I haven’t touched this blog in like a couple of months, and even before then it’s been a rare thing. Basically, NaNoWriMo, Christmas, college and the panic that comes with applying for university kept me busy, as well as a few other personal projects.

That and I feel like I’m all out of shit to say for a number of reasons. Largely because things have pissed me off more than cheered me up (and I really don’t want to fill this blog up with endless rants – dammin, Jim, I’m 28, not 82), and a lot of what I have had to say of late tends to fit “comfortably” within a couple of Tweets. Oh, yeah, and I’m currently under a feature block on Facebook right now, and I don’t know the full extent of that, but the extent of Facebook’s hypocrisy. See, as far as I can tell, the block may have been a result of a comment I left on a post made by Real Radio North East, in which they asked their listeners to write three words that summed up the prior 24 hours. My contribution was “Stupid mouse broke” because, well, my stupid mouse broke that day. Overpriced piece of crap that it was. That comment had since disappeared, and I also found that the station has also blocked me on Twitter.

It was either that or the station is taking it out on me because I called them out, when they tried to claim someone else’s image as their own by slapping their shitty logo over the original.

The original image is actually a user card from someecards.

The original image is actually a user card from someecards. And yes, I was understandably pissed that they pulled that shit. They quietly took the post down an hour or two later and then tried to pretend it never happened.

In any case, it’s looking to be the case that I’m going to be stuck in that feature block for a whole month, possibly more, and I don’t even know if this post will go through to my page, or if I am even able to comment on my own page (never really had that opportunity, to be quite honest). Either for doing the right thing or posting something that was about as offensive as breathing. Which might cause a few eye rolls, but let’s face it, if you’re offended by the act of calling an inanimate human interface device stupid, you might want give your life, and your priorities some long hard reconsideration.

And yet, while I am being penalised for the most moronic of possible reasons, others continue to get away with personally attacking someone and calling them the C-word for the “crime” of “failing” to post a link and spouting transphobic shit, to name but a few examples of the bullshit I’ve reported, only to be told that no action had been taken because none of them had been in violation of their community “standards”. Seriously, Facebook? Fucking hypocrites. I wouldn’t be surprised, at this point, if the site’s support “team” was nothing but an army of robotic bros, given this and their history of allowing pages promoting domestic abuse to go unpunished for months.

So, yeah, I went off on a rant. Again. On a lighter note, I’m going to try and give this blog a little more love. I have a few ideas which I might be posting over the next few weeks. So, erm, stay tuned?

Battle Music: FM Attack – Runaway (feat. Kristine)

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FM Attack has a new album out and it’s pretty damn good. This track, mixing summery mid-to-late-80s style melodies with sweeping sci-fi sounds, has been a highlight for some time now, and it’s almost as if it’s perfectly suited to something like (and this may be brain searching for NaNoWriMo inspiration here) a futuristic resort where everything looks a lot like the coastal resorts you see today, but there’s got to be a few slight differences.

Maybe the jet-skis in use nearby turn out to be amphibious. And road legal. Perhaps some of the road traffic along the beach road is taking to the skies or landing in between other vehicles before continuing on their merry way. Maybe none of that and people can just see spacecraft parking up in the waters of the port in the distance. Futuristic settings don’t always have to be cluttered up with gadgets and tech and big neon screens, like a lot of Hollywood movies love to do sometimes. Sometimes just a small change to what we already have in the present is enough.

Battle Music: Diana Gitallog – To be alive is to turn on your synth and look for trouble

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I’ve been doing a lot of trawling of SoundCloud the past couple of weeks, just looking for some new stuff, but the last week or so has seen this being played on repeat. Almost constantly.

Imagine a small band of heroes marching away from the scene of a final battle, or taking off in the comfort of the vessel they’ve either arrived in or have commandeered in their escape. They are victorious, but they are beaten, battered and generally aren’t leaving unscathed, in more ways than one. They’ve saved the day, but not without losing some of their closest friends and allies along the way. Behind them, the place that their adventures have led them to quickly crumbles to dust, perhaps through an act of the adventurers’ own making, or the inability of their now-defeated foe to hold it all together with its power. The heroes take one last look at the destruction, then head home, eager for some well-deserved rest. Cue the credits.

You’re pretty much listening to the perfect soundtrack to that whole sequence here. Anyone leaving the cinema before this song’s done playing over them is sorely missing out.

And yeah, maybe I did catch the end of Krull the other day, which may or may not coincide with this song’s cover art. I hope that’s not a problem.

Battle Music: Shio-Z – Space Night Girl

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Maybe it’s because NaNoWriMo is fast approaching, but lately I’ve been using a couple of previous Battle Music themes to toss a few ideas in my head, all in the style of 80s TV-style intros. It’s a thing I do. My past NaNoWriMo efforts were influenced, in some small part, by 80s TV, to the point where I actually wrote a quick synopsis for last year’s attempt in the style of such a TV show. Dynatron’s “Cruiser”, as an example, had me thinking of some kind of Doctor Who-style story about someone travelling between universes on a motorcycle, so I tried to imagine that as a TV show, with that track as its intro theme.

Shio-Z’s “Space Night Girl”, the final track of his recently-released album “Science of the Night” (an album that has the word “Night” in the title of every track, which is pretty neat) is no exception. If my barely-formed concept for NaNo 2013 was a TV show, this would be a perfect fit for it. It’s the kind of track that is both epic and full of optimism. Hell, if someone took the intro to Star Trek: Voyager and edited this into it, the end result would be just as awesome as the original. Which might be an exaggeration, but I don’t care. This track’s grand ending is just asking to be associated with spaceships zooming off into the vast ocean of stars.

Battle Music: Keenan Sieg – Shortcut Eagle

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ArenaNet’s greatest April Fools’ joke to date, the Super Adventure Box, returned this week with a complete World 2 and proper establishment into Tyria’s lore.

Image from Know Your Meme

While connection issues (*cough*) and real life have prevented me from getting beyond World 2-1 for now, this track is easily one of the highlights of the update. The appropriately-named chiptune “Shortcut Eagle” (because there is a part where you ride a giant 8-bit eagle) thunders on at a steady rhythm, its melody carrying heroes on to their final destination. The best part starts around the 0:45 mark, with the expertly-crafted drum loop across the whole track coming a very close second. I’m talking the diameter of a grain of sand close.

Battle Music – August 2013

The past couple of weeks have been a bit chaotic and have sapped much of my energy, so I almost forgot to make this post. Sorry!

Battle Music for August 2013:

Battle Music: Giorgio Moroder – Chase (Nightcrawler remix)

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I received a link to this yesterday around the same time I discovered that my page views were starting to skyrocket, which marks a couple of firsts for this blog: the first I’d ever heard of “Chase”, and the first time the contact form has been used. Seriously.

So, anyway, it’s true that I’d never even heard of “Chase” until now. Nobody’s perfect. There’s a lot I’ve yet to stumble across. That said, after giving this remix a listen, I made a note of looking up the original version, which serves as part of a soundtrack to the movie Midnight Express. Again, something I never knew existed until now. Without knowing the context of the original and based on Wikipedia’s description of the movie’s plot, I’m guessing this accompanied the final daring escape, and judging by the pace of the original one that needed care, caution and good planning to pull off. Remember, I’m guessing, here.

This remix by George Gold, aka Nightcrawler, adds a lot more urgency, and doesn’t suffer at all for it. It’s as if all that planning has gone out the window by way of an unforeseen circumstance, and the hell-hole in question has gone on full alert. The escapee’s forced to think of a “Plan B” pronto, and that might require running down a few who would dare get in the way.

Both versions are great in their own right, and it’s a rare thing for me to enjoy a remix as well as the original, if not better. This remix has managed to achieve just that.

Battle Music: Vincenzo Salvia – Summer Love (feat. Chrissy Valentine)

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It’s been a bit difficult to put my finger on a favourite track on Vincenzo Salvia’s latest EP, Summer Love. All of it’s pretty much on an equal level of brilliance. That said, since Battle Music posts are restricted to one track at a time, and I haven’t had the time or energy of late to devote an Insert Disk 7 post to an album, I’ve essentially forced myself to choose. That said, there’s nothing stopping me from writing another BM post for a different track on the same EP. I’ve done it before.

If it’s going to be one track, it has to be the eponymous one, for a number of reasons, prime among them being that it’s a vocal track, with is a bit of a rarity, and it’s pretty fast-paced. Like, cruising down a seaside road in a dune buggy, and weaving between existing traffic fast.

I can also safely say that this is a track that’s got me dancing in my chair a fair bit.

Battle Music: nervous_testpilot – My Intuition

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From the forthcoming sports strategy game Frozen Endzone, this track has been made, as per the song description on Soundcloud, for highlight reels in-game.

And truth be told, as well as being a epic piece of trance that has actually managed to lodge itself into my head like an musical knife (which is more than can be said for a lot of newer trance of late), it’s practically perfect for just about any future-sports setting, including those that warrant the crowd going wild at a team’s star player being knocked to the ground, their nose having been torn off by a high-velocity ball they hadn’t spotted until it was too late. And of course, Frozen Endzone‘s setting too.