[WP EDIT: Heya Margy, here’s a review that includes our very cool visitor. Yes, I’m still writing for WHM, yes, Vu still uses TypePad. Thinking about cross-posting here.]
Did you own a computer in the early ‘90s? Was it a Packard Bell? Maybe you might remember a small clip of this video:
(FYI: I believe the upload was done by the group’s keyboardist)
But as much as I’d like to write about a Seattle-area band active before grunge fashion and butt rock started dominating the scene, I’m sticking with the Octopus of Love theme to highlight some music blogs with nautiloid names.
The first one is The rise and fall of the Octopus Empire, written by Greg Cole, an electronic artist based in New Zealand. He records under the names Octopus Empire and Sleepwalker. I met him by way of a blogging friend as we were happily sharing videos of singing Telsa coils and other electronically based music.
Because I’m a really big fan of electronica, I took an interest in his hardware vs. software article.
He talks about the dilemma between using software and hardware for music creation, and the opening paragraph sums up my own thoughts pretty well:
This is a continued theme through my blog and I think a subject on the minds of many electronic musicians these days, the clarity, compact nature and ease of use of software versus the clutter, expense but alleged superior sound of hardware.
In other words, software can make composing so easy and simple. Two artists I have reviewed here at WHM, Geijus and Frame The City, produce, compose, mix, and perform music almost exclusively from their laptops. But software just doesn’t quite have the same sound that hardware does, especially analog synthesizers. If you’re like me and follow artists that have worked with such, like Wendy Carlos, Martin Gore, and Vince Clarke, you can hear the difference. I know Clarke in particular is quite passionate about analog and their CV/Gate connections, compared to the MIDI standard.
Greg believes in a balance between the two. “My plan is a mainly software studio with 2 or 3 very strong characterful analog synths, any more and I think you are moving more towards collecting and further away from a productive studio,” he told me.
While talk is good, music is better. Have a listen for yourself:
Scary Squids is an indie music review site (much like WHM) run by Ben Martin. But Ben is also a music artist, both as a solo musician (Days and Dreams) and working with the band Room For a Ghost (Voices). The blog name apparently came from an early cartoon about squids and a domain of the same name.
The site has a nice, clean, uncluttered look that’s easy to view and read. Many of the reviews include videos, which is an important feature in my book. But don’t just take my word for it– have a look for yourself.