13
Oct

20111013-190515.jpg

This fantastic steel drum player was busking outside Ealing Broadway station, this evening. In the couple of minutes I spent listening to him he covered some pop song I couldn’t place and Bach’s Toccata & Fugue in D-minor. He let flow a gentle, swaying lyricism to both pieces: a hint of jazz, a nod to the relaxing heat of the Carribean, the odd blue note and lots of swing. Glorious!

I’m a fan of buskers who pick music or styles that exaggerate or totally shift the ambience of a space. I think if you simply busk famous songs in a style similar to how they’re most known, you’re missing a trick. Busking has so much potential to subvert the familliar patterns of an average day. Not that I have musical skill enou to pull this off, you understand!

This guy nailed it. Totally out of place amongst commuters scrambling to get home, and really beautiful; reminding us to take it easier and smile more often.

05
Aug

I’ve remixed the Knob Jockey’s “Troupee”, with the help of the Ela Southgate Dub Brass Players. What once was a breakbeat beast, is now an electro-ska crusader. Download and enjoy!

[soundcloud url="http://soundcloud.com/2sd/knob-jockeys-troupee-remix"]

You can find the original here, on the Knob Jockey’s website. I’ve heard them play out loads, their fidget house, dubstep and mashup sets are flawless and really fun. They’ve got a couple of festival shows lined up through the end of the summer so go see them if you can.

TroupeeReArt2

27
Feb

We had some friends over for dinner, and they brought indoor sparklers. After they left, I started jamming around with some of the instruments in Ableton Live 8 Suite. This is what I ended up with (after a few hours tinkering a couple of days later).

Sparkler Jam by 2SD

17
Feb

My listening habits shift by the week. Usually, literally. I’ll spend an entire week listening only to Jamaican Dancehall, the next to bands with either Dave Grohl,  Josh Homme, or both of them, in . I let whimsy and external influence dictate it. This week it’s “space jazz” or “spiritual jazz”; a music, usually from the late 60s, characterised by abstract, filmic arrangements, unusual combinations of instruments and a cosmic, spiritual or political (or all three!) ethos. These bands drew on psychedelia, cathartic walls of noise, gentle waves of “ambience”, soul & early funk. A few bands got into synthesisers, but you’re just as likely to find a sitar or a koto (or both) next to a Fender Rhodes and the more traditional brass instruments found in jazz ensembles.

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17
Jan

Over the last few days I’ve been rebuilding the contents of my laptop. It was slowing down and crashing more than I found acceptable *. Some changes have been made since the prvious build.

  • I’m back on Leopard 10.5.4. This is the last version supported by Digidesign’s Pro-Tools 7.4. I’d upgrade to 8 (and leopard 10.5.8), but my bandmate/mentor and Alaska Studios where I “tape-op” are using 7.4. The upside is that Pro-Tools works fine. There are 2 notable downsides. Firstly, my Magic Mouse wont work past pointing and clicking (left and right “buttons” work ok tho’). Secondly, I can’t use the iTunes Store through iTunes9, as it requires a version of Safari that wont install on this version of Leopard. It’s ridiculous being caught in version support games played by the various manufacturers. Read the rest of this entry »
22
Dec

I can scarcely believe it but my Chimera Synthesis BC16 has ACTUALLY ARRIVED!  The tiny round synth is here. Take a look at its cute white glowing wondrousness.

A simple BC16 patch

A simple BC16 patch

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17
Nov

So much fun!

Blanco played the new FixedFear night at CAMP, the Saturday just past. It was great, despite us breaking a speaker! The crowd danced, we played pretty well, and the vibe in the venue was fantastic. Here’s to more like that!

We shared with bill with the excellent Jem Cooke and DJs Nick Priestley and Reverend JFK. Even our own Jamie Blanco span some tunes. There’s another one on December the 19th with more bands.

10
Nov

We’re playing a show for the FixedFear night at City Arts & Music Project, 70-74 City Road, London. The temporary venue’s pretty new and we’re playing the opening night of a regular monthly shindig. The visuals are coming out to play along with a couple of new songs. Also playing on the night are Jem Cooke & FixedFear’s resident soundsmiths. And, by luck and favour, it’s FR££ to get in! See you down there!

05
Aug

Sergi Jordà came to the Dana Center back in June to take part in a discussion panel and show off his Reactable. The thing blows my mind so I felt very fortunate getting to hear him speak and to watch/hear him perform with it.

Sergi Jordà plays the Reactable

– Sergi Jordà plays the Reactable –

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22
Jun

Welcome to the Simon Dell Sound Design web site! The site contains a diary of my experiences and thoughts on working with sound: recording, mixing, editing, composing music, synthesis, playing with bands, building widgets for projects and a little about the business side of things.