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GHOST IN THE SHELL: a króm kegyelemkettes [Hungarian review]

in Headline/topstory/watch by

Messziről kezdem, hosszú leszek, mint a Kuang Eleven. Filmrecenziót írni duplán jutalomjáték: rásütheted bármire, hogy szar, aztán beszaladhatsz a szabad véleménynyilvánítás polkorrektre szopott indoka mögé, akár értesz ahhoz, amit írsz, akár nem. Nehezebb már úgy recenziót írni, hogy nem ismeretlenek a gyártás körülményei: akár azért, mert pontosan tudod, hogy az adott film hogy készült; akár azért, mert voltál már a gyártóoldalon és tudod, hogy alsó hangon is több tucatnyi ember sokhónapos (vagy sokéves) megfeszített, egyben láthatlatlan munkája tartja a bunkerajtót a kritikusok ellenében. A marketingkampány részét adó werkfilmek pont ezt mélyítik el: egyszerre mutatják és magyarázzák, hogy mennyi munka volt a designnal, a koncepcióval, a worldbuildinggel, a fegyverekkel, a hangokkal, a zenével, a mindennel, pont olyan, mint az ideális szülinap, gruppen vagy ezek kombinációja: sokan voltunk és mindenki nagyon szerette, meg hátha olyan lesz, mantrázzuk a mozi felé gyalogolva, mint a Firefly, azt is szeretetből rakták össze, aztán 9/10 felettre hegyezik még mindig a rajongók az IMDB-n, hát hol romolhatna el ez az egész. TL;DR elmondom: pont ott és úgy, amikor életed legbombázóbb nője olyan ostobát mond sztriptíz közben, hogy inkább laprakonyulva nindzsázol haza falmentén, hogy még a CCTV se lásson. Tudjátokmit, részletezem is.

Ami a designcsapatot illeti, szégyenkezésre semmi ok: egyszerre kapjuk meg a nyolcvanas-kilencvenes évek neonkarcos, érthetetlenül fényes, méretes és hangos, platformidegen hirdetéseivel terhelt városképet, a hi tech lo life meg a style over substance erős keverékét. Sőt, továbbmegyek, annyira erős a design, hogy szívem szerint kiszedném a hangsávot a film alól, alávágnék odaillő zenét és a megfelelő szinkroncsapattal újramondatnám a menet közben amúgy teljesen átírt dialógust, amik egy teljesen más történethez is passzolnak. De erre kitérek majd később. A városkép mellett a taktikai osztag felszerelése is jól tükrözi a korakilencvenes évek hangulatát, a sorok között kikacsint a WETA team szakértelme, a feedekben meg a premier óta ömlik Maciej Kuciara meg Ash Thorp ujjai közül, hogy miért vannak a termoptikai páncélon a vágásvonalak pont ott, ahol vannak és miért pont olyan és úgy a motor, amilyen (és ahogyan), sőt, a látványba annyira bele lehet süppedni, hogy még az üvöltő Honda product placementnél sem böffen ki belőled a gyűlölet a corporate bármi ellen, pedighát.

Továbbmegyek: nem zavaró a film még megjelenés előtti első problémájaként felhozott whitewashing sem, sőt, indokolatlannak tartom az ostobaságig elcsúsztatott polkorrektséget is (másodjára emlegetem, biztos gondom van vele, gondolja az osztagpszichológus). Okkal. A film alapjául szolgáló manga, majd anime (és erre kitértem amúgy itt a blogon már korábban, illetve a Cinegore-nak írt anyagomban is) ugyanis írd-és-mondd a japán nemzetbiztonsági szakszolgálat cyberbiztonsági elhárító osztagáról szól: japán bel- és külpolitikáról, japán szerzőtől, japán szereplőkről, japán olvasóknak (és nézőknek) a japán mindsetből megfogalmazva. Ha Amerika hozzányúl a témához és remaket akar belőle csinálni első körben észak-amerikai, második körben európai fogyasztóknak, kötelező elemként fogja denipponizálni a stáb fő elemeit, erre a mozzanatra pedig az eredeti kiadóként működő Kodansha legalább annyira rábólintott, mint maga Masamune Shirow, a manga készítője is, mondjuk olyan jogdíjhozam mellett igen erős érzelmi indok kellene ahhoz, hogy ne bólintsanak rá. A probléma ugyanis nem ott van a castinggal, hogy Scarlett Johansson europid (és nem Rinko Kikuchi vagy Chiaki Kuriyama kapta meg helyette a szerepet), hanem ott, hogy semmilyen nemzet tagjaként nem adja jól a meghasonlott gép-ember ügynököt – ami azonnal elránt minket a film (és az azt követő recenziók) legnagyobb problémájához: az anime támasztotta elvárásokhoz.

Rinko Kikuchi.
Rinko Kikuchi.

Az 1995-ös anime ugyanis a cyberpunk szubkultúra egyik alapköve. A net születésekor, a technokultúra virágzásának kellős közepén, a misztikusan távol levő, érthetetlen és amiatt még izgalmasabb Japán közepéből érkező anyag a legjobb időben ásta be magát a popkultúra tudatalattijába: kérdései pedig 2017-ben ugyanannyira időszerűek, mint az 1995-ös premier pillanatában. Részei-e a gépek az evolúciónak? A kibővített transzhumanista embereszmény több-e az embernél vagy a szingularitás után már egy más jellegű folyamatábrán kell-e követnünk a tudatos lények fejlődéseit? Egy cyberaggyal bíró ember ember-e még vagy már gép? Ha egyik sem, mi van a kettő között? És bárhol is legyen, megkaphatja-e még a szabad döntés illúzióját? És ha már cyberagy, biztonságtechnikailag hova helyezi ez nemcsak a védelmi cégeket (vagy a katonai és polgári szakszolgálatokat) vagy politikai és döntéshozói elitet, hanem magát az egyszerű, sarki boltba járó civileket?

Mindezen, bármely földrészen értelmezhető kérdésektől függetlenül azonban a forrásanyag japán mivolta nemcsak a babaként látható vagy felfogható gépekben rejlő lélek körüli kérdésekben ütközik ki, hanem a kötelesség tekintetében is. A főszereplő Motoko Kusanagi őrnagy ugyanis szolgál és véd és akkor is szolgál és véd, ha előtte pár másodperccel emlékeztetik arra, hogy nemcsak a szolgálatában áll a kormánynak, hanem a tulajdonában is, ő pedig csak egy bevethető egység, bármilyen jó is legyen. Európai (és sokban civil) szemmel értelmezhetetlen az a rábólintás és lojalitás, ami ezt a helyén kezeli – és Sanders filmje ezen a ponton is csúszik el igazán.

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A Ghost in the Shell ugyanis amerikai scifiként buta, japán scifiként labdába sem rúghat, Sanders pedig nem döntötte el igazán, hogy melyik akar lenni. Igaz, említette korábban többször is, hogy gatewayfilmet akar gyártani hollywoodi pénzből, amivel ráhúzhatja a közönséget a forrásanyagra, ez pedig önmagában dícsérendő. Ennek tudatában, ezzel a címmel és ezzel a komplett franchise-zal a háta mögött azonban ez a film egyszerűen kevés. A cselekmény kényelmesen belehasal a klasszikus ember-a-rendszer-ellenbe, ami egyfelől ellentmond mind az eredeti japán anyag történetének (nem megváltoztatja, nem átértelmezi, szembemegy vele, remakenél ezt azért valahogy nem várnánk), mind pedig az osztagpszichológiának, a mangából ismert zavaróan bő és dús worldbuilding eltűnik, helyette akkor és úgy jelennek meg a karakterek, hogy a cselekmény továbbhaladhasson éppenhogy, persze, lesznek apró utalások meg eastereggek meg elrejtett apróságok, amikbe persze beleláthatunk olyanokat, hogy Sanders kikacsintott a nézők felé, hogy Avalon lakópark meg Mamoru Oshii kedvenc kutyája, a basset hound, de egyfelől kell a filmen dolgozóknak is a jutalomjáték, hogy ilyeneket becsempészhessenek, másfelől ezektől a film elviselhetőbb lesz, de jobb, nos, jobb az nem.

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Az alapvető kérdésekből azok szerepelnek csak Sandersnél, amik egy mamafórum tagjaiból egy kávétól paranoidabb gyermekfektetés utáni estén is kiszaladnak: jó ez nekünk igazából? Aztán itt meg is áll az okosság. Kapunk egy nemzetbiztonság által korábban már ledossziézott lázadót, akiből megpróbálnak tökéletes katonát gyártani, 99 félresült prototípus után az első működőt, akit egy évvel az átépítés után már elnökvédelemre küldenek ki, ki láttamozta ezt a protokollt és hol voltak benne a failsafek? Ezen a kényszertabularasázott katonán keresztül látjuk meg tehát a technológiát, az utca emberén keresztül sosem tudjuk megfigyelni igazán. Az anime szemetesautósofőrös mozzanatai például a legsanyarúbbak és egyben a legrealisztikusabbak is civilként, a film viszont teljesen átépítette ezt is (és olyan felszerelést nem teszünk vallatószobába, amivel öngyilkosságot lehet elkövetni, miért tennénk, ki hagyta ezt is jóvá), kiszedve ezzel azt a pontot, ahol azt éreznénk, hogy a jövőben a mi agyunk is törhető lesz és a saját taknyunkon csúszva ébredünk majd fel az évek óta felmosatlan konyhában és kiderül, hogy évekig más dolgait csináltuk a sajátunk helyett, ráadásul a nevünk, a nemünk és az életkorunk is más. Ehelyett csak annyit látunk, hogy termoptikai álca, robotkurvák meg műszemek, ami tökéletesen meg is felel a style over substance filozófiájának, előremutatásnak azonban kevés és ez is a legfájdalmasabb – a legizgalmasabb cyberpunkok (és scifik) ugyanis még a mai napig is képesek előremutatni, ez a film pedig testben ottvan, fejben viszont nagyon-nagyon nem. (Ez egyúttal meg is magyarázza, hogy miért tetszik ez a film annyira azoknak, akik még nem látták és olvasták az eredetiket.)

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Külön kérdőjeleket vet fel a casting és maga a karakterlista is. Toronymagasan viszi a legjobb screentime díját a Batout alakító Pilou Asbaek, közvetlenül mögötte ott figyel karakterszínészi mivoltában Beat Takeshi, aki most nem yakuzafőnököt alakít, hanem osztagdirektort, nála ütközik ki a film egyik legbutább kultúrrasszizmusa, miszerint ő japánul beszél, mindenki más angolul. (Itt kell megjegyeznem, hogy az egyik legvártabb cyberpunk játékot fejlesztő CD Projekt RED fejlesztői nemrégiben jelentették be, hogy a játék színhelyéül szolgáló városban sok nemzetiség lesz és mindenki a saját nyelvén beszél majd, ha nincs fordítószoftverünk vagy nem beszélünk az adott nyelven, semmit nem fogunk érteni a bábeltornyából.) A Section 9 osztag többi tagját, ha nem láttam volna az animét, meg sem tudnám nevezni, a történethez költött másik nőkarakter pedig genderperspektíva ide vagy oda, de nettó felesleges (erősebb Motoko, ha ő az egyetlen nő a csapatban, aki egyben az operatív főnök is), a megmaradó screentimeban helyett lehetett volna árnyalni Togusát, Ishikawát vagy Bomát jobban. Michael Wincottot eltüzelni az első tíz percben hatalmas vétek, ellenben az ő dialógusainál jön ki az, hogy a film tényleg ostoba lesz és nem a jövőnek szól a jelenből, hanem a múltnak a múltból, mert 2039-ben, amikor már több embernek van mesterséges agyi beültetése, mint ahánynak van Facebook-accountja most, nem úgy kezdünk beszélni a technológiáról, mintha egy óceánon keresztül hoznák szentelt páncélos lovagokkal. Ha a nyelv nem tükrözi a világ állapotát, akkor a forgatókönyvíró (vagy a korrektora) rossz és ezt elnézve nem lehet finomabban mondani: a forgatókönyvíró rossz. (Is.) A főgonosz Kuze szó szerint rendszerhibás amalgámként tévelyeg az eredeti forrásanyag főgonoszai és az észak-amerikai tudatalattiban bújó vendettaéhes emó tinik között, az utóbbi persze győz, a világépítés pedig nála sem következetes, az ilyen félresült kísérleteket szokták igencsak gyorsan levadászni, hogy később ne okozzanak bajt.

Külön fájdalmam a háttérzene, nem is kicsit. Make-or-break dolog a zene egy filmben és bármennyire Clint Mansellnek köszönhetjük a filmzenét, nem ül. Felismerhetetlen vagy megjegyezhetetlen motívumok nélküli string- meg padmunkában ülök majdnem két órán át, hogy kétszer-háromszor dühös legyek amiatt, hogy a Kenji Kawai-féle női kórushoz hasonló minták be-bekerültek, csak hogy érezzük, hogy ez mégiscsak a franchise része, de az igazi hangulatfestés elmarad. Sem az igazi sintoista filozófiát idéző elemek (ha KK zenéje nem passzol a dollokhoz, akkor semmi), sem a szomorú, lassú, füsttekergős lila és kék érzetű bárok, sem a tizenhatod- vagy harminckettedbasszusos veretések nem érkeznek sehonnan – ellenben többször felmerült a Michael McCann által jegyzett Deus Ex: Human Revolution soundtrack hangzása és hangszerelése, amire jobb fülű cyberpunk megadja a tízpertizet, mielőtt rátesszük az idegi megszakítót és megnyomjuk a nagy, nagy fekete mattgombot rajta. Persze a kilencvenes évek elején az iparizenefórumként funkcionáló rec.music.industrialon elhangzott, hogy “a cyberpunk zene az, amit a cyberpunkok hallgatnak”, de Steve Aoki meg Tricky helyett jobban megült volna a hangzásképben a Front Line Assembly, Haujobb, Hecq vagy Comaduster (vagy éppenséggel bármelyik ex-Tympanikos zenész), persze a hitelesség kérdése a közmédiában önmagában értelmezhetetlen játék.

De, mint mondtam, el tudom képzelni, hogy x évnyi vagy hónapnyi munka után milyen érzet lehet lófaszláncot olvasni a gyártó stáb helyében, úgyhogy nem összesítem a fentieket még egyszer. Viszont remélem, hogy a Neurománc sosem készül el sem sorozat-, sem filmváltozatban, másfelől pedig javaslom, hogy szinkronozzátok és újrazenézzétek az eredeti képanyagot. Ki tudja, a végén még lehet, hogy nemcsak csinos, de okos is lesz.

VERDIKT: Hang nélkül, pizza mellett, otthon, nagyon nem egyedül.

planetdamage: this was 2016

in personal by

It’s time to wrap up 2016 and launch it as the renegade torpedo it was. Most of the yearly summaries I came across called 2k16 a horrible, woe-ridden suckery and most of it actually was – even when I wasn’t really touched by those dozens of celebrities passing away. Still, most of this year was what Roman Catholics and muchly debateable esoteric and proto-occult writers call the dark night of the soul which is a very subtle way of calling something fucking miserable – thankfully, music (and almost as often, music making) was there to keep me sane, so, thank you, amazing music making software that looks like Excel on mescaline. Now, scroll on to the loud, musicky bits.

THE LOUD MUSIC BITS

You know that curse when you can’t finish the projects you started? Managed to middle-finger that curse into the ground a few times last year. Released my first EP Snapshots of a Surveillance Manifesto a few days before my birthday – and I’m not just happy because I managed to launch it after months of working on it but also because I had the luck the work with the best people on it.

And what’s even better, I got an official fan video from Soundmirror66 for the track that seems to be everyone’s favourite off this release.

Jump forward in time – Martin Bowes signed me to his label Two Gods Records. My second EP ANGST hit the internets during the end-of-the-year holiday season – and I’m super glad I could work with Emke of Black Nail Cabaret on that one.

I also lost my music video virginity – here’s the proof.

And some photos that I’ve saved for this post. Look grateful. (Emke needs no introduction, I believe – as for the fourth picture, from left to right: meet Zoltan Kovary, director of our Angst music video, Ninth, currently promoter at the Budapest venues Blue Hell and KVLT where we shot the whole thing and a mildly uncaffeinated me.)

emke_planetdamage_mirror

emke_kz

planetdamage

kz_ninth_planetdamage

And although this is not a studio, welcome to the section of my freemasonic lodge where I make music. So people would actually call it a studio. I wouldn’t. I call it where my coffeemug family lives.

planetdamage_2016_gear

And you can’t have a year passing by without a remix made for Clayfeet! Well, it’s actually the second remix this year, but hey! this is already a pretty tightly established pattern!

THE OTHER  PROFESSIONAL BITS

I really don’t remember much apart from making music and hearing everyone ask me why I make music in Excel (which is a pretty standard way of Ableton or Logic users reacting to Renoise after seeing it for the first time and then, whenever). I know, though, that I wrote a lot of futuristic weirdness and I ended up a speaker at events like Brain Bar Budapest, called one of 2016’s biggest futuretech shindigs @ this side of Europe.

planetdamage_bbb

VR was pretty much on top of my list in both trying out different gears and writing about them – mostly in Hungarian, though. I pretty much went the devil’s advocate way about it, focused on the health issues and the interface and UX problems and I also managed not to puke under any of the HMDs which I consider quite a fucking big feat.(Although VR pukes now have their own niche sub-subgenre on Pornhub, which is apparently a thing right after clown molestation fantasies and quick-cut rush hypnosis videos. When all the news outlets started posting about Santa’s naughty little helpers as one of the more oft-used search term for the Xmas holidays, that was a hard-shelled bitchplease right there.) I also wrote a book (remember me promising you a new book for 2016?) which didn’t get published, because I was still trying to get a coffeetable hardcover edition out, which is not an easy or necessarily smart thing in the Budapest of 2016. Also, there was a Hungarian podcast named 20 perccel a jövőbe (Twenty minutes into the future) I was involved with for a few long months, mixing futuretech and bad, like, really really bad puns.

planetdamage_suzy

And there was an LD50 revival party last year, quite the weirdest class reunion ever. Lots of stories to tell.

THE LAST.FM BITS

Posting summaries of social media platforms is still something I am looking forward to when writing these end-of-year things. Still, Facebook doesn’t give you proper summaries and I don’t mess around with its APIs, I am practically off Foursquare and Twitter, Instagram still requires third-party sites for things like #bestnine2016, so I’m sticking with Last.fm as I do when I have to cling on to one solid site. (Well, here’s my #bestnine2016, just in case.)

bestnine2016

I used Scroblr for gathering all listening data from my AIMP3 (that I use instead of Winamp), Bandcamp, Google Music and YouTube but as it turns out, during the past few months Scroblr started ditching my inputs. Also, I ruined a lot of my stats by listening to my music drafts in MP3s, because my most listened-to artist is me, my most liked is the Snapshots EP…. yeah, will listen to all my stuff from my DAW from now on. That’s also the reason why you can’t see the first places in the ranking screenshots below.

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Artists scrobbled:

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Albums scrobbled:

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And this is my most scrobbled song in 2016:

And here’s my favourite mix from 2016 that I played a lot:

THE ENTERTAINMENT BITS

As expected, the whole boardgaming thing fell into a torpor, I didn’t have enough time and most of the game mechanisms our crew came across, well, we really didn’t hit it off with those. After Eldritch Horror became our household go-to thing, nothing’s good enough anymore. (BTW I’m still selling a lot of my stuff, so if you live in Budapest and want to buy something from my Boardgamegeek list, just send me an email or contact me on Facebook and let me know. Might be willing to sell a few things from the items not marked “For trade”, too.)

As for PC gaming, apart from the fact that I really ended up in the pit of loot-gathering hack’n’slashes (and Borderlands 2 is the king, no fucking doubt about that), there’s been quite a load of cyberpunk games! The new Deus Ex was a total letdown for me (although the 12-min video that served as an introduction, posted above, presenting both the story of DE:HR and the gap between that and the new game was one of the most exhilarating experiences and I really felt at times that this is the Western hemisphere’s Ghost in the Shell), but games like Orwell, Superhot, System Crash, the Mr. Robot app and Distance finally showed that there still is hope. God bless indie developers.

And don’t even start me on the series.. was a strong year with the Person of Interest series finale and the ongoing episodes of Mr. Robot, Westworld, Dream Corp LLC, Berlin Station, Designated Survivor, The Man in the High Castle, Incorporated, 3 Percent, Humans, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency… way, way too much stuff. Go collect’em all.

KTHXBAI

So that’s all you get about 2k16 if you haven’t been keeping an extra eye, drone or tentacle out. No forecasts either – I’d rather deliver now instead of talking about it. Keep an alert on all the regular channels – there will be huge sine waves of silence drops, then peaks of loud, glorious motion. I suggest you do the same this year. Stay safe and vigilant and if you can rock it, GO FUCKING ROCK IT.

Always,

damage_a

GHOST IN THE SHELL: Thoughts on the New Trailer

in Headline/support/think/topstory/video by

Held the tight-lip policy as long as I could about the live-action adaptation of GHOST IN THE SHELL – up until today, the Tokyo debut of the movie’s first trailer, promptly followed by its international release. Kept myself tight-lipped for a good reason: however much of a cyberpunk I am (that extent is really pointless now),  I don’t understand and I definitely don’t support the fans’ public outcry. So first let me just quickly share with you my train-of-thought reactions on the not-so-fresh trailer – had to give myself almost a day to let it all sink in. I’ll also rant why you should take five and not whine too much about the 2017 movie.

TRAIN OF THOUGHT ABOUT THE GHOST IN THE SHELL TRAILER

Love the glitch behind the ScarJo foreword..need to colorpick that lipstick as well, looks hue-on.. visually striking, that’s obvious, we’ve seen that in the five short teasers.. robotic geishas have the air of cognitive dissonance and ambivalence around them, love that a lot.. city shot well, spectrum’s very similar to the opening of the 1995 movie, headgear as well, hope they won’t add that cliché-ridden falling-from-the-rooftop-thing.. MICHAEL WINCOTT! The Crow’s one of my favourite movies, partly because of Wincott and Alien 4 is damn good a flic as long as he’s alive.. expanded spider-geisha reminds me of the opening scene of GITS2, are the producers fishing out the memorable bits?.. Major’s doing her regular rooftop gravity romp thing, so that was a rhetorical question.. every fucking piece of GITS work has that in it, after 21 years, I’d really love to see a different method of traveling down a few (dozen) floors.. visuals are still damn amazing.. yeah, second shot after breaking the glass comes damn late, augmented perps would have already double-tapped her.. HANKA.. so that’s really The Laughing Man storyline.. right at the one-minute stop Motoko smiles, sexy for ScarJo (WHAT ISN’T SEXY FOR HER GODDAMNIT) but very much out of character for the Major.. Kowloon-like city shots are damn amazing, I wonder if there’s going to be a scene where they have to go fight through streets that are so narrow that you can only walk sideways, one person at a time, would go so well with the Kowloon theme.. although the wake-up scene from the first movie seems weird, the view from the window is out of perspective, only possible explanation: she doesn’t have a window, only a screen instead of that.. more feelings on Motoko’s face that’s out of character (and also, works well with Japanese theatrics that often has feelings played inside instead of theatrically posted outside).. connected to something I’m not sounds bland and vague compared to the source material’s take on philosophy, so thanks Hollywood and dumbed down teenagers, thanks a lot.. Motoko’s lesbian take was even censored in the newer North-American VIZ editions (3 pages, if I remember well), so I’m glad the reference is in there somewhere, what if they’d actually have the virtual lesbian threesome on the boat?.. also, what if you’d have fifteen extra minutes of proper philosophical discussion and references on the DVD that’s not shown to the masses because they wouldn’t properly understand it all anyways?.. fuck my face, that’s actually a slowed-down cover of Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence”? great idea to use a song like that for an international re-interpretation of a Japanese franchise but maybe a song with a more gritty, analogue feel would have added a lot more feel and atmosphere than this version.. we saved you and now you say others, why do you have to put sentences in bold and evident, this is Operation Cockblock aimed out our scene.. Motoko looks out of scene when she pops up in that retake from the first movie.. never been in that big urban jungle before, though, so I wouldn’t be able to say if this is fully unreal.. oh give Jess Hall a fucking Oscar for these visuals now, would you?.. did they take Batou’s eye implants from Poundland, a 100 yen shop or fucking IKEA? this looks horrifyingly cheap.. okay, Aramaki only had a gun once in the Stand Alone Complex series, he’s not a shooter guy, this is a huge deviation even if Beat Takeshi has an itchy triggerfinger, what is this.. more cheap Batou eyes.. I don’t know who to trust, Motoko is never this vulnerable in the series or the movies, not ever, not even when she’s got an arm ripped off from her body.. Batou without eye implants? does he have a promotional can of Pringles for a cock?… Motoko now goes on a spree to face her past?.. geisha with the expanding face, great reference to the opening scene of the second movie.. okay, is it Kuze in the final scene where he says everything Motoko’s been given was a lie? Probably Kuze.. also, that group of wired Buddhist monks is totally a blast, very powerful image.

So, that was two minutes and twenty-six seconds in my head. Thanks for being there. Now dress up and leave.

gits_poster

AND A BIT OF A RANT WITHOUT ENOUGH COFFEE

My take on the whole issue. (I deleted three paragraphs mostly ditching Arad and the unisex use of the expression “cunt talk”. Look grateful.) Ghost in the Shell is a Japanese story by a Japanese author about Japanese intelligence agency personnel living in a post-WWIII Japanese world. The GITS manga has a whole lot more tech, pol and tradecraft talk than the anime – this makes it very tight, iconic, cult-like, and also, hard to embrace for anyone who is not into this stuff. Nude geishas shooting everything that moves and then everything that does not? Super accessible. Introversion about artificial personality layering and its impact on a Maslow pyramid? Not accessible at all to most people. There, that’s the Ghost In The Shell reinterpretation pitch for you. If Hollywood’s doing a version, it’s 1) for international waters and it’s 2) for money. If you don’t like it, go indie, go for the source material or make your own brainwarping cyberpunk/biopunk series on Kickstarter.

But use your brains first. Anyone who’s not Japanese and tries to adapt GITS in any shape or form to the screen without thoroughly revisiting its core is prone to a fuckload of errors. (The source material is 100% rooted in Japanese culture, philosophy, technology, psychology – gaijin bastards can’t even read the kanas properly and we haven’t started talking about the cultural gaps and the highly different take of things in Western and Eastern cultures.) Japanese cyberpunk is miles away from its Western hemisphere counterpart and you know what, I’m actually thankful that the Hollywood industry didn’t pick Tetsuo Body Hammer for a rework. (I mean, look at Westworld – given how many reviews I read about how hard-to-grasp it is, I’d be glad to link voting rights to the capability of a proper debate about AI transitioning. Behave like it’s 2016.) But this is a rant and the bottom line is: don’t expect too much authentic mindwarping cyberpunk stuff from anyone on top. It never worked that way. (And if you wanted proper authentic Japanese Ghost in The Shell, watch the original movie and Innocence once again. They’re cultic for a reason, an anchor in time. Want an international or European interpretation? Go watch Avalon. Anything from the 2nd GIG onwards has lost a lot of its original density and coolness, so injecting new blood might not be a bad idea. Sure it won’t be smarter but I’m also sure it won’t be worse than the IP releases from the last few years.)

On the other hand, look at what’s on the shelves now – we’re having Blade Runner 2 and Ghost in The Shell on the big screen in 2017. Both promising to be “that one movie of the decade” that has a glorious all-encompassing cast that sort of serves as a carte postale of that era – Johnny Mnemonic, Repo Man: The Genetic Opera, maybe even The Matrix has a postal card on the cyberpunk shelves. It’s high time we got one such movie for the 2010s.

Just please change Batou’s optics. They look cheaper than anything the Garbage Pail Kids tried to fuck in that dumpster yesterday. And also: when referring to how cyberpunk ScarJo is, just please stop referring to Her. Lucy is a great reference film but as for Her, it’s damn voice acting. Get your concepts straight for once.

Yes, I stopped ranting. A bathtub full of coffee ready to inject in this great hate-spewing temple of mine. That can’t wait now, can it.

planetdamage.LIFESIGN (July 2016)

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Hello from The Lodge.

This is goths-under-the-stones season here, AC’s raging and I dip my cornea in coffee on an hourly basis to stay awake in a torrent of bad stuff happening with the worst timing. If you’re not new here, you’ve already realized nothing’s really changed here. Woes aside, join me for another round of WTF!

THE HEARY THINGS

planetdamage lodge studio
This is how the more musically-inclined corner of The Lodge looks like at the moment. Even at night (so either my eyes have gone totally light-sensitive or there’s an industrial lightbolt thrower installed outside my windows). The most important piece of gear right there is the coffeemug, everything else is of secondary importance. There’s a new release already in the making (I haven’t even started properly promoing Snapshots of a Surveillance Manifesto, but still) and two new tracks are in pretty good shape already. Been thinking a lot about taking the whole thing live, I guess the new gear really reflects that – it’s a Roland SPD-SX perc/sample pad (back on Gearslutz everyone was raving about how good its predecessor was) and a Novation Ultranova with a titload of arps and live filters.

Reviews for Snapshots.. are scarce but good – surprisingly enough there was even a review featured in Hungary’s biggest science-fiction mag Galaktika.

I’ve also uploaded the audio commentary for Snapshots to Mixcloud, so you can now listen to my very first podcasty -listeny thing about how I conjured up the EP. Might be fun for, so give it a go below!

THE LOOKY-TALKY THINGS

The summer heatwave (fuck you, summer heatwave) drove a wedge into a string of presentations and talks and stuff that I did when I was not struggling with self-imposed caffeine deficiency – and it was all watermarked with Major Kusanagi. There was a longer roundtable (or more like bar stool) discussion at an ELTE movie club for psychology majors…

Photo creds: Cortex Film Klub
Photo creds: Cortex Film Klub

..and a shorter presentation took place at Brain Bar Budapest 2016, an event that was heralded as this year’s biggest European event about future tech (all intelligence officers and freemasons chuckle here, hopefully), watermarked by both Google and Wired.

Photo creds: Brain Bar Budapest
Photo creds: Brain Bar Budapest
Photo creds: Brain Bar Budapest
Photo creds: Brain Bar Budapest

There’s an official YouTube cast about that, I’ll post it below with a heavy heart – I never watched it and I never will. Reason: I’m wired to do quality checks after releases and always from the wrong perspective and that’s never helpful, especially that I remember waking up that day and I had the worst sickness in a thousand years raging around in my body and self-control and tai chi aside, I think it shows. My buddies think it doesn’t, but maybe they are just super kind. So there. Me talking for 18 minutes, being not in black.

Putting that aside, expect news not too soon – the new release is taking up a lot of time with experimenting with sounds and patching everything together here is madness (bad and mad technical reasons) and I plan to have a lot of collaborations on that, which will take a lot of time. Also, there’s two new book ideas, one is actually finished, the other could be finished in two months to my estimates, but financing it is quite problematic. And also, life (goddamnit). If you want quick updates about stuff, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter (I go there once every month, sorry guys, so maybe don’t follow me there) or just drop me an email and send me something super inspiring, motivational or.. you know. Anything good that lights my sensors up. (Also: cover image is by Balázs Kassai on top of the page, can’t pimp his work enough!)

Always,
damage_a

Planetdamage featured on The Cage 23!

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Just one week after releasing “Snapshots of a Surveillance Manifesto“, FIREWALLS (my most synthwaveish track ever written) was featured on Martin Bowes’ compilation Cage 23. If you’re not really aware of Martin’s endeavours (apart from him being the driving force behind Attrition and Engram), he’s running the label TWO GODS and he has a studio aptly named The Cage where he produces, mixes, masters, engineers or devilishly concocts bands (check out his client list, it is INSANE).

Every year he releases a track selection from all the music he produced, remixed or mastered at The Cage Studios: and the 2015-2016 selection entails (brace yourselves!) Amys Arms, Attrition, Colossloth, Eric Random, Factice Factory, Honeymoon Cowboys, Jet Noir, Khost, Mad Masks, Michael X Christian with Gitane Demone, Nanochrist, Poetry of Thorns, Prole Position, Rachel Haywire, Red Fetish, Spatial Relation, This Cold Night, Ultra Arcanum, Vagonovozgatye, Venus Fly Trap, Warriors Of The Dystotheque, ZE:RO and myself.

Snapshots of a Surveillance Manifesto

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You might have stumbled into it in the header area, but if you haven’t: my first EP is out.Snapshots of a Surveillance Manifesto” has been in the making for something like one and a half years – definitely wasn’t one of my fast-moving projects but hey, it is now officially out, freely streamable and/or downloadable, packed with lots of goodies.. and I might have some additional points of interest to share (to further hammer my SEO flags into uncharted territories in the net, vast and infinite). Enjoy!

BEHIND-THE-SCENES: You might read a few things here about the EP you didn’t know but there’s a whole damn repository of BTS intel packed with the EP. As I’ve always loved wading knee-deep in Angelspit’s blipverts or the audio commentaries Blue Stahli packed with his releases and as I’ve had LOADS of different MP3 drafts from different stages of writing a song, I thought it would be a great thing to actually make a production diary for each and every song. This way you can hear how the first core loops sounded like, what the idea is behind each title or how Lensjammer, for example, was originally a jingle for a European Space Agency music competition. If you haven’t grabbed the prod diary yet, now is the time – enter your email address here and grab a hefty download!

COLLABORATION: I am really humbled to say this but it was one of my favourite musicians, Martin Bowes of Attrition (and Engram) who worked on the EP in terms of mixing and mastering (and additional production). He’s a great guy, definitely knows his trade and I’ve surely learned a lot during our time working on the EP tracks – we actually agreed at some point that the premix tracks could have easily been called industrial dub as I’ve suffocated them with a more than fair amount of reverb and decay. And it wasn’t just him to remix these tracks – I could also feature long-time industrial favourite The Mercy Cage on the EP with a buddy of mine from the London days, Lhasa Mencur (whose sound pack I also reviewed here earlier), Hungarian industrial veteran First Aid 4 Souls and the solidly-rocking Black Nail Cabaret. And the artist photos were shot by Balázs Kassai, as always – he’s not just a good friend (since high school, actually) but he’s also the guy who makes the best photos of my weirdly changing, coffee-deprived face. Period.

Damage. Photo: Balázs Kassai
Damage. Photo: Balázs Kassai

COVER: The front/back cover, the inlay and the logo (with additional pieces of artwork) was created by a long-time buddy of mine, Péter Sántha – the Hungarian readers might know him from LD50 and our collaboration on Carbonbonbons, a goth T-shirt brand. Peter had a great idea for creating an EP moodboard: he told me to pick a huge handful (25-50, maybe?) of industrial album covers that I like and find patterns in them when I feel I’ve selected enough. Weirdly enough, all of them feature screaming faces with protective eyegear. It turned out that his buddy Jeremy Falconer has a statue that would be just the thing for the album cover – and from that moment on we were pretty much set!

CRYPTO: As you might have guessed from the title, there’s an overarcing idea about today’s surveillance society in the EP. There was even a long phase of production during which I thought adding a crypto game to the EP would really boost everything, from downloads through SEO and exposure to national security flags. I really wanted to encode a long list of references and messages into the artwork, the music, the lyrics, basically everything – but as I don’t have the proper brain for crypto and I had noone to help me out, I just left the idea sunbathing somewhere far away. Still, the first idea that I came up with is still embedded, quite audibly, in Lensjammer and I’ve already gotten the first proper solution from it from an eager listener who’d like to remain nameless. Congratz!

DAW: I’m actually proud to say that the original tracks were done with Renoise. When I was making music in the mid-nineties (I’ve compiled the best tracks of that period under the title Track Record), I was working with FastTracker, a music-making software with a vertical workflow, looking much like Excel. Apparently that’s the workflow I can work with, as I do have trouble finding an easy way into horizontal. (And Ableton is a no-go, I was flirting out with BitWig Studio for a time, but Renoise is simply, simply the best.) And the lovely Renoise team even pimped the EP through their social channels, which is a nice touch, thanks guys!

And yeah, there’s more in the pipeline where this came from. Until the new release, stream the older ones from Soundcloud or Bandcamp or just download the full pack (there’s some nice endorsements there from Leaether Strip and Angelspit!) and spread the virus to your friends and neigbours! ROCK!

REVIEW: Angelspit – Cult of Fake

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TL;DR Angelspit finally made a club stomper album. Weird chord progressions, but very stompable, lyrics are golden Angelspit quality, very solid. Great musical surprises. Buy this baby now.

It’s quite the turn on-tune in-cop out experience to follow the industrial riot PA Angelspit, three steps behind, ears open. I got to know Zoog around the project’s early ‘Nurse Grenade‘ era and quickly endorsed how Angelspit always shared their method, workflow and creative processes to help the upcoming generation through that Desert of Anything But Not Just That One Thing. The blipverts and production diaries were a great insight into how an industrial musician works, and trust me, creativity aside, tips and tricks are always handy when it comes to studio time after working from 9 to 5.

So, as you can guess, I was sort of enthralled to hear Zoog tell me during one of our as-rare-as-cherished coffee-fueled conversations that he’s working on the most dancey Angelspit album so far. And, as files for CULT OF FAKE trickled in, I have to ensure you all, ladies and gents, he’s right. And as it happens, he’s right in the most twisted sense of the word. As always.

And mind you, Cult of Fake is still a 100% Angelspit release. It is ear- and watermarked with Doepfers and EMUs and a whole wall full of modulars, it’s still fueled by the anger and the frustration felt over how corporate agendas thwart the lives of The Few, the lyrics are still constructed meticulously and are still peppered with rhymes just enough to be able to roar them out loud as you’re drunk (which is the best proof of your lyrics being solid), Zoog’s vocals are recognizable as always and if it’s guitar, it’s obviously George Bikos, who else?

angelspit cult of fake album review

And thankfully, as far as progression goes, this is a very different album from The Product or Blood Death Ivory or anything before. It is a club stomper and in terms of rhythmics, it’s evened out – a steady 4/4 material overall and each track is worthy of a few remixes. On The List (She’s Not) is clearly in the top league – this is something pretty much in the vein of The Presets by way of Tankt and 90’s club tracks and lush female vocals, yet, unmistakeably Angelspit. Thanks For Your Cooperation opens the album with such a Skinny Puppy-esque diorama of weirdery that you’ll have to check your ID tags twice. Breath is the weird club hit that could instantly land in the TOP40 if its chord progression wasn’t turned upside down, flooded with diminished minors (which is just the name of my very sad industrial cover band, hands off!) My Little Blade sounds just like it escaped from a Hardcore Pong album with its crunchy 8-bit feel. And this is just four track out of the 12 – all of them being weirdly characteristic, yet equally bouncy and decent club material for your favourite bunker near you. Note: you might say that Cult of Fake actually sounds a wee bit like earlier albums like Krankhaus or Blood Death Ivory and you’ll be right to a certain degree, as Zoog re-used some of the percussive elements from the early days. Nothing like a good clang re-clanged!

Cult of Fake is out today, 6/6/2016, on Negative Gain. Look grateful.

Cinematic Series Vol. 2: Hacked Society Sample Pack REVIEW

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There’s a fair amount of sample packs conveying tough-ass industrial pounding or subtle microglitches trickling down your spine, but this one pack definitely stands out from the crowd that has CYBERPUNK written all over it. Lhasa Mencur‘s pack aptly named Cinematic Series Vol 2.:Hacked Society is in the smack middle of a fight between Deus Ex and Mr. Robot – and thankfully, neither of those are winning. (Or both. This is the grim future. I don’t actually know which scenario’s better.)

The pack is under half a gig (available formats are Ableton Live!, Acid Loops, Apple Loops/Aiff, MIDI, WAV), containing digi one-shots (perfect for setting the mood with sweepy bleeps and hi-freq sequences), effects (mostly those that you would hear in a hacker den, without the coffee machine sounds, the pizza cutters and anything porn-related, I love the typing sounds to bits) and vocal phrases – these are the samples that people more often than not mistake for speech samples from the otherwise brilliant cyberpunk series Mr. Robot. (I’m actually using one of these samples on my track ‘The Mark’ on my new EP that’s dropping tomorrow, but what you need to check out is a remix done by Lhasa himself that features more of his brilliant samples – I’ll update this review as the link goes public.)

Another surprising bit is a set of 8 construction kits, all of which scream “I should be on the new Deus Ex soundtrack!” And they should be. The demos made out of all these bits do have one major flaw, though: I want to buy Lhasa‘s album made for an imaginary cyberpunk game and he still hasn’t done it and these demos are the worst best teasers ever. Until he finally comes to his senses and makes an urban cyberpunk glitch-ambient album with an Asian influence, grab this baby and try to make the best of it. Because, even if the sounds do not connect with your project, it will definitely motivate you into making something better.

Overall, both the effects and the vocals reflect just a fair amount of urban grit, just enough dirt to get you knee-deep in Kowloon but all the construction kit elements give you just enough shine through the windowpanes to forget about all that urban decay. In any case, this is a solid library.

RATING: 4,5 out of 5 (LHASA, WHERE IS THE SOUNDTRACK ALBUM. NO 5 STARS UNTIL YOU MAKE ONE.)

Cinematic Series Vol 2.: Hacked Society is AVAILABLE here.

planetdamage.LIFESIGN (April 2016)

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It’s time to remove the stealth implant, otherwise I’ll forget I can switch it off and I’ll drown in the realm of Lost in Time and Space. (That’s a Lovecraftian board gaming reference right there.) It’s been four months(ish) that I last cared about having a blog and the reasons for the radio silence are endless – so, without excusing myself further (that never seems to work, at all, ever), here’s an Opening Hand of Awesome (which could as well be the name for my new post-rock cover band).

MUSIC

One of my worst decisions in life was to stop making music. One of the best ones was to take it up again. The result of that is my first EP entitled Snapshots of a Surveillance Manifesto that’s scheduled to be released early May – think oldschool industrial with some twists and tweaks. Here’s a front cover – designed by a friend, Peter Santha. Back in the days of LD50 we’ve been working on the goth brand Carbonbonbons (think Garbage Pail Kids, only in monochrome) and now we’re collaborating again. The cover (and the logo and everything that comes afterwards from his Photoshop of Foul Magick) is filled with oblique references, good luck finding them all. That head on the cover and the trailer images comes from a sculpture, done by Jez Falconer.

Mixing and mastering and additional production is by Martin Bowes of Attrition – which is an exhilarating thing, as his LP The Hidden Agenda is amongst my top 10 favourite albums, so it’s damn humbling to work with him on this. There are four original tracks on the EP with a few remixes to accompany them – I’ve already received wave files from Attrition, Black Nail Cabaret, First Aid 4 Souls and Lhasa Mencur and there are some more underway!

The EP will be free and apart from finding it on Bandcamp and Soundcloud, you’ll be able to download a bigger package from this site, complete with a production diary, demos, ringtones and whatnot. You can find 15-sec teasers on Instagram, such as this one below (find the others for The Mark and Firewalls here).

WORK

Been covering virtual reality, indie gaming and everything in between for 24.hu since December. My experiences with VR are quite ambivalent and I’ll share these with you in a later post.

damage_dk2

There’s also a fun podcast I’m involved with entitled 20 Minutes Into The Future – for all you English-speaking fellas there, I’m sad to say it’s all in Hungarian so you’ll have to make do with liking all our casts on Soundcloud and iTunes – they’re chock full of bad word jokes and post-6pm remarks apart from reactions to major and minor tech news from the globe. I still have a few projects under wraps I’d really love to talk about but I still can’t. Yes, books and scripts are among them and music seems to gain a bigger priority than making infographics. Thankfully.

GAMES

Have I told you guys about my budding board game infection? No? Well, I did now. I have it. Fermenting with friends over a table looking at a half-destroyed planet (Eldritch Horror) or a coed flatshare of goth models (Chez Geek/Chez Goth) or just Petri dishes full of virii (Pandemic) is a great way to pass the time (and also, my fifth childhood phase). These are the nine biggest favourites, by the way.

damage_bg_fave

SITE

After having used Arthemia for a loooong time, I’ve decided to switch to another WordPress theme that greatly helps with giving a new life to this blog. The Fox keeps it more densejournalish (yes, this is a word now) and doesn’t feel like it’s breathing down my neck, urging me to write two more posts every day. I have more things to say now so prepare to have it in your face, in one way or another. Heh heh. Heh. Hhhhrh. The header and the logo were also handmade by Peter Santha, so show him some love. And now, let us set sail to Sanctuary!

Always,
Damage

planetdamage: this was 2015 (in pictures, data and lists)

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Hello, cyberpunks, rivetheads, industrial-and-experimental-lovers and weird-people. This blog was more or less a wasteland in 2k15 – content was posted on Facebook or Instagram with a lot of time idly spent in front of a keyboard trying to warp up THAT BEST BASSLINE. Until I conjure up the skills of Bill Leeb (because with basslines that man is GOD), here’s a summary of what happened this year.

planetdamage_2015_001_jan

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Music Players for Android that Every Music Fan Should Know

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android
Music players are undoubtedly one of the most important apps on any mobile phone. They help ensure you can get lost in your chosen sounds as you go about your daily activities. With music, everything seems a little better, from workouts to gaming. These days, poker games on PlayStation feature incredible music, the soundtracks on PayPal casinos online are awesome too. This underlines an understanding of the importance of music on the part of these companies. It is funny that Android phones, so music focused, don’t come with better music players.

Nothing beats being able to put together your choice selection of music. Android users do not automatically enjoy this privilege as the built-in music player is rather bare. Many users, therefore, have to rely on other music apps. In this piece we will take a look at some of the best music players on Android; the ones you need to know about as a music fan.

Shuttle Music Player
This is a premium music player for Android. It is a sleek app with a neat interface that is arguably the most intuitive on this list. The interface is supported by high-value performance as well. It has a very rich feature list that includes lyrics support, gapless playback, sleep timer, and a 6-band equalizer with bass boost.

Poweramp Music Player
If you are looking for a feature-rich music player on Android, this has to be top on your list. It has an extensive list of features and sports a warm interface. Some of its most notable features include gapless playback, crossfade, stereo expansion, theme support, a 10-band optimized graphical equalizer and plenty of other options.. This is the music player of choice if you are looking for a customisable player.

DoubleTwist Music Player
This is one of the most popular music players in the Play Store, and for good reasons too. It offers syncing abilities on iTunes and supports podcast management. It also has a beautiful, easy-to-use and intuitive interface. If you want something different from your local library, navigate to the music subscription service on the app known as Magic Radio.

Equalizer + mp3 player
This music player features a vintage interface. As the name suggests, it is heavily focused on the equalizer as it doubles as a music player and a frequency equalizer. The app features a 5-band equalizer with 10 pre-sets and a powerful bass amplifier. Users can set their own preferences. Some of the other options of the app include background player mode, visualizer window, media bass volume control, professional sound rendering, contextual music search and plenty of other options to keep you music enthusiasts entranced.

Player Pro
This is a hybrid music player that offers video playback as well. It comfortably caters for all your music and video needs through its light interface. The PlayerPro music player comes with a sizeable number of codecs with some of its features including a 10 band graphical equalizer, sleep timer, gestures, mixable audio effects, tag editing, and skin support.

With these music players, you will be able to get more out your music collection on your Android device.

VooFoo Studios Promises to Change the Face of Poker with Pure Hold’Em

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When the PlayStation Blog announced that Pure Hold’Em would be coming to PS4 later this year, the console-playing poker community nearly lost its mind. Developed by VooFoo Studios, the makers of Pure Pool, the game was hyped to be the definitive poker game on the PS4 – not just because of its features, but because it would actually be the first of its kind ever seen.

“We’re proud of the high level of expectation on every new VooFoo release and we’re not holding back on stunning visuals, silky-smooth gameplay or the purity of the experience,” said VooFoo Studios’ online community manager, Emily Crees, back in February when the game was first announced. Rather than simply playing against computers, as was often the case with other console poker games, Pure Hold’Em was set to have full online multiplayer support, allowing players to create tournaments with 8 of their friends, or simply hop in and join strangers in quick games. With poker being such a popular game nowadays, many gamers were quick to come to the developers, excitedly asking questions about what else they could do in the game.

Among the biggest questions potential players had was, “Can we play for real money?” And unfortunately, Emily said that users would have to play for in-game credits, and while no information was given on whether or not users would have the chance to replenish in-game credits with store credits for PSN, Emily assured players that “[they’ve] also included a High/Low game you can play to gain daily extra credits so you can start over!” The game also includes a Tutorial Setting, where players new to the game can learn about hand ranking and the rules of the game, in the hopes of winning the pot and owning the tables, from the lowly Jokers Tables up to the Masters Tournaments. Poker tournaments have become an indispensable feature in today’s casual poker games with online casino operators introducing several different tournament platforms that players can join at any time. While it’s unclear if Pure Hold’Em will have community tournaments as well, it’s a feature that would be greatly appreciated.

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While Emily said that they were yet to finalize the feature list for the game, she did maintain that customization was a key feature to look out for. “Our artists have been hard at work creating two different environments to play in – the atmospheric casino, and for those of you who reach the prestigious Aces and Masters table you can advance up into the beautiful VIP penthouse,” she said. Players could then move on to customizing everything from the colors and patterns of the felt table, to the decks and chips being used. In fact, two months ago, VooFoo even launched a competition with NowGamer.com, which gave lucky fans the chance to get their own poker chip set as a DLC, as well as win an Xbox One or a PS4.

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Other features, such as the ability to video chat while you play at tournaments, are still being considered, and it seems like the game will stay in development for quite some time. With the weight of being the first next-gen poker game ever built hanging over their shoulders, however, it’s understandable that VooFoo is taking their time to create a game that they can be proud of. What features would you like to see in Pure Hold’Em?

REVIEW: Architect – Neon EP (2015)

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TL;DR Get this and let it grow in your head. If it feels out of place, that’s good, you’ll appreciate the little details in due time.

This is not neon. This is blue and grey, far from the strobe lights – this is the dark corner at the partyplace behind the big granite column where you find the entrance to another hall, the DJs playing on high-end gears and the decoration looks all Zaha Hadid but there are windowglasses on the walls that look like human skin, screeching and lighting up when you touch them. This is what Architect’s Neon EP feels like. More like blacklight.

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Short story long: Daniel Myer’s stuff has always been really influential on how I got the be the future-eating bastard that I am and I’m coming from the camp where his albums Solutions for a Small Planet & Vertical Theory are GOD. So the title track Neon obviously hit a hearty-warm note, not only because of its typical Haujobbish feel of Automatic Jack jury-rigging technology from the spare parts of a holodeck, two unlicensed guns, diminished chords and manly sadness (if this doesn’t ring any bells, go read William Gibson’s short story Burning Chrome NOW), but also because it features the vocals of Black Nail Cabaret frontmistress Emke who I have the pleasure of knowing and calling her a great influence. All in all, a match made in heaven!

This EP smashes this track face first into the brick wall of complete reinterpretation. Frank Riggio‘s version is a violin-filled dramatic catharsis, Erich Zann-style, a soundtrack version of a memory – 5AM, Berlin, waiting for the airport U-Bahn as you see people trying to cope with morning and life in general. Phracture‘s tom- and mid-filled glitchy beat take is how you swoosh out to the airport, seeing the world outside gain speed. And sticking to this memory, Basementgrrr‘s version is the first coffee, with sub-drone guitars and a rocky feel, operating with tension, yet never doing a chorus touchdown that would calm you. Standing on the top of Burj Dubai, pondering on how to jump – horizontal or vertical? (Yep, remixes are tricky pills. Adore these pills.) Normotone’s take would be the frantic rush through Schönefeld to get to your plane, calculating every parkour trick pre-realtime. If you thought Mirror’s Edge would be a fake endorphin rush, I really dare you to try this. Solid, rigid beats, even bouncier than the club version.

Be prepared for more beats – there’s a Niels Binias version of Hummingbird (Kruder & Dorfmeister-y chillout on hermit hash) and two versions of Snow – Denny Engler‘s clubby take for night rides (especially loving the filtered pianos) and a 3rd drift version, which sounds a lot like how Cleaner (a slightly more cyberpunkish version of Haujobb) would sound nowadays, consider this a soundtrack for a Finnish drone strike under a steel sky.

pd.LIFESIGN (2015 march)

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Do you know that painting that has a monstrous, green biotrain swooshing and screaming on its tracks straight into oblivion with the Pripyat wheel in the background? It is also stiff in all the wrong places and there’s an orgy in the background with people and things, I guess, but if I don’t remember well, it’s just glitch with a lot of flesh-coloured curves. Which is usually the definition for sex. Oh hello, by the way. I AM THAT TRAIN.

If I stopped writing here, it would be the best blogpost I’ve written in a long time and I’d call it Loco Electro and make a teeshirt about it with fluorescent ink and everything. Luckily for you, I have the tendency to push things down the entropy slope. So, promise: no promises about further projects, only masturbating with links pointing to final products. I just deleted half a paragraph with promises about further projects. Life is quite an endless mixture of translations, copywriting, infographics design, book writing and making more music, which makes it extremely hard to focus on one single thing and I could have learned this from any RPG in the 90’s that dual-class characters are the bane of class proficiency and triple-class characters are fodder. And as it happens, I’m desperately fighting to get better in graphic design AND music AND writing. I could play level 9000 intergalactic battles with anyone now who’d say specialization might be the best idea now. They’d be right, of course. That’s the worst part of it.

And I’m also asking questions, such as: why was Jupiter Ascending such a poorly written movie and why is Person of Interest still the best cyberpunk series left standing? And True Detective Season 2 really has an orgy scene, but does it feature tentacles? And when will I properly have the creative kick to finalize the first card game we’re working on? And why didn’t I know that Emmon released an album last year entitled Aon? Aaaand will I be happy when the new Ghost in the Shell movie comes out?

Board game nights are also a thing now and it’s mostly been Eldritch Horror that kept my crew mumbling for the past month or so, because fthagn. If you have some great ideas about gothic/horror/cyberpunk board/cardgames, especially ones that are not especially mainstream, I’d love to hear about them (and here’s a BGG profile for reference)! Still don’t know whether it would be a smart idea to settle for Android: Netrunner – it is the living epitome of the cyberpunk LCG but I simply don’t have the time for deckbuilding and the two-player limitation is not something I like working with.

And here’s a Youth Code live vid, because Sarah just turned 30 yesterday (HAPPY MEGA MENTAL BIRTHDAY, SARAH!) and I just can’t get enough of them. And that’s also the very first track, Keep Falling Apart that really pulled me in and never really let me go ever since.

Funny how it turns out that you guys are still reading this and are actually hungry for more. I know that many of you can’t actually contact me or life is a lot faster where you work and directly getting back at bloggers is just not something that you do in 2015 anymore, but hey, thanks for the feedback – it actually means a fucking lot to me. 2015 = VERY STRANGE, UNEVEN, UNBALANCED TIMES. Let’s make the best out of that.

STEAM SALES: 38 cyberpunk games for the taking until March 20th

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72 hours to go before finally succumbing to a Steam sale as you do, you always do. So do I. Steam now offers 38 cyberpunk…ish games cheaper, some at hilariously great prices and some of them just bring tears of joy to my eyes.

BLOODNET, for example, was and still is, my favourite retro adventure/RPG. It’s basically a vampire story set in a cyberpunk North-Am setting, set against the ticking clock. In 2015 its visuals are definitely nowhere near today’s expectations but what it lacks in looks, it definitely delivers in plot, characters and all the little details that colour the world alive. Varied characters with tons of motivations, attitude, style.. very, very different than today’s adventure games. And of course, back in the 90s players had to figure out stuff for themselves and get used to dying A LOT.. something that today’s players are not good at making friends with. If I had to pick only one, it would be Bloodnet – and now it’s even cheaper than it usually is on GOG. (link)

On the other hand, a lot of my friends (and many reacting to the Steam sales news) were focused on two games: GEMINI RUE and E.Y.E. DIVINE CYBERMANCY: the former being a 2D adventure side-scroller, while the latter’s a first-person shooter. I have to admit I didn’t finish my Gemini Rue playthrough, because I got distracted a few hours into the plot and I definitely didn’t get around to playing E.Y.E. which feels and looks a lot like a WH40K action stomper. Definitely recommending these two, as well! (GR link, E.Y.E. link)

But there’s even more, so you can add games to your library such as MIRROR’S EDGE, the definitive cyberpunk parkour game that’s extremely well-polished, plays well, has an upcoming sequel and I simply loved this version of its theme song; DEUS EX HUMAN REVOLUTION, the one that the whole world seems to like and I’m the only person who didn’t – here’s my longer review about it – but it’s definitely worth a shot, even more so that its soundtrack is clearly on par with Vangelis’ Blade Runner OST; FAR CRY 3: BLOOD DRAGON, a whole-hearted FPS homage to 80’s action movies that doesn’t take itself seriously at all for even one second; SYSTEM SHOCK 2 with the most sinister bitch-ass AI ever put to a computer screen (together with every one of them, because they seem to be bitch-ass-eviling humanity with an off-the-shelf dislike for anything that has endorphins); HACKER EVOLUTION, a hacker simulator that’s clearly based on Introversion’s groundbreaking UPLINK and seems to have its own devoted followers; and a whole lot more!

Go, spend your new yens on mind fodder until March 20th! (Steam cyberpunk sale)

NEW MUSIC: a remix for Clayfeet

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Blog-fast ends now! I’m quite happy to announce that I’m nearing completion of several projects I’ve been working on for the past few months. One of them, one completely finished, is a remix I did for a Hungarian alternative/new wave/dark pop group named CLAYFEET: we met through my long-time partner-in-absurd Dawe_, started talking about DAWs and VSTis and, fast-forwarding the story by a few weeks, this is where we ended up. (Or this is where we actually begin.)

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Photo: Zoltán Miklóska

My weapon of choice was Renoise, as always, taking the vocal stems and the chords and ditching everything else, basically turning the original synthpoppy bash into something a lot bouncier. Working on this was a lot of fun, learned a lot about 1) EQing 2) giving pop song ideas a structure 3) layering everything with literally everything and then 4) learning how to delete at least 30% of my original tracks because it’s just way too thick and overstacked.

By the way, you definitely have to check out Clayfeet’s Bandcamp as it has a motherload of great tracks to listen to: and here’s the Severance single my remix is featured on. Play it until you’re sore! (And, oh, here’s a whole gallery on how they’re working on their tracks, hehe.)

More remixes and tracks are on the way: until they see the daylight, show some pimpage and love for these tracks!

REGULAR RECAP ROMP [2015.004]

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Weekly news recap from Planet://Damage, a magnet of cyberpunk, glitch, music production and anything else that can look black and neon-tinted at the same time. Enjoy your stay.

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This week’s “best find” title goes hands down to the Mothmeister duo. Their seriously thwarted taxidermy photos depict a world not unlike the one I’m working on in my novel at the moment and their photos are brilliant, both technically and aesthetically. And they’re clearly disturbing, according to a lot of commenters who blame it on their fear of clowns, a phobia I’m unable to relate to, maybe because I wasn’t scared of It in the first place? Still, if you’re as much in awe as I am (and I hope you are), go check out the post on BoredPanda that began it all, then go and follow Mothmeister on Instagram!

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REVIEW: Black Nail Cabaret – Satisfaction EP (2014)

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Black Nail Cabaret‘s singer-and-songwriter Emke has been something of an example to me, of how to stick with one idea and run with it until your feet bleed and then run some more: she’s taken the synth noir girl duo Black Nail Cabaret, one of Hungary’s best-kept secrets to a great length, I still remember how they started out in an era when our alternative scene had its neon-filled heydays.
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REGULAR RECAP ROMP [2015.002]

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Weekly news recap from Planet://Damage, a magnet of cyberpunk, glitch, music production and anything else that can look black and neon-tinted at the same time. Enjoy your stay.

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Scarlett Johansson is reported to play Motoko Kusanagi in DreamWorks’ live-action reinterpretation of GHOST IN THE SHELL and boy, did that raise an army of haters on the cyberpunk and anime boards. I remember one similar occasion from a few years back, when there were talks of Hayden Christensen playing Case in the Neuromancer movie (which is supposed to be directed by Vincenzo Natali and insiders have been really silent about that one) and the vocal minorify of the interwebs went berzerk ballistic on his ass. Ramifications for that aside, it’s interesting to see how anime stereotypes and gender conditioning gets in the way for people to actually be able to imagine how Johansson could very well do the Major. One of last year’s best movie experiences for me was clearly UNDER THE SKIN, a film of Kubrickesque dark chemistry with a hearty vat of WTF. If she could pull THAT off, Kusanagi’s going to be a relatively easy ride. Check this Variety source with a lot of namedropping.

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this was 2014: dreams in pockets

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i have a hyper-velocity religion metric rack
i caught the centre bullet first
and i wonder what i’m going through

It’s been a blink of a blind eye, 2014. I’ve succumbed to the whole fiftyfiftyish conundrum this year: [there’s a good side to bad and a bad side to good to equalish amounts, so all is good at the end]. Regardless, this year’s been 15% good, 85% bad and the whole conundrum can go fuck itself, bidding it kthxbai with the last days of 2k14. Even wording this makes me feel… strange. My year in London made me realize quite fast that even though in Hungary we are well used to drama blogging, trauma news and catastrophy awareness, that’s less the case, stabbing westwards – everyone has someone who’s dying and noone puts it in the shopwindow. So I really sat down, shrink theory and all, to count the things that were good (good first!) and bad – yeah, it was still a bad year. Which makes the good points stronger. And makes me want to ditch the half-assed waiting even more and launch the products and projects we’ve been brainstorming in times of woe, the tracks I was composing at post-3am insomnia bubbles, the blog posts I’ve never posted, the slam poetry drafts that ended up in the strangest mailboxes on the strangest hilltops. (Yes, I can hear you reaching out and listening.)

Q3-Q4 was something I can easily call a period of the dark night of the soul, with all its occult implications and whatnot but it sounds needlessly dramatic so I opened up my mega folder of EBM, industrial and new beat to find a nineties’ release title that fits this year. I really wanted to stick to Skinny Puppy releases (after their Eye Vs Spy tour with Front Line Assembly, Haujobb and Youth Code I can only hope they’ll repeat that in Europe in 2015!) but Too Dark Park and Last Rights or even Inquisition sounded way too catastrophe-ridden.. so I stuck with Dreams in Pockets, an EP by Insekt, from 1993. Those dreams might even be hatching, as we speak.

KLING KLANG

Better known as “work”. My amazing friend TheLastLaugh Julie is behind this wording: and this is a very vocal thank-you to her that she helped me fight through the very fucking worst weeks of this year. I owe you a lot for that and everything else, Jules ;)

  • Wrote a new book, it’s non-fiction and it needs some extra insight and addition from others, but it’s mostly ready. 2015 Q1 will be about wrapping that up and either finding a publisher or releasing it independently (on Amazon, most probably.. do you guys have any ideas, insight or experience re:self-publishing?). A note to all my friends on this globe and beyond: it’s in English! Those of you on Instagram: you might have seen a few thumbnails already!
  • My first novel is still in synopsis form – but it’s gotten a lot more wicked since I turned my ideas into plot summary words this January. All the trauma experiences I had this year (I have more lives than a feline) gave me a great idea and mindset for the first chapter. Yes, it’s going to be a head-on mindfuck, yes it’s also related to new technology and it’s also related to ancient tech we still haven’t figured out how to use decently (and no I’m not talking about organic anal bleach here). Stay tuned for more.
  • Had a number of lectures and talks this year: re-visited International Business School Budapest to teach youngsters about social media, PR pitfalls and digital marketing; talked about music profiling at a Virus event hosted by Kati Oltai and properly mindwarped some five hundred devs about the future of mobile tech at HWSW!App – and the list goes on.
  • I’m NDA’d about a lot of things I did this year – but they mostly had to do with infographics and scripts. I’ll let you guys know more once we get greenlit for one of the projects that we especially liked working on. (We’ve been expecting that email in December, guess we have to wait some more.)

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Photo: HWSW.

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Photo: @aorcsik.

MUSIC

Music was probably the best thing that happened to me this year. I stopped writing music in 1997 and that was one of the worst decisions I made that promptly started a domino of many, much more worse decisions. So I just decided that all the time I spent procrastinating with social media, gaming and whatever else could be put to proper use with turning off the internet and going back to mad audio knob-fiddling! Best times ever.

  • Bought RENOISE and got a M-Audio Oxygen 49 controller and started jotting down ideas. Renoise is goddamn amazing! When I was making tracks back in the days, I mostly used FastTracker, so getting back to a very similar workflow and arrangement is something that appeals to me a lot. Also, cEvin Key of Skinny Puppy, Download and SubCon uses and endorses Renoise, so what could really go wrong?
  • I have a lot of ideas and patterns and half-songs (stored in either Renoise or CAUSTIC, another great music making software, not as complex as Renoise but infinitely fun, especially its modular synth module!) Those on Instagram: a couple of 15-sec blips are posted there and you might notice that I love arps a lot.
  • The first track I made this year is entitled GLITCH BABY GO, a complete rework of Syskon from quite a few years back. My musician friends were totally supportive and gave me great feedback – thank you Zoog/Angelspit, Istvan from FA4S, Lhasa Mencur, Emke/Black Nail Cabaret and all you other soundmakers, you know who you are!

  • A remix is in the making and another remix for a 2015 release is being talked about. Watch this space for more strangeness!

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PERSONAL

Total disaster, a trainwreck. I might happily add, though, that I really have the life expectancy of a whole ballroom of cats. If I have any guardian angels, chances are, they’re very, very drunk by this time of year. Not really wanting to add specifics. Move on, everyone. Oh yeah, one more thing to add: this year’s SHE PAST AWAY and DEATH IN JUNE gigs were great! Also Björk’s Biophilia live screenings were touching beyond words. Yep, we went to see it twice with the amazing Brigiri. And now I want to buy hang drums.

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Do I get an achievement for ending up in a crossword puzzle? (Thx, Kolos, I owe you one for this :))

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Funny how I always end up not having photos about me and my friends together (or myself), so I’m really happy to have this – straightening the LDN/BUD axis a bit with Emke and K. Mostly talking about Arturia, Nordleads and mike sensitivities, if I remember right. AND Star Wars.

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Yeah, still hiding circuitry under slabs of colored paper.

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And that’s a new creative corner. Without the tee. Usually.

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And something of an inspiration board that I quickly compiled from all the flyers and cards I found while figuring out where I might have put my notes from a few years ago. Nope, didn’t find it, but this one totally made the search worthwhile.

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People are usually startled when they see this. The lodge has mostly been closed this year so the few people who have actually seen this were… mostly baffled. Good, but completely beside the point.

BEST MUSIC THIS YEAR?

Expect a post about this super soon: Angelspit, Black Nail Cabaret, Biosphere, The Future Sound of London or Perturbator released some amazing music this year and they deserve your attention and hard-earned YouTube money. If it’s not this year, it’s early next year. Beware! Also, some terrific S13 mixes to end up in my ears this year!

All the more fun to look forward to in 2015, hopefully with less woe, goofing off and leaving good ideas unfinished. Not really a fan of making new-year’s-promises but if I can keep up these three, gods save you all, hahaha. Thanks to all the lovely friends, acquaintances and the beautiful people for keeping the pumps working.

HUMANMEAT IS NEONGREEN, 2015 IS HAVOK.

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NEW MUSIC: Glitch Baby Go

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Hello, friends, stalkers, random link waltzers, intelligence community ninjas and various demons with Minimoog filters as their filth neurons. On top of the page there’s a new track called GLITCH BABY GO that I did – something I was basically working on in September (apart from a load of freelance design & script works for zaibatsus). I loved working on that as I haven’t been properly pouring out my headmeat babies through music, only through words or graphic design – this was definitely a different approach. (One that requires less coffee but more headphones, then meeting more people to listen to your track on their phones, tablets, computers, car stereo, normal stereo, partyplace and the occult little sound system you made from their cat’s hymen.)

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Most of my musician or producer friends I was talking to were usually advocates of one DAW over the others: this obviously saying a lot about their workflow or underlying concept of production. Most recommendations were clearly pointing towards Ableton, a few towards FL Studio… and my choice to work with Renoise, a DAW that basically grew out of oldschool tracker software made my friends question my common sense, because writing music in anything that looks like Excel is just bad karma, they said. Well, I grew up on FastTracker and whenever I hear music it runs from top to bottom in my head, not from left to right. That’s one thing. The other is: Renoise does look a bit more intimidating than Ableton but that sort of non-userfriendly and very mathematical feel makes you go more creative and more understanding of what you’re trying to accomplish. No, it’s not easy but for people who love their obsctacles in order to make them more creative, it’s a godsend.

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Glitch Baby Go grew out of Syskon, one of my favourite tracks that I’ve done back in the 90s. Changed most of the instruments, kicks, turned the bassline from a collection of three very similar offset-shifted bass samples to a combination of three very different sounding instruments, added a lot of samples from William Gibson’s Neuromancer audiobook and some glitch vocals, did some mastering… I particularly liked messing around with the Glitchmachines Hysteresis glitch delay and the FerricTDS tape dynamics simulator, both VST plugins free.

Good glitching – more stuff coming up soon. Hopefully sooner than later. Heh heh. Heh. Hrrrr.

DAMAGE CAPTURE FILE 03: a tree in the shape of WTF [cyberpunk, glitch and counterculture]

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Hello. Etape 3 for Capture File: a coffeebreakful voyeurism into cultural products of cyberpunk, futurepresent, glitch culture and whatnot, every Friday from now on in the eurozone. This week: @dawe_’s idea of what it can be like in my head nowadays in the form of a Japanese abstract/glitch video (above, HiDM2_9 by Japanese visual cacophony masters BRDG), followed by stuff like: a possible reason for the Neuromancer movie’s delay, news about the Blade Runner 2 script, loads of music finds and some music production links as well. If you have anything to add, share or comment, do so in the comments or drop me a mail to info@planedamage.com. And, yeah, have a great weekend.

BALLISTIC AUDIO LOOT:

My recent ballistic audio loot is pretty much governed by a refueled interest to write music again. I was into *FastTracker 2.08 a lot at the end of the nineties (you can check some of *my stuff I’ve uploaded to Soundcloud), a bit of *Rebirth.. and after reacting quite badly to a Hungarian music producer’s reponse (who thought that you can only make music with real gear, not softsynths… a year later Yonderboi’s LP came out, all done on a single PC… fate is apparently not without a sense of irony) I finished writing music. Time to re-evaluate. So I’m pretty much motivated by lots of oldschool stuff at the moment. (Or I’m just getting old and nostalgic, could be either at this point.)

VANDALAZE‘s new EP “Dog Jerk” is something I’ve listened to a lot on Bandcamp recently.. love the cheesy 80s sound with the industrialish/cyberpunkish overtones Cory flavours his tracks with – combine that with the Dog Jerk music video’s look that clearly has a lot in common with early MTV days, it\s just a must-have. Review will be coming up soon on it, until that, *grab this EP from slimetrax.bandcamp!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgPHVTDjbFA

Synthwave, outrun electro, retro electro or however you call it, a heartfelt return to the 80’s pop/synth sound is making a comeback now and I’ve been listening around for powerful artists.. if you want to take a quick bite, *PERTURBATOR is the guy you’ll need. Amazing production quality, great tracks, very coherent production, mind-blowing atmosphere. His recent new album Dangerous Days is a further proof of godlike qualities. If you want to grab more synthwave stuff, try *CARPENTER BRUT or *VOGEL.

There’s always room on my Nexus for soothing ambients. Pete Namlook & Mixmaster Morris’ project DREAMFISH is something I don’t delete from my music-storing devices ever, but here’s a close contender, the first track off the 2011 album “Someone Gave Me Religion” by Arnaud Rebotini (of the Black Strobe fame). Delete the ambient channel from GTA IV and play this in your car on repeat! (As a subtle side effect, it’s gonna rain. Always.)

I have a lot of demoscene music in my queue, but this one should be the very first, a mixtape of Amiga tracks with a whole lot of beat to them… and be prepared for some great demoscene materials in the upcoming Capture Files!

MOVIE NEWS:

Opinions on AUTOMATA, the latest android-craze movie featuring Antonio Banderas went (and are still going) from fiery to icy.. personally I would really love to see a different and realistic take on AI portrayal, without big budget movie clichés, as a form of compromising for a wider audience. The possibility is there but I won’t say anything until more materials emerge… shown from October 10th in the USA. And as for other news:

  • Minority Report TV show reportedly in development: “The director is reportedly working to turn his classic sci-fi film into a television show, which would be produced by his company Amblin Entertainment. Amblin is reportedly looking toward Max Borenstein, writer of this year’s Godzilla, to write and create the series — it isn’t clear if Borenstein has signed on just yet, but he has been thanking people who congratulate him on Twitter.
  • Peter Hoffman Can’t Escape Prosecution Over Film Tax Credit Fraud: Hoffman, who is an executive producer on the upcoming $60 million budgeted Neuromancer, is known as an important middleman between Louisiana tax breaks and film companies. The case figures to be closely watched by insiders.
  • Blade Runner 2 script finished and “damn good” according to Ridley Scott: The story will bring back Harrison Ford, who starred in the 1982 film as one of the eponymous replicant hunters. Scott says that Ford’s character is “a survivor after all these years,” which, certainly, is a curious fact in and of itself given the ambiguous ending of certain cuts of the film.

MUSIC TO LOOK OUT FOR:

*THE FUTURE SOUND OF LONDON, one of my favourite projects of all time, returns with Environment Five, an album that contains 13 all-new tracks that were composed in the first half of 2014! It’s a concept album focusing on “the space / time / dimension that exists when we die”. That’s gonna be some real interesting bardo work when this gets released on September 15th!

Texan splatter industrial gods *MENTALLO & THE FIXER release the 3CD pack `*Zothera` on Alfa Matrix this autumn. Two CDs contain their seminal albums Revelations 23 and Where Angels Fear to Tread, whereas the third CD entitled Apocrypha would contain rarities, remixes and the like. Release: Sep 26th, expect a review a lot sooner!

New-wave EBM powerhouse duo *YOUTH CODE are about to punch us all in the face with their new EP “A Place to Stand” that comes to us sooner than a month via *Dais. Pitchfork *shared a track off the new LP (embedded on top) – is that an indication as to where the new LP is headed? Release: Sep 23th!

*Tympanik Audio‘s always amazingly cerebral compilation Emerging Organisms just got to its fifth etape. Contains stuff from a whole generation of great new artists, from Zinovia to Idlefon, from Tangent to Ocoeur… release: Oct 7th!

STUFF THAT WILL SEND YOU REELING:

Mike Winkelmann aka *beeple. His stuff came to me on half a dozen platforms in a week or so, so I have to share his greatness with you: his site’s *here and one of the best sites this year, The Creators Project, recently released *this post about him.

These are “audio life forms”, 3D objects that react to bird sounds in a droolingly glitchy matter. Amazing. Visualizing is done by Andy Thomas who shared a lot more from his amazing work *on his site.

cEvin Key of *Skinny Puppy telling great stuff about the bass grandiosity of *SubPac and the not so great stuff about how touring can turn your ears into flipflops.

Facial projection mapping. I got this from literally everyone, a bit sad that I ended up sharing this with you a lot later.

MUSIC PRODUCTION LINKS
A buddy of mine started writing music in *FRACT OSC (which is a game about returning sound into a silent world and also about setting up a sequencer and some oscillators in the meanwhile) and I’m busy making an ambient tracks with *Caustic‘s Modular synth but I fail every time because the loop I made sounds so good I just put it on repeat while I’m working on my new book and then two hours later I realize I didn’t tweak a single knob. Caustic’s actually free for PC, so feel free to download it and have a go, the *YouTube tutorials are AMAZING.

GM_QUADRANT_WS1

It’s one thing that the *Glitchmachines site is full of amazing high-res wallpapers (they’re not categorized as wallpapers per se, but it’s hard not to use them as wallpapers when they lok this good) but they also have a HUGE batch of free sample packs (around 1.5 gigs altogether) and also two great plugins, one for buffer effect, the other one’s for glitch delay. I’m weeping now, obviously.

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