• hello world

    by oddlogic

    July 22nd, 2019

    hi, i'm alex

    i do art stuff with computers

    For the last 13 or so years I've produced electronic music as oddlogic. I've made all kinds of music over the years, but I've always tried to incorporate experimental elements in my music. These days I make a lot of, I guess, melodic glitch music or something like that. But my musical roots are actually in punk and folk, believe it or not.

    In high school my sister turned me onto zines which, coupled with my existing interest in punk music and skateboarding, gave rise to a revelation inside my angsty teenage soul - publishing is subversive and cool. Well, it can be anyway.

    Al Burian's 'Burn Collector', one of my favorite zines

    So in, I think, 2008 I started a tiny netlabel with my friend -w-i-e called Sinusoid Recordings. The label only had 3 artists - him, me, and the two of us. We put out a half dozen releases or so and put on quite a few shows in my friend's basement and my parent's barn but it eventually fizzled out. In hindsight it was all rather jank and naive but I'm a believer in the idea that jank and naive idealism is what powers the engines that make life bearable, so I treasure this period.

    Fast forward a couple years and I started another label called Outlier Recordings. The Mission was that it was going to be a genre-agnostic label catering to "outsider" stuff - experimental things that struggled to fit in anywhere. Though it did take on discernible genre-leanings over time, I still associate the soul of the label with that original intention.

    Being my second stab at the whole label thing, I tried to take running Outlier much more seriously and (quasi) professionally. However, I felt as though it never really matured as a project/business (mostly due to my inability to grapple with the realities of running a Real Business like a Real Responsible Adult), and it remained in a kind of middling-jank-zone. There was too much jank for it to be a Totally Real Serious Life Endeavor but not enough jank for it to be a Sublimely Joyous Wild Idealistic Trip, Man. So, with a lot of bittersweet feelings, in September 2018, 8 years after I started Outlier, I put it into a state of indefinite hiatus to pursue other ideas.

    But hey, it could always come back, right?

    During the Outlier era I befriended a lovely Canadian fellow known as Woulg. In addition to producing music, he is also a programmer who makes his own software tools, generative visuals, and all kinds of cool shit like that. I had always admired programmers and had more than a passing familiarity with the world of open source/free software, but for some reason I always assumed you had to be a mathematician savant to be a programmer and felt it was inaccessible to me.

            dGGGGMMb     ,""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""".
           @p~qp~~qMb    |  sorry ur not google material |
           M|@||@) M|   _;...............................'
           @,----.JM| -'
          JS^\__/  qKL
         dZP        qKRb
        dZP          qKKb
       fZP            SMMb
       HZM            MMMM
       FqM            MMMM
     __| ".        |\dS"qML
     |    `.       | `' \Zq
    _)      \.___.,|     .'
    \____   )MMMMMM|   .'
         `-'       `--'

    He encouraged me to start playing with an artist-centric programming language called Processing and familiarized me with the world of "creative coding". This was another occasion, like my sister lending me her zines, where someone unwittingly set in motion a pivotal transformation in my thinking about my place in the world:

    publishing is cool and code is how you do it.

    (thanks guys love you)

    Anyway, now we're back at the present. So what am I doin' nowadays?

    Well, in addition to continuing to release music as oddlogic, I develop aleph, which is a:

    desktop application and programming framework for creating and performing audio-reactive visuals

    I will be writing about that in a lot more detail here so I'll leave it at that for now for the sake of brevity.

    aleph logo

    I also developed/continue to develop this website. Yeah, so on that note, what is glitch.cool exactly? The abridged version of the story is as follows:

    Woulg has a discord server for his music students/fans/friends to hang out and talk about music production. A solid community started to develop and we began to do things like monthly production challenges as a community. Man from Sol made an open invite to woulg's community to contribute to a sample pack he was working on, and about 10 of us joined in and released what would become the "Glitch with Friends" sample pack.

    It was intended as a one-off project, but it ended up getting more attention than I think any of us had anticipated. We didn't have a website or dedicated hosting, just a public google drive link to distribute the pack, which was quickly shut down because it generated too much traffic. So we scrambled to get a torrent up to distribute the pack and I hastily slapped together a landing page where we could send people. The domain we purchased for the slapped-together landing page - glitch.cool

    We all decided we should continue doing things as a group somehow, and after a lot of discussion back and forth we arrived at the current (intentionally open-ended) idea of glitch.cool. In the most basic sense, it's just a collective of people with a shared interest in glitch music production. But it's also software. Right now it's primarily this website, which is a publishing platform for our members to distribute their works and ideas as they see fit, but I intend to continue to develop tools to foster this kind of decentralized ecosystem we are aiming to achieve. What does that mean exactly? I'm not entirely sure yet, but basically I would like to create, through software, the kind of support and infrastructure one might get from a record label, without having to actually be a record label or involve anyone in the onerous dealings that come with the territory.

    In my mind, coming from running and working for record labels, it's kind of an experiment in decentralizing and "flattening out" the model of a record label while retaining some of the organizational benefits. It's predicated on the assumption that, in creative matters, sometimes the best outcomes are the result of an atmosphere of permissiveness and self-accountability rather than a conscious attempt to define and control an idea. In other words, the idea that distributing ownership over an idea creates a sense of stake that is not otherwise present, which produces a natural incentive to Do The Really Good Stuff.

    glitch.cool logo

    So to that end, there is no clear description of this site or its contents - only time will tell. I'm really excited to see what other people contribute to it. We have a very talented group of people involved already and I'm sure we'll add people along the way. But personally, I intend to use this platform as a means of publishing updates on my personal projects and also sharing some more educational content, like tutorials or articles about web development or sound design or...I'm not really sure. I have a lot of interests and basically I hope to share those.

    My hope for this project is for it to turn into a useful resource for people interested in all kinds of cool digital artsy techy shit. You know when you find some sorta obscure blog that happens to be a treasure trove of links and articles and downloadable resources for that niche interest/hobby of yours? That's what I hope this will be. I hope it will be somebody's "zine". But the whole idea is it's not up to me, and that's the beauty of it. It's the beauty of the jank.

    So in the words of Deckard Cain:

    stay a while, and listen!