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Existence or apparent existence everywhere at the same time; omnipresence: “the repetitiveness, the selfsameness, and the ubiquity of modern mass culture (Theodor Adorno). --American Hertiage Dictionary

Paul Valéry [...]

'Just as water, gas, and electricity are brought into our houses from far off to satisfy our needs in response to a minimal effort, so we shall be supplied with visual or auditory images, which will appear and disappear at a simple movement of the hand, hardly more than a sign.'-- Paul Valéry, “ La conquête de l’ubiquité ” (1928), Pièces sur l'Art

Comme l'eau, comme le gaz, comme le courant électrique viennent de loin dans nos demeures répondre à nos besoins moyennant un effort quasi nul, ainsi serons-nous alimentés d'images visuelles ou auditives, naissant et s'évanouissant au moindre geste, presque à un signe. -- Paul Valéry, “ La conquête de l’ubiquité ” (1928), Pièces sur l'Art

Ubiquitous computing

Ubiquitous computing (ubicomp, or sometimes ubiqcomp) integrates computation into the environment, rather than having computers which are distinct objects. Another term for ubiquitous computing is pervasive computing. Promoters of this idea hope that embedding computation into the environment would enable people to move around and interact with computers more naturally than they currently do. One of the goals of ubiquitous computing is to enable devices to sense changes in their environment and to automatically adapt and act based on these changes based on user needs and preferences. Some simple examples of this type of behavior include GPS-equipped automobiles that give interactive driving directions and RFID store checkout systems. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubiquitous_computing [Jan 2005]

Ubiquitous Music

what I call ubiquitous musics: music in films, in stores, on the phone, in the office, on television, in audio books, and so on. These are the kinds of music that no one chooses for themselves but nevertheless wash our everyday lives with sound. While this is the music that we hear the most of per capita, it is not routinely included in popular music studies. I want to suggest that its absence has a lot to do with the way we define popular. --Thomas Swiss

Ubiquity Records

Ubiquity Records celebrates 10 years of bringing out the music
By Dara Colwell, metroactive.com

In this dark age of heavily marketed, MTV-inspired pop, the shelf life of new music rarely exceeds the usual 15 minutes of fame. So it's refreshing that Ubiquity Recordings, like a fine and mature wine, only gets better with age. Much to the pleasure of well-versed vinyl junkies, international groove vultures and jazz heads, the San Francisco-based label is celebrating its 10th anniversary of producing quality music.

Ubiquity evolved out of the hullabaloo generated at DJs Jody and Michael McFadin's record store, the Groove Merchant. Located in the lower Haight, the narrow store was central to the then small-but-tight retro-groove scene, where obscure and long-forgotten tracks were pursued by DJs and soul aficionados. Within the backdrop of San Francisco's burgeoning house scene, the Groove Merchant initially garnered more attention elsewhere than at home--Japanese and German tourists and savvy gringos like Beastie Boy Mike D. often made pilgrimages to its aisles. (Mike D. gave the McFadins a special thanks in "Professor Booty," rapping "This one goes out to my man the Groove Merchant/Comin' through with the beats that I've been searchin'.")

"I like to modestly attribute our success to good luck," says co-founder Mike McFadin, energetically twisting in his chair. "The rare-groove scene was really starting to bubble and we were right on time--it carried us along. There were only a few places to go get this kind of music and we were one of them."

Within a few months of opening the Groove Merchant, the McFadins created the Luv N' Haight label. Their second release, a 12-inch by Vibes Alive, made history as the first "acid jazz" record from an American label. Paying homage to the old-school greats kept customers streaming in, and within a few years the McFadins had sold the shop (but the Groove Merchant lives on) and expanded into Ubiquity Recordings. Ubiquity is a three-label operation which includes the jazz and funk gems of Luv N' Haight, mother label Ubiquity's eclectic mix of contemporary music, and the steamy Afro-Cuban and Latin jazz rifts on CuBop.

The climb from a mom-and-pop venture to an established independent label, of course, didn't happen overnight. Of the early days, Mike McFadin recalls pressing singles in white paper sleeves "because the jackets cost 35 cents each," and driving across the Bay Bridge to a warehouse where he could buy 20 jackets at a time, wholesale. "At one point, I remember going for 500--our first big order--and the guy saying 'God, you're really starting to sell records.' " Shortly afterwards, Ubiquity put out the Home Cookin' compilation, which became an instant classic. "That's when it went from being a hobby to a business!" McFadin says. The Cookin' series (Home Cookin', Mo' Cookin' and Still Cookin') combined a unique flavor of soul, instrumentation, jazz and hip-hop, and drove the American acid-jazz scene. Since then, the scene has fizzled out and the ever forward-looking Ubiquity has shifted direction.

Ubiquity's success is partly due to its "big-small" attitude of taking developing artists and nurturing their careers. "I want people to know about the artists, not us personally," Jody McFadin says emphatically. Mike McFadin expands on the couple's "grass-roots" vision. "We attract good but developing artists--they enhance us and we enhance them," he says. "Our mission is to take great music and make it ubiquitous." This philosophy also extends to fanning the careers of old-school veterans. When re-releasing a tune, the McFadins always make a point to contact the original artists, who often are surprised that their songs have taken on new life as international club hits. The recent release of Oakland's Sons and Daughters of Lite on the Luv N' Haight label characterizes that vision, bringing good archival sound to a new generation of listeners.

While Ubiquity continues bringing on the raw, deep energy of small and big artists alike, the label is doing so well it doesn't plan on signing any new acts for the rest of the year. "We're lucky," says fellow DJ and Ubiquity vice president Andrew Jervis. "Right now we have the luxury of people coming to us. We have a name already." Couple that with the Internet explosion, which any homegrown Bay Area start-up knows is the best way to get the word out, and the label has hit a few milestones. According to McFadin, one track from Ubiquity's New Latinaires compilation received over 49,000 hits in the last few months. "We could never afford to spend advertising dollars on underground magazines," she says. "We've always relied on people just knowing." Now, she says, the Internet has taken its music outside major metropolitan areas. When the label started getting bounce-back cards from Midwest suburbs, her husband jokes, they knew business was good.

As to celebrating Ubiquity's 10th anniversary, the McFadins and Jervis excitedly say the daily feedback they get from listeners almost seems celebration enough. "People write comments on the bounce-back cards from CDs, putting personal notes on the bottom. That always touches us," Mike says. Some of the responses are posted on Ubiquity's website. One, which sums up the enthusiastic love listeners have for the label, likens the mood of one album to "unfiltered Jaegermeister and a pipeful of Moroccan hashish ... Nice!" For Jervis, who regularly hosts a Friday radio show on KUSF, that kind of response makes him realize how things have come full circle. "I went to KUSF meetings and I would play the records but there was nothing they could relate it to," he says. "Now they listen to it, they love us and I've got a two-hour radio show." --http://www.metroactive.com/papers/sfmetro/04.03.00/ubiquity-0012.html


  1. Rewind Vol.1 (Ubiquity) (2002) Various Artists [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    1. Breathe - Open Door 2. Hercules - Beatless 3. Riders on the Storm/Pink Solidism - Yonderboi 4. Sunshine of Your Love - Ella Fitzgerald 5. Turn off the Lights 6. Daylight 7. Round About Midnight - Gotan Project 8. Quimbara [Jazztronik Mix] - Jack Costanzo 9. Calypso Blues [As One Remix] - Jack Costanzo 10. Billy Jean - Shinehead 11. Heaven Must Be Like This 12. Golden Brown - Better Daze

  2. Rewind Vol.2 (Ubiquity) (2003) Various Artists [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    1. Ridin' High - The Platinum Pied Pipers 2. To Know You Is To Love You - Greyboy 3. Take It All In And Check It All Out - Joseph Malik 4. Uam Uam - Povo Povo 5. Meaning Of Love (Herbert Remix) - Karin Krog 6. Speak Low - Big Bang 7. People Get Ready - Roy Davis Jr. 8. Deja Vu - Yesterdays New Quintet 9. Reza - Superbaccana 10. Adriana - Nicola Conte 11. Fragile - John Beltran 12. Private Life - Fruitbeard 13. Open Your Eyes - Platinum Pied Pipers 14. Just My Imagination - Terry Callier 15. Naima - Soul Bossa Trio

  3. Rewind vol .3 (Ubiquity) (2004) - Various Artists [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    1. Louie Vega - Jungle Fever 2. Greyboy w/Bart Davenport - Genevieve 3. Antibalas - Che Che Colo (Makossa mix) 4. Elsa Hedberg - Open Your Eyes 5. Paolo Fedreghini - Please Don't Leave 6. This Kid Named Miles - Ring of Fire 7. Damon Aaron - Willing 8. Spiritual South - Stars and Rockets 9. Spaceboys - Space Is The Place 10. John Arnold - Rough 11. P'taah - Baltimore Oriole 12. Swag - Riot In Lagos 13. Nobody - Porpoise Song 14. Jeremy Ellis - Chameleon 15. Bing Ji Ling - All Night Long

    The Rewind! concept is simple - a selection of our current favorite artists, producers, and bands record new versions of tunes that inspired them to make the music you love 'em for now. On our third volume artists like Louie Vega (Masters at Work), Greyboy, Antibalas, Swag, P'taah, Jeremy Ellis (aka Ayro), This Kid Named Miles (of Breakestra), John Arnold, Nobody, Damon Aaron, Spiritual South and others pay tribute to classic songs and underground cult tracks by the likes of Herbie Hancock, Cymande, Gil Scott-Heron, Sun Ra, The Chakachas and even Johnny Cash and AC/DC. Rewind! 3, unlike the first volumes, includes no remixes or re-edits of the originals this time - just 100% cover versions made from scratch, with love and dedication by artists from Italy, England, Sweden, Portugal and the USA. 6 tracks are completely exclusive, 2 are currently unreleased, and 2 more were previously unavailable on CD. --amazon.com

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