Monthly Archives: Thursday September 22nd, 2011

The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS)

Today I interviewed Stephan Schael, Professor for Experimental Physics at RWTH Aachen University and German project lead for the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) experiment on the International Space Station (ISS). The main scientific target of AMS-02 is to find evidence for the presence of dark matter and antimatter and it is the first astrophysics experiment on the ISS.

The interview focused on the fundamental questions regarding origin and function of our universe AMS seeks to answer, but it also deals with international cooperation in Space Science, the operational aspects of and technology behind a Space experiment as large as this one and – of course – education and outreach.

Now I have to analyse two and a half hours of audio material, plenty of notes and some dozens of photos within approximately one week from now, as the article is already due for production. It will be published in DLR Magazine (No. 132) in both english and german language by end of November 2011 (and on the DLR Portal).

In case I aroused your interested in this fascinating project, take a look at these two videos. The first one btw features a track by the icelandic band Múm and is produced by Widlab, an imaging studio from Bologna, Italy. Check their website, these guys produced some more great stuff on AMS and other science projects. Science communication needs good music, too. So, well done, Widlab!

Purdy, Pospulenn & Jacuzzi Boys: A quick recommendation

My friend Paul Gough aka Pimmon from Sydney, Australia, has just introduced me to literally tons of great new music. Here’s three releases that stand out.

Purdy – Deviant Nature

Purdy: Deviant Natures (Soft Records, 2010)

This album of Kevin Purdy, a Sydney based musician and producer, has been released on his own label Soft Records in October 2010. It was my first listen to his very eclectic and elaborate music. At first I was struggling a bit with those longish, sometimes kinda ethno instrumental sequences, but then began liking it a lot the more often I listened to it. His arrangements are a strange mix of late Beach Boys/Van Dyke Parks/early Belle & Sebastian (I love the horn arrangement & sound!) paired with (forgive me Kevin if you read this) a bit Nick Cave-ish vocals. Anyway, take a look at the man’s influences, listen to his music and you know what I’m talking about (see Kevin’s comment post on the bottom of this article).

Conclusion: Great album.

Pospulenn: Sun People Sleepwalker

POSPULENN: Sun People Sleepwalker tape (Housecraft 2010)

POSPULENN: Sun People Sleepwalker tape (Housecraft 2010)

This amazing piece of guitar-based ambient/drone/soundscape music has only been available on cassette (see image), limited to 50 copies. You may read a very nice review over at Olive Music. According to this review, Pospulenn is one of the recording names of a young guy named Kane Pour from Florida, USA. Some or perhaps most of the tracks seem to have been recorded live. This blog post has a download link for the release.

Btw, the weblog of the Housecraft cassette label remains a mystery to me as at least for the moment there seems to be no content. – would have loved to browse through the other releases.

Jacuzzi Boys – Island Ave EP

Only thing I don’t like is the band’s name as it sounds much more like some clubby TechHouse act (and in fact there is one of the same name right here in Offenbach/Germany), so don’t confuse: The Jacuzzi Boys very briefly reviewed here are one nice, young post-punk outfit from Miami, Florida, in the vein of Memphis Goons or the wonderful Captain Beefheart. I’ve only listened to the Island Ave EP (see video below) so far and all I can say is that it’s great and suggests their new LP Glazin (Hardly Art - iTunes) seems definitely worth to be checked out.