We are so proud to be included in The WireCutter's list, "Special Gifts for your Favorite People"! They listed our Ghostly Zoots, a collaboration we did with Ghostly International. While this edition quickly sold out, our Zoots is still available as well as the latest Ghostly collaboration between BrandNewNoise and artist Brandon Locher. Check out that edition here, Looped Visions.
The staff at The Wirecutter and The Sweethome spend all year laser-focused on finding that delicate balance between practicality and quality for our recommendations. And while we believe all of our traditional picks are worthy of gifting, great gifts are on another level. Great gifts feel good to give and to receive—a thoughtful gift to a beloved family member or friend can be whimsical, aspirational, silly, entertaining, delicious, or anything in between. In fact, they can say something special just because they’re a little useless. As Marie Kondo writes, an item has value as long it brings the owner joy. And what better way to spark joy than to find a clever, curious, or beautiful gift for a person close to you that’s a little (or a lot) outside the box?
Big thanks to Editor-in-Chief Liz Gumbinner and her awesome daughters for stopping by the shop this fall and for featuring us in the Cool Mom Picks blog! We had a blast. Check it out:
We were honored and delighted to have Kirsten Rickert of Magnesium Blue (@magnesium_blue) visit our wood shop in Red Hook last week with her adorable daughter, Elle. She wrote a super thoughtful feature on her blog about us, complete with photos and videos. If you want to get a taste of shop life here at BrandNewNoise, be sure to check it out: http://www.kirstenrickert.com/2015/11/24/brand-new-noise/
Big thanks, Kirsten!!
BrandNewNoise would like to thank Jen from Uncommon Goods for visiting us here in Red Hook Brooklyn. She really captured the spirit of our company in her interview with Richard. Click the below photo to see the full interview.
You would be hard pressed to find a live musical performance that isn't using some form of manipulation of what the listener hears long before it hits speakers. From mega popstar vocalists like Britney Spears using autotune to stage floors littered with effects pedals (Radiohead), sound around us is being transformed.
But often this manipulation is broadcast from behind the wizard's curtain. The audience member is left in the dark wondering how those sounds were made, who was making them, and where exactly are they coming. Numerous performers hide their tools and perform as if these sounds just magically appeared. Someone made a choice, either be it analog or digital, so why not show us.
Reggie Watts is one wizard who is showing the magic. While Watts' gear tends to fit nicely into a small backpack, there is no limit to the loops and sounds he produces. But what should be noted is that Watts is all about the music, not the gadgets. In an interview with Gizmodo Watts says, "I've just always been fascinated by using technology as a tool to enhance creativity," he says, "Not to replace it, but to enhance it".
For a breakdown of Reggie Watts' gadgets and look into his wizardry, check out this Gizmodo interview.
Watts goes on to say:
I like simple, well-made, well-designed things. That's the thing that makes me happiest. Then the thing that makes me least happy is something that is not designed well. It could be anything, like a parking garage or a really small drinking fountain, because it's like why go through the effort and not do it right? It's really annoying.
Brandnewnoise's Loopy Lou is just that: a well-made, well-designed thing. It's designed to explore sound at a basic level. A simple record button, microphone, loop switch, and pitch shifting knob gets the creativity flowing. In the video below, Grizzly Bear's Two Weeks is recorded and manipulated.
Many see our new Zoots (kalimba) and think, "what the heck is it?" Great question.
Kalimba or mbira is often referred to as a "thumb piano" and originated in Africa. For a nice brief history check out kalimbamagic.com The insturment is played by holding it in your hands and plucking the tines downward with your thumbs. The base of the instrument is typically crafted of wood but can be made from gourds or other materials. Caleb Schepart in upstate New York is a great resource, and builds really well crafted, handmade kalimbas which you can find here.
There are some really stunning musicians using the kalimba and one of those is Kevin Spears. I was introduced to Kevin's music after showcasing the brandnewnoise's prototype of Zoots at Moogfest 2014. In this video you see Kevin using a electric kalimba in conjunction with a Boss looping station, Handsonic 10, and other effects.
Zoots has the continuous looping playback switch, an internal microphone, and a pitch shifter. The sound is low-fi, a bit grainy, but wildly fun and a great tool for exploring sound. Of course it can be used in recording or live performance with the 1/8" output jack.