Scientists in Minneapolis create world’s quietest room; potential kidnappers now seek simultaneous career as acousticians

Scientists in Minneapolis create world's quietest room; potential kidnappers now seek simultaneous career as acousticians http://www.tinymixtapes.com/sites/default/files/1304/news-13-04-soundless-room.jpg

“In space… nobody can hear you scream.” To the millionaire science skeptics out there, you’re welcome to explore that theory. Though Russia’s space tourism program is currently offering trips for a price of around $30 million, I hear they’re offering discounts for open displays of enthusiasm and positivity. General public gloominess in the country is at an all-time high… or low, depending on how you look at it.

For the rest of us, we’ll have to settle for the next best, non-reflective, really quiet thing: an anechoic chamber, one of the newest of which has been built by scientists at Minneapolis’ Orfield Labs, according to Brooklyn Vegan.

Zero noise from the outside and a complete lack of sound wave reflection on the inside means that, assuming you’re solo inside the room, you’re only left with your thoughts and the sound of your heartbeat. And thoughts about how you can hear your heartbeat. And thoughts about how your heartbeat is quickening due to the onset-paranoia of being able to hear your heartbeat. And thoughts about how you’re having a panic attack on the floor. Studies from Orfield Labs show that subjects placed within the chamber tend to start hallucinating within 30 minutes.

Watch a video explanation of the room below, though be forewarned that the digital recreation doesn’t show the man tripping balls. D’awww.

• Orfield Labs: http://www.orfieldlabs.com

Cameron Stallones (Sun Araw) and dublab launch audio/visual series focusing on EVERYTHING

Let’s ignore masochistic theories for the time being; it’s hard to justify paying for cable these days. You’re getting around 300 channels, while regularly watching maybe five of them, and much of your time is spent navigating the guide trying to find something to watch anyway. Oblivious to the futility of that ultimate goal (at least while you’re in the process of searching), the fact is, most of what’s on television is utterly mind-numbing, and possibly devolutionary. If only there was a channel that offered serene nature shots with a looped recording of a goat playing subtly in the background.

You’re in luck, outdoorsy goat fetishists! Cameron Stallones a.k.a. Sun Araw has just started an audio/visual series with the Los Angeles-based indie radio station dublab, called “Second System Vision Radio.” The name isn’t quite enough to give you the gist, so Stallones graciously elaborated: the project is “a monthly stakeout involving a complex filtration system including but not limited to tunes, talks, texts, and video.” Uh huh. You know, words, while wonderful, aren’t always the best at conveying an idea. Go ahead and check out the first episode, entitled “Linen Clothes,” below (stay til the end for a chess match with Jeff Witscher a.k.a. Rene Hell).

• Sun Araw: http://sunaraw.com
• Dublab: http://dublab.com

RIP: Phil Ramone, producer for Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, and Frank Sinatra

From Billboard:

Phil Ramone, the instinctive music producer whose mixing mastery for Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, Paul Simon and Billy Joel helped fashion some of the most sumptuous and top-selling albums of his era, has died. He was 72.

The 14-time Grammy winner and 33-time nominee once dubbed “The Pope of Pop” was hospitalized in late Feb. with an aortic aneurysm in New York and died Saturday morning at New York Presbyterian Hospital, according to Ramone’s son Matt.

• Phil Ramone: http://www.philramone.com

Simon Reynolds announces expanded edition of Energy Flash, apparently experiencing a little retromania of his own

Apparently music writer Simon Reynolds is following in the footsteps of backward-looking musicians everywhere and reissuing his foundational 1998 rave history, Energy Flash. Seems a little ironic, don’t you think, that a guy who basically book-length yelled at all of us for being a little too stuck in the past is now repeating his own history?

Just kidding! Reynolds is the author of some of the most interesting music writing available these days, including 2005’s Rip It Up and Start Again and 2011’s Retromania. Energy Flash is his essential book on rave culture and dance music of the late 80s and 90s, and it’s been called a “must-read” by all sorts of people who both read books and are known for telling other people what to do. For those unfamiliar with it, the book relies heavily on Reynolds’ firsthand experiences of the early rave scene and features interviews with artists like Aphex Twin and Goldie. The expanded edition has a new section on the rise of dubstep and America’s current obsession with EDM. I, for one, am looking forward to Reynolds explaining the American EDM thing and am seriously hoping that he’ll include a section called “Taylor, Here’s How to Talk to Your Grandmother about footwork,” because, let me tell you, I was at a total loss over Christmas.

The expanded version will be out in bookstores and as an e-book on June 20. If you’re not too stuck in the past, maybe download it to one of your digital devices and read it in between cat videos. The book is published by Faber & Faber, and Reynolds will be reading from the book’s new section at The Faber Social on April 2 in London.

• Simon Reynolds: http://blissout.blogspot.com
Energy Flash: http://energyflashbysimonreynolds.blogspot.co.uk
• Faber & Faber: http://www.faber.co.uk

Sic Alps mount single release expedition with She’s on Top 12-inch

What’s that from up on the mountaintop? Aye, it’s word of a new 12-inch single from the Bay area’s highest flying psych-pop outfit, Sic Alps. Titled She’s on Top, could this be the tip of the iceberg, an avalanche of new music just around the next ridge? The yodel of a press release does not say, so savor these soaring peaks of jangly rock, for we know not how many more months we must traverse before we’ll reach another summit of the Sic Alps.

This three-track single will be available via Drag City May 20 and comes on the heels of Sic Alps’ 2012 self-titled release (TMT Review). Sic Alps was no bunny slope of a record, so cheers to Sic Alps for giving us more music so soon; it’s like the slow trickle of spring rejuvenating the land after a snowy winter, the sun melting the water-encapsulated caps. Or it’s just three cool new tracks to be devoured via heavy slabs of vinyl.

She’s on Top tracklisting:

01. She’s on Top
02. Carrie Jean
03. Biz Bag

• Sic Alps: http://www.sicalps.com
• Drag City: http://www.dragcity.com

RIP: Robert Zildjian, founder of Sabian Cymbals

From Billboard:

Robert “RZ” Zildjian, founder of the Sabian Inc. musical cymbal manufacturing company, has died. He was 89.

Sabian announced Zildjian’s death on its website Thursday. The firm was closed until Monday and the company announcement had no details about his death.

Zildjian founded Sabian in 1981 after a legal battle with his brother, Armand, over their inheritance of the family business, Avedis Zildjian Co., a major cymbal maker. The companies remain competitors.

The family’s U.S. business was founded in the Boston area in 1928 by their father, Armenian immigrant Avedis Zildjian, and a great-uncle. The rock `n’ roll era brought an expanding demand for its percussion products.

RZ Zildjian began working for his father as a teenager and set up a subsidiary, AZCO, in Meductic, New Brunswick, Canada, in 1968.

• Sabian: http://www.sabian.com

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