Pet Shop Boys – Mahaffey Theatre Sept 13 2013

First time ever seeing my favorite band ever
First time ever seeing my favorite band ever

A fan for 21 years but this was my first time seeing them live.. needless to say I was nervous about how the show would turn out. Β Turns out, I had no reason to be nervous! Β PSB delivered big!

Speedy J: Ginger (1993)

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mom’s out there! I love you mom!
I had something ridiculously awesome happen to me at the Goodwill the other day. *beat*
First a little backstory. Back at the end of high school and first year university, I used to go out to a coffee shop in downtown Victoria called simply Java. My friend Ryan and I would go on Sunday nights, when they had an ambient electronic music night called Zero G. It was dark inside, and we’d get over-caffeinated on mochas & sugar and discuss science & politics & philosophy and current events and whatever else was going on. It was awesome.
One of those nights, I happened to really like a track that was playing, so I went up and asked the DJ who it was. He said Speedy J. One night some months later, after listening to my school’s student radio, CFUV, late at night, I heard another track I liked, and called the station to ask who it was, and, lo, Speedy J again. The track was called The FUN Equations. I diligently wrote this down.
Download: The FUN Equations [6.6mb]
One year later, I discovered his album, G Spot, at the Sam the Record Man in the Eaton Center. On a side note, I have to give Sam’s props; for a chain, they sure had some interesting inventory. I purchased G Spot, and loved it. It was an introverted, experimental techno album, and it had FUN on it.
Fast-forward 15 years to present day. In the past two months I’ve discovered Speedy J is still active; he’s got an updated website & he is on teh YouTube.
So it was quite a thrill to find an album from him, “Ginger“, at Goodwill for $1.75, buried amongst discarded Christmas music CDs. Even greater for the fact that I’d never heard of it, AND it was in mint condition. I’ve just spent the past hour listening to it, and I all I can say is, I’m thrilled. Takes me right back to my days at Java.

Speedy J’s biography, courtesy NME:

[ Speedy J (born Jochem George Paap in 1969, Rotterdam ), is a Dutch techno producer based in the city of Rotterdam. His breakthrough came with the release in 1992 of the minimal techno track Pullover. Subsequently his material became more mellow as he moved away from the hardcore sounds that were then becoming popular in Belgium and the Netherlands.
His debut album Ginger (1993) was released on Richie Hawtin’s Plus 8 record label in the US, while in the UK it was part of Warp Records’ Artificial Intelligence series of electronic listening music. A further, more introspective release, G-Spot followed in 1995; a live album, !ive, was also released. Afterwards his work, which included Public Energy No.1 (1997) and A Shocking Hobby (2000) became more experimental, importantly influencing the development of what is known as “intelligent techno”.
“Upon first impressions, Public Energy No.1 highlights a big departure from previous Speedy J offerings… in a complete role reversal, it enters upon an iconoclastic electro territory more familiar to admirers of such other purveyors as Autechre, the Aphex Twin, Mike Paradinas and Martin Damm in his Steel persona,” wrote Andrez Bergen in 1998 for Australian magazine Inpress.
The album Loudboxer (2002) saw a return to a more minimal four to the floor style of techno.
He collaborated with Mike Paradinas on the project Slag Boom Van Loon, through which they have released two CDs on Paradinas’s record label, Planet Mu. In 1999, he also released two ambient albums for the FAX +49-69/450464 label under his real name.
In 2008, he released his sound library/audio software, entitled Kreate by Jochem Paap. KREATE is released by Fixed Noise.

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Solaris International Podcast

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Do you like melodic progressive house and/or trance? If so, you’ll probably enjoy the Solaris International Podcast with Solarstone + Agnelli & Nelson. It’s a weekly show and each episode is two hours long. Great driving/all round listening music. I’m really enjoying it, and if you like electronic music, I think you will too.
Just search for “solarstone” in the iTunes Store and you should see a listing for it under the “Podcasts” section. Nothing like free goodness. Alternatively, you can try clicking here πŸ™‚
Thanks to Jeff for the recommendation.

Reflections on today’s Apple Event

So, I haven’t posted in a while. True. Been very busy with life. Between work and school and Joy and Facebook it’s been tough getting in some blog-time. But here we are… question is, are there any of YOU left. Yes Cam, I see you. You and your RSS-reader. Ha… anyone else reading this by an RSS reader? How many of you are seeing this because you saw I added a new note on Facebook?
Anyway. The next bit is about Apple and their announcements today, so if that doesn’t interest you, too bad! Haha.
So yeah, today Apple held a special event in which they announced new iPods and a new major point version of iTunes, 8.0. I followed along on the Engadget liveblogger feed. What I find interesting is how much, this time around, the rumormill got right. In particular Kevin Rose pretty much nailed it. I’m curious what’s going to happen there. His reports have been more and more accurate lately. Will he be sued for his sources like ThinkSecret was, then settle out-of-court with Apple, like ThinkSecret did?
What was announced, specifically (the following list copy-pasted from MacRumors’ summary entry for the event):

  • Jobs takes stage. “reports of my death are greatly exaggerated”. New for iTunes: HD TV shows. $1.99 for SD. $2.99 for HD.
  • NBC returns to iTunes: Office, Monk, Heroes etc… both HD and SD. iTunes 8 today: HD TV shows, accessibility, genius playlist, grid view.
  • Genius: create playlists from songs in your library that go great together. Also personal recs from iTunes Store. Optional and private.
  • iTunes 8 avail today. Free download. Moving on to iPod. 120GB Classic to replace 80GB and 160GB. New Nano. Similar to leaked images.
  • Nano: thinnest ipod ever. enhanced interface. accelerometer. genius playlist within nano. aluminum w/ curved glass. shake ipod to shuffle.
  • battery: 24hr music, 4hr video. environmentally safer. 8 colors. $149/8GB. $199/16GB. new $29 headphones w/ volume, next button, microphone.
  • iPodTouch: Thinner, Stainless steel, Volume controls + speaker. genius playlist. Nike+iPod receiver built in. Demoing app store again. Including Spore Origins, Real Soccer 2009, and Need for Speed. (Gameplay video of Real Soccer 2009 available on TouchArcade)
  • iPodTouch: battery 36hrs/music, 6hrs/video. 8GB/$229. 16GB/$299. 32GB/$399. 2.1 upgrade. free to iPodtouch 2.0 owners. “funnest iPod ever”
  • iPhone 2.1 Upgrade: This friday. significantly better battery, fewer call drops, bug fixes, faster backups to itunes, no app crashes. Free.

It’s a pretty short list, really. My reactions:
(1) Woohoo, they got NBC back. Time to go find 30 Rock and that those Joss Whedon-directed episodes of The Office.
(2) Genius sounds neat. Curious what it’s going to do with all the techno in my library. How cool would be if it could sort something out with that!
(3) They’re discontinuing the 160GB iPod. Jobs called it the “thick one” in his presentation; that’s a lot of spin. I’d call it the “most songs for the dollar” one.
(4) The new nano has a curved display surface. Really curious how they’re going to prevent glare issues.
(5) New in-ear headphones with mic. I *was* excited about this until I read the fine print on Apple’s website for it that says the mic will only work with the second-generation iPod touch, but not the original. I was hoping that it would enable me to use apps like Shazam, which provide music identification services on the iPhone (unavailable to me, largely, I’m thinking, because there’s no sound input on an iPod touch).
(6) New games for iPhone/iPod touch. That’s me! They looked like fun. Might have to try one out. Engadget noted during their coverage today that they thought Apple was putting hand-held gaming companies, i.e. Nintendo, on notice. We’ll see. I’m not convinced just yet.
(7) “funnest iPod ever” – something about the word “funnest” just sounds awkward.
(8) “no app crashes”. Ah ha ha ha ha. Ouch. I guarantee there will be crashes still. I don’t care how good their iPhone/iPod touch OS team is, they can’t stop a badly written app from going down.
(9) And last point about the new Touch — built in speakers is a big plus. I almost never take my headphones with my Touch. It’s such a versatile device I almost never use it to listen to music. Podcasts, yes, but in that case, the touch is either plugged into my dock, or my car’s FM transmitter. Built-in speakers makes it possible for your friends to hear that YouTube video you just remembered.
So yeah. Now all I need is a new computer, an iPhone 3G and a new camera. Oh yeah, and hm, maybe a budget πŸ™‚

Playlist time

Just threw together a quick playlist for cd burning for the car, just some stuff I’m listening to right now, thought some of you might like it too:
Seismic (Shiloh Remix) – AFK & Dustin H
Brothers & Sisters Original Mix – John Graham
Halcyon And On And On (Live) – Orbital
Sweat (On the Walls) – John Tejada
Paranoia – John Tejada
Cry Baby – Roisin Murphy
Murder On The Dancefloor – Sophie Ellis-Bextor
Music Gets The Best Of Me – Sophie Ellis-Bextor
Enola Gay – Scooter
World Hold On (Extended Club Mix) – Bob Sinclar
Nothing Happens In June – Ulrich Schnauss
See You Again – Miley Cyrus
Great DJ – The Ting Tings

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Quivver – Surin (Original Mix)

My track of the day/week/month πŸ™‚
You can probably find it on Beatport; as it is I heard it come in at about the 47 minute mark of Part 1 of Greg Benz’s “Aurium April 2008 Mix”, both parts of which you can download from (you may need to go to the front page of before the download will work). “Surin” also makes a reappearance at the end of Part 2 of the set, which provides a nice through-line. The mix itself features some newly-produced prog house with good funk to it, which is always fun.
And if I remember correctly, Quivver just put out a full length artist album, so I’m going to have to see if that track’s on it… it’s not on iTunes (yet, anyway), though some of his other stuff is (such as the excellent Brothers And Sisters).

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Transitions 3 by John Digweed

What can I say. This CD absolutely rocks. It is easily the best of the “Transitions” series so far, and I have no problem recommending it highly. Excellent flow, down-and-dirty, pack-the-floor music. If you like a good groove, buy this thing, now. You won’t regret it.
Favourites include “There” by Sweet and Candy; “Along The Wire (Superpitcher Mix)” by Lawrence; “Chest in the Attic” by Daniela Stickroth; “Begun The End Has” by Joel Mull; “Hedonism” by Reshuffle; “Kore” by Dusty Kid; and “Lowdown Brittle (Wink’s Profound Sound Interpretation)” by Someone Else.

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Faithless – Rennaisance DJ set compilation

clicky for big
Longtime krishenblog readers will know that last September I went to NYC. Well, on that trip, I picked up a few CDs. One of them was Faithless’ 3-disc DJ compilation for Renaissance Records (pictured above). For the uninitiated, Faithless is a dance duo out of the UK and had a big clubland hit in the mid 90s called “Insomnia”, featuring the line “I can’t get no sleep” (iTunes preview).
Well, that CD has sat in its plasticwrap since then — I just couldn’t find the right moment to open it. Well, that right moment struck today, and I’m so glad it did.
I’ve only listened to the first disc, titled “Studio”, but all I can say is: awesome. Varied tempos and moods and consistently top-notch production. High but not shrill highs, and DEEP, deep lows. And the last track on the disc blew my mind; it was a piano reprise of one of the first techno tracks I ever listened to. Complete bliss. Inspired me to come up and write this. I’m just sorry it took this long to open the CD. Part of the reason I waited so long to open it is because I was a little worried I’d be blah about the whole thing. Guess I should have just had faith (ba-dum ching).
[Update: checking their biography on iTunes, it would appear that track — the last one, the one I recognized from my techno childhood — was originally produced by Faithless, before they were Faithless. Crazy].
Can’t wait to hear the other two discs, labelled “Club” and “Home” respectively.

That’s all for now… good night πŸ™‚

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Music that pops into my head

Last night it was Pet Shop Boys – Twentieth Century (as found on their latest album Fundamental); this morning it was Bent – Swollen (as found on Ultra Chilled (Disc 1)).
What music has just popped its way into your head lately?
PSB – 20th C [4.3mb m4a]
Bent – Swollen [7.1mb m4a]

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