Sunday, 29 April 2012

FreshDnB - RIP?

Just in case anyone is confused and wants to know - has not been paid for this month and is down at the time of writing. Again. Ant is in Florida (last I heard from him) so it's unlikely that the website will be back online any time soon.
Update 05/04/2012

It's back online - get in here and get posting your stuff!

Akai LPK25 USB keyboard controller review

Following in the footsteps of their legendary line of MPC controllers, Akai have been forging new fame with their lines of USB controllers, including the LPK25 keyboard controller. I just picked one of these up to do some basic keyboard jamming to come up with ideas for chord progression and space is at a premium at the moment.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Myst - Mechanical Age (Sirrus' Theme)

Days and weeks went by exploring a wonderful and intricate world, full of secrets and surprises. Much like many other games of its time, Myst dumps you into the game world with very little hand holding and it is up to you to piece together what has happened and how to play the game. With fiendish puzzles set in the middle of amazing set-pieces, this set the standard for new point and click adventuring and encouraged the uptake of CD Rom drive sales just so that people could play it.

Now with several sequels and plenty of ports to the Playstation, iOS and other platforms, nothing captures the way I felt about the original in terms of exploring a lovely (yet nowadays dated) 3D environment set to music that fitted the worlds and areas you were in. There are plenty of leitmotifs going around in the game and the Sirrus' theme in the Mechanical Age goes to show how well the music developes the appropriate mood.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Saturday Soundtrack - Cairodrome / CoLD SToRAGE

"A ball bounces. A pin drops. A man falls. Gravity is the glue that binds us to our planet. We are about to apply the solvent which will free our species forever."
Pierre Belmondo (Director of European AG Research), speaking at a demonstration of anti-gravity technology, Nevada, April 2035

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Saturday Soundtrack - Katamari Theme

Saturdays are arguably the best day of the weekend; you get to lie in and do whatever you like and know that you don't have to get up early on the day after either. Perfect for playing videogames, making music, cycling, shopping and all the rest.

In this spirit, I'm going to be revisiting the best music from videogames new and old, starting with the Katamari Damacy main theme. At once kooky and catchy, with drum and bass trappings, Japanese singing and epic drums that convey the madness that is the game itself. Well done to the Katamari team who gave us these games!

Friday, 13 April 2012

Monotron Duo Review

The Monotron Duo. I'm blue da ba dee...
Following on from my purchase of the Monotron Delay and after having plenty of fun with the delay function, I wanted to pick up its brother unit the Monotron Duo to complete the set and use them together. So I thought it would be a nice idea to run a review of Korg's other pocket synth as well.

Mixtape Alpha

Courtesy of the team at Mixtape Alpha
I’ve just come across this excellent project from some guys at MIT, which combines a little 8bit synthesiser in a neat form factor. It looks like a mixtape fused with a stylophone plus some added effects, which can only be a good thing. Did I mention it was polyphonic as well?

I love the fact that this little project is so feature-full and simple and recycles old technology in form that we are so familiar with and does something new with it. The hackable nature of it gives that additional layer of cool as well.

I’ve added my name to the list to get some more when they come in stock and will cost roughly £21 ex shipping.

More details, shop, live video and more at

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

RIP: Father Of Loud

Sad news belatedly written here of Dr Jim Marshall OBE, the man largely responsible for developing the rock sound through his legendary line of guitar amplifiers and speakers, who recently died.

It's never good to hear when musicians die and the same has to be said about the engineers and technologists who are also responsible for the things we hear and take for granted. I remember feeling similarly upset when I heard about Bob Moog a few years ago and I hope people feel sit up and notice the passing of a great British pioneer in sound.

Marshall's website carries a lovely obituary on their website:

Rest in peace, good sir.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

New DSK Music synthesiser

TechSynth Pro from DSK Music
DSK TechSynth Pro VST

    Easy to use VST with plenty of expression and tons of features. 

    Works well for dance and electro lines but is perfectly suited for any kind of electronic music

    Completely free to download!