Saturday, 20 April 2013

Pokemon Main Theme / Game Boy

Finally justifying the reason why I had a Game Boy Pocket Blue (which I have recently rediscovered under my old toys), the early red and blue Pokemon games were the perfect sort of RPG game that satisfies my base nature for collectivism. It felt like one of the first Game Boy titles I had played that actually had a bit more depth to it than the arcade ports (Tetris, Formula 1, Mortal Kombat, Mario, Bomberman etc) that I had owned or played up to that point.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Support your local record store!

This coming Saturday is Record Store Day and there is plenty going on in London's Soho record shops to warrant going out into meat space. Phonica and Sister Ray will be hosting live bands and DJ sets, with plenty of offers, sales and competitions, so there's plenty on offer to keep you busy.

Above all things that an independent record store can offer, I think my last experience spells it out clearly. Following a delightful hour long rummage yesterday through some of the stores on Berwick Street in Soho, London, I came away with the following haul after paying about £15 for the lot. This is a selection of things I have been on the lookout for for a while but never fancied paying quite so much in HMV for (the Yikes! Remixes album costs about £11 in HMV: I got a sealed copy in Music & Video Exchange for just £3). Sure, the selections might not be the most up to date, but if you are anything like me there will be plenty of albums you have yet to get. Alongside this I had a great chat with a local DJ and we helped each other find some decent quality finds and swapped recommendations along the way.

It's what record shops are all about. Go check out yours and fill your iPod with something new on Saturday. Who knows, you may even enjoy it!

More information at:

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Bonus Theme - Ristar

Not really much to say about this one, only that it's a late release on the Mega Drive / Genesis and featured some excellent graphics and characterful platforming gameplay from the guys at Team Sonic. The hero Ristar has to answer a call for help and save his people from a tyrant and use his extendable arms to grab and headbutt enemies. As for the music, it is very much up there with the best on the platform, with some excellent dance, ambient and new jack swing, with the bonus stage a great example of what can be done with the FM chip in the machine.

Friday, 12 April 2013

Korg's Volca Grooveboxes

Whilst Clavia and Novation made the world aware of what they were going to exhibit at Musikmesse this year a few days ahead of the show, Korg kept their mouths shut right up until the morning of the 10th April whereupon they unleased their Volcas on the world.

Funnily enough, Matrixsynth and other sites got a chance to publicise the above image a few days ahead of Musikmesse as a kind of teaser of things to come from Korg. In the case of Matrixsynth, they interpreted this photo as a high quality render and treated the whole idea with a great deal of scepticism - even linking to Korg press releases to say that it was an unofficial render or possible hoax. In hindsight we know that they were mislead, but disbelief is a good way to go with these things in case they end up being just a photo and not a proper product for release.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Happy Birthday Novation / Bass Station 2

After 21 years of making synthesisers, midi controllers and accessories, British manufacturing firm Novation haven't missed a beat and continue to generate a legacy of musical wizardry. The latest in their line of products is the Bass Station 2, a completely analogue monophonic synth designed as a reimagining and development on the original Bass Station synth (now yonks old!).

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Musikmesse 2013 tomorrow!

Tomorrow marks the opening of the Frankfurt Musikmesse in Germany, the largest European music trade show running from 10th to 13th of April. If truth be told, this one actually crept up on me unawares and were it not for some cool news of new synthesisers I would have probably missed it completely.

A couple of nice announcements already to sweeten the start to the week is that Nord, and Novation (amongst others) all have new products to show off at Ffm Musikmesse, with plenty of other manufacturers ready to out new gear.

The usual sites have all the details, with Nick at Sonic State looking at providing some decent coverage as always. I'm also looking forward to seeing if the boys from Bitwig will be there with a bit more information about their DAW, given that the show is happening on home turf.

Venue website:

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Fopp is saved!

Well, some good news and some bad news comes this week in the form the Hilco buyout of HMV, who have inked the contract and released the details of what shops are going to be kept running. In amongst all of these stores is the great nugget of news that all the Fopp stores are to be saved, heralding what I hope to be a new era in the brand's success. With any luck, the new owners will decide to keep the shop running as it has always been run: buying some new old stock and selling it for cheap, be it movies, music or books. 

Happily for some towns (most notably those in the South of England it seems), their HMV stores and the jobs of its staff are saved, but there are plenty of stores closing, including the HMV in Croydon's Centrale shopping centre that used to be my regular haunt as a student. With this gone, hopefully the other independent record shops still left in Croydon like 101 Records will suffer a bit of a resurgence.

Original Guardian report with full store closure details:

Saturday, 6 April 2013

The Great Ticket Scandal

Concerts, gigs, festivals, sports matches, theater tickets, it doesn't matter: with the festival season and summer holidays coming up, it's important not to get shafted by touts, resellers and ticket websites and this video goes some way to providing a bit of a cautionary tale.

In a way, I do have some sympathy for those people who are shelling out hundreds (and thousands!) of pounds for gig tickets to see their favourite artists. However, I can see why Viagogo and Seatwave operate these ticket websites if desperate fans are willing to pay these prices and if they do so, they really shouldn't complain as long as they get what they want to pay for. Quite simply, if they are too expensive, then why do the fans feel honour-bound to buy them?

As someone who does a bit of gig reviewing, it has been a little while since I have had to buy a music ticket, but I would certainly get fed up if I had to pay so much for an evening's entertainment. Having said that, the last ticket I bought was from a tout in Brixton for a drum and bass gig, for which I only got shafted an extra tenner for a ticket that was originally an early-bird ticket with a slightly lower price. 

If you can't get tickets, it just wasn't meant to be and if the band is popular, console yourself with the fact that there will be other opportunities to see them. Otherwise, you are only a fool to yourself if you want to pay hundreds of pounds for one off shows and then complain about it afterwards.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Soundcloud April Fools

A lovely little April Fool's joke by the team at Soundcloud includes the Drop-o-meter that indicates the drops in a Soundcloud track based on a patent-pending algorithm.

Nice laugh, guys!

Read more about it here