ucluelet detour

Thanks to those who came out to my birthday-show last weekend at Sunset, and also thanks to the performers who did a great job, and Jason @ Sunset for putting it all together. A great way to celebrate another trip around the sun!
Reading Malcolm Gladwell’s latest, Outliers right now. Not too much to say other than I find it to be his most interesting book yet, and I enjoyed Blink and the Tipping Point.
There’s a slight change to Pacific Front Sessions and the schedule – I will be doing a set for June and July in addition to the one I just posted last week. Additionally I will be doing a combined set with Formulate in August, and this will serve as our last Pacific Front Sessions radio show. That’s right, after 3 years we have decided to wrap up the show that has aired in every conceivable timeslot on Proton Radio. We think it has served its purpose well – we’ve had a lot of guests on the show from the Pacific North West and pushed the Pacific Front Recordings sound as well as many others – including influential producers for ourselves. I will keep my archive of mixes up in the mixes area and I plan on doing more guest mixes for other radio shows in the future.
All that said, there are still three more shows to go, and next month local legend Dub Gnostic will be joining me, as well as Big Dirt in July. As usual the information is available in the events section on the upper right hand page of this site. (Linked for people reading from an RSS reader.)
Finally one note about an upcoming show – I will be performing a sunrise set at the Soundwave Music Festival in Ucluelet, BC right on the ocean. I am very excited and I intend for it to be the essence of my Pacific Front Sessions mixes, as really it doesn’t get much more Pacific than this. This is the same Ucluelet that I named my Oceanography remix after.
Since my remix / production schedule has cleared right up, I’ve made time to do 2 remixes of Vince Vaccaro as my next music productions. Looking forward to getting into those since Vince has impeccable melodies and a fantastic voice.

why does Rogers charge for caller ID?

I recently axed all the features from my Rogers cell phone plan. No data plan (internet is a bit of a joke on this Sony Ericsson phone really), no voicemail, no caller ID, no evening and weekends, no texting plans or bundles or value packs or anything like that. Just me, the system access fee, and $25 a month for their cheapest student plan. Honestly the only thing I miss is the caller ID, but what perplexed me a bit was that I was still getting phone number IDs for people when they were texting me, but not from the same people who were calling. So people would call, it would show up as “Unknown” and then they’d text and let me know they called, and their number would show up at that point. I know that texting and phone calls are two different protocols, but aren’t we at the point that caller ID is just a standard way of doing things? So I called Rogers to ask them what the scoop was. The representative I talked to was a nice man named Kim. He said “Honestly, I don’t know – no one’s ever asked why numbers will show up on text messages but not the calls. Maybe it’s so that you can text people back.” I asked how this doesn’t apply to making phone calls (which they make money off of, obviously) and he had no answer for that. He then went on to point out that caller ID doesn’t work everywhere and cited the example of Thunder Bay not supporting it.. 15 years ago. It’s been a while. He then added that Alabama doesn’t support caller ID. Is Alabama’s allegedly antiquated phone system really what Rogers plans on standing behind on this issue?
From what I understand, no one charges for caller ID in the US. I understand there is more competition there, but perhaps they understand a couple simple things which go beyond competitiveness and reach towards basic business smarts and understanding of consumer behaviour:

  1. People use their cell phones more when they know someone has called them ($).
  2. People do not call people who show up as “Unknown” because it’s impossible and it means nothing. (Less usage = less $)

If you still don’t think Rogers is missing the mark on this one, consider that it is likely that Rogers is suppressing the phone number unless you pay a fee. Then imagine if your internet service provider (Shaw for me) decided they were going to hide the senders names from all the emails you receive unless you paid them $8 more a month to find out who was sending you email. In the year 2009, it is the exact same thing. Just because caller ID hasn’t been around forever doesn’t mean that people expect to pay for it in this day and age. We live in a world of connectivity, of identification as a basis for community, and they’re still trying to monetize something that actually encourages use of their system. How come we are expected to pay for that?
I understand that there is inherent value in caller ID, which is why Rogers charges for it. I know there is value because I have used it for free on Skype. And I also know I will have it for free from a cell phone provider in the future, whether its Rogers or another provider, because it makes business sense and because its just the way things should be done. I was just tipped off via Facebook that Virgin provides caller ID for free in Canada – thanks Ed. I don’t have a lot of attachment to Rogers as I have a very minimal plan, but I think they can do better so I’d like to give them a chance to do so.
How do you feel about being charged for caller ID? Do you think it should be a standard feature (like it is in the US) or do you feel like it’s still pretty cutting edge technology and is worth paying extra for? Leave a comment – I’d be interested in reading. Or if you feel like doing a post about it, leave a link in the comments area and I’ll check it out.

AFK – Pacific Front Sessions: May 2009

Bit of breaks, bit of pumped up trancey progressive, and some breaks and ambient at the end. A few new-to-me names in the mix here, and I think they fit in very well. Enjoy.


  1. Dieselromantik – Ice on the Sun (Original mix) [Plusquam Division]
  2. Planisphere – Centaure (Original mix) [Green Martian]
  3. Aeron Aether and Elfsong – Kaivalya (Original mix) [Silk Digital Records]
  4. Planisphere – Cyborganic (Original mix) [Green Martian]
  5. Jaytech – Groove Nova (Oliver Smith Tech mix) [Anjunabeats]
  6. Eelke Kleijn and Nick Hogendoo – Where Are My Goggles (Fine Taste remix) [Baroque Limited]
  7. Claes Rosen – Re-Offensive (Original mix) [Sick Watona]
  8. John Morgan and Kevin Shiu – 8 Feet Under (AFK’s Overkill remix) [Powerplant Music]
  9. Aeron Aether – Lake in the Well (Original mix) [Silk Digital Records)
  10. Art of Trance – Madagascar (Michael Woods Chillout mix) [Platipus]
Download: AFK – Pacific Front Sessions: May 2009 (mp3)

Right click and Save As, or option-click the link on a Mac to automatically download

AFK – Bergamot

Bergamot is my first original solo track out since Lush which came out on Proton Music a couple years back. I find myself enjoying collaboration quite a bit and as a result, solo stuff has taken a back seat for a significant amount of time. The wait is over, though, and Bergamot is the result of a whole lot of Earl Grey Tea consumption, time spent at the keyboard (shh – don’t tell!), and inspiration from friends and heros. In particular, this tracks production style was inspired by Shiloh, a group I used to get to spend more time with but lately have not been able to. Additionally, the entire track is done with 5th note increments on second oscillators and twin instruments with balance shifting back and forth.

This is meant to reflect the complexity of flavour between the bergamot oil and ceylon black tea leaves which, together, make Earl Grey Tea. In the middle of the track there is a breakdown where almost every element has vanished and notes rise through the space in the track to convey brewing. There’s some other bits in there that I could equate to the tea making ritual but I will leave that up to your imagination to make those connections. The remix comes care of Hungary’s prog-breakbeat king, Retroid. Enjoy, and as usual please do comment in the comments area below.

Release tracklisting:

  1. AFK – Bergamot (Original mix)
  2. AFK – Bergamot (Retroid remix)

to look forward

I appear to have a spare moment so here I am. Pacific Front’s new release is out on promo on Beatport now. I’ll be posting shortly about that with some details and samples. Anand is coming over tomorrow and we’ll be jamming on some new Tiebreaker material, which I am thinking is going to sound a lot different than anything we’ve done in the past. I sent over the parts for Emily’s China to Justin earlier this week so we may see a remix of that at some point in the future, which would be very interesting to say the least.
British Columbia had an election this week and I am not too sure what happened. I voted but the majority of eligible voters did not – only 48% did. STV got shot down in a pretty serious manner – in 2005 it garnered 57% in favour, and in 2009 it only held 38% in favour. I am not too sure what happened but the facts are there – people don’t want it. Except for in Victoria – Beacon Hill, 62% of people were in favour. Only one other riding had that much approval for STV and it was one from Vancouver. The next closest riding was down around 55% and that was also in Victoria, but almost everywhere else was much lower, hence the results. For STV to be approved, a 60% “supermajority” of the popular vote was required, and needless to say it wasn’t even close.
Why is British Columbia so apathetic when it comes to voting? Was anyone else surprised by the results?

out in the wild

A heads up – the new blog at www.gdc.net is live and I will be writing more about design there, as previously mentioned. Check it out if you’re into design! Also if you’re not into design, this might be a good opportunity to learn a bit more about it and what some of the broader issues are that can relate to things far outside of the creative suite.
I took the above shot in North Vancouver near the auto mall. It’s a birdhouse in the middle of a small woodland area, about 12 feet off the ground. I’m not sure how I’d feel about seeing this at night, but the face on a tree looked pretty cool in the daytime. Many plans for the weekend, not the least of which is a lot of reading on the topic of consumer behaviour, and I am sure writing is in there at some point!
This morning, Keith pointed out how different the pro-STV site and the anti-STV site are in terms of design roll out. The differences are pretty stark. I have a few ideas of what this might mean and why it might be but I’d like to hear what you think. Why are the designs so different? What difference do you think it might make to the viewers? What does it reflect in each organizer?