Sunday Morning Coming Down #Five


• "When I first published this analysis, I excluded Aesop Rock, figuring he was too obscure. The Reddit hip hop community was in uproar, claiming Aesop would absolutely be #1. Sure enough, Aesop Rock is well-above every artist in my dataset and I was obliged to add him to the chart. In fact, his datapoint is so far to the right that he should be off the chart (I'm lazy and didn't adjust the scale)." Matt Daniels does the stats on hip-hop vocabulary.

• “The tape uses a vacuum-forming technique called sputter deposition to create a layer of magnetic crystals by shooting argon ions at a polymer film substrate. The crystals, measuring just 7.7 nanometers on average, pack together more densely than any other previous method.” Consequence Of Sound hails the arrival of the 185-terabyte cassette. 

• "I know a lot of people who revere Wussy. Think of the Wrens, The Go-Betweens, the Chills, the Raincoats — bands whose material was passed pre-internet from fan to new fan like pirated copies of Ulysses in the twenties." Alfred Soto writes about his favorite Wussy album.

• "Skipping has become an important part of how we listen to music.  It is no surprise then, that ‘unlimited skipping’ is a feature used to entice people to upgrade to a premium paid account. And it may be one of the reasons why people would switch from a service that doesn’t offer unlimited skips even on their premium service to one that does." Paul Lemere / Music Machinery plots out the Spotify Skip.

• "Once you get recording in your blood, that first time when you’ve just finished the guitar overdub on You Cheat Yourself of Everything that Moves and you go through to the other side of the room and push play and the whole thing comes back at you, you go, “Shit, I want to keep doing more of this.” Jeff Harford, drummer from Bored Games, talks with Graeme Downes, mastermind of the Verlaines, about the early days of the Dunedin sound at Bomb Magazine.

• "In 2011, w h o k i l l was the first album by a woman to win this paper's Pazz & Jop critics poll since Lucinda Williams in 1998, an honor not bestowed on Beyoncé, Bjork or M.I.A.—or Radiohead. It's worth remembering that people expected Bon Iver to win, despite mixed appeal. Bon Iver placed at #9 in the poll, at the time having sold exactly 300,000 more copies than w h o k i l l's 47,000, the lowest-charting and selling Pazz & Jop winner of all time. " Dan Weiss writes at glorious length on tUnE-yArDs for the Village Voice.

• "When they think vinyl was "dead" in the '90s, they're overlooking the fact that at that point CD jukeboxes were still a new thing. The 7" vinyl jukebox was [still] huge. And from my time working at labels at that point, I always had stacks of 12" singles behind my desk. They weren't necessarily running 24 hours a day six days a week, but they were by no means slow. From talks I've had here, it was rarely less than two shifts. The company's pretty much always been at two shifts a day." Andrew Flanagan explores United Records and the non-return of vinyl for Billboard.

• "Under [Juan Formell's] direction, Cuba's hardest-working band delivered on that promise for almost 45 years, as anyone who has attended — or rather participated in — a Van Van concert has learned after being carried away, hands in the air, by the group often dubbed "the Cuban music train." Judy Cantor-Navas remembers Los Van Van's Juan Formell for NPR.

 • "There are many things about modern China that defy easy explanation: parents posing their children next to live tigers, the sight of grown women wearing furry cat-ear headbands while shopping, the performance-art-like spectacle of strangers napping together in Ikea display beds. But no mystery is more confounding than that of China’s most enduring case of cultural diffusion: its love affair with “Going Home,” the 1989 smash-hit instrumental by the American saxophone superstar Kenny G." Dan Levin discusses China and the "seductive woodwind glory" of Kenny G for the New York Times.