19 November 2005

A Room with a View

I am experimenting with a few small sketches. Limited colours, ink and a limited 'long-ish' frame.

"Hey playgirl, hey playgirl
Northern lights catch you coming down
Sleep your way out of your hometown"

'Playgirl' Ladytron

18 November 2005


Forest Glade II

This is originally an electronic ink sketch. I printed the black and white piece using a HP printer. Afterwards, I used Copic markers to render the colours.

"And everyday no matter what I do
I'm more and more in love with you
I can't believe it's really true
You wouldn't really go"

'Everyday' Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark



The Clubhouse

There are some interesting buildings in Singapore which I would love to sketch. This is one of them. There is a very strong feel of the Old World.


Artificial 2.0

I received 'Artificial 2.0' last Friday. It's an artificial (as denoted by the album titled), violent, hard-hitting EBM album with harsh, treated and distorted vocals coupled with a furious bpm throughout. Splendid soundtrack for an afternoon or night of sketching forlorn landscapes.

"When the night becomes, automatic sequence joining the day,
Singing something new, someone else is sliding into your way.
When a menthol hit, hooks a spatial girl in her summer clothes,
Like a transmission, on an empty channel, all lines are closed."

'Evil' Ladytron

17 November 2005



Analogue

First impressions, the lead single off A-Ha's new album 'Analogue' is 'Celice', a great pop-rock affair. Good single. The album is basically rock, not unlike the two previous albums, the excellent 'Minor Earth Major Sky' and the decidedly ordinary 'Lifelines'. However, this album seems to lack the pop sensibilities and the intangible qualities of the 'Minor Earth Major Sky' with a feel resembling that of a jam session of rock musicians. Competent but not striking in any way.

Addendum

Standout tracks include 'Analogue', 'Cosy Prisons' and the outstanding 'Celice'.

"This is happening for your pleasure, at your leisure
Use your evil, when you want"

'Evil' Ladytron


My regular haunt

One Saturday afternoon. In the course of my weekly search for books, I'll drop by Borders and Sunny's bookstore.

"I wouldn't want it any other way
You wouldn't let me any way"
'Dangerous' Depeche Mode

16 November 2005

Demise of CD Singles

The singles format has been dead for years. It was evident as early as the eighties when vinyl singles were dominant and CD singles were just making in-roads.

By the early nineties, CD singles had become the dominant format but they were never as prevalent as the 7" vinyl singles were during the heydays of records in the sixties and seventies.

Then came Napster, Sound Galaxy and other means of electronic distribution. The day of the CD single was clearly limited and would probably see limited production in future, much like how small batches of records are manufactured.

The recent announcement by A Different Drum and Metropolis Records to cease issuing CD singles is a reflection of hard economic realities. The returns from the amount of sales generated often does not justify the initial capital outlay and the creation of the singles themselves.


Todd Durrant from A Different Drum noted that:

"But as the label has trudged onward through the last 10 years, it has become more and more apparent that singles are nothing but a cash drain. Maybe if I'd looked around and seen that other similar labels had already given up singles, and that even the major labels were releasing fewer singles, I would have caught on. But I enjoyed the fact that ADD was different-- we were keeping the maxi-single alive!

CD singles cost nearly as much to manufacture as the album, when it comes to material costs. When we're also paying for remixes, artwork design, etc. it starts to cost a lot of money. I'd justify the expense by clumping it in with the cost of the album production. By considering the single an appendage to album, I could just say that the extra $2500 spent on a single was just part of the album budget. But hey, that made for some very large album budgets for such a small scene. Realistically, so few people were buying the singles anymore, and so few DJ's were actually using them in the clubs, that it has finally hit me like a brick in the head that I have to give them up."

It is unfortunate that more and more niche players and specialists are bowing out. In the end, it is going to be major labels with their CD singles of sorry acts like Madonna, U2 and others. Tragic. Oh well. This is the end of an era.

'Foreign coin on a telephone box
A question mark on a calendar
An empty seat on the alpha line
A sorting code, an account number"
'Playgirl' Ladytron

Morning

Ink and markers sketch. I wanted to achieve a certain effect with light and this piece was just for that purpose. Nothing elaborate, just an experiment.


"Goddess of love
Goddess of love
She never slows down
And she can't get enough
The Goddess of love
The Goddess of love
She's holding her heart to the stars above"
'Goddess of Love' Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
A Pain that I'm used to

The tracklisting of the various formats for the new Depeche Mode single due December. The choice of this single seems decent enough. I'm not particularly excited.

CD: Mute (UK)
"A Pain That I'm Used To" (4:11)
"Newborn" (5:34)

CD: Mute (UK)
"A Pain That I'm Used To [Jacques Lu Cont Remix]" (7:51)
"A Pain That I'm Used To [Jacques Lu Cont Dub]" (8:00)
"A Pain That I'm Used To [Goldfrapp Remix]" (4:39)
"A Pain That I'm Used To [Bitstream Spansule Mix]" (7:22)
"A Pain That I'm Used To [Telex Remix]" (3:28)

DVD: Mute (UK)
"A Pain That I'm Used To [Video]" (3:49)
"A Pain That I'm Used To [Exclusive behind the scenes footage]"
"Newborn [Foster Remix by Kettel]" (5:26)

12": Mute (UK)
"A Pain That I'm Used To [Jacques Lu Cont Remix]" (7:51)
"A Pain That I'm Used To [Jacques Lu Cont Dub]" (8:00)

12": Mute (UK)
"A Pain That I'm Used To [Bitstream Threshold Mix]" (6:07)
"A Pain That I'm Used To [Bistream Spansule Mix]" (7:21)

7" Picture Disc (UK)
"A Pain That I'm Used To [Goldfrapp Remix]" (4:39)
"Newborn [Foster Remix by Kettel]" (5:26)

"Got to get you off my conscience by Friday,
On Saturday I'll be wide awake,
On Sunday I'm your new best friend,
On Monday learn it all again"

'Evil' Ladytron

15 November 2005


Witching Hour

I stumbled upon Ladytron's new album 'Witching Hour' at HMV at Citylink on Saturday night. I bought it and listened to it over the weekend. 'Witching Hour' is incredible fun and infectious, I could listen to all day, again and again...

And thus, that is precisely what I did when I played the great new 'Age of Empires III' real-time strategy (RTS) game.

If I had to choose between Goldfrapp and Ladytron, Ladytron would get chosen every time. Fischerspooner and Ladytron are still the defining bands of the electroclash movement.*

Addendum

I thought the previous Ladytron albums, '604' and 'Light & Magic', were fabulous too.

Singles released so far from the 'Witching Hour' album:
"Sugar"
"Destroy Everything You Touch"

I have 'Sugar' but I have not listened to the one remix on the CD single.

*I haven't heard the new Faint CD yet.

"When a menthol hit, hooks a spatial girl in her summer clothes,
Like a transmission, on an empty channel, all lines are closed.
Taking photographs, speaking slowly through the permanent waves
The taste in her mouth that she read about earlier today"
'Evil' Ladytron

The Italian Secretary

I bought this on impulse at Sans Bookstore at Funan Centre on Saturday night and read it on Sunday. I am almost always partial to Sherlock Holmes stories. This new one by Caleb Carr, a contributing editor of Military History Quarterly, is rather long-winded. Watson huffed and puffed throughout, moralising on every issue and was extremely contemptuous and critical of his companion. In other words, the narration is very tiresome and tedious. The plot is much ado over very little despite the hyperbole in the beginning of the narration. Watson and Holmes come across as extremely 'unlikeable' people.

At the end of the novel, it is revealed that Carr had originally meant to write a Holmes short story for a collection and had expanded it greatly when he found that he could not resist writing more. This is a very bad case of literary bloat and if an editor had trimmed it down to the length of a short story, then, perhaps...

"You Think you know Her
But you never really
Lived a life without her
Couldn't tell me
The things she said
The books she read
The way she walked when the morning came
The time of night that you held her tight
But you'll never forget the day she'll ran away"
'You think you know her' Cause and Effect
Embers

This is a wondrous book by Sandor Marai about friendship, 'Embers'. This blogpost is directed towards a friend. Towards you.

Do read it. It is an exposition on the nature of friendships.

"The lights are gong out
One by one
Across the world
The lights are going out
One by one
Across the world"
'The Lights are going out' Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

14 November 2005


The Tower of the Queen Revisited

This is a coloured version of my original homage to Terry Gilliam's film 'The Brothers Grimm'. For this, I scanned the original image, following that, I printed a smaller version using a cheap Lexmark inkjet. I used Copic markers to ink the image.

"Your face is hidden and we're out of sight
And the road just leads to nowhere
The stranger in the door is the same as before
So the question answer's nowhere"
'New Life' Depeche Mode
The Door into the Secret Garden

She tried the door again but found that it was locked. The key would just not unlock the door. She knew in her heart that she may never visit the garden again.

"Even now, I'm in love with you
No matter what you put me through
There'll always be someone like you
Who lets me down again"
'Everyday' Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
Locomotive

A swift pencil sketch. Drawn while I blasted the God Module CD 'Artificial 2.0'.

Illustration Friday theme: Strength

"And I've tried
God knows I've tried
But there's nothing left
In the world today
That's making sense in any way"

'Everyday' Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

13 November 2005



The Heart of the Forest

An electronic composition of my favourite theme.

"In a harbor safe from storm
She waits for darkened forms
She's seen you there
And time and time again
You hear her call your name
She calls for you"

'The Lights are going out' Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark