Typer Tyme – Episode 10

It’s Monday, Halloween, and I feel slightly obligated to share some music with everyone. In this case, I share Typer Tyme’s newest episode chock full of amazing tracks by Harold-Alexis from his Shadows EP and stuff from BT’s new album. Yes, it’s not enough that I ranted about him last week, I now am finding ways to use his non-DJ-esque music as interesting pieces of music to help set or fill tone in my mixes. And tomorrow you’ll get a release of a Typer Tyme: After Hours episode filled to the brim with my darker-toned tech house, drum & bass, and some more stuff from BT’s new album.

Typer Tyme is a club-music radio show exploring a growing library of music and sharing the hope found in it.

In October, Typer attempts to move forward after his father’s passing. Unfortunately the experiences of his dad’s demise stick with Typer, creating a divided state. And so to express this mixed reality, Typer builds two mixes. The first comes out as a full Typer Tyme episode and the other comes out the next day as an After Hours entry.

BT’s New Album – “_”

So within a week musician, composer, technologist, producer, and shark lover BT hinted at, announced, released a promotional video for, did two live interviews for, and released a promotional EP for his next album. Due out this December as a box set of art work, 9 “compositions”, 2.5 hours long, accompanied with 4K Drone footage to accompany each composition for your viewing pleasure neatly bundled on a flash drive, this is one of the “biggest” albums BT has released since These Hopeful Machines in terms of sheer depth of content to explore.

And he doesn’t even have a name for it. BT has in the past been rather public with how he intentionally names his works and writes a thesis before creating the work ahead of time. With his new EP and album, BT is giving us practically something the opposite, once again sticking to his credo of giving us something he’s never tried before and something we’ve never heard before. Here we’re introduced to an album that has no name which would suggest BT’s work here is unfinished. But many artists before have released multiple albums under just their name and a picture, leaving fans to adopt unique names based on what they see. With this experience I’m less inclined to calling the album “particles” and more towards calling the EP and the album “Underscore”, relating to the space filler used to name the album since BT had to put something down in the name space across music services. Underscore feels like such a fitting name for an album that’s so insanely grand and filled to burst with unique compositions and explorations (2.5 hours, longer than any studio album he’s released yet) and yet humbly brings to the table something (so far) running the gamut from beatless modular experiments to snappy drum kicks at a fun 4/4. It shows his humble side and the peaceful, positive movements he wishes to create in people but also how very excited he and his faithful fans are to hear something so mind-blowing and new as always.

Did I mention BT thinks about his albums far in advance? It’s something you pick up from many of his interviews but in this case BT is touting the fact that much of this album was created across the past 3 years or so. He hasn’t mentioned if he had a thesis in mind for building this album but the message we’re being sold is one of a more experimental and less predetermined experience. Music certainly doesn’t develop from a storyboard but BT’s promotional EP wonderfully sets the understanding for what’s in store in the full release in terms of how this all came about. The three publicly released compositions (Artifacture, Indivism, Ω [Ohm]) are subdivided into 25 tracks, each track a micromovement of the full composition. And it’s at the start of Artifacture (on part 2: Nostra Luna di Miele) that we get this glimpse of something growing and becoming a part of something larger, akin to what BT is talking about when he discusses how this album works and came about: Compositions developed during specific pieces or parts or moments of the past 3 years of his life, sometimes intimately related or sometimes just experiments he worked on. It’s only fitting then that “Nostra Luna di Miele” translates: “Our honeymoon.” It’s a heart-warming 3 minutes of music with gentle piano or wind sounds textured across crickets, granulated breathing elements, and…strings? Warm wind instruments? I can’t quite place it because like many of BT’s works the creation of his sounds is oftentimes just simple things given a lot of careful work. The opening slow rugged stutter sounds for Artifacture started as recording samples of BT and his wife’s breathers when they were diving on their honeymoon.

You get a sense of the stories or experiences being told here at times. “Daring in a Night City”, for example, is this mixture of light dulcimer like string plucks providing a skylight against a breakbeat ground texture, with short scenes in the mind created by fast momentary glitchy scratchy interruptions in the “process”. At other times these experiences are entirely functional but, for people who just really like sounds and music, will find depth every time they listen. Stuff like “Ohm III. Da meta tempo a Tempo Pieno” (From Part time to Full Time) come to mind as BT establishes a 4/4 pattern with clicky beats before a big flash of static invades the soundscape, and the 4/4 beat has transformed into heavier kicks that quite literally lose their weight as they swirl around your head from left to right all the while…lifting. The kicks get lighter, losing bass, while the music itself literally sounds like it is going above your head, or up your headphones. Sometimes the tracks on the EP are filled with wonderful golden nuggets like this. One fan deciphered that the key and fundamental sound of the bass got deeper across the three compositions. BT confirmed this in a response to the fan, I like the concept of “getting deeper” as we get more into the work too.

The crazy thought is that the full album will not feature such minute detailed looks into each composition. The micromovements will not be listed in the other compositions from what we’re told and that’s almost a shame. If there’s ever a time for fans and people who haven’t yet divulged into BT’s work to understand just how complex and deep his rabbit hole of music goes, the Underscore EP is that opportunity. Translating track names that are written in Latin prompt listeners to look up the name meanings or gain an understanding of what it exactly is they are actually hearing or to simply learn something new. The start of the Indivism composition lead me to Wikipedia trying to understand what a Fast Fourier Transform in mathematical terms is. Other searches were simply to help me understand some musical terms. Useless info? One might think.

But the trick in BT’s music is in full effect with the micromovements because of their naming schemes. This isn’t just about listening to something, it’s about becoming engaged with your music in multiple levels. People will assign or attach meaning to names or tracks that BT will ultimately not fully explain to people for that very same purpose. And so I feel like something might be lost if we’re not allowed the same level of deep digging and personal engagement in the rest of the album. That being said, it’s 2.5 hours long. We’d be searching for answers forever. What’s currently out there is  still great.

There’s also the matter of the compositional endings of Indivism and Ohm. During the development of this album, BT spent a lot of time with modular sound developed from a nice chunk of Euroracks. The music he’s created from them at times serves as a “goodbye” to the two aforementioned compositions and they’re lovely 5+ minutes of music developed in a wonderful form. The fading noise on Ohm is something you don’t realize lingers until you pause the track somewhere in its last 60 seconds or so and suddenly you notice your room is a lot quieter and that wasn’t the hum of your PC in the background you heard. Instead, you were hearing the recorded output hums that remained from the modular synths BT had spent days pouring over to create these sounds lingering on to add a nice little nugget of sound for you to appreciate (you can even hear the sound rev up somewhere in the last 15 seconds before it all goes silent and the machines must have been turned off). These final micromovements are awesome but unlike Artifacture (which is wonderfully divided the whole way through and feels perfectly designed, paced, and finished) they are very different from the actual composition in terms of theme. Maybe the focus of the composition is actually present and I’m just missing it. Indivism could be about two states not being divided (so the final micromovement isn’t split from the rest of the composition) and Ohm most likely being a number of experiments regarding the measurement itself. But in many ways they feel like they take away from the experience one was having just seconds ago.

I’ve touted Ohm a lot so far in this discussion so I’ll talk about Indivism too. It’s this interesting weird middle ground of wide bass “slices” working with and against beats while playing with melody and time distortion. Motion, time, and presentation of the sound seem to be the focus as two micromovements are “Slices of Basso Ostinato” and “Variant of Fragments of Basso” while another is “The Properties of Motion”. In 6 (and 7) minutes Indivism and Ohm both take you on a ride that would work as a wild single release in the club music industry. I don’t know about successful but definitely wild. And then those 6 or 7 minute journeys are more or less interrupted as they reach a big conclusion and almost without transition blast their way into a free open modular synth space that is almost unrelated in totality to the composition being played with (at least it feels so in execution). Maybe I just don’t understand the music enough…probably. Anyways the point I’m getting at is that I just hope the whole album doesn’t do that over and over. Artifacture doesn’t do this so I have some good hopes. And regardless that modular music is still a wonderful listen. It just feels like those creations could be compositions of their own perhaps.

As I said earlier though, music creation doesn’t work like this set storyboard of ideas. It’s something that develops and you can tell from your digging that this is an album that is very developed across time as its inspiration. BT may put down a thesis of “I’m going to share music that I just kind of freely develop for 3+ years” but that doesn’t mean he knows what it’s going to sound like that very moment in time from start to finish. He’s letting life inspire him in one of the most unguided ways.  And if that means some wild modular creations that he made at the end of building some of these compositions are a part of the journey then that’s in effect what he’s trying to share with us and what we’re supposed to be experiencing. Stark, wild, and even unexpected contrasts are something BT’s done in the past. He did it with Tomahawk (chaos vs. uplifting). He did it with Dynamic Symmetry (jazz vs. break beats). And he did it back in the late 90s with Solar Plexus (rock in the middle of a dance album, actually he does that a LOT in his albums). The point is that BT is taking us on the journey of discovering and creating his own music in this album. And while I’m a little bummed we won’t know the micromovements of the rest of Underscore’s compositions, and the sudden modular pieces might be a little odd for pace purposes, this album is still gonna be so cool I won’t shut up about it for like a year.

Political Spirits with Typer (Part 3) – Debates

Such a refreshing read. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lincoln%E2%80%93Douglas_debates

I get sick of seeing short videos of the debates on Facebook and videos showcasing that we have a corrupt political system, or that our political candidates lie. Tell us something we don’t know. Mudslinging has been a thing for a long time as well. What really disgusts me scrolling the feed, seeing the videos, and hearing anything remotely related to the election has nothing to do with which politician is corrupt or which one is horrible. What bugs me is that it’s all we talk about, it’s all we see, it’s all that gets spat out in front of us.

And please, civil comments or none. Not looking to make a discussion here, just looking to make a statement. I’ll remove the post if it gets out of hand, just trying to expand some minds (including my own) here into thinking about why we have those debates. There are far more important things going behind your vote than whether or not you think Trump or Hilary (or whoever else you might be voting for) can’t be trusted in office.

Political Spirits with Typer (02): Why You Should Stop Sharing (political) Videos

Political spirits is an unscheduled free space for Justin/Typer to talk about how he feels regarding certain controversial or delicate matters. These typically have to do with politics, religion, or some weird mix in between them. He writes about these things because he thinks the world is a bit too immediately hostile or too quick to share their own opinion instead of take the time to let other people talk. It’s the best way he feels he can share his thoughts on certain matters.

Look, I don’t post much on Facebook to begin with but I scroll it once or twice a day and I crawl across Twitter several times a day seeing what’s out there. Unfortunately, what’s out there is sometimes filth. I think the epitome of the filth out there that you see on your local feed is either horrible things people are doing, or worse, horrible summations of things happening out there in video form.

You know exactly what I’m talking about too I’m sure but just to make sure we are all on the same page, I’m just going to take a recent example I saw on my feed. No name dropping here of WHO I saw post it because that’s irrelevant. Someone on my friends list reposted/shared a video showcasing how Hilary Clinton said Trump supporters are irredeemable and deplorable, while at the same time Hilary Clinton supporters are also at times physically attacking Trump supporters. The video showcases essentially…actually I’m not quite sure what it’s showcasing: That politics in the US has turned into a nasty machine now and that there are many vile deplorable people out there? I don’t see how it could be an anti-Hilary video so much as it is an anti-Hilary-supporter video, which sounds cruel and hostile in its own way if you think about it for a few seconds. Regardless, these videos typically have some form of bias to some degree and lean towards supporting one political figure or making another political figure look bad. How well those arguments are constructed vary but let’s say for the sake of argument half the time those arguments are poorly constructed and are actually feeding out bad information to persuade people into thinking something that might not be true.

Just…think about that for a moment. A video that has a 50% chance of sourcing out information that is only partially true or designed hopefully to make you be persuaded towards a certain way of thinking over the other. Maybe it won’t though. But you share the video out anyways on your feed. The risk of posting these videos comes in the text that tends to be displayed on these videos. This part is very important and leads into everything else I’m discussing here tonight so don’t miss this:

If the video does not clearly state or express an opinion (Trump is evil, Hilary is evil, whatever), then when you share it anyone can consider it means anything and that you believe anything.

And that’s a horrible thing for people to misunderstand when we’re putting up videos typically covering political, religious, domestic violent, or race controversies. How does this work? Well, let’s look at that supposed video again.

If I share that video up on my Facebook feed, with no added comments or anything, the people I’m not close with but see me on like a weekly basis might see that video and think I’m a Trump supporter. Or they might think I’m anti-Trump AND Clinton. Or they might think that I liked a video showing Clinton be cruel to a Sanders supporter. Consider some other videos you’ve seen on YOUR Facebook feed. Maybe I even added a comment with the video like, “Horrible!” and the video is a group of people rioting in response to someone of a certain race or color being shot and killed by police officers, or the video is armed security being aggressive to peaceful protesters.

What will you think my opinion of the topic in the video is? If I don’t have a clear answer to that question I’m dealing with people taking my words to mean something else entirely.

Sharing videos designed to persuade towards a certain way of thinking can express that you support the video when in reality your stance on the video might be something different entirely. And since these videos are few in words and may not clearly show how they stand, people could take your sharing of a video to mean so many things you do not want to express.

See, in reality, maybe I wanted people to see that Clinton was being cruel politically, or I wanted to share that I’m just tired of America’s heated political state during election season, or that it’s horrible that peaceful protesters are being attacked by armed security, or that I don’t like it when people riot because aggression solves so little from where I sit. I’m sure many of you are thinking the following:

“Man forget what other people think of you, they don’t matter if they don’t get you.”

But that’s where I think this becomes an even bigger problem. Constantly sharing slanderous or potentially persuasive videos instead of your own original thoughts (or maybe for once: Not saying anything when you have nothing new to bring to the table) just creates a false representation of your character and being. People won’t care to get you and while many think that won’t matter, I think in today’s internet-speed-society even the minute things we share, post, and take the time to re-post onto our feed is a new or expanded way of communicating who we are to people. People who visit my Twitter feed know that I tweet out some daily experiences, share my mixes (which means I like electronic music), and try to converse with some friends on it and talk about video games. They also probably pick up on the fact that I like BT’s music and We Bare Bears (who doesn’t?). And that’s just my feed and the general things I like. If I posted political summary videos (because let’s face it: People are quick to wonder) people would feel uncertain on whether or not I’m slightly racist, a Trump supporter who doesn’t think about what he does, or blind to the fact that Hilary Clinton has political corruption that the whole world seems to know about. To lose out to some genuine cool friends or to sell myself as someone I’m not at all because I shared some videos and people don’t have time to sit down and chat with me for an hour to discuss what I believe is quite an unfortunate thing.

And before you say you’re not victim to acting this way, I’ll be the first to step out and say I also do this. I think everyone does it just because we have less time to spend getting to know people and instead are driving social interactions typically on a micro-level now. I should preface this all this by saying I’m a 24-year old person who more or less follows Baptist religious practices and believes

Jesus is my spiritual savior. Following me? I hope so because it’s vital for what is next.

One of the most vile, disgusting, and personally offensive things I’ve seen on the internet in my life is a video of someone (seemingly) urinating on the Quran, placing it on a pile of wood blocks in a barrel, and then shooting the Quran with a loaded weapon. And this offended stance doesn’t just come from a “Oh jeez, burning books, return of Hitler” defense mechanism. This is a religious person horribly offended by the repeating of intolerance, even when the very thing not being tolerated is the thing I’ve been raised and taught that it is the wrong thing to believe growing up and that it can lead to some pretty awful things (when the reality is that religion in the hands of bad people is just a bad thing).

And here’s where I’ve fallen victim to acting the very way I say people might treat you: That person who had that video shared out on Facebook, they’ve been defriended. They’ve tried to add me back but it’s not going to happen. Unless I meet with that person face to face and am forced into a scenario where I have to sit down and listen to this person’s stance on things, I’m not going to give that person another chance to be known by me. I don’t care and I don’t have time to go out of my way and see where this person sits on things unless God and universe and fate decides i should.

If I were to later hear from that same person and they told me that the video was shared out to show how horrible people can act, I’d be hard pressed to believe it. When we don’t make the message clear, the damage is done. Yes it’s horrible that we as people are quick to judge and so often hard to persuade into thinking that someone has changed. What people think of us actually matters a lot. We have to work with people to get jobs typically, we care about what our significant others think of us once we’re close enough, we care about what our friends think of us to some extent, and unless you’ve disowned your family or have been disowned, you probably care what your family thinks of you. So why does that mindset stop when we regurgitate the videos to our social feeds?

If the video does not clearly state or express an opinion (Trump is evil, Hilary is evil, whatever), then when you share it anyone can consider it means anything and that you believe anything.

And that’s just something I aim to avoid.