Mad Scientists of Music Live – Playlist

The event is called ‘Mad Scientists of Music’, and it’s on Tuesday
16th September in Twisted Pepper. We’ll have chiptune, circuitbending
and experimental electro-acoustic noise stuff, from a variety of crazy
Irish experimental artists.

Acts featured on the night include Deathness Injection, KaraKara,
Luxury Mollusc, Siam Collective, MarQu Vr & The Trumpets of Time &
Glotchbot. We’ve cooked up a wee playlist to give you a taster!

And here’s a wee interview about the gig, from Near FM’s Art’s Show last week (interview starts 6 minutes in).


Mad Scientists of Music Live

Mad Scientists Live

To celebrate the release of ‘Mad Scientists of Music‘ We’ve put together a fantastic lineup of experimental musicians, in a one evening mini festival in Dublin City Centre. Some of the best and most unique artists from the Irish electroacoustic, noise, chiptune and circuit bending scenes will be performing in a multi-hour experimental extravaganza.

Lineup to Include: Deathness Injection, KaraKara, Luxury Mollusc, Siam Collective and more! With sounds and visuals from MarQu Vr & The Trumpets of Time & Glotchbot.

Where: Main Room, Twisted Pepper
When: September 16th, 2014
Time: 7PM – 11.30PM
All welcome. Tickets €5 euro on the door

Facebook Event

Threat Detection – Episode 20 – Character in Videogames


Download: Threat Detection – Episode 20

Does character matter?
A vessel for the player to travel through the story.
An enigma in his/her self.
Often times an empty receptacle for containing player projections.

How can it be conveyed in interactive media?

Characters can often be more than their general perspective of first and third person perspective.

Often times the perspective of the character is taken advantage of to better inform a kind of meta narrative or even just to take a more focused and fixed look on the game’s themes (a la Half Life)

Characters can also be unsculpted mounds of marble for the player to not only mold to their tastes but also to have the availability to shift the game engine’s choice of perspective between first and third person.

Will you be the stabby stabby guy, the hammering Yorkshire madman or a resigned and fashionable wizard who flames his enemies.
Distance between player and manipulable character is drastically shortened. This enhances the likelihood of the player embodying his character. They are verbs of the player’s whim and the supplementary background.

Threat Detection – Episode 15 – Privilege


Download: Threat Detection – Episode 15

1) Super Bunny Hop reports VAC bans affecting Dark Souls 2
– vac bans for using graphics enhancing hook file

2) Onion AV club running a series of articles on empty spaces in games
World of Warcraft
Myst and Riven

3) More privilege theory applied to gaming

Threat Detection – Episode 14


Download: Episode 14

We discuss…

1) Ars reveals the very short tail of steam game ownership

2) The importance of verbs – hilarious Day Z torture video demonstrates the bizarre social mechanics that can develop from relatively simply interaction mechanics. We need more of these! Day Z has bandage, steal, tie up, force feed, take blood, give supplies / clothing. They greatly increase the long now of interaction possibilities with a character. What other potential verbs would improve a game of this ilk?
Negative – Chain / enslave, brand / force tattoo, shave, strip, hobble, tie to something / crucify. Positive – train / teach a skill, cure a disease. Neutral / Chaotic? It’s difficult to think of positive interaction verbs – perhaps because thinking about action verbs is instrumental logic – implies using someone.

3) Kickstarter for a fun asymmetrical VR multiplayer title. Hundreds of fighter jet vs giant human in motion capture suit. Uses advanced multicamera optical motion capture – this will be an arcade event style game: ‘Giant vs Horde’.

Bathos – Episode 3 – The Gareth Stack Show Live

This weeks show featured interviews with horror writer Graham Tugwell, and esoteric religious expert, writer and publisher Andrew Philip Smith. We also have two fantastic short stories from Irish writer Patrick O’Flaherty.

The show was produced by superproducer Ronan Misteil, and presented by Andrew Booth. Special guest was Gareth Stack. The show is produced live at the studios of All jingles produced by Roger Gregg and the Crazy Dog Audio Theatre.

Download: Episode 3

Subscribe: We’re on iTunes.

New Live Show – Threat Detection


Radiomade is a facinating web based Dublin radio station. They ‘hit the headlines’ as they say in the yellow press, late last year with a successful effort to beat the world record number of consecutive interviews. Last July a similar stunt saw station proprietors Jack & Dan host 24 DJs in 24 hours. Point is they’re doing something new, capturing the imagination of a generation disillusioned with Ireland’s utterly terrible and inexplicably popular commercial and semi-state radio offerings.

Just before Christmas I got in touch with Radiomade and suggested a couple of shows to the guys. One is an ambitious monthly culture / comedy offering that it looks like we’ll be debuting in the near future. The other, a weekly discussion about videogames, technology and interactive entertainment kicked off last night. Threat Detection features myself and Exchange Dublin veteran James Van De Waal. Each show starts with a monologue to kick the discussion off, followed by an in-depth dissection of a trend, issue or incident in gaming. To start the series, we felt is was important to address the issue of games as a medium – specifically a growing and ferociously compelling form of immersion.

Here’s the first episode’s opening monologue…

‘There was a general air of disrepair. Shops were boarded up. The pavement was broken and potholed. A few automobiles traveled on the broken streets. They, at least, appeared to be of a slightly advanced design, but they were dented, dirty and noisy… Clothes had not changed nor had the common speech…. It appeared that in four hundred years nothing at all had been accomplished. Many familiar buildings had collapsed. Others still stood. He looked in vain for a newspaper or magazine’.

An excerpt from John D MacDonald’s short fiction ‘Spectator Sport’, published in 1950. In the story a time traveller visits an America three hundred and fifty years hence, discovering a society that has chosen to focus its energy entirely on the creation of ever more compelling interactive dreams. Dreams a man may labour his whole life to permanently inhabit.

Videogames terrify me, not because I dislike them, but because I find their dizzyingly abundant fantastical worlds so all consuming. The great psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott came up with a word for finding one’s life satisfaction in an uncreative imaginary avoidance: He called it ‘fantasying’, the act of escapist self-delusion. At their worst videogames offer the most compelling opportunity for fantasying possible. Let me read you something else…

‘I think the twenty first century will see a social cataclysm larger than that caused by cars, radios and TV combined… The exodus of people from the real world, from our normal daily life, will create a change in social climate that makes global warming look like a tempest in a teacup’.

Thus begins the introduction to Jane McGonigal’s 2011 book ‘Reality is Broken’, with a quote from Edward Castronova’s ‘Exodus to the virtual world: How Online Fun is Changing Reality’. McGonigal attempts to refute this dire warning, suggesting that since games really do provide a more compelling experience than reality, harnessing their power can incentivize social goods and reinvigorate democracy.

Videogames let us embody avatars, alternative versions of self in worlds unbound by our physical limitations. We can experiment with gender, escape into empowerment fantasies or wreak death and destruction on distant or fictional opponents. Games give vent to our secret impossible dreams and desires; they can enlighten us, enervate us, sate us or drain us. Games combine narrative storytelling, music, theatre and with the added lure of interactivity. They are perhaps the ultimate human form of entertainment, and it’s time we took them a little more seriously.

Is Castronova with his dire warnings of a polis abandoned by its citizens a Cassandra, doomed to be ignored as we sleepwalk into a brave new world of dulling distractions? Is McGonigal right in seeing games as a new freedom to extinguish the unpleasant and mundane, a tool to solve our most intractable problems? This is Threat Detection, a new show about videogames.

You can catch Threat Detection live each Tuesday at 6PM GMT on Radiomade, or catch up with past shows here.

Image: Logo based on four hyperboloid bundles in a tetrahedral like intersection by Fdecomite. Used under – Creative Commons Attribution Licence.

Gran Casino, Live in Concert


Analogue Presents – Gran Casino, Live in Concert from dbspin on Vimeo.

Without further ado, let me present the second in our two videos celebrating the launch of Analogue as a nationwide magazine. Gran Casino are a Dublin band that we haven’t written about before in the magazine, at least in part because their material is so difficult to describe. If Burt Bacharach wrote songs for Ian Brown they might sound a little like the melodic, unapologetically baroque, art rock made by Gran Casino. The band have recently released their first E.P, ‘Sun Music’, which is available for the very reasonable price of €7 at Tower Records, Road Records, The Secret Book and Record Store, and City Discs.

Gran Casino are…

Caimin Gilmore – Vocals, Guitar, Glockenspiel
Jimmer Reynolds – Drums, Percussion
Shane Sugrue – Keys, Vocals, Clarinet, Sitar
James O’ Connor – Bass, Synth
Kathy Looney – Violin
Julie Clarke – Violin
Sue Neary – Harp
Joe Mylo – French Horn
Kev Foran – Trumpet
Simon Wall – Tenor Sax/Flute
Chris Rooney – Trombone
Tim Harris – Flute

Recorded, Radio City Dublin, 06/06/08.
Camera: Dave Boyle
Editing: Gareth Stack & Dave Boyle.
All songs copyright Gran Casino, 2008.


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