Urban Games Festivals; Puddle Peddler and the Idiot’s game

Last weekend we were at the PlayPublik festival in Berlin, hosted by the amazing Invisible Playground. It was a blast, and we got to showcase a new version of Idiots attack the Top Noodle! We also tried to showcase one of our new creations: The Puddle Peddler. I say “tried” because we just could not get it running. Like with any other technology; when you add layers of complexity, the risk of failure increases. But though we didn’t get to showcase it at this Festival, we are making it ‘sturdier’ for the next. Still, read the concept description; it’s quite an interesting game.
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Doug’s Favorite Music of 2010

Without further ado:

Doug’s Top 22 Tracks of 2010

  1. Kyle Hall – You Know What I Feel [detroit, 2-step] [buy]
  2. Namco Sounds – Noby Noby Folk Guitar [videogame, acoustic guitar] [buy]
  3. Emeralds – Candy Shoppe [kosmiche, electronic] [buy]
  4. Efterklang – Alike [indie, pop, danish] [buy]
  5. Mental Abstrato & Ohmega Watts – Quando Ouviu O Meu Samba [hip hop, brazil] [buy]
  6. Tokimonsta – Lovely Soul [downtempo] [buy]
  7. Gold Panda – Snow & Taxis (Throwing Snow remix) [dance] [buy]
  8. Oddisee – Paris [hip hop, instrumental] [buy]
  9. Pogo – Wishery [mash-up, disney] [buy]
  10. The Alps – Le Voyage [psych rock] [buy]
  11. Wisp – Uriollach [idm, electronica] [buy]
  12. Praveen & Benoit – Embers (Shigeto remix) [downtempo, electronic] [download]
  13. Steve Reich – 2×5 – III. Fast 7:08 [classical, minimalism] [buy]
  14. Oriol – Coconut Coast [electronic boogie][buy]
  15. Space Dimension Controller – Kaleidoscopic Ecstasy [electro, android porn] [buy]
  16. Sven Weisemann – Placid Love [dub techno, cinematic] [buy]
  17. School of Seven Bells – Babelonia [indie] [buy]
  18. Mark McGuire – Brothers (for Matt) [post-rock] [buy]
  19. Balmorhea – Bowspirit [folk, neo-classical] [buy]
  20. Flying Lotus – Zodiac Shit [downtempo, electronic] [buy]
  21. Sophie Hutchings – Seventeen [piano] [buy]
  22. Shigeto – Grandma’s Words/Rise Out of The Stone [downtempo, electronic] [download]

Doug’s Top 10 Albums of 2010

  1. Wisp – We Miss You [Rephlex] [buy]
  2. Oriol – Night And Day [Planet Mu] [buy]
  3. Olof Arnalds – Innundir Skinni [One Little Indian] [buy]
  4. Damu The Fudgemunk – How it Should Sound, Vol 1 & 2 [Redefinition] [buy]
  5. Peter Broderick – Music For Congregation [Erased Tapes] [buy]
  6. Mark McGuire – Living With Yourself [Editions Mego] [buy]
  7. Lone – Emerald Fantasy Tracks [Magic Wire] [buy]
  8. Pariah – Safehouses EP [R&S] [buy]
  9. Shigeto – Full Circle [Ghostly International] [buy]
  10. Emeralds – Does It Look Like I’m Here [Editions Mego] [buy]

Doug’s Top 5 Reissues & Compilations of 2010

  1. Cinematic Orchestra – Late Night Tales [Late Night Tales] [buy]
  2. Charanjit Singh – Ten Ragas To A Disco Beat [Bombay Connection] [buy]
  3. Next Stop… Soweto Vol. 3: Giants, Ministers and Makers: Jazz in South Africa 1963-1984 [Strut] [buy]
  4. Next Stop… Soweto: Township Sounds From The Golden Age Of Mbaqanga [Strut] [buy]
  5. Roedelius – The Diary Of The Unforgotten (Selbstportrait VI) [Bureau B] [buy]

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Nikola’s Nightmare

Quick note on an event for you if you’re in Copenhagen and have time Thursday night:

Nikola's Nightmare, Concert: A rare, experimental, electro-acoustic experience

Flyer – click for bigger or just remember Thursday December 9, 20:00, Litteraturhaus Nørrebro. Free admission.

Anders Monrad, composer, and I (Simon Nielsen, game artist and visualist), will be presenting a game on stage at Litteraturhaus, Nørrebro.

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Sneak peak of the B.U.T.T.O.N. EP

Nifflas has been hard at work transforming the B.U.T.T.O.N. soundtrack into a standalone EP.

He just finished! And of course it’s fantastic. We’re so excited to release it to the public. We’ll be selling the EP along with the full game, which we’re releasing for both Xbox Live Indie and PC (Windows) very soon. Stay tuned for more info (you can also follow us on Twitter).

For now, here’s a sneak peak of one of the tracks, “Kissing Another Player”:

Kissing Another Player (B.U.T.T.O.N.) by Nifflas

Yes, it’s actually true, players have been known to kiss each other while playing B.U.T.T.O.N.especially when playing the game in “Naughty Mode.” Man, you should have been at Dajana’s birthday party earlier this year when we playtested that mode for the first time…

Weekly Music Tip: C-Beams

Sick! It’s gotta be a Blade Runner reference, right?

It’s been a strong year for Pariah.  I also really like the Detroit Falls/Orpheus record from earlier in the year.

Weekly Music Tip: From Zelda to Boom Bip

This week, an oldie-but-a-goodie:

Maybe you recognized the strings melody sample? It’s from the Zelda 2 main theme! Specifically, it’s from this orchestral cover (~1:52):

I’ll resist making the obligatory “I AM ERROR” joke here. But goddamn that game was difficult! My friend Jon and I re-visited and beat the game the summer after high school. And yes I’m still pretty proud of that achievement.

(Thanks to Matt for reminding me about this song!)

Weekly Music Tip: Hajnal2

Venetian Snares, aka Aaron Funk, back with a twisted sequel to his wicked breakcore epic, “Hajnal.” Fuck yeah!

Weekly Music Tip: Light in August

While there’s still some days left in August…

As fate would have it, two of my favorite ambient releases from last year are both titled around the theme of the Light in August.

The first release, by composer Danny Norbury, is drop-dead gorgeous. Massive recommendation, my favorite album of 2009:

Read more about the album and purchase mp3s here.

Norbury has worked with some other top-notch ambient artists like the Boats and Library Tapes. If you like the material above, also make sure to check out his work with Le Lendemain, and his recent collaboration with Andrew Hargreaves.

The second release, Light in August, Later, by Japanese artist Aus, is a little more electronic in nature. But as Boomkat put it, the album could indeed be mistaken as an “unofficial sequel” of sorts:

Lovely stuff! Perfect listening as the summer quickly begins to fade away…

Weekly Music Tip: Mogwai’s Special Moves

A stunning rendition of Mogwai’s legendary “2 Rights Make 1 Wrong”, off the band’s new live album, Special Moves:

The archetypal post-rock anthem. Highest possible recommendations!

Boy do I have fond memories seeing Mogwai live at the Fillmore in San Francisco, in 2004-ish. Go see them live, if you ever get the chance. And you may want to bring ear plugs… they play the loudest show I’ve ever attended!

Weekly Music Tip: Shigeto

After a two-week hiatus, the weekly music tip is back!

Here’s a beautiful, haunting track from Ghostly International’s Zach Saginaw, aka Shigeto:

The whole EP is being given away for free! Get it here. (as seen on the ISO50 blog)

The last track, “Grandma’s Words / Rise Out Of The Stone”, is the standout. I was really moved by the spoken intro – a sobering reflection on Japanese-American internment as practiced by the US government during World War II. The segment, apparently recounted by Saginaw’s grandmother, includes this timely warning:

Fear… does a terrible thing to people. It can change to hate, it can change to discrimination of all kinds…

An important lesson to keep in mind, for sure.