Twitterfall + Gmail Fail Gives a Sense of Twitter Scale

If you’ve not seen Twitterfall it’s quite nice. It streams in Twitter messages with certain keywords in real time. It makes twitter feel like a bit joined up community (which it isn’t really). What really freaked me out was watching it during the Gmail outage so I grabbed some video of what it looked like:

It’s strangely compelling to watch. In spite of the complete drivel that’s being poured onto the internet.

In the 9 minutes or so that I was capturing this the number of messages in the queue went from zero to 1,800. That’s more than 3 people a second assuming that Twitterfall capture everything. All whining about the same stuff.

I think it’s the first time I’ve really ‘felt’ the scale of Twitter. It was a bit overwhelming really. I dread to think what it’d be like to feel the pressure on the Googleplex.

Thanks to Jonathan for pointing out the Twitterfall.

The Power of a Decent Remix

This track just totally floored me. It’s a remix of In for the Kill by La Roux which has been done over by dubstep star Skream.

It’s just huge. When it kicks in just after the 4 minute mark it’d be better with a donk on it, obviously ;-) but apart from that it’s a masterful remix. It takes a nice, but unremarkable, original and turns it into something epic.

I would have embedded the original, but Universal have diasabled embedding so I can’t. If you want to make the effort you can go to YouTube and hear the original.

Samsung Go All Out in Cute Attack

How are you going to show off the big bright screen of your new mobile phone? Use it as the centerpiece in loads of scenes with super-cute animals.

How can it not fail?

They’d be better not having a mega-sucky website that has absolutely no reference to or regard for the thing you’ve just been sucked into using aaaah-trickery: http://ultratouch.samsungmobile.com/

And I don’t like the inbetweeny bits much either. But I do respect their total lack of shame in playing the cute card so blatanly though.

Donk Donk Donk Donk Donk

I’ve just been on a very strange voyage. A voyage into Donk.

I’m going to rewind and retrace my steps so that you can join me. Come with me. Come to the Donkside. Take a trip to the heart of Donkness…

Here’s where the rabbit hole opened up. A simple P.S. at the bottom of an email from Little Boots…

Google Mail - Hi from last day of album recording

I click the link. It takes me here. To this video.

I was convinced that it was a spoof. As if there’d be a genre called Donk. Everything is wrong about the video. The knowing subtitles over subtle Northern Accents. The presenter’s slight grin when he’s chatting to folk. The funnily named shops. Everything. There’s no way I’m falling for a prank like that. It reminds me heavily of the episode of Brass Eye where they whang on about Cake (the made up drug). And all the characters and the interviews look like they could be setups or clever edits.

So the I popped out and went round to Curtis’ house and showed it to him. And he (and his son Max) both went “oh yeah, Put a Donk on it”. So much for the fake thing then. And once again I’m behind the curve.

Here are the real Blackout Crew with their real hit Put A Donk On It. With a real 4 million views on YouTube. Holy crap!

Oh yeah, the YouTube page features a link to go and buy the real MP3 from the real iTunes store. Put a Donk on that. Seriously.

So at this point it becomes clear that Donk is no joke. And the donkumentary (sorry) is also no joke. So I watch part 2, and part 3 and part 4 and part 5. Back to back. Mouth agape. Unable to pick my jaw up off the trackpad. It’s fucking incredible. So many amazing moments. So many brilliant lines. So many stunning characters. The films do have a touch of that Vice maggy sneeriness (to be honest, you’d really struggle not to given some of the situations). Having said that it’s a bloody amazing bit of documentary footage and well worth the 20 minutes or so it’d take to watch the whole lot.

It’s an amazing tour of an incredible, almost unbelievable scene that’s rooted in a chunk of the North of England. Although there’s undoubtedly Donk mutations elsewhere. To be honest it’s pretty close to a lot of the hard-dance scene in a lot of ways – fashion, sound, people, drugs. Trakky-wearing gurners with glo-sticks have always existed at ‘that’ end of dance music. But you can’t ignore Donk – it’s just got such an awesome name.

Interesting dress code mutations too…

Picture 18

There’s a full article about it in Vice Land. Which, if you can’t be bothered to watch the videos (shame on you) is a decent summary of what goes on in the video series. But nothing can quite deliver the faces of Donk quite like seeing them moving and gurning – with blue WKD stained tongues :-p

MUSIC WORLD - DONK - Part 5 of 5 - VBS.TV

What smacked me between the eyes is really how naive I am to things that go on outside London and Brighton. Sure I’ve been to ‘hard dance’ things and danced amongst the day-glo-mong-puppets in my time. And tried in vain to keep up with music that’s twice as fast as my heart. But it’s always been a passing toe-in-the-water at a festival or something like that. I’ve never been and lived the Donk.

I sit in endless meetings where people pretend to understand ‘the young people’. But they only really view it through a really tiny window. A window where the view extends just outside the central line. So the best you’ll get is someone who’s really bloody ‘on it’ because they went to a Dubstep night, once, for 10 minutes, until they felt a bit sick. Or someone will drop Dizzee Rascal, yet again, into a presentation, because it’s a shorthand for urban and street (but not too urban and street).

One day I want to see Donk in a segmentation. Please let it happen. Please. Fuck it. I might even take my next Keynote presentation and ‘Put Some Donk on it’.

Want to hear a bit more Donk?

Here’s what happens when you Put Some Donk on the Ting Tings.

And don’t worry all you London-based marketing agencies – Dizzee’s been Donked too. Imagine that – it’s a north-south Donk mash-up. Stick that in your presso and feel the client Kudos.

This is where my Donk journey ended for today. If you want to carry on there’s plenty of Donk out there, just get searching.

So after all that it’d be easy, and kinda logical, to do what Vice did and conclude:

After a week in the northwest immersed in donk culture, it was impossible to deny that it’s the bottom-feeder of the already bottomed-out dance-music food chain. It’s parochial, drug-centred, racist, sexist and violent, and that’s what makes it so, well, special. For all its flaws, donk perfectly mirrors the generation of kids and the society that created it: totally and hopelessly fucked, in every sense of the word.

But there’s something else in there too. Sure it’s built around escapism and getting fucked out of your mind on pills and cheap booze. And it’s pretty much the soundtrack to getting the living pulp kicked out of you. But at least they’re making something that’s theirs. Doing something together. Sharing in a scene that they own. Something they love.

Oh crap. I can feel it coming on. A silent-flash-Donk-rave at Doncaster Station. Life is for sharing after all.

February Mix Now Live

This latest mix was recorded when it was so cold in the loft that my fingers were numb. Hopefully it hasn’t led to it being a crock of crap.

Actually I’m pretty chuffed with how it turned out. It’s quite chugging and if I had to pick another word, perhaps brooding. Deep and dark brain music…

Tracklist:

  1. You Don’t Answer (When I Call) – Mr. White
  2. Bergwein – Efdemin
  3. Five Boroughs – Stefan Goldmann
  4. Moment – Damian Lazarus
  5. Appently So – Audiofly X
  6. Early Morning – Skatebard
  7. Aranda (Lawrence Mix) – Egoexpress
  8. Pink Flamingos – My My
  9. Colors – Gui Boratto
  10. Hold On – Holy Ghost!
  11. Sunrise – Yeasayer
  12. Sapphire – Zombi

You can download it through iTunes here. Woo!

If you like any of the tracks most of them can be purchased through Beatport or Boomkat. Both excellent vendors of electronic (and other) music.

Retro or Nutter?


This old school Sony Walkman was sitting on the train table in front of me this morning (with its original stickers still in tact). Without even looking up at the owner. Half of me thought: “woah, like, totally, retro, cool, man”. And the other half thought: “move seat, move seat, you are quite obviously sitting opposite a certifiable mentalist”.

One of life’s marvellous contradictions.