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.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Friday Art Attack


Let's start our Friday Art Attack out properly with some weird Ken Kelly alien people threatening our wimmins.


Big four-armed giants also threaten the wimmins.


For that matter, so do giant crocodiles.


This, on the other hand, just looks really dramatic, but nothing is actually happening.


The King in Yellow.  Always a great topic for artwork.


King Kong in the Emerald City fighting flying monkeys and holding Dorothy in his hand.  Y'know; why not?


Speaking of Kong, the latest movies have been kind of Lovecraftian in a sense.  What if R'lyeh rose right next to Skull Island?  Awesomeness, that's what.


An alternate (and better) Kylo Ren design.


La, Queen of Opar.  One of my favorite subjects.


A design for a big freighter space-ship.  Makes the Millennium Falcon look chumpy.


The first few minutes of Star Wars, but with the visual design cues of Tron.


Pretty generic barbarian sword & planet style design, but that doesn't make it any less cool.


I don't know what this is.  Probably some video game art.  But the haunted city with the starburst of light and that weird Blade-looking character is just cool, no matter what it's supposed to be.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Action scenes

As terrible as this fight scene is... I still wish we'd get action movies with scenes like this instead of fast cut, hand-held shaky cam work.

It mostly worked on the Bourne series, although not really.  But everyone who's copied the Bourne series since then hasn't fooled us. They don't want to spend the time or money on a real fight choreography, stuntmen, and good action scenes, and we all know it.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Last word (for a while) on hardtrance megamixes

Although I've been so excited about them that I've been talking about them way too much, and I still am, it's about time for me to just get to work on making these hardtrance megamixes and stop mentioning every little thing that I've done.  With that, I've now queued up a lot of work for myself, so I should be able to keep quiet now for weeks.  What I've done is the following:
  • Finished 6 megamixes, each of 12 tracks each, selected randomly from my hardtrance (and other related genres) "best of" folder, and then opened and manipulated in Audacity into a 12-song "DJ Set" like file, that ranges from about 1h13m to 1h29m. 
  • Because the combined file size (192 Kbps mp3s—for the record, even Armin van Buuren says that he can't tell the difference between 192 Kbps and WAV files.  I certainly can't on any system and in any environment that I'm likely to ever play these songs) was about 680 MBs and the standard CD-R is 700 MBs (and because mp3s loaded on CD-Rs are still extremely convenient for me in every respect except when I'm walking around with earbuds on) I made the first megamix CD-R—a hand-drawn stylized picture of a skull in a gas mask and the hand-written label HTM 01-06.  This CD-R has 6 files, but each of the 6 files is made up of 12 songs stuck together in a set-list format, so the total CD-R is 72 songs.
  • This is almost exactly 10% of my hardtrance (and related and similar genres) "best of" collection, as it happens.
  • I like this format so much, that I decided to continue it.  If I make  10 CD-Rs, with 6 megamixes each, with 72 songs on them each, I'll end up with 720 of my songs done (as an aside, I've just barely inched over 720.  I'll cross what to do with the remainder when I get there.  It will probably be a moot point, because I'll slowly keep getting more files here and there; hopefully by the time I finish 10, I'll have enough to make 11 too and then call this project a day.
  • For a variety of reasons, not least of which being the fact that I have poor impulse control, I went ahead and sorted all of the megamixes I need for the next CD-R and even moved copies of the files into appropriate folders, renaming the files so that they appear in the order that they were sorted in.  Ergo, I have 6 more megamixes ready to go right now, only requiring the time to create them.  Which is not inconsiderable; at least an hour to an hour and a half per megamix, and that's if I put relatively little effort into trimming and beat matching, etc.  Realistically, it'll be two or three weeks before I have CD-R HTM 07-12 ready to go.  But, I've got all of the songs and the order in which they'll appear ready to go.
  • I also made up a list for HTM 13-18.  I didn't copy the files into folders yet (partly because the thumb drive that I keep them on for ease of moving around between computers is only a 2 GB thumb and they won't all fit anyway.  This is overkill, because I have no need to have this list yet, but I'm so curious about what was coming that I decided to go ahead and do it anyway.  I could have gone even further and made tracklists for all of the rest of the 9 upcoming CD-Rs, but that's a bad idea, because if I do end up slowly adding more tracks and get up to about 11 CD-Rs worth, then I'll want those newer tracks to be more seamlessly blended and sorted in rather than just all loaded up at the end.  
  • That said, there are a few irregularities.  I've mentioned before that Immersion's song "My Name Is Acid" is on the first megamix, but was subsequently removed from my list—although maybe it shouldn't have been.  It's the right kind of song, but it's so long and I would sometimes get bored listening to it.  It doesn't actually do a lot.  Anyway, it's a bit cut down and speeded up slightly in my megamix, so it fits fine there, but I don't want it coming up if I'm just playing the original files, I don't think.
  • Also, I have the song by System 7 - "Alphawave (Plastikman Remix)" which is so long that it effectively counts as two tracks.  It hasn't yet come up in my sorting (although I've only done about 28-29 or so percent of my tracks, so that's not surprising) but when it does, it'll take two slots and that megamix will only have 11 songs in it.  Anyway, like I said, the count doesn't quite match up to get me to an even number, but that's not going to be an issue for many weeks, if not months, so I'm not going to sweat it too much right now.
  • If you look at the lists I just posted, you'll see that I relaxed a few of my rules.  I still try to avoid having the same artist appear twice in the same megamix, although I no longer care if the same song shows up (in different mixes) in back to back sets.  Nor do I worry about the same artist showing up under a different alias.  So my third CD-R will show a number of items that would have been excluded the way I used to do this.
  • The combined total of songs sorted and selected so far is 216, which is not inconsiderable, and which represents about... almost 30% of the files to choose from.  I've got a lot of repeats (not real repeats, but different versions of the same song) that popped up randomly, which I wish hadn't, because that means I'll get more repeats further out, making repeats closer to each other than I'd have liked.  But that's the risk you run with random sorting.

HTM 13-18

Megamix 13
  1. Marc Aurel - The Sun [JamX & DeLeon's DuMonde Instrumental]
  2. A*S*Y*S vs Hennes & Cold - —
  3. System F - Out of the Blue [Mauro Picotto Mix]
  4. H.A.Z.A.R.D. - James Brown Is Dead 2002 [Gary D. Deadly Hard Bass Mix]
  5. Mauro Picotto - Komodo [Alternative Mix]
  6. Demonic Emotions - Stuck on a Spacetrip
  7. Tommy Pulse - The Messiah
  8. Woodshokk - Tulips & Chocolate
  9. Schalldruck - Turntable Junky [Uberdruck Remix]
  10. Martin Roth & Frank Ellrich - The Orange Theme [Frank Ellrich Mix]
  11. DJ Darkzone - Megamix
  12. Sunriser - Save 303
Megamix 14
  1. RBA - No Alternative [Brooklyn Bounce Remix]
  2. JamX & DeLeon - Can U Dig It? [Original Mix]
  3. Tommy Pulse - Techno Riot
  4. Derb - In Afrika [Remix]
  5. Tocs - 2 [DJ Scot Project Remix I]
  6. Hennes & Cold - Sound of Rock [A*S*Y*S Remix]
  7. Analogic Distubance - Dusky Noises
  8. Cosmic Gate - Raging [Flutlicht Remix]
  9. Pablo Gargano - Kill That 303
  10. Intimo - Spirit in the Sky
  11. Tankis & Savietto - Antea [Original Mix]
  12. DJ Choci & The Geezer - Monomadness
Megamix 15
  1. Avatar - Red Planet [Sektor V Rework]
  2. A*S*Y*S - Acid Save Your Soul [Auf Die 13 Mix]
  3. Yakooza - Cocaine [Wag Reremix]
  4. Bas & Ram - Chimps & Pimps
  5. Walt - Plagas
  6. Dave Joy presents Schattenmann - Amplifier [G+M Project Remix]
  7. RBA - No Alternative [Extended Mix]
  8. Dave Joy - Second Chase [Alphazone Remix]
  9. Sensation - The Anthem 2002
  10. Potatoheads - Mix The Master [CJ Stone & Caba Kroll's Club Mix]
  11. Tommy Pulse - The Answer (Part 1)
  12. Kai Tracid - Trance & Acid 
Megamix 16
  • Dave Joy - First Impression [Liam Wilson Remix]
  • JK Walker - Survival [Trance]
  • Soundgrabber - Acid Fighter [The Crow Remix]
  • DJ Vortex & Arpa's Dream - Incoming [Arome Remix]
  • Luna Park - Space Melody [Extended Mix]
  • Luca Antolini - Heat [Original Hardtrance Mix]
  • Cosmic Gate - The Rhythm
  • Scoopex - In My Dream [Club & Intro Mix]
  • Zombie Nation - Kernkraft 400 [DJ Gius Remix]
  • Chris & Matt Kidd - Control [Blutonium Boy vs DJ Neo Mix]
  • Mauro Picotto - Lizard [Megavoices Mix]
  • Randy Katana - Play It Louder [Dave 202 Remix]
Megamix 17
  1. Yoda - Definitely [Kai Tracid vs Sunbeam Remix]
  2. JK Walker - Re-Initiate [Original]
  3. DJ Wag - The Day The Earth Caught Fire [DJ Wag Mix]
  4. Russenmafia - Waves to Die [S.O.D. Mix]
  5. Dave Joy - Third Pleasure [DJ Spoke Remix]
  6. Cosmic Gate - The Truth
  7. Dana - Back in Time [Temper Temper Mix]
  8. Chris & Matt Kidd - Control [Extended Mix]
  9. Megamind - Taub? [Picotto Mix]
  10. Global Cee - Alive [Cee Mix]
  11. Max Savietto - Still Waiting
  12. Tomcraft - Loneliness [Hard Dance Rework]
Megamix 18
  1. Flutlicht - The Fall [Marc Dawn Remix]
  2. DJ Darkzone - The Human Form [Vocal Club Mix]
  3. Cosmic Gate - Somewhere Over the Rainbow [Club Mix]
  4. Norman DJ - Go Back [Club Mix]
  5. MST - Ebola [Tankis & Savietto Remix]
  6. Tommy Pulse ft Fausto - Outlaw
  7. Pedro Del Mar - Harder
  8. Hennes & Cold - Sound of Rock
  9. Cinderella - The Realm [DJ Spoke Remix]
  10. Embargo! - Blackout [After Mix]
  11. Kan Cold - Restart
  12. Swan - Memory [Binary Finary Remix]

HTM 07-12

Megamix 07
  1. Cosmic Gate - Somewhere Over the Rainbow [Beam & Yanou Remix]
  2. A*S*Y*S - Acid Train
  3. S.H.O.K.K. - Folie A Deux [Klub Mix]
  4. Derb - Musica
  5. Pacific Link - Time for New Energy [Dark Oscillators Remix]
  6. Thomas Trouble - Insane Asylum [Pedro Del Mar Remix]
  7. Mark Sherry & Dr Willis - Here Come the Drums [Jowan Remix]
  8. Riot Brothers - Ripped Out
  9. Hypetraxx - Paranoid [DJ Scot Project Remix]
  10. Spiritual Project - The Big Light [Hard Trance Mix]
  11. DDR & The Geezer - Mad Cows On Acid [Rozzer's Dog Mix]
  12. Mass in Orbit - Connect (The Next Step) [DJ Overdog Mix]
Megamix 08
  1. Arome - Visions of Paradize [DJ Scot Project Remix]
  2. A*S*Y*S - Acid Nightmare [Future Tribes Remix]
  3. Kai Tracid - Too Many Times [Yoda Remix]
  4. Dr. Willis - Spice [DJ Wag Mix]
  5. Cosmic Gate - Human Beings [Dave 202 & Phil Green Mix]
  6. Pulsedriver - Recycle [Club Mix]
  7. Scooter - Back In Time
  8. Bytes Brothers - Trancemission
  9. Jay Walker - I Am Here [Fast Floor Remix]
  10. Pacific Link - Espace [Hardstyle Mix 2]
  11. Kidd Kaos & Joe E - Control Interference
  12. Demonic Emotions - Stuck on a Spacetrip [Jon the Dentist Remix]
Megamix 09
  1. Ruff Stuff - Warning [Club Mix]
  2. Yakooza - Xtasy [Paramount Park Mix]
  3. DJ Neo - Acid Overdose [Aeden Harder Mix]
  4. Pacific Link - Planetary Collapse [Luca Antolini Remix]
  5. Mauro Picotto - Komodo [Tea Mix]
  6. DJ Darkzone - Infinity In Your Hands [Club Mix]
  7. Arome - Somebody [Hangover Help Mix]
  8. Luca Antolini - Heat [Steve Hill vs Dark By Design 2007 Remix]
  9. Flutlicht - The Fall [Deep Fall Mix]
  10. Formic Acid - Dreams of Fantasy
  11. Josh Lang - White Thing [Josh Lang Harder Mix]
  12. A*S*Y*S - Acid Zombie [Old School Remasterd Mix]
Megamix 10
  1. Cocooma - Nothing Is Over [Club Mix]
  2. Dave Joy - Second Chase [Madwave Remix]
  3. Luca Antolini - The Race 2012 [Steve Hill vs Technical Remix]
  4. Pro-Active - Spring Love [303 Version]
  5. DDR & The Geezer - Mad Cows on Acid
  6. Avatar - Red Planet [Reverb's Mix]
  7. Flutlicht - Icarus (The Flight) [Original Daedalus Mix]
  8. Kamui - Ghosts [Original Mix]
  9. Joop - 3008 [S.H.O.K.K. Remix]
  10. A*S*Y*S - Acid Nightmare [Blademasterz Remix]
  11. DJ Shog - Feel Me (Through the Radio) [S.H.O.K.K. Remix]
  12. Logger & Gnetic - Hypertransfer [Uberdruck Remix]
Megamix 11
  1. Tommy Pulse - Losing My Best Friend
  2. Hardheadz - Wreck Thiz Place
  3. Dave Joy - Third Pleasure [Extended Mix]
  4. Yakooza - Loving U [Reuter & Schleis Remix]
  5. Joop - Sonsuz [Original Mix]
  6. A*S*Y*S - Acid Head Cracker [303 Inferno Mix]
  7. Jens - Loops & Tings [Wragg's Defqon.1 Remix]
  8. Hennes & Cold - Get Down
  9. Derb - In Afrika [DJ Tandu Remix]
  10. Sa.Vee.Oh - Global Anthem [Original Mix]
  11. US Test - 20 Years Later [Club Mix]
  12. DJ Tiesto - Flight 643
Megamix 12
  1. Medicine Men - Wake Up (Jungle Fever)
  2. Tankis & Savietto - Semiramide [MST Remix]
  3. Arome - Hands Up! [The Sixth Sense 2016 Reconstruction]
  4. Yakooza - French Kiss [Wag Club Mix]
  5. New Frontier Y2K - Musica che Domina [Domina Version]
  6. Bas & Ram - Speed of Light [Original Mix]
  7. Cosmic Gate - Mental Atmosphere [Midnight Mix]
  8. Walt - Bring the Pain [Marcel Woods Remix]
  9. Yoda - Definitely [DJ Scot Project Remix]
  10. Sa.Vee.Oh - Loop Hole [Tommy Pulse Remix]
  11. Kai Tracid - Peyote Song
  12. S.H.O.K.K. - My Madness Says... [Marcel Woods Remix]

HTM 01-06

Megamix 01
  1. Arome - Here We Go [Midnight Mix]
  2. Underworld - Cowgirl [Tim Davison Remix]
  3. DuMonde - Never Look Back [Tiesto Full On Vocal]
  4. Jimmy the Sound - M.O.D.U.L.O. [One Vrs Edit]
  5. Kai Tracid - Trance & Acid [Derb Remix]
  6. The Juvenile - Hardcore Suckas [Trance Generators Remix]
  7. Blank & Jones - DJs, Fans and Freaks (D.F.F.)
  8. Avatar - Red Planet [DJ Wag Remix]
  9. Immersion - My Name Is Acid
  10. A*S*Y*S - Monster 303
  11. High Voltage - Bombs Away
  12. DJ Wag - Life on Mars [DJ Wag Mix]
Megamix 02
  1. Phuture Punk - Der Klang [Junk Project Mix]
  2. Tommy Pulse - The Answer [Danny V Remix]
  3. A*S*Y*S - No More F***ing Rock N Roll [Original Mix]
  4. Pro-Tech - Free Your Mind [Y.O.M.C. Club Mix]
  5. Hennes & Cold - Can't Have Enough [Remix]
  6. Cosmic Commando - Heartbreak [DJ Vortex & Arpa's Dream Remix]
  7. Arome - Talk II Me [Talking Mix]
  8. Warp Brothers - Blade [Original Club Mix]
  9. Kai Tracid - Tiefenrausch [NRG Mix]
  10. Mr. Gasmask - Primordial Soup [Original Mix]
  11. System F - Out of the Blue [Original 12" Version]
  12. K-Traxx - Noise Tool
Megamix 03
  1. Yoji Biomehanika - Ding A Ling [DJ Scot Project Remix]
  2. Guyver - Serious Sounds
  3. Mellow Trax - Phuture Vibes [Kai Tracid Remix]
  4. Dave Joy - Second Chase [Kaylab vs Reloop Remix]
  5. Pro-Tech - Dominating Power [DJ Wag Mix]
  6. Nomad vs Wragg - Roar
  7. Rebel Yelle - Affirmation
  8. Organ Donors - 99.9 [Kid Kaos Under the Knife Remix]
  9. A*S*Y*S - Storm & Thunder [Original Mix]
  10. Yoda - Definitely [Original Mix]
  11. Public Domain - Operation Blade (Bass in the Place) [A*S*Y*S Remix]
  12. R.B.A. - No Alternative [Dark By Design Remix]
Megamix 04
  1. Miss Shiva - Dreams [Cosmic Gate Remix]
  2. Yakooza - Cocaine [DJ Wag Mix]
  3. Flutlicht - Das Siegel [DJ Natron Mix]
  4. A*S*Y*S - Acid Save Your Soul [Auf Die 12 Mix]
  5. DJ Session One vs DJ Virus - Future Shock [LeBrisc Club Mix]
  6. Solar Quest - Acid Air Raid [Choci & The Geezer's Remix]
  7. Derb - D.F.C.
  8. Guyver - Possibly [Original Mix]
  9. Arome - Hands Up!
  10. Cosmic Gate - The Truth [Ferry Corstein Remix]
  11. DJ Wag - Gettin' High [DJ Wag Mix]
  12. Planet K - Hockenheim [Pitlane Mix]
Megamix 05
  1. Luca Antolini - A New Poison [Sa.Vee.Oh Remix]
  2. Hardforze vs Soul-T - Let the Beat Drop [Nomad Mix]
  3. Age of Love - The Age of Love [Watch Out for Stella Mix]
  4. Pulsedriver & Rocco - Life on Mars [Rave Mix]
  5. Max Savietto - Alone [Sa.Vee.Oh Mix]
  6. DJ Darkzone - Overdrive [Vocal Cut]
  7. Tommy Pulse - The Answer (Part 2) [Temper Temper Remix]
  8. A*S*Y*S - Acid Space [Mindflux Remix]
  9. Logger & Gnetic - Hypertransfer
  10. Captain Tinrib & Sol Ray - Attack of the 50 Foot DJ [Original Mix]
  11. Tankis & Savietto - Octopus [Lost in Case Remix]
  12. DJ Virus - All Your Bass [Michael Fußeder Remix]
Megamix 06
  1. DJ Scot Project - O (Overdrive) [Arome Remix]
  2. Mass Effect - Alphascan [Arome Remix]
  3. JK Walker - Re-initiate [JK Walker 2004 Mix]
  4. Tommy Pulse - Walhalla
  5. DJ Wag - Second Step [DJ Wag Reworx]
  6. Dave Joy - First Impression [S.H.O.K.K. Mix]
  7. S.H.O.K.K. - Isn't It All a Little Strange? [Flutlicht Remix]
  8. John Paesano & Braden Kimball - Daredevil Theme [W!SS Trance Remix]
  9. Reverb ft Flash Gordon - Providence [Reverb's Vocal Mix]
  10. Guyver - Funky Ass Beatz
  11. Hennes & Cold - The Second Trip [Nick Sentience Remix]
  12. DJ Merly Dee - Paradise [Original Mix]

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

More sorting

I guess I fail the marshmallow test.  I'm thinking that since I'm trying to focus on groups of six megamixes, which I'll archive on CD-Rs for convenience, I'm thinking of instead of having a rolling +2 megamixes sorted, sorting a group of six and then letting it sit until I'm done, at which point I sort another six.  I've also changed my spreadsheet so that instead of a single tab for each megamix (which was already starting to get cumbersome with just eight of them) I've got six on a tab. 

It's overkill, because it's not like I can do these that fast.  If I do two of them a week, that's really good.  But it's killing me wanting to know what's going to come up.  Sad, I know.  Self-control is not one of my people's historical strong suits.  But even if I am just rationalizing what I want to do anyway, there is some sensible backstory to doing it that way, and it will make my tabs look a lot nicer to be filled out.

Anyway, if I decide to go forward with this, I'll at least wait until I finish adding the songs I currently have waiting, so that my Tankis & Savietto, and Max Savietto, and Paul Maddox, and Push and Pump Panel Reconstruction (yes, I should have added those Blade songs already, but for some reason I hadn't.  I just picked up the remastered versions) and the Phô songs.  Not all of them will necessarily make the cut, but I'm sure many of them will.  Once they're all in, I might sort the next four that will complete my 6-megamix set, and then if I do that, I'll probably edit this post to add them in rather than write up a new one.

As an aside; why in the world did I not have these Max Savietto songs already?  I had two versions of "Alone"—the Original and Sa.Vee.Oh remixes—but that's all I had.  "Pleasuredome" and "Nightly" in particular are kicking my butt pretty hard, and I'm really wondering why I didn't get them a long time ago.

Same thing with "Andromeda" and "Semiramide" by Tankis & Savietto.  And I already had MST's one song in both versions.  I should double check that there's not some glaring miss on Sa.Vee.Oh in my collection, because clearly Mr. Savietto does work that I really like.

Hardtrance megamix 08

06 is down.  08 is sorted.  I've added five more tracks to the list.  I've got another several to add, but I'll work on that over the next few days and they'll start getting sorted in in 09.

I've also found that I have a mismatch between the number of files in my collection and the number of tracks listed on my spreadsheet.  My spreadsheet is missing one!  I'll have to spend a little bit of time figuring out which one soon.  That won't be easy, sadly.  When you're trying to figure out why one is 698 data points and the other is 699, it's not as easy as when it's 6.
  • Arome - Visions of Paradize [DJ Scot Project Remix]
  • A*S*Y*S - Acid Nightmare [Future Tribes Remix]
  • Kai Tracid - Too Many Times [Yoda Remix]
  • Dr. Willis - Spice [DJ Wag Mix]
  • Mikado - Sex-O-Matic [Club-O-Matic]
  • Cosmic Gate - Human Beings [Dave 202 & Phil Green Mix]
  • Pulsedriver - Recycle [Club Mix]
  • Scooter - Back In Time
  • Bytes Brothers - Trancemission
  • Jay Walker - I Am Here [Fast Floor Remix]
  • A*S*Y*S - Acid Nightmare [Pila's 2006 Update]
  • Pacific Link - Espace [Hardstyle Mix 2]
  • Kidd Kaos & Joe E - Control Interference
  • Demonic Emotions - Stuck on a Spacetrip [Jon the Dentist Remix]
Arome continues to defy the odds and make more appearances than they should.  While noting that of all the A*S*Y*S songs I had, I hadn't got any of the many "Acid Nightmare" versions that I've collected over the years, I now got two in one mix (so obviously, the second had to be skipped.)  Curiously, both are from the 2006 re-release with new mixes—the Future Tribes mix that I'm keeping is (obviously) remixed by Future Tribes, one member of which is Frank Ellrich—founding and continuing (and now only) member of A*S*Y*S himself.  Dr. Willis is an alias of DJ Wag, and Mikado is a duo that contains DJ Wag, so that's too much DJ Wag.  However, I wasn't so strict with Kai Tracid who is also a founding member of A*S*Y*S and with the group for much of their best and early output (including "Acid Nightmare.")  Considering the significant difference in style between Kai Tracid and A*S*Y*S work, I think that's OK.  I really think of A*S*Y*S as Frank Ellrich's pet project, and he just collaborated a bit with Kai Franz for the first several songs.

Scooter is an interesting one; I threw that on on a whim, because I liked it from way back in the late 90s when I bought the (what was then) Scooter greatest hits CD.  "Back in Time" is the B-side to "Move Your Ass" and Scooter is best known, of course, as a late 90s and early 00s Happy Hardcore outfit.  But I always thought that "Back In Time" sounded kind of hard trancey, and sure enough, if you look up the "Move Your Ass" single, which includes both that song (in two versions that are basically the same except for length) and the B-side, the style labels are Hard Trance and Happy Hardcore.  So discogs agrees with me that "Back In Time" is a hardtrancer!  Not that I'm trying to align myself with discogs, of course, but it's interesting nonetheless, to see that we're on the same page.

Monday, May 14, 2018

More on my "hardtrance" collection

I said earlier that I like "re" discovering files that I grabbed, but which got a little bit lost in the shuffle because I was getting files to fast and furious for a while there (no thanks to Eric Holder.)  Of course, I could, in theory, do this by just playing the playlist of the whole enchilada on shuffle, but in reality, that often leads to songs remaining fallen through the cracks because they just come up and disappear again as rapidly, with only a single listen through (often while I'm distracted by driving, or whatever else I'm doing.)

So, it's a decent process, but what I really enjoy most is selecting these songs using Google sheets random sort, putting them on megamixes, and then listening to those megamixes so I can get to know the songs on them better.  Usually when I do this, a good two thirds or more of the songs selected are ones that I don't really remember very well, which gives me a chance to "get to know them" as part of creating the megamix and then listening to it.  This is why I presume that for a while now I'll continue to 1) make more megamixes at a fairly rapid pace, and 2) listen to my megamixes when listening to music to the exclusion of almost anything else.

I'd still like to make some more targeted megamxes—a tribute to DJ Wag, or Scot Project, or S.H.O.K.K. or Luca Antolini, etc.  That kind of thing.  But not yet.  I'm enjoying this too much first.

I wonder, though—will I really want to keep these megamixes on my phone all the time?  They will eventually double the data profile of hardtrance on my phone (so, an extra 7 GB).  I'll also start having enough of them that they'll come up randomly when I'm not listening them them exclusively and just shuffling through my full collection.  Of course, I could solve that by creating a separate folder for the megamixes so they can't come up during normal play.  Eventually, I'll probably want to do exactly that, actually, but in the meantime, since the megamixes are almost all that I listen to, it's not a big deal.

Meanwhile, while I'm at work, I spend a bit more time trawling through my collection and listening to songs that catch my eye.  I've been going through the Jay Walker (and JK Walker; same guy, different alias) for instance, and I've listened to my JamX and DeLeon (same two guys as DuMonde) stuff, as well as throwing the Dare Devils one hit, Daredevil on the playlist.

It's always interesting to see what random sorting does, of course.  Given how many Cosmic Gate songs I have, I'm a little surprised that I so far only have one (megamix 07 will give me a second one, finally.)  While I'm not surprised that A*S*Y*S has been regular, I'm a little surprised that I haven't had really any natural breaks where they don't come up except the upcoming megamix 06 (they're back on again for 07.)  And while I'm also not surprised to get plenty of Tommy Pulse, I've often had more than one remix of "The Answer" come up in the same mix, which should be statistically quite unlikely.

What I'm excited to have come up that hasn't yet is some more DJ Darkzone (I actually got my least favorite of his tracks that made the cut so far only), more Cosmic Gate, some more Dave Joy (although maybe that's coming up fast enough), I still don't have a single one of my "Acid Nightmare" versions yet, more Jay Walker, the one US Test song that I admitted, more Luca Antolini and Pacific Link, and I haven't really gotten anything from Derb or Hennes & Cold that's among my very favorite of their tracks.

It makes me a bit impatient to start sorting more mixes so I can have more ready to go and know what's coming up, but I'm treating it like the Marshmallow Test and refusing to sort more than two ahead of where I currently am.  Which also gives me more incentive to find time to create more megamixes, of course.

Anyway, just a reminder, I have another sort tab, and I don't use it to sort megamixes, I use it to sort the "hardtrance track of the day" (weekdays only) which I post on one of my other blogs, http://synthpop80s.blogspot.com/.  So go check that out.  So far, the tracks that have come up there are listed below.  Two of them have also come up in my megamixes so far.
  • Warp Brothers - We Will Survive [D.O.N.S. Remix]
  • Nightclub - French Kiss [DJ Scot Project Remix]
  • Sa.Vee.Oh - Global Anthem [Original Mix]
  • Warmduscher vs Derb - Untitled
  • Wragg and Log:One - Terminator
  • DJ Cyglass - Sweet Lies
  • Tiesto - Flight 643
  • Dark A.T.8 - You Better Run [Dance Mix]
  • Tommy Pulse - The Messiah [Resurrection Mix]
  • Scot Project and A*S*Y*S - Loco [Black Mix]
  • Hennes & Cold - Can't Have Enough [Remix]
  • Pro-Tech - Out of Control [DJ Wag Club Mix]
  • Hennes & Cold - Journey
  • Kan Cold - Requiem [Electronic Wizard Remix]
  • Russenmafia - Go! [West Mix]
  • Danny V & Mac Storm - Inspirations
  • Dave Joy - Third Pleasure [Extended Mix]
  • DJ Neo - Acid Overdose [Blutonium Boy Mix]
  • Jay Walker - Strange World
  • Underworld - Cowgirl [Tim Davison Remix]
  • Derb - Derb (Derbus)
  • RBA - No Alternative [Brooklyn Bounce Remix]

D1 Crypt of the Everflame Deconstructed

Instead of talking about all my hardtrance megamixes and crap like that that interests nobody at all but me, I thought it high time that I deconstructed another Paizo module and interested at least one or two other people after all.

D1 is not a series designation (this is the second such module with a D1 designation)—what it means is that it's a Dungeon-based adventure for 1st level characters.  Why am I deconstructing dungeon adventures if I don't even like them?  Sigh.  I dunno. I picked this one because I wanted to go through the Darkmoon Vale adventures and I thought this was one.  By the time I figured it out it wasn't, I was already running with it, and besides it's relatively short.  I figured I'd go ahead and finish.

The PCs are cast here as the participants in some little local town ceremony to go light a lantern with the everburning flame on the tomb of the town's founder (and his rival; the two killed each other in a bit of dramatic local history.)  Something's gone wrong, though—the tomb's been broken into and the bad guy in the story has somehow been reanimated.  For some reason, these guys weren't buried in a normal grave or even above ground mausoleum; no, they're buried in some kind of tunnel complex.  Sigh.  I mean, really—I didn't expect anything else, but doesn't any other D&D player besides me find that kind of thing tiresome and boring after a while?

To make the whole thing even sillier, apparently there's a tradition of townsfolk creating very D&D like (yet mostly illusory) hazards for the PCs to face.  Although these poor folks were killed by the reanimated undead, that didn't happen before some of their handiwork was put into place, so the PCs are meant to deal with that too.

INTRODUCTION
While I'm all for starting PCs being introduced into the game somewhat organically, this strikes me as realistic yet unorganic.  Giving the PCs time to interact one on one with the DM, who represents their mentor and/or family is a bit twee.  And then showing up in the town square where they get to know each other (because, yeah—people who live in a very small town in the wilderness don't already know each other or anything.  This is what happens when your adventure is written by metro people who understand absolutely nothing about rural life at all.)  The ceremony is meant to be roleplayed as well, even though it's a bit pretentious and tedious.  There's also this hoaky thing where each PC only gets a portion of the trail map and they're supposed to use it to work together or something.  Again; are we suggesting that rural small town dwellers don't know the immediate vicinity of their town very well?  Sigh.  Maybe they think that 40 miles by foot is really far?

PART 1: JOURNEY TO THE CRYPT
The town wizard (because of course there is one) sets up an ambush of illusory orcs first.  This is meant to give the PCs something to do (I guess) that isn't actually dangerous.  The adventure text continues trying to play up the fact that going hiking for a few miles and setting up camp is dangerous.  There's also supposed to be some roleplaying around setting up camp and cooking a stew together if everyone contributes portions of their rations or something like that.  I mean, I've been camping plenty, and sure—that is actually an important part of the routine.  But it's maybe a bit... pedestrian for a D&D game.  Then again, maybe not.  The hobbits' trek across the Shire early on in Fellowship of the Ring talks about these kinds of details.  But certainly, it's a different kind of D&D game than what I expect most people play to worry about finding firewood, good flat spots to set up your tent, and how to make the best stew you can out of backpacking rations.  An attack by hungry wolves early in the night does actually add something that's more D&D-like to the mix, though.

Seriously; the adventure talks about where to refill your canteens too.  I've said before that if you have a hobby or particular interest, you have to be very careful about integrating it too much into your game, because most likely your players don't care about it as much as you do.  Anyway...

The body of one of the bandits who raided the tomb is floating in the lake where the PCs fill up their water, and their old camp (abandoned months ago) can be found too, especially if you have any rangers or druids or whatever in your group.  This is merely meant to be information that you can use later to piece together what happened.  The PCs start to approach their destination later in the second day and have to navigate a steep, slippery, overgrown and muddy portion of the trail in a cold rain on the way there, which gives them the potential opportunity to lose their footing and hurt themselves a bit before arriving.  When they arrive, they find the door ajar, dead horses and a few dead bodies of townsfolk who, again, we're given no indication that the PCs actually know personally.

PART 2: THE UPPER LEVEL
Here the PCs do a bit of dungeon exploration.  There's a survivor of the townsfolk who's been hiding in a room nearby for two or three days (?!) and a few other minor hazards.  Of course, by "hiding" I mean that he's in that room, but the PCs can hear him wailing.  There's also two dead bodies here and for the second time, the PCs find blunted arrows (arguably the most useless bit of D&D gear that I've ever seen) and a few more days worth of rations.  There are also six standard skeletons here.

There's some blunted pit traps (seriously; with pillows at the bottom) a giant beetle eating the bodies and hoping to lay some eggs in them, a campfire that mysteriously has been burning for two days and creates a smoke hazard, a shadow (who's actually the reincarnated spirit of one of the townsfolk—serves him right for setting up these dumb traps, I guess) a few more traps and puzzles, a minor wood golem to fight, some random treasure left by the townsfolk (it's not really random; what it is depends on the PCs character classes), and finally some "bloody skeletons"—a slightly more advanced version of skeleton that heals itself slowly.

PART 3: THE LOWER LEVEL
For mysterious reasons, when the crypt was robbed a few months ago, a wave of necromantic energy was unleashed which raised all of the corpses buried here and cracked the walls, causing many of the rooms to flood with water.  At least the lame villager traps are over with at this point, but this level is where there's some real danger too.  There's giant frogs here for some reason too (because there's water, I guess, and because wild animals aren't hesitant about living alongside undead?), there's some kind of fungus that emits an electrical charge if touched, more skeletons hiding under the water to attack people wading across, plague zombies (I know) who are what's left of the bandits who robbed the tomb and didn't get out alive, some more traps and hazards, magical and otherwise, bat swarms, etc.  Finally, you face the "boss" skeleton and his minions; the rival of the town's founder, and can converse with the spirit of the founder himself afterwards (as well as rescue the damsel in distress; the last surviving townsfolk person, and sister of the survivor mentioned above).

CONCLUSION
The PCs go back home, and the party that was meant to be thrown for them takes on a melancholy turn given that a number of villagers were killed as part of this stupid tradition.  There's a few open-ended hooks: the bandits, it turns out, are some kind of cultists, there's a Pathfinder blowing through town who offers the PCs a chance to investigate on his dime, and the ghost of the towns' founder describes a hoard of treasure that they can unlock if they find the three parts of the key, which are all amulets that they used to wear (his rival had one too, but it was taken by the bandits.  The third is—supposedly—with some elf lady somewhere.)

APPENDIX: THE TOWN OF KASSEN
While the adventure itself is competent, if you like that kind of adventure, the little appendix may be more useful as some details on a good little village in the middle of nowhere that could serve as a starting location.  While there's little here that's unexpected or unique, it's nicely done.  It also has a number of potential "mentor" figures spelled out (once for each standard character class, in fact) which is another nice touch, even if you use the characters for something else. There's a few other characters thrown in too which provide for some rivalries and local politics (of sorts).


Like I said, the module isn't really anything special, but it's competent enough in the style that it tries to be; a somewhat twee roleplaying and method acting dungeon crawl.  That may seem an odd melange of things for a module to be, but I think that actually that style of play is relatively common, especially in the Pathfinder player population.

Anything I want to grab from this?  Probably not.  Zombies that have a plague attack is pretty obvious, and I can do that without any particular work.  The bloody bones skeletons are kinda cool—undead that keep on coming even after you've killed them aren't a bad idea, but again; I hardly need to create a new statline to add one special ability to an existing monster.  I'd actually greatly prefer to have that kind of thing added to a wight rather than to a mere skeleton anyway, if  I'm going to do anything with it.

Another megamix goes down

I never expected that I was done getting new hardtrance songs, but I wasn't actively looking for more.  But I did expect that here and there I'd stumble across one that I wanted to add to the list, and it could get added.  It looks like I actually somehow missed a number of Tankis & Savietto songs and on listening to them, I'm not sure why I didn't catch them before when I was combing through the output of Max Savietto in his various guises (I've actually not heard all of the songs under that alias either; I might end up adding a few more.)  But I have some Max Savietto songs, a couple of versions of the one MST song, loads of Sa.Vee.Oh songs and a few Tankis & Savietto songs.  But there's two T&S songs (in two versions each) that I'd somehow missed.  I've got them ready to add to my phone later.  Whether they'll get added to the "best of" list is still TBD to my listening to them all the way through for a final time, but I'm confident that at least a few of the four tracks I've got right now will get added, and my T&S list of songs on the "best of" list could swell from four to as much as eight.

This is OK.  Although I now have five megamixes done and two more plotted out (tracklist for 07 below) if I do the simple math, I'll end up with something like 58 before I run out of material.  Sigh.  That'll keep me busy for quite some time, and anything new added, especially while this early, will just get easily absorbed into the mix.

Because I still have CD players in both the cars and my stereos at home, and I don't have bluetooth enabled stereos in either location, I actually can and do still use CD-Rs (mp3 or regular CD Audio files either one; I prefer the former obviously because it holds more data, and will still play in almost every system that I've got, even my oldest).  Once I finish 06, I'll probably make an HTM 01-06 CD-R with those six megamixes on them, and when I get to 12, I'll make an HTM 07-12, and so on and so forth.

I like making these megamixes.  I got tracks so fast, and it was easy for tracks to slip through the cracks and get kind of forgotten about while I focused on fewer that I remembered loving.  So, I certainly have my favorites, but I'm also finding while making these randomized lists, and I'm "rediscovering" everything else that I added; often I'll make a new megamix and really end up loving some tracks on it that weren't on my radar at all before I made the megamix.

Now, this doesn't happen with every single mix.  When I made 01, for instance, most of this stuff was still new to me, plus I've heard that one the most because I made it a couple months before I started doing the rest of them.  And of course, often I get tracks that haven't fallen off my radar at all, so they don't need to be rediscovered, so to speak.  But a few examples of some that I'd kind of forgotten about until I made the list include "Der Klang" by Phuture Punk on 02, the Kaylab vs Reloop remix of Dave Joy's "Second Chase", "Roar" by Nomad and Wragg, and "Definitely" by Yoda on 03.  A lot of the material on 05 qualifies as well.  (My current favorite rediscovered track is Pulsedriver & Rocco's "Life on Mars."  No relation to DJ Wag and M.R.'s "Life on Mars" which is one that I also really love but never really lost.)

Anyway, yes—as mentioned above, I'm ready to make 06 (hopefully tonight!) which means that I've also got 07 on deck.  I didn't cut much that wasn't obvious.  I got three Cosmic Gate songs, so I took the first one and skipped the rest.  I got two Derb songs, so I took the first one and skipped the second.  And I got another remix of Dave Joy's "First Impression" but I didn't want two remixes of the same song in back to back megamixes, so I skipped that too.  Everything else made the cut.

As is almost always the case, there's an A*S*Y*S song, and one of DJ Wag's aliases makes a brief appearance.  There's no Scot Project song, but there is one of his remixes.  S.H.O.K.K. makes an appearance again after turning up more than expected in 06, so there's much less of them to go around in the future.

  • Cosmic Gate - Somewhere Over the Rainbow [Beam & Yanou Remix]
  • A*S*Y*S - Acid Train
  • S.H.O.K.K. - Folie A Deux [Klub Mix]
  • Cosmic Gate - Hardcore [Club Mix]
  • Derb - Musica
  • Pacific Link - Time for New Energy [Dark Oscillators Remix]
  • Cosmic Gate - The Drums [Cosmic Drums Mix]
  • Dave Joy - First Impression [Madwave Remix]
  • Thomas Trouble - Insane Asylum [Pedro Del Mar Remix]
  • Mark Sherry & Dr Willis - Here Come the Drums [Jowan Remix]
  • Riot Brothers - Ripped Out
  • Hypetraxx - Paranoid [DJ Scot Project Remix]
  • Spiritual Project - The Big Light [Hard Trance Mix]
  • Derb - Derb (Dernimbus)
  • DDR & The Geezer - Mad Cows On Acid [Rozzer's Dog Mix]
  • Mass in Orbit - Connect (The Next Step) [DJ Overdog Mix]

Friday, May 11, 2018

Friday Art Attack


Wayne Reynolds' signature comic book like style has Kyuss, a D&D entity based on a Lovecraft concept, fighting some really bizarre PCs (Paizo's iconic PCs during the end run of their stint on Dragon and Dungeon Magazines were really weird.)
The D&D version of Dagon, as he first appeared in Fiendish Codex.  Which, of course, is pretty exactly the same as he appears to be in Lovecraft's work.


Some concept art from the Planet of the Apes series.  For whatever reason, I'm a big fan of "awakened" apes and larger monkeys (baboons and whatnot.) I tend to find lots of places to try and fit them in.


Some Dead Space 3 art.  I fully admit that I got this not because I know (or care) anything at all about the game, but because I like the visual design.  That guy looks like he could be one of Boba Fett's colleagues.


According to the title of the art, this is Deimos, a minor Greek god, and the source of the name of the second of Mars' moons.



Some Destiny art.  Although my kids have both Destiny games, they agree with many others that the games aren't as good as they hoped they'd be.  But man, do I love the visual design there too!


One of my favorite pieces of dinosaur art.  Shunosaurus showing some megalosaurian or "primitive" allosauroid who's boss.


Speaking of dinosaurs, some kind of beautiful yet deadly savage queen who has hunting raptors is a great concept.


One final dino picture; Dilong hunting Psittacosaurus. 


That's a funky alien right there.  I love this kind of old school pulp sci fi stuff.


Why can't our skies look like this anyway?


A picture associated with Ravenloft and Strahd.  The most well-known D&D pastiche of Dracula.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

And... another megamix done. Hardtrance megamix 06 now on deck

And... another one goes down.  They're going fast!  Anyway, here's my sort data for six.  I'll comment briefly on the data.
  • DJ Scot Project - O (Overdrive) [Arome Remix]
  • Mass Effect - Alphascan [Arome Remix]
  • DJ Scot Project & Derb - The Sound [DJ Scot Project Mix] (already have a Scot Project song in the mix)
  • JK Walker - Re-Initiate [JK Walker 2004 Mix]
  • DJ Scot Project - F (Future Is Now) [Original Mix] (already have a Scot Project song in the mix)
  • Tommy Pulse - Walhalla
  • DJ Wag - Second Step [DJ Wag Reworx]
  • Dave Joy - First Impression [S.H.O.K.K. Mix]
  • Arome - Here We Go [DJ Scot Project Remix] (already have a Scot Project song in the mix—Arome is an alias for Scot Project)
  • DJ Wag - Still In Progress [Born Slippy Dub] (already have a DJ Wag song in the mix)
  • S.H.O.K.K. - Isn't It All a Little Strange? [Flutlicht Remix]
  • DJ Virus - All Your Bass [Le Brisc Remix] (just used another mix of this same song in the last megamix)
  • John Paesano & Braden Kimball - Daredevil Theme [W!SS Trance Remix]
  • Reverb ft Flash Gordon - Providence [Reverb's Vocal Mix]
  • Guyver - Funky Ass Beatz
  • Hennes & Cold - The Second Trip [Nick Sentience Remix]
  • DJ Merly Dee - Paradise [Original Mix]
I almost canceled "The Second Trip" before I caught that "The Second Trip" and "Second Step" weren't the same song.  Whoops!  Read carefully!  As you can see, I usually try to do them in the order that they come up, which is kind of the point.  If I can't because I have duplicates or other files that I don't want to use as described above, I usually try to take the first one that comes up and cancel anything further down the list from that first one.

So that said, the cleaned up megamix 06 list looks like this:
  1. DJ Scot Project - O (Overdrive) [Arome Remix]
  2. Mass Effect - Alphascan [Arome Remix]
  3. JK Walker - Re-Initiate [JK Walker 2004 Mix]
  4. Tommy Pulse - Walhalla
  5. DJ Wag - Second Step [DJ Wag Reworx]
  6. Dave Joy - First Impression [S.H.O.K.K. Mix]
  7. S.H.O.K.K. - Isn't It All a Little Strange? [Flutlicht Remix]
  8. John Paesano & Braden Kimball - Daredevil Theme [W!SS Trance Remix]
  9. Reverb ft Flash Gordon - Providence [Reverb's Vocal Mix]
  10. Guyver - Funky Ass Beatz
  11. Hennes & Cold - The Second Trip [Nick Sentience Remix]
  12. DJ Merly Dee - Paradise [Original Mix]
Sometimes I don't think too hard about stuff you get, though.  I cut some Scot Project and DJ Wag because I had too much of them both that came up, but I didn't think too hard about the fact that I got a S.H.O.K.K. song immediately following a S.H.O.K.K. remix.  And that just a little bit down from that, I've got a Reverb song—Reverb being Marco Guardia, one of the main guys from S.H.O.K.K.  I had a similar situation with Max Savietto on megamix #5.  Of course, in the case of both of them, they hadn't yet made any appearances.  Scot Project, DJ Wag, and A*S*Y*S (and to a slightly lesser extent, Tommy Pulse) are appearing all the time in all of the mixes, so I'm a little bit more sensitive to over-representing them.

Where's the cut-off between "that's a lot of the same artist" and "that's too much of the same artist, and the next track needs to be skipped and held off for another megamix some other time"?  I dunno.  It's a sometimes a little more of an art than a science.

Yamnaya genetics

I've long thought that there was some political motivation behind the obvious glee in the "haha, Yamnaya people had dark hair and dark eyes and darker skin than is common to northern Europe today; suck it white people!"  This was especially challenging when it became obvious that the Yamnaya were the biggest single core of today's European population, including areas that turned out to be have among the highest concentrations of blond and red hair and blue eyes on the planet.  Even the area in which the Yamnaya culture flourished has blond hair and blue eyes in genetic studies on the next wave of burials of the cultures that immediately followed the Yamnaya (and which were descended from them) and cultures as far away (today) from a "Nordic" physical type as Greece and Rome talked about the original patrician and aristocratic classes has having "flashing" eyes and blond and red hair in an area where it's today almost completely absent.

In other words, it never made much sense to me that the Yamnaya were a different physical type than what their immediate descendants obviously were.

However, the Eupedia article that I just found sheds some light on the question.  Let me quote a portion:
What did Yamnayans look like physically? 
According Kurts (1984, p.90), people of the Yamna culture consisted of three distinct phenotypes corresponding to the relatively recent blend between three populations. The dominant type was tall, dolichocephalic, with broad faces of medium height. The second type was more robust with high and wide Proto-Europoid faces. The third type was more gracile, with narrow and high faces of the East Mediterranean type. 
The average height for Yamnayan men was 175.5cm (5 ft 9 in), approximately the same as the modern average for American and French men, and slightly taller than the average Mesolithic EHG men, who stood at 173.2 cm. 
Yamnayan DNA tested by Haak (2015), Wilde (2014), Mathieson (2015) showed that Yamna people (or at least the few elite samples concerned) had predominantly brown eyes, dark hair, and had a skin colour that was moderately light, lighter than Mesolithic Europeans, but somewhat darker than that of the modern North Europeans. This is not unexpected considering that these samples had about 25% of recent admixture from the Iranian Plateau (before the Indo-European migrations brought Northeast European genes to the region), which would have darkened their pigmentation. Other tests have confirmed that the vast majority of Mesolithic Europeans had blue eyes, and the high incidence of red hair among Northwest Europeans (who have the highest percentage of Yamna ancestry) as well as in the Volga-Ural region and in ancient Chinese depictions of the Tocharians from the Tarim Basin strongly suggest that red hair was found among Yamnayans, and that the genes for red hair (which also include some mutations for fair hair) were spread by R1b Indo-Europeans. (=> see The Origins of Red Hair) 
The high CHG admixture in elite Kurgan samples was not found in earlier Steppe cultures, apart from a single R1b sample from the Khvalynsk culture that differed from non-R1b samples in that regard. This indicates that a foreign intrusion from the South Caucasus is responsible for this unusually elevated CHG among the Yamna elite. The considerably lower CHG admixture observed in German Bell Beaker and Unetice samples (average 10%), whih represent the advance of R1b tribes into Central Europe, hints that the rest of the Yamna population had higher Mesolithic European and lower Caucasian ancestry than the Yamna samples tested to date, and could consequently have looked more like modern Scottish and Irish people. This would mean mixed blue and brown eyes, and mixed hair colours with brown hair being predominant, but with a sizeable minority of red hair and perhaps also blond hair. Blond hair appears to have originated among Mesolithic Northeast Europeans, and is therefore be more common in populations with high levels of (Baltic, Slavic and Germanic) R1a.
That... makes a lot of sense.  Some poor sampling because of social causes of who gets buried in the kurgans and who doesn't, and probable over-abundance of Maikop genetics in the ruling caste of the Yamnaya means that they may have actually been a bit darker than was normal for the region.  This CHG (Caucasian Hunter Gatherers; the ancient population group that probably is the root of the Maikop civilization which was a vector for metallurgy and heirarchical kurgan burials into the steppe region) infusion into the territory of the Dneiper-Donets, Khvalynsk and Sredny Stog territory had probably been going on for some time, but it probably ultimately resulted in the evolution of those cultures into the Yamnaya horizon as well.  That higher incidence of CHG genetics was eventually diluted in the successor populations, which also spread over northern and central Europe, picking up (among other things) genetics from substrate WHG (Western European Hunter Gatherers, which actually peaks in East-Central Europe in the Baltic region among Estonians and Lithuanians) who were, at least in a large part of their area, proto-Uralic peoples linguistically.  That is, related to today's Finns and Estonians and Lapplanders, etc.

In Northern and Central Europe, the already mostly light-eyed and ruddy-haired Yamnya people superimposed themselves socially over a thin substrate that was also blond, light-eyed, etc. and they did so in sufficient numbers that the Corded Ware horizon is mostly Yamnaya genetically.  These two suites of physical features were sufficiently similar that they amplified each other to a great extent, creating the population of northern Europe today.  The spread into central Asia, Chinese Turkestan and southern Siberia had very little admixture at all, because the region was essentially unpopulated, hence the fact that Afanasievo genetics is identical to Yamnaya genetics.  Until it reached far enough to eventually reach Mongoloid phenotypes and the Europoid and Mongoloid phenotypes mixed to create, for example, the green-eyed and red-haired Genghis Khan many millennia later, not to mention Chinese descriptions of the Wu-sun barbarians as having red hair, green eyes and "looking like monkeys."

Farther south in Greece, the Italian and Iberian peninsulas, Anatolia, and the spread into the Iranian plateau and as far (eventually) as India the Europoid phenotype was eventually genetically swamped to a great degree by the larger populations of darker "Mediterranean" phenotypes, but not without leaving its mark on the upper caste for millennia, as well as the original physical types appearing in written records for many, many centuries after the superimposition over the locals.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.  All of these theories fell out of favor three quarters of a century or so ago—they had been commonplace throughout academia prior to that.  Now, genetics is proving them right all over again.  That's what you get for putting political and social concerns over empirical concerns, though—your science is led predictably astray.

Hardtrance megamix 05

I made megamix #3 last night after all (one of my tasks was accomplished a lot faster than I feared it would; the other was cancelled because it was yardwork related and it rained.)

So, to always have two on deck, I had to sort a megamix #5.  Like I said last time, it was my intention to skip any DJ Wag stuff.  And I did get three I had to skip.  I also had to skip a Sa.Vee.Oh song.  Max Savietto is Sa.Vee.Oh, and he's also in Tankis & Savietto.  Since I had already a Max Savietto Song, and a Tankis & Savietto song (and a Sa.Vee.Oh remix of another song) I figured that adding a Sa.Vee.Oh song too was too much focus on one artist.  Oh, well.  I knew stuff like that would happen occasionally.  I just had to decide which of the three songs that came up I wanted to skip.  I ended up keeping the Tankis & Savietto song even though it came third, because it was a collaboration, whereas Max Savietto and Sa.Vee.Oh were aliases for the same artist working alone.

Hardtrance megamix 05
  1. Luca Antolini - A New Poison [Sa.Vee.Oh Remix]
  2. Hardforze vs Soul-T - Let the Beat Drop [Nomad Mix]
  3. Age of Love - The Age of Love [Watch Out for Stella Mix]
  4. Pulsedriver & Rocco - Life on Mars [Rave Mix]
  5. Max Savietto - Alone [Sa.Vee.Oh Mix]
  6. DJ Darkzone - Overdrive [Vocal Cut]
  7. Tommy Pulse - The Answer (Part 2)[Temper Temper Remix]
  8. A*S*Y*S - Acid Space [Mindflux Remix]
  9. Logger & Gnetic - Hypertransfer
  10. Captain Tinrib & Sol Ray - Attack of the 50 Foot DJ [Original Mix]
  11. Tankis & Savietto - Octopus [Lost in Case Remix]
  12. DJ Virus - All Your Bass [Michael Fußeder Remix]

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Hardtrance megamixes #3 and #4

Well, I whipped out megamix #2 fairly quickly.  I find that I can make one of these in about an hour and a half.  I could probably cut that down by 25-30% if I used the other laptop, but my wife usually commandeers that one that and says she's doing "important stuff" like researching plans for our upcoming Hawaii vacation and stuff.  I don't mind letting my little old notebook think a bit.  (I'd do it on my work laptop, but we're blocked out from installing software, so I can't use Audacity there.  I could do it on the desktop too, but I'm not sure it's much faster, and it's certainly not a better environment to work in since the TVs almost always on in there and there's a lot of coming and going which is really distracting.)

Anyway, it came out a bit shorter than I expected; in part because I just happened to have a little bit shorter songs, in part because I sped up the tempo on most of them so they'd match the faster tempo songs in the set better, and in part because I was a little more willing to chop intros and outros down than I was in the first hardtrance megamix.  I'm rather pleased with how well this is turning out.  I had a few rougher transitions this time around, so I had to play just a bit more with volume and bass levels and speeds to try and smooth it out.  It's still got some transitions that are a bit rougher than I'd like, but not so bad that I'm motivated to try and do them over.

I actually want to keep going with my randomization; I've been enjoying it.  And once I get six megamixes, I'm going to archive them on a CD-R too.  But the randomization means, of course, that I sometimes need to manually make some adjustments (mostly by skipping a track that is a poor choice for whatever reason, and picking up the next one down.)

Let me repost, briefly, the tracklists for megamixes #1 and #2.  And then, I'll show you what I generated for #3 and #4, even though I have yet to make those mixes.  I like to have two "on deck" so after I make #3, I'll generate a list for #5.  If I somehow have more free time than I anticipate in the next week or so and I'm actually able to do #3 and #4 in one sitting, then I'll generate a list for #6 too.  But I doubt that'll happen.  Frankly, finding time to do #3 probably won't happen until the weekend is over.

Megamix #1
  1. Arome—Here We Go [Midnight Mix]—0:00
  2. Underworld—Cowgirl [Tim Davison Remix]—8:11
  3. DuMonde—Never Look Back [Tiesto Full On Vocal]—15:08
  4. Jimmy the Sound—M.O.D.U.L.O. [One Vrs Edit]—23:02
  5. Kai Tracid—Trance & Acid [Derb Remix]—29:11
  6. The Juvenile—Hardcore Suckas [Trance Generators Remix]—36:04
  7. Blank & Jones—DJs, Fans and Freaks (D.F.F.)—41:59
  8. Avatar—Red Planet [DJ Wag Remix]—47:28
  9. Immersion—My Name Is Acid—54:21
  10. A*S*Y*S—Monster 303—1:03:13
  11. High Voltage—Bombs Away—1:06:02
  12. DJ Wag—Life on Mars [DJ Wag Mix]—1:12:03
Total—1:19:35

Megamix #2
  1. Phuture Punk—Der Klang [Junk Project Mix]—0:00
  2. Tommy Pulse—The Answer [Danny V Remix]—5:17
  3. A*S*Y*S—No More F***ing Rock N Roll [Original Mix]—10:24
  4. Pro-Tech—Free Your Mind [Y.O.M.C. Club Mix]—16:35
  5. Hennes & Cold—Can't Have Enough [Remix]—22:27
  6. Cosmic Commando—Heartbreak [DJ Vortex & Arpa's Dream Remix]—29:19
  7. Arome—Talk II Me [Talking Mix]—33:59
  8. Warp Brothers—Blade [Original Club Mix]—40:16
  9. Kai Tracid—Tiefenrausch [NRG Mix]—47:03
  10. Mr. Gasmask—Primordial Soup [Original Mix]—53:41
  11. System F—Out of the Blue [Original 12" Version]—1:01:51
  12. K-Traxx—Noise Tool—1:08:09
Total—1:13:35

Megamix #3
  1. Yoji Biomehanika—Ding A Ling [DJ Scot Project Remix]
  2. Guyver—Serious Sounds
  3. Mellow Trax—Phuture Vibes [Kai Tracid Remix]
  4. Dave Joy—Second Chase [Kaylab vs Reloop Remix]
  5. Pro-Tech—Dominating Power [DJ Wag Mix]
  6. Nomad vs Wragg—Roar
  7. Rebel Yelle—Affirmation
  8. Organ Donors—99.9 [Kid Kaos Under the Knife Remix]
  9. A*S*Y*S—Storm & Thunder [Original Mix]
  10. Yoda—Definitely [Original Mix]
  11. Public Domain—Operation Blade (Bass in the Place)[A*S*Y*S Remix]
  12. R.B.A.—No Alternative [Dark By Design Remix]
Megamix #4
  1. Miss Shiva—Dreams [Cosmic Gate Remix]
  2. Yakooza—Cocaine [DJ Wag Mix]
  3. Flutlicht—Das Siegel [DJ Natron Mix]
  4. A*S*Y*S—Acid Save Your Soul [Auf Die 12 Mix]
  5. DJ Session One vs DJ Virus—Future Shock [LeBrisc Club Mix]
  6. Solar Quest—Acid Air Raid [Choci & The Geezer's Remix]
  7. Derb—D.F.C.
  8. Guyver—Possibly [Original Mix]
  9. Arome—Hands Up!
  10. Cosmic Gate—The Truth [Ferry Corstein Remix]
  11. DJ Wag—Gettin' High [DJ Wag Mix]
  12. Planet K—Hockenheim [Pitlane Mix]
A little discussion.  I considered skipping Public Domain's "Operation Blade" because it is also built around the same sample that the Warp Brothers' track in megamix #2 is built on.  I decided not to, because it's a different band using it, and it's been remixed enough by A*S*Y*S so that it sounds quite a bit different.  On the other hand, you'll see that megamix #3 comes with a version of Dave Joy's "Second Chase" and one of RBA's "No Alternative."  When I scattered the tracks for megamix #4, I got a different remix of both of those tracks.  I decided that putting two versions of the same song on two megamixes back to back was a bit much, so I skipped them and went down, which gave me another DJ Wag and Planet K.

Every single megamix so far as a DJ Wag song and/or DJ Wag remix, although often in one of his collaborative guises.  Megamix #1 has both the DJ Wag mix of Avatar's "Red Planet" but also the DJ Wag mix of DJ Wag's "Life on Mars."  Megamix #2 has a Pro-Tech song (although to be fair, it's the Y.O.M.C. version, so it minimized Wag's influence), megamix #3 has another Pro-Tech song; the DJ Wag version this time (Wag was a member of Pro-Tech) and megamix #4 has not only the DJ Wag mix of another DJ Wag song, but also the DJ Wag mix of a Yakooza song (DJ Wag is also a member of Yakooza.)

Now, I've got a lot of DJ Wag material, so I expect him to come up a lot, but this is maybe a bit much even so.  I think when I run #5, I'll deliberately skip anything of his that comes up and give him a break.

I've also got some Scot Project in every mix so far; three of them have Arome songs, and the other one has a Scot Project remix.  I've also got an A*S*Y*S song in every megamix, and also an A*S*Y*S remix too.  I ran the first megamix when I still only had less than half of the material I ended up with, so it's missing some things, but since I added Tommy Pulse stuff, he ended up in every mix too (although in #3 it's as a member of RBA, and in #4, I bumped him.)  Any other patterns?  I got some Hennes & Cold or Derb in many of them, I got some Kai Tracid (or his group Yoda) in all but one.  I have at least one acid techno song in each megamix.  All of the megamixes except #3 have an early hardstyle song; heck; megamix #1 has three!  Getting two Guyver songs in back to back megamixes was a little unusual, as I only have half a dozen or so Guyver songs anyway.

Oh, and because I ran the list for megamix #1 so early, I actually got a song that I took off the list; Immersion's "My Name is Acid".  That's why that one's highlighted in yellow.

Anyway, I still enjoy the random megamix building, although I believe that as it goes on I'll find that I have to do more manual adjusting rather than less.

Monday, May 07, 2018

Hardtrance megamixes

I decided to go ahead and stop calling the earlier hardtrance megamix I made "Hardtrance megamix 00 Prototype" and just call it "Hardtrance megamix 01" already.  Sure, I sorted those songs when I had about 300 or so in my hardtrance collection.  Today, I'm about to top off at about 700 contenders.  I had thought that I needed to ignore that work and resort all over again when I was "done" collecting hardtrance.  But let's face it; I'll never really be done.  I am, however, at a point where I'm slowing way down and not really looking for any more.  I'll probably continue to stumble across tracks here and there for a long time to come, but I'm getting very close to finishing up the "collect a massive collection of hardtrance digital music."

Every time I get a new audio file, no matter its source, it needs to go through a process to be admitted on the phone and the hard drive backup; that process mostly includes opening it up in Audacity, making sure that there aren't long silent tails or intros to be cut off, make sure that I clean up pops and hiss as best I can (hiss is easier to remove than clicks and pops) and if it's not mastered at the same level (more or less) as the rest of my collection, use the Amplify tool to fix that (I very rarely lower volume, although it's not completely unheard of.  Older music is often mastered at a lower level than newer music, though, so I often raise the volume level of the track.)  Once I've gone through this process, the song is added to my microSD card, and is put into circulation.  As part of that processing, I also listen to the song at least once more all the way through, and if it meets my subjective criteria to be added to the best of list, it is—at which point, a copy is archived on a thumb drive, and it's added to the spreadsheet that has all the tracks that are on the 700 or so track best of list.  Again, this isn't exclusively hardtrance (although I mostly call it a hardtrance list); some trance-like early hardstyle is mixed in there, a few other classic or progressive trance songs that may not be hard per se, but which are close enough in style and which I like, a fair bit of acid (some of it is acid trance, but some of it is just acid house or acid techno.  I don't really think distinguishing between them is entirely possible, to be honest with you.)  And here and there, there's just another EDM song that is close enough in style that I added it too, even if it's something else entirely.

I do have more EDM on my phone, of course, and I'm deliberately excluding songs that I like as much as I like anything on this list, but which don't really fit the setlists (if this were some gigantic set) well enough because the style or genre is too different.  For instance, other than trance-like early hardstyle, none of my hardstyle songs are considered.  None of my EBM or synthpop songs get the nod, none of my synthwave or dreamwave songs are considered, etc.

Anyway, here's the original tracklist again, now re-christened as Hardtrance megamix 01.  I've got 20 more tracks to go through processing (at least two of which I know for sure won't be added to the list because they're the wrong genre of music.  Another one is a repeat of another track I already have, although the artist name is updated.  Nightclub - "French Kiss [DJ Scot Project Remix]" and Yakooza - "French Kiss [Scot Project Remix]" are the same song, but it was re-released under the newer band name. (I'll still review it, because I suspect that the Yakooza version is a better version from an audio quality standpoint.)  I'm sure several others won't make the cut either, so I've really only got about 10-12 or so more tracks to put into circulation.  Because of that, I felt confident in going ahead and sorting a second megamix tracklist, shown below the tracklist for the original.

I also highlighted "My Name Is Acid" because I actually took that song out of my list, even though I'd already mixed it into the megamix track before I decided to do that.

Hardtrance megamix 01
  • Arome - Here We Go [Midnight Mix]
  • Underworld - Cowgirl [Tim Davison Remix]
  • DuMonde - Never Look Back [Tiesto Full On Vocal]
  • Jimmy the Sound - M.O.D.U.L.O. [One Vrs Edit]
  • Kai Tracid - Trance & Acid [Derb Remix]
  • The Juvenile - Hardcore Suckas [Trance Generators Mix]
  • Blank & Jones - DJs, Fans, and Freaks (D.F.F.)
  • Avatar - Red Planet [DJ Wag Remix]
  • Immersion - My Name Is Acid
  • A*S*Y*S - Monster 303
  • High Voltage - Bombs Away
  • DJ Wag - Life On Mars [DJ Wag Mix]
Hardtrance megamix 02
  • Phuture Punk - Der Klang [Junk Project Mix]
  • Tommy Pulse - The Answer [Danny V Remix]
  • A*S*Y*S - No More Fucking Rock and Roll
  • Pro-Tech - Free Your Mind [Y.O.M.C. Club Mix]
  • Hennes & Cold - Can't Have Enough [Remix]
  • Cosmic Commando - Heartbreak [DJ Vortex & Arpa's Dream Remix]
  • Arome - Talk II Me [Talking Mix]
  • Warp Brothers - Blade [Original Club Mix]
  • Kai Tracid - Tiefenrausch [NRG Mix]
  • Mr. Gasmask - Primordial Soup [Original Mix]
  • System F - Out of the Blue [Original 12" Version]
  • K-Traxx - Noise Tool
My original sorting had two versions of Tommy Pulse's "The Answer" so I obviously couldn't use them both without it being a little silly.  It also had two A*S*Y*S songs.  I could have worked with that, but I decided to skip the second one that came up and pick one more up from just below the list of 12.

Most of these songs actually are regular old hardtrance songs.  A*S*Y*S is, as you'd expect, riddled with acid.  The Warp Brothers track samples the classic acid riff from New Order's "Confusion [Pump Panel Reconstruction]" and sounds a bit more like a hard house song otherwise, sometimes.  Mr. Gasmask provides acid techno, System F's song is a classic trance classic (although I do have hardtrance remixes of it, and even hardstyle remixes of it too), and K-Traxx, unexpectedly, delivers a song that straddles the line between hardtrance and hardstyle.

Altogether, I get more hardtrance than the last megamix, which had more "other" than I would have expected.  Just based on odds because of what's in my collection, I expect at least two or three tracks from the following artists: A*S*Y*S, Tommy Pulse, Cosmic Gate, DJ Wag (or one of his many collaborations and aliases), Hennes & Cold and/or Derb, Arome and/or Scot Project and Kai Tracid.  Got about what I expected there; a Tommy Pulse, an A*SY*S, a Hennes & Cold, an Arome, a DJ Wag song (Pro-Tech) and a Kai Tracid.  In fact, I got more than I expected, especially considering that I deliberately took out both another A*S*Y*S and Tommy Pulse song that the randomization actually wanted me to use.  I also expect at least one acid techno song and one song that's "other"—early hardstyle, or classic trance, or something else.  Got all of those too—an acid techno song, a classic trance song, and an early hardstyle song.  Curiously, I got all of them in order so that the set will end on those three songs too.

Friday, May 04, 2018

I love Luca Antolini

No homo.  But he's got some great stuff.

Of his direct songs that I love, I've got the following short-list:
  • A New Poison (Sa.Vee.Oh Remix]
  • Heat (Original Hardtrance Mix) Plus, the 2007 Remix by Steve Hill and Dark By Design, and the 2012 remix by Steve Hill.
  • Powerfull (Act 1).  Or (Act 3)?  Not sure which I prefer yet.  Yes, that is how it's spelled too.
  • Lost In Time
  • Secret Dream (Hard Mix)
  • The Race (Hard Trance Mix) and some great 2012 remixes; one by Steve Hill and Technical and one by Luca himself.
  • We Belong (S.H.O.K.K. Remix).  Just amazing.
  • Through My Memories—a collaboration with Steve Hill, and there's a Luca Antolini Mix and a Steve Hill & Dark By Design mix.  Both are great.
He's also a member of the Saifam group, and probably responsible for some of the Pacific Link output, especially since he's remixed many of their songs.
  • Rings of Jupiter (Luca Antolini Mix)
  • Contatto (Luca Antolini Mix)
  • Planetary Collapse (Luca Antolini Mix)
I also like Espace and Time For New Energy, but it's hard to get my arms around exactly how involved he was with those.  Maybe a lot.  Maybe not at all. The real name of Tuneboy is especially singled out in The credits that are on the record itself. It kind of seems like maybe it's a pet project of Donà and Antolini in particular: Donà the primary artist and Antolini doing remix and extra production. And that may also explain why the original versions terms to shade out of hardtrance and into early hardstyle.

You can find all of those on Spotify except, curiously, the original version of Powerfull (you can find the 2013 reloaded version, which sometimes has the spelling corrected.  Sometimes.)  You can also find most of those on YouTube, including the one that is hard to find on Spotify.