Sunday, December 20, 2009

About the album art for "You Are The Magic People"

There has been some confusion about the album art, and for good reason. When I decided to release this album, I wanted to make a clear difference between the physical LP release and the less tangible MP3 release. I enlisted two of my friends, both fine artists from different schools, to create two unrelated images. One would be printed on the jacket and inserts of the LP, and the other would not be printed at all, only visible on people's iPods. It's my obnoxious way of reminding the listener that the two formats are not the same, and that neither is a replacement for the other.

This is the LP jacket, illustrated by Raul Gonzalez. When discussing the design with him, I knew our budget would be limited to a single color print on a large two-sided fold-over sheet. Knowing his background in sequential art, I asked him to include the namesake poem (Written by RC Weslowsky, found on the google, and used by permission) in its entirety as word balloons. He ingeniously had the text spoken by various mutations of popular comic characters, including the nefarious Yassy Goldie.

Here is the official mp3 album art. It was designed by Ben Sisto. He's a Brooklyn-based artist and promoter, though he may not differentiate the two acts. I've always admired Ben for his optimistic futurism, and when I came up with the two-format idea I immediately thought of him for the digital side. The design was created in Adobe Illustrator and as far as I know has never been printed out. The image is included in the metadata within the mp3s as they are freely provided at Inman Street Records.

I hope this clears up some questions. Be sure that you're listening to the right format before you enjoy You Are The Magic People on Oklo Audio!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Review in Built On A Weak Spot

Magic People - You Are the Magic People LP: "

Seems like I’ve seen You Are the Magic People mentioned all throughout the year from the Boston based arty noise-rock unit Magic People, yet I didn’t really realize it hadn’t actually been released. I think that may be about to change, albeit it may be in a very limited run through Oklo Audio here in the near future.

Magic People, during their nearly 5 year run of existence, has seen a number of changes over that time however has emerged as essentially the core of former Neptune and Grand Island drummer John Manson (now on bass) and keyboardist Al Deaderick. Together along with a cast including Jesse Hubbell (guitar/percussion) and Joshua Owsley (drums/saxophone) they recorded You Are the Magic People to be released on Oklo Audio. Those familiar with Manson’s previous groups don’t need much an introduction to Magic People. The odd sounds and lyrical wit that surrounded those outfits manage to work its way into a portion of Magic People’s material. On You Are the Magic People however, the groups sound is largely driven by an alternating assignment of consistent grooves provided by either Manson or Deaderick, which at times sound like a demented theme for a children’s show when paired with the spoken word and borderline ranting lyrical style of Manson. It’s not necessarily out of left field weirdo, but it certainly keeps things interesting and songs like “The Pigeon and The Eggs” and “Fuck the Wind” contain a deceptively catchy quality to them that has me repeating them over and over again. It’s a solid record for sure that fits right along with many of the great experimental/noise-rock related material that Boston spawned over the years.

Magic People – Fuck the Wind [MP3]

While the physical album doesn’t appear to be available quite yet, it has been made available freely through online label Inman Street Records. If you like what you hear definitely drop them a five dollar donation which I am sure would be much appreciated. While you’re there…download that Reports LP they have available too. Keep checking up on the bands Facebook page or the Oklo Audio blog for information on LP version of You Are the Magic People.

Monday, October 26, 2009

the namesake of this label

The following post stolen from BLDGBLOG:

Fossil Reactors: "There are as many as sixteen two-billion-year old nuclear reactors locked in the rocks beneath Gabon. Unsurprisingly, at that age, they are also completely natural.

[Image: The natural clocks and ticking stratigraphy of the Oklo uranium deposit, courtesy of the Curtin University of Technology].

'In 1972,' the Curtin University of Technology explains, 'the very well preserved remains of several ancient natural nuclear reactors were discovered in the middle of the Oklo Uranium ore deposit.' The university adds that each of these equatorial African reactors 'operated on an intermittent basis for a period ranging from a few years to hundreds of thousands of years. The total time period over which the reactors operated is thought to be about a million years.'

In one specific case, we read in a report published five years ago by Physical Review Focus, a chain reaction in the uranium-rich rocks 'cycled on and off every three hours.'

The idea that radioactive deposits beneath the Earth could self-react and undergo fission was first proposed by physicist Paul Kazuo Kuroda. The internal clock of a geological formation, Kuroda suggested, given contact with water, could simply start ticking away:
    In 1956, nuclear chemist Paul Kazuo Kuroda of the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville predicted that a chain reaction could develop in natural uranium deposits, generating heat just as the reactor in a nuclear power plant does. His suggestion proved prophetic when, in the 1970s, others discovered several burned-out natural reactors in the Oklo uranium mines in Gabon.
Amazingly, 'researchers still don't know precisely how the fossil reactors managed to burn slowly for more than 150,000 years, when they could have exploded violently.' The presence of underground water seems especially fortuitous in that regard—it helped to avoid a nuclear detonation.
    That's plausible because the water molecules would collide with neutrons whizzing through the uranium and slow them down, a process called moderation. Because slower neutrons more efficiently split the uranium nuclei in a chain reaction, the water would promote the reaction and cause the reactor to heat up. Eventually, however, the heat would boil away the water, shutting the reaction down until more water could collect.
It was a pulsing rhythm, a geologic throb: based on present-day chemical measurements taken of specific isotopes in the nearby rocks, 'the researchers estimate that the reactor ran for 30 minutes and then shut down for two and a half hours.'

[Image: A diagram of the Oklo uranium deposit, courtesy of the U.S. Department of Energy].

I'm reminded again here of William Burroughs's extraordinary and haunting suggestion, from his novel The Ticket That Exploded, that, beneath the surface of the earth, there is 'a vast mineral consciousness near absolute zero thinking in slow formations of crystal.' Here, though, it is a mineral seam, or ribbon of heavy metal—a riff of uranium—that stirs itself awake in a regularized cycle of radiative insomnia that disguises itself as a planet. Brainrock.

Gabon's 'natural nuclear fission reactors,' according to Wikipedia, 'are the only known sites in which natural nuclear reactors existed. Other rich uranium ore bodies would also have had sufficient uranium to support nuclear reactions at that time, but the combination of uranium, water and physical conditions needed to support the chain reaction was unique to the Oklo ore bodies.'

Of course, this process created what we would now call nuclear waste—including plutonium. These otherwise extraordinarily dangerous waste products, however, have been entombed within the earth for two billion years. The Curtin University of Technology points out that 'this is so long that all of the radioactive waste products (even those with million year half lives) have decayed away.' They have also hardly even moved: the plutonium, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, 'has moved less than 10 feet from where it was formed almost two billion years ago.'

Are there thus structural lessons to be learned from the rocks at Oklo? 'By analyzing the remnants of these ancient nuclear reactors and understanding how underground rock formations contained the waste, scientists studying Oklo can apply their findings to containing nuclear waste today,' the DOE goes on to suggest. This is another way of saying that the Oklo uranium deposits are being studied as natural analogues for how high-level nuclear waste might behave in an artificial repository like Yucca Mountain (watch for a long and fascinating interview with a geophysicist from Yucca Mountain here on BLDGBLOG next week).

We might say, then, that a geological formation, like some nuclear version of Spanish architect Vicente Guallart's notion of geologics, has partially inspired an architectural form.

The timescales are all wrong for this, meanwhile, but if geomythology is the study of ancient folk tales, oral traditions, and regional myths to see if they contain camouflaged references to real, but prehistoric, geological events—earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and more—what geomythological influence might the throbbing and automechanized Oklo uranium mines play? How extraordinarily interesting would it be to come across a series of old myths about an intelligent presence in the rocks of equatorial Africa, a kind of mineralized Mother Nature winking at everyone from below—and to realize that they're referring to the reactions at Oklo. A spirit in the Earth.

Finally, do these naturally occurring reactions come with the implication that our present-day nuclear reactors are, in a sense, simulated geological processes, not unlike artificial diamond-creation chambers? Nuclear reactors become models of already existing natural events. They are terrestrial reenactments, you might say.

Scientific American has a five-page article about the Oklo phenomenon, if you'd like to read more.

Monday, September 14, 2009

You Are The Magic People

Originally uploaded by zsoul

almost a retail item

Monday, August 31, 2009

A Brief Update

Originally uploaded by dayvidday

records are pressed

jackets are printed

other parts are traveling or being made

release is imminent

Thursday, August 13, 2009

rubicks - Toronto Tour - Canadian Music Week

rubicks - Toronto Tour - Canadian Music Week: "Then the Magic People from Boston hit the stage. A wild card.I like the singer. He calmed me down before I went on stage. We couldn’t find the tuner so I asked him if he had one. He just looked at me blankly and said in his American ..."

Listen: *Magic People* | Impose

Listen: *Magic People* | Impose: "OKLO Audio, a shoebox label whose proprietor plays keyboards in its latest release, You Are the Magic People, puts Magic People into a “Boston noise rock” lineage in a tongue-in-cheek mythologizing Myspace bio. If there’s any self-abasing joking here, it’s still with the truth in mind: Magic People’s de facto front man John Manson played drums for legendary rusted guitar-machine outfit Neptune. The latest batch of Magic People tunes (they’ve been releasing material as a band since 2005) cling closer to the rock margins, which is why some of the vocal turns and keyboard hooks in “The Pigeon and the Eggs” have been stuck in my head for a month and why “Your Dude” owes as much to Jonathan Richman’s post-adolescent word play as it does say, Roger Miller’s guitar snarls."

Monday, July 20, 2009

Magic People at Homegrown

Magic People
Originally uploaded by Justin and Elise
excellence through enthusiasm

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Ice Cream Cone Live

The first live Ice Cream Cone performance was in 2002 at the first meeting of dorkbot sf, the San Francisco chapter of the

Since the meeting was in the garage that my bedroom was attached to, I just had to drag a couple of PowerMacs out on a dolly.

More on the event here:

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Ice Cream Cone - "Die Drei Von Der Tankstelle" - 2002

In 1992, inspired by the rap music, I began experimenting with sampling. My tools were a single turntable, a radio, and a Macintosh running Macromedia's SoundEdit 16. This work flow remained unchanged for ten years, and the apotheosis of the process culminated in this 2002 album. During a lengthy period of unemployment in the San Francisco Bay Area, I found myself surrounded by rapidly aging Macs, retrieved from the refuse of Macromedia, where my friend and landlord worked. I took it as a challenge to myself and to this hardware to create an instrumental hip hop album, in the vein of DJ Shadow or RJD2.

SE16 is a remarkably primitive program to make music with. It's only real function is as an editor of sound files, and it offers no sequencing or live mixing. It won't communicate with any MIDI devices and it won't use any VST effects. However, it does use multi-tracked sound files, so the crux of the process is the mix down. Record a segment, edit it, copy and paste it into a pattern, and mix it onto another track. Repeat. Copy a drum break, loop it, mix in some more snare sounds, some electronic kick drums, a strange clicking noise on top of it, then remove the original break sample. Some of these songs were begun years before they were finally mixed. In fact, for a long time I was sure that none of the songs were "final" versions, and it's taken a few years of letting go before I can accept them as finished products of their time.

Some of these songs were dedicated to people, and some were created with collaboration in mind. Some of the tracks were even used on other people's projects. I have burned a few dozen CDRs and mailed off a handful, but have become too detached from the project to put much more effort into distribution. I eventually released them all to the Internet at large using a NC-SA Creative Commons license, mainly so that people would stop asking me about using them. They are generally free for consumption and collaboration.

all tracks conceived, composed, produced, recorded, and mixed by the Rev. Al Deaderick in the year MMII at the Unicorn Precinct XIII

Creative Commons License

MP3 files are hosted by a generous bandwidth donation by the Hanford Consortium.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Albums That Do Not Exist

Oklo Audio currently releases several non-existent albums, which are sometimes found on the internet as MP3s. These include but are not limited to:
  • E-Kronk - "The Pogs" - 1996
  • Rev. Al - "Incorporeal Collyrium" - 1997
  • Ice Cream Cone - "Die Drei Von Der Tankstelle" - 2002
  • Magic People - "You Are The Magic People" - 2009
I can provide no active links to these albums at this time.

Some of these albums have existed or will exist in a physical format.