Music is at its best when it feels like the artist’s creativity seemed to be released without any boundaries and instead has gone to play. This is what Dust Collector has done. With a noticeable hip-hop base in this release, there are many interesting tricks that are played throughout the album and those reminds me of some of the most prominent albums throughout the twentieth century. The way that Dust Collector seem to work is by mashing up different sorts of instrumental sections, loops, vocals, adding own instrumental and vocal recordings and editing them together. That makes perfect reasons for his name, dust collecting means metaphorically to pick up the traces and tracks of beautiful things and put it in an aesthetically attractive fashion. It is difficult to distinguish what has been sampled and what has been produced by Dust Collector which is a great upside because of the idea of collecting pieces. However, one thing is for certain and that is that this artist has found ways to remix and extract musical dust that is golden, different from what might have seemed to be plain dust in the eyes of other creative minds. If everything is made by Dust Collector, there is hopefully even more of those treasures of creativity in this artist’s future contributions to the world of music. Dust Collector can make one remember what extraordinary measures of joy that music as a medium can accomplish when collaborating with bits nagged from sources in fantasy or released material.

Dust Collector – Narcolepsy Album Cover

The songs focus on the theme of the album’s name, the sleep-disorder Narcolepsy which creates a war on sleep for people who suffer from it. The playlist arranged the tracks in a way that could be interpreted as an observation in the life of an individual with narcolepsy and it makes it a story worth following with lyrics that are very interesting to contemplate. It is good once in a while to hear some thing that one never would have imagined. When things are as abstract and experimental as one could think, they can take a turn from one second to the other. That is the greatest strength of Dust Collector is what makes Narcolepsy something that I would not dare to put in any other genre than pure… Magic.

Check out the release on the netlabel Dystopiaq’s website. Download the album from Archive.org. Enjoy the stream of creativity!

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What is an incentive? What is it that makes us do things in our lives? Whether it is an everyday routine e.g. getting up a bit earlier to come in time for work or more unusual, to bunker up with food because there is a storm coming that will cause chaos and destruction there are many things that can work as incentives. Incentives are an interesting phenomena in our lives that come in different shapes and forms. They can also be obvious as a news anchor warns of that storm heading towards your area – or it could be like the album Incentive by the artist with the same name. In today’s society, one gets exposed to unmeasurable amounts of incentives every day, but often we do not know about it because we have never thought of things from different perspectives. I think that this album intends to change that a bit.

Incentive Album Cover!

I have often thought of art and its common nature of creating incentives for target audiences. Visual artists such as painters, photographers and moviemakers can depict war and crimes against human rights or natural disasters. However, in that medium, there is no ability to experience the incentive from an external source as you go, the incentive has to be the reason for the incentive you realise as a result. Music has exactly that ability, with the openness of interpreting for the situation as it happens and can affect one’s interpretations psychologically.

These are songs that personifies incentive like various imminent dangers approaching somewhere, any time. The artist Incentive has worked with an extremely distorted sound for the songs and that is a successful recipe in terms of communicating the theme of it. One can also find it rather impressive to conjure such sounds that feel very electronic but yet bring out the most evolutionary instincts of fear and survival. There has been a thorough production with a good amount of instruments and sounds to manipulate these into sounding very aggressive. There is also a very interesting sample in the latter half of the track Osiris, featuring a woman who discusses our “excess technology” that we can get rid of and connect more as humans.

This album and its sound is probably way over the top for what some listeners can stand but one can also find it interesting how this is develops one sort of music which is very relevant to our surrounding technologies and chaotic events and noises circling around us. It can inspire one to discover incentives.

Download Incentive’s album here. James Osborne from Pittsburgh, US, is the man behind the alias Incentive. He blogs at Nuclear Boy and is a co-founder and admin of his label Dystopiaq! His music was described with the statement “IDM and Drum n’ Bass, mangled and tortured from hell.”!

Incentive is licensed with Creative Commons:  [Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0]

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What would you do if you lived in a remote location on a small island?

Søren Nissen Jørgensen answered that question and founded the project “So I’m an Islander”, May 2011 in Aarhus, Denmark. He is originally from the town of Augustenborg on the island Als, located in the far southeast of Denmark, close to the border of Germany. The theme of the songs and the general impression of the album are really what one could believe to expect from an individual who has spent a lot of time in a remote area. But I come to realise soon that it is more complexed than that. With beautiful piano-playing and plucked guitar, there are constructed melodies that could replace almost any soundtrack of a commercial feature film.

Stream the track “The Holiday” while you read the review!

One can say that they grip some of the most anxious and sad of being lonely. It gets to me in a sense that music seldom does and I start to think of the lesser good aspects in my life. However the album contains some tracks once in a while that I interpret as lights in the dark. They create a more complete and surrounding theme in the album and manages to contrast perfectly with the melancholic tracks.

Woodwork Album Cover by So I’m An Islander

I like to refer to it as a reality check that one needs at times to shake the compass of life around a bit. This creation provides space and distance in oneself and it is an album perfect for those gloomy days, preferably when walking in nature, contemplating. That is just my interpretation of it. The idea of this instrumental album is actually to offer different interpretations and I think it may be one of the best albums one can listen to awaken emotions and thoughts about oneself. The sounds of the samples from sounds in nature which may originate from the artist’s life and it gives a more credible picture of the album’s theme as it connects listeners to something we all experience; weather.

Sounds of “Woodwork are truly beautiful. The album does not disappoint the listener. Rather one can see it as a recipe on getting to know oneself better than before as it features some songs that can change mindsets on their own.

It can cure some bad moods but also take one down to earth.

Fetch the album through SoundShiva! Alternative link here from MediaFire.

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Hästoperan – Imrit Exec Album Artwork

One can notice it right from the first beats that minimalism and minor signs of electronic sounds is his sound, with the flavour of progressive beatmaking.

The person behind the artist name Hästoperan is Jonas Josefsson, who is a graduate student of ecology in Uppsala. Apart from working with birds at his job, he has produced minimalist electronic music for years and this EP is a great expression and outcome of that experience and dedication.

Detailed sounds and effects make the perfect difference in this EP and only one’s imagination can limit the visualizations that they can inspire for. With the introducing track Gobi one can think of it as the name is referring to the Gobi Desert but it makes me think of the artwork cover made by Jonas Josefsson himself which is astonishing. Gobi is also one of the best tracks on the EP with an absolutely marvellous ending melody sounding played by a guitar with a rippling echo. In general the tracks are different from each other and suits perfectly at parties. One could refer to Hästoperan’s music as a more relaxed version of a commercially independent and internationally famous DJ from Sweden who works with progressive beats and ambience similar to Hästoperan.

However, none of the songs really lifts to another level for the climax that one could hope for but they do contain a lot of integrity in them and they truly are relaxing to listen too. The tracks contain a varied portfolio of skills and the track Radicals might be the one close to using exactly all of those skills which convinces me of this craft’s strong production. It is a dreamy but still natural landscape that emerges with the dynamic and organic sounds that Hästoperan uses. He also integrates some interesting samples, one which seems to come from a stock archive featuring an old education video on ideas and notions about consumption, being very relevant for this project. I am looking forward to hear more about how this artist will develop his sound and songwriting for future releases. I see a future of a pioneer act within party music licensed with the Creative Commons license.

– I will definitely play this when I host parties on my own and I hope to hear more from Hästoperan.

Jonas Josefsson, from Uppsala, Sweden, performing under the name “Hästoperan”.

This EP consists of 5 tracks; Gobi, Blackwind, And The Sun And The Moon And The, Silver Cord, Radicals. Download it from the netlabel 23seconds launched by H. Johan Lundin in 2006, based in Gothenburgh, on the west coast Sweden.

The work is licensed under the Creative Commons Licenses Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0

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No logo. People who play video games on their computer or gaming console cannot choose if they want to see the distributor’s or the developing studios’ logos when the game starts up. It is just there and it bothers me. When one plays commercial games it might feel just like another advert that one this time actually paid money for, but that is not questioned very often today. The first thing one can react on when starting up the game Xonotic is that there are not any of these bothering features which can make one relax a lot since gaming is a very time-limited ingredient in my everyday life. The game gets rid of that unnecessary feature and  The game does not need any sort of installation either which is a huge freedom to anyone who knows what a painstaking process that can because of the huge sizes and security controls. It also means that one can bring it with on a USB. This also means that there is not any sort of registration nor extra software that you have to install to play the game. The latter commonly known as ‘bloatware‘ which does not serve any important function for the core software to work. This is something that is fairly uncommon today as one often has to register for numerous sites.

The game is a clone of the classic multiplayer game ‘Quake‘, published by id Software in 1996 which has made many important progresses in the art of game developing. More importantly is that they made the game’s foundations (read: DarkPlaces game engine) available as open source on GitHub.  GitHub is a platform where people can collaborate and build on their own software projects. Without that move by id Software, Xonotic would not exist and see what results it has accomplished with a growing community of players and developers who want to reinvent their own version of the classic game!

It feels nostalgic in a sense, the way that the game works in terms of gameplay and feel. The menus of the game feels very simple with three options to choose from – Singleplayer, Multiplayer and Settings. Singleplayer includes several scenarios and gameplay variations. It is worth playing through although I did notice a flaw in a map far into the campaign. Starting out with the singleplayer mode is a great way to get to know the game and reduces the learning curve a lot.

Once one is in the game one can notice how similar the game is to Quake as it was developed open source, modified and it has some noticable similarities. I never played Quake myself but I have seen various clips and it really feels great. The campaign does not have a storyline and instead it is entirely level based and the game provides simple instructions throughout all the different game modes on how to play it, e.g. Capture The Flag, SpeedRun, Free For All and some more! However there are some things that could be explained better such as when the player gets to use the ‘grapple hook’ which can be of great use in order to win the game.

The AI (Artificial Intelligence) could really be improved. After playing a map for a while, discerning the difficulty, the bots (computer controlled players) end up running the same paths or standing still at the same places, not doing much resistance. That gets boring after a while because when there is no challenge, one does not have a lot of will left to go through with the level.

The audio and sound design is done properly with a lot of different sound effects that instantly reminds me of classical works which I have seen on YouTube. With the music it creates a great atmosphere and it fulfills the idea of a classic game but set with more modern graphics. And the visual effects and graphics have been developed very well with a lot of interesting details but one could ask for more advanced animations for the effects such as when a character dies and turns into thin air. The overall game design feels consistent and well thought out. This is probably because of inspiration deriving from Quake and Unreal Tournament and due to its intention; provide a free clone of people who do not want to spend money for old games without living communities

The community instantly feels small which can be seen as both good and but more importantly its very inviting and one can easily get into contact with developers and other players on helpful with forums and by that, mainly the official one hosted by the community. Many are also available in through the chat service IRC.This game is really stripped of unneccessary functions and that is very positive. It has a lot of working features already and it at the moment one can only look forward to minor changes which would make the game adapt more to the system its run on. It is a very stable game, this review was written based on experiencence from a system running Windows 7 x64 release where it ran flawlessly. The game was also tested on a Mac running OS X 10.7 after the original post was published. After heavy graphic glitches the problem was solved by changing some settings in the firewall and after that, the game could run smoothly.

One should not feel like they have missed anything if one has not played the original game. This game makes up for it and the growing community with recurring Nations’ Cups are perfect examples of what makes this game a good choice for the casual gamer looking for entertainment as well as the professional one who is looking for competitions and many challenges in terms of gameplay. One can only imagine how fun this will be to share and experience with friends.

Checkmate, Xonotic.

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