Tag Archives: the grammys

Photek’s KU: PALM Embraces Past, Present, Future

7 Dec

In his first full-length album of new material in a decade, KU: PALM, the electronica artist Photek delivers hints of the past, crafted in the present, with a look to the future.

KU: PALM by Photek

I recently had the opportunity to review KU: PALM and as electronica/dance goes, am pleasantly surprised. This isn’t a record that blew me away after first hearing it, but that’s because the depth is in the details, something that only comes with repeated listens — preferably at very loud volume.

I’ve long been a fan of Photek’s stuff. I got into Modus Operandi about the time I was discovering Massive Attack (Mezzanine is in my top 5 all-time favorite records) in the late ’90s. The textures and beats in tracks like “Axiom” and the forward-moving groove of “The Fifth Column” got me interested, and I’ve been into Photek ever since. Here in KU: PALM, I especially dig new elements like the Eastern-ish themes in “Pyramid.”

Whereas the following track, “Shape Charge” is exactly what I’m talking about when referencing the past and future. It holds up against anything from Modus Operandi, but the production is super-clean and razor sharp for 2012, even with a hint of dubstep wobble. But not too much.

The Phuture

That’s what I mean about an eye toward the future — there’s no telling where dubstep will fall in the electronica pantheon, but to have some of it worked in here for color is totally appropriate. That’s something I’d expect from an artist with a track record like Photek. Check it out yourself over at AllMusic or download a copy at the Photek site.

What do you think? Have you discovered any good records lately? Do you still listen to music you were getting into 15 years ago? Let us hear from you in the comments.

iPhone Video Editing: The Black Keys Live

27 Mar
The Black Keys, Charlotte, NC 3.24.12

The Black Keys – Charlotte, NC, 3.24.12. Shot & edited with my iPhone.

I’ve always loved rock concerts and live music. One of my first concerts was Mötley Crüe at the nearest coliseum as a young metalhead, and I documented the event with my trusty Kodak Disc camera.

As more evidence of that device’s role in digital ancestry as a forerunner of today’s tech gear, I now document shows with my trusty iPhone 4, using its 5-megapixel camera and HD video recording capability. It’s absolutely mind-blowing, the quality of video this thing produces from a live show, even from the nosebleed seats, where I caught The Black Keys over the weekend.

I’m no Scorsese, and there are plenty of higher-quality videos from this show, but being able to record the event as I remember it and highlight the dramatic parts for later enjoyment – and then share that online… without even reading an instruction manual… it’s just magical for a music lover.

Have a look at what I whipped up in an hour – even though I was watching from high in the stands, I’ve tried to add some dimension with edits, pans and transitions, highlighting the best/most dynamic visual moments.

iPhone Video Editing: The Splice App

All transitions, titles, sound fades, pans and zooms were done with the iPhone using the app, Splice for the editing. It’s fast, intuitive, and great for producing a quick highlight reel. Some reviews say it’s unstable, but I haven’t experienced any of that. Within minutes of downloading it and tapping on a few buttons to see what they do, I was making a decent compilation video with titles, overdubbed music and transitions. I do not work for or promote Splice; I’m just wowed by this kind of technology.

I first got turned on to iPhone video editing by way of a mobile video contest sponsored by a local art organization (SECCA). I decided to enter just to see what I could create with minimal effort. Here’s my experimental entry for that : Skull Chant Blues.

This, Too Shall Soon Be Primitive

Disc

The Kodak Disc

The Disc was great back in the day, and I’m sure 30 years from now something will be around to make the iPhone look obsolete (remember when bag phones were impressive?), but for now, it’s a gratifying experience to put together a quick video in minutes that matches my memory of an awesome show.

Bonus: Also saw some Fun. this month:

What do you think? Could you see yourself using a smartphone for video editing? What other uses do you see for this technology? Have you ever edited video via your smartphone? If so, what app(s) do you prefer? Are you active on YouTube, Vimeo or other networks? Share your links and let us hear from you in the comments!
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