Archive for the ‘Projects’ Category

It’s no secret that gaming is one of my favourite art forms . In fact it is second only to music. No other media can offer the immersiveness, the challenge or the reward of a really well designed game … and Cuphead is a really well designed game. It might have been the retro cartoon aesthetic and hot jazz soundtrack that made me eagerly await its release but it is the gameplay that really kept me engaged. It is not easy, in fact (minus the cruelty of limited lives) it is as hard as a NES era run ‘n gun game. It’s vanishingly unlikely that you would finish any level on your first try – it requires experimentation, learning and composure to figure out how to beat a boss and then actually pull it off. This might sound frustrating but actually it is where the greatest joy comes from.

I’m not one to knock modern games for being easy. Casual mobile tap-a-thons, walking simulators and ‘checkpoint every 10 seconds’ type games have done a huge amount to introduce gaming to new audiences. However they cannot offer that sense of accomplishment that comes with vanquishing a really hard (but fair) foe. The feeling that you have overcome all the challenges that they have thrown in your face and come out victorious. The failures and frustration on the journey making the destination that much sweeter. I think it can even give you a better outlook on life too. In this world of instant gratification it is good to be reminded that almost anything worthwhile takes time and the determination required to get past the challenges you face on the way.

The soundtrack is amazing, the hot jazz perfectly complimenting the 1930s cartoon aesthetic. The first time I heard it, I knew I was going to have to make a remix. Fiery Frolic (from the Grim Matchstick boss battle) particularly grabbed me as a stand out track, especially for a Swing n Bass remix. I think that a blistering breakbeat, sizzling sub bass and crazy chops really add something 😉 Once I had done the remix though, I thought it would be fun to make a video that reflected what it was like to actually play. Showing the process of attempting, learning and ultimately defeating a level.

So there it is, a game and a soundtrack worthy of much ♥. Even more impressive when you consider that this was MDHR (the developers) is a small indie studio and this was their first ever game. Equally impressive is that the composer – Kristofer Maddigan had never written this sort of music before. They really knocked it out of the park! So if you have and XBone or a PC with even moderate specs (this game runs perfectly on my GPDwin for goodness’ sake), do yourself a favour and pick it up

PLUR – D

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Here’s my latest project … a mad video mashup with an upbeat Swing and Bass soundtrack. While its looks and sounds fun, it did come out of a serious thought that I’ve been having

Every year the world becomes more automated. What future do we want to build?

It was easy for society to watch physical labour being replaced by machines. They just said that humans would just get more skilled jobs. They didn’t think it was worth worrying about … human intelligence, ingenuity and intuition would always be irreplaceable. This century we are seeing the rise of AI, of big data and fine robotics. We have to start asking, is there actually that much that humans do that couldn’t be replaced. What do we do when more people try to ‘get a job that they never could find’?

The strange thing for me is how few people are talking about it. It does crop up from time to time but it is not though of as a serious issue. Our politicians don’t discuss it, the media doesn’t think its sexy enough and our business leaders don’t care. Almost everyone in a position of wealth or influence probably either feels that they are immune, or are completely unaware. Some even knowingly reframe the loss of jobs as the fault of immigrants, millenials, a lazy workforce or another group they want to attack.

If we do this properly, we have all the tools we need to create an amazing world. I’m writing this on Easter weekend and in the UK and we get a full 4 days off (well we’re supposed to anyway). How amazing would it be if we enjoyed 4 day weekends every week. We could divide up the work as a society so that everyone still contributed but had ample time to to pursue the other things in life that give it meaning. People wouldn’t have to choose between work and family or between sleep and social life. Just think how amazing it would be for culture and invention if we gave people the time to work on their ideas. If we really got our act together we could feed, clothe and shelter everyone and live in a futurist paradise of our own making.

On the other hand, if we do this poorly we could see society degrade completely. We could see vast swathes of obsolete humans trapped in a dark techno-feudalism. Rioting as those who were left behind and embittered fight against the elite. Throw in a robot army and you might get all out war.  In all probability, we’ll try to keep propping up the status quo for as long as possible. The world of work, however, is already incredibly uneven. There are people running companies earning well over 100x the amount of a low level employee. There are people working untold hours of unpaid overtime while others search for the extra job they are covering. Some of the hardest jobs are met with the most meagre rewards either by being labelled ‘worthy’ or ‘unskilled’. I understand the need to give people incentives but the way we do it now is incredibly unfair. If we keep making the current system more extreme, we’ll be walking blindly down the path of polarisation until something snaps.

We are truly at a crossroad but one thing is for sure…it we don’t start thinking, discussing and planning, we are bound to take the wrong path. So for the near future, when we ask what our jobs should be, maybe the answer should be: trying to build the best world we can.

Peace, Love, Unity, Respect – D

I’ve been working on a series on sound reactive mashups using vintage video. If you want a unique looking video for your track/youtube mix, send a message me a message on contact@dataphilesmusic.com or via the normal social media channels

I can use any video as source material for these so if you have an idea you’d like me to adapt I can make that happen.

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Or I can make you a straight up vintage video remix

Or something more conventional

 

PLUR – D

 

The last couple of years have made humanity seem more divided than ever, like there are ideological and cultural barriers that seem insurmountable. Despite this perception, we are all one species, we share 99.9% of our DNA and anything that seems to divide us is actually minuscule compared to everything that we share. The most upsetting thing (at least to me) about the rise of divisive ideologies is that we now actually have the tools to create an amazing world for all of us. There are enough resources for everyone to be fed, clothed and even entertained, if we could only get over the thousands of barriers of self-interest that prevent that happening.

This track is a different type of retro inspired music to the electroswing and vintage remix stuff I’ve been working on recently… 90s inspired euphoric dance. When I was just a baby and started sneaking into clubs, it was one of the first electronic genres I got into. It wasn’t long before I was into darker, more complex stuff too but nothing else quite gave the same big joyful release. I know it had its cheesy moments but it created that feeling of togetherness that permeated the clubbing community like nothing else. I know a lot of people dismissed that as a product of drugs or alcohol but I’ve been to enough sober raves recently to know that its actually just acceptance and the shared enjoyment of music that makes us feel that way. Dancing is an ancient act, one of our oldest rituals (and probably the oldest form of exercise). Perhaps when we dance together, it allows us to touch that thread of commonality running through our history

 

As you might expect I’ve used a lot of oldschool elements for this one with pumping bass, soaring pads and big arpeggios. I’ve made a suitably retro video to go with it  (with some help from Touchdesigner, zGameeditor visualiser and Blender). The track is a free download so grab it here:

PLUR – D

 

If you look at my social media feeds you may have seen the DJ-rig-in-a-case build I’ve been working on. If you’d like to know how to build your own for incredibly little money check out the full write-up here in the articles section

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It has been a year of mourning
Even early there were warnings
But it’s not celebrities I grieve
It’s the loss of what I believe

I was raised for a world of reason
Where dissent was vital, not accused of treason
Where arguments were won by word
Not the volume at which they’re heard

Now all our politicians do is pander
The news decayed to propaganda
Our anger has been monetised –
To increase profits, amplified

We were surprised, we found it numbing
As if we couldn’t see this coming
But maybe we chose not to see
The simmering catastrophe

We loathed Bibi, cheered Berlusconi
Dismissed Le Pen and all her cronies
Saw them gain power yet not understand
‘It could never happen in this (green and) pleasant land’

But when we’re given the same choices
All we heard were hateful voices
We showed the world we’re just the same
Our leaders also play that lethal game

Finding cracks within the nation
Widening them with fears of immigration
Or inflation, or even war
Then tell us it’s worth fighting for

Their job should be to find consensus
Yet all they say is “you’re with us or against us”
To us this rot has now extended
“Toe the line or be defriended!”

We’ve closed our minds and closed our ears
We only talk to those who share our fears
On the left, the right, with any view
The zealots say that only their path is true

We scorn all outside our bubble
Call them insane or the cause of trouble
Shout down our own sister or brother
Transform them from person into ‘other’

And so the lesson becomes clear
We must remember how to hear
How to listen to a statement that offends us
Even something we find horrendous

And tell them calmly why we disagree
With no anger or hyperbole
Or telling them what they’re allowed to think
Perhaps we can bring debate back from the brink

But most of all, we must recognise
Reality is seen through 14 billion eyes
And every last one of them is human
And shares this tiny rock, around our distant sun

Peace <ᵎᵒᵎ3

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I founded this blog almost 8 years ago when I started to become serious about learning music production. Now 1 hundred posts, many tracks and a few crazy projects later I’m pleased to report its still going strong. At the beginning I was just a keen hobbyist but I’m much more confident in my productions now, I even sometimes feel like I know what I’m doing 😉

Also highly appropriately (especially if you are a fan of the number 10 and multiples thereof) as of this week there are now 10 tracks in the free tracks playlist on Soundcloud – both new and old, so a mix of electroswing, house, techno and leftfield

As well as the free tracks, you can also now get the whole of my back catalogue for 1 discounted price at the download page. Please consider supporting me so that I can continue for the next 100 posts and beyond

As for what those posts might be, I’ve got a new electroswing EP in the pipeline, a few DJing/VJing projects to write about and a couple of new articles too, so expect all of that soon. Hit the subscribe button on the left if you want an email when that happens or browse down and see what I’ve been writing about all of that time

Love and Peace,

Dataphiles

We live in an age of unbridled creativity. The combination of freely available software, processing power and the access to pretty much the entirety of human knowledge and artistic history, means that our horizons are endless. We can make anything and yet it seems that most often we use memes to make the same statement or joke.

I have no objection to the Be like Bill one in principle but seeing it so many times in so many different variations over the last few days did make me think that if he was real he would have had a complete personality collapse. I suppose its impossible to please all of the people all of the time

PLUR – D

Glitch Bill

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I’m very excited to announce the launch of my new Clothing line. Perfect for clubbing, chilling and generally expressing your love for the world. The whole range of T-shirts, caps, totes and hoodies (in a multitude of colours) is available at http://dataphiles.dizzyjam.com

Also as an added bonus all purchases come with 3 free Dataphiles tracks from across all of my releases 🙂

I’m obviously modelling the Dataphiles logo one above. Here are the other designs in high def

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Bad Ass text watermarked

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I’m arranging a photoshoot at the moment so expect some more pics after. Also I’ve got a few more designs I’d like to make, so watch out for those too.

In the meantime don’t forget to check here to get your very own.

Love and Peace

D

 

Did another dastardly device build a couple of nights ago. This time it was a wrist mounted smoke machine – I thought I’d do a build video as I knew I could put it together in 1 take. I hadn’t used Drillbit for any videos yet (despite releasing it 6 years ago!) and I really though the sound matched the speeded up assembly. Anyway … Enjoy 🙂

The whole build only took an hour and was a good laugh. Its basically just tubing, valves and a hand pump to suck gas out of an e shisha, so as well as looking crazy good (or just crazy) it also makes the room smell of caramel (other flavours available). I might get one of those cloud vapes to up the smoke output and once I build the laser glove for the other hand, its going to look insane

PLUR, D