ICE T, on Rap, Hip Hop and a new Documentary

In a nutshell- history of Rap, Hip hop & Break Dancing

This explanation caught my ear. Rapper Ice T was talking about his new documentary Something from nothing, about how when the New York state school system was being cut back, and there were no musical instruments available in schools, kids took the record player and turned it into an instrument, how using the breaks in the tracks became popular with MC’s on the decks, which in turn led to Break Dancing. The MC’s then started working with Rappers and so the story continued.

Listen to this extract of Ice T from BBC Radio 4’s Front Row, where he very succinctly explains the origins of hip-hop.
 

American musician and performer Ice-T has directed a cinema documentary Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap in which he talks to leading performers including Snoop Dogg, Dr Dre and Eminem about the culture of hip-hop. Ice-T discusses the origins of the music, and its continuing influence.

The Storyline is as follows

SOMETHING FROM NOTHING: THE ART OF RAP is a feature length performance documentary about the runaway juggernaut that is Rap music. At the wheel of this unstoppable beast is the film’s director and interviewer Ice-T. Taking us on a deeply personal journey Ice-T uncovers how this music of the street has grown to dominate the world. Along the way Ice-T meets a whole spectrum of Hip-Hop talent, from founders, to new faces, to the global superstars like Eminem, Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg and Kanye West. He exposes the roots and history of Rap and then, through meeting many of its most famous protagonists, studies the living mechanism of the music to reveal ‘The Art Of Rap’. This extraordinary film features unique performances from the entire cast, without resorting to archive material, to build a fresh and surprising take on the phenomenon that is Rap.

see a BBC video about the documentary here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17853254

You can Follow Something from Nothing – The Art of Rap on Facebook

and on IMdB here http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2062996/

Chris Moyles – Marmite or Madness – the end of ZOO FORMAT for breakfast

“I’m just going to give a heads up that we’re going to wrap it up, …it’s almost time to go, we’re off. A couple more months of us and then it’s someone else’s turn to have a go.” (Chris Moyles on-air 11-7-12)

Yesterday (11th July) saw a major milestone in BBC Radio Broadcasting, in the form of the ritual that is the changing of the guard at the helm of the most listened to time-slot on UK Radio – The Breakfast Show, more specifically Radio One’s breakfast show. The reason – BBC wishes to bring down the average age of Radio One’s audience to 15-29.

Chris Moyles has been Radio One’s DJ at breakfast for years. Most students attending University will have grown up with him. Moyles has won awards, outraged people, increased ratings, climbed mountains for charity, gained weight, lost weight, spoken his mind and generally enjoyed great freedom as he lived out his dream. I have been struck by the amount of debate for and against Chris Moyles – (so much so that one of my own posts on the subject was deleted by a detractor, such is the strength of feeling held by some) He has been praised as ‘the most successful breakfast show host”, and Gary Barlow even wrote a parody song about Mr Moyles ‘The greatest DJ in the World?” http://youtu.be/1Ewaq9cmhLY

I have only met Chris Moyles once, (more of which later) but like millions of other people I feel that I know him well. Each morning on the way to work it was a ritual for me . Radio 4 until ‘thought for the day’ then switch over to find out what Chris Moyles and his ‘ZOO RADIO’ team, Aled, Tina, Comedy Dave, Dominic Byrne, were up to. Often they would spend ages just chatting and discussing topics of the day – occasionally even playing a record or two! People would ‘turn-up’, like the time a breathless Will.i.am brought round a USB stick with a temp mix of ‘This is love“.
I would argue, that to really understand Moyles, you have to listen over a reasonable length of time.

 

I don’t necessarily like Chris Moyles, he can be incredibly annoying,  but he was also entertaining. He is also very proficient in ‘driving’ a radio desk. (backed up by a very efficient team no doubt) but he is a master at talking up to the vocal line, or matching beats, and reacting rapidly live on air, calling up tracks from the now completely digitised music and jingle library.  When he actually played tracks I often liked the music he played. Moyles is a bit like Marmite – I can tolerate it, sometimes I really like it, but sometimes I just don’t want any!

You will certainly be hard pushed to find people sitting on the fence in their opinions of him. Radio One’s Ben Cooper described him as: “Quite simply he’s been the most successful breakfast show host in Radio 1 history.” – others find Moyles “utterly vile”, and “a nasty piece of work”

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The breakfast slot is seen as key to audiences and image at Radio Stations. People listen driving to work, on the tube, on their phones and at home whilst burning the toast. It’s the slot that gets the nation going in the morning.

Not that Radio One gets the most listeners at that time in the morning. That award goes to BBC Radio 2, and another Chris, EVANS. In the period January to March 2012, Chris Evans Breakfast show scored weekly ratings of 9.23 million listeners against Radio One’s current incumbant Chris Moyles’s 7.1 Million. The other major player is that stalwart of speech radio the Today programme which averages about 6.1 million.
(source RAJAR)

In an On-Air ‘announcement’ (listen here http://youtu.be/L–bVB8QU7M) Chris Moyles revealed to his listeners that he will be leaving Radio One’s morning slot in October after over 8 years at the helm.

Nick Grimshaw was later announced as the new Breakfast show host – and Chris moyles lost no time in playing a trick on Grimshaw, inviting him into the studio this morning (Thursday 12th July – and then leaving him totally alone in the studio without warning! 

Chris abandons Grimshaw – Telegraph

 Moyles walks out – METRO

During his time in office, Moyles has seen the audience for Radio One in the morning rise from the doldrums, and remain high for several years – though now there are signs that Radio audiences are falling with the rise of streaming music services and other outlets.

It seems that Radio One are keen to keep Chris Moyles and already there are rumours about a new show for Moyles. Ben Cooper the controller of Radio One has already said as such,
Stating “Chris Moyles will reinvent himself at Radio One”
( http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/jul/11/chris-moyles-reinvent-radio-1-ben-cooper?newsfeed=true )

Moyles has the record for the longest continuous radio show, he has climbed Kilimanjaro with other celebrities for Comic Relief, he has broadcast from various parts of the globe, as well as Hackney, London !! (The Hackney Weekend – community event ) Over the years hundreds if not thousands of incidents have occurred, which all have contributed to peoples feelings about Moyles. He can seem arrogant, but also has a considerate side and can read the mood of the nation well. Two examples display the paradox:

On Tuesday September 11th 2001, the terrorist attacks in America occurred just before Chris was due to go on the air at 3pm UK time. A decision was made not to do the usual show. Instead, Chris played non stop music, interrupted only by regular Newsbeat updates from Claire Bradley. He was wildly praised for his handling of the situation. The next three shows were much the same – featuring emails from listeners, stories from eye witnesses.
(taken from http://chrismoyles.net/teamchris.shtml )

In February 2002, Chris also got himself into hot water with the Broadcasting Standards Commission, when he offered to take Charlotte Church’s virginity on the day she turned 16. The complaints were upheld and Moyles forced to apologise. Despite this, Charlotte has made several subsequent appearances on the show, with Chris even presenting his Christmas Day show live from her mums pub in 2005.

for more of Chris Moyles controversial moments see (http://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/chris-moyles-controversy-mirrorcouks-top-363913 )

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Moyles’s home town is Leeds, where I spent three years in the mid 1980’s. During his departure speech he commented on how getting to the Radio One breakfast slot was a childhood dream. He certainly has worked his way up through a vast array of local radio stations, and I admire the way a Leeds boy made it to the big time – always good to see the seemingly Southern bias being challenged.

Rod McPhee writing yesterday in the Yorkshire Evening Post :

when he first arrived at Radio 1 in 1997 it marked a definitive end of an era of radio where Smashy and Nicey DJs still lingered. He almost sounded like a bloke who’d wandered in off the street and found himself thrust in front of a microphone. That was his gift though. It took a lot of skill and experience to sound that natural. You only have to listen to some presenters on some local radio shows (and some presenters on other Radio 1 shows) to realise just how smooth Moyles really is.”
( http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/lifestyle/columnists/rod-mcphee-chris-moyles-love-or-hate-him-you-have-to-rate-him-1-4730770 )

He has a reputation for brashness. Nicholas Lezard write in the Independent:

“I listened to his show the day after the broadcast. To my surprise, Moyles was humility itself, and barely referred to his award, preferring instead to play some great music and make some splendid topical jokes. Ha! Just kidding. He talked about almost nothing else for the first 21 minutes and 14 seconds of the show, by which time someone whispered into his ear and reminded him that Radio 1 was a music station, not a speech station. I had my smugometer to hand, to be scientific, but it exploded.”
( http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/reviews/chris-moyles-radio-1-830193.html )

Rod McPhee again :

“Moyles has always given the impression of being a sensitive soul, a reactive personality who takes things personally. Of course, he only gives a hint of this through occasional outbursts, but it’s there all the same. Which is why he’s not only one of the most successful DJs of the last decade but also one of the most interesting. He certainly seems to have more layers than his replacement, Primmie Hill It-kid Nick Grimshaw. Complete with standard issue bouffant and skinny jeans, he’s just a generic clone of modern youth.”

“…we should celebrate him in Leeds. Sure he’s never allowed his Loiner heart to bleed across the pages of newspapers and magazines, but that’s preferable to other stars who love to use their gritty, northern roots to cynically promote themselves.
Truth is, Leeds is a little better off for boasting Moyles in its alumni, and, laud or loathe him, Radio 1’s certainly a lot worse off for losing him”

Changing the breakfast presenter is generational thing at Radio One.
Samira Ahmed writing in The Guardian in November 2011 wrote:

“Radio 1’s dilemma is encapsulated in the totemic persona of its breakfast show presenter, Chris Moyles. Chris Evans’s spiritual heir, Moyles joined Radio 1 in the late 90s and has recently signed a new contract with the station. Now 37, the enfant terrible’s frequent alleged homophobic comments have seen him censured by Ofcom (in 2009) and “warned” by the Radio 1 controller, but, with his valuable ratings, always protected by management. (The new controller, incidentally, is Moyles’s former producer, Ben Cooper).
Whatever you think of him, and there have been plenty of critics, Moyles could be seen to represent what’s happened to adulthood – the phenomenon of extended middle youth, says Garfield, pointing to the demographic of rock festivals. A thirtysomething today is comparable in what they listen to, how they live and consume and how they regard themselves, to a twentysomething a generation ago.”
(http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/nov/08/radio-1-extended-middle-youth )

love or loathe him, we may be in for a quieter time at breakfast on Radio One for a while – my prediction is that ratings will fall under Grimshaw, then a new replacement will be sought, and that person may well become as infamous as Moyles, but it could take several years.

Oh and that meeting I had with Moyles? Well it was in the stairwell at Broadcasting House. I nodded at him and I think he muttered “eorgh” or similar. I don’t remember I was too busy looking at Mariella Frostrup walking down the stairs. Now there’s a radio personality!

CHRIS HAINSTOCK 2012

there is a sound archive of some of Chris Moyles radio shows here

 

what are your thought s on Chris Moyles and his legacy? –

Skywalker Sound Legend to visit Nottingham 27th June 2012

The Institute for Screen Industries Research at the University of Nottingham is pleased to announce a presentation and Q&A with two-time Oscar winning sound designer Randy Thom. Randy is Director of Sound Design at Skywalker Sound and has been responsible for the sound design on dozens of Hollywood blockbusters including Star Wars Episode VIHarry Potter and the Goblet of FireForrest GumpThe Right Stuff and The Incredibles.

Event details:

Wednesday  27th June at 3pm – Presentation and Q&A (with Gianluca Sergi, Director of the Institute for Screen Industries Research)

Clive Granger A48,

University Park Campus

University of Nottingham

NG7 2RD

The event is free and open to all but please register by contacting Elizabeth.evans@nottingham.ac.uk

 

DEGREE SHOW 2012 – 1st Audio Production Students Graduate


AUDIO PRODUCTION STUDENTS GRADUATE – the class of 2012 is the first to graduate.

We’re nearing the end of the academic year and with it comes the Lincoln School of Media degree show. This will be the first cohort of Audio Production students to graduate and the degree show highlights the varied and exciting work the students have produced including; radio drama and documentary, music production, sound design for film, experimental film, soundscapes, game sound design and binaural film sound!

The DEGREE SHOW IS ON FRIDAY 1st JUNE – spread the word – watch the video here.

 

 

6 years in production – Nelly Furtado’s new album

Found this Interesting insight into the making of an album
(originally appears in BBC News article)

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It’s been six years since Nelly Furtado’s multi-platinum album Loose, which featured the smash hit single Maneater and collaborations with Justin Timberlake and Chris Martin.

She followed it up with a Spanish language record that missed the UK top 100 altogether. So, as she returns to a commercial pop sound, the Canadian star has everything to prove.

“If you wait this long to put an album out, you’d better be sure you tried your best,” says Nelly Furtado.

In fact, the 33-year-old devoted so much time to her new record that producer Salaam Remi accused her of being “three years pregnant” with it.

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These days The Videographer is very important

Every moment of the recording process has been carefully documented on video, with weekly “webisodes” being posted to YouTube.

What the videos illustrate is that, unlike some pop stars, Furtado is directly involved in the creative process.

One clip (above) shows the singer improvising a melody while producer Salaam Remi taps out a beat on a music stand. With the quick addition of some tape-slap reverb, the track gets a name – “popsicle jam” – and is pencilled in as an interlude on the album.

It’s a common part of music marketing these days – alongside free downloads, Facebook pages and endless “teaser” clips previewing forthcoming music videos.
“It’s become a content-hungry universe,” says Furtado. “The most important person on your team nowadays is your videographer because they’re constantly filming you. “But I’m quite private, so I get a little bit nervous about that stuff.”
The pressure to document recording sessions was particularly difficult. “At first, I wasn’t able to write a song with the cameraman in the room,” she says.”

taken from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-17943124

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The album has gone through two titles, half-a-dozen producers, and a mountain of songs – both old and new.

“In the final stages I was getting really anal about it,” says Furtado.

Why did she get so obsessed? The singer calls it “devotion to my fans”, but the reality is that she’s been absent from the charts for too long.

Furtado’s Spanish record was largely ignored in English-speaking countries but won a Latin Grammy
After the career-defining urban pop of her 2006 album Loose, Furtado followed her own path – getting married, establishing her own record label, and recording a Spanish-language album.Mi Plan sold well internationally, allowing the Canadian artist to tour South America for the first time, but she has been absent from the US charts for five years.

So it’s no surprise that The Spirit Indestructible revisits the pop hooks and colossal beats of Maneater – a song so incendiary it literally started a fire in the recording studio.

Furtado says the new material has “swagger in spades”. The lead single Big Hoops (Bigger The Better) rumbles like a volcano as the singer recounts her teenage love affair with hip-hop over a warped bassline.

“I’m channelling my 14-year-old self,” Furtado says. “She’s thinking about putting on her big hoop earrings and baggy pants and going to the mall downtown.”

The lyrics quote Salt-N-Pepa, A Tribe Called Quest and Blackstreet – bands the teenage Furtado listened to in the suburbs of Victoria, Canada.

“Hip-hop was super-exotic to us in Canada,” she recalls. “Because we were near the south, we could get some of the radio stations from Seattle.

“I remember attaching a wire clothing hanger to the antenna of my radio in my bedroom, so I could get the frequency and get that station and listen to the top 10 every night.”

“It was very liberating, finding that confidence through the music. And that’s what Big Hoops is about.”

Furtado took “six months off Twitter” to clear her head before writing the album
Nostalgia is a big part of the album. Parking Lot touches on similar themes to Big Hoops (“let’s dance in the rain”), while Waiting For The Night is based on a diary Furtado wrote as a “smitten sixteen-year-old” on holiday in Portugal.

To help recapture the sound of that era, the singer sought out Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins, one of the biggest R&B producers in the 1990s.

Jerkins worked with many of the bands Furtado name-checks – playing keyboards for Blackstreet and writing hits for Michael Jackson, Aaliyah, Beyonce, TLC and Kanye West.

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Making of the video for “Bigger the better”
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“One track that he did that I loved was The Boy Is Mine with Brandy and Monica,” Furtado says.

“He was telling me about the ad-libs – how they had to be equal and fair.

“They had to count out the number of lines to make sure everybody had the same amount.”

“I love hearing that kind of stuff.”
‘Content-hungry’
The singer’s own fans won’t have to wait so long to hear the secrets behind her songs. Every moment of the recording process has been carefully documented on video, with weekly “webisodes” being posted to YouTube.

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It’s a common part of music marketing these days – alongside free downloads, Facebook pages and endless “teaser” clips previewing forthcoming music videos.

“It’s become a content-hungry universe,” says Furtado. “The most important person on your team nowadays is your videographer because they’re constantly filming you.

“But I’m quite private, so I get a little bit nervous about that stuff.”

We’d only work ’til midnight at the latest. Rodney has two little kids – so he doesn’t go to bed very late”
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Working with Producer Bob Rock

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Nelly Furtado, on her decidedly non-rock ‘n’ roll working hours
The pressure to document recording sessions was particularly difficult.

“At first, I wasn’t able to write a song with the cameraman in the room,” she says.

“I’ve always admired people who can write like that. I’ve been there at hip-hop sessions where Kanye West will walk in and write in front of all 20 guys in his team. I’d be like, ‘oh my God!'”

“But on this album, the videographer would stay in the room and I eventually forgot he was there. It takes practice. It’s another creative relationship.”

MORE VIDEOS AT http://www.youtube.com/user/NellyFurtado

text © BBC 

Mr FOLEY – short film


A darkly funny but nightmarish scenario, a man wakes up in hospital with a group of sound artists soundtracking his life. Mr Foley is an award winning short film directed by Dublin directing duo Mike Ahern & Enda Loughman aka D.A.D.D.Y. The film has been on the festival circuit for a while but has just premiered online for all to see, YAY!

link to VIMEO
Written & Directed by D.A.D.D.Y.
Short film
Duration: 4.50 m

David Byrne “London’s tempo is 122.86 BPM”

David Byrne has recorded a unique ambient piece based on sounds he encountered in London.

see aroomforlondon

David Byrne is no stranger to unusual projects. The songwriter has always been intrigued by left field arts, with his recent output moving from world music to classical, commercial pop to experimental electronics.

Taking part in A Room for London, David Byrne agreed to create a sound piece using noises he encountered during two days in the city. Introducing the project, the one time Talking Head said: “London’s tempo is 122.86 beats per minute”.

Continuing, the songwriter explained how he approached the project. “I brought along some field recording gear to use while I was staying in the lovely pod/room/boat”.

“I went out during the day and recorded sounds that I thought might be useful and evocative. It turned out that most of the sounds—even the church organ in Southwark Cathedral—seemed to converge around a common rhythm. It’s a bit too good to be true—that every large city should have it’s own rhythm, but here it is. I let the sounds dictate the groove, the tempo, and then I simply played along.”

The results are gathered on new sound piece ‘Get It Away’

DYNAMIC RANGE DAY

MARCH 16th is ‘Dynamic Range Day”


see: http://dynamicrangeday.co.uk

According to this campaign,”The Loudness War is a sonic “arms race” where every artist and label feel they need to crush their music onto CD at the highest possible level, for fear of not being “competitive” – and in the process removing all the contrast, all the light, shade and depth – ruining the sound.”
(taken from dynamicrangeday.co.uk)

THIS VIDEO EXPLAINS MORE

Big-name CD manufacturers are distorting sounds to make them seem louder. Sound quality suffers.

What is Dynamic Range Day ?

The “Loudness War” is built on the idea that “louder is better”. However this concept is fatally flawed. The goal of Dynamic Range Day is to reveal this flaw and spread an alternative message:

The fatal flaw of the “Loudness War” sound

In a nutshell: it doesn’t sound good.

Research shows there is no connection between “loudness” and sales
People don’t notice loudness when comparing songs
Dynamic music sounds better on the radio – here’s the proof
Modern music players undo loudness by using ReplayGain
Most listeners just turn loud music down !
So – “loud” music on CD has no benefit on the radio, online, on an mp3 player, or in your CD player. That’s why I call it a legend – the “Loudness War” makes no sense, in 2012.

Flying Robots play James Bond Theme

Flying robot quadrotors perform the James Bond Theme by playing various instruments including the keyboard, drums and maracas, a cymbal, and the debut of an adapted guitar built from a couch frame. The quadrotors play this “couch guitar” by flying over guitar strings stretched across a couch frame; plucking the strings with a stiff wire attached to the base of the quadrotor. A special microphone attached to the frame records the notes made by the “couch guitar”.

These flying quadrotors are completely autonomous, meaning humans are not controlling them; rather they are controlled by a computer programed with instructions to play the instruments.

Penn’s School of Engineering and Applied Science is home to some of the most innovative robotics research on the planet, much of it coming out of the General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) Lab.