A colleague of mine had a dream where, as best as he could remember, three lines rotated and smoothly transitioned between a triangle and a 3-spoked thing. At least, that's what he could get across, and implement as an animation, when he woke up.

Right now I'm looking for animated works to put on the big screen at this year's Vogel Street Party. And in general, I'm trying to throw down audiovisual jams in the weekends for fun. So this stickity animation got me inspired.

I tweaked the animation so the sticks slow down and speed up, added dingy urban background images (of Vogel Street of course!). Then I put it through @felixturners's badTV shader effect, which I've been wanting to use on something for ages.

The soundtrack is a combo of my old textbook "light, textured dubstep" demo Peaches From NZ with layered sci-fi Alchemy presets.

This year I signed up for another 48 Hour film with my workmates (team Arrested Developers). I've been involved a few times now and this year I'm really proud of what we achieved - the film really hangs together well, and is a good match for the genre we were assigned - romantic comedy.

Every year going into the 48 hour weekend I secretly dread it. I'm keen to use the process to try and get quicker at writing & producing, and get a bit of practice scoring films, but I'm usually concerned that I'll end up on Sunday tired with nothing amazing to show for it.

How It Went

This year it worked out wonderfully! The team was really well organised, and produced a simple, filmable script with lots of scope for an interesting score. In fact, there's very little dialogue in middle section of the film.

I spent a little time on Friday night with the script writers, and awoke on Saturday to a charming (and coherent!) script. I procrastinated over the course of the day, playing around with chords I thought might help me write themes for each character.

In the evening, I headed up to HQ (work) and got straight into scoring. There was a near-final rough cut for me to score to (again, fantastic organisation this year!). I wrote scene cues until about 3am, then headed home. On Sunday I spent all afternoon writing & polishing.

Here's the final product:

Sadly, we didn't make the final!

However, we did win Best Costumes and Best Art Direction - well deserved in my opinion. (Not sure what to make of the other "win" Best 70s Porn Score ...)

About the Score

I wrote two chord progressions, one for each character. The male lead's was a dubby, cheerful loop while the female lead's was more wistful.

I used these chords throughout, using a reggae arrangement for the male theme, and strings for the female. For the "action" sections I made a little moogy arpeggio section.

It was a lot of fun hitting cue points in the SMS section, and scoring the denouement.

Previous Teams

Last year I was involved, to a lesser extent, with Arrested Developers. Aidan wrote an incredible, suspenseful score (I contributed a little loop and some drum recordings).

In 2012 I joined team Radial Head. I had a lot of fun, but the score is pretty thrown together, as is the script. The movie looks and sounds pretty fantastic though. Still really like way it starts off with the helicopter shot + darkstep soundtrack. I guess "found footage" is a tough genre!

Threw down this mix of recent and not-so-recent tracks the other day. It gets a bit progressive and also sci-fi spacey, so the title is a nod to the classic and/or cliched "disk jockey taking you on a journey" trope. Of course the galaxy destination name came from wurd.

Journey to Zyhaca by Haszari on Mixcloud


  1. DFRNT - Turning Back
  2. Qvarz - Bodywork
  3. Agoria - Scala
  4. Audiojack - Blackout
  5. Bowski - Balloon Brain
  6. Lindstrom - I Feel Space
  7. Goldie - Kemistry (Justin Martin remake)
  8. Third Son - Recondite
  9. Solee - Ice
  10. Groove Armada - Stevie Latenight
  11. Chaim - Summer Rains
  12. Johannes Brecht - HOLLA
  13. Maribou State - Bricks
  14. Haszari - Maenyb (ruff dub)

A little while ago I posted about randomly generating psuedowords.

wurd icon

I've made a little website/home screen app for this - if you need a word now you're sorted!


The idea is that I'll use this when I'm jerking around with music and need a name for a little tune or loop, or a section of the arrangement. If you're writing science fiction stories you could use this to name characters or tools from far-off planets.

After showing this around a few friends, the feature requests are coming in thick and fast (as usual...):

  • check domain (.com etc) name availability
  • incorporate arbitrary text (e.g. prefix/suffix)
  • share button

Anyway - bookmark it, or chuck it on your homescreen, and wait for your life to change!

Today I got an email inviting me to Beatport's new streaming service. Sign me up! I love to stream electronic music!

(By the way, the 'old' Beatport - the mp3 shop - is now known as Beatport Pro.)

Overall, it's pretty great. I'll be using this a lot when I want to listen to curated lists of current, popular dance music. Beatport has a pretty enviable catalogue. Sadly, Cartoon Beats is not on there - yet! - in the meantime here's some stuff involving Haszari and check out our buddies at Newclear Music and Muzikozi.

This experience is a huge improvement on crate-digging via short mp3 snippets!

Beatport Screenshot

Good Things

There are lots of curated playlists for genres, big sellers, new releases, etc. I listened to Deep House Essentials and then Sounds of the Underground which both were great as working background music, and had the occasional gem too. Genre-wise they were actually pretty similar (broadly deep & somewhat techy house), which I found curious.

I like the look and design of the site - it's clean and uncluttered. There's reasonably deep info there too: for example, heart/play counts, and metadata such as key and BPM. When you're looking at a track or release, you get recommendations for other tunes.

As a streaming music player it's pretty good and flexible - you can skip around in songs (by visiting the page for the track), as well as hit next when something horrible comes on. The sound quality seemed pretty fine too (note I am not any kind of audiophile!).

Wish List

While it's a good simple service, there are some things that would make it amazing (in my opinion).

  1. A radio / discover mode. This is the biggest gap for me. I'd like to tell it to keep playing, and have it play stuff based on its related/recommendations data. I don't care if the algorithm's dumb, I just want it to keep playing. (Of course they can improve the algorithm over time!)
  2. Play queue management e.g. "add to up next". It's really basic right now - when you hit play on a list or a track, it wipes out whatever is queued. I'd like to add lots of things from lots of places to my playlist, and then play that on shuffle (and then play related stuff when it runs out).
  3. Shuffle/random playback. Surely this is essential!
  4. Play history.

It'll be interesting to see how the service develops, and how it impacts on the other players in the market (e.g. Spotify, iTunes Radio, Red Bull Music Academy Radio, etc). Nice pivot, Beatport.

I love simple-sounding electronic music: it sounds like it has only three parts & someone's elegantly noodling around the groove.

As you might know from other posts, I find most music-making software annoyingly complicated. I want a user interface that facilitates sketching out little patterns and noodling around with them, yet still allows you to stand up, walk around, dance, and generally not get lost in the software (or in the details of your track).

Auxy is just that. It's a simple grid of patterns, with some really nice instruments & drum kits. The sounds are just what I like to play with - light, expressive, and very electronic.

You can trigger/stop the patterns in the grid like you might in Seq24 (or Ableton Live !). You get two parameters to tweak on each instrument - e.g. a filter cutoff and a delay. Enough to have fun.

The app looks really great too - cute and tidy but really minimalist, so it fades into the background and lets you focus on the music.

I made a little techy jam in about half an hour and this really convinced me how great Auxy is. This is how electronic music should work.

And it's free!

Now .. someone make a desktop version, with automation loops, MIDI out, MIDI sync, and nudge ... :)

UPDATE! Pro Midi ($US10) covers a lot of my wishlist above.

I first heard about Baobinga when hunting around Sydney for records in about 2004. Everywhere I went there was this record emblazoned with a clearly Metallica-inspired logo. Eventually I must have picked it up and loved it.

What's not to like? Superb breakbeat sample, lots of sharp filter motion, a horrible dirty reggae/jungle bassline, and prominent sirens - I still get chills listening to the initial drop. Baobinga put out lots of other good stuff, but this is the highlight for me.

This is one of those tracks where I immediately want to hunt down more like this, and 10 years later it's still unique. Let me know if you find something approaching the sound of this!

Also let me know if you know what bashment is.

Update: he's now going by the alias Sam Binga.

Deotoise by Haszari on Mixcloud


  1. Saytek - 20 Years
  2. The Writer's Block - Don't Look Any Further
  3. LO'99 & Marshall F - Take Me Back (LO'99 VIP)
  4. Disclosure - Fool For You (Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs remix)
  5. Audiojack - Indigo
  6. Djuma Soundsystem & Shades of Gray - Madness (Hallo Halo remix)
  7. Double Agent - Bounce & Shake
  8. Caldera - Morning Traveller
  9. Hannah Wants - I Refuse
  10. Siles & Aboga - Second Assault
  11. Nikolozi - Counter (Juan Tellez remix)
  12. Helena Hauff - Severe Slash
  13. Toddla T & Danny Weed & Jammer - I Don't Wanna Hear That (Mella Dee remix)

Recently the first Vogel Street Party happened in the warehouse precinct (on the street where I work). The reason for the party was to celebrate the local community making things happen & the general rejuvenation of the area.


It was incredible!


From 3pm to 10pm on Saturday the 18th of Oct (2014):

  • the street was closed to traffic
  • street food vendors sold delicious wares
  • a huge range of activities for young and old were held
  • a HUGE LED wall screen showed animation, video and digital art
  • musicians performed over the afternoon
  • there was an upcycled street-fashion show
  • DJs played into the evening


Also the party coincided with the Dunedin Street Art Festival. Local and international artists transformed walls around the area into vibrant pieces of art.


A strong group of volunteers made this happen. I got myself involved from day one and put a lot of energy into the website, booking the DJs, as well as curating & producing the digital screen content.

I also had the privilege of performing - DJing while triggering my animations on the big screen.


A huge thanks to everyone who contributed to the event, and the sponsors who backed us! I can't wait for the next one.

One of the many neat little touches in Figure (a fun music app/toy for iPhone/iPad/iOS) is how it names documents.

Instead of using the typical "Untitled 1" (or similar) approach, it generates a nonsense word. I like this because you're not forced to think up a name but you still still get a "meaningful" name/handle to use to refer to your lil song doodle thing. Examples: Dukadygo, Hudolyka, Tejugy.

I really liked this idea, and wanted to use it in SuperCollider, so I wrote a little String extension to generate pseudowords.

+ String {
  // Generate a random "word" between 2-5 syllables.
  * randomWord { | minSyllables=2, maxSyllables=5 |
    consonants = "bcdfghjklmnpqrstvwxyz",
    vowels = [
      'a', 'e', 'i', 'o', 'u'
    longvowels = [
      'ee', 'oo'
    dipthongs = [
      'ae', 'ai', 'ao', 'au',
      'ea', 'ei', 'eo', 'eu',
      'ia', 'ie', 'io', 'iu',
      'oa', 'oe', 'oi', 'ou'
    word = Array.fill(rrand(minSyllables, maxSyllables).round, {
      var syllableMode = 20.rand;
      // 10% chance of a diphthong vowel
      {syllableMode >= 18} {consonants.choose ++ dipthongs.choose}
      // 10% chance of a long vowel
      {syllableMode >= 16} {consonants.choose ++ longvowels.choose}
      // 5% chance of no vowel!
      {syllableMode == 6} {consonants.choose}
      // otherwise "typical" syllable (75% chance)
      {syllableMode >= 0} {consonants.choose ++ vowels.choose}

I'll be using this in SuperCollider for naming little midi patterns, song sections etc, as opposed to beat, bass1, bridgechords etc.

Other potential applications of this concept:

  • blog post 'slug' - the url key for a post (coming soon to drongo)
  • names of characters, technologies, plants or animals in creative writing
  • name for your new company/brand.

I made a little animation in html5 canvas of circles that grow. It's pretty slow/unoptimised at the moment. I used the oCanvas library; it seems pretty handy.

Click mv to move a random circle to a random location. Click tgl to stop/start the growth. Click here for a full-browser-window version.

Here's a playlist of circle related songs.