Archive for the ‘releases’ 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 some Klezmer remix tracks for the past few months. Although a couple of weeks ago I had a real urge to finish one and release it. After seeing people somehow emboldened to take to the streets under Nazi flags, I felt it was important to remember just how much of a failure they were. The culture that they aimed to annihilate is alive and well whereas the culture they tried to spread is reviled.

 

If anything they inoculated society against their hateful ideas, all of Europe has anti-discrimination laws, there are pride parades in every major city and eugenics is a dead ideology. That is no reason to be complacent though, recent events have shown that people feel enough anger to turn back. We need to fight this but find ways to do this without adding even more anger. Once two groups of people start fighting, one side will always cast the other as an aggressor and then build a narrative that absolves themselves of any blame for the trouble. Even shouting people down let’s them cast you as ideologically intolerant no matter how right (factually or ethically) you are. It would be naive to say that there is never a place for aggression, just that there is rarely a reason to be the initiator.

There are ways of fighting back with love whether it is meeting people face to face,  turning rallies into antifascist fundraisers or publicly celebrating our diverse culture in force. Working with local communities can also increase cohesiveness so that no one can be singled out for hatred. There are loads of groups and organisations which help with this and we all have the power to make a difference if we get involved.

Bit of a darker post than usual but we live in times with tremendous potential for darkness, so as a nice counterpoint to that, enjoy the pure joy of the dance scenes from Fiddler on the roof remixed 🙂

 

Peace, Love, Unity, Respect (More than ever) – D

 

The playlist of free Dataphiles tracks on soundcloud is looking very healthy. There are now 9 tracks with more to be added soon. Check it out and get yourself some quality music for nothing

PLUR, D

All my music is free to download for this weekend only, to celebrate getting 500 likes on Facebook

Head to the download page (http://music.dataphilesmusic.com). Click buy on any of my albums and name your own price… Or enter 0 for free

PLUR – D

If you’ve had your eye on the Dataphiles Facebook and Twitter feeds, you might have noticed that I’m promoting a remix of Oliver Heldens and Shaun Franks Deep house anthem – Shades of Grey. Its part of a remix competition for Spinnin records. If you could take a moment out of your busy day to go and vote for it here … it would mean the world to me. Voting is only open for a limited time so please get those ballots in 🙂

I quite enjoyed doing the remix, (and also dressing up as deady bear to promote it/lovingly parody the original video) and I’m intending on doing more remixing in the future so let me know if there is anything you’d like to hear me rework.

Even though voting ends soon, I’m going to leave the track up as a free download on soundcloud, so grab a copy and enjoy.

Peace, Love, Unity, Respect – Dataphiles

Posted a new video on Youtube, its the ‘official’ video for Beep Beep Baby (not that the steampunk arcade machine vid featuring it wasn’t fun). I found some great old black and white footage of vintage dance routines, burlesque performances and animations, cut it all together and Robert’s your mother’s brother. I’m quite proud of the results & feel it fits the overall feeling of the track. The cut up dances reflecting the cut up swing samples that form the backbone of the track.

My girlfriend first described the break of this track sounding like people honking (flirtatiously) at a girl, dancing in the street (and hence came up with the name Beep Beep Baby). It was great to find some appropriate film footage to recreate that vision during this part of the track. The internet archive is truly an amazing place.  Bonus marks if you can spot all of the original clips on there. Some of them are hilarious (and perhaps slightly worrying) to watch nowadays, I’d particularly recommend ‘In my Merry Oldsmobile’ and ‘Gags and Girls’, I wonder if they’d remake them today 😛

Also I used Blender as a video editor for the first time for this (hell, I didn’t even know it was a video editor before now, I’d only ever used it for a bit of 3D animation before). As ever, it has a pretty steep learning curve but it is incredibly powerful and quite satisfying, once you’re in the zone. It’s by far and away the best open-source/free video editor I’ve used. So big props to all of the guys and gals who have made its development possible.

Anyway hope you enjoy the video, please like, comment and/or subscribe.

PLUR, D

Having released two big boshy dance albums, I wanted to do something a bit more conceptual with my latest release. Over the last few years, I’ve become quite enamoured with the world of Steampunk, the idea of recapturing ~Victorian inventiveness and progressivism and the associated optimism that goes with it. The general aesthetic is awesome and it has been fairly well explored visually… sonically much less so. There have been some great examples of Steampunk music but I wanted to come at it from a slightly different perspective. On the the other hand, Cyberpunk was a major part of my world growing up. It taught me that the future will probably be a dark and dystopian place but at least the clubbing is going to be awesome: laser laden post-apocalyptic dens of inquity with intense electro pounding all night and day long. I wondered what music from the boundary layer between these two realities might sound like (music from the portal perhaps).

Steampunk Cybercrunk EP is my musical journey into both of these worlds and the spaces in between. The tracks themselves are quite varied, reflecting the different ways that these two genres could intermingle. Beep Beep Baby is an uplifting electo-swing banger (possibly counting more as dieselpunk than steampunk but I’ve never been a fan of over defining genres). Remember me is a deep dubstep inspired track with a hint of the classic horror film with its ethereal piano part. Harpsix is a big dancy tune with a bombastic harpsichord riffing against some classic electronic arpeggios. Finally, Waltzing with the devil is a slow English waltz reimagined with an electro slant. I really enjoyed making the whole EP. I hope you enjoy listening to it too.

Out on the 23rd of February 2015

Love and Peace, D

I’m very excited to announce that my new EP, Steampunk Cybercrunk comes out on the 23rd of February 2015 in all good digital music stores. Expect a 20 minute leftfield journey into instrumental EDM with elements of electro-swing, funky house and dubstep. There’s even an electro-waltz (not too many of those around, I’m sure).  Stay tuned for more news as the day approaches

Love and Peace, D

Just a quick post to let you know … In celebration of the last day of Large Hadron Kaleidoscope release week, there is 50% off everything on the official download page for the next 24 hours (until midnight 15/07/12). Just enter the code “boson2045” in the buy now screen to apply.

Big love to everyone whose helped me out this week.

Keep boshing

Dataphiles