IDN V20N3: The Music Graphic Issue

When the music has to stop — or does it?
Recorded music has always been packaged, from the very earliest days when wax cylinders came in cardboard tubes, and has therefore always involved designers. In the palmy days of vinyl LPs with sometimes stunning cover art and often erudite liner notes, the presentation was almost as important as the product.

But with the industry morphing so rapidly into the field of digital-download delivery, where do the graphics come in now? This is a burning question for all those working in the area of visually representing music. To see what their answers are, read this feature story, which solicits the views of seven specialist music designers.

More spreads for IdN issue v20n3 at
More info here.
Buy it here.

REMEMBER ME: Live Action Trailer

The latest Live Action trailer for Remember Me gives us a reflective and somber look into the final thoughts of Antoine, the Founder of Memorize, and shows Nilin being taken to the Bastille where she will wake at the beginning of the game.

The postcard of cyberpunk adventure games, I guess. REMEMBER ME coloured the world we've only seen in monochrome in RENAISSANCE (below), giving us a glimpse in how style will feel like in the future when it matures just a little.. and took out all opportunities of world exploration, meticulously driving us through a landscape of cognitive dissonance gutters and high style mass mind control. There's a review brewing... watch this and check back often.

Goth Icons As Superheroes

Wow, this has been hiding in the Bookmarks folder for an amazingly long time. Originally appearing as Post-Punk/New Wave Icons As Superheroes on IO9.. missing Andrew Eldritch as Doctor Doom or Carl McCoy as Preacher...

BLADE RUNNER: Pris on the 30th anniversary


PRIS / Bastien Lecouffe Deharme
Created for the 30th anniversary of Blade Runner.

CONTROLLER: Chinese arthouse Akira

A girl that can control everything perpetrates her own rescue by taking control of her boyfriend.

BOOKMARKS FOR 2013-08-03: the world's tallest slum, South African EDM, chemicals in rich people's bodies & Second Reality

Welcome to the world's tallest slum: poverty-ridden Venezuela's Tower of David. Squatters took over this very unfinished 45-story skyscraper in the early 1990s, and they've been there ever since. The tower was originally intended to be a symbol of Caracas' bright financial future, complete with a rooftop helipad, but construction stopped because of a banking crisis and the sudden death of the tower's namesake, David Brillembourg.

  • Rich People Are Full of Different Chemicals Than Poor People: People from higher socioeconomic status showed higher levels of mercury, arsenic and benzophenone-3. Researchers think that the first two come from higher consumption of shellfish and seafood, whereas the benzophenone-3 likely comes from sunscreen. The chemical profiles of people from lower socioeconomic status are completely different. Their bodies are full of lead, cadmium and different types of plastics. These chemicals could come from cigarette smoke but likely come from poor diet.
  • A Guide to South African EDM: It may have taken outrageous Zef rappers Ninja and Yo-landi Vi$$er of Die Antwoord to first make the world sit up and take notice, but more and more South African music is making its way into international ears – and, as it turns out, their EDM scene is blowing up at the moment, too, particularly in Cape Town.
  • Second Reality: Source code and data of Second Reality by Future Crew in 1993. This release is made to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the demo.

AKIRA out of producer hell with Jaume Collet-Serra


Jaume Collet-Serra is in discussions to return to the “Akira” directors chair, signing on to helm Warner Bros. adaptation of the popular anime pic. The helmer left in early 2012 after production stalled.


In early 2012, the studio shut down pre-production so that fixes could be made to the script, including tightening the budget from its original $90 million range. At the time, Collet-Serra was in such high demand coming off the recent success of the Liam Neeson action pic “Unknown,” that he decided to leave instead of waiting for the changes to be made so that he could pursue other projects.


WB acquired the potential tentpole project for a seven-figure sum from Japanese manga publisher Kodansha in 2008. Set in New Manhattan, the cyberpunk sci-fi epic follows the leader of a biker gang who must save his friend, discovered with potentially destructive psychokinetic abilities, from government medical experiments.

Appian Way’s Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson Killoran are producing with Mad Chance’s Andrew Lazar. Katsuhiro Otomo, who wrote and directed the 1988 Japanese anime pic of the same name, will exec produce. (more at variety)

Well, all 80s/90s cyberpunk source materials are knee-deep in production hell, so I wouldn't exactly get my hopes up.. Neuromancer, The Diamond Age, Ghost in the Shell, Idoru, Battle Angel Alita, Akira... and to be honest, I'm definitely not surprised at all. Many of those materials are so thick and dense with ideas (that could spin off entire books, series and franchises on their own) - many of which dripped into mainstream movies and books and our daily lives -, that production crews, producers, directors and screenwriters would need to machete many of them off and re-lace them with new ideas and the steady and deliberate moronization of the audience would not allow that to happen. Books are still the best drug to turn to if you want to get away. Or a pen and a paper. Don't trust your tablets. Trust your grey meat, pen and papers.

THOUSANDTH STREET: get a glimpse into Blade Runner done the French way

Tip your hat to P://D regular reader and contributor Riplakoidase who's just sent me a great find: Montpellier-based special FX/3D company ArtFX hides a few gold nuggets in their reference pool, one of them being a short teaser entitled Thousandth Street. Wouldn't necessarily call it a short film as it's a situation without a solution and so much without any sort of closure that it hurts a lot, almost physically.

Great work on a blue-tinted Blade Runner feel (do I hear well that there are samples of the Blade Runner Voigt-Kampff examination scene?) AND SHUT UP EVERYONE YOU CAN'T HAVE A BAD MOVIE WITH SO MUCH RAIN EVEN THE MEASURE OF PRECIPITATION ALONE SETS THE BASELINE FOR A CYBERPUNK MOVIE and the soundtrack is nothing short of fuckingamazing - Perturbator made a great job nudging the overall ambiance towards classic Vangelis and turning to stompy 80's-infused techno for the outro.

1, That hamburger looks... odd. Transmetropolitan odd.
2, The first time you see the cop in his car, does he strike you as a twin brother of Trent Reznor?
3, Great ideas about UI/UX... why the slow response rate, though, is it lagging?

Also, here's a Making Of video. Don't stop.

TRACKS ON REPEAT: Front 242 - Headhunter (live in Budapest)

You can't really avoid or unhear Headhunter by Front 242 if you're into cyberpunk, futurepresent or the electronic underground. This version comes to you from Budapest, live, not so direct but an amazing vibe there. You're welcome.

POSTHUMAN: cyberpunk short, almost Aeon Flux

Colliculi Productions' new cyberpunk short is a gorgeously cheeky melting pot with MTV Liquid Television (all the Aeon Flux ambiance, oldschool, obviously), Scooby Doo (far-fetched, maybe, but look at the protagonists in a team and try extrapolating to a darker, grittier feel of team dynamics in a dark and gritty world), Elfenlied (come on, that's gore all the way!)... and some more. Consistent and coherent, PostHuman's gotten quite a few awards and nominations (read the list in the description) and we're all looking forward for more shorts like these. Or OVAs. Or series. Or movies. Note: I can't help but wonder: if the future has remote control surveillance bees, why aren't security systems retrofitted for such intrusions? Nevermind. Go watch this now.

Set in an adrenalized future of espionage, assassins, and out of control super science, PostHuman follows a genius hacker and his dog as they help an enigmatic young woman to free the remaining test subject of a black ops ESP test lab.

RUBIX: Folding Cities Like Origami Silk

“The aim of the rubix project was to develop an animation that described a conceptual tool for deploying these malleable virtual environments that could be used by their creators to shift space around us. The rubix concept stemmed from the need for an algorithmic formula for controlling the use of redirection techniques; it allows for many different spatial combinations whilst a level of control is constantly maintained. In the animation the initial Escher-esque space is a representation of our perceptual system where huge amounts of information arrive in the brain from multiple streams. The process of perception involves the brain selecting and rejecting contradicting pieces of information leading to a perception of reality that only gives us glimpses into the world we are in.” (more at TARDIS: Architectural Thesis)

I'm actually more supremely impressed by Chris Kelly's thesis than his movie accompanying it. Rubix, his five-minute short deals with malleable, almost fabricesque qualities of urban spaces, shifting our perception, turning ready-made buildings as hindrances or signposts of attention into trenches of possibilities and absences of space to fill. I'm definitely nowhere near professional architecture, but I'd say reallocation of urban space has already been an important factor, especially in Japanese destruction porn anime/manga (wherein architecture itself is endowed with a phoenix-like constant resuscitation) - and that destruction is apparently mirrored in recent superhero movies like The Avengers or Man of Steel.

Folding (or real-time manipulating) urban space is not an old trick in mindbending SF: we've had Dark City, Inception or even The Matrix dealing with that issue and demoscene products are also abundant with swirling cityscapes (as it hits you conceptually as much as visually and that procedurally generated process is not just kinky, it's quite crunchable) - and parkour's obviously something of a mindset we cannot overlook. And, oh, do you remember Bruce Branit's brilliant VR-melancholy piece World Builder?

This obviously doesn't mean for one single second that you shouldn't shove your face into Rubix - it's infused with Avalonesque sepia sadness and some Brian Eno, if I hear it right. Brilliant work and I'd love him to work on some mental, mental conceptual work for a mental, mental video game. But check out his thesis on Issuu (godly PDF), it's mouthwatering.

Street Fighter Motion Sculptures (And Forms. And Toribash.)

The Irish art director used Cinema 4D and Vray to mimic the fighting moves of Street Fighter characters - specifically Ken, Chun Li, Ryu and Blanka - while turning their bodies into abstractions of colour and form. Each character is easily recognizable from these alone, but Dan the Ad Man focuses on the animation of their signature moves to bring the forms to life (check out Chun Li’s Spinning Bird Kick). Each character’s movements are extended and energy released in a fluid manner, accompanied by familiar theme music and colourful explosions of geometric forms. (more at artsandsciencejournal)

That clearly drives us to this video's inspiration - Forms..

a collaboration between visuals artists Memo Akten and Quayola, a series of studies on human motion, and its reverberations through space and time. It is inspired by the works of Eadweard Muybridge, Harold Edgerton, Étienne-Jules Marey as well as similarly inspired modernist cubist works such as Marcel Duchamp’s “Nude Descending a Staircase No.2″. Rather than focusing on observable trajectories, it explores techniques of extrapolation to sculpt abstract forms, visualizing unseen relationships – power, balance, grace and conflict – between the body and its surroundings. (more on Forms' Vimeo page)

Both these videos - especially Dan the Ad Man's - remind me of the fairly obscure 3D turn-based indie fighting game TORIBASH - definitely not as appealing as these vids but equally abstract. requiring you to find multiple ways to circumvent expectations of your enemies. Here's a trailer. You'll be thrilled.

TRACKS ON REPEAT: Chvrches - Lies

Funny to see how effectively did female-fronted pop electro kuangelevened its way into HQ. Crystal Castles, Grimes, The Good Natured (who've just most probably disbanded this week after announcing on Facebook that their label shelved their almost finished album and they can't get their hands on the masters) - and now here's a new formation to love, Glasgow-based CHVRCHES (no, not a witch house act). Really, really digging Lauren Mayberry's stage presence, would love to hear her voice on some Tympanik release - Comaduster, Stendeck or Access to Arasaka, maybe?

Damage says: Almost too catchy on their own, waiting to be perverted by glitch and pop noir with dripping black makeup
Official site:
Facebook: CHVRCHES
Twitter: chvrches
Tumblr: chvrches

AD CORNER: Satanic Furbies and Earth Juice Squeezers

I could quite easily inject myself with truth serum and tell you about my adventures to the center of this globe, the lemur midget porn (Cameron just flagged this, you're welcome) and how I learned to love making concept bomb with an iris, but instead, I'll give you not one but two commercials, both of them perfect introductions to how my brain looks like from the inside. I fished them out from a loooong list of bookmarks, so unsure about the sources.. one of them might have been Lhasa Mencur!

Satanic Death Furbies by Mike Diva & Jan-Michael Losada

Vytautas, a Lithuanian mineral water that's quickly put on par with apocalypse, boobs, colossal cosmic bears squeezing Earth Juice... and a lot more. Pour a few coffees near my hungry, squiggly, tentacle-ridden brainstem and this is what you get.

DO IT YOURSELF: Amputee Prosthetic Leg Made With LEGO

Amazing idea. Made me think how you could achieve actually taking it out for a walk and not having it snap right off (yes Cult reference get over it) after a step - that's where K'NEX or 3D printing comes in. I don't give a damn about flying cars, I want my home makers right now! (via kotaku)

MUSIC VIDEO: Watch Dogs leaps into lands of barking drum'n'bass (thank the Buddhas)

Dan Bull strikes again with another game summary rap, this time it's about Watch Dogs, the open-world hacker in the vein of the Person of Interest TV series (wait, that was quite a jump, nevermind, everyone's made that) and although Kotaku readers don't seem to especially love that, I have to tell you - it's exactly the atmosphere you'd expect from a game with a futurepreset setting. I'd personally glitch his stuff over a mad, pill-crazed neurofunk track, whatchathink?

MIX TO DOWNLOAD: Secret Thirteen #076 – KK NULL

Justinas Mikulskis of Secret Thirteen just sent me this mix for your edification and amusement, featuring none other than KK Null himself. (I remember seeing KK perform some ten years ago in Budapest and he stuck me right in the smack middle of catharsis, tinnitus and awe. Also: you might want to read the KK Null interview in the Tokyo issue of The Dose mag. Yeah, there's a new Dose coming soon!)

While you're busy fishing for new stuff, check out the previous mixes of Secret Thirteen (with names like Orphx, Scanner, Loscil, Biosphere or Xhin) and Justinas Mikulskis' Headphone Commute mix, just for starters..


The author of the mix is Kazuyuki Kishino (b. 1961), publicly known as KK Null, a Japanese composer, multi-instrumentalist, sound sculptor and singer, who lives and works in Tokyo, Japan. Active since the early 1980′s, Kishino has progressively become a synonymous with so-called Japanese noise scene and an influential experimental music figure in a much wider global context as well.

“Secret Thirteen Mix 076” is a compositional and thrilling audio collage mirroring Kishino’s early influences that had a significant impact on his later music activities. The mix includes 24 timeless works released between 1953 and 2012 by honorable composers and musicians such as Iannis Xenakis, Bernard Parmegiani, Miles Davis, Alan Lamb, This Heat, Z’ev, David Tudor and Slayer. There is also a strong impression of KK Null’s musical individuality as well as the mix hides 4 of his powerful and authentic compositions. One of them titled “Eternal Implosion” haven’t been published elsewhere before.

My Milestones after 20,000 scrobbles

Last.FM Milestones

1st track: (19 Sep 2007)
Black Sun Empire - Future Frame
1000th track: (29 Jan 2008)
Appleseed - Dive For You
2000th track: (10 Jul 2008)
Charlotte Sometimes - Ex Girlfriend Syndrome
3000th track: (19 Oct 2008)
The Birthday Massacre - I Think We're Alone Now
5000th track: (25 Dec 2009)
The Future Sound of London - Ill Flower
6000th track: (28 Mar 2010)
Access to Arasaka - Highway
8000th track: (25 Jul 2010)
Kode9 & The Spaceape - Sine
9000th track: (21 Sep 2010)
YelworC - Lost Futile
10000th track: (21 Nov 2010)
Access to Arasaka - term\echo
11000th track: (11 Jan 2011)
LAShTAL - Prosternations's Ceremony
12000th track: (12 Mar 2011)
Mother Destruction / Sixth Comm - Hella Roots
13000th track: (07 Aug 2011)
Front Line Assembly - The Chair
14000th track: (04 Oct 2011)
Kidneythieves - Zerospace
15000th track: (26 Dec 2011)
Lassigue Bendthaus - cloned (#7) (1)
16000th track: (19 Apr 2012)
Headphone Commute - Hecq Mixtape One
17000th track: (29 Jul 2012)
Download - Omniman (remix)
18000th track: (02 Nov 2012)
Front Line Assembly - Attack The Masses
20000th track: (13 Jun 2013)
Stendeck - Catch the Midnight Girl
Generated on 08 Jul 2013
Get yours here

SOUNDBITS: Voices From Possessed Children

This might serve as a good speech sample rip source for some of you, but that's definitely not the creepiest. (And good luck recording anyone's possessed voice and getting away with a ray of sunshine, while we're at it.) If you want creepy and sinister, go hunt for number station recordings with child broadcasters - some of that stuff will leave you cold.

The "Enfield Poltergeist" was one of the most carefully investigated poltergeist cases of the last century. For more than a year the psychical researcher Maurice Grosse recorded hundreds of hours of interviews and apparent possession voices from the children at the epicentre of the activity. Janet in particular sometimes maintained the masculin sounding voice for hours at a time without any damage to her vocal cords and a speech specialist declared that what she was doing was not possible using her normal physical organs. When speaking she was "Bill" who had died in the house.

2013 Q1 & Q2: the planetdamage stats

I hesitated / before restarting P://D
that bound my personality together.

I'll need a bit of time before laying down new foundations. Until neoconcrete solidifies, I thought visual reminders and summaries would work well. They come from the Foursquare Time Machine, Xefer, and Wolfram Alpha respectively. I'd appreciate behavioral pattern analysis softwares. Or jobs that land me with access to softwares like that. Yes, freelancers love experimenting.

On another note: if you see design glitches around, that's completely normal, I'll be trying to come up with new solutions for a HQ. Working with multiple content platforms with future shock speed can land you in a sad, fucked up port of cognitive dissonance with not enough caffeine or porn. Oh yeah. Jobs that land you with access to behavioural analysis software don't appreciate personal blogs about porn references. Or do they.

[The Foursquare Time Machine]



[Personalized Facebook Reports from Wolfram Alpha]

WORK: Music Festival Collectible Card Game


I turned the whole European music festival season into a collectible card game. Next week I am playing Tetris with religions. Nah, seriously. Working with the hard data set from music community site Tastebuds, I came up with card designs for 16 European festivals (most of them UK-based, obviously) - focusing more on representing the demographic data than coming up with actual gamification. Still, if any of you guys wants to work with me on mad gamification designs or mechanisms, I'm actually up for grabs.

Just posting four of these cards here, those for Benicassim, Download, Sonar and Sziget festival. Spotify playlist links included (thx to Nisha of Storyboardmusic for prepping those!)

Read more

E3: Mad Max Announce Trailer!

The first E3 trailer that made me laugh real hard. You don't waste bullets on people you need to die, this ain't Borderlands extraordinaire. Why isn't this a Fallout mod? How will the IP be different? Mad Max comes sometime in 2014, being an open world scavenger game where players kill, hunt, scavenge and build better and bigger vehicles with more meat magnet grills on the front.


E3: Watch Dogs `Exposed` & gameplay trailer

Remember Person of Interest-like open-world hacker/actioner Watch Dogs? That's going to be the game I'm buying an Xbox One for. Still not sure whether I would want to be under more constant surveillance than usual, but it's just oozing of the illusion of false freedom that I need to have. It was Rez HD that made me buy Xbox 360, Watch Dogs is the next game to blame.