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E3 2011: DJ/Artist Baiyon Trances Out with PS3 Title “Pixeljunk Lifelike”

E3 2011: DJ/Artist Baiyon Trances Out with PS3 Title “Pixeljunk Lifelike”  (photo)

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The Electronic Entertainment Expo’s a loud, loud gathering. It’d be mean and inaccurate to say that it signifies nothing but it is nonetheless a true thing that the annual video game trade show is full of sound and fury. The big blockbuster games shown here usually get thrown up on giant screens with sound systems that would be welcome in any sports arena.

It’s harder for experimental work to find a home here at E3 but that’s exactly what Sony’s providing for “Pixeljunk Lifelike.” “Pixeljunk Lifelike” isn’t a game, per se; rather, it’s an interactive music creation experience driven by the PlayStation Move motion controller. In a darkened room above the din of the show floor, club DJ and visual artist Baiyon demonstrated how it works. Musically, “Pixeljunk Lifelike” is almost like a drum-and-bass theremin. Each of the four face buttons on the Move controller corresponds to a quadrant of sounds and manipulating the Move controller in 3D space either launches new fills, bends notes or tweaks tempo, depending on the user’s movements. You really need to see it in action to understand how it works and I recorded the bulk of the demo to show it off.

Yeah, the video’s dark but you can still see the illuminated tip of the Move wand and how the music changes sync with Baiyon’s movements. It reminded me of nothing so much as a Jackson Pollock canvas, but with music as the “paint.” You can also use a bluetooth headset as a vocoder for adding vocals. “Pixeljunk Lifelike” is the second collaboration between Baiyon and Dylan Cuthbert of indie dev studio Q-Games, with the first having been the awesomely trippy trance platformer “Pixeljunk Eden.” After the demo, Baiyon explained that making music with “Lifelike” feels just like playing a gig in a club, in terms of correlation of physical movement to the creation of sound. The visualizer graphics come from Baiyon’s own design work where he wanted to channel the look of amoebas and other single-celled organisms. Cuthbert joined Baiyon for some Q&A after the demo and said that “Lifelike ” will let players broadcast their sets to other PlayStation users and that other sound packs will roll out after release. No date’s set yet for the debut of “Pixeljunk Lifelike,” but it’ll be one of the more interesting experiences that people get to see at E3 this week.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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