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Sunday, November 18, 2018

Todd Rundgren - No World Order CD-Rom


No World Order CD-ROM by TR-i (or Todd Rundgren Interactive)


This music program tries to create songs by selecting a kind of mood you're in.
Because there are not much to chose from, most so-called songs are sounding
like somebody cut a few songs in parts of 10 seconds and play them randomly...
Yeah, hot stuff...
 
It's a very old Windows program, however when it came out, (1993 maybe, like the album with the same name), computer programs to make music were hard to find, so I don't want to criticize it a lot.


It started off with the cover of the CD and a soundscape with mashup with short pieces of the songs in a terrible order.
I thought the first time my CD-ROM player just crashed, next time it was just annoying.
Not the best way to start a music program.
 
After listening to parts of the whole CD, it was just the first track. Ugh.


The program does not have any mouse arrow, only by the colour changes or the changed shape on the buttons indicates you know what you are doing (most of the time you don't, trust me).
And because the program wants to run completely from CD-ROM, the "music" you make with this program is continuously stutter.
It sounded like a CD player with lots of power failures.
I got so angry I decided to make an ISO and run it.
That was a slight improvement. Not enough to play the music fluently.
So I copied all files of the CD-Rom and started it and I recorded my first attempt to create some sort of soundscape.
I found out if you do nothing, it plays the whole CD of New World Order, which is the basis of this music program.
The whole album seems to have only songs that were cut in 2 parts, some parts were good, some not.
Later I found out it was Todd Rundgren idea, so you could set your CD-player on shuffle and have every time a new New World Order mix to listen too.


At least one song really hit the spot with "Day Job" the only uptempo song of the album,
It comes an gets you with a pumping bassline, raw guitar riffs with lots of echoes, babytalk, the theme of The Twilight Zone.
Does humour belong in rock music? Yeah, it should.

Todd Rundgren may be the worst white rapper of the 90s, he pushed the message through the song and I like it a lot. Even the very misty video shows how many things Todd did on stage to make his concerts more enjoyable for the audiences like nobody else did at that time. Maybe even U2 used some Todd tricks for their concerts?

The artist himself (Todd Rundgren) was a little famous in those days, a real pioneer in interactive music and busy since the early 70s.
A bit like Peter Gabriel, who had better songs at that time...

I have searched on YouTube for some songs. it seems the genius himself (according to his fans) creates lots of (at first hearing) perfect pop-songs, which all change into the opposite of poppy.
Like he does not want to compose anything that may sound commercial.

He was also the producer of Bourgeois Tagg album YoYo (with their hit I don't mind at all),
that way I knew him already.

After I recorded more than 45 minutes to try to know the program and create a decent mix I let the video on my hard disk for more than 6 months. I had no time and no ideas.

Recently I got some spare time and after hearing the 2nd part of the intro song I developed 2 ideas, 1 video with intro track and credits (or the help page) and some videos with the best mix-parts of the 45 minutes session. 

When I finally got 5 videos uploaded I had learned some lessons:
1) If you want to make high resolution, you have to convert your video material to that resolution first
2) Animated title with a duration of 3 seconds is too short, use at least 5 seconds
3) Big fonts can be a bit off screen AFTER exporting, not in the editor, use fewer words.
4) Matching video and music exactly is impossible without good visual on the waveform of the audio, but almost will do the trick.

BTW Todd Rundgren released a year later (1994) also a New World Order lite with the 10 normal songs. Means to me, he did it only for commercial reasons...


 If you still interested: you can listen here to all the songs, well only 1 minute.

I found some footage of  the CD-I version of New World Order, where Todd is demonstration it, check out part 1 and 2 
And a short TV-story where Todd explains how his CD-I works and why he did it.

And an interesting fan-made mix (without the "Day Job") 
Nee more background story about New World Order? Look at 25

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

TnC Collection Tapes : My Favorite Houseworks 1 + 2

Now I posted about Lush 3-1 I think it's time to blog about the 2 tapes I am most proud of. 

They were made when I started to like house music and bought some low-price CDs with mostly collected tracks in one house genre. At that time there were not many house genres and lots of experimental house track were made in that era. You can find the playlist for mixcloud and the tracklistings too. 

I recorded the tapes back then in the 90s with the best songs of all house CDs I owned. When I listened to them again its a very varied collection of commercial euro house like 2-Unlimited or Snap, some techno hits like Praga Kahn and Orbital, club tracks like music and Captian Hollywood Project and Usura, but also some tracks you never had heard before like Self-Transforming Machine Elves and Flux.
So after all those years ( somewhere in the 90s, I never wrote any date on my tapes) the music is still refreshing and to my humble opinion still not outdated. I liked the tapes soo much I wrote the whole title and the artists, kinda rare. Mostly I wrote the begin letters of each track or left the tape cover completely blank...Not very handy if you want to create a tracklisting on mixcloud. On the picture above you can see the CDs I used for the tapes. 


And in the picture above here you see the tapes and covers I made.
Some quick words about the tracks.

I always liked 2 Unlimited they always made songs you could sing a long very danceable and easily hooked for days in your head. Even their own remixes on maxi CDs were very good. The Plateau song reminds me always at Ayers rock in Australia, a country I always wanted to visit. The battle between the flute and the trumpet with a tribal house beat, I like it. 
When I heard The Man With the Masterplan I had to bought the album of Quadrophonia , what a waste of money. Only the title track and remixes of other artists from these tracks were nice. To my surprise, both hits of Felix are on these tapes (and both made their way to MSX, I used both of them in my Moonblaster House mixes).
There may be also some bonus tracks...

Check them out on my playlist at Mixcloud.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

TnC House Classics presents : Lush 3 - 1 of Orbital

I re-discovered this track of Orbital, while I was playing My Favorite Houseworks tapes via Mixcloud. Just a simple house track, with a slow spacy flute, a regular hard bassline with a simple drumbeat and speed up riff loop. 

 
I wanted to create a video with different equalizers, but somebody posted the track Lush 3-1 track with a nice equalizer and the CD-cover as background. So I had to save this idea for another song I update some time later.


Orbital created house music with hard beats and soft melodies, so there are more tracks I liked. Also, I found out they, yes it's a duo, were reunited in 2017 and even created new single and a new album. The track of "Tiny Foldable Cities" is a nice one, check out the video. It's filmed from far above the city which totally fits with the title and the music too.

The remix by "Kareful" is just what they did with "Something Good" of the Utah Saints, just remove all breaks and make it more danceable. Well, you could also say, a bit boring to listen to. 

By the way Lusus 3-1 came from the Orbital brown album with also Lush 3-2 
Never knew why they gave it that title, it had not much relation with 3-1 in any way.
It's an annoying piece of ....

I found 2 remixes by other artists of Lush 3-1, the Underworld version is more Underworld than Lush, the second with the long title is just like old 12" versions, long and not much content added.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Other music stuff : Thomas Happ vs Sub Morphine - Trace Awakens at the Shoreline (Mashup)

I am proud to present to you Trace Awakens at the Shoreline, the first mashup made by my son Jeffrey (aka King ECHatron II)
He likes electtonic music in general, but does not think in any genres. So he can enjoy retro-rock like Wolfmother and like older stuff like Rob Zombie. Enough said. 


The way he created this mashup is really special. He played a great side scroll shooter called Axion Verge with some great music and relased that one song had the same bassline as a beautiful song he found on YT channel of Electronic Gems of Sub Morphine.

And he decided to mashup these, cause even the BPM matched. 

He started his Audacity editor, cut and paste a little, added a fade out, 1 song was longer than the other....and wham... a new mashup was born. 
Maybe even creating a new music genre, it is Dark Synth Wave versus Chillwave. 
Or Chillout vs Industrial...

Jeffrey created a new title and artists names out of both tracks and send it to me by Skype. 
I think it's an amazing track that you won't forget.
 
Also I was amazed how he could create such a good mashup by simply using Audacity, which is not the easiest program to create multi-track music. 

I decided to create a videomix of it, with some gameplay from Axion Verge and the logos of the game Axion Verge and that other composer Sub Morphine. 
Tried to keep it simple, I had to use 5 different video-editor, before I could produce the video.with VSDC free video-edotor and upload the result to YouTube.

 I forgot the link to VSDC free editor at YouTube, so I put it with the link for Audacity 
in this post and update YT description.

- Mixed/Produced by Audacity Download it for free at https://www.audacityteam.org/download/

- Video produced with VSDC Video Editor: Downlosd it for free at: http://www.videosoftdev.com/free-video-editor/download

Monday, August 13, 2018

Favs PC Games : Firefall from Red 5 Studios

The story of Firefall is one game-developers never should forget. 

It is a story about a good game concept with a nice background story, great GFX and music, good shooter, fantastic coop features, player modified weapons, single or multiplayer missions, open world areas...what could go wrong ? Read the story. 

I think they tried too hard to put more and more stuff in the game, forget it still had to run properly. Also, the fact that it was a free game and the only DLC you could buy was a very overpriced car, which was not worth buying. So, in the end, somebody must pay the salary of those developers and with no income from the Steam PC version, it had to end sooner or later. 

On 7th July 2017, the Firefall servers were closed, but already in November 2016
there were almost no players left when I played Firefall for the last time with my son. 
Lots of missions did not work and you could not level up anymore. 

The game was very broken already. Still the GFX, music, the classes and outfits were still there... I even wrote a review, trying to convince Steamers to play Firefall, specially Defiance players ( cause some things in Firefall were a lot better than in Defiance).
With no luck...

I had to admit TRION did a better job, with their free game Defiance and Defiance 2050. Lots of DLC to buy and not very expensive, better and more cars which are great fun to drive, lots and lots of weapons and with the improved Defiance 2050 they have looked to Firefall very good and introduced also classes...

Not as good as Firefall did, but hey, who cares anymore !. The Firefall server is already down for more than1 year !. 

However, Firefall will always have a special place in my memories, like the gliding from high places and the very original detailed scenery even on older (lower) computers.
I miss it still and so are more Defiance 2050 players...


Check out the Firefall OST and the screenshots in this post.
I played the game for 67 hours, so I think I know what I am talking about...

I think you will not find many online games, where gamers made farewell videos when the servers are shutting down. For Firefall I found a couple, for me another proof that it was not just a game, it was a new experience.

Goodbye, Firefall.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

TnC House Classics presents : Something Good of Utah Saints


I can say the same things about this song as "Injected With The Poison" by Praga Kahn.

It has all the classic cliches. I saw the song on MTV, at that time they played video clips and no soaps. If you wanted to know the latest hits, you watched MTV instead of listening to boring radio stations. I love this classic because the whole song is perfectly shaped around the samples of a song by Kate Bush - Cloud Busting -

Although the video-clip was nothing more than a speed-up road trip in psychedelic colours, I loved it from the first second with the violins.

Even the 12" version, which seems only to have a longer duration than the 7" single, 
is still a pleasure to listen to. And on the cd maxi single I bought was also a track about whales (Trance Atlantic Flight), and it was better than the well-known Waterfall...


When I did some research on the "Something Good", the Utah Saints released a new mix of the same some under the name "Something Good '08". They removed all breaks in the original mix and created a dancefloor killer, a 2:55 non-stop adrenaline rush. And a much better and funnier video-clip about the Running Man than the original clip.


Utah Saints more singles mixing samples from pop-songs with own beats, but I never found another "Something Good", but they made a few very enjoyable trance tracks, like "Trance Atlantic Flight", "Massive" and "Solution"

The song Utah Saints sampled for this track "Cloud Busting" has a real history. 

Kate Bush had read "Book of Dreams" written by the son of Wilhelm Reich, who is famous for his discovery of Organon and his inventions to use it. 

The story of Wilhelm Reich is very sad, he died in a federal prison in the 50s. The American Government put him there after they had successfully removed lots of his supporters and helpers over the years. 

One of his inventions was a cloudbuster, designed to make it rain. There is one occasion in history that described what happened, cause it did rain after just 
1 day of cloudbusting.

I was fascinated by his life, his words and inventions, 
but after seeing and hearing all Organon related stuff 
on YouTube, I believe that Mr Reich really has made 
a discovery, but he could not use it to its full potential, 
cause the technology was not yet invented yet.

So I do believe that things in nature have a kind of energy and maybe we can use it for more purposes 
then just let it rain...

Kate Bush tells the story of Wilhelm Reich and his son with a Cloudbuster, like a fairy-tale.
It ends not well, just like the real story. Still very beautiful to watch and it started my search for Wilhelm Reich.
I found somebody who had such a nice memories of the song, almost a new story.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Fan of The Call

The Call was a kind of religious band and Lead singer, composer and bassist Michael Been was the core of the band. 
They had a history of making 3 albums for a music company, had some success and get fired. I and my sister both bought albums and CDs of the band, which was strange. 
Most of the time we disagree about our musical taste. 

To be honest I only bought 1 album ("Into The Woods") and my sister bought several on CDs (from "Reconciled" till "To Heaven and Back"). 
I bought also the first solo album of Michael Been on CD, great guitar work, but the songs just not good enough to score a radio hit. 

The Call makes rock music with a meaning. The way Michael Been performs each song is not always a pleasure for your ears (sometimes like wolf crying) and it gets you always under your skin. Even today. 
I recorded once the best songs of The Call and it took me 90 + 45 minutes of tape to do so.

The Call had some success with songs "Everywhere I Go" with Bono in the background,  "Let The Day Begin" and "I Still Believe". But I found many other favs on each album. 

At the end like so many groups, the core of the band (M.B.) started a solo career, 
he wrote the soundtrack for a movie "Light Sleeper" and released a couple of albums himself. However, I think the best songs he ever wrote was with The Call. 

You can find here the 2 sides of the C90 tape, which was in good shape consider the date of the recording. The second tape was compiled with some fav of an other underrated band Chagall Guevara with Steve Taylor as lead singer. Maybe I post about them too. Check out one of my favs

Now I will name a few favs of The Call like "Oklahoma", "Into The Woods", "Red Rain", 
"A Swim In The Ocean".

To my suprise his son  Robert Levon Been plays also bass and has the same voice 
as his dad, Michael Been, who died backstage in 2010. And Robert played live with other members of The Call with amazing results. They also still have a website
On YouTube I found an very long The Call Playlist, a tribute to The Call by The Simple Minds and also a (short) Playlist of all the musicvideos they made. 

Listen and maybe you find yourself a new band to listen too.