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Now Playing: Victims of the Modern Age

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Just like Arjen’s “The Gentle Storm“, which is my favourite release from last year, I think his second album as “Star One” is perfection from beginning to end. Each track on “Victims of the Modern Age” is brilliantly written with a particular science fiction film and its universe in mind.

This album was never released on vinyl until Blood Music did a very limited pressing late last year. I feel very lucky to have made the pre-order window back in October. This beautiful double LP arrived today and it was absolutely worth the wait.

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David Maxim Micic: EGO & ECO

I did already post my top 5 albums for the year, but I would be remiss to not mention David Maxim Micic’s amazing new pair of EPs. His consistently emotive and dynamic compositions are at a level way beyond his years. I have an incredible amount of respect and adoration for his work and EGO and ECO are perfect examples of why.

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David’s releases are not availble in hardcopy yet, however you can still support him through his Bandcamp page. (The screencapture above is from my collection here.)

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My 2015 Top 5

2015 Top 5

The Gentle StormThe Diary
TesseracTPolaris
NerveGhosts of Tomorrow
EarthsideA Dream in Static
MestisPolysemy

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Now Playing: Nothing To Fear

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There’s nothing that Oingo Boingo created as a band that I don’t enjoy. I can shuffle their entire catalog without ever skipping a track. I find their dark, intelligent humour and truly original sound irresistibly charming.

I tend to throw on “Nothing To Fear” around this time of year, if for no other reason than the apropos cover art. It’s a solid and edgy follow up to their debut album.

My favourites include “Islands“, “Reptiles and Samurai“, and the title track.

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Now Playing: Down Upbeat

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This is one of the first albums I’d ever owned on vinyl and I’m surprised it’s still in such amazing shape. It’s been so long now that I can’t recall exactly where it came from, but I do know that it’s partly to blame for my then fascination with drummer Akira Jimbo.

Casiopea are a Japanese jazz fusion group with well over 30 releases since 1979. Although I don’t listen to this style of music much anymore, it helped keep my passion for drumming alive as a young player.

My favourite track on this album is the uptempo samba, “Road Rhythm“.

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Now Playing: One

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In preparation for the TesseracT gig on Sunday here in Baltimore, I’ll be focusing on their releases over the next few days. This is the debut from 2011.

As I listen to this album again after almost two years away from it, I’m amazed at how far the band has come. “One” is full of so many beautifully raw ideas and moods, and I’ve a lot of respect for how the TesseracT sound has been so brilliantly crafted over the years since.

My favourite tracks are the album’s closers, “April” and “Eden“.

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Now Playing: Strange Things

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Tackhead do an original funk/dub/industrial kind of thing that I really enjoy. This album was the first time I’d heard Doug Wimbish’s unparalleled bass playing, which was around the same time he joined Living Colour in the early nineties.

Highlights for me are the album’s opener, “Nobody To Somebody” and the timeless “For This I Sing“.

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Now Playing: Level 42

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I’ve been a shameless fanboy for Level 42 almost as long as I have for Rush. My tastes change as the decades pass, but my love for this band never fades.

This, their 1981 eponymous debut, was my first taste of “Brit funk” and so began my endless infatuation with the electric bass.

Highlights for me include the instrumental tracks “43” and “Dune Tune”.

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Now Playing: Let’s Dance

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Although Bowie’s catalog of work is full of greatness, this is the album I’ve spent the most time with over the years. It’s a fantastic collection of songs and I absolutely love how the drums are produced throughout.

Highlights for me have always been “Cat People (Putting Out Fire)” and the title track, which if you haven’t heard the unedited album version, you’re missing out.

Shaun of the Dead Original Score

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Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg’s Shaun of the Dead from 2004 is unquestionably my favourite film. This vinyl exclusive release of the film’s score was released in September of last year and I was one of the lucky ones to have pre-ordered it before the initial pressing sold out. This album has sat intentionally unplayed for over a year until I could make the time to properly digitize it for regular listening.

This album was originally available in three versions, one of which was the “Do You Want Anything From The Shop…?B variant in strawberry swirl which sold out immediately. The A variant was randomly shipped with either the “Winchester Ale” coloured vinyl or in standard black. I was thrilled to get exactly what I wanted, which was the black vinyl with the white “ELECTRO” label.

Daniel Mudford and Pete Woodhead did a fantastic job with this score. After reading their notes included with the LP, it’s apparent just how inspired and excited they were to be a part of this film and you can hear it in the music. I am very happy to have a proper copy of this score and now that I’ve got a great sounding digital version of it, I’ve no fear of wearing out the vinyl.

I used my Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB and a MacBook to record the LP, uitilising the turntable’s integrated USB interface.

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