sp00 – Bombdiggety

After a lengthy hiatus, we proudly present the first full-length sp00 album since 2006! This time around, we explore a variety of musical terrains such as maxi-minimalist tech-funk, synth-frommage, rock star guitar heroism, hard ambient++, and auto-toonkore. And yet, despite our foray into new worlds and paradigms, it is still unmistakably, indescribably, extra-terrestrially a sp00 album. We hope you will agree it is the Bombdiggety.


All songs composed and produced by Ariel Gross and Dave Benjamin. Sampling, sequencing, and keyboard by Ariel Gross and Dave Benjamin. Guest keyboard and production on Dry Bones by Taylor Pakula. Drums, guitar, and bass guitar by Dave Benjamin. Drums on Pointy Fingers, Stellar Converter, and Also the Game recorded and mixed by Ariel Gross with help from Matt Helman and the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences in Gilbert, Arizona. Mastered DIY over the internet. (more…)

Rules for Live Mixing of Beatgadgets

I just found this article on my old hard drive and thought it might be interesting to publish it at last. I wrote it way back in 2001 before the formation of sp00 when Ariel and I were learning how to mix together live and avoid stepping on each other’s beats. It seems like most of the advice is still relevant today.

Rules for Live Mixing of Beatgadgets
by RamenBoy

I am no expert on the live mix, but I am no beginner either. Here is a set of rules that I have found useful over the past few years as a performing electronic musician. As always, rules are made to be broken, but perhaps these will help people take a detour from audio chaos and find a comfortable mix with other electronic musicians.

1. If you can’t beatmatch to it, don’t. Sometimes, you just want to play a track that doesn’t have the same BPM as what your bud’s playing, and speeding yours up just makes it sound like video game music. Sometimes, it’s ok to just let their track fade out instead of desparately trying to line up your jazzy trip hop with their rigid trance beats.

2. Listen, interact, and communicate. Let other people’s beats affect yours. Let your beats affect theirs. Bounce ideas off of each other.

3. Don’t “oversample”. Let vocal bits enhance the music, but don’t bury it. Space out your vocal samples, and use them strategically.

4. When you’re trying to make a recording of your session, watch the meters! I can’t overemphasize this. Too many great sessions have been fatally mauled by severe hard clipping. Keep your dBs hovering around zero and adjust your amp and deck accordingly. Make sure you match your inputs properly.

5. Transitioning from a swing beat to even time and vice versa rarely works. It all depends on the drumbeat, but be careful of sputtering kickdrums and awkward backbeats when you do this.

6. Take turns being the leader, or conductor, if you will. Electronic music devices often have slightly different interpretations of the same BPM, and if everyone keeps drifting, your mix will turn into mush. Have one person set the standard and let everyone else match it. Ari and I have had a moderate amount of success with the following rule of thumb: whoever’s fading in sets the standard, and whoever’s fading out must keep the sync. With more than two musicians, this becomes more complex.

7. If you’re playing with microphones, make sure you turn the mic track off when you’re done with it. Feedback can creep up on you very slowly, and it usually happens when you get up to go to the bathroom.

8. Teach people how to use your PA and mixer. This should really be #1.

9. Ambience is great for state of mind. Find cool lights and make your stage look interesting. You don’t need a laser light show, just a chill mood. Radio Shack may be your answer.

10. Don’t be afraid to add a little “dirt”. Electronic instruments tend to sound sterile and overprocessed unless you make the explicit effort of adding imperfections (This meme courtesy of Tom Dearing, AKA Reverberation Sound System).

11. Don’t rely on drum loops.

12. Don’t ignore drum loops, either.

13. Don’t be afraid to ask one of your buds for a BPM. Why waste time trying to find their BPM by ear when a little verbal communication will do the trick?

14. Experiment. Always. Don’t worry too much about mistakes. This is live music. Live electronic borders on jazz to me. It’s improv. Let the ideas flow.

15. Always look busy. Even if it takes a bit of theatrics, you need to show people that you are creating the music, not just “hitting play”. As an extreme example, think about Crystal Method, playing most of their set off of a DAT recording. Does the crowd care? No, because they’re jumping around and twisting knobs and playing their keyboards upside down in midair. As a less extreme example, watch DJ Spooky spin sometime. Does he ever, ever stop moving?

That’s all for now. Happy mixing!

Your friend,
the RamenBoy.

sp00 – Short Minutes

sp00 - Short Minutes

When I (ramen) worked at Borders at Fiesta Mall in Mesa, Arizona (Hi, Kai! Hi, Nick!), someone would always get on the PA around closing time and announce, “Borders Books and Music will be closing in 10 short minutes…”. I found this to be completely absurd, and would often complain, “no wonder it takes me so long to do all these dishes–they only give me short minutes…”.

12This album is about not having time to finish. Most of the tracks are under a minute long. Some are longer. Others are finished. For the most part, this is what you get when life hands you the short minutes. The track list might grow if we can find the time to not finish more tracks, so watch this space! (What does that even mean? Watch space? WTF?)

I’d like to take this time to

Entrevista sp00

spoo-moufs.gifWe did the following interview with a Venezuelan reporter, and it was to be translated into Spanish. We never heard back, and I’m not sure if it was ever published in any language (other than Klingon, in which all of our published writings are archived). If anyone sees this interview floating around on the net, please send a link! -ramen

Part 1 (spoomusic.com, the label)

*Hi guys, what is spoomusic.com (genres that you work with) / since when exist / where are you/ which acts you represent

Ariel Gross: Spoomusic.com is an indie record label that caters music of various electronic flavors. I think the general term for the style on our label would be IDM, but other buzzwords that apply are Ambient, Synthpop, Minimal, Techno, and Space Funk. One aspect of spoomusic.com that I think is greatly appreciated is that we have built a foundation of free music. You can go to the web site and there are 26 albums that are available to listen to completely free. You can even download the majority of them in their entirety as high-quality MP3s. (more…)

March is over update

Wellz, the ol’ March is over. It’s been a crazy month for your friendly friends at spoomusic.com. We want to thank everyone for coming to our three shows. First was the First Fridays art walk in downtown Phoenix with the power generators and the random old guys talking to sp00 whilst in the middle of trying to beat match three laptops. Second was the massively lovely COPPE + sp00 + Back Ted-N-Ted + Mike B. + Jas + Terminal 11 show at Modified Arts — are there guest artists that I’m forgetting? Probably. We got audio and video recordings of that one, which will eventually be posted here. Then there was the sp00 + About + Dirty Hasselhoff + Tokyo Bloodworm + ancient plague mummy massacre incarnate osiris show at The Paper Heart, which was the goodness. Thanks again everyone who came, we love you more than words could possibly express! Even words like eternally, undying, and googolplex. We love you forever + forever for your support.

In other news, Sleem of sp00 has been creating Sound Borbs. Sound Borb is a free ambiance generator. Sleem has been putting together some wicked sounding ambiances — you can download Sound Borb by clicking HERE and you can download Sleem’s Borbs here: Asylum, Snorx, Vioswarm, Honey.

In other other news, we have tons of amazing music pending, so hold on to your britches and/or your suspendies and prepare to blast off into the futuristic year of 600 billion trillion thousand.

<3 always to the spoo heads,

sleem + ramen + tinklesquirt

sp00 live at THRU THE WIRES – september 28, 2006

sp00 – live at THRU THE WIRES
Thursday, September 28th

Terminal 11
The Thousands
Captain Marmalade

8pm $5.00 at the door
Modified Arts
408 E. Roosevelt
Phoenix, AZ 85004

sp00 – Abstract Nonsense

“The second cultural behavior is to try to say
‘What is pissing me off about this fine art?'” – enobot

New Release – A Hasse B Audio Input Device

Well hello, dear friends of spoomusic.com — have we told you lately that we love you? We’re going to do so today in the form of two phenomenal releases! First up, a brand new artist to spoomusic.com, ladies and gentlemen Hasse B! /cheer

We know that you have all been desperately craving some slammin’ clipt-hop beats and our hero Hasse B has come to the rescue with A Hasse B Audio Input Device. These tunes project images of skyscrapers in the city and under-the-club basement parties, and you may very well find Hasse B within either of these locations. Listen to it immediately!

But wait! There’s more! We’ll give you the new Hasse B album, the knife set, the poisonour brown recluse spider larvae, and, for a limited time only, brand new live electrozonic mayhem brought to you by sp00 and DJ Kluge! Yes, it’s true, we have added a second live set to the Minimal Math Guild recordings by the name of Substring Theory. Act now and you can have all of this — absolutely free, no strings attached!

lots of love – your friendly friends at spoomusic.com

Two New Releases – wjoo. joo.+ and sp00 vs. DJ Kluge

Holy shmokes! It’s the brand spankin’ new wjoo.joo.+ album, Full Moon Yawn! Five toasty tracks tickling you with glitch glissandos and mysterious melodies that slip in and slide around inside your ears. Our dear wjoo. joo.+ sprinkles specks of speech and oddness into the ripples of reverb and randomness that flow underneath the barrage of neck-breakin’ nanobeats. Don your favorite pair of headphones and immerse yourself. Do so now and you will be greatly rewarded!

Part two of our mid-month mayhem is sp00 vs. DJ Kluge – Minimal Math Guild. This is a fifteen minute live set recorded at an underground mathematics guild meeting. Listen to sp00 square the circle while DJ Kluge doubles the cube. End reading, commence listening.

sincerely, your loved ones at spoomusic.com.

sp00 – Fable

wpid-sp00-fable-medium.jpg Fable is a full length release that covers all sorts of musical territory. You will hear strong melodic ambience in songs such as 1 plus 2 plus 3 plus 4 is ten and merry go round lose focus. You will also hear oddly brutal trip-hop tracks like Worlwide Chaos Mantra and Why Do You Die. And, true to traditional sp00 stylings, there are just enough songs that sound like the forcable thrusting of a video game character into a weird real life fantasy to keep you grinning along the way. Experience the futuristic emotional peculiarities!

— sleem! (aka funkymuskrat, etc)