Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Nostic

What do you do when you've already sorted all 80 DJ sets, have them all perfectly lined up, and you've actually gone and made just over half of them, but then you discover a new artist that you should have included from the get-go had you had them on your radar?

Sigh.  I'm probably going to stop now with making any for a week or two anyway, because I'll be too busy.  But when I get back, instead of 80 DJ sets, I'll have 81 or 82, and I'll use a d12 to pick songs out of currently queued up sets and replace them with Nostic songs.  The songs picked out will go into 81 and/or 82.

Kind of a hassle, but worth it.  Nostic has some good material.

http://www.nostic-music.com/portfolio/

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Incredibles 2

The Incredibles is still the best movie Pixar has done.  The hype surrounding the very late-appearing sequel is subsequently quite high.

This review will contain spoilers.


The movie is pretty fun.  The characters have the same chemistry, more or less, that they had before, and some of them at least have a development arc (although curiously, some of them which get a lot of screen time, do not.)  The action scenes are well done.  (My kids are universal in their praise of their improvement over the first movie.)  The setting is extremely well animated, and significantly expanded, in some ways.  There's a bigger cast of characters and a wider place in which they play, and yet at no point does it feel forced.

As Daddy Warpig noted; it's not perfect, but still better than the last two Star Wars movies combined. (I'm not sure exactly what he means by that, but given that The Force Awakens contributed very little, and The Last Jedi was actually a negative, being better than those two isn't saying much.  It's probably better than the two spin-off movies too, but not combined, and it's not a slam dunk against either Rogue One or Solo either one.)  After as long as we've all waited, it was fun to see the characters put through their paces again, and for the most part, they didn't really miss many beats.  (I should note that my daughter was highly distracted, and mentioned many times that the characters all sounded old.  But nobody else appears to have even noticed that.)

So... that's the good news.  And it's quite a bit, even though I've breezed through it quickly.  It's worth seeing. It's even worth seeing in theaters.  It's even worth seeing at full evening price, although I hardly ever see any movie at full evening price anymore; I almost always buy the last showing at matinee price on a weekday.  This is significant to me because it means that I don't contribute to the all-important opening weekend box office very much, if at all.  Considering that I saw this movie on the Monday afternoon after opening weekend, I didn't at all. 

At the end, though, most likely Incredibles 2 will be seen as relatively forgettable.  Like The Force Awakens, it's fun the first time you watch it, but as it ages, its flaws will become more obvious and harder to ignore.  At least that's my prediction (after watching it once.)  What are these flaws?

First off, at a high level, the plot is actually exactly the same as the first movie.  In spite of what you thought happened in the first movie, we start off with superheroes again facing legal pressure to not be superheroes.  Once again, a mysterious and obviously wealthy donor recruits superheroes (in this case Elastigirl instead of Mr. Incredible—more on that later) to do some superheroing on the side.  And once again, they turn out to (OMG! Big surprise!) actually be the villains that need to be faced at the end.  Once again Frozone and the kids get involved and the family has to pull together, overcoming their own separate issues, to defeat the villain, because none of them can do it alone.  Once again they save the city right there on the same waterfront at the last minute and once again the people all cheer and it looks like the supers can come out of hiding.

And once again, there's even a somewhat gratuitous visit to Edna Mode's place to get a new suit and some exposition.

The devil is in the details of course—considering that Edgar Rice Burroughs is my favorite author, it might seem a bit rich for me to be complaining about rehashed plots.  Then again, ERB's series tend to fall off in interest level quite rapidly after the first story arc is done too, don't they?  This problem doesn't make the movie any less fun to watch (once, at least) but it will almost certainly contribute to its eventual downfall after we're more used to it.  From a story perspective, this not only doesn't raise the bar, but it significantly lowers it.

Another significant turn-off was the obnoxious you go, grrl feminism about Elastigirl and the subsequent hapless, bumbling husband jokes about Mr. Incredible being left at home. While I certainly admit that this could have been worse, and I kind of expected it to be worse given how much Disney hates American culture and American tradition, it could have been worse isn't, of course, all that much of an endorsement.  It was present enough that it's hard to ignore.  But, it was undercut by two things: first, once Bob kinda finally gets over himself and dives head-first rather than somewhat reluctantly and resentfully into being the guy who stays at home, he actually is pretty good at it after all.  Arguably, he was better at that than he ever was at selling insurance in the first movie.  (Sadly, though, this means that Bob's emotional character arc is almost exactly the same as it was in the first movie, even though he's doing less fighting of robots and more dealing with math tutoring and Jack-Jack's ever growing repertoire of out of control powers.)  Of course, in the end, his stint as Mr. Mom doesn't last very long; really just long enough for him to prove that once he puts his mind to it, he can do it just fine.  Secondly, one of the main proponents for You Go, Grrrl feminism was actually the villain of the movie in a plot twist that nobody didn't see coming.  (The only question was: was it going to be both the brother and sister, or just the dry, obviously manipulative sister who was bad, and her brother really was the positive, excited, idealistic guy that he appeared to be.  The answer is the latter.)

A side effect, perhaps, of this you go, grrrl attitude was that Elastigirl had to already be pretty perfect or something.  She couldn't really have any weaknesses, because that would admit that there are things that she can't do, and the Mary Suewalker characters can't ever be that lest some poor, hateful and unlikable blue-haired landwhale have feelbads or something.  Because the plot actually focuses quite a bit more on her than the last movie did, this is to the plot's detriment.

Or maybe it's just a side-effect of the fact that Mr. Incredible is just a more interesting and charismatic character, and the movie was a little overstuffed, so Elastigirl ironically got way more screen time but no emotional character development arc at all.

Anyway, we'll probably buy this movie.  It's pretty good.  It's worth seeing, if you haven't already.  But it's a rather pale imitation of the first movie in many ways.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Hardest hard dance

Talking to some kids (including my own, and some of their friends) briefly about EDM yesterday, I mentioned that the kind of stuff I listen to is the kind of EDM that melts your face off and kicks your butt so hard that you're still pooping out pieces of its shoe several days later.  My wife literally can't listen to this stuff at anywhere near full volume (or really at all) without starting to really suffer from some anxiety, one of my sons claims that it just sounds like random power tools and tornado sirens and that listening to it causes cancer, etc.  The truth is; it's not for women, children or soyboys.  Only those man enough to listen to real warrior music can handle the stuff I listen to.

One of the girls thought it would be funny to slip a few tracks into an upcoming dance playlist and see how well they went over.  I'd probably laugh, but that's a lot of work for a chuckle.  In reality, I don't think the intensity of most of what I listen to is that extreme, and even when it is, I greatly prefer a melodic touch too (which is why in general, I prefer hardtrance to hardstyle—the latter tends to be a bit more noisy for little gain in "hardness" sometimes.)

Anyway, for the heck of it, I whipped up real quick a short set (half an hour) of some of the stuff in my collection that leans on the more intense.  It's not comprehensive, and it's not meant to be; it's meant to be a sample of some of my favorite of the harder of my songs.

These need to be played on a system that can handle the bass, though.  Especially about halfway through, between 14:53 to about 15:15 or so.  If that section doesn't kick your butt, your sound system is not capable.

The tracks are, in order:
  • Luca Antolini vs Steve Hill "Contatto (RVRS BASS Mix)"
  • The Donkey Rollers "The Last City on Earth"
  • Builder "Her Voice" (Combination of two slightly different versions of the Headhunterz remix)
  • Masters of Chaos "Retribution (S.H.O.K.K. Retro Remix)"
  • Blutonium Boy "Floorkilla (Nik Import Mix)
  • R.B.A. "No Alternative (DBD Remix)"






Friday, June 15, 2018

Friday Art Attack


If it isn't obvious, retro-pulp stories, which are confident and politically incorrect celebrations of Western Civilization are my favorite.  This comes, I think, from the Hollow World RPG, which is very heavily based on the Pellucidar series by Edgar Rice Burroughs and his imitators.


Labelled for convenience in case you didn't know what it was.  A D&D Yeti specifically.  I don't know what the deal with the horns are, except that clearly The Empire Strikes Back has had an effect on pulp that followed in its wake.  Yetis aren't exactly the same as wampas otherwise.


A sketch (prior to the movies) of the oliphaunts from Lord of the Rings.


Ubese bounty hunters, by Sam Wood, from the Wizards of the Coast RPG.  Most will recognize the outfit as one Princess Leia used as a disguise to infiltrate Jabba's palace.


I'm not quite sure what this is.  An undead donkey-headed guy?


Primarchs celebrating.  This is probably cover art for some Horus Heresy novel.
 I think that's supposed to be a drow, but the skin color is all wrong.  Art for these guys often doesn't match the descriptions.


Some kinda cheesy art that's nearly van art in its cheesiness. Keep in mind, though, that I was a little kid in the 70s.

Snake-men from some D&D publication or other.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Music rambling

Because I've pretty much just thrown my earlier hardstyle sets in with the new hardtrance sets I'm making, I'm finding a few odd things here and there.  For one thing, I have a few early hardstyle songs mixed in with my hardtrance, because it fits really well.  Some of these songs are also in my hardstyle sets, though.  For instance, I've had four K-Traxx songs on my hardtrance list, and two of them have already come up (the Technoboy remix of "Hardventure" and the unremixed version of "Noise Tool."  I've had "M.O.D.U.L.O." by Jimmy the Sound and "Hardcore Suckas (Trance Generators Remix)" by The Juvenile pop up in both groups.  Same for the Blademasterz remix of "Acid Nightmare."  The final one, I think, is that I recently added "Go Go Go" by Julian DJ and Davide Sonar to a hardtrance megamix, and it's already in a hardstyle megamix too.

And I've got a handful of early hardstyle songs in my hardtrance megamixes that aren't in hardstyle megamixes, but they're often stuff that straddles the line, like "Dusky Noises" by Analogic Disturbance, the Dark By Design remix of "No Alternative" by RBA, and various versions of songs by DJ Virus or Session One (otherwise known as Blutonium Boy) and DJ Neo.

I had actually thought about adding a few more early hardstyle songs to the hardtrance group of tracks; stuff like the original "Junior" by Speedwave, or something like that.

But I'm actually thinking of going the other way, not adding any more and in fact taking a few tracks out of consideration that are on my hardtrance population because they've already been in a hardstyle megamix (I'm thinking specifically of that Reversebass remix of "Focus" by Droid, and "Deadlock" by Future Tribes, the aforementioned K-Traxx songs that haven't come up yet, etc.

Sigh.  I'm on the fence about what I think is the right approach.

In the meantime, I'm up to 40 made mixes.

Megamix 35
  • DJ Neo - Acid Overdose [Blutonium Boy Mix]
  • Vanessa-Mae - White Bird [Cosmic Gate Remix]
  • Marcos & JK Walker - Daykeeper [Marcos Mix]
  • Cosmic Gate - Back to Earth [S.H.O.K.K. Remix]
  • Jim Justice - Maximum Modulation
  • Hennes & Cold - Darkness
  • Paul Maddox ft Niki Mak - Synthosaurus [Moments of Madness Dub]
  • Embargo! - Blackout [Original Extended Mix]
  • DJ Scot Project - X [Y Mix]
  • Sol Ray & Dark By Design - Future (In Your Eyes) [Part 1]
  • Luca Antolini vs Steve Hill - Fly With Me
  • Out of Grace - 140 BPM [Original Mix]
Megamix 36
  • Talla 2XLC - World In My Eyes [Cosmic Gate Remix]
  • DJ Virus - All Your Bass [K90 Mix]
  • Tommy Pulse - The Messiah [Resurrection Mix]
  • Cosmic Gate - Mental Atmosphere [Desdichado Hybrid Mix]
  • Euphony - Carte Blanche
  • Luca Antolini - The Race 2012 [Bluntseixal Remix]
  • Arome - Scream [Original Mix]
  • Hennes & Cold - Second Step
  • Trance Town - Fingers [Max Savietto Part Two]
  • Kan Cold vs Frank Ellrich - Transmission
  • Planet K - Hockenheim [Nord Curve Mix]
  • Apogee - Tribal Affair [Apogee Mix]
Megamix 37
  • Marcos & JK Walker - Nightfinder [Solar Scape Remix]
  • Luca Antolini vs Andrea Montorsi - Free [Luca Antolini Remix]
  • Titchy Bitch & The Fallen Angel - Retribution [Hennes & Cold Remix]
  • Twister's Silence - Listen to Me, Mama [DJ Scot Project Remix]
  • DJ Scot Project & A*S*Y*S - Loco [Black Mix]
  • DJ Wag - Cult House [Yakooza Extended Clubmix]
  • Space Frog - X-Ray (Follow Me) [Derb Remix]
  • R.B.A. - No Alternative [Nostic Remix]
  • Overrider - Timebomb
  • DJ X2000 - Modem [DJ Scot Project Remix]
  • Age of Love - The Age of Love [Marc Et Claude Remix]
  • Green Court - Follow Me [JamX & DeLeon's DuMonde Remix]
Megamix 38
  • Sixth Sense - Unleashed
  • Arome - Hands Up! [DJ Scot Project Remix]
  • Steve Knight - Neo [Original Mix]
  • Technoboy - The Future [Luca Antolini Remix]
  • O.E.G. - Endless Horny [Accenter Three O RMX]
  • Cosmik Vision - Cosmik Vision [Lost in Space Mix]
  • DJ Wag - Music Non Stop [Dub Kontor Dub]
  • Signum ft. Scott Mac - Coming On Strong [S.H.O.K.K. Remix]
  • Warmduscher vs Derb - —
  • Martin Roth & Frank Ellrich - The Orange Theme [Martin Roth Mix]
  • Organ Donors & ASYS - We Call It Acid
  • Marcos - Beat Junkie [Jay Walker Mix]
Megamix 39
  • Marc Dawn - Expander [Flutlicht Remix]
  • Russenmafia - Afraid of Us [Schwarze Puppen Mix]
  • Servant of Light - Exhale [DJ Natron Mix]
  • Steve Knight - Neo [Andy B Mix]
  • Marcos - La Proxima Parada [Digital Pressure Remix]
  • Bass Driver - Fatal Invasion [The Day After]
  • Universal Dream - House of Music [Aquaplex Remix]
  • D&A - Demons [Spacecom Remix]
  • Rank 1 - Awakening [Steve Hill & Dark By Design Remix]
  • DuMonde - God Music [Cosmic Gate Mix]
  • S.H.O.K.K. - Folie A Deux [DJ Natron Mix]
  • Tankis & Savietto - Outrageous [Remix]
Megamix 40
  • Jay Walker - Strange World
  • S.H.O.K.K. - Da Capo
  • Y.O.M.C. - In My Mind [Y.O.M.C. Mix]
  • Steve Hill, Luca Antolini & Dark By Design - Go Insane (Part 2)
  • A*S*Y*S - Lost in Acid [Original 24 Hours Mix]
  • Scooter - I'm Raving [Taucher Remix]
  • Tankis & Savietto - Antea [Remix]
  • Phil York vs BRK3 - Traffic [Fausto Remix]
  • Nomad - Taken
  • Digital Pressure - Digital Theory
  • Luca Antolini - Secret Dream [Original Vocal Mix]
  • Atomic Alliance - Atomic Bomb [The Elite Remix]

Friday, June 08, 2018

Hardtrance 12-song DJ sets 28-34

I could have made even more.  Quiet day today.  But why do I want to go so fast that I can't even hope to listen to them before I'm swamped in more new ones?  I mean, for crying out loud, I now have 34 sets made, with 35-42 tracked and sorted and ready to make.

HTM 28
  • Cosmic Gate - Mental Atmosphere [Beam vs Cyrus Remix]
  • Eamonn Fevah - Your Turn [Nick Sentience Remix]
  • DJ Darkzone - Des Teufels Antwort [Hoellenheiss Mix]
  • Digital Pressure - Hybrid
  • Traum - Mirage Experience [Luca Antolini Remix]
  • DJ Dean - Don't Stop
  • S.H.O.K.K. - Isn't It All a Little Strange? [Krazy Nut Mix]
  • DJ Wag - The Darkness [DJ Wag Mix]
  • Hennes & Cold - Measure
  • Dave Joy - First Impression [Madwave Remix]
  • Luca Antolini - The Race [Hard Trance Mix]
  • W.O.W. - Invocation
HTM 29
  • Trance Town - The Silence
  • Pacific Link - Contatto [Luca Antolini Mix]
  • Flutlicht - Das Siegel [Original Mix]
  • OEG - Endless Horny [Uberdruck RMX]
  • Chris Liberator & The Geezer - 303 Power [Chris Liberator & Ant's Maxi Power Remix]
  • DJ Wag - Ride [State of Trance Mix]
  • Naxos Project - Cold Fusion [JK Walker Remix]
  • Derb - My Johnny
  • Sixth Sense - The Virus [Extended Mix]
  • Kan Cold - Space
  • Dave Joy - Second Chase [Extended Mix]
  • Green Court - Inside Your Gates [Cosmic Gate Remix]
HTM 30
  • Vincent De Moor - Fly Away [Cosmic Gate Remix]
  • S.H.O.K.K. - Triple 7 [Original Mix]
  • D10 - Fear the Dark [Sixth Sense's Old School Treatment]
  • Naxos Project - Our Time [Original Mix]
  • Hennes & Cold - The Second Trip [DJ Scot Project Remix]
  • Walt - Bring the Pain [Original Mix]
  • Emmanuel Top - Acid Phase
  • MTW - Overload [Musikman Remix]
  • Luca Antolini - The Race 2012
  • Derb - D.F.C. [DJ Scot Project Remix]
  • Cosmic Gate - Hardcore [Kaylab vs Chromedioxide II Remix]
  • Trance Town - Fingers [Max Savietto Part One]
HTM 31
  • Pro-Active - Straight On [Percussive Attack]
  • Atlantic Wave - Black Mind Confession [Luca Antolini Remix]
  • Fausto & Tommy Pulse - Pirates
  • Sa.Vee.Oh - Nohacker.exe [Phil York & Dark By Design Remix]
  • Dave Joy - First Impression [Acid Maniacs Remix]
  • Brooklyn Bounce - Born To Bounce [Warp Brothers Remix]
  • Beam - Amun [Cosmic Gate Remix]
  • Taucher - Science Fiction [Cosmic Gate Remix]
  • Sixth Sense - Panic Machine
  • Lisa Lashes & Alex Kidd vs Kidd Kaos - Dissaray
  • KGBs - The Disco Fans [Hardisco Mix]
  • Luca Antolini vs Steve Hill - Through My Memories [Luca Antolini Mix]
HTM 32
  • Tommy Pulse - Machine Man
  • A*S*Y*S - Sad Euphoria
  • Überdruck - Here's Freddy [Überdruck Mix]
  • Nomad - Ahead of the Curve [Original Mix]
  • Trance Town - Tahory
  • Immortals - Mortal Kombat [Hard Trance Techno Remix]
  • DJ Cyglas - Sweet Lies [Bismark vs Philippe Rochard Remix]
  • Derb - Coole Sau [DJ Isaac Remix]
  • Sa.Vee.Oh - Oh You Rock
  • Sixth Sense - Space Ride [C & D Project Remix]
  • Masters of Chaos - Retribution [S.H.O.K.K. Retro Remix]
  • Guyver - Trapped
HTM 33
  • Droid - Focus [Uptempo Mix]
  • Cosmic Gate - Exploration of Space [Extended Mix]
  • Blutonium Boy vs DJ Neo - Hardstyle Nation [DJ Neo Progressive Mix]
  • Flutlicht - Icarus (The Flight) [S.H.O.K.K. Remix]
  • DJ Scot Project & Derb - The Sound [Derb Mix]
  • OceanLab - Sirens of the Sea [Cosmic Gate Dub]
  • DJ Wag - Get Busy [DJ Wag Prodigy Club Mix]
  • DJ Darkzone - Melo Surrounding [Hard Club Remix]
  • Dare Devils - Daredevil [Cut & Desdichado Repair]
  • Kamui - Drop Shot [Synthflut Mix]
  • Hennes & Cold - Payback
  • Marcel Woods - Advanced [Original Mix]
HTM 34
  • DJ Wag - The Darkness 2010 [Busho Remix]
  • Ricky T - Cape York [Mix 1]
  • Cosmic Gate - Mental Atmosphere [Extended Mix]
  • Hennes & Cold - The Second Trip [DBD Remix]
  • Naxos Project - Our Time [Digital Pressure Remix]
  • Sa.Vee.Oh - Loop Hole [Max Savietto Remix]
  • Mikado - Sex-O-Matic [Club-O-Matic]
  • Tankis & Savietto - Andromeda
  • Flutlicht - Mutterkorn [Original Mix]
  • Norman DJ - Go Back [DJ Neo Remix]
  • E Nomine - E Nomine (Denn Sie Wissen Nicht Was Sie Tun) [Cosmic Gate Remix]
  • James Horner & Leona Lewis - I See You (Theme From Avatar) [Cosmic Gate Club Mix]

Friday Art Attack

Y'know what the world is missing?  Pulp, gratuitous sword & sorcery artwork.  And an occasional space opera book cover thrown in too.  The kind that most publishing houses and certainly every roleplaying studio is afraid to make because they're a bunch of idiotic, politically correct people who don't understand that masculine men and feminine women are both attractive, but masculine man-jawed you-go girls and soyboys are universally repellent to everyone.




This is a great example of how much Orientalism contributed to early S&S.




Can you see why, as a 12 year old, I immediately fell in love with the John Carter of Mars books with this on the cover of the first volume?



Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Three waves of hardtrance

As I look over my collection of hardtrance (and similar, related genres, like the early trance-like hardstyle, and some of the acid trance stuff) it becomes obvious that there are three big "waves" of hardtrance.  The first is the early stuff from the mid-90s.  It's usually a bit faster, and much more acid, which isn't surprising, because it mostly grew out of the acid scenes in the UK and the rest of Europe.  This stuff peaked and crested, but then along came guys like Kan Cold (of Derb and Hennes & Cold, as well as other aliases and collaborations), Kai Tracid and his often times partner Frank Ellrich, and of course Scot Project.  They pioneered a new kind of hardtrance that was not quite as fast most of the time, and was more like traditional trance in most respects, except with really exaggerated kicks and basslines, but definitely focusing on big build-ups and drops.  Some artists, like DJ Wag for instance, bridged this gap, making hardtrance during both movements that fit in with the movement going on at the time fairly well.

Hardtrance seems to have mostly been replaced in most European markets with hardstyle or UK hard house, but it never completely went away, and as hard house and hardstyle have themselves faded away, a third wave of hard trance has come forward.  I'm thinking; I dunno—Log:One, or Wragg, the Sixth Sense, Steve Hill, etc.  Guys who often shade into subground and other more experimental types of EDM, but when they're making straight-up dance anthems, it's new hardtrance.  And some guys have bridged the gap from the second to the third wave, like Tommy Pulse, for instnace, or A*S*Y*S (although maybe the latter's just become a hybrid electro and subground and acid and hardstyle outfit.)

If I had to pick just one, I'd focus on the middle group, which really was at its peak from about 2000-2005 or so, but luckily, I don't.  I can listen to (and even mix with impunity) all three styles, and for the most part, most people who aren't really into esoteric style distinctions of EDM wouldn't really make a big deal out of distinguishing them anyway.  I already mix plenty of acid techno and early hardstyle in with my hardtrance, and even a bit of hard house here and there.

So, I realized that the last time I posted my setlists, I had only done through 18.  I've now actually made DJ sets of 12 songs each up through 27, and sorted another six after that, so up through 33.  Looks like I need to post a few more lists.  Sigh.  I do love lists.

Megamix 19
  • Sa.Vee.Oh - Unlimited [Original]
  • Wippenberg - Neurodancer
  • Warp Brothers  - Blade [Jon Doe & Kutski Remix]
  • Lisa Lashes & Alex Kidd vs Kidd Kaos - Nu Religion [Log:One & Wragg Remix]
  • DDR & The Geezer - Mad Cows on Acid [Barmy Bovines Mix]
  • DJ Darkzone - Da Name of My DJ [Short First Cut]
  • Max Savietto - Techno Code [Mike Foyle Remix]
  • Kan Cold  - Requiem
  • Dave Joy - First Impression [Dave202 & Phil Green Remix]
  • Mauro Picotto - Iguana [The Sixth Sense Remix]
  • Yakooza - Cocaine [Limited Edition Nature One Extended]
  • Blank & Jones - DJs, Fans & Freaks (D.F.F.) [Cosmic Gate Remix]
Megamix 20
  • DJ Wag - Life On Mars [Y.O.M.C. Global Mix]
  • Derb - Derb [Kan Cold Mix]
  • Cosmic Gate - Exploration of Space [Tom Colontonio ReWORK]
  • Luca Antolini - Powerfull (Act 3)
  • Mark Richardson - In A Trance
  • Arome - Hands Up! [Paul Glazby Remix]
  • DJ Darkzone - Des Teufels Antwort [Mensch Teuful Halts Maul Mix] 
  • Geilomatics - Geilomat [S.H.O.K.K. Mix]
  • Ferry Corstein - Punk [Cosmic Gate Remix]
  • Sa.Vee.Oh - Global Anthem [Remix]
  • Cinderella - The Realm [D-Devils Mix]
  • Dark by Design - Blackout [2006 Remix]
Megamix 21
  • Blutonium Boy - Brainshooter [Thomas Trouble Remix]
  • Derb - Satisfaktion [DJ Bonecrusher Joins Gary D Remix]
  • Max Savietto - Nightly
  • Pro-Tech - Dominating Power [Y.O.M.C. Mix]
  • Luca Antolini - Lost in Time
  • Hennes & Cold - Emotionless
  • Dave Joy - First Impression [Skyline Mix]
  • Goose - Synrise [Soulwax Remix]
  • Voodoo & Serano - Blood Is Pumping 2005 [Remake]
  • A*S*Y*S - Acid Squid
  • Mind X - Feel the Generation [Rave Chapter Mix]
  • DJ Choci & The Geezer - It's Beyond Control [Hennes & Cold Rmx]
Megamix 22
  • A*S*Y*S - Acid Glitch [Organ Donors Remix]
  • Tommy Pulse - Ghost Town
  • DJ Darkzone - Infinity In Your Hands [Second Club Mix]
  • Jens - Loops & Tings 98 [Bevoets & De Goeji Remix]
  • DJ Wag - Life on Mars [Y.O.M.C. Remix]
  • Cosmic Gate - Exploration of Space [Cosmic Gate's Back 2 The Future Remix]
  • Code 37 - Astral 98 [Hardtrance Mix]
  • Russenmafia - Alarm
  • Dave Joy - First Impression [Nomad Remix]
  • DJ Cyglas - Sweet Lies
  • Luca Antolini - Lost in Time [Nomad Remix]
  • Hypetraxx - The Promisedland [Extended Mix]
Megamix 23
  • 4 Strings - Diving [Cosmic Gate Vocal]
  • K-Traxx - Hardventure [Technoboy Remix]
  • Spiritual Project - Risiko!
  • Cosmic Gate - Back to Earth
  • DJ Mirko Milano - Stopp & Go [DJ Arne L II & Mirko Milano Mix]
  • Schattenmann - Amplifier
  • Avatar - Red Planet [Warp9 Mix]
  • Angel of Death - Angel of Death [Tracid Mix]
  • DJ Wag - Life on Mars [Steve Hill vs D10 Mix]
  • Yakooza - French Kiss [Scot Project Mix]
  • A*S*Y*S - Acid Nightmare [Pila's 2006 Update]
  • Flutlicht - The Fall [Original Mix]
Megamix 24
  • Pro-Tech - Cosmic Vision [DJ Wag Mix]
  • A*S*Y*S - Acid Nightmare [140 Squadron Remix]
  • Guyver - You'll Know It
  • 64 Bit - Virtual Discotech 1.0 [Cosmic Gate Remix]
  • Julian DJ & Davide Sonar - Go Go Go [Hard Mix]
  • Nightclub - French Kiss [Misar Club Mix]
  • Dave Joy - First Impression [Alex Mac & Zeebra Kid vs Nicky D Remix]
  • Arome - Here We Go [DJ Scot Project Remix]
  • Mauro Picotto - Lizard [RAF by Picotto Remix]
  • Misar vs Frost - Nature Cries [DJ Wag Mix]
  • Tommy Pulse - Calling God
  • Di Combo - Rock It to the Beat [Gary D Hardline Mix]
Megamix 25
  • Jay Walker - Judgement Day
  • Sound 2 Light - It's Like That [Club Campaign 1]
  • DJ Virus - All Your Bass [Thomas Trouble Remix]
  • Naxos Project - Mirage [Original Mix]
  • Hennes & Cold - Journey
  • Starsplash - Subway 903
  • Digital Pressure - Aftershock [Original Mix]
  • Re-An!mator - Re-Wire Your Brain [D-Gor Club Mix]
  • Atomic Alliance vs Trance Generators - Rock To Da Beat [Trance Generators Mix]
  • Chris Liberator & Sterling Moss - Massive Line
  • Phil Green - The Discovery [Trance Generators Remix]
  • Sa.Vee.Oh - Nohacker.exe [Original Mix]
Megamix 26
  • Panic Machine - Beat [Panic Room Mix]
  • Jay Walker - Equinox [Original]
  • Marcos - Time [Present Mix]
  • Cosmic Gate - The Wave [New Clubmix]
  • Mat Silver vs Tony Burt - Teardrops [S.H.O.K.K. Mix]
  • Push - Strange World [Spectrum Remix]
  • Flutlicht - Ahmea [Original Mix]
  • A*S*Y*S - Acid Flash
  • Gollum & Gary D - Black Arrows [Gollum & Yanny Remix]
  • Luca Antolini vs Steve Hill - Contatto [RVRS Bass Mix]
  • DJ Wag - The Day the Earth Caught Fire [Technoclub B-Side]
  • Masters of Chaos - Death Wish
Megamix 27
  • Warp Brothers - We Will Survive [Club Mix]
  • Nomad - Ahead of the Curve [Acid Mix]
  • Thomas Trouble - Echoes [Michael Fusseder Remix]
  • Veracocha - Carte Blanche [Cosmic Gate Remix]
  • Age of Love - The Age of Love [Marco V 2004 Remix]
  • Tocs - 1 [DJ Scot Project Remix]
  • New Frontier Y2K - Musica che Domina [TRC Version]
  • Russenmafia - Go! [East Mix]
  • Josh Lang - White Thing
  • George Acosta - Taking Over Space [DJ Wag Vocal Mix]
  • Sol Ray & Dark By Design - Future (In Your Eyes) [Part 2]
  • Tankis & Savietto - Outrageous [Original Mix]
I'll get the next six after I make them.

Friday, June 01, 2018

Worst Star Wars character of all time

Who is the worst and most unlikable Star Wars character of all time?
  1. Jar Jar Binks.  Need I say more?
  2. Whiny emo Annakin Skywalker from the prequels
  3. feminazi robot L3-37 (cute name, rolleyes.  1995 called and wants its Usenet jokes back.)
  4. Admiral Gender Studies
  5. Finn's profoundly annoying "girlfriend" Jar Jar Chinks
  6. Daisy Mary Suewalker
  7. Horse-faced goth-boy discount Vader
This is why I read Galaxy's Edge.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07C5ZV6RZ?ref=series_rw_dp_labf

Personally, I find Jar Jar Binks less egregious over time.  Although, possibly, that's largely because he's been so eclipsed by terrible, unlikable characters in the years since his ill-advised creation.

Friday Art Attack


An alternative Vader.  Really nice looking.


Dragons.  In space.  Daniel Aronsen is really on to something, I think.  This is some cover art for one of his books, if I remember correctly.  I think I saved it off of Facebook.


This is also a book cover, although I can't remember from what, from the 60s.  Which is probably obvious by the style.


Barbarians, undead, and snow.  This meme has been greatly popularized by Game of Thrones.


TRON Vader!


I don't know what to make of this, which is titled "Abominable Beauty."  But hey; gratuitous sexiness is kind of a thing in fantasy art, amirite?


Part of a series by Wayne Reynolds where the Paizo iconics fight weird Oriental monsters.


Another Paizo adventure cover; against the fish people on the beach. 


WAR again, but from Eberron this time.  This is the cover art for Secrets of Sarlona, which spelled out a kind of alternate version of Eberron in some ways (not really, but it was a continent that was otherwise not covered by the setting, so it gave you all kinds of different things to do in Eberron.)


More Paizo and Japanese monsters.  Using the iconic samurai character was probably gratuitous.


And more Paizo and Japanese monsters. Using the iconic monk character was a bit less gratuitous than the samurai, but not really—it's only that the monk (for a variety of reasons, most of them bad) is considered more of a core class to Pathfinder (and D&D) than the samurai is.


Sasquatch!  Or gnoph-keh, maybe...


Floating islands is always a great fantasy idea, although the cheesy movie Avatar made it part of sci-fi too, I guess.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Solo: a review


In spite of the fact that I understand quite well the idea that you don't want to give money to people who hate you, I still really have a lot of hope for the Star Wars franchise.  Even after the big load of trash that was The Force Awakens and the dumpster fire that was The Last Jedi, because after all, Rogue One was a decent flick, and the Clone Wars series was pretty darn good, etc.

So, I'll make sure that I see these movies at matinee prices and I'll often avoid the opening weekend entirely, which is a huge part of the metric for success.  On this front, the news is all about how Solo is underperforming, and of course, the clueless (so badly so that it seems deliberate) Hollywood Press and others are talking about things like "Star Wars fatigue" and whatnot.  How it doesn't occur to anyone at all that the combination of the disaster that was The Last Jedi combined with the poorly received comments from co-writer Kasdan about Lando's sexuality are really just pissing off the audience is beyond me.

That said, with The Last Jedi there was a trajectory over time of extremely high critics score and a falling audience score (91% vs half that at 46%) but the opposite has been true for Solo; it's had a modest critics score that has hovered right around 70%, moving a point or two up and down as more reviews have come in, but with a rising audience score; starting in the lower 50s at the beginning of the weekend and coming up to just over 60% right now.  Even that isn't very fair; I think there's a lot of butthurt about how terrible The Last Jedi was still coloring the score.  As I told my older, married son last night on the phone (who won't be seeing the movie until today, with one of his friends) I thought this movie was as good as Rogue One, but more fun because it's not so depressing.

Now, that hardly means that it was perfect of course.  The character of Han Solo felt more like a different character who just happened to meet a Wookie named Chewbacca and win a starship called the Millennium Falcon in a card game, and make the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs.  He was a likable enough protagonist character, but it was often hard to think of him as Han Solo.  Lando was kind of sleazy, which misses the point that he, like Solo himself, is supposed to have that heart of gold underneath it all that justifies his change of heart in the original trilogy to becoming a heroic character.  All in all, the writers really kind of missed the boat with getting the characterizations right.

Lando's radical feminist droid was, luckily, not meant to be taken too seriously, because "she" was seriously annoying.  Although, for the most part, everyone treated "her" like she was seriously annoying.  The fact that she even had thunder thighs and ugly wide hips was kinda funny, but still, "she" was an element that bordered on seriously uncomfortable at times.  Luckily, "she" didn't last very long.  There was also a really cheesy introduction of a really cheesy Diversity™ Inc. version of the prototype of the Rebel Alliance that is kind of obnoxious with its Neo-liberal World Order virtue-signaling; it literally ruined a part of the movie, although it was a small part, so it didn't do too much damage to the overall impression.

Other than that, there was a lot of interesting little fan-service call-backs, like somebody wearing the same outfit that Lando wore when he infiltrated Jabba's palace to rescue Han, Han actually unambiguously shooting first, a reference to Teräs Käsi (which was a kinda funny Easter egg that I'm pretty sure I'm the only one who got in my family.  I've actually played that game, albeit briefly.)  There's also a reference to a major plot point from The Clone Wars, although I won't spoil it for you here by telling you what it is.

But those were the bad. (Well, to be fair, the Easter eggs aren't necessarily bad, but I doubt that they'll age well on repeated viewings.) The good is that the movie is pretty good as a space heist movie.  The characters are interesting and have, mostly, pretty decent chemistry with each other.  It moved; it had good pacing, and the plot wasn't ridiculous.  It was mostly even, dare I say it, exciting.

Now, I need to see it again.  Maybe on a second viewing, the Easter eggs will have me rolling my eyes more and other things will start to bother me.  But mostly, I'm finding that I haven't enjoyed the Star Wars franchise without being actively annoyed by it this much in a long time.  The movie has my qualified recommendation, with only minor caveat emptors.  I'll almost certainly buy this one on blu-ray when it's available.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Update

Well... it hasn't been a very productive week for blogging, has it?  And to make matter worst, I'm not even going to post a Friday Art Attack post today.

It has been productive for me on the Hardtrance megamix front.  I'm now up to 22 megamixes made, and 28 sorted.  If I finish those 28 before too long, I'll be at a little shy of half of my material; 28 x 12 = 336 out of 823; 40.8%.  I would never have thought I'd be crushing them this fast; in fact, I need to take a break, because I'm finding I can make them faster than I can listen to them.  In my CD-R archiving, that means 4 discs.

Based on the file size, which is largely based on the combined length of the tracks, I've had two discs where I've been able to fit 6 megamixes on, my original plan, and two where I could only fit 5.  Although that sample size is pretty small, it's probably about right; 50/50, give or take a little either way.

Meanwhile, I still have 8 hardsdtyle megamixes, which are also shorter.  Sigh.  I don't have as solid of a plan to do more of those, though—so I'm not sure what else we'll get.  Honestly, although I love a lot of hardstyle tracks, I don't like the actual genre as much as hardtrance, so I may have come close to tapping out my potential for megamixes that I really want to make that would be of as high quality as the hardtrance material.

Anyway, I've got another discs worth sorted--disc 5 it would be, but I haven't listened to any of the megamixes on disc 4 yet and I just barely finished listening to disc 3. Some of them only once.  So I'm going to slow down and take a break.