June 15th at 00:01 CET. You will receive a link to download via email.

The album will be available in my own mp3 stores at the same time, and iTunes, Spotify et al whenever they do the daily release routine. It should also be physically available in regular Norwegian record shops, and internationally via Amazon.

Coupon code

Oh, if you are logged in - take a look at the Uncanny Mall merch box to your right, for your 15% discount coupon code. Thanks for hanging out here.

Update 1: Whoa incredible! Woke up this morning and already way past 22 pre-orders. Everyone ordered so far will get the schwag, but that's it, the offer is expired. Thanks everyone, for your support.

Update 2: I messed up the poster size, it's A3 not A2. A3 is smaller, but also means I can ship it without folding it. Sorry about that, my bad. I'll throw in a extra poster, so you can make your own A2 version.

T minus 12: Preview: Win Without Triumph
Posted June 3rd 2009, at 22:00 with tags , , , ,

Twelve days left. There are twelve tracks on the album. Each day up ahead will reveal a track title, and preview a little snippet.

First track out is Win Without Triumph.

Pinball Machine Musical Instrument
Posted June 3rd 2009, at 20:00 with tags , , , , , ,

The Bagatelle Concrete is a pinball machine turned musical instrument.

"The more successfully the player interacts with the machine, the more intense the accompanying soundtrack gets. The piece maintains the roughness of the electromechanical original game, mixing physical sounds happening on the playing field with manipulations of their recordings."

Wonder if it has MIDI.

There's a video with some gameplay at Networked Music Review

T minus 13: Posters Ready
Posted June 3rd 2009, at 19:59 with tags , , , ,

A detail from the poster.

Only printed in A2 A3, but that's all my budget and use need right now.


T minus 14: A Fortnight Away
Posted June 3rd 2009, at 19:50 with tags , , ,

Only 14 days left.

Was supposed to upate the merchandise mall and start the pre-orders. And I'm down and out with a cruel cold. Awe, cough cough, some.


T minus 15: Codathon
Posted June 3rd 2009, at 19:40 with tags , , , , , ,

Spent all day coding the website.

Things are a little bit behind, but not as much as I feared. Looks like I will be able to pull off the update before the album is out. Which sort of was the plan anyway, and has been for a long time, I was supposed to do this update before previous album Unicorn but ran out of time.

Literal, Total Eclipse Of The Heart
Posted June 3rd 2009, at 10:37 with tags , , , , ,

Down with cold, but a literal Bonnie Tyler makes it all much better.

  • Mullett with headlights.
  • Gang of dancing ninja men
  • Douchebags
  • Army of Clones
  • Blind possessed choir boys

Total Eclipse Of The Heart: Very very best literal video version.

Biological Quality Predicaments
Posted June 2nd 2009, at 13:44 with tags , , , , , , ,

I appears I pushed things to hard lately, my biological self collapsed over the weekend. The immunity systems are working overtime to repair the damage.

Apparently coding is quite doable with fever, so I am making delirious progress with the web upgrades. The logical and systematic part of the brain seems unaffected by the virus.

However this was a most unfortunate setback, and a stark reminder of the least glorious feature of being independent: Solitary world domination is crucially dependent on a well-functioning biological entity.

I shall get to the remainding must-do's ASAP.

T minus 16: Mysterious New Merch Item
Posted May 30th 2009, at 13:17 with tags , , , , , , ,

Pre-orders and stuff like that opens early next week.

Simultaneously, introducing a new, top secret, mysterious accessory product.

Nebular Spool in Fallout 3 Alternative Soundtrack
Posted May 30th 2009, at 13:01 with tags , , , , ,

My post-apocalyptic darkscape project Nebular Spool is featured with 6 tracks in the Fallout 3 Alternative Soundtrack.

I haven't played the game but I heartily approve of anything post-apocalyptic.

T minus 17: Inbox Zero
Posted May 29th 2009, at 23:59 with tags , , ,

As the release approaches, the amount of administrative efforts are increasing exponentially. I was supposed to be programming the webs, but spent all day being an office drone. Printing and building promo kits, updating social networks, shipping orders, filling out papers, replying to emails.

With great satisfaction I managed to zero my inbox completely, which is a rare occurrence of effectivity and organisation. I sat for a few minutes meditating on the vast loneliness of an empty inbox. The peace lasted only until the next IMAP moment.


T minus 18: Reminiscience Promotional Video
Posted May 28th 2009, at 19:18 with tags , , , , , , , ,

Ugress Reminiscience Promo 2009 from GMM on Vimeo.

TV networks, video blogs and other moving-images media outlets sometimes need supplied footage when reporting on global dominance maneuvers. In particular, the entertainment division covering mad scientists and their sucktastic new albums.

Just in not-bloody-likely case, I built a two minute promo video, featuring samples of album tracks and HD video footage of our liveshows over the last two years. Not that I imagine anyone to ever use this, except for bashing the lunatic, but it is a good excuse to premiere some more music.

So if you run a TV channel, or want to, or not, now you can slaughter my album with awesome footage in the upper right info box.

Footage from the Landmark and Aas shows. Thanks to Svein Sund for camera and footage assistance.

The DAW Dimesion Expansion: Reaper 3
Posted May 28th 2009, at 00:31 with tags , , , , , , , ,

Cockos just released version 3 of Reaper. Reaper, like Renoise, is one of my pet underdog music production suites.

With the recent introductions of Propellerheads Record and Presonus Studio One, the DAW world seems to be in full bloom. Renoise just recently went gold with 2.1, surprisingly introducing Rewire. I am thankful for this growth, and in particular that the smaller indie developers seem to be doing great.

The upcoming Ugress album was written and produced with several different programs, which is atypical for the historic me. Previously I used to stay in one program for years. Now I seem to be working in many programs at once, picking whatever tool is right for the moment. I happily welcome more options.

T minus 19: The Dark Shadows, Needs Photoshop
Posted May 27th 2009, at 23:58 with tags , , , , , , ,

I need a few minutes of promo footage for the upcoming release. So I spent the day editing and colour correcting the HD takes from last years Landmark show.

It was a superb show, with excellent visuals. Unfortunately the unusual stage lightning turned out too dark for the cameras. There are some nice shots, but not enough to build a concert video feature from it. However, it might be useful for editing into a quick promo reel.

Took most of the day to find the usable clips, trimming, balancing and color correcting them. Tomorrow I'll edit it together with an album mashup and it should be ready.

T minus 20: Gulp
Posted May 26th 2009, at 00:39 with tags , , , , , , , ,

Only 20 days left? It is not enough. I can feel a mild, tingling panic spreading through my nerve system.

Anyway. I'm currently working like mad on the websites. I am working on a development version, but to save time both these production pages here and the development system are running of the same backend database. So from time to time something might break or look screwed up. Sorry about that.

T minus 21: Return To The Planet Of The Cruel HTTP Creatures
Posted May 25th 2009, at 21:25 with tags , , ,

With massive amounts of clueless expectations of time, and armed only with a text editor, I am now working on an update to my websites.

I might not survive, but if I do, I hope to make it out alive before the album is released.

If something appears broken, do not panic. Unless it swallows you alive.

T minus 22: Changes To The Live Show
Posted May 25th 2009, at 21:24 with tags , , , , , , ,

I spent most of today going over the current setup, the current live tracks, and planning for changes and development. I'll spend a few hours now and then over the coming weeks fine-tuning things.

Looks like I'll be doing the live shows solo up ahead, no vocals or live instruments, so I need to change the live setup accordingly.

It is a bit sad to be playing alone again, back to basics, but also liberating and exciting. Without live musicians, my show is more flexible as to where I can perform.

I'm trying to set up a few small release parties in Norway, so far only Bergen is booked. Not sure exactly what I'll be doing live for the release parties, but it is a nice opportunity to try out some new ideas and concepts.

The Bergen venue, a small coffee shop called Kafe Edvard, has internet connection so I'm looking into getting the show streamed and tied into a simultaneous digital release.


T minus 23: Uncanny Mall pre-order preparations
Posted May 23th 2009, at 20:04 with tags , , , , , , ,

Spent most of the day planning and preparing for pre-orders and new products in the Uncanny Mall.

There are some new products (of course) and I'm updating the prices, luckily for international customers the financial crisis means a better exchange rate, and lower prices.

I am still paying down on debts, can't afford to print new clothing quite yet. But there is still merch left from the Unicorn release, I didn't tour as much as expected.

And I was foreseeable enough to not tie most of the merch up directly to the Unicorn album, the logo shirts are universal. There is also some new niceties.

Info and update should go out sometime next week.

Melodyne DNA Is Now DNF: Duke Nukem Forever
Posted May 23th 2009, at 19:37 with tags , , , , , , ,

I absolutely loved Duke Nukem 3D, and spent most of my education kicking ass and chewing bubblegum. Thanks, Lånekassen.

Ever since, one has personally enjoyed waiting for the follow-up; The King Of Vaporware also know as Duke Nukem Forever. Sadly, a few weeks ago it was finally revealed that there would be no follow-up, 3D Realms folded.

It is therefore with great enthusiasm, I observe that the holy grail of audio editing, Melodyne DNA, is lining up to become the next, and even better, Polyphonic King Of Varporware.

Rumours were running already a few months back, that Melodyne DNA was in trouble, but Celemony quickly denied, stating everything was ready for the already-postponed May beta release. Then, what do you know. Postponed again. Wait, is that the smell of... vapor... in the air?

I know there is an already released, but unstable indie product doing slightly the same as DNA, and upcoming SonicWorx will be able to edit pitches in polyphonic material. So it is not impossible to do what Celemony is promising. I think it is very possible. But tricky.

Announcing and showcasing a product and then not having anything to show for more than a year... danger, Will Robinson.

T minus 24: Administrative Laboratory Efforts
Posted May 22th 2009, at 18:46 with tags , , ,

Back in the laboratory.

Buzz is picking up as the release approaches. My daily Google alerts keeps filling up, unanswered emails are piling up, there are daily merch orders from the Uncanny Mall and more frequent requests for sync licenses.

Looks like the world has noticed there is a new album coming up.

Didn't have much access to the tubes over the last few days of travelling, so I spent most of the day catching up with administrative efforts, killing emails, burning, printing and posting promos, and expediting merch orders.

Global world domination is sometimes too much boring office work.

T minus 25: Day Of Transport, Wi-Fi in Airports
Posted May 21st 2009, at 23:59 with tags

Sometimes travelling is all-consuming. Those are the worst kinds of journeys, when absolutely all your attention is spent on transporting yourself from A to B, fighting delays and re-routes and strikes and generally all the morons of the world doing their best to make your day a mess.

And don't get me started on the blithering stupid idiots behind wireless internet zones at airports. Why do they think the more forms they ask me to fill out, the more likely I will be giving them my money? I WON'T.

Why, yes, of course, extremely complicated internet provider page, I will download your proprietary software, and fill out all of these 62 forms, approve of you selling my email adress, just to get on the internet for a few minutes! And I will gladly pay for it too, in massive amounts, for 60 minutes access!

Upon my global world dominance: The people behind the over-complicated internet wi-fi zones will be made responsible for polishing absolutely all the leaves on absolutely all the trees in the world. Nightly. With a single cotton swab to share. 

T minus 26: British Post Apocalyptic Forest
Posted May 21st 2009, at 20:25 with tags , , , , , ,

Took half a day off for a walk in a wet, misty English forest valley. It was magically drizzled with post-apocalyptic, Victorian mill ruins. A perfect setting for Nebular Spool inspiration.

I very much would like to focus on new projects. Artistically, the Ugress Reminiscience album is behind me, I'm done with it. I now have to make an effort marketing it, which is hard to muster up. I much prefer the creation and production process to the sales and promotion process. My mind is longing for future projects, and this forest walk reinforced my hope to get working on the next Nebular Spool.

The damp wetness and lush growth of the British forests took me by surprise. I very much enjoyed getting lost in the ruins of old mills, covered inn moss and overgrown with dense foliage. I took some photographs of my post apocalyptic escape.

T minus 27: Uncanny Planet Laboratories, London Branch
Posted May 20th 2009, at 12:00 with tags , , , , , , , ,

A few days in London was spent partly on the laptop and partly on awesome restaturants. The Ugress album has demanded all my attention the last few months, I am behind on several other projects, I badly needed to catch up.

The next season of the Kometkameratene sci-fi show, starting in September, is already in production. The show is introducing some new characters, and I am rudely late in developing their leitmotif music and sound. With the Ugress album out of my hands and off to the press, I immediately got to work on sketching out suggestions to the directors and producers.

I am very excited for the upcoming new characters, and their musical possibilities. Can't reveal too much yet, but they could be opening up a new way to score the show.

T minus 28: Zipping through desktop wallpapers
Posted May 18th 2009, at 20:50 with tags , , , , ,

Spent most of the day travelling through the Windows Vista desktop landscape also known as Great Britain.

I was hoping to squeeze in a few days of R&R this week, but the last few days of predicaments means no rest for the wicked. In that regard, I was very happy to observe the excellent trains of Britain is equipped with wireless internet. With trains like this, I'm not surprised they built a global empire, and won the war, and also had time to create excellent pubs. I managed to fire off the most urgent emails with green pastures zipping by.

I related news, am very thankful for my aggregator, Artspages, the connection between UK and Oslo was flaky and I struggled uploading the album to their system, but had no problem uploading to So they downloaded it from there and entered the audio manually into the system for me. Much appreciated.

The logistics of the album is now out of my hands, which is a relief.

T minus 29: Dim Sums It Up
Posted May 17th 2009, at 23:59 with tags , , , , , , ,

The album master is finally approved and concluded. Phew.

Also, as a perfect wrap (harr harr), I had extremely awesome dim sum at Hakkasan for late Sunday night dinner. Terrible website, but incredible place and food.

But Wolfram, it can't even count
Posted May 17th 2009, at 13:11 with tags , , , , ,

Wolfram Alpha is an über-hyped new Google killer, by another of us self-proclaimed geniuses.

It was launched to much bravado this weekend, after ages of self-generated marketing win, and is supposed to not only know everything, but also what everything means.

Of course, as usual with us mad scientists, it fails thunderously at once. I'm actually impressed, how it managed to fail faster than Cuil.

Soundcloud updates the player widget, too much?
Posted May 16th 2009, at 17:31 with tags , , , , ,

Soundcloud recently updated the player widget.

It has some neat new features, but after a few days of working with it, I have a gut feeling it uses more CPU and slows down my websites. I don't have time to investigate, but feels like pages with Soundcloud widgets seem to load slower, and demand more CPU once loaded. If a page with the widget is open, my laptop fans spin up pretty soon.

Anyone else noticed this?


Video Eldorado Video blog
Posted May 16th 2009, at 15:44 with tags , , , , , , ,

The Video Eldorado - The Ultimate Humanitarian Road Trip - is a travelling humanitarian project, on their way to meet the people of the Americas. Ten people from different cultures (Canada, France, England, United States) travelling from Canada to Panama in a big vegetable-fueled bus, doing workshop with children, filming and documenting everything they discover on their way.

The video editor emailed me a while back and asked if they could use some of my music for the video blog. I really liked this project, and gave him complete access to my whole library for their video diaries.

The teaser above, Life In Louisiana, uses music from the library and from the Film Music compilation album.


T minus 30: Master
Posted May 16th 2009, at 14:12 with tags , , , , ,

30 days to release. Late last night I finally got the first master version.

It looks like that. It sounds like epic purple velvet ninja sound. I think.

Unfortunately I'm travelling, and I do not like making sound quality conclusions on headphones, particularly after getting off a flight.

The master sounds awesome on high quality headphones, and on iPhone earbuds. I can tell what they did by comparing premaster and master, but I cannot know how this translates to actual room sound, in particular how it sounds loud. So I have to trust the opinions of others.

We're having a phone meeting later tonight to discuss and hopefully agree the master is ready for delivery.

T minus 31: Reminiscience Cover Artwork
Posted May 15th 2009, at 00:01 with tags , , ,

One month, date-wise, to release.

To celebrate, here is the cover artwork. And yes, today I actually looked like that all the time.

The cover is designed by Kosmonaut, which is Morten Rosenlund at Reaktor ID. Cover photo by Haugland/Reksten/Olsen.

With immense pleasure I welcome back Morten as my cover artwork designer. He did the very first E-Pipe EP, the ill fated Loungemeister EP, the first promo CDs, the Resound artwork and most of the early posters.

I am very happy to be working with Morten again. The Reminiscience artwork is spectacular, and quite the clever one, once you start peeking into the depths of the booklet.


PS. If you read this in Firefox, be aware that your browser does not respect image color profiles. The cover does not display correctly in Firefox.

T minus 32: Unforeseen Critical Predicaments
Posted May 14th 2009, at 23:48 with tags No tags.

What. A. Day.

Late last night I uploaded the premaster, scheduled for mastering today. I was very tired, but happy, my job was done and I delivered on time.

But after only a few hours sleep, my manager called me and woke me up with ill news. The appointed master engineer had fell sick with a bad cold, and the rest of the facility was understaffed. They couldn't do it today. You can't master an album without ears.

Crisis. We are on a super tight schedule. The album has to be done within tomorrow Friday, the finished master must go to press, and on to my aggregator for further digital distribution, to reach all destinations in time. To complicate matters, I will be travelling a lot the next seven days, and won't have access to familiar systems to check details in the master.

Then, a few hours later, he phoned again, we learned that our pressing plant contact was ALSO missing in action, the whole plant were ALSO understaffed, and all orders up ahead would be delayed. A delivery delay of one day, at this moment, means a production delay of several weeks.

Gah. After months of working around the clock, everything crumbles once it is out my hands. Before 8 in the morning, before I even had any coffee. Cruel, cruel, cruel.

The rest of the day was spent in a combination of perplexed anticlimax and stressed-out agony, phone calls, emails, errands, how when what who which where to if possibly perhaps manage to salvage something somehow, if anything. I should be working on press releases and promo kits, preparing for a week's travel, catching up on running projects, but it was impossible to concentrate when I had no idea what was happening to the album.

I can't postpone the release. I have so much to do, project commitments, my schedule up until September is crammed. The reason for releasing the album June 15th is quite simply because it is the only available moment. I forced it into my schedule because I knew if I didn't get it out by then, it wouldn't be out until 2010.

I have been pushing other projects ahead of me while wrapping up the album, and I should be focusing on them this very moment. It's going to be a long night. Again.

Finally late tonight, possible solutions seemed to fall into place. The mastering engineer provides a smart solution where they manage do the final master tomorrow. Very nice, I am very grateful, but too late for my aggregator's weekly push, and too late for me. I don't know how this plays with the physical plant yet.

I have no information or guarantee that the album will reach all destinations in time, but my beloved aggregator Artspages promised me to see what they could do, and my manager Roar knows a trick or two about the physical distribution. Next week we'll look into clever ways to catch up.

If the phone wakes me tomorrow morning, I'm totally very not answering.

T minus 33: Finished
Posted May 13th 2009, at 19:26 with tags , , , , , , ,

My job is done. Reminiscience is finished.

A few minutes ago, I uploaded the premaster to the ftp server. There is still lots of stuff to do, but musically and artistically, I'm finished. Tomorrow the album is mastered, and Friday sent to the press / digital distribution.

I will now try to get some much needed sleep, if I can remember how to do it.

Tomorrow I'll retrospectively update the missing days (I took notes), and post the cover artwork.

T minus 34: Final mix and adjustments
Posted May 12th 2009, at 12:00 with tags , , ,

Didn't get all eight hours sleep, but enough to reset my ears. Today and tomorrow are the two final days, and I'm mostly focusing on final mix and minor details and adjustments.

All tracks are now finished, and the sequence is almost locked.

I did some intro and outtro adjustments depending on track sequence, to provide for a nice flow throughout the album.

One of the tracks needed a slightly longer outtro, to provide a breathing buffer in to a rather explosive next track. This is one of the nice things I like about having full control myself and total access to everything. I can adjust all elements as necessary at any moment, if needed.

T minus a number that I do not want to know
Posted May 11th 2009, at 21:54 with tags

Not dead. Slightly stressed. Final premaster to be delivered Wednesday evening.

I'm off the clouds and on espressos until then.

T minus 35: Making The Pieces Fit
Posted May 11th 2009, at 12:00 with tags , , , ,

I spent most of today working on the final missing elements of a few tracks. The most important tracks are finished, and I'm happy to observe that this is a very melodic album, there are several excellent single candidates.

Very long days now, and short nights. That's not good for my ears, tonight I have to get eight hours sleep to rest my ears.

T minus 36: C64 Sam Sabotages My Sound
Posted May 10th 2009, at 12:00 with tags , , , , , , ,

Sometimes I have awesome ideas, sometimes I have horrible ideas.

Sometimes I have awesome ideas that turn out horrible. For one of the album tracks, maybe the next single, which is about 80'ies computers, sprites and 8 bit fights, I wanted to have the good old Sam Reciter sing a part of the vocals.

He has a very distinct voice, I really love that computer voice sound, and it could complement the track very well. Also it was a clever cameo.

It took me a few swift minutes of googling and downloading to get the C64 and Sam up and running on my mac. I then sampled (harr harr) the necessary words, and got to work on making him in tune and tempo.

But darn gosh, I struggled with that. He just wouldn't cooperate.

I couldn't find a way to fit him into the track, and I quickly became manically intent on it. I spent almost 36 hours trying to get it to work and sound like I wanted. STUPID waste of energy and time at such a moment, I should have killed the project within 36 minutes. 

Of course, the solution was simple, and it was what I had planned in the beginning. Sam is still participating, but now more rightly in his subtle cameo role. I'll write a dedicated track for him later.

T minus 37: Observations On Crowdsourcing
Posted May 9th 2009, at 20:50 with tags , , , , , , ,

People all over the world has responded to my two album selection crowdsourcing sessions. This has been very inspiring and informative, and most importantly, great fun.

As already mentioned with Nightswim vs Sandtraps, the public opinion in both cases coincides with my own. Most of the observations and comments are resonating with me. A few I might disagree with, but I understand where they come from.

In both cases I choose to go with the public opinion. The way I see it, I had a hunch and it was proved by popular consensus. Sandtraps and AMZ 1974 go on the album.

I also took great notice in a few comments that mentioned that Nightswim and Blaupunkt has more potential than the other two, but it is untapped. I agree, and I'd say it more blatant: They can become great tracks, they just aren't good enough yet.

Blaupunkt will be available as a bonus download for those that buy the album. Nightswim I haven't decided yet. I might push it up ahead to the next album or an EP, I think it needs more work.

T minus 38: The 22 Titled Track Is A Wrap
Posted May 8th 2009, at 20:34 with tags , , , , , ,

All Ugress albums has a track with the number 22 as part of the title.

The upcoming Reminiscience album is (and I can't believe it) my 22nd release, with product code UP 022.

With great relief, today I wrapped up this album's 22 track. It was scheduled for inclusion a long time ago, but for a long time there was a problem with the structure. I kept struggling to make all the parts fit together seamlessly.

Of course it resolved itself today. After all, 9 + 5 +8 = 22.

T minus 39: Help Us Select The Final Track
Posted May 7th 2009, at 22:56 with tags , , , , , , ,

Less than 40 days to release.

The global expertise helping us choose between two tracks last week was incredible. We have opinions from the whole planet, every continent. With great respect we now ask you again: Please help us now select the final track for the album.

This time, the final battle is between two instrumental tracks: Blaupunkt vs AMZ 1974.

They are not as similar as Nightswim and Sandtraps. Genre wise I would place them both in the cinematic part of the album, but with different atmosphere and energy.


AMZ 1974

What do you think? I am happy for opinions and discussion, post a comment and let me know your thoughts. The comments of the previous battle was fantastic.

If you only want to give a vote, speak with your click:

A note at the end; it was tricky to select which part to preview. As these two are electronic instrumentals with different structures outside the formulaic "song" format, there is no relevant part of them to set up against each other. The previews above are from somewhere in the first half of each track, and are as representative of each track as possible, without giving away too much. 

Resound Vinyl Out Of Print
Posted May 7th 2009, at 22:00 with tags , , , , , , ,

Today the last Resound LP was sold from my merch store the Uncanny Mall. This makes the vinyl version out of print. If you have one, keep it safe.

There are still around 50 Cinematronics LP's left, but they're in a warehouse on the other side of the country. I'll grab them as soon as possible but for now the vinyl products are sadly on hold.

Harakiri Martini Music Video Still Makes A Fuzz
Posted May 7th 2009, at 21:43 with tags , ,

Is it real or not?

The Harakiri Martini music video, which made a fuzz last year with a quarter of a million views, is still popping up here and there. Latest at Ping-Pong Robot News.

It generates hilarious comments when people argue if it is real or not.

T minus 40: Bandcamp Schwag, SixtyOne Beta
Posted May 6th 2009, at 23:58 with tags , , , , , ,

Today was awesome. Yesterday was horrible, I lost a day in fixing a critical website problem, but I was duly rewarded.

I received a nice real letter in the post with some schwag from Bandcamp, which provides my lossless digital music store. They're up to something great, and I am very happy to see the options for musicians to sell music directly to fans are blooming.

Then, just a few minutes later as I was thinking exactly that thought above, it dumped in an email from The SixtyOne, my favorite social music site - Ugress has currently 2300 active listeners and commenters, providing me invaluable feedback and statistics. The SixtyOne are soon opening up an ecommerce solution for artists on the site, to sell songs directly to fans within the system. They would like to invite me to the private beta. Awesome.

The tools for independent artists are growing like crazy.

T minus 41: A Note From The Remote Future
Posted May 6th 2009, at 23:23 with tags , , , , , ,

A note from the future where everything works.

I am old and crooked and a cruel but loved and respected world dominating dictator. And young journalists with fresh, naive curiosity flock around me to ask about my dark and distant past. Are the rumours true? Was it really that barbaric?

They would ask something like: "What, prey tell, was some of the challenges of being a pioneering, digital, electronic artist, before Our Great Leader GMM made the world such a great and continuously stable place it is today?"

And I would tap my pipe and linger in a perfectly pondering pose for a moment, and then remember:

"Well, sometimes, in the climatic production of an album, maybe exactly 41 days before the album should be released, you could sometimes need to drop everything in your hands, because your website was being throttled, there could be a problem with some SQL queries that was running wild, because your server was getting more and more visits faster and faster. Growing pains. Now, mind you, many people would think "surely this can wait, I can't fix this now!". But that is where those people disappeared with a silent, digital poof, and fell into the forgotten realms of history."

"Most people didn't realize back then, the web server was becoming the backbone and nerval spine of any musical endeavour. If your website was screwed, your music was screwed. If your website used 20 seconds to display a page, people didn't wait. They left. They should not leave, especially as an album release approaches. Also, your webhost would kill your site, because it was using up all the farm CPU power. This, naturally, was not acceptable to me at the time. One quite simply fixes the problem swiftly and immediately with surgical ninja coding attacks at highly strategic entry points. One educates oneself dynamically, reads up on inner joins, outer joins and starts optimizing SQL queries, so the website respondes within milliseconds again."

The journalists gasp at the prospect of what releasing an album back then could involve.

Thankfully, after our great leader GMM The Cruel But Cooel, this never happens anymore. Stuff mostly just works all the time so he can make albums without dabbling in pathetic SQL Inner Joins.

Tech Troubles
Posted May 6th 2009, at 08:49 with tags , , , ,

May 6th, 08:47 CET. There are some website issues, we're working on it.

Update, 13:18 CET. Corrected. Site was having some growing pains, which eventually became acute this morning. Performed some black SQL voodoo magic spells. It should be way more responsive now.

Thanks to Stian M at Webhuset for helpful assistance.

T minus 42: Disk Devourishement
Posted May 5th 2009, at 08:26 with tags , , , ,

My current efforts is not particularly newsworthy. Mostly very long days of finishing tracks and mixes. The last 10 percent of a project is always the least exciting.

I seem to be generating an accelerating amount of data over the years. I prefer to have all of my projects and libraries available, nothing in external archives. This continuously demands more and larger disks.

I noticed this morning that most of my project disks are approaching full capacity AGAIN, but I'd rather not upgrade until the album is finished.

I wonder why disk sizes never seem to be growing fast enough.

T minus 43: Another long edit session
Posted May 3rd 2009, at 19:15 with tags , , , , ,

Today was the same as yesterday - just a long, intense production session. I wrapped up all of the uncertain tracks. They are now ready to be determined for inclusion or exclusion.

The upcoming week I'll be concentrating only on finishing the album tracks, and scripting the album artwork.

Ugress featured on BBC Introducing
Posted May 3rd 2009, at 19:03 with tags , ,

Last weekend, two Ugress tracks Redrum and Kommisär Kontemporär was featured on the Tom Robinson's Introducing, a show that features new music from the web.


T minus 44: Edit Session
Posted May 2nd 2009, at 19:54 with tags , , ,

Today was work, work, work - I wrapped up two of the questionable tracks, fleshing them out as complete edits. This makes it easier to judge them, both on their own, and in the album context.

I have found a nice way of working with multiple edits simultaneously in Logic, I just lay them out after each other sequentially in arrange. Pictured above is a track with two edits, a short and a long one. This way I can work on the mix and content of several versions at the same time.

I have also started setting the album together, playing with various track collections and sequences. 

And I also asked around some of my favourite places, for the possibility of a release party. We didn't have one for Unicorn, and that was a bit sad. Not sure how, where and what to do, but ideally the party should include wifi and we could stream it worldwide.

The Most Remote Place On The Planet
Posted May 2nd 2009, at 19:48 with tags , , ,

On the topic of the planet and maps, I found this very intriguing: A connectedness map from New Scientist, that shows the most remote places on the planet.

The maps are based on a model which calculated how long it would take to travel to the nearest city of 50,000 or more people by land or water.

T minus 45: My Global Musical Expertise FTW
Posted May 1st 2009, at 18:40 with tags , , , , , , , ,

Wow. Yesterday I asked for assistance in selecting a track for the upcoming album, and 20 hours later I've received comments, emails and votes from absolutely all over the planet. This is awesome.

At the moment it looks like 2 out of 3 persons prefer Sandtraps over Nightswim. I must disclose, this is very similar to my own taste. Personally I have been leaning towards Sandtraps for the album. I like the track slightly better than Nightswim, because it is more immediate, more melodic, and I also think it better fits the album as a whole. It just grooves better.

But what makes this a difficult decision - as many has pointed out - Nightswim is a sleeper, a fresh direction for Ugress, and potentially more attractive as a complete track in a larger setting. It is slightly more demanding, but also more rewarding. It grows better.

To complicate matters even more - Nightswim exists in three different versions, has been through hundreds of edits, was almost included on Unicorn, was almost used as in-between single between the albums. It has been an "almost" track for a long time.  

Anyway. I am extremely grateful for the feedback, both the numeric stats and written opinions. Keep it coming - not only is the observations useful for the album selection, but it is also very educational and informative for the production process.

I am definitively doing this more.

Making Of Kometkameratene: Art
Posted May 1st 2009, at 17:55 with tags , , , ,

Kometkameratene Behind-The-Music: You can watch episodes directly from NRK or download official torrents.

This episode theme and title is "Art". It is a blasting MIDI punk track, with Mook the mechanic as lead.

We also wrote the lyrics for this track. When writing a song about art, there is only one thing to do: Write an early 80ies angry punk track. With cheap MIDI production. 

We choose Mook as lead vocals, to create a contrast. Mook is the quiet and calm character, always careful and considerate. It would be a nice surprise to show the kids that a calm, considerate person can also be a cool and energetic punk band lead vocalist.

The song was great fun to write, we wrote it in a few hilarious hours. I came up with the simple riff, did some hasty MIDI production and fleshed out a basic structure. We then pretended to be angry rioters in 1981, hating the establishment, protesting against everything, anarchy is best, screw the rest, we wrote the rest.

The Norwegian word for art is "kunst". The characters yell "kunst", and Mook asks philosophical as well as absurd questions of what art really is.

Here is an excerpt of the final broadcast version:

Conclusion. This was the final track of the 2008/2009 season. I think it is a great finale, which perfectly represents and sums up the broad span of musical genres we have referenced and parodied during the whole season. We've done disco, classical, reggae, flamenco, bossa nova, jazz, electro, world, triphop, dance, pop, punk, gypsy, musicals, dansband, blues, I don't know what. Luckily, there are more to explore - I am hungry for new genres to dissect. 

I can't wait to get started on the next season. Writing music for this TV show is not only incredibly fun and rewarding, it also immensely educational. We always try to do something new and different with the music, challenging ourselves, our knowledge of genres and the production possibilities. For the next season we're developing a broader musical scope for the series, integrating the musical numbers tighter into the episodes and giving the characters room for interacting and performing within the music.  

There will be a CD coming out with most of the tracks from this season. The moment I have sent Ugress 4 to the pressing plant I'm starting the work on CD versions, afaik release is set for late summer/early fall. I also know the torrent versions will be updated as soon as possible to include all episodes and music videos for the first season.

Endless Loop: Chiptune Research Paper
Posted May 1st 2009, at 17:14 with tags , , , , , ,

Endless Loop is a research paper with subtitle "A brief history of chiptunes". I haven't had time to read it yet, but it looks very, very interesting. Goes straight into my Ninja 9000 chiptune sideproject reference archive.


Chiptune refers to a collection of related music production and performance practices sharing a history with video game soundtracks. The evolution of early chiptune music tells an alternate narrative about the hardware, software, and social practices of personal computing in the 1980s and 1990s.

By digging into the interviews, text files, and dispersed ephemera that have made their way to the Web, we identify some of the common folk-historical threads among the commercial, noncommercial, and ambiguously commercial producers of chiptunes with an eye toward the present-day confusion surrounding the term chiptune.

Using the language of affordances and constraints, we hope to avoid a technocratic view of the inventive and creative but nevertheless highly technical process of creating music on computer game hardware.

(Via Rhizome. Photo Pixelfrenzy.)

T minus 46: Help us choose a track
Posted April 30th 2009, at 21:40 with tags , , , , , , , ,

46 days left until the album is out, we need professional help: Listen to two tracks, and voice your opinion. Help us decide which track to put on the album.

We are now finalizing the album track listing. Some of the tracks are somewhat mutually exclusive - both cannot go on the album. I cannot agree with myself, or others, which track to select. So I thought to crowdsource opinions.

These two tracks are both calm and soothing vocal tracks, beautiful and melodic. Great vocals by Christine, as always. However they are somewhat similar, I feel there is only room for one of them. But which? Here is a minute excerpt from each:

Sandtraps, featuring Christine Litle.

Nightswim, featuring Christine Litle.

What do you think? I am happy for opinions, post a comment and let me know your thoughts. If you only want to give a vote, that's fine. Numbers are sexy too: 

Of course, as imminent world dominance and dictatorship awaits me, I can not guarantee the public opinion a safe passage. The most popular track is not necessarily the best track for the album. However, both tracks will eventually be released and available.

T minus 47: Promo photos
Posted April 29th 2009, at 23:21 with tags , , , , , ,

Today I did promo and cover shoots for the album. I also ran around town to grab props for the shoot.

As a modern mad professor, most of my work actually happens digitally, but to visualize and explain the scope of my efforts to the common person, scientific equipment like test tubes and Erlenmeyer flasks are sometimes necessary. Those items are not readily available at your local food court, nor does my neighbourhood have a "lab equipment store". Tsk.

The shoot was hectic but great fun. Lots of clever techniques, lighting setups and mechanisms to provide raw material for further manipulation and 'shopping. I think the results will be very neat, should be ready in a few short weeks.

T minus 48: Final track selection and adjustments
Posted April 29th 2009, at 00:37 with tags , , ,

I am in the final stage of finishing the album. In two weeks time, I'm handing off the premaster for mastering.

Most of the tracks are finished, and the track selection is almost complete. For some weeks now there has been 17 final candidates.

Nine of those are safe, six are uncertain and the two last ones are most likely excluded, unless someting weird happens. The six uncertain tracks are somewhat mutually exclusive, or "odd" ones that doesn't quite fit the album as a whole. I expect them to be reduced to two or three, making the album 11 or 12 tracks.

I'm spending this week wrapping up those tracks and making a final judgement on them by the end of the week. Then next week I know how the album will be, and perform necessary adjustments to the rest of the tracks.

T minus 49: Radio single press release
Posted April 27th 2009, at 19:45 with tags , , , , , ,

Tonight I'll be sending out the press release for the "It Was A Great Year" single. I should have done it last week, but after finishing the track, I only had time to drop it here in the blog. No time to do a radio edit or write the press release. I had to focus on other commitments.

I had a few hours off today, I did the radio edit, just shortened it slightly; halved the bridge and the melodic solo part. The track is now 3:30, still a minute too much for optimum radio length. But I don't want to break the track down and force it into a radio format, I don't think it would work like that, it runs in rather large blocks that should not be disassembled.

Anyway. If you're into that lossless stuff, the radio edit is available for download in full quality, uncompressed wav format at Soundcloud.

T minus 50: It Has Begone
Posted April 26th 2009, at 23:59 with tags , , ,

The next Ugress album is out in 50 days. Like with the previous album, I'll countdown each day with status updates here. Kinda interesting to see what I did on this very day for the previous album.

Technically, the 50th day is already gone. It was yesterday, I miscounted. Bah! In the matters of world dominance, who spends details on such trivial matters as getting the dates correct?

As dictator, one quite simply back-date the journal entry as needed.

Here we go.

Ugress E-Pipe Vinyl Blog Predicament
Posted April 26th 2009, at 11:01 with tags , , , , ,

A predicament in my alert box this morning. My very first vinyl release, the E-Pipe EP, has turned up on vinyl blogs.

I guess I am flattered. But, it is piracy. But, the album is out of print. But, it is available digitally. But not on Spotify or iTunes yet. And to complicate things even more for myself, I follow some vinyl blogs, and am not innocent of downloading out-of-print or rare releases to check them out, and even worse, sample from them.

What goes around comes around, I guess. I wrote the blog owner and asked if he could add a link to the Ugress digital shop in the post, turning the post into a promotional situation.

I can't keep an eye out, remove pirated versions and/or communicate a promotional solution for every pirate version of my material out there.

But I think if mp3 blogs, vinyl blogs and piracy forums could start by hooking illegal releases up to legal alternatives, we could be on a way to a mutual understanding, and perhaps build a system that everyone can live with.

FiRe - Field Recording Uber-App for the iPhone
Posted April 24th 2009, at 19:20 with tags , , , , , , , , , ,

I helped localizing FiRe, an incredible new recording app for the iPhone and iPod touch platform.

For some months now I've been wanting to grab a proper field recorder. I need something to tape stuff in musical contexts, but mostly to have a sample weapon ready at all times. I have some audio apps for my iPhone, and Evernote is nice enough for voice memos, but I never considered my phone to be a potential high quality field sampler.

Then suddenly a few weeks ago, Matthew from Audiofile Engineering asked me if I could help out localizing a new app of theirs to Norwegian. Of course I could, they make fantastic apps, amongst them Wave Editor which I use for many many hours every day. (They also throw excellent parties.)

I fell in love with FiRe immediately. The app is brilliant, and smart - it does exactly what it should do, and it does it very, very well. Combine this with for example the Alesis Protrack, and I have everything I need for a high quality, flexible field recorder.

My iPhone has been a great musical toy ever since I got it, but with FiRe, my phone is suddenly becoming an integral part of my professional sonic arsenal. It uploads directly into my Soundcloud account. I find this blurring of previously separate technological areas (recording, sampling, communication, web), incredibly interesting.

The app is available now (iTunes store link). The Norwegian localization in version 1.1 is awaiting Apple approval and should be out anytime as a free update.

It Was A Great Year - Production Trivia, Lyrics
Posted April 24th 2009, at 18:46 with tags , , , , ,

Production trivia, sound examples and lyrics from the recently released single It Was A Great Year.

Production Trivia

All the voices are virtual. Cheap, freeware or operating system speech synthesis.

The original title was "Caliginous Aestivate" and it was supposed to be a easy, instrumental summer track.

The current album version is slightly shorter than the first edit, the intro was twice as long. The radio edit will probably be shortened even more.

The melody is actually very simple, both tonally and rhythmically: Just two-three notes in a simple, repeating rhythmical pattern. The musical development is mostly happening in the underlying harmonic structure.

The robot voice is generated with very simple, basic speech synthesis:

The voices is then stretched, and edited with Melodyne to make it sing:

I also had to do a lot of processing to make it sound better integrated in the track:

For the chorus part, I used several voices from different speech synthesis engines, to make it sound fuller.

I wanted to have a C64 sounding instrument for the later instrumental part. But I also wanted to introduce a retro atmosphere very early in the track, so I ended up using a C64 arpeggio in the intro. This made it harder to find something interesting within the retro scope for the melodic part, and I ended up with a layered and processed piano. I'm not too happy with this solution, but never managed to create something that worked. Some people suggested the voices should hum the melody, it is a good suggestion and  I actually tried that, but I felt it became too much voice throughout the track.

The song was written in February this year, the core of the track done in a few hours. The lyrics and vocals took some more work during spring.

This track was the "green light" for Ugress 4, the track that completed the puzzle and nailed the release date. The album title "Reminiscience" has been with me for a long time, but I was unsure if the material within would live up to the title. With this track, everything fell into place.


(There might be some difference from written lyric to actual programmed sound.)

Verse 1:

Mechanically reassert
Electric, always on alert
Intentions are profound

Emotionally never hurt
Biologically disconcert
We never ever let you down

Imaginary photoshops
Of thousands of megawatts,
We differ from your kind

Celluloid snapshots
Of silver screen Robots
The image printed, the image linger in your mind


It was a great year
We tried to stay there
It was a great year
For movies with robots

It was a great year
We really liked it there
It was a great year
For movies with robots

Verse 2:

Absolutely digital
Opinions predictable
You know what we think

Programmatic gentle
Never accidental
We always play in sync

Prioritize directive
Logical detective
We'd give ourselves for you

Never too affective
Always objective
Our feelings equal to true

(Chorus repeat.)

I'll put them into the lyrics database when I've got time.

Pirate Bay, And All That Stuff
Posted April 24th 2009, at 17:57 with tags , , , ,

I'm not on anyone's side in this torrent spectacle of the clouds. I'm Switzerland. Or maybe Bespin.

But I observe the following.

-The PB was found guilty but the service is still running
-The judge is professionally connected to the prosecution
-Google, and gazillions other services offers exactly the same as PB
-The Rickroll phenomena generated $15 in income for the song composer
-Spotify is awesome and I use it all the time

It is obvious to me, a lot of energy and resources are being spent in the wrong places. By everyone.

(Illustration via Giz.)

NRK Urort interview. Also, I'm a crazy person.
Posted April 22th 2009, at 20:05 with tags , , , , , , , , ,

A few days ago I was interviewed by Amund form NRK Urørt, it should air tonight at 2100 CET on NRK P3.

The angle of the interview was to find out what I was doing today, in 2009, what happened to me after I was a featured artist in 2002. We talked about what happened in 2002, and what I've done since then, and the upcoming Reminiscience album.

It was a great talk, Amund is a really fun and knowledgeable person, we had lots of laughs. It was great talking to him. But me, I was a nightmare. I'm sorry Amund, for being such a hopeless subject.

I've been to a few interviews lately and I notice to my horror that I have become a terrible person to interview. I rarely answer the question at hand, I don't keep to the subject, I ramble on, talk in completely disconnected sentences, jumping from one subject to another. I don't give them hooks, I don't give them one-liners, there is no story. My mind and focus moves much faster than my mouth. I have thousand things to say. It's like I have all these connections in my mind, and I know very well how they are connected, but it is impossible to relay those connections to others in speech. So I end up sounding like I'm crazy.

Maybe I should get out more, talk to people.

But on the other hand, when I think about it, I am actually somewhat pleased with this development. Maybe I am crazy and that's ok. A few years ago I was desperate to come across as clear and focused in interviews, to kind of "play" the media the right way, do the right thing. Be a nice guy. Say the right things. Don't be a problem. Have everyone like me. Sound like I know what I'm doing.

That's not right, it shouldn't be like that. I mean, I'll still be nice, I'll always be polite, I hate assholes and douches. Journalists are very cool people with very demanding jobs. But as an artist I shouldn't spend time on communicating politically correct, clearly and directly in interviews, or building clever press kits with well designed stories and meaty background material that are easy for journalists to feature (yes, that's how the media works today, the promo people or the artist writes their own stuff and the journalists mostly copy pastes it, those "exclusive" features in the weekend papers are really just "well targeted promo campaigns" from well connected people).

I don't like worrying about things like that. I should spend time on writing music. It might suck, or it might be ok, but THAT is what is important. Not what I blabber on and on about, or if I come across as a super nerdy dork. (I do.)

World domination was never achieved through political correct media behaviour.

Making Of Kometkameratene: Humour
Posted April 22th 2009, at 19:34 with tags , ,

Kometkameratene Behind-The-Music: You can watch episodes directly from NRK or download official torrents.

This episode theme and title is "Humour". It is a psycho-circus epic gypsy house track, with Chef as lead singer.

We also wrote the lyrics for this track, and we choose to focus on the fact that some words are funny, but others are not. And if you come from another planet, you have no idea what are the funny ones and what aren't.

We built a simple structure where the Chef ponders on why some words are funny, and then a chorus segment where the characters just throw out words, hoping they are funny and laugh of them. To kids, some are funny, like "fart" and "pee" and "poo", but others like "milk" and "chair" are obviously not.  

The track finishes with "fiskepudding" (mashed fish pudding), which most kids and all of the characters find incredibly hilarious.

Here is an excerpt of the final broadcast version:

ViVaCe Laptop Music Workstation Concept
Posted April 22th 2009, at 19:16 with tags , , ,

Just a concept, nice pictures, no tech specs or anything, the ViVaCe laptop musical workstation.

It looks to be in the same trend as the Teenage Engineering OP-1, with post-retro modern economical layout, OLED screens and compact size.

But does it play Doom?

(Via Yankodesign / Engadget / Slashgear.)

MacGyver Star Wars TV Intro Mashup
Posted April 22th 2009, at 19:00 with tags , ,

This mashup of MacGyver intro music and Star Wars footage, is one minute of your life you will be happy you invested in pop-cultural procrastination.

 (Via Giz.)

It Was A Great Year - first single from Reminiscience
Posted April 20th 2009, at 23:25 with tags , , , , ,

The fourth Ugress studio album, "Reminiscience" will be out June 15th.

Here is the first single from the album, "It Was A Great Year". It's about movies with robots.

You can also directly download a 160 kbps mp3 version.

Posted April 20th 2009, at 22:19 with tags ,

We're currently trying out the Bandize alpha, for Uncanny Planet and Ugress coordination. It is a new organizational tool for bands and artists.

We've tried Highrise and Basecamp, and several others, they didn't quite work out for our particular needs, never found the perfect combo.

Skype covers long distance communication and meetings, Google docs does all documents, contracts, plans and spreadsheet budgets, and Soundcloud handles all musical communication.

Bandize seems to be on to something, plugging the last hole in our cloud-based existence for dedicated band and music related organizational stuff. I'm looking forward to see how it develops and help shape it.


Crazy Bubble-Popping Crazy-Week
Posted April 19th 2009, at 21:11 with tags ,

Journal entry, April 19th 2009.

That was a very crazy week. I usually sit in front of a laptop, in my own world, writing tiny bits of music, slowly progressing towards something diffuse up ahead, with minimal exposure to the real world, and it's perils of social adventure and natural physical dangers.

Nothing ever happens. Until last week, briefly recounted:

I finally set the title and concept for Ugress 4.

My laptop was finally fixed, back to normal, but had to re-authorize all my software because of a swapped motherboard, the laptop is now really schizo, has changed personality.

I came across a fire, in the middle of the day, probably ignited on purpose. It was in a desolate place in the middle of the city. I called the fire emergency and put it out via phone instructions. Twin Peaksy.

I wrote my first vocal track and recorded it.

I met a super weirdo jogger-hiker in the mountain forests. Very Twin Peaksy.

Late Saturday night, on my way home, I heard cheery pop music from a darkened and half-finished construction site not far from the above-mentioned fire location. Stupidly curious, exactly as the dead idiots in horror movies, I went in to investigate and it just got more and more crazy Twin Peaksy, the music coming from behind a massive, nailed-closed door, finally I came to my senses and got the fuck out of there.

BBC wrote and wanted to feature a track from the previous Unicorn album.

I'm finally probably going to do music for a computer game, release 2010. I have no idea when I'll have time for it, but I didn't want to say no.

And several minor cool sync and licence deals with Ugress and Nebular Spool, which I'll mention as they are manifested.

Slam Bam Renoise 2.1 Rewire Surprise
Posted April 16th 2009, at 12:44 with tags , , , ,

Gaaah! How am I going to finish the album with all these fantastic software updates?

Yesterday's Kontakt 3.5 beta was expected, but this morning I was completely surprised by the Renoise 2.1 beta. Mostly because of the new Rewire feature, which I never expected them to implement before at least version 3, or maybe never.

There are some other new features, but the Rewire feature is utterly completely massively brilliant. Dream come true, a marriage between trackers and sequencers.

I can now run Renoise in sync with Logic and Live, patching the tracked parts into my mix exactly where and how I want them, in realtime. I can track and edit simultaneously as I sequence and mix and sketch and process and remix.... I can even use Kontakt samplers as rewired tracked instruments.

Now, please do not release the Melodyne DNA or anything else before my album is finished. I have to concentrate.

Fantastic Manhattan Sapphire Claymation Stop-Motion Video Remix
Posted April 16th 2009, at 09:50 with tags , , , , ,


Kontakt 3.5 Public Beta Great Improvements
Posted April 15th 2009, at 20:26 with tags , , , ,

The public beta of Kontakt 3.5 is now available from Native Instruments.

I am in the midst of a chaotic re-authorization nightmare due to a replaced motherboard on my laptop, so I haven't tested extensively, but initial observations shows that they have reduced the memory footprint of each instance from 70 MB down to 10. Also, the plugin loads itself and samples much faster. This is incredible news. 

I sometimes run more than 30 instances, which hitherto has used impolite amounts of memory. I can now run seven times as many, before approaching practical limits.

They also claim the sample engine has been optimized, I haven't had time to investigate yet.

Full list of improvements available from NI.

New Music Production Suite: Studio One
Posted April 15th 2009, at 14:16 with tags , , , , ,

Presonus and KristalLabs has combined forces to develop the freeware Kristal Audio Engine into a new DAW called Studio One.

It falls into the current trend of simplified music production and a one-window interface. Which I'm no particularly fond of but it works well enough.

I used to work almost exclusively in Logic a few years back, but recently I tend to shift between hosts and sequencers as needed. I don't see Sutdio One as something I would use, but it is very welcome with more options and competitors in the DAW scene.

Posted April 15th 2009, at 00:01 with tags , , , ,

Girl with pirate eye-patch, robot helper, superb Burtonesque graphics, in-game dialogue done as infographics, wonderful music. Awesome intro.

ScaryGirl, Flash game excellence achievement.


Post-Apocalyptic Earth Now Has Own TV Series
Posted April 10th 2009, at 16:20 with tags , , , ,

The History TV channel has a new series Life After People; what happens to the world without humans.

I heart all things post-apocalyptic, my Nebular Spool project is a musical endeavor into a sordid, forgotten world of empty ruins.

I am fascinated and greatly inspired with the conceptual artwork of the series, but I do find the dramatic trailer-voice narration a bit too hectic.

(Via IO9.)

Divine DJ Double-Decker Douche Piano (with subs)
Posted April 9th 2009, at 10:12 with tags , , , , , , ,

The line between douche and divine is a very thin line.

The Baby Grand Master looks kind of awesome, I would love to have it in my next castle. But I am certain one would look like a total dork-douche when performing with it.

Found it via Addictive DJ Designs via Notcot, but this Engadget post with specs, reveals the monster is from 2007.

I bet Vanilla Ice has one.

My debut as vocalist songstar in Swedish dansband
Posted April 7th 2009, at 23:26 with tags , , , , ,

I have debuted as vocalist on national broadcast television.

In the latest Kometkameratene episode, the Agent is sent to earth to do research on age and wrinkles. Why do humans grow old? He is beamed down to a home for the elderly, where they are dancing and having a great time. The Agent boldly checks for wrinkles everywhere, as illustrated.

The producers had originally synced the scene with some great Swedish Dansband music, but shit happened and it turned out problematic to clear sync rights. So they asked me to write something to replace it on short notice, and happily I wrote my very first Swedish Dansband track, and for the first time in my life, performed vocals.

You can watch the episode here (music in the background starts around 05:40), but the music is faint in the background. Luckily, enjoy high definition embed:

My swedish is kind of crap. But thankfully, my singing is worse. I did some Melodyne formant edits to make it deeper and less geek-squeaky. 

I also wrote some other instrumental music for various other dance scenes throughout the episode. The Kometkameratene main theme is ghosted in all of them.

My debut as a singer is as a Swedish Dansband lead singer at a home for the elderly in a sci-fi puppet show where they research wrinkles. Awesome.

Making Of Kometkameratene: Age
Posted April 7th 2009, at 22:30 with tags , , , , ,

Kometkameratene Behind-The-Music: You can watch episodes directly from NRK or download official torrents.

This episode theme and title is "Age". It is a romantic drum 'n' base duet, featuring Chef and Zook.

Just like the previous track, this one was made in a very hectic period right before christmas. We wrote both music and lyrics, and tried to focus on the duality of age versus size versus skills. Can little brothers be bigger than grandmothers? What does "bigger" mean?

Based on the small vs big vs young vs old, we figured to have duet between Zook, the smallest character, and Chef, the biggest. We also wanted to incorporate nostalgia, which we picked from the Umbrellas of Cherbourg.

At first we just drafted the track with piano and vocals, trying out text and music elements.

I wanted the track production-wise to evolve from "old" to "young", conceptually reversing a lifespan. It starts out as a nostalgic ballad, but grows via jazz into a modern drum 'n' base style, before reversing again back into shanty style outtro.

We also put in a solo battle between the duelists, where Zook hammers it out on a toy piano and Chef on his leit-instrument the accordion.

Conclusion: The track is fine, but I think the video is what makes the track really great. The production team and the actors are becoming very skilled at expressing the characters and the episode theme.

Renoise 2.0 grand review in Computer Music
Posted April 7th 2009, at 21:56 with tags , , , ,

One of the tracks on the upcoming Ugress album was written in Renoise, my absolutely most favorite tracker.

I am very happy they got a glowing review in the May issue of Computer Music.

(The review is not online yet. Via Renoise In:Depth.)

Amazon Babe From Another Dimension
Posted April 7th 2009, at 21:40 with tags , , , , ,

"But my Amazon won't play video games, she's only interested in talking to dames."

Truth. Happens to me all the time.

What comes out the portal at the ancient burial site is never what you really wanted.

Fully Functioning C64 Laptop
Posted April 6th 2009, at 23:31 with tags , , , ,

"This is a fully functional Commodore 64 laptop using actual hardware, specifically the C64C motherboard which was one of the last and smallest revisions. It uses a Gamecube power supply in place of the original power brick.

For storage there’s a device called the 1541-III DTV to “emulate” a floppy drive using an SD card. The SD card is formatted FAT-32 so you can dump disk images on it using a PC, and read it with the C64."

The genius of Benjamin Heckendorn. He's looking for a job. Someone, please, make him chief technical engineer for the future of mankind.

(Via Retroting.)

Child Robot Absolutely Totally Not Uncanny At All
Posted April 6th 2009, at 23:17 with tags , , , , , , ,

"It is not human - but it is paying attention".

Good work again, japanese scientists, for bringing us the cute part of the robotic apocalypse, the CB2: Child-Robot with Biomemetic Body. It is slowly developing social skills by interacting with humans and watching their facial expressions, mimicking a mother-baby relationship.

My uncannymeter is not reacting at all, no, not the faintest. Everything is fine.

Album Production Continues On My Local Raincloud
Posted April 6th 2009, at 20:53 with tags , , , , ,

A couple of entries back I was intrigued by the OnLive cloud-based gaming system, and predicted that I could be doing Ugress 5 or 6 partly in the clouds.

Little did I know, a week later I would already be doing Ugress 4 in the clouds, albeit locally.

The graphics card on my production laptop is kaput, there is no display internally nor externally. Darkness prevails. The excellent people at Edbergen are firing on all canons to help me, but it is Easter and we still need to wait for the replacement card from Apple or Nvidia.

Luckily, I can access the laptop remotely via Screen Sharing. So as shown above, I'm hooked into the laptop via an older machine. It is not super optimal, the screen quality suffers when CPU usage is high, and the resolution is way lower than my preferred 1920, but everything works, and I can continue critical album production, at around 80% of capacity. 

The most beautiful part of this is how well it works. Only details are missing to make it an optimal remote production suite. And then you can tap into unlimited CPU and diskspace, pay as you need.

I am going virtual as soon as possible.

Falling Into A Black Hole
Posted April 4th 2009, at 11:52 with tags , , , ,

Easter is coming up, the absolutely most horrific time of year.

I just don't get Easter, never did, never will. The whole northern hemisphere is waking up after winter, brimming with new life, everything growing and wanting something bigger and better, towards the sun, but what do humans do? LETS SHUT IT ALL DOWN, BE QUIET AND SORDIDLY CELEBRATE SOME GUY DIED.

In addition, my laptop broke down. Nobody told me the apocalypse would so be utterly BORING.

Easter is a black hole sucking all the life out of universe. Lucky for me, science never gives up, and gives us a pretty visualization of the singularity that is also known as Easter.

The Inconvenient Death Of My Craptastic Display
Posted April 4th 2009, at 10:03 with tags , , , , , , , ,

Just fucking perfect. Last night the display completely died on my Macbook Pro.

The machine is alive, right there, available on the network and in target mode, but absolutely all internal and external display is dead, dead, dead. Not even bios firmware.

I hadn't set up remote screen access on the laptop, since it usually was the one controlling, but luckily I found this hack to turn on Screen Sharing remotely from the shell. Life-saving.

Some software probing, system log analytics and geek tube research quickly points to a known, faulty Nvidia card. Everything seems to work, I can open all programs and work as usual (although remotely and with a tiny resolution). But there is no display and there never will be, ever.

I'm now cloning the system drive just in case, and then off to hopefully find a store that can perform the fix today, or at least before easter. I would very much NOT spend the last few hectic weeks of album production working on reduced resolution via remote connection.

This stuff inevitably happens, but why does it always happen at such craptastic timing? My laptops always break down right before going on tour, right before showtime, or like now, right before the world closes down for weeks to celebrate that somebody DIED.

Update 11:42. None of the Apple centers could do anything today. Edbergen wanted to help but couldn't: "Call Monday morning when the service dudes are in, they know what to do". Eplehuset did not want to help: "Maybe we can fix it in a week (read: after Easter), but you have to talk to Apple first."

So hopefully I'll get it up and running by Monday.

Sci-fi Music Symphonically Performed in the Opera
Posted April 2nd 2009, at 20:33 with tags , , , , , , , , ,

Last Saturday my music for the kids sci-fi show Kometkameratene was performed by Kringkastingsorkesteret, at the famous, Norwegian cultural fortress Bjørvika Opera House.

It was my first visit to the complex, and I approve of the place. They can play more of my music there if they want to.

The building is impressive, with sexy nordic curves and materials, and I really like that you can literally walk all over the place and peek into it from above. The bar also know their Dry Martinis, which never has hurt a respectable establishment.

The performance was not in the main hall, but at Stage 2. I am sure it should have been in at Stage 1, as the show has been sold out for months. There were lots of kids waiting excitedly in line, and with the awesome marble acoustics in the foyer I'm sure I could have sampled the reverbal essence of anticipation right there.

I think the kids, like me, was mostly excited to find out, how are they going to pull this off? How are they going to integrate comic sci-fi puppeteering into a symphonic musical performance?

Quite simply: Brilliantly. It was a fantastic show, they managed to keep the fun, the curiosity and the musical attention all the way. I forgot about my music, I was laughing and having a great time as the puppets probed, asked and unwittingly sabotaged the orchestra.

I was very happy to realize, this is not only a great TV show. It is a fantastic world of humour, science, research, curiosity and music, that kids love, and this world works also very well in a live performance setting.

Kudos must go to the production team and the actors, as I learned afterwards they had a very hard and hectic time putting it all together. It was impossible to tell.

At the end the puppets demanded the orchestra to play their own theme song, and the kids started yelling the theme long before the orchestra got started. Bless their little memories, the song is printed in their innocent little minds.

What have I done. In twenty years time they'll be playing Kometkameratene reruns, ironic hipsters will be wearing retro logo shirts, and somebody is going to make a Crazy Frog ringtone version of it all.

Flickr photo set.

La Passion De Jeanne D'Arc Free Download
Posted April 2nd 2009, at 20:25 with tags , , , , ,

I uploaded the "La Passion De Jeanne D'Arc" album to the Bandcamp store. This means you can now download the entire album in 128 kbps mp3 for free, in exchange for your email address. Or you can buy a high quality / lossless version.

The album contains excerpt of music written and performed live in 2003, to the silent movie La Passion De Jeanne D'Arc (1928). 

I'm staying with the download-in-exchange-for-email for a few weeks now, mostly to get a feel for how download numbers adapt to different solutions. I'm harvesting statistics.

Not sure if I shall keep all albums available for free in 128k forever, so if you'd like it, grab it now.

Musical Language Is Universal
Posted April 2nd 2009, at 08:54 with tags , , , , ,

If you have never been exposed to western music and scales, you can still tell if a western song is happy or sad.

"Native African people who have never even listened to the radio before can nonetheless pick up on happy, sad, and fearful emotions in Western music, according to a new report published online on March 19th in Current Biology.

These findings could explain why Western music has been so successful in global music distribution, even in music cultures that do not as strongly emphasize the role of emotional expression in their music," said Dr. Thomas Fritz of the Max-Planck-Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences.

I am very happy with this theory, wish I had time to elaborate, but I particularly enjoy that Dr. Fritz travelled to the most remote part of humanity with a solar panel powered laptop to play them pop music and observe the emotional response. Science, again, FTW.

Full PDF available from the Institute's press release, in German.

The graph above is totally meaningless, by the way. But it looks pretty representative, I think.

(Via Science Daily.)

Making Of Kometkameratene: Faith
Posted April 1st 2009, at 12:59 with tags , , , , ,

Kometkameratene Behind-The-Music: You can watch episodes directly from NRK or download official torrents.

This episode theme and title is "Faith". The lead singer is Captain Lu.

The track was conceived right before christmas break, in a very hectic period for everyone. I was in the final stage of producing and mixing a separate music video, Sjur was on tour, but had two gigs in Oslo, so I flew over, we borrowed a nice studio at NRK with a piano, and drafted six songs, including lyrics and vocals in two days. Then I had three days to produce the concept into something listenable NRK could work with for planning the video shoot.

In the first script we received, the Chef is popping notes for snacks in his pan. The notes go crazy, Zook falls into the pan and starts popping too. Based on this we came up with the idea of having the sound and beat of Popcorn, but in a quasi-religious Bach melodic setting.

Here is the very first draft we did in Oslo, trying out text and music elements.

Then I went home and made a quick sketch of the production, which we use to explain the idea and concept for the producers.

We wanted the "popping" notes to start out almost randomly, just hinting to the Bach scheme, and then growing more and more completely towards concluding with the full schema.


The music video then changed position in the episode, and NRK came up with the even better idea of making a Pacman introduction to the song. They kept the popping note sequence, so the episode song is introduced earlier in the episode. Here is the final broadcast version:


Conclusion: I think the song is a very nice pop track, and the Popcorn - Bach mashup works pretty well.


Teenage Engineering OP-1 Fantasy Synth
Posted March 31st 2009, at 07:39 with tags , ,

Operator-1, it's a synth sampler DSP sequencer FM-radio motion-sensor accelerometer transport controller arpeggiator email OLED device, with microphone and speakers. Personally, if this isn't vaporware, I mostly enjoy the fact that the keys are keyboard keys.

It's from guys behind the Elektron stuff and the Gameboy LSDJ tracker. 

But does it run Doom?

(Via MacOSXAudio / CreateDigitalMusic.)

Imperial March performed on Tesla coils
Posted March 30th 2009, at 11:45 with tags , , ,


(Starts at 00:45.)

OnLive: Cloud based gaming heaven or hoax?
Posted March 28th 2009, at 13:42 with tags , , , ,

OnLive, cloud-based game processing, could be Steorn 2.0 or it could be the coming-of-age for the clouds.

The idea is simple, a variant of the old dumb terminal / powerful server: The processing power and graphics rendering for your console game session is done in the clouds instead of on the console. You only need a controller and a screen, the hardware is somewhere else. And maintained by someone else.

On my own LAN I have no problem watching HD movies via remote screen sharing between computers, so image and audio transfer I don't see any problem with.

But, the catch, in a gaming situation you also need a nano-latency, screamingly fast, 200% stable internet connection between you and the server, and you need massive amounts of data power on the server, not only to render the game but even more to continuously compress HD frames in realtime (less than 1 ms).

I know there have been network tests between Trondheim and Stockholm, for realtime audio over TCP/IP, and they manage to keep a stable latency of 7 ms (14 ms back and forth). That works for musical performance, because musicians adapt subconsciously up to approx 30 ms without realizing it. But keep in mind in a musical context you have a continuous rhythm to stabilize for jitter.

I'm not sure about gaming (when you think that the control signal needs 7 ms to reach the server, the server renders the frame, and then 7 ms back to display the visuals...).

I totally hope this could work. I totally think this is the future, I am very intrigued by technology like this. I am quite sure Ugress 5 or 6 will be partly done on as a terminal-server production method, where I rent CPU and DSP power as needed. 

But my guess is, I don't think OnLive will work quite as advertised in 2009. Give it a few years.

Alchemy Sample Map Text Generator
Posted March 26th 2009, at 19:45 with tags , , , , , , ,

I grew tired of manually editing sfz files to use sample maps in Alchemy, so I wrote a simple web script to create the necessary text for me. Maybe others have use for it.

The script builds a very simple, chromatic sample map from the given note and up, based on a file name scheme where files are called MyFile00.wav, MyFile01.wav, MyFile02.wav and so on. Just paste the resulting text into a text file named "Whatever.sfz" in the same directory as the audio files, and load this file as a sound source in Alchemy.

In most cases you probably only need to change the two first settings (file name and extension). Maybe also octave if you prefer the map to start somewhere else than C1.

Filename base
Filename ext
Filecount start
Filecount stop
Note start C
Octave start

mp3HD: Lossless, backwards compatible mp3
Posted March 25th 2009, at 19:03 with tags , , , ,

Thomson is introducing a new audio file format, mp3HD, a new lossless format that is backwards compatible with the existing mp3 format and thereby any mp3 player.

The files are a clever way of introducing lossless compression to the mp3 world: A single .mp3 file contains both an oldskool, regular, lossy mp3 version of the audio, and a shiny new lossless version.

This means you can throw the file on any portable mp3 player (great), but it also means there will be massive amounts of dead weight on the unit, since the useless part is also copied over (douched).

I also find it a bit weird they don't support higher bitrates than 48 khz. Not that I need it, but still weird.

I'm not convinced yet.

Ars Technica as usual does a nice job of looking at the pros and cons of the new format.

Most Realest Self-Experimenting Scientists
Posted March 25th 2009, at 18:24 with tags , , ,

The most realest scientists are those who perform their mad experiments on themselves.

The New Scientist has compiled a feature of eight scientists who became famous for their self-experimentation.

My favorite must be J.B.S. Haldane, pictured, who climbed into a decompression chamber, experimenting with gas pressures, and burst his ears... commenting:

"...although one is somewhat deaf, one can blow tobacco smoke out of the ear in question, which is a social accomplishment."

That's the spirit. Science FTW. is having a cold...
Posted March 24th 2009, at 17:27 with tags No tags.

Something strange is up with, all images are being treated as server scripts... It's beeing looked into.

Update: Fixed, back online, thanks to my host Webhuset for forensic HTTP investigation and problem solving.

New Ugress EP Schizophonica now available
Posted March 20th 2009, at 18:10 with tags , , , , , ,

Schizophonica EP is out, to celebrate the announcement of the Ugress 4 release date.

Listen directly below, download free mp3, or buy lossless version.

There are two brand new tracks, "VHS" and "Music For A Recursive Function". The three other tracks has been out for some time, via various opportunities. Some people might not have noticed them, so I'm just bundling it all together.

Ugress 4 release date: June 15th, 2009
Posted March 20th 2009, at 18:00 with tags , , , , ,

The fourth Ugress studio album will be released June 15th, 2009.

Title to be announced.

To celebrate, and soften the wait, download the new Schizophonica EP now.

Loadbang - Puredata and Max/MSP book
Posted March 20th 2009, at 17:38 with tags , , , , , ,

Loadbang is a free online book, written for composers that want to dive into Puredata and Max/MSP.

I am currently striving to hone my Max/MSP skills, in expectance of Live 8 and MaxForLive. I find it puzzling that there is so little literature available on Max/MSP, but luckily the open source alternative Puredata and Johannes Kreidler comes to the rescue:

Loadbang is "... designed for self-study, principally for composers. It begins with explanations of basic programming and acoustic principles then gradually builds up to the most advanced electronic music processing techniques."

The book looks perfect for me, you can read everything online and the patches are available for download.

Via CreateDigitalMusic, with more information in the article and comments.

New Brak Website Finally Unveiled
Posted March 20th 2009, at 17:17 with tags , , , , ,

The shiny and sexy new Brak website is online.

I am part of the board of Brak, an organisation and support centre working for the rhythmic music scene in my region.  Part of my responsibility the last few months has been the planning and development of a massive upgrade to the visual profile and website.

Today we release the upgrade, a serious expansion with the possibility to grow into an active social network for the regional music scene. The new profile and web solution was developed by the talented geniuses at Kamikaze Media.

If you are connected to the music scene in Hordaland and Sogn og Fjordane, or want to be, make sure to register and hook up with me.


My Myspace Space Reduction
Posted March 20th 2009, at 16:57 with tags , , , ,

I simplified and removed most of the stuff on the Ugress Myspace page, replacing it with basic information and a static portal.

I'm not particularly enthusiastic about Myspace, I spend as little time as possible with it. I put up new tracks, and respond to enquires that demands a reply, but nothing more. It has never been my kind of place.

I would happily syndicate news and feeds into Myspace if they allowed it, but the place is notoriously reactionary  (no surprise, it is owned by Saruman himself), and impossible to automate.

Remote Control Turntable Pilot
Posted March 20th 2009, at 16:44 with tags , , , ,

With the deviously brilliant remote controlled turntable pilot, you can navigate tracks on an LP, by looking at grooves from your laptop screen.

This means you can actually do physical DJ'ing remotely in South America, while lounging by the pool in the hotel bar on Greenland.

Well OK you need someone to flip records in between, or connect this up to some kind of jukebox disc system.

And you need a hotel bar with pool on Greenland.

With wi-fi.

Ugress - The B Vault now available losslessly
Posted March 20th 2009, at 16:38 with tags , , ,

I uploaded the "B Vault" album to the new Bandcamp store. This means you can now download the entire album in 128 kbps mp3 for free, in exchange for your email address. Or you can buy a high quality / lossless version.

I'll upload the remaining Jeanne D Arc album in a couple of days to complete the Ugress album catalogue. The EPs will follow later, not sure what to do about singles yet.

Making Of Kometkameratene: Evolution
Posted March 20th 2009, at 15:57 with tags , , , , ,

Kometkameratene Behind-The-Music: You can watch episodes directly from NRK or download official torrents.

This episode theme and title is "Evolution". The lead singer is Captain Lu, lyrics was written by the script writers.

I am quite satisfied with this episode track, where we blatantly stole the concept and overall structure and from one of my favorite classical pieces, Bolero by Ravel.

I remember as a kid to watch a staged setup of the piece on TV, and being completely mesmerized by it. It featured a never-ending stage of stairs, always rising. I had no idea at the time, but the huge crowd of mute, performing actors on the eternally raising stairs acted out the brutal history of Russia.

The Bolero piece is in many ways a perfect forefather of techno - it starts out with a single thematic idea, or riff, and is built and developed into a massive piece, yet always with the original riff as a pulsing base.

When I read the script, where evolution is heavily hinted at, I immediately thought of the Bolero track, as it profoundly represents "development" to me.

I took multiple recordings of Bolero, cut them up, learned the musical structure, and rebuilt them as necessary, together with orchestral samples and my own techniques. I also wanted to hint at a modern pop structure with it, but smoothly and without obvious changes. The chorus in itself is a "second" developing item within the track.

Sjur came in, we built the vocals on top of my instrumental sketch, and Sjur also helped adding most of the polyphonic orchestral voicing towards the end of the track, to build up towards the epic finale.

Conclusion. I am very happy with this track, it is super epic pop disguised by computer orchestral tricks, I wish I could do more stuff like this.

My beloved Manhattan is dead dead dead
Posted March 19th 2009, at 22:22 with tags , , , , ,

Rest in peace, you bravest warrior of the digital fields. My first mac, "Manhattan", a 15 inch 1 GHz Powerbook, passed away yesterday evening. It has been with me since December 2002.

Manhattan was used extensively for touring with Resound, and it was used for writing and then touring Cinematronics. Since then, it has been my digital media hub at home, and always one of the visual projection laptops for the liveshow, running the stage screen video.

Manhattan has fought many battles, seen a lot of the world, and taken a lot of beating. It has travelled with me to Asia, Australia, USA and through most of Europe, it has been covered in water, fallen of many a stage, it has had most of the body parts repaired or replaced, but it has kept on keeping on.

Not anymore. It was time. Now Manhattan sleeps. Rest, my friend, I am forever grateful for your service.

Supermodel Teenbot For The Uncanny Apocalypse
Posted March 18th 2009, at 10:26 with tags , , , , , , ,

Your annihilative, apocalyptic termination might be uncannily pleasant and a frighteningly sensual event.

Created for the Fashion Week in Tokyo by a japanese company, the HRP-4C will of course quickly escape the catwalk and with her logic charm and circuits of ice initiate the robot uprising.

Hum the Also Sprach Zarathustra theme, while observe the bone-chilling introduction video.

IE6 Goodnight Goodbye
Posted March 16th 2009, at 15:26 with tags , , , , ,

I'm planning an upgrade to my websites, I am happy to be drawing a beautiful line in the sand - I won't be optimizing and adapt for Internet Explorer 6 anymore.

This is based on cold, cruel stats and visitor trends, and my own laziness. I spent some hours looking into numbers today. Since January 1st 2008, visitors to with IE6 has more than halved, and they now represent a tiny percentage of the total visitors. For the number is almost negligible. I expect the number to drop even more when IE8 is out.

Developing a web system that works across all modern browsers takes a lot of time, but IE6 is a bloodsucking, cataclysmically imploding timedrain of incompatibility compared to everything else. By excluding IE6, I can get things up much faster, running more elegant.

I know this might suck for visitors who can't upgrade their browsers due to company restrictions etc. I will not do anything deliberately to break IE6, most likely everything will work. Maybe some things will look a little odd, but if something breaks in IE6, I won't fix it.

Ooh that feels good. Die, douche-browser, die.

Soundcloud Discount Codes
Posted March 15th 2009, at 16:23 with tags , , ,

I'm cleaning out my inbox, and came across a few Soundcloud special offers, rewards for being a beta tester: A discount code to get 70% off when buying any new subscribtion model. I've already upgraded, so I thought to give away the two others.

The codes expire tomorrow. If anyone is interested, post a comment here or drop me a note (email in a box to the left). First two gets it.

Young people prefer the mp3 sound
Posted March 14th 2009, at 19:31 with tags , , , ,

Lifted directly from Slashdot:

"Jonathan Berger, a professor of music at Stanford, tests his incoming students each year by having them listen to a variety of recordings which use different formats from MP3 to ones of much higher quality, and he reports that each year the preference for music in MP3 format rises. Berger says that young people seemed to prefer 'sizzle sounds' that MP3s bring to music because it is a sound they are familiar with. '

The music examples included both orchestral, jazz and rock music. When I first did this I was expecting to hear preferences for uncompressed audio and expecting to see MP3 (at 128, 160 and 192 bit rates) well below other methods (including a proprietary wavelet-based approach and AAC),' writes Berger. '

To my surprise, in the rock examples the MP3 at 128 was preferred. I repeated the experiment over 6 years and found the preference for MP3 — particularly in music with high energy (cymbal crashes, brass hits, etc) rising over time.' Dale Dougherty writes that the context of the music changes our perception of the sound, particularly when it's so obviously and immediately shared by others. '

All that sizzle is a cultural artifact and a tie that binds us. It's mostly invisible to us but it is something future generations looking back might find curious because these preferences won't be obvious to them.'"

Very, very, very interesting. And I am not surprised.

I am ambivalent to this issue. In some situations, I really dislike the sizzling sound of mpeg encoding. But in other tracks, I really like what it does.

I think my aversion to mpeg encoding mostly happens when the encoding pulls me out of the sculpted reality of the track. It's like the boom mic in badly cropped movies on TV - when you suddenly spot the boom mic coming down between the actors in a scene, you are reminded that you are watching a movie. For some movies, this is fatal, because many movies can't carry themselves on a meta-observational level, they only work when immersing the viewer. Same happens when a sudden mpeg artifact pulls you out of the listening session.

On the other side, I sometimes find myself enjoying a sort of diffuse fullness, or granularity that lossy encoding often brings. Sounds kind of like the track is run through a subtle multi-spectral granular cloud, everything just becomes softer.  

The only thing I'm pretty sure of, is that in 20 years time, we will all be using "retro-mp3-ifizers" to recreate the highly desirable mpeg artifacts of the millennial shift. Just like we are using vinyl emulators and tape flutter plugins today.

The technical limits of one generation always become the nostalgic vanity of the next.

Wacom NextBeat Futuristic DJ Controller
Posted March 14th 2009, at 18:45 with tags , , , ,

I don't know..

The product looks really nice, well designed. Wacom makes great input controllers so I expect them to nail the interaction bit.

But that removable part, and the philosophy behind the product.. ugh. The tone of the horrible flash product site, and the superstar brainddead product information doesn't connect with me. I quote from the FAQ, so far the only real information on this diffuse product: 

"By removing the portable unit, you can move around freely so you feel more of a connection with the audience."

I would probably rewrite that as

"By removing the portable unit, you can move around all your Myspace friends freely and look like a total douche while pumping emo-core."

But what do I know. I failed the iPhone at first too, now I... umm... DJ with it.


Uncanny Laboratories 2004-2008 R.I.P.
Posted March 14th 2009, at 18:29 with tags , , ,


Max/MSP FTM Workshop At BEK
Posted March 11th 2009, at 19:40 with tags , , , , , , ,

This week I am attending an FTM Max/MSP workshop held at BEK in Bergen. This is sort of my winter vacation, a reward to myself for a few months of intensive production.

I need to use the other half of the brain for some time. With MaxForLive coming up, I am renewing my effort to master Max/MSP. The FTM workshop is a good way to pull myself up, I pick up a lot on both Max/MSP and FTM. Diemo Schwarz from IRCAM is a great and knowledgeful lecturer, teaching us the inner workings, features and possibilities of FTM.

The first two days was theoretical, Diemo went through the basics, core classes and functions of FTM. Today, and AFAIK the rest of the week, we will dive into Gabor and CataRT, realtime granular and spectral synthesis/resynthesis, pitch tracking, formant manipulation, and probably also Gesture Follower.

We even have homework assignments, and with great horror, or great satisfaction, I observe myself doing exactly what I did all the time in school: Skipping homework and panically improvising in class.

Making Of Kometkameratene: Friends
Posted March 10th 2009, at 20:21 with tags , , ,

Kometkameratene Behind-The-Music: You can watch episodes directly from NRK or download official torrents.

This episode theme and title is "Friends".  The lead singer is Zook, the tiny alien that never speaks, except when he sings. Lyrics was written by the script writers.

Thomas, the actor that plays Zook has a great voice, perfect for spoofing soul and vintage r'n'b. For the "friends" track we envisioned Zook doing a classic soul ballad from the 60ies. We also suggested to the production team that the puppets could perhaps perform the track on instruments during the video.

This track is very much Sjur's, we built most of the core track in a few hours around a simple two chord schema, where he improvised vocals on top. We felt that the voice talent of Thomas should be the "flame" of the track, the music should simply accompany his performance. Since Zook never talks in the show, an impressive showcase of his voice during a song is a great way to surprise viewers, and expand the character.

Notice the first sketch we did had a triplet rhythm in the hihats:

After establishing the vocal lines and chorus voicings, I spent a few days building a complete production around the track. I struggled for some time with the subdivision rhythm, I had several versions in various subdivisions. Finally the track landed on a straight pattern instead of the original triplet. The effect of creating the song in triplets and performing it straight gave the vocal line a nice shuffled feel.

Final broadcast version:

Conclusion. I think the song is nice, but it deviates a bit from the typical epic sound of Kometkameratene. There are very little orchestra and space. However I don't feel this to be a problem, the music of the show is continuously developing. In addition, the musical change is superbly rewarded by one of the best music videos of the show, where the characters for the first time perform the song.

Not only does this open up wonderful opportunities for future tracks, it also adds an extra dimension to the characters themselves.

Ugress Albums Now Available In Lossless Formats
Posted March 9th 2009, at 13:22 with tags , , , , ,

You can now purchase and download all four Ugress albums in a variety of formats; Ogg, FLAC, Apple Lossless and of course mp3 / AAC.

I am trying out Bandcamp, a digital download service for bands and artists. The service is still in beta, so I'm only considering this a test for now. There are some details I think should be improved, not sure I am going to change my iThinkMusic digital store quite yet. Both services has benefits as well as issues.

I'll see how the Bandcamp service develops and how people respond to it, before uploading more material.

Oh,  and you can download all the albums in 128 kbps for free, in exchange for your email address.


NRK Sets Up Own Bittorrent Tracker
Posted March 9th 2009, at 00:56 with tags , , ,

NRK, the Norwegian Broadcast Corporation creating the Kometkameratene show I am scoring, is setting up their own bittorrent tracker. Kudos.

NRK: “By using BitTorrent we can reach our audience with full quality media files. Experience from our early tests show that if we’re the best provider of our own content we also gain control of it.”

I am really happy to be working with such a forward thinking, liberal and net-wise broadcaster. I am also proud of being an artist who deliberately insert or approve of contract clauses making this possible.

So far the first 11 episodes of Kometkameratene is available, I am not sure why they are delaying the rest, I am investigating.

(Via Slashdot.) Photo by Erik Solheim, NRK.

Loose connections keeps it together
Posted March 7th 2009, at 22:24 with tags , ,

One reason I enjoy the internet: Loose connections.

A loose connection is a connection you don't know, you can't see, you can't understand, you can't make it out, but it is THERE.

Case in point. A few days ago, I flagged this post from DownloadSquad in my newsreader: Totally Awesome 80's Drumset. I didn't read the article but the combination of headline and graphics caught my attention. Today I checked it out and after a few seconds I realized many, if not most, of the samples you can play, is from the very excellent Mr Oizo album Lambs Anger. I have listened a lot to this album the last few months.

I don't have time to investigate the connection, who made this, why, and actually I'd rather not, I just like it this way. A loose connection.

Journal Weekly Travel Update
Posted March 7th 2009, at 22:17 with tags , , , , , ,

It has been and still is a rather busy week, I had to neglect the journal for a few days, but I'll type up a summary.

Last weekend I wrapped up a good bunch of Ugress tracks. I have to focus on other projects for a while, and would very much like to leave tracks in a quasi-finished state. I find it easier to scrutinize and find problems with tracks when I consider them "done". If a track is left in an unfinished state, it is too easy to ignore problems with the track because it "isn't finished yet".

Monday I left for Oslo, the flight was delayed a few hours, which was great because it meant I finally got to answer all my email. Finally in Oslo I had a meeting with Roar, my publisher-manager-agent, we did some informal planning and scheduling for the next few months.

Tuesday I had to get up ungodly early, even before the hotel breakfast, and traveled by metro, then with dogsleds in snow up to NRK. I spent all day in a dark cellar, recording actors for a new batch of Kometkameratene songs. The recording session went without any problems, but I was alone, had six tracks to records with six actors and several with multiple voicings, it was a long day and I was pretty shot by the end.

Wednesday and Thursday I was invited to participate on a seminar on Kometkameratene with NRK. We travelled to a remote place outside Oslo, staying at the beautiful Holmsbu Bad og Fjordhotell. There was not much time to adore the surroundings however, we spent most of the time analyzing the show, talking about new directions and discussing future development. The music works pretty well, but there is still lots of room for improvement.

I found the seminar incredibly interesting and rewarding, I am very flattered to be included in the evaluation and development of the show. But mostly I was amazed at the skill, professionalism and dedication to detail displayed by the crew making the show. There were producers, directors, camera operators, script writers, project execs, radio producers, editors, and more, and everyone just blew me away with their knowledge, dedication and enthusiasm.  

Late Thursday evening I flew back home, and Friday morning I had a session with Sjur, where we came up with some conceptual edits for the recently recorded tracks. Then I had an interview with a local newspaper journalist, and I was so stressed and busy I managed to knock her coffee over and drown her mobile phone. But the rest of the interview went fine.

I spent the rest of Friday editing the recordings, today has been a similar long session of editing and mixing. The tracks has to be delivered Monday morning, I expect very little sleep this weekend.

Telenor tells IFPI to suck it
Posted March 7th 2009, at 21:46 with tags , , , ,

I am intrigued to learn that my own mobile carrier Telenor refuses a demand from IFPI to block bit-torrent service The Pirate Bay.

Telenor: "Asking an ISP to control and assess what Internet users can and cannot download is just as wrong as asking the post office to open and read letters and decide what should and should not be delivered."

Net neutrality FTW.

I also heartily enjoy that Telenor doesn't only refuse their demand, they flat out tell IFPI to bugger off, there is no way Telenor is going to comply, the IFPI methods are hopelessly antiquated, and they should wake up and smell the future.

I am not in love with major telcos, but I have way more respect for them than music companies. The mobile operators understood and adapted to the digital future as necessary, looking for opportunities when the music business was looking for someone to blame.

Music Scene Hearts Design And Media Scene
Posted March 7th 2009, at 21:01 with tags , , , , ,

Thursday February 26th, Brak arranged a meetup between the local music and media scenes at Landmark. Designers, photographers, companies, video directors, bands and artists were invited to present their work, mingle and meet each other.

Amongst others, Casiokids presented their unique approach to their visuals, both on stage and in videos. I am very fond of Casiokids and their musical attitude, it was very interesting to learn more about their philosophy and methods. They showcased their hilarious Fot I Hose video. A great track with typical, lo-fi Casiokids humour in the visuals.

Ableton Live 8 Beta First Impressions
Posted February 27th 2009, at 21:00 with tags , , , , ,

I am beta-testing the new Ableton Live 8. So far the greatest new features to me is track groups, and updated warp modes for elastic audio. I think both is a huge improvement from version 7.

The group track function is a god-send for complex arrangements. I have never enjoyed working extensively in Live as a production tool, much because of the serious lack of proper arrangement functions. Track groups, where you can collapse multiple tracks into one, is a great step in the right direction. Only thing missing is curves for automation, and Live might start to rival Logic as my studio production tool.

The timestretch engine Beats mode is no longer only that horrible granular stretch, but also a transient based system with automatic tail-looping, much like the way I already edit my own looped material in Kontakt. This makes for much better transients when stretching audio very far, and it will save me a lot of time in specific situations where I have done this manually.  You can adjust looping method and tail fade, but sadly not loop length.

In addition, there is a new Complex Pro algorithm, for polyphonic material like complete mixes and melodic loops. I was not super impressed by the algorithm, but I suppose it will find it's use.  I also very much like the new technique for editing and placing warp makers, I find it much more intuitive, and this carries on into the new Groove Pool function.

It appears obvious to me, that a hybrid algorithm with Beats mode for transients, and Complex Pro for tails, would undoubtedly be the perfect timestretch algorithm.

I have only briefly toyed with the other news, there are a bunch of new plugins (some smart, some ok), updates to the Ableton instruments, and general workflow updates. These most likely will come in handy over time, however they haven't intrigued me as of yet.

The current beta is somewhat stable, I've had a few crashes. But in my regular Rewire support role for Logic, it runs stable enough for production.

Ugress 4 Status
Posted February 24th 2009, at 20:00 with tags , , , ,

Journal entry, Feb 24th, 2009.

The last month I have done nothing but wrapping up tracks for the fourth Ugress album. Time has also been spent concluding that some tracks does not cut it. Refusing my own tracks always make me feel sad. Especially tracks I really liked when I wrote them, but when I try to finish them I can't re-invoke the spirit I had when writing the first sketch. This is why I now finish everything I do when starting on it.

Currently I have 16 complete tracks, and 30 tracks in limbo, where I have not made a decision to consider it for inclusion or refuse it. It takes on average two days to reach a decision for a track.

Next week I am off to Oslo to record the final tracks of the Kometkameratene season 1, and attending a seminar with NRK on how we are to approach season two. The week after that will see post production of the recording. This should give me a fortnight away from the Ugress material.

I then plan to spend the two last weeks of March on finishing the last 30 tracks for Ugress 4, either refusing or including them. This will probably rise the track count to somewhere around 25, maybe 30.

I was hoping to put out an EP or at least a few singles in February, but looks like it could take a few weeks more. I need to see all of the tracks as a whole, to get a feel for the album. I would like to know if a track goes on the album before I release it or not.

This is slightly inconvenient, as I would very much like to release some stuff at this time. But it is not critical, my pool of releasable material keeps growing.

HTML 5: It Came From The Future, Suddenly
Posted February 24th 2009, at 18:54 with tags , , , , , ,

Today Apple released the public beta of next generation web browser Safari. The browser is compliant with version 5 of HTML, the next version of Internet skeleton technology. It is not the only one, but now with both Apple and Google pro-actively hunting the future, it means a lot.

For more than a decade we have been building HTML skyscrapers on thin ice, in a global warming climate. HTML 4 was introduced in 1997 and is the curent backbone of the web. Contemporary web apps go to great lengths in circumvention of HTML 4's limits to provide the features they do. Most people don't know it, but currently most of the fancy web sites and web apps they visit, are a patchwork of multiple technologies to present themselves as slick and feature-rich as they do.

Internet Explorer is on average used by 67% of browser users. I am happy to inform, this number is totally not representative for my own webs.

I am very proud of my own website visitors (hello everyone, in the pie above), displaying a clever taste in browser technology. Firefox counts for more than 50% of my visitors (further 90% of these are Firefox 3.x), and IE all the way down on 4th place, with only 13% of the visitors (30% of these are still on IE6). These are stats that not only make me proud of my fans, but also mean that I can build very modern websites on established standards that technologically will meet most of my visitors.

Yet still, as a obsessive compulsive nerd, I'd rather the world agreed upon a top-modern universal standard, implemented it and I didn't have to consider visitor statistics in my future plans. I have been pessimistic on how fast a new HTML standard could possibly be established. Particularly, with the craptastic Microsoft Internet Explorer as a dinosauric market leader in browser usage, I feared HTML 5 wouldn't be established until 2015 or way later. However, last week, two incidents gave indication that the transition can happen much faster than feared:

1. Mastodont argument: Google showed of a hyper-version of Gmail powered on HTML 5. In itself neat and all that, but most importantly: Shitloads of people use Gmail for email and Google apps for their everyday web stuff. If Google, in their current position as gods of the cloud, provide a strong initiative to upgrade, lots of people will do that.

2. National tech pride: Most major Norwegian websites, in an unprecedented, inspired moment of agreement, encouraged visitors with less-than-IE7 versions to upgrade. This was further picked up by other European sites, resulting in a European effort in encouraging people to keep up to date browser-wise. I realize this is easier to folllow up for private individuals than huge corporations with IT policies, and there are better options than recommending IE7, but still, the effort made its mark.

I don't like monopolies, but I hate them a little less when they use their omnipotent powers to make the world better on a open, general level. Perchance it looks like we shall be enjoying ourselves in the clouds with HTML 5 around the same time as Ugress 5. Future FTW.

Making Of Kometkameratene 16: Generosity
Posted February 24th 2009, at 16:25 with tags , , , ,

Kometkameratene Episode 16 Behind-The-Music-Scenes. You can watch episodes directly from NRK or download official torrents.

This episode theme and title is "Generosity", or rather "Kindness", and Agent 25, the character who goes on a mission to Earth in each episode, is the lead character. Lyrics was written by the script writers.

Agent 25 is the major comic relief of the series, and the actress portraying him, Linda Mahala Mathiassen, has incredible comic timing and a hilarious voice talent. It is a challenge for all of the actors to keep a clear pitch and musical rhythm simultaneously as keeping character when singing, but the Agent is by far the most difficult.

Before I knew Linda and how her voice works, there was a lot of Melodyne post-editing and clever tricks to make her sound like the Agent when singing. We have solved the dilemma by simply giving the puppet more "talkative" leads than traditional singing lines. This makes it easy for Linda to keep the Agent voice more in character when performing solo. We did the same trick previously on the Garbage episode track.

The conceptual idea for this track comes from Linda herself - I was in studio watching them taping an episode, and during a break Linda suggested the Agent should be doing a Kometkamerat sendup of Espen Lind's Scared Of Heights. She thought the Agent would be great with the ukulele. I didn't know the track, but noted the suggestion. Back home, Sjur knew it, he thought it was a brilliant idea so we set to work, creating an ukulele and tuba track.

Here is the first sketch I did, building the background harmonies and chorus melody:

Then I collected shitloads of ukulele tracks from around the world, by Youtube and iTunes and wherever I could find them, and started picking out simple patterns I could twist into a coherent ukulele pattern. Sjur built the vocal harmonies and helped out with arranging the harmony and melody to a more interesting whole.

Since the Agent has more of a talkative lead voice, during pre-prod I felt the track needed something melodic in the verse. I whistled in some simple tones to counter the monotony of the spoken lead. The whistling was portrayed by Zook in the music video, but we kept my original whistling. Witness, my Roger Whittaker skills in the final broadcast version:

Conclusion. I like this track, it is not typical Kometkamerat orchestral space-epicness, but a sweet and simple pop track nonetheless. It works with the theme and lyrics, asking naive questions around themes like sharing and kindness.

I am however most happy with the fact that the whole track started out as an informal chat with Linda, she had an idea for the Agent, and we built the track around her thoughts for the character. I think NRK picked up on this development, and really liked us communicating so early on a track. For the next season, we are probably going to be working more closely with the actors, scriptwriters, and directors, entering the production phase at an earlier stage than so far.

Wikipedia Titles Your New Hipster Douche Indie Band
Posted February 22th 2009, at 18:41 with tags , , ,

Name your new band and album with Wikipedia and grab the cover from Flickr. Here is how it works, from BuzzFeed:

Go to “Wikipedia.” Hit “random” and the first article you get is the name of your band. Then go to “Random Quotations” and the last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album. Then, go to Flickr and click on “Explore the Last Seven Days” and the third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover. 

That's how I got my new imaginary hipster douche indie band Lake Maninjau, and their soggy new lofi album "Between the Lighnting and a lightning bug". Quote by Mark Twain. Cover photo by kobalto.

Ugress and Uncanny Planet now on Spotify
Posted February 20th 2009, at 21:00 with tags , , , ,

Spotify is quite simply the future of music, a streaming service where you instantly can listen to almost anything you want. As of this week, all my album material is finally available for listening.

Spotify receives a lot of buzz and hype in the industry lately, which I think is well deserved. It is very well exectued as a listening service, it has massive content, it always works, it is a potential iTunes-monopoly killer, which is about time.

But more importantly to me - seems like casual music fans also dig it, and use it, just like they digged Napster back in the days. This is really good, we're closing in on a music distribution model that both fans and artists are genuinely enthusiastic about.

Screw the pathetic dinosaurs, cluelessly shooting blindly with cannons at the clouds. You can't stop clouds.

Motion Graphics Short With Nebular Spool
Posted February 20th 2009, at 20:49 with tags , , , ,

From This Window is a beautiful short-short motion graphics film, part of the portfolio for American production company Naissance. Featuring my track Ruins from the Nebular Spool album.

Watch in smooth motion HD at Vimeo.

iPhone Music Apps Expands The Album Format
Posted February 20th 2009, at 20:37 with tags , ,

Personal listening devices is becoming more powerful each day. This will lead to an inevitable explosive evolution of the album format in the very near future.

My mobile phone is also a music player and game device, currently with the computational power of a regular computer or game console from 1995. Within a few years time, a phone will match today's computers and entertainment devices in sheer power. Simultaneously, wireless communication technology will approach speeds where realtime delivery of high definition content is as common as SMS is today. This will open up for incredible options, not in only gaming and entertainment, but also in how to present and deliver music.

Two apps of today display the inherit potential in this technology; both expanding on the album format: Deadmau5 releases a clever DJ app where you can play, remix and interact with his latest album tracks, and The Presidents Of The United States releases their entire discography, including unreleased tracks, as an iPhone app.

And this is only the beginning. The beautifulness of the future knows no end.

Ugress Tracks Travels Ultimate Thule In Video
Posted February 19th 2009, at 20:02 with tags , , ,

Italian online photo site ZMPhoto has used some of my music again in a Canon EOS 5D Mk2 showcase video, this time travelling to the northern parts of Norway. The video has some beautiful clips of Norwegian winter landscapes and aurora borealis.

The site previously featured Rain in another video.

Heroes Of GMM: Charles Darwin is 200
Posted February 12th 2009, at 12:57 with tags , , ,

Happy 200th birthday,  Charles Robert Darwin.

Darwin is in my opinion one of the finest specimen of the homo sapiens species. His famous note with the tree of life, pictured above, is an important symbol to me.

There is no absolute truth in science, as we continue our research we shift our understanding to what we figure at the moment, ever deeper. Science is drive by a need to know, a need to understand, a need to evolve. Most importantly, ever, at all, universally to me; science does not claim to be absolute, to know it all, to have The Answer. Science has AN answer, that might change as new knowledge is revealed. And science knows this, it does not try to hide it.

The latest issue of New Scientist has a feature on how modern geneaology is challenging and correcting Darwin's famous tree pictured above. 

Charles Darwin started his note with the two words "I think". There was the possibility of his thoughts not being absolutely correct. 

Science FTW. I shall be having a bottle of my finest in his honor tonight.

His Wikipedia article is of lexical excellence, and you can access all of his writings and publications from Darwin Online.

GMM interview in Heathen Audio Mag
Posted February 9th 2009, at 11:06 with tags , , , ,

I was interviewed by Andrei from Heathen Audio, a Romanian music magazine, last summer. The interview is now available in their online blog

Ugress seems to have caught on in Romania and Eastern Europe over the last few years. We've had several booking requests and recently also compilation and license offers. Which I find intriguing, I do not see much visitors from this part of the world in my web statistics, so the attention has to spring from something I haven't observed.

Chromebots Cavalcade
Posted February 9th 2009, at 11:00 with tags , ,

Dark Roasted Blend has gathered a healthy new collection of chrome-based robots and ray-guns.

Kometkameratene Episode 13: Freedom
Posted February 8th 2009, at 23:09 with tags , , ,

Kometkameratene Episode 13 Music Commentary. You can watch episodes directly from NRK or download official torrents.

The show is back on air after winther hiatus, with new weekly episodes. We didn't do the episode songs for all of spring, but we did most of them. I'll document our episodes in my journal as they air.

This episode theme and title is "Freedom", and Mook the mechanic is the lead singer. The lyrics had already been written by the script writers.

Previously we had given this character a soft bossanova drum n base track, and an energetic spanish disco track, so I came up with the idea of writing a simple tune with a sort of orchestral reggae feel. The tune came pretty fast, this is the first reference I built: 

Sjur came by and building the vocals for the verse was quickly done. I wasn't to happy with my idea for a chorus part (00:20), we spent most of the time working out a new suggestion for chorus:

The track was approved with the chorus above, but I still wasn't happy. I felt like it didn't fit the song, and I wasn't sure how to produce it out in the current version. I kept working on it, and a few days before video shoot I rewrote the chorus, and with the help of Melodyne I completely remodelled the reference vocals to fit the new version. (Side note, regarding the current Autotune spotlight, this is an example where digital voice editing is used to sculpt an existing vocal performance into something completely new.)

The video was then shot in studio in November, edited in December, I went over in January to record actor vocals and the track was delivered a few days later. Here is the final version with the final chorus:


The track works ok, it's a nice song. But I don't think it is particularly interesting or original. It could perhaps benefit with more orchestration, and if I had time I would like to do a better job on the reggae sound in contrast to the orchestral. There are much better tracks coming up in the next episodes.

Autotune, the drop shadow of music design
Posted February 8th 2009, at 19:17 with tags , ,

Time has an OK article on the use and abuse of Autotune; Why Pop Music Sounds Perfect.

There wasn't any shocking revelations, this article is written once a year by the mainstream press. I observe the technology becoming more accepted, both as a post-production and a creative tool. 

On one side, Autotune for music is like drop shadow for design, or rounded corners for web 2.0. It needs skillful appliance to avoid the cliche trap.

On another side, like the article mentions, Autotune is shifting our expectations of pop music performance.

Ugress 4 first track candidates
Posted February 5th 2009, at 19:27 with tags , , , , , , ,

Journal entry, February 5th, 2009.

A few minutes ago I uploaded the first track candidates for the next Ugress album to a private set on Soundcloud, for my trusted crew to pick apart.

I have spent the last week wrapping up tracks and developing sketches to full bodied tracks. For this album, I want to finish each and every potential track before making a decision to include it or not.  This also means, if a track is refused for an Ugress album, it is nevertheless DONE, and can be put to use anytime anywhere else. I realize I am going to be very busy the next 18 months or so with albums, touring, scoring and production gigs, and I very much would like to get that Ugress album out this summer.

On average, these days I manage to finish one track in two days. By finish, I mean a completely fleshed out track, not a final "mix". There are still edits to do, but the track as an entity, is finished.

I then send the tracks to my most trusted accomplices, my drummer Igor and my manager-publisher Roar. Together (or rather, virtually,) we discuss each track and consider it for inclusion. I have the final say but their opinions are important, and we usually agree after a combination of track edits, suggestions and discussions.

Right now I focus intently on wrapping up as many tracks as possible, just pouring out ideas and having each track carry themselves along, with my album ideas lingering subconsciously while writing. I have started to get a feel for the album, but nothing is certain yet, and each track I finish pulls it in a new direction.

In a few weeks time there should be enough finished tracks to make a final selection, and the album concept should start materializing. Also, there should be a healthy amount of refused album tracks, to be released as singles or EP continuously during this spring.

Pinball Dreams ported to iPhone
Posted February 5th 2009, at 19:12 with tags , , , ,

I spent most of the early 90ies in front of an Amiga. If I wasn't lost in Protracker making crap tracks, I was probably playing Pinball Dreams, one of the biggest gaming successes of the platform.

Pinball Dreams is now ported, literally line by line, to the iPhone by Finnish coding geniuses Cowboy Rodeo (app store link). TouchArcade has a nice review with background information on the game and video gameplay links.

This makes me think, it should be possible to port, or recreate, Protracker on the iPhone.

D-Pad Hero: Retro Nintendo Chiptune Music Game
Posted February 4th 2009, at 14:35 with tags , , , , ,

Glory retro days. D-Pad Hero is a brand new Guitar-Hero type game for vintage Nintendo hardware, of course also playable on emulation software. The song list is a great selection of 80ies, 90ies and 00ies chiptune covers.

The game was developed by Norwegians Kent Hansen and Andreas Pedersen, and there is a petition to bring D-Pad Hero to the Nintendo Wii.

Thank you Thomas Berg for the tip.

AS-606: Hardware Ambient Sequencer
Posted February 4th 2009, at 14:16 with tags , , , ,

There is a trend in modern music technology where hardware is developed towards specific genres. Inventive new hardware sequencer AS-606 is optimized for creating ambient and drone music.


  • One-channel one-step sequencer
  • Unlimited note duration
  • 20-voice polyphony
  • Compatible with all digital and analog keyboards
  • Real-time control for all parameters
  • "To Infinity And Beyond™" infinite control resolution
  • Contains no small parts
  • No choking hazard
  • Suitable for children less than three years old

Photos and usage examples available at Posse Crew Ensemble.

Symphonic Shades C64 symphony on iTunes
Posted February 4th 2009, at 03:58 with tags , , , ,

The orchestrated version of C64 music by Chris Huelsbeck, Symphonic Shades, is now available for purchase on iTunes.

iTunes Store direct link.

(Via Remix64.)

Superbowl, WTF but yet a FTW dose of WTF
Posted February 2nd 2009, at 00:48 with tags , , , , ,

American football. I have little idea of the rules, what the ultimate point of the game is (except stopping capistalistically often for commercials) or why they even call it football. As a sport, it lacks a lot. As entertainment, it lacks little.

I love America, I really wished I lived there. And with you guys having a new president, and all that stuff, I'm happy to be back loving you. So here I am, my way of celebrating, watching Superbowl, alone, streaming in a corner on my laptop, drinking beer and kind of liveblogging it, typing this while watching. For a few holiday moments I pause my world domination plans, pop a cold one and pretend to be an American.

I really have no idea whats going on in this game but that is not important. I love the commercials, twisted little windows into adorable, uncanny representations of American everyday life.

A curious coincidence: You know, one wouldn't think it, but the halftime show performer, Bruce Springsteen, was an early and important musical influence on me. In 1984 as a kid, I travelled large parts of the U.S. with my parents, and simultaneously Springsteen released Born In The USA. So I listened a lot to it during that time, and later. This album epitomized the essence of USA to me, it sounds so profoundly American. I realize the theoretical quasi-psychological consequences of that statement, but in any case this album taught me the emotional and OMG THAT was as an incredible touchdown!!!, nostalgic values of music.

Btw, I'm rooting for the white and yellow guys. They played Fatboy Slim as their entry theme, while the purple dudes played some rock thing.

Ooh halftime show. Maybe I'll get to see a Spring-nipple, ha ha ha. Neat, I wish I had those backdrop screens. Glory days, thanks.


02:43 I am not über-impressed by the technical production, where's the epic slowmo HD crane-cams?

02:52. The score is currently 17-7. I did some research. You get 6 points for a touch down, and then something with kicks. There's a kick now. But something happened. Personal foul? Who? But did he score? What's going on? Another kick? No.

02:57 Another freekick (?), did he.... TRANSFORMERS TRAILER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh my. THAT'S a robot.

03:00 Seems like he scored, it is 20-7. We're winning!

03:08 Fourth quarter, 15 "minutes" left.

03:13 What does Flag mean? Wikipedia fail.

03:14 Why are those douches one the sideline using those enormous mic-headsets, why aren't they using tiny modern ones like the rest of this millennia? They look like mutated Stringfellow Hawkes.

03:20 I love getting lost on Wikipedia.

03:26 Hey Alec Baldwin, about that "anytime anywhere", come on over to Europe and I'll shove a couple of "we're sorry not available in your location" up your... anytime anywhere.

03:29 What happens if it ties? The purple dudes are catching up, it's 20-14 so a touchdown should tie them? But there's also a kick with every touchdown?

03:33 That MacGruber MacGyver spoof ad was .. not good enough to what it tried to be. Pepsi fail.

03:35 I wonder if this is a good game. I think it is fairly interesting, I understand the purple ones are not far from catching up, but I have no idea if this is a great game. There has been some nice runs and stuff.

03:38 I observe that soccer ladies and football ladies look exactly the same on both continents.

03:39 That was a bad throw. He shouldn't throw it into the ground, why not? The pineapple should not touch the ground? I'm really not getting .. they are hitting each other. This is very little gentlemanish.

03:42 I think my team is struggling.

03:42 Goddamnit, there has been commercial breaks every fucking minute for several hours but now I really need to go to the bathrom and there hasn't been a break in ages!! And what happens now? Touchdown? Timeout? What's a timeout? What ARE THEY TALKING ABOUT§!

03:45 Commercial pls.

03:47 Oh look a broken bankster! He's sad.

03:47 P-L-S.

03:48 OMG THAT WAS INCREDIBLE, I have switched teams. What a run. Go purple! And the onscreen analytics starts to make sense too. The yellow dudes screwed up in defense.

 03:53 Where did those two points come from? Yellow are in the... COMMERCIALS THANK GOD

03:55 How did they get from 14 to 23? 

03:58 OMG that was close. Almost touchdown. I have no idea who I should be cheering for. Yellows? Purples?

04:00 What a touchdown! What a grab! I'm back on yellow. But NCB, come on, European soccer production is laughing at you in their sleep. Those replays look like something DDR could pull of in the 70ies.

04:03 Santiono Holmes, my man. Now kick it. Ah yes.

04:06 22 seconds left. 15 seconds left.

04:08 Nooooooo network congestation stream problems what's happening what's happening what is going on??? 05 seconds left? Alec Baldwin if this is.....


04:10 This was great, too great, it must have been scripted, is it scripted?

04:14 What a game! I'm supposed to say that? Or is that basket?


American football is really entertaining, but probably because to me it involves just as much realtime digital research and investigation as actual game watching.


Pirate Drama
Posted February 1st 2009, at 00:58 with tags ,

I observe with interest the drama unfolding around an electronic musician boasting about using pirated software and the response from the company he pirated from, Audio Damage (makers of Replicant and Automaton).

Best summarized in this Metafilter post and the latest reply from Audiodamage, where they absolutely do not accept any apology or excuse.


Izotope Ozone 4
Posted February 1st 2009, at 00:45 with tags , , , , ,

Izotope Ozone is a plugin I use at extreme ends of my production. It was updated to version 4 today, with some neat new features.

With the new version I am most excited with the mid/side processing options, where you can adjust parameters independently in the centre and sides of mixes. Also the new hybrid algorithm in the EQ suits me fine, and the plugin should use less CPU, making multiple track based use easier.

At the final end of production, I use Ozone for final mastering. I prefer to have my mixes mastered professionally, but often there is no time nor budget for such auditory luxury. At least I enjoy teaching myself the mastering process.

My weapon of choice has been Ozone for some years now, supported by Logic with automation and native plugins.

I also use Ozone at the very beginning of production, in Wave Editor, where I "master" each sample or loop before further editing, chopping it ut and bringing it into a mix. Often in collaboration with Izotope RX, where RX handles repair work and Ozone fixes the paintjob. I have found this to be a smart way of freshing up dull and uninspiring material. The EQ in particular is often used for surgical , which is why I welcome the new hybrid mode, digital precision and phase preservation with analogue sound.


Ugress 4 Pre-Production Uncovers A Revelation
Posted January 30th 2009, at 22:14 with tags , , , , , ,

Serious work on the next Ugress album has begun, tentative release this summer. The work is highly rewarding and reveals some exciting data.

I spent most of the time this week doing Ugress 4 preproduction. This consists of going through all my ideas, concepts, sketches, getting to know it all, and creating a worksheet of potential candidates. I check each track, enter it into a spreadsheet with extended information; how finished the track is, which project it suits, what needs to be done, potential collaborators if applicable, and if it should be considered for U4.

Simultaneously I research my ideas and inspiration for the album, cataloguing my ocean of notes, and continuously perform edits to tracks. Right now the album is a misty cloud of loosely connected themes in my head. Any progress at this point seems to be very subconscious and intuitive, just developing tracks with all the ideas and concepts lingering freely in my thoughts. There is nothing concrete demanding a certain direction, or excluding an experimental approach. This is very liberating after 6 months of intensely focused compositional work.

At the moment I have 92 tracks I consider usable, and a very vague idea of how I would like U4 to sound. There are 17 tracks completely finished, 18 tracks above 75% finished, and the rest somewhere between 50% and "conceptual sketch".

I catalogue each track, to see which project it naturally belongs with. This easily excludes many of the 92 tracks from an Ugress release. But it also reveals some fantastic observations:

To my absolute surprise, a sleeping and non-published project of mine that I plan on release in 2010 or later, suddenly turned out to have 20 tracks almost ready. I estimate there to be a month or two of work to wrap this project up for a release. Also, the next Nebular Spool album is further along than I expected. I might be able to put those out this year. On the other hand, Ninja 9000 didn't have as many candidates as I thought, unless I fall into an 8 bit frenzy the album release is further ahead than scheduled (2010).

Next week I intend to focus on the potential Ugress candidates, and dive deeper into album concept research. Hopefully by the end of next week I should have a clearer idea of what the album should be like, which tracks to include and what to do with them.

The Defiant Unicorn's Anniversary
Posted January 28th 2009, at 23:21 with tags , , ,

Ugress Unicorn was released exactly one year ago and totally did not what it was supposed to. Some quick observations.

My original plan was to release Unicorn and play extensively live, working on new material and following up with a new album January 2009. This makes sense in a music scene where most bands and artists makes a living from touring and merchandising, not album sales. The live angle was reflected in the track selection for the album, it was weighted towards live performance material.

But I am not typical, as with most of my projects Unicorn has performed completely different from what I expected.

The album quickly brought multiple scoring and production gigs, including writing the theme music gig for a kids TV show. The producers liked the theme enough to ask if I could also do episode music, and suddenly I was immersed in scoring work. The show became a success, and composing and producing the music was a great challenge and even greater fun. The work brought just enough income to pay my bills, and with the show being popular, it is a nice investment in future royalty payoffs.

This made it challenging to tour as much as I had planned, we had to cut back on live dates. It also made it impractical to release Ugress 4 on intended schedule. These setbacks didn't really matter in the larger scope of things. I enjoy studio time, writing music for film and TV is perhaps even more fun than touring.

The album has sold approx. 1100 physical copies, and slightly more digital items. This brings total album sales thoroughly past 2000, which I am satisfied with. It is twice my expectations for the first year. The number would have been much higher if we toured.

I never read reviews, music blogs and the like, neither regarding my own nor others music. But I understand from my crew that the album, as usual, received a wide spectre of reviews.

Statistically, Redrum is the most popular track of the album, with Kommisär Kontemporär and Regression 22 as runner ups. The Ultimate Fix is the least popular track, by far, which I understand. Harakiri Martini is also surprisingly unpopular for purchase, but not as a free download.

However, the Harakiri Martini music video is by far my most popular music video, after going viral in Asia it has totalled almost half a million views.

There is still only one person to solve the secret album cover riddle.

I conclude the album to be a success, but absolutely totally not in any way I planned or imagined.

Botanic Post-Apocalyptic Entropy
Posted January 26th 2009, at 19:43 with tags , , ,

Environmental Grafitti has a collection of pictures where jungle growth take over forgotten civilization. I like to imagine Dr. Moreau lurking in the mossy shadows.

Slightly related, there is also an abandoned Asian theme parks series.

Journal Entry, January 21nd, 2009
Posted January 21st 2009, at 21:40 with tags , , , ,

The last few days has mostly been working on lyrics for the Kometkameratene show. The script writers often write song lyrics, and usually they deliver superb texts. I am impressed with their fantasy and ability to phrase complex themes so cleverly simple.

But with short deadlines the scripts are not always complete in time for music production, and sometimes the written lyrics, just like our music, needs more work. Everything in the episode, script, song, lyrics and video contents are developed almost simultaneously, so there is little time to waste. For some songs we do the lyrics ourselves, and for others the text has to be adapted.  

Working with lyrics on tight deadlines and high quality expectations is a great challenge, but luckily my preferred method of learning. I never wrote lyrics before, except team development with my vocalists, where we had all the time and freedom in the world to experiment. Working together with Sjur, a smart producer, a great director and brilliant script writers is very educative. 

Monday I spent the day working on lyrics for Kometkameratene, and while waiting for feedback, working on a new track for myself. Work title is "Music For Coding" but it certainly does not sound like it. The track started out as a sketch for the TV show, but veered off pretty fast. I re-routed it to Ugress or possibly SOTB.

Tuesday was another session with Sjur, we did some writing, recorded our ideas and sent off to the producer. I did some pre-prod cleanup work on a recording to be delivered Thursday, so the mix session is free from petty work. Inbetween I wrapped up the "Music For Coding" project.

Wednesday was more lyrics work, Sjur came by for a super quick session. I also finalized and uploaded the Scenesat exclusive track. The track is slightly shorter than I would like it to, I think there happens too much in the track too fast, but there wasn't time to pan it out properly. I removed and reduced some elements to let it breathe enough, mental note to restructure it for future releases.

Ableton Live 8, Max For Live, Futuristicious
Posted January 19th 2009, at 22:41 with tags , , , , , , , , ,

It has been many years since I was excited by the NAMM trade shows, but this year had a fine surprise: Ableton announced version 8 of Live, and together with Cycling 74 announced the fruits of their cooperation, Max For Live.

Live 8 looks like a fine upgrade, I am intrigued with refined warp modes and transient handles in arrange.

Also appreciated is workflow enhancements, in particular with MIDI editing. But the star of the update, is the access of Max architecture inside Live.

Max For Live appears to be a wunderschön virtual apparatus both for mad scientist studio experimentation and crazy live sound execution. I did some research over the weekend, there is an informative Max For Live thread over at C74 forums. With great enthusiasm I noted that all Max objects, including Jitter, is available inside Live. This means I can access hi (human interface, custom devices) objects directly in a Live set, no need to translate via Max/MSP.

Max inside Live responds to OSC signals just like Max/MSP, and can control the Live application itself. I have not been able to uncover specifics, but this fascinates me to no end. My head vibrates with ideas, I have several too-ambitious future projects, which now seem very possible to realize. I shall concentrate on Ugress 4 first, my intuition tells me Max For Live won't be out until late this year anyway.

With Celemony's upcoming Melodyne editor able to handle polyphonic pitch material, it appears 2009 will be a most adventurous year for creating and performing music with computers. Exciting times.

Hello I Am A Nice Girl Writing You
Posted January 18th 2009, at 19:13 with tags , , , , ,

Journal entry, January 18th, 2009.

On Friday I received, as usual, a proper amount of junk email. One of them was apparently from a sweet Russian girl, trying to get in touch, looking for a nice man. She even attached that picture.

I don't know why, but I actually read the email, and it struck me as being hilarious, but also very sad, naive and honest. Like she, or the writer, had already given up hope of a reply. Or, for what I know, the email is really from her and sincere. But probably not, it is just clever junk, managing to sneak past my filters and into my attention.

I have often enjoyed the random poetics of spam, text that are desperate to reach you but simultaneously desperate to hide their true nature. There are glimpses of unintentional beauty in the effort to escape the mundanity threshold of spam filters.

Creating a track based on junk email has been an idea of mine for long, I decided now was the time.

I escaped the world, and spent the weekend for myself building a melancholic, uncanny track, with OSX system voice Vicki reciting the junk lyrics.

It was nice to spend some time for myself, working out a loose idea, letting the track itself decide direction.

Batman And Joker
Posted January 18th 2009, at 17:30 with tags , , , ,

Very nice.

(Via Ffffound!)

Google R.I.P.
Posted January 16th 2009, at 19:10 with tags , , , ,

Google terminates one of their most web-based services, and to me, thereby reduces the value of their other services.

Google Notebook, my most dearest online notebook solution, is committing digi-kiri. Google stops all development and support, which practically means the service is dead - it will only run until it breaks.

This was sad and impractical news. I really enjoyed it and used it extensively for cloud-based, tag-based bookmarking and note-taking.

The best and most obvious reason for using Google Notebook was the power of the search function - you had the intelligence and data of The Google Empire behind each note, meaning that when searching your notes and bookmarks, you could search for words not present in the note itself - Google would find your relevant notes on behalf of what the note was ABOUT. You didn't have to remember anything specific to the note, because Google did.

Shift happens. I have jumped ship immediately, cut all ties, and went back to Delicious for bookmarks. For notes, I haven't decided yet.

It took me a couple of hours, I had to write my own script to translate all notes from Google into Delicious and simultaneously keep the URL, tags and manual notes.

I am not super happy with Delicious but at least it is actively developed, and their export format is more friendly towards future services. Amongst others, Evernote can import from Delicious, this works well enough, but sadly the Evernote web client is insanely slow, and the local client consistently crashes when facing my amount of tagged bookmarks.

I find it puzzling, and alarming, that Google suddenly decides to terminate such a most modern service. It makes me uncertain of other services like Gmail, Reader and Docs.

Trains, Crabs, Russians and Demoscene Drama
Posted January 16th 2009, at 18:26 with tags , , , , , , , , , , ,

Journal Entry, January 16th, 2009

Monday and Tuesday this week was early morning sessions with Sjur, working on lyrics and vocals for Kometkameratene. Sjur comes in early in the morning, we do some vocal work and conceptual sketches, then he leaves while I edit the recordings and produce out the conceptual changes during the rest of the day. Updated versions are uploaded to the producer and director late in the evening.

There isn't much left to do with this batch, only remainder is the lyrics, and thereby vocals, on two of the tracks. I expect this to be concluded early next week.

Wednesday and Thursday I spent working on the Russerne Kommer (The Russians Are Coming) remake, a cover version of a legendary old Norwegian synth-punk track. I was very happy with a quaint idea I had for an instrumental variation - usually my theoretical ideas turn out to sound silly, but this one worked rather well. A final version was done late Thursday night, only needed some tiny edits Friday morning. I'm going to let it rest for a few days before balancing the mix and applying final touches.

Wednesday I cooked one of my favorite dishes, Portuguese cataplana with mussels, shellfish and monstrous king crabs (I appreciate the uncanny Soviet link between my remix and my cooking here, btw). I have been researching and experimenting to create the perfect cataplana ever since having a gastronomic revelation in Lisboa a few years ago. This one was dangerously close, I discovered a secret ingredient - adding some sliced picante chorizo early into the sauce seems to deliver the correct amount of succulent punch to the stock.

As a side note, with great enthusiasm I found a model railway window installation next to my top secret seafood supplier. Oooh neat. Fishing expeditions is now twice the reward.

In between these sessions I worked on a exclusive track for the launch of a brand new demoscene radio, Scenesat. Mostly without knowing it - they asked if I had any tracks they could play exclusively for a period, I said yes of course and promptly forgot.

Unconsciously I then started working on a track using only Amiga Protracker ST-disk for sound material, in Oslo last week. Suddenly it dawned on me that this track was an obvious choice for a scene based radio. So Friday I concentrated on finishing this track, daftly named "Drama". But it kinda sounds like it, gritty 8-bit drama with bad arse dubstep ligthsaber-bass.

It needs a few edits, maybe a few bars variation, but the core of the track is done, the Scenesat guys approved it, I'll wrap it up over the weekend.

Infected - Pure Vector Graphics Flash Demo
Posted January 12th 2009, at 01:03 with tags , , ,

"Infected" is a super-slick, eye-candy vector graphics Flash demo from Swedish digital artist Andreas Wannerstedt.

Featuring Ugress "Kommisär Kontemporär" for soundtrack.


Journal Entry, January 12th, 2009
Posted January 12th 2009, at 00:47 with tags , , , , , , , ,

Friday morning I returned from Oslo, I didn't sleep much on the train, mostly because of stress I think. After a quick breakfast, Sjur came by for a session on one of the final tracks for Kometkameratene season 1.

After a few hours sleep I went for christmas dinner with Brak, which was a splendid social affair. Excellent food and exquisite conversation. I noticed with interest that we used Spotify for all music listening. Which meant
1) there was a lot of great music,
2) all music we listened to came from the clouds,
3) everyone mostly found their favorite music and latest must-share release,
4) we were not limited to a local physical or digital collection.

I think it is important to notice.

Saturday was slow, exhausted from many long days, but I put in some hours on a new track I started in Oslo. It started out with only Protracker ST-disks samples, I love the dirty old 8-bit sounds, to compress the grit into focus and run it through amp models. My recent sonic addition Alchemy is a great tool for zooming into the mud of samples.

I also spent a few hours checking out Amazon AWS, mostly EC2, for cloud rental of web services. Amazon recently launched a web based management console, making it easy to launch and administrate your cloud computers. Within a few minutes I had selected, installed and launched my own webserver instance and logged in by remote desktop client. This looks like a viable alternative to physical hosting, in particular when it comes to scaling. My only caveat is that I'd rather not personally handle server and webserver administration.

I have not yet decided how to host my next web system. But I have decided to develop a solution I can technically deploy onto AWS if necessary.

Sunday was back to work, spent all day working on the final batch of Kometkameratene. Sjur is coming in tomorrow morning for a vocal session. There are six tracks left to do in season 1, to be delivered this week. It will be a hectic week, but when they are delivered I am very much looking forward to focus on Ugress 4.

Transformers 2 Poster
Posted January 11th 2009, at 23:48 with tags , , ,

Looks like me before I have coffee in the morning.

Journal Entry, 090801
Posted January 9th 2009, at 00:07 with tags , , , , , ,

Journal entry 090108

Wednesday, I arrived horribly early in Oslo and had a long breakfast at the train station, trying to wake myself up, before running some practical errands. I picked up a Korg Nanokey, been meaning to do that for a long time. Also needed some cables and sound stationary.

Then I had long lunch meeting with Roar, my management agent publisher business sanity reality wizard. We sat for several hours, planning and scheduling 2009.

I had a few hours off before next meeting, and spent the time in the empty bar at the top of the Radisson, catching the sunset with my new Nanokey and some momentary beats. View from the window pictured above.

Then I hooked up with a dear old friend of mine, a top secret percussive weapon I very much would like to fire up for Ugress 4. We had a great time catching up, which included frivolous wolfing of fish á la Nippon.

Finally I crashed late at night at a friends apartment, catching a few hours of sleep.

Thursday, I AGAIN had to get up at an unspeakable hour, heading up to the NRK complex to record a new batch of Kometkameratene tracks. I had the same studio room as previous recordings, a spacious rom with great sound.

I had approx one hour with each actor, to record their lead tracks and all voicings. The actors have become really great at falling into character quickly and nailing the sound, and we start to know each other. So the sessions went really well, the atmosphere was relaxed and fun.

After recording I met up with Per Christian Frankplads, a journalist of Norwegian music magazine Musikkpraksis for an interview, we had a neat talk about music technology, scoring and editing techniques, samples and mashups.

Then I grabbed late dinner, and boarded the nighttrain back to Bergen, where this is typed and posted.

The Last Bastion Of DRM Caves
Posted January 7th 2009, at 08:13 with tags

Digital Rights Management

1983 - 2009


"Circumventis Semper"




Night On Train
Posted January 7th 2009, at 00:01 with tags , , , , ,

I am on the night train from Bergen to Oslo, on my way to record another batch of Kometkameratene tracks on Thursday. Right now I'm right there, in the not-so-luxurious but luxurious-named "Restaurant Wagon", having a beer in plastic cup while performing the evening's digital chores.

I am seriously fed up with airports and their security hysteria, and in particular with budget airlines. Travelling by air is no longer travelling, it is transport of human cargo with a constant focus on the NEXT pack of meat, not the CURRENT.

If I can avoid it, I spare myself the flights. The night train is a nice substitute, I have my own sleeper compartment, I can walk to the train stations in both cities, in effect I sleep myself back and forth.

But the glorious days of first class conversation over a chilled glass of champagne, formally dressed, is perhaps non-attainable from the glorious Norwegian Government Rail. The conductor is also the bartender and makes his best effort to display his discontent with this arrangement. But I close my eyes and imagine.

The beer is not beer in festival plastic, but a bottle of exquisite Pierre Peters Brut, and this journal entry is not typed on a laptop, and posted between tunnels, but a fiery discussion and comparison of intrepid travel arrangements and other preposterous issues with fellow passengers. Whereof one is a paleontologist, one is a suicidal spirited medium with too much self-confidence, one is a Chilean volcano expert afraid of heights, and the last ones are a retired British officer and his beautiful, adopted Gypsy daughter which turns out to be the main coder of Logic Pro Studio and slips me a private beta of version 9 during a late night rendez-vous including impolite amounts of gin tonic.

Oh well. At least the drunk kids next to me are just as grumpy and sarcastic as me on all the douchebags entering the "Restaurant Wagon" and not closing the carriage door behind them.

Journal Entry, 090601
Posted January 6th 2009, at 23:44 with tags , , ,

Most of Monday was spent working on the "Russerne Kommer" remix. The beat and base is pretty much established, and I recorded Calle's vocals before xmas, they are great. I am struggling to find the musical spine of the track, the beat is neat but not enough to carry the track fully. So I spent all day coming up with horrible solutions, but finally at night I came up with something that stuck rather well. A few checkups the next day confirms the idea holds itself. I promised Calle to deliver by the end of the week.

Tuesday, ungodly early in the morning, Sjur came by and we worked on a Kometkameratene track for some hours. I wasn't happy with the original sketch, the producer wasn't happy with it, so we tried building it into something better. Sjur had lots of good ideas and did some smart electric piano development to groove it up. But not enough, we decided it was absolute crap, and scratched it. Back to start.

The rest of Tuesday I spent preparing and planning another bunch of KK tracks, to be recorded Thursday in Oslo. This involves rendering down most audio to single stems, syncing up video for the actors to lipsync, and preparing choral arrangements.

C64 SID Player for iPhone platform
Posted January 6th 2009, at 08:38 with tags , , , ,

Back in the 90ies, one wished the phones had SID chips for generating sounds, instead of those awful square beeps.

Now it happens, a SID chip emulator for the iPhone and iPod touch. You can browse and play the complete High Voltage collection.

(Via CreateDigitalMusic, with neat observations.)

Pyrophones, Combusting Oddstruments
Posted January 5th 2009, at 13:26 with tags ,

A pyrophone is an organ where the notes are sounded via explosions or other forms of combustion.

This post at Metafilter, containing great information on explosive instruments, spawned a most exquisite comment thread containing links to other weird, explosive instruments and their sounds.

I am particularly intrigued by the Pyrophone Juggernaut, a multi-octave fire organ.

Most memorable software 2008
Posted January 5th 2009, at 12:52 with tags , , ,

A new, but obvious category. I spend most waking hours in front of the laptop, mostly in Logic, but other stuff needs to be done too. I'm always on the lookout for new apps to help me achieve what I want.

Final Cut Studio 2

I took a chance and invested in Final Cut Studio about a year ago, early 2008. This was partly because I expected to tour a lot with Ugress, most of the visuals are prepared and edited in FCP. Also, FCP together with Adobe CS, was the final software packages I needed to buy to go legal.

But then I ended up scoring kids TV instead of touring, and turns out NRK edits the show on FCP. I do not necessarily need FCP for the scoring, but in certain situations it really is a benefit to both me and the editors that I can acces and know my way around Final Cut.

So to my surprise, the rather steep investment in FCP turned out to be well worth it very fast.

The Rocket Compressor

I picked this plugin up based on recommendation, and liked the sound of it. It sounds flabberghastingly great in certain settings, but is not for everything.

At then end of the year, I am suddenly surprised by the number of times I reach for it.


Coupled and synced with the iPhone client, Omnifocus is my location aware, unobtrusive, ever-attentive secretary, mother, boss and slave.

For each year, I get busier and busier, 2008 was no exception. But for the first time, with the help of optimized routines and Omnifocus, I feel like I have some slight control of the madness.

Or rather, I focus on my stuff, Omnifocus on everything else.

With great anticipation I look forward to software in 2009; Celemony will introduce Melodyne DNA, NI will bring an optimized version on Kontakt 3, and I think DevonThink Pro will be an invaluable intelligent assistant to me.

Working With My Vintage Me
Posted January 5th 2009, at 12:49 with tags , , ,

I spent most of the weekend working on two older Ugress tracks, from 2005 and 2006. They where considered for the Unicorn album in 2008, but didn't cut it. They still deserved to be realized.

When working on a track, I have to finish it at once or as soon as possible. If not, it takes a serious amount of concentration and effort to wrap things up at a much later stage. Working with my own vintage projects feels like working with someone else.

I ended up changing both tracks extensively, kept the spine but build a new body. This process is costly, to kill darlings is hard.

I am satisfied that the tracks are finished, but it also feels like a loss.

Elysium For Generative Beats
Posted January 3rd 2009, at 12:50 with tags , , , ,

I spent a few hours toying with Elysium, a new generative sequencer. Optimized for generating evolving tonal sequences, but with a few twists one can build a frenetic, evolving beats generator.

I programmed a cluster of generators and manipulators around certain MIDI notes, routed to cut up breaks in a sampler. By speeding up the tempo Elysium works as a breakbeat evolvement machine, where regulating the amount of probability between notes, shifts the beats from static to chaotic.

Naturally generative beats, like generative music, needs a human selector to nudge things in an interesting direction.