Friday Playlist: Icelandic bands

Christine and I are chilling in Reykjavik right now and have heard some great music on this trip. So I thought I’d put together a little playlist of Icelandic bands you should check out.

After leading us on a hike through some glaciers, our guide put in Ásgeir Trausti’s newest album and played it non-stop during our 5 hour drive back to Reykjavik. We didn’t mind. Simply put, Ásgeir sounds a lot like Bon Iver, but with some minimal electronics added (drum loops, synths, etc). His new album, “In The Silence”, is available in english, but I much prefer the Icelandic version. There’s also a great free acoustic E.P. on Bandcamp (sadly you have to go to iTunes for all the rest of his albums).

bonus video, Asgeir cover’s “Heart Shaped Box”

We are so excited to get to see Hekla perform at Mengi tonight! She uses a theremin and a looping pedal to build atmospheric soundscapes. Mellow and experimental. Currently she only has one album out, called “Hekla“, but a new one is on it’s way.

Skálmöld is a great folk metal band from Reykjavik. They’ve released several concept albums, primarily about vikings. All of their albums sound good so far. I don’t have a favorite.


Lifeline: Rescue an astronaut with your smartphone

“Has Taylor texted yet? Is he ok?”

The premise of 3 Minute Games‘s “Lifeline” is that an astronaut has crash-landed on some unknown planet and needs your help. Most of his gear has been totaled, but he’s managed to put enough together to send simple text messages in hopes that some stranger can help him survive.

Through use of pop-up notifications and clever writing, the game really nails the feeling of texting with a lost astronaut. I’m not usually a fan of text based games, but as we got into it, my wife and I became really entrenched in the unfolding story, which get’s spread out into little segments over time. Fans of “The Martian” will find plenty of similarities between Taylor and Mark Watney. Particularly their sarcastic since of humor.

“We talked about how ‘hard,’ or plausibly realistic, the science fiction should be, and how that would affect the plot as well.” says Mars Jokela, the game’s lead designer. “Andy Weir’s The Martian figured into this quite a bit (we’re all HUGE fans of the book and it shows).”

I expected to play the game all in one sitting, but the game tries to create a real-time vibe by spreading events out. IE, when Taylor goes to sleep, you won’t hear from the game for 8 hours. This bugged me at first, but became really compelling for me later on. “I wonder how Taylor’s hike is going. He should be halfway to the capsule by now.” Breaking the game up also turned it into bite-sized chunks that are more playable throughout the week.

As far as my adventure goes, I accidentally killed Taylor this morning. The game is so immersive that I was originally considering leaving him dead. I liked the permanence of it. I made a bad decision and it cost an astronaut his life… but by tomorrow morning I’ll probably have changed my mind and will use the “rewind” option to give him different advice (and probably end up killing him again a few days later).

Lifeline is available for Android or iOS (including Apple Watch support) for just $.99. I suggest playing it in it’s default real-time mode and allowing notifications (which really add to the experience).


Some previews from my upcoming Analog:Glitch show in SF

ANALOG:GLITCH "Punish the Wicked"

This coming Saturday is the opening for my my Analog:Glitch art show in San Francisco. The goal of the show is to mix old school film with digitally tweaked iPhone images to create something weird and new. I’ve got a bunch of pieces I’m still working on for the show, including some really unique back lit Polaroid photos, but for now I wanted to share some previews of my other pieces.


The Complete List of iOS Glitch Apps

Over the past 5 years, I’ve downloaded and experimented with thousands of iPhone photo apps while working on my Daily Appsperiment and Impossible Glitch series. Since I most often get asked about glitch apps, I decided to compile this list of glitch apps for your iPhonehole. I’ll be updating this list as often as I can, so let me know if I missed anything:

Note: I’ve now created a second list dedicated to glitch video apps.