Created by Alex McLean (Yaxu), Spicule is an album released as a Pi Zero with high quality DAC in custom case, allowing the tracks to be remixed and reworked using the TidalCycles live coding environment.
Alex McLean has performed at festivals across Europe as part of Slub and Canute, and co-founded the Algorave and TOPLAP live coding movements. Spicule LP is Alex’s first solo album, following on from Peak Cut EP, both released on Sheffield label Computer Club with design by Human.
As well as digital download, Spicule will be available in the form of the ‘Live Coding Device’ (LCD), a strictly limited run of 100 via PledgeMusic. The LCD is a hardware format based on a Pi Zero, with custom case and Phat DAC made by Pimoroni. It will play mastered Spicule tracks over high quality line outputs, or you can plug into your computer and live code algorithmic patterns to remix special versions of the tracks.
TidalCycles is a free/open source live coding environment created by Alex over many years, from 16 years of experience making algorithmic dance music. It is implemented in the Haskell pure functional programming language, allowing patterns to be composed and combined with terse, expressive code. Internally, patterns are represented as functions of rational time, allowing time to be bent in mysterious ways, allowing complexity to emerge from simple structural components and then be explored and played with fluidly. It makes sound through SuperDirt, implemented in SuperCollider for TidalCycles by Julian Rohrhuber and is itself live codeable. TidalCycles developed from Alex’s performance practice but is now a free/open source project, in use by musicians around the world including lil data and 65daysofstatic and many others in the Algorave community.
Crowdfunding is active until 13th August 2016. For £6 you will get access to the album, pattern reel and the album for £10, and the device for £29. There are also a number of other goodies for contributions, so go ahead and pick the one you like.