New Song (Orbit)

I haven’t posted any new tracks in a while due to traveling and other circumstances, but tonight I had some spare time so I sat down with a borrowed laptop and this little thing came out :).

I did not have any other means of input besides the laptop keyboard so forgive some of the rough edges please. Also, all I had for monitoring was my very cheap ear buds. Thus, levels and EQ is probably all over the place. There has been no mastering (yet). If any one feels up to it let me know and I’ll send you the original file.

I have to return this laptop tomorrow so there is no time left to work on this track, but it was fun working with only a (licensed of course) copy of Ableton Live and a laptop. Hope you like it!

BTW, the samples are from a public repo of NASA transmissions. My interpretation of the terms is that this use should be OK but if that’s not the case let me know and I’ll remove them.

The Instrument Village of Tokyo

The sprawling district of Shibuya in Tokyo is home to some of the most interesting vintage synthesizer stores in the country (if not the world) and a Mecca for music lovers and up and coming artists.

Walking around its streets and alleys on any given day at any time (even the wee small hours of the morning) I guarantee you wont have to go far before you stumble on a bar or club that invites you with music you’ve never heard before. Shibuya is known for being one of the most important testing grounds for new genres and artists in Japan.

IkebeGakkiMura14I’ve written before about some of the off-the-track stores in the area (here and here), but today I’m going to show you some pictures of the largest and perhaps most mainstream or commercial collection of instrument stores in this part of Tokyo.

If you are looking for a new Tuba or Trumpet, a built to order exclusive guitar, a gold-plated Moog or simple new strings for your Bass, this is where you’ll want to go, but make sure you bring a map or otherwise orient yourself before heading out, the area is a bit chaotic.

Exit the Shibuya train station on the western side towards the bus terminals and you’ll soon find yourself facing a large network of pedestrian overpasses (the purple / grey parts in the picture below). Cross over this overpass and you will soon arrive at the ‘entrance the the Ikebe Gakki Mura (イケベ楽器村). The ‘instrument village’ is really a collection of stores situated close to each other making up a complex neighborhood of specialty shops.

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Here’s a stylized map showing the locations of some of the major stores in the area.

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When you see these signs you are on the right way.

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Inside some of the shops in the ‘DJ’ tower (Power Rec is a great one).

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One of the keyboard / synthesizer specialty stores.

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Lots of Nord gear.

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A golden Moog (17/30 if I remember right).

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And a signed one.

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Yep I miss my Prophet 12…

IkebeGakkiMura13Check out these links to the official Ikebe page where you can find detailed information on the various stores, the opening hours and locations.

http://www.ikebe-gakki.com/

http://www.ikebe-gakki.com/realshop/

http://www.ikebe-gakki.com/web-ikebe/shibuya-ikebe_gakkimura/

Day 1, 2 and 3 in Japan

2 days ago I arrived in Japan with the rest of the family. It was a long journey from San Francisco, but relatively easy due to a direct flight to Haneda Airport. We did a quick stop in Tokyo for the night, spent one day taking care of errands and on the following evening boarded a domestic flight to Ishikawa Ken on the western side of Japan.

Our plan is to stay for 1 month in Japan while my wife undergoes a set of genetic examination procedures, to see if the doctors can determine the exact nature of her condition and determine a diagnosis. We will be visiting and consulting with several specialist physicians at various hospitals and hopefully this will finally bring some clarity around her syndrome.

At the same time I’m taking this chance to get my first honest vacation from work in several years. No time laid to waste though, I have 3 projects that I want to work on now that I have some time to focus.

JapanMapIshikawaThe first is a series of tracks themed around the climate here on the western coast of Japan. The snow, hard winds and raging Sea of Japan has always fascinated me, and I want to see if I can create something that’s a mixture of ambient, IDM and sample based, texturized soundscapes that captures some of this.

The second is the new Native Instruments Maschine (MK2) which arrived in the mail the day before I left San Francisco. I carried it all the way down here so that we can get some quality time to get to know each other. I’m a huge fan of Maschine and I can’t wait to dig into the new features that 1.8 and the new controller brings. I want to focus this energy and time around exploring complextro tracks.

The third and last project is a sample library of sounds from Japan. In the rush to the airport I forgot to bring my Tascam recorder, but I have already ordered a replacement unit to the place we are staying at in Ishikawa Ken. My goal is to capture some of the typical sounds, environments and atmospheres of this beautiful place. If it turns out ok I’ll make it available for download somewhere.

I’ll try to document as much as possible during the next 4-5 weeks here, so please check back regularly.

Thanks.