cruft for the world.

August 31, 2005

CD's, baby!

Now, Tachikoma is listed on CDBaby.... if you go there ---- you can even post your own review of the album there! how delicious!

Actual Interviews II / shima records (remix)

The following is the second half of our actual, non-fake interview with John Maddocks of Shima Records. Shima recently released the first album by Tachikoma in the U.K.

8. If you could design a musical instrument what
features would it include?

A fingerprint reader to create random sequences using your prints. A sequencer that could read what is in my mind and do it. I can sequence a track instantly in my head, but takes me weeks to do it on screen. And wireless connection to my harddrive so I don't have to keep plugging/unplugging damn cables. Also make it solar powered because my studio has run out of power sockets.

9. Do you believe that dance music is following a
progressive or a retrogressive trend? Or to put it
another way - is there any hope for dance music? Will
it become more interesting in the future, or ape the
past more accurately?

By dance music I assume you mean house music, right? If yes then it is just getting worse and worse, I hear covers of dance tracks made only 4 years ago, what is that all about? I was insulted and angry by the recent Strings of Life cover, a techno classic ruined!
Where is the originality in dance music these days? Dance music will not change because it sells well and that's all they think of, not the music.

10. Electronic musicians often report that their gear
has irregular glitches. Have errors in your gear's
hard- or software ever aided your composing?

Yes. I've had a sound card crash before and it was spitting out random sequences through the GM Bank, I sampled and manipulated it, sounded great. Also have a few modules that behaved strange and gave really good results. My old cheetah sampler used to crash and make samples very wierd, that was fun. Also come up with good melodies with a few midi stuck notes and getting the channels wrong.

11. Do you ever build "noodles," or randomly
generative synth patches? If not, how do you introduce
elements of randomness into your work?

I am a modular addict and cannot use 'normal' synths anymore. Making "noodles" is part of the fun of making music, start off little and finish with nice big fat Udon. One technique for random effects comes from using 3 analog sequences out of sync, and having the modules randomly pic parts from them in time with the beat.

12. Do you believe that digital technology will
liberate or constrict musicians legally (in your

Liberate. Creating wise it's just far more practical and faster to make and save music by digital format. I used to sync analogs together and back sounds up on tape, far too restrictive. Creating sounds seems to be the same for a lot of artists, make it with analog and sample/manipulate it with digital.
Also with the recent growth in mp3 sites it lets musicians sell their own music from their bedrooms and compete with sony

13. Shima is a good example of an "Internet Record
Label" as opposed to a "bloglabel" like this one. Can
you discuss similarities and differences, as you see
them, between Shima and Blipsandifs?

There definately seems to be a similarity in musical tastes and a relaxed view on things, for Shima the music is first and business second, seems this is the same with you guys. Blipandifs is more instant than Shima. It takes months to get a release done and ready. But with the blog format it seems blipandifs can do it in a few days, is this the future? maybe so. Blipsandifs is also essential reading, Shima provide info on our bands/realeases etc, but Blipsandifs is almost a web diary for their bands, very funny read.

14. What is the upcoming release schedule of Shima
Records like? Are you still looking for unsolicited
demos from new artists?

Upcoming releases: Another album from 'Self Oscillate' called Lost Tapes. It's in his usual electro style but this one uses lots of Analog sounds making it really warm sounding. Then a great album from a band called 'Signalform' (aka Dron). This album has been on my walkman for a while now and it gets better everytime I listen to it, really nice warm sounds with great electronic beats. No release dates as yet but expect both in 2005.
Always looking for new artists, we listen to every demo we receive. We have nothing after the above releases so I hope we get something soon.

15. Why did your car die?

It's taken me a week to recover from the trauma of losing my bug, thanks for reminding me. Unfortunately the steel cancer got it. Rust in Peace.

Visit Shima Records:

August 30, 2005

Actual Interviews I / shima records

The following is the first half of our actual, non-fake interview with John Maddocks of Shima Records. Shima recently released the first album by Tachikoma in the U.K.


1. When did you start Shima Records? And why?

According to my domain registration details 3rd November 2003.
The reason I started is because I am far too lazy to go and get a deal so I gave myself one!

2. You're a musician as well as a label owner. Before
you "officially" began to make music,
were you a musical person? Or did you have a musical upbringing?

Not at all. I progressed from a crazy cool sneaker wearing breakdancer to DJ. Started Djing hip hop but after ruining far too many needles with the scratchin' technique I moved on to techno in the late 80's. After getting fed up Djing clubs and radio I collected some equipment and started to annoy the neighbours with very loud strange analogue noises.

3. How do you see Shima Records' music as different
from that of contemporary music by artists working in
similar genres? Which genres of music does Shima focus

A good combination of sounds and rythmn. The sounds are the most important thing, must be unique and make my ears stand up and ask 'how on god's earth has that being created?' When I get this feeling I am hooked, if I hear the same typical simple analogue sounds/beats I turn off.

4. How do you think the music released by Shima will
be changed by the development of technology in the
future? Or will your music remain the same?

Good question. I am really split between nice melodies and totally mental crazy random noise. I think this is a nice path to walk, sweet melodies that make you smile, then suddenly weird sounds to make you sweat in fear of the makers sanity. Technology wise it will probably become all virtual in a few years, with everything dowload only, or even released on some sort of memory stick in mp3 format.

5. Do you feel that an early exposure to video games
led you to become an electronic musician?

Definately. After playing Yars Revenge for hours on end it can really mess your brainwaves up. The crazy 8-bit sounds of the Commodore64 will always live on inside. I have a sid player on my PC and listen to C64 video game music often, my cellphone sounds are all old video game music. Even early gameboy games (like Dr Mario) had great sounds that can't be matched by modern technology.

6. If you could compose music for a musical ensemble
from another culture or historical period, what would
that ensemble be?

Medieval times. I could be Robin Hoods backing band, instead of flutes I'd follow him around with an analog modular and a laptop making crazy breaks. Imagine the atmosphere you could create at a medieval banquet using just one nord modular and a tamborine. It would also be nice to see the looks on the faces of cavemen if you just walked in their cave and started playing some electronic music...

7. Which natural (or environmental) sounds do you hear
that you would like to record?

When I visit Japan I always hear an insect singing away in the trees, unfortunately can't remember it's name. The sound is so beautiful but very random, sounds almost like a sample&hold effect on a synth. One day I will get it.


Tune in next time for more tasty interview content from John Maddocks of Shima Records!

August 29, 2005

Culture 'pon de move dis year.

Well, not culture so much as Tachikoma.

Tachikoma is moving into a new apartment / studio and therefore he's in packing frenzy mode. The stress does not abate and therefore his brainhole is a-percolatin'. Sturm und drang.

So the next superflat single isn't up yet, but it will be soon. So many people are submitting mp3s to us now that we got a backlog - which is good. If you keep on tuning in, there'll be content to serve you with, guaranteed.

Notice how we're keeping the singles up for download even longer? That's cuz we like you!!!

Seriously, the feedback from blogreaders has been better than expected, so thanks for your support so far, and we'll do our best to stay on top of things.

August 25, 2005

Goin' thru changes.

Everything's changing: tachikoma's life, the blog, the season, and so on.

In these troubled times, if you haven't got enuf blipsandifs on your audioserver, why not head over to boomcity radio - - and check out what's on the air? I did, and it worked for me.

August 22, 2005

Superflat Single #6 / self oscillate

From the digital wastelands of Germany comes Self Oscillate, the artist behind our first non-Canadian superflat single. He's also one of the musicians behind Signalform / Dron, who are collaborating with Tachikoma on an upcoming full-length.

Self Oscillate is, quite simply, a fetishist: he's obsessed with the analog dinosaurs that roamed the earth during the Paleolithic era of synthesis. He likes to hide out with his synthetic fossils in his nuclear-proof bunker 300 feet below the earth's surface: but just for a change, he made this track while thinking about booze and playing with Reaktor on his laptop, adjacent to the beach. Good times.

August 18, 2005

Tachikoma on your TV?!?!?!

That's right. "A Song for Daniel" - a film by Jason da Silva with soundtrack music composed by Tachikoma, will be showing on PBS.... in the States, I think, but maybe in Canada too.... are they the same PBS? You tell me. All I know is it'll be on PBS at t 10 pm on August 23rd. For more info, check out or the PBS schedule:

It's like we got our own personal NFB or some shit.

August 17, 2005

Superflat Single #5 / tachikoma

So much is in the works at blipsandifs right now - the audiotoys, website redesign, upcoming guest singles, interviews - that we invite you to travel back to 14th century china with this pleasant ambient track by tachikoma: "plum blossoms in a golden vase." Download it below the links on the right-hand side of the screen.

Did you look closely? There's a moon guitar in the shadow of the vase.

Portland Organ is a poet.

(censorship is sexy.)

August 15, 2005

Rumor Mill

Blips and ifs held a recent strategy meeting .... by which I mean that we played Starcraft for 50 straight hours. No, actually, we workshopped a new line of releases .... the AudioToys. These are currently in the early stages of production, but when they drop, things are gonna be a lot different around here....

August 10, 2005

Superflat Single #4 / tachikoma

We've all been bad. This song is about tachikoma's own personal bad thing which he did and he shouldn't have. He is really sorry about that but he just had to do it.

Distinctive tachikoman elements of this track include: primitivist drum machine programming and psychedelic distorteed Malstrom pads that are supposed to sound like feeding-back electric guitars. Tachikoma has said he wants to be the lead Reason programmer in Acid Mothers Temple..... yeah right buddy, dream on.

August 8, 2005

Fictional Interviews IV / tachikoma / soundtracksforjason

Tachikoma is sitting on the swinging bench with me at dusk when I bring up the subject of the film soundtrack he's working on.

BAI: This is the first sustained session of production you've done in a while eh?
T: True dat. I had my hands full.
BAI: So tell me about the kind of music you've been putting together.
T: The film is a documentary set in Nairobi: so for a long time I had trouble concieving of a kind of electronic music that would work.... I did a lot of programming on my Nord Micro Modular synth, generative stuff.... random patterns.... aleatory modal stuff.... sounded like that live album "turntables and computers" kinda.... and the main problem was it was all coming out too brittle and dry.
BAI: Then you got a thumb piano.
T: Well, I borrowed one.... it belongs to The Drunken Boats.
BAI: I didn't know you knew how to play the thumb piano.
T: Neither did I, but now I know, and knowing is 48% of the battle.
BAI: So what was the connection? Why did a thumb piano work so well w/ your Nord Micro?
T: They both have limited sonic parameters.... so many of my NMM patches were just little randomly percolative percussive devices, clicking away like synthetic birds and insects, and then I had these tracks of thumb piano I'd recorded, and I was trying to get one to sound like the other.... and then it hit me.
BAI: What?
T: Grains. The thumb piano and the NMM both made short, metallic, melodic, arrthymic tones.... perfect to drop into NI's Spektral Delay and GRM's Delays plugins.... they turned the patterns into clouds of sounds....

Tachikoma plays one of the soundtrack compositions for me.

BAI: Wow. I thought it was gonna sound more like "congotronics" than Shuttle358.
T: But you were wrong sir.
BAI: True dat.

Tachikoma plays another of the soundtrack compositions. He hands me a glass of green tea as a cloud slips from the path of the sun and the afternoon rays lighten the room by 13%.

August 6, 2005

Postings are Scarce.

"What's the deal here? Why ain't there more broadcasts from blipsandifs? Where my fictional interviews at?" I hear you asking yourself. Pipe down, I said, I hear you. It's just that the bloggers of blipsandifs are busy with work now.

However schedules are being readjusted as we speak to produce more and more better posts.