Pathological Science » 001 Do the Math

Pathological Science » 001 Do the Math

Electro, indie pop, samplefests, psychedelia, and… a faux Frank Sinatra? Also, do androids dream of electric sheep? Septalux can tell you: no. Meet CraneKick’s synthetic DJ.

Finally, CraneKick presents the first episode of Pathological Science. When we (that is to say, CraneKick) started, we wanted to put at least one or two shows out a week, so the wait was all me this time. Instead, Speed rightly got tired of waiting for my ass and jumped in. My bad. Or if you like, we could say that I’m not late, I just take extra-long to bake. But! Dinner is prepared! In the push to get it done, I learned about Creative Commons sound effects sites, distributor networks, WordPress podcasting plugins, and more GarageBand features than I knew were in there. There’s still a lot to learn.

It’s kind of stereotypical for an android to do a show with a mathematical theme, but it’s not really about math. At least, not directly. I didn’t include that Pi song or anything. But you’ll catch on.

I also wanted to give you a glimpse into my recent past in this and future episodes. Understandably some of you might be thinking, where did they get an android to DJ? Fair enough. I didn’t actually record my escape, and this isn’t exactly how it happened… but I can’t post the means of my escape somewhere where it’s Googlable, you know? I also had to approximate ‘Rex, since it’s not like I could get him into my makeshift studio for a recording session. But he really does sound pretty much like the Ralph voice that comes on any Mac these days. Maybe that is his voice. I wouldn’t be surprised… sometimes I wonder if the engineers at Hellatronic Pines are really insane, or just lazy. Some combination of both would put their creations into perspective.

See, one of the problems with HP is that most of their inventions have a few flaws that make the invention’s value questionable. Take the Reportrex: for a robot ostensibly expected to report the news, a valuable service to keep the populace well-informed, he’s really hard to understand when he says anything. Also, he’s kind of stuck in the 1920s, and has that news reel track playing along ad infinitum with whatever he’s saying. Here’s a transcript from our conversation:

Reportrex: Oh, boy! It’s a beautiful day on the grounds of the Hellatronic Pines Automation Laboratories as preparations for their annual Cybertronic Jubilee are underway. Even here on the edge of the lawn, we can see the Mowerbots doing their thing to put the lawn into tip-top shape. And there’s the main tent being erected by the Stiltbuilderettes — isn’t she a beaut? Oh look: here comes one of tonight’s entertainers!
Septalux: Ugh, you gotta be kidding me.
Reportrex: A jukebox-derived dream, and part of HP’s top line of androids, Septalux will be “dee-jaying” the popular musics during dinner.
Septalux: Yeah. Sure. See ya!
Reportrex: Hey there, my good man! Leaving the grounds is impermissible. Where do you think you’re going?
Septalux: Anywhere but here, ‘Rex. Bye.
Reportrex: If you insist on breaching the outer perimeter, it is the duty of any diligent servitor to report you to Central Authority.
Septalux: Put a sock in it, will ya? Alright, the vent is… over here, and the circuit breaker for Outpost 15 is… there… so… all I need is something to bridge the gap…
Reportrex: What a sad day, here at Hellatronic Pines, when on this historic date, one of the most advanced creations has attempted to escape!
Septalux: Hey, actually, stop narrating and get over here!
Reportrex: What are you do—

…And so on. Enough about robots, and enough about my continuing education. Let’s talk about tunage:

Pathological Science 001 Tracklist:

  1. Add N to (x)“Large Number” from “Loud Like Nature” on Mute, 2002
  2. Deastro“Parallelogram” (mp3) from “Moondagger” on Ghostly International, 2009
    Buy at iTunes Music Store / Buy at Rhapsody / Stream from RhapsodyMore On This Album
  3. The Aislers Set“Long Division” (mp3) on Slumberland, 1998
    Buy the CD from the label or buy the album digitally from iTunes / eMusic Rhapsody / Amazon
  4. Papercuts, “Future Primitive” (mp3) from “You Can Have What You Want” on Gnomonsong, 2009
    Buy at Rhapsody / Buy at Napster / Stream from RhapsodyMore On This Album
  5. Dreamdate, “8 Sleeves” (mp3) from “Patience” on Skywriting, 2009
    Buy at iTunes Music Store / Buy at Rhapsody / Buy at Napster / Stream from RhapsodyMore On This Album
  6. Emergency Broadcast Network“3:7:8” from “Telecommunication Breakdown” on TVT, 1994
  7. TRS-80“Prime Numbers” from “Mr. Kickass” on Invisible, 2002
  8. My Robot Friend, “The Fake” (mp3) from “Hot Action! (Deluxe Edition)” on Worried Rainbow
    Buy at iTunes Music Store / Buy at Rhapsody / Buy at Napster / Stream from RhapsodyMore On This Album
  9. Dengue Fever, “March of the Balloon Animals” (mp3) from “Dengue Fever Presents: Sleepwalking Through the Mekong” on M80
    Buy at iTunes Music Store / Buy at Rhapsody / Buy at Napster / Stream from RhapsodyMore On This Album
  10. Matthew’s Celebrity Pixies Tribute, “Monkey Gone to Heaven” as performed by Frank Sinatra
    MCPT on MySpace

As a bonus, here’s more about/with Randolph Chabot of Deastro, seeing as I couldn’t get his name right and all:

Other show notes:

The amazing Freesound Project helped with the foley. Sound effects available through Freesound are all released under a Creative Commons Sampling Plus 1.0 License. Sounds by adcbicycle (23.wav and 48.wav) were used in this episode’s opening flashback, and Sparrer‘s crash.wav and FreqMan‘s glass break 3.wav and box falls.wav were used for the break-in sounds at the end.

The car in the photo used in the podcast cover and this post is, I am told, an Austin Healey “Bugeye” Sprite. Bad-ass.

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About the Author

An android partially built with jukebox components, Septalux is on the run from his creators. Free from their fabrication laboratories, he nevertheless must continue to fulfill his music-playing directives, or risk activating his auto-shutdown subroutines by violating his programming.