The collaboration between the streetwear imprint and Portishead comes in the form of a T-shirt design centered around the cover of Dummy. The cover of the debut album from the band released in 1994 shows a still of vocalist Beth Gibbons taken from To Kill a Dead Man, the short film by Portishead which featured a self-composed soundtrack. It is interesting to note that To Kill a Dead Man helped earn the band its record contract with Go! Beat Records.
Blush, the American debut from the English outfit Bows, is an incredibly orchestral affair, focused on laying down inventive, mellow beats, lush, orchestral atmospherics and gorgeous vocals. As with all good trip-hop, Bows' sound is unusally warm, utilizing rich, organic production techniques, bass- heavy kickdrums, melodic, ambient drones, and dense, full string sections.
Sutherland's vocals, on the other hand, are slightly more hit- or- miss. On the album's title track, an otherwise melodic and ambient masterpiece, Sutherland's lyrics are simply too damn cheesy to enjoy. But on the almost 8- minute- long \"Girls Lips Glitter,\" his British- accented whisper is a perfect match for Emond's ghostly background harmonies. (It should also be noted that \"Girls Lips Glitter\" is the first successful fusion of ambient trip-hop and full-on drum-n-bass in history.)
Founding members El-P and Mr. Len met when the latter was hired to perform as a DJ at the former's 18th birthday party. The two quickly became friends and formed Company Flow in 1993. They released their first single, \"Juvenile Techniques\" later the same year. After El-P was introduced to Bigg Jus by underground rapper and indie label owner ANTTEX, the trio then released their debut EP, Funcrusher, on their own label Official Recordings in 1995. A follow-up single, \"8 Steps to Perfection\" was put out in 1996. Subject to a major label bidding war on Libra Records, Company Flow waited until they could get a contract on their own terms. They eventually signed to Rawkus, and helped revitalize underground rap with labelmates like Mos Def. Their full-length debut album Funcrusher Plus was released in 1997 on Rawkus. After two years of pushing the album and touring, group member Bigg Jus decided to strike out on his own and the group amicably dissolved. El-P and Mr. Len followed up their debut with the instrumental album Little Johnny from the Hospitul: Breaks & Instrumentals Vol.1 (Rawkus).
Bigg Jus stated in 2006 that he was working on material for a new Company Flow album, suggesting the possibility of the group re-forming. Company Flow reunited for a show on October 19, 2007 in Brooklyn, New York City as well as a show on July 16, 2011, and supported Portishead at the inaugural British 'I'll Be Your Mirror' festival on July 23, 2011.
As an exiled classical violinist, dormant guitarist, habitual electronic tinkerer and (as of 2014) live coder, I got interested in making electronic music when I listened to Portishead's 'Dummy' and Boards of Canada's 'Geogaddi' (among others) in my early teens. I began learning how to produce it as soon as I could by experimenting with FL Studio alongside early YouTube tutorials, the first milestone of this being the release of my first 'album' of 'Ambient music' as a .zip of 128kbps .mp3 files on MediaFire.
Third is that the software is proprietary, and I was unhappy with what that represents. Leading up to the time I eventually gave up with proprietary DAWs (and subsequently proprietary software in general, where possible) I had been watching a number of lectures by Richard Stallman discussing proprietary software and user freedom. This, coupled with the work of glitch artists (particularly Rosa Menkman and Nick Briz) focusing on the role of platforms and softwares as often unacknowledged intermediaries in our material experiences of technology presented me with a set of issues I could not personally resolve. While I released all of my music under creative commons in disagreement with copyright legislation, I was producing music using tools that were not only bound by the legislation I disagreed with, but tools that were purposefully restricted the way that I could use them. In the words of Richard Stallman:
As it is a programming language, SuperCollider can be (and has been) built up to a fully-functioning DAW-type environment if necessary. With this I could try to like-for-like replace a proprietary DAW environment if I wanted, but doing so would, for me, partially defeat the point of learning how to live code in the first place. In live coding I can build and maintain an environment that suits me as a performer, keeping a simple, effective workflow to articulate my ideas within.
\"Third is that the software is proprietary\" - With a few exceptions (notably Max/MSP), live coding draws from rich ecosystem of free and open source tools, often with practitioners being active contributors to the software packages that they use (a good example being Alex McLean and TidalCycles). In adopting Live Coding as a method for electronic music performance I could finally leave the Apple ecosystem and the proprietary DAW paradigm in favour of using GNU/Linux and open source tools. I could now have full access to the tools I would be using to create music and the ability to modify these tools as I wished. In addition, so can anyone else! I can happily write a set of tutorials on how I live code electronic music knowing that anyone who has access to a computer running a compatible operating system should have the ability to follow that tutorial without them having to have access to hundreds of pounds worth of software and a license for Windows or an Apple machine. Live Coding was the last piece of the puzzle in my transition to a fully open source art practice, both in the tools I use and the work I create, which is now the focus of my PhD research. I try to keep an updated GitHub repo containing my live coding setup and sets, and I am going to be writing some docs/guides on how I live code dance music using SuperCollider and my own custom boilerplate code. The repo can be found here and a set of resources on how to live code in SuperCollider can be found here.
More significantly though, I'd argue this projection of text is more than the fleeting glimpse one can see when observing a traditional instrumentalist at work. In watching a performer articulate their music as a text file on screen, I feel as if I am watching a performer build and manipulate a sculpture over the course of a performance, with the form of that sculpture being mirrored in the changes in the music heard throughout the performer's set. Whether that involves a performer starting from absolutely nothing and building a performance from minimal roots, regularly deleting their entire text and starting again, or a performer loading a pre-written text and selectively executing/modifying it, drawing on an extensive codebase to craft a detailed performance (both of which I've seen Yaxu alone do), or anything in between. As I perform using SuperCollider, the level of verbosity required means I often type and navigate through text a lot, however I am always shocked at how little code I actually have at the end of a performance. My performances are usually composed of a select few carefully-maintained symbiotic micro-structures which I edit extensively. I don't write an awful lot from scratch, but I fairly meticulously edit and re-edit what I do write, executing the same piece of code many times in one performance with slight changes to fit the other few running pieces of code. 1e1e36bf2d