A most wonderful day.

November 24th 2015.

This was the day my brilliant, wonderful, bonkers friend got her happy ever after.

The wonderful day Lindsey and Steve got Wed.

No tradition, pomp, general szmooze and insincerity most weddings these days seem to contain. No spending of stupid amounts of money, stupid dress ( the bride wore a Metallica tee shirt) and silly penguin suits.

Simply two people that love each other and five guests, I very happily fulfilled my role as Goth friend ( a great excuse to get my hat out ). The ceremony was short sweet and emotional (I’m very soppy when it comes to Lindsey) Metallica’s ‘fade to Black’ playing in the background.

The well travelled chicken even got a mention by the registrar, also Elvis was present, well why wouldn’t he be on such an occasion.

Afterwards we went to a local farm shop restaurant for a fab meal, followed by cake, confetti and fizz back at the happy couples home joined by mad pooches Izzy and Kimi.

Perfect end to the day.

 

 


Review: “EP III” by Carpenter Brut

As a massive fan of the 80’s in most of its forms, especially musically, I was motivated to write this review of EP III by Carpenter Brut. In writing that very sentence I suspect I have already given away more than is usual in the first sentence of a review.

The first thing that struck me about this album was the analogue-style synthesizer sounds emanating from my speakers. The 80’s were replete with such sounds, and pretty much any band from that era used analogue synthesizers to a greater or lesser extent. Carpenter uses synthesizers extensively, a trait that I approve of massively. So big plus point from the off there.

However, I am not so much a fan of the more modern technique of ‘compression pumping’. Although this technique has been around for decades now, it’s always been something I find a little tiring on the ears. For the uninitiated, compression pumping, or simply ‘pumping’ is the process of making the loudness of the music dip markedly on the beat, so it’s as if someone is turning the volume knob on a stereo up and down in military time with the bass drum hits.

That said, on this album it is not applied at levels which particularly bother me, which is mildly surprising, and I would go so far as to say it actually works in this context.

EP III kicks off with a track called ‘Division Ruine‘ which instantly introduces an arpeggiator, plus reminds you of the days you listened to Van Halen. In the subsequent breaks within the track there are elements of computer game music, hints of Depeche Mode and possibly even a little Duran Duran in places. Combined with the heavy grinding more modern feel of the massive synth textures in between these delicate parts, it’s all rather engaging.

The next track, ‘Paradise Warfare‘ delights with a fretless bass poking through a ballad-like mix (replete with Sax-sounding solo parts that are almost worth of Tim Capello) which is reminiscent of  Shriekback’s This Big Hush from the Manhunter soundtrack. It still pounds the ears with frantic synthetic madness in between the calmer moments however and to good effect.

What is certainly evident is the retro feel of the compositions, being somewhere in between the synth-pop soundtracks of 80s movies (such as ‘Fletch‘) and computer ‘soundtracker’ compositions such as the epic (I repeat, EPIC) ‘Space Debris‘ by Markus Kaarlonen, aka ‘Captain’ (these days the keyboardist in Poets of the Fall). The material flows well, does not linger on a single theme long enough to get boring and has a wonderful vibe to it that will remind the listener of any number of other things, while at the same time standing out as an extremely good interpretation of the genre.

It also takes cues from modern progressive/synth material, in places being reminiscent of the excellent work by Frost, although Frost have a greater guitar presence in their material.

In short, EP III is great stuff, I really dig it, and it’s highly recommended on my part. If this had been released in the 80’s it would have blown everyone’s minds sideways and would have stood above much of the great audio to emerge from that decade.

If you like the 80’s (especially the soundtracker files from that time), synthesizers and an energetic electro-mix, you should certainly check out this album.

Happy Christmas to me :) :)

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Christmas came early for me this year, this stunning tattoo, a present from Eddy,Thank you xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

I sat for five and three quarter hours, I think that puts me in the warrior category for tattoo endurance. The last two hours were rather grim. I would liken it to being seven hours in on a ten hour flight and feeling like you are caged but with added pain and blood.

Every moment worth it for this result. In the photos its rather swollen, I will add a healed photo in due course. The brilliant artist was Harry Robbins from Black sails/Yokai tattoos Lewes.

A film I will be watching no matter what

For some years, I played a Massively Multi-player Online Role-playing Game called World of Warcraft. This was not the first MMORPG I ever played – previously I spent as long playing a game called Asheron’s Call which I still consider to be vastly superior in almost every way, and the like of which I have not seen since. That said, I racked up countless (well, over a thousand) hours in WoW over several years, made many friends and had many adventures in the virtual world it provided.

Sadly, they are not making a film about Asheron’s Call, much as I wish they would. The game ‘World of Warcraft’ was originally deep, rich and challenging, set in a huge world with a bigger backstory. In later expansions to the game they dumbed it down to the point I felt it was no longer worth my time, plus to be fair I had been playing it for some years. It was still an amazing experience.

Anyway, there is a film coming out based on World of Warcraft, and I will be very keen to see it. To see the areas, cities, flora and fauna, villages and scenery on the big screen will be epic for me, regardless of how the film pans out. It looks to be more geared towards the conflict between the Alliance (Humans, mainly) and the Horde (Orcs, if the trailer is anything to go by) but there is much more to the game which I hope will get a look-in. The goblins in Ratchet, the Horde settlement at Crossroads, and hopefully some dungeon action as well, such as the Wailing Caverns in the Barrens, which was a bit of a ‘rite of passage’ for all new players back in the day though I think this relatively unlikely.

I also wonder if there will be any little ‘in jokes or references to game lore that appear on screen. I hope so 🙂

I am so going to watch this!

Front garden

Just a note to the effect that I’ve gathered the pics of the front garden into their own permanent album. There will be more to add as I add cut sandstone to the build in order to cover the block walls, but I suspect this may not happen for a while as my priority is not shifted back to finishing Ju’s studio.

The album can be found here: Front garden.

‘Enormity’

A while back I wrote a piece of music as an experiment to test a software reverb I had recently bought (I still use that reverb actually, and it’s really good, but I digress). Anyway, after I’d written it I put it ‘out there’ via cdbaby just because I had nothing better to do with it.

Recently, cdbaby have been using youtube to add views to the various tracks from their artist members, myself included. So here it is – it’s an extremely mellow, slow-paced ambient track.

Trivia: For the cover photograph I used an image I took many years ago in Scotland near Ben Nevis while doing the 3-peaks challenge.

FreeBSD for the win

For some time now I have been steadily working on a Very Cool(tm) programming project. I want to do some commercial things with it later, so I can’t really say what it is or what it does, but what I can say is that it works with network packets and it requires kernel-level adjustments to fulfill its potential.

Since starting it, I have been developing on Linux, specifically Ubuntu (though that’s not really important) because Linux is:

  • Easy to install
  • Comes with any number of graphical interfaces which can be selected with the click of a button
  • Has a massive amount of software support (editors, IDEs etc).

However, I recently determined that FreeBSD (an old love of mine) is required for my project, not due to technical reasons, but for licensing ones. If I was to modify the Linux kernel such that it served the purposes I need it to, then the GPL (GNU Public Licence) under which Linux is distributed would force me to release my software under GPL as well, and at this point in time I simply don’t want to do that.

I therefore recently took the plunge and spent a couple of days getting a nice 64-bit FreeBSD system set up. It took some tinkering and messing about with various configurations and drivers, but I now have KDE running at HD resolution, with Geany (my IDE of choice) and the various other packages I use, all running fine.

The final step was to tweak my code to compile cleanly under Clang (as opposed to GCC) and I couldn’t be happier with the result, so now I’m in FreeBSD heaven again (I always did love it) and working towards getting my project to the point where it can take on some commercial viability.

Taking after daddy..

Not to be left out of the creative/building productivity going on around here, Willow made this amazing model of a house in the midst of the Great fire of London. She is very proud of it and rightly so. A lot of hard work went into it. I especially love the burning people attention to detail, the look on the face of the lady at the front is priceless 🙂

 

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Just because

Posting this picture of us outside the royal pavilion Brighton, just after we got married. thought i’d lost it. Very happy i haven’t as its my favorite.582142_3893095696207_444314739_n