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REVIEW: Angelspit – Cult of Fake

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angelspit cult of fake album review

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?

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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.

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.

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)

IDN V20N3: The Music Graphic Issue

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When the music has to stop — or does it?
Recorded music has always been packaged, from the very earliest days when wax cylinders came in cardboard tubes, and has therefore always involved designers. In the palmy days of vinyl LPs with sometimes stunning cover art and often erudite liner notes, the presentation was almost as important as the product.

But with the industry morphing so rapidly into the field of digital-download delivery, where do the graphics come in now? This is a burning question for all those working in the area of visually representing music. To see what their answers are, read this feature story, which solicits the views of seven specialist music designers.

More spreads for IdN issue v20n3 at magspreads.net.
More info here.
Buy it here.

CYBERPUNK: New Deus Ex game `The Fall` … for iOS

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The Deus Ex universe just got a stillbirth. Oh wait, right. Political correctness. Sacrificing street grime on investor paychecks, the new Deus Ex game, elegantly demo’d in the video above looks very much like a highly interactive ad for James Swallow’s Icarus Effect. Signature yellow-and-brown, it is brazen in its looks, LEGO-like implants and its fight mechanism with the well-known takedowns – looking fiercely mild and terribly, horridly bland. Best thing about the new Deus Ex revival? Still Michael McCann’s brilliant soundtrack, the OST I once claimed to be on par with Vangelis’ Blade Runner score. Haven’t changed my mind. Note: read my review on Deus Ex: Human Revolution. It was a while ago – sad to inform you it’s sort of still very true.

PS: Just found this great interview with McCann about the DE:HR OST.

44 abstract, futuristic & cyberpunk Android games that have the Edge

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Hey hey neon walkers and glitch babes – haven’t you seen a summary of all the cyberpunk-related games on Android? Good, because I haven’t, either. Time to change that, then – from virus splicing to implant surgeries, bank hackings to lightcycle grid races, here’s a list of 44 abstract, futuristic & cyberpunk Android games that have the Edge. Mostly casual. Mostly.
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PERSONAL: laptop décor

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I usually make a lot of friends furious when I deface my laptops with stickers. The last one I wrote Damage Report on was covered with Angelspit, Psylo, Ant-Zen and a home-made Barbelith one with a fairly vibrant Enochian Aemeth sigil that’s attributed to Queen Elizabeth’s court magician John Dee – my new one was dressed by Angelspit, Amelia Arsenic’s Miss X Laboratories, Stickerbomb Monsters (bought at Magma Books) and stuff I found by spending half an hour with Redbubble’s cyberpunk sticker inventory.

Do you have stickers that I need, might need or should need? Get in touch.

Warren Ellis `Science Gangster` T-Shirt: get one while you can!

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Barely controlled and rarely safe, science has sent us to collect her protection money. Enjoy making your friends run screaming from your radioactive perforation mechanism!

Image is about nine inches wide and professionally silk screened in light blue glow-in-the-dark ink on 100% cotton black shirts. Brought to you by Warren with design by Ariana.

This came in via Warren’s newsletter and if you need help with tee brand and how they fit – here’s a helpful article on Customink.com about Hanes, American Apparel and Gildan, I went for American Apparel just because it’s a tad less heavyweight. (Get the Science Ganster teeshirt from Diesel Sweeties!)

MUSIC MAKING: COSMOSf, a graphical morphing engine for sound

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“Stochastic morphing with distribution range for altering the morphing position, speed and interpolation control. Built-in mathematical functions to automatically and precisely move the morphing pointer in the space. Precise audio rate parameter update with the possibility of reaching amazing morphing speeds (44100times a second!) turns Cosmosƒ into a super oscillator by accumulating up to 4 different presets in heterogeneous micro event mixing mode prior to the morphing phase. It delivers an unheard medium by reaching the untouched points of the sonic universe.” (via evolver.fm)

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BIKE CONCEPT: Audi Bike

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2012 AUDI e-bike

Introducing the new product this year from the Audi design. Two wheel cleaner and an unusually bright and aggressive means of overcoming obstacles and active lifestyles – E-Bike Wörthersee. Bike show at the annual exhibition and presentation of models of Volkswagen, Audi, Seat, Skoda. In the combined cycle technology and a variety of excellent performance and speed that Audi had learned from his extensive experience in motorsports. (more at bike-trend.com)


(audi-bike.com), via hardergeneration tibor)

IMPORTANT: in need of a Mage: The Ascension Tarot deck

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This is actually important. Lots of research and extra brainpower is being invested into the new book. Due to numerous reasons (which are mostly attributed to that research processs), I am in dire need of a Mage: The Ascension Tarot deck (depicted above). If you want to sell yours or know someone who would sell theirs, please get in touch at planetdamage[at]gmail[dot]com. Thank you and please pass this message to those who know.

BLEEP: DIY Electro Synth Kit

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This DIY kit includes all of the components you need, including the world famous 556 Integrated Circuit, jumper wires and prototyping breadboard as well as a speaker to create your very own DIY Synth. In building the circuit you gain an understanding into how the various components combined can create a whole plethora of wonderful noises. (more info and order link here)

LINKBOX 2013 Week 3

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GAMA-GO Skull Ice Cube, definitely loving its sharp geometries, Tumblr- and hipster-compatible, wonder when the ice skull shooter nerf gun comes with it. (via store.gama-go.com)

  • When the Internet Is Your Hometown: For post-Internet people, the digital natives, the Internet has the potential to become a hometown that you can never leave.
  • Pacer – Sound Making Suit: The “pacer“ suit receives electro impulses which appear when the muscles are activated, (movement), amplifies them and turns them into sound with the help of the sensors attached to the muscles. it is possible to produce harmonious rhythm and melody by dancing i.e. moving certain muscles (activating the sensors).
  • Dead Girls #5: Like A Bad Girl Should: What’s five-feet-four-inches tall, has a bottle-blonde mane, luminous green eyes, and a body that – if superficially that of a human girl’s – has been infected, and robotically enhanced, by a nano-tech virus, so that its humanity is compromised by the superhuman?
  • Elder Scrolls Bundle – Oblivion GOTY, Morrowind GOTY, Skyrim, Hearthfire and Dawnguard

  • A rather graphic look at the smog in Beijing, China.

  • MUSIC VIDEO TUESDAY: The Good Natured – 5-HT

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    Pop noir threesome THE GOOD NATURED just released their new music video ‘5-HT’ – that’s also the first single off their debut album we’ve been waiting so eagerly for during the past year (hopefully including all of the Skeleton EP, ‘Lovers‘ and other brilliant tracks, not that they wouldn’t be having any other kind of release, ever). This is an early morning without proper coffee, so while I’m going to get some, you go and read the Popjustice write-up. ROCK! (Pre-order the whole single here with mixes from GHOSTWERK and Kat Krazy!)


    INTERVIEW: Slutwave Neonpunk Tarot (with Actually Huizenga and moi)

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    The first issue of carnal underground stylist Sophie Rotas’ male fashion & erotic contemporary art magazine NERO HOMME is out (now in Budapest and hopefully by this weekend London, too), much like a heavily monochrome monogatari at obscure Soho coffeehouse/orgy joints. Issue BODY CONFIDENCE features a splatter round of body confidence black glamour shots and interviews with the likes of Emika, Matt Lambert, Chrysta Bell, Millie Brown, Theo-Mass Lexileictous, Jen Gilpin, Alexandra Groover, a three-way discussion of Princess Julia, Matthew Stone and James Long – also our swordclash of brains with slutwave goddess Actually Huizenga and moi that we’ve laid out according to the 22 cards of the Major Arcana. (Yes, this inevitably makes me the neonpunk.)

    You’ll get the first half of the interview in the upcoming days when Sophie & Co re-launches their site with content and the second half a bit later after that. Until then, look out for magazine sales points on their Facebook page. (Thanks to Ninth & Dawe for making the ultra-fast delivery possible!)

    CLOTHES: Chestburster augmented reality t-shirt

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    Augmented Reality T-Shirt Demo
    Fingerfunk proudly presents the coolest t-shirt ever.
    Get the free Android App here:
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=se.fingerfunk.chestburster&…

    Get the iOS version here:
    http://itunes.apple.com/se/app/chest-burster/id536120336?mt=8

    Get the Marker image here
    http://www.fingerfunk.se/ARCB

    Dunno who sent this – drop me a message so that I could credit you, thx!

    FASHION: Nange Magro, mind-controlled dress

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    The mind-controlled dress, created by designer Nange Magro, is utterly captivating. It lights up and changes shape according to the level of concentration in your brain — and in particular, its skirt pulls back, like a spooky insect’s wings, to reveal a shiny latex undergarment. Which might make it difficult for others to concentrate. (via io9, more on vimeo)

    TRON: how to recreate the lightcycle trail

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    My old day job used to involve cycling in Cambridge and I would cycle everywhere, when it got dark my bike would light up too, but since watching TRON: Legacy I wanted to recreate the light ribbons effect. Apart from cycling incrediby fast I’m not going to be able to generate those beams, but with a suitable light and good photographer I’ve managed to recreate them (more at instructables, via @sajtoshu)

    FASHION: what would a modern wizard wear?

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    Clothing designer Mother of London is getting ready to release a ready-to-wear line of clothing and an online shop. The new collection consists of the designs seen here, as well as limited-edition leggings and t-shirts that have not yet been photographed. The inspiration for this line, says designer Mildred Von Hildegard, comes from wizards. “What would a modern wizard wear?” (via coilhouse)

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