Sunday, September 28, 2003

OK ... BeatBlog has now moved home again. The new BeatBlog is in my own space, running on a copy of OddMuse Wiki although I'm running it in non-editable mode. Still working out how I want it to look. As of the transition, we're up to Beat 0237.

The New BeatBlog

NB : BeatBlog reverts to being just about the beats. Other musical stuff will now be recombined with my main weblog

I'm out ...


Monday, September 22, 2003

Alert readers will note that BeatBlog is still suffering technical details. On the left you can see the old list of beats from the old site.

Looks like my includes are no longer working ... so maybe something drastic is in order. Haven't decided yet.

In the meantime, I've been working on music to accompany a show of poetry readings. Some mp3s can be found on the show's dedicated wiki

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Stealth Disco !!!!
Remember, you can always use BeatBlog beats on The Perfect Mix Tape
If you've recently come to this site, you're probably confused. What are the beats I'm talking about.

Sorry. Normally there's a "roll" of links to MP3 files down the left hand side of this page. Unfortunately, since I changed my hosting to a different server, for some currently unexplained reason, these no longer appear. BeatBlog will be continuing soon. (Basically as soon as I can figure what's wrong with javascript including from my new host.)

Sorry for the outage.

Friday, September 12, 2003

Simon Reynolds has a great discussion of the Amen break used in junglism. And some interesting comments from a real producer, Brandon Ivers, about the techniques of producing breaks. These days it's apparently all about layering multiple breaks, using a lot of carefully planned eq and filtering to make sure they don't fight. This takes so much effort that the producer then isn't much into the kind of cutting up and messing about with the beat that characterized earlier jungle.

Seems a shame. But possibly why d'n'b got so boring. Though maybe I need to check out some recent stuff. Ivers says mashed up breaks are back.

Thursday, September 04, 2003


0236 : Woah! This is MONSTROUS! Stop-start tricksy, syncapations from a loop at two slightly different speeds, luminous synth toms, soul claps. Then a big slab of Moogalike riffs takes it to the next level. Whoahahaha !

0235 : Slimy analogue synths slink between the carboniferous trees of a primordeal woodland.

0234 : Samples a horrendously emphatic Flash advert that turned up on a web page. For obvious reasons I'm not putting this one into Creative Commons public domain or indemnifying you against being sued for using it. Use at own risk.

0233 : Listen to that build-up. I like this sort of "start without much recognisable pulse" thing, then add more drums to reveal the groove.

Sunday, August 31, 2003

Simon Reynolds reveals that Omni Trio's Rob Haigh was once in the NWW / United Dairies circle.

Saturday, August 23, 2003


0186 : Too weird to describe, but oddly compelling

0185 : Haunted flanger

0229 : Clappy in cat-land.

0228 : More echoed, watery bongos

0227 : Scientists discover a sonar blip, echoed from some gigantic creature in the unknown depths of the ocean

Wednesday, August 20, 2003


0226 : Storming pitched cymbal crashes, bongos, the lot.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

I know, I know! I've been away, caught up thinking about economics and money etc. Now I'm back, for some concentrated musical projects. More about these soon ...

Meanwhile ... back to a rash of


0225 : Shakers ... hats ... toy-trumpet fanfare. Then go swingy cymbals!

0224 : A polite bass and tinkle, then some toms before random melodic bongos flood the scene ...

0223 : Tinkle 'n' bass.


0180 : heavy and melacholic, flanged stabbing chords, trickles of cowbell.

Oh ... and today's my birthday .... :-)

Another BeatBlog

Thursday, July 17, 2003


0221 and 0222 : I dunno. Can't discribe, echoey, bippy kind of loops. O221 has a heavy synth riff for most of it, 0222 is more subtle.

Don't Miss

0176 : glassy, clunky synth workout.
I'm a big Current 93 fan, and today I'm excited to receive my copy of England's Hidden Reverse from Amazon UK, which only took about a week (to Brazil). Lucky I got it from Amazon UK, because the US are having a lot of problems.

Q : But phil, I never figured you as someone to get off on all that spiritualism and mysticism stuff!

A : You're right. In real life I have no interest at all. In art, it adds a certain flavour. And I often find Tibet's lyrics hilarious. (See a comparison with Momus)

But, strange as it seems, I really like C93 (and Nurse with Wound) for the music. One of the things I realized is that it reminds me of my youth, messing about with a 4-track bedroom studio. It's all fun and play with recording. Instrumental technique seems incidental, sometimes there are clearly musicians playing well. Other times, inept, amateurism is sufficient. The elements could be seen as trash : punky guitar strumming, fake celtic folk music, simplistic tape collages and sound manipulation, hammily intoned gothic poetry. And yet, these elements add up to something greater, a sense of exhilerating freedom : "We're doing just what we like". It's stunning, and hypnotic, scary, and beautiful.

And suddenly a phrase strikes you, because of it's absurdity - often a collision of the apocalyptic and mundane - and resonantes : the second thing [God icreated, to scare children] was an old rocking horse which moves on it's own, and a discoloured doll, moving occasionally Fantastic!

Wednesday, July 16, 2003


0220 : the aliens are landing for some hard-housey action.

0219 : lopes along, like a dancing elephant ... some spooky stuff too

Tuesday, July 15, 2003


0218 : Funky melodic bongos

You missed 'em

Clearing up some space for other projects, so up to 0175

Saturday, July 12, 2003

You missed 'em

To 0160

Last chance ...

0161 : one of those impending doom things with mad church organ and choirs of synth angels

OK, I know, what happened to "everyday"? Here's a rash of beats I've been failing to put up over the last week or so.


0217 : slow, housy thing, more of those synth loops, but in a sepia style ... gets gritty at the end.

0216 : Flanged, glassy synth playing very poppy random loops.

0215 : Something, fast, happy and wholesome.

0214 : This pr0n stuff's getting kitsch. Away with it, no more!

Monday, July 07, 2003

Momus interview

0213 : Sleazy and sinister. But horribly atmospheric.
Hmmm. ILM is talking about Baltimore House / Breakbeat / Doo Dew

Must hear some ...

Thursday, July 03, 2003

Yesterday I wrote some thoughts on discussion by Jeremy Rifkin on world music here
In Jamaican dancehall, musicians and producers make beats and backing tracks (riddims) and multiple vocal artists record their own, different songs / raps over them. Is this a productive division of labour? Each riddim is tested with multiple vocals, so the right combination can be found. Or does it sap variety, all vocalists use the same pallete?
Perhaps this is the only way a poor country like Jamaica can be as musically productive as it is?

Tuesday, July 01, 2003


0211 : Panpipes and soft-focus echo ... am I becoming seduced?

Sunday, June 29, 2003


0210 : A leftover aftertaste of aggression fading into abstract "backwards" melody.

Saturday, June 28, 2003


Some slightly shocking sounds going on at the moment which need a bit of explanation.

Clicking the wrong radio button in my P2P file sharer one day, took me into a hitherto unexplored world of downloadable pr0n. I yield to no-one in my naivety about such things, but I was still shocked by the implied violence of it all. Short porn films gather layers of extra descriptive names, trying to "sell" themselves to the downloader much like commercial web-pages add irrelevant meta keyword tags.

Depressingly there were the internet cliches of "preteen" and "lolita". I hope this was just hype rather than reality, but it's disturbing that these are the memes that prevail in the name space.

I was more shocked by the frequency of "real rape" and "forced". Even if it's fiction, why the hell do so many people (men) seem to be getting off on this fantasy? Looks like Andrea is right, and Momus is wrong.

Weirder was the "she's my wife / girlfriend" key phrase. It's hardly likely to be true, and why would you pretend, and why would I care? OTOH go read the intro to Dworkin's "Pornography", there are some sick bastards around.

So, I offer you, in the spirit of the rather illustrative industrial music styles of my youth - and really I'm too old to be doing something this adolescent, but what the hell, on the internet no one knows you're a dog - beats 0208 and 0209 : pornography as violence against women.

I'd like to say that in reality no women were hurt in the production of these beats. But I can't because, as Dworkin says : "pornography is the orchestrated destruction of women's bodies and souls", and no one can say if those involved were damaged. I can promise that I didn't download anything advertising violence or underage sex. All sounds are derived from movies at the "soft" end, that at least portrayed themselves as about consenting, non sado-masochist adults. The extraordinary roaring on 0208 seems to be the result of a badly connected / placed microphone, and the ferocity in 0209 has been added with the distortion effect. The scream in 0208 comes from a Llamasoft video game.

So, bad taste? Yep. Confused politics? Yep. Not what you'd expect from someone as politically correct as me? Yep. Can you explain please Phil because I think I've just lost all my respect for you? I guess the "name of art" is a lousy explanation but it's all I can offer at the moment. It sounds better than "an afternoon of prurient curiosity" anyway.


Up to 0154


0155 : Return of the space invaders

0156 : Recommended, another of those irie, melancholic things over a swingy beat

Monday, June 23, 2003


0207 : It's clap happy ... without the happy.

0206 : A jaunty little number, haunted by a blurred vocal sample.

Sunday, June 22, 2003 on Hugh Le Cain
ILM are looking for creepy ambient music

0205 : Are high pitched, electro toms back? You decide.

Saturday, June 21, 2003

The BBC is cool. BBC radio over the internet is essential for an ex-pat in Brazil. Now 1-Xtra has joined The Archers on regular rotation here.

0204 : Starts with lush, ponderous synth. But then the rapid offbeat snares speed the whole thing up. Off pitch clinking adds an unworldy sheen.

0203 : Another rain of tinkling bells. Over a froggy kind of bass. What could you do with it? Be creative.

You missed 'em : up to 0145

Last chance saloon :

0146 : A whole lunar ecology of gloopy sounds. The Clangers mooch about as desperate radios broadcast their last.

Friday, June 20, 2003

One day I may suddenly flip and think Cohen is up there in that pantheon of great songwriting geniuses. I know it could happen. But right now ...

0202 : it's almost a full track. Long and lazy. Echoed percussion. Punctuated by rare bursts of beautiful synth

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

ILM is asking about Brazilian funk.. I'd like to know more too.

Ever since I was a child, I've always wanted to be a Bar DJ

0200 : Yey! It's BeatBlog's 200th beat! "Fresh beats (nearly) everyday" is perhaps a bit of a misnomer as I've bene going more than a year, :-(

Still, this is a cracking bit of echoey, phased, paranoia

0199 : Starts with a swing, then income the strings ...

Saturday, June 14, 2003


0198 : Try to hear the stress on the dry little snares in this shower of metalic clunks, and it breaks the 4/4 symmetry of the kicks. The chiming rain never lets up though.

Friday, June 13, 2003


0197 is storming. Download it and I defy you not to dance round the room crazily like I'm doing right now!

It's using my patented[1] "multiple, random, analog synth riff laziness"

Most people use their virtual analog synths like this :

  • program a pattern,
  • repeat lots of times,
  • slowly and lovingly caress the filters, up and down, until you bring your synth orgasms of euphoric pleasure

Or maybe there are algorithms that fake the last move.

Well, it was great back in the days of Acid House (anyone remember "Electron" by "WildPlanet"?). But now it's become kind of cliched. (And I haven't figured out how to do this in Fruity Loops :-(.

So I like to bung in 3 or 4 random analog synth riffs, with slightly different settings. And then just throw them in semi-arbitrarily. One pattern might repeat, another might appear occasionally, sometimes several happen at one. I find this kind of thrilling. Instead of a uniform sound, you get sonic multitexturality, the kind of collision you get when an imaginative DJ is cutting and scratching different records together,

[1] only joking, but Creative Commonsed sounds clunky

Thursday, June 12, 2003

ILM : What music do you listen to when coding?
Funny, I thought I had the Creative Commons logo on this page already.

Well, it's there now. Remember kids, you can use BeatBlog beats in your own compositions, multi-media presentations, or loop 'em and MC over them.

0195 : More swinging. I do like a good 6/8 beat occasionally

0196 : Not sure what I make of this one. Bit of an insistent synth riff, kind of swamps everything. You could filter it. Or use for some psycho, paranoia.

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Some interesting Exotic Scales
More thoughts on Folk vs. Pop

0193 : Swingin' tribal toms, made luminous by distortion.

0194 : Some X-Files spookiness

Bad luck you missed 'em : 0131-0133 gone today.

Last chance : 0134 some interesting, delicately flanged, polite crashing. Hard to describe but worth catching before it goes

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Today I'm also doing some Gbloink! maintainence.


Yesterday's beat (0190) was so much fun that I fancied another piece of frenetic, distorted, rage . But somehow, the distortion / echo combination I used on 0191 seems to have got into some weird cancelation thing. The beat erodes to almost nothing. Didn't plan it, but it's kind of interesting. 0192 is one of those telephone thangs.

Monday, June 09, 2003

Notice BeatBlog has an RSS feed? Not for the trivial words. But to support Beats in RSS enclosures. The problem is, I haven't tested it yet. The XML looks OK, but I need to try it with some aggregators that support enclosures.

Anyone got ideas which ones do? My Radio Userland trial license expired before I got this working, so I'm still looking for something free or that I can try it out with.

If you've managed to get the RSS feed working and BeatBlog enclosures downloading, please tell me

0190 is fast, distorted and furious. With a big crash of chiming, atonal guitar synth.
And hi to everyone who's now getting here redirected from the old URL. If you want, you can still go to the original BeatBlog page.
Quick bit of scripting today. As you can see, the beats are now on the column on the left hand side. And comments are added in a subsection of the wiki. Feel free to comment on the beats, tell me if you're using them in a piece of your own, etc.

(Remember all are public domain.)

Sunday, June 08, 2003

So, I'm unemployed. And I've got loads of time to listen to, think about and write about music.

So let's kick off. Today on the stereo : "Consolidated". Early 90s, ultrapolitical, ultra-politically correct, self styled "hardest, vegetarian, pro-choice, lesbian and gay supporting motherfuckers". Since Iraq 2, Consolidated are more relevant than ever. "Infomodities 92" was on the case of the Bush clan back during Iraq 1. Beats were pretty cool for the early 90s, mixing hip-hop and industrial. Some harsh electronic bleeps.

Check out ...

America Number 1, Consolidated, Infomodities 92, This is a Collective

Monday, May 05, 2003

Q : Hey! I just found this blog ... what beats?

A : Right now, they're still h3r3 but will get incorporated into this site very soon ...
And who are these clowns who stole my name? Huh?!

Listener beware ... You only get fresh beats (nearly) every day from the original beatblogger.
Sony buy Sonic Foundry
So Beatblog is going wordy ... don't touch that dial!