samedi, janvier 27, 2007

Luis *doesn't* go out. Fer real.

So, it's a Saturday night and I didn't go out. Actually, after going out Thursday and Friday, I was still ready to make it another 3-day weekend and do something on Saturday, but two things came in the way:

  1. There wasn't much going on that really interested me that night
  2. I was fucking tired.

Essentially, I slept in like it was my last chance. Then, I lounged around at home and did some blogging (like Thursday's stuff) and did a bit of research on AJAX. Eventually, I got myself together in the evening and headed over to a colleague's place for dinner. Dinner was great, we spent a great deal of time chatting, and I got home at nearly 1h00 in the morning.

Having been up very late the last two nights, I was still wide awake when I got home. I got back online and took care of a bunch of "administrative" tasks (essentially, responding to emails), and then finally hit the sack. Not an exciting Saturday, I know, but I certainly appreciated the break.

vendredi, janvier 26, 2007

Minimal Dancin' # 53


After getting home rather late on Thursday, I slept in on Friday. Well, the exterminators came knocking on my door at 8am to put some anti-bug gel under my sink, but I fell asleep as soon as they left. Mercifully, I was too tired to feel embarassed about answering the door in nothing but a silk robe that barely reached my thighs. I spent the rest of the day blogging the previous night, responding to emails, fiddling with Ableton Live, and making dinner (a sort of chana masala but with lentils and quinoa and a hot pepper).

Minimal Dancin' @ Nouveau Casino

Apparently, the folks at Minimal Dancin' were going to also feature 3 Channels (a minimal act from Poland), but there were "administrative difficulties," so it was just Duplex 100 and Raumagent Alpha.

0h00-2h00: Duplex 100

I remember seeing Duplex 100 the first time I was at Nouveau Casino (that was also a Minimal Dancin' night), and quite liking their sound. Their set this time wasn't bad, but it wasn't the punchy minimal house that I had been expecting. As Anatoly (see next paragraph) pointed out, it was actually pretty straight-up oldskool techno. There were moments that would also qualify as tech-house, but I wouldn't have thought of any of it as particularly minimal. Again, this lends weight to my belief that "minimale" in Europe (or at least France) is a much broader category than it is in the United States.

I got to the club near 1h00 to a relatively short line outside and a pretty empty dancefloor inside. Of course, the coat-check line was still insanely long (they really need to employ another coat-check person), so I delayed getting in line and looked for Anatoly. Anatoly tripped across this blog about a week ago, while doing a websearch for minimal techno in Paris (Google is omniscient). Being the personable chap that he is, he dropped me an email and we started chatting. The plan tonight was to finally meet in the flesh and hang out a bit before he takes off to do some work in Geneva. Anatoly is a freelance photographer, web-content designer [Anatoly says: Just "web-designer," thank you] and essayist, with the appropriately slick personal websites (v1.0 and v2.0, v3.0 coming soon); I'm particularly impressed with his eye for colour and texture in photographs (see v2.0).

Here's Anatoly, who, thanks to my crappy photography, appears to have no eyes. I assure you that in real life he has eyes and better lighting.

Anyway, being the personable chap that he is, Anatoly accompanied me as I waited in line to finally check my jacket. We spent the rest of Duplex 100's set chatting, puzzling over how their set was "minimal," and hanging out with his two Russian ex-pat friends (one living in Paris, the other in Berlin). [Another correction from Anatoly: One is Russian, but living in Germany since his teens, the other German.] At one point during the set, I pulled forward in the crowd in an attempt to get a decent shot of the stage, and a guy came up to me (as I held my camera), asking me if I could find him any pills. When I said no, he didn't do the usual shrug and walk-away; instead he struck up conversation with me, asking me where I was from, telling me about his home province (Brittany) and his current career (culinary industry). When he heard that I was from Canada, he said "Really? I have some folks with me here tonight who are from Toronto, as well. Come on by and say hi when you have a moment. We're over there." I didn't really expect to find them in this crowd (the club had pretty much filled in at this point), so I headed back to the bar to join Anatoly & Friends. A little while later, the same guy passed me and reiterated the invitation, although he was a bit distracted by the fact that some drunk guy had pissed on his friend's jacket. I left him to run off and find a bouncer and made a mental note to check in on him later.

2h00-3h30: Raumagent Alpha

Anatoly and his folks hung out long enough to realize that Raumagent Alpha's set wasn't going to be particularly minimal, and then made their move. Apparently, Carsten Klemann (of MyMy, as seen last night at L'Ile Enchantée) was spinning at Paris Paris, so off they went. I stayed at Nouveau Casino to follow-up on the guy with the Torontonian friends and to see how the evening played out. I had heard that Paris Paris was insufferably snobby and impossible to get in, so I'm looking forward to hearing Anatoly's report!

I headed off towards the side of the room where that guy had said he would be, and hung around until he reappeared. He promptly introduced me to a guy (well, actually, we never exchanged names so maybe "introduce" is the wrong verb) who was from Toronto, although I didn't meet any of the other Toronto folks. Anyway, this fellow Torontonian had been living in Paris for two years, enrolled at the Sorbonne and following a program in philosophy. Although we originally started with a conversation about nightlife in Toronto vs. nightlife in Paris, we soon were discussing the differences between French and North American academia (especially in the humanities). At one point, this guy's (French) girlfriend came over and said in English, "Stop talking about books! This is a club." We smiled and laughed and kept on chatting. A few minutes later, she reappeared, with a slightly less genuine smile, switched to French, and said "Enough! Come on and dance, babe," and pulled him away and on to the dance floor.

I wasn't too torn up over the loss, because I was immediately distracted by a girl dancing nearby who kept making eye contact and smiling. She had put her bag on the ground between me and the wall, so when she apologized for checking on the bag obsessively, I told her my story involving the Rex, my bag, and someone else's puke. A little while later, she tapped my shoulder and, when I turned around, just smiled. Not entirely sure what she was expecting, I smiled and said "Tu t'amuses?" (having fun?) After a smile and a nod, I was back to dancing. A few minutes later, as I was shifting across the dancefloor toward the centre of the room, I feel another tap on my shoulder. I look over and I see the same girl smiling and waving happily at me. I approach her to say hi again and she puts her arm around me, gives me a peck on the cheek, and says "Je t'aime bien. T'es trop mignon!" (I like you. You're too cute!) Uh-oh. Time to clear things up: "Thanks! You're really pretty. Unfortunately, I prefer guys." Rather than look disappointed and/or offended, she smiled and told me about a gay friend of hers who always rebuffs her (joking?) advances. Concerned that I might seem to be rejecting her maliciously, I added "Now now, just 'cause I'm not attracted to women doesn't mean I can't appreciate that you're beautiful." Thankfully, I didn't have to lie: she was indeed very beautiful. This seemed to have the right effect, since she smiled, kissed me again, and then went off dancing.

A little while later, she reappeared, dancing with a tall guy that I had seen flirting with her earlier. As he went to the bar to get drinks, she asked me "What do you think of him?" He was more handsome and less cute, I said. She gave me a look that said "In other words, no?"; but then she said "Well, I'm screw it." And she promptly started grinding on him. For the next half an hour, she would flirt with him, rebuff his more forward advances (she would duck away when he tried to kiss her on the lips), then she would come over to me and kiss me and grind on me like I was taking her home. While the other guy smiled and took this in good humour, he nonetheless seemed a bit uncomfortable, so I chose a moment when the girl was distracted to lean forwards and say "Don't worry. I'm gay." This seemed to cheer him up.

For a while, she was convinced that a guy dancing near me was gay, and she kept going over to him, asking him rather bluntly if he was gay (his answer: none of your business), and then trying to convince him to hook up with me. I just kept on dancing and pretending I couldn't hear the conversation. After a few minutes, she came back to me with a look of dissatisfaction (the only time I saw her without a smile) and said to me, "He's weird. Forget him."

"This is fun! We should totally party like this more often!" At this point, considering that she was this excited and effusive and affectionate--but without slurred speech or poor balance--I was pretty certain that she was riding on a fair bit of MDMA. Either that, or this was the single most outgoing female in all of France. A few moments later, she wrapped her arms around me, kissed me several times on the cheek, and said "You're so cute!" and then kept on dancing. As I've said before, hugging is a much more intensely intimate gesture here--almost taboo among anybody but sexual partners and close family--so her spontaneous hugs were a gesture of intense something...friendship? attraction? desire? camaraderie?

I pulled myself away from her, leaving her to the guy with whom she had been flirting, and headed to the back to hit the coat check. Raumagent Alpha had finished, Duplex 100 was picking up to finish the night, and I was dead-tired. After waiting for ages to finally claim my jacket, I saw that same girl with her companion as I headed for the door. I shook hands with the guy, while she launched herself at me. With a shriek of glee, she planted a kiss on my lips and showered me with kisses on my cheeks. As I kissed her back (a bit more chastely) and gave her a big hug, I said "Have a great night and get home safe!" She nodded, saying nothing, and then disappeared into the crowd, followed closely by her companion.

The ride home was uneventful and unexciting. I had left before the subway had started, so I waited for the night bus (which thankfully ran right past the club) and headed home. I gave some thought to waiting around until a boulangerie opened, but it was too !@#$ing cold to wait for bread. Even for really good bread.

Epilogue: Anatoly goes to ParisParis

Well, Anatoly survived the trip to ParisParis, and he sent me this amazing report, which I reprint with permission:

We took a cab.
A queue at the entrance. J. says queues are nice for the club's image. He thinks security guys create them on purpose. To add visual appeal and importance.
Well, this line was a mess. No beginning, no end, just a bunch of moaning people.
J. and M. spill their pessimism. They complain about the whole Paris shityness. Oh how it would have been better in Berlin! Yeah, right. Berlin sucks in its own ways.
So, I first interview the crowd. "My girlfriend works at the bar, and even that does not let me in" Another one says: "If you're not on a guest list they won't let you in" Others confirm that: "We've been waiting for an hour"...
Ok. Enough time with the crowd. I pull out my guns and head to the first security guy. Calm and professional. Polite and patient.
I show him the e-mail I received from LesIzmo:r.
"That's good, but do you have a confirmation e-mail?" What the fuck? "Un mail de confirmation? Il me semble que ce courriel ne mentionne aucun mail de confirmation, du moins que je me trompes." "So, you are not on the list?" "I doubt I am. If I knew entry would be on list only, I would of course make the necessary arrangements, Monsieur."
Futile feet intermingling. M. wants to take a cab back.
Ok. Round two. Back to the same guy. I explain that if on the e-mail there is no mention about any confirmation and that if the e-mail explicitly invites me, personally, to that party, and that the entry is free... I would like to speak to the boss, please.
Change in attitude, shuffling of the security guards... They do get me the boss.
I ask if he is the main organizer of the party. He says he is in charge for the club entry, but he is not from LesIzmo:r... the club's guest promo-group. And, with a grin, "LesIzmo:r is currently spinning", so they can't help me.
By that time, most of the crowd has left the street, pissed off.
The guards continue to filter in the neat girls. J. anticipates the female vs male proportions inside.
The guards also pity a half-frozen guy, smartly dressed in just a shirt, and drag his body inside. MeteoFrance announces 0 C. J. and M. rumble and sabotage.
Ok. Round three. The boss has left. So I ask to speak to the main guard, in a confidential manner. I explain that I am so embarrassed to worsen the reputation of Paris-Paris and of the whole Paris techno scene in the eyes of the foreign media. I have two friends from Berlin (which is true), with one being a journalist (J., which is true), and I am ready to ask him to show his press ID (which J. has)... So it's just such a mauvaise réputation pour notre ville, vous comprenez...
Of course, I have 0 drugs and 0 alcohol in me, as usual, so I guess I sound very serious.
The security guy understands and very amiably whispers that he will do his best. The boîte is overpacked and he pleads to wait just a little more. A couple of minutes later, we're in!
The public is young and rich bourgeois. Nothing of bohemia or experimental stuff.
Tons of girls with impeccable manicure, millimetric mascara and glossy lips.Expensive leather bags, full dresses, high-heels, champagne bottles, long drinks, buckets of ice, comfy armchairs. Exclusive décor: black walls and oh so original mirrors. Well, like elsewhere... Top hits NRJ on air...
Oh, sorry, it was supposed to be minimal techno down there. Ahmmm... I sure don't hear any!
Ah yess... The usual BOOM BOOOM TSS BOOOM BOOOM TSS. Lemme dance! Lemme scream! Wave the hands! Lick the licks!
The sound system is powerfull, much better than at Nouveau Casino. Bass and treble only. What mid-tones? We don't need no stinkin' mids! Give us bass to shake that ass!
The DJs...
For me, a good DJ scores on two points: good taste, good mixing. The best DJ for me pulls from a sublime collection of tracks and mixes 2 plates live, like he works on a 50 channels / AB Live / ProTools studio gig.
By the time we got in, we managed to listen to the last two DJs.
Silversurfer [Crosstown Rebels/ Berlin] - horrible taste, horrible mixing.
Pipo Vitch [Let'smoke / Brussels] - 5 good tracks (cut prematurely), horrible mixing.
Pumpy hard techno poured over drunk, aroused, stoned public. As always. Walking on the heads, shaking ashes, cigarettes.
In the morning, the dance floor loosened up a bit, I danced to those 5 tracks and we bailed out at 5:30.
Nothing snobbish. Nothing minimal. A typical parisian boîte. S'oublier. Se défouler.
Fuck. What's a smart clubber to do?

I should add that Anatoly did feel that the club had a lot of potential.

jeudi, janvier 25, 2007

L'ile enchantée and Rex (again)

Work was surprisingly busy; a massive new copier/printer/scanner arrived at the office and I spent the entire day with my boss trying to get the printer on the network, adjusting the defaults, installing drivers on everyone's computers, creating user accounts, and so on. After work, I headed off home in the surprisingly biting cold and started preparing an early dinner. I ended up having a large salad with beets, some potato chaat and a bunch of pink radishes with butter (just raw radishes, a bit of salt, and a bit of softened butter). It was all very delicious, but I ate too much, so I was feeling horribly full. Thankfully, my evening date for apéritifs cancelled (I was sorry to miss the chance to hang out, but I was feeling a bit stuffed) so I had a couple of hours to hang out before heading off to meet L. and N. and their posse at L'Ile Enchantée (warning: website will make your eyes bleed).

Mlle Caro and Carsten Klemann @ L'Ile Enchantée

22h00-0h30?: Carsten Klemann

Carsten Klemann is actually the third part of MyMy (I saw the other two last Saturday at the Rex). His set was pretty eclectic, focusing on minimal house but borrowing tracks from classic house and techno. All in all, though, the set leaned more towards a house sound and took greater excursions into house territory. Also, the setting dictated a different level of intensity. This was a bar (thus, open 10pm - 2am, unlike clubs that are open from midnight to 6am), where there is more seating and less standing (and very little dancing). Thus Klemann was more providing "setting" music for sitting and chatting and drinking, rather than being the centre of attention for a crowd of dancers. I wasn't entirely sure when his set finished, because it seemed that he and Mlle Caro would occasionally tag-team on the decks.

Anyway, I had been invited to attend by L., so I walked in and immediately saw N.'s lanky figure and L. sitting nearby. I exchanged what had now become the usual effusive greetings and kisses with both of them and was introduced to N.'s partner-in-crime, F. After grabbing a drink, I sat down with L. and had a good long chat. It was really nice to chat with these "party friends" in a place where we could hear each other. Conversation began with and continually returned to music--which artists and labels we liked, who we've seen perform--but also ranged to travel, politics, and the pragmatics of making music part of your life. A great moment in the conversation came when I was describing my doctoral project and my interest in how music plays a role in creating moments of intimacy, and L. replied "Well, that's what we're in music for, right?" It was a much-needed validation to hear from someone (else) that music (and music scenes) can act not just as representation or communication, but also connection.

0h30?-2h00: Mlle Caro

I only caught a bit of Mademoiselle Caro's set, because we packed up and headed off at around 1h00. Apparently, the plan was to head back to F.'s place for a bit and then head over to the Rex to see François K. spin. So, off we went, catching the métro to F.'s place (a fantastic loft space), hanging out for some tea and drinks, and then off to the Rex on foot (which was further than I had thought).

François K @ the Rex

? - ?: François K.

We arrived around 1h45; N. seemed to know the doorman and had us on somebody's list, so we got to take the list/presale line and enjoy being introduced by the doorman yelling "Four direct entries!" Finally! I got into the Rex without paying. That must be a sign of some sort of insider access, right? Alright, maybe I'm grasping at straws.

As we got in, François K. was already spinning. After checking our coats and handing out earplugs (the treble was very shrill that night), we scoped out a space on the dancefloor. As the night went on, L. pointed out that François' set was a bit old-school-y techno--in a way that was both "good" nostalgic and "bad" passé. His set was also pretty eclectic, so it quickly moved into other territory that I found a bit more exciting (house and minimal). L. and I both seemed to agree that he was a bit too choppy in his set, mixing between tracks abruptly, cutting and returning the bass beat too often and irregularly, and not creating a feel of smooth trajectory.

My dinner was sitting heavily in my stomach (I hadn't planned on dancing that much tonight), so I eventually headed out and headed home. Beforehand, however, I was witness to a pretty amusing scene in the men's washroom. As I was waiting in the toilets, the bathroom attendant caught two guys in a washroom stall together. It was obvious to pretty much everyone that they were doing lines. The bathroom attendant told them that he was going to have them thrown out, so the two guys began to protest, "We're not doing drugs! We're just gay!" This set off a pretty amusing discussion: "So now you two are gay?" "Yeah totally! We were just making out." "Come on, I've seen you guys hit on girls, don't give me that shit." "I swear! I totally love cock! I was just about to suck him off!" "Oh please, you're not gay; stop fucking with me." At this point, another guy in the bathroom took advantage of the situation: "Yeah, man, just look at them. They're totally gay." To which the two guys could only nod in agreement, their other option being tossed out of the club.

I left the washroom before the argument ceased, but I saw them wandering around the club later, so they somehow managed to convince the attendant that they were indeed gay. Somehow...

mercredi, janvier 24, 2007

Luis does nothing

OK, this wasn't really true, but I certainly did nothing of particular interest today.

Work was meh, and then I headed off to La Grande Epicerie to stock up on fine chocolate, fine grains, and fine cured meats. I bought a trucklead of Dolfin chocolates--I really love their Milk Chocolate + Masala bars, and their Dark Chocolate + Earl Grey Tea bars. In addition to some quinoa and risotto rice, I picked up some crottin de chèvre (which translates literally to "goat poop", but figuratively refers to very fresh goat's milk cheese rolled into small discs), one of which was rolled in cracked green pepper and the other in hot spices. I got several fancy french sausages, and then several fine slices of of Bayonne ham and some Jamón Serrano (which is !@#$ing amazing). All in all, a lot of "fancy."

Then I headed off to this Indian "supermarket" near the La Chapelle métro station, where I bought a pile of hot peppers, some spices (raz el hanout and some chaat mix), some mung beans and lentils, and a ton of spicy plantain and cassava chips. I really traveled the high-end to low-end spectrum today, paying nearly 70€ for my trip to La Grande Epicerie, and 12€ at the Indian place for about the same weight of food.

After all that, I dropped off my crap at home and then headed off to the McSupermarket near myplace, Champion, to get the last few things that are better bought in bulk. I spent pretty much the rest of the evening thinking that I should catch up on my emails and and fieldnotes, and then getting chatting endlessly with neighbours on my floor.

See? I did nothing of particular importance.

mardi, janvier 23, 2007

My first MeFi

So, the majority of my day was pretty unexciting. I got up early and hit the market at Place des Fêtes to get some almond-stuffed olives and other tasty stuff, and then I headed off to work. I left a bit late from work and swung by this adorable Frenchy-goth shop downtown to pick up the glass bowl to a hookah bottle that a certain friend left. It was kinda funny, actually; while I was downtown, nobody seemed to notice what I had in my hand, but by the time I got to my (largely North African) neighborhood, people were glancing at the bowl, glancing at me, and then smirking or nodding or looking askance. I was surprised that nobody offered to buy or sell hash.

The one thing that was fantastically exciting about today was that I made my first MetaFilter post! w00t!! MetaFilter is a sort of collective blog where everyone (after a 1-week waiting period) can post. MeFi really does work as a sort of "meta filter" in the sense that the posts are all supposed to be "the best of the web." Essentially, community members trawl the web and then post about something they find interesting; there's a special value given to posts that take links to various things on the web and synthesize them into one post. This can make for an unmanageable torrent of miscellany, but thankfully a set of rather concise content rules and tightly-limited formatting (no images and fancy scripting, just text and links) turn it into a less-overwhelming list of miscellany.

So, anyway, I wrote this post, where gave a list of my favourite Peruvian recipes, tried to show that there was more than ceviche in Peruvian cuisine, and then provided plentiful links to recipes and peruvian food blogs. The response was pretty good, garnering 30-ish comments in the end and 18 favourites (i.e., when another user "bookmarks" your post as a favourite). Of course, like an attention-starved shut-in, I couldn't help checking in on post every few minutes, watching the comments grow and posting hasty replies to questions and suggestions. I have to admit, I got a small but substantial kick out of watching the responses. As pathetic as it sounds, I would get all excited about getting a positive comment or especially getting favourited by someone, "OMG!! Somebody finds my knowledge interesting and/or useful!" I suppose this is why I'm in academia in the first place. Either way, MetaFilter is a wonderful (but potentially addictive) resource for the struggling PhD student. After years of "interesting, but..." and "you'll get validation after you write 300 pages," writing a short couple of paragraphs with links and getting some instant feedback is sort of like the nicotine patch. Until such time as I squeeze out a dissertation proposal (then dissertation chapters, then dissertation...) MeFi will tide me over.

lundi, janvier 22, 2007

Beatport & Gearlust

I had one of those days at work, where you show up and there is a constant stream of things to do. Nothing hurried or panicked; I just found that as soon as I finished one thing, there was something else waiting for me to deal with. So, while the workday itself wasn't stressful, it was definitely busy. Once my shift had ended but before I left my office, there was some unpleasantness with a potential interlocutor (read: consultant, informant, collaborator) over the phone, which kept me in my officer longer than I had wanted. (Details will have to wait, if ever.) The end result was that I got home rather late in the afternoon, with little interest in cooking dinner. I stopped by a traiteur asiatique (Chinese fast-food) and got a bunch of stuff, and off to the boulangerie to get a baguette. The owner (I think he's the owner) had a gift for me, to thank me for the papa a la huancaína that I gave him last week (I always make an extra batch for him when I make it). He gave me one of his galettes des rois, which is essentially a large disk of frangipane (flully marzipan) wrapped in puff pastry and cooked. It's a traditional dessert for January (notably for the Epiphany; "les rois" = "the kings", i.e., three wise men). I ate a reasonably large slice with dinner that night, and then decided to re-gift the rest of it to my friends at the front desk in my building. No way I can have that massive pastry sitting around in my apartment.

So anyway, while I did most of my Beatport-shopping on Sunday afternoon, I spent most of Monday night listening to them and playing with them on Ableton Live.

So let me just take a moment to declare that I love everything coming off the FoundSound record label (which is available on Beatport, natch). They also have a para-label, called unFoundSound (same website, but click on "switch to unFoundSound"), which features free, Creative Commons-licensed tracks and a similarly free bank of field recordings for your own remixing fun. If you want an idea of what I mean when I say "microhouse," and what sort of music I am really interested in right now, you could just listen to the majority of the releases on FoundSound.

One of the Someone Else's (DJ, producer and label-head) tracks on the label's very first release, Marshmelon Sooprise, is still a delightful example of all things clickety-clack (go to the 1/4 mark for full effect). At the same time, though, I'm loving the more recent releases, such as Fusiphorm's "thanx for the add" on the yourspace ep (skip to the 3/4 mark for the best groove), both tracks on Miskate's recent Pharm Whacker ep and everything on Fusiphorm's you am i ep.

After downloading these tracks (legally, from Beatport, you cynics) and playing with them in Live, the evil seed of Gearlust was planted in deep in my heart. Of course, it's not like I haven't coveted nice gear before, but I suddenly found myself rationalizing a big M-Audio FireWire Audio Interface or control surface. Or maybe some really expensive headphones. The problem with this sort of gearlust, of course, is that it's just deferral. You end up writing promissory notes to yourself, saying "once I get that really expensive box of electronics, I'll make amazing stuff," without acknowledging that it will never come true unless you start making stuff now with what you have. So I've committed myself to working as much as I can with a laptop, an iMic, and a pair of in-ear headphones to do what I can until I have the skills to make expensive gear sing. Since I'm guessing that will take a while, I'll just have to wait and practice.

dimanche, janvier 21, 2007

Blogging and Convalescence

So, after the three days of partying, there was the one lost day: Sunday. Truth be told, the day wasn't actually lost. I prepared my pics and videos from Saturday night, uploaded them, blogged up the rest of the weekend, did a bit of reading, fiddled around on Ableton Live's tutorials, did a fair bit of shopping on Beatport, and forced myself into bed around 1am (which was difficult, considering I hadn't been to bed before 6am the past 3 nights).

In fact, I had a bit of difficulty with Ableton Live: I would click on a track in the file browser, and Live would start to preview it, but then would come to a halt after a few seconds. Then, the entire program would slow down immensely and pretty much all audio operation came to a halt. After a bit of trial-and-error, I realized that this was because Live was creating an analysis file for the track I was previewing, and since it was a full-length track (i.e. 8 minutes long rather than 3 seconds) the processor strain overcame the program's buffers. These analysis files allow Live to know what to expect throughout the file, what sort of tempo it is at, and how best to warp it to fit other tempos. As it turns out, Live takes a bit of time to produce analysis files for large files (no surprise there), but the analysis files (*.asd) persist after the first time, so I just selected the entire directory of tracks I bought from Beatport, set them all to be analyzed, and went to bed. Mind you, I think I still need to check the audio buffer size and and the decoding cache to make sure things are running smoothly. Also, I haven't adjusted for overall latency in my laptop's audio setup, which might be significant, considering half of my "rig" runs through a USB 2.0 port (iMic).

Anyway, that's it for now. I was going to blog about my shopping on Beatport and how a certain record label pretty much sums up microhouse/minimal for me and encapsulates what I'm currently really into...but it's late and I'm rather tired. Coming soon, nonetheless!