Ninja tune forum vs Tahrir Square – Swift loves them both


James Swift takes timeout to chat to 64bar and compares the Ninjatune forum to … wait for it… Tahrir Square.

He  has come a long way, literally a long way. This is a boy with an Irish accent who has lived in Austria, Australia and had to make a sharp exit out of Cairo last week as the troubles kicked off.

And with such a wide range of sights he’s seen, he’s developed a style that comes straight from the imagination – but somehow, he’s managed to get it down on file.

James has been a mainstay of 64bar since the project stated in 2009, when he was based in Australia at a time he claims he needed a lift to get back into writing.

He explains: “The first time I heard about 64barmusic, I was sat in Sydney with no inspiration, and it was like somebody gave me a task with some limits and that gave me the motivation to do something.”

He uses Abelton live, an MPD and a Macbook pro, and works to create “ a melody through the noise.”

He’s modest, and says: “The thing I like the most is that everybody is so surprisingly good and it makes me feel bad about the crap that I put in.

“But then you get feedback from people who really like it and you realise that what you’ve done isn’t too bad.

“My favourite 64barchallenge mix was definitely number four. That was stunning. It was very well mixed and super entertaining and a really nice thing to listen to while I was travelling.”

But what about his influences? Well as every good head will tell you, Dorian Concept, Aphex Twin and Amon Tobin cannot be ignored, but James also has aspirations of unlocking the secret of the mainstream sound.

“Just regular pop can be so fantastic. They are doing something so hard which is to make  something instantly accessible and occasionally great and timeless.

“That is harder than any knob twiddling, showgazing sound that many people who are respected in ‘the scene’ are trying to achieve.

James’ album, Killbots have feelings too is available here

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Why user testing is key

The Ninja Tune Forum is without doubt important to alot of people. They are the 100 or so people that use it every day.

And it seems like none of those people were given the chance to test out Ninja’s “upgraded” Forum, judging by some of the comments posted in the first hour.

Universally slated, the new board looks very web 3.0, but feels very web -1. Fail.

Lets go through a checklist.

X-brower testing. No. I’ve tried chrome, FF, IE8, Opera. And NO post button. Oopsy Ninjatune :(

Users identified numerous problems in the first few minutes. Not a good move Ninja. I expect that the good will the NTF has built over the past ten or so years will mean people stick at it, while the bugs are ironed out.

But it’s the classic web blunder.. fixing something that aint broke, and breaking it in the first place.

Click here to try it yourself