Benoit Mandelbrot,the creator of fractal geometry died at the age of85 last week. Fractals are a visual representation of an equation that is self-similar and based on recursion, and just so happen to mimic anincredible array of natural processes and formations, from mountain ranges to coral reefs. Since we named our store after his creations, we designed a free paper robot toy in hishonor: Benoitbot.
More free stuff! If you like glitchy, melodic electronic music, then you’ll dig the free compilation by subVariant called Robohustlin. You can’t have enough bags or shoes, and we can definitely help out in the bag department. We’ve added a bunch of laptop, gear, messenger and DJ bags with a cool military edge. Check out the latest ones here, and we even added a new handbag. iBallz are a cool-looking shock absorbant harness that protects tablet devices like the AppleiPad, Amazon Kindle and Sony Reader and others. Check out this video of a drop test and be impressed.
Normally we wouldn’t reccommend submerging sophisticated electronics, but when they are tiny cute robots in soap form it’s totally OK.
We’ve added a bunch of new bags! The Musette DJ Bag is modeled after WWII rucksacks and can fit records, with two strap options that let you carry it over your shoulder or as a backpack. The Musette Live PA bag is the same as the DJ version but slightly larger. Both of these are made by a company that makes military-spec bags and clothing, which is pretty cool. These funky, edgy-retro-ish Map Case Messenger Bags have a kind of dystopian techno future quality about them, and are still pretty functional and eye-catching for everyday use. If that’s not your style, we have the Classic Messenger Bag (large photo above) available in black or olive drab with a more minimalist look with a slight military edge.
Finally, if you’re pocket-obsessed, you will love the M-51 Engineer’s Field Bag, modeled off another military bag, featuring a plethora of pockets, slots, and even a water resistant clear document slot. We’ve also found them to be a good size to tote around an iPad or netbook with extra room to spare.
iBallz is a “one size fits all” shock absorbant harness that protects and enhances the appearance of template-style computing and “e-reader” devices such as Apple iPad, Amazon Kindle and Sony Reader and others.
I put together a compilation of melodic IDM / deep techno called Robohustlin for my label, subVariant. I put out an open call for submissions in July and got an amazing collection of submissions. I decided to go with minimal techno / melodic IDM since that was submitted the most. Hope you enjoy!
Chaircrusher’s “Crow Beat” and Milipede’s “30,000” take a somewhat dark, harder approach, while tracks like Diarmo’s “Details” and Matt Wolfe’s “4:09am” hover somewhere between hopefulness and melancholy, held together with intricate rhythmic programming.
In keeping with subVariant’s tongue-in-cheek, music-as-consumer-product design aesthetic (see Subvaritrax, Exception AM), Robohustlin‘s digital cover lists the individual artists as separate “cures” in a packaging style based on the popular cough & cold medication, Robitussin.
OK, onto the music toys. Beep-It and Beep-It Deluxe are both optical theremins. They both output a square wave whose pitch is controlled by the amount of light striking a photoresistor. You control the pitch by casting shadows over the light sensor, or by pointing it towards/away from a light source. It sounds really 8-Bit / Chiptuney. The Deluxe version comes in a fancy bamboo case with more knobs and functionality. $35-$65
Seeq-it is a square wave synthesizer with a built-in stepped sequencer. There are 8 steps to the sequence, and each step can be set to a different pitch or turned off. LEDs on the front panel indicate the position and speed of the sequence as it moves in a circle. A 2nd low-frequency oscillator can be used to modulate the output pitch, resulting in additional tones and rhythms. A built-in resonant lowpass filter allows for fat frequency sweeps and tone control. Seeq-it’s sound is reminiscent of both 8-bit video games and classic techno sequencers. The pitch output ranges from very high to very low, earth-shaking bass frequencies. $195
Check out some new jewelry pieces I’ve designed for Zelle.
Zelle (zellestyle.com), the elegantly minimal tech jewelry brand that has elevated electronic components into wearable works of art has expanded its vision to celebrate the inherent beauty of technology in its haute couture take on the art form with their 1337 collection. As the original line is restrained, keeping the focus on the components and their relationship to each other and avoiding the use of traditional precious metals to convey value and refinement, 1337 pieces highlight the elegance of the components and the design itself–remaining the purist’s first choice.
Current 1337 designs are one of a kind, truly works of art, complete with a Certificate of Authenticity resembling the Microsoft’s Windows 95 Certificate of Authenticity.