Archive for June, 2008

Retro Reality

Friday, June 27th, 2008

Graphic designer Lee Vidal has done some fine work, particularly commendable is this elegantly executed photoshop exercise, entitled retro reality. The gallery features all manner of vintage videogame sprites, spliced into real world environments. undefined

Go investigate …


Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

Q) How wasted was I at last Fridays Ecletro night Robot Vs Dinosaur?

A) To the extent that I lost my glasses and spent the majority of the night on the nearby rooftops.

The hangover has finally evaporated leaving only the crystallised residue of remorse, my apologies to Seb for missing most of the evening.  It’s a shame because what I saw of the live acts was brilliant; ask Mr Internet about bristolian pair Portmanteau, they really impressed with an energetic and visually rich set… which I failed to capture using black and white film…      


Anyway, it was a good night (roof times included) and if anyone finds some knackered 70’s NHS glasses with a white line along the top in the vicinity of Island Bar, I would be extremely grateful…

Colouring Time

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008


If you happen to be a modern gentleman (or woman), you may have found yourself wearing a pair of Crocs, ”They’re so light and comfortable!” you may have exclaimed.

The problem is that a comfortably loose Croc can’t meet the challenges of urban living…


What if you need to leap over a puddle of dubious liquid?

Run for a bus?

Or battle ninja cyborgs?


Well Puma stepped up to fill this niche with a superlight moulded foam trainer; they come in an uninspired range of neutral colours and bright white. Fortunately, the white trainer lends itself to personalisation: with a few permanent markers you could do some interesting graphics. Additionally, pencil lines seem to be pretty much indelible so there’s potential for something really artistic. But being limited by a 5 minute attention span, I cracked open two dead markers and used surgical spirit to make some permanent watercolours which I slapped on with a brush.



Have you coloured in your shoes?

I’d like to see…      


Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

[Words and Pictures- Pete Hodgson]


A few months back I was at the imax in London for a zombie movie all nighter, the free coffee did its thing and just before ‘Shaun of the Dead’, nature called. As I leaned forward to push the cubicle door open, it swung back, and I was confronted by a bloodthirsty member of the undead… perversely he seemed considerably more shocked than me, we exchanged syllables (”Nice”…”Thanks”) and went about our business. As I dried my hands on a towel roll deeply stained red from the fastidious zombies before me, I considered that it would have been a nice thing to visually document.


Thoughts of photography marinated in my head and 10 hours later I was (seriously sleep deprived) exploring some dilapidated buildings in Digbeth with a Lomography Fisheye. Much of the area is being developed into swanky flats and with so much money pouring into redevelopment the days are numbered for many of the old warehouses, so for posterity, here’s some images from my first roll of film.












Fancy Playing A Building?

Sunday, June 15th, 2008

Pop oddball David Byrne has recreated his 2005 sound installation Playing the Building, in which a Swedish gallery was turned into a giant musical instrument. This time, a vast ferry terminal in NYC’s Lower Manhattan has been on the receiving end of Byrne’s conceptual fingers.

Members of the public are invited to tinker with the keys of a vintage organ, centrally located in the otherwise empty space, and watch in amazement as it triggers a host of eerie pings and clangs across the building’s myriad pipes and girders. The piece runs ’til August 10th, so if you’re passing through NYC do pop in to the Battery Maritime Building and have a go on our behalf.

More info over at David Byrne’s website.

Geraint Humphreys

More DS Music Love, This Time From Korg

Sunday, June 15th, 2008

The democratisation of electronic music continues at a frightening pace, with the impending release of Korg’s DS-10 cartridge. Loosely based on Korg’s classic MS-10 synth, the software allows anyone with a Nintendo DS to make professional-sounding electronic music anywhere and at any time.

Features include dual virtual analogue synthesisers, a four-track drum machine programmable via step sequencer and what looks like a virtual patch field, with knob-twiddling and cable-patching handled via the touch screen and stylus.

Sounds all very ho-hum so far? And why not use Nitrotracker instead? Well, there’s one more feature Korg are bringing to the party which we ought to tell you about: the software is able to sync with other DS units wirelessly (as demonstrated in the video above), meaning that the possibilities for jamming and composing with others are endless.

The DS-10 drops in Japan on July 27th, with a worldwide release apparently to follow afterwards. And, being the crazy Game Boy-toting lo-fi music freaks we are, us at Superbonusland can’t wait to get our hands on one!

(Via GoNintendo)


Monday, June 9th, 2008

For some time I’ve maintained the viewpoint that what music really needs right now to shake things up a bit is a sequencer built around Conway’s Game of Life. Enter GlitchDS, a homebrew sequencer built around the afore-mentioned cellular automata simulation which, via the DS touch screen, enables the creation of some seriously head-baking, glitch-infested beats.

Anyone with a Nintendo DS, an R4 card and even a passing interest in strange and unique electronic music should definitely check this out, the fact it’s completely free should seal the deal.


Radiohead’s “Nude”, as Uncle Clive Might Have It

Saturday, June 7th, 2008

Looks like some good came from Radiohead’s recent exercise in money-spinning and vote-rigging, after all…

Far too imaginative to plump for a by-the-numbers dance workout punctuated by the occasional Yorke warble, graphic designer and animator James Houston‘s interpretation of “Nude” consists of a cover version of sorts, delivered player-piano style by a preprogrammed assemblage of decades-obsolete computer hardware.

“Based on the lyric (and alternate title) “Big Ideas: Don’t get any” I grouped together a collection of old redundant hardware, and placed them in a situation where they’re trying their best to do something that they’re not exactly designed to do, and not quite getting there.

It doesn’t sound great, as it’s not supposed to.

Sinclair ZX Spectrum – Guitars (rhythm & lead)
Epson LX-81 Dot Matrix Printer – Drums
HP Scanjet 3c – Bass Guitar
Hard Drive array – Act as a collection of bad speakers – Vocals & FX”

“Doesn’t sound great”? Sounds spellbindingly beautiful from where we’re sitting…

Big Ideas: Don’t Get Any

Holy Fuck Stage Invasion “Video”

Friday, June 6th, 2008
Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

Enjoy Holy Fuck’s Primavera stage invasion flickbook-style with this “video”, montaged together from the sequence of photos Pete took.


Some Reflections on Primavera ’08

Thursday, June 5th, 2008

[Words and Pictures- Pete Hodgson]

The beginning of June marked the closing party of Primavera Sound Festival ’08, but fear not if you missed it, the annual music festival will not be needing a lengthy clean up or fallow year to recover. Each day of the festival saw the sculptural concrete architecture of Parc Del Forum sparkling in the Barcelona sun once more.

While festival goers explore the culinary delights of the vibrant city centre or enjoy a siesta on the beach, computer generated lizards set about removing all traces of the previous night’s hedonism…apparently. The regular clean-up leads to an odd dichotomy; each day has the aesthetic of a pristine beginning but the atmosphere of the very end of a festival… you know, when everyone’s a bit more friendly and comfortable with one another. The bands maintained this ‘last night’ theme with some amazing high energy perfomances, each feeling like the zenith; most notably a great set by Holy Fuck culminating at about six on Saturday morning with hundreds of people joining them on stage.

With an eclectic line-up of around 100 bands including earthshaking Tokyo trio Boris, seminal Bristolians Portishead and high flying Brooklyn pair MGMT, who kicked off the festival for most people on Thursday in the baking Catalonian sun. Nestled on the Barcelona coastline like a slumbering concrete leviathon, the Parc Del Forum attracted people from around the globe to the five stages of Primavera ’08. Most excitingly, All Tomorrows Parties returned to curate a stage at the festival for a second year; bringing the cream of the ATP crop honed from the two UK ATP festivals, one of which returned to it’s original home of Butlins this year (‘Barcelona or Butlins?’ was not a decision I struggled with).


The ATP stage produced some of the most mind-blowing performances including a mesmerising set by the atmospheric Explosions in the Sky and an incendiary adreneal performance from the Rhode Island quartet Les Savy Fav which saw lead singer Tim Harrington taking regular excursions throughout the frenzied audience, wearing a costume which redefined the word unitard.

The festival was also graced by hiphop legends De La Soul and Public Enemy who each drew huge crowds, but for me the more outstanding MC was bronx artist Keith Thornton AKA Kool Keith performing under of his most well known alias Dr Octagon with old partner Kutmasta Kurt.

In addition to being one of the most creative and inventive lyricists around, Kool Keith is one of the few rappers that can spit rhymes on stage to the same standard as the comfort of the studio.

One of the highlights of the festival was The -ever energetic- Go! Team, whose six multi-instrumentalists always provide an uplifting and hugely entertaining performance.

Having only seen them in small intimate venues, it was fantastic to see them command the huge Barcelona crowd with the same accessible enthusiasm. With so many huge bouncing beats, the congregation remained effervescent throughout a relentless set which saw primary vocalist, Ninja, freestyle herself hoarse.

Barcelona’s City centre should not be overlooked, Catalunya has an incredible cultural heritage with the likes of Picasso and Gaudi “who done funny pictures and melty buildings, respectively”.

Being a cosmopolian destination with many contemporary western influences, the aesthetic style is often an elegant fusion of new and old; a juxtaposition paralleled in many aspects of Catalan identity.

This can also be appreciated in gastronomic terms with some superb pioneering eateries alongside the more traditional Spanish restaurants and tapas bars. I was particularly impressed by Sitges a fusion restaurant near Las Ramblas which skillfully exalted some diverse world cuisine dishes with rich complex flavours and the Spanish passion for good meat.

Despite limited promotional work, this year’s festival attracted record numbers whilst pleasingly maintaining a diverse and enlighted clientel; it has so far remained pretty much scallywag free….. For anyone reading who finds alcopops more stimulating than architecture, or takes the Ricky Gervais approach to foreign relations (“speak loudly and if they still don’t understand you, smash the place up”) this might not be for you.

However, if you embrace and explore the Catalan people (metaphorically), it can be an inspirational experience. With some superb performances from an eclectic line-up, Primavera must be one the most interesting and rewarding festival excursions I’ve made… although admittedly my next stop in Denmark was hampered by a large robot…But I guess that’s another story for another day…