cruft for the world.

December 26, 2006

Hardware AudioToys.

Can't believe I found and bought an audiotoy in a store.

I bought two of Tomy's "SwitchSwitch" series. Each one is a small object with a few LEDs and a switch.

Basically, if you turn the switch position to On, it emits a powering-up mechanical-type sound. This will loop until you turn it to Off. When it reaches Off it will emit a powering-down sound. Then the Standby LED will flash for a few minutes and then turn off to save battery power.

What's really funny about them is that if you leave them On for too long, they will emit an overloaded sound and then automatically shut down. The switch won't move back to the On position, but they will enter Standby mode anyway.

They're awesome. They're also magnetic: I stuck 'em to my DX7. But they won't play in your browser, so we still have a tactical edge.


I totally felt those quakes that they're talkin' about. But I never thought that they'd make it on CNN.

December 16, 2006

Superflat Single #51 / Tachikoma vs. [710W3]

New Era (dub)Lately I've heard Tachikoma mention two major collaborations between the two of us: The Malchiks and the new up and coming Audiotoy. We have been a part of many cool collaborations including this bloglabel, a number of smaller musical projects, the name of my first born etc... but there has been a new collaboration that Tach may have just realized has happened.
The first official collaboration between two Blips and Ifs producers. Of course there was always that Cheese Richards and Milk Jagger thing. Even thought the Boats and I made that track together, it wasn't officially released as The Boats and [710W3]. So I'm not going to count that one or any of the DAT mining either. Therefore this is the first official collaboration. On December 14th 2006 Tachikoma emailed a Reason music file to me. Making sure we can actually send files between his computer to mine. He was just working the bugs out of operating a Worldwide Blog Label. Little did he know that to his track I added a 'distinctive angst filled [710W3] feeling' to some of the classic glitchy dub sounds of Tachikoma. Maybe not as significant a collaboration as the Malchiks, the creation of this label, the very First Audiotoy or Superflat Single, but an awesome mix of two very different producers none the less.

Listen to blipsandifs051.mp3 - 1.5 MB

December 14, 2006

Supercrap Single #1 / Tadx7koma

As soon as I got my new old DX7 home, I plugged it right in and started recording it.

I'll just provide some specific notes about this track:

1. All sounds are made by the DX7, with no processing at all except volume level adjustment and panning, and a touch of reverb at the end. The drums were made by my Nord Micro Modular.

2. All 32 of the original patches in the synth were used, I flipped between them. What's really odd is that by about midnight that same night, some had dissappeared. I think the battery in the synth's internal memory is malfunctioning. For example: preset #14 was a short pitched drum sound, which you can hear me tapping out a rhythm on at the end of the recording. But two hours later, #14 was a 'normal' synth sound. Also, patches 29-32 worked fine while tracking this, but by the end of the night, they were all blank / silent. Wierd.

3. This isn't supposed to really be a song, so much as a document of the good vibes you get when playing a synth you just bought. Take a listen. The sounds are surprisingly good, although undoubtedly cliched.

4. In the japanese language, the number seven is pronounced 'chi.'

Listen to 32Patches.MP3 - 4 MB

Frequency Modulation Heaven.

Hello, I am now the proud owner of a Yamaha DX7.

The story is simple. I walked by a guitar store here in Taipei and they had a small synth section in the back. For the price tag of 150$CDN, you could buy a beat up old DX7 synth. All the keys, mod wheel, pitchbend wheel, and output in working order. As I played with it a bit, I noticed that the LCD display screen was totally broken.

I pointed this out to the sales guy and used it as leverage to negotiate him down to half price. Then I had it wrapped up and lugged it back to my place. It's really heavy.

Back at my place I found that it's in good working order, except for the screen as I said. The power cord appears to be one with a Hong Kong plug, but there is an adapter taped on permanently. Also, it transmits midi data on channel 12, and I can use it as a controller for my Nord Micro Modular.

All 32 of the preset patches work. I doubt I'll ever edit it anyway. It sounds .... well it sounds like a DX7. I'm extremely happy now, because I got a good deal on a half-dead hunk of synthesizer history. Of course the first thing I did was record myself jamming with it, and I'll post the results very soon.

Kudos, Dr. Chowning! My hat is off to you.

December 11, 2006

The future is gronk.

I have done looked into the future and it is pretty.

Prettier than this pic, anyway. This is what came up when I googled gronk.

The future is gronk. It's our first audio toy. I didn't make it, [710W3] did. That guy is Gerhard Behles, I'm just Robert Henke. If you understand that. Google helps too.

I played with the beta of gronk today. It's so.... perfect. It's perfecter than anything I've built in my nord micro modular, that's for sure.

The success of gronk blows away the first 50 superflat singles. It doesn't devalue them. But it's an amazing departure. It shows you what a few guys brainstorming in a rat-infested garage can do. But mostly one guy.

My hat is off to you, moil. Kudos --- and kudos again. You've outdone yourself. Except for your kids, I mean, those two are better than this, but gronk is a close third, and it took longer than 9 months to be born.

December 7, 2006

Diff'rent Strokes ---> The Facts Of Life.

Spinoff time!

Tachikoma's personal/boring blog can be found here.

December 5, 2006

Superflat Single #50 / Tachikoma


The big five-oh is finally here. I've never been so happy to hit a meaningless benchmark.

I didn't think, when I started this, if I even think at all, that I'd make it to fifty. And I didn't. We made it.

This is the first track I've made since returning to Taiwan. I plan to make a hell of a lot more. With the help of the blips and ifs team, of course.

Thanks to all of our supporters. The feedback is really appreciated.

And if I may say so: this is only really the first of the projects you're going to see cranking out of the blips and ifs factory. It's not over, but it's a good challenge to live up to for other other projects.

It's Cablegami, kids. Superflat single number fifty. Middle age is sweeter than I thought.

Listen to blipsandifs050.mp3 - 2.5 MB

November 24, 2006

Superflat Single #49 / [710W3]

I was about to reach down into the archives and do a little DAT mining. I remembered a perfect track from the days just before I became a father. It was a window of time where Tachikoma was in Canada for a few weeks before returning to the other side of the Pacific Rim. I was listening to the track and thinking about a cover when I thought to check if we had already released it as a single. Almost at fifty releases and sure enough we have indeed released 'Are you Dread Cat?' a fantastic track by Tach. As the track had already been released, and I didn't have another one in mind, and I had the time...I made Superflat Single #49. Just for you, just now.
Listen to blipsandifs049.mp3 - 2.1 MB

November 23, 2006

My Chain.

I recently got a hip hop makeover, Taiwan-style --- by which I mean, I bought a bunch of Chinese knockoff gear in a night market.

I could try to explain my behavior by saying that the clothes I'm sportin' are more at home in the area where I live than where you live.... but I won't. I yam what I yam. This quote sez more than I ever could;

"I got stoopid money so I bought a stoopid chain." ---- Gucci Mane.

November 18, 2006

39,999 KHz above the GeoFront.

Well, this will be a short but elated broadcast.

I just wanted to let you all know that: I got the internet back up and running at my home here in Taipei.

None of that WiFly wireless junk. Just a 100MBps simple ADSL connection, which can barely upload a 4MB mp3. I doubt I can even watch One Piece on YouTube with it.

But one thing I CAN do is broadcast on Blips and Ifs. As I am doing now.

Please keep it real.

Thank you!

November 15, 2006

Superflat Single #48 / Evil Geniuses for a Better Tomorrow

Evil Geniuses for a Better Tomorrow are the newest contributors to the Blips and Ifs Superflat Singles collection. I met Tony (the genius behind the Evil Geniuses) during a few parties late October. First time we were carving pumpkin heads and then on Hallowe'en dressed up as Dr.Jacobi from Twin Peaks and I had a pencil in my face. It was good to party with my wife while my kids were subdued by relatives. After the Jello shooters I don't recall that much.

Later that week...
Tony sent me some links to his music, including a Brooklyn style illbient scratch & sample based turntablism track. Superflat Single #48 is that song. The Evil Geniuses were pleased to share their music and we are glad.

Listen to blipsandifs048.mp3 - 2.6 MB

November 13, 2006

Combattler V.

Hello, this Are Frank.

I am make benefit glorious non-nation of Taiwan.

No but actually, these things are happening:

1. There is a Shima Records comp. coming out w/ me and Moil on it.

2. The remix album betw. Tachikoma and Signalform will come out on a German label shortly.

3. I don't have access to the internet.

Well the third is not so exciting. But actually I am just trying to get back into the loop of producing tracks instead of franking so much. I really am. The lack of gear here isn't helping --- but I can't really blame that to be honest. Maboroshi ni wa.... it's all becoming an illusion. But I am trying, believe it. Until I get back on the horse, moil is gonna drop some mad green jade on y'all, while simultaneously battling McDonald's and his own superbusy schedule. As for the Boats .... well... I'll say nothing, because I am in no position to cast the first stone. But them is'a by's the by that Etc. you do the math.

Sorry for the lack of coherence. But mad props to all who continue to collaborate with me in my current debauched state.



November 10, 2006

Music Video for Superflat Single #46

A great little camera.Video now availablefrom Blips and Ifs! We've been hard at work preparing our first self produced music video. After working with Etherworks on the first of a series of collaborations I was inspired to start creating my own music videos. Having all the training and equipment nessisary it was only a matter of time. So this November needs rain jackets, trapped inside we decided to start filming. Along wth my children we visited each window of the house and taped the slow motion rain falling down. Visit the new video archive section of

Watch the Video: - 6.7 MB

November 3, 2006

Audio Toy Field Test #6

There is great excitement from the field. Tachikoma's unique brand of ambient noises have now been fitted into the main housing unit of 'Gronk'. Other recent advances also include a mystery glitch in the programming that was causing only the last sound to play. This situation has been resolved by adding permanent containment unit for each of the sounds. Prior to this addition, as one sound was loaded in, the next sound was taking it's predecessors place. By adding individual containment units all sounds now have a place to go. After a little more code tweaking to smooth out sound transitions the first Audio Toy will be released before the end of 2006. Projected forecast is for later this week.

This is a major achievement as Audio Toys are one of the last remaining goals of blipsandifs for the year 2006. All we have left is the Tachikoma Instrument Collection to begin and we will WIN!

Image was drawn by 'The Boats' in the original Board Room of Blips and Ifs (aka Hotel Hastings). Became the inspiration for Superflat Single #13.

Here is a sample of code from the upcoming Audio Toy:

//Sound Relations
//invisible dragon _X+_Y converted to a percentage.(0-100)
percentSlider = int((this.invisibleDragon._x + this.invisibleDragon._y)/2.25);

//set up vol3
if (percentSlider>50){
vol3 = ((percentSlider+50)*2)-200;
}else(vol3 = 0);

//set up vol2
if (percentSlider<50){
vol2 = ((percentSlider-33)*3)*2;
vol2 = ((-(percentSlider-33)*3)*2)+200;
vol2 = 0;

//set up vol1
if (percentSlider<50){
vol1 = (-percentSlider+50)*2;
}else(vol1 = 0);

trace("A: "+vol1);
trace("B: "+vol2);
trace("C: "+vol3);

November 1, 2006

Superflat Single #47 / [710W3]

Superflat Single #77 - Roller Coaster by [710W3]The song was an instantanious joke from the start, but I really loved playing and singing it on my piano, my poor piano. Our old upstairs neighbours gave it to us when we moved out of our that home. Then for a good year and a half at the next house I would play daily. Pounding keys and blarring out at the top of my lungs when no one was home, and often when they were. Then we moved again. We are very fortunate to have this rental, I really like it here. A great view and lots of convienience. Except I lost two things when we moved in. My office, and worst of all the piano. Niether of them are really gone, don't let me mislead you. My office has become a bedroom office and more. The piano only made it to the garage. It's getting cold out and I'm worried it might get lonely, I haven't played it in months. The garage is great for working on my comic book, but it doesn't have the right mood for jamming. One day I'll get that piano inside and I'll play my heart out. I miss my piano.
Listen to blipsandifs047.mp3 - 2.6 MB

October 29, 2006

Audio Toy Field Test #5

After hours of consideration, multiple trips to the drawing board, prolonged consecutive bouts of electroplankton and serious meditation we are now sitting on a new plateau of development in the Audio Toy Arena. Our final programming tests are being completed as are the shiny three-dimensional computer generated graphics complete their three hour rendering process. Soon our Beta Phase will be complete and the First Official Audio Toy from Blips and Ifs will be released. The accompanying photo is only a representation of the initial concept of our first Audio Toy: Gronk.

October 24, 2006

Superflat Single #46 / [710W3]

It's been too long old friend. Music is such an intrinsic part of my life, without it I would waste away. Not just listening, but making music drives me. I absolutely love writing the soundtrack to my life. Expression through noise. Taking in all that I hear and regurgitating it back as waveforms, cafefully placed and layered around each other. If only life were as easially broken down as this sequence of loops, breaks and samples. Maybe it is, maybe it's a simple song that sounds more complex than it is. Could it be that we create new frequencies and harmonies that were never present in the original? That all this excess sound and noise I hear isn't even supposed to be here? That the chaos of life is created by the echos and delay boxes, delay boxes, that man has created to make life...better?
Listen to blipsandifs046.mp3 - 3.7 MB

October 19, 2006

Supeflat Single #45 / [710W3]

I've walked from the skytrain to my house as my very own symphony played in my head. An epic tune with horn lines and strings. I'd tried to record real instruments parts with the synthetic sounding impersonations of my Roland XP30 Keyboard without any realism at all. Years later I've grown to love the sounds of fake keyboards and fake horns. I know others hate this, some artists are adament against the use of presets. My fellow producer Tachikoma recomends to use whatever sounds to write with and then swap them out for something more interesting later. I think that's why I love them. Why should I care if it's a real trumpet or a synth? I can't afford to hire a real orchestra, and Samples often limit what melodies and rythms you can create (which adds it's own reward) while alternatives may steer away from my original intent. I picked a fake trumpet sound because of the historical significance of trumpets. When I want that tune, that melody, or that pop to be similar to the one in my head I'm willing to sacrifice real instrument sounds knowing that your brain will fill in the details for me. Your imagination will add the realism I can't afford. Like an illustration of a man walking home from the skytrain. It's just a bunch of lines and colours on a page, but when you look at it you don't see the lines, you see me lost in a dream about a symphony inside my head.
Listen to blipsandifs045.mp3 - 1.3 MB

October 2, 2006

Bargain Bin.

I can't believe I found this in the bargain bin for 99 cents!!! who's been bootlegging us? Is it you, Ingo!!?!?!

October 1, 2006

Taipei Street Art #7

In the park across the street from my house, there is this huge important gentleman willing to shake hands with everyone who walks by.

September 27, 2006

Superflat Single #44 / The Drunken Boats

The Drunken Boats: Collect all Four!There is a scene in Disney's Cinderella when she's singing and washing the floors. So happy to be with the little birds and rats. The bubbles float around here and a tiny image of her washing the floor appears within each one. Her reflections are tinted with various pastel hues.

So old...(before my time_) is what it's like being inside of one of those two dimensionally reflective bubbles all distorted and wobbly, except that there is a film crew just behind Cinderella filming a music video for the Boats.

Seriously. Someone rap over this track and send it to us.

Listen to blipsandifs044.mp3 - 2.5 MB

September 24, 2006

Taipei Street Art #6

This squirrel of doom is seen on many walls around my area.....

Taipei Street Art #5

Hi, I'm a cute skull who wears a bow and also smokes mad fatties.....

September 21, 2006

the boats went digging

I dug through the record bins at my local thrift store and came up with some gems.
The first record I picked up was John Phillips SOUSA! I live the cover of this record. It says it’s a dynamic high fidelity full band concert of marches. I have not listened to it yet but I am sure there are going to be some serious sampling from this.

The second record I bought purely for the cover as well. It just blew my mind. It seems like a commercial to sell the big old FX1 organ. Which by the way looks like the future but uses FM synthesis to make all its sounds so it probably sounds pretty crazy and dated.

The third record is pure insanity. Only something you could find at a thrift store in a relatively small town. I think this record may take out my previous favorite of church organ music accompanied by bird calls (with the bird calls being done by world renowned bird caller Henry Stevens.) Anyway... here it is.

I mean Jesus.... canine heart sounds... great great stuff....

September 20, 2006

Taipei Street Art #4

This one's even better. It's from Taipei Cinema Park, across the street from my apartment.

Taipei Street Art #3

I guess this one says "babe." Today I learned the Chinese term for graffiti: "tou yah."

September 17, 2006

Taipei Street Art #2

My net connection still refuses to cooperate but I hope this image uploaded ok. The key part to notice here is the graphic on the right - some graffiti artist around here likes making images on tiles, coloring some and leaving others blank, to create a 'low-bit-rate' gameboylike effect. Awesome.

September 12, 2006

Superflat Single #43 / Tachikoma

It's as true today as it was then - that is to say, 43.6% true. I specifically asked 710W3 to locate and post this single, as it was recorded by me back when I first went to taiwan, but it never made it onto any of my albums from that period, so I've lost the original master.

It's just a poorly but humorously recorded song about the island of Galiano, where computer music was first invented by 710W3 and his team of super-intelligent bears and beavers. They whittled a Commodore64 and a soundcard out of western red cedars, wrote some killer apps on bark, and shortly thereafter, put out the first issue of Computer Music Magazine (under pseudonyms).

Hope you enjoy it.

Listen to blipsandifs043.mp3 - 3.6 MB

September 11, 2006


Attention Terra-dogs:
GHD 2007: 12 Years
This is a 148 day warning of the 12 Annual Groundhogsday Celebration. The event will occur on FRIDAY FEBRUARY 2.This is the FIRST TIME in 5 Years we will have the opportunity to celebrate on the actual Groundhog Day. This is a rare and auspicious occasion and I personally would be proud to see our unique community gather for the jubilant 12th annual hullabaloo.
This is a 5 month warning. GHD is Friday February 2. Good luck everyone.
* 12 YEARS * 12 YEARS * 12 YEARS * 12 YEARS * 12 YEARS * 12 YEARS *

Holy shit... 12 years... that is amazing. I for one am really startig to work on my GHD projects starting today. I just thought you all should know, so that I am making my goals public and setting some standard... So Davey expect some phone calls soon.

September 9, 2006

Taipei Street Art #1

Since I'm here in Taipei and I have a better camera, I thought I'd start uploading some of the brilliant visuals I upload through my eyes here. I've already got tons of photos of graffiti and odd advertising, so let the new series, Taipei Street Art, begin!!

(feel free to copy and rework these photos as you see fit!)

August 31, 2006

Superflat Single #42 / Tachikoma

Tachikoma is now weighing in with his last post from Canada....... ever? Well, probably not, but most of his posts are gonna be coming from Taipei for a while.

I'm flying out tomorrow and I managed to get an apartment set up today, which I admit is cutting it pretty close.

This piece of song is as unclear as my thoughts right now. It's 'kumo no jutsu,' which the boats' boo might be able to decode as "The Cloud Technique." But the word "cloud" is synonymous with "bear", so it could also be "The Bear Technique."

By placing my hands together and invoking the names of various animals from the Chinese zodiac, I can execute the cloud technique: by which I mean, I get to fly away and live in Taipei for a while, rejecting all hardware analog synths for digital ones, and connecting to the net via my new wireless studio. The city of Taipei is almost completely covered by a huge dub-powered 40,000 hz wireless signal anyway. Abandon your modems and routers.

I'm sitting at 710W3's house now. We hashed out a bunch of ideas over the last few evenings, and there've been many changes to our hometown,, as a result. There's a live chat room now that's always on.....

For rejecting your life and attempting a 'transvaluation of all values,' I highly recommend retiring to Taipei's industrial countryside. It's better than living in a Pole album. 14.7% better. And if you feel the need to, you can hit on all the hometown girls you want, especially the ones that you shouldn't hit on, so you can leave with a broken heart and knew you did the right thing. And what's more, you can learn something.

Thanks to technorati I now know that people like SomaFM's Cliqhop and the-unscene are finding their ways to blips and ifs, playing us on their radio stations.... the memes are being distributed gradually. It's our way of imitating unappreciated art. Also, Blipsandifs is the 668,00th most popular blog in the world. Our goal for next year: 665,000th. I know we can do it, guys.

I don't want to get your hopes up too much. But if you ask me, this blog, and Boomcity, and the airwaves, are soon gonna be getting regularly flooded with data after typhoon-class online jam sessions. People are gonna invent new forms of comic books and flash studios. Videoblogs (also known as "vidweblogs" among truant street youth) might even show up. There's a webcam built into my new studio.

I'll be content with more content.

KUMO NO JUTSU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Listen to blipsandifs042.mp3 - 2.1 MB

August 29, 2006


I just came across this and am blown away by it's size....

HORNMASSIVE (2004) (Matt Hope) is a 2 Ton (4500 Lbs US), 3.5 M by 3.1 M by 4 M mobile 2000 watt steel and aluminuim horn sound system, all powered from a commercial 12” speaker driver. It functions as a mobile audio input station whereby people can plug-in in order to project "content" a distance of 1 km, designed to be the ultimate monophonic sound projector intended to catalyze social activities in multiple settings.

not much else on the website about it..... all you need to know is it's big and
I would imagine loud!

August 24, 2006

Superflat Single #41 / Dub Bear

Dub Bear brings back the beat with this bit-reduced dub essay. He feels strongly about delicious salmon and wonders why more salmon are not equipped with midi ports. That would make their echounits easier to sync to the tempo..... don'tcha think?

Seriously, I don't understand this Dub Bear guy.

Listen to blipsandifs041.mp3 - 2.9 MB

August 22, 2006

Tachikoma Apartment Collection #1

I thought I'd post some photos of my apartment, which I'll be moving out of at the end of the month.

This one is early in the morning. You can guess what's going on at this time.....

August 21, 2006

But Why?

Nobody gets it. Nobody gets why Tachikoma is a ramblin' man and he needs to ramble on, just like Gandalf in that led zep song.

It's hard to explain. But I can say that I am addicted to rejecting all my possessions and rebeginning my life. Last night 710W3 came by my apartment and picked up a bunch of my junk that I am gonna lend him. Ditto for The Boats in a few days.

My dream now is to wander Taipei city, accessing net via wi-fi on my new laptop, mmaking songs and sending myspace messages and blogging..... I'm gonna make it come true .... somehow.....

August 11, 2006

Tachikoma: Output.

I'm outta here!!

Ever since this blog first fired up, Tachikoma has been living in Vancouver. But sometime between September and October of this year, I'm taking off to go live in Asia again.

For those who know me, this is a common refrain. Making this statement always reminds me of the Ben Folds Five song "Steven's Last Night In Town."

It will certainly have an affect on my music. Harpoon won't be able to practice anymore, and I will have to leave most of my Tachikoma Instrument Collection with The Boats or 710W3. But the core of my studio is my USB keyboard, USB drum trigger, USB soundcard .... just attach to any computer and voila, instant studio. Plus reason 2.5, of course....

Over there I hope to do more writing, but 710W3 convinced me I need to make at least 2 more tracks a month. I think I can do that. And I hope to make field recordings for Audio Photography as well.

Why do I wanna go back there? It's my home, even though I am a white guy. I always tell people that I hate Western Civilization, which is true. Living in Asia with a self-inflicted language barrier lets me put my cyberbrain in cultural-autism mode.

Anyway, I am psyched up about the move. I am a big lazy procrastinator, but this kinda thing helps me get my shit together.

More info to come as it gets confirmed.....

July 31, 2006

Superflat Single #40 / Tachikoma

Superflat Single #40 - Sesame and Seaweed

Relaxing decadently on the leather couch in front of his computer recording studio, Tachikoma accepts another drink with an umbrella in it from his manservant and then begins to compose 'sesame and seaweed', his tribute to california rolls. Outside, in the street below, the drunken teenagers are being arrested and the fireworks are imitating Native Instruments' Spektral Delay. He wonders where The Boats and 710W3 and all the other blipsandifs producers are, and if they are listening to the fireworks on their own delays.... the summer is almost over and he's going to escape again....

Listen to blipsandifs040.mp3 - 2.3 MB

July 27, 2006

Oh! Canada

They can verify an incorrect calculation down to a fraction of a penny, but they still don't know about spell check. This is a real page, not a photoshop gag.

Oh, by the way, we got a new Superflat Single coming real soon!

July 22, 2006


I found this site while researching about blogs. It's a great blog about drawing. Story of Google regarding Logo Copyright, links to the Black Super Hero gallery. Great stuff. Check it out.

July 17, 2006

Superflat Single #39 / Dub Bear

Dub Bear: The newest artist to sign a lifetime contract with blipsandifs.

Dub Bear: A gentle bear who roams the wilderness of Northern British Columbia. An antique Roland 505 analog tape echo unit is permanently strapped to his head, catching the sounds of nature and forcing them to repeat forever in clouds of delay.

Dub Bear: Dipping his paw deftly into the river, he removes a copy of the Columbia History Of Chinese Literature and calmly begins to read.

Dub Bear: His fur is so smooth and soft. Let's all pet the Dub Bear.

Listen to blipsandifs039.mp3 - 3.8 MB

July 16, 2006

Just before I moved

I was riding my bike as the days approached Canada Day. As I headed down the alley behind our house I saw the most interesting wooden man made 'slice'. It was big. About 4.5 feet tall I'd assume. Two guys were loading what became 1 of 4 obvious slices of a sphere. I couldn't imagine what is could be and was obligated to stop to satisfy my curiosity despite my pressing schedule. The owner of the 'slice' was a very nice person who after understanding my abstract line of excited questioning gladly answered and explained what it was they were loading into the back of a pick-up truck.

Chad Oakenfold, the creator of the sphere, described it as an 'Art Museum'. I immediately thought he meant a scale model of a round building like Science World. He corrected me immediately. It was the museum, not a model of one. I was perplexed but Chad directed me to the pick-up where I could see the inside of a hollow slice. There was an amazing 3 point perspective drawing on the white finished wall inside the sphere. Apparently you climb into the sphere and draw 360 degrees around the inside.

This is an actualization of how cool art can be. The fact that Chad had made it was a great feat alone, but that it is only one of Chad's crazy projects it a testament to his creativity. Since seeing this museum I wish no more but to have this sphere present at the next Groundhogs Day.

I just found the time to visit Chad's website...OAKENFOLD.CA and it turns out that we are only a few degrees of separation. Chad is friends with Ehrin Salazar and Blim both of which are friends of our very own Tachikoma. Now all I need to do is get out and connect a little more. Maybe I'll see everyone at the Luminaries Festival at Trout Lake.

July 10, 2006

ow.... my brainhole....

This didn't happen on the weekend.... but .... it feels like it did.

July 6, 2006

Superflat Single #38 / [710W3]

"Sometimes you eat the bar, and sometimes he eats you."
-The Stranger, played by Sam Elliot from The Big Lebowski.

"Who says that we can't play? Gonna do it anyway.
Hop on in and paint this grey old city red with me today."
-The Lyrics to this weeks Superflat Single by [710W3]

In the midst of chaos comes another Superflat Single to calm me down. I may not be able to go out and paint the town this evening, but I can post a song about it. This song was originally created and released in 2004 for Groundhogs Day and anyone I've played it to says it's pretty fun to listen to. I hope you do to. Goodnight Moon.

Listen to blipsandifs038.mp3 - 3.4 MB

July 5, 2006

It may have been Canada’s Day, but it sure wasn’t mine.

My wife, two children and I moved to a new house with a nice view of Vancouver.

Uprooting all your belongings placing them in boxes, taping them up, shoving clothes in garbage bags, placing the dishes into the boxes they came in. It gets incrementally harder and harder to feel comfortable with all your belongings slowly disappearing. Then at the end of the month you move, and reverse the process, slowly becoming more comfortable in your new surroundings. Or you would think so.

That is how it happened. We packed, and now we are unpacking. The real story lies between. The move. It was an absolute nightmare. We found the movers in the Yellow pages, and checked them out online. 20 years in the business, insured, and members of the Better Business Bureau (BBB). They’re to arrive around 3:00 pm with 3 big guys and a 5 tonne truck on the 30th of June. After a half day of phone calls and delay tactics the move is postponed.

We find a box labeled Kids Blankets, cut it open and find some comforters. We rustle up a few pillows and crawl onto our bare mattress. We both have intermittent sleep, wake up early and take some much needed coffee.

July 1st 2006 Canada Day at 6:30 am 3 guys show up with a 3 tonne truck. In 1 hour 1 mover leaves due to exhaustion because he only slept 2 hours since the last job. The remaining boxes are loaded into the truck by the 2 remaining workers, as my wife and I load our van and assist them. Not 1 piece of furniture other than our mattresses for the beds, the TV stand and a book shelf are in the 1st load.

We drive with our van loaded with our computers and electronics and plan to meet them at the new house. 1 and 1/2 hours later they arrive and 15 minutes later than a 2nd worker leaves. This guy just plain vanishes. Apparently he is still unaccounted for. The remaining worker and I pry open the busted back door of the truck and unload a few things. After a short while he decides to try and muster up some more workers, makes a few fruitless phone calls, drives off and disappears looking for more help.

Meanwhile we are supposed to be out of the old house. Our piano, washer, dryer and every piece of furniture a little too heavy for my wife and I to deal with or too big for our van still needing to be moved. We borrowed my Mom’s cell phone without the charger so battery life became an issue during this whole event. Our previous landlord calls the cell and I apologize for there being nothing I can do. My wife calls to tell me that the owner of the Moving Company was just arrested for Parking Tickets and would be going to jail. She had phoned the police station to verify this and they confirmed he was indeed being arrested.

Dark clouds of doom had now surrounded my head. How could it get so bad! I heard my mom say moving was stressful but this was insanity. Many of my friends offered to help me move and then realized they would be in Seattle or working out of town. I told them all not to worry, We hired movers. Dark, dark clouds.

Then the clouds lifted a bit. My Dad and Mom joined us with our kids and the cell phone charger.

My wife called and apparently the people moving into our old house were not only moving that day, but were actually movers! They offered to finish off our move with their truck after they were done moving themselves.

Shortly I saw the big initials sandwiching the ampersand on the front of the truck that had all our stuff. The same mover had returned alone after catching a few winks, stepping in dog poop and loosing his shoe. My Dad and I started unloading the boxes as he fell asleep on a pile of moving blankets. My Dad bought us pizza and the mover woke up to eat and told us a story about his afternoon as we informed him about his boss getting arrested. He had no idea, or at least acted that way. My Dad and I finished unloading the truck gave the guy the 30 dollars he was begging for to get gas to get home.

Dad and I drove over to the old house where we met some serious heroes. They helped us load a piano with a piano skid left behind from the previous movers. We carted the washer and dryer from the house with a dolly left behind by the other movers, my kids beds, my bike, a couple futons and a couple desks. My ancient 110 pound laser printer. 3 hours later we had unloaded it all into the new garage and were off to bed after popping a couple pain killers. It was an unbelievably Smoother move.

So it sounds like everything is as it should be? Happily ever after? We got everything moved right? It’s not. They still wanted us to pay them after all that. We still had they’re piano skid under our piano. The BBB tells us that they aren’t actually members and they falsely advertised. Our previous phone service is holding our old number for no apparent reason so we have to wait another week until our phone number works. Our daughters ankles just swelled up and she’s had to be taken to the emergency room for all sorts of x-rays and blood tests. So here I am waiting to find out what’s going on with my girl and a good friend comes over to borrow some moving boxes so she can toss her cheating boyfriend (also a good friend) out of their house.

Maybe I’ll post a Superflat Single in celebration of all this insanity.
Something from Groundhogs Day I should think…

Oh yeah.

I forgot.....

.... we've been doing the blips and ifs thing for more than a year now! kudos! and kudos again.

Lotta things done happened in that time. We cranked out an assload of singles, started the Audiotoys, collaborated on videos, got podcasting, ruined Troy's garage..... it seems even more impressive when I look back at it. But most importantly, in my mind, is the fact that we managed to get 3 guys to work steadily on a project that can never "really" be completed. If you don't understand why that's difficult.... well.... try making a track on your computer sometime.

I sure hope we keep going at this pace because if we do, in about 4 more years we'll be running EA or something.

Goals for the next year: to open up the Superflat Singles to even more non-label contributors. If you read this site, send us that track you made! It might not suck as much as you think.... in fact it probably doesn't. And ask your buddies who are musicians to send us music too, otherwise our unpaid cover-art designers will be out of a non-paying job.

June 20, 2006

Superflat Single #37 / Harpoon

Blipsandifs037 - The Microdot Violence

Harpoon is back, in an even more electronically processed form. You know, I work with The Boats, I know The Boats, I've been to The Boats' parties where I felt lonely because there were too many graphic designers there. And The Boats has made some cool tracks in his day, but this is one of his best. I'd probably name it the Superflat Single of the year if I wasn't so egotistical. (Hey: at least I made more. Quantity trumps quality. Every year.)

The Boats is our drummer in Harpoon. He's like an Eighties band's drummer: his drums are inside metal boxes. But he made this track from 5 or 6 of our recorded jams, which he cut up into tiny digital McNuggets and then refried in Reason, adding Sweet'n'sour sauce, and Hot Mustard. This track is what he came up with. The microdots he extracted from our jams, he turned into a track that sounds like nothing we've ever made, or could make, in Harpoon.

Enjoy the virtual violence....

blipsandifs037.mp3 - 5.37 MB

June 13, 2006

Big Shout Out

.... to all those who a-keep on a-reading this here fine blog. We appreciates it!

It's just that the last couple of months have been hectic..... and that's no excuse, but it's the only one we have. So the superflat singles have arrived less frequently, and other projects have had difficulty moving forward.

We'd like to thank all the overseas contributors to the blog and urge them to submit more singles, and to ask their friends to do so, too. We promise we'll come up with good covers!

Another aspect I'd like to add to the blog: I like seeing works-in-progress up here as well as completed ones. It's great to know How and Why people are arting the way they are. It's sometimes even better than seeing What they are arting.

In the future we'll have more Superflat Singles, including web-only exclusive tracks from web-only bands like Harpoon, which is composed of 3 servers and a fender amp. We are also hoping to begin the Tachikoma Instrument Collection trading card series, and to continue collaborating with Brett Gaylor.

Thanks for tuning in, again, and for bearing with us.

The Blips And Ifs Team
(Tachikoma, 710W3 and The Boats)

June 12, 2006

Go stand in the longer line up

It's possible to rock into space.It's hard to be intangible. Since I last posted I've had numerous conversations, brainstorms and revelations about the Ghost comic book. The plot is now outlined for the next thousand years of the characters life.
A special thanks to Rusty, Jacob and Frank for letting me think at them. During a break at work the other day I started playing with some imagery for the comic. These aren't the final products, just image tests. I think they are in the right direction but the final product will be more evolved.

May 30, 2006

Superflat Single #36 / [710W3]

Once again we present a track from a few years back. Ghost and the longer Line up is the album this Superflat Single originates from. Please don't freeze was among the 15 tracks inspired by the short movie Feed us. The film had a minor character which I performed, and later named: Ghost (pictured right). The character has continued to evolved from it's simple beginnings not only into one album (the original of which was written from the characters point of view) but a second album called Ghost and the shorter Remix by Tachikoma. There are also discussions of the character being developed into a full length comic book and comic possible series, from there the sky is the limit. Of course, we'll announce everything you'll need to know here at blips and ifs.

blipsandifs036.mp3 - 5.4 MB

May 24, 2006


The show was brutal. It failed brutally. During the soundczech we realized that the monitors didn't work. That was OK for the other performers cuz they use "actual instruments" and could therefore hear what key they were trying to sing in. Not the same deal for Tachikoma. I need a good PA even to do an average show. Luckily I backed out in time. I gave up my spot and also called all the people I told to come out and told them to stay home. I am good at failing! When I fail, I fail the right way.

Then I walked home in the rain.

Then I remembered I left my audio processing "orb" at the show. Crap.

I guess I am swinging on down to that there old time vegetarian restaurant ghetto, yet again.


May 23, 2006

Tachikoma loves MARINE life!

The show will be at the MARINE club, not the media club tonight.

Tachikoma At Marine Club - Tonight!!!!!