Websites: Looplabs, cannabis and others

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The Independent Online

This is a great introduction to the joy of audio loops, and a nifty piece of programming in its own right. Loop Labs, by Crash Media, is a simple-but-effective noise box which allows you to experience the joy of sliders and the ecstasy of preset buttons. Would-be turntable samurai can immerse themselves in seven channels, a stack of beats and synth sounds you can stick in your ear blender to help maximise your groove co-efficient.

www.looplabs.com

This is a great introduction to the joy of audio loops, and a nifty piece of programming in its own right. Loop Labs, by Crash Media, is a simple-but-effective noise box which allows you to experience the joy of sliders and the ecstasy of preset buttons. Would-be turntable samurai can immerse themselves in seven channels, a stack of beats and synth sounds you can stick in your ear blender to help maximise your groove co-efficient.

www.cannabis.com

Well, now that the problematic plant is even less illegal than it was a month ago, time to check out exactly what it is, if you're unsure, on a site that prides itself on being, "the most popular cannabis website in the world". The website houses a wide-ranging FAQ (Frequenty Asked Questions) for the newbies, plus a range of articles and features that will be of interest to the newly-legitimised smoking community.

www.epinions.com

An online "Which?" magazine for, and written by, the masses, Epinions offers reviews of everything from the latest film releases to which food processor is right for you. Bypassing the professional reviewers, so often swayed by favouritism and sweeteners, the site's motto might well be "consumer shall speak unto consumer", and is a handy stop-off point before buying anything whose quality might be suspect.

www.1235813.com

"It's 500k and I really don't care" says the download message on this visually-rich, and unforgettably-named, site, and, though it takes no prisoners with your bandwidth, the wait is worthwhile. Euphoric melancholia greets the visitor, via a combination of grey-scaled piano, cut-up monochromic imagery and surprising text. A paean to minimalism, urban forms and the web designer's art, the tone is familiar, but the renderings are worth catching.

www.oneeyeblack.com

Artist Mikkel Holmbo Frandsen's site documents his morphing abstractions, offering haunting impressions of an imagination that runs deep. Set to an epic soundtrack, pieces like "The Advance" and "Isolation" combine a graffiti-inspired style with subtler elements of Flash to produce stuff that looks like the patterns that emerge from certain wallpaper designs, when you've been staring at them for too long.

www.workly.com

If you can sleep through the relentless hum of your machine, then you will have no problem following the creator of workly.com's advice, which is to allow the site's self-drawing Java applets to run overnight. If you can leave them, the complexities that might grow from the simple geometric repetitions that make up these examples of computer art should brighten even the dullest of mornings.

www.johncoltrane.com

As smooth a site as you'd expect that chronicles the life and music of the extraordinarily smooth John Coltrane, one of the all-time great jazz men. Set to changing music moods from the great man's oeuvre, this site makes good use of Flash to tell the story of his career. Some 25 full-length tracks are available, and the photographs section includes some great shots.

www.betalounge.com

The Beta Lounge broadcasts out of San Francisco, covering all that comes under the "electronica" umbrella. As well as live daily broadcasts, it's most famous for its weekly live show, which it describes as an "intersection between a radio show, a television show and an underground warehouse party". Its eclectic mix will smooth away, or increase, the rising global paranoia, depending on your, and their, mood.

www.souloftheweb.com

In among the ultra-cool facelessness that pervades the net are some not-too-well designed, but nevertheless fascinating, places built by people who have got something worthwhile to say. If you prefer content over style, then Soul of the Web is for you. They house personal pages and intimate weblogs of ordinary people up and down webland who may have no clue how to program Flash, but have plenty of soul.

www.jonathonrobinson.com/secret.html

Close your other apps, because this one crashed my browser a couple of times, but it's worth the gamble to see a crazy Flash movie called "The Terrible Secret of Space" which provides visuals to a very weird techno track of the same name. Cut-up imagery underlies cartoon faceless robots, who ask "Do you have stairs in your house?" Odd stuff – don't watch at night.

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